Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Counterfeit - By Dennis Huebshman -
One of the responsibilities of the Secret Service (besides protecting the president) is the investigation of Counterfeit cases. When an agent is preparing to work these cases, they will study "genuine" currency rather than the counterfeit ones. Each bill of each denomination is carefully examined so that when an agent comes across one that is not real, it is very obvious to them, and the bill stands out.
They don't just look at the different bills, but carefully examine the paper, ink, threads in the paper, pictures, seals, signatures and everything else associated with a particular bill. Currently, the $100 bill is the largest that is being printed and circulated since July 13, 1969. At that time, the $500, $1000, $5000 and $10,000 were retired. The $100 denomination has been printed with various changes since 1861.
Now that we have established how counterfeit currency is detected, we can apply the same principle to the Word of the Lord. Why would anyone want to study anything but the genuine true word given to us by the Father? Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "Every scripture is inspired by God, and useful for teaching; for reproof; for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work." (emphasis mine)
Looking at 1 John 4:1-3, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to determine if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses Jesus as the Christ (Messiah, Savior), who has come in the flesh is from God; but every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and now is already in the world."
For a guideline for "genuine" pastors, 2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to show yourself approved unto God; a workman that needs not to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately."
Especially in these days, it is critical for people to study the true word of the Lord for themselves. John talked about "false prophets" and "antichrists" that were present in the first century, and they have not gone away. In fact, with the changing times, their activities and numbers are increasing rapidly. The world is already being prepared for the "ultimate" evil one, and the final false prophet that will appear after Jesus takes His church (believers) Home. Satan knows his time is getting short, even though he does not know exact day or hour that Jesus will come back. His demons are working overtime to get unbelievers to do his bidding, and unfortunately there is no shortage of these souls.
If the Secret Service agents weren't diligent in their studies, a lot of phony currency would remain in circulation. People who inadvertently get some of these phony bills would stand to suffer loss because, when it is discovered, they cannot turn it in for real money. The same applies to Bible study. How can anyone detect false messages if they have no idea what the scriptures really say.
As a personal example, I grew up in a "Christian" home and had access to Bibles all my life. However, I allowed "laziness" to be part of me, in that I would listen to preachers and accept anything they said as being truth. After my "teen" years, I got away from regular worship but always believed I "knew" the Bible. Then, at about age 40, I attended an evangelical service at the request of my wife, and I was literally "awakened" as to just how ignorant I was. I know now, it had to be the Holy Spirit that convicted me. I also know there were several people who were "Prayer Warriors" that were holding me up in prayer to the Father. Just a quick note: prayer works; use it frequently!
At this point, I felt a real need to get a new Bible and read it for the first time cover to cover. Over several years, I went through several translations (KJV, NKJV, New American Standard) before settling on the New English Translation (NET), which has been good for my ability to comprehend the Word. All in all, over the past 30 years, I have found things that I thought were in the Bible were not there; things I did not know that were there were brought to my attention. Examples: "Cleanliness is next to Godliness" and "God helps those who help themselves" are nowhere in the true word.
Listening to some pastors today sends a chill down my spine. Words that I would've accepted previously stand out as blatantly false. In 1977, there was a movie called Oh God starring George Burns and John Denver. One line in the movie that still is in my mind today was given by George about a mega-church preacher who said a lot of "words," just not God's. George told John Denver to tell the preacher to just "shut up!" When I hear a false message being given, I believe our God is saying, "Just Shut Up!"
I have been totally aware of whose word I have been giving each and every time I present a sermon, and I have made every effort to make sure I give nothing but God's truth. These messages that I am fortunate enough to get posted fall in the same category. James 3:1 is etched into my mind, and should be there for every person who wants to pass on the Word of the Lord. "Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly."
There are still some good "Bible Preaching" churches in this world, but they are getting fewer with fewer true believers. The emphasis is shifting to "feel-good" "no-fault" messages that leave out anything related to sin. The leaders are more interested in filling seats and their bank accounts than filling precious souls with the truth. Many services have become "stage productions" with light shows and "inspiring" music. People are being told that there's many ways to heaven, and alternate lifestyles are really okay.
There are mega-church denominations that are splitting over the LGBT(etc.) movement, as many have somehow determined that God has changed His mind on this. The alternate-lifestyle people are in the minority of the population, but are the most vocal. Anyone who speaks against them is declared to be a "hater." In fact, just about anything that is truly biblical is being challenged and changed to meet the personal needs of the false prophets.
There is no place in the Bible where the Father said certain things would only be an abomination until the 20th and 21st centuries. All of a sudden, it should be okay by Him because so much time has passed, and man has become so much more enlightened.
Fact: 2 Peter 3:8, "Now dear friends, do not let this one thing escape your notice; that a single day is like a thousand years with the Lord, and a thousand years are like a single day." In that respect, since Jesus was here, only about 2 days have passed for the Father. Actually, time does not mean anything to Him, as it was created for us. He hasn't changed any of His word, and all covenants are still in place.
Another thing to remember: 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slow concerning His promise as some regard slowness; but is being patient toward you, because He does not wish for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance."
The Bible says Jesus will return to take all believers home to avoid the wrath of the Tribulation. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). When God says it will happen, you can believe it will be so. He knows when the "fullness of the Gentiles" will be (Romans 11:25), and all believers from Calvary to that point will be affected by this. The dead will rise first, followed by those who are alive to be caught up (Raptured) to meet Jesus in the air.
Sad part, there will be churches with large memberships that will not see any change in attendance after the Rapture. Jesus said a "few" (Matthew 7:13-14) because He knew what the peoples' attitude would be today toward accepting Him. Many who believe they have a pathway to Heaven without Jesus will be lost. John 14:6 is absolute. All who accept Jesus, and know He is the only Way to the Father, will be saved.
All who follow the "many ways" preaching, or alternate lifestyles, or think they're "good enough" or have earned their right to be in heaven will be severely disappointed. They can go to a church building every day of the week, but it's the condition of their hearts and souls that really matters.
Look out for false teachers, preachers, antichrists and all that they represent. Seek the kingdom of Heaven, and God's righteousness, and you will be added to the Book of Life (Matthew 6:33 paraphrased). Study God's word in a translation of the true word that you can understand. God did not mean for His word to be a secret, but expects His word to be returned to Him with positive heavenly results (Isaiah 55:11).
He wants you to know the truth so you can be free (John 8:32); because when Jesus sets you free, you will be free indeed (John 8:36).
Call on the True and Proven Lord God Jehovah's Son Jesus to save you. He is not counterfeit!
IAF Chief Warns Future Conflict Will Bring Widespread Missile Fire On Israel - By Yaakov Lappin -
All of Israel's future conflicts will see major enemy fire on the civilian home front, meaning that air defense is more crucial than ever, a former Israel Air Force chief has told JNS following the start of an Israeli-American joint exercise.
In recent days, the Israel Defense Forces and the U.S. military's European Command (EUCOM) announced that for the first time, the United States has brought over its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to Israel.
The unprecedented move is part of a drill testing the ability of American forces to quickly arrive in Israel and help the IDF protect the country from incoming ballistic-missile attacks. The exercise could be seen as a signal to Iran and its proxies of Washington's commitment to help Israel defend its air space in the event of a future war.
Iran has hundreds of ballistic missiles in its arsenal, while its proxy, Hezbollah, has an estimated 130,000 projectiles, including long-range rockets and missiles that can strike any point in Israel.
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Eitan Ben-Eliyahu, who commanded the IAF from 1996 to 2000, told JNS that "from here on out, in any combat scenario, whether it is local or regional, there will be widespread use of rockets and missiles [by the enemy]. Even if the IDF conducts a highly successful offensive strategy, this will not be sufficient to suitably protect the fighting forces, and it especially will not suitably protect the home front. Hence, there is no choice but to combine between offense and active defense at the same time."
Ben-Eliyahu assessed that future significant wars would involve "the formation of coalitions between countries," and that this required their militaries to practice working together on air defenses.
Mounting a joint defense requires close coordination and an ability to integrate several defensive systems, he explained.
"Therefore, it is not enough to hold joint drills as we have seen in the past, in which the coordination is limited to cooperation between planes in the air," said Ben-Eliyahu.
One of the key goals of the exercise is to integrate THAAD with Israel's own air-defense systems, including the Arrow 3 system that intercepts ballistic missiles in space, the Arrow 2 system for upper atmosphere interceptions, David's Sling for a range of intermediate-range threats and the Iron Dome short to medium-range air-defense system.
This integration of systems should become a full combat doctrine, Ben-Eliyahu argued, allowing American air-defense units and Israel's Air Defense Array to work together at all levels.
Ben-Eliyahu said that in light of the Trump administration's recent policy of withdrawing armed forces from the Middle East, "it is comfortable for it to fill the vacuum by exhibiting a defensive, rather than offensive presence."
Like Israel's Arrow 3, The THAAD system can send its interceptors into space to collide with and destroy ballistic missiles. It can also hit them inside the atmosphere.
A rapid U.S. deployment
IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters this week that the purpose of the exercise is to drill the America's "rapid deployment across the globe and to enhance cooperation between the IAF and U.S. air-defense systems."
He added that the "deployment emphasizes the U.S.'s commitment to the defense of Israel."
Last month, the IDF and U.S. military's EUCOM held the joint Juniper Falcon exercise, testing their ability to work together.
"We are working in cooperation with our U.S. counterparts to strengthen our ability to defend Israeli air space," confirmed Conricus.
The latest drill is "an opportunity to practice the integration of advanced American air-defense systems into the IAF Air Defense Array. Needless to say, we are grateful for this exercise. The IDF stands ready to protect the air space against threats near and far," he stated.
Conricus stressed that the exercise is defensive and was planned ahead of time. The United States flew in personnel and equipment from Texas and Italy to Israel, including more than 200 soldiers and officers. The full THAAD system, including its radar and launchers, arrived at an Israeli airbase in southern Israel before being transported on the ground for deployment to an undisclosed location in the south of the country.
Last year, the IDF and U.S. held the biannual Juniper Cobra ballistic-missile defense exercise, which simulated threats, but did not see the arrival of THAAD.
Conricus said past exercises did not include the kind of actual tactical cooperation between soldiers, airmen and marines that is currently taking place, affirming that "we are going to ... ensure our readiness for the future."
News from Hal Lindsey Media Ministries - Hal Lindsey -
The ancient Bible prophets foretold that Jerusalem will become the focal point of the world. It is.
We know the nations of the world will one day gather against it. And we know that, eventually, many of those nations will coalesce into formidable blocs that will oppose each other. Those groups of like-minded nations will become enemies that go to war against each other.
The Bible says that it will culminate in a final conflict that the world has come to know as "Armageddon."
"Armageddon" looms over the world. It's never far from the thoughts of even unbelievers.
Remember "Carmageddon" to describe several significant freeway traffic disruptions? Or "Snowmaggedon" to describe a major snow disaster in Canada?
The world has a similar fascination with the word "apocalypse."
Despite an overwhelming lack of Bible literacy, fascination with Armageddon continues to grow. People seem to sense that something huge and awful will soon befall our planet, but few know any specifics.
The Bible, on the other hand, gives a great deal of specific information about both the battle of Armageddon and the events surrounding it. Daniel 11 gives us one of the most compelling accounts.
There have been but the merest glimpses of Armageddon-like violence in world history. Dresden, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, to name a few. The real thing will be dreadful beyond words. The Bible predicts the number of deaths during that time as like nothing else imaginable.
The world system will fall apart in almost every way, starting with the totalitarian rule of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. War will rage with all the fury modern technology makes possible.
Never before in history could humanity do to itself what the Bible describes in the last 3 1/2 years before Jesus Christ returns to earth.
But now, it can do just that. And in today's newspaper you can read the specific names of the nations described by the ancient prophets as they begin to align themselves in perfect accordance with what the Bible predicts.
Which can only mean one thing: the "time of the end" described to Daniel by the angel Gabriel is upon us.
If you are not ready for the sudden appearing of Jesus Christ to call away all true believers, then don't hesitate to accept the full gift of pardon that His death on Calvary purchased for you. And if you have received His pardon and follow Him, then now is the time to make certain your family, your friends, and those around you have heard the Good News and have had a chance to prepare themselves, too.
This week, I'll give you an overview of the run-up to Armageddon. You will recognize all of the players and be stunned by how close those days may be.
Don't miss The Hal Lindsey Report on TBN, Daystar, CPM Network, various local stations, www.hallindsey.com or www.hischannel.com . Check your local listings.
The Good Samaritan - A Bible Study by Jack Kelley -
On one occasion an expert in the Law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law," Jesus replied, "How do you read it?" He answered: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind [Deut. 6:5] and love your neighbor as yourself [Lev 19:18]." "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied, "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself and so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" (Luke 10:25-29).
In reply to this question, Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37) the obvious point of which is that our neighbor is anyone in need of our assistance. We all learned this point of the story as children. But parables are heavenly stories put into an earthly context where every character is symbolic of someone or something else, and the Parable of the Good Samaritan is no exception. Therefore we should also expect to find a glimpse of Heaven contained there in. The word parable literally means to place along side so the obvious "earthly" story has to be accompanied by a hidden "heavenly" one. Put another way, if the obvious story is the children's version then the hidden one is the adult version of the story. Let's find it.
Who Are The Samaritans?
First, a little background. The Samaritans were the offspring of marriages between Jewish farmers the Assyrians left behind when they conquered the Northern Kingdom in 721 BC and the pagans they re-located there. Mixing up the conquered populations was standard procedure for the Assyrians because it reduced the threat of organized rebellion. The Samaritans were despised by the Jews because of these mixed marriages and because they had incorporated pagan rituals into their worship of God (both were forbidden by Jewish law.) A generation or so before the time of Jesus, a son of the Jewish High Priest had run off and married the daughter of the King of Samaria, built a replica of the Temple on Mt. Gerizim, and instituted a rival worship system which caused a huge scandal. In her encounter with Jesus (John 4:4-42) the Samaritan "woman at the well" makes reference to this (John 4:19).
The region called Samaria was named after the capital city of the former Northern Kingdom and is located in what's known today as the West Bank. Because their laws prohibit marrying outside their own, the Samaritan population has dwindled to a point where only about 700 exist today. They're not Palestinians, but they're not regarded as Jews either and keep pretty much to themselves. To have a Samaritan as the hero of this story must have gotten the attention of the Lord's audience right away. By the way, the ruins of the Samaritan Temple were discovered about 10 years ago and are currently being excavated for public display.
The old Jericho Road was a steep narrow passage along one wall of a deep canyon. In the 17 miles from Jerusalem to Jericho, it dropped 3200 vertical feet through a rough wilderness area fraught with danger from attacks by wild animals in the best of times. In the Lord's day, there was also the threat of being attacked by robbers lurking in the rocks. The Temple renovation was nearly complete and many workers had been laid off. Having lost their source of income, some turned to stealing to provide for their families. The people were all too familiar with reports of violence there and had nicknamed this road Adumim, the Pass of Blood. The area where the canyon opens up at the bottom, near Jericho, is traditionally known as the valley of the Shadow of Death, from Psalm 23.
And Now, Back To Our Story
You know how the story goes. A man traveling along the old Jericho Road is beset by robbers who strip him of his clothes, beat him and leave him half dead. First, a priest and then a Levite pass by, but simply cross to the other side and ignore him. Then a Samaritan comes along. He comes to where the man is, binds up his wounds applying oil and wine, and places him upon his own donkey. He takes the man to a nearby inn and cares for him. The next day he pays the man's present and future bill asking the innkeeper to look after him and promising to pay any balance due when he returns. The two silver coins he gave the innkeeper would have paid a man's hotel bill for up to two months in those days.
So, understanding that there's supposed to be a glimpse of Heaven here and that everyone in the parable is symbolic of someone else let's look for the hidden meaning.
"A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead."(Luke 10:30)
The man was an ordinary person who represents you and me on the road of life. Who it is that would attack us, strip us of our clothing and leave us for dead? We know that our spiritual covering is often referred to in terms of clothing. "All our righteous works are as filthy rags," says Isaiah 64:6 whereas the Lord clothes us with "garments of salvation" and "robes of righteousness" (Isa. 61:10). So who would strip us of our covering of righteousness and leave us spiritually dead? Only Satan, the stealer of our soul.
A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:31-32)
The priest and the Levite represent organized religion that in and of itself is powerless to restore spiritual life and leaves us just as dead as when it found us. The Lord had Isaiah say, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men." (Isaiah 29:13) Jesus didn't come to start another religion. He came so that God could be reconciled to His creation, to restore peace between the two (Colossians 1:19-20). But sadly, in some parts of the Church, the rules of men still carry more weight than the Word of God.
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. (Luke 10:33)
And that leaves the Good Samaritan. Though despised and rejected by His countrymen, He comes to where we are after we've been attacked and beaten by our enemy, stripped of all our righteousness and left hopelessly dead in our sins, beyond the ability of all our religious works to restore us to God's favor.
He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:34)
He binds up our wounds (Isaiah 61:1), pours on oil and wine, and carries us to a place of spiritual comfort where He personally cares for us. Oil was used to aid in healing because of its soothing and relaxing properties. Applying it to the skin brings comfort. It represents the Holy Spirit, our Comforter. Wine was an antiseptic, a cleansing agent. It symbolizes His blood, shed for the remission of sin. At the moment of salvation, we receive the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance and are washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb. He has taken up our infirmities and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4) and will bring us to a place of comfort. In Matt. 11:28 He said, "Come to me, you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' (Luke 10:35)
Before He left this earth, He paid the debt of sin we owe to God (represented by the innkeeper), entrusting us to His care. Silver was the coin of redemption (Exod. 30:12-15) . Please notice that He also accepted responsibility for all of our future sins. We weren't just redeemed up to the time we became believers, but for all of our lives. (Col. 2:13-14)
So the Good Samaritan could only be the Lord Jesus, our Savior, and our Redeemer.
And what did the man do to deserve all of this? Nothing. He neither earned his rescue nor provided any contribution to his restoration. It was a gift, a manifestation of the grace in the Good Samaritan's heart. And so it is with us. For when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)
And now you know the adult version.
Daily Jot: House passes anti-hate bill, WHAT? - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
Led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the Democrat-led House of Representatives passed an anti-hate resolution (407-23) ostensibly in response to Islamic Marxist representative Ilhan Omar's (D-MN) remarks against Jews and Israel. Originally about anti-Semitism, the Marxist Democrats couldn't help adding in more division and class warfare by including Muslims, Latinos, Asian-Americans, homosexuals, lesbians, bi-sexuals, and transgenders as people who cannot be hated. Let's see, who did they miss? Oh, yes, it's Ok to hate Christians and white men. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) said he was "shocked" that the bill "refused to similarly condemn discrimination against Caucasian Americans and Christians."
All but 23 Republicans voted for the resolution. Who can blame them? They don't need campaign commercials by their socialist opponents claiming that they supported hate. But hate it is. For the Marxists to leave out Caucasians and Christians signals that it's fine to direct hate toward these people. But in another twist, what started as a rebuke against Islamist Omar's bigoted remarks against Israel and Jews somehow turned into a resolution condemning all sorts of anti-Muslim bigotry. The resolution "acknowledges the harm suffered by Muslims and others from the harassment, discrimination, and violence that result from anti-Muslim bigotry; condemns anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against all minorities as contrary to the values of the United States."
The "Whereas" section of the resolution looks like a rap sheet of crimes in America against all sorts of people. One of them states, "Whereas Muslims and people perceived to be Muslim are subjected to false and dangerous stereotypes and myths including unfair allegations that they sympathize with individuals who engage in violence or terror or support the oppression of women, Jews and other vulnerable communities." What? Have they read the Quran? Have these people heard what Omar and her Islamist colleagues have said, and who they are associating with? Yet they are passing over the bigotry that their own Marxist Democrats have done or, even worse, are doing. This is nothing short of demagoguery.
If the Marxists in Congress wanted to sincerely stand against hate, all they really had to do was encourage people to "do unto others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31)." Or "love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:31)." These words suffice as rules of life, values to cherish, good citizenship. They don't divide. They don't create class or racial struggle. They don't create hate while condemning it. But NO. These Marxists in Congress couldn't do something so kind and simple because those are the words of Christ-the followers of whom it's OK to hate. It's as Titus 1:16 says, "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Passing an anti-hate bill that protects the haters-what?
Daily Devotion: Strength to Endure - by Greg Laurie -
Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. - Hebrews 12:3
How easily Jesus could have said, "You know what? Forget this. No one here appreciates me. I'm not dying for these people. They don't deserve it."
After all, think about what He had to face. His own disciples effectively abandoned Him. Judas Iscariot, His friend, betrayed Him. Then He was beaten physically, with fists to His face. His beard was ripped out. A crown of thorns was pressed on His forehead. His back was ripped open with Roman whips. He was jeered and laughed at and spit on. And then He was nailed to a cross.
It was His love for us that kept Him going. We read in Hebrews that "because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame" (12:2 NLT). What was the joy awaiting Him? It was you. It was me. It was us. He did it for us. He knew there was no other way that we could be made right with the God that we had offended.
Verse 2 also tells us that Jesus is "the champion who initiates and perfects our faith" (NLT). God finishes what He starts. He will complete the work in us.
You might say, "Greg, I can't go on another day."
Yes, you can. Get your eyes off yourself. Look at Jesus. Think of what He did for you. Think about how He went to the cross for you. He's the one who will give you the strength to endure.
When you take your eyes off the Lord and put them on people or on the church or on circumstances, you will start to stumble. Get your eyes off those things and look at Jesus. He will never fail you. He will never let you down. He will keep you running in the race of life.
FROM THE HEART
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"Folks, it's all beginning to unravel. America is in more danger of falling than at any time in its history. But I believe Bible prophecy predicts this very decline. From this point on, we believers have to get serious. We are going to face discouragement, disillusionment and, most certainly, persecution in the time between now and the Rapture. But don't be discouraged or disillusioned. The coming turmoil will provide us unrivaled opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel. So be ready to share your faith and your hope with those who need Christ. We still have time to reap a great harvest of souls for God's kingdom!" - Hal Lindsey
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