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Authors: Tim Lahaye

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04 The Edge of Darkness

BOOK: 04 The Edge of Darkness
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The Edge of Darkness
Babylon Rising [4]
Tim Lahaye
Bantam (2006)
Rating:
★★★★☆
Tags:
Christian
Christianttt
Product Description

Tim LaHaye’s most exciting series ever, Babylon Rising, continues with this explosive new installment, including more revelations than ever before. In
The Edge of Darkness
, LaHaye reveals the meaning behind some of the most carefully guarded Biblical prophecies to expose a conspiracy with terrifying consequences for our modern world.

This time Michael Murphy sets off in search of the Lost Temple of Dagon and the dark secrets of the strange god once worshipped by the ancient Philistines. His quest will lead to a final confrontation with an old enemy and uncover one of the Bible’s most feared warnings–a prophecy of false miracles, false messiahs, and ultimate evil that will be fulfilled in our time...and that not even Murphy can stop once it’s begun.

Once again Tim LaHaye combines his unmatched insight into Biblical prophecy with his unique skills as a master storyteller to deliver a suspense thriller of nonstop action with a thought-provoking message for our troubled times.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Dr. Tim Lahaye is a renowned prophecy scholar, minister, and author. His Left Behind® series is the bestselling Christian fiction series of all time. He and his wife, Beverly, live in southern California. They have four children and nine grandchildren.

Bob Phillips, Ph.D., is the author of more than eighty books. He is a licensed counselor and the executive director for the Pointman Leadership Institute.

From the Hardcover edition.

BOOKS BY TIM LAHAYE

Tim LaHaye Prophecy Books—Nonfiction
Are We Living in the End Times?
Charting the End Times
Charting the End Times (study guide)
End Times Controversy
Perhaps Today (90-day devotional)
Merciful God of Prophecy
Revelation Unveiled
The Rapture
These Will Not Be Left Behind
Tim LaHaye Prophecy Study Bible: NKJV & KJV
Understanding Bible Prophecy for Yourself
Understanding God’s Plan for the Ages (chart)
Bible Prophecy: Quick Reference Guide (booklet)

Tim LaHaye Fiction

Left Behind
®
(volume 1)
Tribulation Force (volume 2)
Nicolae (volume 3)
Soul Harvest (volume 4)
Apollyon (volume 5)
Assassins (volume 6)
The Indwelling (volume 7)
The Mark (volume 8)
Desecration (volume 9)
The Remnant (volume 10)
Armageddon (volume 11)
Glorious Appearing (volume 12)

Babylon Rising® (book 1)
Babylon Rising
®
(book 2)
Babylon Rising
®
(book 3)
Babylon Rising
®
(book 4)

Left Behind
®
: The Kids—Youth Fiction Series (volumes 1-40)

The Soul Survivor—Youth Fiction Series
The Mind Siege Project
All the Rave
The Last Dance
Black Friday

Additional Bestselling Books by Tim LaHaye

Spirit-Controlled Temperament
How to Be Happy Though Married
The Act of Marriage
How to Win over Depression
Mind Siege
How to Study the Bible for Yourself

Dedicated to those who realize this world
is in an irreversible mess and want to believe
there is hope for a better world tomorrow

FOREWORD
from Tim LaHaye

A famous scientist gave this forlorn view of the future when he said, “I see no future for this world as we know it, beyond the year 2025.” Another, more optimistic scientist set his doomsday at 2050! There is scant hope for today’s teens.

In our time, there are weapons of mass destruction in the hands of unknown terrorists, renegade countries like North Korea that make no pretense of giving up their quest for nuclear weaponry so they can blackmail the world, rising ruthless dictatorial regimes that have already proven they have no regard for human lives other than their own—and now the rise to power of an Islamic madman who even told delegates at the UN that it was his destiny to create world chaos so his prophet will return to earth and establish a worldwide Islamic dictatorship.

At the risk of sounding negative, there is even more in the field of nature: earthquakes at unprecedented levels (some above 9 on the Richter scale), hurricanes at unprecedented numbers, out of control plagues like AIDS that threaten to decimate all of Africa, the threat of an “Asian flu” epidemic… and the list goes on. We are indeed approaching THE EDGE OF DARKNESS.

Yet this is not the end! The Hebrew prophets and Jesus Christ and His apostles warned many times that such days would come. That is why I started this series of action thrillers based on Bible prophecy, to show that even at the edge of darkness there is much hope for the future.

Dr. Michael Murphy, the exciting hero of our Babylon Rising series, is the perfect person to interpret these times in the light of the Bible’s ancient prophecies. An academic expert in archaeology and an ardent student of prophecy, one of his greatest joys is proving the accuracy of the Bible archaeologically.

This book could not be more timely. It offers an intriguing answer to the problems of our globe that is extremely relevant for this age.

ONE

CALL IT INSTINCT, intuition, or just plain street smarts—whatever it was sent a tingle down Murphy’s spine. The clicking noise caused him to leap off the seat of the roller-coaster car as fast as his six-foot-three-inch frame would allow. He sailed over the back, clutching the seat with both hands. As his feet landed on the bumper that ran around the car, he hunkered down and held his breath.

It was not a moment too soon. A rush of wind tousled his hair as two eighty-pound blocks of cement smashed into the seat where he had just been sitting.

Another millisecond and I would have been dead
, he thought.
How do I keep getting into things like this?

It was one of those days when everything inside of Murphy said
Don’t go to work
. It was too beautiful a day to be inside a classroom teaching biblical archaeology. As he reluctantly gathered his papers and stuffed them into his briefcase, the words of Mark Twain echoed in his mind:
Do something every day that you don’t want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain
.

Murphy never tired of the scenic drive to school and the campus of Preston University. There was something deeply attractive about the lush greenery of the South and the beauty of the magnolia blossoms. Parking his car in the teachers’ lot, he meandered up the tree-lined walkway toward his office near the Memorial Lecture Hall. The smell of jasmine in the air filled his senses.

Students were sitting under the trees. Some were studying, but most were just talking with their friends. One group tossed a Frisbee back and forth. Murphy recalled his days as a student.
Life was so much simpler then. They don’t even realize how great these years are
.

The unbidden image of Laura swept across his mind, the moments of joy and laughter they had shared during their marriage. Those happy years before she had been murdered by Talon. The pain tore at his insides, and a sigh escaped his lips. He shook the memories away, unwilling to let the grief overwhelm him.

He reached his office, opened the door, and groaned. His desk was stacked high with student test papers and book reports that needed to be reviewed.
I think I’ll delegate those to Shari. She’ll hate me, but isn’t that what assistants are for? Doing all the jobs you don’t like?

Shari had been in the laboratory for almost an hour. She was peering through a microscope at an envelope when Murphy entered.

“I know, I know. You’re wondering what I’m doing here so early.” Murphy smiled a Cheshire cat grin as he looked at Shari. Her very
light complexion and sparkling green eyes contrasted with her black hair. The ponytails coming out from each side of her head were hanging down, almost covering the microscope. She had on her favorite white lab coat.

“I know you love it here,” he said. “Maybe I should move in bed and then you won’t have to go home at night.”

She looked up at him and wrinkled her nose. “Like you don’t get involved in
your
work!”

“Who, me?” Murphy set his briefcase down. “What are you looking at?”

Shari sat up with a guilty look on her face. “Oh, just something that came in the mail for you.”

“For me? Why are you looking at my mail through a microscope?”

She smiled, with a twinkle in her eye. “I’m just trying to protect you.”

“Protect me from what?”

“From what I think might be inside.”

“This all sounds very mysterious. What are you talking about?”

“I think it’s a letter from your admirer,” she said with a smirk.

“Let me guess. Does my admirer’s name start with an M?”

“Not bad, Doc, for so early in the morning.”

Shari handed the letter to Murphy. “I was comparing this handwriting with some of the other letters you’ve received from your deranged admirer. They’re the same.”

Murphy held the envelope up to the light and saw what looked like a three-by-five card inside.

“So why don’t you open it?”

Murphy smiled. Shari was forever curious about anything that might be mysterious. He opened the envelope, took out the card, and began to read.

Row, row, row your boat gently around the lake
Walk and talk and have a piece of cake

Ride, ride, ride the trolley
Be sure to stop and visit Molly

Dance, dance, dance the choo-choo
Visit the zoo and casino too

Round, round, round you go
Don’t be depressed by the big tornado

Search, search, search and find
Be sure not to lose your mind

Seek, seek, seek, like a mouse
You may even find a fun house

“So much for poetry!” said Shari. “What in the world do you think he means? Maybe he’s finally lost it.”

“Well, Methuselah is strange, eccentric, even sadistic … but he’s not crazy. His clues and riddles have led us to many archaeological finds in the past.” Murphy stroked his chin, lost in thought. “He must have some new trophy for us to search for.”

“Can you make heads or tails of this one?”

Murphy ran his fingers through his brown hair and paced around the room. Shari just smiled and watched her boss. She knew it was best not to disturb him once the mental wheels were in motion.

Murphy went to his computer and got on the Internet. Shari stepped behind him and watched dubiously as he typed in the words “Amusement Parks.” After another fifteen minutes of searching, he turned to her.

“I think I may have the answer to the riddle.”

“Well, pray tell, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Don’t keep me in suspense.”

“The first clue for me was the word ‘trolley’ At the turn of the century, one of the main modes of transportation in larger cities was the electrical trolley line.”

“So? What does that have to do with the rest of the riddle?”

“Hang on to your ponytails. It says here: Electrical companies in the early 1900s charged the trolley companies a straight fee for the use of electricity Regardless of the number of people that rode the trolley, the electrical fee was the same. Owners of the trolleys tried to devise a way to get more customers to ride. The plan they settled on was to build amusement parks at the end of the trolley lines. This would encourage more travel and generate more revenue. Not a bad idea, huh?”

“I think maybe you’re off
your
trolley this time.”

“Cute, Shari. Just hear me out. The phrase ‘visit Molly’ is the key to the riddle. In 1910, Lakewood Amusement Park was built at the end of the trolley line in Charlotte, North Carolina. At that time it was three miles west of the city Its design was similar to that of Coney Island and it became one of the most attractive parks in the South.”

“How do you know all of this?”

“Genevieve Murphy.”

“Who is Genevieve Murphy?”

“My grandmother. She used to live in Charlotte and I would visit her in the summers. She would tell me stories about growing up in the South. One of her stories was about a trolley park with a lake. I remember her talking about riding on a roller coaster. She loved it. She would ride it two or three times each time she visited the park.”

“Go on, I’m still listening.”

“Lakewood Park had a lake with rowboats—
Row, row, row your boat gently around the lake. Walk and talk and have a piece of cake
. The lake had a walkway around it with concession stands. They also had a half-mile-long roller coaster formerly called the Scenic Railway. Its nickname was
Molly’s Madness
. My grandmother sometimes referred to it as ‘riding old Molly’ The park also had a
merry-go-round
that could seat a hundred people. They had a
shooting range
. They had a
petting zoo
. They had a
dance hall
that was over part of the lake, and they had a
casino
. All of those attractions tie in with Methuselah’s riddle.”

“What about being
depressed by the big tornado?”

“I think that’s the clincher, Shari. In 1933, the Great Depression bankrupted Lakewood Park. People didn’t have money to spend on rides and games. In 1936, a large tornado hit the area and trashed the park. The heavy rains that followed washed out the dam and caused the lake to overflow. Repairs were never made, and the park closed for good.”

“Bummer. Is there anything remaining from the original park today?”

“No. I believe they built over that area years ago. There is one thing, however. There were rumors that the owners of the park were in the process of constructing an underground amusement area in the form of a fun house. It was supposed to have rolling barrels, slides, roller bridges, a human roulette wheel, a maze of mirrors, and a ride called the Tunnel of Fear.”

“And all of that was going to be built underground?”

“That was the rumor. Maybe they did build it but didn’t open it to the public. Maybe that’s what the phrase
Seek, seek, seek like a mouse—you may even find a fun house
means. Methuselah is telling me to look for something. Probably old building records that date back to the 1930s. The fun house may still be there somewhere underground in Charlotte.”

Shari recognized the glint in Murphy’s eye. “You’re not really going to try and find out, are you? Need I remind you that Methuselah has tried to kill you on a number of occasions?!”

“I know, I know. But his clues have helped us find the golden head of Nebuchadnezzar, Noah’s Ark, and the famous Handwriting on the Wall. I’m curious as to what new archaeological find he might lead us to.”

“That’s just the problem. You’re too curious.”

She might as well have been talking to the wall. His mind was already made up.

Murphy’s alarm sounded at 5:00
A.M.
He moaned a little and shut it off.

Well, time for a new adventure
.

He wanted to get up early enough to have breakfast and make the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Raleigh to Charlotte. He had called the day he received Methuselah’s riddle and found out that the Hall of Records opened at nine in the morning.

No telling what the old coot has in store for me
, he thought.
I’d better be prepared
.

Murphy loaded his backpack with water, a knife, a hatchet, a first-aid kit, a compass, some rope, and a few other items. He looked around the room trying to think of anything else he should bring along.

Laser
, he thought.

He went to the closet and pulled out a black, five-foot-long by one-foot-wide, impact-resistant case that contained Laser. He opened the case and smiled. His hand glided across the laminated carbon-fiber-compound bow. Instinctively he checked the draw system of cables and eccentric pulleys mounted at the limb tips. They gave him the power to shoot an arrow, as straight as a laser, at up to 330 feet per second.

This may come in handy. Who knows what Methuselah is up to this time?

Ever since Murphy was a teenager, he’d been interested in archery. It was a precise discipline and he had become a serious bow marksman. His perfectly aimed arrows would shoot like tiny guided missiles at their target. Laser had helped him on more than one occasion—even against one of Talon’s falcons in the Pyramid of the Winds.

A dozen arrows
, he thought.
That should be enough
.

The trip to Charlotte gave Murphy time to think. He cringed as he remembered how Methuselah pitted him against a lion in the warehouse building in Raleigh. He still had the scar on his shoulder as a reminder. Then there was the Cave of the Waters, where he’d almost
drowned trying to save the two German shepherd puppies. And the time when Methuselah cut the cable he was walking on over the Royal Gorge in Colorado. Oh, yeah, and the rattlesnakes that dropped on him in the Reed Gold Mine.

Methuselah is one very strange man
, he thought.
He must sit awake nights dreaming up these traps for me. And I just keep playing the game his way, risking my life to try to solve his riddles. So who’s the crazy one?

BOOK: 04 The Edge of Darkness
6.65Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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