In the last few days, I’ve received several calls from Pastor R from his location near Damascus. As always, there is good news as well as news of tragic events that have transpired. There is now not a day that goes by in the Middle East without a multitude of events unfolding.
We are the generation Jesus spoke of that would witness His return. The closer we come to His prophesied return, the more traumatic the events will be on this planet. The war between good and evil is intensifying. The enemy of our souls, the fallen Lucifer, knows his time is running out, and he is showing his fury against the human race. Jesus warned us that world events signifying the time of the end would be just like the birth pains women have as they are nearing the time of delivery. We are seeing these birth pains coming closer and closer together.
The news we receive in the West through the mainstream media tells very little, if any, of what is really happening in the Middle East, but numerous alternate news sources, some from overseas locations, give us access to details. Most people in the West live in a bubble and don’t really care to know more than what directly affects their own personal lives. This however is quite shortsighted. Jesus’ warning was pretty straightforward when He said:
Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the hose had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. (Matthew 24:42-46)
I believe that the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been on the run for sometime now but are due to complete their last stampede around the globe in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy just prior to the return of the Messiah. The Christian martyrs, described in the fifth seal in Revelation 6:9-11 have been gathering under that great altar in the Lord’s presence for a long time now as well. We are very near to the time of the removal of the “Restrainer” from this earth, which will release the full flood of apocalyptic evil the devil has in store for this world.
This planet is facing worldwide war very soon, as well as famine, pestilence, economic collapse and spiritual deception unlike anything yet seen or experienced. Jesus warned us that there would be signs in the heavens as God’s warning to us that the end of the age is imminent. We are now seeing these signs in the heavens multiplying. I believe our world is on the precipice of the opening of the sixth seal of Revelation 6, which signals the actual beginning of “The Great and Terrible Day of the LORD.” I find it revealing that as the 6th seal is opened which includes a massive worldwide earthquake as well as a meteor storm out of the heavens, those on earth say, “…for the great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand?”
Just this morning I read several passages in the Old Testament referring to the same time. I have included two short passages below:
Alas for the day! For the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as destruction from the Almighty. (Joel 1:15)
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; Who can endure it? (Joel 2:11b)
The reason I shared a few of my thoughts on this subject is because so many in our world are oblivious to what time it is! Every time I get a call from Syria, I am reminded again of the desperation being experienced by so many in other parts of the world–especially now in the Middle East.
The build-up of military forces and the armaments that come with them is enormous, and increasing as I write this update. I have read article after article from varied news sources telling of the bombing runs and missile attacks. Thousands of innocents are being killed. I have received photos from the front lines showing what was left of children that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. These photos are so horrific and graphic in nature that I won’t include them in this update. In the midst of all the devastation and brutalized humanity, are the missionaries. The House of Blessing missionaries have chosen to stay in the middle of it all, in hopes of reaching at least some of the people before they enter eternity.
The battle for Aleppo is getting worse by the day. Thousands of people are trying to get out, just to survive. Yet, there are between 300,000-400,000 people that may be trapped. These people will have no access to food, protection of any kind, and nothing to help them survive the elements. The refugee camp where Mufiedah is located is being overrun by additional thousands on top of the overflow crowd that has already overtaxed them for weeks. The need in this one camp is for at least 15 truckloads of wheat, just to try and help people survive a little longer. The UN is not providing anything and people are dying of exposure and starvation every single day–including many of the new believers, and now the missionaries themselves. As of a this morning, I received word of 35 of Mufiedah’s widows who have died of starvation in the last few days because they were giving what little sustenance they had to the children to keep them alive a little longer. They sacrificed their own lives for others. It is so tragic, it is hard to even write about. Pastor R has discussed with her the thought of getting the missionaries out of the area long enough for things to settle down a little, and then go back in, but she has refused. She and her band of widows have committed themselves to these people and will not abandon them. As far as they are concerned, either God keeps them alive, or they die. It doesn’t much matter.
At the same time, the work of the ministry continues, with many dozens who were badly injured, being healed and finding Christ as their Saviour. They at least will not pass into eternity without knowing the Lord for themselves. Sister Hafizeh continues being able to share communion with hundreds. This last week another 700 became believers in Jesus, took communion, and were baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit. These new believers will share Jesus for as long as they can, doing everything they can to reach the people with Jesus before they die.
In Iraq, where the four former Muslim head-sheikhs who became believers and then presented their testimonies and teaching to four separate mosques full of men, the steady stream of people becoming new believers in Jesus is growing by great numbers. I just received photos of at least the third large group of men, including many sheikhs, who have signed up for the teaching classes in House Of Blessing’s School of Ministry.
I received several photos that I am reluctant to put on line due to the fact that some of the faces show. One of these photos shows many hundreds gathered for a mass meeting (many times more than the above photo shows, but all the faces are visible). Several of the House of Blessing brothers taught this large crowd for untold hours. The response has been overwhelming. God is moving in a huge way in the last moments of this age…just as He promised!
These men know what will happen if they are captured by ISIS as so many before them. They know that it could be a death sentence if they are caught proclaiming Jesus as their Lord and Saviour–or even proclaiming interest, but they are not afraid to take that chance. They have found life and have no intention of ever going back to the religion of death that they had been trapped in all of their lives. They are now looking forward to a paradise that is for real, the heaven that is prepared for all of the true followers of Messiah Jesus.
I would like to leave a thought in closing this update: It is very easy for us to be so involved in our own lives that we ignore the plight of the rest of the world. Even Christians often find it unpleasant to think of what is going on in other places and so tend to bury their heads in the sand. What is happening to Christians in other parts of the world can also happen here. I believe God’s hand of protection has already been lifted off of America and some dramatic changes are already well on the way. We must become more committed in our walk with Christ than ever before in our lives. We must do more than just know the greatest commandment ever given, but live it. Jesus said it this way: “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind, and all of your strength…and love your neighbor as yourself.” This means we recognize everyone as an eternal soul. Without the intervention of the Blood of Jesus, a soul is lost forever!
The HOB missionaries whom I have now written about for nearly four years need no less than our dedicated, earnest prayers. They are committed to the death. How committed are we?
House Of Blessing; 3206 SW 45th Street; Redmond, Oregon USA 97756