From Shia To Yeshua
| By Marty Shoub |

It is not everyday that Ohalei Rachmim hosts a guest speaker from Iran but on the evening of June 7th, we welcomed a brother who was once a Shia Muslim dedicated to the cause of Islam. Reza Safa grew up an ardent Muslim. His father was an eminent Islamic scholar, who used to take his young son to secret meetings with Ayatollahs, the same Ayatollahs that staged the Islamic revolution and rule Iran today.

Reza Safa, Iranian preacher encouraging Israelis
During the revolution Reza had been studying in the U.S.A. His student visa was revoked on account of the American hostage crisis and Reza returned to Iran. Reza supported the revolution but something inside him compelled him to leave. Unsure of what to do, he decided to call upon a friend living in Sweden. There a believer gave Reza a Farsi New Testament and Reza began to read. Reza explained, "The more I read the more intrigued I became about Yeshua and confused about Mohammed."

Reza had been a dedicated Muslim. He took extreme measures to demonstrate his devotion; he would travel eighteen hours to the gravesite of an Imam to ensure his prayers would be answered. After six months of reading the New Covenant scriptures he could find no fault with Yeshua but was struggling with making the final transition to faith. Like many others before him, Reza called out to the Savior in desperation, "Yeshua, if you are the Messiah show yourself to me!"

Reza had never heard an answer at the dead Imam's tomb but after he called out to Yeshua he heard a gentle voice speaking to his heart: "Reza you don't need to pray this way anymore, your sins have been forgiven."

Reza found joy in the Messiah but also loneliness as his family completely rejected him and his Western Christian friends didn't understand him. He went through a painful three year process where the Spirit of God completely stripped away his old Muslim mindset and gave him a new biblical foundation of understanding.

God had called Reza to be one of His sent ones, especially to Reza's own Iranian people. Fifteen years ago, the Spirit spoke to Reza that there would be a great revival among the Muslim people and he began to pray in earnest for the salvation of Muslims. Five years ago the Lord told Reza to purchase TV production equipment. He began taping shows with no way to air them. He wondered if he had heard the Spirit correctly but within a year, satellite stations were launched to beam programming into Iran and Reza's TV ministry, "Roz-e-nejat" (day of salvation) was born.

The response has been overwhelming. Iranians have responded dramatically to the simple Gospel presentation. Reza explained that many Muslims are hungry for God. What we see as radical militarism is many times a sincere (albeit misguided) effort to please God by people who have great zeal without the knowledge of God's love for them in Yeshua. "Roz-e-nejat" has a call center to respond to viewers and after each broadcast the phones are ringing off the hook with viewers giving testimony of how Yeshua revealed Himself to them. According to Reza, this is unprecedented. Even ten years ago the Gospel made seeming little impact on Iranian society; now Reza told us many thousands are coming to faith.

Reza gave one amazing testimony of a new believer in Iran. This man had been a drug addict for nineteen years. In a dream, a man appeared to him with a cell phone and asked him if he wanted to speak with Yeshua on the phone. Placing the phone next to his ear, he said hello but received no answer. Still in his dream, he looked at the cell phone and saw on the screen the phone number for Reza's TV program's office. The man woke up remembering the phone number, dialed Reza's office and explained his dream to one of Reza's staff members. After hearing the Gospel, this man received salvation and deliverance!

Avishalom translating for Reza Safa
Faith in God's Word is the heart of Reza's message. Today, many believers are worried and perhaps even scared of the rise of Islam and the threats made by some of their political leaders. Reza knows, perhaps better than most, the reality of militant Islam and is not ignorant to the dangers faced by believers in his country. Reza himself, constantly faces death threats by those who oppose his message. He is no pie-eyed Pollyanna. Yet, he remains enthusiastically optimistic. He encouraged us not to give in to fear but to see with eyes of faith that the God of Israel is in control. He boldly testified: "They have been trying to kill me for years and have not been able to do so. If they cannot get rid of me what chance do you think they have to destroy Israel, the Apple of God's eye?"

Reza's definition of faith is being sure of God's will. When the disciples feared for their life as the storm threatened to sink their boat, Yeshua rebuked them. Reza explained, "Yeshua had told them to head out on the water because He needed to continue His ministry on the other side of the lake. Storm or no storm, boat or no boat, if Yeshua said they were going to the other side, then they were going to the other side. If we know what the Bible says about Israel, then we shouldn't worry."

This is not the first time that a ruler in Persia has threatened to destroy the Jewish people. If the story of Esther tells us anything, it tells us that God is in control and no one can thwart His will. Reza encouraged us to reject fear and instead, reach out to Iranians and other Muslim people with love. "Pray for the salvation of the Iranian people!" he pleaded with us.

As I listened to Reza and heard his amazing testimony, I marveled at the transforming power of the Gospel. This man, raised to hate us, now loves us. This man, who naturally speaking should be my enemy, is my brother. There is no other power in the heavens or on earth that can make such a complete and dramatic transformation. Truly, the Love of God never fails.

 

By Martin Shoub


Editor's Note: RE Cottage Industries, Oasis Magazine, June 2007
Tikkun International and the Tents of Mercy network do not endorse the doctrinal positions contained in "The Way of The Upright" website. We apologize for any confusion caused by referencing this site in last month's magazine.


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Comments:
07:53 10Jul07 Candy Garcia -
This is a beautiful testimony of G_D. It is wonderful how G_D can unite both Jewish and non-Jewish believers together in Agape Love. I am praying for both Jewish people and non Jewish people's Salvation and I also pray for Israel.

10:41 10Jul07 Geraldo Arnaldo Stumm -
Olá! Deus os abençoe. A paz do Senhor Jesus Cristo para todos... Every day I'm praying for the salvation of the Muslims, especially for the Iranians. I know that is impossible to destroy Israel, we have just to keep praying, and the big revival will coming over the Muslims and Jews together, because Yeshua loves them all. Your brother in Brazil.

18:51 01Jul07 Virginia Pastrano -
This is such a touching story and testimony of how G_d is reaching out to Muslims. Sometimes the things that are occurring in the Middle East, especially the threats aimed at Israel makes us forget that G_d loves Muslims and we also forget that we need to be praying for and as Reza reminds and encourages us to not be afraid. I thank and praise G-d for showing us how much he loves Muslims and Jews and the rest of us. 21:37 10Jul07 Beverley -
Reza's testimony made my spirit jump with glee! We are seeing our Lord do amazing things with many kinds of people we never thought would get saved!! How could we ever doubt that Yeshua is returning soon! Reza looks like my many friends here in Hawaii! We really are His people, aren't we!! Bless God! 03:51 11Jul07 Brenda Sijl-Hillebrand -
This is a wonderful testimony.I'm praying for Israel and for their enemies. Our Lord loves everybody and so do I. Our Lord is Almighty.

20:17 13Jul07 Connie Hixenbaugh -
Thank you so much for sharing this, Marty! This testimony should be written for all Christians to read! "Reza encouraged us to reject fear and instead, reach out to Iranians and other Muslim people with love. Pray for the salvation of the Iranian people!" The very heartbeat of Yeshua is always love and mercy! Thank you again for sharing this. I am encouraged and reminded to always pursue love!!!

17:57 15Jul07 anonymous -
This was an awesome story of God's love working through many and a mighty encouragement to the people of Israel of God's unfailing love and faithfulness.

19:38 15Jul07 Helen Nanong -
I Praise Yeshua!!! This is truely the hand of God. This is encouraging as I continue to pray for the salvation of Jews and non-Jews, all the way from Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.

22:57 19Jul07 Mary White -
Praise G_d for his faithfulness not only to the sons of Isaac, but also to the sons of Ismael. His testimony has helped me with holding my faith with no fear.

00:42 23Jul07 Rev. Lizzetta Crittle -
I was priviledged to be a volunter in Reza's ministry while I attended Bible College in Oklahama. Each morning his staff and volunteers met to pray for those who did not know Jesus as Lord and we would always pray for the muslims to to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I'm so glad to see how the Lord is using this man of God to reach his people. I enjoyed reading this article and am thankful for having had the opportunity to be a part of this ministry.

01:47 02Aug07 anonymous -
I hope more people like him, Walid Shoebat and other former Muslims increase in numbers throughout the world. It's amazing how G-D uses incredible dreams among Muslims. That is proof of G-D's divine work among His people and it continues to mystify me. It's just too incredible to pass off as anything other than miraculous.


Also in this issue of the newsletter:

Dan Juster: Judeo-Christian Values
Eitan Shishkoff: Fire on the Mountain
Youval Yanay: Sensation in Scandinavia
David & Orit Shishkoff: Train Up Your Children