December 24, 2016

woman's ankle healed

I had gotten a wrong word of knowledge for an arm problem as I walked into a small store with about 4 employees.  As I was asking about the arm, I got another word of knowledge about a problem in a foot.  I guess that word was right because one of the women had an injured ankle/foot. I told them all to “watch this” as I had another one of the employee’s lay her hand on her. I prayed a quick pray, breaking off the “shock and trauma” from the injury.  ALL the pain immediately left.  I got to share a few things about God’s love for them and wished them a Merry Christmas.  

December 09, 2016

Iranian muslim women healed at party

This is a testimony from Desert Princess from this evening:

“I was invited to a goodbye party that was all Iranian muslim women.  I was asked to share about how I learned about God’s love.  So I was able to share all about Christ and His Gospel.  My friend told them that I also pray for people to be healed.  They were so excited.  As I was getting ready to pray for the first women, I got a word of knowledge about a neck and back problem which is what she needed.  She was quite surprised that God had revealed her pain!  I prayed and all her pain left.  She had her eyes closed during my prayer and when she opened them she sighed and described the incredible peace she felt flowing through her body.  I then got a word for a jaw/face problem which she also had as she had just had some dental work done and was in pain.  I prayed for that and all the pain left as well.  She was really shocked and amazed.  Then another muslim woman came and sat next to me for prayer.  She had a complaint about her eyes hurting ever since she had had Lasik surgery done 6 years earlier.  Constant pain in her eyes for six years.  I prayed once and there was only a slight difference.  I said I would pray again and did.  I took my hand away and she too was having an encounter with God.  Then she said that all the pain left.  Immediately after this, the first woman who had been healed states, “We need your number”!  They then wanted me to pray for their 3 teenage daughters who were there for whatever God would show me.  Remember these are ALL muslim women asking a Christian to pray and prophesy over them!  Two of the teenage girls had special encounters with the Lord during my prayer and I was able to prophesy over each of them.  That is my kind of Going Away party!"

November 08, 2016

hindu man healed of 7 year problem

A couple of weeks ago we prayed with a Hindu man after we got a word of knowledge.  He had had a problem with pain in his fee due to his work (he stood all the time as a restaurant server).  I prayed with him and told him we’d check back after a week or two.  We finally got back to his restaurant, and sure enough the 7 year issue hasn’t come back.  He testified to being pain-free.  We got to pray for him again – this time for God to speak to him and to reveal to him His purpose for his life.  God loves to reveal to followers of false religions His purpose and destiny to His creatures created in His own image.  I told him that it would happen within 10 days.  We will follow up with him after this time to see what God has shown him.

October 18, 2016

Syrian muslim man receives prayer after word of knowledge

As we are leaving the Turkish restaurant, a number of the servers were all standing together including the Turkish woman who had been healed.  They had obviously been talking about what had transpired and then I said something in Arabic and one of the servers from Syria began to speak to me in Arabic.  As we spoke, I got another clear word of knowledge for a something going on in his chest.  He said it was true and let me pray for him.  I prayed in Arabic and used the Lord’s prayer to release God’s Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven”.  He was touched.  The problem in his chest would come and go and wasn’t a problem at that particular time but I will follow up with them.

What I loved about the evening was that when Jesus speaks (through words of knowledge) and then heals muslims, it became the “talk of the night” and that was thrilling.  How God spoke to a couple of Christian customers, how He came and took away one muslim’s pain and I can’t imagine what else was considered.

Turkish muslim healed after word of knowledge

While we were eating in a Turkish restaurant, I was offering to pray for any of the staff who were sick or had pain with my muslim Turkish server.  While I was explaining what I wanted to do, I got a distinct word of knowledge for someone with a pain in the left side of the neck.  I asked him to go and find that person.  A few minutes later he brings up a female Turkish co-worker who had the problem.  He started to walk away and I told him to stay and watch.  I had her put her hand on her neck, I prayed a quick prayer in English closing in the Name of Jesus.  I asked her how it was and all of sudden she switches into Turkish with our server and they are discussing what had just happened.  I knew what had happened as that “look” on her face told the story.  She was shocked.  She couldn’t believe what had just happened.  They went away talking about it and I told them I would be back (of course I am thinking to follow up).  It was clear they talked about it for quite a while.  And as we were getting up to leave, something else happened which will be shared in the next post.

September 26, 2016

Bedouin muslim man asks me to pray & then the word of knowledge comes

Yesterday an usual thing happened.  A young Bedouin Gulf Arab came to my office and asked me if I could pray for his grandfather in a coma.  First of all, I have no idea how this man heard that I prayed for healing, but let’s just say AMEN!  Anyway, as he is telling me with literally tears in his eyes, saying, “I’m so afraid I’m going to lose him”, a distinct word of knowledge slammed into the left part of my neck.  I asked him - “Did your grandfather have a blood clot in the left side of his neck that caused him to fall into a coma”?  He said, “Yes”!  At that point, my faith level shot through the roof.  I wondered if we could go together and see his grandfather to pray.  He explained how far away he was and so I came up with another plan – when he is with him in the hospital, he will call me and I’ll pray for his grandfather while he lays his hands on him.  He agreed.  He did NOT call me last night as I expected, and that is most likely because he ran the idea/offer by some of his family members and they would have shot it down.

I am praying that IN DESPERATION, he will disregard their counsel and call me and let me pray.  With the word of knowledge, I know this muslim man knows that God is going to do something.

muslims getting touched in Jesus' Name!

This past week our community has had a number of exciting opportunities to pray for Muslims and God has answered.

One young Gulf Arab muslim woman had back pain, and one of the women in our community met with her and prayed for her and almost all of the pain left.  When she told me there was still a little bit left, I said, “Don’t let my friend get away with!  You need to be PAIN-FREE”.  So she will get prayer again!  She’s already had prophetic dreams and God is drawing this young muslim woman to Himself.

Another young muslim woman was sharing about her allergies and my wife found out that they began when her father died.  She had really battled with depression and even some suicidal thoughts at that time.  The Holy Spirit touched her powerfully when Desert Princess prayed with her and counseled with her over the phone (for nearly an hour).  The allergies are NOT completely healed, but I have asked her if we can pray again today, this time in person, to be completely delivered.  Again God’s love and His presence has so powerfully touched this young woman.  She was in tears when she received prayer and was also in tears when she was telling me about the encounter.

Just a couple of things God has done this week as we took the risk to offer the Kingdom in Power!

September 12, 2016

Do you have a story? if not, GET ONE!!

Quote: “Our role is NOT to change minds; our role is to BLOW minds!"

George Otis' recent message at IHOPKC resonated so much with our community.  He speaks about the importance of having a story.  A supernatural story of what God has done.  This is what a lost world wants and needs.  Sometimes we Christians try to preach to the world, but they don’t even know we have “a story”.  They don’t know what God has done and is doing.  They long for transformation but they don’t know where to find it.  Their lives are full of fear and pain, but they do not know that God has an answer.  

As I listened to Otis’ message, I realized why our community has grown.  It has been all about the “stories” we were experience and telling others.  We invited people to “come and see” for themselves and they would have encounters for themselves and actually get their own “stories”.  

If this message doesn’t wake you up and inspire you, you might be dead. :)

September 09, 2016

releasing the Kingdom naturally "as you go"

For years, this blog has been about testimonies of God breaking into to the lives of the people we meet who get healed, who God speaks to through a prophetic word or something else supernatural.  Just yesterday the Lord opened three doors to minister as we were working out at a gym and then eating dinner at a restaurant.  The first was a woman with a wrist brace on.  Just asking her what had happened, opened the door for my wife to pray.  It was Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which we have seen on numerous occasions.  The fact that we have seen it healed many times was shared and then she prayed.  Nothing more was discussed, but the Kingdom coming in Christ’s Name was proclaimed.  She wasn’t willing to take off the brace and check it out, but Desert Princess assured her that she would notice a change.

The next place was a restaurant where we have prayed for many of the staff through the years.  Our server was one of those women and she wanted us to pray for her mother who’s dealing with kidney failure.  We got to pray and our server was so touched that she couldn’t hold back tears.  It is truly so easy to bring and communicate God’s love and concern.  We have no idea at this point what happened in regards to the kidney issue, but it was such a blessing to be conduits of God’s concern into the daughter’s life.  

As we were leaving, another employee began sharing with us about the traumatic flight he had arriving into this muslim country.  He had only been here four months and the flight was forced to land in India along the way due to extreme turbulence.  People were injured.  It was his very first time on a plane.  He was traumatized still and could hardly share about the experience.  We asked if we could pray to break off the effect and impact of that trauma and he welcomed that.  We prayed and took authority over that experience and saw God’s Kingdom come upon him.  He testified that he “felt different” after the prayer.  He also asked us to pray for the way they are exploited (working more hours than they are contractually obligated to without being paid overtime).  We did and he was so appreciative as we left.

Releasing Christ’s Kingdom is our privilege wherever we go into any and all situations that we know Christ wants to and can impact.  I challenge you to live your life today with this same intentionality and “as you go” be Christ to the people who you meet – do so naturally.

September 06, 2016

a 'True Perspective'

this post represents some unrefined thoughts about how/why we as Christians seem to get so easily derailed in our spiritual lives. I really have to thank Dan Mohler for it has been his teaching that has helped me (and our community) to see some things that many Christians miss on a regular basis.

recently in worship, the Lord gave me a picture that helped me to articulate in some ways a summary of what Dan Mohler has taught us and more importantly a summary of what the New Testament teaches as truth.

How is it that the Apostle Paul was able to learn "the secret" of being content in ALL circumstances? (Phil 4:12).  He was under "house arrest" when he wrote Philippians.  He knew beatings, abandonment, being in desperate need, etc. (see 2 Cor. 11:20-32 for a list of those hardships). In other words, his life was marked with suffering, both physical and psychological. And from multiple sources, both human and demonic.  In the midst of that type of life, that ended ultimately in his own martyrdom, he boasted about being always content.

Fast forward 2000 years, and we can think of how, if we are honest, our circumstances all-too-often dictate our spiritual well being.  I can't even begin to count how many Christians I have known through the years who have due to circumstances, wandered away from the faith: an untimely death, a broken marriage, losing a job, financial struggles, being hurt by "the Church", unanswered prayer, etc.  Circumstances dictated their contentment, or lack thereof.

The Apostle Paul knew most of those realities in his life and yet somehow his faith endured in the midst of all the shakings, all the hardship, all the problems.  What a challenge!  Oh that we would "learn the secret" that Paul learned.  And I should emphasize the word "learned" because it implies a process - not an automatic state.

The picture the Lord gave me during worship was that of a massive ocean liner of incalculable value - an unsinkable vessel that will reach its destination with 100% certainty.  Through faith in Christ, we have been invited onto this vessel and into relationship with its owner as our eternal inheritance.  We can endure the storms, not because they won't be constant, but because of the nature of the vessel in which we now live.  It is the indestructible nature of the vessel that enables us to overcome any and all circumstances we will face.

August 29, 2016

Extreme Sports Athletes and the Gospel

Why do I seem to be learning more about the nature of the Gospel and God’s Kingdom from secular extreme sports athletes than I am from other Christians these days?  As I hear their stories and consider their accomplishments, I am inspired by a level of commitment, a single-minded focus and a fearlessness that almost seems to be speaking “prophetically” to me about what total devotion looks like.

In a day when it seems that the exodus from the Church is unprecedented, I wonder if maybe “the Church” that so many are walking away from hasn’t been honest with them about the faith they are abandoning.  I watch as many of the children of dear friends of ours are choosing the world over and against the Kingdom.  In response, all-too-often the church seems to water down its message, require less and the migration out of the church only seems to speed up.

I wonder if we’ve gotten it ALL WRONG!  I think that a generation of young people have NEVER seen nor heard the real Gospel.  They haven’t heard that it will cost them everything to follow Christ. They haven’t been challenged to abandon themselves to the most exciting life imaginable.  That is why I think the Extreme Sports phenomenon is so prophetically interesting.  I see a generation of young people who are willing to die to surf the biggest waves, ski the steepest mountains, jump off of the highest buildings.  I see a level of devotion to training that boggles the mind.  And all of it speaks to me that there is a “cry” in the heart of everyone that they long for something to give their lives to and for.  Don’t tell me this generation lacks commitment and discipline – the extreme rock climbers are training harder and enduring more pain than any Navy Seal has in his/her training.  They are risking their lives for their passions and the Church has to realize that we are truly the inventors of the original “X Games”, not today’s extreme sports culture!  

In the 1st century, Jesus came to earth to invited disciples to come and die so that He could live through them and establish God’s Kingdom on the earth.  He required everything.  He was unapologetic.  He knew that the ONLY WAY the Christian life would work would be on those terms. We die, He lives.  Simple.  I want to thank the extreme sports athletes that are inspiring us all today personally for reminding me about the true nature of the Gospel and challenging me to give myself entirely to something that will last forever, even as they are giving everything for sports that are but a passing fad.

For inspiration - check out the hardest rock climb every done

August 15, 2016

the "evolution" of this blog

I spent many hours yesterday talking with a friend about pursuing God’s Kingdom and how we live it out.  We talked about so many things – I met this friend about the time we started this blog.  We spoke about our journeys, the things we have learned and are learning.  He had just started his own blog with his wife.  I was reflecting on this environment of social media and the way messages get spread.  The way people seek to “promote” things and the time/energy that is spent in getting articles, blogs, podcasts to the widest possible audiences.  When we started the “Joel 2 Generation” blog is was simply a place that our community could share testimonies about what God was doing in our midst and through our lives.  It has been a place where we were “keeping a record” of the supernatural manifestations of Christ’s Kingdom – healings, words of knowledge, dreams & visions, etc.

The funny, ironic thing about this blog is that in the past few years, we are seeing more miracles than we ever saw in the beginning.  More healings, more encounters, more Kingdom.  And yet, we seem to blog less and less.  Not sure why.  Was it the initial excitement about a new way of living as Christians?  For years, we saw so few miraculous things happen and yet when supernatural things began to happen, we couldn’t help ourselves – we HAD TO write about it.

I just thought that after considering the issue of blogging with my buddy and the lifecycle of the Joel 2 Generation blog, I thought I’d blog about it.

June 29, 2016

revelation and healing in paradise & training a new generation

While on vacation with family on a tropical island, we have seen several people healed after words of knowledge as I got to model and train a new generation.

When we were in a restaurant, I got a word that one of the staff had digestive problems and asked our server if she would find that person.  As she walked away, I got another word of knowledge that she had a neck/shoulder issue.  When she came back with the co-worker with a digestive problem, we prayed for her and for the neck/shoulder issue of our server which was in fact an issue for our server.  The Lord touched both of them.  The woman with the digestive issue said she felt a real “peace” as we prayed.  The woman with the neck/shoulder pain also testified to a change.  I didn’t lay hands on either of them but rather had these two women  lay hands on each other as I directed the prayer.  In the wake of the prayer, I got to share God’s love for them individually and sow some seeds of the Gospel.  We also got to ask the Lord to take a “gift of healing” home for one of them to heal one of the husbands.

While visiting a beach resort, I was walking by a table where two women were working.  I got a word that one of them had a right knee problem.  I went up and asked them and one of them began to look a bit shocked.  She asked the other one, “Wasn’t I just telling you about my knee problem?”  She let me pray and during the prayer something “clicked” in her knee.  She knew that it was healed!!  But it got better.  During our short interaction, I got another very clear word for a broken collar bone (I physically felt it) and I sensed it was for one of their immediate family members.  Then the same woman whose knee was healed says that her brother had just broken his collar bone and that he hadn’t done anything about it but needed to see a doctor.  I asked if she could get him on the phone, but he didn’t have a phone with him.  So I asked when she would see him next and she said, “As soon as I can NOW”!  She was ready.  So I asked if I could put in her hand a gift of healing for her to lay hand on him when she was with him (something we have done many many times before and seen the Lord work) and instructed her to pray the part of the Lord’s prayer releasing the Kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven”.  She felt something in her hand and I gave her my email so she could tell me exactly what happened.  I got to share a few things about God’s heart for them and know that this was a huge divine appointment for at least one woman that the Lord was powerfully drawing to Himself yesterday.

The great thing about each of these words of knowledge and the healing that the Lord brought in these two encounters was that my son’s girlfriend who is completely new to words of knowledge and healing got to “see” with her own eyes the way God works supernaturally to bring His Kingdom both in revelation and healing.  She also saw how much easier it was to then communicate the Gospel verbally after the Lord had worked supernaturally.  When we dropped her off at the airport right after the second one, she was eager to get into the airport and go and “pray for someone”.  What a fun way to train others and see another generation of healing evangelists getting a vision and being released!

March 28, 2016

miracles in the mountains - they communicate EVERYWHERE!

Miracles have begun in the Alps.  Very different context than the Middle East where I live, but miracles are a “language of love” that gets EVERYONE’S attention – from Arab muslims to secular Europeans.   I introduced myself as a “healer” to a guy working in a shop and he told me the owner had a bad knee that caused him problems.  I was then introduced to the owner of the shop, a Frenchman, and he explains to me that he had had major surgery on his knee (reconstructive) and that it was in constant pain with limited mobility/flexibility.  That all changed when Jesus got involved!  I had him put his hand on his own knee and after a short prayer all the pain left.  He was shocked.  He testified to his employee that in fact all the pain had left.  Next he asked me if I do something about a back problem he had – again constant pain and limited mobility.  I prayed once having him put his hand on his own back.  Some of the pain left.  I asked if I could put my hand on his back.  He agreed and after a 2nd quick prayer ALL the pain left.  He checked it out thoroughly.  So how do I know he was REALLY touched?  Well, he asked me if I could help his wife who also had a back problem that had been constant for a couple of weeks.  I offered to pray over the phone as he was talking to her and telling her about his knee AND back miracles.  Next thing I know, she is in the shop.  She was Dutch and so I got him involved in praying for her by having him put his hand on her back.  We prayed together and all the pain left after a short prayer.  She was so appreciative and then the “Kingdom Talk” began.  They wanted to know how this was possible.  I explained that like them, I was raised not to believe in the supernatural but that that had all changed in the course of the past 20 years.  I got to share my journey into the miraculous.  It was such a great opportunity and the guys we are here with run a Christian coffee shop right next door and have a relationship with this man and his wife and so the natural follow up is already in place.  

Even as I have been reading the Gospels again during this week it is so obvious how the miraculous healings of Christ grab the attention of even the most skeptical – whether a Middle Eastern muslim or Europeans materialists.  How interesting that Jesus has NEVER changed!

March 23, 2016

healed muslim calls back for friend who needs healing

The first man who was healed the other day, a Jordanian muslim, called me back tonight to tell me he was still healed of the neck problem that the Lord touched a couple of days ago.  He had a Filipino colleague who needed healing and put her on the phone – she has been constantly dizzy for 8 months, she had irritation in her eyes and she felt a heaviness, choking sensation in her neck.  First of all, I was getting a word of knowledge for her eyes and so I felt the Lord wanted me to start with that.  I asked her to put her hands on her eyes, prayed a quick prayer and immediately the sensation I was feeling ended and I told her that her eyes should be fine.  They were irritation-free!  Next I prayed for the dizziness. Almost a year of constantly feeling dizzy.  I went after that and took a spiritual warfare posture just coming against any afflicting spirits.  After prayer, for the first time in 10 months she was not dizzy.  Finally, I prayed for the choking, heaviness in her throat that she told me started at the birth of her son.  I shut any doors and took authority over the condition.  After prayer she felt normal.  I told her that when she went to bed tonight to thank Jesus because it was Him “healing every disease and sickness" (Matt 9:35) that she had!

For follow up, I have asked her to call my wife in 3 or 4 days to testify as to how things are going.  If any of the conditions return, I told her that my wife would be able to help her again and then to instruct her how to keep her freedom from the afflictions going forward.  

I love it when muslims who Jesus has healed, start referring their friends!

March 20, 2016

several muslims healed

Tonight a couple of us had about an hour to “spill” in a Middle Eastern mall.  One of the guys visiting from a neighboring muslim country wanted to get a feel for how we release the Kingdom in this nation.  We walked into a Nike Store and I got a word of knowledge for a shoulder problem.  It was wrong.  But the muslim man I asked said he had a neck problem that had been bothering him constantly for 3 days.  I asked him to put his hand on his neck, prayed the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic and he was healed!  He was also pretty shocked.  But that wasn’t all.  During my prayer for him, I got a right word of knowledge for an ear problem in his left ear.  He let me pray for that and he was healed of that as well.  I gave him my number and told him to call me in a week.  One I get to see how he is, and also to follow up and share with him more about the Kingdom.  He was asking me “how” after both of his healings.  I really felt it was time to move on and will be excited to see where things go when he calls me back.  We went into another shop and I asked about another word of knowledge for a problem in the middle of the back.  Again, I was wrong.  BUT, the muslim woman (a Filipino muslim woman who may have even been a convert to Islam).  She had a hip problem that wasn’t bothering her at the time, but I asked if I could pray anyway.  I asked her to put her hand on the affected area.  I prayed and the Spirit began to touch her hip as she said she could feel something happening.  This went on for a while because ANOTHER muslim, the manager, from the Nike Shop came in because he too needed healing.  He had heard the testimony of his co-worker and came to see what could happen.  I prayed for his hip which bothered him constantly, and was bothering him at the time and the Lord took away all the pain.  I will follow up with all of them.  God is Good and His Kingdom is EVER-expanding!

February 20, 2016

Islamic Violence and the true nature of Islam

As I have been following the news and commentaries about the current attacks by radical muslims, I think what probably concerns me the most is the continual misinformation that a politically-correct media tolerates and even promotes about the true nature of Islam.  People continue to say, “Islam is a religion of peace” when radical Islamists continue to carry out attacks all over the world.  Paris and California are but two that have gotten our attention because they happened in the West, but the attacks in Nigeria, Kenya, Turkey, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya and many other places don’t get the same media attention.  All being carried out by devout Muslims in the name of their prophet and religion.

Tragically, in the past 25 years a growing number of Christian missionaries have grown far too “sympathetic” in their assessment of the true nature of Islam and what they believe to be its initial inspiration.  Many will go to incredible lengths to defend Islam and the acts of its followers, even when those acts constitute terrorism.  They will whitewash Islamic history and ignore the problematic verses in the Qur’an.  I know that the lack of receptivity amongst Muslims for centuries led many missionaries to begin exploring with so called “new paths”, but the number of Muslims coming to faith around the world today is unprecedented in history and what lies behind such an incredible response is simply not what these “new path” missionaries think.  More on that in a minute.

To get back to the issue of Islam and the misinformation: in short, there really is much confusion and naturally people are deferring to those who they assume know what they're talking about.  What you are about to read is my contribution to the debate.

I have been a serious student of Islam for more than 25 years and have lived in the Middle East for more than two decades.  I know Arabic and can therefore read and understand the Qur’an and the Islamic traditions in their original language.  As a student of Islamic History, I also know the context in which events happened.  I should also say that I too at one time was trying to “paint” Islam in the most positive light I could – focusing on the Qur’anic verses that were peaceful and promoted tolerance.  I had hoped that something like a “Messianic Muslim” movement could be started that would sweep across the Islamic world.  God at work “on the inside” of Islam was what many of us were advocating (and many still are).  Whereas I can say with the utmost confidence that God is at work deep inside the world of Islam, it is to lead them OUT and to expose the deception that they have been living in.

And before I respond to the issue of the true nature of Islam and the source of its violence, I have a deep love for Muslims.  I have devoted my life to reaching them with the Gospel.  And unlike many who making the claim about all the muslim friends they have, I actually have and have had hundreds of Muslims friends as I live in a muslim neighborhood and work alongside them every day.

I will now speak clearly – the religion of Islam at its source was NOT peaceful and Muhammad was NOT a man of peace but of excessive violence.  Whatever one wants to say about the beginning of his life and mission (I.e. In Mecca), the way he lived up until the end of his life was full of terror and violence.  Notice I did NOT say that most Muslims are violent.  The vast majority of Muslims that I have known are peace loving and have been incredible friends.  I am grateful that they are not following the example of their prophet and the admonish to violence in their scriptures.

I can cite dozens of Qur’anic verses (I’ve supplied a link below) and far more passages from authoritative Islamic traditions (Hadith) in support of what groups like ISIS, Al Qaida and other terrorist Islamic groups are doing.  The command to kill, to behead and even to crucify are all Qur’anic injunctions that are part of the latest (most recent) revealed passages in the Qur’an.  What does this mean?  It means that the peaceful verses, the verses that you will often here moderate Muslims and the media citing have been cancelled out (abrogated) by the later, and thus binding/authoritative ones.  

Here is one example of a verse that abrogates all of the previous peaceful and tolerant verses that call for peaceful co-existence with non-Muslims and even affirm other faiths.

Surat Al Tawba (9:5) (Chapter of Repentance) - “…slay the pagans (mushrikeen) wherever you find them” (note: mushrikeen – often translated as “pagans” or “idolaters” literally means “those who have associated something/someone with God”.  This includes Christians because we believe in the Trinity and have therefore committed the sin of shirk (association) by our belief in Christ’s Deity).  I have had dozens and dozens of Muslims confirm to me that because I believe that Jesus is God and that He is the Second Person in the Holy Trinity that I am a mushrik (an associator).  Every single one of those Coptic Orthodox young men that were beheaded on the beach in Libya earlier this year were beheaded because they believed in the Trinity and were therefore mushrikeen (associators).  This very verse was being obeyed when they martyred those men.  Horrific.  This is not an isolated or a cherry-picked verse but representative of dozens and dozens of similar violent ones.

This verse of terror comes from the final chapter revealed in the Qur’an.  This is like their “Great Commission” chapter.  We have Matthew 28 – they have this chapter.  Their final word, their final marching orders.  This presents a huge problem for modern Muslims because as I said before, most are not violent, and despise violence.  Let me reaffirm once again what I said before: the vast majority of my muslim friends have been some of the kindest, most charitable people I have ever known.  

After literally centuries of almost no response to the Gospel from the Muslim World, I believe that we are living in a new season where God began to expose the true nature of Islam for all to see so that many of its captives will be set free.  It was Jesus who said that those things that are hidden will one day be exposed.  In Matthew 10:26, Jesus said, "Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  So we must not fear them.  Fear is never a legitimate Christian response.  We fear God alone.  And we welcome hidden things (I.e. the true nature of Islam) being exposed for all to see.

I am convinced that we are living in days when the true nature of Islam is being shown and will continue to be shown over and over again.  That could never have happened before the age of mass communications and a worldwide media.  The acts of ISIS and other such groups are almost instantaneously being uploaded and broadcast to the world.  News of these atrocities travels almost as fast as they happen.

In spite of the constant attempts by the moderate Muslims and ironically the Western media to declare it to be a religion of peace, Islamic violence is actually increasing all over the world.  The Middle East I live in today, is far more dangerous than the one I arrived in back in 1992.  There a many places where I could travel freely before with no problems whatsoever.  Today that would be unthinkable.  

I know that what I have just written would have me labeled an “Islamophobe” and would be called “hate speech” by many, including many Christians today.  But we cannot stand by when lies are being uttered, and Islam is being portrayed as something its own scriptures and tradition completely undermine.  Especially when the exposure of the violent nature of Islam is now one of the leading factors that is leading Muslims OUT OF Islam.  While it is true that many are turning to atheism in the abandonment of Islam (sadly because they assume that Christianity must be no different), I can attest to this being a major factor in the lives of the Muslims I have been discipling recently.  Violence in Islam helped lead them to Christ.

If these verses are so prevalent, and these chapters in early Islamic history so clearly full of violence, why doesn’t every Muslim see these things or know about them?  How do they reconcile these things with their own practice of their faith?  Essentially, I believe it boils down to deception.  Many simply don’t see it, even when you show it to them.  

For example, a couple of us were meeting with a devout Shi’ite muslim who I had prayed for to be healed.  During the course of an interesting conversation, I told him that I was grateful that he didn’t obey the Qur’an.  He was confused.  So I showed him the verse - “Do not take for yourselves friends from amongst the Christians and Jews”.  He refused to believe that it was talking about friendship although I was showing him the verse in Arabic.  It simply didn’t “fit” with his interpretation of what Islam is supposed to be.  Another example in that same conversation was when I challenged the Islamic belief that Muhammad was without sin (a universally held belief by all branches and sects of Islam).  However in 4 different places in the Qur’an God is commanding Muhammad to “seek forgiveness for HIS OWN sin”.  I showed this Shi’ite young man the verse in Arabic – I broke down the grammar and the vocabulary of this incredibly clear verse.  It didn’t matter what the Qur’an said – he was convinced of something else and so it didn’t matter what the clear Arabic said.  Deception.  

It is exactly the same with the dozens and dozens of horrifically violent verses in the Qur’an.  Because most of the world’s muslims are in practice peaceful people, and and as I said this is our experience living amongst muslims for nearly 25 years, they simply refuse to see and admit that these verses are there.  Or they try to explain them away as metaphorical, or not applicable today. They just continue to repeat the oft-cited mantra, “Islam is a religion of peace”.  As if saying that somehow makes it true.

Again, here’s the problem.  One of the main factors that is helping muslims to leave Islam today and come to Christ is the realization that they have been deceived.  That Islam is NOT the peaceful religion they had always been told.  They are going back into the Qur’an and into their authoritative traditions and discovering that their prophet was not a man of peace, that he was anything but tolerant.  This is a major crisis that is currently going on in Islam.  One of the common trends has been for modern muslims to completely reject the Hadith (Islamic traditions) and to be essentially “Quran-only” muslims as the traditions are so violent and so indefensible in a modern rationalistic world that they’ve abandoned them.  They are still left with all the violence in the Qur’an.  

What is so tragic is that many Christians, and sadly many Christian missionaries, perpetuate the lie that Islam at it’s source is a peaceful religion.  Are their peaceful teachings in the Qur’an?  Yes, but as I said (and this is according to Islamic Qur’an interpretation) they were abrogated (cancelled out, deemed non-applicable) by the more later “revelations”.  So it is exactly opposite of what we have in the Bible.  Jesus’ teaching supersedes anything in the Old Testament and we are bound by His commands.  Thankfully, Christ left us “a new and living way”.  In Islam it is just the opposite.  The earliest verses in the Qur’an, which is where you find the peaceful and tolerant ones, have been replaced by the later commands to attack, to kill, to subdue, to behead, and to even to crucify non-muslims.  If anyone is interested, here is a link that highlights many of those violence verses in both the Qur’an and the Islamic traditions -

So we love muslims, we befriend them and we share with them the love of Christ and His Gospel.  What we don’t do is to acquiesce to the “spirit of the age” (the political correctness) and agree with ridiculous statements about Islam that are historically untrue and in contradiction to the clear teachings of the Qur’an

It is like God is wielding a two-edged sword – doing miraculous things in the lives of muslims AND exposing the falseness of their religion and the lies they have believed.  It is these two factors that are behind the greatest number of muslims coming to Christ in all of history.  It is happening all over the Muslim world and in the lives of Muslims who have emigrated elsewhere.  And as countless Christians have suffered martyrdom at the hands of Islamic extremists, the world is watching.  The world is also seeing the true nature of Christianity as many of these martyrs have willingly given their lives instead of denying Christ.  They have been seen praying for their very executioners at the time they were being slain.  Powerful and so much like Christ Himself who uttered the words, “Father, Forgive them, for they know not what they do” even as an act of terrorism was being committed against Him.