While receiving my weekly phone call out of Syria from Pastor R*****, I was reminded of a passage of Scripture in Philippians:
For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith, that your rejoicing for me may be more abundant in Jesus Christ by my coming to you again. (Philippians 1:19-26, NKJV)
What I heard in my friend’s voice sounded so much like what was said to the Philippians so many centuries ago. The Apostle Paul was at a point where he longed to go home and be with his Master, yet he knew that there were many that would gain from him continuing in the calling God had put on his life. Only God really knew when Paul’s task was to be finished. This is also the case with Pastor R*****. He has gone through much and is quite anxious to go home, yet he knows that every hour of his life is in the hands of his Lord and Master.
Within the few hours previous to R*****’s call, a number of HOB missionaries were once again lost. In an area where many of Mafidah’s group of widows were searching through hundreds of war casualties, there was apparently another strike by Assad’s air force which took the lives of twelve of the women. These women had been conducting a gruesome search among the hundreds of dead and dying, looking for any that would allow the women to pray with them. For most of them, it was within the last moments before entering eternity. As they were praying for these people, they themselves were killed by a strike. These women were truly courageous, knowing that something like this could very well happen. Besides these twelve widows, another four HOB missionaries also gave their lives in Syria.
Brother Omar from Iraq also reported that six missionaries were killed in the Baghdad area. An additional five missionaries have also disappeared and no one knows of their location yet. Omar also said that a complete family, including many children, who had recently become believers in Messiah Jesus were also killed. If I understood the report correctly, this was in an area where 200-300 Iraqi soldiers were surrounded by ISIS jihadists. These missionaries are asking us to pray that the Lord would give them wisdom in how to proceed in the most effective manner. House of Blessing missionaries have found that the greater the chaos, the easier it is to share the free gift of forgiveness and salvation already bought and paid for by the Blood of Jesus. The numbers of refugees are in the millions and they see no hope of ever living a normal life again.
As I was speaking with Pastor R***** on the phone, he was located just 100 meters from complete chaos. The brethren had decided that they need to move Pastor R***** again, but he has decided that there is little point to moving. One location is not much safer than another at this time anywhere in Syria. He is still somewhere within the extended area of Damascus. There are few areas in the Middle East where things are safe or quiet. However, HOB missionaries have found the Kurdistan area and some particular locations in Iran to be a bit safer than others. This does not mean there is no persecution. It just means that they happen to be in locations where the anarchy is not so obvious.
In all four main areas, Syria, Iraq, Kurdistan, and Iran, multitudes continue being reached. It seems there is not a week that goes by without a report coming through of several hundred having been reached with the Gospel. Even in the relatively new work in Iran, there were over 200 reached this last week.
I found a news article yesterday that said that Bashur Assad had given the Alawite Muslims 48 hours to vacate the Damascus area. Assad is himself an Alawite Muslim. The Alawites follow a branch of the “Twelver School of Shia Islam.” Many might remember that Iran’s former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed himself to be a “Twelver”. This particular brand of Islam believes in the return of the Twelfth Imam, who they see as their messiah. The belief system teaches that this Imam will not return to the earth until a great deal of chaos has been caused. This is one reason Iran is not afraid to start World War III. They believe that the Twelfth Imam will rescue the nation. They also believe that Jesus will return with this Imam, as his lieutenant. His task will be to kill all of the infidels, particularly the Jews and Christians! It is quite the twisted theology! Satan has always offered a twisted version of truth to anyone that will fall for his lies.
We find an interesting passage of Scripture in Ezekiel where God describes a scene where a massive military force comes in from nearly all directions with the complete destruction of Israel as its goal. This massive force includes the nation of Iran, as it is in league with Russia, along with many Arab / Muslim nations. Here is what the prophet Ezekiel says about this soon to be massive attack:
“And it will come to pass at the same time when Gog comes against the land of Israel” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,” says the Lord GOD. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. then they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:18-23, NKJV)
I included this whole passage in order to show how twisted Islamic theology really is. Islam teaches that chaos must be created so that their messiah can bring order. Islamic theology teaches that Isa (Jesus) comes as the second in command, and as mentioned above, he will supposedly kill all of the infidels so that Islam will reign supreme over the whole earth. “Order out of chaos”. The Masonic Lodge has the same theme in their belief system…”order out of chaos”.
Today we are finding the world becoming more chaotic by the day. Very soon now the “Restrainer” will be removed from the Earth. Until the Restrainer is removed, evil is not able to unleash its hellish agenda. The Apostle Paul spoke of this in 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2:
Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit nor by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, NKJV)
The time of the Gentiles is nearly complete. The “Restrainer”, which is the Holy Spirit working in and through the Church, is about to be removed and the antichrist will be revealed. Until then, the powers of hell are not able to unleash upon the world all of the evil in its arsenal. The day is almost spent; night is coming when no man can work. Until that glorious day of our meeting Jesus Christ in the clouds, we must be about our Father’s business.
Please include House of Blessing in your prayer time. Prayer really does work! These brave people are willing to give their lives. We honor them by remembering to pray for them with earnestness. And for those who would like to help HOB provide Bibles and emergency help, please use the Stateside address below.
I pray God’s blessing and encouragement for each of you,
Jake Geier / House of Blessing (HOB); P.O. Box 2093; Redmond, OR 97756