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Authors: Robert Whitlow

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The List

BOOK: The List
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The
LIST

The
LIST

R
ObERT
W
HITLOW

© 2000 by Robert Whitlow. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a registered trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Thomas Nelson, Inc., titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail [email protected].

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version, and the Holy Bible, New International Version. © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Whitlow, Robert, 1954-
   The List/by Robert Whitlow
      p.cm.
   ISBN 978-0-8499-4518-2
   I. Title.
  PS3573.H49837 L57 2000
  813'.54 21—dc21

99-045922
CIP

Printed in the United States of America

10 11 12 13 14 RRD 18 17 16 15 14

To my wife, Kathy.

Without your constant encouragement, prayers, and
pratical help, this book would not have been written.

“So she became his wife, and he loved her.”
G
ENESIS 24:67

Contents

Acknowledgments

Prologue

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

Epilogue

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

P
ROVERBS 27:17, NIV

M
any thanks to those who helped in the creation of this book. To my editors and resource providers: Rick Blanchette, Sheri Blevins, Annette Davis (my sister), Traci DePree, Butch Watson, and Scott Wilcher. Special thanks to Ami McConnell, Senior Editor at Thomas Nelson, who believed in the book from day one, and to my agent, Scott Nelson, who introduced her to it.

And to those who prayed. You know who you are and your reward follows after you.

PROLOGUE

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing:
therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

D
EUTERONOMY 30:19, KJV

Georgetown, South Carolina, November 30, 1863

T
he old man pushed open the front door of the inn against the force of the coming storm. Slamming the door behind him, the wind's hand caught his long white beard and whipped it over his shoulder. Leaning forward, he swayed slightly as he crossed the broad porch and slowly descended the weathered wooden steps. He wrapped his cloak tightly around him and pulled his black hat down over his head.

He had feared the group assembled inside would not heed his words. Five years before the first shot was fired on Fort Sumter he began warning all who would listen of the coming conflict:

“Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. . . . And I will utter my judgments against them, touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.”

Now, the sound of Lee's army retreating from Gettysburg had reached their ears. It didn't require a prophet's vision to see into the future. Judgment was coming. But rather than repenting in the face of wrath, men of power and influence met in Georgetown to save Babylon, not to come out of her.

Because of age and respect he was invited. And he came, not to join them but to warn them. Waiting until their frantic voices stilled, he spoke with all the strength and fervor his spirit could muster. Then, standing in front of a portrait of a stern-faced John C. Calhoun, he delivered a clear, impassioned call: “Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Layne and Jacobson had wavered, hesitant to reject completely the words of one they had called sir since first learning to talk. Others sat in silence; a few mocked. He overheard Eicholtz whisper to Johnston that the old man looked more like a scarecrow than a planter. But in the end, LaRochette's smooth speech prevailed. No brands were plucked from the fire—all took the oath; all signed but him.

He had been obedient, but prophetic obedience that fails to accomplish its purpose leaves aching regret for the objects of its mercy. Thus, he felt anger and grief: anger against his enemy, grief for his friends and neighbors. Naturally minded, practical, astute in business, they only saw the need for security and self-preservation. Good churchmen all, yet they were deceived, failing to see the spiritual evil straining for release. “Don't you understand?” Hammond told him. “We must unite and preserve our wealth for the safety and future of our families.”

Of course, one knew. He and the old man shared a private moment in the midst of the gathering. LaRochette's eye caught his and flashed the identity and challenge of pure evil. The old man wanted to respond, strip away the pretense of the natural and cross swords in the unseen realm. But there was no call to battle from the Spirit.

“Why don't you let me confront it?” the old man pleaded.

“All things have their appointed time, even the wicked for a day of destruction,”
came the steady response.

So, upon discharging his trust, he left them to their plans. Holding his hat securely on his head, he stood at the bottom of the steps and looked up at the night sky. The moon and stars flickered on and off as small, dark clouds hurtled across the heavens, clouds without rain but warning of storms to come.

Thinking his task finished, he turned and faced the inn for a final farewell. Light from oil lamps faintly illuminated the windows of the meeting room. Then, as he leaned back against the wind, he felt the seed of another word forming deep within the core of his being, the place where he really lived. Knowing he must wait, he let the word build, push upward, and grow in intensity until its force sent chills through his chest and across his shoulders. Strength to stand against the wind entered his body and brought him to full stature as he stretched out his hands toward the house.

Fueled by a power not found in the oratory of men, he cried out the words of the righteous Judge who spoke with lightning from Sinai:

“I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. . . .”

A solitary bolt of lightning split the heavens high overhead.

This is what the Lord says; “A son will be born to my house, and he will expose your evil power and execute My righteous judgments against you.”

The wind tore the words out of his mouth and swept them up into the swirling darkness. Inside the house, Jacobson shuddered and turned to Weiss, “What was that?”

“Nothing. Only the wind.”

The old man remained motionless until the full power of the Word was released. Knowing it would come to pass, he faced the storm, mounted his horse, and rode off into the darkness.

1

Inherit the wind.

P
ROVERBS 11:29, KJV

T
he secretary whom Renny shared with two other associates in the banking law section of the firm buzzed the speakerphone on Renny's desk. “Attorney Jefferson McClintock from Charleston calling on line one. Says it's personal.”

“I'll take it.”

Renny shut the door of the windowless office he had occupied since graduating from law school three months earlier. If he continued working sixty hours a week, he had a fifty-fifty chance of a comfortable six-figure salary and an office with a view of the city in approximately twelve years. But for now he was at the bottom of the legal food chain. Of the 104 lawyers employed by Jackson, Robinson, and Temples in Charlotte, Raleigh, Winston-Salem, and Washington, D.C., his name, Josiah Fletchall Jacobson, was next to last on the firm's letterhead.

Renny picked up the phone. “Hello, Mr. McClintock.”

“How are you, Renny?”

“I'm OK. Busy learning the ins and outs of Truth in Lending and Regulation Z.”

“Bank work, eh?”

“Yes sir. I have to review all the forms used by the lending institutions we represent to make sure they contain the exact wording required by the regulations and print everything in the appropriate size type.”

“Sounds picky.”

“It is, but if I make a mistake, the banks can get hit with class-action lawsuits involving thousands of consumers who have a cause of action, even if they didn't suffer any financial harm.”

“Our government regulators at work.” The Charleston lawyer coughed and cleared his throat. “Well, move the law books to the side for a minute, and let's talk about your father's estate. With the help of two associates, I've almost completed the documents needed to probate your father's will, but there are several matters that need your attention.”

Two associates. Renny knew how the system worked. Multi-lawyer involvement was McClintock's way to triple his money: charge for each junior lawyer's time and throw in another fee at time and a half for the senior partner to proofread a stack of papers.

“Any problems?” Renny asked.

“We need to meet and discuss some things,” McClintock answered vaguely. “When can you come to Charleston? Tomorrow is Friday. Why not leave early and see me around two?”

Renny had worked until ten o'clock two nights earlier in the week and had billed enough hours for the week to sneak away by late morning on Friday. Besides, he wasn't going to let anything delay moving forward on the estate. “Could we make it three?”

BOOK: The List
5.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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