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Thus, we have now seen the claims of the Roman pontiff (cf. Daniel File, Part B, Section 1 supra) concerning his status, stature and relation to God - 'God Himself on earth' (New York Catechism) is one example; and of course many of the Reformers1 considered the criteria so strong, that they conceived the holder of this office actually to be the ultimate antichrist, its arch and final embodiment. That would mean the distinctively eruptive final force in the power play of Satan, the devil's 'messiah'.
With the persecutions, tortures, slaughters as at St Bartholomew's Day and its ongoing massacre in the French provinces, following extraordinary treachery; with the assault on Bible distribution and reading, and the murder of the heroic, English Bible-translating Tyndale by Roman agents, in his efforts to gain the Bible's admission, in plain English, into the life of his people; the rigorous and sustained horrors of the papally blessed Inquisition, not to dwell on the work... of the Jesuits, later debarred FROM, as long renowned IN some of the nations of Europe for their political intrigue, for the papal glory: one can readily understand this attribution. (Edmund Paris' The Secret History of the Jesuits is interesting here, as are Chinniquy's books, FiftyYears in the Church of Rome and Forty Years in the Church of Christ.) These papal acts made the papacy a prime contender for a post of such high blasphemy.
When one contrasts all of this systematic Roman action with Christ's systematic requirements concerning His kingdom, not of this world, so that he who humbles himself is exalted; with Christ's words concerning His servants, for His kingdom not fighting physically in defence of Him (and how much less of any pope...) or for His exaltation, preservation or prosperity; and with what Christ said concerning the necessity of not 'saving' one's life but losing it for Him, as He lost His, as a ransom in His own Ministry, for others; with Christ's laying down His life in sacrifice, not sacrificing others so that they should be forced by violence to exalt Him, but giving an example (John 13:13-17) of serving one another, from a lowly position at their feet, not towering over them in an ostentatious self-exaltation in His humanity: WHAT THEN ?
When one makes this contrast of the papal power and its exercise, with that of Christ and His exercise of it as an example of how we should treat each other, being 'brethren' (Matthew 23:8-10), the result is intensely evocative. This systematic contradiction of Christ's directions and examples and principles, seen in the papal persecutions and deployment of power would suggest to these Reformers, watching people literally burn, that the pope was in fact this final expression of the antichrist. Yet as we see elsewhere, there is indeed worse to follow, scripturally, than the pope; for Satan is more extreme in in final hour, even than this (cf. 922, 946 ff, supra).
The papacy was assuredly a rich field for comparison with the final human embodiment of the spirit of antichrist. This it remains, though not always so visibly as in its former totalitarian 'splendour', when in an open Inquisition, it had force at hand to implement its terrestrial claims more continually. The "man of sin" (II Thessalonians 2:3-4) did seem to have in many ways a good identikit match with the word of God going for him as pope. However as noted, the teaching of the book of Revelation is that the Beast will assume power and Rome will be overthrown. Though Rome may indeed teach him many things, as it taught them, in principle, both to Stalin in his interrogations... and to Hitler, in his admiration of the Jesuitical discipline over their members; yet (Revelation 17:16), for the Beast, the kings will unseat her, burn her indeed, leaving her ''desolate''.
The point is that the Roman Pontiff is ONE of the strands which are being knit together as the world loses its head and perhaps soon its heart too, to the final formula of the antichrist. Yet there is MUCH more of the scriptural prediction being fulfilled now, and there are many more preliminary actions clearing the way for the Ultra-Mark antichrist (cf. I John 2:18,19), the quintessential Judas, the updated, final edition, known as the "man of sin" of II Thessalonians 2. Rome cannot hold him; and as shown elsewhere, Rome itself will go, while this super-European juggler proceeds towards the rape of the world, completing what so many others have commenced with such distinction, such flair as the devil sometimes mounts, before meeting the Rock. That meeting, too, it will come (Revelation 19:12-21).
The political creation of the Common Market in the AREA of Daniel's prediction for the 'little horn' (q.v.) which is to focus evil in himself: this is a fascinating arrival to match the precincts of the prophetically controlled scene. Its 1992 economic union date, and the increasing talk of sovereignty (*15), is crafting the situation into a marvellous closeness to the ten horn display of the coming beast in situ. The noted Protestant elements (cf. e.g. pp. 974 ff. and 699 ff. supra), with their great "swelling words of vanity", are being added to the sometimes underlying philosophic movements and moods, which also greatly help prepare the way for the very concept of a 'god' coming-to-be, through the mere movement of forces. Comic and logically ludicrous though it is, the mind of the twentieth century man, in his cultural cradle, is being prepared for such madness in a way that might to some have seemed incredible, as recently as 1850.
See pp. 707 ff. and 911 ff. supra, for diverse, currently perceptible approaches to the predicted powers and performances of the antichrist. This is a fascinating area of predictive prophecy: the birth of the conditions for the events to follow. Such developments and powers, in all their complexity moving 'smoothly' forward to the date with history as predicted, highlight the amplitude and scope of prophecy and its partner, predestination.
So far from being fanciful, this very charge is made by the prophet Micah, as the Jews for their part, come near to a time of divine Judgment:
THUS SAYS THE LORD CONCERNING THE PROPHETS THAT MAKE MY PEOPLE ERR, THAT BITE WITH THEIR TEETH, AND CRY, PEACE: AND HE WHO PUTS NOT INTO THEIR MOUTHS, THEY EVEN PREPARE WAR AGAINST HIM (Micah 3:5).While this war was epitomised by the Jewish nation when, as Micah also put it in 5:1, they should "smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek", it is by no means limited to them. As the Gentile era - judging by Luke 21:24 and the restoration of Jerusalem, very largely if not indeed altogether to the Jews - comes near to its own end, the situation is not entirely dissimilar. Both Jew and Gentile alike have largely failed, and each invokes wrath.
One of the early forms of that wrath is frequently the outburst of war: with iniquity abounding, as Jesus predicted, hate and force thrive as far as such evils may. The world writhes and now that this set of "war and rumours of war" predicted by Christ multiplies, the GULF WAR added to the normal Jewish-Arab series of wars, Indian unsettlement, the throes of Sri Lanka, the trials of Papua-New Guinea, the horrors of Ethiopia, the cruel treatment of the Kurds, the continuing horrors of Afghanistan, the unrest of black South Africa, the bloodshed and the tension in the confrontation of Armenia and Azerbaijan, the horrendous, internal confrontation of freedom with the bamboo rod of Chinese communism, the threatening rape of the Baltic nations by Russia, not so tame after all with its troops VERY slow to leave, world-wide Moslem unrest, terrorism and threats of terrorism in unison: these make a cacophony of violence.
In the midst of the war season of 1991, how precious the word: PEACE! How precious also it seemed during 1917, 1940 and the Battle of Britain! How desirable to the Jews in 1948, 1967, 1973 and 1991, it seemed: to them after all their sufferings; as to the British in the rigours of two WORLD wars, in which near to one million men died in one battle-place, VERDUN!
Christ is the prince of peace (Isaiah 9:6), and has shown the ONLY way to peace: God not surprisingly, so far from being limited by men's ideas, limits their thoughts by His own; and He knows what are His chosen thoughts. Hear Psalm 2:1-7:
Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing ?Let us be candid; there is no point in avoiding the issues. Truth cannot stand by, if peace is to triumph. The Jews as a people crucified Christ (using Roman power, a reluctant agent in Pilate). The Moslems invented a new Christ, some 600 years later, and made someone up who did not die for sin, as the predicted Messiah had to do and did, giving Jesus' name to this mask. The Roman Catholic doctrine, using the name of Christ, killed masses of victims2 who did not agree with its worldly pretensions (such as Pope Boniface's claim that popes rule this world's princes), or its masterful direction of a religion of which Jesus Christ said: "Call no man on earth Master, for one is your master3 even Christ" (Matthew 23:8, cf. 1 John 2:27, Luke 6:46).
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord,
and against His Anointed, saying, 'Let us break their bonds in pieces, and cast away their cords from us.'
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and vex them in His displeasure:
'Yet have I set My King on My Holy Hill of Zion.'
I will declare the decree: the Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son ... You shall break them with a rod of iron...'
There you have three of the world's major religions, all relating closely to Christ (whom Muhammad, though changing Him, revered as a prophet): ONE killed Him (at Jerusalem); ONE killed BY 'Him' and still sacrifices (*16) 'Him' (from Rome), and one 'kills' Him by changing Him, and has arrangements including a direction to KILL, in certain circumstances till all opposition to "Allah" ceases, and often met in the unholy call for 'holy wars' (*17).
Now this is killing in the INTERESTS of religion (*18), not for moral rebuke or justice. Disbelief in these transmutations or mock-up's of Jesus Christ, made by managerial man, usurping the place of Christ, plagiarising, stealing His name, and killing in it, false masters, frauds! disbelief in THEIR product ? THIS ? IT can mean to DIE at the hand of sinful man, frequently confused man! to do so in appointed seasons, by this method and that, as seems good to such religionists. Let us examine only one aspect of all this.
What does the world deserve for this! Christ, the Prince of peace, is USED for killing... What hope is there while men use God's provisions so often to change them, while keeping the name, or 'honouring' it; use them to kill, in a perverse misapplication of the very 'weapons' of peace! And this, it is done by those 'leading', mastering and 'explaining' - CHRIST'S divine prerogatives - by those therefore by definition, usurpers... (Matthew 7:26-29). Christ misused to make war... it is worse then grisly! it is historical.
What of Australia4, which is being taken over increasingly by a pragmatic, unbelieving relativism in religion, one which cares nothing for truth; experimenting in what might properly be called 'social dynamics' ? It is open to infection from all sources. Absolutely declaring that this is the way, that all is relative, none of the religions is the truth, to an increasing extent, it thereby assumes it has truth in order to make this statement, and so ends in a mere contradiction - as well as using this contradictory and irrational folly surreptitiously to establish its own religion, one void of any ground but the sheer effrontery of arrogant repetition, something engaged in, with considerable temporary success by another great propagandist, Adolf Hitler.
Even for many who do not understand, whose pockets are appealed to in a short term flurry of worry and greed, WHILE THE COUNTRY SAGS - whose children are indoctrinated with materialism, while materials fly away - one increasingly laden with national debt: convenience becomes king and truth is to be kept in confinement. Very much in confinement, as this Church found when refused access to a public access radio station in Adelaide, for doing no more than present precisely what the Bible teaches! How aptly the ancient Jewish prophet Isaiah sums it up, of a former fallen period, one that led on to the Jewish national catastrophe towards Jesus Christ:
Justice is turned back, and righteousness stands afar off;So is justice, so is righteousness, so truth, so equity treated...
For truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. (Isaiah 59:14.)
Authoritarian myths like that of organic evolution, join hands with philosophic follies (Chapter 3 supra), like determinism and humanism. These myths are wielded, in some cases by law, like batons on the heads of children. Alas is any more blatant than South Australia, to which we have previously referred concerning its official diatribe, set in smooth terms, antithetical to the Bible. And what does it have, this liberty crushing anti-Biblical talk ? It comes with no more ground than a signature! Even Principals are told the ruling religion in terms that do not mention it, except in the performance. WAR is declared on freedom, on the Biblical faith and on the means to expose fantasy!
There will, however, despite such misuse of liberty as we have suffered from the radio access, and the children from their directors, be no peace without its Prince. You cannot suppress Christ and express the truth; and you cannot bypass the truth and have peace. America seethes with similar cases. States contest the issues, while the creeping cramping continues. Where, then, war is less open, it is not necessarily less real: nor the suffering less keen. There is war at many levels, and will be till the means of peace are adopted.
In the physical world, you will always be ineffective if you do not pursue the truth. Much more is this so spiritually, for here, ignoring the only way is no way to get anywhere, far less, to the peace of rightness, of having things as they should be, as they are meant to be, where they work apt in function and harmony, beauty and edification, reality, redemption and rest - in righteous tranquillity.
Neither the killing of Christ in the flesh, nor Holy Wars for the glory of ambitious religion, using force where faith is required, nor Inquisitions, even though they may make life temporarily simpler for some incendiarists5... really help! No, religious killing does not help! Nor for that matter does killing in the name of irreligion, as has led to the death of millions in the hand of Communism. Russia was only one that suffered vast internal invasion, their own people like locusts, persecuting them, suppressing Christianity, assaulting those at prayer, behaving in multiplied instances like beasts - and worse: often exulting in it, with a depraved ideological baseness.
The religion of man unmakes man (*19).
What now of this vast Russian religion, making a religion out of irreligion and worshipping what the Bible calls a "god of forces" ? It too now is internationalised, leaving neither liberty nor prosperity in its wake.
All this both validates Christ's prediction
of ramifying wars, and verifies His place as Prince of Peace; for as obstruction
grows, the results show; and alternative 'methods' fail, with a regularity
that is nothing short of systematic. In fact, there is more of apologetic
interest: Christ not merely predicted war in abundance, in an increasingly
immoral world, He also forecast this:
"YEA, THE TIME COMES WHEN HE WHO KILLS YOU WILL THINK THAT HE DOES GOD SERVICE"
(John 16:2, Matthew 24).
Such indeed was the feeling as martyrs like John Huss were put to death: the death orations (*20) of Rome, as martyrs were spent (*21) like the millions of some modern entrepreneur, could be exercises in double killing. They were lacerating the name as well as the corpse, assaulting the destiny (if it were possible) as well as the day on earth... all but unbelievably, in the name of... Christ! Unbelievably ? Hardly. Both history and prophecy attest such things; and the fact that they have not only happened, but done so widely, is fulsome further verification.
Whilst war may be necessary to defend the afflicted from violence, the concept of simply grabbing what you want to the glory of Allah, or some humanly invented religion or drive or lust or thrust: it is as hideous as it is irrational, as irrational (*) as it is irreligious, and as irreligious as it is provocative to the Prince of Peace, who in peace gave Himself (cf. James 4:1-3). As Paul states it (Romans 3:17), in seeking for men to come to the Prince of Peace, from their rebellions:
The way of peace they have not known.Thus we come on a flurry of fulfilments and verifications. The world does not find peace without Jesus Christ, its Prince, far less by misusing as it does, His graces or name. In so doing, then, it verifies (*18) not only what He claimed for Himself, but what He said for the future events; and within the abuse, there is specific fulfilment of this area of killing while thinking this is doing service to... God! It has all happened not merely noticeably, but with all the explosive force of vast racial rebellion; and the witness of war expands. The ultimate racism is that of the human race, against God!
Finally, we should summarise the systematic character of the offence which in principle so violates the Bible, the Prince of Peace and the world. It is no accidental occasion of strife which disturbs the world so noticeably that even the blind may soon become... aware.
In motive, men are forever seeking glory where it is not to be found. The glory of the (humanistic) race, of Rome, of Muhammad, of war, of winning, of racial superiority, of Communistic doctrinaire aridities, of the Pope, of Mary, of Aryans, of genes... you name it! This is readily interpreted by the Bible: it is because there IS glory so that it is rational to see it; but they seek it where it is not to be found, through unbounded rebellion which is producing increasingly confounding results! Here is 'Babylon'6 ablaze! (Contrast Isaiah 55:2-6.) And what says Jeremiah 13:16-17!
Give glory to the Lord your GodFour 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).
before He causes darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains,
and while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death and makes it dense darkness.
But if you will not hear it, my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
My eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears...
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.)
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.
*2 THE ORGY OF ROMAN CONDEMNATION... and THE DAY AFTER. See Extension 3: No Other Name - pp. 1069-1072 infra.
*3 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. In the Koran, Surah 48:29, we find (it. added): ''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''). There have not been vicissitudes but repetitive overthrows, dominating almost comically the whole period of the Jew's return (as God predicted, Zechariah 12:6 ff. - cf. pp. 779-822, 851-857 supra.)
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.
*4 DANIEL AS A DOCUMENT
Daniel is of course one more prophetic reference to the Messiah in His humiliation, which (9:26) corresponds with Jesus Christ whom the Jews reject as a nation; whereas the Book of Daniel is Jewish scripture. We may be sure they did not invent it in order to forward the acceptance of the Messiah whom they rejected! In turn, Christ, Matthew, refers to Daniel the prophet, and as Dead Sea Scrolls show, the Daniel text before Jesus Christ, God-as-man, has strong correlation with our own.
The Dead Sea Scroll date for the literature in one Daniel segment is around 120 B.C. - that is, the date of the COPYING of this particular MSS, according to Dupont-Somner in Aperçus Preliminaires: at the latest. This is based on paleography. R. Laird Harris, in The Encyclopedia of Christianity, Vol. III, p. 296 notes that F.L. Cross, Professor at Harvard, sees a script from the Dead Sea material7 of Daniel not later than second century B.C.. R. K. Harrison in his Introduction to the Old Testament, refers on p. 1118 to the copies and fragments of Daniel at Qumran and declares:
''In the interests of objectivity it should be noted in passing that the Persian terms found in Daniel are specifically Old Persian words, that is to say, occurring within the history of the language to about 300 B.C..'' (Op. cit. p. 1126.)
They fit before that, then.
Harrison further points out that even a second century dating for Daniel is: absolutely precluded by the evidence from Qumran, partly because there are no indications whatever that the sectaries compiled any of the Biblical manuscripts recovered from the site, and partly because there would, in the latter event, have been insufficient time for Maccabean compositions to be circulated, venerated, and accepted as canonical Scripture by a Maccabean sect.
Earlier therefore is the time for Daniel, evidentially.
Professor Gleason Archer in his Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (himself a contributor to New Perspectives on the Old Testament (Ed. J. Barton Payne), in comparing the Daniel exhibits with those dated for the second century B.C., cites this attestation.
But any fair-minded investigator when faced with such an overwhelming body of objective data pointing to the temporal interval of centuries between the two bodies of literature must conclude that a second-century date for the book of Daniel is completely out of the question... The complete absence of Greek loan-words, apart from musical instruments of international currency... points unmistakably to a time of composition prior to the Alexandrian conquest.
Further, he refers to palaeographic and carefully assesssed areas of "syntax, word-order, morphology, vocabulary, spelling and word-usage" requiring a date for its composition, centuries before the Genesis Apocryphon, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Their implications have been the subject of extensive research, duly reported cited by Archer, as in The Aramaic of the Genesis Apocryphon Compared with the Aramaic of Daniel, Ch. 11 in Payne's New Perspectives ... and Archer's The Hebrew of Daniel Compared with the Qumran Sectarian Documents, in Professor John Skilton's The Law and the prophets, Ch. 41.
He continues that only a 'dogma-ridden obscurantist can adhere' to so late a date as second century B.C., and even he 'must henceforth surrender all claim to intellectual respectability.'
Further to the point, his work on 'Darius the Mede' found in Daniel, is of outstanding interest and incisiveness.
Since the testimonies of multiplied data move all these parties into the B.C. era for the writing of the MSS of Daniel, discovered at Qumran, and we are faced with hundreds of years prior to Christ's death, and indeed a date prior to the Persian Empire, it becomes an academic exercise of great interest, but no necessity for our work to pursue it further. Suffice to say that it is interesting to gain B.C. writings of Daniel nowadays in such volume, used so widely in that period. This is precisely what one would EXPECT, from a birth date for the book of Daniel, at the time stated within it, for Daniel the prophet.
Further, this makes it the more impressive in terms of biblical fidelity that, as Professor F. F. Bruce points out, in his Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls (1956, 1961, p. 57) concerning exhibits from Daniel at Qumran:
"These follow the traditional Hebrew text, apart from a few variant readings related to the Hebrew text presupposed by the Septuagint version."
Thus the longevity of the text is found from both these and usage, as well as historical usage, and its substantial fidelity is but attested the more.
In parallel, it is interesting to note that Dr W. J. Martin of Liverpool University early pointed out in his 'Dead Sea Scrolls of Isaiah,' a correlative series of observations on the ancient data, not least Qumran, including epigraphical and palaeographic materials of no mean interest in terms both of age and condition of the text, with strong reference to modes and results of copying: that this material is prior to the Christian era, and possibly long prior.
Daniel is really an object lesson in prejudice: the number of aborted criticisms of it, that are interred with recent excavations of archeology, is truly startling. The book stands in all its untouchable dignity, sharply verified. The Jews did not make up a scripture of which none knew, and solemnly hoodwink the populace, scuttle their souls or blaspheme God for the purposes of religion. Daniel, like all prophets, had to make the grade on predictions (Deuteronomy 18). He has done so admirably, in a fashion far more spectacular in kind, than is the U.S. landing on the moon: for He predicted the date of the death, in human form, of that divinity who should rule over all nations for ever... hundreds of years before it happened.
As we see, his predictions from long before Christ's advent, concerning His death, represent perhaps the greatest detailed falsifiable prediction of all history, to the days of Christ... and THAT, says the examiner, should do! (See Ch. 9 supra, The Daniel File - esp. pp. 946, 940, 896-898.)
Two more points remain. The intemperate and reckless attacks made on this book, while information was less in archeology, is one more evidence of the truth of the scriptural precision of the analysis of men in Romans 1:19-21. Thus this negative anti-Biblical fury, now in vain, verifies the Bible. Professor Archer's language above, reflects the reluctance to cease the attack on the part the contra-Daniel assault force, which he, doubtless from experience, conceives. The author of this present work, indeed as a student, when - under express professorial challenge - duly, rationally and successfully maintaining the integrity of the book of Daniel, inherited revealing spectacles of fury and fabrication instead of logical answer. This evil was later justly to be deplored by a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, even my reinstatement serving to stress the surging outrage.
In view of such assaults on it, how rock-like once more is the word of God shown to be. Oil of vitriol, indeed rancorous aqua regia is poured on it without effect. It just stays. In fact, Jeremiah 23:29 indeed shows that the word of God will 'BREAK ROCK'. It does.
Is not my word like a fire ? says the Lord; and like a hammer*5 Degradation of society...
that breaks the rock in pieces ?
It is to be doubly debauched, and here we notice only two of many ways. First, there is to be the multiplication of false prophets and teachers, such as we have noted in surveying prophecies. Second, there is also to be an aggravation of the evil itself. II Peter, for example, attests the first and II Timothy 3 as noted, the second. It is a matter not only of quantity - more mouthing meanderers; but also one of quality. The hideousness is to grow worse. The scripture in Timothy is speaking literally of 'advance' in the evil case.
It is more pedlars and worse 'dope' (cf. the Greek text of II Corinthians 4:2). Marx got it right for the case when religion is wrong, like his own; and his is one of those fulfilling these predictions. This deterioration is to be spiritual/moral in its genre, scope, witness. Do not our very schools peddle the... peculiar, in both dimensions and in great numbers!
This brings us to two increasing factors which interact, in the realm of evil in general, but more specifically TEACHING, and the associated practice in the field.
It conveys therefore a sense more of cyclotronic multiplication... of evil; or, to change the metaphor, cyclonic! It blows like a wind, with broad and destructive effects. The things that stand, of course, will remain (Hebrews 12:25-27). The tempests that shake, meanwhile, start nearer and nearer to the cradle.
Meanwhile, there is visible a gravely comic aspect, one that tends to be manifest, as you see for example in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, when little pomp takes on strutting notions. The case here is that of man taking on God's... properties: if he could! This occurs not least, this sense of grave comedy, because the very speed and dynamism of the type of evil in view, while amazing, a plus, you might think, for Satan, is before the testimony of God, by this very means defeating itself!
It is rather like the stupidity of crucifying Christ: That was the very PLAN of God; and He had said so, as we have extensively seen in the work on prophecy, inadvance! Yet it was still done! (Cf. 1 Corinthians 2:8, Acts 2:23-24.)
In fulfilling these scriptures on the advance and multiplication of these evils, then, and in doing so in such a way, when both the fact and the way have been precisely predicted... not only in kind but in manner: the powers of evil themselves give positive and precise attestation to the sovereign hand of God. Having them do that, without destroying their freedom, is one of the masterpieces of divine history making. It abases them even as they exalt themselves (cf. Luke 14:11, thereby also verifying that Biblical principle, also).
Once again, He has said, and it has been brought to pass just as He said. In fulfilling the scripture's predictions, and this in the very vigour which we have noted, these things are ATTESTING THE ACCURACY OF THE WORD OF GOD. If it had not happened (special treat for Professor Popper), the scripture would have been wrong! Here then is testimony of great verificatory value.
The vigour and the verification is as fitting as it is impressive. It is like an experiment calling for strong gaseous production, which in fact results in an explosion. One is not left in any doubt about the power in question.
Again it attests: as to this word of God, in the whole field of observation and time witnessed, nothing overcomes it; and indeed, the more furious the efforts, the more impressive the result. The negative serves the positive in this: the might to resist meets the al-might to insist. And this is just what reason has attested, history quietly smiling as it serves the truth.
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1. Thus the Westminster Confession, Ch. XXV, section VI, refers to the ''the Pope of Rome'' as ''that antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself ...''
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2. See pp. 65 ff., , 30ff., and p. 968,, *5 (ii) supra
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3. The Greek term rendered 'master' is one who leads, guides, explains, goes before, teaches, opens the way, takes the initiative, lays things down, establishes, institutes, is the first to do, a sort of managing director or leader-educator-director - the first and foremost. Christ is declining to share the prerogative.
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4. Cf. pp. 1009-1110 supra.
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5. Religious arsonists, firing flesh, not forests.
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6. See pp. 729, , 946ff., 1031C supra.
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7. Dead Sea Scrolls give massive direct background to the textual antiquity of Jewish scriptures, stretching hundreds of years B.C.. Thus the complete Isaiah scroll (F.F. Bruce cites Dr S.A. Birnbaum, London School of African and Oriental Studies), is assigned a date 150-175 B.C. for copying! (Bruce's Second Thoughts on the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 43.)
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