Just as the Psalms foretold in detail what God would do,
the only and Almighty God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ,
in sending the Messiah to be crucified for sin (Psalm 22 as above),
and coming from heaven to do so (Psalm 40),
and just as Isaiah (2, 7, 9, 11, 22, 32, 35, 40, 49-56,59,66) foretold much of His work and the depths and heights of His salvation,
and how it would be accomplished,
while Micah 5 forecast His birth-place and Daniel His death date
(cf. Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2):
so the checkable history of Christ convinced thousands in Jerusalem.
This, as seen in Acts 2, occurred in the days following His resurrection. It was foretold in Psalm 16 and cited from there by Peter when addressing the city at a Feast-time congregation, and challenging them with the fact that this was indeed the Messiah. He had done the good, accomplished the mission, died, murdered by sinners for sin, and was bodily resurrected, thus completing the divine agenda as foretold. Now, he indicated, was the time to act, and to receive as the Saviour who He is.
This thousands did, repenting and receiving Him.
It was, however, a little late for Jerusalem to take advantage of His just lost presence. He paid a price for peace for any and all, and they having rejected it, as with any and all, would pay a price, being wilfully now exposed to the results of their own sins.
Chris before His death, knowing what was to be, just as it had been predicted of Him, lamented for the lost opportunity for the city now doomed to a destruction to come, in fact in one generation, and this poignant scene of lamentation is perceived in two ways: one in Matthew 23:37 and one in Luke 19:42ff.; for if what was to come was singular, grief was multiplied.
IF ONLY YOU HAD KNOWN IN THIS YOUR DAY ... BUT NOW IT IS HIDDEN FROM YOUR EYES. What was hidden ? "the things which belong to your peace." Such do we find in Luke 19, just as much the same lament might have been made in the early days of the incoming Hitler, by a German patriot!
This however had certain outstanding differences. Firstly, this was predicted as to result (Zechariah 9-12), including a yet to come time of repentance within the nation for the slaying of this same Messiah, whose death and the manner of it was forecast centuries before it happened, as we have just been seeing.
Secondly, this was more than patriotism. Jerusalem was a city chosen by God for the propagation of the truth concerning His sacrificial love, and its symbolism in the temple sacrifices had been to point to the coming of this same Messiah, to finish once and for all the sacrificial system in its sacrificial centre in Jesus Christ Himself. He, as God, would be and was adequate to cover all. As man, He would be and was adequate to meet the results of sin in its heinousness, in full confrontation and expiation, where applicable.
And where is it applicable ? It is in the heart of the penitent believers. The loss of this peace, for Jerusalem, was a spiritual tragedy, unnecessary, but following their rejection of their Peace in Him: for there is no other, and they were in His very own name, as a nation! The result of their continuing rebellion against God, it was to come as foretold altogether in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 32, indeed earlier in 27-28, and there was no escape.
Jerusalem now, of course, would be an index to what Paul is inspired to call the "Jerusalem above," a city that "is free, which is the mother of us all," in Galatians 4:26. It was a symbol, and it became a centre when the Author of life became an agent in its midst, ineffaceable, and so the city became a site of remembrance of, and recognition for His slaying. There was His tomb. Unlike Lenin, it has no body in its cask. He walked off with it and so stole the show, for He could neve be shown, in Jerusalem, until He would come of His own will, when His reign begins (as in Acts 1, Revelation 20).
The new spiritual centre as temple is Christ, the new sacrifice, once and for all, is Christ, the new 'priest' offering it is the same, Christ offering HIMSELF.
The new blood is His own, and the final atonement is from and in Him (Hebrews 7-10). In Him is fulfilled all the paraphernalia of sacrifice and symbol of Old Testament temple worship, that utterly necessary provision of God first to signify, and then in Christ to satisfy the sin situation, through His atonement in the pitiful love of God (cf. Colossians 1:19ff.).
Here was the way which God, the party offended by sin, elected to cover the case. NO addition to His words was permitted, as given in Moses, nor any subtraction (Deuteronomy 4 and 12). THIS was the covenant, and in the drama of the pronouncements in Deuteronomy 27 and 28 , the unattenuated force of this sublime, divine communication, control and provision was made clear, both for blessing, if kept, and curse if not. Specific mounts were chosen for these opposites to be proclaimed and declaimed: the blessings on Mt Gerizim and the cursing from Mt Ebal. Nothing could be clearer.
So in John 3:15-18, we see the blessing, even of eternal life, in this ransoming Christ (Matthew 20:28), available simply through faith, and the cursing for those rejecting it likewise is to be found in John 3:36. It is not a curse for mere rebelliousness, important as that aspect is (cf. Ephesians 4:17-19, 2:1-12, Romans 1:17ff.). It is a residual curse for failing to take what is objectively necessary, graciously provided free, without works of any kind (Titus 2-3), in the love, pity and mercy of God, by the utterly sacrificial way He has chosen, and THEREFORE seen in having to pay the cost oneself!
This is no Christ of Islam: nothing could be more contradictory and devastating in confronting it. Islam comes in merely as fulfilment of His always fulfilled words, in terms of a false prophet, with another gospel, if it could be called that, another Christ, made up, not backed by documentation and history, imagined without confirmation or verification, some 600 years later, as if history were a plaything. The slot open for this in terms of Christ is only one: false prophet.
In view of our news item cited today, it is necessary to remind ourselves for a good understanding, of what has been said earlier, in SMR pp. 1080ff.. Take this excerpt:
THE WEAVING OF THE WAYS FOR THE ANTICHRIST. See Extension 4, pp. 1072-1074 infra.
What however of Muhammad's early - but continuing - input into this antichrist pattern ? a matter of assertion plus force to overcome ... unbelief in some mock-up, dysfunctional substitute for Christ.
''Muhammad is God's apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers'' -
and how far?
''Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous''
(Surah 9:123, cf. 2:191); and indeed, (Surah 9:27-31):
''Fight against such of those to whom the Scriptures were given as believe neither in God nor the Last Day ... until they pay tribute out of the hand and are utterly subdued.''
Yes, he decries (in 8:36-41):
''Tell unbelievers ... [to] reflect upon the fate of their forefathers. Make war on them until idolatry cease ...''
Reflect ? Fate ? ... city assault, tribute money, and then servitude - with the provision for death upon its removal. The 'fate' is the alternative to 'faith' is the alternative to force. (Cf. *17 infra.)
And all this force ? with due provision for occasional defeat, yet it is found written (Surah 8:59):
''Let not the unbelievers think that they will ever get away. They have not the power to do so'' ...
Indeed, the prayer was to be:
''Lord forgive us ... our excesses; make us firm of foot and give us victory over the unbelievers" ...
and the theme,
''If God helps you, none can overcome you''
(Surah 3:148 and 3:160; cf. Surah 48:22 -
"If the unbelievers join battle with you, they shall be put to flight").
In fact, since Moslems almost took Europe, they lost at Tours in 732 A.D.; and again when the sprawling Ottoman Empire fell, with World War I; while in the Middle East from 1917 and from 1948 in particular and repeatedly, Moslem military losses have been sustained, spectacular and even proverbial (*18).
This is despite enormous numerical advantage (the EXACT opposite of Surah 8:65 -
''If there are twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred'').
The force of evidence overthrows indeed the force of mere utterance. Proclaiming himself ''no more than an apostle'' (Surah 3:140-147), such that ''other apostles have come before me'' (Surah 3:183), Muhammad refers to Abraham and others, to the Jewish Torah (law) - Surah 2:135), and the ''earlier scriptures'' of ''Abraham and Moses'' (Surah 87:179), bowing to history by acknowledging, ''the prophets who surrendered themselves judged the Jews ... according to God's Book which had been committed to their keeping and to which they themselves were witnesses'' (Surah 5:44).
Witness! Dismiss evidence and what does 'history' become but the unholy butt of romance? While Muhammad says his book ''confirms the Scriptures which came before it'' (5:48), in fact the Messiah is as we have shown with dense-packed scriptures (cf. pp. 768-777 et al. supra), the eternal King irreplaceable, unsucceedable, whose word is final and, if rejected, fatal; and one need only cite words such as Isaiah 9:6-7, 42:1-4, 49:6, 53:11-12, 54:5,10, 55:3-11, Deuteronomy 18:15-18, Daniel 7:13-14, Psalm 72. Not merely is there no successor, this is so because the Son (Psalm 2:5-7) is God (Psalm 45, Isaiah 48:16, Micah 5:1-3), as shown earlier in great detail from many scriptures of which only the Jews were in fact - to use Muhammad's term - 'witnesses'. Successors, declares Christ, are false Christs (Matthew 24:24).
To fortify the contradiction: Muhammad wrote material wholly alien to that of the 'apostles' - such on his own admission - who 'went before' him, on the method of salvation, on redemption, on the place of grace and on the work of the Messiah (not really killed, says he - Surah 4:157, despite Daniel 9:25-26, Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, Leviticus 16). To aggravate the impossible, Muhammad has the prior 'apostles' sent by ONE GOD! (Surah 3:40 and 3:21). Should one God send prophets opposed to the very core of Muhammad's words ? Why He gave His 'servants the prophets' among the Jews, such wholly, consistently and persistently clangorous contradiction of Muhammad, the prophet does not manage to attest!
The whole superabundantly attested, textually ancient, intense, immense, detailed racial systematics and salvation dynamics of the interlocking Old and New Testaments (cf. pp. 735-836 supra) are airily dismissed for the infinitely divergent dogmas (cf. Surahs 4,5,9,24 and 48) of the anti-verified Koran. To thunder the point home, God, having disciplined the Jews as Chapter 9 has shown His word predicted He would do, has given them the power He also predicted, abolishing the pretences of the Koran to its very face (cf. pp. 814, 830-834, 989 supra). Of a certainty, the Jews had less than no reason to add the scriptures on the Messiah, whom they murdered, but rather honestly retained them in fear. (See also *4 infra.)
The Koran is not merely unverified, but anti-verified and this with a divine mirth as God's predictive word ploughs through the field of history with the majestic insouciance of a tank in an agricultural field (cf. Psalm 2:8-12, Jeremiah 23:29; and Psalm 111:7-8, Isaiah 59:21 and p. 564 supra). See also pp. 1176-1186C infra for treatment of Joshua as an instrument of theocratic MORAL judgment, not contrary to the love or liberty God gives. Christ categorically did not subject physically, do violence at all to remedy unbelief. Truly He upbraided morally, cleansed, lamented (Matthew 23:37, Luke 19:42) and was subjected. Faith and force have divorce.
Further background to the religious situation is given a little earlier in Ch. 10 of SMR.Four major international systems promote this. The Arab religion, now paraded so that men might perceive the place of force, is one. The Moslem god is not the Christian God. Do you kill the servants of your God as they did, so systematically, nearly taking over Europe in A.D. 732 at the Battle of Tours. This was a matter of the Moslem march, the holy war, the religious fervour, that launched armies and hurled men to glory for the reward of blood, as Muhammad was quick to declare of war in his field, in his own time, and he did this in no vague or uncertain terms (see e.g. pp. 986-989, 91 supra).
Their god is and always has been one of violence, and one for which the use of force to secure religious conversion is in certain cases, in order (Surah IX. 5, and Schaff, as noted). This god is the one Saddam Hussein says he worships; it is in the name of this god that Americans are called devils, doubtless including George Bush when, during the Gulf War, he was fresh from his prayer service, apparently directed to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now how can the same God have his followers calling Christians devils, as has long appeared the trend ? THEY reject what HE in writing commands! Of course, he is not the same god, but no god at all, except it be as one format for the god of this world, a world which offers its friendship - as James tells us - at the expense of becoming enemies of God, the true God, and not the heretical caricature which the Moslems announce; nor the wafer God of Roman Catholicism, which is no god at all.
The Moslem religion denies that Christ died for the sins of men; the Roman religion denies that eternal salvation is conferred as a gift, entirely through the grace of God, and sets up a schedule of unauthorised priests and actions to intervene between any hope of heaven, and suffering sinners.
The JEWISH religion is separate from the Christian on one basic ground: the nation so acted as to KILL Christ, without accepting Him as the sacrifice for sin for which He came. That is not the ultimate point for this people: it is failure to repent at the national level which still afflicts the nation, in the very midst of divine mercies that are both prodigious and predicted, as we have seen in considerable detail.
The ARAB, the ROMAN and the JEWISH dealings, all international, have Jesus Christ in one way or another changed, rejected, or caricatured. The Russian contribution of a COMMUNISTIC rejection of Christ and most able persecution of His people, makes a fourth - MARXISM. (See p. 862 supra.)
ROME, JERUSALEM, MECCA:
Arab, Jew and Roman all produced an internationalised religion. EACH of these religions is against the Christ of God, declared in the Bible. These religions spread not only where their people were, but through them. Yes, to this add: MOSCOW: Russian, Jewish ... Arab and Roman religious rejections or transformations of Jesus Christ, and this accounts for thousands of millions of the people on this globe! The revolt is systematic; the case is tragic; and so are the results.
But WHY do we need so to cover this case ? It is that men might see verified the word of the ONLY GOD THERE IS, whom reason attests, whom prophecy exhibits, whom history follows, honour His name, accord to Him the honour (Ezekiel 21:26-27, 17:22-24, Revelation 5:9,12-13) which is objectively His due, and come to the only PRINCE OF PEACE that there is; and this, so they might cease their hatred of one another, seemingly an epidemic, and learn to love one another in the God who IS LOVE. Violence in religion is pandemic, but not in religion alone; love for the lost is needed that they might be found... love and not violence. It is neither wise nor Biblical to hate or attack those who are currently misled. It is both Biblical and necessary to show their errors, precisely as does a doctor, though here the physician is Jesus Christ, and the danger is both critical and eternal.
Since ALL have sinned, moreover, there is NO glory for ANY flesh when Christ is received. We must love our enemies and seek that through the Prince of Peace, they may find the reality which, rejected, leads the world swiftly now to its death throes (*19).
The sacrifice of Truth has occurred already (cf. Isaiah 59:14, Luke 23:26, John 8:40,43,46); it is not there that resolution is found. The failure to know or find or use aright the truth, is one of the testimonies to a fallen and systematic Age; for when what IS true is rejected, what is not, will satisfy neither reason nor soul, neither spirit nor nations. Restlessness will assuredly be ruinous, violence pandemic. WITHOUT the Lord, MAN is not an animal but a derelict god; and he acts like it, with a poignancy of pathos allied with a violence or a programmed evil, now callow, now callous, with hints of aborted glory, and vainglorious follies.
Even in dereliction, man is different; and the pangs and spasms of his heart, these are so many display units, dedicated to the description of what he is... but has refused to become, something in the image of God Himself: a creaturely derivative, by grace dowered with longings and hopes, often found intolerable in the abortion.
The events of Iraq in 1991, arousing violence where it has always lain, show anew how vulnerable is the world which rejects or manipulates Jesus Christ. In that He predicted, promised, increasing instability, war, and disquiet with an immoral escalation, leading to events that man could not handle, except He returned: therefore this acrid smoke from the turmoil of conflicting religions, from the false pursuit of misnamed glory of whatever kind, by the searing souls that will not make peace with God, often irreconcilable in a similar way with their fellow men; this Middle East situation in particular, not only in its PLACE, but in its FORCE... all this verifies most aptly what Jesus Christ said, claimed and predicted.
Its PLACE ? Yes, for it is precisely here that enormous turbulence is foretold (Zechariah 12, 14, Rev. 16:16). The place ? Where better than where the Saviour was killed, whose solution is rejected so systematically by the SYSTEMATIC GENERATION, by such thousands of millions of the human race... for the sight where His judgments come, as they have not fully yet come, though the eagle's pinions are now beating more noticeably, as it flies to its divine appointment at Armageddon.
It is here that no peace can be found, in the Middle East, in the environs of JERUSALEM. Like a dizzying crevasse, the ground opens, and irreconcilable conflict continues, where so much symptomatic of false religion in three kinds, meets. It will never be resolved without the acknowledgement of its Prince, killed by the Jews, despised by masses of Gentiles, 'doctored' by Moslems, 'captured' by Rome, trifled with by much of the world, which would see peace, without its price, even though that price has already been paid. They prefer to pay it themselves (*19), and bankruptcy appears. War and rumours of wars ? yes that is the predicted price of failing to accept the price paid.
To come now to the present, and to the coming regimen of Islamic placards, the question arises.
What then of the effort of some forceful ecumenists or devious religionists (as the case may be, the Lord knows), who are making contra-factual statements about Jesus the Christ relative to the Islamic religion ? One might as well, as the above makes so clear, call the Queen of England an Arabian Princess as call Christ a "prophet of Islam." It would have much in common as a hostile act of specious praise, actually involving vast derogation of her Majesty.
Why ? Firstly, she was not born into it, just as Christ was not born into the Islamic mould or culture, which came some 6 centuries later. It shows flimsy regard to truth, massive invasion of fiction.
Secondly, she is in fact Queen of an entirely different country, run on utterly diverse principles of great antiquity. She is no Princess, having been Queen for a long time. Christ is in fact King for an entirely different land, of an entirely diverse culture, with an utterly remote religion, which is exclusive of addition and subtraction as an integral part of it, just as the Queen of England is Queen of an utterly diverse land.
Further, Christ is not only King of the Jews, but King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16), thus aggravating the case exponentially, and more even than that, to infinity.
Thirdly, England, however weak in this it may now be, has its own official Church, which is exclusive in its formulation, of having Christ as subject to or under the sway of any, being the Son of God who predicted that many false christs and false prophets would come in the future, giving them an advance status from His own mouth, as frauds. Indeed, He declared clearly that He is the ONLY BEGOTTEN SON of God, such that there is no other, nor any other way to go (John 14:6, 3:15ff.) to God. He came from there so that we, through repentance and faith, might go to there. Indeed, He also declared that to enter HIS kingdom you have to be born again, and achieve THIS citizenship by the work of His Spirit, moving in terms of His word (John 12;48-50), which is commanded from heaven.
There has to be a heavenly transition before there can be a heavenly migration; and further, even that is to be a work of power performed by this same Jesus, when He comes (as in Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 4).
Moreover, the entire cycle and gift is based on love and sacrifice, personally paid and secured in Himself, who alone is the way to God.
Thus the imaginary parallel to calling the Queen, by way of a better understanding indeed! an Arabian Princess is flattery by comparison with what is done to the Lord Jesus Christ by this arrogation of His place, power and word, this setting of the Son of God down under the auspices of what in His own terms is a false prophet.
Why further ? It is because the system of belief for faith is wholly contrary to any such relationship, in its core and kernel of sacrifice by Christ ALONE to bring by Himself ALONE salvation which is from Him ALONE, as the ransoming member of the Trinity, in concourse with the Father and the Spirit of God who applies it (cf. John 16).
Now perhaps we are prepared to look at the propaganda, contra-factual, wrong apart from any faith at all, as seen by examining the Koran and the Bible (the former a very much later production), as objective testimonials. It is no use being offended by it, this flare against Him; but it is essential to point out that it is misleading, unobjective, unsustainable and violates the whole realm of fact. You can reject Christ if you will, it is perfectly free, and needs no force to overcome, such as Muhammad used in taking Mecca and forcing his religion of visions upon it. You can receive Muhammad if you will (at least in this country) freely. But what you cannot factually do is make Christ a part of the entourage of that later prophet with his utterly diversified basis of religion.
Christians wage holy war over 'offensive' Muslim signs
- From: Sunday Mail (SA)
- July 02, 2011CONTROVERSIAL billboards proclaiming Jesus is a prophet of Islam will be rolled out in Adelaide.
The signs are part of a campaign claiming to promote religious tolerance.
The campaign will feature provocative ads saying Jesus a Prophet of Islam and will appear on billboards and public transport buses, Islamic group Mypeace says.
The campaign was launched in Sydney six weeks ago amid much controversy, with two billboards later vandalised and a Christian group countering the public statement with its own billboard campaign at a cost of $25,000.
The Mypeace advertisements - which included a contact number for information about Islam and offers of a free copy of the Koran - were displayed on four billboards and 40 buses and resulted in 65 complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
But following the bureau's dismissal of the complaints last week, Mypeace founder Diaa Mohamed said he would start an advertising campaign in Adelaide "within the next few weeks".
"There will probably be a couple of billboards but we are not sure about how many buses," he said.
"We want to create greater tolerance and understanding of Muslims, it's about building bridges."
The campaign, funded by private donations, has been criticised by Anglican Archbishop of Adelaide Jeffrey Driver as insensitive.
"In the end billboards are a blunt way of getting a message across," he said.
"Perhaps what Australia needs more than billboards is genuine respectful and nuanced dialogue between its major religious traditions."
Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson didn't comment on the campaign, but said if Jesus "is recognised by the people of Islam as a prophet then we are grateful for that".
Among the dozens of complaints to the bureau was one which said the advertisement "attacks all Christian beliefs".
Another said it "gives the wrong message to Christian children" while another wrote: "There is absolutely no chance a `Jesus is the Son of God' billboard would be displayed in Iran."
The bureau ruled the ad "did not discriminate against or vilify any person or section of the community on account of religion".