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(Ex. John 3:16-20)

Jesus : I am the way, the truth and the life.

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Vol. 13 / Issue 20 / June 16 2011

Contents of this issue

Editorial
The Story of Mark A Gabriel - Part 3
A Special Card for Father's Day
Join us in Facebook

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

By Sherly Isaac

In the Bible we read about God as a loving Father. As we are going to celebrate Father's day on 19th June, I thought that it is a good idea to reflect on the qualities of God as Father.

The very first quality of God as a Father is that He wants to forgive our sins. In Psalms 103:2-3 we read, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,"

When Adam and Eve sinned against God, disobeying His commandment, God had the choice to destroy them right then and there, but He chose to correct and restore man's faulty sinful life. Genesis 3:21 indicates the first animal sacrifice for the atonement of their sins and the skin of animal to hide their shame. Gen 3:21, "Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them."

We see the picture of God as a loving Father helping to solve the problem of Adam and Eve in which they were in. Later God provided a permanent solution for the sins of humankind by giving Himself as sacrifice. By doing this He made a way for every person that he/she could get salvation and eternal life.

Psalmist says in Psalms 103:11-14, "For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust."

God pities on them those who fear Him just as a worldly father pities on his children.

Not only God forgives our sins but also heals all our diseases. Sometimes people think that God is only interested in our spiritual matters but they have wrong concept in their minds. God is interested in our day today life. He wants to give us good health, He wants to fill us with great joy and peace. If you are sick, if your head is aching, how could you be in joy and peace? So if you really want to enjoy the peace and joy given by God, you need to be in good health.

Further we read in Psalms 103:4-5, "Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

In these two verses Psalmist covers the entire area of our lives where God wants to bless us and how He wants to fill us with all His goodness and blessings.

He says, "Who redeems your life from destruction." There are two types of destructions that can come in our lives, one is Spiritual and the other is Physical. Bible tells us that there is a life after death and that those who do not receive forgiveness of their sins will go through the judgment of God and will be in hell. But God provided a way for us through Jesus Christ that we could be forgiven and can have eternal life. So when a person accepts Jesus as his/her Lord and Savior at that very moment God forgives his/her sins and offers eternal life. They pass from death into life and will not go through judgment as we read in John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life." Also God gives His children protection from all evil and from all harms and He crowns them with all the good things.

What a privilege to know God and to walk with Him in His holiness. He provides, He protects, He gives all the blessings and more than that He offers eternal life. Just come to Him and give your life to Jesus.

The Story of Mark A Gabriel - Part 3

By Mark A. Gabriel

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


The Whip

My answer was not what they wanted to hear. I was taken to a room with a steel bed in it. They tied my feet to the foot of the bed and then put heavy stockings on them, almost like oven mitts.

One officer had a black whip, about four feet long, and he began whipping my feet. Another officer sat down next to me at the head of the bed with a pillow in his hands. When I cried out, he pushed the pillow into my face until I was quiet. I could not stop crying out, so a second officer came to put an extra pillow over my face.

As I was beaten I went unconscious, but when I woke up the officer was still whipping my feet. Then he stopped and they untied me, and one officer commanded, “Stand up.” I couldn’t at first, but he took the whip and beat my back until I stood.

Then he showed me a long passageway and said, “Run.” Again, when I couldn’t do it, he whipped my back until I ran down the passageway. When I got to the end, there was another officer waiting for me. He whipped me until I ran back to where I came from. They made me run back and forth. Later, I learned why they did that. The running was so that my feet wouldn’t swell. The stockings were so I wouldn’t have marks on my feet from the whipping. I assume the pillows were so nobody could hear my cries. Next I was taken to something that looked like a small, aboveground swimming pool. It was filled with ice-cold water. The officer with the whip said, “Get in,” so I got in. It was so cold that I tried to get out, but he whipped me every time I made a move.

I have low blood sugar, and it wasn’t very long before I passed out from the cold. When I woke up I was lying on my back in the bed where they whipped my feet, still in my wet clothes.

A Night in the Dark

One evening I was taken outside behind the building. I saw what looked like a small, concrete room with no windows or doors. The only opening was a skylight on the roof. They made me climb a ladder to the top and demanded, “Get in.” When I sat on the edge and put my feet down in the opening, I felt water. I could also see there was something swimming on the top of the water. This is my grave, I thought. They are going to kill me today. I slid down into the opening and felt the water rise up over my body, but then to my surprise I felt solid ground under my feet. The water only came up to my shoulders. Then rats, which were what I saw swimming in the water, started crawling all over my head and face. These rats had not been fed for a very long time. My interrogators were being clever. “This guy is a Muslim thinker,” they said, “so we will have the rats eat his head.” I was very scared for the first minute after they closed the skylight. They left me there all night and then came back the next morning to see if I were alive. When the skylight opened and I saw the sunlight, it was hope for me that I had survived and was still alive.

All that night not one rat bit me. They climbed all over my head and in my hair and played with my ears. One rat stood on my shoulders. I felt their mouths against my face, but it almost felt like kisses. I never felt a tooth. The rats were utterly faithful to me. Even today when I see a rat, I have a feeling of respect. I cannot explain why the rats behaved this way.

Meeting with a Dear Friend

The interrogation was not over. Later the officers took me to the door of a small room and said, “There is someone who loves you very much who wants to meet with you.” I asked, “Who is this?” I was hoping it was one of my family members or a friend to visit me or get me out of prison. They said, “You don’t know him, but he knows you.” They opened the door to the room, and inside I saw a big dog. There was nothing else in the room. Two people took me inside and then left me and shut the door. This was the first time my heart cried out. In my heart I cried to my Creator, You are my father, my God.You are to look after me. How can you leave me in these evil hands? I don’t know what these people are trying to do to me, but I know you will be with me and one day I will see you and meet you.

I walked to the middle of the empty room and slowly sat down cross-legged on the floor. The dog came and sat down in front of me. Minutes went by as this dog looked me over. I watched his eyes move from top to bottom over and over again. I went in my heart to prayer to the God I did not yet know. The dog got up and started walking in circles around me, like an animal about to eat something. Then he came to my right side and licked ear with his tongue. He sat down by my right side and just stayed there. I was so exhausted. After he just sat there for a while, I fell asleep. When I woke up, the dog was in the corner of the room. He ran to me, as if to say good morning. Then he licked my right ear again and sat down again at my right side.

When the officers opened the door they saw me praying with the dog sitting next to me. I heard one say, “I can’t believe this man is a human being. This man is a devil—he’s Satan.” The other replied, “I don’t believe that. There is unseen power standing behind this man and protecting him.” “Which power? This man is an infidel. It’s got to be Satan because this man is against Allah.”

Someone watching over me they took me back to my cell. While I was gone, my Egyptian cellmate had asked the police, “Why are you persecuting this man?” They told him, “Because he is denying Islam.” That made my cellmate furious. As soon as I got back in the cell, he was ready to kill me. But I had only been in there fifteen to twenty minutes when a police officer came with transfer papers for this man and took him away. I had to ask myself, What is going on here? What power is protecting me? At that time, I did not know the answer. I did not spend much time wondering about it. In a short while my own transfer papers came through. I was to be taken to a permanent prison in southern Cairo . At this point I did not think that my interrogators were even human. I had been arrested for merely questioning Islam. Now my faith was really shaken. And I was on my way to another prison.

The next week I spent in a prison in southern Cairo . It was relatively relaxed time. God sent me a prison guard who did not agree with radical Islam. All during this time my family was trying to find out where I was. They had no success until my mother’s brother, who was a high-ranking member of the Egyptian Parliament, returned to the country after traveling overseas. My mother called him, sobbing, “For two weeks we have not known where our son is. He is gone.” My uncle had the connections that were needed. Fifteen days after I was kidnapped, he came to the prison personally with the release papers and took me home.

Later, the police gave my father this report: We have received a fax from Al-Azhar University accusing your son of leaving Islam, but after an interrogation of fifteen days, we found no evidence to support it. My father was relieved to hear this. Out of all my brothers and sisters, I was the only one who had studied Islam at the university, and he was very proud of me. He could not even imagine I would ever leave Islam, so he attributed the whole incident to a bad attitude toward my scholarship on the part of the people at the university.

“We don’t need them,” he said, and he asked me to start work immediately as a sales director for his factory. He owned a successful business that produced leather jackets and men’s and women’s clothing.

A Year without Faith

For one year I lived without any faith. I had no God to pray to, to call to, to live for. I believed in the existence of a God who was merciful and righteous, but I had no idea who He was. Was He the God of the Muslims, the Christians or the Jews? Or was He some animal—like the cow of the Hindus? I had no knowledge of how to find Him.

You have to understand that if a Muslim comes to the conclusion that Islam is not the truth and he has no religion to turn to, it is the most difficult time in his life. Faith is in the fabric of the life of a Middle Eastern person. He cannot imagine how to live without knowing his God. During this whole year, my physical body expressed the pain that was in my spirit. Though I had every material thing I needed, I was plagued with a deep tiredness from constantly trying to use my mind to figure out the identity of the true God. I suffered constantly from headaches. I went to a doctor who was a relative of the family. He did a scan of my brain, but he did not find anything wrong. He prescribed some tablets that helped.

The Sermon on the Mount

I ended up visiting a nearby pharmacy one or two times a week for packets of tablets, getting a small number of tablets each time, hoping the headaches would just go away for good. After I had been coming for a while, the pharmacist asked me, “What is going on in your life?” I told her, “Nothing is going on. I have no complaint except for one thing: I am living without God. I don’t know who is my God, who created me and created the universe.”

She said, “But you were a professor at the most respected Islamic university in Egypt . Your family is very respected in the community.” “That is true,” I replied, “but I have discovered falsehoods in their teachings. I no longer believe my home and family are built on a foundation of truth. I had always clothed myself in the lies of Islam. Now I feel naked. How can I fill the emptiness in my heart? Please help me. ” “OK,” she said. “Today I will give you these tablets, and I will give you this book—the Bible. But please promise me not to take any tablets before you read something from this book.” I took the book home and opened it at random. My eyes fell on Matthew 5:38, "You have heard that it was said, “Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.” But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

My whole body began trembling. I had studied the Quran my whole life—not once did I find words as inspiring as this. I had come face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ.

I lost all track of time. It felt as if I were sitting on a cloud above a hill, and in front of me was the greatest teacher in the universe telling me about the secrets of heaven and the heart of God. I could easily compare the Bible to what I had learned from my years of studying the Quran, and there was no doubt in my mind that I was finally encountering the true God. I was still reading in the early hours of the next day, and by dawn I gave my heart to Jesus.

Ambushed

I only told the pharmacist and his wife that I had accepted Jesus, but in Egypt, if anyone left Islam, it was automatically assumed that he had become a Christian and therefore must be killed. Because of this, fundamentalists sent two men to ambush me and kill me. It happened when I was walking home from visiting a friend. It was only a fifteen- or twenty-minute walk through Giza . I was on Tersae Street , near my home, when I saw two men standing in front of a grocery shop. They were dressed traditionally with the long, white robes, long beards and head coverings. I thought they were just customers. I never imagined they would do anything to me.

When I reached the shop, they stopped me, and then suddenly both pulled out knives and began trying to stab me. I had no weapon, and because it was a hot day, I was just wearing a T-shirt and pants. I put up my hands to protect myself. Again and again the blades struck me and cut my wrists. There were other people on the street, but no one helped me. They just gathered to watch. This was typical for those years. People would intervene if it was just a fistfight, but they wouldn’t get involved with knives. They also didn’t want to be in the way if someone pulled a gun. The first attacker was trying to stab my heart. He almost did it, but I moved. He missed by about five inches and got me in the shoulder instead. When he pulled the knife out, I remember looking down and seeing the blood come out in a stream.

I fell to the ground and just curled up in a little ball, trying to protect myself. Then the other attacker tried to stab me in the stomach, but the blade turned, and he stabbed me in the shin instead. By this time I had lost so much blood that I passed out. There was no hope for me until two police officers arrived on motorcycles and my attackers ran away. I was taken to the hospital and treated. In the hospital, the police asked if I knew why I was attacked. I said I did not. Again, my father rejected any evidence that I was abandoning Islam. He just could not think in those terms.

To be continued.....

Mark a Gabriel's books can be purchased from
Islam And Terrorism: What the Quran really teaches about Christianity, violence and the goals of the Islamic jihad.

A Special Card for Father's Day

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Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

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Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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