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1.The Moslem Mixture
There is one aspect of the Moslem religion which involves apostate Jewry, available Jewish legends, stories and ideas, allied with apostate Christianity, complete with a Christ whose death proves a stumbling block*1 to Mohammed. He has a need to reconstruct in some way, down the dim walks of history, at such a distance, and to provide as it were, without seeing the "accident", an account of it some hundreds of years later.
So does fiction act as if to disable fact; but the fact laughs in its face, for such blasphemy as this is no more effective than any other imagination that replaces the laboratory of fact, giving the wings of ideas as replacement to the testimony of witnesses. It therefore represents a double apostasy. It imparts a sort of extra-curricular Judaism without the advantages of its .. past, with an innovative 'Christianity' without the advantage of its base. Thus the writer of the Koran draws on Jewish fables, ideas, concepts, outside the Bible very often, and on some Christian concepts alike. He even has Christ as a prophet! - so using His attainments as a ground for his buildings.
He uses special approaches to Jews, Christians in practice, as if to make off with some of the reality attaching to those who have followed the Old Testament and the New Testament, each in its time. He would make of the Lord Jesus Christ a righteous men who died - though rather unclear as to how he is to execute such a manoeuvre.
This appalling synthesis becomes an illusionist base for 'revelations' which lack all that both Bible Testaments reveal: objective history, objective prediction , objectively fulfilled, multiple writers making a sequential, self-attesting and mutually supportive testimony and rational grounds for acceptance. (Cf. SMR pp. 455ff., 986-993, 1081-1083, 1139ff..)
Why did people accept this? The massive use of violence, as with the Roman Catholic religion has an intimidatory effect on the one hand, a drawing effect on passion for many, on the other; and when allied with aspiration both national and racial, and set in an Arabic past of some éclat, the result is not amazing.
It is however one more testimony to the nature and heart of man, of what he is capable before the clear and constant testimony of God in the Bible, in Christ and in history.
In a sense, it is one early example of a false Christ - a Jesus Christ distorting figure, a supplanter who died for no sin as sin-bearer, had in fact his own sin, and established no prophetic test for his utterances: and as to Mohammed, these include an almighty Allah whose might is constantly and consistently negated in the history of the Middle East, just as that of the Lord of the Bible is constantly fulfilled (See SMR Chs.8-9, esp. pp. 822ff., 829ff., 852ff., 874ff., ).
ONE of those Biblical fulfilments is the existence and number of false prophets and false christs, their significance in the world; for both here and in the Roman religion, are two whose combined assemblages reputedly number well in excess of one billion souls.
1Thus in the Koran are two varying accounts.
In Women, 4:153-157, the writer says this of the death of Christ: "They declared: 'We have put to death the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of God.' They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did." The presenter of this English 'Koran' (N.J Dawood, in Penguin Books' 'The Koran'), adds this note here: "Or literally, 'he was made to resemble another for them.' "
In the 'Imrans, , on the contrary, the writer has it as if God had said to Christ, "Jesus I am about to cause you to die and lift you up to Me. I shall take you away from the unbelievers and exalt your followers above them till the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me you shall all return and I shall judge your disputes. The unbelievers shall be sternly punished in this world and in the world to come: there shall be none to help them." Unless Muhammad is attributing deceit to God, which would not seem likely even though he calls Him "the supreme plotter" (and which, of course, would make his own 'revelation' wholly worthless), this is a clear intimation that Christ died in accord with the divine plan. What that is has been clearly written for millenia in the book of Isaiah, in Psalms and so on! (Cf. SMR pp. 751ff., 1081-1083.)
He then proceeds to make an anti-gospel message, adding this to the imaginary discourse which sets the believers in Jesus as the people "exalted" above unbelievers, till the resurrection, in Mohammed's revision of history.
In fact, of
course, among unbelievers, Muhammed would certainly figure as a major one; but
then he makes a new christ, and follows, or becomes parallel to him. The one he
makes, like the mass of
Here we mention merely the
mass, that multiplicity of allegedly bloodless sacrifices, non-suffering offerings,
which we have treated along with
Suffice in review of this material, to point out that this Mass is no less a travesty of Biblical religion, in its own way, than is the Koran of the history of Christ. Thus, in the "sacrifice" of the Mass of Roman Catholicism, using its own declarations as to the basics (red):
a) The offering is bloodless - therefore Biblically ineffectual.
b) It is often repeated - therefore Biblically forbidden.
c) It is without suffering - therefore Biblically fictitious.
d) It is not executed by Jesus Christ, though it purports to be OF Him; and hence is fractious, artificially intruding into His prerogatives and realm (John -18, Proverbs 30:6), and
e) so taking over from the Master, it is hence fraudulent.
f) It supposedly incorporates the body and blood of Christ, and being fictitious, is therefore blasphemous; and
g) being worshipped, it is thus also idolatrous.
Phrases such as blasphemous
fables and deceits are therefore not at all improper, whether when first used
or now; for what is said to be one thing, without authority, when it is
another, and so presented, deceives, and hence is a deceit.
3. New Age
This has the remarkable distinction of having a god who is attainable but not vocal in the sense of knowing or at least conveying his mind. Thus we find the various communions of thought and allied phenomena, which more or less pull down from some realm, and thus gain for themselves what is supposedly some sort of divine force, some kind of religious unction or function or apprehension, be it what it may, producing thereby what depends as much on the interpreter as on the giver. Giver? this, if indeed such a thing as the cosmic mind or whatever it may be termed, inherent in a mass of contradictions in a universe with much that is good and evil, brilliant and stupid, beautiful and ugly, may pseudo-pantheistically be thought to be; if moreover, thought be relevant at all in such a situation, except perhaps to take its farewell. (Cf. SMR pp. 864-873, 973C-1026; 452ff., and see Index.)
SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL ?
religious extravaganzas may be considered in an analogy, as rather like a
school situation in which the students wish to take over the office of teacher,
and make sundry specifications, clearly without the evidence of any authority,
and tending to be contrary even to reason itself. In the end, they can teach
only themselves, which is neither wise nor edifying (II Cor. ), nor, for that matter, to the point.
4-5. NEW MAN - PHYSICAL, POLITICAL, and the total SCENE
The biological and political fantasies of evolutionism (4) and Marxism (5) and its spawn, however, go further. Their case resembles a school in which the students deny the existence of the teacher. The school? It is the world. For completeness, let us add that the other three, 1-3 above, resemble a school in which the students either
b) imagine that in fact this IS their post!
When you take together these varieties of activities,
remarkable each one in itself,
jointly the more so,
and this with accentuation as the Age in which we live matures (II Timothy 3:1-5, II Peter 2, Matthew 24, II Peter 3:3-5, Isaiah 24);
and take them together with the more 'statistically challenged' parallels which are sufficiently numerous and diffuse in style:
what does one expect!
With all of these assaults on the school, its government and its teaching, one can imagine what kind of a school it would be; but one does not need to be gifted with imagination for this. The world is the school: and look at it! There you see it as it is.
God is not just a "Being"; He is utterly personal, and it is not merely possible but quite open for such nihilisms and pontifications, severally or jointly, to grieve Him (SMR Chs.1-3,5,10). Nor is wrath left out, in the long run, nor judgments of great restraint, even before that epoch, those final assizes of God, when all is judged in the open (Romans 1:32, 2:16, 3:19).
Small wonder the world is writhing in torment, collapsing in heart, reeling in head, a morass of contradictions not only of reason, but not ineptly, of parties, people and procedures; such as the Middle East gloriously attests, in its inglorious sanctions against God Almighty as He has patiently revealed Himself to be in the Bible, and in Jesus Christ His eternal word, by many means from many sources.
SITE FOR SUFFERING!
It is NOT the suffering in
the world which is theologically astounding, then, for it is rather the divine
restraint concerning such flamboyant enormities as are routinely and at times,
pompously practised (II Peter 3:9). After all when someone who is a student declares
that in the Classroom he IS the teacher, the patience of God over hundreds of
years is amazing (cf. Matthew 24:8-14, SMR p. 774-806,
It is time to return to the Lord, away from these
which we have listed above
- statistically important -and the many other follies of the flesh which dare
to flaunt themselves in the face of the Creator of mankind, amongst whose
madnesses is the conception that his conceptions are valid when he is without
validity or even relevance to it, in his own construction, but a pawn to
process and beholden to history, a fluctuation in non-divine tides.
6. THE WOE AND THE WELLSPRING
The woe of it all is so well stated in Jeremiah (taken from 2:32-36):
virgin forget her ornaments,
Or a bride her attire?
Yet My people have forgotten Me
Days without number.
"Why do you
beautify your way to seek love?
Therefore you have also taught the wicked women your ways.
Also in your skirts there is found
The blood of the poor innocents.
I have not found it by secret search,
But plainly on all these things.
say, 'Because I am innocent,
Surely His anger shall turn from me.'
Behold I will plead My case you against you.
Because you say, 'I have no sinned'.
"Why do you gad about so much to change your way!"
Here the prophet depicts the straying nation as a bride disdaining the very emblems of her marriage while setting about flirtations in the very act and phase of her just estate. It is unnatural, hypocritical, a solemn farce, an aching twisting, an artful imposture, a snug fantasy, heartless, as if the person were not there, but merely a contriver, a practitioner, a performer, a picture with no heart.
Again he writes,
appalled, O heavens at this,
And shudder, be very desolate," declares the LORD.
"For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
The fountain of
To hew for themselves cisterns,
That can hold no water" - 2:12-13.
Their business in making useless contrivances to "replace" the magnificence of their natural heritage, the Lord, with His wonderful provisions, is appalling perversity and can have - in the end - only appallingly destructive results.
While this condemnation of the Lord applies more particularly to the religious dysfunction, provocative spiritual fantasy area, and within that most clearly to those who have been formally introduced to the truth, it has application to religion in general in this (Romans 1:21-22), that man in the first had the access to God, who made him upright, but he has made for himself many "inventions" (Ecclesiastes 7:29). Religion in turn applies to man in general, be he never so vagrant, for the same reason:
PITIFUL COMPASSION FOR PITILESS HOSTILITY
Man, says Paul in Romans 1, is holding down the truth (like a wrestler) in the very face of the obvious declaration of God as to His nature and power. There is no excuse. When the Gospel is preached (John 15:21-23), even the offered grace of the most mellow and forgiving attitude (John 3:17) - as if to say - 'This individual did not know of the outflowing love of God and surely may be conceived in a way which is not fatal to life, until he/she is exposed to it' - even this falls, and judgment alone can enter, for "If I had not done among them the works that none else did, they would have no sin. But now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father" - John 15:24. In parallel, 15:22: "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin."
And this is also from Him:
As Paul shows in Romans 1-2, the whole world stand guilty before the bar of God, wilfully ignorant, ignorantly wilful, contriving follies which neither replace nor please God, confronting truth ruinously with sallies of foolishness, images of imagination. Judgment, he says, is according to truth.
The pitiless hostility, perverted twistings, agile exercises in avoidance or misuse, endemic in the human race towards the simple realities of the Gospel, the profound magnificences of the God who made it all and has presented His everlasting Gospel, unblemished word, sacrificial Son: these follies mount like miasma to the heavens; swell like an abscess of unrighteousness at the intimate level; fail like an abyss of evil at the broader horizon, which merges indistinctly to the aweful areas of the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:1, 20:3).
You see, when you do not hold to the ground of your salvation and your very being in the Creator-Redeemer, Jesus Christ, there simply IS NO GROUND. Free falling is the only residue, the arena of everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:1-3).
To change the imagery, without that narrow path to eternal life, mercifully presented and maintained by the Lord, who secures without question the eternal life of those upon it, and assures those who enter, and who are willing to listen, from the first (John 10:9,27-28, 8:47), there is one alternative. It is the highway to hell. Is it not matter for eternal praise to God that this highway has exits on the way, before its final format is made manifest. Thus God speaks thus:
The pathology of power without glory, rule without righteousness is hard to avoid almost wherever one looks in this world. And the politics are not some obscene, abstruse reality which comes from nowhere. As the heart so the rule*1; and though many seize power in gross and evil ways, cunning and devious, yet the hearts on the way are often gulled by desire for glamour, glory, victories over others at any cost and the like. The rulers are no mere empty excrescence, and indeed are often even elected, though their credentials appear more than unwholesome.
It is time to return to the Lord whose gifts are glorious and whose glory is integral; so that in giving HIM the glory, it is no more than to give Him what is His due.
"BLESSING AND HONOUR AND GLORY AND POWER
BE TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE,
AND TO THE LAMB, FOREVER AND EVER!"
Hell is a squalid destination, like a hospital without antiseptic, rigour or righteousness.
To achieve it, the devotee of disaster must ensure that he/she
1) has no faith.
If you do have none, that is Biblical faith, covenantal faith in the word of God and the Gospel of grace, so that you could hear it a million times without effect, and this is what you want: then you are on track.
Paul the apostle to the Gentiles, in I Corinthians 10 tells us that the Israelites ALL passed through the sea (that is the barrier to deliverance, as the Egyptians pursued them), and "all drank of the same spiritual drink", but that "with most of them God was not well pleased". "All these things," says Paul, "happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come."
Similarly Hebrews 4:2 tells us this, concerning the same period, "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who hear it."
There is a place for mixture and a place for no mixture. What must not be mixed is the gospel, the word of God with the imperious impudence of addition or subtraction by people LITERALLY playing God. What, on the other hand, MUST be mixed with the hearing of this unmixed gospel is this: FAITH.
There is no use saying that you are not helped by the gospel, if you do not believe it. Similarly, there is no use condemning a life saving outfit because you disdain the strong arm of the surf rescue swimmer or will not enter the boat. IF however you have faith, like a willing patient, you accept the diagnosis of sinner, and accordingly repenting of your sin (Luke 13:1-3 tells you that if you do not, perishing is your appropriate place), and turning in faith, you find the Saviour who freely offers His deliverance. Take it or leave it, but do not imagine any formal acceptance as if God were dead, will bring life to you. He who comes to God must believe, says Hebrews,
1) that He exists and
2) that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Acceptance of God, of His salvation, is something done by faith no less, but rather more, than the acceptance of a marriage partner. It is not in the abstract or without love and awareness. If you do not lower yourself, you will not be raised. If you do not accept the diagnosis that your merits qualify you in the perfections of heaven for NOTHING, then you are your own judge, doctor and patient. So be it; but do not blame the Saviour whom you thus ignore, who offered Himself as nothing less than a ransom for sinners (Matthew 20:28), demanding repentance, since this is the acceptance of the fact. Fiction does not work in real life.
Thus the one who desires disaster, must ensure not only that he/she
1) has no living and functional faith in God, but also
2) has no repentance,
and above all,
3) has NO CHRIST, NO REDEEMER, for other salvation is there none (Acts 4:11-12). Thus, if you want to ensure you are not saved, then be very careful never to find the Lord Jesus Christ, for not only is He the ONLY Saviour, He is "able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by Him" (Hebrews 7:25), and those indeed who believe in Him, accept Him for what He is and in what He has done, have eternal life (I John 5:12-13).
If however a person wishes
to be in the truth, in the Lord, in the paths of righteousness, that person
must follow the Lord in His diagnosis, and so will come the prognosis, "I will dwell in
the house of the Lord forever" - Psalm 23:6, and so will apply this word, "My sheep hear My
voice and they follow Me, and I give to them eternal life, and they will never
perish" - John
10:27-28. It is then, with David, they may find as they pass to their Maker: "As for me, I
shall see Thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with
Thy likeness" -