I have found myself again reminiscing this last week on all the things that have transpired these last four years since a divine appointment connected me and my wife, Anne, to House of Blessing. God has done such amazing things…awesome interruptions from the spiritual realm that have permanently changed things here in the physical realm. But, this is what God promised from the very beginning of the “mystery” Church Age. These were Jesus’ words in Acts 1:8:
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
There are many skeptics who deny that the supernatural works and miracles done in the first century by the Apostles and other Christians as they went about fulfilling the Great Commission are happening today–in fact, are impossible in this age. But we cannot judge the effectiveness of the Church of Jesus Christ today by what we see, or rather, don’t often see in the Western world! The Apostle Peter preached a powerful sermon in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost, and after the masses had heard his words, they said: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Peter’s response was this:
“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:38-39)
The promise that Peter was speaking about was to include every generation from that very day on; through the centuries of the last two millennia, and including the very generation you and I are part of today! We know this because Hebrews 13:8 tells us, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” The promise has not changed.
As I was thinking back over the long list of amazing true life stories of the last four years, I was drawn to read the 46th Psalm. It begins with these words:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling, there is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted. (Psalm 46:1-6)
It is not my purpose to offer a theological explanation of this entire psalm at this time, but, as we read these wonderful words, we are assured that God’s promises are all-inclusive, and they cover every possible circumstance that we will encounter during our short sojourn on this earth before we enter eternity. This is what this psalm means. But, we are also a most unique generation of people! WE are the generation that will witness the return of the Messiah! His second coming is now very, very near!
Even though this psalm makes it clear that God’s peace within our hearts is greater than any trouble, disaster, or cataclysm–using extreme terrestrial examples to make the point, we, this unique generation, are the ones that will see the culmination of the Age! This means that “mountains being moved and carried into the midst of the sea, waters roaring and being troubled, and mountains being violently shaken,” may literally come to pass very, very soon! These events are already unfolding, and will greatly escalate. Where are we to get real peace? Only from our Father!
The last half of the psalm tells us:
Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.
There are many references being made to other passages of Scripture in this psalm. One thing that is loud and clear: The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. In other words, He is in total control, no matter how it may look to us.
For House of Blessing, this last week has been a time of great blessing, but also great difficulties. Thousands of people heard the story of Jesus and His love for the human race, demonstrated at His death on the cross 2,000 years ago. Not only did thousands hear the story but thousands also prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked Jesus to become their Lord and Master. Sisters Fatimah, Hafezah, Ferial, and those helping them, are continuing to serve communion as they are able to. This is bringing many hundreds to the decision to submit their lives to the control of Jesus. There are also many miracles witnessed and experienced as people lose themselves in their intimate worship of the coming KING. Nearly every single person is baptized by the Holy Spirit as well, and is endued with power for witnessing! Acts 2 continues unfolding in this terminal generation!
As the missionaries scattered, sharing the good news with everyone and anyone who would listen, another fourteen were kidnapped by ISIS. These men were repeatedly beaten; the intent of course was to force the missionaries to deny Jesus and recommit themselves to the false god, Allah, and his false prophet, Muhammad. As the beatings and other torture continued, it became clear that these men were not going to deny Jesus, which drove their captors into a rage. All fourteen missionaries were beheaded, joining some 800 or so HOB missionaries who became martyrs within the last four years, but the thing that was absolutely maddening to the killers was that every single man still had a smile on his face, even after having been decapitated. I suppose this has happened somewhere before, but I have never heard of it. I pray that this keeps these ISIS killers from being able to sleep at night, until they finally give in to Jesus for themselves! Even ISIS killers can be forgiven if they genuinely repent and ask Jesus to become their Lord and Master!
The situation in the Aleppo area continues to be desperate. Even though a “cease-fire” is supposed to be in effect, the bombings continue. Many innocents are being killed, including more HOB missionaries who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. As most readers of this blog know, there are many armies represented in Syria and Iraq. Numerous nations also have warplanes launching missiles and dropping bombs. The HOB missionaries never know which day may be their last.
Sister Mufiedah continues to minister healing to dozens. Each one is also led into a relationship with Jesus Christ. One of the things that Mufiedah has run into, especially lately, has to do with chemicals being used by some of the militaries, especially Assad’s forces. Hundreds of people are having painful red spots appear all over their bodies, with quite a number of people dying because of this. Mufiedah was able to minister healing to about 300 men, women, and children who had these red spots. The Lord miraculously healed them! There are, however, many thousands who are being badly harmed by this chemical.
Another issue that has to do with the chemicals is the fact that everything on the ground is being contaminated. There is very little food, and what food is found, even if it is just leaves of grass, is also contaminated. Wheat being brought in is also dangerous to eat for the same reason. This only adds to the starvation problems. Many are literally starving to death.
On a good note, Pastor R has completed his special training of the twelve men he has been teaching. They are now going out and will function as part of the HOB leadership. These men have asked for their first names to be made available so that we can all pray for them. We need to take them up on this request. They know their lives are on the line and they are not ashamed of Who it is they serve. Let’s all make a commitment to put their very names before the Lord on a daily basis. These are: Ayman, Yitzhak, Ali, Atta, Abed, Ahmed, Kayed, Yuns, Moussa, Ghazi, Yosef, and Fahad.
Pastor R is starting training of another twenty men. He is able to train them for about four hours per day. Please join us in praying for Pastor R and the students:
We ask you, glorious Father, God of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give these men the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they will know You better. May the eyes of their hearts be opened so that they realize the hope they have in You, the riches of Your glorious inheritance in them, and Your incomparably great power for them because they believe…the same mighty power with which You raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at Your right hand. (Ephesians 1:17-19)
Thank you all for your support and prayers. God answers prayer!! Until next time,
House Of Blessing; 3206 SW 45th Street; Redmond, Oregon USA 97756