Friday, August 23, 2013

The Name Most Hated Above All Names

In the wake of all the recent violence in Egypt, have you considered that there are things we are NOT being told?  Or if we are being told what's really going on, it has been minimized and ignored, and another reason tops the headlines?

All too often, we are spoon fed the political aspects of these kinds of events by both our government and our mainstream media, instead of being fully informed of all that's actually occurring.  It doesn't take a political science major or a Middle East expert to know that what we receive in the way of explanations has been cleverly written by our own leaders to not only keep us content that our government has a close eye on the problem and a genuine understanding of and concern for the implications, but also to keep us complacent and apathetic and more politically correct about Muslims and the religion they practice.  

That became obvious when the Egyptian people flooded Tahrir Square last year and we were inundated with talking heads on the news, giving their "expert" opinions and celebrating how wonderful it was that the people were rising up for democracy.   The stark images of millions rising to denounce their government were astounding. 

However, within one short year and the arrival of the latest uprising, new talking points were quickly written and dispersed to those talking heads, and "Plan B" was put into place because that short-lived, so-called "freedom" rally failed in a big way.  If it weren't for the internet and instantaneous news and images, we would remain in the dark about most subjects.  The "experts" also probably figured that they wouldn't appear so foolish, and more important, ignorant of the reality of the situation by revising their positions.

When it came to the players in what it appeared to be a game of politics, they were most ignorant over the Muslim Brotherhood.

The fact of the entire matter is that the Muslim Brotherhood, which portrayed itself as Egypt's salvation and was covertly placed into power following the removal of Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak, is one of many  fanatical Islamist factions bent upon destruction and domination of the world.  Their history and belief system was foolishly glossed over and blatantly ignored, with some even going so far to say that the Muslim Brotherhood has a true desire for "civil democracy" and has done much good for the nation of Egypt.  Any trouble that came out of their organization was blamed on a small portion of members within their ranks.  Their official English website paints a rosy picture of peaceful protests, tolerance and altruism, a desire for democracy, and their membership as the victims and martyrs.  But if you have your eyes and ears open, and look objectively at that organization and its presence in the Middle East, including what Islam represents and their affiliation with other terror groups, like Al Qaeda, and their collusion with Hamas during the 2011 revolution, they are unable to pull the wool over your eyes.

What these "experts" are failing to mention is that the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood isn't focused only on Egypt, but the entire Middle East and points beyond and recently, our government, much to their chagrin - and, I might add, shame - actually supported their rise to power.  Oh, the Democrats and the Obama administration, and even conservative politicians we thought had more sense, tried to make us believe that they were unbiased regarding the revolt, but failed to convince some of us.   It would be a hard task to get them to admit that now, however.  Politicians and news pundits have very short memories, especially if they're caught in contradictions and errors.  And our President is now back-pedaling and denying he had anything to do with supporting their insurrection, while still attempting to convince Congress to "give them another chance."

In spite of the collateral damage in Egypt - i.e., 51 innocent children being killed in the initial military crackdown, and whose parents are the truly guilty ones for placing their children in the line of danger, a common practice among Islamists and Muslim terrorists -  it's my contention that the Egyptian Army may have a legitimate reason for what they are doing.  Although our President, for political and military strategic reasons, refuses to call the latest skirmish a "military coup," it just may not be one.  When a nation of people is so clearly divided and takes to the streets with weapons and is bent on killing and destruction, even placing their children on the front line, what other option is left but to send in the military to quell the violence?

It becomes a matter of the strongest over the weakest, and what if the strongest are those who would do the most damage if allowed to take over the government?  If, God forbid, Americans finally reached the point of revolt over what they see happening in the United States that is clearly threatening their freedoms and their nation's sovereignty, and rose up in massive numbers to storm Washington D.C., the front lawn of the White House would become a battlefield with our military and police forces shooting back at citizens, including the children who are present, in an attempt to restore peace.  Can anyone deny that?

From a secular standpoint, answers are clearly needed for why men behave the way they do.  But, sadly, the wrong answers are being given, and what's going on with the Egyptian people is a good example.

When things like this occur in other parts of the world, specifically in the Middle East, our first thought is that it's all politically based.  A despot has been in power for decades and ruled with an iron, and often cruel, fist, until a generation of people rise up and drag him from his throne, usually leaving a wake of death and destruction in their path.  Celebrating their new-found illusion of freedom, they rush into placing another leader into power who has wooed them with fine-sounding promises of democracy, free elections, equality and economic and religious freedom and prosperity, foolishly thinking that, at last, they will have the government they desire.  Far too many struggling nations have fallen into that trap, and Egypt is only the latest.

However, the problem lies in the fact that the people in the Middle East have no real understanding of the concept of democracy, nor will they ever understand it.  They see it being practiced in western nations yet, because of their Islamic religion, which constitutes and demands a mixture of religion with politics and outright hatred for capitalism and religious freedom, are unable to correctly and effectively implement it.  Factor in that they can't have their democracy cake and eat it with Sharia Law as a side dish.  The two are as opposed to each other as the east is from the west or, as in this case, Islam from Christianity.  (As is obvious in most nations they have immigrated to, they quickly demand that side dish, and it usually involves more violence until they get what they want.)  It's not long before those who celebrated the overthrow of a oppressive government with jubilation in the city square find themselves regretting being so quick to replace it.

The Muslim Brotherhood led a successful campaign in making it appear that they were a peaceful and equitable arm of Islam.  At least, they were able to convince the secular portion of the world who are ignorant regarding the truth behind this religion and what their real agenda is, including our own President Barrack Hussein Obama.  That is, if he truly is that ignorant.  But not so much with those of us who have discernment and an understanding of the role that the sons of Ishmael (Gen 17:18-21; Gen 21:8-21; Psalm 83) and Esau (Gen 25:21-34; Gen 27; Mal 1:2-5; Heb 12:1-17) will play in the end of times scenario.  Following the ouster of Mubarak and the successful placement of the Muslim Brotherhood into the Egyptian government, it took a while for their true character to rear its ugly face.  Within just a few months, Egypt's newly elected President, Mohamed Morsi, began revealing his intentions and implementing his previous unspoken commitment to the Muslim Brotherhood and its agenda.

Let's get to the meat and potatoes of what I view to be the cause of this mess, shall we?

Take a moment and consider the escalation of persecution against the Egyptian Coptic Church as one possible reason for the Egyptian army's intervention.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, which was established 2,000 years ago and believes the "Patriarchate of Alexandria" was founded by Mark the Evangelist around 33 A.D., is modeled after the Roman Catholic Church (RCC), even venerating a Pope of their own.  Like the RCC, it is in error over many doctrinal issues.  In short, they believe in seven sacraments: baptism, including baptism of babies, confirmation, confession (penance), Eucharist (communion), matrimony, ordination, unction of the sick, and teaches salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Copts practice fasting, in which 210 days of the year are considered fast days.  Like the RCC, they rely heavily on tradition, celebrate mass, and teach that works earn merit.  Although worship of saints is forbidden, they do teach that dead saints intervene for the faithful, and they also venerate icons (Gen 20:1-4).

It's not that the Coptic Church is necessarily a true Christ- and Gospel-centered church that drives the Muslim Brotherhood to expel them from Egypt with whatever method is necessary, even through extreme persecution.  It's the fact that the name of Jesus Christ is associated with the church.  That's what compels them to hatred and violence.  Their motivation to kill is urged on by their utter hatred and lack of understanding true Christianity and the One True God Jesus Christ who is sovereign and hates the worship of false gods like Allah, the god of Islam.  They see and hear the Name that is above all names being proclaimed - that Jesus alone is worthy to be worshiped, and that He is the only way to true salvation - and that fuels their vehement and complete prejudiced hostility for Him that spills out upon any one church or group that elevates Jesus Christ above all other false religions, including their own, Islam, which is the predominate religion causing all the trouble in the current state of world affairs. 

This linked article, depicting a Christian orphanage that was recently burned by Morsi supporters, is only the latest in a stream of violence that has been perpetuated against Coptic Christians in Egypt.

In a National Review Online article dated August 14th, reporter, Raymond Ibrahim, reports that the level of violence against Egyptian Christians "has reached unprecedented levels in the modern era."  However, regarding the Egyptian army's perceived violations, he writes:

While Western media, following the lead of pro-Brotherhood Al Jazeera, continue demonizing the Egyptian military’s attempts to neutralize the Muslim Brotherhood terror bases – where people have been tortured, raped, and killed, all according to Islamist fatwas (yes, including the rape, more on this later) the media portray them as “sit ins” where Islamists are “holding vigil” only to be slaughtered by the military – the Western media has been incredibly silent about the terrors being visited on Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the nation’s original inhabitants, by the very same people in the “sit ins.”
For starters, and as CBN’s Gary Lane just put it, “What do Muslim Brotherhood members do when Egyptian Security Forces launch a forewarned operation to clear them from Cairo tent cities? Attack Christians. That’s right. Morsi supporters responded with a monumental attack — unprecedented in modern times — on churches throughout Egypt. The torching and destruction of churches occurred within six hours of the start of the military crackdown.”

Mr. Ibrahim continues to verify that the persecution of Coptic Christians didn't begin with this latest military crackdown.  He cites numerous examples of arrests and sentences being handed out against them by Morsi's government, verifying that the Muslim Brotherhood's long arm of Islamic justice against those who would dare to blaspheme their "prophet" and their religion played a very important role in the first year of this newly elected government.

As Mr. Ibrahim concludes, he could fill pages of his article (as well as myself on this blog) with examples of severe persecution that has been perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, its spread across all of Egypt, and the world turning a blind eye to the slaughter occurring there.  He calls for "the full, ugly truth about Muslim persecution of Christians [to be made] known – and acted upon."  I join him in this cry out to the world.  And I do so with a better understanding of who the enemy actually is that is perpetuating the violence and brutality.   But with the unwillingness of the secular media to report the truth, and the world's populace cowering in fear of this vile and disgusting "religion" and what they are capable of doling out if they offend them, it will only get worse.

The violence we're seeing against Christians in Egypt didn't begin after Morsi's ouster.  As another article from the Christian Science Monitor describes, Christians were marked for persecution long before this latest uprising began.  It states, "Christian homes and shops [were marked] with red graffiti, vowing to protect Morsi's electoral legitimacy with 'blood.' ”

 It is also common knowledge (or should be) that Egypt hasn't been particularly fond of the protestant and evangelical Christian faith.   In 1980, Islam was established as the state religion and Sharia Law was instituted as their primary source of legislation, prohibiting any religious practices that conflicted with Sharia.  However, in the past, the Egyptian government didn't see a conflict with Judeo/Christian practices and those of Islam, and the non-Muslim minority were free to worship without legal constraints.  I am confident that if the Muslim Brotherhood had been successful in pushing forward their agenda, it would have become a conflict and their laws would have changed to strictly forbid the practice of any form of Christianity.

It hasn't been as easy as it sounds for Egyptian Christians.  The current Egyptian government strictly requires building permits for constructing church buildings, but the process is still subject to security authorities and the approval process has been found to be so lengthy and insufficiently responsive that most protestant Christians use private buildings and homes for their religious services.  I have also heard that open evangelism is viewed as an insult to Islam and strongly discouraged.

With a population of nearly 83 million people, 80 million Egyptians are considered to be Muslim, which comprises almost 95% of the citizenry.  Approximately 7.2 million people, or 95% of the Christian population, are Coptic Christians.  The remaining 27,000 Christians are a mixture of 19 other varying denominations of Christianity, which range from Greek Orthodox to pentecostal, but with no recognizable mainstream western churches in the mix.   However there are western evangelical missionaries established in the nation.  It has also been noticed that the persecution against the Coptic church is due to an increase in it returning to its missionary roots, not only in Egypt, but in all parts of the Middle East and northern Africa where their presence is known.

It is apparent that there is much of God's work to be done and that the harvest field in Egypt is ripe for the picking.  But only if the violence that's escalating and spilling over throughout the entire Middle East doesn't close off that region forever from hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We need to be in constant prayer that those whom God has chosen for His Son are quickly drawn and receive salvation.

It has been reported by many, who closely follow the progress of spreading the Gospel in the Middle East, that multitudes are coming to Christ.  Forsaking their prior beliefs, their families, their jobs, and even their safety, Muslims are hearing the Name they once hated and being given a new life and new hope, then taking that Name out to their own villages, towns, and cities so that others may know Him.  We have seen the results of their courage and boldness.  What they can expect to experience in the way of persecution is far greater than anything we in the United States can even begin to imagine.  Our witness can be met with debate, maybe harsh profanity, or a complete lack of interest and rejection.  But theirs is often met with ostracism, isolation, utter hatred, and violence.

Jesus Christ: the Name most hated above all names.  He warned His disciples that this hatred for everyone who put their trust in Him would continue to the end of time as we know it.  "If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.(John 15:18-19)  We are seeing played out on the world's stage a continuance of that hatred in the form of Islam and what it represents.

The explanation Jesus gave for the persecution that would come following His departure and until His second coming should be understood and embraced by all Christians.  More important, it should be applied as the only reason when we see hatred and violence spilling out on all parts of the world, including our own.  The ignorance of not knowing the One True God, and the total depravity of man and his willingness to subvert, subject, and enforce a false and destructive world view upon others through persecution, can only be explained as utter and complete hatred for our God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

"But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.  Whoever hates Me hates my Father also.  If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both Me and my Father.  But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: 'They hated Me without a cause.’ "  (John 15:21-25; Psalm 35:19; 69:4)

The violence we are now seeing is only the beginning of greater persecution to come.   As the end draws nearer, the hatred for Jesus Christ will grow beyond anything the world has yet seen.  While preaching to His disciples, they "...came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?'  And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray.   For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.   All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.   And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another.   And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.   And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.   But the one who endures to the end will be saved.   And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.' "

Jesus was preparing His disciples for the hatred that would eventually break out against everyone who believed in His Name and the Gospel He brought them, and that, to this day, continues to be broadcast across the world through His faithful servants.  And we should also be prepared for it.  Satan knows his time is short and will use any means he has available to him to destroy as many souls as he can.  It has already grown obvious that, as our nation draws further from God, extreme persecution is on the very near horizon.

While we wait for the glorious return of our long anticipated King, we must always keep in mind the things we witness are a culmination of hatred for Jesus that has propelled the secular and unbelieving world into wars and death throughout the world's brief history.  And throughout this tumultuous history, many have succumbed to Satan's wiles and have falsely used the Name of Jesus Christ to deceive the masses and subject them to their cruelty.  Even in this present day we often hear politicians and world leaders invoke the Name of Jesus in order to convince Christians they are righteous men and gain what their wicked hearts desire.  Man may be the recipient of the evil that permeates every society, but the Name above all names, Jesus Christ, is the cause (1Peter 2:7-8).  For genuine Christians, to proclaim His Name, to worship His Name, to know that His Name is written upon the hearts of every true believer, and to offer His Name to the lost will bring more terror, more destruction, and more death as the history of this world draws to a close.

Recently, Pastor John MacArthur stated in a free CD set he offered to his subscribers, "How To Think and Act In Evil Days," (I was unable to find a link to this sermon) that the increase of persecution will reveal those who truly belong to Jesus Christ.  When persecution like those in Egypt and other parts of the world are experiencing comes to America, the truth will be revealed as many who have professed Him abandon and deny Him, as most did while He walked this earth (John 6:66-69).

When it reaches the point described in Scripture where untold persecution is inflicted upon those who proclaim the Name most hated above all names, the depth of love we hold in our hearts for Jesus Christ and His Gospel will determine whether or not we are true believers.

We must stand firmly upon the foundation that has been set before us (1Cor 10:12; 16:13-14; Gal 5:1; Eph 6:10-13;  never wavering, never faltering, always faithful to the One who secured our salvation, and proclaiming as we go forward, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt 10:7)

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.  But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene ... But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are His,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.' " (2Tim 2:14, 15, 19)

Repent, seek forgiveness, and believe in the Name of our LORD Jesus Christ and what He has done for you, trusting Him in all things.  For His glory and honor.  Amen 

1 comment:

Steve Finnell said...


The early Christians believed the apostles' teaching. (Acts 2:42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching....)

What was not the apostles' teaching? What was the apostles' teaching, what was their source?

The apostles' teaching did not originate from the Pharisees creed books. They did not teach from the Sadducees statement of faith. The apostles did not use the catechisms of the Judaizers as the final authority or as a substitute for the Scriptures.

The Scriptures were the source of the apostles' teaching and the words and writings of the apostles were also the Scriptures.

Acts 17:2 And according to Paul's customs, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures......

Paul taught from the Scriptures, not from man-made creed books and catechisms.

2 Peter 2:15-16 just as also our beloved brother Paul, according the the wisdom given him , wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of theses things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.

Peter included the apostles Paul's writing as being Scriptures.

The apostles' teaching was from the Old Testament Scriptures and from their own words and letters which were in fact the New Testament Scriptures.

The apostles did not teach from the creed books of the Pharisees. The did not use the catechisms of the Judaizers to instruct their brethren in faith and practice. They did not consult the Sadducees statement of faith, in order to teach others.

The apostle John wrote the last Scripture in A.D. 95, it was the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

A.D. 95 was the last recorded teaching by an apostle.

If the contemporary creed books, catechisms, statements of faith, Bible commentaries, so-called new revelation of modern-day apostles, and other extra-Biblical sources are not the exact same teachings of the apostles of the Bible, then, THEY ARE IN FACT, WRITTEN WORDS OF FALSE DOCTRINE.