May 2014 (Updated 2017)
We first came to know Brother D in 2002 when he invited us to his area to conduct The Elijah Challenge Training. In this area live the world’s largest unreached, gospel-resistant people group whose religion is the predominant one in the Middle East.
The following year in 2003 we returned to the same area at his invitation to hold the Training on a larger scale and after that to lead an event specifically targeting this resistant people group. In this event the gospel would be preached and the sick healed in Jesus’ name to demonstrate to them that Jesus is the only way to the Father. At the meeting, approximately one-half of the so-called gospel-resistant people present made the decision to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior after hearing the gospel and witnessing and experiencing miraculous healings.
After that Brother D and his co-worker teamed up to take the gospel directly to their villages. Led mostly by the partner, as of 2017 their ministry has led over 4,000 of the people to Christ and reached 70 villages by healing the sick and proclaiming the kingdom of God to them. Religious leaders of this people are also following Jesus. The people are being trained to reach their own people by preaching the gospel, healing the sick, and casting out demons as Jesus commanded His disciples. According to Brother D, no other ministry in his country reaching out to this unreached gospel-resistant people group has been nearly as fruitful.
There are at least two key elements to their fruitfulness we would like to mention: the miraculous healings performed in the name of Jesus, and the preaching of the pure gospel which the powerful miracles afford them. Instead of sharing a watered-down version which stresses God’s “wonderful plan for their lives on earth” and His earthly blessings on them if they follow Jesus, they tell the people to expect persecution and suffering if they follow Jesus Christ. Because they are convicted of the absolute truth of the gospel through the powerful healings which take place, the people are willing to pay the price of following the Lord.
When the Lord confirms the gospel with undeniable miracles, we do not need to sweeten it in any way to make it more palatable to our hearers, but we can preach it as it is.
In addition to expecting persecution, the believers are taught to live holy lives and to do good. When outsiders (others in this people group who have not converted to Christ) see the upstanding lives which they live, they are persuaded to accept them as followers of Jesus Christ and do not reject or exclude them from the community. When persecution comes—and there has been some—they are ready and will not deny the Lord.
However, these believers are not “Christians” in the traditional sense. Rather they are obedient followers of Jesus Christ. Did Jesus ever teach that we must become “Christians” in order to be saved?
Similarly, Messianic believers are not “Christians”, but are they saved? Absolutely.