About Daniel Shayesteh

Dr Daniel was born into a Muslim family in Northern Iran. He became a radical Muslim leader and teacher of Islam in the militant Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement, closely supporting Ayatollah Khomeini. However, after falling out of favor with Khomeini’s political group, he escaped to Turkey where there began an amazing journey to faith in Jesus Christ.

Daniel's mission is to help others understand and lovingly respond to those who do not know Christ. He is also deeply concerned for the future of Western societies, their loss of confidence in Judeo-Christian values, and their persistent naivete about the implications of the world-wide Islamic revival.

Desire for the Best That Is In Everybody

Every person in the world desires to have the best of everything. This does not mean that everybody knows what the best is, but they are created in a way to desire the best.

People do not wish to spend their money, which is sometimes saved with much difficulty, to purchase a faulty car; neither do they wish to have an unkind husband or wife when building a family. No ideology, belief, or even organizational culture was made with the intention of attaining bad and faulty things. Many beliefs have not been helpful to their followers, but their authors never intended, in my opinion, to deliver bad beliefs to their followers. The reason that these beliefs did not work well was not because of their authors’ desires, but because of their inability to design them in the context of a holistic life, enabling their followers to seek and find the best. That’s why their lack of knowledge could become very costly.

We are created in a way to desire and give higher priority to the best of everything deep in our hearts. However, to put this desire into practice in a beneficial way we need to establish the highest standard within us which can give us the power of evaluation and of decision making for the best. It is not only to desire the best, but also to have a sound principle whereby to choose the best.  

This is where faith in Christ supersedes all other beliefs in the world. There is a wide gap between the desire of people’s hearts and the process of attaining that desire in other beliefs. People desire to have peace within their relationships and in society, but their beliefs have not offered them principles which can take them to such a destination. They seek confidence about their future and design their lives based on such a desire, and yet their beliefs never offer them such a confidence about their future.

That’s why we, as the followers of Jesus Christ, can stand in that gap and share our eternal hope with others. Such desire motivates a search for answers; it opens hearts and makes them available for conversations in search of Truth. We can help lead them to the Truth that quenches every thirst. Sometimes it only takes a simple question to grab their attention and engage them in continued conversations with us. Questions such as:

  1. What do you desire to achieve in the future?
  2. Do you need to have a reason for your achievements and life?
  3. Do you think everybody knows the truth needed for achieving the best of everything? 
  4. Do you believe that people have the capacity and capability to understand the truth?
  5. How is the truth best understood? Do we need to evaluate beliefs and see how truthful they are? 
  6. Do you believe that people need to understand each other’s beliefs so that by communicating with one another they might discover the truth?
  7. Do you think that everybody should embrace the truth? 

Questions such as these stimulate thought and bring about opportunities to encourage people to believe that they are capable to discover the truth and realize their God given potential. Of course, it helps to know their worldviews in order to be able to help them to understand that they will not be able to reach their goals because of the short comings in their beliefs.

The desire for the best is the greatest witness from God which He placed in the hearts of people. Christian evangelism becomes influential when it helps people to understand that they won’t be able to have the best unless they know and follow the Author of the best first and foremost. Jesus said:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6: 33, MKJV)   
Jesus is bringing forth the meaning that faith in God will captivate us entirely, make us the members of God’s household and ready our hearts and minds for what He has destined for each of us.

This is the reason that all other beliefs are not able to help their followers to reach the best. The conviction in atheism about the best is nothing but the force of nature, meaning that whatever happens is it, nothing more, nothing less. Therefore, we cannot compare one belief with another and categorize it as wrong or right according to atheism. In other words, there is no best to desire; everything that happens is the best in its time.

The predominant belief in the contemporary West does not distinguish or recognize a difference between good and bad, right and wrong, thus paralyzing people from maintaining a good conscience in order to understand the perfect nature of the truth and march ahead by knowledge for the embodiment of their desires. In Islam also, people need to approach their desires in the context of Islamic authoritarianism where the desires of the leader comes first. What can tyranny offer people in the pursuit of their desires? Desire without freedom will remain captive in the mind and heart, something unrealized, a mere theory.

These beliefs not only limit people’s strengths in search of the Truth, but also lay a great load on their shoulders and further push them to move towards an unknown future. But faith in Christ is different. By coming to Christ and embracing His standard, people will be freed from the obstacles of their beliefs and fall into the secure hands of Christ who paves the road for them to achieve the best and rest in it eternally. Christ says:
Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11: 28, MKJV)

Enormous Connecting Ability We Humans Have

Imagine what would happen if humanity did not have the capacity to relate to one another, find reasons for friendship and combat the threat of separation, war and hostility. How fortunate we are for being able to relate to others in many ways.

We can subdue the wildest animals, if we want, and make them friendly. We just need to prove to them how friendly and caring we are. When it comes to human relationships, we have an amazing rational power to reason with our fellow man. We have the rational and emotional power to influence the mindset of our enemies and persecutors. How many fascinating stories have we heard about the persecuted Christians who influenced their persecutors and tied their hearts to Christ?

When we research the foundational principles of other religions and philosophies, I am amazed that none of them other than the Biblical faith gives the responsibility to humanity to make decision based on understanding, dialogue and reasoning.  God calls people to reason together:
Come now, and let us reason together, says Jehovah. (Isaiah 1: 18a, MKJV)

Humanity is called to get out of narrow mindedness, use its full competence to discern the truth, discover the means of harmonious friendship and live in peace with fellow men and women.

Secular Humanism, New Age, Eastern religions focus on individualistic aspects of life, creating indifference in the minds of people towards community life.  Evolutionary atheism ranks humanity as substance, the product of the material world, which is unable to follow an intelligently established standard. Islam bases its social relationship on sectarian power of dominance and rejects sincere friendship with non-Muslims. It is only the Bible that says:
It is an honor for a man to cease from strife, but every fool exposes himself. (Proverb 20:3, MKJV). Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord. (Hebrew 12:14, MKJV). The one who does not love has not known God. For God is love. (1John 4:8, MKJV)

The heart of the Bible is that we should try our utmost to connect with others for a long lasting friendship.

How can we cease from conflicts, but follow peace through loving one another despite differences in cultures and beliefs? The response is the openness to read the chapters of each other’s lives and choose the best.

God knows that diversity reveals itself with many faces in relationships. He also knows that relationships get better and better if we start to use our minds, hearts, and conscience in order to evaluate values and choose the best ones for our own personal lives and for our relationships with others. God is the relational God and wants us to be relational too. He desires us to see things happening in others’ or our lives, what others or we are missing and how life can be upgraded. It is only through consideration and evaluation that our deeper desire to have the best will grow and motivate us to choose the best for our life and relationship.

The reason that God revealed Himself in Christ was to communicate with us, show us what is stored for us beyond the limits of this world and what steps we need to take in order to have access to great things. He is God and able to give us everything we need.  But He has created us with freedom of choice and an abundance of abilities to get out of our own closed circles, be in contact with others and use our talents to choose meaningful values for our lives.

Building creative dialogue is very important for the God of the Bible. There were only two options for God concerning humanity: either to stay away from them and leave them in the kingdom of darkness or to pay a great price, build relationship with them and transfer them into light. He chose the latter, as the Gospel says:
And through Him [Christ] having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven. (Colossians 1: 20, MKJV)
Christ went through the painful Cross and resurrected in order to connect us to God. The same Christ also asks us to go to others, connect with them and teach them what He taught us. One of His teachings is if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we will be able to move mountains.  He is telling us that nothing is impossible for us.  If we do not go to others and teach them, how will they know that such great capacity is awaiting them and that they can overcome difficulties? That’s why the Gospel puts vital questions in front of us:
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10: 14-15, MKJV)
Since we have been told of this Good News, since through faith we have the capacity to overcome all barriers in human relationship, we must now tell other of this Good News that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.