Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
Russia, the United States and Israel - By Matt Ward -
Since the end of the first Gulf War in 2001, missile defense has been an absolute priority for Israel. In 2001, Saddam Hussein, in an effort to draw the Jewish State into a war he knew he was going to lose, fired 39 Scud Missiles at Israel in a failed attempt to fracture the fragile Arab coalition formed against him. Though ultimately Saddam Hussein's attempt to draw Israel into the conflict failed, many missiles did manage to find their targets and innocent Israeli's died as a consequence.
Since then missile defense has become a matter of the greatest strategic military importance for Israel. To this end, in early March, elements from the United States and Israeli militaries began a joint training exercise known as "Juniper Cobra." Five thousand US and Israeli troops trained together with the aim of successfully defending Israel from missile attack should a war break out in the Middle East. The training included live fire drills, missile defense simulations, field training and computer simulations of multiple attacks against Israel from multiple fronts, all at once. (1)
The strategic threats Israel faces in 2018 are much direr today than they ever were in the 1990's or early 2000's. Hezbollah, to Israel's north, has acquired a truly enormous arsenal of missiles and rockets. Conservative estimates put the Hezbollah arsenal at well over 100,000 rockets or more-all of which are aimed exclusively at Israel, and all of which now have the ability to reach any part of the Jewish state for the first time.
In any future confrontation with this Lebanese terror group, there is a genuine risk that Israel's defensive solutions, sophisticated though they are, would be completely overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the barrage they would face. Israel would be rapidly swamped by the deluge of rockets and missiles fired at her.
Yet, that is not the only, or most significant, threat Israel must manage. Hamas, towards Israel's south has also managed to acquire, despite their often repeated claims of abject poverty, a truly huge arsenal of rocketry. Add Iran into this mix, and the existential threat of their nuclear weapons program and their genuinely sophisticated ICBM systems, and it becomes clear that the Israeli strategic military landscape is a formidable one.
Juniper Cobra is part of the joint response to these threats. Not aimed at any individual scenario, it deals with the development of "complex scenarios," which include simultaneous attacks from multiple enemy countries and militant groups.
The US and Israel are preparing for a war in which the Jewish state will face a "multidirectional threat." In other words, they are preparing for a war in which Israel will be attacked, at the same time, from all sides.
Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich, chief of Israel's air defense command, relays that they do this "...because this scenario is real."
Brig. Gen. Zvika Haimovich is not over-exaggerating; Iran has been very busy of late. In late January - early February, Iranian leader, Hojatoleslam Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, was pictured closely scrutinizing the Israeli-Lebanese border. Raisi was not there simply to enjoy the fine views; he was examining Hezbollah fixed border positions directly facing Israel and, ominously, inspecting the border formations Israel's army had taken up to counter them.
That this man would visit the Israeli-Lebanese border is highly significant. He is Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's leading successor and the second most important person in Iran. Nobody commands more attention or wields more power other than the Ayatollah himself, than this man. And he seemed to be very interested in Israel's borders and in her ability to defend and repel an organized and sustained attack, and in the capability of Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, of launching just such a meaningful attack.
Accompanied by Revolutionary Guard commanders and Hezbollah officers, he then received a thorough briefing on both the battle readiness of Hezbollah units and IDF military build-ups along the Lebanese, Syrian and Golan border areas. Concluding the visit, Raisi held extensive and wide-ranging talks with Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, before departing back to Tehran.
According to Israeli military and intelligence sources, the gist of Raisi's message was that Hezbollah has now become a genuine fighting force in the Middle East, experienced and battle-hardened by the Syrian civil war. Raisi's pep talk concluded with darker tones, referring to the growing spirit of resistance against Israel in the Muslim and Arab world, exemplified by the Palestinians and their "struggle." He clearly signposted Iran's approaching endgame for its proxy group:
"It was Hezbollah's fighting capacity alone that generated resistance in the Islamic countries. Allah willing, we shall soon witness the liberation of Jerusalem!"
Yet Raisi is not the only high-profile Shiite to visit Lebanon in recent months. On December 2nd, 2017, Qais al-Khazali, head of the pro-Iranian Iraqi Aasaib Ahl al-Haq militia, also visited the area, also for a firsthand look at Israel's border formations and military set up. It is widely believed in Israeli intelligence circles that Qais al-Khazali performed this surveillance on behalf of the Iranian al-Quds General Qasseem Soleimani himself, the legendary Iranian supreme military commander in Syria and Iraq.
Qais al-Khazali, on behalf of Iranian General Soleimani, was assessing how to more effectively deploy Hezbollah's now tested and battle-hardened forces right along the full extent of Israel's northern border.
These visits were highly political in nature too. Qais al-Khazali's visit came just one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. The message of these visits, and their timing, was a clear one; no matter what was discussed between the Israeli and Russian leaders, Tehran has no intention of withdrawing militarily from Syria and, additionally, would be extending its presence right into Lebanon with the aim of directly confronting Israel itself at some point in the very near future.
That Iranian and Shiite aim of confronting Israel may be a desire granted sooner rather than later. Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently under the most enormous pressure. Putin has miscalculated badly in recent weeks, and he now finds himself increasingly boxed into a corner by the international community.
And it all began to go wrong for Putin in a quaint little English town called Salisbury, with the poisoning of two seemingly harmless individuals - an old man and his thirty-year-old daughter. It would seem at this point unthinkable that Vladimir Putin did not directly authorize the poisoning and attempted assassination of Russian former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Julia.
The international reaction to this attack, the first use of chemical weapons on mainland Europe since the end of the Second World War, and in Britain of all places and against and amongst civilians, has provoked a diplomatic whirlwind against Russia that seems to have genuinely caught the Russian leadership off guard.
Then, just days ago, came Douma. In another act of senseless barbarity, someone - the Syrian regime or another actor, launched a horrific chemical weapons attack on the Damascus suburb of Douma, killing and maiming many, including babies and children.
The West was quick to point the finger of blame at Assad and Russia; Russia vehemently denied it. Indeed, Russia to this point has denied that chemical weapons have even been used in Douma. However, despite the swift and strong Russian denials, babies and young children foaming at the mouth paint a completely different picture. Somebody did use chemical weapons. The question is who.
The tone of the Security Council emergency session called to discuss this heinous act was unprecedented, and the rhetoric coming from politicians and leaders all over the Western world would seem to indicate that the West is pretty sure that they think it was Assad.
What Putin cannot have foreseen, or in any way anticipated, was that the United States and its chief allies, the UK and France, all seem to be holding him directly and personally responsible for both the chemical weapons attacks in Syria and in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom attack against Sergei Skripal and his daughter is being tied together by the international community at the United Nations with the chemical weapons attack in Syria.
It is against this background that the large Syrian air base, known as T-4, and operated extensively by Iran as a forward-operating base, was then attacked on Sunday night. Russia believes this attack came from Israel, and Russia's tone and attitude towards the Jewish State has immediately shifted.
The Kremlin's longstanding modus operandi with regards to Israel's military strikes in Syria in the past was to make no comment. That has now changed. This time, the Kremlin condemnation of the Jewish State was swift, reporting that two Israeli F-15 jets carried out the attack using guided missiles launched from within Syrian airspace.
Russia has asked Israel for their "explanations." Israel, as always, has made no comment. Sergei Lavrov, the outspoken Russian Foreign Minister, told reporters that the "air strikes carried out on Sunday were a dangerous development."
Dangerous indeed, because Russia seems to now suspect that the Israeli strike is a US test, to see what Russia's response would be ahead of a potentially larger US operation that may come any moment now. Russia has warned of "grave consequences" if they do.
It is impossible to say, at the point of this writing, what may happen next, as developments on the ground are fast moving. The US or her allies may strike in Syria, or they may not. Russia may retaliate, or she may not. One thing is certain though; the events of the past few weeks, the obvious preparations being made by Iran and Hezbollah for war against Israel, the poisonings in the UK and the chemical weapons attacks in Syria - all being brought into sharp focus through the prism of Syria - may be pushing Putin firmly into the embrace of an alliance prophesied about eons ago by the prophet Ezekiel.
Recent events, especially if there is further military action taken against the Assad regime by the West in the coming days and weeks, may make Putin finally turn on the West's regional Achilles heel, Israel.
These events, and whatever lies just up ahead, may make Putin turn completely against Jerusalem and decide that supporting a war against Israel, which Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have long since been planning for, is actually the best long-term way of hitting back at America and her allies after all.
Watchman Warning: Heightening Mid-East Tensions - By Hal Lindsey - https://www.hallindsey.com/ww-4-12-2018/
On Saturday, Syria apparently launched another chemical attack against its people - including small children ... By the time you read this, the expected US military response may have already begun ... Russia has warned that it will shoot down US missiles and even target the US naval vessels that fire the missiles ... After the chemical attack, came a mystery air strike against Syria - probably launched by Israel ... Russia then began a war of words with Israel, finally showing their long-held but usually camouflaged disdain for the Jewish state ... Hamas continues to stir up violent anti-Israel protests along Israel's Gaza border ... Iran says it will soon restart its nuclear program - as if it had ever actually stopped.
And that's just part of what's gone on, in only the last few days!
The first big question is whether the Trump Administration can really be sure that Syria launched the chemical attack. Russia and Syria both deny it. That's what they would say in either case, but the timing seems suspicious. Only a few days ago, the President said that with ISIS defeated, he wanted to pull US troops out of Syria, and soon. That would seem to be in Syria's favor. Why rock the boat now?
But while tweeting on the subject, Mr. Trump made a good case that the chemical attack really was a Syrian operation. "Many dead," he tweeted, "including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price..."
If the area is "in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army... completely inaccessible to outside world," then who else could it be? As President, Donald Trump surely knows the facts, and he has no reason to lie about it. After all, a Syrian chemical attack will delay the troop withdrawal he's anxious for.
The President answered the last major chemical attack in Syria by launching 59 cruise missiles at Syria's Shayrat Airbase. Most observers expect a bigger response this time, but Russia's increasingly close relationship with Syria and Iran complicates things. Alexander Zasypkin, Russia's ambassador to Lebanon, made an ominous threat. He said, "If there is a strike by the Americans, then... the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired."
It's unlikely that Russia has the ability to shoot down US cruise missiles. It's also unlikely that they would actually try to sink the US Navy ships launching the attacks. But even the threat shows how dangerous things have become. A world soaked in gasoline is playing with matches.
President Trump has worked hard to form a better relationship with Russia. But by the time of Trump's election, Putin's course was already set. He committed to it when he sent the Russian military into Syria in 2015. It's ironic that Trump's critics have called him weak on Russia and have demanded a more hardline approach. Yesterday's peaceniks have turned into today's warmongers.
But in this case, the President has pulled no punches. He directly blamed Putin for Assad's action, and practically dared Russia to try and stop the US response. On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted, "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"
Assad has placed his troops on alert, evacuating bases near the border with Lebanon, and transporting personnel to Russian installations - presumably safe from a US missile strike.
The "mystery air strike" took place Monday on an air base in the Homs province. At first, Syria blamed the US. But after the Pentagon issued a strong denial, they and the Russians switched the blame to Israel. Was it Israel? They didn't confirm it, but neither did they deny it.
Israeli Defense Forces play their cards close to the vest. Just last month they finally acknowledged an air strike on a Syrian nuclear reactor way back in 2007. The Syrian civil war began four years later, so we can all be glad that Israel chose to forcibly shut down the Syrian nuclear program.
The strike on Monday caused the deaths of several Iranians as well as Syrians. There were no Russian deaths or injuries reported, but Russia had soldiers assigned to the base. That's a problem for US forces as well. We don't know for sure where Russian soldiers are embedded with Syrians.
On Monday, Israeli fighter jets hit a Hamas target in Gaza. It was clearly a military target, and no one was hurt. But Russia used it as another excuse to ramp up their anti-Israel rhetoric.
In January, Putin and Netanyahu met at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow. They seemed to hit it off. Netanyahu's main purpose in the trip was to express concern about Iran's stronghold in Syria, and their movement of advanced weaponry into Lebanon and Syria. The two got along well, but looking at it now, the effort seems to have been wasted.
Putin knows that his alliance with Iran is one of the chief causes of unrest in the region. He's playing a dangerous, high-stakes game. Newsweek reported on Wednesday that Russia is instructing its citizens to stock up on water and buy gas masks in anticipation of nuclear war. The world right now is teetering on many dangerous precipices. All of them fit the dramatic scenario laid out in the Bible for the end times.
For Christian believers, I have two pieces of extremely good news. First, God has already shown us how these things eventually work out. We win! In the meantime, we will face difficulties. But that's where the second piece of good news comes in. God's promises remain in effect even when the world seems to be falling apart. Trust Him.
Nine Stunning Prophetic Developments - By Jonathan Brentner - http://www.raptureready.com/2018/04/13/nine-stunning-prophetic-developments-jonathan-brentner/
It's only Wednesday as I write this, but I am wondering if this week will turn out to be one of the more prophetic weeks of the past decade, which has already seen many dramatic developments in regard to future things.
What Do These Things Mean?
What do these things signify? The imminent conflict has the potential to light the fuse that leads to the fulfilling of the Gog and Magog prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39. We know that Russia, Iran, and Turkey are already closely aligned just as Ezekiel prophesied 2,500 years ago; all three countries have significant forces in Syria. It would not take much for them to combine forces and invade Israel precisely as the prophet said they will do.
A counterattack by Russia against the US could possibly neutralize the military capacity of the United States in the Middle East. This would leave the US incapable of defending Israel against this invasion, which also fulfills what Ezekiel predicted. He prophesied that no one except the Lord will come to the defense of Israel when the alliance led by Gog and Magog attacks.
If anything, the imminent conflict (whether it's limited or explodes into something much more) signifies the further setting up of the Middle East for the events leading up to the seven-year tribulation. No matter what happens in the coming days, we should recognize that the tribulation looms in the near future.
What About Us?
All these things also tell us that Jesus' appearing to take His true followers home to heaven is exceedingly close.
Many prophetic preachers of our day believe the rapture occurs before the invasion of Ezekiel 38-39. If the events of the coming days escalate into the spark that leads to this war, then how close must Jesus' return for us be?
My wife and I are planning to move into a new home on June 1, which will be closer to family. We are understandably excited about this prospect. But as I look at the developments of the past few days, I wonder if we might be home with the Lord before then. That would be okay with us, because we believe the joy of Jesus' return will far exceed that of moving into our new home.
I am not at all making any prediction or setting a deadline as to when the rapture will occur. Jesus said we would not know the day or the hour. Many Muslims in the Middle East, including Syria, are putting their faith in Jesus as their Savior. Could Jesus be waiting for more to take that step?
Regardless, our Savior gave us many signs to indicate the season of His return and . . . we are clearly in that season. We are living in the last days, perhaps hours, of human history as we know it.
Jonathan C. Brentner
The 9th of Av - J.L. Robb -
The Jewish calendar is different than the modern calendar used by most of the rest of the world. Instead of 2018, the current year on the Jewish calendar is 5778. That date starts with the creation of man 5778 years ago and is based on the biblical ages of early man.
Since BC and AD refer to a change in the calendar of the day because of the birth of Jesus, our Messiah, it is not recognized since they do not believe that Jesus was the messiah foretold by their very own prophets. The rabbis of Judah were a stubborn bunch, and the children of Israel are described throughout the Bible as "stiff necked." The designation of Before Christ and After Christ began to slowly come into effect around 525 AD.
In the Jewish calendar, all holidays occur on exactly the same date, according to the calendar, which is based on solar cycle and lunar cycle. A year can be 12 months or sometimes, 13 months; and the months have 29 or 30 days. In contrast, the modern calendar has 12 months of 28, 29, 30 and 31 days.
The first month of the Jewish year is the month of Nissan. In the current year, the month of Nissan runs from March 18-April 15 and always includes Passover.
The month of Av is also the Month of Mourning, specifically Tisha B'Av, the 9th of Av, for good reason. This month has proven so catastrophic throughout Jewish history, a fast occurs for three weeks before the 9th of Av. This year, the 9th of Av is July 21, 2018.
The consensus: The Jewish people have experienced several major tragedies in history that have occurred on the 9th of Av.
The lists of events vary somewhat, but below is an example:
1. Hebrew year 2448 (1312 BC): Moses decided to delay conquering Canaan because the spies he sent in reported the people were giants, and the cities were well-fortified.
The Lord said to Moses, "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders."
So at the Lord's command Moses sent them out from the Desert of Paran. All of them were leaders of the Israelites.
Numbers 13:1-3 NIV
When the spies returned after forty days, all but two insisted that they not invade. While the land indeed was a land of milk and honey, the people were giants and fierce. As a result, the Israelites spent a total of 40 years in the desert, a year for each day the spies were gone.
2. Hebrew year 3507 (587 BC): Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed Solomon's Temple (the First Temple). The two remaining tribes of Israel (Judah) were exiled and more than 100,000 Jews were killed.
3. Hebrew year 3830 (70 AD): The Second Temple, built after the defeat of Nebuchadnezzar, was destroyed by the Romans. In the process, more than two-million Jews died from war or famine/disease.
4. Hebrew year 3895 (135 AD): The Jews continued to rebel against Rome after the Second Temple was destroyed. The new Roman emperor, Hadrian, made promises of a Jewish homeland and a rebuilt temple; but he later reneged.
Under Jewish guerilla-leader Bar-Kokhba, the final battle took place at Bethar where thousands of Jewish refugees had fled during the war. The old temple grounds were plowed smooth, Jews were exiled again; and more than 100,000 were killed. The Romans continued construction of pagan city Aelia Capitolina, built on the ruins of Jerusalem.
Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they look for the Lord's support and say,
"Is not the Lord among us? No disaster will come upon us."
Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.
Micah 3:11-12 NIV
5. Hebrew year 4855 (1095AD): Pope Urban II declares the First Crusade to rid Jerusalem of Islamic takeover. During the first month, 10,000+ Jews were killed.
6. Hebrew year 5050 (1290 BC): England expels all Jews.
7. Hebrew year 5252 (1492): Spain and Portugal expel all Jews and confiscate property.
8. Hebrew year 5674 (1914 AD): World War I declared.
9. Hebrew year 5702 (1942 AD): Jews begin their deportation from Warsaw to the Treblinka concentration camp.
10. Hebrew year 5754 (1994 AD): The Jewish Community Center, Buenos Aires is bombed with 86 killed.
In researching this topic, one article from www.ohr.edu, a Jewish site describing these tragedies, ends like this:
In the future, to that same degree that the ninth of Av has been a day of tragedy, it will be a day of great happiness. For on the 9th of Av, the Mashiach will be born from the tribe of Yehuda (whose symbol is the lion).
I am now writing the seventh and final book in a series about the last days, a journey I began with Part One in 2011. I had a calling. The End Part Seven should be available late summer, hopefully.
In the process of thinking up a good title, a title with meaning, I came across the phenomenon of the 9th of Av tragedies. I decided to make that the title: The 9th of Av
According to the quote above,
For on the 9th of Av, the Mashiach will be born from the tribe of Yehuda (whose symbol is the lion)...
the Jewish Messiah will be born out of the tribe of Judah and will come as a lion to save them from yet another tragedy on the 9th of Av.
Could the date of Armageddon start on this date, as the quote predicted? We do not know the day and time, but this date would be a good guess. The middle of summer is a difficult time to fight a war.
Unfortunately, Israel missed this part of the story from Isaiah, where the Messiah from Judah would first come as a lamb going to slaughter. Had they not, they would have understood, like thousands of other Jews did, that the Messiah had already come.
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7 NIV
When Jesus, the Lion of Judah, returns, even liberal churches of today will understand that Jesus is neither liberal or pacifist by their definition, nor is he all-inclusive.
"Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals. Revelation 5:5-6 NIV
The news is good though. The ending is happy for those who make the cut.
"'He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:4 NIV
Daily Jot: April 23 forecast for end of the world - Bill Wilson - www.dailyjot.com
There are several professed Christians who keep making predictions about when the earth will end. Some try to use prophecy and scripture to make the predictions. Some take a circuitous and convoluted route of meticulous explanations involving page upon page of "evidence" that is so difficult to understand that one begins to think the writer is under the influence. Others try to look at the sky and make their predictions. David Meade, a so-called Christian conspiracy theorist, predicted the world would end in March. That didn't happen so he is revising his prediction to April. This time, he is using the round-peg alignment of certain constellations to pound into a Biblical prophecy square-hole.
The UK Daily Express reports that Meade is now predicting the end of the world and the rapture to occur on April 23. According to the Express, Meade is using Revelation 12:1-2 as the basis for his forecast, "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." Meade says, "During this time frame, on April 23, 2018 the moon appears under the feet of the Constellation Virgo. The Sun appears to precisely clothe Virgo... Jupiter is birthed on April 08, 2018."
Meade continues, "The 12 stars at that date include the nine stars of Leo, and the three planetary alignments of Mercury, Venus and Mars - which combine to make a count of 12 stars on the head of Virgo. Thus the constellations Virgo, Leo and Serpens-Ophiuchus represent a unique once-in-a-century sign exactly as depicted in the 12th chapter of Revelation. This is our time marker." Christ said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." He then went on to chronologically explain what would happen at the end of the world, warning that there shall arise false prophets that, if possible, shall deceive the very elect.
The Apostle Paul paints a similar picture in 2 Thessalonians 2, "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition...so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." This is very clear: 1) don't be deceived, 2) falling away, 3) antichrist (beast) revealed, 4) sits in the temple as God. Daniel 9, of which Christ speaks, is similar: 1) Antichrist appears, 2) covenant confirmed, 3) temple sacrifice ceases, 4) overspreading of abominations, 5) temple made desolate by antichrist. The world will not end on April 23rd. There is much prophecy to occur before that happens. Read and study the scriptures for yourself and ask the Holy Spirit for understanding. Don't be deceived by the ear-ticklers.
Daily Devotion: The Salt of the Earth - By Greg Laurie -
"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." -Matthew 5:13
Salt was kind of a big deal in the first century. In fact, it was so important and valuable that Roman soldiers sometimes were paid in salt. Hence the expression, "He's not worth his salt."
Salt can make an impact as well. A little bit of salt will go a long way. Salt takes watermelon or cantaloupe to another level. Just a little works on oatmeal too. Salt also stops the rotting process. Without refrigeration in the first century, people would preserve meat by rubbing salt into it.
In the same way, a disciple of Jesus can stop the spread of evil. When something is wrong, a Christian can speak up for what is right-in a classroom, in an office, in a neighborhood, or in our culture. And most importantly, we can speak up for Jesus Christ.
The greatest compliment that can be paid to a Christian is when a nonbeliever says, "What is it about you? I admire you. I want to know what makes you tick." You've done your job, Christian, because you've created thirst in another.
Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men" (Matthew 5:13 NKJV). Flavorless salt is neither good for the soil nor for the manure pile. It's thrown away. It's like an espresso without caffeine.
In effect Jesus was saying, "What good is a halfhearted Christian? What good is a diluted believer? What good is a decaf disciple?" The answer is, not much. Disciples of Jesus must impact their culture.
You are the salt of the earth. This means that as a disciple of Jesus, you are valuable. Your life can make difference.
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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