We truly are living in the very last moments of this dispensation. We won’t pass this way again! There are many Scriptures that speak to us about the importance of time, especially our use of it. Some people may be a little offended by them–even though they are words from God himself. Although God speaks to us in His love, He does not apologize for what he has to say. We only live once upon this earth as mortals. After that we enter eternity. What we do in this short lifetime is of great importance and there is no reset button that we can push after it is all over. No matter what our status, the life God has given us is a gift and it is up to us to make the most of it. As a reference point in Scripture, I would like to refer us to the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. I present below as it is written in the Amplified Bible:
Therefore He says, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon you and give you light. Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise–sensible, intelligent people; making the very most of the time–buying up each opportunity–because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:14-17
Today, most people live as if nothing is really going to change. They think, as things were yesterday, they will likely be tomorrow; the bumps in the road always get ironed out eventually and I don’t really need to be concerned about them. Today, I should “eat, drink, and be merry, because tomorrow I might die.” This is the philosophy of many people. I am afraid that many who claim the name of Christianity, differ little from the world around them. But, what if everything in your world changed tomorrow? Would you suddenly find yourself panicking? Or would you find yourself taking it in stride because you already live each day as if it could be your last upon this earth?
If you belong to the true Body of believers, the Bride of Christ, you will most likely already be aware of the urgency of the hour in which we live today. If not, now is the time to recognize it. Jesus Himself referred to the importance of recognizing time for what it is. He put it this way:
“I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” John 9:4
You and I still live in the time in which the “work” He was referring to can be done, but this time is nearly finished. In this generation–especially in the last 10-20 years–there have been an abundance of “signs of the times” which Jesus warned about. Even though there has been considerable ridicule for those who pointed to the Blood Moons coinciding with Israel’s feast days in 2014 and 2015, these signs in the heavens did have great significance which will soon be made clear for any that have eyes to see. Blood moons on Israel’s feast days have always proven to be harbingers of trouble for Israel…usually war. There have been many other signs of the End of the Age, and it is a serious mistake to ignore them. God provided these “signs” and the Scriptures that coincide with them so that we, the believers, are not caught off guard. It is truly sad if we find the warnings in God’s Word little more than an inconvenience to our way of life or our view of the future! And…this brings us to the Middle East and the missionary work of the House of Blessing.
I received several calls in the last few days from Pastor R. He is now located further north, in Idlib province. It seems, especially since the people saw the raising of the dead (as described in our previous update), and as the story has been told and retold, the numbers of people asking to hear the truth of the Gospel of Jesus, has grown larger by the day–at least in northern Syria. Pastor R reported at least another 900 prayed the sinner’s prayer just because of this astounding miracle! People are so open and desperate for “truth” that when they have heard, some of them have kissed the hands of the missionaries who just shared the good news of God’s love with them! This is how desperate the people are for something of eternal value to hang onto. These are people who have been raised from birth to be believers in Allah and followers of the prophet Muhammad. Most have had every hope of any future extinguished in the past seven years. Many have gone through chemical attacks, indiscriminate bombings, missile attacks, great hunger, disease, and the loss of many of their family members, the most tragic being so many of their children.
With the ramping up of the rumors and threats of even greater war than they have already experienced, the HOB missionaries are being cautioned to use great care in the work of the ministry. It is, of course, not an easy accomplishment in light of the great need and how openly the people approach the HOB missionaries. Ever since getting out of the hospital, Pastor R has been meeting with hundreds of the HOB leaders. In between gatherings with as many leaders as possible, the masses come asking for prayer. Although it is very difficult to get an accurate number, Pastor R said that the day before we last talked, there were at least 5,000 asking for prayer. This is of course impossible for one man to do, but multiple other missionaries were also available to pray for these people.
These kind of numbers are hard to imagine, but it is worth keeping in mind that the refugee camps contain great numbers of tightly crowded tents. We hear of, and some have seen, tent cities constructed by the homeless in America, but at best, these contain dozens or even just hundreds camping together. In the refugee camps in the Middle East, there are often hundreds of thousands trying to survive in refugee camps. With ISIS having lost most of the ground it once controlled and most of the other militant groups involved in battles with each other, the House of Blessing missionaries have had a bit more freedom to reach the lost. Most of the missionaries who have lost their life recently have been victims of bombings, missile attacks, and artillery shellings.
Sisters Mufiedah, Fatwa, and the Widow Sisterhood have continued ministering to the wounded, just as they have for several years now. The rest of the HOB missionaries continue with the work of evangelism in their respective areas. Along with the sharing of God’s Word with the people there seems to be a continuous need for the much less glorious work of burying the dead, and many of the missionaries find themselves doing a lot of grave digging. As gruesome as the task is, someone has to do it, and the missionaries have never seen themselves as above the task. It is part of ministering to the needs of the people, just as much as feeding as many of them as they can.
Omar, Same, along with about 210 volunteers working with them had a gathering of 1,800 where they were able to preach the Word of God. It was reported that there was a great harvest of souls coming out of this gathering, where an estimated 3,200 were gathered and heard the Good News. We might wonder if it is really possible for so many people to be reached with the Gospel in such a difficult location? Yet, this is exactly what Scripture records as happening after the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost. The Bible also foretold that at the End of the Age, God’s Spirit would be poured out in great measure. This is what we find happening in the Middle East today, as well as many other places on earth, especially in third-world nations.
Sister Sarah, assisted by 70 volunteer HOB missionaries, ministered to a gathering of over 700. A great number of these also prayed the sinner’s prayer and became followers of Jesus Christ.
As regular readers will remember, there have been several thousand who took the HOB School of Ministry Bible courses and graduated not long ago. They, along with the rest of the HOB missionaries are beginning to prepare for Ramadan 2018, which begins in a month. God has made financial provision to not only see Pastor R’s hospital bill paid in full, but additionally also enough for the House of Blessing to purchase 6,060 Bibles. Approximately 4,000 were distributed to the recent graduates and the balance is being distributed to as many as possible. The most prized possession of the believers is their Bible, but most don’t have one of their own yet today. Now that the new graduates are equipped and evangelizing, new classes are well underway, with always a waiting list of new believers who are anxious to be taught the Word of God. As we give to the work of the House of Blessing, more Bibles can be purchased and distributed.
With the ever threat of war today, there is great fear. In spite of the fact that the United States/UK/France strike on three of Syria’s chemical sites was very limited in scope, the threats of a much larger conflict are impossible to ignore. There are many opposing forces represented in Syria and the beating of war drums is getting louder by the day. Israel, which is located on Syria’s southern border, also knows that war is not a matter of “if”, but rather “when.”
The prophet Obadiah, a contemporary of Amos and Isaiah, foretold nearly 3,000 years ago that Esau’s descendants (the modern day “Palestinians”) would be pushed by their confederates to storm Israel’s borders, not knowing that they are being used as pawns to start a greater conflict with Israel. It appears that this prophecy may be in the process of being fulfilled before our very eyes. The quickly approaching May 14th 70th anniversary of the State of Israel, and the planned move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, has raised the anger of the Arab nations, most of which are Muslim, to a boiling point. Even today, I read an article describing the elder King Salmon’s anger at the declaration of Jerusalem being Israel’s capital city, and donating 150 million dollars toward the preservation of Muslim heritage in East Jerusalem. Although many Bible prophecy teachers don’t believe there will be a literal Psalm 83 war, I for one do, and it appears that this is what is now threatening to unfold—with the great Ezekiel 38-39 “Gog-Magog” war not far behind. About 2,500 years ago, the prophet Zechariah was inspired to write these words:
Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, through all nations of the earth are gathered against it. Zechariah 12:2-3
At the same time that the struggle concerning Jerusalem continues, Iran is threatening a powerful retaliation to Israel’s recent strike on the secret headquarters of an Iranian facility at a large airbase in Syria. Israel knows that when she is attacked, the attack will come from all sides. This will likely bring the fulfillment of the total destruction of Damascus and its entire surrounding area. More than likely, this will also be when Jeremiah 49:34-39 will be fulfilled, which is the total destruction of ancient Elam (NW Iran).
Why do these prophecies matter? If these prophecies are in fact about to be fulfilled, then the return of our Lord and King is imminent! The Remnant Church is soon to be caught up into the presence of our LORD and Messiah! The Lord does not intend us to be caught by surprise. Let’s finish well. The needs are very great. If anyone would consider helping with the ministry of the House of Blessing, please use the PayPal button that has been provided on this site. 100% of the funds go directly to the work of the missionaries. There is no paid staff, all are volunteers. Thank You!
Forever in His Service,