Sunday, August 15, 2010

Testimony of Afshin Javid (pastor of Vancouver Christian Fellowship)

** UPDATE: 6 Jan 2012 **
Due to a recent turn of events surrounding Afshin Javid's personal life last year, readers are advised that Afshin is no longer a pastor at VCF. You can follow the details at the comments column down below. This particular blog posting may possibly be removed at a future date depending on the availability of further information.


YAPDATES

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This is another powerful testimony of a man who came to Jesus. It was first published in CanadianChristianity.com and all credits go there. Afshin Javid is currently a pastor of Vancouver Christian Fellowship in North Vancouver.

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An Iranian Muslim encounters the living Word
By Afshin Javid



Afshin Javid in Iran, age 14
I WAS BORN into a Shiite Muslim family in Iran. At age 12, I began to fulfill my duties toward Allah: praying, fasting and reading his book every day, doing all I could to make him happy. In my teens, I joined the Hezbollah militant group; three years later, I had to leave Iran.
At age 17, I was in Malaysia; I was arrested for possession of 30 illegal passports, and imprisoned. My Sunni Muslim captors asked me to teach the Koran, and to lead the mosque in the prison.


Jinns
In the Koran, it is believed that there are good and bad jinns, or genies ­ and that it is not taboo to use their powers. I had gained powers from these spiritual forces; and one day, while I was reading the Koran in my jail cell, a dark spirit appeared that was more powerful than I could handle. I tried sending it away or fighting it, but I had no strength.


I read the scriptures and called the Shahada, the statement of faith, but nothing helped. I cried out: "God, would you help me?" ­ and I heard a voice saying, "Bring the name of Jesus." I felt like I was drowning; without thinking, I said "Jesus, if you are true, help me!" Before I finished, everything was back to normal.


That was not the point of my conversion ­ rather, the point of my confusion. I wondered: why would Jesus Christ help me, when I believed in Muhammad? That question ate at me, until I couldn't stand it anymore.


I knew the problem could not lay with me, because I believed Islam so deeply that I was willing to kill for it. I prayed and fasted for two weeks, and asked the same question again and again. I said to God: "I want to know if there is one way to you, or many different ways. I want to know the way you have called me to."


After two weeks without an answer, I was upset and decided God didn't exist ­ and if he did, he couldn't hold me responsible at the Day of Judgment, because I had asked about him and he didn't respond. I told him that, from then on, I would follow my own desires. It felt as if I'd drawn a line for God on the ground.


Forgiveness
It was then that the cell was filled with his presence. Simultaneously, I felt all the weight of my sins ­ and how I deserved to die. I cried out: "Forgive me!" I repeated that again and again, until I felt a touch on my shoulder ­ and a voice said, "I forgive you." At that very moment I felt forgiven; and the burden of my sins was lifted off my shoulders.


In Islam, we are never sure of our forgiveness in the present; we must wait until the Day of Judgment to know if we have been forgiven. I asked: "Who are you, that you forgive me ­ and I feel forgiven at this very moment?" He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life."


I asked, "What does that mean? What is your name?" He said, "I am Jesus Christ, the living God"; and the moment he spoke those words, I fell on the floor as though I had no bones in my body. Tears flew from my eyes. All my emotions ran through me at once ­ I had lost total control.


I was sad and happy; I was angry, yet joyful. Sad because I had been away from the house I belonged to; joyful to know where I belonged ­ to have the knowledge of truth. I was angry that they had lied to me, and I had wasted so many years trying to please a god you can never be sure of.


I cried at his feet. Two hours passed, until he said "Afshin, look up." I saw images of people from all over the world; I could see their sins, and was overwhelmed. I said, "Lord, I live amongst all these sinners." And he said, "Afshin, how easily did I forgive you?" I said "Very easy, Lord." He replied, "I can forgive them as easily ­ but who is going to tell them?"


Go tell them


I said, "Me, Lord ­ I will go, I will tell them." He said, "Go, tell them; I'll be with you." I ran from the cell, while the Lord stood there.


I told some of the other prisoners how I had become a Christian. But it didn't go as I'd hoped; Malaysia was still a Muslim country. Some accused me of having gone mad; some called me an infidel. But the Lord's presence protected me.


I told people stories of how Jesus had done many miracles; but after awhile, I asked myself: "How do you know these stories are true?" I decided that, if I told stories for the glory of God, it didn't matter if they weren't true.


But then I felt rebuked. I felt him say, "I am the God of all truth; I don't need lies to be glorified." I said, "I don't know where these stories come from, I just tell them as they come to mind. Would you send me a Bible? I will read that, and I will tell it according to the stories that are written."


The next day, a fellow prisoner approached me, looking at me in a strange way. I knew he was a convicted murderer ­ and I stood ready to fight, filled with anger. He looked me straight in the eyes, and said: "This is for you, this is what you asked for," and handed me a book. Nothing was written on the cover, but I knew what it was.


The wrong Bible


I snatched the Bible from his hand, ran to my cell and held it close. I cried, kissed the book and said, "Thank you God, you're so great. I prayed, and you gave me what I prayed for." I thought, "This God is so almighty, he's so prompt to answer the prayers of his people."
When I opened the book, I realized that God had made a mistake ­ he had sent me the wrong Bible! It was written in a language I couldn't read. I said "God, thank you for sending me this Bible, but I cannot read this." I felt him say, "Read it." I said, "You know I cannot."


I was prompted in my heart: "Read." And I said, "I cannot. I'll wait, and tomorrow you'll have someone send me a Farsi one." He said, "Read this book now."


I knew I had to show God I couldn't read it, to get him to provide me with the Farsi Bible. So I ran my eyes over the words, expecting God to notice that I understood none of them; but then I found myself actually reading ­ and understanding every word!


I found someone who could read and understand the words, and told him what I thought it said. He asked how I understood English. I replied, "Is that the language that I understand?" So, now I could read and understand English; yet when I tried to read an English newspaper, I couldn't. I picked up the Bible again ­ and I could read and understand.


How was that possible? The Lord said to me: "You asked to read the Bible, not the newspaper." I was amazed; for when I read the Bible, every story I had told about Jesus Christ was there ­ in the exact same details.


The living Word


As written in the Revelation, the whole world will pass away ­ but not one word of this Book will perish. Muslims were told that the Bible had been altered, and I'd never considered how foolish it is to believe a human could change the words of the living God. The Lord had proven to me that was his living Word.


People say how great it is that I have seen the Lord; but I respond with Jesus' words: "Blessed are you who have not seen, and yet believe." I am a man of little faith. God in his mercy and grace chose me according to his will, to show himself to me for his purposes. I am the least of all, the chief of all sinners ­ and for that reason, God has chosen me to bear one message: that he is able to forgive all sinners as he has forgiven me. As Christians, we must realize the weight of responsibility of this message that is upon our shoulders.


The Lord Jesus said: "You are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth." I ask myself always: "If I am the light and people are not coming from out of darkness to the light, how bright is my light? If I am the salt of the earth and the whole earth is rotting away, how salty am I? Am I good to be trampled upon, or preserved?


I ask the Lord for help and say, "No more am I satisfied with a mediocre Christian life. I want to see your kingdom come, your will be done. I want to see your name be hallowed in the life of many, and to witness for you according to your purposes."


May God's grace, mercy and love guard your heart. May his word burn like fire within your bones, so that you would not be able to keep quiet. May today be the day that you make a new covenant with the Lord, and say: "Have me all, have me all."


Afshin Javid is a pastor at Vancouver Christian Fellowship.

32 comments:

Me said...

It is brilliant how God calls us no matter how much we resist. If you take all the human love that existed in the world and combine it together. It wouldn't even make 0.001% of God's love toward us. In our church a video of this man preaching (in I think Winnipeg) was shown. Brilliant testimony.

Anonymous said...

Praise God. Thank you Jesus. God is really appearing to the people in the Islamic nations. I prayer that the Lord will continue to use Pastor Afshin as he shares his testimony to muslims in all the nations and elsewhere. God bless you Pastor Afshin.

selina downing said...

i saw you on TBN today my heart felt your love for Jesus and your people i pray gods blessing on you and protection in Jesus name. you are a dear soul and im thankful to hear your testamony.so i say thank you and be strong in our lord Jesus amen

Anonymous said...

This man is a fraud. He also isno longer a minister at Vancouver Christian. He was fired for immoral sexual and financial conduct.

Anonymous said...

This man appears to have enslaved some of his membership and in my view is a wolf in sheeps clothing.
Previous post is correct, he is no longer in leadership!

YAPdates said...

Hi anonymous,

Your allegations about Afshin are serious. Is there any evidence you can share?

c

Anonymous said...

It is in fact sad and true. Afshin Javid was terminated from the church Vancouver Christian Fellowship and also Iamthirsty. Some women came forward and told about the sexual sins that occured between AFshin and them. He used his "gifting" to sexually touch them and told them it was part of their healing and that it was ok because it was not sexual intercourse. He did also admit to this. It can be confirmed through the church

Anonymous said...

Its True Afshin has been terminated from VCF as well as his I am thirsty page, if you type in his name there is a gracious sentence saying he is a former muslem saved by the Grace of God,it was changed from saying he was dismissed for unethical reasons. Afshin has fallen hard and has hurt many trusting people. Hopefully this has reached his Face Book page, if you have been deceived by Afshin or are/was in a sexual relationship contact stevema@telus.net this is the organization that accredited Afshin. God wants us to do the right thing and protect his children.

COCERNED DAD said...

I googled the defintion of Clergy sexual abuse and found it is much MORE than the event itself...

A: Clergy sexual abuse of women is a violent abuse of power rather than "an affair". Most people may recognise that it is an unacceptable abuse of power for a therapist or doctor to have sex with a patient. Yet many fail to recognise that when a clergy – who commits to spiritually nurture and guide a member of the church - takes advantage of his power and authority to have a sexual relationship with her, he is committing sexual abuse and not having an affair.

Clinical research from the Faith Trust Institute indicates that women victims are likely to remain silent, suffering severe consequences from depression to suicide.

Concerned DAD said...

Q: Should the church create some kind of tribunal?

A: Church organisations over hundreds of years have internal processes which are not transparent. Offending clergy have been protected by their church organisations for decades which intimidate victims into silence and cover up disclosures of abuse.

Prosecutions by civil authorities are more likely to be transparent and offer a better option than church tribunals.

Concerned DAD said...

Realisation of the betrayal of trust by clergy – who is believed to be the spiritual representation of God - is devastating and survivors need support to cope. Clergy offenders often use their spiritual authority to violate women, pleading or threatening the victims that they must forgive the offender's "sins" or risk being rejected by God for unforgiveness. This is spiritual blackmail and can trap victims into silence and suffering for years or decades.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry - there is a tribunal against Afshin Javid occurring right at the moment. It's just taking longer than anyone would like. However, many of the pastors who are on it have just recently been informed of of what many other pastors have known for months or years. Do not despair. The gospel of Christ Jesus does not need Afshin's testimony to prevail against the gates of hell.

Truthseeker said...

Yes Afshin Javid has been let go from the church he used his gifting to convince one or more of the young women in his ministry iamthirsty and Vancouver Christian Fellowship. Afshin Javid actually admitted that he touched the vagina and breasts of a young woman under his care. He also had one of the young women become physical with one of the young married men in the church and ministry.
Afshin Javid was told to take down his web site and he may say he is repentive but if he really was he would obey those in authority over him. The proof is that he has admitted to most of these things.

http://truthforalltohear.wordpress.com/

Concerned Dad said...

How to Handle a Scandal (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)
Study By: Keith Krell

Listen To Audio Download Audio
What is the primary purpose of hospitals? Put simply: to help sick people get better. Therefore, the most important measure of a hospital is not its beauty, the friendliness of the staff, or its sophisticated equipment. The measure of a hospital is its ability to make hurting people better. If a hospital doesn’t do that, everything else is a waste of time. I don’t know anyone who goes to a hospital for fun and games or to admire the architecture. Everyone I know who goes to a hospital has only one question: “Can you fix what’s wrong?”

Likewise, the church is God’s spiritual hospital. It is called to open its doors to people who are sick with sin, addictions, burdens, and hurts. They are welcome to come into the church because it is God’s hospital. That means the pastors and other spiritual leaders God has appointed are physicians of the soul, under the direction of the Great Physician. If a physician diagnoses disease in your body, if the tests show that you are suffering from a malignant tumor, don’t get mad at the physician if he has to operate. That is what physicians are supposed to do. Similarly, some people who come to church don’t want to be operated on. They want to hear the music come over the speakers. They want to hear the doctors talk about the situation, but they don’t want to go into surgery.1

This is ludicrous! If you have cancer you want a doctor who’s going to take your condition seriously. You don’t want a doctor who says, “You’ve got a lump… I’ve got a lump…all God’s people have lumps. Don’t let it get you down. You’re okay, I’m okay.” You want your doctor to operate…and quickly!

In 1 Cor 5:1-13,2 Paul writes a timeless message to a church that is on the operating table. Although the apostle Paul is not a medical doctor, he understands the need to remove spiritual cancer. Paul believes sin is a cancer that infects the church. So he urges us to purge the church of sin for the church stands or falls together. In this passage, Paul will show you a patient’s chart that reveals the disease he is suffering from and the prescribed cure.

Tm2Cruz said...

Hi there,

Afshin really repented. I've already dig into it. We should forgive him. Most of us condemn him, even though they said "we forgave him and we're not judging him" but they continue to emphasize on his current mistakes. He admitted and repented. But most of them STILL condemn.
Remember, the more influential your testimony in the Lord, the more Satan will try to destroy you by including deception and he will use the minds of the church, to be honest... Sad to see we forgot to read 2 Corinthians, story of David... Especially story of David, he murdered and committed adultery too and yet his testimony of the past (like David and Goliath) works but us today, Afshin has been attacked by the enemy, he already repented, and yet we still judge him and his testimony aren't trustworthy anymore...
It's very sad church, wake up! Follow what Jesus said in Matthew 18, not just quoting specific verses to attack Afshin w/o using God's wisdom and please use the bible verses in context related to his current situation, not your limited human perspective to condemn a brother.

Conrade Yap said...

Hi "concerned dad",

Thank you for sharing your concerns. We need to pray for the leaders of the church or any organization dealing with sexual abuses, for wisdom to handle them fairly.

Conrade

Conrade Yap said...

Hi Tm2Cruz,

I agree with you that forgiveness is needed from all parties. This will take time, depending on the nature and the depth of hurt.

We cannot overstate the crime. Neither should we underestimate the seriousness. How to know when to do what is another reason for our need to ask God for wisdom.

Thanks for your input.

conrade

Anonymous said...

Tm2Cruz,

I am sure you are a passionate believer and I appreciate your desire to help here but you do not have adequate knowledge to make the assertions you have made.

Afshin ran a cult - a cult with an overtly sexual component - a cult that you were never part of and have no idea about. A cult that I saw from the inside for a long time. Your observations and judgments are made from an entirely external perspective and with confidence that only demonstrates a lack of meaningful insight.

I really appreciate your desire to see restoration and forgiveness - this is what we all desire.

Of the places you could expend your energy, trying to resuscitate Afshin's testimony is not a place that I would make an investment. God will do this, if it is at all possible.

What you should pray for Afshin is that he would truly repent, which would include some public statement on his part, a voluntary step back from ministry, and a voluntary effort to make amends for his actions.

You are confusing words of remorse with repentance. The former is easy, the latter is difficult because it requires action.

Please consider Proverbs 19:2... Enthusiasm without knowledge is not a good thing.

Yours in Christ Jesus

Anonymous said...

And as for Matthew 18, it says that if a brother refuses to listen to listen to a group of believers, which I can assure you has happened here then ..."If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

Anonymous said...

What ever happened at the tribunal?

Anonymous said...

Afshin's conduct was reviewed by the Christian Ministers Association and it was determined that he should lose his credentials with that organization. So, at the moment, he does not hold ministerial credentials with any organization with wider accountability. Unfortunately, some members of the pastoral group commissioned with his disciplinary review thought that it was OK for him to continue to sell his book and go on television. So, because they represent an opportunity to avoid accountability, Afshin has gone under their leadership. This leadership that I am referring to is that of Zion Church: David Demian, Gideon Chiu and Albert Zehr. It is a bit perplexing that they support a man defying his accountability body. This is not the first time that Zion Church has been peripherally implicated in a cult. Specifically, the daughter church of Zion Church which is in Hong Kong is listed on a cult-watch list. Apparently the leader was advocating the consumption of hydrogen peroxide instead of going to the doctor. So, the mother ship of Zion church apparently broke ties with the daughter. It is a precarious thing that Zion Church has done - to bring in a cult leader into their group - a cult leader who will inevitably try to get on the payroll and rise in the ranks. This is what we can expect to happen next: Vancouver Christian Fellowship will try to revive, Afshin will exploit his ties with David Demian and Gideon Chiu to get back on TV and the whole thing will start over. When the church fails to appropriately and publicly discipline abusers, this is the fruit. The amazing thing is that if Afshin had preached that he believed in universalism, the church would have publicly beaten him to a pulp. But if you sexually exploit your congregants, the church tries to sweep it under the rug. Nice - hey? Something is upside-down in the body of the Lord God Most High. He has seen it all and He will apportion justice.

Anonymous said...

There is a more complete description of what is going on at www.2peter2.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I am so saddened to read what I did about Afshin Javid. I heard his testimony a year or more ago on It's a New Day and it really touched my heart. I saw a real opportunity to get the Gospel to Muslims through Afshin. I pray Afshin will seek God again and repent. God will forgive him. It's people who won't. Jesus knew Peter would deny him and His prayer for Peter was, "I have prayed your Faith will fail not." Peters Faith did not fail him.

Anonymous said...

The comparison with Peter would be apt if Afshin had immediately repented. However, people have been trying to get Afshin to repent of various cons for about 10 years. It's not very much like Peter or David - both of whom had immediate and deep repentance for what they did. The more you peel back the onion on this situation the darker and weirder it gets.

Anonymous said...

Canadian Christianity has removed this article with an explanation:
http://canadianchristianity.com/tag/afshin-javid/

Anonymous said...

Brenda Klemke, co-founder of Afshin's I AM Thirsty Ministry and a former board member of Vancouver Christian Fellowship has released a public letter about this situation that can be read here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/53bo45of1qyzfg8/OXykpLOGt6/Apology%20to%20Afshin.pdf

Anonymous said...

YIKES!!!

Anonymous said...

This Afvshin guy now wants back in the same congregation...ROUND II

Even the US the football teams get their dues , with the whole University involved in the consequence of prepatory actions.
his guy seems immune and unrepentant...
Sooooo very sad for these blind sheep!

Anonymous said...

That is indeed the word on the street. I understand that he may ba pastoring at VCF again.

LaJuana said...

I pray that he will repent.I cannot dispute his initial salvation experience. For that I do not call him a fraud. He is like the brthr in I Cor5:5 who had to be put out for his and the churches own good that Satan may have him for a season until he repented. He has sinned greatly. A pastor friend of mine once told me that one way that Satan tries to stop the gospel with a man of God is through sex, money and power (prestige)...The world and the flesh. Every minister of the word that has been tempted and then fallen from grace...known and the unknown has fallen through these portals. 1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Anonymous said...

So sad that Christians are desperate to convert muslims that they will overlook such sexual crimes.
It is interesting that he hasn't been prosecuted.
It is doubly interesting that Christians don't see that he is a hoax in total and that his conversion and meeting with Jesus ws a hoax too [but how gullible do you have to be to have believed that story in the first place - watch the video he is an obvious conman].
Christians - you religion has been molded by Constantine and Paul and are not the teachings of Jesus.
When you stand before God you will not be able to say you have not been informed.
Watch this too
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjqvwdsrBio

Anonymous said...

Christianity is all about unmerited grace and forgiveness not about following pride and prejudice. If you can not forgive, you need to question your belief. I am sure that Jesus does not care about churches reputations and luxury stuff , he wants to save people as many as he can using his own anointed ones. If I really love Jesus , I would follow what he puts in my heart through holy spirit and would not follow this world standard.
"Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.Matthew 7:1

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