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ISLAM, THE DEVIL, AND ISRAEL

by Jacques More

Every year hundreds of thousands of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Part of this event involves an act of opposition to the Devil. Stones are picked up and thrown with deep feeling against an edifice built for this purpose. Does this do the Devil any harm?

Not if the Bible is to be believed.

Paul the writer of much of the New Testament section of the Bible makes clear that the Devil and his angels are not like flesh and blood. They are not affected by stones, but by spiritual weapons.


For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:12


For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God, for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God . . .

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (my emphasis)


Jesus called the Devil a liar and the father of lies. He says of the Devil that,


. . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.

John 8:44

The truth about the God of the Bible is that,


. . . God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

1 John 1:5


This, the Devil does not want us humans to believe and from the beginning he has lied and deceived us into believing God is not good in His entirety. The Devil's first recorded words in the Book show that he wants to instill doubt about God.


. . . Has God indeed said . . .

Genesis 3:1


Did God really say? he asks. He immediately wants us to doubt God's words.


. . . Has God indeed said, 'You shall not eat of every tree of the garden'?

Genesis 3:1


The Devil's way is to add to what God said. Making use of some truth. Taking it out of context. And adding his own lie. God only spoke of one tree not to be eaten of.


. . . Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat . . .

Genesis 2:16-17


The serpent who tempted Eve is the Devil as shown us elsewhere in the Bible:


. . . that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan . . .

Revelation 12:9


The Devil, when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness again used God's words and twisted them by not sharing the full context and using them differently then meant. He said to Jesus,


. . . If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge concerning you,' and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.'

Matthew 4:6


Having taken Jesus to the top of a high building he attempted to make Jesus to throw himself off. What happened next is this:


Jesus said to him, "It is written again, 'You shall not tempt the Lord your God.' "

Matthew 4:7


Jesus countered the Devil by speaking out from the Bible other than what had just been quoted. In other words what the Devil took out of context - and all his lies - can be counteracted by speaking the balancing truth as written elsewhere in the Book. These are weapons effective against the Devil. This is why Jesus told His disciples the importance of His words.


. . . If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

John 8:31-32


The truths from God's Word release us from the lies of the Devil - our real enemy - which bind us. The deceitfulness of the Devil is such that in order for us to believe him he not only uses God's own words against us, but he makes us believe it is God Himself Who is saying these things to us. After all it is what is spoken by God which he twists and uses. Paul spoke of God saying the following:


. . . the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. . .

1 Timothy 4:1


The Devil's angels come as demons and deceiving spirits and delude the person into believing things as of God which are not. He can indeed disguise himself as an angel of light.


. . . Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:14-15


Indeed the founder of the Muslim faith Muhammad is on record as initially understanding that the revelations he received came from being possessed by the Jinn - demons... Many of those who do the Devil's work have been deceived into believing that what they are doing is good. As the passage just given states they appear as ministers of righteousness. But, the warning is they will be judged by God according to their works. Paul gives a list of these and I have deliberately edited out those which are obvious as wrong like adultery and idolatry, but retained those not always seen as such:


. . . the works of the flesh are evident, which are: . . . hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders . . . of which I tell you . . . those who practise such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21


He also lists the good fruit:


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23


Jesus said the good guys can be known from the bad guys not by what they are wearing or, how religious they appear, but by their fruit:


Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits . . .

Matthew 7:15-16


Indeed John says you can tell who is a child of God by this method.


If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practises righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 2:29

Israel

On September 15th 2001 I wrote an Article about the events of 4 days earlier entitled 11th September 2001 - Personal Observations. I said the following about the Devil: "The enemy is aware of God's long term plans for Israel he knows for example that:


Thus says the LORD, Who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea and its waves roar (The LORD of hosts is His name): ''If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the LORD, Then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.''

Jeremiah 31:35-36


Since the sun, moon and stars are still there God's purpose in Israel as a nation have not changed." The God of the Bible makes clear that His desire and purpose is that Israel remains as a nation. I went on: "The same can be said for the land of Israel and Jerusalem. Just as the enemy is aware of God's purposes in many individuals' lives, he will use the access he has in the lives of those around them, in an attempt to frustrate, slow down or stop altogether those purposes, so also with Israel. He attempts to use the access he has to the peoples and nations around Israel, in an attempt to frustrate, slow down or stop God's purposes for Israel. This is a part of the warfare going on between Heaven and Satan's kingdom." Allow me then to expand and show how the land and Jerusalem is shown by God's Word to be dedicated for the people of Israel. Doing this you will be equipped - you will be armed - to fight the lies of the Devil which he has used to deceive people to harm Israel.

The land promised to Israel

Not only has the land been specified by the God of the Book in Numbers 34, but also in the event that Israel as a people sin against Him and are removed from the land - which has happened more than once - then, also if they return in righteousness they are given by God to inhabit this land again.


Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the LORD your God drives you, and you return to the LORD your God and obey His voice . . . the LORD your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the LORD your God has scattered you . . .
[He] will bring you to the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will prosper you and multiply you . . .

Deuteronomy 30:1-3,5


The Bible is clear about this land. It was given to Abram (before God renamed him Abraham).


. . . the LORD said to Abram . . . Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.

Genesis 13:14-15


Abraham had a son from Sarah his wife named Isaac. To him the Lord confirmed the ownership of the land.


. . . Sojourn in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.

Genesis 26:3


At the place called Bethel Jacob the son of Isaac was told by the Lord the same thing. This happened as he was resting there.


. . . I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south . . .

Genesis 28:13-14

Jerusalem

It is of note that Jerusalem is just over 10 miles due south of Bethel. Now Jacob was on his way from Bethel to find a wife among his distant relatives in Syria. On his return to Bethel years later the Lord again spoke to him.


. . . Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name. . .

Genesis 35:10


So, there we have it. The God of the Bible has given this land to Israel and his descendants and this fully includes Jerusalem. Now when Israel began to have kings the 2nd king in Israel was David and he made Jerusalem his city which is why it is sometimes called the City of David. But, more than that the Lord has chosen it as a special place for Himself. Which is told us when He spares it later in its history. David's son Solomon became the next king. There was great idolatry during the latter time of Solomon's reign. Due to this sin God divides up the land between Solomon's son and Jeroboam. God's sparing Jerusalem from the split reveals to us the special place it has in His heart.


. . . for the sake of My servant David, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel . . .

1 Kings 11:32

God also calls it His holy mountain.


. . . My holy mountain Jerusalem . . .

Isaiah 66:20


Since the Devil knows about Jerusalem being special to God, would he not do everything he can to prevent Israel from its inheritance? Of course he would. And since he is a liar he will do all he can to make people believe that the above is not true. It is no wonder then that Jerusalem has become such an issue, but this too was prophesied because God said through his prophet Zechariah:


. . . I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples . . .

Zechariah 12:3


It is very clear in the Bible that Abraham's other son Ishmael was not given this land by God nor Ishmael's descendants. The same is true of Jacob's brother named Esau. Even though both Ishmael and Esau were elder than their brothers this is the testimony of the scripture. The oath God made was to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: to Israel as a people.

The treatment of strangers by Israel

Does this mean Israel can do what they like?

The Bible tells us that as far as individuals are concerned God is no respecter of persons. Jesus' apostle Peter said:


. . . In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works rigteousness is accepted by Him.

Acts 10:34-35


This is true for the righteous and for the wicked. The wicked in whatever nation are also treated equally. For the wicked of Israel (uncircumcised in heart) are evil in God's sight too (see Jeremiah 9:25-26). Indeed no wicked person, Jew or non-Jew, are fit for the kingdom of God as per Paul's quote above. And Israel as a people have a responsibility to those in the land also. In Moses law it is written:


. . . you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9

Why I wrote this

People have wondered how on earth do you fight against suicide bombers. Well, let me tell you. Not by earthly weapons. The lies of the Devil which makes men sincerely and honestly believe they go to paradise automatically because of their sacrifice is very real. The weapons needed are those which fight the lies and this is what I have written about.

Paul wrote:


All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17


Paul when writing this was referring to the Old Testament section of the Bible. I have been quoting from it and shown the following: The God of the Book - the Bible - has made clear His desire and purpose for Israel as a people, for the land He has designated for them and for the City He has chosen. This article therefore I intend as an instruction in righteousness. To show the right thing to do as regards the people of Israel, the land and Jerusalem. God in this inspired writing also declares:


I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me . . . Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

Isaiah 45:5,22


Another such instruction is:


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem . . .

Psalm 122:6


Pray for the City God has clearly given to the people of Israel to look after. We saw how 'hatred, contentions . . . outbursts of wrath . . . murders' were deeds which God judges the man who does them as unfit for the kingdom of God. The Devil has deceived many in thinking that doing these against the people of Israel will reward them otherwise. This is therefore important truths for them to know. Jesus said:


A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Matthew 12:35-37

Finally

It is easily recognised the act of throwing stones by Muslims as part of their pilgrimage is only as an emblem, a symbol of action against the Devil. I ask therefore if Muslims are equally willing to really act against the Devil by believing and acting on the truths spoken by the God of the Book - the Bible?

By blessing Israel with the peace and freedom in the land God has allocated for them including the City of Jerusalem?


For further reading I recommend my latest article (as of 8th December 2002): Israel and Today's Gibeonites: the 'Palestinians'

For those interested in doing the right thing in their relationship with God I recommend my article Journey into Light.

For those interested in the background I have written A brief Modern History of Israel and Palestine.


Ref. M.014

Unless otherwise stated Bible quotes are from the New King James Version

© copyright Thomas Nelson Inc. 1979,1980,1982.

© copyright Jacques More 2002. All Rights Reserved.

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