Encouragement for your walk: "Why should I ... ?"

By Pastor Paul, Bibles for Mideast

1. Why should I say I can't
when the Bible says
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength?
(Phil. 4:13)

2. Why should I lack
when I know that
God shall supply all my needs
according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus?
(Phil. 4:19)

3. Why should I fear
when the Bible says
God has not given me a spirit of fear,
but of power, love and a sound mind?
(2 Tim. 1:7)

4. Why should I lack faith
to fulfil my calling knowing that
God has allotted to me a measure of faith?
(Rom. 12:3)

5. Why should I be weak
when the Bible says that
the Lord is the strength of my life and that
I will display strength and take action because I know God?
(Ps. 27:1; Dan. 11:32)

6. Why should I allow
Satan supremacy over my life when
He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world?
(1 John 4:4)

"hand in hand with the King' by Ineke Hopgood

"hand in hand with the King' by Ineke Hopgood

7. Why should I lack wisdom
when Christ gave wisdom to me from God and
God gives wisdom to me generously when I ask for it?
(1 Cor. 1:30; James 1:5)

8. Why should I accept defeat
when the Bible says that
God always leads me in triumph?
(2 Cor.  2:14)

9. Why should I be depressed
when I can recall to mind
God's loving kindness, compassion,
and faithfulness and have hope?
(Lam. 3:21-23)

   10. Why should I worry and fret when
I can cast all my anxiety on Christ who cares for me?
(1 Peter 5:7)

11. Why should I ever be in bondage knowing that
there is liberty where the Spirit of the Lord is?
(Gal. 5:1)

12. Why should I feel condemned
when the Bible says
I am not condemned because I am in Christ?
(Rom. 8:1)

13. Why should I feel alone
when Jesus said
He is with me always,
and He will never leave me nor forsake me?
(Matt. 28:20; Hebrews 13:5)

14. Why should I feel accursed or a victim of bad luck
when the Bible says that
Christ redeemed me from the curse of the law
that I might receive His Spirit?
(Gal. 3:13-14)

15. Why should I be discontented
when I, like Paul, can learn
to be content in all my circumstances?
(Phil. 4:11)

16. Why should I feel worthless when
Christ became sin on my behalf that
I might become the righteousness of God in Him?
(2 Cor. 5:21)

17. Why should I have
a persecution complex knowing that
nobody can be against me when God is for me?
(Rom. 8:31)

18. Why should I be confused when
God is the author of peace and
He gives me knowledge through His indwelling Spirit?
(1 Cor. 14:33, 2:12)

19. Why should I feel like a failure when
I am a conqueror in all things through Christ?
(Rom. 8:37)

20. Why should I let the pressures of life bother me
when I can take courage knowing that
Jesus has overcome the world and its tribulations?
(John 16:33)

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The painting in this post, called 'Hand in hand with the King', is by an amazing prophetic artist and friend of mine named Ineke Hopgood. She lives in Australia and paints prolifically and entirely Spirit-led. You can visit her website here: Ineke Hopgood Prophetic Art.
† Susanna

The religious component of Islam? Nothing but a ‘beard’ covering an all-encompassing system of life

The strong opinion voiced in our title comes from a man who understands the ‘system of Islam’ better than most. A pioneer missionary in and to some of the worst war zones in the world, Dr. Peter Hammond was born and raised in Africa. For 35 years he has served persecuted churches and pioneered evangelistic outreaches into Mozambique, Angola, Rwanda, Congo and Nigeria.

Peter has smuggled in and distributed hundreds of thousands of Bibles, New Testaments and Christian books into Muslim and communist nations, as well as helping establish over 100 Christian schools and numerous Bible colleges throughout Africa. Beaten by mobs, stabbed, shot at, arrested, ambushed, come under aerial and artillery bombardment, imprisoned and tortured for Christ—he  is one of our heroes and will surely go into the history books as a soldier of our faith. 

Islam book cover 1.jpg

 “Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components,” he writes in his most famous and controversial book, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam. What he refers to as the ‘Islamization’ of a society begins when the population of Muslims reaches a critical mass, and they then being to agitate for various privileges.

“When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well,” he notes. You can see how it works, according to Dr. Hammond, by looking at the percentage of Muslims in a particular country. We have updated his statistics and moved the countries around a bit to fit current available estimates.

When the Muslim population remains under or around 2-3% in a country, they will be seen primarily as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the current situation in: 

United States — Muslim 0.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 2.3%
Australia — Muslim 2.6 %
Canada — Muslim 3.2%
Norway — Muslim 2-4%

As the Muslim population reaches 4-5%, they begin to recruit from ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, within prisons and street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark — Muslim 4.1%
Germany — Muslim 4.4-5.8%
Spain — Muslim 4.1%
United Kingdom — Muslim 4.8%

“From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population,” Dr. Hammond notes. “For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food” and increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature such food on their shelves—along with threats for failure to comply. This is happening in: 

Sweden — Muslim 5%
Switzerland — Muslim 5%
The Netherlands — Muslim 5-6%
Trinidad & Tobago — Muslim 5.8%
Thailand — Muslim 5.8%
France — Muslim 7.5%
Philippines — Muslim 5-11%

Soon they begin to apply pressure to allow Sharia law within their own communities (sometimes ghettos). “When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions,” Dr. Hammond notes. These tensions are seen on a regular basis in: 

Russia — Muslim 6.5-15%
Kenya — Muslim 10%
India — Muslim 14.2%
Israel — Muslim 17.7%

The violence increases when the Muslim population reaches 20%. After that, “nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues,” such as in Ethiopia (34% Muslim).

“At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare,” such as in: 

Bosnia — Muslim 50.7%
Albania — Muslim 56.7%
Chad — Muslim 58%
Lebanon — Muslim 59.7%

Above 60%, persecution of non-believing ‘infidels’ rises significantly, including sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia law as a weapon, and Jizya, a tax placed on infidels, such as in:

Malaysia — Muslim 61.4%
Qatar — Muslim 77.5%

After 80%, Dr. Hammond says to expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some state-run ethnic cleansing, and even genocide as these nations drive out those they consider non-believers and move toward a 100% Muslim society. A close to 100% Muslim society will theoretically usher in the Islamic version of peace, the peace of ‘Dar-es-Salaam’ according to Dr. Hammond. “Here there’s supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrassas are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word.” The following countries all approach 100% Islamization:

Riots in Pakistan, 2013

Riots in Pakistan, 2013

Syria — Muslim 82.9%
Indonesia — Muslim 87.2%
Egypt — Muslim 90%
Bangladesh — Muslim 90.4%
Jordan — Muslim 93.8%
Pakistan — Muslim 96.4%
Tajikistan — Muslim 96.7%
Sudan — Muslim 97%
Palestinian Territories — Muslim 97.5%
Turkey — Muslim 98.6%
Iraq — Muslim 99%
Morocco — Muslim 99%
Iran — Muslim 99.7%
United Arab Emirates — Muslim 100% of citizens (85% of the population are foreign workers. While no official figures are available, local observers estimate that approximately 55 % of the foreign population are Muslim.)
Afghanistan — Muslim 99.8%
Saudi Arabia — Muslim 97.1%
Somalia — Muslim 98.9%
Yemen — Muslim 99%

Obviously the ‘Islamic ideal’ can never be realized. In countries at or near 100% Muslim population, “the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons,” observes Dr. Hammond.

“It is important to understand that in some countries, with well under 100% Muslim populations—such as France—the minority Muslim populations live in ghettos, within which they are 100% Muslim, and within which they live by Sharia law,” he states. “In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam.”

Dr. Hammond is also concerned by demographic trends, and the Muslim population has grown dramatically since he wrote his book. Estimates vary, but as of 2015, the Pew Research Center estimates there to be about 1.8 billion Muslims in the world; nearly one-fourth of the world’s population today.  Since their birth rates dwarf the birth rates of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, and all other believers, all predictions have Muslims exceeding 50% of the world’s population by the end of this century.

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Dr. Peter Hammond is the Founder of Frontline Fellowship, the Reformation Society, Africa Christian Action and the William Carey Bible Institute. His other books include: In the Killing Fields of Mozambique, Holocaust In Rwanda, Faith Under Fire in Sudan, Putting Feet to your Faith, The Greatest Century of Missions, Practical Discipleship, Answering Skeptics, The Power of Prayer Handbook, Biblical Principles for Africa and Victorious Christians who Changed the World.

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MOST IMPORTANTLY, let's not forget the Good News!
Like here: Conversions in the millions: Muslims tasting the love of Jesus and embracing Christianity all over the globe, and many other places on this site and others. We know who wins in the end.

Woman from Hindu priestly family healed and saved by Jesus: now serves Him!

Elamma Antharjanam grew up in a Hindu Brahmin (priestly) family in India [Brahmin are the highest of the four Hindu castes; their traditional occupation being the spiritual guidance of people—Ed.] .  Her father Subrahmanyan Namboothiri was the head priest for 250 temples, and he and her mother married as children—child marriage being common then. Not until 30 years later did they have her, their only child, whom they named Saraswathi.

Saraswathi fanatically followed the tenets of Hinduism. She’d rise early each morning for the ritual bath in the temple pool, and then worship before the temple idols. As a young girl she even had her arm tattooed with images of Hindu deities.

Severe asthma plagued Saraswathi from childhood. None of the special treatments and potions or healing rituals her parents tried could ease their daughter’s suffering.

One day a woman named Kamalamma visited the family. She had converted from Hinduism to Christianity, and despite the persecution she endured from her own husband and community, she wanted to pray for teenaged Saraswathi. But the girl refused the prayers of a woman who could mean nothing but trouble, having abandoned Hinduism for foreign Jesus.

But the wheezing only got worse. During a particularly severe attack, she lost the ability to breathe and had to be rushed to hospital. And guess who visited her? Persistent, prayerful Kamalamma. This time, it was Saraswathi who requested prayer.

While the Christian woman prayed, Saraswathi became aware of a man standing before her. He had a small lamb straddling his left shoulder and a stick in his right hand. With a smile, he gently moved his hands over her head.

“Believe me my daughter,” the man said to her. “I am your Lord. The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply.” [Ps 16:4] She suddenly felt such relief!

Hindu tattoo cancelled out with the Word of God!

Hindu tattoo cancelled out with the Word of God!

The young woman needed no convincing of her need to confess her sinful ways and accept Jesus as her personal Savior and Lord. And the asthma completely left her.

She surrendered herself fully to Jesus, was baptized, and took on ‘Elamma’ as a new name. But she faced many persecutions from her family and community, who finally drove her away them. 

She married a Christian man, Jacob, and both were fully engaged in serving the Lord Jesus. He recently entered into glory but Elamma continues faithful in the Lord’s ministry as an associate with Bibles for Mideast. Please keep her and the ministry as a whole in your prayers.

Radical Muslim terrorist ‘terrified’ by the Light of Jesus now serves as pastor!

Rashid* had been one of the commanders in a group intent on converting as many as possible to Islam, and with the goal of bringing all nations under Islamic rule.

As the men strove fanatically toward these objectives, they began hearing of formerly strong Muslims who had converted to Christianity and worse, were now spreading the Gospel. So they appointed a special commando unit from among themselves to either convert these ‘infidels’ back to Islam, or wipe them from the face of the earth.

Rashid voluntarily took on leadership of the wing. As time went on, some of their terrorist operations succeeded.

They eventually heard about the work of Bibles for Mideast: how they boldly evangelized people—especially Muslims—in Asia, the Middle East and several third-world nations; how their leader was himself a former Muslim; how they distributed bibles in many languages and were forming underground house churches in various regions.

So they set about in earnest to formulate a plan to hunt down a Bibles for Mideast leader’s family in their area operations. If they could destroy his family and force him back into the Islamic fold, what a great weapon they would have in their war against Christianity.

So they devised a plan to attack and kill the family as they slept at night. But on arriving at their home, they saw what appeared to be gunmen surrounding the house and abandoned that plan.

They then learned from some of the children going to the same school as the leader’s children that since they lived in poverty with little to eat, they were always hungry.

“So we sent a woman with some poisoned fast food to give to the children,” Rashid recounts.  “But on the way, a dog bit her so seriously she couldn’t get the food to them.”

So they tried sending another woman with poisonous chocolates to give the young ones, thinking for sure this would kill them. All three children got sick, but the two boys recovered fairly quickly. The third, a young girl, ended up near death in hospital.

"I was watching with two others from an ambulance near the hospital,” Rashid explained. They planned to wait till they saw the family take the girl’s dead body from the hospital, at which point they would kidnap them all and speed away in the appropriated ambulance.

But nothing seemed to be happening. So they went into the hospital, found the girl’s room and quietly stood watch outside.

“Then I saw a ball of light came down from the sky and stand over the room,” Rashid remembers. “I saw a hand came out from the ball and stand her up. There was a hole in the middle of that hand and the blood was flowing down. I trembled with fear.” Overcome, he fell over and had to be whisked away by his fellow conspirators.

But he couldn’t sleep that night. Whenever he began to drift off, Rashid explained, he’d see the same hand, with blood flowing from it.

“Next night I saw a shadow of a human face appear behind the hand.” He said the face asked him, ‘Why are you nailing me?’

Rashid, utterly unnerved, feared telling his friends anything “because they would suspect me, and I would be killed."

He did however have a bible—for no other reason than to find verses to criticize Christianity and justify Islam. So he turned to it now with questions.

Opening it, he read: “That was the true Light which gives light to everyone coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world did not know Him.” (John 1:9-10)

 “I understood it was about Jesus,” he said with certainty. “And also, I knew that the ball of light that came from above to protect the sick girl was the same Jesus, who suffered crucifixion on the cross by the nailing of his hands and legs.”

Feeling unbearably burdened, he managed to locate Pastor Paul, Director of Bibles for Mideast, and confessed everything. Yet instead of being turned in to the police as Rashid expected, he was embraced with tears.

“When I was an enemy of Jesus Christ, He loved me, too,” Pastor Paul explained. “He was crucified, rose from the dead and gave His life for me. In His love I have to love you, because Christ loves you. I believe Jesus Christ Himself brought you here to share this love and salvation. Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and He gives you peace. Accept Him as your Savior.”

And Rashid did! Soon after he was baptized and now walks and serves in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. As a leader and anointed pastor within Bibles for Mideast he, alongside his wife, lives to evangelize others.

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Name changed for security reasons

Jesus protects persecuted new convert from Islam by the 'power of His right hand'

Maheen* had always been an observant Muslim. When given a Bible by a team distributing them in his neighbourhood, he took one, brought it home, but never looked at it. Why should he? He had the Koran.

One night while he slept, he says an angel came to him and touched him on the shoulder.

“Read Acts 26:23 from the Holy Scripture which you received,” the angel told him. Whether a dream or a vision he wasn’t sure, but it certainly struck him as strange. Too tired to react otherwise, he fell back asleep.

A short while later, the angel touched his shoulder again, more firmly this time. “Get up and read Acts 26:23 from the bible you were given. It is a verse for you.”

Still groggy and half-asleep, Maheen had a hard time trying to process what was going on. So he decided to ignore the unusual occurrence again, and go back to sleep.

The angel appeared a third time, nudging him forcefully. “Get up and read the verses as I said!”

Maheen bolted out of bed, frantically grabbed his new bible, and began to read from the Book of Acts.

“That the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He should be the first to proclaim light both to the Jewish people and to the Gentiles.” (Acts 26:23)

The striking visitation, the power of God’s Word, and the Holy Spirit brought Maheen to his knees. He acknowledged his sins before God and accepted Jesus as his Savior and Lord.

He became a strong believer in Jesus Christ. As much as he tried to convince his wife Muneera* of her need for salvation, of the importance of reading and meditating on the Bible, the Word of God—she would have none of it. Further complicating the situation were the attitudes of her brother Siddhiq*, an Islamic extremist working nearby in Saudi Arabia.

Maheen desperately wanted to be baptized, but waited months, hoping and praying his wife would join him in his new faith and be baptized with him. He finally decided to take the step alone.

When Muneera told her brother of the new development, he flew in immediately from Saudi Arabia. He implored Maheen to return to Islam, offering him an outstanding employment opportunity if he’d move to Saudi Arabia. He could even have an immense home and property as part of the deal.

"My Lord Jesus is far, far above any of the offers of this world,” Maheen replied. “I may be killed, but I will never deny Jesus, for He is my Lord and Savior, and granted me eternal life."

This infuriated Siddhiq. While his sister watched in horror, he joined with others he had traveled with and brutally beat Maheen. They then locked him in a dark room. For 17 days he remained locked away in darkness, without proper food or facilities, and unable even to see his wife.

Everyone felt sure Maheen would change his mind and come back to Islam. Instead, he grew stronger in his faith with each passing day. So they decided the only way to save Muneera from her husband would be to kill him.

She couldn’t believe it. How could her own brother, her own family, including her own father, even think of killing her husband? So she implored God, the Almighty, to intervene.

While praying, she had a vision of heaven and saw the Lord Jesus seated on the throne. And there was Maheen, her husband, at His right hand being held safe, praising Him along with the angels! While she couldn’t understand it, she could see human souls being washed by blood which flowed like a beautiful stream from the heart of Jesus.

When she tried to reach out to her husband, she couldn’t even get close. A huge gulf spanned the distance between them. Then she noticed a bridge in the shape of a cross over the gap, but when she tried to go towards it, it was taken back to heaven.  

Shaken to her core, Muneera began to weep. She took her own step of faith and accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior. Who else could this be but the savior of humanity? She prayed that Maheen would not be harmed.

She then phoned the leader of the team who had been distributing the free bibles and holding the underground worship services Maheen had been attending. She explained to him all that had happened.

He explained that he too was a convert from Islam and often faced similar hardships. He arranged to visit the area, meeting up with a group of local believers first, all also converts from Islam. They prayed together, then met with a politician in the region. With his help they were able to secure the assistance of a senior police officer who freed Maheen from the dark room that had been his prison for over two weeks.

That same evening, a mob under Siddhiq’s leadership gathered with weapons to attack the church leader. A group of secret believers in Jesus heard of it and Immediately moved him to another house where the terrorists couldn’t find him. The prayers of the children of God certainly moved to save and protect Maheen as well as the Christian leader.

Maheen with bibles for distribution

Maheen with bibles for distribution

Maheen and Muneera now have two children, a boy and a girl. They work with Bibles for Mideast, distributing bibles, Christian literature and helping establishing house churches in their area of the Middle East.

“It is a great task,” they explain. “We have to work very secretly. We worship secretly. We collect bibles for distribution also in a secret way. We are in need of support, but we don’t get it.”  Both retain secular jobs to earn enough for themselves and the work of their team. Please pray for them!

If you feel led to support the work of acquiring and distributing bibles and establishing house churches for new believers, please use the form here.

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* names changed for security reasons