Prophecy Update Newsletter
IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
God Uses Ungodly People for His Purposes - By Gene Lawley - https://www.raptureready.com/2019/07/19/god-uses-ungodly-people-purposes-gene-lawley/
The title should be in the form of a question, perhaps, to better emphasize the issue. It is not "How can a holy God stoop down to that?" but God only needs to step back and let sinful man do what he does best, sin. God only has to open the right doors. Some examples follow, starting many centuries ago.
When it came time for the children of Israel to come out of Egypt to freedom from that slavery, God raised up a man named Moses to lead them out. However, he was not ready for that leadership, and the people were not ready to go. It had become "home" after four hundred years; and change, like it is for all the rest of us, was not welcomed at all.
But God's timetable was set, so He raised up a new pharaoh who had no favoritism toward the Hebrews. The new pharaoh made their slavery requirements-making bricks-exceedingly difficult to where the Jews began to long for freedom, to long to escape that burden and cruelty that came along with it. God used an ungodly ruler to turn their hearts to desire the Lord and to follow Moses, who by then had become usable to God as the leader for their escape.
Another instance in Old Testament times is spoken of by Isaiah in Isaiah 41:2, saying, "Who raised up one from the east? Who in righteousness called him to His feet? Who gave the nations before him and made him rule over kings?"
More specifically, in Isaiah 44:28 the prophet declares, "Who says of Cyrus, 'He is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasure, saying to Jerusalem, 'You shall be built' and to the temple, 'Your foundation shall be laid.'"
The remarkable thing about this quotation is that it was a prophecy some 200 years before Cyrus was even born and named Cyrus, who later became the king of Persia! As king of Persia, Cyrus issued a decree that allowed Ezra and his contemporaries to return to Jerusalem and begin rebuilding the temple and the city. God moved in the heart of an ungodly man to accomplish His purposes.
In another incident of gigantic import to the Jews was that of the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem in AD 70. Now, what did God have to do with that? Remember how God had promised the Jews that their rebellion would result in substantial judgment upon them. They were told again and again that He would scatter them into all the nations, no longer to have their own nation until a future time of restoration. After that event in AD 70, it still took sixty-five years for Jews to depart Jerusalem in AD 135.
It is surprising how some prophecy watchers put great spiritual emphasis on that destruction of the temple, then. They want to call that the abomination of desolation predicted by Daniel and restated again by Jesus. They want to say that the Romans were those who desecrated the temple, as prophesied by Daniel and Jesus. Here are some facts that clearly deny that possibility:
When Jesus was crucified, Matthew reports that a great earthquake shook the city, and the veil covering the Holy of Holies in the temple was torn open from the top to the bottom. Thus, that inner place where only the high priest could go once a year, and not without blood for himself and the people, was emptied before the whole world. God was no longer in that place.
Jesus explained it to the Jewish leaders like this: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up," for He was speaking of His body as the temple of the Spirit of God. In the same manner, born-again believers are the temple of the Holy Spirit, as Paul notes in 1 Corinthians 3:16, "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"
So the Romans were only after the gold inlaid between the stones of the temple, as well as any other treasure they could find. Jesus alludes to this in His answer to the disciples regarding their view of the temple's beauty, saying, "one stone shall not be left upon another." There was no evidence that the Romans tried to make any one of them take the place of God in the temple. That desolation will take place at the halfway point in the seven years of the tribulation, just as Daniel 9:27 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 tell us.
However, we cannot proceed without acknowledging that God also promised the Jews, repeatedly, in the Old Testament prophecies that He would restore the Jews to their own land, as given to Abraham centuries before. That initial provision was made on May 14, 1948, when the United Nations Security Council voted to establish a homeland for the Jewish race, a nation among the nations. After 1,800 years, the land of Israel is again blooming like a rose, and has been for these 71 years since 1948.
Another in more contemporary times, even within the memory of many today, is one of horrid circumstances. It is the raising up of one Adolph Hitler, who instigated the holocaust against the Jewish people in Europe. This was necessary, as in the days of Moses but much more severely, in order that the Jews would forsake their places in the world and want to return to their ancient homeland. At that point, though, a restoration of the nation was not yet apparent.
The number is said to be six million who were killed. Adding to that is the possibility that Hitler, himself, was part Jewish, an additional travesty, if so. (It is not entirely unlikely for such to happen, for it is on record that a person now known as George Soros was born in Germany in 1930 as a half-Jew under another name. At the age of fourteen, he was revealing the hiding places of Jews being sought by Hitler's goon squad for extermination. In 1953 he changed his name and came to America, according to the online encyclopedia.)
Do you recall your readings in the Old Testament, where it was a constant need for God to discipline the Hebrew people to turn them from idols and from their rebellion against Him? Think about the response of the Jewish leaders at the trial of Jesus: "Crucify Him! Let His blood be upon our hands and on the hands of our children!" Yet God has held to His promise; and one day soon they will "look upon Him whom they have pierced and will mourn for Him as for an only begotten son" (Zechariah 12:10).
Finally, we come to a contemporary action of God that has the leftist element of our nation in an uproar. It is the elevation of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. This one is not particularly a godly man but it is becoming more and more apparent that he is God's man for the hour. That, of course, is my own opinion and has been since his debut on the political scene back in April 2011.
At that time, as well as before and since, it was not allowed for anyone to inquire about the background of President Barack Obama. All of his records were off limits, and even the courts would not accept a case dealing with anything about his background. Nevertheless, it was Trump's courage and recognition of the travesty against the American people that has led me to believe he is God's man to expose the intent of the evil faction embedded in top levels of our nation. It has been called "the establishment," of which Trump is not a part, but apparently knows its inside purposes. His abrupt challenge to their deception made him their instant enemy and added a new word to the dictionary - "birthers."
How devastating it was to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that they did not win the presidency in 2016. The subtle gloating of Barack Obama at that Correspondents' Dinner in DC on April 30, 2016, reveals the direction of his intentions for this nation: "All of you are looking great tonight. The end of the Republic has never looked better!"
God snatched that goal out of his hands, and also of those who are behind him in his efforts. Why? It appears quite likely that God has His own timetable for the windup of this age of the Gentiles and the development of a New World Order with its one-world government, and it is not the soon happening planned by those of that persuasion. That seventh head of the Beast of Revelation is quietly being developed for God's eventual judgment, as Revelation 17:10-11 tells us that the Antichrist becomes its eighth head and is headed to perdition - that is, the lake of fire:
"There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition."
When Trump was elected president instead of Hillary Clinton, it was just as the psalmist had written, in Psalm 75:6-8:
"For exaltation comes neither from the east nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one and exalts another. For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is fully mixed, and He pours it out. Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth drain and drink down."
Thus, God prepares the way for judgment to come. Then, in Luke 17:26-30, Jesus says He will return at a time when the economy will rebound favorably, along with a saturation of moral degradation and lawlessness with a party-time frivolity, just as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot:
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.
"Likewise, as it was also in the days of Lot, they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed."
Will you, then, be ready when He comes?
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Forebodings of war? - Manfred Gerstenfeld -
Less than a month before Israelis go to the polls, warnings of war appear - but Israel's Left still supports creating a Palestinian state.
The security situation became a more central issue in Israeli politics this week due to a number of new terrorist attacks and attempted attacks. A car ramming attack took place near Elazar. One Israeli youngster was severely wounded, his sister, moderately so. The IDF thwarted an infiltration attempt from Gaza killing five armed Palestinian terrorists. Several rockets were fired from Gaza. Arson that began in Lebanon while the wind was blowing toward Israel spread fires close to Israels Northern border.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reacted by saying that Israel will embark if needed on a wide scale campaign in the Gaza Strip irrespective of the upcoming elections. He said so at Ben Gurion airport on his way to Ukraine for a two day trip.
In reaction to an earlier lethal terrorist attack, Yamina leader Ayelet Shaked said that the government should act to stop the transfer of payments to convicted terrorists by the Palestinian Authority. She and another prominent candidate of her list, Naftali Bennett also asked the government to annex the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements.
Shaked came out strongly against a report in the Haaretz daily. It claimed that she had offered Netanyahu assistance in obtaining immunity from prosecution in return for him to allow her to become a candidate for Likud in the elections. She said that she never spoke to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit about criminal probes of politicians especially not about Netanyahu.
Many election polls have so far been published. If one does not take into account MK Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu - neither the government nor the combined opposition parties have a majority. Yet there seems to be hardly any compelling reason to cause voters from either block to switch sides.
This stimulates the competition between the Likud and Blue and White who will receive the most seats. In the April elections both ended up with 35 MKs. Neither of them approaches this figure in any of the current polls. That is particularly bad for the Likud as it has absorbed the Kulanu party led by Moshe Kahlon which gained an additional four seats in April.
While the efforts to draw people in from the opposite camp seem to have failed, there are claims that the two big parties are trying to draw voters away from their potential allies. For the Likud that means that the right-wing Yamina is a target. The Democratic Union list leader, Nitzan Horowitz has accused Blue and White that it aims to draw away his voters.
The Ynet site published that Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz had hired a firm to find out who was leaking confidential information from his list. The site reported that a leading person from the Yesh Atid party which is part of the Blue and White list was the culprit. This story once again raises the question whether the Yesh Atid component of Blue and White and the factions led by Gantz and MK Moshe Yaalon will stay together after the election.
Likud Labor and Social Affairs Minister Haim Katz has resigned from the cabinet. The Attorney General had announced his intention to indict him on charges of fraud and breach of trust. Katz will remain an MK and is expected to be re-elected in the September elections.
State Attorney Shai Nitzan has recommended to Mandelblit to indict Interior Minister and leader of the haredi Shas party Aryeh Deri for tax crimes, fraud, money laundering and obstruction crimes. Deri has an earlier criminal record.
Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz, has stated that if his list would join a center-left coalition, it would ask for a freeze on settlement construction except for major settlement blocks, close to the pre-1967 green line. It would also insist on peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as an immediate priority for the government, with the aim of the establishment of a Palestinian State.
Horowitz suggested about Gaza that it was a small enclave with millions of people who have no other option than to throw missiles at Israel and carry out terrorist acts. The list's third candidate, former IDF deputy chief of staff Yair Golan, has said that Israel should cooperate with Hamas to stabilize the security situation for the residents of southern Israel.
Parties can pool excess votes, not required for their seats. This may enable one of them to get an extra seat. Yisrael Beytenu and Blue and White have entered in such a surplus-vote sharing agreement. It has also become known that Yisrael Beytenu leader Liberman has met before the municipal elections in Jerusalem in 2013 with the since then deceased leader of the radical ultra-orthodox faction rabbi Shmuel Auerbach. This in order to gain support for Liberman's candidate for the mayoralty Moshe Lion. Liberman is running the current campaign of his party expressing major opposition to the haredim.
The Likud has joined a court appeal from the far-right Otzma Yehudit party to the Supreme Court. They want to exclude the Joint Arab list from competing in the election. The Likud said that it was opposed to Knesset members who incite to violence or support terror, This is what one of the components of the joint Arab list - Balad - has done in the past.
Iran Kicks Off 'Massive' War Games, Unveils Homemade Russian Missile System - Adam Kredo -
'The drill is a real one because the battlefield, enemy, and the fighters are real'
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' ground forces kicked off a "massive" set of war drills Thursday as the country unveiled its own homemade version of Russia's advanced S-300 missile defense system in yet another showing of Tehran's growing readiness for a possible war.
Iranian military leaders said the war games will mix with actual fighting as the IRGC forces seek to cleanse what they described as "anti-revolutionary terrorist groups" from along the country's borders. The operations follow an attack on IRGC units in July that killed one and injured one other.
"The drill is a real one because the battlefield, enemy, and the fighters are real," Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, commander of the IRGC's ground force, was quoted as telling the country's state-controlled press. "Some terrorists might be hiding at the bordering areas and they will be targeted during the Qadir drills."
The war games come as Iran unveiled its own version of the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system, a highly advanced radar system that Iran had been seeking to employ for years.
The radar can target ballistic missiles, such as those Israel or America might use in a war, and is said to be capable of targeting multiple points at once.
"Bavar 373 is the most important indigenized missile defense system whose design and manufacturing started a few years ago and can engage multiple targets in high altitudes," Gen. Amir Hatami, Iran's defense minister, said at a Thursday ceremony unveiling the new military hardware.
Iranian military leaders say the system is even more advanced than its Russian counterpart and can detect 60 targets simultaneously while engaging six of them at once.
"The system is much more powerful than the Russian S-300 and some of its features could be compared with S-400," Iran's state-controlled Fars News Agency reported, referring to the even more advanced Russian version of the missile system.
Iran began building its own version of the missile system after Russia balked on selling it the S-300 following pushback from America and other Western nations seeking to confine Tehran's advancing military might.
What A Day That Will Be! - By Dennis Huebshman -
Every day that the Lord gives me, my prayer is, "Come, Lord Jesus; today would not be too early!" With each passing day, it is obvious this world is heading toward that last 7-year period known as the Tribulation or God's Wrath. All the signs of Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3, and those given by numerous prophets, are present and are intensifying daily, and in some cases hourly. (any emphasis is mine)
The next main event on the end-time countdown will be the Rapture of Jesus' Church - all believers. There is no named "evangelical organization" that makes up His Church; only those individuals who identify as bible-believing Christians.
This is for Jew and Gentile alike. All, everyone, all over the world, who call on the most precious name of Jesus, will be saved. This was first given in Joel 2:32 and again in Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13, almost word for word. It says, "And it shall come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." In Joel, Jesus had not been here yet, but he had already gone back to Heaven in Acts and Romans. This is a promise by our Most Holy Father, and He cannot lie. (Titus 1:2)
Bible prophecy is being fulfilled at an ever-increasing pace as never before. Yes, there have always been satanic attacks, and false prophets trying to lead people away from Jesus; and Israel is hated by almost the whole world. However, the present-day intensity is reaching a "fever-pitch."
The Ezekiel 38 coalition is in place for the first time ever, and there will be a spark in the near future that will set off that prophesied war. God said He would put "hooks" in the armies that will attack Israel. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the main aggressors who will be joined by a couple other nations who will try to totally annihilate Israel, and take over their natural resources. Their economies have been suffering, and they're all in the process of falling into financial ruin. Then, there is Israel; a tiny nation with massive natural gas and oil deposits, and land that the Jews turned from barren desert waste into fertile soil. It may only be about the size of New Jersey, but it is also one of the richest nations on earth. Israel exports fruits, vegetables and wine all around Europe and other parts of the world.
Add to this the anger issues in the United States, which are getting more aggressive daily. There is open worship of Satan, and anything that is remotely connected to Jesus is deemed to be hate-oriented. Christian businesses have been the target of the alternative lifestyle people (LGBT and all the other letters), who try to get them shut down. With so many liberal judges in the lower courts, most of the lawsuits are bound for the Supreme Court, but that takes sometimes years to get resolved. Meanwhile, the Christians are blocked from making a living.
To the secular world, this is troubling to say the least. For many, there is no hope in sight as our so-called leaders are going further and further to the radical left. Even some "conservative" Congress people are joining in the attacks on our President. Our President and Vice President and anyone else in Congress who proclaim to be Christian are verbally attacked for their beliefs. In some instances, the radical left has harassed them outside their homes, and even in public places where the Christians have been with their families. It's a total disgrace, but not unexpected.
The Bible covers what this world will be like just before and during the Tribulation years. Again, I refer you to Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3. Also, 1 John 2 and 3, 2 Peter 3, Daniel and Revelation.
For true believers, we need to be excited about all that's happening; not because of all the hate and pure evil that is prominent worldwide, but because the next major event on the end-time calendar is just for us.
No, we don't enjoy all that is happening, or look forward to what the earth will go through for 7 years. All who have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, asked His forgiveness and long to be with Him in Heaven, will go through a "hell-on-earth" scenario.
There are numerous places in the Bible that speak of the Wrath, and the events of that 7-year period, but mainly in Daniel and Revelation. The best news is that all true believers will not be here for that Tribulation.
Our Lord and Savior gave us a pathway to forgiveness, and the promise of eternal life in Heaven through His pure blood sacrifice at Calvary on an Old Rugged Cross. He will come back to rescue us from that wrath by calling us up to meet Him in the air, so we won't be here to suffer God's Wrath on this sinful world. The dead in Christ (all believers from Calvary to the present day) will rise up first; then all believers who are still alive at that time will rise up next (1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). All will be converted to our eternal, immortal bodies. This "harpazo" (Rapture) takes place before the appearance of the final antichrist, who will be indwelt by Satan.
The amazing part is that the Rapture will take place in less than one second. Paul says it will be in the twinkling of an eye in 1 Corinthians 15:52.
For all who are anticipating the return of Our Savior, we are also looking forward to our appearance at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). This will be our "rewards" ceremony to receive or lose rewards, depending on how we served Our Savior on this earth. The one reward I really look forward to is the Crown of Righteousness that will be given to all who sincerely are looking for the return of Jesus, and longing for His appearance.
What a day that will be! There will actually be two great days as we enter the end of this age. First is the Rapture to take all believers Home. Then there will be the "touch-earth" return of Jesus at the end of the 7-year Tribulation, to put down the "rebellion" and to set up His throne in Jerusalem to rule from earth for 1,000 years. Both will be cause for joy and celebration, but personally, I'm looking for the first great event!
The gospel song, "What A Day That Will Be," was written by Jim Hill in 1955. There is a YouTube video showing him singing this song. Many other artists have recorded this inspirational message. When I read the words, I look forward even more for that moment when we will be called up to meet Jesus. I will finally be able to bow down at His feet, and thank Him for saving someone as unworthy as I. The lyrics:
There is coming a day when no heartache shall come; no more clouds in the sky; no more tears to dim the eye. All is peace forevermore on that happy Golden shore. What a day, glorious day that will be.
What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see. And I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand and leads me through the Promised Land. What a day, glorious day, that will be.
There'll be no sorrow there; no more burdens to bear. No more sickness, no pain; no more parting over there. And forever I will be with the One who died for me. What a day, glorious day, that will be. (repeat C.)
As each day passes, people are saying it can't possibly get worse. For those following Satan, this has become a challenge to prove it can, and will, get worse.
For the Rapture to be in our future, we must receive the free gift Jesus provided, and accept Him as our one and only Savior and Lord (Acts 4:12; Romans 10:9-13 and John 14:6). We believe the Bible is the true word of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and we have faith that everything needed for our Salvation was accomplished at Calvary.
When you consider where the attitudes were just a decade ago compared to right now, it's almost impossible to not see the world has changed, and not for the better.
He could call today, tomorrow or anytime in the near future. One thing is for certain; it will happen! To be prepared, call on Him today - right now. To wait could very well put you in a period of time you don't want any part of. He's waiting patiently and will not turn anyone away. He will not force anyone to accept Him either. For believers, we say, "Maranatha - Come, Lord Jesus."
Daily Jot: Where are the statesmen? - Bill Wilson -
Everywhere you look on the TV screen or in the news, there is this sarcastic, in-your-face, highly opinionated discourse on almost every issue. There is no agreement. The first action is to push back-usually very hard. It's like the school yard bullies yelling and shouting at one another, and they have been doing it so long that they can't even remember why they are angry. And that, in of itself, makes them even more angry. Never before in America's history have we had a President that is so shockingly frank and undiplomatic. And never before in America's recent history have we had opposition that is so violent, visceral, and hate-filled. We need someone to rise up and make some sense. Where are the statesmen?
All the rhetoric stirs the political bases of the extremes. It gets everybody all fired up and ready to fight. The recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton are proof positive. Drug laced, mentally ill people listening to the rhetoric on both the right and the left finally had more than their little characters could handle and they just took it upon themselves to relieve their angst-by killing innocent people. Doesn't this have any impact on anyone? No. The left keeps calling for disarming the public. And the right keeps digging in that any attempt to fix the situation is an afront to the Constitution. What about common sense? Can't we find ways to discuss issues with an eye toward problem solving? Where are the statesmen?
There is no one stepping up as a statesman. The President and his fierce opposition are engaged in a social media, 24-7 news cycle competition to see who can out-wit the other in 200 characters, or who can shout the loudest. The American people, for the most part, are lining up behind the ones who they believe most represent their own sentiments, irrespective of their motives and character, and the fight in the school yard is on. We have left in the classroom, or maybe in a messy closet at home, any thought of working out the problem and finding a solution. But, hey, we are lined up against one another, pointing fingers, shouting, shoving and throwing stones. Yes, one side is more right than the other. But reasoning together might bring some resolution. Where are the statesmen?
Proverbs 17:9 says, "He that covers a transgression seeks love; but he that repeats a matter separates friends." Proverbs 10:12 says, "Hatred stirs up strife; but love covers all sins." 1 Peter 4:8 says, "And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins."Christ said in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another." I've heard Christians say that those verses are just for those who are believers in Christ. Shame on them. We cannot live in a civil society without civility. Problems can't be solved without a starting point. Speaking the truth in love, treating others justly and with honor. Where are the statesmen?
Daily Devotion: The Great Suggestion? - by Greg Laurie -
Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.-James 4:17
A Sunday school teacher who was speaking to her class on the topic of sin asked, "Can anyone tell me what the sin of commission is?"
One girl raised her hand. "I know!" she said. "The sin of commission is when you do what you shouldn't do."
"That's right," the teacher said. "Now can someone tell me what the sin of omission is?"
A boy in the back of the room was anxiously waving his arm, so she called on him. He said, "The sin of omission? Well, those are the sins that you want to do, but you haven't gotten around to them yet."
While you can't help but smile at the boy's answer, he didn't quite have it right. The sin of omission is not doing what you should do. And one of the ways we can commit this sin is when we don't respond to the prompting of the Holy Spirit to share the gospel.
I think most Christians know more than enough to go out and start sharing their faith, but they are just afraid to try. Yet when Jesus gave the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 to "go and make disciples of all the nations" (NLT), it was a command in the original language. This is not the Great Suggestion; it is the Great Commission. But for many, it has become the Great Omission.
Also in the original language, Jesus' words are addressed to everyone. That means it is not just for the so-called professionals. This command is for every follower of Christ. This is for everyone to do. No one is exempt.
These are God's marching orders. It is a daunting task. It is intimidating, even scary sometimes. But Jesus has called us to do it. And His calling is also His enabling.
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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