We have a long-standing friend who has spent most of his life in a missionary capacity, and of recent years his work has been towards the Arabic nations of the Middle East. He has taken Arabic Bibles into their lands, and found that God has gone before him in a sovereign manner. Many of the strange tales he has told us have also been experienced by other workers in the Middle East. Although we are not at liberty to reveal our friend’s name, or recount many of his adventures, purely for security reasons, we can share one or two facets of information which will thrill the hearts of those who are “watching and waiting” in these last days before the Lord’s return.
How often has our friend been approached by an Arab when unobserved by others, and regardless of the language barrier, the Arab has pointed to his heart and said “Isa” [Jesus]. Our friend has nodded his head and pointed to his own heart to show a common bond of fellowship in the person of Christ. Yes, truly both men know the Lord. But then the Arab points to his eyes and repeats the word “Isa” in a questioning manner. “No, I have not actually SEEN Jesus,” is communicated by a shake of the head.
But our friend knew that this Arab, like many others, had come to know Jesus by actually seeing Him, either in a vision or a dream, and this personal encounter led to his salvation and walk of faith. Sadly, some of these men have paid for it with their lives, having been found with their throats cut.
But some of those of Moslem persuasion in England have likewise experienced this personal encounter, and it has changed their lives dramatically. One instance revealed to us concerns a young business man, son of a wealthy trader in London. Whilst away on business, the son phoned his father to say that he would be staying in a Motel overnight as it was too late to return.
After a meal, he retired to his bedroom and switched on the TV for the 9 p.m. news bulletin. But it never appeared. Instead, he sat there watching a replay of the scene at Gethsemane, followed by the trial and the crucifixion, only to find that when it was complete, morning light showed through the window. He had been entranced by this throughout the whole night. Deeply moved and turning his life over to Yeshua, he returned to London and revealed the whole sequence to his father.
Instead of excitement or interest, he was immediately banished from the family, refused access to his Londonapartment, found his banking accounts closed, and left to make his way alone through life. A door had shut behind him, and his life henceforth had to be completely redesigned. It was the price he had to pay for renouncing Islam and believing in Jesus. We do not even know this man’s name, but pray that the Lord will watch over him for good.
In all parts of the world similar events have been occurring. God has taken the initiative into His own hands, and by means of dramatic encounters, has been secretly touching the hearts of people. Whereas this phenomenon has been known and recorded throughout centuries, during the last 20 years it has taken on a dramatic turn in the sheer numbers of people involved.
We have received notice from Brother Jim Bramlett of similar events in Jerusalem amongst the Hasidic Jews, the ones who are strictly orthodox in their Judaism. In September 1995 a certain Rabbi approached an American missionary lady and spoke to her by name, which the Lord had revealed to him in prayer. Normally such men would never be seen speaking to a woman in public, let alone a foreign woman. “I wanted to tell you that I am a believer that Yeshua is the Messiah. As a matter of fact, there are 40 of us Rabbis in the community to whom, as we have been studying the Torah the Ruach ha Qodesh (the Holy Spirit) has shown that Yeshua is the Messiah.” He went on to say, “At present we are secret believers, not because we are afraid, but because the Lord, the Holy Spirit, has not told us to speak out our testimony yet. The Lord told us to pray for our brethren, so we are meeting at midnight and we are praying.”
A more recent communication from the Rabbi to this lady reveals the amazing news that several hundred Hasidic Jews in Israel now believe that Yeshua is the Messiah. He asks for our prayers, saying that when their numbers reach about 50% they plan to go public, which could cause great repercussions.
Yes, these amazing things are happening everywhere, the world over, and show us that God is doing a strange and sovereign work heading up these last days before His Son returns from heaven. Many are the signs of His coming. One hears about the strange upsurge of large magnitude earthquakes, the violence of wars and rumours of wars. But notice particularly that the scene is almost identical to the days of Jesus on earth, in that Israel is now a nation once again, the Roman Empire is more or less revived in its new form of the European Community, based on the Treaty of Rome, and the Olympic Games have been revived. All this evidence, coupled with many other things, tells us that we should be alert, watching, waiting, with “our loins girt up”, and “oil in our lamps”, awaiting the arrival of the Bridegroom. What a privilege to be living at the crossroads of history. Never mind about dates. Live as though tomorrow is The Day.