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The Middle East: Battlefield of the gods

Counter-CutThis is the fourth in a series of essays examining the Middle East situation from a Biblical perspective.

In the Bible, the Lord God of Israel warns the nation of Israel:

Take care lest your heart be deceived, and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them; (Deu 11:16)

The objective of this essay is to provide the reader with a Biblical understanding of the implications of that warning in the context of today’s Middle East conflict.

Even a cursory examination of Middle East events makes it clear that there are four world-views competing for supremacy in the area.

After an initial summary review of each world-view, the following topics are considered:

Secular Humanism

The humanist world-view holds that there is no god and that man is ultimate arbiter and judge in all matters.  The humanist world-view is based on the concept of what you see is all there is.  Thus merely considering the possibility of spiritual matters is considered foolishness.

Everything can be reduced to politics, everything has a price, everything is negotiable.  Therefore secular humanism cannot fathom and explain the true, deep-seated source of anti-Semitism; nor can it comprehend the causes of an irreconcilable Middle East conflict that has been raging for millennia.  If the core principles of secular humanism were accurate, that conflict should have been resolved long ago.  But it hasn’t.  So, let’s get back to the remaining three main world-views.

Judaism

Judaism is the oldest faith of the three.  It is the first faith ever to have recognized the existence of a unique, singular God who created everything and is in control of everything.  The Hebrew Scriptures were authored under the inspiration of this God, the Holy God of Israel, who is perfect in all respects.  He is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, all righteous and just, all gracious, patient and forgiving, always truthful and faithful, and the perfectly dependable provider for all our needs.

The Scriptures record the history of the world from its very beginning; vividly describe human history in light of God’s standards of perfection, written from the perspective of a single chosen peoples (the Israelites); and introduce God’s plan for all of history.  The Scriptures open with a creation account from the Creator’s point of view.

After the creation everything is perfect in the Garden of Eden.  Thereafter human history immediately opens with hints of an unseen cosmic struggle between God and another person described as the serpent.  The serpent questions and challenges God’s authority in the Garden of Eden and convinces Adam and Eve, the first couple and God’s crowning achievement, to disobey God and follow the serpent.  (Gen 3:1-7)  Everything goes downhill from there; the world and serpent are cursed; as are Adam and Eve who are exiled from the Garden; death, illness, suffering, and pain also enter the world at that point. (Gen 3:14-3:24)

As the story evolves, God’s plan is slowly revealed.  God makes several unconditional and several conditional promises to the Israelites.  Due to the Israelites’ failure to meet the terms of the conditional promises, they experience various punishments and restorations, just as outlined in the conditional promises.

The Israelites’ behavior continues to deteriorate until the Glory of the Lord finally withdraws from the Israelites (Eze 10:18-19), who are taken into Babylonian captivity, and the LORD’s Temple is destroyed.  Although the Israelites return and rebuild the LORD’s Temple after a 70 year exile, the Glory of the Lord does not return; nevertheless the promise of a future return and restoration is repeated and reinforced[1].  This traumatic event marks the beginning of God’s silence in Israel’s history.

The Hebrew scriptures close with God’s commitment to fulfill key promises still outstanding:  Specifically the promise of an Anointed One (Messiah), a Savior, who will finally bring freedom and justice, restore Israel to a proper relationship with God, and set things right in the world once again as it was in the Garden of Eden:

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.  But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.  And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. (Mal 4:1-3)

That promise obviously has yet not been fulfilled.  In fact, things have gotten much worse.  The rebuilt Second Temple was once again destroyed, the Jews have been exiled throughout the world, and they have been persecuted repeatedly everywhere they went.  This has gone on for 2000 years!  Will it ever end?   What next?  How will the promises be fulfilled?  The Hebrew Scriptures provide only hope, but no answer.

Christianity

After a 400 year silence during the inter-testamental period, God acts in a surprising way and fulfills many of the promises made in the Hebrew Scriptures regarding the promised Messiah.  These events are recorded in the Christian Scriptures, written by eye witnesses and contemporaries of eye witnesses.

The New Testament opens with the coming of the promised Messiah, Christ Jesus, a babe in the manger.

The Messiah Jesus grows up, preaches the word of God, does great miracles to prove his authenticity, declares himself to be God incarnate, and rapidly antagonizes the Jewish political and religious power structure by pointing out their hypocrisy.  Everything Jesus does, He does in full public view.  Nothing is hidden, and news spreads quickly throughout the land.

Now the Israelites are expecting a victorious general to defeat their enemies and are desperate to rally around one, but Jesus is not interested in that position at this time.  Instead, after a short 3 year career of preaching, teaching, healing, and censuring, He willingly and purposely gets crucified next to a pair of robbers!  He dies and is buried.

Disappointment and despair return to the Israelites after heady days of hope and praise with Jesus.  They had great hopes for the restoration of Israel as an independent kingdom, and those hopes were dashed once again; the long-awaited military-general/king had not come.

God performs great signs and miracles according to the promises laid out in The Old Testament as a seal of authenticity, both at the birth and death of Jesus.  In fact, Jesus Christ fulfilled 83 specific prophetic requirements identified for the Messiah in the Old Testament[2].  Nevertheless many Jews still fail to believe that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.

To ensure that there can be absolutely no question of His authenticity, Jesus Christ is resurrected from the dead three days after His crucifixion.  He is seen by, touched by, and eats with up to 500 people during a 40 day period.  Then he ascends into Heaven in full public view, promising to return and finally set things right forever, just as foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures:

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”  (Act 1:6-11)

The Holy Spirit arrived exactly as Jesus promised,

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place.
And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.
And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.
And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans?
And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? (Act 2:1-8)

From that point on, many believed, and the number of believers grew rapidly.

There is no scriptural conflict between the Hebrew Scriptures (The Old Testament) and the Christian Scriptures (The New Testament).  In fact, Jesus himself taught,

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. (Mat 5:17-18)

The New Testament provides clarification and additional detail, yes; but not contradiction.  There are differences of interpretation and opinion, but those are due to human limitations and are not scriptural.  Consequently Christians treat the entire Bible – The Old and New Testaments combined – as a single integrated work inspired by God, but penned in 66 books by 40 different authors over a period of several thousand years.  Because the work was inspired by God, it is true, complete, and without error in its entirety – both Old and New Testaments.

However, because the teachings of Jesus conflicted with details of Jewish religious ceremonial laws, offended the Jewish the religious establishment’s leaders, and threatened their positions of authority and power, friction arose between the Jewish and Christian communities.  This friction ultimately led to a total break around the end of the first century, less than 100 years after Jesus’ crucifixion.  A deep schism remains to this day, in spite of the fact that both groups worship the same LORD God.

Despite such long-standing doctrinal and theological differences, and contrary to widely held Jewish belief, it is possible for someone to be Jewish and also believe that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah.  Belief in Jesus Christ as Messiah, after all, cannot erase one’s Jewish blood ancestors![3]  In fact, the Messianic Jewish community is rapidly growing in size.[4]

The New Testament closes The Bible with the wonderful book of Revelation.  The book reveals the unseen spiritual forces operating behind the scenes and controlling events of history, and relates them back to the Old Testament’s prophecies.  The book of Revelation answers all the questions left open at the end of the Old Testament “Will it ever end?   What next?  How will the promises be fulfilled?” and concludes with a glorious vision of a world restored even beyond its original beauty at the end of the age.

Islam

It is impossible to separate Islamic beliefs from Muhammad.  Islam is the product of a series of revelations Muhammad received from Allah through the angel Gabriel over a period of 23 years while praying and worshipping alone to Allah in the Cave of Hira.  At times he would pray for days and his wife would bring him food and drink. (Ref. B1 P. 41)

Gabriel’s revelations to Muhammad are recorded in the Qur’an.  Allah dictated every word of the Qur’an, which is a perfect copy of an eternal book that has existed forever with Allah. (Ref. B1 P. 20)

The Qur’an has no specific, coherent structure or story line; it is a fragmentary work of anecdotal revelations whose structure most closely resembles the book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Scriptures; the two significantly different in content and style, however.

The Qur’an is effectively a monologue written in the first person (often using the royal “we”), spoken by Allah.  However, due to its structure and contents,

“There is no way to understand the Qur’an correctly except in association with the Sunnah.” (Ref. B2 P. 18).  

The Sunnah provides the context necessary to understand and interpret the meaning and subject of Qur’anic passages that are frequently cryptic and incomplete.

The Sunnah contain the words and deeds of Muhammad as recounted by Muhammad’s followers in the Hadith (his sayings and activities) and in the Sira (his biography).  (Ref. B1 Pp. 24-26).

Muhammad lived from 570 AD to 632 AD.  The Hadith was compiled by imam Muhammad Ibn Ismail al-Bukhari about 850 AD; the Sira received its final form around 800 AD.[5]  Both are clearly of human origin, although the Hadith is often treated equivalent to divine origin from Allah.  Many details of Islamic belief, doctrine, and Sharia law derive from the Hadith.  Since Islam teaches that Muhammad is the model life one must follow, as written in the Islamic scriptures (the Qur’an and Sunnah), let us briefly review the life of Muhammad.

Muhammad was born into the Quraysh tribe in Mecca, a city teeming with polytheism.  He received his first revelation at the age of 40.  Though he had doubts about the source, his wife Kadisha convinced him of its divine source.  Muhammad proclaimed himself to be in the “lineage” of Abraham and Jesus, and began to preach his message.  The message was soundly rejected by the people of Mecca.  Tensions rose as Muhammad continued to antagonize and provoke Meccan leaders with his message and behavior.  The last straw occurred after 13 years of unsuccessful preaching when Muhammad made a treaty of war against the Meccans with the people of Medina – while still living in Mecca.  In response, the leaders of Mecca sought to exile or kill him.  Muhammad and his followers fled to Medina in 622.

During his stay in Medina Muhammad and his followers continued to harass and attack Meccan caravans.  Muhammad continued to provoke and maneuver the Meccans into a battle until they had no alternative but to fight.  The Meccans were defeated in the Battle of Badr.  Muhammad’s follower’s saw this as a great sign of approval from Allah.

Thereupon Muhammad turned his attention to the Jews living in Medina.  Muhammad attempted to convert the Jews to Islam, even to the point of initially requiring Islamic prayer facing Jerusalem.[6]  Nevertheless the Jews repeatedly pointed out the conflicts between Muhammad’s teachings and the Jewish Scriptures, thereby challenging Muhammad’s credibility.

The Jews adamantly refused to convert.  Thereupon Muhammad made war on the Jews, justified by a revelation as recorded in the Qur’an.  He methodically massacred them and took their possessions – after promising them free passage into exile.  Muhammad continued this process of extermination until ultimately all Jews and most Christians were eradicated from the Arabian Peninsula.

Muhammad persisted to make war on the neighboring populations, expanding his territory and subjugating all by force.  Six years after fleeing to Medina, Muhammad’s followers reached an agreement with Meccan leaders allowing them to reenter the city.[7]  Ignoring the terms of the treaty, Muhammad’s followers continued to raid Meccan caravans.  The Meccans tolerated this low-level guerilla war because cost and risk were much lower than in an all-out war with Muhammad.

Finally, when Muhammad felt prepared and strong enough for all-out war with the Meccans, he seized on the pretext that the Meccans had violated a technicality in the treaty, and militarily occupied Mecca.  After their surrender, Muhammad killed all who had previously insulted him.  Furthermore, he forced all remaining inhabitants of Mecca to convert to Islam at the point of the sword.  To this day, people of other religions are barred from entering Mecca.

Muhammad died in 632, but left behind a legacy of deception, violence, and hatred that continues to this day.

Let us now briefly examine what Islamic scripture (Qur’an and Sunnah) says, according to revelations from Allah.
But first we must understand that there are a number of contradictory revelations within the Qur’an.  Two examples follow.

Earlier Revelation

 

Subsequent Revelation

 

The Qur’an states in Sur 6:115  :And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. But then the Qur’an states in Sur 2:106  :Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things?

So the question is, do Allah’s words change, or not?
Apparently they can change whenever he wants them to.

Earlier Revelation

 

Subsequent Revelation

 

For the second example, examine revelations in the early years commanding religious tolerance:There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Taghut and believes in Allah, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (Sur 2:256) But that changed as Muhammad was unable to convince Jews and Christians to accept Allah; subsequent revelations turn to violence, and demand that infidels be killed – this is the root justification for modern jihad.  The most famous of these revelations is the “Verse of the Sword” pronounced against infidels:Then when the Sacred Months (the Ist, 7th, 11th, and 12th months of the Islamic calendar) have passed, then kill the Mushrikun[8] (see V.2:105) wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. But if they repent and perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, then leave their way free. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Sur 9:5)Other similar verses include: Sur 2:190-193, 8:38-39, 9:5, 9:14, and 9:29.

So the question is,will Allah tolerate other religions?  Apparently both yes and no!
YES (according to the earlier revelation) and NO (according to a subsequent revelation)

To resolve such contradictions, Allah gave the following revelation to Muhammad[9]:

Whatever a Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allah is able to do all things? (Sur 2:106)

According to this revelation any earlier revelation can be effectively voided and replaced at any time by a new revelation.  Hence in the example above, Sur 2:256 (often quoted to show that Islam is a religion of peace and accommodation) is voided and replaced by Sur 9:5, which commands Muslims to kill infidels (the currently operative command).

A similar situation exists with regards to Jews and Christians.  For example, The Qur’an contains a number of positive revelations regarding Jews and Christians, originating during Muhammad’s early years at Medina.  (As we shall see, they were subsequently abrogated.)  One is quoted below as an example:

O Children of Israel! Remember My Favour which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you to the ‘Alamin (mankind and jinns) (of your time period, in the past). (Sur 2:47 and repeated in 2:122)

Other positive comments include verses Sur 28:4-6, 5:20, 2:62, 5:69, 5:44, 5:46-47, and 5:66.

Muhammad continued to woo the Jews with kind words for a year, but then he changed course because he failed to convert any Jews.  Henceforth the revelations change tone dramatically:

Among those who are Jews, there are some who displace words from (their) right places and say: “We hear your word (O Muhammad ) and disobey,” and “Hear and let you (O Muhammad ) hear nothing.” And Ra’ina with a twist of their tongues and as a mockery of the religion (Islam). And if only they had said: “We hear and obey”, and “Do make us understand,” it would have been better for them, and more proper, but Allah has cursed them for their disbelief, so they believe not except a few. (Sur 4:46)

So when they [the Jews] exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: “Be you monkeys, despised and rejected.” (It is a severe warning to the mankind that they should not disobey what Allah commands them to do, and be far away from what He prohibits them).  (Sur 7:166)

Similar statements are made in Surahs 5:60 and 2:65.  Another subsequent revelation states that Jews and Christians must accept Islam or face eternal punishment:

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.  (Sur 3:85)

Yet another revelation accuses the Jewish people of corrupting the word of God:

Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allah [the Taurat (Torah)], then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it? (Sur 2:75)

…and the threats continue, although the consequences still remain confined to the afterlife:

Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allah neither any Wali (protector or guardian) nor any helper. (Sur 2:120)

And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the disbelievers of old. Allah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!  (Sur 9:30)

And verily, you will find them (the Jews) the greediest of mankind for life and (even greedier) than those who – ascribe partners to Allah (and do not believe in Resurrection – Magians, pagans, and idolaters, etc.). Everyone of them wishes that he could be given a life of a thousand years. But the grant of such life will not save him even a little from (due) punishment. And Allah is All-Seer of what they do.  (Sur 2:96)

In the following revelation the Qur’an denies the Crucifixion, but blames the Jews for killing Jesus.  That’s an inherent contradiction:  If Jesus wasn’t crucified, then how could the Jews have killed him?  How did the Jews kill Him?  The Qur’an is silent on that issue!

And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allah,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but the resemblance of ‘Iesa (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man), and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) ]:  (Sur 4:157)

Ultimately the threats become more violent and physical and begin to include Christians as well:

O you who have been given the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Believe in what We have revealed (to Muhammad ) confirming what is (already) with you, before We efface faces (by making them like the back of necks; without nose, mouth, eyes, etc.) and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers. And the Commandment of Allah is always executed.  (Sur 4:47)

Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people, (Sur 9:14)

And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world ]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.  (Sur 8:39)

O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya’ (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but Auliya’ to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya’, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust).  (Sur 5:51) [10]

Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad Peace be upon him ) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’an), then you would have against Allah neither any Wali (protector or guardian) nor any helper.  (Sur 2:120)

A significant feature of the Qur’an is that many of the revelations of Muhammad are repetitions of Biblical stories found in Jewish and Christian Scriptures.  In fact one can find 55 such stories, of which only about 10 generally conform to the Biblical version; the rest depart from the Biblical version markedly – even to the point of being totally contradictory.

This situation presents a dilemma (See also Ref. B3, Pp. 81-84):

  1. If the Qur’an is truly a supernatural revelation to Muhammad, then it must not have come from the God of the Bible because it is contrary to His previous statements in the Bible and to His character.  Therefore the revelation must have come from another god!
  2. If the Qur’an is not a supernatural revelation to Muhammad, then it is something other than it claims to be.  Therefore it is false by definition!

In either case, it is clear that the LORD God of the Bible and the Allah of the Qur’an are different and not the same, contrary to the claim made by the Qur’an in Sur 29:46:

And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting them to Islamic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do wrong, and say (to them): “We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our Ilah (God) and your Ilah (God) is One (i.e. Allah), and to Him we have submitted (as Muslims).”

If questions remain, let every person study and compare the Bible with the Qur’an.  A more extensive study is outside the scope of this essay, so for purposes of discussion let us grant that the Qur’an is truly Allah’s supernatural revelation to Muhammad as claimed.

Full text of the Qur’an is available on-line at  http://noblequran.com/translation/index.html

The End Game

Now that we have a rudimentary understanding, it is clear that everything collapses into just three dominant world-views in the Middle East:  Secular Humanist, Judeo-Christian, and Islamic.
So where are things going in the Middle East?  What is the final end state, the endgame, going to look like?  It depends on whom one asks.

The secular humanist hopes that some kind of compromise and peace can be worked out.  Details of the endgame will be determined ad hoc as events unfold on the evening news.

The Jews and Christians share a common fundamental vision of the end game in which The LORD God’s will is accomplished, and Israel is redeemed (though some details vary).  The Islamists share a contrasting vision of the end game in which Allah’s will is accomplished, and Jews and Christians are destroyed.  Compromise between the two views is impossible.  One of the two must prevail over the other.

The following table summarizes the irreconcilable differences between the two world-views.[11]

Judeo-Christian view (The LORD God’s will)

Islamic view (Allah’s will)

There will be a great battle between the LORD God’s people and the LORD God’s enemies; the LORD God will achieve victory There will be a great battle between Jews and Muslims; all Jews will be killed and the land of Israel will be conquered
The world will freely acknowledge the LORD God as the one and only true God The world will be forced to submit to Allah; all infidels (non-believers in Allah such as Christians and Jews) will be killed
The Jewish Messiah will rule Israel, the Middle East, and the world in peace and justice The Mahdi (a descendant of Muhammad) will rule the world; Jesus will come and serve him in killing all Jews.
The land of Israel will be given back to the Jews according to the LORD God’s promise All the Middle East, including the land of Israel, will belong to Islam
Jerusalem will be the world’s capital and the LORD God will rule from there through the Messiah Jerusalem will belong to the Arabs and become the center of global Islamic rule via Sharia law
The Third Temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount There never was a Temple and never will be a Temple, and the Al Aqsa Mosque alone will remain on the temple mount
The Bible (both the Old Testament including the Torah, and New Testament) is the uncorrupted, inerrant Word of God The Torah has been corrupted by the Jews, and the Mahdi will produce copies of the uncorrupted Torah

It is clear from the above table that the stakes are extremely high:  World supremacy.

  • Whoever prevails over Jerusalem, prevails over Israel.
  • Whoever prevails over Israel prevails over the Middle East.
  • Whoever prevails over the Middle East will have supremacy over the world.
  • Whoever demonstrates that he is supreme over the world must be the one true god.

Compromise is impossible.  In the endgame either the Judeo-Christian God (the LORD God) or Allah must prevail because the two cannot coexist forever.

So the secular humanist looks at the Middle East and says in confusion and frustration, “Why can’t they make peace?”  Maybe one side can trade land for promises of peace.  Maybe…

But the struggle will continue in spite of the best political, economic, and social efforts because coexistence is absolutely impossible.  The secular humanist is at a loss to understand the truth that one side must prevail over the other.  The struggle is a spiritual battle between two gods, the LORD God and Allah, for ultimate supremacy over the world.

Conclusion

History repeats itself, and those who ignore it are headed for disaster.  How true this is in the Middle East today!  All one has to do is study the history of the Jews in Arabia under Muhammad to understand what is happening in the Middle East today.  And events the Middle East today are but a precursor of global events, as 9-11 warned.

It is difficult to escape the fact that today’s Middle East conflict is the continuation of a 1,400 year old war between two world-views:  The Judeo-Christian world-view and the Islamic world-view.  Even from a secular humanist perspective it is impossible to escape the fact that today’s conflict is fueled by competing world-views that represent different faiths and religious perspectives!  From either a Judeo-Christian or Islamic perspective, it is irrefutably clear that the Middle East conflict is fundamentally about the supremacy of one god or another:  Either the Judeo-Christian Lord God is the one true God as He claims, or the Islamic God Allah.  The two cannot coexist in the same space:  One must be supreme over the other.

That’s why the Middle East is the Battlefield of the gods, because
All is not as it looks – especially in the Middle East!.

Reference books for further reading:

B1 – The Truth about Muhammad, Robert Spencer
B2 – The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the KORAN, Robert Spencer
B3 – Islam and the Jews, Mark A. Gabriel
B4 – Islam and Terrorism, Mark A. Gabriel

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[1] Ezekiel 36-48 specifically provides very detailed – but to date unfulfilled – promises regarding a magnificent new Temple to which the Glory of God will once again return, and also promises of detailed land grants to the various tribes of Israel.

[2] See “The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict”, Josh McDowell, Chapter 8 for detailed listing and analysis.

[3] I have a close friend whose faith is strong in Christ.  One day I innocently asked for her opinion, “You were Jewish.  Can you…”  I was totally caught off guard by her immediate reaction and strong response, “I AM JEWISH STILL!  I was born a Jew and remain one to this day.  I just happen to be a Jew who believes in Yeshua as the Messiah!”

[4] Israel’s Messianic Jewish population was estimated at 15,000 in 2010.  [http://www.prophecynewswatch.com/2010/August20/2024.html ]

[5] The author of the Sira, Ibn Hisham, explains that he omits from this biography “things which it is disgraceful to discuss.”  Thus one can be assured  this biography idealizes Muhammad’s life to the point of idolatry, and makes the reader question the veracity of the content.  (Ref. B1, P. 27)

[6] The requirement to face Mecca came later when Muhammad recognized the futility of attempting to convert the Jews peaceably.

[7] The treaty of Hudaibiya

[8] A polytheist; literally, “one who falsely associates (something) with God,” considering it to be likewise divine. It is most often used in the Qur’ān to refer to the Meccans and other Arabs who refused to accept the monotheistic vision of Islam.  Note that Islam views the Christian doctrine of the Trinity as a form of polytheism.

[9] This is a very important principle:  If there is a conflict between two verses in the Quor’an, the first is effectively voided and replaced by the latter.  For example, the earlier verses of the Quor’an written during Muhammad’s initial years encourage peaceful behavior toward Jews and Christians.  Latter verses, written during the period of Medina and later, encourage violence toward Jews and Christians.

[10] Islam places significant restrictions on Jews and Christians under Shariah law.  (Ref. B3, Pp. 122-124)

[11] There are significant differences within the Judeo-Christian view, such as the identity of the Messiah, that are irrelevant to this essay and hence ignored.  For example, it doesn’t matter whether the Jewish Messiah is Jesus Christ as Christians believe or someone else as many Jews believe; both Jews and Christians worship the same LORD God and both believe that the Jewish Messiah will rescue the Jews and rule in peace and righteousness.  As Paul wrote:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal 3:28)

Furthermore, I have intentionally excluded specific events from the book of Revelation, which is more about how we get to the endgame.  The endgame itself is the restoration of the authority and rule of the LORD God over His creation and people Israel, and final judgment of His enemies.

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  1. March 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm
  2. March 12, 2014 at 10:09 am

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