GOD IS REACHING MUSLIMS BY DREAMS

Report by Jack Wellman in Christian Crier (www.patheos.com): God is reaching Muslims by dreams.

In the last couple of years, dozens and dozens of men and women have reached out to us to ask what their dreams might mean. Recently, many of these have been Muslims who dreamt about Jesus, and now they want to know more about Him. In most Muslim countries you can lose your life for having a Bible or witnessing for Christ, so God is sending His Spirit and implants dreams in some to draw them to Himself.

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.John 6:44

It should be noted that some of this was fulfilled in the New Testament church where several people had visions that were sent by God, so it’s nothing new if someone who is not a believer has a dream about Jesus, and then comes to faith by means of it. And, from my experience, it is happening with increasing frequency. They have a dream or several dreams…some have had visions; then they contact someone to find out more about Jesus; and finally, they hear from Scripture about Christ. As we see in the New Testament church, it takes the Spirit of God, with the Word of God, given by a person of God, to birth a child of God.

Dreams and Visions

Over the last 2 years, we’ve received dozens and dozens of reports and received messages where Muslims have had dreams or visions of Jesus. Here are a couple of actual messages received this year, but I have changed their names to protect their identity for obvious reasons. One message came from Abdullah who lives in Iran, which is one of the most closed nations in the world, and perhaps one of the most hostile toward Christianity. Abdullah wrote:

“Greetings, I’m a Qurani Muslim, in Iran. I respect Christianity, I read the Old Testament for many years…however, I had a dream last night and it’s really strange, I dreamt of me in the desert alone and I was starving. A long walk alone and I found someone with plenty of food and drinks but I couldn’t reach him because he was surrounded by many people. But they let me pass and called me “lucky” I didn’t understand but they were pointing at my chest, when I take a look at what they were pointing at, I found a very huge cross tattoo in my chest. And I felt so happy and warm inside, and I had this feeling like I wasn’t Muslim in that dream So my question is, “can someone in Christianity feel like that in his sleep? And what does it mean?”

I am no interpreter of dreams. That is a God-given ability because “interpretations belong to God” (Genesis 40:8, 41:16; Daniel 2:28), but this man’s dream sounded like Jesus was calling Abdullah to Himself, with the cross on his chest, and a special feeling inside. Possibly the food and drinks were sources about the Bread of Life and the Living Water that made him into a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and why he didn’t feel like a Muslim in the dream. The tattooed cross on his chest…and over his heart, may represent that new birth (John 3:3-7), or God’s given him a new heart…not a heart of stone, but of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26; Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 8:10). Again, I am no interpreter of dreams and don’t have that God-given gift, but some of the things in this dream seem to point to Jesus Christ.

Jesus is Calling

One of the most fascinating experiences in dealing with people who contact us is former atheists and Muslims who hated everything there is about Christianity, so how could God reach such people? It is apparent that sometimes it is by dreams. The Apostle Paul went from being the destroyer of the church to a missionary, planting churches, so God can change any human heart He desires (Proverbs 21:1). Even the most unlikely (in our eyes), God may use dreams when no human witness is available or bold enough to witness for Christ, and so we received a message from Muhammad (not his real name). He wrote: 

My name is Muhammad. I live in Qatar. I wanted to know why I was having a dream about Jesus. He stood in a boat and waved to me to come to Him. I looked for dreams and visions on the Internet and found one. Then, I asked a man on a website (WCWTK) what this dream of Jesus means. He told me it could be from God and that he is calling me to Jesus. I wanted to believe but had fear, but after knowing why Jesus came, I wanted Him and He is my Savior now. He loves me so I do not practice Islam anymore. Now, I want Jesus alone. I know this dream was from Him, so thank you to your website, I know Jesus more and why He called me…and why the cross.” 

This man put his trust in Christ after contacting us several times, but even though we may have helped him discover Who Jesus is, it was God Who saved this man. Just like Saul who tried to destroy and kill Christians, he became a believer and was willing to risk his life for the church.

Conclusion

God is still using dreams and visions to reach those who cannot otherwise be reached. I’ve only included two examples of these dreams today, but these are very much like the rest of them. In fact, there are some things that show up in almost every one of these dreams…Jesus of course and a desire to know more about Him, the cross, and a feeling of peace, warmth, and love. God will move heaven and earth to ensure that anyone who is seeking Him, can find Him. Jesus is calling people from every tongue, tribe, nation, and people…and calling them to Himself to be a people who were not once a people, but now are the children of God (1 Pet 2:10). Like Abdullah respected Christianity, we need to respect other people’s religions and respect the people themselves. These are among those whom God is calling…a veritable multi-colored patchwork quilt. If God is calling someone to Christ, then nothing can stop this call…not hostile nations or people, not time or distances, and in some cases, not even a lack of a witness. God is God and He can do as He pleases, and nothing is too hard for the God-of-the-impossible.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE INSIDE PRISON

Prison Fellowship partnered with Riding High Ministries to present the hope of Christ through the powerful, hands-on experience of breaking a wild horse. What a great way to deliver the message of Christ to these prisoners. It should be a challenge to us all to determine what the good works are that God has prepared for us to do.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.Matthew 5:16

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.Philippians 2:13

If you’re a believer in Jesus and don’t know who Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship was, the good news is that you will meet him in God’s presence. But before you meet him there, I recommend you become familiar with this remarkable man. Here he is giving a presentation to the Veritas Forum where he tells his fascinating story of his radical conversion to Christ.  If you want to know that story from other sources, read his bestselling Born Again, or Jonathan Aitken’s Colson biography.

BELIEVE AND OBEY, BOTH NECESSARY

There is no doubt Jesus accomplished all we need to be righteous before God our Father. Salvation is available for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Jesus as both our Saviour and Lord.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes,” Romans 1:16

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.Romans 3:21-22

We are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” Romans 3:24

And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

It is a done deal, however the following verses also indicate that Jesus calls us to action.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:19-20

As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.And he rose and followed him.

To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.Matthew 16:24

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.Ephesians 2:10

Jesus has put us in right standing with our Heavenly Father and made it possible for our Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life, to be our Counsellor, our Comforter and Teacher so the question now is are we truly obeying His call to follow Him and to do the good works He has prepared for us?

OUR JOB AND KNOWING IT IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE

Jesus tells us that in the “last days” before He returns to rule and reign there will be false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. They are under the power of Satan and we know he disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise that his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 11-15

“I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4::11-13

We need to recognise that the true battle is in the heavenly places and it is against the spiritual forces of evil which is why we are told to put on the full armour of God daily.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Ephesians 6:12

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,Ephesians 6:14-18

Our job with the lost is preach the Good News as directed by the Holy Spirit knowing they cannot understand the word of God without the Spirit of God

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.Romans 8:5-8

We are also called to love them, pray for them and return good for evil but also to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit may be doing in their lives. The Holy Spirit may prompt you to use one of the nine Holy Spirit gifts that He expects us to operate in. He distributes them according to His will.

Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.Luke 6:35-36

God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to His will. Hebrews 2:4

THE HARVEST IS RIPE

A Team In Pakistan went out Into the Harvest. They shared the Gospel with the 3 Circles presentation. Six young men repented & believed In Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!

Here is the report: “God is awesome; to be given six youths to teach them about God’s Word so God can prepare them and to make them a means of saving others. Because in Pakistan 98% population are far from Kingdom of God. Thank God by yesterdays first meeting when I had shared the Word of God with them, by great anointing of Holy Spirit, the 6 young boys did repent of their sin.”

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1

Need your prayers to spread the word of God in Pakistan.

LEADER USING THE 411 DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING TOOL TO TRAIN A COMMUNITY OF BELIEVERS

The 411 Discipleship Multiplication Tool!
3 Circles presentation

Report from one of the participants

Wow! It was an amazing Sunday today. After going through the Harvest training program, I gathered about 15 people today and taught them the 411 training program and they were all excited and this week we will bombard our various spheres of contact with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks to the wonderful Harvest Team. I am so so grateful for the rich content of the trainings. God continue to bless you all.

BEST NEWS EVER TOLD

The GOSPEL is the best news ever.in human history. Consider what God, our heavenly Father, did to make it possible for mankind that had rejected His sovereignty at THE FALL to be restored back into a right relationship with Him.

Adam was told that death would be the result of eating from the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil> Yet Eve and he chose to disobey God and eat it being deceived by another being, a spiritual being, that had already chose to disobey God, Satan, also known as the Devil. Mankind thus bought death and suffering into a word that was originally created perfect.

God’s plan to restore mankind is beyond our comprehension and it is only because God originally made us in His image to be in relationship with Him does He reach out to us by His Holy Spirit to make Himself known.

The most remarkable part of God’s plan is that He, Himself entered His world in the person of His Son, Jesus to pay the price of mankind’s disobedience – death. It is important to understand Jesus came exactly as prophesied in God’s Word given through His prophets.

God has demonstrated that He wants a relationship with each of us. He has done this ever since Creation by working with individuals that trusted Him. It is why it is so important we know His Word (The Bible) is inerrant, it conveys the true history of this world and of His working with individuals.. Events such as Noah’s Flood, The Tower of Babel, Israel’s exodus from Egypt and above all Jesus resurrection from the dead were all real events. Satan has contrived with strategies that are demonstrably untrue, such that the world made itself via evolution and therefore miracles are impossible and that God’s intervention in His world with miraculous events such as Noah’s flood are myths. In the case of Noah’s Flood this is despite the fact most nations around the world have a flood story in their origins.

Delivering the Gospel, the best news this planet has ever heard should be a joy for us to deliver and we should be anxious to share it with everyone. The Holy Spirit indwells every believer. He is also the one who convicts unbelievers of sin so He will direct us to those people that need to hear the Good News if we are available to be led by the Spirit and are saying each day, as Jesus did when He walked this planet, not my will but yours, Lord be done today.

Time is short, brothers and sisters in Christ so let us get about our joyous task of delivering the best news ever told. Your own testimony of what God has done and is doing in your life is an important part of the Good News. So too is Jesus prophesied soon coming return to put things right.

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They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Rev. 20:5

This fallen world will experience the rule and reign of Jesus with the Saints for 1000 years before this world is destroyed by fire. The second resurrection of the dead and the White Throne judgement follows and only then will believers join Jesus and God the Father on a new earth and heaven. Jesus work is complete and He hands over sovereignty of the new earth to the Father. All unbelievers have been relegated to the Lake of Fire, punishment and a second death.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.Revelation 2:11

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6

Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:14

But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8

DBS WITH NICKY

Nicky shares with us the A-B-C process of Discovery Bible Study. I love this simple explanation of how to make disciples. Allow God’s Word to speak into their lives and expect the Holy Spirit to do His work. As Nicky explains in this video, in a group of four or five people the Holy Spirit will use one verse to speak a different message into the lives of each of them. It is awesome and confirms what the following two scriptures tell us.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, Isaiah 55:11

We just need to bring God’s Word and our own testimony to people who are willing to listen and allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest. People need to experience God for themselves our words will accomplish little. I am reminded of the KISS principle.

THOUGHTS ON BEING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

DEEP GRATITUDE

On the way to Jerusalem he (Jesus) was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.Luke 17:11-19

The only thing we can ever offer to God is Deep Gratitude for HIS amazing, undeserved Grace.  In the above account, it is interesting that nine of the healed lepers (who presumably were Jews) lacked such gratitude because they did not see themselves as being in need of such grace, while the Samaritan ‘foreigner’ did!

A salutary warning to those of us, like me at 84 years of age, who have benefitted over many years from the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit: we can be too prone to take for granted our spiritual growth, and to think this growth is somehow our contribution to God, rather than His gift to us for which I am eternally grateful.  I like the verse of the old hymn about the Holy Spirit’s work in us: “And every virtue we possess and every victory won, and every thought of holiness, are His alone.” 

THOUGHTS ON MINISTRY

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.  On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” 2 Corinthians 4:1-3

What great comfort and instruction these verses provide for us as we labour in the work of the Gospel.  Once we have experienced for ourselves the rich and comprehensive blessing of God’s saving grace, we have an overwhelming desire to share this blessing with others, especially those close to us and those who are really struggling with the burdens of our troubled world.

The Apostle Paul reminds us of some very important truths to keep in mind as we struggle.

Firstly, our own salvation, and our taking hold of it, was never a result of our work/efforts, but is only ever brought about by God’s Sovereign Mercy!

Secondly, and because of this, we must never lose heart – If God managed to soften my proud, rebellious, self-centred, self-sufficient heart, he can do the same for anyone else as well!

Thirdly, we must never resort to using the world’s tactics/weapons, or to ‘watering down’ the claims of the Gospel, just to ‘get people in’.  As he wrote to the Christians in Corinth: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4).

Fourthly, although it might be twisted and deadened by SIN, Man-made-in-the-image-of-God still has a conscience that the Holy Spirit can use to convict of “sin and righteousness and Judgement” (John 16:8)!

Fifthly, it is not our job to change people – nor is it ever within our skill-set!  Only God can remove the ‘veil’ that prevents people from coming to repentance-and-faith and thus dissociating themselves from all those who are ’perishing’.  Our only job is to proclaim the Good News, Faithfully, Persistently and Prayerfully, whenever and wherever we can, and then to leave the outcome in God’s hands (1 Corinthians 3:6)! 

WHERE WILL YOU GO AND DO FOR GOD?

You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.Acts 1:6-8

We know that it was probably only as a result of persecution that Christians eventually moved out of Jerusalem to spread the Gospel. Hence, we know that God will do whatever is necessary to accomplish His purposes. What was the eventual outcome? From what we know, Peter and his wife traveled into Asia Minor, over to Greece, and on to Rome, never to return home. John eventually made his way throughout Western Turkey and settled in Ephesus to oversee the work there. Notably, he ended up on the island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea. Thomas headed in the opposite direction to India, Matthew to Ethiopia. Judas Thaddeus to Armenia.

But for most of us, God’s call is to go out into the community where He has placed us. The big question is, are we completing the great commission to make disciples in our community? Considering we are approaching the time of His return the answer to this question in the affirmative is mandatory.

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WILL YOU ENDURE PERSECUTION DURING THE COMING TRIBULATION

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13

Philippians 4:13 is likely one of the most misquoted, misapplied, and misunderstood passages within the New Testament. Suffice it to say, it is not about how one can literally do anything you put your mind to simply because you are in Christ. Paul has a specific context in mind here—and it is not about attaining your personal goals and aspirations, developing a healthy conception of self-worth, nor is it designed to be a coping mechanism to deal with the hardships of life. The passage isn’t even about finding the secret of contentment in all things, despite insistence from many that this is the focal point of this passage. This interpretation has more validity due to the previous verses:

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.” Philippians 4:11-12

Paul undoubtedly affirms learning contentment in all circumstances. However, the overarching point of Paul to the Philippians in this passage is not contentment, but one of enduring through suffering, particularly, a suffering brought on through no fault of their own.

Brutal execution of 11 blindfolded Christians in Nigeria, the day after Christmas

The thing that is rather sad about focusing on both the ability to do “all things” and “contentment” is that we don’t focus properly on the message of Paul, which is Christ Himself. Not only does emphasizing the “all things” profoundly miss the point of the passage, but it just doesn’t stand the test of basic logic. It isn’t even an adequate application of this passage, because all things” to Paul here has a specific context, and that context is enduring through suffering for the prize gained through the glorious gospel of our Lord. Even more clearly, they stand to be glorified with Christ, as they too share in His sufferings. Yet equally as sad, though perhaps in a less heinous way, is the focus on learning contentment that is often also presented as the point of this passage. Again, it must be restated: contentment is the fruit, not the root. The root is Jesus Christ

A rather large focus in Philippians surrounds the idea that the knowledge of Christ and His great work is the means by which the Christian is able to endure persecution. What that means is that a true knowledge of Christ leads to us seeing Him as greater than everything else—even our suffering. A true knowledge of Christ will produce in us the heart attitude that believes all else is to be considered as loss, and that to live is Christ. The one who sees Christ as the preeminent One will actually remain stable in the midst of either incredible prosperity or incredible duress, because their eyes are fixated on the risen Christ Himself (Hebrews 12:1-2). They are not lured away to treasure or trust in wealth, yet neither are they acting as if the sky is falling in the midst of even the most horrendous of circumstances. They are able to say with Paul that they may be, “…hard pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). Why? Because it is invariably through weakness that the Lord is pleased to show His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). They are content, yet their contentment is born exclusively out of seeing that their light and momentary” afflictions produces an eternal glory, which is the hope of the resurrection that the gospel of Christ brings (2 Corinthians 4:1-5:10).

Taken from article by Grayson Gilbert (Patheos) “Philippians 4:13 is not about your life goals”. Grayson completed his Masters of Divinity degree at Moody Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing church planting under the umbrella of his home church.