See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil; therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17:
I think many of us, as professing Christians, do not think enough about what the will of the Lord may be. We have very full lives to live with what we see as our responsibilities and whatever pleasures we can squeeze in. We find ourselves on a treadmill that never stops. Sometimes the most spiritual thing we can do is stop and ask ourselves what the will of the Lord is for us today.
Most of us have heard for as long as we’ve been Christians that the second coming of the Lord is very near. Here’s the problem. It has been near for so long now for many of us, that we have put the thought into the back of our spiritual minds. “Yes,” we say, “I know the Messiah is returning soon, but as long as I have been a Christian, the world has continued pretty much the same as it always has. Life continues to have ups and downs, but it continues just as it has, year after year.” The Apostle Peter had something to say about this:
Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation…but, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:1-4, 8-9)
The blunt truth is that we are the last generation of this age. Jesus made this quite clear when He explained that the generation that witnesses the rebirth of the nation of Israel will also see the return of the Messiah. The rebirth of Israel was on May 15, 1948. That started the clock ticking to usher in the events defining the very last of the “last days.” I was born 10 months after this momentous event. I am now 67 years old and am watching as the world unravels like never before in history. So, what is the will of the Lord for me, or for you? What does He tell us?
John 9:4: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.”
John 12:35: Jesus said unto them, “A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going.
John 11:9-10: Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.
This last passage really puts into words where we are today. The time of the Gentiles is quickly running out. God is still going to fulfill His promises to the Jewish nation and the Jewish people just as He promised, and there will be Gentiles reached during that time–just as there are Jewish people reached during the time of the Gentiles, but the clock is running out on this age. We must do the works of Him who has commissioned us while it is day, because the night is coming when no one can work!
As the nations of the world continue to mobilize and battle in the Middle East, people continue to die without the knowledge of who Yeshua really is. The House of Blessing missionaries go from day to day not knowing what is going to unfold for them within the next few hours, but God always knows, and always has things under His control. This last week, Sister Mufiedah again experienced His sovereign control in an encounter with a Muslim man, who proclaimed himself the captain of a group of soldiers. This man, named Muhammad, approached Mufiedah and demanded that she follow him to help some of his soldiers who had been wounded in battle. She asked seven of the widows from her group of trained widows to accompany her. When they arrived where Captain Muhammad’s men were, she found 13 badly injured soldiers. She immediately told the captain that neither she nor her widows could heal anyone. If the men were going to be healed, it would be only God’s doing.
One thing that was a bit different about this situation for Mufiedah was the fact that Captain Muhammad demanded that she heal them under the threat of his gun. If she refused, he would shoot her and the women who came to assist her. If she failed, he would shoot all eight of the women! So, because she was commanded to minister to the men, and because she knew the Lord was right at her side, she proceeded to do what she has by now done many hundreds of times. She applied to each of the men’s wounds the mixture of ingredients that the Lord showed her to use so many months ago. She had no anesthesia to use but removed whatever bullets or shrapnel needing to be removed, and then, after applying the mixture, cauterized each wound as usual. Each of the men, of course, experienced great pain. They then passed out and seemed to go into a coma. As they did not wake up right away, Captain Muhammad began to threaten the women, saying the widows had killed his men and he would now kill the women for what they had done. Mufiedah convinced him to wait for the men to wake up as he had promised when they began. Eventually, one at a time, the men woke up and to everyone’s amazement, except for the widows of course, every man woke up and began the process of physical restoration!
There was a time of thanksgiving in which Mufiedah was able to tell the men the true story of Jesus and His death on the cross for the sins of mankind. The soldiers recognized something they had never been told before, about God’s love for the human race and His willingness to step into the sandals of a man, in the form of Jesus, and die in man’s place so that man could live. All that was required was an acknowledgement of Him, and repentance. Every one of the 13 men prayed the sinner’s prayer and became followers of Yeshua, the true Messiah. It was then that a shocking thing happened. One of the men, who had just become a believer in Jesus, grabbed his handgun and shot their Captain Muhammad, killing him instantly. Mufiedah was of course shocked but immediately pointed out to this newly saved man that as Christians, it was a sin to murder someone as he had just done. After explaining a bit more to him about the ways of true Christian living, he stopped her and told her why he had done what he did. What Mufiedah did not know was that this man had been given the order from Captain Muhammad, from the very beginning, to shoot and kill all of the women when they were finished! He had no intention of obeying that order, nor would he allow the captain to do so. So, the women’s lives were spared by this brand new follower of Jesus and then they led him in another prayer of repentance…for his killing of this murderous Muslim captain!
This story is of course still unfolding, but as of the other day, these men had discarded their Syrian army uniforms and their weapons and had become soldiers of the cross instead of soldiers for Bashar al-Assad! Their healing process continues and the widows minister to their physical needs as they are being taught the ways of Yeshua. And, the miracles continue.
The situation in the entire Aleppo-Idlib area is still extremely critical, even though it looks like it could not get any worse. We hear many conflicting reports of what is really going on, with the Russian news reports different from what the American news sources say. The news out of Iraq also challenges the facts given by the Russians. Then there is the Turkish version, the Iranian version, and so on. One thing that seems certain is that Russia is bolstering forces in a huge way and intends to use whatever force necessary to bring the civil war to an end.
The rhetoric between Moscow and Washington worse than since the Cold War. The Russian Federation, allied with Bashar al-Assad, has drawn a line in the sand with their missile systems that ensure their control over the skies of Syria. The U.S. and NATO leadership appear intent on calling Moscow’s bluff. I believe this will lead to an escalation that will ignite the entire Middle East. Most of the major cities within Syria are not recognizable, and the people are in the most desperate situation imaginable. The House of Blessing missionaries have had opportunities to get out of the line of fire, but time after time, have refused to leave in order to reach as many of these souls as possible before they enter eternity.
The situation in Mosul also continues to deteriorate. The major push that has been planned for weeks, to free this major city from the control of ISIS, is not going as planned. There have been great losses by the Iraqi military. Iran is now in a position to extend its hegemony as far west as possible. If the Iranians could have their way, they would take total control of the entire Middle East, totally obliterating the Jewish State if they could. That will never happen, but this does not mean they won’t try. Bible prophecy provides many details of the end-time scenario that we are now in the midst of, and greater war is coming…very, very SOON.
Again, the House of Blessing missionaries continue to put themselves right in the middle of all of the chaos. God is honoring their dedication and faith. They live the principles of an old hymn that many of us have sung in church for decades: Trust and Obey. As they do, God brings them souls to minister to–by the hundreds! There have been many civilians that have managed to get out of Mosul, but the missionaries are staying. At the same time that 200 or so HOB missionaries are staying in place, ISIS terrorists continue with their atrocities. Hundreds continue to be murdered, hundreds more used as human shields. The evil being demonstrated is nothing less than demonic. It shows the hatred of the fallen Lucifer for the human race. His end however has been written and sealed by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God.
As I think about the work of Pastor R and the faithful missionaries of the House of Blessing, I am reminded of a passage of Scripture in 2 Thessalonians:
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
Pastor R continues in his capacity of leading the HOB missionaries from his wheelchair. The missionaries continue sharing each piece of bread with those around them. As they do, they also share about the love of God and His generous plan of forgiveness and the inheritance He has offered to repentant man. Hafezah and Fatimah continue to lead many hundreds every week in communion services. Mufiedah and her Widow Sisterhood continue ministering to some of the worst of the injured. Sarah continues sharing her tremendous testimony, bringing God’s comfort and forgiveness to hundreds. The HOB teachers and their assistants continue to teach the new believers. And, this is only the tip of the iceberg. God is good!
Thank you again, each and every one, for your support in prayer and finances. I enjoy the short notes sent, as one sister just recently wrote, “As I write this check, I wonder how much longer we have to support them like this…our prayers will never end!” She makes a good point. What is happening within the U.S. elections is a good example of the chaos breaking out around the globe. But, God continues to stretch each dollar, each sack of wheat, and His Word. Multitudes are in the valley of decision, but people are deciding they want the Lordship of Yeshua…by the tens of thousands. The fields truly are white and are being harvested. Today is the day of salvation. Tomorrow, in this world, is guaranteed to no man!
Continuing in His Service,
House of Blessing; 3206 SW 45th Street, Redmond, Oregon USA 97756