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Triumphant Return
Book SeriesLeft Behind: The Kids
AuthorTim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
Release DateOctober, 2004
Preceded ByThe Road to War

"Triumphant Return" is the 40th and final book of the Left Behind: The Kids series. Its release date was in October of 2004. It was written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

Book Synopsis

Synopsis retrieved from back of the book.

An enormous army gathers in the Middle East to destroy rebels against the Global Community. Nicolae Carpathia and his followers expect overwhelming victory.

But Judd, Vicki, Lionel, and the rest of the Young Trib Force have waited more than seven years for this moment. Since the disappearances of their family and friends, they have looked forward to the Glorious Appearing. 

Notable Characters

Original Members of The Young Tribulation Force:

  • Judd Thompson Jr. (final appearance)
  • Vicki Byrne Thompson (final appearance)
  • Lionel Washington (final appearance)
  • Ryan Daley (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)

Other Members of The Young Tribulation Force:

  • Mark Eisman (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Conrad Graham (final appearance)
  • John Preston (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Chaya Stein (resuurected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Darrion Stahley (final appearance)
  • Janie McCanyon (final appearance)
  • Melinda Bentley (final appearance)
  • Tom Gowin (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Luke Gowin (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Natalie Bishop (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Shelly (final appearance)
  • Charlie (final appearance)
  • Sam Goldberg (final appearance)
  • Tanya Spivey (final appearance)

Other believers:

  • Rayford Steele
  • Tsion Ben-Judah (death, resurrected, glorified body)
  • Bruce Barnes (resurrected, glorified body)
  • Gustaf "Zeke" Zuckermandel Jr.
  • Mitchell Stein (final appearance)
  • Chaim Rosenzweig
  • Enoch Dumas
  • Jamal Ameer (final appearance)
  • Lina Ameer (final appearance)
  • Pete Davidson (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Ty Spivey (final appearance)
  • Andre Dupree (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Judith Stein (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Maxwell Stahley (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Louise Stahley (resurrected, glorified body, final appearance)
  • Cameron "Buck" Williams (death, resurrected, glorified body)
  • Chloe Steele Williams (resurrected, glorified body)
  • Lenore Barker (final appearance)
  • Tom Fogarty (final appearance)
  • Josey Fogarty (final appearance)

Global Community:

  • Nicolae Carpathia (death, thrown into the Lake of Fire)
  • Leon Fortunato (death, thrown into the Lake of Fire)
  • Kruno Fulcire (death, final appearance)


  • Z-Van(death, final appearance)


  • Carl Meninger and Nada Ameer are the only members of the Young Tribulation Force that do not appear in this book. They are both written about, however.
  • Even though Mark died in book 39, his name is still on the list of living Young Tribulation Force members in the beginning of the book.
  • Tsion Ben-Judah is killed during the battle of Armageddon.
  • Cameron "Buck" Williams is killed less than 24 hours before the Glorious Appearing, making him the last member of the adult Tribulation Force to die, and making Rayford Steele the only original member of The Tribulation Force to survive to the Glorious Appearing.
  • First appearance of Ryan Daley since book 13.
  • First appearance of Chaya Stein since book 12.
  • First appearance of John Preston since book 16.
  • First appearance of Natalie Bishop since book 29.
  • Conrad Graham kisses Shelly for the first (and only) time.
  • Much to Lionel's surprise and joy, his uncle Andre Dupree became a believer moments before he died. This is revealed after the honoring of the saints and martyrs.
  • Bruce Barnes, Mark Eisman, John Preston, Perryn Madeleine, Pete Davidson, Natalie Bishop, Chaya Stein, Judith Stein, Hattie Durham, Ryan Daley, Chloe Steele Williams, Buck Williams, and Tsion Ben-Judah are all rewarded for their faithful service on earth and their deaths during the Tribulation as soon as they are resurrected.
  • It can be assumed that Nada Ameer, Tom Gowin, and Luke Gowin were rewarded too, but this is never shown.
  • It can be assumed that Ryan Daley and Charlie finally met each other.
  • Judd reunites with his family.
  • Vicki reunites with her family.
  • It can be assumed that Lionel reunited with his family.
  • The only book where Pavel Rudja is seen without his wheelchair.
  • First appearance of Tom Gowin since book 35.
  • First appearance of Luke Gowin since book 35.
  • Z-Van is killed at the sheep-and-goats judgment, making him the last known unbeliever from the Tribulation to die.


  • Tsion Ben-Judah(later resurrected)
  • Cameron "Buck" Williams(confirmed, later resurrected)
  • Kruno Fulcire
  • Leon Fortunato
  • Nicolae Carpathia
  • Z-Van