Where does Islam come into Prophecy?

I do not know the answer to that.  God has told us to be intelligent as to the signs of the times (Matt. 16:3), but also, ‘It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.’ (Acts 1:7). As a good teacher, who was in the meeting I attend, used to say ‘The prophetic clock has stopped’.

John said, ‘Even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18). Doubtless Mohammed was one of these, and his legacy is still around. Even now a fanatical group, ISIS, is gaining momentum in Syria and Iraq seeking to establish a caliphate uniting the entire Muslim world and rule with strict Islamic code. Where will that lead?

We read of various satanic beings in Revelation – the Antichrist, the beast, the false prophet, the harlot, all murderous and all enemies of God’s people (of course we will not be there!). Is Islam’s activity foretold in Rev. 9, Abaddon /Apollyon (the destroyer) being one of the names of Allah? Will Rome make a pact with Islam, reconciling the Sunni and Shiite factions, having successfully united apostate Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christendom?

What are your thoughts?

Of course, let us not get too hung up with prophecy. It is important, but not to be studied academically or out of curiosity. Just so we can be those waiting for the Lord’s return – ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come’ (Rev 22:17)

Sosthenes

June 2014

 

 

False Ideas of Right and Wrong

A false as notion as to what is right and wrong may incite a person’s passion, leading to rebellion and even violence.

Education and circumstances may corrupt judgment.  A false as notion as to what is right and wrong may incite a person’s passion, leading to rebellion and even violence. [Witness Islamic fundamentalism – Sosthanes.]

Based on a passage in on J. N. Darby: ‘Conscience’ – Notes and Comments Vol. 1, p 104

See also

Sosthenes

‘Experts in the Art of Dying’ –  Christ-like Conduct During the Armenian Genocide   

I have just read an article about this in the Barnabas Fund Magazine. They reproduced some experiences recorded shortly after this awful happening. These were put together by Sisag Manoogian in 2014, under the title above. Persons, driven from their homes, knew that survival was impossible behaved in a Christ-like way, praying for and loving their tormentors. Many of the stories – there must be thousands more – were from the memories of Turkish Muslims, some of whom doubtless turned to the Lord as a result of the conduct of these poor people.

Christians are still suffering for the Name, even in Britain, let alone the Middle East, Africa and North Korea.

armenia 1I am writing this on the day that Armenia is marking on the 100th anniversary of the terrible persecution, massacre and genocide of the Christian Armenians at the hands of the Moslem Turks. Not that the persecution was necessarily because they were Christians, but the way in which this benighted people behaved in the face of such atrocities was Christian, and a model for us all.

I have just read an article about this in the Barnabas Fund Magazine. They reproduced some experiences recorded shortly after this awful happening. These were put together by Sisag Manoogian in 2014, under the title above. Persons, driven from their homes, knew that survival was impossible behaved in a Christ-like way, praying for and loving their tormentors. Many of the stories – there must be thousands more – were from the memories of Turkish Muslims, some of whom doubtless turned to the Lord as a result of the conduct of these poor people.

Christians are still suffering for the Name, even in Britain, let alone the Middle East, Africa and North Korea.

 

One is reminded of the letter to Smyrna.

8And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;9I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. 10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Rev 2:8-11)

Here are some extracts:

 

      • Some ferocious gendarmes marveled when seeing men and women, even children, instead of trembling in the presence of death, show calm and dignity, and instead of cursing, pray for the forgiveness of their murderers. In their defenselessness they tried to defend the weaker ones: in their hunger they shared their last piece of bread with the poorest.

 

      • The pastor of the Syrian church in Ourfa saw thousands of women and children, who were exhausted with the journey, and so had to spend one night on the ground there, and march on next morning. He said nearly all were hungry, thirsty, and literally naked. Some of them found pieces of charcoal and wrote on the rocks, ‘As Jesus did not deny us, do not deny Him: We have not denied Him, follow us’.

 

      • These women were asked to repeat a short sentence after the Turkish teacher, or lift up their testimonial finger to show that they were willing to accept Islam, which meant they could stay free in their homes, but they refused, choosing rather to suffer and die in the desert.

 

      • The Armenians gave up everything precious, but clung to their Bibles. They thanked God first before they drank water after five days‘ hot journey in the desert without anything to quench their thirst. Innocent victims showed wonderful peace and offered earnest prayers for the salvation of Turks and Turkey, before the rope was around their necks to hang them.

 

      • On one occasion Elmas saw a line of Armenian children being systematically beheaded by Turkish soldiers. Terrible thunder and lightning broke out, which the Turks relished as showing the approval of Allah for the killing of the Christian children. But when a bolt of lightning killed some of those doing the beheading, the rest of the soldiers were terrified, stopped the beheadings, and sent the remaining children away.

 

      • The Turkish authorities rounded up the elderly, the women and the children, and told them they were going to walk to Der El-Zor, near Aleppo, where they could settle and live. All of them, even the pregnant women, were forced along the route in the heat of the summer of 1915. Eventually they realised that their promised destination was an empty desert region, with no settlements, no food and no water.

 

      • The Armenian men were told by their captors, ‘Convert to Islam and you will be safe.’ The Armenians shouted, ‘We are Christians!’ In response the Turkish soldiers doused the church building [where the men were imprisoned] with flammable liquid and set it on fire.

24 April 2015

‘I hope that God accepts Me for what I’ve done’

A few years ago, the company I ran was going to be bought by a very devote Muslim businessman in Britain. I got on well with him, and in general he was upright in business, and generous to a number of charitable causes. At one break in a meeting he was talking about his work. He said ‘I hope that God accepts me for what I’ve done’. I immediately replied ‘Abdul*, I know that God has already accepted me because of what Jesus has done!”.

islam-to-christianity

A few years ago, the company I ran was going to be bought by a very devote Muslim businessman in Britain.  I got on well with him, and in general he was upright in business, and generous to a number of charitable causes.  At one break in a meeting he was talking about his work.  He said ‘I hope that God accepts me for what I’ve done’.  I immediately replied ‘Abdul*, I know that God has already accepted me because of what Jesus has done!”.

A few weeks later I was chatting with his son and daughter who ran their company.  They wanted me to be a guide to Ismail*.  We got talking about the differences between Christianity and Islam.  I asked ‘How good to you have to be to pass God’s test?  Is it like in an exam, 47%?’  Of course they had no answer.  That set me going with the gospel.  Ismail* was not really interested, but Faiza* was taking in every word.  I believe that secretly she had given her heart to the Lord Jesus.  But she sat there in her hijab, and didn’t admit to her faith.  I don’t blame her when you consider the possible consequences.    Thank God for His deliverance.

Not surprisingly, the next day I received an email from Abdul* terminating the relationship

* Not their real names.

Pakistan

We read a lot about problems that Christians face in Muslim countries: Pakistan is as bad as any. There is a sad story about the couple who were burned alive. We wonder what goes through peoples’ minds – we are reminded of Saul of Tarsus. God can make those poor people think.

 

pakistanFocus on Pakistan

We read a lot about problems that Christians face in Muslim countries: Pakistan is as bad as any.  There is a sad story about the couple who were burned alive.  We wonder what goes through peoples’ minds – we are reminded of Saul of Tarsus.  God can make those poor people think.

Then today’s shocking news: 141 killed in a school by the Taliban. Muslims killing Muslims.

My interest in Pakistan goes back to my young days. The sister of one of my friends was at Oxford University. Being a Christian she found herself outside some of the fraternities (or sororities). Another outsider was Benazir Bhutto, whose father was then prime minister. He was assassinated; then in 2007 Benazir herself lost her life too when campaigning for re-election to the same position. There was much corruption – and violence.

In our conurbation of 250,000 people we have only a few who follow Islam.  There are, I think, two mosques.  However it is important for us to remind ourselves of the sufferings of our brethren in Islamic countries – Satan behind the aggressors – ‘Whom resist, stedfast in faith, knowing that the selfsame sufferings are accomplished in your brotherhood which [is] in [the] world’ (1 Peter 5:9 Darby).

Adoss Newsletter No 15 December 2014

A few years ago, the company I ran was going to be bought by a very devote Muslim businessman in Britain. I got on well with him, and in general he was upright in business, and generous to a number of charitable causes. At one break in a meeting he was talking about his work. He said ‘I hope that God accepts me for what I’ve done’. I immediately replied ‘Abdul*, I know that God has already accepted me because of what Jesus has done!”.

Zech 4:10
Who hath despised the day of small things

Adoss Newsletter No 15

December 2014

A Day of Small Things

By Σωσθένης Ὁἀδελφὸς – Sosthenes the Brother

 

 

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

 

Focus on Pakistan

We read a lot about problems that Christians face in Muslim countries: Pakistan is as bad as any.  There is a sad story about the couple who were burned alive.  We wonder what goes through peoples’ minds – we are reminded of Saul of Tarsus.  God can make those poor people think.

Then today’s shocking news: 141 killed in a school by the Taliban. Muslims killing Muslims.

My interest in Pakistan goes back to my young days. The sister of one of my friends was at Oxford University. Being a Christian she found herself outside some of the fraternities (or sororities). Another outsider was Benazir Bhutto, whose father was then prime minister. He was assassinated; then in 2007 Benazir herself lost her life too when campaigning for re-election to the same position. There was much corruption – and violence.

In our conurbation of 250,000 people we have only a few who follow Islam.  There are, I think, two mosques.  However it is important for us to remind ourselves of the sufferings of our brethren in Islamic countries – Satan behind the aggressors – ‘Whom resist, stedfast in faith, knowing that the selfsame sufferings are accomplished in your brotherhood which [is] in [the] world’ (1 Peter 5:9 Darby).

 

‘Walking in the Light of the Assembly’ in Urdu

A few months ago I was approached by a sister in Pakistan for help in publishing this booklet in Urdu. She provided me with a translation, and during the past month I sent her a number of copies in her native language. (Not an easy job as their books go ‘backwards’). Rabail had had a good job but lost it when she was converted. Recently she has been running an orphanage for which I put her in touch with the Barnabas Fund for financial support.

 

‘I hope that God accepts Me for what I’ve done’

A few years ago, the company I ran was going to be bought by a very devote Muslim businessman in Britain.  I got on well with him, and in general he was upright in business, and generous to a number of charitable causes.  At one break in a meeting he was talking about his work.  He said ‘I hope that God accepts me for what I’ve done’.  I immediately replied ‘Abdul*, I know that God has already accepted me because of what Jesus has done!”.

A few weeks later I was chatting with his son and daughter who ran their company.  They wanted me to be a guide to Ismail*.  We got talking about the differences between Christianity and Islam.  I asked ‘How good to you have to be to pass God’s test?  Is it like in an exam, 47%?’  Of course they had no answer.  That set me going with the gospel.  Ismail* was not really interested, but Faiza* was taking in every word.  I believe that secretly she had given her heart to the Lord Jesus.  But she sat there in her hijab, and didn’t admit to her faith.  I don’t blame her when you consider the possible consequences.    Thank God for His deliverance.

Not surprisingly, the next day I received an email from Abdul* terminating the relationship

* Not their real names.

 

Men and Animals

Billions are spent on proving that we are no better than animals. A probe was sent to a comet to determine if that was the source of life. Of course they came to the conclusion that it wasn’t. They could have saved all that money by reading Genesis 1.

But it is quite amazing to see how intelligent – even ‘religious’ – some animals are. A few days ago I saw a video about a herd of elephants. They knew where new sources of food were and where they would be safe from poachers. On their route they passed some bones of a long-deceased elephant – maybe an ancestor. They stopped and gathered round them very reverentially. They treated it like a shrine.

Are people any different? They speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves (Jude: 10).

But we know, don’t we, that man is special. Created in God’s image, man became a living soul. (Gen 1:27, 2:7)

 

Christmas

No ADOSS reader believes that Jesus was born on 25 December. So called Christmas has become a season of self indulgence and commercialism where God is left out entirely.

Some of our friends will have nothing to do with Christmas and if that is what they feel, then I respect them for it. Personally we see it as an opportunity to entertain elderly ones who would otherwise be on their one, and to provide something for the children.

So may I take this opportunity of wishing you, and your family, God’s richest blessings at this time – and if the Lord does not come for us, or if we are taken to be with Him – a happy and healthy 2015. 

God’s blessings, your brother,

Sosthenes Hoadelphos

 

Let us cry to God for those whose Lives are in Danger 

Aasia Bibi’s appeal against death sentence rejected’.

asia_bibi_a_4X3The headline on an email I received this week says ‘Aasia Bibi’s appeal against death sentence rejected’.  This young mother has been languishing in prison since being falsely accused by some of her co-workers of defiling the name of Mohammed.  The government of Pakistan could well bow to international pressure in such a high profile case.  But how many others are there? – in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Nigeria, North Korea knowing the literality of the verse, ‘Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life’.  (Rev 2:10).

We may not know them, but they are our brethren.

May we, like they, be kept close to the Lord.

Adoss Newsletter – No 11 – August 2014

 

Zech 4:10
Who hath despised the day of small things

By Σωσθένης Ὁἀδελφὸς – Sosthenes the Brother

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord

 

A Year Old?

ADOSS has been going for a year, and it’s been blessed. Thank God for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in selecting the articles to be summarised, and for help in doing the work. Thank God too for bringing so many interested and interesting people to the website (about 200 hits a day), and for the correspondence that I have been able to enter into.

What have been the results? I can leave that with God. Somebody sarcastically wrote to me saying, ‘And how many have found the assembly?’ First – 99% of people who write are already in it. Second – I don’t know what they have found practically, but I am happy if they understand a little more that our calling collectively is a heavenly one, that the leader of the church is Christ Himself, and that what is here does not need human organisation.

 

Christianity or Islam?

islam-to-christianityI received an email from a gentleman in Pakistan (I believe) saying that he wants to convert from being a Muslim to Christianity. This prompted me to think a bit about what that means.

Does it matter what I am called? Despite having been a servant of the Lord for years Paul said, ‘I am a Pharisee!’ That was his religion. It didn’t matter to him – it was dead. So if somebody says ‘I’m a Christian’, or Roman Catholic, or Anglican, or Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim – it can be equally as dead.

Life is alone in Jesus. He said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’ (John 14:6) . He said ‘Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.’ (John 5:40).

For the answer I gave my enquirer see Convert from Islam to Christianity , and for some further thoughts, Islam or Christian – does it matter?

 

Planting Churches

churchI have recently published an article – Establishing, or Planting Churches – based on J N Darby’s paper – ‘On the Formation of Churches’. In it Darby looked at the various attempts there were to reform the position, creating more and more sectarian divisions. The universality of the church had been lost sight of.

There is an expression that is current now, (not in Darby’s time) as to the planting of churches. But a ‘planted church’ from another nearby one presumes that there was no assembly of God in the target locality. This is almost never the case.

How are we to meet then? Doing nothing is not an option. But before doing anything, we must feel deeply the ruined state of the church, acting with less presumption and more diffidence.

We must separate ourselves from evil, (2 Tim 2:19) i.e. what is at variance with the word. We do not plant a church, we just assemble together. Jesus aaid, ‘For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.’ (Matt.18:20).   We must acknowledge our weakness and dependence upon God. God is sufficient for His church. Despite the ruin, power is available. So if we call upon Him, He will raise up whatever is needed for the blessing of the saints. Let us acknowledge the authority of Christ, for He rules as Son over His house (whose house are we), whilst the Spirit of God is the sole power in the church. Anything else is pretence, under the domination of man. There is no promise in favour of the system by which men organise churches, but there is the promise of the Lord’s presence for those who ‘assemble together’. Such is the position, humble it may be, but it is blessed by God, even if it is despised by men

 

An Outline to the Bible

bibleJohn Nelson Darby is well known for his Synopsis, but he also produced a very concise summary of each book. I have reproduced most of these outlines, lightly edited – see A Brief Outline of the Books of the Bible.

 

Have a Pleasant Holiday

We are still down here, so we enjoy temporal blessings too. A few of our brethren are suffering – fleeing from ISIS terrorists for example. But most readers of ADOSS readers are able to travel around freely. The holiday season is an opportunity to meet other brothers and sisters in their own places and share with them the joy of being in the fellowship of God’s Son.

 

May you be blessed

Sosthenes Hoadelphos

Islam or Christian – does it matter?

Dead religion is dead religion. Paul said I’m a Pharisee!’ That was his religion.

I have been thinking: Suppose I was in Iraq and my town was overrun by the ISIS terrorists, forcing me, along with all other Christians to flee. Or worse, I was captured, what would I do?

islam-to-christianity

Dead religion is dead religion. Paul said I’m a Pharisee!’ That was his religion.

I have been thinking: Suppose I was in Iraq and my town was overrun by the ISIS terrorists, forcing me, along with all other Christians to flee. Or worse, I was captured, what would I do?

Assuming I was not shot, they might say ‘Will you convert to Islam?’ How would I answer? Of course I could say ‘No way!’ – so I would be shot – absent from the body and present with the Lord – a blessed end, but is this the end that God would have wanted for me?

I thought about the Lord before Pontius Pilate. He stood His ground – not compromising, but not incriminating Himself. Even more Paul – maybe he overstepped the mark in guile (not like the Lord), when he split the Pharisees and Sadducees, but he said that he was a Pharisee. It did not matter to him if he ws classed as belonging to just another Jewish sect in the way which they call sect, so I serve my fathers’ God. (Acts 24:14)

So I could say ‘I’m under islam’ (small-s – but I would be speaking anyway). Let’s face it: ‘islam’ means submission [to the will of God and obedience to His law]. I have no problem with that.

Of course if they asked me to deny my Saviour I could not do that. But what if I am told to recite ‘La illaha illa Allah’ – There is no God but God (Arab Christians call God Allah) – I could even say – and Mohammed is a prophet of a god (small-g). Would they notice?

Then I could go on testifying to Jesus – maybe even those terrorist might be brought to repentance,

 

Convert from Islam to Christianity

i want to convert my religion (currently I am muslim but know i want to convert in christian) so please help me how can i do

islam-to-christianityThe Question

The other day I received a message from a young man.   He did not say where from – Pakistan maybe.   He said:

I want to convert my religion (currently I am Muslim) but know I want to convert in Christian.  So please help me how can I do.

 

My Answer

Dear M

Thank you for your interesting question. You would think I would be delighted that you want to change your religion. In fact I am not! Why?

Because I want you to get to know Jesus yourself, and find Him to be your own personal Saviour.

That is not a matter of religion.

You are, no doubt a good Muslim. From that I mean that you obey the Koran, you do what your Imams and Mullahs tell you. And they tell you that if you obey you will go to heaven when you die.

If you convert to Christianity as another religion you will want to be a good Christian. From that I mean that you obey the ten commandments, you do what your priests and bishops tell you. And they tell you that if you obey you will go to heaven when you die.

What’s the difference? It is just one religion for another – and you will be very disappointed – disillusioned even.

So what is it then?

Religion is based on fear. True Christianity is based on love. – There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear (The Bible: John’s first letter – chapter 4, verse 18)

The Bible tells us: (I hope you have one – if not give me your address and I will send one). Read Paul’s letter to the Romans where he works out the whole matter of why we need salvation. It says in Romans chapter 5

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

This means that we believe God – that is faith –  we are justified before God – so God does not look on what sins or good deeds that we have done – however many or few they might be – because He does not accept us on that basis.  Our good deeds cannot save – the prophet Isaiah described them as filthy rags (See Isaiah chapter 64 verse 6).  The wages of sin is death. (See Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapter 6 verse 23)  Jesus (who is also called Emmanuel – God with us – Yes, God become Man) died for our sins – He paid the penalty for us – so that we might live. God therefore sees us on the basis of what Jesus has done and what Jesus is – not what we have done and what we are. Indeed justification means that God sees me as if I had done nothing wrong at all.

Let me tell you a story. I used to have business dealings with a very rich, but devout Muslim gentleman. He had given a lot of money to charity. One day he said to me – “I hope God accepts me for what I’ve done’ My reply was, ‘My dear friend, I know that God has already accepted me because of what Jesus has done.” – you see the difference.

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

– God’s grace – God coming to us in love and blessing us when we had no right even for forgiveness ourselves. It is all from God’s side.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience;

– God didn’t promise us an easy path

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

– But there’s hope.

5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us

– God even dwells in the Christian because the Holy Spirit is God. This may be difficult for a Muslim (rightly taught that there is only one God) to understand, but we know God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three Persons – one God. Just accept this by faith. That is how God has revealed Himself.

6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

– Jesus came here and died so that we might not. Either Jesus will come, or we will fall asleep in Jesus.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die.

8 But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

– You cannot say that of Mohammed.

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

– Nothing to fear.

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

– God loves His enemies – He gave Jesus to save them. That is why Christians are taught to love their enemies and do good to those who hate them (See Matthew chapter 5).

11 And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.

– Reconciliation. Religions try to bridge the gap between God and man. Christianity does not bridge the gap – it removes it. That is what is meant by reconciliation.

God has come to us in Jesus.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John’s gospel – chapter 3 verse 16.

 

I hope that I have answered some of your questions. You may have more, please write.

But I cannot do anything myself. Yes, I will pray for you. But you must turn to God yourself. Tell Him that you need a Saviour, and He will tell you – ‘You can have a Saviour – that is Jesus’

May you get to know Jesus personally, my dear friend.

Yours in affection
Sosthenes