How many of us in this generation have said that we would love to have lived in the days of the early Church. We read the stories that have been recorded for us in the Book of Acts and some of the early Church records and wish we could have seen these very things. Many of us have also heard the stories of the Azuza Street revival in the early 20th century and are amazed at the things God has done in the past. Have not the Scriptures promised us, however, that God would pour His Spirit out in great ways at the end of the Church Age? These very things are happening all over the world today, including in the Middle East. I pray that the story below encourages each of you spiritually, as it has myself and everyone I have already shared it with.
I received a call early Tuesday morning, December 8, 2015, from Pastor R who was so excited to tell the story that he didn’t want to wait until our regular Friday phone call. This update is really a Part 3 to the story of the former Muslim Sheikh Salem. If you haven’t had a chance to read the story, I would encourage you to read both the previous updates in the order they were uploaded.
Within days of the murder of Sheikh Salem in Fallujah, Iraq, Brother Omar was contacted by his widow. She shared with him that her husband had had a strong desire to have communion with all of the new believers from the meeting that had been arranged at the mosque in which he had taught in the past. Tragically, as it turned out, he was murdered the very next morning and was not able to arrange the communion. His widow, Fatima, however felt the Lord urge her to go ahead with her husband’s plans. She asked Omar to contact the new believers and anyone else that had the desire to share in this special meeting and ask them to come to her home the next evening. She told Omar that her husband had saved 12 bottles of wine for the purpose. She also told Omar that as many sick as possible should be invited because she felt that the Lord was going to heal them during the communion service.
Before Fatima prepared the communion, the Lord instructed her to add some ingredients to the 12 bottles of wine. She then gathered 50 litres of water, some sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, about a kilogram of assorted herbs, and some lemons cut in half. As Fatima put all of the ingredients together in a container like a punch bowl, and prepared bread for the communion, brother Omar, knowing that there were likely going to be hundreds of people coming to participate, expressed his concern that this was not going to be nearly enough. There had been 250 men who became followers of Messiah Jesus on the night of Salem sharing his teaching, and at least another 200 since. But, Fatima assured him that this is what the Lord had instructed her to do.
As the people began to show up for this special communion celebration, Omar, Adel, Rami’s father, also a former head sheikh, and the other Christian leaders, were shocked at the number of people that began to flow in and through the house. There seemed to be no end to them, and they just kept coming! Ultimately, they estimated that well over 1,200 people had come!
As the people congregated and began to share communion, many sick also came. There were many with malaria and other diseases. As they took communion, God began to heal one after another! Soon, someone began to play a tambourine, and the people began to sing, dance before the Lord, and worship Him! After a time, as Omar reports, the Holy Spirit fell on them and they began to speak in unknown languages, just as it happened in the 2nd chapter of Acts! They praised, danced, sang, and worshipped the God who set them free of their sins and promised them an eternity of bliss in His presence! This celebration continued, uninterrupted by unbelievers, until at least 2:00 a.m. in the morning. The people didn’t want to go home, but finally the evening ended.
What a series of miracles that came from the preaching of God’s Word from one former Muslim head sheikh! Not only had many hundreds become followers of Yeshua, the coming Messiah and KING, but a great many were healed of illness and diseases–many confirmed by professional physicians. Then there was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on this group of worshippers! What a glorious event! And…even though this is now the third part to this particular story, it is only the very beginning!
Another miracle that was only noticed by a few is how the communion “punch” never ran out. People kept taking glasses of the communion juice and went back to praising and worshipping. When the evening ended, there was still a large amount of the punch left over. It was divided up among the crowd and taken home to share with whomever God brought to the people. What do you think God did with the remainder as people drank it? I am confident that God touched scores more, healing and baptizing them with His Spirit as they submitted themselves to His Lordship. I know there will be enormous results from this series of events.
I have been rereading the Book of the Acts of the Apostles again the last few days because of these reports coming in from the Mideast. I am really charged spiritually because I know this is part of the fulfillment of what was foretold by the Old Testament prophet Joel, and then quoted in Acts. Here is how these passages read:
And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions, also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days…(Joel 2:28-29)
And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on my menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)
We live in the most unique of times in the history of this battered world!
Several dispensations of time have passed since the creation of our world and the first man, Adam. Four thousand years passed from the time that Adam and Eve fell in disobedience to their Creator in the Garden of Eden, before the promised Redeemer came. He lived, died, and rose again, just as He promised He would. Within days of His ascending back to the throne of Father God in Heaven, after having completed what He had come to earth as a man to do, the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit, fell on the waiting worshippers in Jerusalem. This was called the “Early Rain,” referring to the normal harvest season in Israel in the spring. The early rain prepared the soil for the planting of seeds for the harvest. We find that the early Church experienced this “early rain.” Acts 2:1-4 reads like this:
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
In the fall, however, there was another rain, called the “Latter Rain,” which brought the harvest to fruition. We find an interesting passage in the Book of James in the New Testament which refers to this:
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
In the decades since the “early rain” at Pentecost, especially since the beginning of the 20th century, people have been experiencing this great Gift, the gift of the Holy Spirit. Now in the beginning years of the 21st century, the Holy Spirit is being experienced all over the world, especially in third world nations. The “last days” harvest is in full motion because the “latter rains” are being provided, as God promised.
One thing in particular strikes me when I read the story in Acts: The believers were in one accord. It was one of the necessary ingredients for the outpouring of the Spirit of God. I have to wonder if we are truly in one accord today with fellow believers? If not, can we hope to receive the best God has to offer. Then, I have to question if we are wanting Jesus as our LORD, or just as Saviour? He must be our LORD, and no less! Only then will we begin to experience His best.
As I spoke with Pastor R, he gave me a quick summary of what is happening around the rest of the mission field where House of Blessing missionaries are scattered. Almost everyone is being heavily affected by the conflicts in the mideast. There are so many nations involved, and even though Syria and Iraq were labeled the world’s killing fields many months ago, it is getting worse by the day. Innocents are dying everywhere, including scores of Christians. In the area where Mofidah and the “Widow Sisterhood” is working, the women were able to see dozens healed of their injuries, many of them catastrophic. Many others died. Just in the few days between my last two phone conversations, about a dozen died of cold and hunger in Mofidah’s area. But well over a dozen of the new believers were killed due to the bombings. Many dozens of the injured were reached with the good news about Jesus and the power of His Blood to forgive sin and provide eternal life in His presence! Several families in both Kurdistan and Iran were also reached in the last few days. God is good!
The latest reports I have heard just today say that the United States is planning to send 10,000 troops to Iraq and another 10,000 to Syria. These will join a combined force of 90,000 from several middle eastern military forces, deployed in each nation, along with all the support equipment. I believe that the Red Horseman, along with the other horsemen of the Apocalypse, are ready for their last stampede on this earth just prior to the return of the Messiah.
For those of us who are believers in Jesus, it is imperative that we be looking up because our redemption is very near. It is also time for us to be preparing to stand before our Judge and KING. Are you prepared?
In these last moments of the age, let’s not forget to pray and support our brethren who have been called to be in the front lines. Only God knows if it will be our turn soon, and we’ll be needing the prayers and support of others around the world.
I again want to thank all of you that are praying continually, and also for those of you who have faithfully supported the work of the House of Blessing all year long. The Lord doesn’t miss a thing!
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