April 28, 2010

 Hello,

 I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!

 For the past six weeks we have examined the coming kingdom of the beast and the nations of prophecy who will align themselves with this final world dictator, to the point of even turning their kingdoms over to him. There is something here that we dare not miss if we want to understand what is truly going on in these strategic days we have been privileged to live in. The thing we need to see is that all of the nations of prophecy either already have Islamic governments in place, or have rapidly growing Muslim populations.

 As recently as even a few years ago, most of us in the West knew anything about Islam. I mentioned in an earlier post of reading Lowell Lundstrom’s book, “The Muslims Are Coming” and thinking that Lowell was being a bit alarmist. How wrong I was! The Muslims are no longer coming, they are here friends. It behooves those of us who are Christians, who believe the Word of God, and love our Country; to gain some understanding concerning just exactly what Islam is, what they truly believe, and what their agenda is. Let me quickly say before going any further that I know there are wonderful Muslim people who are not fanatics, who are hard working, and who love America as much as I do.

 However, since the radical branch of Islam has such a large following and is so vocal and active both in this Country and abroad; we must sound an alarm and attempt to educate those who have ears to hear what the Spirit would say to the Church concerning this important subject.

 One of the first things we must understand is the fact that millions of Muslims around the world have an intense hatred for Israel and the Jewish people. Those of us living in the West have a struggle understanding this. You must understand that this hatred is a seething hatred that is as old as the Bible itself. It goes back to two sons of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. For covenant purposes and God’s eternal plan, Isaac was chosen by God to continue the line of his father Abraham. He and his descendants were chosen to inherit the land that today is known as the Jewish State, the tiny country of Israel. Even though both Ishmael and Isaac and their descendants can claim their ancestry through the Patriarch Abraham; it was Isaac who was the son of promise. [See Gal. 4:22 – 31]

 The second thing we need to understand is some history of this religion known as Islam. The founder of the Islamic religion, Muhammad, whose name means “the praised one,” was born in 570 and was from Arabia. Muhammad claimed he received a series of visions and revelations from Allah, which became the basis of the Islamic holy book called the Quran. Muhammad was from the Quraysh tribe, which claimed to be direct descendants from Abraham through his son Ishmael.

 Muhammad’s father, Abdullah, died before Muhammad was born. His mother, Amina, died when Muhammad was six. He was raised by his uncle and traveled with caravans throughout Syria and Arabia. At age twenty-five, he married a wealthy widow named Khadija and had six children through her. Muhammad lived near Mecca, a settlement in Arabia. It was a community situated at the center of the north/south and east/west caravan routes. Arabian merchants covered the area with beds, food, stables for camels, and other services. Mecca also contained a 140-foot-deep well with crystal clear water, called Zam Zam, the well was believed to cure illnesses. This well drew people from far and near to Mecca.

 The other distinguishing mark of Mecca was a large black rock, different from all others in the area. No one knew how it got there, and the caravans were afraid of it. (It was probably a meteorite.) Those living in Mecca built a large cube-shaped stone building over the rock called Ka’ba (meaning “cube” in Arabic). On the stone the local inhabitants of Mecca had placed statues of different gods and goddesses. Muhammad’s grandfather was the keeper of the keys to the Ka’ba.

 Before Muhammad’s time, Mecca had become a tourist attraction for the caravans. Each year, pilgrims traveled to Mecca to drink of the special springs and kiss the black stone. The local people charged money for visitors who wanted to kiss the rock for good luck. By the fifth century, the tribe members of Quraysh were the guardians of the Ka’ba and were the dominant tribe in Mecca. This tribe provided the arrangements for all pilgrims visiting the Ka’ba, and the senior members of the group collected the income from the pilgrims. At the time of Muhammad, there were 360 different idols sitting on the black stone in the Ka’ba. It was in this spiritual setting that Muhammad began praying and fasting at age 40.

 As Muhammad grew, he spent time on the hills outside the city of Mecca, in Arabia. Beginning in the year 610, at age 40, he claimed to have heard a voice speaking to him while praying in a cave above Mecca. Fearful, he ran home, where his wife wrapped him in a blanket. Then he heard the voice again, telling him that he was the chosen messenger of God to bring his people, the Arabs, the message of one God who controlled all things. He alleged to hear the voice saying, “You, wrapped in your mantle, arise and warn.”

 According to Muslim belief, Muhammad received a series of visions from an angel who claimed to be Gabriel. His early messages spoke of God’s goodness and power, the need to return to God, and the final judgment that was coming. He declared that there was only one God, and his name (in Arabic) was Allah. It was taught that Allah was the same God worshiped by both Jews and Christians. As Muhammad preached his messages among the Arabs, those who chose to follow his teachings became known as Muslims, and the religion was called Islam, meaning “submission.”

 I will have much more to share on this subject next time. Please join us then.

 The Weekly Word is found in Galatians 4:22 – 31. Here the Bible says,

Gal 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman.

Gal 4:23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise,

Gal 4:24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar

Gal 4:25  for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children

Gal 4:26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Gal 4:27 For it is written: “REJOICE, O BARREN, YOU WHO DO NOT BEAR! BREAK FORTH AND SHOUT, YOU WHO ARE NOT IN LABOR! FOR THE DESOLATE HAS MANY MORE CHILDREN THAN SHE WHO HAS A HUSBAND.”

Gal 4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.

Gal 4:29  But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.

Gal 4:30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREEWOMAN.”

Gal 4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

 Until next time, this is THE WEEKLY WORD.

 Pastor Kevin E. Johnson

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