En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Posts Tagged ‘hell’

What if…?

Posted by Scott on April 25, 2009

What if you could read minds? What if you knew the winning lottery numbers one day early? What is you could live forever? What if you were breathing your last breath right now? What if you had already eaten your last meal? What if you had your conscience for a reason? What if you knew what the reason was? What if it were a beacon – a warning of an impending doom? What if justice were not corrupt, but something true – something eternal? What if the standard for life were a perfect Law you already knew? What if in the stillness of a silent moment you know you had broken that law?

What if life is really a test, a series of choices, in which only one choice really matters? What if we ignore the inner warning light which pulses when we lie, steal or lust? What if even our hatred is counted as murder? What if pain and pleasure are only shadows of greater sensations to come? What if there is a Heaven? What if there is a Hell? What if there is a just Judge who knows even our thoughts? What if He holds us accountable for every thought, word, and deed? What if our idea of justice is only a shadow of something coming – where the prison times are eternal and no bond can be posted once the sentence is passed? What if death is the fine for breaking an eternal Law? What if someone paid that fine for you? What if Jesus Christ is that person? What if He defeated death by rising from the dead? What if you could turn from your sin, put your faith in Him and live? What if He gave you your conscience yo point you to Him?

Every second two people die… What if this is your second? check it out and see @
www.WhatIfCard.com

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Revival and Reform: Where is it? What is it?

Posted by Scott on December 6, 2008

At the time of this writing I have been watching, listening, and studying this very topic on Revivals and Reforms of the past and what is to come.  The great Reformation of Luthers day really changed the direction the Christian church was going and is still in effect today. 

In the past there have been what I believe to be false revivals instituted by such men as Charles Finney and others.  As you can tell, I am no advacate of Finneyism at all…personally believe it has done tremendous damage to the Church as a whole, but that is another topic all together.

Today, across our country and many other countries we are seeing young men being drawn back to the foundations of our Christian faith…Reform Theology (Calvinism as some call it)…true Reformed Theology, not that which has been misrepresented for decades as hyperCalvinsim.  These young men are being drawn to read and study on the likes of Spurgeon, Watson, Buroughs, Ravenhill, Tozer, Whitefield, Edwards, Calvin, Knox, Flavel, Boston, Martin Lloyd Jones, Stott, MacArthur, Piper, Sproul, Packer, Warfield, and many others that fall into this camp.  Stott, MacArthur, Packer, Sproul, and Piper are still alive and well, but the rest have been forgotten by many in the Evangelical movement of the 20th and 21st century.  These great mens lives and testimonies are resurfacing in full power to proclaim the real gospel of Jesus Christ not the watered down version people are flocking to today.

Why are young men returning to this theology, to this biblical doctrinal truth?  It is a deep seated desire to know God in His fullness, to know Christ without mans inhabitions, to serve God with all their being, and a response to God’s call back to holiness and righteousness…they have a deep seated desire of God…the Holy Trinity.  This has been missing in the Evangelical movement or revival movement for the past 60 years or more.   Contrary to belief our life is not all about getting saved and then getting others saved…not as our first response.  Others coming to the saving knowledge of Christ through our testimony is a by product of our own living testimony in Christ and the greater work of the Church as the Holy Spirit moves them…salvation is a total work of God and Him alone.  Our first priority is to know God personally, fulfill His commands, to serve God personally unabashedly, and bring our lives into line with Him.  Striving for a holy life like that of Christ unto righteousness.  We are to work out our salvation…not as salvation by works..that is not what I am saying here, but to show or prove our salvation in how we live, how obdeient we are to the commands of God, how we react to circumstances in our lives, how we respond to our neighbors needs and actions, in how we love others and treat others, how we serve our employer, how we treat our taxes to the government, to serve the Lord with gladness of heart regardless of our life circumstances, to be found in deep study with the Word of God daily, to be found in communication with our God at all times, to share the true authentic gospel of Christ as the Holy Spirit provides that opportunity to whom He provides that opportunity, and so on.  This will be misunderstood by many, but that is ok…to be taught correctly sometimes means to be misunderstood by some.

The Church in America or western civilization has not experienced a real reform or revival in probably 200 years it seems.  Sure there have been little emotionally stirred up events in the past 200 years, but I am talking about a revival of the saints where the Word of God is preached bringing the Believers to their knees in repentance of their sins as the power of the Holy Spirit falls upon them, an engathering of hundreds and thousands of lost people to their knees in total shame of their sinful depraved enemy status with God, calling out to God for His mighty forgiveness and turning to walk in a new direction with God.  These were revivals without invitation systems…these were revivals preached by godly men until the Spirit of God fell upon the people of these communities.  A point to which the Holy Spirit came in such power that the mere prescense of a man of God would cause people to fall to their knees in repentance.  This is revival…this is how reformations get started. “My heart says of You, Seek Your face! Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8

We are not in need of a new Reformation….we are in need of a return to the old Reformation.  The Church has left the love the early reformers had for God and the delicate caring and exposition of His Word.  We have fallen in love with the thought of being involved in some great revival somewhere.  We have fallen in love with surveying the lost to see how they would do church, to surveying communities to get their opinions of church direction and such.  We have fallen in love with fads, with systems, with trends and all sorts of humanistic hog wash, and have failed to fall deeply in love with our sovereign God.  We have fallen in love with an idea of God that we have created and love, but not what Scripture teaches about the true God.   The Reformation of the past had nothing do with mans “free will” left to man alone…if salvation was left to man to decide none would be saved…we would all perish in hell for all eternity…we are depraved, sinful, evil hearted people.  God has told us we cannot trust our hearts.  The reformation of the past had everything to do with returning to trusting in God’s sovereign will over man’s depraved will.  Understanding that man has a will, but God’s will is always in control of it…not as robots, but as people under the influence of God.  God is our creator and He fully intends to keep in control His creation…the restraining hand of God has been on evil men since the beginning otherwise the world would be unbearable and someday it will be that way.

Today, God is raising up men from all over the world that will return to preaching God’s Word in its entirety.  They will move the church from a wimpy Christ that just wants us all to get along with each other, to “coexist” as all religions leading to one God, a fill good Santa Claus or Geni in a bottle…they are bringing back the preaching with power.  These young men are not bashful to claim how lost a person is, how sinful man is, how totally depraved a man is, how much in need of a savior we are.  These guys will sacrifice their lives in order to advance the kingdom of God.

I encourage anyone reading this to seek the face of God now about sin in your life.  Ask God to renew your heart, to purify your life, to move you in a direction of His choosing not yours.  Get rid of the chains of a false religion that has you captured thinking you have to pursuade people to be saved, that you have to be eliquent in your message, that you must go out and do what the lost do in order to get them saved…all we as Believers must do is live a holy and righteous (not self-righteous) life before God and man, teach and preach the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation not just a few minor sections of the New Testiment, and as the Holy Spirit prompts us to share with someone about our life in Christ do it without hesitation.  Get rid of the notion that we are to go door to door, use a man made system, share a two sentence tract with someone…we are to live and breath our God in all that we are and do.  Salvation is not a matter of a 3 minute conversation, a 30 second prayer, and boom you are in.  Salvation is total transformation of the heart and mind turning from sin, depravity, evilness, worldliness, selfishness…to a life committed to furthering the kingdom of God, to living a holy and sanctified life, to being controlled by the Holy Spirit of God, desiring God above all things, spending our lives in the service of Christ whenever and wherever He leads us.

God’s Stubborn People
48 “Listen to me, O family of Jacob,
you who are called by the name of Israel
and born into the family of Judah.
Listen, you who take oaths in the name of the Lord
and call on the God of Israel.
You don’t keep your promises,
     even though you call yourself the holy city
and talk about depending on the God of Israel,
whose name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
     Long ago I told you what was going to happen.
Then suddenly I took action,
and all my predictions came true.
     For I know how stubborn and obstinate you are.
Your necks are as unbending as iron.
Your heads are as hard as bronze.
     That is why I told you what would happen;
I told you beforehand what I was going to do.
Then you could never say, ‘My idols did it.
My wooden image and metal god commanded it to happen!’
     You have heard my predictions and seen them fulfilled,
but you refuse to admit it.
Now I will tell you new things,
secrets you have not yet heard.
     They are brand new, not things from the past.
So you cannot say, ‘We knew that all the time!’
     “Yes, I will tell you of things that are entirely new,
things you never heard of before.
For I know so well what traitors you are.
You have been rebels from birth.
     Yet for my own sake and for the honor of my name,
I will hold back my anger and not wipe you out.
10      I have refined you, but not as silver is refined.
Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering.
11      I will rescue you for my sake—
yes, for my own sake!
I will not let my reputation be tarnished,
and I will not share my glory with idols!

Tyndale House Publishers: Holy Bible : New Living Translation. 2nd ed. Wheaton, Ill. : Tyndale House Publishers, 2004, S. Is 48:1-11
God will not be mocked, His name tarnished by the Emergent or Seeker religions.  He is not interested in our philosophy, our eastern mysticism, our best life now, our prosperity on earth…He is intersted in a people that are obedient to His call, to His commands.  He is interested in our obedience regardless of the cost.  As authentic Believers we need to return to loving our neighbors, serving others, feeding others, taking care of others.  Also, we are to speak of God’s Word totally relying on the results from God.  Preach and teach and live out the Word of God, but get out of His way so we may see the mighty results God will bring forth.
Concluding:  Where is the revival or reformation of the 21st century?  It is starting in the mind and hearts of young men and some older men all over the world.  It cannot be prayed into being.  It cannot be stirred up by the words of men.  This revival or reformation will come at the time of God’s own choosing and place of His own choosing, but I can see some sparks starting to flare up in these guys.  We could certainly witness one final great revival in this century.  We simply need to have our minds, hearts, and ears to the Word of God, listening to His calling and returning to preaching and teaching expositionally what He has to say.  His word has always been relivent to every generation and does not need some new system in order for people to get it.  God will plant His Word in the hearts and minds of His chosen peolpe…we are called to deliver it.
I know what you might be thinking…where is the zeal for others to come to know Christ?  It is there, biblically not man made.  My number one priority is obedience to God, service to Christ, and allowing myself to be used in anyway possible by my heavenly Father.  This will result in some evangelism, some mentoring other younger Believers, witnessing to a neighbor, feeding the hungry, clothing the very poor, fixing a flat tire for single mom stranded on the road, watching an older person while their kids do some shopping, and so on.  The zeal for others to accept Christ is always there biblically….not the way the we have been taught from little kids up that all of life revolves around witnessing and evangalising in a concerted effort, all the time which is wrong.  Think about it.  Amen!
(c) Scott Bailey 2008

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What is faith and salvation to you? All to Jesus….

Posted by Scott on November 7, 2008

Watch this 3 part video from great preachers of old:  Tozer, Ravenhill, & Reidhead.  The lettering is hard to read, but the messages from these men are timely and just as relevant as they were the day they were spoken as God’s Word is still relevant today as it was 2000 plus years ago.  Let the messages with God’s Holy Word pierce you deep.


PART 1

PART 2

PART 3

We should have no other plans or purposes in this life other than to glorify our Almighty God!

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Does God Predestine Some to Hell? Great Video by Mark Kielar

Posted by Scott on October 29, 2008

Romans 9:17-18

17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”[a] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

Exodus 7:2-5

2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it.”

Exodus 9:12

12 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.


So, God either actively or passively intervenes in peoples lives.  The same opportunities to accept the gospel are present, but the intervention of God is different.  Remember also, God’s common grace that all men enjoy whether deserved or not.  Without the hand of God restraining this vile evil that exist in man, the world would not be tolerable by any human being or beast.  God is Sovereignly at work in the lives of His people for our greater good and ultimately His greater glory.   Praise the Lord He first loved me and sought me out like the hound on the trail of a rabbit…nothing will deter the will of God.


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A Pastor Believes in hell-Alert the Media!!!!

Posted by Scott on September 10, 2008

Written by Albert Mohler Jr.

Hell just emerged as an issue in Election 2008, and the campaign now enters a zone where politics and theology collide.

The catalyst for this emergence of eternal punishment as an issue is a “Belief Watch” column in this week’s edition of Newsweek magazine.  In “A Religious-Right Revival,” Lisa Miller suggests that the nomination of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee for Vice President represents a resurgence of the so-called “Religious Right.”

There is something to this argument, of course, given Gov. Palin’s record and positions on key controversial issues.  Her pro-life credentials, even taken alone, would be enough to encourage many evangelical Christians, as the response to her nomination now demonstrates.

But what makes Lisa Miller’s article most interesting has nothing directly to do with abortion, marriage, or any social issue.  The most interesting (and revealing) part of her article is a sentence that does not refer to her campaign, nor to her role as Governor, but to her church:

The senior pastor of that church, in sermons that circulated online before they were taken down last week, preaches hell for anyone who isn’t saved by Jesus.

In the event a reader might miss that sentence, the magazine put the words, “The senior pastor of Palin’s church preaches hellfire for anyone who isn’t saved by Jesus” in large type in both print and electronic editions.  In other words, these words are intended to catch a reader’s eye as newsworthy — an attention grabber.

Miller went on to explain that the fact that her pastor preaches such a message “puts her squarely in the tradition of the old-school religious right.”

Of course, belief in hell as the just punishment of the impenitent is part and parcel of historic biblical Christianity.  Taken at face value, the belief that “anyone who isn’t saved by Jesus” faces the verdict of hell is as normative as any other Christian belief.

There is no way to read the New Testament without encountering the very clear message about the reality of hell.  “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul,” Jesus warned.  “Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” [Matthew 10:28].

True, there are those who have denied both the reality of hell and the exclusivity of the Gospel.  Some attempt to deny that those who do not believe in Christ will spend eternity in hell.  Nevertheless, even those who propose doctrinal theories such as universalism and inclusivism (or those who promote annihilationism with reference to hell) must admit that their position does not represent what most Christians throughout the centuries have believed — or believe now.  We should be concerned that these theories may be spreading in influence, but it should hardly be surprising to find that an evangelical pastor preaches historic Christianity.

What this article in Newsweek represents is the absolute confidence that discovering people who believe that those who do not believe in Christ will go to hell is supposed to be shocking.

So we find in Sarah Palin’s pastor an evangelical who believes in hell and preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the only means of escaping hell.  In other words, he is an evangelical preaching like an evangelical.  Alert the media.

_________________________

See my articles “Hell Under Fire,” Parts One and Two, and my chapter in the book, Hell Under Fire.

See also my review of Richard Florida’s new book, Who’s Your City, at The Reading List, here.

Join us today for “Ask Anything Wednesday” on The Albert Mohler Program.

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The “Hound of Heaven”!

Posted by Scott on July 2, 2008

By: Greg Herrick Th.M., Ph.D.

The Hound of Heaven and a Young Russian Agnostic

Andrea Wolfe, on staff with the CoMission office in Raleigh, North Carolina tells the following story:

In the 1930’s Stalin ordered a purge of all Bibles and all believers. In Stavropol, Russia, this order was carried out with vengeance. Thousands of Bibles were confiscated, and multitudes of believers were sent to the gulags-prison camps-where most died, unjustly condemned as “enemies of the state.”

The CoMission once sent a team to Stavropol. The city’s history wasn’t known at that time. But when the team was having difficulty getting Bibles shipped from Moscow, someone mentioned the existence of a warehouse outside of town where these confiscated Bibles had been stored since Stalin’s day.

After the team had prayed extensively, one member finally mustered up the courage to go to the warehouse and ask the officials if the Bibles were still there. Sure enough, they were. Then the CoMissioners asked if the Bibles could be removed and distributed again to the people of Stavropol. The answer was “Yes!”

The next day the CoMission team returned with a truck and several Russian people to help load the Bibles. One helper was a young man-a skeptical, hostile agnostic collegian who had come only for the day’s wages. As they were loading Bibles, one team member noticed that the young man had disappeared. Eventually they found him in a corner of the warehouse, weeping.

He had slipped away hoping to take a Bible for himself. What he did not know was that he was being pursued by the “Hound of Heaven.” What he found shook him to the core.

The inside page of the Bible he picked up had the handwritten signature of his own grandmother. It had been her personal Bible. Out of the thousands of Bibles still left in that warehouse, he stole the very one belonging to his grandmother-a woman, who throughout her entire life, was persecuted for her faith.

No wonder he was weeping-God had powerfully and yet tenderly made Himself known to this young man.1 Such was his divinely appointed meeting with the sovereign Lord of the universe, the “Hound of Heaven” who had tracked him down to that very warehouse! Remember Jeremiah’s words: “`Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. `Do not I fill both heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord.” (Jer 23:24).

The “Hound of Heaven” and You

Jesus is truly the ever-present, all-seeing “Hound of Heaven.” He can track us down wherever we’re hiding! And once on the trail, he sets his heart with relentless zeal and undivided focus to the pursuit-a zeal that originally led him directly to the ignominy of a Roman cross!

Choosing to leave behind the luxuries of Heaven’s golden palaces and the unrivaled joy of the Father’s presence, Jesus willingly descended into the ghetto of this present world-the realm of sin and Satan-in order to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). Through the brutality of his suffering, climaxing in his voluntary death, he secured a startling triumph over hostile forces arrayed in battle against Him (and us). Having earned a once-for-all victory for His people, and having been resurrected to an indestructible life, He has returned to Heaven and His Father, where he continues to seek and to save that which was lost (Heb 7:25). The young Russian man knows what this means. So does his grandmother. Do you?

You see, Jesus is still pursuing people through the message of the cross. The message of the cross rises above the myriad of voices and the noise in our culture, seizing our consciences by the throat and laying bare the depth of our selfishness and estrangement from God. If Jesus Christ was God Almighty incarnate, and His death was necessary to quell my rebellion, then I guess I know God’s estimate of my sinfulness. “Oh wretched man that I am,” says the apostle (Rom 7:24). But the good news is-for those who love Him-that all our filth has been transferred to Christ who willingly bore the guilt and pollution of our sin, death, and shame.

Thus, the message of the cross not only instructs me concerning the disastrous consequences of my rebellion, it also faithfully imparts the priceless knowledge of God’s “other worldly,” all conquering love-a love that changes “rebel” into “reconciled” and whose intensity can only be likened to a blood hound hot on the trail.

Like a major landmark enroute to the place where God lives, the cross shows you and me the way home into the arms of our Father. It does not repel us from Him; on the contrary, it leads us confidently into His presence. Surely if He would suffer to this extent for us, then He must love us thoroughly.

In short, the cross calms my agitated, nervous heart and is like a smiling, gracious butler, who sees plainly that I am not clothed properly, but who nonetheless incessantly pleads with me to enter God’s home where the real party never ends. Through the cross God himself has provided the wardrobe appropriate for the festivities! He called our young Russian friend and now he calls you. Won’t you come in?

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Hell…Eternal Torment or Annilation?

Posted by Scott on July 2, 2008

(Author: John Piper)

Resolved 08, which I spoke at a couple weeks ago, had a sobering theme: Heaven and Hell. In my preparation, I dug up this contrast between Clark Pinnock and Dorothy Sayers.

Clark Pinnock, a Canadian theologian who has moved far from his evangelical roots, wrote:

I was led to question the traditional belief in everlasting conscious torment because of moral revulsion and broader theological considerations, not first of all on scriptural grounds. It just does not make any sense to say that a God of love will torture people forever for sins done in the context of a finite life…. It’s time for evangelicals to come out and say that the biblical and morally appropriate doctrine of hell is annihilation, not everlasting torment. (Theological Crossfire: An Evangelical/Liberal Dialogue, 226-7)

Dorothy Sayers, who died in 1957, speaks a wise and faithful antidote to this kind of abandonment of truth.

There seems to be a kind of conspiracy, especially among middle-aged writers of vaguely liberal tendency, to forget, or to conceal, where the doctrine of Hell comes from. One finds frequent references to the “cruel and abominable mediaeval doctrine of hell,” or “the childish and grotesque mediaeval imagery of physical fire and worms.” …

But the case is quite otherwise; let us face the facts. The doctrine of hell is not “mediaeval”: it is Christ’s. It is not a device of “mediaeval priestcraft” for frightening people into giving money to the church: it is Christ’s deliberate judgment on sin. The imagery of the undying worm and the unquenchable fire derives, not from “mediaeval superstition,” but originally from the Prophet Isaiah, and it was Christ who emphatically used it…. It confronts us in the oldest and least “edited” of the gospels: it is explicit in many of the most familiar parables and implicit in many more: it bulks far larger in the teaching than one realizes, until one reads the Evangelists through instead of picking out the most comfortable texts: one cannot get rid of it without tearing the New Testament to tatters. We cannot repudiate Hell without altogether repudiating Christ. (A Matter of Eternity, 86)

by John Piper www.desiringGod.org

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Ishmael Must Go!

Posted by Scott on June 21, 2008

by Ray C. Stedman

READ: Genesis 21:8-13

But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned” (Genesis 21:12).

If Isaac represents the gladsome fullness of the fruit of the Spirit, then Ishmael represents some pet manifestation of our self-life in which we find comfort and delight and that we do not want to surrender. Some place value on what they have long suspected is not what God would have but that they were reluctant to give up. Perhaps it is some long-standing habit that we have been defending. There can be habits or values in our lives that are really some form of self-indulgence. God may allow them for a while, but the time comes when He says, “Now, these have to go.”

God says that Ishmael could never share in the inheritance with Isaac. This is exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6). When the time comes for us to stand before our Lord at the judgment seat of Christ, our lives will be classified into two areas: works of wood, hay, and straw, which are of the flesh; and those of gold, silver, and precious stones, which are of the Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). The Lord says to us as he says to Abraham, “Ishmael must go.” If you refuse to expose, examine, and remove that which is born of the flesh, even though God has said that it hurts you and He has shown you the peace, joy, and love that is the fruit of the Spirit, then you must face this choice as Abraham did.

Dr. Barnhouse once wrote, “Early in my ministry, I had the idea that I must strike out against all error wherever I saw it… if error was in some fundamental leader with whom I was in 95% agreement, I swung hard at the 5%.” This made Dr. Barnhouse a highly controversial figure, often unmercifully sharp and dogmatic. This zeal for truth became an Ishmael in his life. Then he tells how there came a time when the Spirit of God taught him to love, and he faced the choice—Ishmael had to go. He had to learn to be more understanding and more tolerant of some of the variant views of others.

He wrote, “Some time ago, I published a New Year’s resolution expressing regret that I had had differences with men who are truly born again. The results of that resolution were astounding. In the years that followed its publication, my ministry has been transformed.” The closing years of his life show much of his mellowing and of the sweetness of the fruit of the Spirit in one who before had been so harsh, critical, and demanding.

I don’t know what form Ishmael may be taking in your life, but I know there are times when God says to us, simply, this must go. There can be no manifestation of the life of the Spirit any longer until this is dealt with. Abraham obeyed. Early in the morning, he got up and took bread and a skin of water and, though it cost him heartbreak to do it, sent Hagar and Ishmael out, so that he might have the fullness of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Lord, I ask that I would sincerely long to be a completely yielded vessel of Your joy and strength and peace. May I have the grace to cast out Ishmael and find the fullness and joy of Isaac.

This daily devotion was inspired by one of Ray’s sermons. Please read “Ishmael must Go! “ for more on this portion of scripture.

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Comparison of Christianity and Islam!

Posted by Scott on June 19, 2008

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Islam or Christianity? Jesus or Mohammed? Bible or Koran?

Islam or Christianity?
Jesus or Mohammed? Christian Gospel or Muslim Koran?

Islam, Mohammed, and the Koran compared to Jesus Christ, the Bible, and Christianity. A study of Moslem teaching compared to the gospel. What should a Christian believe?

The religion of Islam claims that Mohammed was as great a prophet as Jesus Christ, that the Koran succeeded the New Testament, and that Muslim (Moslem) teachings should be followed instead of Christianity. In this study we compare the evidence for Islam to the evidence for Jesus as revealed in the Bible: fulfilled prophecy, miracles, and the resurrection. Was Jesus the Divine Son of God crucified to save us from our sins, or is there just one individual Being in God (Allah)?

Introduction:

The purpose of this study is to examine the beliefs of Islam and the teaching of Mohammed in the Koran, comparing these to the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A Brief Summary of Islam

“Islam” is the proper term for the religion revealed by Mohammed in Arabia in the early 600’s. “Islam” means “submission” (to the will of God). Adherents are called Muslims (“one who submits”) (often one sees the word as “Moslem”). Arabians are descendants of Ishmael, so Islam claims to be a renewal of the ancient religion of Abraham traced through Ishmael.

Mohammed was born in Mecca, Arabia, about 570 AD. Orphaned at an early age, he was raised by his grandfather and then his uncle. His family was aristocratic and influential. He grew up in times of religious and political confusion and uncertainty. At age 25 he married a wealthy 40-year-old widow named Khadijah.

At age 40 he began claiming to receive dreams and revelations, but was unsure of their source. He quoted these revelations to others who wrote them down. His wife convinced him these were messages from God, as Muslims today believe. But non-Muslims believe he developed such a deep religious fervor, out of concern for the needs of the people, that he began having dreams about religion and attributed them to God.

Rejected at first by the people of Mecca, he fled to Medina where he became a religious and political leader. By a series of violent battles he obtained income and converted people to Islam. Eventually he returned to Mecca and captured it by force.

When he died at age 63-65, a power struggle developed regarding who should succeed him. Several sects resulted, the major two being Sunni Muslims and Shi-ite Muslims. We will mainly consider Sunni Muslims (by far the larger group), though many of the same points would apply to other forms of Islam. Nevertheless, we should remember that there are wide variations among Muslims, just as there are among those claiming to be Christians.

Relationship of Islam to Judaism and The Gospel of Christ

Islam claims to believe in the same God as Jews and Christians, the God of Abraham, revealed in the Old Testament. Muslims generally claim that “Allah” is just their name for the God of the Bible. Significant differences exist, however, regarding how the religions view Jesus Christ. 

All three religions began from the work of major individual prophets. Jews’ beliefs were revealed by Moses, Christians’ by Jesus, and Muslims’ by Mohammed. Islam recognizes both Moses and Jesus as prophets (along with other Bible prophets), but it claims that Mohammed is the last of the prophets and his revelation supercedes those of Moses and Jesus.

All are based on written revelations claimed to be infallibly inspired by God. The Jews accept only the Old Testament, Christians also accept the New Testament, and Muslims accept the Koran (they also have great respect for Muslim traditions). Just as Christians believe the Old Testament was inspired but was replaced by the New Testament, so Muslims believe the Old and New Testaments were inspired but were both replaced by the Koran.

For these reasons many similarities exist among Judaism, the gospel, and Islam. Yet we will see that essential differences also exist.

Note – In this study we have mainly relied on the following sources about Islam:

The Koran (page numbers refer to the printing I own)
Encyclopedia Britannica (abbreviated EB), articles on “Islam,” “Mohammed,” and “Koran.”
World’s Religions (abbr. WR), article by Norman Anderson.
Christian’s Response to Islam, (abbr. CRI), William Miller.

Also other miscellaneous sources as noted.

(Note: This study refers several times to a lesson about “Evidences,” which summarizes the evidence for God, Jesus, and the Bible. It can be accessed from our website at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.)


Part I: Basic Doctrines


Since Islam claims to accept the Old and New Testaments, if its doctrines are true then they ought to harmonize with the Bible. So let us examine some basic doctrines of Islam and compare them to the Bible.


I. The Doctrine of God


Islam correctly opposes idolatry and teaches that there is only one God. But more is needed (James 2:19). So consider further:

A. Islam Says Jesus Is Not Divine.

Mohammed taught there is only one Divine Being in God. He denied the Deity of Jesus, saying He was just a man – a great prophet, but not the Divine Son of God. (Koran, 4:160-171 – pp60,61; 6:90-100 – pp77,78; 9:130; 19:135 – p168)

The Bible says Jesus is Divine.

John 1:1,14 – Jesus (the Word) was God, was with God in the beginning, and became flesh to dwell among men a man.

Colossians 2:9 – In Jesus dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

John 20:28,29 – Thomas called Jesus “my Lord and my God.” Jesus pronounced a blessing on all others who believe the same (cf. vv 30,31).

How can Muslims deny these teachings and yet claim to believe the Bible is true and Jesus was a prophet?

[Phil. 2:6-8; Heb. 1:8,9; Tit. 2:13; Isa. 9:6; John 8:58; 5:23]

The Bible says Jesus is the Only-Begotten Son of God.

Matthew 16:13-17 – During His lifetime many people believed what Muslims today believe: that Jesus was a great prophet like other prophets. But Peter confessed that Jesus was not just a man but was the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus Himself affirmed that Peter’s statement had been revealed by God.

John 10:35 – Jesus plainly admitted that He had said, “I am the Son of God.”

Matthew 17:5; 3:17 – Twice God spoke from heaven and claimed Jesus as His beloved Son. Bible writers claimed to be eyewitnesses that these things were true (2 Peter 1:16-18).

Romans 1:4 – The resurrection declared Jesus to be the Son of God.

To believe that Jesus was just a great man and a prophet is to belittle Him and to deny His own statements. To believe some other man was as great as Jesus is to blaspheme Him. If Jesus spoke the truth, then He was more than a prophet.

Muslims must either admit that Jesus was the Divine Son of God, or else they must admit they do not believe that Jesus and the Bible are true.

[John 3:16; 1:14; 3:18; 1 John 4:9; Colossians 1:15,18; Eph. 1:19-22; 1 Corinthians 15:23-28]

The Bible says Jesus has Divine characteristics.

He was eternal – Micah 5:2 [Isa. 9:6]

He was all-knowing – John 16:30; 21:17

He was all-powerful over created things – Matt. 28:18; Rev. 19:16; 17:14; Acts 10:36; Rom. 10:12; John 3:31; Rom. 9:5.

How could these characteristics be possessed by a mere man? Are these things true of Mohammed? If not, then how could he be as great as Jesus?

The Bible says Jesus is the Creator of the universe and the Judge of mankind.

John 1:3 – All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. [Heb. 1:2; Col. 1:16,17]

John 5:22,23 – The Father has committed all judgment to the Son.

2 Corinthians 5:10 – Jesus will be our judge; we must all appear before Him. Jesus will be Mohammed’s judge! How can Mohammed be as great? [Acts 17:31; Matt. 25:31ff]

What mere human prophet could create the universe or judge all mankind? Mohammed makes no such claims. These are the claims of a Divine Being. How can Muslims deny these teachings and yet claim to believe the Bible is true and Jesus was a prophet?

The Bible says Jesus accepted worship.

Jesus taught that no one but God should be worshipped (Matt. 4:10). Both men and angels in the New Testament refused to allow people to bow in worship to them (Acts 10:25,26; Rev. 22:8,9).

Matthew 28:9,17; Hebrews 1:6 – However, Jesus’ disciples worshipped Him, and angels are commanded by God to worship Him. [Cf. Rev. 5:12-14; Luke 24:52]

Jesus accepted worship such as was forbidden to man. How can Islam believe the Bible and believe Jesus was from God, while denying that He deserved worship? When they claim that Jesus was just a human prophet and that Mohammed was as great a prophet as Jesus, the Scripture says they are unbelievers (John 20:30,31; 8:24; Mark 16:16).

Islam is like a man who views a building from a great distance. He can tell there is only one building, but a closer view would reveal that it has three stories. So Islam correctly affirms there is only one God, but the greater revelation of New Testament shows that this one God consists of three separate and distinct individual spirit Beings.

(Note carefully:  Further evidence can be obtained about the claims of Jesus, the evidence that those claims are true, and the number of individuals in the Godhead from the links at the end of this study.)

B. Islam Says Men Cannot Conceive What God Is Like because He Has Not Revealed Himself.

Of course we cannot grasp fully the infinite nature of God, but Islam says it is impossible to have even a general concept of God’s character [WR-115; CRI-44,74]. But the Bible says:

John 1:18 – Though man has not seen God, Jesus knows Him and has declared Him.

John 14:9,10 – We can know what the Father is like because Jesus and His Father are perfectly united. To know what Jesus is like is to know what the Father is like.

Hebrews 1:3 – Jesus is the express image of the substance of His Father. [Col. 1:15; Matt. 11:27]

The fuller knowledge of God, which Islam lacks, is found in the revelation given by Jesus Christ.

Although Islam teaches there is one God, it still teaches error about God, for it denies the Deity of Jesus and ignores the Bible revelation of God’s nature. How can Muslims deny these teachings and yet claim to believe the Bible is true and Jesus was a prophet?


II. The Doctrine of Revelation


Mohammed said the New Testament and Jesus were from God, but his own teachings were better and replaced the New Testament. However, note the claims of the New Testament regarding itself.

A. The New Testament Is a Complete Revelation of All God’s Will.

John 16:13 – Jesus promised His apostles would receive all truth. Any teaching that a man claims to reveal from God, if it is not in the New Testament, it is not a part of God’s truth. [John 14:26]

2 Peter 1:3 – God’s power has granted all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Jesus. What is left for Mohammed to provide?

James 1:25 – The gospel is the perfect law of liberty.

The teachings of Islam claim to be superior to the gospel. But how can one improve on that which is perfect and which contains all truth and all things pertaining to life and godliness. [Acts 20:20,27; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; Matt. 28:18-20]

B. The New Testament Universally Meets the Needs of All Men.

The gospel provides what all men of all ages need in order to have a proper relationship to God.

Mark 16:15 – It is to be preached to everyone in all the world. [Matthew 28:19]

Romans 1:16 – It is God’s power to save everyone who believes, Jew on non-Jew.

The gospel of Christ is sufficient to give all men eternal life (John 20:30,31; Acts 2:39; 10:34f). No man in any future age will need any further revelation than the gospel. What more could Mohammed provide?

C. The New Testament Is God’s Final Revelation to Man.

The Old Testament predicted that another testament would replace it (Jer. 31:31-34). This promise was fulfilled in the New Testament. However, the New Testament does not, in turn, predict that it will be replaced by the teachings of Mohammed or any other Divine revelation. Instead it teaches that it is itself the final revelation. [Heb. 13:20f; 7:11-28; 8:6-13; 12:18-29]

1 Corinthians 13:8-11

This passage discusses spiritual gifts, which were the means by which prophets received revelation (cf. chap. 12). It says these gifts, including prophecy, would cease when “that which is perfect is come.” They would cease because they were “in part” – incomplete and imperfect.

Note: “That which is perfect” is contrasted to the spiritual gifts, which were “in part.” “That which is perfect” refers to something that completes or perfects what was incomplete or imperfect about spiritual gifts.

In what way were the gifts (including prophecy) “in part”? The only Scriptural answer is that, at the time Paul wrote, the gifts had only partially accomplished their purpose. They had been given in order to reveal or deliver the will of God. But that delivery was not yet complete when Paul wrote – the will of God had not all been revealed and recorded.

“That which is perfect,” therefore, must be the completion of that which was lacking in the spiritual gifts: it must be the completed revelation of truth. When the process of revelation was complete and all truth had been completely delivered and recorded in writing, then the gifts of prophecy would no longer be needed and so they would cease. But we have already shown that this happened during the lifetime of the original apostles (see above and note the “perfect law of liberty – Jas. 1:25).

The gift of prophecy was needed in an age when people did not yet have the complete written word to guide them. When the word was completely recorded by Jesus’ apostles and prophets, then prophecy would have completed it purpose and so would cease. By the time Mohammed lived, the gift of prophecy was no longer needed and had long since ceased.

Jude 3

The faith was “once for all delivered to the saints” (NKJV). “Once” is “used of what is so done as to be of perpetual validity and never need repetition” (Thayer). The same Greek word describes Jesus’ death in Heb. 9:26,28; 10:10; 7:26,27; 1 Pet. 3:18, which teach that Jesus’ death will not be repeated.

Old Testament sacrifices did not completely remove sins, so they had to be repeated. But the death of Jesus was perfect and sufficient to completely remove all sin for all men of all ages; so it happened only “once.” There was no repetition.

Likewise, the true faith was delivered only “once.” The gift of prophecy was needed as long as God’s perfect testament had not been perfectly and completely revealed. But that perfect testament was completely delivered to men in the first century. It does not need to be delivered again, so it never will be delivered again. Therefore, the spiritual gifts by which it was delivered have ceased.

Everything Jesus did was perfect. He not only gave us a perfect sacrifice for sin, He also gave us the perfect New Testament to tell us how to receive forgiveness (Heb. 1:1,2; Jas. 1:25). Neither His sacrifice nor the revelation of His will can ever be repeated or improved.

To claim that Mohammed or any other man received later revelations or a better revelation is to deny the perfection of the New Testament.

Galatians 1:8,9

Having completely revealed His will in the first century, God preserved it for all future generations (1 Pet. 1:23-25; 3 John 2; Matt. 24:35; John 12:48). God’s word here says that if any man preaches a different gospel, he stands under the curse of God.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a perfect and complete revelation, given by God to guide all people until the end of time. So God forbids anyone to teach a different religious doctrine. (Matthew 15:9,13; 2 John 9-11; Colossians 3:17; Revelation 22:18,19; 1 Timothy 1:3; 2 Timothy 1:13)

Men have always wanted to change God’s will, hoping they could improve it or make it more suitable to themselves. Men who attempt this have often claimed to be prophets from God, but God has always warned us to beware of false prophets and resist them (1 John 4:1; Matt. 7:15ff; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; etc.).

So we have evidence that God authorized the New Testament to replace the Old Testament, but we have no such evidence that God authorized the teachings of Mohammed to replace the New Testament. Since Mohammed’s revelation is different from the gospel, the above passages show that we must resist his message, for the curse of God is on it.


III. The Doctrine of Salvation


A. Islam Denies the Sacrificial Death of Jesus and His Resurrection.

Islam denies that Jesus was crucified, that He died as a sacrifice for sin, and that He arose from the dead. (Koran 4:156 – p60)

The Bible teaches Jesus did die by crucifixion as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Matthew 20:17-19 – Jesus predicted He would be crucified, then rise again.

Matthew 26:28 – He claimed that He would shed His blood for the remission of man’s sins. [20:28]

John 19:31-35 – John claimed to be an eyewitness to Jesus’ crucifixion. [Acts 2:23]

Ephesians 1:7 – Redemption and forgiveness are through His blood.

1 Peter 2:24 – He bore our sins in His body on the tree.

Hebrews 2:9 – He tasted of death for every man.

If Islam denies these statements from Jesus and the Bible, how can it yet claim to believe the Bible is from God and Jesus was a true teacher?

[Mark 8:31; Matt. 16:21; Rev. 1:5; 5:9; 1 Tim. 2:4-6; 1 Pet. 1:18f; Isa. 53:5-9; 1 Cor. 15:3; John 1:29; Heb. chap. 9:24-28; 10:9-13; 13:20f; Rom. 5:6-11; 2 Cor. 5:14,15]

The Bible teaches that Jesus was raised from the dead, as proved by the testimony of eyewitnesses.

Matthew 20:17-19 – Jesus predicted He would be crucified and then rise again. [Matt. 16:21]

Luke 24:44-46 – Jesus taught that His death and resurrection was a fulfillment of prophecy.

Romans 1:4 – Jesus is declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:3-8 – He died for our sins, was buried, and arose as prophesied and as testified by eyewitnesses who saw Him alive.

The resurrection of Jesus is absolutely fundamental to the claims of Jesus and the gospel. The apostles repeatedly affirmed it to be true on the basis of eyewitness testimony. This is proof such as neither Islam nor any other religion can offer.

[Romans 10:9,10; 6:4-13; 1 Corinthians 6:14; 15:1-26; John 20:24-31; Acts 2:23-36; 17:30,31; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1 Peter 1:3,4; 3:21; 2 Corinthians 5:15; Ephesians 1:19,20; Colossians 2:12,13]

The Bible teaches that salvation can be obtained only through Jesus.

John 14:6 – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Acts 4:12 – “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

We can only be saved through Jesus, no other way. Islam denies salvation through Jesus. Therefore, Islam cannot save and Muslims have no way to be saved.

The Old Testament had animal sacrifices. The New Testament has the superior, perfect sacrifice of Jesus. But, Islam has no sacrifice for sin at all. Without a sacrifice for sin, there can be no remission (Heb. 9:22). It follows that Islam not only is not a superior system, but it cannot save at all.

B. Islam Teaches Salvation by Law-Keeping without Sacrifice.

Islam offers only a vague concept of how man is saved. Evil is balanced against good, and if good outweighs, a person might be saved. Outward obedience is emphasized, not faith, love, or the condition of ones heart. [CRI-81f,84f]

The Bible teaches that all have sinned, and even one sin leads to eternal punishment.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

James 2:10 – For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

This is why we need a sacrifice. No matter how much good we have done, it can never outweigh the evil of our sin.

Islam’s approach to righteousness is even less effective than that of the Old Testament.

Galatians 3:10 – Under the Old Testament, anyone who disobeyed in any point was under a curse.

Galatians 5:1,4 – The law was a yoke of bondage in which we should not again be entangled. To seek justification by the law is to fall from grace.

The law itself provided justification only for those who lived without ever sinning, and no one did that (except Jesus). This is why God replaced the Old Testament with the New. But Islam, like the Old Testament, is a system of strict law keeping. Islam does not even have the animal sacrifices of the Old Testament.

So Islam claims to be better than the New Testament, when in reality it is worse than the Old Testament! To accept it is to return to a yoke of bondage, having no hope for salvation.

[Romans 3:20; Gal. 2:16; Heb. 8:6-13; 10:1-18; Acts 15:10]


Part II: Mohammed vs. Jesus


Since Islam claims that Mohammed is a prophet like Jesus, but his revelation replaces Jesus’ gospel, let us compare their character, claims, and proofs.


I. Claims


A. Islam

Muslims claim that Mohammed was the last of the prophets and his revelation replaced that of Jesus. Islam claims that the exact words of the Koran were given to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel, and therefore the Koran is verbally inspired. [CRI-46-50,33; WR-99]

Islam claims Jesus was a great prophet, but not Divine and not the unique Son of God. It admits Jesus did miracles, but denies He died as a substitutionary sacrifice to save people from their sins or that He arose from the dead. (Koran, 4:160,169; 6:90) [WR-100f; CRI-49,77]

B. The Gospel

We earlier studied passages where the gospel claims Jesus was more than a prophet: He was in fact the Divine Son of God who died to save men from their sins and then arose from the dead. The gospel of Jesus offers eyewitness testimony as proof.

Note that, whereas Mohammed made the general claim to as great as Jesus, the actual specific claims of Jesus were greater than any Mohammed ever made.

Furthermore, if Jesus really made these claims, then Islam must be untrue. If Jesus’ claims are true, then Mohammed cannot be as great as Jesus, as he claimed. On the other hand, if Jesus’ claims are false, then Islam is still untrue, since it claimed that Jesus was a true prophet. Either way, if Jesus made these claims, Islam is untrue.

Islam, therefore, denies Jesus ever made these claims. We have cited passages where He made the claims, but Islam denies those passages are genuine. So we must consider whether or not the Bible is an accurate record. And we must compare the evidence for Mohammed’s claims to the evidence Jesus’ claims. Anyone can make claims. What proof is there?


II. Character


A. Jesus

The New Testament repeatedly claims Jesus never sinned (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; etc.).

Muslims generally admit Jesus never sinned. The Koran nowhere claims that He sinned. [CRI-47ff].

So we have complete agreement that Jesus was a person of pure morals, wisdom, courage, love, and every other quality of goodness.

B. Mohammed

Many Muslims claim that Mohammed also never sinned. But compare his life to Jesus’ life:

Broken treaties

While ruling in Medina, Mohammed made a treaty not to attack Mecca for ten years. He then attacked them the very next year. [CRI-33f]

Violence and assassination

Mohammed used violence, including assassination, to defeat and convert men to Islam [WR-98; EB, XV-648]. Jesus converted people by teaching, persuasion, and example. He never used force, nor would He allow His disciples to use force, even when His enemies attacked Him.

Polygamy

Mohammed had 12 wives and 2 concubines at the time of his death. [CRI-32]

Revelations for personal convenience and benefit

* Mohammed revealed that men could have plural wives, but not more than four at a time (Koran 4 – p48). However, a special revelation said that he himself could have more than 4 wives. He had 12 when he died. (Koran 33:50,51 – p228)

* He revealed that no man could marry his own daughter-in-law. Then a special revelation allowed him to take the wife of his adopted son. (Koran 33:37 – p227)

* Arabs once starved him, because they opposed his teaching against idolatry. He then received a “revelation” condoning idolatry. As soon as they released him, he reversed the revelation and again said idolatry was wrong. [EB, XV-647]

Mohammed himself never claimed to be sinless.

In fact he admitted he and other prophets committed sin. But he never claimed that Jesus sinned. [CRI-26,50; WR-99]

So, whereas Christians and Muslims agree Jesus was sinless, there is much reason to doubt Mohammed’s sinlessness. Based on their character then, who was greater: Mohammed or Jesus?


III. Fulfilled Prophecy


Jesus unquestionably fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, and He Himself accurately predicted future events (see study on evidences). What about Mohammed?

A. Islam Claims that the Bible Was Changed to Eliminate Prophecies of Mohammed.

Some prophecies, that Muslims claim refer to Mohammed, were actually fulfilled in Jesus. But Muslims claim that Mohammed fulfilled other prophecies, but Jews and Christians changed their own Scriptures to remove these prophecies and destroy the evidence. [CRI-27,49f,70f,78; WR-101]

For example John 16:7 predicts the coming of the “Comforter.” Muslims claim this originally used the word “praised,” which is the meaning of Mohammed. But to cover it up, the Scriptures were changed. [CRI-78; WR-101]

But where is the proof of these changes in the Bible? As noted earlier, Muslims also argue that the Bible was changed to make it appear that Jesus was the Son of God, that he died for our sins and arose from the dead, etc. Where is the proof of these changes? There is none. However, there is much proof for the accuracy of the Bible.

The claims of Islam would require wholesale changes in the Scriptures.

As cited earlier, numerous Scriptures claim Jesus was the Son of God, etc. If the Bible did not originally teach this but did prophesy of Mohammed, then wholesale changes must have been made.

For example, the context of John 16:7 plainly states that the “Comforter” is the Holy Spirit (John 14:16f, 26; and 15:26). If this originally referred to Mohammed, major changes must have been made in the text.

The same is true for the many other teachings we have listed on which the Bible contradicts Islam.

The Bible promises that God would preserve His word forever.

1 Peter 1:23-25 – God’s word is incorruptible seed that will live and abide forever. It will not be like grass that grows and then fades. [Isaiah 40:8]

2 John 2 – The truth will be with us forever.

Muslims say that God failed to keep these promises, but He allowed the Bible message to become thoroughly corrupted. [Matt. 24:35]

Interestingly, the Koran contains similar promises that God would preserve it from corruption (15:9 p141). If Muslims believe God preserved the Koran without corruption, why would He not do the same for the Bible, which they also agree is from God?

Further, the Koran claims to confirm the Scripture that Jews and Christians had (2:89 – p18). Since the Bible we have today is the same as existed in Mohammed’s day, did the Koran confirm that which was corrupted?

The Bible repeatedly rebukes those who change its message.

Deuteronomy 4:2; Proverbs 3:5,6; Galatians 1:8,9; Revelation 22:18,19 and many other passages condemn changing the Scriptures. If Jews and Christians changed their Scriptures, as Muslims claim they did, then they knowingly and repeatedly violated these passages in their own Scriptures.

Rather, because of these warnings, both Jews and Christians have shown great care in making copies of their Scriptures through the centuries. Work was checked repeatedly, counting numbers of words and letters on each page, and proofreading each page to make sure no changes occurred.

The result is that many ancient manuscripts verify the accuracy of the Bible as we have it today.

* Several copies of the New and Old Testaments date before the time of Mohammed.

* Some translations of the Scriptures date long before the time of Mohammed.

* Scriptural quotations exist in the writings of many men who lived long before Mohammed.

If the claims of Islam are true, then all these writings should read as Islam claims that they originally read. But instead, all these ancient sources read just like modern copies of the Scriptures. There is no evidence of any kind that changes were made after Mohammed lived.

How could it be that all the copies of the Scriptures that existed in Mohammed’s time were found and changed, all at the same time and all in the same way, just to disprove Islam? Why can’t Muslims produce some manuscripts that still contain the passages Islam says existed? Why didn’t ancient Muslims find some of these manuscripts and save them? Why is it that we have so much evidence of the ancient content of the Bible, and none of the evidence agrees with Islam?

If the Jews changed their Scriptures to eliminate prophecies of Mohammed, why did they not do the same with the prophecies of Jesus?

Old Testament prophecy is one of the strongest proofs of Jesus’ identity. Christians do not have to claim that these prophecies once existed but were removed. They are all right there in the Old Testament!

Jesus and His apostles respected and used the Jews’ Old Testament Scriptures. They claimed the Scriptures were from God and quoted them just as they were. To prove their case, they never needed to claim that parts of the Scriptures were changed.

Why can’t Muslims do the same? What motive would Jews have for removing the prophecies of Mohammed but not the ones of Jesus?

The fact remains that Christians have proof of hundreds of prophecies in the Jews’ Old Testament as it exists now that Jesus fulfilled. Yet Muslims can find no prophecies fulfilled by Mohammed anywhere in the Bible. They claim Mohammed is as great as Jesus. Why then do they not have evidence as great as what we have for Jesus?

(For further discussion of the accuracy of the preservation of the Bible, see a link to our article on that subject at the end of this study.)

B. There Is No Evidence Mohammed Could Predict the Future.

Unquestionably Jesus accurately predicted the future. Even Islam admits Jesus was a prophet. The ability to predict the future is one proof of a prophet. Yet Mohammed rarely attempted to predict the future, and when he did he failed.

Mohammed once predicted there would be 73 sects of Islam, of which only one would survive. But Muslims admit there have been far more than 73. And today many sects, not just one, still survive. [EB, XII-711]

Deuteronomy 18:21f – When a man predicts the future and the prediction fails, he is not from God, so do not be afraid of him.

Islam claims that Mohammed is a prophet like Moses and Jesus. Both Moses and Jesus made prophecies, all of them came true, none failed. Mohammed made few prophecies, yet even so at least one of them failed. How then can Mohammed be a prophet like Moses and Jesus?


IV. Miracles


A. Many Eyewitnesses Testify that Jesus Did Miracles.

The Bible records many testimonies from people who saw His miracles (see study on evidences).

Even Jesus’ enemies and opponents during His lifetime admitted He did miracles.

The Koran confirms that Jesus did miracles (2:250, p31).

So, there can be no doubt that Jesus did miracles. But remember that the purpose of His miracles was to confirm that all His claims are true.

B. What Evidence Is There that Mohammed Worked Miracles?

No eyewitnesses testify seeing Mohammed do miracles.

Usually, there are no serious claims that Mohammed did miracles to confirm his message. When people do make such claims, they base them, not on eyewitness testimony, but on tradition or fables written years after the alleged events.

For example, one night Mohammed was allegedly carried to Jerusalem and from there ascended into heaven to see wonderful visions. However, no one saw it happen. His wife says he never left the bed. [CRI-24]

There is absolutely no eyewitness testimony to confirm any miracles done by Mohammed.

Muslims commonly claim that the writing of the Koran is a miracle.

We will see later that it is entirely possible for someone to write such a book by human wisdom.

Nevertheless, this is an invalid use of miracles. True miracles are events, in addition to the delivery of a revelation, done for the purpose of confirming the revelation to be from God (see references under evidences). While we should examine the revelation itself for evidence, that is a separate argument from miracles.

When one claims that the revelation itself is a miracle to confirm the revelation, he proves that he does not understand the purpose of miracles.

Others claim the rapid growth of Islam is a miracle.

Islam did grow very rapidly, but much of it came by military conquest. If that proves Islam is from God, then consider the military conquests of Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Hitler, and Nebuchadnezzar? Do the military conquests of these men confirm that their religious beliefs were revealed from God?

Islam claims to believe in Moses and the Old Testament and in Jesus and the gospel. We have overwhelming evidence that Moses and Jesus did miracles to confirm the Divine origin of their revelations – evidence so clear even their enemies and Muslims admit the miracles. If Mohammed’s teachings replace Moses’ and Jesus’ teachings, then Mohammed must also have done miracles like Moses and Jesus did. But Mohammed’s evidence is insignificant compared to that of Moses and Jesus. How then can Mohammed be a prophet like Moses and Jesus?


V. Resurrection from the Dead


A. Jesus’ Resurrection Is the Greatest Miracle of All.

Many eyewitnesses testify to Jesus’ resurrection (see article on evidences). Muslims admit Jesus did other miracles, but deny He arose. Yet the evidence for the resurrection is far more abundant and convincing than the evidence for any other miracle He did.

This evidence is recorded in many ancient copies of the Scriptures written before Mohammed’s time. There is no evidence whatever that these records were corrupted in later years. Yet Muslims, who came some 600 years after Jesus, deny the eyewitness testimony.

B. Muslims Do Not Even Claim Mohammed Arose from the Dead.

Muslims hope someday they and Mohammed will be raised from the dead, but their hope is based on the teaching of a man still in His grave. The Christian hope is based on the example of one who arose to prove that we will all be raised. Muslims try to discredit the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection, but that evidence is far more conclusive than any evidence that Mohammed did any miracles. How then can Mohammed be a prophet as great as Jesus?


VI. Unity of Scripture


A proof of the Bible is the unity of its teaching. Though some 40 different men penned its various books, yet these writings are completely harmonious with no contradictions. This is evidence that it is all the product of the mind of God, just like it claims.

There are no conflicts in history or geography between the Old and New Testaments. Gospel writers often use Old Testament prophecy and teaching to confirm that the New Testament fulfilled the Old.

A. Mohammed’s Teaching Often Contradicts with the Bible.

We might expect some difference in doctrine, since Muslims claim the Koran replaced the gospel. But there should be no conflict of history or eternal principles. Note some examples: [CRI-48; WR-95; EB, XIII-483]

* Mohammed said Jesus’ death was not a crucifixion, He did not die as a sacrifice for the sins of others, and He did not rise from the dead (4:157-159). The Bible teaches all these as fact (see above).

* Mohammed said Jesus was not Divine and not the Son of God (9:130; 19:135 – p168; 6:100 – p 78; 4:171 – p61), but the Bible teaches that He was (see above).

* Mohammed thought Christians believe that the Godhead consists of the Father, Son, and Mary, whereas actually it is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. [CRI-73; WR-101]

* The Koran says one of Noah’s sons drowned in the flood (11:42 – p121), but the Bible says all his sons were spared (Gen. 7:1-7; 1 Peter 3:20).

* The Koran says Lot’s wife stayed behind and perished among the people of Sodom (26:171 – p202), whereas the Bible says she fled but looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt (Gen. 19:15f,26).

* The Koran says John the Baptist’s father was speechless for 3 days as a sign from the angel (3:41 – p37; 19), but the Bible says he was speechless from before the time his wife conceived till the baby was born (Luke 1:13,20,24,57-64).

* Mohammed referred to Haman as the minister of Pharaoh, whereas the Bible says he was minister of Ahasuerus, king of Persia in the book of Eshter. [WR-95; EB, XIII-483]

* Mohammed confused Miriam the sister of Moses with Mary the mother of Jesus. [EB, XIII-483]

* The Koran teaches men today may practice polygamy and divorce for any cause (4:3,20 – p48; 2:229-232 – pp29,30). Jesus said this was allowed under the Old Testament only because of the hardness of men’s hearts, but would not be allowed under the New Testament (Matt. 19:3-9). Islam claims Mohammed’s revelation is greater than Jesus, yet its moral standard is clearly inferior.

* The Koran teaches there will be marriage in heaven (52:5 – p284; 44:54 – p268), but Jesus said there is not (Matt. 22:30).

Muslim’s try to rationalize by claiming that the Koran has been preserved accurately but the Bible has been perverted. Hence, whenever there is conflict, the Bible is wrong and the Koran is right.

Yet consider again how much of the Bible this means has been corrupted. And remember that God promised He would not let His word be destroyed. There is no historical evidence that the Bible has been corrupted and much evidence that it has not been. If God can preserve the Koran without allowing it to be corrupted, why can he not preserve the Bible in the same way? (See above).

Christians also claim to believe the Old Testament, but in order to prove our case we never need to argue that the Old Testament has been corrupted. On the contrary, Jesus and His apostles and all Christians take the Old Testament, just as it is, and use it to substantiate our case (Acts 17:1-3,11; see article on evidences).

Islam claims to believe in both the Old and New Testament. Yet to make their case, they must repeatedly claim that the Old and New Testaments are corrupt. Why can’t they prove their claim, using the Bible as we have it, like Christians can do using the Old Testament? Why must they discredit the very messages they claim are from God?

B. Mohammed’s Teaching Contradicts Itself.

The Bible does not contradict itself, despite being written by 40 different men from widely different circumstances. Just one man wrote the Koran so, if it had no self-contradictions, it would prove little. However, it turns out that this one man did contradict himself.

* Mohammed commanded his disciples to use violence against those who reject Islam, yet he said violence should not be practiced in the name of religion (Koran 9:5,29 – pp102,111; cf. 2:256 – p32) .

* He forbade the use of images, then under threat of starvation he excused it, then later he again condemned it (see above).

* He first taught men to pray facing Jerusalem, then later said they must pray facing Mecca. [EB, XV-647]

* In fact Mohammed admitted having changed his doctrine at times. Muslim commentators themselves admit some 5-50 examples of such. [EB, XIII-483]

Jesus’ teachings harmonize with all previous Divine revelation, without arguing that it has been corrupted. But Mohammed’s teaching conflicts with previous revelation that he admits was from God. Jesus never changed His teaching and never contradicted Himself (1 Cor. 1:13), but Mohammed contradicted himself and changed his teachings several times. How then can Mohammed be a prophet as great as Jesus?

Conclusion

The evidence confirms the gospel of Jesus, not Islam.

Muslims make many claims for Islam, but there is no real proof that Islam is true. Anyone can make claims. Proving them is another matter.

Christians accept Jesus and His gospel, but reject Mohammed and Islam, on the basis of proof. The evidence is that:

* Jesus was sinless but Mohammed committed sin.

* Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, but Muslims cannot prove Mohammed ever fulfilled any.

* Jesus made predictions of the future that came true, but Mohammed made none that were fulfilled and at least one that failed.

* Jesus performed miracles as attested by eyewitnesses, but there is no eyewitness proof that Mohammed ever did any miracle.

* Jesus arose from the dead as attested by witnesses, but Muslims do not even claim that Mohammed arose.

* Jesus’ teaching agrees with itself, but the teachings of Mohammed contradict themselves.

* Jesus’ teachings harmonize with, and His claims are substantiated by, all Divine revelation that went before Him. He and His followers never discredit previous revelation. Mohammed’s teachings are not substantiated by prior revelation but contradict it, so Muslims repeatedly discredit prior revelations, while still claiming that those revelations were from God.

The evidence proves, not just that Mohammed was not a prophet like Jesus, but that in fact Mohammed was not a true prophet of God at all. His teaching bears none of the proofs of true prophetic teaching, but it does bear all the earmarks of being the work of a false prophet. (Matthew 7:15-23; 15:14; 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; Acts 20:28-30; 1 John 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:2-4; Titus 1:9-14; 2 John 9-11; Romans 16:17,18; Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Peter chap. 2)

Philippians 2:9-11 – Jesus has a name that is above every name. To Him every knee will bow and every tongue confess. It follows that Jesus is greater than Mohammed and someday every Muslim will confess it. Everyone ought to confess it now while they have the opportunity to be saved.

Note: If you would like to study further about related Bible topics, we have a number of other study materials on our web site that should interest you. Please see the links listed below.

(C) Copyright 2000, David E. Pratte
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Topics for further Bible study

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What Claims Did Jesus Make?
Evidences for God, Jesus, & the Bible
Evidence for Jesus’ Resurrection
The Inspiration of the Bible
The Preservation of the Bible
Number of Individuals in God
Why So Much Religious Confusion and Disagreement?
The Importance of Bible Knowledge

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Jesus said He Is God!

Posted by Scott on June 18, 2008

     
“I’ve heard that Jesus never actually claimed He was God.”

John 14:7-10 [7] If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” [8] Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”   [9] Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’?  [10] Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

John 10:30  “I and the Father are one.”

John 14:11  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.

John 10:37-38 [37] Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. [38] But if I do it, even though you do not believe me, believe the miracles, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”

Matthew 27:43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, `I am the Son of God.’

John 17:11   I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one.

“When Jesus said ‘I and the Father are one’ didn’t He just mean they are of one accord, they are merely like-minded?

Taken alone, statements such as “I and the Father are one.” and “The Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” could mean simply that Jesus agrees with God.  But in the overall  context of the Bible this cannot be:

John 10:31-33  [31] Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, [32] but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”   [33] “We are not stoning you for any of these,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

John 17:5  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

John 17:10   [Speaking to the Father] All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

Note: “Son of Man” was a term referring to the expected Messiah.

Mark 14:61b-62   [61b] Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”  [62] “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Luke 22:66-70  [66] At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. [67] “If you are the Christ, ” they said, “tell us.”  Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, [68] and if I asked you, you would not answer. [69] But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.”  [70] They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?”  He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

Daniel 7:13-14 [13] “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. [14] He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
 

Jesus clearly and repeatedly indicated that He is not the one who “calls the shots”.

John 14:31  the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

John 7:16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.”

John 8:42  Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.”

John 17:3-12   [3] Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. [4] I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. [5] And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began. [6] I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. [7] Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. [8] For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. [9] I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. [10] All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. [11] I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one. [12] While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
 

THE HEBREW BIBLE (OLD TESTAMENT)
SAYS GOD HAS A SON

 


From The Tanakh — The New JPS Translation
(c) 1985 by
the Jewish Publication Society

Proverbs 30:4 [JPS]

Who has ascended heaven and come down?
Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hand?
Who has wrapped the waters in his garment?
Who was established all the extremeties of the earth?
What is his name
or his son’s name, if you know it?

 


Proverbs 30:4 [NKJV]   Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?  Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son’s name, if you know?

THE HEBREW BIBLE (THE OLD TESTAMENT) SAYS THAT GOD WOULD COME TO EARTH AS A HUMAN MALE.

Isaiah 9:6-7 [6] For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [7] Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. …

When Jesus claimed to be God incarnate, either:

  1. He was telling the truth.
  2. He was lying — He wasn’t God and knew it.
  3. He was a lunatic — He wasn’t God but thought He was.

This is known as The Trilemma.

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