Hard as it is to believe, we have arrived at the last day of 2019. We can now look back and are amazed at what God has done this past year, not only through the House of Blessing, but also in each of our own personal lives. It is easy to forget what things God has done in past days when we become so overwhelmed by all the current demands on our time and energies.
As I took an overview this morning of the many catastrophic events that are unfolding in our world, it served to remind me once again how near the return of our Saviour and Messiah truly is. I realize that the fact of His imminent return has been a common theme in these updates for a number of years now, and here we are facing 2020. But, I will not stop looking to that soon appearing, nor will I stop reminding the reader. Jesus warned us of a world spinning out of control right at the end of the age, just as we are seeing today. The birth-pangs are becoming more frequent and intense with each passing update.
I received a short call from Pastor R and he gave me a quick update on the situation, mainly in northern Syria. He confirmed what many of us are seeing from news sources coming out of the Middle East. The struggle to gain control over the northwestern region of Syria from rebel militia groups who have been entrenched in the area and embedded within the population continues to put hundreds of thousands of civilians on the run. This of course becomes an even more desperate situation during winter than at other times of the year. Many of the people are running for their lives without any shelter whatsoever from the elements. Not only are the masses of refugees dealing with winter weather, but sudden weather anomalies are catching the people totally off guard.
Hundreds of thousands have been recently displaced, for many of them, this is not the first time. Most have lost nearly everything. At least 220,000 are reportedly now up near the border between Syria and Turkey. Due to the cold weather, rain and wind, sudden snow storms, extreme temperature changes and the fact that the people are lacking the very basic necessities for survival, people are dying by the hundreds. Adding to the problem is not only exposure to the elements, but many diseases including now an epidemic of flu virus that is proving quite deadly for many—especially the most vulnerable of any population, the young and old.
Pastor R said that some of the House of Blessing missionaries have gone to try and check on their families to see how they are surviving and to see if they need help. There have not been any reports back from them yet at the time of his call to me.
I realize that an update like this may sound bleak, hopeless, and maybe even a bit depressing for some, but it is a good reminder for those of us who are better off that we have much to be thankful for. It is also a good reminder that we need to hold our brethren up in earnest prayer. No situation is ever hopeless when we pray and believe God to do the things we cannot. You and I as believers have our part in the harvest of today’s world, but it is God who is Lord of the Harvest! It is by His power that the sick are healed. It is byHis power that the dead are raised. And it is His power and intervention that multiplies the supplies, and the food. It is also by His power that a financial gift—whether large or small, is multiplied to accomplish what He intends.. Our submission as followers of the Master, is to Him—whether living as missionaries in the refugee camps of the Mideast, or, at least for the time being, safer locations in the world.
None of us can solve the problems of today’s world. God only asks us to be salt and light in our world and it is He who brings the increase to the harvest.
Looking ahead to 2020, it is hard to see the year passing without war finally erupting in the Mideast. Eventually, it will lead to a world war which many of God’s people have seen in dreams and visions for so many years now. Israel will face a major multi-front regional war first in which Israel’s enemies will be decimated by the hand of God, but, initially by empowering the Israeli military to do the job. Israel will likely take some hard blows in the process, but they will win the war, and quite decisively. The prophet Ezekiel refers to this war and says this:
12 Thus says the Lord GOD: “because of what Edom did against the house of Judah by taking vengeance, and has greatly offended by avenging itself on them,” 13 therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also stretch out My hand against Edom, cut off man and beast from it, and make it desolate from Teman; Dedan shall fall by the sword. 14 I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance,” says the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 25:12-14
One more passage (of many) referring to this same end of the age war involving Israel:
“The house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame; but the house of Esau shall be stubble; they shall kindle them and devour them. And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau.” For the LORD has spoken. Obadiah verse 18
When we take note of the detailed description given by God through His prophets, it is clear that these prophecies, at the time of this writing, have not yet been fulfilled to this extent. We are however living in the time slot when all these things—to the very detail, are due to be fulfilled. A clarification: Although this could very well lead to the great Ezekiel 38-39 war of Gog and Magog—possibly even unfolding in tandem, Biblically, they are not one and the same war.
As 2020 unfolds, it will become increasingly clear that the Apostle John’s Apocalypse is at the door. As an intelligence insider and scientist said in an interview just a few days ago, “A day of ‘undeniability’ is soon to come.” In other words, people will not be able to deny that things are no longer normal on planet Earth, not in our oceans, not with the weather, not with the crustal plate structure of the planet, our planet’s atmosphere, nor the cosmos itself. The Messiah is coming and this time—not as a suffering Messiah, but as all-powerful KING of Kings and LORD of Lords.
Our job until then? Be salt and light in this dying world. Some plant the seed, some cultivate it, others water it, and God gives the increase! I would like to include a passage from 1 Thessalonians 5 in closing.
2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort one another, just as you also are doing. 1 Thessalonians: 2-11
Keeping this passage in mind is a good way to begin 2020. And as we do, please keep the House of Blessing in your prayers. Could this be the final year before the Rapture of the Church? I don’t know, but we should live as if it may very well be!
Thank you all for your generous gifts to the ministry of HOB. For those who would like to help with the missionary work of the House of Blessing, please find the convenient PayPal button on the home page of this website. All donations go to the work of the HOB missionaries.
Forever in His Service,