It is hard for me to believe that we are already well over half way through 2014. Time is moving faster all the time, it seems. I look back into the archives and reread some of the Mideast Updates from past months and it’s amazing to see what God has done in such a short period of time. A project started nearly 28 months ago has moved from Jerusalem to Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
I received a call both this last Friday and again this morning. The Muslim month of Ramadan that started on June 27 is now ending for this year. How many souls were added to the Kingdom of God through House of Blessing this year is impossible to count, but the last few days may be an indication of their impact.
There was a miracle of provision that came through only days ago which enabled HOB to pick up another 500 Bibles already translated into Arabic. These were then quickly distributed to as many of the new believers as the 500 would supply. For quite some time now, HOB has attempted to get at least one Bible into each family group, which can be as many as 60-100 people.
When I mention numbers of people reached with the Good News, it is never to bring attention to HOB and this Bible distribution project. It is only to make you aware of the good things that God is doing during these troubled times and in a very difficult location in our world.
In less than a week since the Bibles were picked up, another 40 family groups were reached in Iran. This is amazing because quite a number of family groups had already been reached during the prior week or two. In Iraq there were well over 200 family groups reached and at least 300 more in Syria. I don’t have a number for the continuing work in Jordan. Jordan was the first nation HOB went into with its first small band of volunteer missionaries. Some strong and effective leaders have been reaching the multitudes there ever since. It was from Jordan that Pastor R**** moved over the border into Syria, which is where he is still located, being only about 30-45 minutes outside of Damascus.
While there were multitudes reached with the love of God, twelve more missionaries lost their lives. Four of these were in Syria and eight more in Iraq. These missionaries don’t know from one day to the next if they will come back to wherever they are staying. HOB has lost hundreds of volunteers since the spring of 2012.
I am reminded often of the fifth seal in Revelation 6 where the martyrs under the altar ask God how long it will be until their blood is avenged. They are told to wait just a little longer until their fellow martyrs will join them. Church history is full of accounts of those that have been killed for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. Although there were many tens of millions of them, more Christians were martyred in the 20th century than all the 19 centuries before combined. The numbers are now 100,000 to 165,000 Christians who die martyrs deaths each year, but not for much longer.
The Mideast has been in a rage for years, but especially since the Jewish people came back to their own land in 1948. The threats to wipe Israel from the map have increased every year since that time. Today we face several Old Testament prophecies that are about to be fulfilled. We find mention made in several places of a large regional war Israel will be in just prior to the return of Jesus Christ as Messiah. Personally I am of the belief that this war, which is usually called the Psalm 83 war, will happen before the Rapture of the Church as well. Psalm 83 as well as the little book of Obadiah and even references in Zephaniah detail a war in the end times between Israel and its immediate border enemies. This is a separate conflict from the more recognized Ezekiel 38/39 war, commonly called the “Gog / Magog war. This regional mideast war could break out at any time.
As I write this update, the tensions are continuing to ramp up. How much the tensions will continue to rise before a major war breaks out is anyone’s guess, but regardless if there is a lull in the action or not, this war will happen and it will happen very soon.
Other prophecies specifically tell of the total obliteration of the city of Damascus. The destruction will be so complete that there is nothing but a pile of rubble left of the city and even the surrounding towns. I suspect that this may be part of the Psalm 83 war. As pointed out earlier, HOB founder, pastor R**** is located not far from Damascus. He and his volunteers need our prayers as they share the love of Jesus under very difficult circumstances.
There is also a prophecy in the book of Jeremiah which specifically foretells a horrendous destruction of the ancient land of Elam. An author friend, Bill Salus, just released a book describing this prophecy in great detail. I found his book, “Nuclear Showdown in Iran” to be well researched and well documented, as I have found all of Bill’s books to be. I am grateful that God is opening His word in these last days so that we are not caught off guard with the things that are about to unfold. I happen to believe that this conflict involving Elam, which is the western part of Iran (including the Bushehr nuclear facility), will also likely happen before the Rapture of the Church. Of course, only God knows for sure. He controls all things including all times and seasons. One thing we know for sure: What He has said will happen, will happen!
Why would all this matter to us? It is because our God wants us to know what time it is! We are at the end of this dispensation of time and it is tragic if we don’t recognize it for what it is. All Christ followers should understand how close we now are to the imminent return of our Lord.
What is the best way we can help House Of Blessing? They need people who will pray earnestly for them. Also, every dollar that is donated goes to the purchase of more Bibles that have been printed into Arabic. Soon, there may need to be an order placed for Bibles translated into Farsi for the missionaries that are now located in Iran.
Thank you all for your care, your support, and your prayers. The outpouring of God’s Spirit in the Middle East today is greater than ever in history. Anyone wanting to be part of what God is doing through House Of Blessing today is welcome. God is drawing all that will allow themselves to be drawn into the ark of safety.
God Bless You All,