Since the last “House Of Blessing” update was uploaded I have had two additional contacts with our Israeli pastor friend R*. I found his updates quite encouraging and again found more reason than ever to keep him and his volunteer missionaries not just in occasional prayer, but earnest prayer as the book of James calls for when it says that “the earnest effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
In speaking with R*, I have found that the people he has had opportunity to teach are not only well trained, but fearless, energetic, and fully committed to the missionary work they are called to do. It reminds me of what is spoken of in the book of Revelation 12: 11 that the believers “overcame the devil with the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”
Every update includes mention of more new believers who have paid the ultimate price due to their testimony. Over the past 16 months of “Jerusalem Updates” on this blog, I have lost track of how many believers brought across R*’s path have violently lost their lives for their faith. It is a tragically high number but for every man or woman who is martyred, at least 10 or more accept the Lordship of Jesus the Messiah! The seed planted in the ground has produced a harvest of 10, 30, or 100-fold and continues to do so! The work that God is doing through this obedient servant cannot be stopped by anything this world or hell itself can throw in opposition! About two weeks ago, several of R*’s own personal relatives, including two cousins, came to help with the work in Syria. This last week they also paid with their lives when they were gunned down in cold blood while sharing the story of the love of God with people on the street. It is nearly impossible for those of us who still live protected lives to even comprehend the brutality of the evil that many spend their entire lives enduring. This is the case with the ones that are true followers of Jesus Christ in Syria today, as well as many other places in the world.
One thing I need to share with you the reader is the genuine excitement the people show when they receive a copy of a Bible translated into Arabic. To them it is like honey. It’s a delicacy! They want a Bible more than food, clothing, or anything else for that matter. The number of people choosing to accept Jesus as their Messiah is so great that one Bible has to be shared with entire family units, often as many as 20-60 members. This is difficult to even comprehend. In my personal library of books, I must have at least a dozen copies of the Bible in one version or another for my studies. R* told me that it was like watching people at a wedding party when the last batch of Bibles was distributed. They were dancing and singing, laughing, and holding their new Bibles close to their chests. What a picture! Twice now I have watched a short video clip put together by associates of Bill Salus, author of the book “Israelestine”, of new Chinese believers receiving their first Bibles. They were so happy that some cried, others were kissing their new Bibles! They all had a hard time containing themselves! I could not help but wonder how many of our own Bibles sit on the shelf gathering dust from lack of use! It makes me realize how privileged you and I are! I can hardly imagine not having a Bible of my own. It makes one think! “To whom much is given, much is required!”
When one reads the account in the book of Acts in the New Testament, one can see how the power of God’s Word to change lives is supernatural. The Spirit of God empowered a bumbling, loud, foot-in-the-mouth fisherman like Peter preach a sermon that brought 3,000 people to their knees begging to know how to make things right with God! As the Word of God spread, more and more realized that Jesus of Nazareth who had recently been crucified truly was the Son of God. Persecution found the new believers quickly, with some of their number being murdered for their faith. The Apostle James was beheaded early in the life of the first century church and soon after Stephen was stoned to death because of his testimony. Yet, the progression of the early church was unstoppable. Pretty soon the account in the book of Acts says that many of the priesthood were being saved as well.
Those of you who have kept up with these updates will likely remember the young martyred man who was the son of a sheik. As told earlier, this sheik also became a believer in Jesus the Messiah. You might also remember that he had set himself a goal of reaching 50 other sheiks he was acquainted with. As of this past Friday morning he had already reached quite a number of them.
This brings up a story I need to pass on. R* said that this last week this sheik brought a number of sheiks with him to visit and to receive some teaching and instruction in the ways of God. It turned out that one of these men had not made a genuine commitment to the Lord and when brought into the tent where R* was sitting in his wheelchair, walked right up to him and spit in his face. The others present were horrified when they saw what had happened and tried to intervene, but to no avail. The man then doubled up his fist and hit R* in the face. The others once again tried to stop him, telling him that he dare not treat the man of God in this way, but again to no avail. The man then doubled his fist up a second time and then froze in his tracks. His arm froze in place and he convulsed in great pain and fell to the floor totally helpless. He then began to scream and cry out for help—begging to be released. R* then prayed for the man and God released him. The man then realized that he was not dealing with just a small man in a wheelchair but God Himself. He was also obviously not Allah! He then became a believer as well!!
Of course, this was a great faith builder for the others as they witnessed the hand of God intervening for R* right in front of them. The man who had been touched by God of course will never forget the incident either!
As it has turned out, Ramadan was a time of great harvest, just as R* expected it would be. Many of the Muslim people who were fasting and spending time in prayer–even though praying to Allah who they thought was God, were interrupted by the only real God because He saw the sincerity of their hearts. There is only One who can see the true attitude of a person’s heart, and He is responding to millions in our day! Even though our world is cascading toward a sure collision with the God of creation, God is reaching out to every single human heart that will recognize Him for who He is, and bend their knee in humility and repentance.
Folks, you read me writing the words “time has run out” many times. Maybe some of you are even tired of reading it, but it is nevertheless true. I will keep saying and writing it until I am not on this earth anymore. My commitment to my LORD and Master is sure and without reservation. I hope and pray your commitment is the same. We are at the very last of the last days! We must make our last moves and the last of the little time we have left on this earth count! Most of us are not able to travel to Syria and do what is being done by “House Of Blessing”, but we can help purchase Bibles and we can pray earnestly for R* and the rest of those that are part of H.O.B. One of the things that drives me to request help financially, even though I am not a fundraiser, is that I know you and I will meet these folks on the other side real soon, and I want to see more and more added to their number before the door is closed and the terrible days of the Great Tribulation begin. We must work while it is day because, as Jesus said, the darkness is coming when no man can work. We must do it now.
Just as a reminder, I have confirmed that “House Of Blessing” is listed as a genuine tax-deductible non-profit organization, with a Stateside bank account. This is a ministry that does exactly what it says and every dollar that is contributed is put into the purchase of Bibles. None goes to any organizational overhead. Most people don’t realize that the vast majority of missionary work is done by ministries like this—ministries that are not tied to a denominational religious organization. This ministry does not have a social agenda, just bringing of the love of God to a very desperate people who have never heard. God has caused this ministry to be on my mind and heart every day! I appreciate everyone that prays for this man and the ministry God has called him to. I am also grateful for everyone that helps purchase these Bibles—as is R*. Thank You!
For anyone that wants to help, this is the address to use:
H.O.B. CITY OF JESUS MINISTRY; 3206 SW 45th Street; Redmond, OR 97756
Keep Looking Up!