What are you looking for?

They were looking for their temporal needs to be met,
He came to meet their eternal need,
and they missed Him

They were looking for a lion,
He came as a Lamb;
They were looking for a warrior,

He came as a Peacemaker;
They were looking for a king,
He came as a Servant;
They were looking for liberation from Rome,
He submitted to the Roman stake;
They were looking for a fit to their mold,
He was the mold maker,
and they totally missed Him.

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What are you looking for?
Lion? Warrior? King? Liberator?

He came as a Lamb
to be sacrificed for your sin;
to make peace between God and man;
to model servanthood for all humanity;
to give you eternal life.
Will you miss Him?

When we submit to the Lamb,
we will meet the Lion;
join with the Peacemaker,
we will meet the Warrior;
work with the Servant,
we will meet the King;
walk with the Submitted,
we will meet the Liberator.

Concern ourselves with the eternal,
and we will have the temporal.
If Jesus is not fitting into the mold you have,
then come to the mold maker and get a new one.

Submit to His plan for your life
and you will see the eternal need met first;
then all the other things you have need of
will be taken care of as well.

With prayers, love and Shalom
In Jesus,
Pastor Paul (Director), Bibles for Mideast

Freedom for Middle East missionaries imprisoned for evangelizing; healing and salvation for fellow prisoners!

Report: Bibles for Mideast and an Assembly of Loving God (ALG)  church in the Middle East

Pastor Zakkir of Bibles for Mideast labored long, hard and secretively in one of the most restrictive countries in the Middle East, as we reported last year in our story From Islamic enforcer and Christian killer to underground church leader: a modern-day Muslim Saul.

After his dramatic conversion, he had been pastoring an underground ALG (Assembly of Living God) church and taking care of a number of persecuted Christians who had converted from Islam. He lived with and was training seven young men in how to effectively evangelize in the Middle East.
 
About seven months ago, he and his team headed out to evangelize and distribute gospel tracts and bibles in a particularly dangerous area. They shared with many Muslims in the region and on returning home, sat down to intercede for the salvation of those they'd reached out to. 

As they prayed, a group of policemen and angry locals barged in on them, brandishing guns. They brutally attacked Zakkir and the team, burned their bibles and gospel literature along with their clothes and other items. While the men who’d accompanied the police aimed to kill the Christians, fortunately the officers decided to 'only' arrest them. They were whisked away to a religious court for trial and sentenced to prison for blasphemy and proselytizing.

When thrown into a common cell with notorious criminals and murderers, their real trials began. For over a month they faced cruel torture by jail wardens and relentless, often violent harassment from fellow prisoners. Yet they report now they felt the ever-present love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Compared to what He endured for us, they explain, their sufferings amounted to nothing.

Inside a Mddle Eastern jail cell

Inside a Mddle Eastern jail cell

On first arriving at their cell, they immediately knelt down and prayed in the name of Jesus. Seeing this, other prisoners beat them and made it clear they were not to ever pray like this. So the men resorted to waiting till the others were sound asleep, then join hands in fervent worship and prayer. They figure the Lord must have induced deep sleep in their fellow prisoners, just to allow His children to worship Him in spirit, truth and safety. They prayed especially for their jailers and cellmates.
 
One day a man imprisoned for murdering three people developed severe chest pains and began vomiting blood.  He had been the one encouraging others to torture the gospel team members. 

“Shall we pray to Jesus for your healing?” Pastor Zakkir asked him.

“No!” he replied. “You cannot pray for me in that name and I do not want to hear that name again!” 

When his vomiting resumed even more severely, the man, now exhausted, thought he was going to die.

“Shall we pray for you?” Zakkir inquired again. ”Jesus is the mighty healer and He will heal you and will give you life, for which we are the witness.”

The criminal didn’t turn down the offer this time. So the pastor touched his head and prayed over him. The other team members laid their hands on him as well, joining in the prayers.

His stomach settled down immediately, as did his chest pains. Leaping to his feet as if absolutely nothing had been wrong, he marvelled that he'd felt something like an electric current flow through his body when the men prayed.

Others in the cell were equally stunned by his swift relief. The atmosphere in the cell soon transformed as the convicts grew friendly and accommodating. The missionaries could now freely pray as and when they wanted.

Furthermore, when any prisoner felt sick, depressed or upset, he'd now ask for prayer and find rapid, remarkable relief. One by one the convicted murderers, rapists, thieves and other outlaws joined the gospel workers in their times of prayer. Without the jail wardens or officers knowing, the whole cell resembled an underground church each night, with praise, worship and prayers rising to the heavens. 

Zakkir and his team related their own stories of salvation to the others, and the pastor shared the gospel message. Each and every prisoner confessed his many sins before Jesus Christ, and readily accepted Him as personal savior and Lord. They agreed that if released from jail, they too would become witnesses of Jesus to others.
 
Three months ago, a new officer took charge of the prison. Apparently trying particularly hard to prove he was tough and up to the task of controlling those in his charge, he behaved harshly towards prisoners. He could not figure out, however, why the men in this one particular cell actually seemed calm and happy. They behaved well and kindly to each other and even more surprising, when beaten or tortured, responded with “Praise the Lord!” Keeping a close eye on them, he discovered it was all because of the prayers of the gospel team members. So after two weeks, he moved Pastor Zakkir and his team into a separate cell.
 
And he continued to watch them. One night, as soon as he heard them praying, the officer entered their quarters. The gospel workers’ initial fear turned to wonder as he walked unthreateningly towards them and sat down. He then opened up about his own life. He had studied at a western university, he explained, and while there, had many Christian friends. Through their influence, he learned about the sacrifice of Jesus and had even accepted Him as his personal savior. He attended worship and prayer services with his Christian buddies and had numerous experiences with God at the time.

But on returning to his homeland after studies, he joined the government services and lost all Christian fellowship. He did however still begin his day reading the bible and secretly prayed to Jesus both morning and night.

Now, he eagerly joined with the evangelists in prayer. He asked each of them to share their testimonies, which they of course did. The men continued in worship and prayer till dawn. From then on, the officer interceded with them every night. With his help the prisoners in the team's previous cell continued their prayers as well.
 
Since the new, secretly-Christian officer held sway in higher circles within the prison system, he took the initiative in securing their release from jail, with one condition: they must leave their native land.

Agreeing to this, the evangelists were freed from jail several days ago. Before departing, Pastor Zakkir asked two of the prisoners to lead in regular prayer services in the jail, as the Lord Himself would lead him. The Christian prison officer offered his full support to this. 

Worshippers in an underground church

Worshippers in an underground church

The officer then made arrangements for Pastor Zakkir and his brave team of seven to leave the country. They are now safe with Bibles for Mideast pastors in another region, and continuing ministry there.

Please pray for them and the entire ministry, all ministers and believers of Bibles for Mideast and the ALG Church, and the ministry as a whole. Pastor Zakkir and his team also want to sincerely thank all who prayed for them over these challenging yet God-ordained seven months.

Wonder how the Face of God looks?

Have you ever wondered what the face of God looks like? Have you ever thought what you would say to Him? What you would do in His presence?

I lay awake one night and began to think about what I would do. As I was praising Him, I kept thinking about other things. I wanted more, I wanted something more personal. Do I dare?

To start, I am a Christian. I have God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, first in my life. Then, thinking I was in heaven, I could hear chanting.

"Holy is the Lord God Almighty. Who was, and is and is forever more’’. At first, I can’t see a thing. I can only hear the chanting. It is beautiful. You can’t describe it. You can just say it is the most beautiful and wonderful sound you have ever heard.

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I listen for a time and realize that there is no darkness, only light. I could see! The light is not blinding, but a pure light. A light that gives you a sense of warmth and peace. You feel drawn to the light but there is no source. There is only the warm, soothing pure light. A light with no beginning, it is everywhere and everlasting!

Something touched me as I was enjoying the presence of everything. I heard a voice say, ‘’ Come with me, I want to show you something’’.

I could now see, hear and feel. Everything was so wonderful, what more could there be? As I looked, I saw my life before me. The good things, the bad things and the missed blessings I could have had. For the first time there was sorrow in me. The sorrow was for me, and those I should have tried to witnessed to. I had the realizations that I may not have lead someone to know Jesus as I did, to know Jesus as their personal Savior. There was such sorrow in my soul. I thought I could have done more and could have done it better.

At once, I was at the foot of the most splendid individual you could envision. The experience and feeling was far beyond any explanation. I was happy to stay there. There were twenty-four saints seated with Him. I believed they were the leaders of the twelve tribes of the Jews and the twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. There were angels going to and from the twenty-four with reports and tasks to do.

The twenty-four saints were continually praising God the Father, the Creator, the Almighty.

I felt a touch. A warm, gentle touch. It was Jesus, my Savior, my Lord and Kinsmen-Redeemer, The Prince of Peace. He is my Shepherd. I remembered His words that He would remain at the right hand of God the Father. His elect will be with Him forever.

Jesus said, “Cover your face for now. There is much to do. I need saints who will be willing to give their all, even their life to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.’’ Again I became sad for those who have and will lose their lives to spread the Gospel to lost souls who are following the deceiver, Satan.

I heard Jesus talk to the Father but could not understand what was said. Jesus said to me, ‘’Come here, I want you to meet the Father.’’

As I kept my head down, not wanting to look up, I felt myself weak and falling to my knees. I heard Jesus introduce me to the Father as His good and faithful servant. It was an introduction, but really I felt so unworthy of it.

I kept thinking the only reason I was there is because of the willingness of His Son to redeem me from Satan’s hold on me. Mankind is so unworthy. I am so undeserving. God is so caring. He didn’t need to do this for me.

I found myself chanting, "Worthy is the Kinsmen-Redeemer of the world. All praise and honor is to be given to Him and the Father.’’ I kept saying it over and over.

An angel came over to me and stood between the Father and me. He told me to look up. As I looked up, I could see the outline of Glory. The silhouette of the angel only just dimmed the brightness and warmth of the light of the face of God.

How does the face of God look? His face is greater than the best you could ever describe here on earth. If you could come into the physical presence of the Father and see Him, you would want to stay there and worship Him forever.

Please pray with me.

"Give us the strength, dear Heavenly Father, to endure the temptations of this world. Keep Your saints safe. Empower us with the Holy Spirit to be witnesses around the globe till the day of the return of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen !"