"On this mountain He will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death for ever." Isaiah 25:7
The Need to be Disillusioned
One of the greatest needs of the human race is to be disillusioned. One of the greatest tasks of conveying the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom is to bring disillusionment. What do I mean by this?
| Dr Daniel Juster, Director |
The Bible describes people as under strongholds of the mind. These are false systems of deeply held beliefs and values. They are sustained by the consensus of cultures and by assertions and arguments. Paul states that, "The weapons we fight with are not carnal.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Messiah." (II Cor. 10:4,5) Every person who is not committed and submitted to the truth that is in Yeshua is in delusion and in need of disillusionment.
In common speech we often use the word disillusionment for a person who loses his confidence and becomes depressed. It is often used of young people who go to college and lose faith in God or their country by being exposed to the philosophies of this world. However this is not true disillusionment. Instead the young person may simply be deceived. From God's point of view disillusionment is a matter of being stripped of false views and false grounds for confidence so that one might come to a true foundation of life and confidence. According to the Bible, false philosophies and value systems are partly explained by the Devil's deceiving. He places a veil over the eyes of people. The Jewish people are said to be under a veil of blindness. In Isaiah 25, it is not only a veil that covers the eyes, but a shroud wrapped around the nations of the world, a shroud of death! The challenge of evangelism is to bring a person out of illusion and into true sight and a true foundation for life.
The Great Delusions of our Day
Today I see three primary world delusions of highest significance in terms of our end-time outreach efforts. These are respectively, the delusions of the Islamic world, the Western humanistic world, and the rabbinic Jewish world. The Bible indicates that God's plan for disillusionment in these cases may be interrelated. Could we be involved in a set up where all three types of delusion are removed together?
The Delusion of Islam
With regard to Islam, we need to state clearly that it is a false religion which though monotheistic, was based on a rejection of the authority of the Bible. Mohammed explicitly denied the truth of the Bible, that Isaac was the one sacrificed in symbol by Abraham on the altar. He denied the continued chosenness of the Jewish people. In addition, he denied the central truth of the New Testament, "God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son." (John 3:16) Over many mosques, including the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem that stands over the most holy place of the ancient Temple, are written the words, "God has no son." So the death of Yeshua for our sins and his resurrection from the dead are denied. Only the Koran is accepted as God's inerrant word. In addition, the Koran greatly changes the Biblical narratives it retells.
Mohammed took the idea of Holy War from the Torah, which was only to be applied within the borders of ancient Israel as a one-time judgement upon several peoples steeped in hideous idolatries including child-sacrifice. He combined it with the missionary orientation of Christianity. He began a whole new thrust of "evangelism" by the sword. Islam from the beginning was violent. The first three hundred years of Christianity were characterized by people renouncing the sword and allowing their blood to be spilled to spread the Gospel. The first 300 years of Islam were characterized by Moslems taking up the sword to spread their faith. Though there are moderate Moslems, those who are true to Islamic origins believe in violence to spread their faith. Franklin Graham is right when he says that Islam is violent. No amount of pleading by political leaders who say, "Islam is peaceful, loving and tolerant," can make it so. It is not so. To spread this lie is to maintain delusion in the West. It is God's intent to free a billion people from the delusion of Islam and its oppressions.
The Delusion of the West
However, the Western world also lives in its own delusion of relativistic secular humanism. In its most radical form, relativism holds that no world view is more true than another. All religions are equal and truth can not really be known. Of course, this is self contradictory, for it asserts its premise to be true! As part of this, Eastern views are embraced by many. In addition, religious values and ethical views are trivialized. The result of such relativistic humanism is amazing corruption. No society has ever produced a people of character without belief in: a personal God (Theism), the Law of God, and the judgment of God after death. Without these beliefs moral seriousness will be largely lost. There will be exceptions, but the general direction of society will be toward selfishness and hedonism. The relativistic West desperately seeks to believe that it can define Islam as moderate and live at peace with the Islamic world. In Europe where this orientation is so strong, there is a great motivation to abandon Israel as a way to be at peace with the Islamic world. Israel is blamed for the problems of the Arab Middle East. Many Europeans do not recognize that eliminating Israel is only the first step in the program of fundamentalist Islam. The next steps are Spain, Southern Europe and Africa ultimately leading to world conquest.
The Delusion of Israel and World Jewry
This brings us to Israel. Israelis are sandwiched geographically between the relativistic West and the Islamic Middle East. Spiritually and culturally Israelis are subject on the one hand to the delusions of Western relativism, immorality and hedonism, and on the other hand to delusion in rabbinic Jewish orthodoxy. When the rabbinic authorities as a whole failed to recognize the arrival of the Messiah, they entered into a partial blindness. The orthodox Jewish establishment seeks to follow the original spark of divine revelation, but through a body of tradition and a spirit that can be an oppressive delusion. God is committed to bring Israel to himself, but according to the Scriptures the path to disillusionment for Israel will be difficult and painful.
Massive World Disillusionment
The events of the last days are God's amazing orchestration to bring the world to massive disillusionment so they may see Yeshua! God has a grievance with Israel and the nations. (His great work will be accomplished in the context of the restoration of the Church; including its unity [John 17:21] completing the task of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a witness and making Israel jealous.) In this we are praying toward and working for blessed disillusionment.
As we look at the pattern of God's work as the Judge in history, we can easily see how God's judgment is also a severe mercy. He can easily bring a false Islamic absolutism into clash with a false western relativistic humanism. Islam can bring the West to the conclusion that all religions are not equal. The potential level of pain and destruction in the clash between these two worlds may be greater than we can imagine, but can bring both to disillusionment opening untold millions to seek God with eyes that are no longer blinded. In the middle of this potential conflagration is Israel, to be saved after terrible shaking and a last days invasion by the nations of the world. (Zechariah 12, 14:1,2)
In these difficult and despairing times of disillusionment, the light of God will arise. (Is. 60:2.3) There will be a great harvest. Even now the Chinese Church has taken on the awesome task of evangelizing the Islamic world. They know how to face suffering for the Gospel. This national thrust is called To Jerusalem. We must be confident in God's protection, willing to be martyred both for world evangelism and for the salvation of Israel.
And what is the end of all this? It is first of all that Israel will call on Yeshua and will say to Him, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord." (Matthew 23:39) Then Israel will experience a wonderful disillusionment: "They shall look upon me, whom they have pierced and mourn for him." (Zech. 12:10) The Messianic Jewish movement prepares the way for this as does Christian love and witness to the Jewish people. The defeat of the Anti-Christ and his forces will lead to a redemptive world disillusionment. The veil or shroud will be removed from all peoples. All tears will be wiped away. Sorrow will cease.
The end of disillusionment will be a world at peace under the rule of the Messiah! Israel and the nations will be one under Yeshua. We are moving to a concluding world disillusionment so that we might experience true reality! We in the West are entering the most dangerous time in Western history. Yet it is a potentially glorious time. Let us take courage and believe in God's protection. A great harvest and His ultimate victory await us.
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