Sid:  We want everyone everywhere to hear the good news; we want everywhere to recognize that the return is near.  Joel Richardson, you were telling me about why you believe we are having the signs of the birth pangs of Messiah; tell me.

Joel:  Well, one of the many signs that Jesus laid out that we were to watch for and he commanded us now Sid, I grew up as a son of a fisherman.  So I grew up with a saying, red sky at night sailor’s delight, red sky at morning sailor’s warning.  So when I was a little kid and I looked up at night I saw the red sky, I got excited I said I’m going fishing with my Dad tomorrow.  Jesus actually uses a phrase very similar to this and He says, “You people, you know how to interpret the signs in the skies, how is it that you do not understand the events in the earth with regard to the coming of the Messiah?”  So He expected us to know these signs, one of the things that He spoke of very prominently was the increase of the frequency and the intensity of the earthquakes and the analogy that He used was birth pangs.  And again Sid, I have four children and as you know and I know birth pangs they start, you have one and they become more intense and more frequent, ultimately leading to the birth.  And of course the birth is the coming of the Messiah, the redemption of all creation and obviously we’ve been looking out in the earth and people have been asking, you know have in fact the earthquakes in the earth, have they been increasing?  Is there anything here that we should be paying attention to?  And I was chatting with a pastor friend recently and he drew my attention to the US geological survey and the different static’s that they have; and so now, let me just lay these out because this is fascinating.  From AD 1 until 1,000 there were fifteen earthquakes that were 7.0 or higher; that’s a major earthquake; that’s one every sixty-six years.  The next 800 years they happened once every seven years.  From 1800 to 1900 we had every ten months; we’ve gone 66 years, 7 years, now every ten months.  From 1900 to 1980 one every thirty-seven days; from 1980 to 2000 one every 28 days; coming right up until the last couple of years 2,009, 2,010 right now Sid we are down to having this year already we’ve had 9 major earthquakes in 2,011.  At this rate will have 30 major earthquakes this year; the birth pangs are increasing dramatically.  You know there is no denying it, these specific sign that Jesus warned us to watch for is coming about in our day and we should be on alert absolutely for sure.

Sid:  You know, we’re on television in Iran throughout all of Iran, five days a week with our television show “It’s Supernatural.”  And I am told that millions of Iranians are coming to the Lord.  Why is this happening right now?

Joel:  The Iranian youth population Sid is largely they have been exposed to the worse elements of radical Islam, they’ve lived under the Iranian revolution, they’ve seen its fruit and this generation is turned off.  They have a distain largely a significant distain for Islam and its effect on humanity.  As a result you have roughly seventy million people in Iran today and again 50% of them are youth population; different estimates are coming in, but clearly there are millions that have come to faith in Yeshua, in Jesus in even recent years in the past decade, this is unprecedented in the Islamic world.  The fields are ripe to harvest and we need to be aware of what’s taking place.

Sid:  Tell me one testimony of a Muslim that came to the Lord, just briefly.

Joel:  Well, this story is I love it, it is actually a whole village, I heard this one recently where there were some missionaries that were coming to a remote village and they were going to show the Jesus film.  And as they set up there stands and they were showing the village, when they got to the scene of the crucifixion, the people were just beating their chests and screaming and just incredibly emotional and when they had a translator they found out what happened.  Is that in the weeks before the missionaries came there was a man who showed up in the village and he had been preaching to them the gospel and when they saw they saw the movie it was the man from the movie that had been in their village.  Jesus himself had appeared to these villagers in the form of the actor from the movie, he revealed Himself that way, he was preaching the gospel to them when the missionaries came they recognized that that was the man that had been in the village, they understood the gospel and the whole village became believers.

Sid:  Why do you believe God is causing so many Muslim’s to turn to Jesus at this moment in history?

Joel:  Well Sid, the Biblical pattern is that whenever he chastises his people throughout the earth he uses a foreign force, you know in history it was the Babylonians or the Assyrians and as you and I have talked about when He’s done using a people as his rod of chastisement he then takes that rod and he breaks it over His knee and He judges that people.  But there’s also the pattern that whenever He judges a people, before He does that, he calls a remnant out and Sid I believe right now that the Lord is calling the remnant of Ishmael, the remnant of Edom out from, out of Islam and He’s leading them to Himself.  He’s doing it through powerful signs and wonders, and I believe that in this through the Spirit of Prophecy we can discern that the Lord is also about to use the Islamic world as His rod of chastisement against Israel and the believers of throughout the earth.

Sid:  Now Turkey is not that open to the gospel, why do you believe that’s going on in Turkey with the opposite going on in Iran?

Joel:   You know it’s hard to say, it’s hard to say why these spiritual atmosphere in one country differs so radically from another.  The Turks have a long very, very proud history.

Sid:  What is the definition of Ishmael?

Joel:  Sid, there are only four people who are personally named by God throughout the scriptures and Ishmael was one of them.   And the name Ishmael, the name that God gave him is this, God hears; and when you look at the story of Ishmael, this fifteen year old boy that was suddenly kicked out of his family by Abraham, he was cast out into the desert, just abandoned by Abraham if you will.  There is that orphan spirit, that spirit within Islam today, Ishmael being the father of this Islamic people.

Sid:  Do you think that that’s why they won’t refer to god as a father?

Joel:  I absolutely believe that that broken woundedness that was passed on into Ishmael was passed into the religion of Islam.  They say that god has no father, god is not a son, god does not have a son.  It is the orphan spirit that exists in the religion of Islam and as intercessors today Sid, we need to be crying out saying “Lord, in these last days, hear the cry of Ishmael, hear Ishmael, reveal yourself to Moslems throughout the world as the Father and as the God that in fact has a Son.  And then Lord, let us become individuals that would disciple Muslims; disciple Ishmael into returning to recognize the true heir in Isaac, lovers of their brother in their last days. 

 Sid:  Last thought before we conclude.

Joel:  Sid, much of the church today has completely turned off with trying to understand the end times, we don’t need to study these passages any more, they’ve taken the whole subject and put it on the shelf and here we are we’re in the most strategic, the most important, the most opportune time in the history of the church.  It is time for the church to wake up, it’s time for the pastors and the shepherds to take this message and begin leading their sheep, leading their people, teaching them what the scriptures say on these things so that we can be a people prepared, we would understand the times, we would know what to do, we would allocate our resources and our prayers, we would know how to pray.  This is the most important time in the history of the church; we get to be part of it.  And Sid my heart is that we would make the most of it and we would stand before Him on the day of judgment that’s just over the horizon and we would hear Him say well done you good and faithful servant.

Sid:  Now I have heard, that this remnant of Muslims that are coming to the Lord is bigger than a remnant, it is millions that are coming to the Lord; God’s going to use them to evangelize the Jew, have you heard that?  

Joel:  Well, you know the Bible says that the Lord would use the Gentiles to spur the Jewish people on to jealousy and Sid, what more powerful testimony than to see someone that was filled; someone with an anti-Semitic spirit suddenly in love with the Jewish people.

Sid:  And yet there’s a flip side, there’s a flip side, there are many Muslims that are coming to the Lord and they are being mentored then by people that want to be seeker sensitive so that they teach what is replacement theology, that God has no more plans for the Jew in Israel.

Joel:  Exactly, we need to root this out of the church, root this heresy out of the church so that Muslims would not be disciple under replacement theology, they would be fully converted, not just to the Father and to the Son but also to they’re brother Isaac.

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