PPAYERS AND PETITIONS

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:4-7

What an amazing and encouraging Scripture. Do you believe what is says? Is it your experience? It should be, it is mine. Mind you, I am 85 years old and have been serving the Lord many years. For 30 plus years, I owned and managed Christian Press and Care & Share Products distributing Christian materials to Christian and secular gift shops. Over those years I have seen God answer our prayers in amazing ways. You can read about those in my book Build a Kingdom Business – Empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Available on Amazon as an ebook or from me as a trade paperback book – ron@bakb.com.au

CHAPTER 5

God’s Provision and Protection
God miraculously intervenes in a watershed event at Care & Share Products to dramatically impact two organizations and the lives of a number of individuals.
The following scripture is appropriate to this story.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.Romans 8:28
As I previously explained, I purchased Christian Press Pty Ltd from Bill Dalrymple in October, 1983.
Bill owned the premises and was very generous in giving us a low rent. One consideration in that decision was the fact we employed his two sons. Both were mentally retarded, one significantly so.
In early 1988, Bill advised me that he needed to sell the premises and he gave me 18 months notice so that I had sufficient time to look for a new home for Care and Share.
We had only just changed the name of the company from Christian Press to Care & Share and our customer focus from Christian Bookshops to Card & Gift Shops. As this was God’s call, we knew Care & Share had a future so were confident He would provide a new home for His company.
Bill employed a major real estate group, Raine & Horne, to look after the property sale. Enter Ted Angus – the protagonist of the story. He is our hero.

Ted Angus was our contact at Raine & Horne. Ted was in his 50’s and I knew on his first visit to inspect the premises that the Holy Spirit was “knocking on his door”. He was not attending a church but had Christian friends and was clearly searching for meaning and purpose in life. Every time he brought people to view the property, we had deep and meaningful discussions. At times, embarrassingly, he was oblivious to the fact that his clients were ready to leave. Over the course of about nine months that it took to sell the property we became friends.
During this time, I gave Ted a number of Christian books to read. As well, he became a regular visitor at the Christian Bookshop in Bankstown which was walking distance from Ted’s, Raine & Horne office.
Cecil, the owner of the bookshop and Ted also became good friends. It was a joy therefore, for both of us when Ted finally came to know his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ about 6 weeks before we moved out of 3 Harley Crescent, Condell Park.
I remember the phone call when Ted told me (“the penny had dropped” – his phrase) he had come to realize who Jesus Christ really is. Ted subsequently repented and accepted Jesus as His Lord and Saviour. The circumstances were interesting; Ted had just finished reading a Christian book Cecil had sold him. Whilst I can’t remember the title, I do remember Ted telling me, the author died before the book was published.
The book was about the gospel accounts of the life of Jesus. The author had had problems with
what he perceived as discrepancies in the different Gospel accounts. I remember Ted’s excitement as he explained to me how the Holy Spirit had given the author understanding. “It was like he was at a football match and realized that a person on the other side of field would have a different perspective on the match and therefore give a different report on it”.
Amazingly, the Holy Spirit’s inspiration prompted the author to write the manuscript. Though he died, it was the instrument God used to convert the author’s brother and get the book published so it could
aid the Holy Spirit to change the lives of people like Ted Angus.
Also, if Bill had not sold number 3 Harley Crescent, I would never have met Ted and be used by
God in his conversion. No doubt, God could have done it differently but as you will see, God had
much more to show Ted through the relocation of Care and Share.

If you want to read the rest of this amazing story which includes God using a hail storm to get us into the right premises, you will need to purchase the book.

GREAT TEACHING ON THE HEART BY LEADING CARDIOLOGIST

Great testimony and teaching from Dr Sam on our heart attitude towards things of this world and God. Dr Sam learned the hard way as he made becoming a doctor the idol he worshipped most and it was not until he cast that idol aside in favour of God, did God open up the door for him to become not only a doctor but a leading cardiologist.

I almost did not post his testimony as Dr Sam has got the timing of The Rapture wrong, but his testimony is so good I have posted it regardless. Dr Sam has The Rapture occurring before the last seven years (70th week of Daniel) before Jesus returns to earth with the Saints to rescue Israel at the battle of Armageddon. However, as most of you would know, I contend that the Bible makes it clear we go through the tribulation period but God does not pour out His wrath upon the Saints and that His wrath is poured out when the scroll is opened with the Trumpet and Bowl judgements. God uses the tribulation, even great tribulation which occurs during the seals being opened to sort the wheat from the chaff, The hot from the cold and the lukewarm. It will only be the overcomers that are taken up at the Rapture. It will occur with the trumpet blast at the opening of the seventh seal. The church of Philadelphia is taken up but the church of Laodicea is left behind. Each church represents the church during each year of the seven years as do the seals. The seventh seal heralds the Rapture and the Wrath of God being poured out on an unrepentant world for one year and ten days. Jesus said His return would be like the days of Noah and it will be in terms of lawlessness but also the wrath of God in Noah’s day lasted one year and ten days.

CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA: “Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my nameBecause you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.Revelation 3:8,10

CHURCH OF LAODICEA: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and nakedThose whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.Revelation 3:15-17,19

AMAZING TESTIMONIES OF WHAT GOD IS DOING IN IRAN

This amazing article by Daniel Pipes (DanielPipes.org@DanielPipes) President of the Middle East Forum appeared in Newsweek magazine Friday, July 9th 2021.

Something religiously astonishing is taking place in Iran, where an Islamist government has ruled since 1979: Christianity is flourishing. The implications are potentially profound.

Consider some testimonials: 

David Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries stated in 2018 that “Iranians have become the most open people to the gospel.”

The Christian Broadcast Network found, also in 2018, that “Christianity is growing faster in the Islamic Republic of Iran than in any other country.” 

Shay Khatiri of Johns Hopkins University wrote last year about Iran that “Islam is the fastest shrinking religion there, while Christianity is growing the fastest.”

This trend results from the extreme form of Shi’ite Islam imposed by the theocratic regime. An Iranian church leader explained in 2019: “What if I told you the mosques are empty inside Iran? What if I told you no one follows Islam inside of Iran? …What if I told you the best evangelist for Jesus was the Ayatollah Khomeini[, the founder of the Islamic Republic]?” An evangelical pastor, formerly an Iranian Muslim, concurred as far back as 2008: “We find ourselves facing what is more than a conversion to the Christian faith. It’s a mass exodus from Islam.”

As a clandestine phenomenon, the practice of what are sometimes called Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) lacks clergy and church buildings, but instead consists of self-starting disciples and tiny house churches of four to five members each, with either hushed singing or none at all. Its lay leadership, in striking contrast to the mullahs who rule Iran, consists mainly of women.

In another contrast to the government, Iranian MBBs tend to be fervently pro-Israel. They are, explains a documentary, “bowing their knees to the Jewish Messiah—with kindled affection toward the Jewish people.” Converts have even expressed a hope to build a “resistance church” in Iran to counter regime threats to Israel.

Given the Iranian house church movement’s underground nature, estimates of its size are necessarily vague. Open Doors found 370,000 Muslim Background Believers in 2013 and 720,000 in 2020Duane Alexander Miller approximates as many as 500,000, Hormoz Shariat at least one million and GAMAAN even more than that.

The mullahs have usually responded with predictable repression that includes prohibiting Christian missionaries and Gospel preaching. The U.S. State Department reported in 2012 that “government officials frequently confiscate Christian Bibles and pressure publishing houses printing Bibles…to cease operations.” Also, Christians “reported the presence of security cameras outside their churches.”

Iranian authorities routinely arrest and jail MBBs, often for extended periods; for example, the United Nations reported in 2013 on “more than 300 Christians” who were arrested in the prior three years, mostly for vague security-related offenses. An inquiry found that “those arrested have been subjected to intensive and often abusive interrogation.”

The punishment can be severe: In 1990, for example, the Rev. Hossein Soodmand was executed for apostasy. In 2008, the government advanced legislation to impose the death penalty on anyone born to Muslim parents who converts to another faith. Indeed, “as more Iranians convert,” Khatiri notes, “their situation is getting worse.”

“You’re creating problems in the country,” an Iranian convert reported being told during a 2018 police interrogation. In this spirit, Iran’s Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi in 2019 spoke of his ministry’s research into conversions to Christianity, its questioning of ordinary people to explain their motives and its efforts to “counter the advocates of Christianity.” Iran’s leading Islamic seminary sees the domestic fight against Christianity as one of its top priorities, and former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reportedly once vowed to “stop Christianity in this country.” The supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, blames house churches on “Zionists and other enemies.”

Indeed Lela Gilbert and Arielle Del Turco argue that the regime considers Christianity “an existential threat.” And it should, notes Reza Safa, the Iranian-born founder of Nejat TV (“ministering to Muslims living in Farsi-speaking nations”), who titled a book The Coming Fall of Islam in Iran. He sees Iran’s Christians as “an army of God” who are bringing Iran to “the brink of another revolution, this time orchestrated” by a Christian spirit.

If this analysis is even partially correct, the consequences are enormous. The collapse of Khomeini’s regime would not only fundamentally alter the balance of power in the Middle East; it would also likely terminate the region-wide Islamist surge that Iranian revolutionaries forwarded in 1978-79, ending the malign historical cycle that largely began in Iran.