In Mark 16:15-18 we find these words of Jesus:
And He said unto 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.”
In one way or another, every true believer lives his or her life so as to complete this mission. Some have been put in places of influencing great multitudes of people; others, seemingly influence just a few. Some folks live in very difficult locations for sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, others still have relative freedom. In the passage above, God has promised the power to do whatever is called for at the time that it is needed. When it speaks of taking up serpents and drinking deadly poison, God’s Word is of course speaking of supernatural protection, not the foolish, careless handling of snakes and drinking poison as a ritual or some side show. The ministry of supernatural healings is a promise for all generations and was not just for the early church, as some teach.
From the very beginning of the history of the Church, the true followers of Jesus Christ have shared the love of God with the world around them. Over the centuries, it has cost the lives of millions of these believers as the message was often not freely accepted. But, many millions more were in fact reached, and so the true Church is doing well today. As Jesus promised, the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church–not ever.
The House of Blessing missionaries are today ministering in fields that are ripe for harvest. These 525 trained missionaries, including Mofidah’s 125 widows of the “Widow Sisterhood,” are covering as much of Iraq, Syria, Iran, and the Kurdistan area with the gospel as they can. We should also soon hear again about the status of the continuing work in Jordan, as this is where the latest project started early in the spring of 2012. The underground work in Jordan has been strong from the very beginning.
As I mentioned in the last update, during this Muslim month of Ramadan, the HOB missionaries are making a special point of reaching out to whole families, each missionary sharing a meal at the end of each day with a new family. The Muslim tradition of a celebratory meal at the end of each daily fast which lasts from dawn to dusk is called the “Iftar”. It has proven to be a powerful tool for HOB and has been very successful, with many thousands of souls being set free from the slavery of Islam and becoming disciples of Christ..
Because of the increasing violence of the war, especially in Syria and Iraq, this new strategy which the Holy Spirit has given the HOB missionaries, has slowed the continual death count that seems never to let up. Meeting in the open is impossible; in fact, meeting in large groups proves deadly, and so this new strategy has proven miraculous in the fact that the Muslim people are very hungry to hear anything at all that gives them some hope. Often the missionaries are asked back repeatedly to share more from the Word of God.
The violence of the jihadists, especially in the last handful of years, has opened the minds of multitudes of Muslim people. They have seen true Islam being exposed before their very eyes. It is not the religion of peace as so many try to convince the world. Many Muslims today know that most in the world see Islam for what it really is, even though in much of the West it is not politically correct to say anything derogatory against Islam.
As has been the case so often, along with the miraculous news of the multitudes of souls having been reached, I received news of tragedy. I share the tragedy along with the good news so that we see that the battle being waged is a brutal one, the evil one knowing that his time is short. As we engage ourselves with those of our brethren who are on the front lines, we really are doing our job as Christian brothers and sisters.
Because the Christian missionaries do not follow the same strict policy of fasting during the day during the month of Ramadan, they are in fact taking a chance anytime they are seen taking a sip of water or nibbling on a crust of bread. This very thing happened just before my latest call from Pastor R*****. Seven of HOB’s male missionaries who are under the leadership of Brothers Omar and Adel in Iraq were spotted drinking water by ISIS informers. They were then apprehended and subsequently executed by ISIS in front of a multitude of witnesses so as to cause as much fear as possible among the people–especially in the missionaries. It has not worked with the missionaries!
I ran across a quote by an early church Father named Tertullian (150-229 AD). He said this:
We say we are Christians; we proclaim it to the whole world, even under the hands of the executioner, and in the midst of all the torments you inflict upon us to compel us to unsay it. Torn and mangled, and weltering in our blood, we cry out as loud as we are able to cry, We are worshippers of God through Christ Jesus!”
I am also reminded of a passage of Scripture found in the New Testament book of Philippians:
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:8-11, NKJV)
A news article came out this last week describing how ISIS (or the Islamic State as many know it), in their reign of terror, executed a large number of people for disobeying the Ramadan fast. ISIS claims to carry the mantle of “true” Islam, and they not only intend to bring back the Islamic Caliphate, but also enforce the Islamic Sharia system of law–and, using the harshest measures to do so. ISIS has influence and terrorists scattered throughout many locations of the world, including the United States of America. If the Islamic State could do so, they would subjugate the entire world to their form of Islam. According to Biblical Scripture, however, they will fail. There is only one God and He controls all, and His Name is not Allah, nor is Allah one of His names! He is Jehovah GOD, who made an eternal covenant with Abraham and his descendents through his son, Isaac, and Isaac’s son Jacob. Many think that “Allah” is just another name for the fallen Lucifer himself. This may very well be, but if not, “Allah” is at least a nametag for one of the most powerful demonic entities from hell itself today exercising its powerful deception through the religious belief system of Islam. Approximately 25% of the world’s entire population is Muslim.
The murder of seven of House of Blessing missionaries in Iraq within the last few days was not the only loss HOB had. Another five of Mofidah’s widows were also murdered. If I understood correctly from my phone call, they were part of the large group of people slaughtered by ISIS in the article in the link below. These folks, as the male missionaries in Iraq, were also accused of breaking the traditional fast of Ramadan. I was sent the names of all twelve of these missionaries who were martyred. The names of the men were: Radi, Faris, Fahid, Miflah, Salam, and Saleh. (I had understood that there were seven but I have only six names). The names of the widows: Niamathi, Sahar, Ciham, Fadwah, and Cholood. Real people with real names, part of the real family of God.
As I mentioned in the last update, it is much too easy to think of the HOB missionaries as folks from a far away land that we have no real connection to. I believe that we are today being reminded by the Holy Spirit that these people are much more than just that. If we consider ourselves as part of our Father God’s family, then they are our family. We must pray for them with real earnest Throne-approaching prayer, and support when God puts it on our heart to do so.
As the Islamic month of Ramadan is to end July 17, I would ask one more time that we link hearts and souls with the missionaries of House of Blessing. Could this be the last Ramadan before the Bride of Christ is called home? I don’t know, but we are now getting so close to the Apocalyptic last seven years of this world’s history before our KING, Messiah Jesus returns to set up His millennial kingdom on Planet Earth, it could very well be.
A number of Scriptures were included in a prayer alert sent from a friend in Jerusalem lately and I would also like to include in this Mideast Update. Here are some things to pray for specifically:
- For boldness and courage to speak the Word of God (Joshua 1:9; Acts 4:29-31)
- For the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18-19; Ephesians 1:17-23; 3:14-21)
- For divine protection and authority
- For increase and multiplication of new believers (John 1:35-42; acts 5:12-16)
- For supernatural provision to meet every need
House Of Blessing; P.O. Box 2093; Redmond, OR 97756