In Mark 16:15-18, we find what has been known as “The Great Commission.” It is the instruction Jesus left with His followers and reads like this in the New King James Version of the Scriptures:
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
As each week goes by and I have the privilege of sharing the latest news coming from the House of Blessing missionaries in the Middle East, along with the news each week of the hundreds that have found that the Good News of the Messiah Jesus is the answer for their lives, I also get to share the fulfillment of the miracle side of this commission. The greatest miracle of all continues to be the salvation of a soul and the eternal inheritance that comes with it, but it is always such a blessing to hear of the awesome interventions by the Spirit of God for the people with special physical needs. This week I will share a continuation of the story of Omar and Same (pronounced Sammy).
As we have learned from the past two weeks, these men who are recent graduates of the HOB School of Ministry, were granted permission to preach outside of a mosque. Of the 250 men present inside, 180 came outside to listen, and after hearing both men preach, every single man became a believer in Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Over the next week, the other seventy also prayed the sinner’s prayer and became part of the family of God. In addition to this, the old head-sheikh, who has been an Islamic scholar for fifty years, asked to receive intensive teaching from Omar and Same, so that he could lead his congregation of new believers into a deeper understanding of what the Bible teaches. He also informed all that the building would no longer be used as a mosque but now would be a Christian church!
NOTE: Photos do not all necessarily have a direct connection with the story being shared. Photos come from my current files and are used to help illustrate the conditions on the ground in the Mideast.
But, the story has continued to grow just as we read in the Book of Acts where the church grew, many hundreds–often thousands being added. This is happening just outside of Damascus, Syria today. The 250 new believers have now attracted many hundreds more. Omar and Same ended up preaching in tandem, one preaching and then the other, as somewhere between 500-600 Muslim men gathered to hear them this past Friday.
As they were ministering to the crowd of men, the Lord laid it on their hearts to offer prayer for the sick. Many came to be prayed for and right in front of everyone, 25 people were totally healed of blindness, many since birth. They also prayed for many invalids and 17 of these were confirmed healed as well! The greatest miracle of all, however, is that after several hours of ministry, there were over 1,500 who became new believers on this same Friday!
I suspect that there will be those who may doubt such a report, but we should not. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever! Our Father promised that He would move in great power through the Holy Spirit moving through the believers in the last days. It was He who gave us the instruction to pray for the sick. It was He who told His followers to preach the Word. You and I can’t heal anyone. We don’t have the power to even heal someone’s fingernail, but He can raise the dead! Nor do any of us have the power in our words to change anyone’s life, no matter how articulate we are or how powerfully we can preach. But God can touch the soul.
Pastor R has asked for special prayer for Omar and Same. As you can imagine, the threat to their lives is growing day by day. Islamic fanatics are on a constant prowl, looking for anyone preaching or teaching in any other name than Allah or his prophet, Muhammad. Yet, the people have become so disgusted with what they see Islam doing, they are willing to listen and accept anything at all that sounds more hopeful than what they are witnessing on a daily basis. This is a strong reminder of how important it is to make the most of the opportunities that are being presented today. Souls are going into eternity every single hour. If the people don’t hear the message of God’s love and forgiveness through Jesus Christ from the Christian missionaries, they will likely fall for some false religious teaching. There are plenty of those to choose from.
In northern Syria, the winter weather is still a challenge, especially for those that are trying to survive in the tent encampments. There also continues to be the fighting between the many different terrorist entities. Another fifteen of the believers were killed in the Aleppo area. Mufidah and the Widow Sisterhood continue ministering to as many of the severely injured as they can. Another sixteen of these had healing ministered to them and each also became a follower of Messiah Yeshua. Hafezah was able to share communion with at least 1,000 believers this past week again. The Lord continues to make it possible by providing the elements for the people to partake of. The financial gifts that come in from around the world help greatly with this.
Pastor R told me that Sarah also continues to minister to those who have lost children and close loved ones. This past week she had about 300 gather to hear her testimony and to receive prayer with Sarah and those helping her with the work of the ministry.
All in all, another 250 or so were reached with the Gospel in Syria besides the large number reached through the ministry of Omar and Same this past week.
In Mosul, Iraq, House of Blessing missionaries report that another 42 believers were killed. So many have been losing their lives to the extremists that Pastor R has urged the missionaries to move a bit slower and with great care. The HOB missionaries continue however sharing the gospel whenever and with whomever they are given an opportunity. Once again, our prayers from around the world can be of great value and power. God answers prayer!
I did not receive a number this week for how many were reached in the Mosul area, but there were many souls brought into the Kingdom of God. In Fallujah there was also a good number of people reached with the Good News of Jesus Christ, but I don’t have an exact number to give in this update. The Lord knows the number and He knows each and every person by name. Our job is to keep them covered by prayer. As we well know, becoming a follower of Jesus Christ in the Muslim world brings great persecution and often a brutal death sentence with it. But, in spite of this, Fatima was able to share communion with 850 of the believers this past week. God is good!
As I close this update, I think about the news reports coming out of different cities in the Middle East. Some of us may have heard about the 13,000 or so that have been hung, just in one prison alone in the last handful of years in the Damascus area. Survivors have given accounts of being in some of these prison cells where people are regularly beaten so severely that they died in their cells and were drug out the next day and thrown in mass graves. We in the West are not accustomed to such a lack of regard for human life. We need to be very thankful for the blessings we enjoy today. We have no guarantee of our tomorrow.
As I see a greater evil, vitriol, and hatred grow, even here in America every day, it is easy to see that we are very near the end of the age. Wickedness and lawlessness are growing exponentially. What is being witnessed all over the globe today is described in Psalm 2. There is a growing rage in our world and people are plotting vain things. The kings, despots, and evil rulers in the world are taking counsel together against the LORD and against His anointed, Jesus Christ, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.” One thing that is so very tragic is that so many who at one time had a relationship with the Lord have thrown that relationship away and have fallen for the lie of the enemy of the souls of men. God help us to wake up to reality! Elijah said it this way on Mount Carmel: Choose you this day whom you will serve, the Almighty GOD, or Ba’al (false gods).
As servants of the Most High GOD, you and I must make sure of our standing in the Kingdom of God. We need to be sure we are preparing ourselves to stand before the very One that paid the price for our freedom. He could call His own home at any moment! Are you prepared??
Forever in His Service,
Jake Geier [email protected]
House Of Blessing; 3206 SW 45th Street; Redmond, Oregon USA 97756