Grace and peace, Saints.
A very strange thing happened to me the other day on the way back from taking my son to school.
After dropping my boy off, I boarded the subway at the last car, and moving towards the front, I placed Gospel tracts in so many seats in every car. I usually fold the tract in half, and place it in the narrow space between the armrest and the side of the car. When I reached the first car of the subway train, where I normally sit, I had one tract left, which I decided to place in the seat where I was sitting.
As I was placing the tract, the man sitting across from me beckoned with his hand that he wanted the tract, so I gave it to him, and he began to read it. About a minute or so later, he uttered something to me, but I couldn’t understand it, so he repeated it. I didn’t understand him the second time either, so he said simply in English, “Good Morning,” and I responded likewise. While he read the tract, I tried to reconstruct phonetically what he had said, and I realized that he had said, “Assalam O Alaikum”: a Muslim greeting said to mean, “Peace be with you.” A short time later, the man tore the tract in half, and then tore the halves in half. He then place the neatly torn pieces in his backpack, and put on his headphones.
I thought about this event for a good part of the day: not because the man tore up the tract, which I’m sure happens a lot, but because he greeted me with a Muslim greeting. This was the first time since I have been living in Munich that a Muslim has ever greeted me, an American, in a Muslim fashion.
For the average person, this would not be a cause for any reflection. But if you have been reading this blog for any period of time, then you know that strange things happen to me all the time. I’m approached by strangers constantly during my witnessing, and they never mean me any good. Wherever I go I am surrounded by people who say they are one thing, but for anyone with any discernment, they are obviously something else. Their words and actions are never consistent with the person they claim to be or pretend to be. They are in the service of Satan.
I always think of such people as a gorilla in a suit. You can dress up a gorilla in the most expensive suit, the most expensive shoes, and a Rolex watch. You can give him a suitcase, place a newspaper in his hand, and tell him to get on the subway at point A and to get off at point B. You can teach him to walk a certain way, and to look at his watch intermittently as though he were late for work. You can even have him call someone, real or imagined, on his cell phone, and you may even succeed in teaching him enough words to hold a competent conversation. But at the end of the day, he is a gorilla, and he will always be a gorilla–a gorilla in a suit.
When I meet these people, I always size them up discreetly, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things, and I can usually tell in short order what they are all about.
By the way, you can tell a lot about a person if you look into his eyes. Hollywood has made looking into someone’s eyes cliche’-ish (thanks to Satan). But the words of Jesus are true: “The light of the body is the eye”:
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
“But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.” (Matthew 6:22-23)
“If thine eye be single” is a reference to singleness of purpose. A person with a single eye is not double-minded and does not have ulterior motives. What you see is what you get. This person shall be full of light–goodness. But the person who is double-minded is not what he appears to be. He is in darkness–and that profound. Consequently, his whole body shall be full of darkness, especially his eyes.
The truly spiritual person–the Christian–should look at everything through his spiritual lens–especially people. Satan doesn’t mean us any good, and he has people watching us and interacting with us in various ways, who are nothing they appear to be. So when I meet a “gorilla in a suit” I always pay particular attention to his eyes, for his eyes always have and always will give him away. Moreover, a person’s movements and speech will also alert you that something is awry.
Such was the case with this gentleman. When I sat across from him, I knew instantly in my spirit that he was all wrong. But when he greeted me in a Muslim fashion, I really knew it. Why would he do that?
Munich is very cosmopolitan, and there are many foreigners living here, the majority of whom are Muslims. The usual greeting among Munchners is “Gruss Gott,” which means “God is Great.” Muslims, however, don’t use this greeting. I once gave this greeting to a group of obviously Muslim men when I was new in Munich and was living in a German center f0r asylum seekers (long story).
It happened on this wise: The men, who were from Ethiopia, Bosnia, and other countries, were sitting down at the entrance to the center. When I passed them, I said “Gruss Gott,” and all the men laughed me to scorn. Now, by this time, I had used this greeting fairly often and had never gotten this reaction. So, when I entered the apartment I shared with my wife, I told her what had just happened and asked her if I were pronouncing the greeting correctly. She responded that I had. Puzzled, I asked her why it was that the men all laughed at me when I said it. She couldn’t say why.
This event stuck with me for years until I started working for UPS in Munich, where many Muslims are employed. I noticed that, at least at this particular UPS warehouse, no one used the greeting, “Gruss Gott,” but instead said, “Sehr Wuss,” a greeting in the Bavarian dialect that is often used for “hello” and “goodbye.” It is basically a secular greeting, and is especially used between young people and between Roman Catholics and Muslims.
I found the use of this greeting rather curious, since Muslims say that they worship the same god as Christians, the only difference being that they call him Allah, which they say is Arabic for God. If this were true, however, then Muslims, when speaking German, would call Allah, “Gott”: the German translation of “God.” But I have never heard a Muslim call Allah, Gott, and I have never heard a Muslim in Germany use the greeting, “Gruss Gott.” Why is this, if Allah is merely “God” in Arabic? This question puzzled me for some time.
Then one day it hit me, and it was so obvious, I was embarrassed that it didn’t occur to me instantly. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God. Muslims, however, believe that Jesus was merely a human prophet. Additionally, Muslims, after saying the name of Jesus, say, “Peace be upon Him,” or, when writing, use the acronym PBUH. They also do this for their prophet, Mohammed. Now, the Prophet Mohammed is dead, so I gathered that when using the term, “Peace be upon him,” Muslims are showing respect for a revered person who is no longer with us. (It may be possible that they use this term only for Mohammed and Jesus, but I don’t know this.)
But our Jesus is very much alive, and Muslims know that we believe that. Roman Catholics also consider themselves Christians, and declare that Jesus Christ is God Almighty and is alive in Heaven. A Muslim, therefore, would not use the greeting, “Gruss Gott,” because he would, in effect, be declaring that the Christian God is great. And this very God, whom we call Jesus, is believed in Islam to have been a mere prophet who passed away: a man, not God Almighty. It would likely be blasphemy, therefore, for a Muslim to say, “Gruss Gott” (God–Jesus is great) when they use the term “Allah U Akbar” (Allah is great). Therefore, when a Muslim greets a non-Muslim in Munich, it is customary for him to greet the latter with “Sehr Wuss.”
I researched on the internet if it were proper for a Muslim to greet a non-Muslim with “Assalam U Alaikum.” Though opinions differed, some said that it is considered haram, or blasphemy, to do so. All this considered, it should now be clear why I was surprised when this Muslim gentleman greeted me in this fashion.
Knowing that nothing in my life is an accident or mere coincidence, my mind instantly went to work on what it was Satan was trying to do. The most obvious reason for the man’s greeting was that he wanted me to respond in kind. But then, I thought, what would be the point of that? Then I remembered that Charles Chiniquy, in his book, Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, said that Roman Catholic newspapers in America tried to make Abraham Lincoln look like an apostate Roman Catholic in order to enflame Roman Catholics against Lincoln enough to want to kill him.
If this makes no sense to you, consider that, with very few exceptions, every religion except Christianity persecutes those who leave it–especially if they become Bible-believing Christians. Many would refute this, but history is very clear on the matter. And the testimony of many who have suffered and are suffering for becoming Christians lends force to this argument.
You see, the Bible says that when the Pharisees were plotting to kill Jesus, they sent spies out to watch him, “who feigned themselves to be just men” (Luke 20:20). And they often engaged Jesus in conversation trying to trap Him in His words so they could accuse Him. Jesus said that in the same way He was persecuted, we would also be persecuted. That means that we will also be spied on and watched, and people will also try to trap us in our words so that they can accuse us. There is indeed nothing new under the sun.
Abraham Lincoln was a Christian (despite what they teach on the History Channel), and Abraham Lincoln was spied on. That’s one reason why he created the Secret Service. Lincoln was watched, framed, and eventually murdered–just like Jesus was. The servant is no greater than his Master.
The meeting with the Muslim gentleman was not coincidental: it had been choreographed. And his greeting me as though I were a Muslim was also no accident. This meeting was planned and had a definite goal. I’ve already told you what I think. Only time will tell if I was right.
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Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Still Man