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RELIGION, CURRENT EVENTS, TECHNOLOGY Subscribe to the breaking newsWhat is RSS?
FRONT PAGE  |  7/25/2014
Choice News FRIDAY, DEC 6, 2002  |  62 comments
President Bush: Koran is God's word

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, sir. It's good to be with you again. And it is my honor to visit the Islamic Center of Washington once again.

For half a century, this beautiful mosque has served as a place of worship for Muslims and has helped to advance understanding between people of different faiths. Millions of our fellow Americans practice the Muslim faith. They lead lives of honesty and justice and compassion.

I am pleased to join you today in the celebration of Eid, the culmination of the Holy Month of Ramadan. I appreciate so very much Dr. Khouj, and I want to thank the other distinguished imam from the Washington, D.C. area. Thank you all for being here. And I enjoyed our visit. I also appreciate the Muslim schoolchildren who are here, telling me stories and reading poems and showing the art work. Please tell them thanks again for their hospitality.

Islam traces its origins ...


CLICK HERE to Read Entire Article
www.whitehouse.gov

Should we kill Muslims?
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· Page 1 ·  Found: 62 user comment(s)
News Item4/12/03 11:49 AM
Je | Ajax  Contact via email
I don't belive that he said that--
62

News Item4/11/03 4:34 PM
Robert Perry | Bloomington MN  Contact via email
I shudder at the President's words, and pray that this is a mess-up on his part rather than a heartfelt conviction.
61

News Item4/10/03 8:36 PM
A Believer  
I think that the majority of the people would conclude that President Bush is not a christian in the true biblical sense. He never mentions the name of Christ and participates in far too many ecumenical services. Islam and Catholisim are wrong and are soul damning heresy and should be exposed as such. God, Himself, though, knows for sure what his true spiritual condition is. 2Co 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? God Bless!
60

News Item4/10/03 2:48 PM
Ademola Adebayo | United Kingdom  Contact via email
Hello
I find it very unfortunate that people on this forunm can still call President Bush a Christian. Do you guys lack basic discernment? How can someone who give this much positive comment to Islam be a Christian? Remember, the bible is very clear about our association with the world when it comes to being yoked. This association is NONE. James states clearly that friendship with the world equals to enemity with Christ.
59

News Item3/2/03 8:39 AM
Walt | Michigan  Contact via email
Good morning my dear brother,

Wonderful response. I'm filled with joy to learn on this glorious Lord's Day Sabbath of your zeal for the truth. I can tell by your writing that you are indeed a Christian minister who, unlike many I have find leading Christ's flock, has shown yourself to be a humble learner.

Further, if you have indeed purchased the entire CD collection from SWRB, you have literally the vast majority of the most important books, confessions, documents, etc. from the first and second reformations. These CDs, along with Scripture, sincerity in prayer, sound worship, give you the means toward your sanctification and blamelessness before our heavenly Husband.

If I might be of some help, please allow me to share with you what I suggest to be the documents in which to study first.

The Westminster Confession of Faith (the original version), The Larger and Shorter Catechisms (original version), The National Covenant of Scotland and the Solemn League and Covenant of the three kingdoms, The Directory for the Public Worship of God (emitted by the Westminster Assembly), The Form of Presbyterial Government (emitted by the Westminster Assembly) and the writings of Rutherford, Gillespie, Turretin, Henderson, Binning, Brown of Wamphray, Cameron, Cargill and Renwick, etc.

During your studies of the scriptural form of church government, notice the appeals process designed by the Westminister Assembly in a Christian dispute being moved from a local court session, to a local or state presbytery of Elders, to a regional synod of representative presbyteries to ultimately a national general assembly of the finest learned Elders and Ministers who are without public or private scandal. You would not find the Romish form of church government tolerated in the oaths these Christian men of God. You would find no hidden sexual abuse of Children in a properly defined form of Christian church government.

Finally, I left the independent baptist church when my former elders ruled against my scriptural interpretation and my only appeal process was to separate from their error. One single local minister stood his ground and made it clear that in the independent form of church government I had no right of appeal, it was his final word that was final.

I found what I thought to be scriptural in my study of the Westminister Assembly and the second reformation (1638-1649) and I became a more faithful Christian and one who holds to the presbyterian form of church government.

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren, and to strangers; Which have borne witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort, thou shalt do well: Because that for his name's sake they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles. We therefore ought to receive such, that we might be fellowhelpers to the truth. {fellowhelpers: or, joint-labourers) [3Jn.1:2-8]

And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds [Acts 26:29].

58

News Item2/28/03 11:10 AM
BH | USA  
Morning Walt,

"Question: Do you believe the Bible is truth or partly true?"

I believe in the plenary, verbal inspiration of scripture and that the Word of God is 100% inerrant and infallible. (2 Tim. 3:16)

The rest of your questions are undeniably true and accurate and I do hold those tenents.

"I'm not sure what independent fundamental means so please share your definition with me on that topic as well."

Basically that means that the local church is an autonomous assembly of believers, independant in church government. In other words, we have no form of hierarchical governing body, outside the local assembly, to establish policy or doctrine except for the Bible itself. There is no church or denominational group who is above and overseas the doctrines and practices of the local church. Each church is responsible for its own affairs, accountable only to God.

As far as the Constitution, it basically says that Congress is prohibited from establishig a state religion. It cannot establish Christianity, Catholicism or Islam or any other religion as its official state religion like they have in the Middle Eastern countries or Rome.

Maybe I am misinterpreting the definition of a civil magistrate. I took that as being a president, governor, judge and any publically elected official in the place of civil leadership. Or does that mean a minister of a church?

I am just learning about the Presbyterian form of government and very interested in learning more. I have the entire CD collection from SWRB to learn more about the Puritans and the Reformers. I have grown a deep love and appreciation for what they stood for.

That is one of the problems of living in a Democracy and not a Theocracy where God is King and His Word rules the affairs of man. It is coming.

57

News Item2/28/03 5:52 AM
Walt | Michigan  Contact via email
Hi BH,

I'm not sure I fully understand your first question. Can you give me an example? I'm not sure the example regarding your interpretation of the establishment clause of the constitution regarding the separation of church and state was what you were asking...was it?

Question: Do you believe the Bible is truth or partly true?

If you believe it is true, do you believe that it is historical in nature? For example, do you believe it starts with the beginning of mankind and ends with the new heaven and new earth?

If you believe scripture is historical in nature and God has revealed His predetermined will for mankind, then we must begin with these basic presuppositions.

In order to discuss these topics on the role of the Christian church and civil magistrate in God's predefined scriptural revelation, these basic tents must be agreed.

As you know, the presbyterial form of church government is vastly different from the independent form of church government.

A basic understanding to these differences in church government will need to be understood first based upon the above presuppositional foundational points.

The Westminister Divines and Scottish Covenanters did their very best to pursuade the Anabaptist leaders during the Westminister Assembly of the scriptural warrant of presbyterial form of church government verses the independent or popish form of church government and the Anabaptists refused to accept the scriptural interpretations.

You can purchase the minutes of the assembly meetings covering these debates and the presbyterians won overwhelmingly in my opinion, but the Anabaptists refused to concede and as so often happens in political controversy, elected to leave the assembly and formed their own Baptist Confession of Faith several years later.

I'm not sure what independent fundamental means so please share your definition with me on that topic as well.

Did you know that the civil magistrate approves and revokes your license as a minister in many respects?

56

News Item2/28/03 4:40 AM
Tobi | Germany  Contact via email
Ohh Mr.Bush!
You say you have a personal relation to Jesus Christ, but on the other hand you say that the Koran is a holy book??? How could it ever fit? The Bible is the ONLY HOLY BOOK on earth! Koran denies Christ Jesus as the son of God!!! Its 100% deceiving and very evil spirit!
55

News Item2/25/03 11:00 AM
BH | USA  
Hello Walt,

Does the Westminister Divines and Scottish Covenanters apply only to a state church or where Christianity is the only state sponsored religion? In that case the civil magistrate (president) has the authority to preside over church affairs.

However in the US, the constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." I take this to mean that the governemt has no legal authority to establish its own state religion. Thus the civil magistrate in the US has no legal authority to dictate or control the affairs of any religious institutions, but is sworn to uphold the right of any church or religion institution to worship as they see fit. Otherwise a Catholic magistrate could establish Catholicism as the official religion of this country or a Muslin magistrate could establish the US as a Muslim country.

I am a Southern Baptist, however my heart and convictions are independant fundamental. I am not is a pastoral position, but a licensed minister.

54

News Item2/25/03 8:04 AM
Walt | Michigan  Contact via email
Hello BH,

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you are an independent Baptist minister. I might be wrong, but your statement was as follows:

My personal opinion in this situation is that public officials should abstain from getting involved in the public affairs of religious institutions, in the capacity of his office, to be distinguished from his personal life.

Essentially, you are saying that the civil Christian magistrate should not defend the Church of Jesus Christ. Very interesting topic.

The Westminister Divines and Covenanters of Scotland during the second reformation discussed at length this issue. There were several good books written by George Gillespie and Samuel Rutherford raising issues around this topic.

The Westminister Confession of Faith (1647) says:

Chapter 23, Of the Civil Magistrate

1. God, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath the people, for His own glory, and the public good: and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil doers.

2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto; in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth; so for that end, they may lawfully now, under the New Testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.

3. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven: yet he hath authority and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire; that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed; all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.

4. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience sake. Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates' just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted; much less hath the Pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretence whatsoever.

The proof texts are listed in the original document.

Subparagraph #3 above addresses the topic we are discussing.

In hindsight, you may be a presbyterian minister who's confession has removed #3.

It would be interesting to learn your thoughts on what the Westminister Divines and Scottish Covenanters outlined above.

53

News Item2/24/03 10:28 AM
BH  | USA  
Hi Walt,

My personal opinion in this situation is that public officials should abstain from getting involved in the public affairs of religious institutions, in the capacity of his office, to be distinguished from his personal life. If the president is a committed Christian, then his outward testimony would be reflected in policy decisions such as abortion. He has set himself as a religious compromiser. It is one thing to support one's right to celebrate a religious holiday, however the Bible commands us to separate ourselves and not be partakers with those who are unbelievers or those who worship other gods.

Had the president made remarks like this concerning the Christain faith in a Baptist or a Presbyterian church, the ACLU would be screaming bloody murder. They are already screaming foul at his use of the name of God in his speaches.

52

News Item2/24/03 7:38 AM
Walt | Michigan  Contact via email
It is wonderful to have input from BH if indeed he is a minister.

Self-deception comes in many forms and ministers should be at the forefront of sharing these sins against God with the all who desire to know the truth of scripture. Most ministers unfortunately do not know scripture or history so it is difficult for many to offer solid Christian commentary on these precious subjects.

President Bush said the following:

I am pleased to join you today in the celebration of Eid, the culmination of the Holy Month of Ramadan. I appreciate so very much Dr. Khouj, and I want to thank the other distinguished imam from the Washington, D.C. area.

In all due respect to President Bush and his desire to create sense of peace between various religions, I submit that scripture commands that we not celebrate religious holy days of different faiths and only those holy days authorized in scripture.

We do not know the President's heart, nor do we know whether he has been self-deceived in this celebration, but I would submit that when ministers do not see the truth of these obvious sins by our civil magistrates, we should indeed fear the judgment and correction due from a Righteous and Holy God.

By their fruits ye shall know them.

51

News Item2/23/03 3:25 PM
BH | USA  
Thanks John.

I think most here have taken what the president said out of context and implying that is what he believed.

Just because I teach my church what the doctrines of other religions are, does not mean that I believe those doctrines. I merely state from their sources what they believe. The president was simply stating what the holiday represents to the Muslim people and not necessarily his personal convictions. Of course only God knows his heart and true convictions.

50

News Item2/23/03 10:53 AM
John Banister | Indianapolis, Indiana  Contact via email
"And Ramadan commemorates the revelation of God's word in the Holy Koran to the prophet Mohammad -- a word that is read and recited with special attention and reverence by Muslims during this season. "

From this statement it is obvious to me that the President is just stating what Ramadan is to the Muslims. He is not claiming that he personally believes that the Koran is God's word. He wouldn't be much of a politician if he went before the Muslim crowd in Washington and declared Mohammad a false profit (even though he is). It might be different if the United States were a Christian country, but lets face it, as sad as it is, we are not.

49

News Item2/23/03 8:46 AM
Walt | Michigan  Contact via email
Again, understanding the points being discussed above, I make the following very important point from the Sermon I included above:

How are all who come in Christ’s name to be evaluated?

(1) By their fruit (according to the words of the Lord in Matthew 7:15,16) and not by their lying wonders (which will deceived many according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).
(a) By the fruit of their character and lives.
(b) By the fruit of their doctrine.

This statement by Pastor Price gives us the two primary criteria. I would suggest that a persons understanding of doctrine, discipline, form of church government and form of worship will give us the evidence required to separate the faithful witnesses or the elect from the visible church as a whole.

Pray that our President, acting in his capacity as a Christian civil magistrate, will learn the presuppositional differences of these subjects. According to a righteous God, each of our lives and well being will be effected by the actions of the civil magistrate.

48

News Item2/17/03 10:18 AM
OnlyJesusChristIsLord  Contact via email
2. Since when does a man's salvation depend upon the correctness of one's view of another religion? Can't a man be wrong about Islam and be right about Jesus Christ? Can't Mr Bush be a sincere believer in Jesus Christ who trusts Him, loves Him, obeys Him and pleases Him while being under false teaching regarding the true state of Islam? I fear we are advocating a salvation by Orthodoxy rather than a salvation by the Person and work of Christ.

WHAT?!? NO!!! Of course a person cannot "believe" in Jesus and think another religion might be right. Of course not...!!

Look and listen - if there's one truth, period, and if Christianity is that proof, and if a bunch of liars are always trying to obscure that truth, then a person who believes this perfect Truth, Jesus Christ, being empowered and burdened and led by the Holy Spirit, would not give "ear candy" to the liars, telling them that he thinks they are not lying...

If any man in a Christian, just like the Muslims like to be martyrs, that Christian should never let go of his profession of faith...

What if one of the Muslim leaders at that place heard a Christian make such statements about the Koran being a holy book, being God's Word? Well, we know that the Muslims are led by demons, don't we? Shouldn't that Christian go convert them? Our founding fathers talked about God from the position.

If Jesus is #1 in your life, then He is #1 in all of your life's doings.

Don't say you know Pres. Bush or anyone else is or is not a Christian...only God is the Judge, so to say that you "know" he is or isn't a Christian - that's right, also to say you know he 'is' a Christian - is a judgement in my book, from the way I've understood it from God's Book, but discern outward fruit, not judging for salvation.

47

News Item2/17/03 8:34 AM
Peter | Australia  Contact via email
Chas is right, but if you vote bush out because he thinks he's a Christian when he isn't, who are you going to get in his place?
Someone who won't support the right to life or any other Biblical teaching e.g. condeming sodomy, support of families, freedom from the inquisition, preaching liberty, etc. So look at the alternative before you dump this man who has at least some redeeming features. Who knows, he might hear real Bible gospel teaching one day and be careful of opening his mouth in public.
God is the one who appoints leaders anyway and He is bringing this world to an end through even their mistakes.
46

News Item2/14/03 10:58 AM
chas carter | mesa arizona  Contact via email
Yet one more example that a person cannot be a successful politician and a dogmatic Christian at the same time.
45

News Item2/9/03 11:24 AM
Walt | Michigan  Contact via email
This sermon is a bit long, but I ask for your patience and understanding. My posting of this sermon hits at the heart of our self-deception as outlined as a referenced possibility by Paul Gordon above.

We must prepare ourselves, as Christians, to learn the truth in the months and years ahead.

Signs Preceding The Coming Of Christ (1) Mark 13:5-6
Covenanted Reformed Presbyterian Church, Albany, NY
February 2, 2002
Rev. Greg L. Price

This Lord’s Day, we come to Christ’s prophecy concerning future events (as found in Mark 13) wherein Christ responds to questions put to Him by His disciples. It is generally agreed upon by even the most faithful of Reformed teachers that this chapter (and its parallel accounts in Matthew 24 and Luke 21) are among the most challenging portions of Scripture in the Gospels. I wish I could say that all Reformed commentators from the past have agreed as to the interpretation of predicted events in Mark chapter 13, but such is not the case. However, that is not to say that just because there are differences of interpretation, that there is, therefore, no correct interpretation of these prophetic events. Since God is one, and is perfect in knowledge and understanding, and has given the Scriptures to His prophets without error, He, therefore, cannot reveal to us contradictory systems which are all true. Our task is always to seek God’s revealed will from a diligent study of the Scriptures in utter dependence upon His Holy Spirit in order that we might know and do His will.

I do not claim infallibility for myself as I preach through this portion of prophetic Scripture. Only Scripture is inherently infallible, and only when our interpretation of Scripture is agreeable to the meaning intended by God does it partake of a derived authority from Scripture. However, I have sought (by God’s grace) to be faithful in the exposition of God’s Word. Nevertheless, I plead with you to be at all times like the Bereans who were commended because they even compared the very words spoken to them by the apostles to the words of Scripture: “They [i.e. the Bereans] received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). Thus, although I give to you the most faithful understanding of this text that I presently know, it doesn’t mean that I cannot further grow in my present understanding. By God’s grace, I pray that greater light and understanding of God’s Word will be imparted to me. But having wrestled in prayer and study, I give to you the fruit of my study. I must tell you at the outset, that at times it may appear that our study through Mark 13 has become very technical and tedious (this is especially the case today where I will give an overview of Mark 13). I tell you in advance so that you might thoroughly apply yourselves to concentrating upon the exposition of God’s Word. Take notes and stretch yourselves in following the exposition as closely as you possibly can. I do desire to make these sermons as practical as possible, but clarity in exposition demands that I be as precise as possible.

Before considering the specifics of our text this Lord’s Day, we must first lay out some preliminary remarks which are necessary in building a good foundation to an accurate understanding of Mark 13. With that in mind, let us take up the following 2 main points this Lord’s Day: (I) An Overview Of Mark 13; (II) The Sign Of False Christs.

I. An Overview Of Mark 13.

A. As we consider the prophetic words of our Lord in Mark 13, I would first like to give you a brief overview of this chapter so that you might have the big picture of Mark 13 before getting the more detailed picture (which you will get as we work through the passage over the next several weeks).

1. First, you will recall from our study (a couple weeks ago) of Matthew 23:38,39 that I noted for you what appear to be 3 separate comings of the Lord inferred from those verses.

a. First, CHRIST’S NON-BODILY COMING IN 70 A.D. wherein He would bring judgment upon Israel through the Roman armies and yet bring deliverance to those believing Israelites who heeded His warning.

(1) In Matthew 23:38 we see a clear reference to Christ’s destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
(2) This judgment would appear to be what is in view when Christ refers to such COMINGS as found in Matthew 16:28 (which COMING would occur before some standing before Him tasted of death) and Matthew 21:40 (which COMING in this parable represents the judgment that was to fall upon Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 a.d.).
(3) This (I would submit) is the first and more immediate coming of Christ that is in view here in Mark 13:5-31.
(4) This is the case due to the passages just listed (Matthew 23:38; Matthew 16:28; Matthew 21:40), as well as the remarks of Christ and the questions of the disciples mentioned in Mark 13:1-4 (which all point to Christ’s coming in judgment in 70 a.d.).
(5) But also observe the words of the Lord found in Mark 13:30: “Verily I say unto you, that THIS GENERATION shall not pass, till all these things be done.” I will have much more to say about this passage when we get to it, but I take Christ’s words to mean that all of the events just predicted (in Mark 13:5-27) would be fulfilled (including the coming of Christ that is found in Mark 13:24-26) before that generation to which He spoke had passed away.

b. Second, CHRIST’S NON-BODILY COMING JUST BEFORE THE MILLENNIUM wherein He will bring judgment to the nations who oppose Him and yet bring salvation to Israel and subsequently to all nations of the world.

(1) In Matthew 23:39, Christ predicts, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that COMETH in the name of the Lord.” Here in Matthew 23:39 (I would submit) we see two distinguishable comings of Christ: one coming which will occur when Israel will see the Lord bodily (at His Second Coming) and one non-bodily coming before that time when Israel will declare again as they did at the Triumphal entry just 3 days before, “Blessed is he that COMETH in the name of the Lord.”
(2) This, I believe, is the same coming of Christ before the millennium which we find in 2 Thessalonians 2:8 (where Christ will destroy the papal man of sin before the millennium) and in Revelation 19:11ff (where Christ will destroy the papal beast, his false prophet, and his image before the millennium in Revelation 20).
(3) This (I submit) is the second and more remote coming of the Lord that is in view in Mark 13:5-31. In other words, the coming of Christ in 70 a.d. foreshadows another coming of Christ (more distant and remote) just before the millennium wherein the Lord will destroy His enemies and save His ancient people of Israel.
(4) One prophecy foreshadowing another prophecy is not a new concept in prophetic literature as we see by comparing the words of Peter in Acts 2:16-21 with Joel 2:28-3:21 (where in Acts 2:20 “the great and notable day of the Lord” would seem to look to Christ’s coming in 70 a.d. whereas in Joel 2:31 “the great and terrible day of the Lord” would seem to refer by way of its context in Joel 3:1ff to the coming of Christ before the millennium).
(5) Furthermore, in Mark 13 (and its parallel accounts in Matthew 24 and Luke 21) there appear (at times) to be an obvious connection between certain prophecies of Christ (found in Mark 13:5-31) and other prophecies in Scripture which speak of Christ’s non-bodily coming just before the millennium (the worst affliction ever in Mark 13:19 and the worst “earthquake” ever in Revelation 16:15-19; the birds feeding upon the slain in Matthew 24:28 and likewise in Revelation 19:17,18,21; and the signs in the heavens that we see in Mark 13:24-25 and the signs in the heavens in Joel 2:30-31 which appear to come just before the great battle before the inauguration of the millennium).
(6) Thus, as we work through Mark 13 we will not only be considering events leading up to Christ’s non-bodily coming in 70 a.d., but also events leading up to Christ’s non-bodily coming just before the millennium (events which may even be fulfilled in our lifetime or that of our children).

c. Third, CHRIST’S BODILY COMING AFTER THE MILLENNIUM (OR THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST) wherein He will bring final judgment to the wicked and final salvation to all His people.

(1) Again in Matthew 23:39, let us note the words of Christ, “Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Here the Lord speaks to the representatives of Israel and declares that they will not see Him as they now see Him in body until they receive Him as their Messiah.
(2) This is the same bodily coming of Christ which is cited in Acts 1:11 where the angel states that Christ will come again in body as you have seen Him ascend into heaven.
(3) Neither the day nor the hour of this coming of the Lord is known to any man (and was not even known to Christ Himself while here upon the earth according to Mark 13:32). There are no signs given here in Mark 13 to indicate this bodily coming of Christ (Mark 13:32-37), whereas there are signs given by Christ which will precede His non-bodily coming in 70 a.d. and His non-bodily coming before the millennium.
(4) This is the final coming of the Lord (His Second Coming) wherein Christ will raise the dead and death will no more be an enemy (according to 1 Corinthians 15:23-26) and wherein Christ will judge all of the wicked and the righteous appointing each either to everlasting life in heaven or to everlasting torment in hell (as we see in Matthew 25:31).

B. A second preliminary observation by way of overview of Mark 13 is this: As I approach Mark 13, I do not consider this chapter to be the only witness to the words of our Lord spoken at this time to His disciples from the Mount of Olives. For I view the words of Christ as found in Matthew chapter 24 and in Luke chapter 21 to be parallel to those words of Christ found in Mark 13. In other words, Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21 all speak of the same prophetic events which were to occur in history.

1. There may be some observable differences in the addition of words or in the omission of words between Matthew 24 and Mark 13, and Luke 21, but this is true when comparing many parallel accounts in the Gospels.

a. For example, compare the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-15 with the Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11:2-4. The conclusion is entirely omitted in Luke’s account.
b. Notice the difference as to the details between the account of the demoniac in Matthew 8:28 with that found in Mark 5:2 and Luke 8:27. Matthew’s account speaks of two demoniacs whereas Mark and Luke only speak of one.
c. Observe the contrast in the words of the Lord regarding divorce in Matthew 19:9 and Mark 10:11,12. The important exception clause in Matthew is entirely missing in Mark’s account.
d. Evaluate the difference in the words found in the Beatitudes as recorded in Matthew 5:3ff with that of Luke 6:20ff. Several of the Beatitudes recorded in Matthew are omitted in Luke’s account.
e. The additions and omissions inspired by the Holy Spirit in these parallel accounts do not indicate that these refer to two different Lord‘s Prayers, or two different accounts of the demoniac, or two different teachings about divorce, or two different sets of Beatitudes. The differences in parallel accounts merely indicate that God has given us different witnesses to the same events wherein some details are added in one account or omitted in the other accounts.
f. Sometimes we will find Mark 13 agreeing with the wording of Matthew 24, and at other times we will find Mark 13 agreeing with the wording found in Luke 21. However, as in all parallel accounts, we understand the additional wording not to indicate a different set of events in view, but merely additional information supplied by one Gospel writer that fills out our understanding of the account. If Matthew 24 and Mark 13 do not speak of the same eschatological events as recorded in Luke 21, then we must assume that Christ first gave the entire discourse that we find in Luke 21, and having finished it, He then proceeded to give the discourse that is found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. This seems very unlikely to me since there is no indication in the text that Christ first gave the discourse found in Luke 21 and then gave the discourse found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. Furthermore, the essential agreement we find between Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 must be carefully weighed.
g. Where there appear to be significant differences between Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21, we will seek to reconcile these differences as we move through Mark 13.

2. The reasons I believe the Mark 13, Matthew 24, and Luke 21 to be parallel accounts are the following:

a. Each of these accounts begins with essentially the same preliminary remarks concerning the temple’s destruction by Christ, and questions by the disciples as to when these things shall be (Matthew 24:1-3; Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7). In other words, each of these accounts has the destruction of Jerusalem as that event which provides the background for the prophetic utterances of the Lord.
b. Each of these accounts has substantially the same signs preceding Christ’s coming in judgment (Matthew 24:4-14; Mark 13:5-13; Luke 21:8-19).
c. Each of these accounts speaks of a desolation to come wherein those who are in Judea are warned in advance to flee to the mountains so as to be rescued from it (Matthew 24:15-18; Mark 13:14-16; Luke 21:20-21).
d. Each Of these accounts predicts a time of great tribulation prior to Christ’s coming in judgment (Matthew 24:19-22; Mark 13:17-20; Luke 21:23-24).
e. Each of these accounts states that the powers of the heavens shall be shaken and that the Son of man shall be seen coming in the clouds with power and great glory (Matthew 24:29-30; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-27).
f. Each of these accounts includes a parable of the fig tree where after Christ states that the generation of Israel which then was living (as He spoke) would not pass away until all the things He has just predicted (up to that point in the text) shall be fulfilled (Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33). This similarity in particular (even above all the others similarities) must tie all three accounts to the same prophesied events prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. For Christ says (in Matthew 24:34; Mark 13:30; Luke 21:32) that the generation then living (as He spoke) would not pass away until ALL of the events just prophesied in the verses prior to Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30, and Luke 21:32 have come to pass.
g. Each of these accounts then ends with warnings concerning “that day” of Christ’s Second Coming wherein the whole earth will be judged (Mark 13:32-37; Matthew 24:36-51; Luke 21:34-36).

C. Let me leave with you a third preliminary observation which is simply a general outline of Mark 13 so that you may track where we are going as we move through the chapter:

1. Signs Preceding Christ’s Coming In Judgment (Mark 13:5-13).
2. Signs Indicating That Christ’s Coming In Judgment Is Now Present (Mark 13:14-31).
3. No Signs Of Christ’s Final Coming In Judgment (Mark 13:32-37).
4. The Sign Of False Christs (Mark 13:5-6).

A. The Lord Jesus in answer to the questions put to Him by His disciples in Mark 13:4 now begins to give various signs which precede the coming of the Lord to destroy Jerusalem and the temple in 70 a.d. by means of the Roman army. Those questions of the disciples read as follows: Read Mark 13:4.

B. The first sign Christ mentions (and the only one we will have time to consider today) is that of men who will declare themselves to be Christ, the Messiah.

1. The Lord warns the disciples to beware that they be not misled or deceived. It is interesting at this point that both Mark 13:6 and Luke 21:8 state quite literally that these men who will come in Christ’s name will declare, “I AM.” Matthew 24:5 records that these men will proclaim, “I AM THE CHRIST (OR MESSIAH).

a. This may refer to men who actually claim to be the Messiah.

(1) Simon Magus was one such person (among some) who became a sign which preceded the coming of the Lord in 70 a.d. For shortly after Christ had uttered these words (perhaps a year or two), this Simon was declaring himself to be “the great power of God” and was performing wonders before the people by means of sorcery (according to Acts 8:9-11). This Simon also occurs in literature outside of the Scripture as well. For instance, Justin Martyr (a Christian apologist of the early second century) writes concerning Simon that he was given divine honors (Apology i. 26,56). Jerome quotes Simon as saying, “I am the Word of God, I am the Comforter, I am the Almighty, I am all there is of God” (cited in Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, 5:443). The Jewish historian, Josephus, also records that there were those who came declaring themselves to be Israel’s deliverer in the years leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple (Antiquities, xx:v,1; xx:viii,5,6; Wars, II:xiii,4,5).
(2) False Messiahs perhaps would be a greater temptation to Israel who yet await what they falsely believe to be the first coming of Christ. They would likely be more affected by someone claiming to be their Messiah who has come to deliver them from the oppression of their enemies.
(3) However, what about all those today who claim that Christ has appeared unto them and given them a new message to declare to the world? Dear ones, we are hereby warned by the Lord not to be deceived by those who claim such lies. For either they have intentionally lied to gain a following for themselves (and are charlatans), or they themselves have been grossly deceived by some demonic appearance claiming to be Christ in which case they are the tools of the devil (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). Paul states that he was the last witness of Christ’s resurrected body so that no one should expect to see the resurrected Christ again bodily until His bodily Second Coming after the millennium. The Lord Jesus is bodily in heaven (seated in all His royal glory at the right hand of God) and will remain there until His Second Coming after the millennium (according to Psalm 110:1).

b. This warning of the Lord in Mark 13:6 may refer not only to those who claim to be the Messiah, but also may refer to those who falsely claim and usurp the attributes, authority, titles, or prerogatives of Christ. There were many antichristian systems prevalent in the early Church of the first century which usurped the authority, prerogatives, doctrine, worship, and government of Christ.

(1) Gnosticism was such an antichristian system which included a Christ in its teaching, but not the Christ of the Bible. A Christ that had no actual body of flesh (because actual flesh is evil they taught). Such an antichristian system is alluded to by the apostle John in his first epistle: 1 John 2:18-19. John says, there are already many antichrists in the Church (who usurp the authority and prerogatives of Christ by promoting their false teaching).
(2) Dear ones, we see another antichristian system mentioned in 1 John 2:18. There John predicts the coming of “THE” antichrist (the singular definite article “THE” precedes “ANTICHRIST” in the Greek text of 1 John 2:18). This ( I would submit) refers to that well known antichrist who would seat himself in the temple of God (or Church of God). This is the papal man of sin that is found in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12 (where Paul speaks of the papal antichrist who assumes to Himself the titles, authority, attributes, and prerogatives of Christ). For the pope claims to be the head of the Church upon earth (whereas Christ alone claims that title and position in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:18).

c. How are all who come in Christ’s name to be evaluated?

(1) By their fruit (according to the words of the Lord in Matthew 7:15,16) and not by their lying wonders (which will deceived many according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10).

(a) By the fruit of their character and lives.
(b) By the fruit of their doctrine.

d. Dear child of God, the Lord calls you here in Mark 13:5-6 not to be gullible, but to test those who come in the name of Christ (as the apostle John also declares in 1 John 4:1-3). It is not to be sinfully judgmental to make such evaluations. Dear ones, it is our very life and well-being to do so. In fact, deception and even eternal death itself awaits us if we do not carefully apply the words of the Lord Jesus to our own lives in what we hear and in what we read every day. The Lord graciously promises that His elect cannot be so deceived as to be led to everlasting torment (Matthew 24:24). That to which we must always look in faith so that we are not deceived is to the Christ revealed in Scripture and to His righteousness and truth. We must ever check ourselves that we are not trusting in our own self-righteousness or trusting in men (whether ministers, elders, teachers, priests, or popes) as our hope of eternal salvation. Dear ones, our only hope of eternal life and of knowledge of the truth is in Jesus Christ and His inspired Scriptures.

44

News Item2/8/03 6:08 PM
Paul Gordon | Pine Bush, New York  Contact via email
While I am clearly troubled at the remarks of President Bush concerning the Quoran and concerning the nature of Islam, I confess I am even more troubled by the response of many believers to these remarks.

1. Since when did we elect a Theologian-in-Chief to preside over this government? Mr Bush is to be President of all Americans as well as our chief diplomat and negotiator in dealing with the nations of the world. Is he to say to the Islamic Center of Washington D. C. that Islam is a false religion, Mohammed a false prophet and the Quoran a false book? Brethren that is the unvarnished truth of the matter and nothing less than that is a full statement of the truth. But can the chief executive make that statement. Surely if he did he would silence the criticism of the subscribers to sermonaudio.com and gain many words of praise from us. But can he gain the support of American Muslims for his Iraqui policy and anti-terrorism policy if he makes such a statement?

2. Since when does a man's salvation depend upon the correctness of one's view of another religion? Can't a man be wrong about Islam and be right about Jesus Christ? Can't Mr Bush be a sincere believer in Jesus Christ who trusts Him, loves Him, obeys Him and pleases Him while being under false teaching regarding the true state of Islam? I fear we are advocating a salvation by Orthodoxy rather than a salvation by the Person and work of Christ.

In conclusion while confessing that I am troubled about the President's remarks and the beliefs these remarks indicate I am not about to condemn him for them nor to conclude that he is not a true believer because of them. The path of wisdom would be to write him a letter correcting his statements and showing him in scripture and history just why his rosy opinion of Islam and their book is hardly justified. But I also allow for his need to court the favor and good will of moderate Muslims, if there are any still out there and I will continue to allow for wrong opinions not necessarily reflecting a wrong relationship to God.

Above all else let's stop the bitter denunciations and attempt more to pray for the man that God would give him the right information and continue to lead him in a way that will bring clarity of direction to our nation in the face of the impending threats from false religion, rogue regimes, international terrorists just to name a few of the problems this president has to contend with.

Paul Gordon

43
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