Dec 5, 2007

According to the Scriptures

By Dave Hunt

The Bible makes uncompromisingly clear to all mankind its claim to be the infallible, inerrant Word of the only true and living God. It denounces all other gods and scriptures as false, as well as the religions they represent. Of Jesus, God's Word declares, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (Jn 3:36). Peter told Jewish religious leaders (and was beaten, imprisoned, and killed for testifying to Christ's resurrection): "There is none other name...given among men whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Such unequivocal statements cannot be misunderstood. Jews would not have been persecuted and killed had they presented Yahweh as just one more god to be added to the Roman Pantheon. Christians were considered an even greater threat because in obedience to Christ they preached the gospel everywhere and thereby "turned the world upside down" (Acts 17:6). Even they would not have been persecuted and killed had they presented Jesus Christ as merely one of many possible saviors. It was their firm proclamation of Christ's claim, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn 14:6), that threatened Caesar and aroused such vicious hatred. Today, however, to avoid the objectionable exclusivity of their faith, "Christians" often compromise and many ecumenically deny the biblical gospel.

Christianity is a biblical faith, and the Bible is not an "ecumenical" book. It makes no compromise with any of the world's religions. Those who support ecumenism to any extent, no matter how loudly they defend their orthodoxy, are not Bible-believing Christians. At worst they are deliberate frauds; at best they are confused into simultaneously professing two contradictory beliefs (syncretism). Which do they really believe? Speaking out of both sides of their mouths is a popular ploy today of both political and "Christian" leaders.

Anyone is free to invent any new religion-but not free to call it Christianity. That faith is founded upon facts: Scripture, history, and prophecy, all of which are a matter of clear record and none of which can be changed. These facts cannot honestly be denied.

What must we say of "Christian" leaders and even entire denominations that do not follow Christ and His Word? We have exposed many by name and have documented in these pages their inexcusable hypocrisy and deceit, which must be summarily rejected. Away with all duplicity!

Whoever (Bush, Rice, et al.) insists that Islam is a "religion of peace" and that Allah is the God of the Bible is either deceived or lying. Islam has its founding prophet, Muhammad, who began his career with numerous murders, attacked peaceful villages and caravans, and beheaded hundreds who surrendered in exchange for his sworn promise of peace and safety. Islam has its scriptures (the Qur'an and Hadith) and 1,350 years of the bloodiest and most violent history of any religion ever known, including the merciless slaughter of millions (more millions in the take-over of India than Hitler killed in all of Eastern and Western Europe).

We fully document the truth about Islam in Judgment Day, which every Berean ought to donate to his or her local public library. One can only say that all those (from Bush and Rice on down) who turn a blind eye to the indisputable truth about Islam and call this violent religion "peaceful" are engaged in a cover-up.

It is indisputable that today's Islamic terrorism may not honestly be blamed upon "extremists." This is true Islam as it always has been from the beginning! Terrorists are sincere Muslims following both the teaching and example of Muhammad, the obedient example set by his loyal followers, and Islam's scriptures, which command the take-over of the entire world and death to all who will not convert. True, not every Muslim is a terrorist, but nearly every terrorist is a Muslim!

The scriptures and history of any religion are a matter of permanent public record that cannot be disputed, much less reinvented. Both those who attempt to do so (whether with Christianity or Islam) and those who accept and pass on their lies are guilty of the same deceit.

While terrorists are genuine Muslims who follow Muhammad and the Qur'an, the Crusaders were not biblical Christians. They followed Rome, not Christ and His Word. The popes had their own agenda of world conquest by force. Crusaders waved the Cross but denied Christ by killing His brethren, the Jews, wherever they went. Attempting "in the name of Christ" to retake the "Holy Land" from the atrocity-committing Islamic invaders violated Christ's declaration to Pilate, "My kingdom is not of this world [or else] would my servants fight" (Jn 18:36).

Yes, Israel was commanded to wipe out the Canaanites, a particular people in a very small part of the world with clearly defined borders-to execute God's judgment upon their unspeakable wickedness and perversion. Israel was not told to "convert" them or anyone else with the sword nor to take over the world by violence-as both the Qur'an and Muhammad (claiming an edict from Allah) declared from the beginning to be Islam's mission. This fundamental teaching of Islam cannot be changed without renouncing Islam.

Equally important to understand is the fact that the Bible, in contrast to the so-called scriptures of every religion, gives the proof of its claims. I don't say "every other religion" because biblical Christianity is not a religion; it is a relationship as children to a loving Father, which every true Christian has with God through Jesus Christ.

The God who inspired the Bible through His prophets and is presented therein does not demand "blind" faith, as Richard Dawkins and other atheists blasphemously assert. He offers proof and is willing to reason with skeptics and unbelievers, if they will honestly do so: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD..." (Is 1:18). Faith in God and in His Word is the only reasonable response to the questions with which the universe confronts us and to the answers God provides in Scripture. Peter reminds us that true followers of Christ do not threaten unbelievers but are "ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh...a reason of the hope..." we have in Christ (1 Pt 3:15). We have proved these facts so often in this newsletter that I will not repeat the proof now. The major proof, of course, that God offers of His own existence and that the Bible is His Word is prophecy. It foretells events centuries and even thousands of years in advance. Biblical prophecy is always fulfilled right on time in every detail.

Prophecy is absolutely unique to the Bible, being found in no other religious scriptures (though some contain false prophecies). Israel's prophets offered hundreds of prophecies concerning the promised Messiah so that He could be identified beyond question when He came as a humble, virgin-born child. After the resurrection, the apostles preached the gospel to everyone and everywhere, as Christ had commanded them. The two primary pieces of evidence were: 1) their own personal sworn testimony as eyewitnesses of what Christ taught and did (including His crucifixion and resurrection), though it cost them their lives as martyrs for refusing to ecumenically deny the truth they knew; and 2) the many prophecies in Scripture given centuries in advance, which were fulfilled to the letter in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

There was no excuse for all of Israel not to have been anticipating and not to have welcomed Jesus of Nazareth as the promised Messiah. How could they have closed their eyes to the fact that this healer of thousands, who did so many miracles witnessed by multitudes (even raising the dead), who was the talk of all Judea and Galilee, had arrived at the very time their prophets had foretold the Messiah's coming? The precise day (Dn 9:25; Neh 2:1-9) that He would present Himself to Israel, riding on "the colt...of an ass" (Zec 9:9), was the date Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (now celebrated as "Palm Sunday"), was hailed by mobs lining the road down from the Mount of Olives (Mt 21:2-11), then, four days later, was crucified-a shocking twist but exactly as foretold (Ps 22:14-18; Zec 12:10). Then the resurrection!

Unquestionably His body was gone, the tomb empty, in spite of the platoon of Roman soldiers guarding it. Frank Morison, (who, as a skeptic, examined the evidence, determined to disprove the resurrection), presented a fascinating story in his book Who Moved the Stone? He showed beyond doubt that the only possible explanation was the resurrection, exactly as the disciples testified, though it cost them their lives to do so.

America is no less guilty than Israel for her rejection of Christ. We have even more proof today than the Jews had then. A false Christianity's perversion and rejection of the gospel has stricken America with a blinding madness. Nowhere is that more clearly seen than in the attempt of "Christians" to embrace Islam as a partner religion. The president sought to curry Muslim favor by boasting that he had welcomed into the White House library a copy of the Qur'an-an aggressively anti-Christian document. How could any sane person sincerely insist that Islam's Allah, who hates Israel, is the biblical God who 12 times calls himself "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob...this is my memorial throughout all generations" (Ex 3:15,16), and who 203 times is called "the God of Israel"?

Surely, with so many advisors (many of them professing Christians), Bush must know that the Qur'an aggressively opposes every foundational Christian doctrine. Excusing themselves because of the President's example, church leaders persist in attempting to embrace Islam as a peaceful partner with Christianity. Yet the Qur'an contains more than a hundred exhortations to convert the world by violence. Sixteen times it declares that Allah is not a father and has no son, denies that Christ is God, declares that He did not die for our sins but someone died in His place, denies the resurrection, and declares that belief in the Trinity sends one to hell! All of this (and there is much more of the same genre) makes Allah the God of the Bible and Islam the friend of Christianity?!

At a recent student panel of "Pluralism at Harvard" (moderated by William A. Graham, Dean of the Divinity School), Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies and director of the Pluralism Project, who speaks approvingly of Islam, reminded the audience:

By the mid-1990s there were governors...and mayors who were recognizing Ramadan....[In] 1996...President and Mrs. Clinton invited members of the Muslim community to the White House to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan....In subsequent years we are seeing an increasing presence of this religious phenomenon in the American religious landscape...the observance of Iftar in the Pentagon....Madeline Albright hosted an Iftar at the State Department for the first time in 1998....A week ago, we had President Bush holding an Iftar dinner at the White House [his seventh!]....[On] the White House home page there's a whole list of Ramadan events....

Persisting in the lie that Islam is peace is like the United States responding to Nikita Krushchev's "We will bury you," with "We know you'll do it peacefully."

Muslims continue to kill thousands of Christians in Algeria, Indonesia, Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc., and to burn down Christian churches wherever they can. More than 3,000 churches have been destroyed in the last three years in Indonesia, 2 million killed in Southern Sudan for refusing to convert, plus thousands elsewhere. Muslims further demonstrate the true meaning of "Islam is peace" by continuing to slaughter one another in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the "World Without Zionism" conference, October 26, 2005, that "Israel must be wiped off the map." He has repeated this threat of "Islamic peace" elsewhere. All of the high profile Islamic political and religious leaders of "peaceful Islam" have for at least 70 years boasted that they will soon achieve their long-standing ambition to annihilate Israel. Arafat declared, "Peace for us is the destruction of Israel"-and he was given the Nobel Peace Prize! Those holding this wicked passion seem unaware that three times the God of the Bible calls Israel "the apple of his eye" (Dt 32:10; Lam 2:18; Zec 2:8) and declares that He will protect her.

Millions of evangelical Christians were tortured and murdered by the Roman Catholic Church throughout history, yet many forgave their tormentors with their dying breath. Their modern successors, however, stricken with the ecumenical truth-denying insanity we've been describing, insist that Roman Catholicism is the same as evangelical Christianity, though it preaches a gospel of salvation through rituals, works, prayers to the dead, suffering in purgatory to pay for one's sins, and submission to the pope.

The few verses that we have quoted above make it clear that God does not "dialogue" with man, as though He might be willing to take some suggestions and modify the gospel to suit His deluded and wicked creatures. Christ agonized in the Garden because He was going to be "made...sin for us... [i.e., treated as though He were sin itself] that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor 5:21). The full penalty for sin had to be paid, and Christ would pay it for all mankind. All God's wrath against sin was going to be poured out upon Him as He took our place.

Jesus pleaded with His Father not to make Him suffer this agony if sinners could be rescued any other way: "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me..." (Mt 26:39). No other way was possible. The full penalty had to be paid, and He was the only one who could pay it. So Christ, in love for His Father and for us, submitted to His Father's will. In fact, Christ's suffering the infinite agonies of an eternity in the Lake of Fire for our sins had already been foretold by the prophets. This was the gospel [good news] that Paul preached: "how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" (1 Cor 15:1-4).

The New Testament explains, "That he, by the grace of God should taste death for every man" (Heb 2:9). That death would have had to include the experience of the "lake of fire [which is] the second death" (Rv 20:14) for all mankind for eternity.

May we stand firm in our love for all, robbing no one of heaven by compromising the biblical gospel, which alone is "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom 1:16).