By Jimmy Swaggart
Religion is that which is conceived by man, birthed by man, instituted by man, and carried out by man, in order to reach God, or else to better oneself in some way. Anything of this capacity conceived by man is unacceptable to God. This means that anything and everything that’s not strictly according to the Word of God is unacceptable.
Biblical Christianity is not a religion, but rather a relationship, and that with a Man, the Man Christ Jesus. And yet, much of modern Christianity has been divorced from the Bible, meaning that it is perverted and twisted and, therefore, corrupt. It too must come under the heading of religion. Perhaps the simple phrase, “Jesus Christ and Him Crucified,” would come closer to explaining Biblical Christianity than anything else. Concerning this, the Apostle Paul said:
“Now the Spirit (Holy Spirit) speaks expressly (pointedly), that in the latter times (the times in which we now live, the last of the last days, which begin the fulfilment of Endtime Prophecies) some shall depart from the Faith (anytime Paul uses the term ‘the Faith,’ in short he is referring to the Cross; so, we are told here that some will depart from the Cross as the Means of Salvation and Victory), giving heed to seducing spirits (evil spirits, i.e., ‘religious spirits,’ making something seem like what it isn’t), and doctrines of devils (should have been translated, ‘Doctrines of Demons’; the ‘seducing spirits’ entice Believers away from the true Faith, causing them to believe ‘Doctrines inspired by Demon Spirits’)” The Expositor’s Study Bible (1 Tim. 4:1 KJV).
While the words “religious” and “religion” appear in James 1:26-27 KJV , the Greek words originally used would have been better translated “spiritual,” and “spirituality,” making it read, “If any man among you seems to be spiritual . . .” and “Pure spirituality. . . .”
THE GREAT WHORE
The Holy Spirit, even as we shall see, takes a very dim view of religion, which, in fact, has been the nemesis of the Lord from the very beginning of time. We see religion at work in the case of Cain and Abel, the offspring of the First Family. The Lord had given instructions as to how communion with Him should be carried out, plus forgiveness of sins.
It would be by the means of the slain lamb, offered up in sacrifice, which would be a symbol of the coming Redeemer. Abel offered up his sacrifice accordingly and was accepted by God.
The Holy Spirit, even as we shall see, takes a very dim view of religion, which, in fact, has been the nemesis of the Lord from the very beginning of time.
We see religion at work in the case of Cain and Abel, the offspring of the First Family. The Lord had given instructions as to how communion with Him should be carried out, plus forgiveness of sins. It would be by the means of the slain lamb, offered up in sacrifice, which would be a symbol of the coming Redeemer. Abel offered up his sacrifice accordingly and was accepted by God.
We know what the Lord thinks of religion, by what He said in the Book of Revelation: “And there came one of the seven Angels which had the seven Vials, and talked with me (probably is the seventh Angel; however, we actually have no way of truly knowing), saying unto me, come hither; I will show unto you the judgment of the great whore who sits upon many waters (the ‘great whore’ refers to all the religions of the world that ever have been, which are devised by men as a substitute for ‘Jesus Christ and Him Crucified’; God’s Way is Christ and Him Crucified Alone; as well, the ‘many waters’ are a symbol for multitudes of people):
“With whom (the great whore, i.e., all type of religions) the kings of the Earth (from the very beginning, most nations have been ruled by some type of religion) have committed fornication (all religions devised by men, and even the parts of Christianity that have been corrupted, are labelled by the Lord as ‘spiritual fornication’ [Rom. 7:1-4 KJV]), and the inhabitants of the Earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication (proclaims the addiction of religion; the doing of religion is the most powerful narcotic there is)” The Expositor’s Study Bible (Rev. 17:1-2 KJV).
All of this means that all religion is devised either by demon spirits, or men, or a combination of both. In any case, as stated, it is unacceptable to God.
Religion is Satan’s substitute for the reality of Christ.
To describe religion, the Holy Spirit used one of the most base, descriptive phrases (the great whore) that could be used. He did this for purpose.
The simple meaning of the word is that it pertains to a woman who practices promiscuous sexual intercourse for hire. It also means, “to pursue a faithless, unworthy, or idolatrous desire.”
Used in the spiritual sense, “it pertains to religious favours offered for a price.” As well, it will stoop to any level, strike any bargain, and go to any length, to attain its devious ends.
THE RELIGION OF ISLAM
This religion made its debut in A.D. 622. It began with Muhammad of the tribe of Quraysh in Mecca. He claimed to have received a revelation that God (Allah) was “one” and that he (Muhammad) was to be Allah’s messenger of that truth.
In Medina, Muhammad came into contact with a large Jewish community. Evidently, his dealings with them resulted in him being influenced in that he adopted some of the Jewish practices. For example, at least at this particular time, he taught that faithful Muslims should pray facing, Jerusalem.
The Jews did the same thing and, in fact, had been doing the same thing for some 1,500 years. When the Jews rejected the message of Islam, which they did unequivocally, only then did he change his method of praying, by directing prayers toward Mecca.
He also taught his followers to fast on the tenth day of Tishri, the same day as the Jewish fast of Yom Kippur. This was later expanded to include the entire month of Ramadan.
In his so-called revelation, he also demanded that his followers abstain from pork and, as well, that all little Muslim boys be circumcised, which as most know, are standard Jewish practices.
He also claimed to accept the Jewish Prophets of Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. He also included Adam in this list, as well as the “Prophet Jesus.” And yet, he strongly rejected the idea of the Deity of Christ. So, it’s difficult to understand how that, he could claim that Jesus was a great Prophet, while at the same time being a liar, considering how much our Lord affirmed His Personal Deity.
Muhammad claimed that he was personally “the seal of Prophecy,” meaning that he was God’s final messenger. While he accepted some of the Scriptures of the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, still, he always perverted the Text. At any rate, his “revelations,” embodied in the Koran, became the authoritative “scriptures” for his faithful followers. These followers were called and are called “Muslims,” from the Arabic word:
Due to his acceptance of some of the Jewish practices, he felt surely that the Jews would accept his message of “one God.” He found to his dismay, that the Jewish Rabbis gave him no credence whatsoever, ridiculing his illiteracy, and especially his confusion of Biblical traditions. But above all, the Jewish people could not even remotely accept a non-Israelite as God’s “seal of Prophecy.”
In a rage because of the rejection of the Jews, he initiated a policy of extermination that resulted in thousands of Jews being massacred, with thousands of others being evicted from their homes and, in fact, from Northern Arabia.
THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT
To understand the Arab-Israeli conflict, we must try to understand the attitude of Islam toward the Jewish people.
The land that we presently refer to as “Israel,” or “Palestine,” was conquered and ruled by the Muslims from the Seventh Century to the Twentieth Century.
There was one interruption during this period of time, and that was when the “Christian” crusaders ruled the land for less than 100 years. Islam presently finds it unacceptable that this land, originally conquered for Allah by his followers, to now be ruled by the Jews, a people who they considered to be inferior and subservient. At least that is the way it is pictured in the Koran.
The Muslims find it impossible to acknowledge the historic, reality that the land of Israel, according to the Bible, which they do not consider to be the Word of God, but rather the Koran, belongs to the Jews. This is the real key to understanding the impasse that exists in Israel presently. The Arab countries, predominantly Muslim, refuse to accept a foreign, Jewish presence in a land that is supposed to be, according to them, a part of the “world of Islam.”
THE MODERN CONTENTION
Regrettably, most people in the world presently, and we speak of those who are not Muslim or Jewish, think that the problem in Israel, as it regards the Palestinians, is that Israel will not allow the Palestinians to have a separate State. And if the evil Jews, or so the world thinks, would only allow these poor Palestinians to have their own land, all the problems would then be solved. Let’s look at that a little closer.
That which the world erroneously thinks has absolutely nothing to do with the problem at hand in Israel as it regards the Palestinians. In fact, Israel has tried, again and again, to give the Palestinians particular areas they could call their own, the Gaza Strip, being an example. In fact, not so long before Yasser Arafat died, Israel agreed to all his demands regarding a separate State with the exception of one. They would not give up Jerusalem, which he demanded as the capital of the new country of Palestine. So, the talks fell apart.
The truth is the Muslims demand two things.
1. Every Jew in Israel dead; and,
2. The entire land of Israel thereby being Muslim.
They have initiated several wars from the time of the inception of Israel as a State in 1948, with this view in mind. They have lost each one of those wars. And the Reader should keep the following in mind:
Even though the Muslims initiated each one of these wars against Israel, with Israel coming out the victor, in each one, still, the Israeli’s allowed the Muslims to remain in the land. Had the scene been reversed, and the Muslims have won any one of these conflicts, as stated, every Jew would have been massacred.
Actually, there is no such thing as a nationality of people or even a segment of people that can honestly be referred to as “Palestinians.” The truth is, all of the so-called Palestinians in Israel presently, are actually Jordanians, Egyptians, Syrians, etc.
The word or name “Palestinian,” actually has its roots in the name “Philistines,” who inhabited the area presently called Gaza in Old Testament times. To be sure, the modern Palestinians are not descendants of the ancient Philistines.
If it is to be noticed, not a single one of the Arab States in the Middle East will allow any of the Palestinians into their country. In other words, they can not immigrate, forcing them to remain where they are in Israel, as a thorn in Israel’s side and, as well, providing the occasion for the world to blame Israel, when in reality, the fault is not that of Israel at all.
America has been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the Gaza strip, and to the Palestinians in general, over the last several years, all to no avail. In other words, the money seldom gets to the people but is stolen by the Muslim leaders.
As well, immediately after 9/11 (September 11, 2001), the Palestinians were in the streets rejoicing over our terrible loss, and despite the hundreds and millions squandered on this lost effort.
They were quickly told by the Palestinian authorities, whomever that may have been, to stop their rejoicing, because that may cause America to cut off the money flow. Once again, it’s not Uncle Sam, but rather Uncle Sap!
JEHOVAH OR ALLAH?
Respecting what has been said, the impetus behind the Muslim determination to destroy Israel cannot be narrowly defined as a family affair, even though both entities are direct descendants of Abraham, or so it is believed by some (Isaac and Ishmael).
The conflict is much deeper than that, in fact, even beyond the comprehension and understanding of the Muslims themselves.
Yes, there is the matter of engendered jealousy over Ishmael being passed over as the recipient of the Abrahamic Covenant, given to the Patriarch by the Lord. That Blessing and the Promise of perpetual ownership of the Land of Israel fell to Isaac and his heirs, which are the Jews.
“And God said, Sarah, your wife shall bear you a son indeed; and you shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish My Covenant with him for an Everlasting Covenant, and with his seed after him” (Gen. 17:19 KJV).
But as well, Ishmael has also given the promise of becoming “a great nation” (Gen. 21:18 KJV) — a nation so great “that it shall not be numbered for multitude” (Gen. 16:10 KJV). That Promise has been faithfully fulfilled by God. Tiny Israel floats in the middle of a sea of Arab nations scattered across a large portion of the globe, but with the greatest concentration in the Middle East.
THE LAND OF ISRAEL
The land area of the State of Israel presently occupied by the Israelis is only about one-tenth of one per cent of the entire landmass occupied by the Muslims in the Middle East. Now think about what I’ve just said.
That means that the Muslims in the Middle East has approximately 1,000 times more land area than the Israelis, and yet, they are demanding this little bit as well!
It all boils down to the Muslims refusing to accept the Bible; therefore, they reject that which was stipulated by the Lord, and concerning this very thing, so long, long ago.
There are basically two differences between God’s Covenant with the Jews and His Covenant with the Ishmaelites. Israel was specifically given the land called Palestine or Israel1)See Biblical References Gen. 13:14-17 KJV; 17:6-8, 19-21 KJV; 28:3-4 KJV. The paramount difference, however, is discovered in these words, as stated:
“And I will bless them who bless you, and curse him who curses you: and in you shall all families of the Earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3 KJV).
The Promise is further defined in Genesis 22:18 KJV: “And in your seed shall all the nations of the Earth be blessed.” That “Seed” of blessing delivered to the Gentile nations through the Jewish people — including Arabs — was and is “The Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ,” which the world of Islam will not recognize.
Paul said: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the Promises made. He said not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of One, and to your Seed, which is Christ” (Gal. 3:16 KJV).
The presence and assigned mission of the Jews were, therefore, uniquely set apart in marked contrast to those described as characteristic of Ishmael’s seed and national legacy.
The “Seed” component in God’s program for humanity surpasses every other aspect of history. In addition to being the Saviour of men, Messiah is also the King.
When His Kingdom finally arrives, He will establish and enforce stability. Delivery of the One Who could so bless mankind was the exclusive province of Abraham’s Seed through Isaac. The Promise is specific.
The Abrahamic Covenant provides the following:
■ A King for the Throne: “And kings shall come out of you” (Gen. 17:6 KJV).
■ A land for the King: “And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, the land wherein you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan” (Gen. 17:8 KJV).
■ A people for the King: “And I will be their God” (Gen. 17:8 KJV).
THE BLESSING ASPECT
It was the “Blessing” aspect of the Covenant that developed the animosity in Esau’s posterity because the Blessing fell to Jacob rather than to Esau, who fathered their people. Had the Arabs embraced obediently the Saviour and kingly aspects of the Blessings of the Messiah, history would have taken another course.
These residual resentments became deeply ingrained in the attitudes of the Arabs toward Israel, and those resentments spun off in manifold and discernible ways as the centuries passed.
Scripture is replete with accounts of the heirs of Ishmael who warred against Israel while growling their determination to “come, and let us cut them off from being a Nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”
“For they consulted together with one consent” (Ps. 83:4-5 KJV).
Their “one consent” was the extermination of the Nation of Israel.
However, I must remind all and sundry, that all who have said that, and tried to bring it to pass, have met, and without exception, an untimely end.
Since the days of the Psalmist, Arab determination has not wavered; however, the entrance of the new religion, Islam (Seventh Century A.D.) refined and sanctified the rationale. It then became incumbent to subjugate or exterminate Jews “in God’s Name.”
The whole world has witnessed the tirade of the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, stating, in effect, that “the Jews should be wiped from the face of the Earth.”
A man name Sheikh As’ad Tamimi, who claims leadership of “Islamic Jihad Beit Al-Maqudis,” focused the issue in a statement made several years ago, lauding such behavior, by stating, as it concerned a remark made by the late President Hussein, as that tyrant spoke of unleashing chemical weapons against Israel, “I hope he is as good as his word,” Tamini said. “The killing of Jews will continue — killing, killing in god’s name, until they vanish.”
Thus, the “Allah” discovered by Muhammad was a very different god from the God found in the Bible. Muhammad’s religion, which, in his view, was to replace Judaism and Christianity, would have a new book (the Koran), a new look, and a new centre of worship (Mecca), and all brought about by wholesale murder.
The word “Jihad” is one of the great words of the Muslim vocabulary. In effect, it is a declaration of war against all and everything that’s not Muslim. They claim that to die in Jihad is to be assured a place in Heaven.
THE VIEW OF HEAVEN IN THE KORAN
■ Koran 44:51-59 says that large-eyed virgins are awaiting Muslims in Heaven.
■ It says the female virgins will have large “swelling breasts” (Koran 78:31-35).
■ In Heaven, the virginity of these women, according to the Koran, will be automatically restored after each encounter (Koran 56:35).
■ Men in paradise will recline on couches surrounded by fruit, meats, and beautiful women (Koran 52:16-22).
■ The Koran says that Muslim men in Heaven will have a virtual assortment of sex, in other words, whatever is desired (Koran 55:62-77).
■ In the Hadith, it is said that men will have the availability of 72 virgins and, in fact, there will also be a free sex market for both men and women (Hadith Al Hadis Vol. 4, P. 172, No. 34).
■ The Koran claims that in Heaven men will enjoy a fountain of wine, which they can enjoy without ever getting drunk (Koran 37:45).
■ The Koran also states that those who wish for the pleasure of young boys will find many in paradise (Koran 76:19).
■ The Koran states that all Muslims must fight until there is no worship but that of Allah (Koran 2:193; 8:39).
■ Christians and Jews must be exterminated (Koran 2:193; 9:5, 29-30).
■ Those who convert to Christianity or leave the Islamic religion for any reason must be killed (Koran 4:91). Muhammad said, “Whosoever changes his religion, kill him” (Al-Bukhari 9:57).
■ Those who criticize Islam must be killed (Koran 9:12; 45:9).
■ Those who cut off the heads of infidels are guaranteed of paradise (Koran 47:4-6).
■ By killing, one is following the example of Muhammad who killed as well (Koran 33:21).
■ The prophets of Islam are to promote terrorism (Koran 17:59).
■ As it regards all of this, symbolically, the modern State of Israel stands as a constant reminder to rabid fundamentalist Muslims of their humiliation before infidels — a condition that can only be remedied through conquest.
The issue of land in the Middle East, namely Israel, while very important, is not primarily the great question. The great question concerns religious dominance — the lack of which is intolerable to the Muslim who is taught that Allah is all and is to possess all.
An abiding tenet of Islam is that all lands are to be subject to Allah. Therefore, once a territory is taken, it must remain under Muslim domination. If the land is lost, holy war (Jihad) becomes necessary. Any concessions or treaties made with enemies under conditions making it impossible to restore dominion by force are observed only until means are available to remedy the situation.
For this reason, as Arab spokesmen have repeatedly avowed, any negotiated peace agreement with Israel will only provide a staging area from which to pursue total elimination of the Jewish presence from the land claimed to be sacred to Allah. Hence, the negotiations and peace treaties with the Palestinians regarding the Gaza Strip, Jericho, and the West Bank should be looked at accordingly.
In such a perpetual state of conflict, Israelis know all too well that the Western World must learn or live to regret — survival against the Muslim onslaught means having superior strength and the will to use it.
The Muslims, beyond the shadow of a doubt, are bent on possessing this Planet for Allah, either by coercion or persuasion. They do not lack the will to use whatever means necessary, even to the slaughter of millions, only the way. By devious means, they are making great headway around the world.
In France, Islam ranks second only to Catholicism. England has received such a massive influx of Muslims, so many, in fact, that the face of the landscape has literally changed. In 1945, there was one Mosque in England; in 2007, there are over 3,000. In fact, London is the site of the largest Mosque in Western Europe. The story is the same in North America.
The first Mosque in the United States was built in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1934. In 1989, there were approximately 700 Mosques in the United States. Presently (2007) there are well over 2,000.
Muslims lay claim to some 10 million adherents to Islam in North America, drawn mostly from the black population. Actually, these converts to Islam in America call Christianity “the white man’s religion,” while Islam is called “the black man’s religion.” In 1989, the Muslims boasted that they would soon surpass the Jewish population in this country of 7 million. They have reached their goal.
Some years ago, Dr. Ishmael Faruqui, challenged Muslims to pursue a goal of 50 million to 75 million new American converts to Islam.
He said, “Only from massive conversion can we hope to elect Muslim politicians, appoint Muslim judges, and incorporate Shariah law into the judicial system of America. We must transcend our minority status to make Islam a dominant force in America and the West.”
In the face of this, a point to ponder is the fact that students from Islam countries now form the largest group of international students in North American universities and colleges.
THE ULTIMATE STRUGGLE
There is only one answer for this scourge that threatens the entirety of the world, and especially the nation of America. In fact, there’s only one answer for the entirety of mankind, and that answer is the Lord Jesus Christ, and what He did for us at the Cross of Calvary.
The ultimate struggle is not a territory, nor the subjugation of people by force; it is instead the acceptance or rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who Alone can save.
Muhammad claimed to have a revelation from God. In fact, he did have a revelation, and of that, there can be no doubt; however, it was not from God, but rather demon spirits. As a result, he has succeeded only in leading millions deeper into spiritual darkness.
When one looks at the tens of thousands kneeling around the sacred Kaba in Mecca (sacred so-called) surely he is moved with a deep sense of sadness. There is no salvation in that place or in the stone before which they kneel.
The only hope of Salvation for the Muslim world and, in fact, for everyone, is to bow at the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting Him as Saviour and as Lord2)See Biblical References Jn 3:3 KJV; Jn 14:6 KJV; Rom. 10:8-9, 13 KJV.
The Scripture Says: “And being found in fashion as a man (denotes Christ in men’s eyes), He humbled Himself (He was brought low, but willingly), and became obedient unto death (does not mean He became obedient to death; He was always the Master of Death; rather, He subjected Himself to death), even the death of the Cross (this presents the character of His Death as one of disgrace and degradation, which was necessary for men to be redeemed. This type of death alone would pay the terrible sin debt, and do so in totality.)
“Wherefore God also has highly exalted Him (to a place of supreme Majesty; Jesus has always been Creator, but now He is Saviour as well), and given Him a Name which is above every name (actually says, ‘The Name,’ referring to a specific Name and Title; that Name, as Verse 11 proclaims is ‘Lord’):
“That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow (in the sphere of the Name, which refers to all it entails; all of this is a result of the Cross, the price paid there, and the Redemption consequently afforded), of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth (all Creation will render homage, whether animate or inanimate);
“And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (proclaims ‘Lord’ as the ‘Name’ of Verse 9; it means ‘Master’ of all, which again has been made possible by the Cross), to the Glory of God the Father (the acknowledgement of the Glory of Christ is the acknowledgement of the Glory of the Father)” The Expositor’s Study Bible (Phil. 2:8-11 KJV).
SOME PARTICULARS REGARDING ISLAM
■ Jerusalem is the third holiest place in Islam, after Mecca and Medina — both in Saudi Arabia. Tradition has it that the Prophet Muhammad journeyed at night from Mecca to Jerusalem’s Al- Aqsa Mosque, and from there ascended to Heaven on a winged horse.
■ About 90 per cent of all Muslims are Sunnis — considered the Orthodox Sect. Of the dissident sects of Islam, the largest and most important are Shiites — fundamentalists, as in Iran. A split came in 680 A.D. over the dreadful manner in which Sunnis tortured and killed the Shiite leader Caliph Yazid.
■ Some 70 sects and offshoots of Islam have arisen because of doctrinal differences, which, in some cases, are irreconcilable.
■ Muslims recognize the Torah (first five Books of the Old Testament), the Psalms, and the Gospels of the New Testament; however, they believe that only the Koran preserves the truth as it was given by God. It is, therefore, the only true book.
■ The Koran speaks of a line of Prophets, beginning with Adam and ending with Muhammad. Both Jesus and Moses, according to the Muslims, are part of this line, although they vehemently deny the Deity of Christ.
■ Muslims vehemently reject the Christian Doctrine of the Trinity as sinful and blasphemous.
■ In Islam, there is no separation between the religious and the secular. All Islamic nations ostensibly declare their adherence to that concept.
■ The concept of Islamic Law is all-inclusive. It embraces all aspects of human life and endeavour, both private and public, devotional and secular, civil and criminal.
■ Jihad, meaning striving or struggle, is a term that has acquired the Islamic connotation of religious or holy war. Today, however, Jihad has developed into a broader context of striving for the common well-being of Islam and Muslims, and not necessarily exclusively by military terms.
■ The birth rate in Islam is 42 per 1,000, while in the western world it is only 13 per 1,000.
Original Source: June 2011 The Evangelist
(The material in this article is derived from the book, “The United States, Israel & Islam”. Some of the information respecting Islam was derived from articles written by Elwood McQuaid, Editor of “The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry”, and Will Varner, Dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies of that same organization.)
Scriptures from: (The Expositor’s Study Bible)[KJV/ESB]. iPad & iPhone & Hard Copy: by Jimmy Swaggart.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||See Biblical References Gen. 13:14-17 KJV; 17:6-8, 19-21 KJV; 28:3-4 KJV|
|2.||↑||See Biblical References Jn 3:3 KJV; Jn 14:6 KJV; Rom. 10:8-9, 13 KJV|