Monday, February 22, 2010

Comparing Islam to Christianity, Part 6

The Qur’an says, “For those who reject Allah, there is a terrible penalty: but for those who believe and work righteous deeds, there is forgiveness and a magnificent reward (Surah 35:7). This great reward is janna, a garden paradise, an eternal place of sensual and spiritual pleasures.

In Islam, there is no savior. That is not to say that salvation is impossible, for Allah is merciful and compassionate. He can always forgive---for Allah’s will is supreme---but He is primarily the judge. There are many descriptive warnings about hellfire and punishment in the Qur’an.

All men should fear Judgment Day, in which each person’s deeds will be weighed on a scale. “Recording angels” keep a list of every deed, both good and bad. Islamic teachers assign credits to deeds related to the pillars of Islam. It is unthinkable for Muslims to abandon their accumulation of credits and trust a Savior.

Muslims find God virtually unapproachable. There is no concept of relationship with God as in Christianity, and no assurance of heaven, except though martyrdom. In Islam, there is no guarantee of salvation. The only possible guarantee is to be martyred for the cause of Islam, usually in jihad, and that is what the terrorists are told. It is much easier for Muslims to go into paradise through jihad/martyrdom, than to perform all the rituals and duties and still not know for sure whether they will go to paradise or not. The Qur’an says that martyrs killed in the way of God, or fighting for Allah, will go straight into the paradise of Allah.

Christians believe that, after death, all people await the final Judgment, when both believers and unbelievers will be resurrected. All will be judged according to the deeds they have done, but believers will be saved, because God removed the record that contained the charges against them. He destroyed it by nailing it to the cross of Jesus. Colossians 2:14 says, “having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.” This would therefore remove the list of bad deeds kept by any Muslim’s “recording angel.”

In Christianity, God does not judge on a curve. He does not compare one person to another. Neither does He weigh your good deeds against your bad deeds. Instead, He compares you to Himself. In order to get into Heaven based on your works, you have to be as holy and perfect as He is. Matthew 5:20 states, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” And 1 Peter 1:16 says, "for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." This is precisely why we need a Savior.

Even if one’s list of good deeds outweighed their list of bad deeds, it would not make them acceptable to God. The Bible says this would only cause boasting and pride, as though someone could impress God by his or her good deeds. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Instead, God has credited Christians with the righteousness of Christ, so salvation is a gift, not earned by anyone---not even martyrs---but bought with a great price---Jesus’ blood (See 1 Corinthians 6:20 and 1 Corinthians 7:23).

In addition to this great gift, God the Father adopts those He saves into His family so they may live with Jesus in Heaven. To be saved involves being “born again” into a new relationship with God. John 3:5 states, “Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.”

Thinking about Allah as Abba-Father is difficult for some Muslims. Any negative view of the earthly father role will twist one’s view of God. In Western cultures, parenting trends err toward permissiveness (more love than discipline). In the East, fathers tend to be negligent or authoritarian (more discipline than love). God is a Father Who shows both love and discipline. He wants loving followers, not just slaves or spoiled children.

This view of fatherhood makes it easier to relate to God as Abba and to come to Him as a humble child, ready to be loved and disciplined. Jesus said one must enter God’s kingdom as a little child. “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mark 10:15)

The final book of the Bible describes the future scene of a huge family gathering with many from every tribe, tongue, people and ethnic group gathered around the throne of God, as shown in Revelation 5:
“Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals. And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, "Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll?" But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside. Then one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals." Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth." Then I looked and heard the voice of many angels, numbering thousands upon thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand. They encircled the throne and the living creatures and the elders. In a loud voice they sang: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, singing: "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" The four living creatures said, "Amen," and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

Boasting of good deeds would be unthinkable, because Jesus, the Lamb of God, sits upon the throne. Everyone in this great crowd honors Jesus as their substitute sacrifice, just as God pictured beforehand when He provided a ram to die in place of Abraham’s son, as in Genesis 22:
"Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!"
"Here I am," he replied. Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you." Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied. "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son." Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me." Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba. Some time later Abraham was told, "Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram), Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel." Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham's brother Nahor. His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.”


Most of this information is from “Islam & Christianity,” Rose Publishing; and from the DVD, “Radical Islam On The March.”

133 comments:

satire and theology said...

'It is much easier for Muslims to go into paradise through jihad/martyrdom, than to perform all the rituals and duties and still not know for sure whether they will go to paradise or not. The Qur’an says that martyrs killed in the way of God, or fighting for Allah, will go straight into the paradise of Allah.'

Troublesome theology in the hands of radicals.

satire and theology said...

'Even if one’s list of good deeds outweighed their list of bad deeds, it would not make them acceptable to God. The Bible says this would only cause boasting and pride, as though someone could impress God by his or her good deeds. Ephesians 2:8-10...'

We are 'saved' from what we deserve, by and in Christ.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

Troublesome theology in the hands of radicals.

Yes, and what you quoted was actually a quote from an ex-Muslim.

We are 'saved' from what we deserve, by and in Christ.

Amen! We deserve justice (which is Hell), but, as Christians who have been regenerated in Christ, we receive mercy. Our sins have been washed clean, white as snow. Our 'hearts of stone' have been made into 'hearts of flesh.' We have been made into pure, holy living temples of God, and we have God the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. We are now holy saints of God, for God sees us through the eyes of His Son, just as He looked down at the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament and saw the broken tablets of the Law inside, which were broken because of sin, yet, the Mercy Seat, which was sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb, covered it. Similarly, we as Christians are covered with the blood of Christ, and His righteousness has been attributed to us. We are now ambassadors for Christ.

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Jeff said...

Muslims do not believe that God is a Trinity. Christianity teaches that God is a Trinity.

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit: three Persons, one Being. God is unique, and God alone is a triune Being.

"You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ." (Romans 8:9)

God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are co-equal.

"After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)

The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity.

"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." (1 Corinthians 2:11)

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 28:19)

"But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you." (Matthew 12:28)

"This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18)

The Holy Spirit gives eternal life. None but God can give eternal life.

"Jesus answered, "Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh and what is born of spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you, ' You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you don't know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." (John 3:5-8)

"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you." (Romans 1:11)

Jeff said...

In Islam, the Archangel Michael, called Djibril (also Jibril or Jabril), is looked upon as a guardian angel with 600 pairs of huge green wings and bears the inscription “There is no God but God, and Muhammad is the Prophet of God” between his eyes. According to Islam, Djibril presented himself to the prophet Muhammad on “the Night of Power and Glory”, Leilat al-Qadar, and dictated to him the words of the Qur'an sura by sura (chapter by chapter). He also led Muhammad to the Islamic shrine known as the Dome of the Rock, where Muhammad ascended a golden ladder to the heavens. Along the way he passed by Isa and Idris (Jesus and Hermes), Adam, Abraham and Moses. Muhammad later arrived at a vast sea of golden light where he was enlightened to divine truth and then He returned to earth. In one Legend from the Encyclopedia of Islam I, 502, Mohammed confused the Archangel Gabriel with the Holy Ghost, confusing Matthew 1:20, "for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost," with Luke 1:28, "And the angel came in unto her and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured..."

Jeff said...

Islam teaches that the angel Gabriel has 600 wings:

Sahih Bukhari 6.380:... See More
(Volume 6, Book 60, Number 380):
Narrated ASSAILANT:
I asked Sir about the Statement of Allah:
'And was at a distance of but two bow-lengths or (even) nearer. So did Allah convey the Inspiration to His slave (Gabriel) and then he (Gabriel) conveyed that to Muhammad.' (53.10) He said, "Abdullah (bin Mas'ud) informed us that Muhammad had seen Gabriel with six hundred wings."

Jeff said...

As far as the Messiah (Isa al Masih, Jesus the Messiah), Christians have not raised a mere man to the level of God. Instead, the Word of God was made flesh:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men." (John 1:1-4)

Christians, like Muslims, believe in the miracle of the Virgin birth. Jesus was not born from an earthly father. And God does not have a wife.

From the book of the words of Esaias the prophet:
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

The Injil (New Testament) teaches the Incarnation ('Incarnation' means 'embodied in flesh' or 'taking on flesh'): that God took on human flesh. However, it also teaches that this is above human reason and understanding.

Jeff said...

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Is there a difference between God and His Word?

In the Qur'an, in Sura 3:45, it says, "The angels said, "O Mary, GOD gives you good news: a Word from Him whose name is `The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He will be prominent in this life and in the Hereafter, and one of those closest to Me.'"

So, isn't the Qur'an saying here that Jesus is God's Word?

Jeff said...

Regarding the Holy Spirit, the Qur'an shows that the Holy Spirit is divine, and says that, after fashioning man, God gave man life by breathing His Spirit into man:

"Behold! thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to create man, from sounding clay from mud molded into shape; When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My Spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.’" Sura 15:28-29... See More

"He Who created all things in the best, and He began the creation of man from clay, And made his progeny from a quintessence of despised fluid: But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him of His Spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and understanding: little thanks do ye give!" Sura 32:7-9

"Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I am about to create man from clay: When I have fashioned him and breathed into him of My Spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.’" Sura 38:71-72

The Old Testament also says basically the same thing:

"The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7)

So, did God used a creature to assist Him in the creation of man?

Obviously, the answer is 'no.' So, the Holy Spirit is not a created being, as Muslims believe.

Jeff said...

A question to Muslims:
What do you make of the Holy Spirit Who is spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible?

A disciple of Jesus, the one called Peter, denied even knowing Jesus 3 times (Matt. 26:69-75, Luke 22:55-62 and John 18:17-18, 25-27). why did he do this? Because he was afraid of joining Jesus in his trial before the Sanhedrin, which he knew was probably going to end in Jesus' death. So Peter was afraid of being killed.

But later, when the power of the Holy Spirit descended on Peter, he spoke with great courage and boldness to a multitude of people when he said, "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." "Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified." (Acts 2:22-23,36)

Peter was completely changed.

Jeff said...

From the time they began to follow Jesus, up through His arrest, trial and crucifixion and even after His resurrection from the dead, the apostles were a ragtag bunch, made up of uneducated fishermen, tax collectors, etc. They never seemed to understand what Jesus (Isa al Masih) was trying to teach them. When Christ was arrested and put on trial, all of them deserted Him. Even Peter, seemingly the most passionate follower, flat-out denied he knew Him three times. The apostles then went into hiding for fear they would meet the same fate. When witnesses came forward to tell of Jesus’ resurrection, most of the apostles did not believe it. When the resurrected Christ came to them Himself, they did not recognize Him at first, and even some still doubted. Jesus severely scolds them for their unbelief and hardness of heart.

"When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it." (Mark 16:11)

So how did these men go from dense, deserters, deniers and doubters to faithful, fervent, fearless defenders of the Good News concerning Jesus Christ as the risen Lord? Quite simple, it was the Holy Spirit that made all the difference.

Jeff said...

The Old Testament clearly presents the Holy Spirit as God, having all the attributes of Deity and personhood:

"The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue. The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God.’" (2 Samuel 23:2-3)

The New Testament also calls the Holy Spirit God:

"Then Peter said, "Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn't it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn't the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God." (Acts 5:3-4)

The Old Testament also says that the Holy Spirit is the Creator:

"Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (Genesis 1:2)

"The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." (Job 33:4)

Jeff said...

Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Injil, Matthew 16:16) Jesus' reply was, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven." (Injil, Matthew 16:17)

Jeff said...

The Ten Commandments that Moses gave are God's laws.

Questions for Muslims (or any non-Christian, in fact):
Have you ever lied? Even a small lie? A person who has lied is called a liar. If you have lied, then you have broken God's law.
Have you ever stolen something, even something small? That is called a thief, and if you have ever stolen anything, then you have broken God's law.
Or Have you ever hated anyone? Jesus said that whoever is angry with his brother without cause is guilty of murder. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus said, ""You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment."
Have you ever looked at a girl/woman with lust? Jesus said that if you have lusted after someone, then you have committed adultery in your heart. Matthew 5:27-28: ""You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."
These are only some of the Ten Commandments. If you have done these things, then you are a lying, thieving, murderous adulterer at heart. And you have to face God on judgment day! So, if God were to judge you by His law, would you be innocent or guilty?
The Bible says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23)
"There is none righteous, no not one." (Romans 3:10)
Even if we have kept most of the law, we are still guilty.
"For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." (James 2:10)
Based on this verdict, would you go to heaven or hell?
The Bible says in Revelation 21:8 that all murderers, adulterers, thieves, and liars will have their place in the lake of fire.
Do you think God should overlook your sin?
Should God allow murderers, thieves, and adulterers into heaven?
If you have broken God's law, Colossians 1:21 says you are an enemy of God by your wicked works.
If you knew a human judge who would not punish a guilty rapist for his crimes, would you describe him as a just judge?
No, He would be a corrupt judge.
God could never be a corrupt judge.
Because of His holiness and justice, God must judge sin.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Imagine you are standing in front of a judge, GUILTY of serious crimes. All the evidence has been presented and there is no doubt of your guilt. Your apologies and good works cannot erase your crimes; therefore you must be punished. The fine for your crime is $500,000 and you have no money.
The judge is about to pass sentence when someone you don't even know rushes in and pays your fine for you! The court accepts the money and declares that you are free to go.
That is exactly what God did for you on the cross 2000 years ago.
Romans 5:8 says, "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Jesus loved you so much that he paid the penalty for your sin, so you wouldn't have to!
God has provided a way of escape.
And that is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In order to take advantage of this, you must repent of Your sin. That means turning away from your sin and asking God to forgive you for breaking His law.
Jesus said in Luke 13:3, "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
You must realize that there is no way you can work your way to heaven or somehow be "good enough" to earn heaven.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, "For by GRACE ye are saved through faith and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT of works, lest any man should boast."
You must trust in Jesus Christ as your only hope.
Trust in Jesus, like you would trust a parachute if you were jumping out of an airplane. You wouldn't just believe in the parachute, you would put it on (trust it) and jump (act on it). That is how we must put our faith and trust in Jesus as our only hope of heaven.
Acts 4:12 says, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
You must receive Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.
II Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Today with all your heart, turn away from your sin, and surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Please don't put it off. You may die today and then it will be too late. Put your faith and trust in Him today.

Jeff said...

Muslims all over the world celebrate ‘Eid a-adha.’ This festival commemorates Abraham’s faith when God put him to the test by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son. Muslims sacrifice animals because at the crucial moment, God provided a substitute for Abraham’s son, which was a ram.
In the Qur’an where this incident is related, it says “For this was obviously a trial – And We (God) ransomed him (Abraham) with a momentous sacrifice” (Qur’an 37:106-107).
What was the momentous sacrifice that ransomed Abraham?
Some suggest it was the ram. But would a ram be a momentous sacrifice compared to Abraham’s son?
Also, the ram ransomed the son, not Abraham. So the Qur’an must be referring to some other sacrifice---a necessary sacrifice---even greater than Abraham’s son---offered by God himself---in order to ransom Abraham. This raises two questions: What was the sacrifice, and when did God offer it? The Qur’an does not provide the details. For example, the Qur’an does not say whether this son was Ishmael or Isaac. From Genesis, we learn it was Isaac (Genesis 22).
So, for the complete story, we have to go to the Bible. There, recorded from beginning to end, are the details of the background to Abraham’s test, and a supreme sacrifice by which God has ransomed not only Abraham, but also all who are faithful like Abraham. The Bible informs us that God’s Messiah, Jesus, was the sacrifice and the ransom for the whole world. The prophet John the Baptist, known to Muslims as Yahya, is recorded in the Bible as saying about Jesus, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the world’s sin!” (John 1:29)
Because He was that sacrifice, Jesus said, “Abraham was glad that he should see My day; he saw it and rejoiced.” He also claimed, “before Abraham existed, I am!” (John 8:56,58)
Again, speaking of himself, Jesus said, “the Son of Man didn’t come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life instead of many as a ransom.” (Matthew 20:28).
It is significant to know that Jesus has been presented as a sacrifice and a ransom in the Torah (the Law), in the Injil (the Gospel), in the Zabur (the Psalms) and in the Sahaif al-anbia (the writings of the prophets).

Jeff said...

In the Old Testament, the people were expecting God to redeem them from sin and death through His mighty power. So they addressed the Lord God in the following manner: “O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer!” (Psalm 19:14)
“From of old your name is Our Redeemer” (Isaiah 63:16)
God promised that He would provide a ransom for them. He said, “I will ransom them from the grave’s clutch; I will redeem them from death” (Hosea 13:14).

The prophet Isaiah predicted in detail how God would do it, as follows:

“See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted. Just as there were many who were appalled at him—his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness—so will he sprinkle many nations, and kings will shut their mouths because of him. For what they were not told, they will see, and what they have not heard, they will understand. Who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. By oppression and judgment he was taken away. And who can speak of his descendants? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was stricken. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)

The prophet Isaiah recorded this prophecy approximately 700 years before Jesus came. Hebrew copies of it, predating Jesus’ birth by more than 100 years, are still in existence. There is no one else in history to which this could refer, other than Jesus. He is the Great Sacrifice.

Jeff said...

As to why there were sacrifices:
God says that blood is representative of life, and is sacred.

“Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood—I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood. 'Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off." (Lev. 17:10-14)

The blood shed in the sacrifices was sacred. It epitomized the life of the sacrificial victim. After sin entered into the world, God required the blood sacrifice of animals for the atonement of sins.

"For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." (Lev. 17:11)

We can’t live without blood in our body. Blood is essential for good health because the body depends on a steady supply of fuel and oxygen to reach its billions of cells. Even the heart couldn't survive without blood flowing through the vessels that bring nourishment to its muscular walls. Blood also carries carbon dioxide and other waste materials to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system; from there they are removed from the body. Without blood, we couldn't keep warm or cool off, we couldn't fight infections, and we couldn't get rid of our own waste products. There are approximately 60,000 miles of capillaries in the body. Arterial circulation takes freshly oxygenated blood from the heart to all the cells throughout the body. The heart is the strongest muscle in the body. The body's blood is circulated through the heart more than 1,000 times per day. Between five and six thousand quarts of blood are pumped each day.

Since life was sacred, blood (a symbol of life) had to be treated with respect.

"And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man." (Gen. 9:5-6)

Eating blood was therefore strictly forbidden. Practically every sacrifice included the sprinkling or smearing of blood on the altar or within the tabernacle, thus teaching that atonement involves the substitution of life for life.

"The priest is to sprinkle the blood against the altar of the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and burn the fat as an aroma pleasing to the LORD." (Lev. 17:6)

"He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting." (Lev. 1:5)

"He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood against the altar on all sides." (Lev. 3:2)

"He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary." (Lev. 4:6)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

"Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar." (Lev. 4:25)

"The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides." (Lev. 7:2)

"In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Heb. 9:22)

"Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, "This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words." (Exodus 24:8)

"This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." (Hebrews 9:18-20)

But the blood of animals really couldn't do the trick. The Israelites were still unfaithful to their God as evidenced by their whoring after other gods. A better sacrifice was needed.

God promised His people, the Jewish people, a new covenant about 600 years before the coming of Christ. This covenant would also require blood.

"The time is coming," declares the LORD, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah." (Jer. 31:31)

In actuality, the blood of the Old Testament sacrifice pointed forward to the blood of the Lamb of God, Who obtained for His people “eternal redemption.” The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament were only a picture of the ultimate sacrifice. When Jesus Christ went to the cross approximately 2,000 years ago, He was the ULTIMATE sacrifice.

"…because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins." (Heb. 10:4)

"This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper." (Hebrews 9:9)

"He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (Heb. 9:12)

"The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!" (Hebrews 9:13-14)

Jesus said:
"This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matt. 26:28)

Speaking of Jesus Christ, our perfect and ultimate High Priest:
"But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God." (Hebrews 10:12)

"Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself." (Hebrews 7:27)

Jeff said...

Muslims believe that the Bible is corrupted. However:

Matthew and John were disciples and therefore eyewitnesses.

Christian writer Papias affirmed in AD 125 that Mark had carefully and correctly recorded Peter's eyewitness observations. (Mark was the earliest gospel recorded.)

The standard scholarly dating is that Mark was written in the 70's (a mere 40 years after the Resurrection), Matthew and Luke in the 80's and John in the 90's - all within the lifetime of eyewitnesses! Many believe the dates are even earlier, within 30 years of Jesus' death. The above dates are conservative. While these dates seem late, they are not.

The two earliest biographies of Alexander the Great are more than 400 years after his death, yet historians consider them to generally trustworthy. In other words, the first 500 years kept Alexander's story pretty much intact; legendary material developed over the next 500 years.

In comparison, the Creed Paul is given dates back to within 2-4 years of the events. (Crucifixion around AD 30, Paul's conversion AD 32.)

Textual Criticism is defined as: the science of comparing and classifying the manuscript evidence for an ancient document. Scholars of almost every theological persuasion attest to the profound care in which the New Testament books were copied.

In the original Greek alone, there are over 5,000 manuscripts and manuscript fragments of portions of the New Testament, preserved from the early centuries of Christianity.

There is an unprecedented number of copies of the New Testament that have survived. Scholars only WISH they had 1/10 the number of documents for other ancient literature! There are only 9 copies of Josephus' 'The Jewish War,' and these copies were written in the 10th - 12th centuries. Yet, this work is considered to be historically accurate.

Astonishingly, the second runner-up for the largest number of ancient documents goes to Homer's 'Illiad,' which was the sacred literature of the ancient Greeks. There are fewer than 650 of these manuscripts and many are quite fragmentary.

Fragments of John's gospel have been found that date as early as 150 AD. This find has literally rewritten popular views of history.

Two of the almost complete New Testament documents date back to the 4th Century! These two texts play an important role in the NIV Bible. This means we have documents within 2 generations of the events, unlike 8 or 10 centuries for much of our other historical documents.

In addition to the over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, there are about 24,000 other ancient New Testament documents in other languages found in areas such as Egypt and Ethiopia.

The evidence is simply overwhelming. The huge number of documents, many dating within 2 generations of the events, have allowed us to study them side-by-by side, comparing and analyzing the New Testament. While many documents are fragments, there is no part of the NT not represented by multiple documents. The history of the world is based on far fewer manuscripts and evidence!

Jeff said...

The Qur'an says to believe the Gospel:
"O People of the book! Ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Torah, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord." (Sura 5:68)

The Injil (Gospel) says, "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 17:3)

The Gospel also says:
""I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)

In Islam, there is no atonement for sin. There is no Savior. Muhammad is said to have brought God's laws to men, and by keeping those laws, men must satisfy God's requirements and win His approval. Since many Muslims realize that they fall short of God's standards, they recite extra prayers in addition to those required for each day; they make gifts to charity; and go on pilgrimages, not only to Mecca, but also to other sacred shrines, in order to gain merit, and if possible, to balance their account with God. But, since God does not make known how their accounts stand, a Muslim facing death does not know whether he is to go to paradise or to hell. After all, the decision is made by the arbitrary will of God, and no one can predict what the decision will be. And so the Muslim lives and dies, not sure of his final salvation.
The Bible, however, teaches of Jesus, "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins..." (1 John 2:2a)

Once a person receives Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah) as their Savior, all of their sins are forgiven, and they are guaranteed a place in heaven.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The Bible teaches us that God actually LOVES us! And the greatest act of love that there has ever been was when God came down in human form and died on the cross IN OUR PLACE, so that we would not have to go to Hell!
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:10)

Jeff said...

If the Qur'an admonishes a Muslim to have faith in the Bible (Tawrat/Torah and Injil/Gospel), then clearly it could not have been changed in Muhammad's time. If a Muslim says that it was changed afterwards, then they are really disobeying Allah and refusing to believe him. After all, if Allah knew that his Word would be changed later, he would never have endorsed it in the first place.

Jeff said...

When I was 19 years old, I prayed and asked Jesus to wash away my sins, and to take over my life and make me into a brand new person. I repented (turned away) of my sins, and He forgave me of all my sins: past, present and future. I now know, without a doubt, that when I die, I will go to paradise. I have no doubt of that. I know that God has already accepted me. I don't need to do anything else to win His favor. I know that He loves me. All the bad things I have ever done have been washed away because of what Jesus did 2000 years ago. I put my faith and my trust in Jesus, and I know that I will live in paradise forever.

"He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:5-7)

Jeff said...

To Muslims:

In the ‘Iman-Mofasil’, the ‘Exposition of Faith,’ it is recited “Amantu bil-laah,” which is I believe in God…and his angels, and his books…do you believe, as far as “his books,” that they are corrupted, and that only the Qur’an is intact? If you do, then how can you believe in the Torah, the Injil and the books given to prophets before Muhammad if they are corrupted?

Sura 4:136 says, “O, Ye who believe: Believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His Messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His Messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray.”

Sura 3:84 says, “We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqub (Jacob) and the tribes and that which was given to Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered.”

If you claim to believe Allah’s Scriptures, do you really want to believe them all? Or do you think that some of these things really do not apply? Does not Allah say that these books, books that include the Injil (Gospel), are a “light and guidance for mankind”? (Sura 6:92 and Sura 40:53) And that they are “the clear Scripture”? (Sura 37:117)

And what of Sura 5:46, “We bestowed on Him [Jesus] wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was [revealed] before in the Torah---a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off evil?”

Why not do a serious study, comparing the Qur’an and the Bible? If your faith is worth anything at all, then it will survive. That is, unless your faith is so weak that it will smash like a raw egg if dropped. But if you really and truly trust the true God, then you will be all right.

Jeff said...

The Qur’an asserts that the Torah (Tawrat/books of Moses), the Zabur (Psalms), the Sahaif (the books of the prophets) and the Injil (Gospel) are God’s books, His word, light and “Furqan” (criterion---standard on which a judgment or decision may be based).

The Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) is the book of God.
“Now that a messenger from GOD has come to them, and even though he proves and confirms their own scripture, some followers of the scripture (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) disregard GOD's scripture behind their backs, as if they never had any scripture.” (Sura 2:101)

“Have you noted those who were given part of the scripture, and how they are invited to uphold this scripture of GOD, and apply it to their own lives, then some of them turn away in aversion?” (Sura 3:23)

The Torah is light and guidance.
“We have sent down the Torah, containing guidance and light. Ruling in accordance with it were the Jewish prophets, as well as the rabbis and the priests, as dictated to them in GOD's scripture, and as witnessed by them. Therefore, do not reverence human beings; you shall reverence Me instead. And do not trade away My revelations for a cheap price. Those who do not rule in accordance with GOD's revelations are the disbelievers.” (Sura 5:44)

The Torah is a guidance and reminder for men of understanding.
“We did aforetime give Moses the (Book of) Guidance, and We gave the book in inheritance to the Children of Israel,- A Guide and a Message to men of Understanding.” (Sura 40:53-54)

The Torah is “the Criterion.”
“And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.” (Sura 2:53)

“We gave Moses and Aaron the Statute Book, a beacon, and a reminder for the righteous.” (Sura 21:48)

The Injil (Gospel) has clear proofs.
“We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of apostles; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you an apostle with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?- Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay!” (Sura 2:87)

The Gospel was bestowed on Jesus, has guidance and light and is confirming the Torah.
“Subsequent to them, we sent Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming the previous scripture, the Torah. We gave him the Gospel, containing guidance and light, and confirming the previous scriptures, the Torah, and augmenting its guidance and light, and to enlighten the righteous.” (Sura 5:46)

The Qur’an emphasizes that the Gospel and the Torah are guidance for all mankind, clear testimonies for mankind, and a guidance and a mercy.
“We gave Moses the scripture - after having annihilated the previous generations, and after setting the examples through them - to provide enlightenment for the people, and guidance, and mercy, that they may take heed.” (Sura 28:43)

In it, Christians are instructed to judge according the Injil (Gospel), “Let the people of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed, such are evil-livers.” (Sura 5:47)

Had Muhammad known of any reason to believe that the Injil (Gospel) was not totally authentic, would the Qur’an have commanded Christians to judge by it? Yet nowadays, many Muslims allege that the Holy Gospel has been grossly distorted. Either the Muslims who cast doubt on the veracity (devotion to the truth) of the Bible are wrong, or Muhammad was severely mistaken.

Jeff said...

The Qur’an claims that no one can alter the word of God. It says, “It is the law of Allah which hath taken course aforetime. Thou wilt not find for the law of Allah aught of power to change.” (Sura 48:23)

In another place, the Qur’an says, “There is no changing the word of Allah – that is the Supreme Triumph.” (Sura 10:64, 6:34)

The Qur’an not only claims to confirm the previous Scriptures but also claims the responsibility of being “the watcher over it.” (Sura 5:48)

Al-Baidawi explains that “watcher over it” means, “The Qur’an is the protector of all the sacred books to preserve them from any kind of change.”

The Qur’an does not suggest “ALTERATION.” In the Qur’an, the word “tahrif” (which means distortion, corruption, or alteration) is never used to suggest that the biblical text had been altered or corrupted. “Tahrif” is occasionally used to accuse Jews (but not Christians), of concealing the truth, but in no way to imply that the text had been corrupted.

In the Qur’an the word “tahrif” is used with these meanings:

1. To mispronounce words. For example, the Qur’an accuses certain Jews of deliberately distorting Muhammad’s words to pervert their meaning: “Some of those who are Jews change words from their context…distorting (tahrif) with their tongues and slandering religion.” (Sura 4:46)

2. To misinterpret verses. For example, some “…used to listen to the Word of Allah, then used to change it (tahrif), after they had understood it, knowingly.” (Sura 2:75)

There is no evidence of any Muslim apologist alleging that either the text or the Injil (Gospel) or the Torah had been tampered with, until well over five hundred (500+) years after Muhammad’s death.

Some claim that the Injil (Gospel) and the Torah were corrupted before the prophet of Islam came. If that were so, why does the Qur’an assert that the message revealed to Muhammad was confirmation of the previous Scriptures? (Sura 5:48)

According to the Qur’an, written more than five hundred years later, the Torah and the Injil (Gospel) were still flawless even in Muhammad’s time. Evidently, from the Quran’s instruction to judge “by what God had revealed” in the Gospel (Qur’an 5:47), Muhammad was totally satisfied with its genuineness and reliability…500 years after the Gospel was written.

Others claim that the Torah and the Injil (Gospel) were changed sometime after Muhammad began preaching. Thus they contradict the Quran’s claim to be the guardian of earlier inspired books (Sura 5:48) and inevitably, accuse the Qur’an of having failed in it role as GUARDIAN!

Therefore, if the pre-Islamic Scriptures had been corrupted, why does the Qur’an order Muslims to believe them? For it bids them to:
“Say (O Muslims): ‘We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.” (Sura 2:136)

Jeff said...

Numerous manuscript copies of all parts of the Bible written centuries before the time of Muhammad are available today. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written before 68 A.D., contain significant portions of every book of the Old Testament except Esther.

In the British Museum in London, there are Greek manuscripts that date from the 4th century A.D. Many other great libraries possess manuscript portions of the New Testament dating back to the 2nd century, and some small papyrus fragments to the 1st century, even from when the writers were still alive.

These documents help to verify the reliability of the Bible as we have it today. They also confirm that the Bible current in Muhammad’s time did not differ in any item of doctrine which Muslims question.

God, Who preserved His Word in the past, is able to preserve it in the future.

If the Bible and the Qur’an do disagree, they cannot both be right.
Yet, the Qur’an vindicates the Bible.
(‘Vindicate’ means “to clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt; to provide justification or support for; to justify or prove the worth of, especially in light of later developments; to uphold, maintain, or defend.”)
Has, then, the Qur’an made a mistake in vindicating the bible? No! For reference has been made to the historical documents that confirm the Bible.

I urge Muslims to follow the Quran’s clear advice to Muhammad and his followers: “If thou are in doubt concerning that We reveal unto thee, then question those who read Scripture (that was) before thee…” (Qur’an 10:94)

Because it is truly, ‘…a guidance to all mankind.’ (Qur’an 3:4)

Jeff said...

The Bible uses the terms Father and Son to restore the relationship between God and humanity. On the other hand, Islam teaches only that God is Lord and that we are all His servants. But the Gospel (Injil) says about Jesus, “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

As far as Jesus (Isa) being the Son of God, it is a spiritual relationship that we’re talking about. It has nothing at all to do with fleshly birth. “Son of God” does not mean biological son. If Americans say that George Washington is the Father of our Nation, does that mean that the entire nation has actually sprung from his loins? Of course not. Likewise, Christians believe, “His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and declared to be the Son of God with powers according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:3-4)

Jeff said...

A Muslim might ask a Christian, “Why do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, since God has no wife and therefore cannot have children?” Well, if an elderly man says to some boy or teenager (that he is not related to), “Son, come and do this for me,” does that boy actually become his son just because he called him ‘son?’ Does that man then become the boy’s father? It’s the same with Jesus. He is a spiritual son, not God’s biological son, and God is the Father, spiritually speaking.

thekingpin68 said...

Thanks for posting some of these comments in the comments sections of my blogs, thekingpin68 and satire and theology.

I left my own comments.

Cheers, Jeff.

Jeff said...

‘Christ’ means ‘Messiah,’ and ‘Messiah’ is a word that comes from the Hebrew word Moshiach, which means ‘The Anointed.’ The word 'Messiah' also refers to the expected Prince of the Chosen who was to complete God's purposes, and to redeem them, and of whose coming, the prophets of the Old Covenant, spoke. He was the Messiah, 'The Anointed', consecrated as the King and Prophet by God's appointment. In the New Testament the word 'Messiah' is called 'Christos' in Greek or 'Christ' in English.

Thus priests (Ex. 28:41; 40:15; Num. 3:3), prophets (1 Kings 19:16), and kings (1 Sam. 9:16; 16:3; 2 Sam. 12:7) were anointed with oil, and so consecrated to their respective offices. The great Messiah is anointed “above his fellows”; i.e., he embraces in himself all the three offices. “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Psalm 45:7)

The first great promise contains in it the germ of all the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament regarding the coming of the Messiah and the great work he was to accomplish on earth: “And I will put enmity between you [serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he [Jesus] will crush your [Satan’s] head, and you [Satan] will strike his [Jesus’] heel. [crucifixion]" (Genesis 3:15)

The expectations of the Jews were thus kept alive from generation to generation, till the “fulness of the times,” when Messiah came, “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” In him all these ancient prophecies have their fulfilment. Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, the great Deliverer who was to come. (Compare Matt. 26:54; Mark 9:12; Luke 18:31; 22:37; John 5:39; Acts 2; 16:31; 26:22,23.)

Jeff said...

Muslims claim that they believe in the true Jesus Christ. They praise Jesus as the prophet of God, as sinless, as “the Messiah,” as “illustrious in this world and the next” (Sura 3:45), as “the Word of Allah” and as “the Spirit of God.” Muslims cite the Qur’an in confirmation of their belief in Jesus. For example, “And we gave Jesus, Son of Mary, the clear signs, and confirmed Him with the Holy Spirit.”

But there is a conflict, because this is different than what the Bible says. The Bible teaches that Jesus is God’s one and only Son. Jesus Himself taught this in the Bible. For example, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life…Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:16,18).

“All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27).

The Bible also says, “"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied. "But I say to all of you: In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven." (Matthew 26:64).

God Himself declared of Jesus at His baptism, “And a voice from heaven said, “this is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased’” (Matt. 3:17 and Matt. 17:5).

Paul and John also declared that Jesus is God’s Son.

“Regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David.” (Romans 1:3)

“We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” (1 John 5:9-12).

In fact, virtually every book in the New Testament either declares or assumes that Jesus is God’s unique Son.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

On the other hand, Islam asserts that Jesus was merely one of God’s many prophets or messengers, and not God’s only Son. Muslims strongly reject the idea that Jesus is the Son of God, because the Qur’an repeatedly emphasizes that Jesus Christ is not the literal Son of God. The Qur’an says things like:

“It is not for God to take a son unto Him.”
“They say, “God has taken to Him a son.” …Say: “Those who forge against God falsehood shall not prosper.”
“Praise belongs to God, who has not taken to Him a son…”
“…Warn those who say, “God has taken to Himself a son”;…a monstrous word it is, issuing out of their mouths; they say nothing but a lie.”
“But who does greater evil than he who forges against God a lie?” And, “They are unbelievers who say, “God is the Messiah, Mary’s Son.”

So, the Qur’an emphatically denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God---again, however, this is a teaching that Jesus Himself just as emphatically affirms in the Bible:

“What about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, 'I am God's Son'? Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does. 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." (John 10:36-38)

In the Bible, the Jews knew that Jesus said that He was the Son of God:

“For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:18)

“The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God." (John 19:7)

But the Christian view of Jesus Christ as God’s literal Son is considered blasphemous to Muslims. Ali’s translation of Sura 5:73,78 reads, “They do blaspheme who say: ‘God is Christ the son of Mary.’…Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle.”

Muslims deny that Jesus Christ was God incarnate. Any Muslim who believes that Jesus Christ is God has committed “the one unforgivable sin” called shirk---a sin that will send him to hell forever. Tawhid is the doctrine of the singularity of Allah, and shirk is its opposite, the greatest of all sins, according to Islam, and refers to assigning partners or companions to Allah. The Qur’an clearly teaches that Jesus was only a man: “The Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God…” Sura 43:59 asserts: “Jesus was no more than a mortal whom [Allah] favored and made an example to the Israelites.”

So, even though Jesus claimed He was God on many different occasions in the Bible, the Qur’an rejects this, and has Jesus denying His own deity. Thus, when Allah asks Jesus if He is God, Jesus replies, “It is not mine to say what I have no right to.” In fact, even as a baby, Jesus allegedly claimed He was only a servant of Allah. According to Sura 19:20,34, Jesus praised his birth and then said, “I am a servant of Allah.”

Further, Muslims do not believe that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross. They believe Allah would never permit this to happen to one of his special prophets.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

When Muslims deny that Christ was crucified on the cross---and teach instead that God substituted someone else in His place---they reject the clearest teaching of the New Testament. Even Jesus prophesied---repeatedly---that He had to go to the cross, and that this was God’s direct will for Him:

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” (Matthew 16:21)

“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again." (Luke 18:31-33)

“"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” (John 12:27)

Innumerable eyewitnesses, both Jesus’ friends and enemies, saw Him die on the cross. Further, many of His apostles and friends were also eyewitnesses to His resurrection from the dead, confirming His claim to be the Son of God.

“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. "Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." So this is what the soldiers did. Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.” (John 19:23-27)

“Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.” (John 19:31-35)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

But of course, Islam teaches that Muhammad was a superior prophet to Jesus because he brought God’s final and best revelations to man.
However, according to the Bible, Jesus Christ is far more than one of God’s messengers or prophets. Jesus Christ is God’s one and only Son:

“"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.” (John 3:16-18)

According to the Bible, Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity, God incarnate, God Himself:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14)

In the Bible, Jesus claimed to be both “the Lord” and “God”:

“You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.” (John 13:13)

“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'?” (John 14:9)

“I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Thanks for posting some of these comments in the comments sections of my blogs, thekingpin68 and satire and theology.

You're welcome, Russ.

I left my own comments.

OK, I'll have to drop by again and see.

Jeff said...

When talking to Muslims, I think it may be better to give intellectual replies, rather than ‘personal feeling’ replies, because when personal feelings are thrown into it, it is easier to get into an argument, I think. So, my goal, when talking to a Muslim one-on-one, is to try to keep religious conversations on more of an intellectual (and impersonal) level, as much as I can---or at least mostly. I think doing it this way should help to avoid emotional arguments.

So, let’s talk about history.

In the time of Muhammad, pagan Meccans believed that God had daughters. According to Ibn Ishaq (d. 761) and Ibn Hisham (d. 834), there were (supposedly) Christians who believed that the virgin Mary was God’s mother and that Christ (“The Christ” means exactly the same as “The Messiah”) was the physical son of God. This could be why there are verses like these in the Qur’an:

“The originator of heavens and earth! How can He have a child, when there is for Him no consort…” (Qur’an 6:102)

“And (we believe) that He – exalted be the glory of our Lord – hath taken neither wife nor son.” (Qur’an 72:3)

Note that, in these verses, it is not God’s ability to miraculously produce a son without copulation that is in question. Even so, Muslims believe that words like ‘father’ and ‘son’ necessarily mean that the Father must have a wife in order to have a son. So they ask, “How could Jesus be the son of God when God has no wife?”

Generally, Muslims do not appreciate that no Christian believes the Lord Jesus was God’s physical son by copulation. The Bible nowhere speaks of God having a wife. In it, there is not the slightest suggestion of any sexual relationship between God and His creatures. Such an idea is utterly blasphemous and repulsive to Christians, just as it is to Muslims. Christians are deeply horrified and grieved to discover this Muslim conjecture about their innermost faith. Obviously, there has been some misunderstanding. Taken aback by our protestations, Muslims inquire: “Why use the term Son of God if you do not wish to be misunderstood?

Would it be wise to abandon the use of terminology that had the Christ’s full approval? He said to his disciples, “Whom do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God.” The Lord Jesus’ response was, “No physical being revealed this to you, but My heavenly Father.” (Matthew 16:15-17)

The words ‘father’ and ‘son’ need not be construed in a base way, otherwise consistency would oblige us to draw some improper conclusions from statement like the following:

Muhammad had an uncle whose name was Abd al-Uza, but in the Qur’an, he is called Abu Lahab – the father of a flame. Obviously, this does not mean that he sired a flame. (Qur’an 111:1)

A wayfarer is called Ibn as-sabeel – son of the road. This does not mean that the road has a wife. (Qur’an 2:177)

There are many other similar examples such as these:

Om ul-Kitab – the mother of the book. (Qur’an 3:7, 13:39, 43:3)

Mecca is called Om ul-Qurah –the mother of villages. (Qur’an 6:93, 42:8)

The wives of Muhammad are called the mothers of the believers (meaning all the Muslims).

Muhammad’s cousin Ali was called Abu Turab – the father of dust.

One of Muhammad’s disciples was named Abu Hurairah – the father of a cat, because he was very fond of cats.

It is quite common, particularly in the eastern societies, for elderly men and women to call any young person ‘my daughter’ or ‘my son,’ even though they are not their real father and mother. Just as it is not necessary to force an offensive interpretation on the examples I have mentioned, it is also not necessary to force an offensive interpretation on the Bible statements about Jesus being the Son of God assuming a physical relationship.

Jeff said...

When an angel gave glad tidings of a son to Mary, she said, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Consequently the one born will be even called Holy, Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)

What difference is there, then, between Jesus and Adam? This is the difference: Christ Jesus was no ordinary man. He was superior to all His physical forefathers, including Adam!

On one occasion, Jesus asked the Jews, “How do you view the Christ [Messiah]? Whose son is He?” They replied, “David’s son.” His response was, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls Him Lord?…If then David calls Him Lord how is He his son?” (Matthew 22:41-45)

Jesus was referring to this Scripture, which was written about 1,000 B.C.:
“The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." (Psalm 110:1)

“The LORD says to my Lord,” means that ‘God said to David’s Lord’; by which ultimately was meant the Messiah. “Sit” means to sit enthroned. The purpose of the quotation was to show that the Messiah was more than just a descendant of David---he was David’s Lord.

This is also recorded in Luke’s account. In Luke 20:44, Jesus questioned the Pharisees and said, “David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”

What Jesus was challenging the Pharisees with was this: ‘If the Messiah was a descendant of David, how could this honored king (David) refer to his offspring as Lord?’ Unless Jesus’ opponents were ready to admit that the Messiah was also the divine Son of God (which they weren’t ready to admit, and Jesus knew this), they could not answer His question.

David referred to the Messiah as “my Lord.” God was David’s Lord. So, if David referred to Messiah (his descendant) as “my Lord,” then he was referring to God. Therefore, Jesus existed before His birth. In fact, Jesus Himself said, “Before Abraham existed, I Am!” (John 8:58) He reveals to us what God is like: “Anyone having seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

Jeff said...

We need to know and understand what God is like. Is He stern? Is He kind? Does He care about you and me? How can we find answers to these important questions? The Injil (Gospel) tells us:

“No one has seen God; but God’s only Son, He who is nearest to the Father’s heart, He has made him known” (John 1:18).

Therefore, He reveals to us what God is like:
“Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

“Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (John 12:44-46)

“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.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Therefore, learning about Jesus will help us to understand what God is like.

“The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
This passage tells us that Jesus is the eternal Word of God. HE is the one who can reveal God to us because, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2)

It is easy to understand that since God is eternal, then His Word must also be eternal. No one on this earth has been called the Word of God, other than Jesus. If Muslims can accept the idea that the eternal God gave expression to His eternal Word and it became the eternal Qur’an, then why should it not be possible to accept that God gave expression to His eternal Word in the Messiah, the Christ? Why hesitate to accept that the Word was revealed in flesh, that is, He became Son of Man? Even the Qur’an 600 years later, acknowledged that Jesus was the Word from God:

“The angels said, "O Mary, GOD gives you good news: a Word from Him whose name is `The Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary. He will be prominent in this life and in the Hereafter, and one of those closest to Me.'” (Qur’an 3:45)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

The Bible says: “(He) was declared with power to be Son of God, by His resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). This testimony to the death, burial, resurrection and sonship of Christ Jesus has been with us right from the beginning.

“…He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (John 5:23)

If we disobey Him, we risk God’s anger:
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)

However, “…God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)

God cares about you and me.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

According to the prophecies made before Christ Jesus came to earth, He had to sacrifice His sinless life for our sins.

“Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)

“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)

And Isaiah 53:11 says, “…my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities.”

Being executed did not mean that He was a failure. If He had not both died and risen, He would not have been the Messiah.

I would urge Muslims not to spurn Jesus’ love. Heed what King David said beforehand about Jesus: “Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” (Psalm 2:12, which was written about 1,000 B.C.)

“The Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22)

Jeff said...

Let’s talk for a minute about the Bible. The Bible has 40 authors, was written originally in 3 languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek) spanning 3 continents (Africa, Asia and Europe) over a period of 1500 years. It is the best-selling book in the history of the world since the invention of the printing press, is read by more people, and in more languages, than any other book in the world, was the first book in outer space, the first book on microfilm, is read at funerals, speaks to the needs of real people across cultural, racial and language barriers, and is the most documented book in the history of the world. Actually, the Bible is composed of 66 books---39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. The Greek word biblios means books or scrolls. The Bible is actually a library--ta biblia, which means "the books." The Spanish term for ‘library’ is ‘la biblioteca.’ In this ‘library,’ the Bible, you will find prose narrative, prayers, parables, prophecies, genealogies, poetry, songs, history, sagas, letters, proverbs, laws, wisdom sayings, Gospels, letters, and apocalyptic writings. According to Wikipedia, Bible translations have been made into 2,479 languages. It continues to be the most translated book in the world. The Bible is available in whole or in part to some 98 percent of the world's population in a language in which they are fluent. The Bible contains the story of paradise lost and paradise gained---the story of God’s redemption of mankind. The Bible is the most quoted book in the world.

There are less than 10 copies in antiquity of the works of Plato and Aristotle. Yet, we don’t question the authenticity or the accuracy of them. In comparison, there are about 14,000 copies of the New Testament that can be verified and compared. The Bible has never, not in one single case, been disproved by archaeological finds.

The Old Testament alone makes 2,000 specific predictions about people, places and events, and every single one of those has come true…every single one of those has happened. In the Old Testament, when a prophet made a prediction and was wrong even one single time, they stoned him. There are over 300 prophecies about Jesus alone in the Old Testament.

Jeff said...

Let’s compare the Qur’an. Sura 86:5-7 states that sperm comes from a man’s chest. However, today we know that sperm is produced in the testicles, which are found in the scrotum.

Sura 20:85-95 states the Samaritans tricked Moses and the Israelites during the Exodus. However, the Samaritans did not even exist till about 1000 years later.

Jeff said...

The Gospel is the good news of the Kingdom of God that Jesus preached…

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

…telling people that the Kingdom was near…

“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.” (Matthew 9:35)

…and that the only way to enter this spiritual kingdom was through Himself.

“You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:4)

The gospel of Jesus is indeed one. It is presented in four ways (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), four viewpoints, under the guidance of God’s Spirit as such that the message remains one and the same. The gospel accounts are the biography of Jesus Christ.

The gospels present four portraits of Jesus. Though each portrait was written by a different writer, and they each present Jesus from slightly different angles (just as you would have with any eyewitness accounts from 4 different people), they all say the same thing about Jesus, although each writer focuses on a different audience, and each writer focuses on those aspects of Jesus which are the most appropriate for their audience. Nevertheless, the four portraits do not contradict each other, and they are in perfect harmony with each other.

Matthew was a tax collector and an apostle. The gospel according to Matthew was written to the Jews in 50 AD. More than any other gospel writer, Matthew emphasizes the public teaching ministry of Jesus. It presents Jesus as their expected Messiah (or ‘Christ’ in Greek). The purpose of this gospel was to convince Jews to receive Jesus as their Messiah (the Anointed One), and to receive Jesus as their King---as the King of Kings. Matthew presents Jesus as the Messiah. It is a portrait of Christ as the King. Jesus was the son of David and King of the Jews. In fact, even on the cross, they placed the sign, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” (Matthew 27:37) Matthew’s gospel has a unique genealogy of the Messiah’s kingly line, showing the fulfilled prophecies by Jesus, who alone fulfills all the prophecies of the Messiah. Matthew is written primarily to the Jews, and the Jews thought it was a sin to even say God’s Name. Therefore, in Matthew, it says “Kingdom of Heaven” instead of “Kingdom of God.”

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

John Mark wrote the gospel according to Mark in 58 AD to the Romans. It contains much of the teaching of Peter. It reflects the testimony of the disciple Peter as reported by his close associate, John Mark. Its purpose was to convince the Romans to receive Jesus as their Savior from sin, and as their Lord. Its message was: ‘Let the mind of a servant be in you.’ From this viewpoint, Jesus is presented as the righteous servant who sacrifices all. Since he is pictured as a servant, there is no genealogy of Jesus in the gospel according to Mark. It shows his service to others and his total self-abandonment.

Luke the physician wrote the gospel according to Luke in AD 58 to Theophilus. Therefore, it was written with a Greek viewpoint in mind. The Greeks were the humanists of the New Testament world. Luke was sort of the 1st Century investigative reporter who gathered information for his gospel from those around Jesus, and also from his close companion Paul, who himself had encountered the resurrected Christ. The gospel according to Luke shows Christ Jesus as the perfect man who does all things well. The gospel according to Luke emphasizes the ministry of Jesus the Messiah to women more than any other gospel. Luke gives the fullest development of Christ’s growth, both physically and socially.

The gospel according to John assumes the humanity of Jesus, and undertakes to prove the deity of Jesus the Christ. It starts out in chapter 1, verse 1, showing the deity of Jesus Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It shows Jesus the Messiah as the Son of God who is to be believed in. It shows Jesus as the Word of God, who “was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2) and “All things were made by him” (John 1:3). John 1:18 says, “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” This is calling Jesus God. Jesus, Who is God the Son, is not only one in purpose with the Father, but is also one in eternality with the Father, and one in divinity with the Father. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are co-equal, but they have separate roles. They are one God and one Being, but different Persons.

Jeff said...

As far as "other gospels," none of the later and fanciful Gnostic gospels come anywhere close to matching the credentials of the four biblical Gospels. They were written at least 150 to 200 years after the events they purport to describe, and therefore they have no ties to eyewitnesses. Those Gnostic gospels bear the obvious earmarks of legendary development. They are hopelessly tainted by esoteric theological agendas. In fact, it's really a misnomer to even call them "gospels." It's no wonder the uniform testimony of the early Church was that the four Gospels of the New Testament contain the very best data about Jesus.

And, as far as the Apocryphal books (between the Testaments), they may be useful for history, but they're not useful or valid for doctrine. They are considered useful but not divinely inspired.

Jeff said...

Christians believe three is only one God, and this one God exists as one essence in three Persons. God is one absolutely perfect divine Being in three Persons. His being is what God is, in relation to the universe He created. The three are called Persons because they relate to one another in personal ways.

When Christians talk about believing in one God in three Persons (the Trinity), they do NOT mean:

- 1 God in 3 Gods, or
- 3 Persons in 1 Person, or
- 3 Persons in 3 Gods, or
- 1 Person in 3 Gods

Rather, they mean:
- 1 God in 3 Persons

Therefore:
- The Father is God – the first Person of the Trinity.
- The Son is God – the second Person of the Trinity.
- The Holy Spirit is God – the third Person of the Trinity. (The title “Holy Ghost” is an older English expression for “Holy Spirit.” Each is an acceptable translation of the phrase in the Bible.)

Why do Christians believe in the Trinity?

The Bible clearly teaches that there is only one God, yet all three Persons are called God.

There is only one God:
- “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD.” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- “Before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 44:6; 8; 45:5a)

The Father is God:
- “Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 8:6; Ephesians 4:4-6)

The Son is God:
- “The Word was God.” (John 1:1-5, 14) Jesus is identified as “the Word.”
- “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30-33)
- Jesus’ disciple Thomas addressed Jesus as “My Lord and my God.” (John 20:28)
Jesus did not tell Thomas he was mistaken; instead, Jesus accepted these titles. Other people in Scripture, notably Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14), refused to accept worship as gods.
- “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:6-8)
- “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)
Paul, the writer of Philippians, is saying about Jesus what Isaiah 45:23 says about the LORD, and then Paul concludes that Jesus is LORD, that is, the same LORD God of the Old Testament.

The Holy Spirit is God:
- “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?…Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” (Acts 5:3-4)
This verse equates the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) with God.
- “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17)
“The Lord” here refers to “the LORD” in the Old Testament verse (Exodus 34:34). Paul had just quoted in the previous verse (2 Corinthians 3:16).

Jeff said...

There is no perfect way to describe the Trinity, since God is unique, but some Christians describe the Trinity as being like an egg. The egg is 1 egg, but it has 3 parts: (1) the shell, (2) the white (albumen), and (3) the yolk (yellow).

Or, you might think of an atom. It has 3 basic parts: (1) proton, (2) neutron, and (3) electron. Yet it is 1 atom. Again, this is a very imperfect way to describe the Trinity.

Fish have gills. People do not have gills. Birds have feathers. People do not have feathers. Worms do not walk on two feet like people do. So why should we expect God to be exactly like us? With people, 1 being = 1person. But with God, 1 Being = 3 Persons.

Are people omniscient (all-powerful)? No. But God is.
Are people omnipresent (not limited by space or time)? No. But God is.
Are people omniscient (all-knowing)? No. But God is.
Are people 3 persons yet 1 being? No. But God is.

Jeff said...

Here are some verses that show Jesus’ deity/divinity:

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

“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.” (Isaiah 9:6)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

“No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.” (John 1:18)

"I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.” (John 8:58-59)

“I and the Father are one." (John 10:30)

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)

“Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” (Romans 9:5)

“That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:9-13)

[Note to above: “As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame” refers to the Old Testament, Isaiah 28:16: “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”]

[Note to above: "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” refers to the Old Testament, Joel 2:32: “And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls.”]

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15-16)

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.” (Colossians 2:9)

“While we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13)

“The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” (Hebrews 1:3)

“But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)

“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.” (2 Peter 1:1)

“We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)

Jeff said...

I saw someone on another site make this comment:

"The practices of Muslims during the Hajj existed in pre-Islamic Arabian paganism. The Kaaba (built approx 990-1000 BC); the meteor stone; the circumnavigation of the Kaaba (seven times); Ramadan; the Zamzam water; the wearing of the ihram (white clothes); throwing of stones to ward off evil jinn; the Saii; praying times a day; the crescent moon symbol; and a host of other practices and symbols preexisted Islam in pagan Arabia. Islam is just repackaged paganism, and these facts are what most Muslims don't want the world to find out about their demon inspired religion. Too late!!!"

Jeff said...

Someone on another site said this:

"Keep in mind also they often say we [Muslims] do not support the killing of innocents. By innocents they mean good Muslims. But people nod and say, 'OK, they're against the killing of innocents!'"

This makes sense, because I saw an imam in one video saying that no kafir (unbeliever/infidel) is innocent. In that video, the imam said a Muslim can kill a non-Muslim, and it's OK.

Jeff said...

More than 60 Bible passages mention the three Persons together. Here are a few examples:

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:16-17)

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19)

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” (2 Corinthians 13:14)

“There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.” (Titus 3:4-6)

The word “Trinity” was used to explain the eternal relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. As I said, many bible passages express the Trinity. Early Christians constantly defended their beliefs. The following early church leaders and/or writings all defended the doctrine of the Trinity long before A.D. 300:

A.D. 96 – Clement, the third bishop of Rome
A.D. 90-100 – The Teachings of the Twelve Apostles, the “Didache”
A.D. 90? – Ignatius, bishop of Antioch
A.D. 155 – Justin Martyr, great Christian writer
A.D. 168 – Theophilus, the sixth bishop of Antioch
A.D. 177 – Athenagoras, theologian
A.D. 180 – Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons
A.D. 197 – Tertullian, early church leader
A.D. 264 – Gregory Thaumaturgus, early church leader

Muslims think that Christians are polytheists (people who believe in many gods) because Christians refer to the Father as God, the Son as God, and the Holy Spirit as God. But Christians believe in only one God. The Bible says there is only one God. But it also calls three distinct Persons “God.” Over the centuries, people have tried to come up with simple explanations for the Trinity. There are limits to every illustration, but some are helpful. I’ve already pointed out that:
God is NOT 1 + 1 + 1 = 3
God is 1 x 1 x 1 = 1

The Trinity is a profound doctrine that must be accepted by faith. Accepting a doctrine by faith does not exclude reason, but it also means that we cannot always apply the same logic that we use in mathematics.

St. Patrick (A.D. 432) is believed to have used the shamrock (a 3-leafed clover) as a way of illustrating the Trinity. He asked, “Is this one leaf or three? If one leaf, why are there three lobes of equal size? If three leaves, why is there just one stem? If you cannot explain so simple a mystery as the shamrock, how can you hope to understand one so profound as the Holy Trinity?” Even though this is an overly simple way to explain the Trinity, some teachers find it helpful.

Jeff said...

The Gospels contain embarrassing material about the disciples and hard-to-explain sayings by Jesus that certainly would have been edited out if the writes felt the freedom to manipulate or whitewash the record. Yet they’re included. Why? Because that’s what happened, and the writers were committed to reporting the truth even when it was uncomfortable.

Archaeology and ancient writings outside the Bible tend to corroborate the accuracy of the Gospel.

David was a king. John the Baptist was a prophet. Aaron was a priest. But Jesus fulfilled all three, perfectly: Prophet, Priest and King.

Jeff said...

Let’s look at the claims that Jesus made in the Bible.

Jesus forgave sin. We may forgive sins committed against us, but we cannot forgive sins committed against others.

Jesus has the authority to forgive any sin:

“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, "Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!" (Mark 2:5-12)

“The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Luke 5:21)


Jesus accepted worship as God and claimed to deserve the same honor as the Father:

“Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14:33)

“When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:17-18)

“Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.” (John 5:22-23)

“Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.” (John 9:38)

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


Jesus claimed to be the divine Son of God, a title the Jews rightly understood to be a claim to equality with God:

“Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working." For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (John 5:17-18)

“I and the Father are one." Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" "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 10:30-33)

“The Jews insisted, "We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God." (John 19:7)

Jeff said...

In contrast to Muhammad, Jesus had the power to cast out demons.

"...they brought to Him [Jesus] many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick..." (Matthew 8:16)

"Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, saying, "Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are -- the Holy One of God!" But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him. Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He [Jesus] commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him." (Mark 1:23-27)... See More

"When He [Jesus] had come to the other side, to the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two demon-possessed men, coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way. And suddenly they cried out, saying, "What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?" Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. So the demons begged Him, saying, "If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine." And He said to them, "Go." So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. Then those who kept them fled; and they went away into the city and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men." (Matthew 8:28-33)

"Then He [Jesus] appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons." (Mark 3:15-16)

"And when He [Jesus] had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease." (Matthew 10:1)

"And He [Jesus] called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits." (Mark 6:7)

Jeff said...

Islam claims that Muhammad and Jesus Christ of Nazareth were both Muslims and both prophets sent by Allah. If this were true, then it is obvious that these two men, who their adherents claim to be mighty prophets, must coincide in every point of doctrine and message and never contradict each other. Just as Moses affirmed the commandments of God and emphasized the practical out-workings of the laws which resulted from these commandments, so Jesus re-affirmed these, stating clearly: 'Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill it' (Matthew 5:17). If the same 'Allah' supposedly sent these prophets, it is only logical to assume that their ministries and messages cannot in principle contradict each other - otherwise, Allah would be contradicting himself! This is claimed to be a tenet of faith by orthodox Muslims and is not open to question. But what do we find to be the truth when we compare the ministries and messages of these men to see if, in fact, they are in complete accord?

Prophecy

First, the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were clearly prophesied in the Old Testament according to the New Testament. For example:

Micah 5:2 gives us the very name of the town in which the Messiah would be born. On the day Christ died, no less than 33 Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled. The coming of Christ was preceded by the preaching of John the Baptist, in the spirit and power of Elijah, according to the prophecy in Isaiah 40 and Malachi 4.

The coming of Muhammad was not predicted by pagan soothsayers, Old Testament prophets, or New Testament apostles. This is true despite the extreme lengths some Muslims will go to in trying to construct some biblical prophecies for the coming of Muhammad. A common example is the Muslim attempt to claim that Jesus' prediction of the coming of a 'Comforter' in John chapters 14, 15, and 16, was a reference to Muhammad. However, if you read John 14:26 you find that the Comforter is specifically identified as the Holy Spirit (cf. John 16:13) whom the Father will send in the name of Jesus Christ. Muhammad himself certainly never claimed to be the Holy Spirit who had come in the name of Jesus Christ.

Conclusion? While the coming of Christ was preceded by numerous prophecies the coming of Muhammad was not predicted by anyone.


Births

Jesus Christ was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. The Qur'an and orthodox Islam fully accept the virgin birth of Jesus.

It is only in modern times that some heretical Muslim groups deny and ridicule the doctrine of the virgin birth of Jesus out of a reaction to the fact that there was nothing miraculous or supernatural about the birth of Muhammad. Muhammad was the natural product of the sexual union of his father and mother.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Sinlessness

The New Testament is clear - Jesus Christ lived a perfect and sinless life (2 Corinthians 5:21). When His enemies came to accuse Jesus before Pilate and Herod, they had to invent charges because no one could find anything against Him.

When we examine the life of Muhammad, we find that the Qur'an never describes him as anything but a normal human being engaged in the same sins which afflict all of us. When we examine the Qur'an further we find that he lied, cheated, lusted, failed to keep his word - and was neither perfect nor sinless.

In Sura 18:110, and elsewhere, Muhammad is commanded by Allah:
"Say, I am but a man like yourselves."

The Qur'an never describes Muhammad as sinless but, instead, Allah tells Muhammad that he is no different than any other man for, in Sura 40:55, Allah told Muhammad to repent of his sins (Mohammed Pickthal translation):
"Ask forgiveness of thy sin."

Was Allah wrong to ask Muhammad to ask for forgiveness because he had nothing to forgive?

Similarly, Pickthal's translation of Sura 48:1,2 states:
"Lo! We have given thee, (O Muhammad) signal victory, that Allah may forgive thee of thy sin, that which is past and that which is to come, and may perfect His favour unto thee, and guide thee on a right path."

Muhammad was clearly commanded to repent of his sins and to seek forgiveness, and also reminded of his past sins that Allah had already forgiven and of future sins which would need future forgiveness! Clearly Muhammad was not sinless according to the Qur'an and was just one more poor sinner in need of forgiveness and redemption.


Miracles

During his lifetime, Jesus performed many miracles which witnesses attributed to power that only God wields. He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, and even ruled the wind and the waves.

But the Qur'an makes it clear in dozens of places (e.g. Sura 17:91-95) that Muhammad never performed a single miracle and the only sign he could point to was the existence of his revelations, the Suras, that made up the Qur'an (Sura 29:47-51).

Muhammad performed no miracles - he did not heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, or rule the wind and the waves - and had no more power than any normal man.

"Many Iranians have been raised on a diet of myth and are ready to believe that any emamzada, of however ancestry, can at any moment perform a miracle. But if they were to read the Qor'an, they would be surprised to find no report of a miracle in it at all. They would learn from twenty or more Qor'anic passages that whenever the Prophet Mohammad was asked by doubters to perform a miracle, he either stayed silent or said that he would not do so because he was a human being like any other, with no function except to communicate, to be a "bringer of good news and a warner." (Ali Dashti, "23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad," London, George Allen and Unwin, 1985, p.33-38)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

The Love of God

The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus preached the love of God and was the greatest example of that love (John 3:16):

"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life."

In contrast, we do not have any record in the Qur'an of Muhammad ever preaching the love of God, and it is clear that neither God's love for man, nor man's love for God, plays any significant role in the preaching of Muhammad, the Qur'an, or the religion of Islam. Christianity, however, can point to the coming of Christ as the greatest proof and example that God loves mankind.


Human and Divine Nature

The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus Christ was unique in that He was divine as well as human and is clearly called God in many verses: for example, John 1:1,18; 20:28; Acts 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13, Hebrews 1:8, 10; 2 Peter 1:1, etc.

The Qur'an makes it clear that Muhammad was only a man.


On Beauty of Speech

When you study the speeches of Jesus recorded in the Gospels (e.g. the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5) you find the reason for His recognition by so many as the greatest speaker who ever lived. Even His enemies had to confess that no man ever spoke as He spoke.

By contrast, the speeches of Muhammad in the Qur'an are in no way outstanding. There is nothing which matches the beauty, substance, or style of the way that Jesus preached the gospel during His lifetime.


A High Moral Example

Jesus' life proved that He held the highest moral principles and was full of love and compassion for His fellow man so that, ultimately, He went to an agonizing death on a cross to atone for the sins of mankind.

Jeff said...

When you go to the Qur'an, you'll find out that Muhammad was under the sway of Satan more that one time.

In sura 6, we read in the Qur'an: "And when you, Muhammad, see those who engage in a false conversation about our verses, by mocking at them, stay away from them, until they turn to another topic. And if Satan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the wrong doers." Then we can conclude that Satan was able to cause Muhammad to forget the verses of the Qur'an. If Satan could have power over Muhammad's mind to cause him to forget the Qur'an, I would say that this is really serious.

Then again, we read in sura 7, verse 200: "and if an evil whisper comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, he is all hearer, all knower." So Satan was able to cause Muhammad to forget. Now, Satan is whispering in the mind of Muhammad. "And if an evil whisper comes to you from Satan, then seek refuge with Allah." That means that Muhammad once was under the sway of Satan. It's clear in the Qur'an.

If you go to the biography of Muhammad, you will find that there was a time when a Jewish man bewitched Muhammad, so that he forgot all that he used to do. He would do the thing, and then he would say, "Did I do it? Or did I not do it?" And in the biography, it says that he continued in that position, in that situation, until Allah gave him two more suras recorded at the end of the Qur'an, and then he was cured. So Muhammad was under the influence of Satan.

As for Christ, he cast out demons. There is no doubt about that. He did not only cast out demons, but He gave power to his apostles to cast out demons. He was not only powerful enough to command demons to come out of any possessed man, but He gave power to His disciples to do the same. And if you go to the book of Mark, Chapter 5, you'll see the story of the man with a legion. And when Jesus encountered that man, we read in Mark 5:2, "And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit." And that man was in a desperate situation. "Who had the dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains; Because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could any one tame him." (Mark 5:3-4) Then this man met Christ. And then, what happened after that? "When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him." (Mark 5:6) Satan knew who Jesus Christ was. He knew that He is the Son of God, and that he cannot overpower Him. And when the devils in that man saw Jesus from afar, the man came and worshiped Jesus.
"And cried out with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the most high God? I implore you, by God, that you do not torment us." (Mark 5:7) Jesus had the power to torment the devils. Jesus never came under the authority of the devil. Never, ever.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

And then what happened there? "For he said to him, Come out of the man, unclean spirit. Then he asked him, What is your name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion; for we are many." (Mark 5:8-9) The word 'legion' is a military word meaning six thousand soldiers. So this man had an entire legion of demons in his body. So what did Jesus do to that man? "Also he begged him earnestly that he would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there, near the mountain. And all the devils begged him, saying, Send us into the swine that we may enter into them. And at once Jesus gave them permission. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine; there were about two thousand; and the herd ran violently down the steep into the sea, and drowned in the sea." (Mark 5:10-13) Why did Jesus permit the demons to go into the swine? To prove to the people that this man is clean from his demons. Also, pigs were forbidden for meat for the Jewish people, so it was forbidden to raise pigs anyway. Jesus proved that He cleaned that man, freed that man from the power of Satan, and that He doesn't approve of any unclean thing. "And then when they came to that man", the Bible continues to say, "then they came to Jesus and saw the one who had been demon possessed and had the Legion, sitting clothed and in his right mind." (Mark 5:16)

The difference is great. Muhammad was under the sway of Satan, but Jesus has the command and the power to cast out devils.

Jeff said...

You see in the Qur’an the Prophet Muhammad who has the name of one who brings all blessing for the universe, but with what power does he bestow it? He was only mortal like us, and his tomb is there for all Muslims to see. He cannot save us. On the other hand, Jesus, to whom Islam gives only very limited authority, can say of Himself, “I am the Resurrection and the Life...” (John 11:25)

On the one hand, the Prophet of Islam sleeps forever in a tomb in Medina, but the tomb in Jerusalem, which Jesus occupied for 3 days, is empty, and many saw Him literally taken up into Heaven.

The prophet Muhammad symbolizes security and peace to million. But he himself needs our prayers and petitions. Five times daily, devout Muslims the world over pray to Allah for peace for their Prophet!

Muslims believe that righteousness and faith in Allah, plus their good deeds, will save them. But the Bible teaches that ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.’ We cannot save ourselves by works of righteousness, for there is only one Name under Heaven by which we can be saved. That is Jesus Christ the Lord. God’s mercy and grace is available through Him. He is the only way to know the grace of God that brings salvation.

I would challenge Muslims to earnestly pray to God this prayer: “O, Creator God, show me the straight path, the path of those who You have favored, not the path of those who earn Your anger, nor of those who go astray.” The Bible says, “Ask, and it shall be given you…for every one that asks, receives, and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)

Jeff said...

In the Qur'an, it says, “…O Mary! Behold, God gives you good news of a word from Him, who shall become known as the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary...” (Quran 3:45)

No other prophet has been described with such a title.

The Bible says something similar:

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

If Jesus is the Word, then doesn't that mean He is more than a prophet?

It's also interesting that, in the Bible, in Matthew 16:13-17, it says:

"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."

Jeff said...

If you study the miracles recorded in the Bible, you may find there was a great difference between those of the Hebrew prophets and those of Jesus Christ. You may notice that the prophets generally used the power for their own benefit quite often, whereas Jesus did not. For example, when Elijah spoke to the widow of Zarephath: “Make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.” (1 Kings 17:13)

And clearly the prophets used God’s power at times in drastic ways.
For example:
“Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, "Man of God, the king says, 'Come down!' " Elijah answered the captain, "If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men. At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, "Man of God, this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!' " "If I am a man of God," Elijah replied, "may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!" Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men. So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. "Man of God," he begged, "please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants! See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!" (2 Kings 1:9-14)

But Jesus, though He had all power from God, did not call his angels to save His life and to destroy His enemies.

The prophets would say, “God says this…” But Jesus always said, “Truly, truly, I say unto you…”

Muhammad said of himself, “Say, I am only a mortal like you. My Lord inspireth in me that your God is only one God. And whoever hopeth for the meeting with his Lord, let him do righteous work and make none sharer of the worship unto his lord.” (Sura 18:110)

Jesus spoke consistently of Himself:
-“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
-“I and My Father are one.” (John 10:30)
-“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6)

Of Muhammad, who was called “a mercy for the universe,” Muslims knew that he said of himself, “I have no power to hurt or benefit myself, save that which Allah willeth.” (Sura 10:49)

But Jesus the Christ said, “All power is given unto Me…” (Matthew 28:18)

Jeff said...

The Qur’an mentions the miracles of Jesus, though they are not always the ones that the Bible mentions. The Hadith speaks of Muhammad turning the moon into two pieces, though it also speaks of his healing the sick and of his multiplying food for his disciples, etc. Are the miracles of Jesus any different from those that Muhammad was supposed to have done? Yet the Qur’an definitely states that Muhammad did not perform miracles. Is it that Muslims feel bound to say that he did, in order to counter the claims of Jesus? For example, Sura 13:7 says, “Those who disbelieve say, ‘If only some portent were sent down upon him from his Lord. Thou art a warner only.” And in Sura 29:50 it is said of Muhammad: “And they say, ‘Why are not portents [miracles] sent down upon him from his Lord?’ Say portents are with Allah only and I am but a plain warner.” In other words, the Prophet Muhammad never claimed to do miracles. But it’s clear that miracles were as natural to Jesus as breathing. Only God can do miracles. Yet Christ did miracles.

Jeff said...

A Muslim should study carefully the lives of both Jesus and Muhammad and compare them. Find out what sort of man Jesus was. Study the miracles recorded in the Bible. See if you find a difference between those of the Hebrew prophets and those of Jesus the Messiah.

The Bible says, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31)

Jeff said...

I have heard that Islam teaches that the prophets lived totally holy and innocent lives. However, in the Bible, the prophets are shown to be men as weak as us, mortal men that were subject to the weaknesses and frailties of the flesh of mankind. David lusted after Bathsheba and he was a murderer, because he had her husband killed so that he could have her. Jeremiah shouted against God. Abraham lied. Moses disobeyed God. So, if the Bible has been changed and corrupted, as Muslims believe, then why didn’t the Israelites remove these same stories, since they are so proud of their ancestors? Why are those stories still there? Surely this must be significant.

However, I have read that even in the Qur’an, these men of God did sin and asked God’s forgiveness for it. For example, Adam in Sura 7:23-24, or Abraham in Sura 14:40-41, or Moses in Sura 28:16, or David in Sura 38:23-24. This is a remarkable thing, since Muslims everywhere hold all these men to be sinless.

Jeff said...

Sura 29:50 says of Muhammad: “And they say, ‘Why are not portents [miracles] sent down upon him from his Lord?’ Say portents are with Allah only and I am but a plain warner.”

Sura 2:118 says, "And they that know not say, 'Why does God not speak to us? Why does a sign (ayatun) not come to us?' So spoke those before them as these men say; their hearts are much alike. Yet We have made clear the signs (bayyanna al-ayati) unto a people who are sure."

Sura 6:37 says, "They also say, 'Why has no sign (ayatun) been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Say: 'Surely God is able to send down a sign (ayatan), but most of them know not.'"

Sura 6:109 says, "They have sworn by God the most earnest oaths if a sign (ayatun) comes to them they will believe in it. Say: 'Signs (al-ayatu) are only with God.' What will make you realize that, when it comes, they will not believe?"

Sura 10:20 says, "They say, 'Why has a sign (ayatun) not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Say: 'The Unseen belongs only to God. Then watch and wait; I shall be with you watching and waiting.'"

Sura 11:12 says, "Then, it may be that you will give up part of what is revealed to you and your breast will become straightened by it because they say: Why has not a treasure been sent down upon him or an angel come with him? You are ONLY a warner; and Allah is custodian over all things.

Sura 13:27 says, "The unbelievers say, 'Why has a sign (ayatun) not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Say: 'God leads astray whomsoever He will, and He guides to Him all who are penitent.'"

Sura 13:7 says, "The unbelievers say, 'Why has a sign (ayatun) not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Thou art ONLY a warner, and a guide to every people."

It seems that these verses presuppose that Muhammad’s only function was to warn people, not to perform miracles. After all, the statement "Thou art ONLY a warner" would make no sense if a warner could in fact perform wonders.

And yet, Muslims say that Muhammad did do miracles.

So, does that mean that the Qur'an is wrong?

Jeff said...

Sura 17:59 says, "Naught prevented Us from sending the signs (bial-ayati) but that the ancients cried lies to them; and We brought Thamood the She-camel visible, but they did her wrong. And We do not send the signs, except to frighten."

Regarding this verse, the late Sunni scholar Muhammad Asad said:

"This highly elliptic sentence has a fundamental bearing on the purport of the Qur'an as a whole. In many places the Qur'an stresses the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, despite his being the last and greatest of God's apostles, WAS NOT EMPOWERED TO PERFORM MIRACLES similar to those with which the earlier prophets are said to have reinforced their verbal messages. His ONLY miracle was and is the Qur'an itself - a message perfect in its lucidity and ethical comprehensiveness, destined for all times and all stages of human development, addressed not merely to the feelings but also to the minds of men, open to everyone, whatever his race or social environment, and bound to remain unchanged forever…" (Asad, Message of the Qur'an [Dar Al-Andalus Limited 3 Library Ramp, Gibraltar rpt. 1993], p. 427, fn. 71; online edition).

Jeff said...

Islam teaches that the prophets lived totally holy and innocent lives. However, the Qur’an shows that David sinned:

“This brother of mine owns ninety nine sheep, while I own one sheep. He wants to mix my sheep with his, and continues to pressure me." He said, "He is being unfair to you by asking to combine your sheep with his. Most people who combine their properties treat each other unfairly, except those who believe and work righteousness, and these are so few." Afterwards, David wondered if he made the right judgment. He thought that we were testing him. He then implored his Lord for forgiveness, bowed down, and repented.” (Sura 38:23-24)

The Bible also shows that David sinned, by committing adultery with Bathsheba:

“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant." (2 Samuel 11:2-5)

Because David wanted Bathsheba for himself, he sinned again by having her husband killed:

“In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die." So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.” (2 Samuel 11:14-17)

Nathan the prophet rebuked David for his sins:

“The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him." David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity." Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' “ (2 Samuel 12:1-10)

Here is another one of David’s sins:

“And David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the Lord, I have sinned greatly in that I have done.” (2 Samuel 24:10)

David knew that he sinned, because he said:

“When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me ...” (Psalms 32:3-4)

Jeff said...

A question for Muslims:
In the ‘Iman-Mofasil’, the Exposition of Faith, wherein is recited “Amantu bil-laah,” which is, “I believe in God…and His angels, and his books…”, do you not also believe, as far as “his books,” that they are corrupted, and only the Qur’an is intact (i.e., perfect)?

How can you believe in the Torah, the Injil and the books given to prophets before Muhammad, if they are corrupted?

The Qur’an says:

“O, ye who believe: Believe in Allah and His Messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His Messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His Messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray.” (Sura 4 verse 136)

“We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ismail (Ishmael) and Ishaq (Isaac) and Yaqub (Jacob) and the tribes and that which was given to Musa (Mooses) and Isa (Jesus) and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them and unto Him we have surrendered.” (Sura 3 verse 84)

If you claim to believe Allah’s Scriptures, do you really want to believe them all? Or do you think that some of these things really do not apply? Does not Allah say that these books, books that include the Injil, are a “light and guidance for mankind”? (Sura 6 verse 92 and also Sura 40 verse 53) And that they are “the clear Scripture”? (Sura 37 verse 117)

Jeff said...

What of the word in Sura 5 verse 46, “ We bestowed on Him [Jesus] wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was [revealed] before in the Torah---a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off evil?”

If the Qur’an admonishes a Muslim to have faith in the Bible, then clearly it could not have been changed in Muhammad’s time. If you say that it was changed afterward, then you are really disobeying Allah and refusing to believe him. After all, if Allah knew that his Word would be changed later, he would never had endorsed it in the first place.

I would challenge Muslims to do a serious study comparing the Qur'an and the Bible. If your faith is worth anything at all, then it will survive. That is, unless your faith is so weak that it will smash like a raw egg if dropped. But if you really trust the true God, then you will be alright.

Jeff said...

Women in the Middle East thousands of years ago were second-class citizens, and they were not considered reliable witnesses, and they were not even allowed to vote. Yet, in the New Testament, it's the women who are the ones reported to have gone to Jesus' tomb first and found it empty. Also, being a shepherd was considered to be the lowest occupation. Certainly, if someone were going to change the story around and try to convince people, they would not have the shepherds be the ones that the angel visited to announce the birth of Christ. And they would not have women be the first ones to go to Jesus' tomb and find it empty. If they wanted to establish credibility and convince people, they would change it to have men find the tomb, not women; and they would have people of high rank and importance be the ones that the angel visited.

We have better manuscript evidence for the Bible than for any other ancient text.

Jeff said...

The Qur’an states that the Tawrat/Torah (first 5 books of the Bible), Zabur (Psalms), Sahaif (books of the prophets) and Injil (Gospel) were all revealed by God: “He sent down to you this scripture, truthfully, confirming all previous scriptures, and He sent down the Torah and the Gospel.” (Sura 3:3)

The Qur’an asserts that the Torah, the Zabur, the Sahaif and the Injil are God’s books, His word, light and “Furqan” (criterion).

THE TORAH IS THE BOOK OF GOD:

“And when there came to them an apostle from Allah, confirming what was with them, a party of the people of the Book threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs, as if (it had been something) they did not know!” (Sura 2:101)

“Have you not seen those who have been given a portion of the Scripture? They are being invited to the Book of Allâh to settle their dispute, then a party of them turn away, and they are averse.” (Sura 3:23)

“Verily, We did send down the Taurât (Torah) [to Mûsa (Moses)], therein was guidance and light, by which the Prophets, who submitted themselves to Allâh's Will, judged the Jews. And the rabbis and the priests [too judged the Jews by the Taurât (Torah) after those Prophets] for to them was entrusted the protection of Allâh's Book, and they were witnesses thereto. Therefore fear not men but fear Me (O Jews) and sell not My Verses for a miserable price. And whosoever does not judge by what Allâh has revealed, such are the Kâfirûn (i.e. disbelievers - of a lesser degree as they do not act on Allâh's Laws).” (Sura 5:44)

THE TORAH IS A GUIDANCE AND REMINDER FOR MEN OF UNDERSTANDING:

“We did aforetime give Moses the Guidance, and We gave the Book in inheritance to the Children of Israel,- A Guide and a Reminder to men of understanding.” (Sura 40:53-54)

THE TORAH IS LIGHT AND GUIDANCE:

“It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah.s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah.s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers.” (Sura 5:44)

THE TORAH IS THE CRITERION:

“And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.” (Sura 2:53)

“And We verily gave Moses and Aaron the Criterion (of right and wrong) and a light and a Reminder for those who keep from evil...” (Sura 21:48)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

THE INJIL “HAS CLEAR PROOFS:

“And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed.” (Sura 2:87)

THE INJIL WAS BESTOWED ON JESUS, HAS “GUIDANCE AND LIGHT,” AND IS “CONFIRMING…THE TORAH”:

“And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We gave him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.” (Sura 5:46)

THE QUR’AN EMPHASIZES THAT THE INJIL AND THE TORAH ARE GUIDANCE FOR ALL MANKIND, CLEAR TESTIMONIES FOR MANKIND, AND A GUIDANCE AND A MERCY:

“And verily We gave Moses the Scripture, the Torah, after We had destroyed the former generations, the people of Noah, ‘Ād, Thamūd and others, [containing] eye-openers for mankind (basā’ira, is a circumstantial qualifier referring to al-kitāb, ‘the Scripture’, the plural of basīra, which is the [perceptive] light of the heart), in other words, illumination for the hearts [of mankind], and as guidance, from error, for those who implement it, and mercy, for those who believe therein, that perhaps they might remember, [that] they might be admonished by the admonitions it [the Scripture] contains.” (Sura 28:43)

“It is He Who has sent down the Book (the Qur'ân) to you (Muhammad SAW) with truth, confirming what came before it. And he sent down the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel). Aforetime, as a guidance to mankind, And He sent down the criterion [of judgement between right and wrong (this Qur'ân)]. Truly, those who disbelieve in the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allâh, for them there is a severe torment; and Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.” (Sura 3:3-4)

“And this is a Book which We have sent down, bringing blessings, and confirming (the revelations) which came before it: that thou mayest warn the mother of cities and all around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe in this (Book), and they are constant in guarding their prayers.” (Sura 6:92)

Jeff said...

In the Qur’an, Christians are instructed to judge according to the Injil, “Let the people of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein. Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed, such are evil-livers.” (Sura 5:47)

Had Muhammad known of any reason to believe that the Injil was not totally authentic, would the Qur’an have commanded Christians to judge by it? Yet nowadays, many Muslims allege that the Holy Gospel has been grossly distorted. Either the Muslims who cast doubt on the veracity of the Bible are wrong or Muhammad was severely mistaken.

The Qur’an claims that no one can alter the word of God. It says, “It is the law of Allah which hath taken course aforetime. Thou wilt not find for the law of Allah aught of power to change.” (Sura 48:23) In another place, the Qur’an says, “There is no changing the word of Allah – that is the Supreme Triumph.” (Sura 10:64, 6:34)

The Qur’an not only claims to confirm the previous Scriptures but also claims the responsibility of being “the watcher over it.” (Sura 5:48) Al-Baidawi explains that “watcher over it” means, “The Qur’an is the protector of all the sacred books to preserve them from any kind of change.”
[Nasiruddin Abu Saeed Abdullah bin Umar al-Baidawi (1300 A.D.) wrote a well-known commentary on the Qur’an; originally it was called “Anwar al-Tunzil”---known also as “Tafsir al-Baidawi.”]

The Qur’an does not suggest “ALTERATION.” In the Qur’an, the word ‘tahrif’ is never used to suggest that the biblical text had been altered or corrupted. ‘Tahrif’ is occasionally used to accuse Jews (but not Christians) of concealing the truth, but in no way to imply that the text had been corrupted.

In the Qur’an, the word ‘tahrif’ is used with the following meanings:

1. To mispronounce words. For example, the Qur’an accuses certain Jews of deliberately distorting Muhammad’s words to pervert their meaning:
“Some of those who are Jews change words from their context…distorting (‘tahrif’) with their tongues and slandering religion.”
(Sura 4:46; see also Sura 3:78. Imam Fakhr al Din Al Razi (d. 1228) believed that the ‘tahrif’ [or, ‘alteration’] referred to in the Qur’an was in meaning, not in text. He wrote a voluminous commentary on the Qur’an that is properly known to many Muslims as “Tafsir al-Kabir.”)

2. To misinterpret verses. For example, some “…used to listen to the Word of Allah, then used to change it (‘tahrif’), after they had understood it, knowingly.”
(Qur’an 2:75. In his book, “Alfouz al kabir fi Usul al tafsir,” Shah Waliullah states that in the Qur’an, ‘tahrif’ refers to the Jews misquoting or mistranslating the Torah, and he asserts that the original was not and cannot be altered, ‘it’ being the word of God.

Jeff said...

There is no evidence of any Muslim apologist alleging that either the text of the Injil or the Torah had been tampered with, until well over five hundred years after Muhammad’s death. [Colin chapman, “You go and do the same,” p. 53; (London: CMS 1983).]

Jeff said...

For those Muslims who say the Bible was changed before the time of Muhammad, the Qur'an says "no changes can there be in the word of God."

"The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfilment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all." (Qur'an 6:115)

"For them are glad tidings, in the life of the present and in the Hereafter; no change can there be in the words of Allah. This is indeed the supreme felicity." (Qur'an 10:64)

Why would God expect from Muslims to believe in what was revealed to Jesus and Moses, and make no distinction among them, if the Scriptures were corrupted?

"Say: "We believe in Allah, and in what has been revealed to us and what was revealed to Abraham, Isma'il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and in (the Books) given to Moses, Jesus, and the prophets, from their Lord: We make no distinction between one and another among them, and to Allah do we bow our will (in Islam)." (Qur'an 3:84)

Why would the god of Islam ask Christians and Jews to act and judge according to what is in their Scriptures?

"But why do they come to thee for decision, when they have (their own) law before them?- therein is the (plain) command of Allah. yet even after that, they would turn away. For they are not (really) People of Faith.

44. It was We who revealed the law (to Moses): therein was guidance and light. By its standard have been judged the Jews, by the prophets who bowed (as in Islam) to Allah.s will, by the rabbis and the doctors of law: for to them was entrusted the protection of Allah.s book, and they were witnesses thereto: therefore fear not men, but fear me, and sell not my signs for a miserable price. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed, they are (no better than) Unbelievers." (Qur'an 5:43-44)

"And in their footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear Allah." (Qur'an 5:46)

"Say: "O People of the Book! ye have no ground to stand upon unless ye stand fast by the Law, the Gospel, and all the revelation that has come to you from your Lord." It is the revelation that cometh to thee from thy Lord, that increaseth in most of them their obstinate rebellion and blasphemy. But sorrow thou not over (these) people without Faith." (Qur'an 5:68)

Jeff said...

If the Qur'an is for all people at all time, why is it not translatable? After all, I have heard that fewer than 20% of Muslims in the world speak Arabic.

Jeff said...

Some claim that the Injil and the Torah were corrupted before the prophet of Islam came. If that were so, why does the Qur'an assert that the message revealed to Muhammad was confirmation of the previous Scriptures? (Qur'an 5:48)

According to the Qur'an, written more than five hundred years later, the Torah and the Injil were still flawless even in Muhammad's time. Evidently from the Qur'an's instruction to judge "by what God had revealed" in the Gospel (Qur'an 5:47), Muhammad was totally satisfied with its genuineness and reliability.

Others claim that the Torah and the Injil were changed sometime after Muhammad began preaching. Thus they contradict the Qur'an's claim to be the guardian of earlier inspired books (Qur'an 5:48) and inevitably, accuse the Qur'an of having failed in its role as guardian!

Therefore, if the pre-Islamic Scriptures had been corrupted, why does the Qur'an order Muslims to believe them? For it bids them to:

"Say (O Muslims): 'We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac and Jacob, and the tribes and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered." (Qur'an 2:136)

Jeff said...

If the Qur’an is the *Guardian,* yet the Bible was or is now corrupted, then wouldn’t that mean that the Qur’an has then FAILED in it’s job?

But if the Qur’an has not failed, then that must mean that it has succeeded in keeping the Torah and the Injil intact and correct.

Numerous manuscript copies of all parts of the Bible written centuries before the time of Muhammad are available today. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were written before 68 A.D., contain significant portions of every book of the Old Testament except Esther.

In the British Museum in London, there are Greek manuscripts that date from the 4th century A.D. Many other great libraries possess manuscript portions of the New Testament dating back to the 2nd century, and some small papyrus fragments to the 1st century, even from when the writers were still alive.

These documents help to verify the reliability of the Bible as we have it today. They also confirm that the Bible current in Muhammad’s time did not differ in any item of doctrine which Muslims question.

God, Who preserved His Word in the past, is able to preserve it in the future.

If the Bible and the Qur’an do disagree, they cannot both be right. Has, then, the Qur’an made a mistake in vindicating [protecting; supporting; to uphold, maintain, or defend; to clear from guilt, accusation, blame, or doubt; to justify or prove the worth of, especially in light of later developments] the Bible? No! For reference has been made to the historical documents, which confirm the Bible.

I urge you to follow the Qur’an’s clear advice to Muhammad and his followers: “If thou art in doubt concerning that We reveal unto thee, then question those who read
Scripture (that was) before thee…” (Qur’an 10:94)

Because the Bible is truly “…a guidance to all mankind.” (Qur’an 3:4)

Jeff said...

Islam and Christianity claim to be revealed and historical faiths. They both claim that God intervened in the lives of people to lead them into ‘the straight path.’ the truth of their faith is held to depend on the accuracy of their books and traditions. When the Qur’an and the Bible are compared, we find many similarities, but also some important differences.

I understand that Muslims believe that the original messages transmitted by previous prophets including Moses and Jesus, were essentially the same as the message brought by Muhammad and preserved in the Qur’an. They conclude that the differences arise from errors in the Bible---that the divergence must be the result of some problem with the Bible alone. It is not the Qur’an, they assert, but the Bible that is in the wrong. They claim that Christians and Jews have added their own innovations to the Bible during the course of time.

Against such views, Christians believe that the Bible’s message has not been corrupted, and that the differences between the Bible and the Qur’an are due to the circumstances of the production of the of the Qur’an, and *not* to changes in the Bible. For Christians, the Bible is a reliable record of God’s revelations.

These conflicting views cause us to question the authenticity and integrity of both Scriptures. Certainly, I have read that a minority of Muslims does believe in the integrity of the Bible, but the majority of Muslims believe that the Bible is corrupted in such a way that it cannot be trusted, while they believe that the Qur’an is perfect, intact, word for word, syllable for syllable, as it was first revealed to Muhammad.

Since the rise of higher biblical criticism in the 17th-18th century Enlightenment, Muslims have also adopted the methods of Western critics, to discredit the Bible. However, they do not dare to apply the same instruments and techniques of biblical criticism to the Qur’an and other Islamic sources. Those few who have published thoughtful but inconsequential speculation have found themselves condemned in fatwah, decrees declaring them to be apostates and beyond the protected limits of Islam. Therefore, the many who are fearful of violent repercussions tend to steer clear and confine themselves to applying the new methods of interpretation to the exegesis (explanation or interpretation) of the text, while the more fundamental questions on the validity and sources of the text of the Qur’an remain unasked.

From the age of 6 or 7, Muslim children are also taught that corruption has occurred. For example, the book, “Islam for Younger people,” by Ghulam Sarwar, is used in many Islamic centers in the United Kingdom. On page 29, it teaches children, “The Zabur, the Tawrat and the Injil have been changed by their followers. They added their own words.” It also teaches children, “Books given to the prophets before Muhammad (pbuh) were either lost or changed by their followers.”

Another book written for children adds the idea that ‘A Muslim believes in all the Books of Allah. But as the earliest Books are lost or changed, a Muslim follows the Qur’an alone.”

However, if a book is held up as perfect, as having fully preserved the message of God, then its perfection should be demonstrable against all criticism and tests of its contents. The standards and measures chosen should be equally applicable to any book which calls itself inspired, which would appear to include the Bible and the Qur’an.

(from: "The Bible and The Qur'an: A Question of Integrity," by Steven Masood)

Jeff said...

Muslims and Christians believe that God chose to reveal Himself and His will to people by speaking through prophets and apostles. He enabled them to share his message with their fellow human beings in order to explain our existence on earth and our direction for the future.

The word “Testament” is from the Latin word ‘testamentum, which is used to translate the Greek word ‘diatheke’ (covenant), thereby denoting the relationship between God and His people.

The Bible contains law, prophecy, history, poetry, counsel and much more.

Most Christians see the Bible as containing insights into God’s dealings with the people of Israel. These dealings eventually paved the way for all the peoples of the earth to share in the promise that God first made to Abraham (Ibrahim). Christians believe that God fulfilled this promise by sending Jesus. Furthermore, they assert that the Bible tells them, in more detail than any other book, who Jesus was and how He fulfilled the ancient prophecies about Him, as given through Abraham, Moses and other prophets. Although for Christians the Bible is significant, it is Jesus who is the eternal Word and the Revelation of God, and the Bible is the written record or Scripture that unfolds the story of salvation for all human beings, as achieved through Jesus.

I have read that, with the Qur’an, there are different systems of numbering the verses. According to Koofi, there are 6239 verses in the Qur’an; the Shami system makes it 6225; the Makki system declares 6219; according to Madni they number 6211, but according to the Basri system, the verses total 6204. (Qamar Naqvi, “Sahayef,” p. 395) However, most Muslim writers state that the number of verses in the Qur’an is 6247 or 6360 if the opening verse of Bismillah for each surah is included.

Syed Hossein Nassr claims, ‘No Muslim would accept any other view than the Qur’an came verbatim from heaven.’ (Syed Hossein Nassr, ‘Responses to Hans Kung’s paper on Christian Muslim Dialogue’, Muslim World, 77, 1987, p. 98.) Another Muslim scholar, Fazlur Rahman, however, believes that, ‘the Qur’an is entirely the Word of God and, in an ordinary sense, also entirely the Word of Muhammad.’ (Fazlur Rahman, ‘Islam,’ p. 31.) Taking this a step further, Ali Dashti gives several examples form the Qur’an, asserting that it also contains statements from Muhammad on God’s behalf. (Ali Dashti, ‘Twenty-three years,’ p. 149.)

(from: "The Bible and The Qur'an: A Question of Integrity," by Steven Masood)

Jeff said...

In the time of Muhammad, pagan Meccans believed that God had daughters. According to Ibn Ishaq (d. 761) and Ibn Hisham (d. 834), there were Christians who believed that the virgin Mary was God's mother and that Christ (or, the Messiah, which means the same thing as "The Christ") was the physical son of God. This could be why there are verses like these in the Qur'an:

"The originator of heavens and earth! How can He have a child, when there is for Him no consort..." (Qur'an 6:102)

"And (we believe) that He - exalted be the glory of our Lord - hath taken neither wife nor son." (Qur'an 72:3)

Note that, in these verses, it is not God's ability to miraculously produce a son without copulation (sex) that is in question. Even so, Muslims believe that words like "father" and "son" necessarily mean that the Father must have a wife in order to have a son. So they ask, 'How could Jesus be the son of God when God has no wife?'

I have read that generally, Muslims do not appreciate that no Christian believes the Lord Jesus was God's physical son by copulation. The Bible nowhere speaks of God having a wife. Within the Bible, there is not the slightest suggestion of any sexual relationship between God and His creatures. Such an idea is utterly blasphemous and repulsive to Christians, just as it is to Muslims. Christians are deeply horrified and grieved to discover this Muslim conjecture about their innermost faith. Obviously, there has been some misunderstanding. But, taken aback by our protestations, Muslims might then inquire: "Why use the term 'Son of God' if you do not wish to be misunderstood?'

Would it be wise to abandon the use of terminology that had the Christ's full approval? He said to his disciples, "Whom do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God." The Lord Jesus' response was, "No physical being revealed this to you, but My heavenly Father." (Matthew 16:15-17)

(from: "God has no wife...", published by 'Jesus to Muslims'),

Jeff said...

The words 'father' and 'son' need not be construed in a base way; otherwise, consistency would oblige us to draw some improper conclusions from statements like the following:

Muhammad had an uncle whose name was Abd al-Uza, but in the Qur'an he is called 'Abu Lahab' - the father of a flame. Obviously, this does not mean that he sired a flame. (Qur'an 111:1)

A wayfarer is called 'Ibn as -sabeel' - son of the road. This does not mean that the road has a wife. (Qur'an 2:177)

There are many other similar examples, such as these:

'Om ul-Kitab' - the mother of the book. (Qur'an 3:7, 13:39, 43:3)

Mecca is called 'Om ul-Qurah' - the mother of villages. (Qur'an 6:93, 42:8)

The wives of Muhammad are called the mothers of the believers (meaning all the Muslims).

Muhammad's cousin Ali was called 'Abu Turab' - the father of dust.

One of Muhammad's disciples was named 'Abu Hurairah' - the father of a cat, because he was very fond of cats.

It is quite common, particularly in the eastern societies, for elderly men and women to call any young person 'my daughter' or 'my son,' even though they are not their real father and mother. Just as it is not necessary to force an offensive interpretation on the foregoing, it is also not necessary to force an offensive interpretation on the Bible statements about Jesus being the Son of God assuming a physical relationship.

(from: "God has no wife...", published by 'Jesus to Muslims')

Jeff said...

When an angel gave glad tidings of a son to Mary, she said, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Consequently the one born will be even called Holy, Son of God.” (Luke 1:34-35)

What difference is there then between Jesus and Adam? This Christ Jesus was no ordinary man. He was superior to all His physical forefathers, including Adam! On one occasion Jesus asked the Jews, “How do you view the Christ [Messiah]? Whose son is He?” They replied, “David’s son.” His response was, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls Him Lord?…If then David calls Him Lord how is He his son?” (Matthew 22:41-45).

[He was referring to Psalm 110:1, which was written about 1,000 BC: “The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."]

Thus, He existed before His birth. He said, “Before Abraham existed, I am!” (John 8:58)

He reveals to us what God is like, “Anyone having seen Me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

We must understand what He is like. Is He stern? Is He kind? Does He care about you and me? How may we find answers to these important questions? The Injil tells us, “No one has seen God; but God’s only Son, He who is nearest to the Father’s heart, He has made him known.” (John 1:18) Thus, He reveals to us what God is like: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9; 12:44-46; Isaiah 9:6)

Therefore, learning about Jesus will help us to understand what God is like. “The Word became flesh and lived for a while among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) This passage tells us that Jesus is the eternal Word of God. HE is the one who can reveal God to us because, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.” (John 1:1-2)

It is easy to understand that since God is eternal then His Word must also be eternal. No one on this earth has been called the Word of God, other than Jesus. If Muslims can accept the idea that the eternal God gave expression to His eternal Word and it became the eternal Qur’an, then why should it not be possible to accept that God gave expression to His eternal Word in the Messiah, the Christ? Why hesitate to accept that the Word was revealed in flesh, that is, He became Son of Man? Even the Qur’an, 600 year later, acknowledged that Jesus was the Word from God. (Qur’an 3:45)

Jeff said...

“(He) was declared with power to be Son of God, by His resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4)

This testimony to the death, burial, resurrection and sonship of Christ Jesus has been with us right from the beginning.

“…He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent Him” (John 5:23)

If we disobey Him, we risk God’s anger: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” (John 3:36)

However, “…God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17)

God cares about you and me.

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

According to the prophecies made before Christ Jesus came to earth, He had to sacrifice His sinless life for our sins.

For example, the following verses from Isaiah, which were likely written about 700 years before Jesus’ birth:

“Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.” (Isaiah 53:10)

“Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:12)

Being executed did not mean that He was a failure. If He had not both died and risen, He would not have been the Messiah.

I would urge Muslims not to spurn His love. Heed what King David said beforehand about Him: “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him.” (Psalm 2:12, written about 1,000 B.C.)

“The Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son.” (John 5:22)

Jeff said...

I read that the relationship between a Muslim and Allah is one of a slave to his master. For example, "Narrated 'Umar: I heard the Prophet saying, "Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a Slave. So, call me the Slave of Allah and His Apostle." (Hadith - Bukhari, Muhammad, "Sahih Bukhari", Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 654.)

I also read that Muhammad did talk about loving Allah, and about Allah’s love. But Allah’s love is predicated upon the Muslim’s performance and obedience, not on their relationship. I read that Muhammad ascribed many names to Allah and these names reveal Allah’s character. As examples, there are: Al Muntaqim - The Avenger, Ar-Raoof - The Compassionate, and Ar-Razzaq - The Provider. Allah is indeed a master, and he can be a kind and forgiving master, but it is not in Allah’s nature to be a God of infinite mercy and love.

One Muslim website said this about Allah:
"There is nothing like male Allah or female Allah. Allah has no gender. If you add the word ‘father’ to ‘God’ it becomes ‘God-father’. God-father means someone who is a guardian. There is no word like ‘Allah-Abba’ or ‘Allah-father’."

Think about it. A good father loves his children. He is invested in them. He will care for them, provide for them, guide them, and love them intimately. He cherishes his children, is proud of them when they do well, and disciplines them when they do wrong. His commitment to his children exceeds that of a coach for his players, that of a boss for his workers, or that of a master for his slave. The slave will never hold the treasured position in the father’s heart that a child holds.

However, we see this love expressed by Christianity’s God. God was more to His people than a master who required obedience. He was a Shepherd for His people. He went beyond their limitations and sinfulness and gave them His love. We see a Father’s love given in Christianity.

The God of the Bible is indeed a Father to His people. From both the Old and New Testament Scriptures we see God revealing and describing Himself as a Father. Here are some examples:

"Is this the way you repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is he not your Father, your Creator, who made you and formed you?" (Deut. 32:6)

"I will proclaim the decree of the LORD : He said to me, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." (Psalms 2:7)

"But you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us or Israel acknowledge us; you, O LORD, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name." (Isaiah 63:16)

"This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name...'" (Matthew 6:9)

"Jesus said, "Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, 'I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" (John 20:17)

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15)

Jeff said...

Christians are children of God by adoption.

"God sent forth his Son, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." (Galatians 4:4,5,7)

"Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1:5,6)

"Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:26) Notice that this says the way to become God's child is by faith in Christ Jesus. People are sinners, and God is holy, so people are not naturally children of God. Therefore, you can only become a child of God through faith in Jesus. Through Jesus, we can have a relationship with God. Through Jesus, we can know God's love.

"As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12) As many as received Jesus by faith as their Lord and their Savior, to them God calls His children.

"[I] will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." (2 Corinthians 6:18)

Jeff said...

When Christians say that we are children of God, we do not mean that we are biological children of God. We do not mean it in a literal way. We mean it in a spiritual sense.

Just like when Christians say that Jesus is the Son of God, we do not mean it in a biological sense. We do not mean it in a literal way. To believe that God had sex with anybody would be blasphemy. The very idea of that is repulsive and wrong. We mean "Son" in a spiritual sense, not a biological or literal or sexual sense.

I am sure that Muslims believe that it is right and good to serve God. Christians also believe that it is right to serve and obey God. Christians also consider themselves servants of God.

If you are a Muslim, do you say that you love God, or do you merely say that you serve God?

"What does the Lord require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 10:12)

Our service to God is not just to be a conformity to duties, such as fixed times of prayer and a lifetime pilgrimage, but a much deeper devotion of the heart towards the God who loves us from the depth of his own being. In the New Testament, we see this love fully expressed in Jesus Christ.

Muslims strive all their lives, through good works and conformity to Islamic religious prescriptions, to gain the favor of God. Yet, Christians know that a true devotion consists of a much deeper commitment, which is summed up in these words: "And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love." (2 John 6)

As the Bible puts it so beautifully, "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

Jeff said...

Christians know that our sins are forgiven in Christ, that we have already become children of God, that we have received the Spirit of God, that we know God personally, and that we are the sons and daughters of his kingdom. Why? Because Christians know the Triune God.

In Old Testament times, God revealed himself purely as El-Shaddai, 'God Almighty.' He revealed his name, Yahweh, 'the God who is,' apart from whom there is no other god. But in the New Testament, we have a much fuller revelation of God at the depth of his being, a triune God who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Who, for Christians, is God for us, God with us, and God in us.

Believe it or not, God actually desires to enter into a deep personal (spiritual) relationship with us.

Even the Qur'an says:
"Say, if you love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and forgive you your sins." (Surah 3:31)

But it's not just about obeying God in order to gain his favor and his approval.

"Jesus replied, "'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.'" (Matthew 22:37)

Jeff said...

The Qur’an leaves the issue of God’s forgiveness undecided. While it teaches that he is al-Ghaffur, "the Forgiver," it never assures Muslims of their total forgiveness for their sins. That remains to be seen in eternity. The Muslim can strive for Allah’s forgiveness, but he can never know it. A Muslim therefore strives towards one goal---his ultimate acquittal on the Day of Judgment, which he hopes to attain through his good works and religious devotions. In such circumstances, he cannot truly love God from the depth of his heart. He cannot express such love without some prospect of acquittal and acceptance with God foremost in his soul and mind.

The Qur’an says very little, substantially, about God’s love for mankind. It is really defined as no more than an approval of those who do good. For example:

"Spend your wealth for the cause of Allah, and be not cast by your own hands to ruin; and do good. Lo! Allah loves the beneficent." (Surah 2:195)

So, Allah’s love for mankind is not very different from man’s love for him. The Muslim primarily seeks approval, and Allah, according to Islam, gives that approval to those who are faithful to him. In every case where the expression "love" occurs, it can be translated "approves of" rather than "loves," without any change in the meaning of the expression. The knowledge and realization of this approval will also only be known at the Last Day. This is virtually all that the Qur’an teaches about Allah’s love for the human race.

According to Islamic tradition, Allah has ninety-nine names. These are attributes of Allah that he can express or withhold at will. Allah can choose to be faithful, loving, forgiving, accepting, etc. He can just as readily and justifiably choose to be unforgiving, rejecting, displeased and disapproving. It all depends on his own judgment.

The great Muslim scholar al-Ghazzali brought this out very clearly in his book, al-Maqsad al-Husna (The Beautiful Names). He went out of his way to assert that the title al-Waddud, "the Loving One," means far less than the title may seem to indicate. Although some of the ninety-nine names of Allah appear regularly in the Qur’an (such as ar-Rahmaan, "the Compassionate," and al-Aziz, "the Mighty"), this one only appears twice, and without significance to the text preceding it (Surahs 11:90, 85:14). Al-Ghazzali explains the love of Allah as consisting solely of objective acts of kindness and expressions of approval.

He denied that Allah feels any love for mankind in his heart, stating that he remains above the feeling of love. Quite what that means, he does not say, nor does he explain how any being can be a better person by being devoid of heartfelt affection toward other beings, but his interpretation of Allah as 'the Loving One' is quite clear. He added that love and mercy are desired in respect of their objects, only for the sake of their fruit and benefit, and not because of empathy or feeling.

This explains why the Qur’an omits the Biblical command to love God with all our heart, soul and mind. Why should we if he doesn’t feel the same way towards us in return? Essentially there is nothing in the Allah of Islam that can awaken the response of dedicated affection from mankind in return.

We have to go back to the Bible to discover this very God, the triune God who allows us to come behind the inner curtain and experience the fullness of his love for us, as revealed in the Father who loves us, the Son who died for us, and the Holy Spirit who activates the love of God in our hearts.

Jeff said...

"The Father himself loves you," Jesus told his disciples, (John 16:27), and this love is expressed in the relationship that human beings know best, from a parent to a child. If God is our Father, then we are his children, and the relationship we share with him immediately becomes far deeper than anything any other religion can project. According to Islam, a believer can never be greater than a servant of God (Surah 19:93), but children have an authority and closeness to their Father that no servant can hope to attain. It is summed up in these words of Jesus:

"What do you think Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?" And when he said "From others," Jesus said to him, "then the sons are free." (Matthew 17:25-26)

Because the Christian believer is a child of God, he is already a lawful member of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19). He does not have to earn his place there, nor can he ever be dismissed from God’s kingdom. The children of God are free to enjoy all that their heavenly Father calls his own. They are his heirs, along with the supreme heir to the Father’s throne, Jesus Christ.

Note that Christians never made God our Father at any time; but rather, He made Christians His children when His own Son died and rose again for our salvation and redemption.

God cares for us.

"What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet." (Psalm 8:4-6)

Jeff said...

I'm sure you have heard the saying, "Like father, like son," and nowhere is this more true than in the person of Jesus Christ who is the exact image of the living God (Colossians 1:15). Yet Christians, too, have become the sons and daughters of God, and are not just His servants, but are constantly being renewed and conformed to His likeness. Another well-known expression also applies here: "One day, my son, this will all be yours." Once again, this is perfectly true of the heavenly Father’s commitment to His own Son, but because Christians share in the inheritance of Jesus, His kingdom will one day also be theirs as well. It is His good pleasure to give it to them (Luke 12:32). Christians are not merely religious people, reciting scriptural texts, performing pilgrimages, going through ritualistic practices, conforming to a pattern of life. Christians are a redeemed people of God, who have been set free from dead works and pointless repetitive ceremonies. True Christians know God personally, have entered into His very presence, have an assured hope, and can bask in the knowledge of His absolute love for them. Christians do not just hope for forgiveness---they already have it.

Jeff said...

Jesus brought a message to mankind that God loves us. He also said that we are to love God.

The Word was in the beginning. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." (John 1:1-2)

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

"God has visited his people!" the Jews declared as Jesus walked among them.

"Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, "A great prophet has arisen among us!" and, "God has visited His people!" (Luke 7:16)

Indeed he had. Jesus among us was God with us.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

The greatest manifestation of God’s love that could ever have been given to mankind is the fact that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died for our sins.

As Jesus said:
"Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

This is the greatest and most abiding form of love, love that is as strong as death, and cannot be overcome by it:

"Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the LORD." (Song of Solomon 8:6)

Such love was revealed at its fullest extent when Jesus willingly laid down his life:

"When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of the world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end." (John 13:1)

So we see the love of the Father for us in being willing to make us children, and the love of the Son by laying down His life so that we might receive the full forgiveness of our sins, and so become the sons and daughters of God.

Jeff said...

According to the Bible, you can know that you will go to Paradise.

"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." (1 John 5:13)

There is a way that you can know for sure that you will go to Paradise. And it is not through martyrdom. While in Islam, a person is considered a Muslim after outwardly professing faith to Allah and to Muhammad as his prophet, followed by submission to the Islamic laws, Christianity begins with an internal change of heart (not just a change of mind) called regeneration (also called being born again), which is a miraculous transformation by God---this is not something that man can do. This is only available through the voluntary, sacrificial death of Jesus the Messiah on the cross, where He sacrificed Himself so that we can go to Paradise, and through the power of the Holy Spirit to change us. The only way to Paradise is as the Bible says:

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." (John 17:3)

Christianity is not a legal system. It is a personal relationship with God, through Jesus the Messiah.

I know that when I die, I will go to Paradise. I know that for a fact. I have no doubt about that. Why? Not because I am a good person, but because Jesus the Christ has washed away all my past, present and future sins, and the Holy Spirit lives inside of me. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, and because I have accepted Him by faith, God now sees me as holy. He sees me as a saint. He sees me as pure as white snow. I will never go to Hell, because Jesus has forgiven me, and I will spend the rest of eternity in Paradise. You can go to Paradise, too, but the only way is through Jesus the Messiah, Isa al Masih. He is the only way to God.

Islam wants to tell you how you can keep God happy with you, but Christianity emphasizes what Christ did, once and for all, to reconcile mankind with God. Your sinful nature makes it impossible for you to please God yourself.

The Qur'an portrays itself as guidance for those who are pious, those who are not bad or evil. But the Bible makes it abundantly plain that it is the Word of Life to sinners, of whom even the Apostle Paul could say, "I am the chief."

Islam offers legalism, but Jesus Christ says, "Follow Me and I will give you rest."

Jeff said...

The Bible testifies that immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve, God started to take care of them in order to save their life on earth.

"The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." (Genesis 3:21)

God chose Abraham, to start a long "history of salvation," which finally leads to Christ.

"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing." (Genesis 12:2)

God saved Noah and his family from the flood. God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt through Moses. God saved Daniel from the lion's den. God saved Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites sacrificed animals for the forgiveness of sins. But this was only a foreshadowing of what was to come. The sacrifices of bulls and goats anticipated a final, ultimate, perfect sacrifice.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

"When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order.

When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. He said, "This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep." In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God's presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him." (Hebrews 9:6-28)

In both the Old and the New Testament, God acts visibly as the Redeemer. This long history of saving acts proves that God is faithful in fulfilling his promises. He is a God in whom believers really can trust.

In the Bible, sin is not just a human weakness and a tendency to worship other gods besides God. Sin is a person’s rebellion against a holy God, and this rebellion can only be overcome by atonement.

"Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin." (James 4:17)

"Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4)

Jeff said...

Jesus called sinners to repent.

"From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." (Matthew 4:17)

But Jesus did not do this by preaching the coming day of judgment like Muhammad did. He did this by preaching the love of God towards sinners...

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

...and by showing this love through his fellowship with sinners...

"While Jesus was having dinner at Levi's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the "sinners" and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: "Why does he eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" (Mark 2:15-16)

...and by proclaiming forgiveness of sins.

"When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." (Mark 2:5)

"Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." (Luke 7:48)

Jesus did this on divine authority, but this authority was the reason why the Jewish leaders accused him of blasphemy and brought about his death on the cross.

"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 10:33)

Jesus really proved his godly power by healing the ill and reviving the dead.

"When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go." (John 11:43-44)

Of course it was possible for Jesus to avoid crucifixion. It would have been very easy for God to protect Jesus, but Jesus died by his own will because of his love towards sinners. He wanted to be faithful to his message and to his deeds, even at the price of his death. He wanted to make visible to sinners that God’s love and forgiveness are a reality they can trust in.

To any Muslim, you can be saved now, because salvation is not dependent on your being a sincere and faithful person, and is not dependent on an arbitrary decision of God in the future. The Good News is that God’s salvation has already been completed and that everybody can participate in it now by accepting it in faith. While the Qur’an challenges people to make sure of their future salvation by repentance and obeying God, the Bible testifies that God’s salvation is completed and can be accepted by faith.

The way to follow Jesus is spiritually. This is the first step:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." (Romans 10:9)

"For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)

Jeff said...

The Qur’an talks about two books in the possession of the Jews and Christians, at-Tawraat (the Law) and al-Injil (the Gospel) respectively (Surah 5:69, 7:157). The former is said to have been delivered to Moses, the latter to Jesus. There were two different Scriptures, as the Qur’an testifies, which date from the time of two different religious leaders, Moses and Jesus.

The first covenant, given to Moses, was one based on a series of laws, rituals and regulations.

For example:

"You shall not kill. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour." (Exodus 20:13-16)

"You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbour, lest you bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbour as yourself. You shall keep my statutes." (Leviticus 19:17-19)

In the books of Moses, where the original terms of the Old Covenant are set out, the commands are the same. "You shall", "you shall not" introduces each one. It was up to the Israelites to keep these laws, either by fulfilling the acts of obedience that were commanded, or by refraining from actions that were prohibited.

When Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the two tablets of the law (Exodus 24:12) and stayed there many days, the Israelites rebelled and ordered Aaron to create golden images as gods to go before them rather than the Lord. They made a golden calf and worshiped and sacrificed to it (Exodus 32:8). They indulged themselves in what we today would call an orgy (Exodus 32:6).

They broke virtually every one of the Ten Commandments they had received, especially the laws commanding them to worship God alone, and not to make graven images and go after them. This expression of hostility to God’s laws was a sample of their relationship with him throughout the Exodus, and it symbolizes the inner animosity in the heart of every man towards God’s holy statutes (Jeremiah 17:9). As a result of their rebellion, 3000 men of Israel who had spearheaded the rebellion, were put to the sword and destroyed for their transgression.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

God’s patience with Israel was sustained for many centuries to come, but by the time of the prophet Jeremiah, God concluded that they would never bow to His holy laws and that they would always disobey him. He told them that their hurt was incurable and that there was no one who would uphold their cause (Jeremiah 30:12). He had dealt them the blow of a enemy, because their guilt was great (v.14). He warned them that Jerusalem would become a heap of ruins (Jeremiah 26:18), yet in His love for them, God promised that He would not make a full end of them (Jeremiah 30:11). While He was satisfied that they had forsaken His covenant to the point where it had finally been abrogated, still he would press on with them. He gave his reason in this famous passage:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!" (Jeremiah 31:3-4)

Only a few verses later, in the same chapter, we read God’s promise that He would make a new covenant with them, unlike the covenant he had made with their forefathers through Moses. This was the covenant He would make:

"I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people ... I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:33-34)

The new covenant was not based on a "You shall, you shall not" foundation, but rather on God’s promise: "I will put, I will write, I will forgive." God was electing to take the responsibility for the successful outworking of the relationship between Him and them, on Himself! He was binding Himself to them in an eternal covenant, holding Himself responsible for their faithfulness. By no longer writing his laws on tablets of stone, but rather on human hearts, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God (2 Corinthians 3:3), He would assure their obedience. Much the same theme is found in this passage where the promised new covenant is again announced:

"I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you." (Ezekiel 37:25-26)

This is the reason why Jesus Christ came to earth. He came to fulfill the new covenant which, he said, would be done through the giving of his shed blood for the forgiveness of our sins (1 Corinthians 11:25). Through his death and resurrection, our sins were paid for, and the doors of heaven were opened for the very Spirit of God Himself to enter into the heart of every true believer, and unite believers to God. When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, 3000 of those who heard the word believed and were baptized (Acts 2:41). It was exactly the same number of those who defied the Lord when the first covenant was introduced, and who perished for their rebellion. The law given through Moses brought death to 3000; the grace of God brought the Spirit and eternal life to the same number who heard Peter’s message of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Jeff said...

(cont.)

The New Covenant is a far superior one to the old, especially because the One Who mediates it, Jesus, is far superior to Moses. The difference is defined in this text:

"Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honour than the house." (Hebrews 3:3)... See More

Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, but Christ was faithful over God’s house as a Son (Hebrews 3:5-6). Moses was no more than the spokesman for God’s first covenant, and could not cleanse the Israelites of their transgressions against it. But Jesus, through his death and resurrection, opened the way for men to be directly forgiven by God and, being both God and man, was able to reconcile man to God and unite true believers through the Holy Spirit, Who was now free to enter their hearts. The effect of this is summed up in these words:

"But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises." (Hebrews 8:6)

Christians have a far greater hope in this awesome new covenant, which is far superior to the old covenant.

The faith of Christians is based on a rising crescendo to a climax: God’s glorious revelation of Himself in Jesus, His salvation through the cross, and the fact that Christians will live forever and become the sons and daughters of God through His resurrection to life.

It is futile to partially observe God’s laws, when our sins separate us inevitably from God. All the rites and sacrifices in the world cannot remedy this malady.

"According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect the conscience of the worshipper, but deal only with food and drink and various ablutions, regulations for the body imposed until the time for reformation." (Hebrews 9:9-10)

Obeying the specific laws about fasting, the times and direction of the five daily prayers, the observance of the Hajj pilgrimage, the acceptability (halaal) or otherwise (haraam) of various foods, etc., cannot redeem the seared consciences and paralyzed souls of men and women who have sinned against a holy and righteous God, and who live in complete separation from him. Only Jesus can do this. Only He can secure our forgiveness and impart the Spirit of God to us, so that we become alive to God again in our hearts, and live in eternal communion with him.

"For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

John’s Gospel demonstrates the superiority of Jesus over Abraham (John 8:58), over Jacob (John 4:12-14) and over John the Baptist (John 3:28-29), but most of his attention is given to the greatest of all the Old Testament figureheads, Moses, the mediator of the first covenant. The first example appears in this text where Jesus Christ is the speaker:

"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life." (John 3:14-15)

Jesus is referring to an incident recorded in the book of Numbers. As the people of Israel retraced their passage through the Sinai wilderness, and had to go back towards the Red Sea to get around the land of Edom, they became impatient and accused Moses of bringing them out there only to die in the desert for lack of water and food. Once again, God’s anger was kindled against them:

"Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many of the people of Israel died." (Numbers 21:6)

In anguish, the people confessed their rebellion to Moses and acknowledged their guilt, pleading with Moses to beseech the Lord to remove the serpents from among them. God, however, ordered Moses to make a brass serpent and to nail it to a pole in the midst of the camp so that, whenever anyone was bitten, they could look at the brass serpent and be healed.

Jesus draws a comparison between his own crucifixion on the cross, and the serpent. Jesus too would be lifted up, publicly portrayed as crucified, and salvation is found for all who turn and believe in him. Just as the brass serpent was made in the image of the fiery serpents biting the Israelites, but did not possess the deadly venom that was killing them, so Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21), the deadly affliction that destroys all men, but did not have any sin of his own (2 Peter 2:22).

The brass serpent served for the temporary healing of the Israelites struck down by the venom of the fiery serpents, but Jesus was to be lifted up so that all who believe in him might have eternal life. The miracle done through Moses did not stop the stricken Israelites from dying another day in the wilderness, yet the death and miraculous resurrection of Jesus would guarantee life from the dead for evermore for all who look to him.

Jeff said...

In the Old Testament, there is something which we call "types" of Christ.

A "type" of Christ is sort of like a 'pattern' or an 'example.'

These verses talk about 'types':

"Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come." (Romans 5:14)

"Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did." (1 Corinthians 10:6)

"These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come." (1 Corinthians 10:11)

A 'type' is a shadow cast on the pages of the Old Testament history by a truth whose full embodiment or antitype is found in the New Testament revelation. It has to do with whether a certain story or personage in the Old Testament is meant to show a significant truth about the Messiah and his mission.

Types have the following characteristics:

1. They are thoroughly rooted in history. For example, Matthew's account of the gospel (Injil) verifies that Jonah's experience actually happened (Matthew 12:40).

2. Types are prophetic in nature. They always point forward to messianic times. Melchizedek (Genesis 14) becomes the spiritual prefiguration of Christ's eternal priesthood (Psalms 110; Hebrews 7).

3. Types are definitely designed as an integral part of redemptive history. They serve a purpose in the course of history.

4. Types are Christocentric. In other words, they all point to Christ in one way or another. If the Old Testament as a whole has Christ as its subject (Luke 24:24,44; Acts 3:24ff), surely the types anticipate his redemption of fallen mankind.

5. They have the purpose of being edifying, and have spiritual meaning for God's people. Our faith is confirmed and built up as we consider the finger of God in the making of history.

The following are true types of Christ and His work:

(a) Jacob's Ladder.

"And he said to him, Verily verily I say unto you, Hereafter thou shalt see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man" (John 1:51).

This statement of Jesus' alludes to Jacob's vision of a ladder or stairway stretching from earth to heaven (Genesis 28:12).

Jesus presents himself as the reality to which the stairway pointed. The patriarch saw in a dream the reunion of heaven and earth through the One Mediator, Jesus Christ, which is now brought to reality both for Jacob and for all believers.

(b) Moses.

"Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house" (Hebrews 3:1-3).

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

With reference to Numbers 12:7, Moses and Christ are compared as to faithfulness and contrasted as to honor. Though privileged to speak to God face to face and to see His form (Numbers 12:8), Moses was still only "a servant" in the house of God. [Whereas Jesus is the Son.]

Moses enjoyed a special dignity in his service to God; he is the unique minister of the law. And yet Jesus' ministry is higher still, for Moses himself pointed out that a greater Prophet will arise and the people were responsible to listen to Him. Again, as Moses was the deliverer from Egypt, Christ is now the greater Deliverer from this present evil world (Galatians 1:5), from the devil and from our sin.

(c) The Temple.

"Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them, and they believed the Scripture, and the word which Jesus had said" (John 2:19-22).

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ the material temple became obsolete in God's economy (as Christ here prophesied) for He himself and his church (1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:22) became the antitypical fulfilment (Hebrews 9:11-14) of all that which it foreshadowed and symbolically presented. It was necessary to attend to the temple to worship God properly and acceptably; in the New Testament the true worshippers do not worship locally but spiritually (John 4).

(d) Boaz.

Boaz was a wealthy Bethlehemite of the tribe of Judah, who married Ruth (the Gentile bride). As the Goel (the Kinsman-Redeemer) I have no doubt that Boaz is a type of Christ, who became incarnate, springing from Judah too, in order to acquire for himself a bride from the Gentile nations.

He was willing to do so (as Boaz was willing to redeem and marry Ruth), he has to power to do so, and he is our kinsman, with the right to do so.

(No direct reference to Boaz as a type of Christ is found in the New Testament).

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

(e) The Cleansing with Hyssop.

"For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, and water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you" (Hebrews 9:19,20).

Hyssop was used for the cleansing of lepers (Leviticus 14:4,6,51,52; Numbers 19:6,18), a reference to our cleaning from sin by Christ. This reference, though, has its immediate allusion to Exodus 24:4-8. In this ceremony (in which hyssop was used) God, the author of the scroll, and the people of the congregation were sworn to the covenant with its penalties.

The covenant was ratified by the blood of sprinkling, applied by dipping the hyssop into it. This sprinkling of the blood finds its antitype in Jesus Christ and his shed blood on Calvary (see 1 Peter 1:2). Sprinkling of blood was part of the Old Testament ritual service. In general, the appearance of blood advertises the death of a victim. Christ's shed blood cries for forgiveness (Luke 23:34; Hebrews 12:24).

(f) The Two Turtledoves or Young Pigeons.

"And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons" (Luke 2:24).

The need for Mary's purification arose from her being ceremonially unclean for seven days after the birth of a son. For another thirty-three days she was to keep away from holy things. The mother was then to offer a lamb plus a dove or pigeon. If she was poor, her offering was two doves or two young pigeons (Leviticus 12:6-8). Mary gave the offering of the poor. "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9).

At the same time the first male child of every mother was presented to the Lord (Exodus 13:2). As he was "redeemed" by the sacrifice of two turtledoves, He was to be the true Redeemer of God's children who were scattered abroad. He was "sanctified" that He might sanctify others.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

(g) The Manna in the Wilderness.

"Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven" (John 6:32).... See More

The adjective "true" has a special meaning. Jesus refers to what is everlasting, as opposed to something merely representative and pointing onwards to him (the Manna). The bread provided through Moses (Exodus 16; Numbers 11), as much as it proved God's care and provision, was only material and temporary; Christ and his sacrifice satisfies the soul eternally. Just as manna came down from heaven, even so the Son came down from heaven (John 6:33). His incarnation is spoken of as "coming down" (in abasement and humiliation) that though his death we might, even during the wilderness of our temporal existence, find life and continual sustenance.

(h) Jonah as a type of Christ.

A type is an impression made by a person, an object or an event in the Old Testament that foreshadows the coming of the Messiah, in His person and/or His work. In this sense virtually all Bible students recognize certain eventualities in the life of Jonah as predictive of the last and greatest of all prophets, the Lord from heaven.

The theme of God's mercy on the nations, so prominent in the book of Jonah, is used by Jesus as a rebuke to unrepentant Israel (Matthew 12:38-41; Luke 11:29-32). If the Ninevites repented at the preaching of the prophet Jonah, who was rescued from confinement in the huge fish, how much more should Israel repent at the preaching of Jesus, the Son of man, who was resurrected from the tomb.

Specifically Jesus mentions Jonah's three-day experience in the belly of the fish as indicative of what would happen to Him: his death and resurrection the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-3). In this sense, Jesus' resurrection is "according to the Scriptures."

But in other ways, Jesus and Jonah are far different from each other: Jesus was willing to preach, whereas Jonah wasn't. Jesus rejoiced at the conversion of anyone; Jonah was gloomy when the city repented.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Melchizedek as a type of Christ

Though mentioned just a few times in the Old Testament, Melchizedek is a significant type of Jesus Christ. His history and the facts about him all point to Jesus as our King and Priest.

1. Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the most high God. He came forth to meet Abraham after he had rescued Lot and those taken with him.

Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abraham, and Abraham recognised the superiority of Melchizedek by giving him tithes of all.

2. Melchizedek is a type of Christ as a royal-priest: King of Salem (righteousness) and king of peace. His priesthood is eternal, and it is non-transferable. Being perpetual, his priesthood is sufficient for us; we do not depend on human priests. Human priesthood is weak and ineffectual: Aaron and his sons, though constituted priests by God himself, pointed out the inherent weakness in themselves because they died. But Melchizedek is a priest of an entirely different order from that of Aaron, which passed from father to son.

Very significantly, there is no mention of his progenitors, nor of any descendant: "Without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days nor end of life." Thus Melchizedek is a beautiful type of the Son of God, who has been called by God to be "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek."

3. Nothing is said of any sacrifice being offered by Melchizedek to God; he rather brought forth from God that which symbolises life and joy (cf. John 6:51; 2:1-10), and blessed him who had the promises. Blessing characterises the Melchizedek priesthood of Christ (Genesis 14:18-20; Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:1-21).

Christ's priesthood is no afterthought with God; he was predestined as the blameless Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. To impress his firm intent into our hearts, God gave us (before the Son's coming) various "proofs" of his determinate counsel concerning his Son and his royal, unique priesthood.

Jeff said...

What does it mean to "follow Jesus?"

Here are some verses where Jesus talked about following him:

"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." (Matthew 4:19)

"But Jesus told him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead." (Matthew 8:22)

"As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector's booth. "Follow me," he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him." (Matthew 9:9)

"The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, "Follow me." (John 1:43)

"Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." (Matthew 16:24)

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)

"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." (John 12:25-26)

"Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" When Peter saw him, he asked, "Lord, what about him?" Jesus answered, "If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me." (John 21:19-22)

Jesus invites every person to follow him, but those who desire to follow him must have three attitudes: a willingness to deny themselves, a willingness to take up the cross, and a willingness to follow. Following Jesus means to deny oneself. To deny oneself means not only to surrender immediate material gratification, but also it is a willingness to let go of selfish desires and earthly security. This attitude turns self-centeredness to God-centeredness. When you follow Jesus, you become "owned" by Jesus Christ. Jesus becomes the owner of your life, so that you are no longer the one in charge of your life; He becomes the one in charge of your life. Jesus wants us to choose to follow him rather than to lead a life of self-control and self-satisfaction. He wants us to stop trying to control our own destiny and to let him direct us.

Jeff said...

Between 1991 and 2007, about 750 Muslims who have decided to follow Christ filled out an extensive questionnaire on what were some of the reasons they made that decision. The respondents—from 30 countries and 50 ethnic groups—represent every major region of the Muslim world. (Copies of the questionnaire are available from dudley@fuller.edu.) The participants ranked the relative importance of different influences and whether they occurred before, at the time of, or after their decision to follow Christ.... See More

A North African former Sufi mystic noted with approval that there was no difference between the words and the actions of Christians he saw. An Egyptian contrasted the love of a Christian group at an American university with the unloving treatment of Muslim students and faculty he encountered at a university in Medina. An Omani woman explained that Christians treat women as equals. Others noted loving Christian marriages. Some poor people said the expatriate Christian workers they knew had adopted, contrary to their expectations, a simple lifestyle, wearing local clothes and observing local customs of not eating pork, drinking alcohol, or touching those of the opposite sex. A Moroccan was even welcomed by his former Christian in-laws after he underwent a difficult divorce.

In North Africa, Muslim neighbors asked Christians to pray for a very sick daughter who then was healed. In Senegal, a Muslim marabout (spiritual leader) referred a patient to Christians when he was not able to bring healing. In Pakistan, after a pilgrimage to Mecca did not cure a disabled Shiite girl, she was healed following Christian prayer.

Closely related was the finding that some noted deliverance from demonic power as another reason they were attracted to Jesus. After all, he is the healing prophet in the Qur'an and has power over demons in the Gospels. In northern Nigeria, a malam (what some might call a witchdoctor) used sorcery against a man who was considering following Jesus. The seeker became insane, and his extended family left him. But then he prayed that Christ would free him, and he was healed.

It helps to note that a third of the 750-person sample were folk Muslims, with a characteristic concern for power and blessings. It is also worth noting that the Jesus portrayed in the Qur'an is a prophet who heals lepers and the blind and raises the dead. Not surprisingly, many Muslims find him attractive. Of course, power and blessings do not constitute the final word for Muslims. The Bible also offers a theology of suffering, and many Muslims who follow Christ find that their faith is strengthened through trials.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

The third biggest influence listed by respondents was dissatisfaction with the type of Islam they had experienced. They expressed unhappiness with the Qur'an, which they perceive as emphasizing God's punishment more than his love (although the Qur'an says he loves those who love him [3:31]). As for Islam's requirement that liturgical prayer should be in Arabic, a Javanese man asked, "Doesn't an all-knowing God know Indonesian?" Others criticized folk Islam's use of amulets and praying at the graves of dead saints.

Some respondents decried Islamic militancy and the imposition of Islamic law, which they said is not able to transform hearts and society. This disillusionment is broad in the Muslim world. Many Iranians became interested in the gospel after the Khomeini revolution of 1979 brought in rule by clergy. Pakistanis became more receptive after President Zia ul-Haq (1977-1988) tried to implement Islamic law. And Afghans became more open after Islamist Taliban conquest and rule (1994-2001).

As with Paul and Cornelius in Acts, visions and dreams played a role in the conversion of many. More than one in four respondents, 27 percent, noted dreams and visions before their decision for Christ, 40 percent at the time of conversion, and 45 percent afterward.

Many Muslims view dreams as links between the seen and unseen worlds, and pre-conversion visions and dreams often lead Muslims to consult a Christian or the Bible. Frequently a person in the vision, understood to be Jesus, radiates light or wears white (one respondent, though, said Jesus appeared in green, a color sometimes associated with Islamic holy persons). An Algerian woman had a vision that her Muslim grandmother came into her room and said, "Jesus is not dead; he is here." In Israel, an Arab dreamed that his deceased father said, "Follow the pastor. He will show you the right way." Other dreams and visions occurred later and provided encouragement during persecution. A Turkish woman in jail because of her conversion had a vision that she would be released, and she was. A vision of thousands of believers in the streets proclaiming their faith encouraged a young man in North Africa to persevere.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

The Qur'an states that "those who repent and believe, and work righteousness … will enter paradise" (19:60). Yet it also states that God forgives whom he wills and punishes whom he wills (2:284). One Indonesian woman spoke of her fear, based on a tradition attributed to Muhammad, that the bridge over hell to paradise is as thin as a hair. An Egyptian said he was attracted to Christian faith because it preaches that people can be sure of their acceptance by God.

The Qur'an attests that the Torah, the Psalms, and the Gospel (commonly understood as the New Testament) are from God. Even though Muslims are generally taught that these writings became corrupted, they often find them compelling reading and discover truth that they conclude must be from God. The Bible helped one Egyptian understand "the true character of God." The Sermon on the Mount helped convince a Lebanese Muslim that he should follow the one who taught and exemplified these values.

In the Qur'an, although God loves those who love him, his love is conditional. He does not love those who reject faith (3:31-32). There is nothing in the Qur'an like, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10), or, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).

A West African was surprised by God's love for all people, even enemies. Likewise, although the Qur'an denies that God is a father (37:152), many Muslims find this a comforting concept.

The Qur'an calls Jesus faultless (19:19). Many Muslims are attracted to Jesus by his depiction in the Qur'an, and then go to the Gospels to find out more. A Saudi was first drawn to Jesus at a Christmas Eve service in Germany—even before he knew German. Like many, an Iranian Shiite was attracted to Christ before he was attracted to Christianity. A North African Sufi found Jesus' portrayal as the Good Shepherd particularly meaningful. When Christ's love transforms committed Christians into a loving community, many Muslims listed a desire to join such a fellowship as next in importance.

For the most part, respondents did not say that political or economic circumstances influenced their decisions. But it's hard not to notice that Iranians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Bangladeshis, and Algerians became more responsive after enduring Muslim political turmoil or attempts to impose Islamic law. Christian relief and development agencies try hard to guard against spiritually misusing their position as providers of desperately needed goods and services. But natural disasters in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Sahel region inevitably put Muslims in contact with Christians trying to follow Jesus. It is no surprise that some of these Muslims also choose to follow Christ.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Yet while it is the "best of times" for Christian witness to Muslims, it remains also the "worst of times." In many places, apostasy is tantamount to rejecting family, religion, culture, ethnicity, and nationality. Thus, many Muslim converts face persecution from family, police, or militants. Two friends were unable to fill out the questionnaire—one because he was apparently poisoned by his own family, the other because the government imprisoned him and later his tongue was cut out by a warlord so that he could no longer say the name of Jesus.

But Muslim converts to Christ know that such persecution can, in a mysterious way, be part of the best of times. Jesus, in fact, said it was a blessing. That's because with or without persecution, Muslims are discovering an experiential truth unknown to them before. As a Zambian Muslim exclaimed, "God loves me just as I am."

Jeff said...

Here's something to think about:

What did Moses, Abraham, Muhammad and others say about love?

Some of the prophets said to love your neighbor. They also said to love your father and mother.

But what did Jesus say about love? Here are some of the things that Jesus said:

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:43-48)

"And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." (Mark 11:25)

"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you." (John 15:12)

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times." (Matthew 18:21-22)

"Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing."And they divided up his clothes by casting lots." (Luke 23:34)

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)

"Do to others as you would have them do to you." (Luke 6:31)

"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you." (Luke 6:27)

"You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." (Matthew 5:38-42)

Did anyone else say these things? Did Abraham or Moses say these things? Did Muhammad say these things? Are not these things different from what Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, etc. said?

Jeff said...

Here's something else that Jesus said:

"Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:1-10)

Did Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, etc. ever say anything like that?

Just something to think about...

Jeff said...

"Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever." (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, The Living Bible)

Jeff said...

I would say that sinful behavior could be summed up in the Ten Commandments:

1. Don't worship any other gods.
2. Don't worship idols.
3. Don't use God's Name in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not lie.
10. Do not lust or desire those things that are not yours.

(From Exodus 20:2–17 and Deuteronomy 5:6–21)

And in the New Testament, Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:36-40)

Jeff said...

Without a doubt, both Muhammad and Jesus have affected humanity in a powerful way. It is interesting to compare the words that Muhammad spoke with the words that Jesus spoke.

I heard that the last words that Muhammad spoke, while dying in the arms of his wife Aisha, after he had been poisoned years earlier by a Jewish woman whose husband was killed by the Muslims, and the poison had slowly worked its effect, were these words:

"May Allah curse the Jews and Christians for they built the places of worship at the graves of the prophets." (Bukhari, Vol. 1, #427)

And, according to the Bible, the last words that Jesus spoke, while dying on the cross at Calvary, were these:

"Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)

I wonder, why didn't Muhammad ask Allah to guide the Christians and Jews, while he was dying? Or, why didn't he ask God to forgive them, like Jesus did?

Jeff said...

Jesus never owned any slaves.

But I heard that Muhammad owned and sold many slaves, both male and female.

"O Prophet! We have made lawful to thee thy wives to whom thou hast paid their dowers; and those whom thy right hand possesses out of the prisoners of war whom Allah has assigned to thee; and daughters of thy paternal uncles and aunts, and daughters of thy maternal uncles and aunts, who migrated (from Makka) with thee; and any believing woman who dedicates her soul to the Prophet if the Prophet wishes to wed her;- this only for thee, and not for the Believers (at large); We know what We have appointed for them as to their wives and the captives whom their right hands possess;- in order that there should be no difficulty for thee. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Sura 33:50)

"He also brought down their allies among the people of the scripture from their secure positions, and threw terror into their hearts. Some of them you killed, and some you took captive." (Sura 33:26)

In contrast, Jesus said, "Do to others as you would have them do to you" (Luke 6:31)

Jeff said...

Jesus never committed a single sin. Jesus said, "Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth why don't you believe me?" (John 8:46)

However, regarding Muhammad, it seems that Muhammad was declared to be a sinner:

"Therefore have patience; God's promise is surely true. Implore forgiveness for your sins, and celebrate the praise of your Lord evening and morning." (Sura 40:55)

"We gave you a glorious victory so that God may forgive you your past and future sins ....." (Sura 48:1-2)

Muhammad prayed for forgiveness of his sins:
"...O Allah! Forgive me the sins that I did in the past or will do in the future, and also the sins that I did in secret or in public. (Bukhari volume 9, #482)

Apparently, Muhammad acknowledged harming or cursing people unjustly:
"He upon whom Allah's apostle invoked curses whereas he in fact did not deserve it, it would be a source of reward and mercy for him." (Sahih Muslim, volume 4, "The Book of Virtue and Good Manners, and Joining the Ties of Relationship, chapter MLXXV)

"Abu Juraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying, "O Allah, I am a human being and for any person amongst Muslims upon whom I hurl malediction or invoke curse or give him whipping make it a source of purity and mercy." (Hadith #6287)

Jeff said...

Notice Jesus' response to sinners who were willing to repent:

"At dawn He (Jesus) appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap in order to have a basis to accuse Him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one sir", she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
(From John 8:2-11)

Now notice Muhammad's response to a similar situation:

"Buraidah said: "A woman of Ghamid came to the Prophet and said: "I have committed fornication", He said: "Go back". She returned and on the next day she came to him again, and said: "Perhaps you want to send me back as you did to Maiz b. Malik. I swear by Allah, I am pregnant." He said to her: "Go back". She then returned and came to him the next day. He said to her: "Go back until you give birth to the child." She then returned. When she gave birth to the child she brought the child to him, and said: "Here it is! I have given birth to it." He said: "Go back, and suckle him until you wean him." When she had weaned him, she brought him to him with something in his hand which he was eating. The boy was then given to a certain man of the Muslims and he (the prophet) commanded regarding her. So a pit was dug for her, and he gave orders about her and she was stoned to death. Khalid was one of those who were throwing stones at her. He threw a stone at her. When a drop of blood fell on his cheek, he abused her. The prophet said to him: "Gently, Khalid. By Him in Whose hand my soul is, she has repented to such an extent that if one who wrongfully takes an extra tax were to repent to a like extent, he would be forgiven". Then giving command regarding her, prayed over her and she was buried."
(From the Hadith of Abu Dawud, #4428)

Jeff said...

Here are some of the Messianic prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ:

Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:5-6

His pre-existence Micah 5:2 John 1:1, 14

Born of the seed of a woman Genesis 3:15 Matthew 1:18

Of the seed of Abraham Genesis 12:3 Matthew 1:1-16

All nations blessed by Abraham's seed Genesis 12:3 Matthew 8:5, 10

God would provide Himself a Lamb as an offering Genesis 22:8 John 1:29

From the tribe of Judah Genesis 49:10 Matthew 1:1-3

Heir to the throne of David Isaiah 9:6-7 Matthew 1:1

Called "The mighty God, The everlasting Father" Isaiah 9:6 Matthew 1:23

Born in Bethlehem Micah 5:2 Matthew 2:1

Born of a virgin Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:18

His name called Immanuel, "God with us" Isaiah 7:14 Matthew 1:23

Declared to be the Son of God Psalm 2:7 Matthew 3:17

His messenger before Him in spirit of Elijah Malachi 4:5-6 Luke 1:17

Preceded by a messenger to prepare His way Malachi 3:1 Matthew 11:7-11

Messenger crying "Prepare ye the way of the Lord" Isaiah 40:3 Matthew 3:3

Would be a Prophet of the children of Israel Deuteronomy 18:15 Matthew 2:15

Called out of Egypt Hosea 11:1 Matthew 2:15

Slaughter of the children Jeremiah 31:15 Matthew2:18

Brought light to Zabulon & Nephthalm, Galilee of the Gentiles Isaiah 9:1
Matthew 4:15

Presented with gifts Psalm 72:10 Matthew 2:1, 11

Rejected by His own Isaiah 53:3 Matthew 21:42; Mark 8:31, 12:10; Luke 9:22, 17:25

He is the stone which the builders rejected which became the headstone Psalm 118:22-23; Isaiah 28:16 Matthew 21:42; I Peter 2:7

A stone of stumbling to Israel Isaiah 8:14-15 I Peter 2:8

He entered Jerusalem as a king
riding on an ass Zechariah 9:9 Matthew 21:5

Betrayed by a friend Psalms 41:9 John 13:21

Sold for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 26:15; Luke 22:5
The 30 pieces of silver given for the potter's field Zechariah 11:12 Matthew 27:9-10

The 30 pieces of silver thrown in the temple Zechariah 11:13 Matthew 27:5

Forsaken by His disciples Zechariah 13:7 Matthew 26:56

Accused by false witnesses Psalm 35:11 Matthew 26:60

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Silent to accusations Isaiah 53:7 Matthew 27:14

Heal blind/deaf/lame/dumb Isaiah 35:5-6; Isaiah 29:18 Matthew 11:5

Preached to the poor/brokenhearted/captives Isaiah 61:1 Matthew 11:5

Came to bring a sword, not peace Micah 7:6 Matthew 10:34-35

He bore our sickness Isaiah 53:4 Matthew 8:16-17

Spat upon, smitten and scourged Isaiah 50:6, 53:5 Matthew 27:26, 30

Smitten on the cheek Micah 5:1 Matthew 27:30

Hated without a cause Psalm 35:19 Matthew 27:23

The sacrificial lamb Isaiah 53:5 John 1:29

Given for a covenant Isaiah 42:6; Jeremiah 31:31-34 Romans 11:27/Galatians 3:17, 4:24/Hebrews 8:6, 8, 10; 10:16, 29; 12:24; 13:20

Would not strive or cry Isaiah 42:2-3 Mark 7:36

People would hear not and see not Isaiah 6:9-10 Matthew 13:14-15

People trust in traditions of men Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:9

People give God lip service Isaiah 29:13 Matthew 15:8

God delights in Him Isaiah 42:1 Matthew 3:17, 17:5

Wounded for our sins Isaiah 53:5 John 6:51

He bore the sins of many Isaiah 53:10-12 Mark 10:45

Messiah not killed for Himself Daniel 9:26 Matthew 20:28

Gentiles flock to Him Isaiah 55:5, 60:3, 65:1; Malachi 1:11;
II Samuel 22:44-45; Psalm 2:7-8 Matthew 8:10

Crucified with criminals Isaiah 53:12 Matthew 27:35

His body was pierced Zechariah 12:10; Ps. 22:16 John 20:25, 27

Thirsty during execution Psalm 22:16 John 19:28

Given vinegar and gall for thirst Psalm 69:21 Matthew 27:34

Soldiers gambled for his garment Psalm 22:18 Matthew 27:35

People mocked, "He trusted in God, let Him deliver him!" Psalm 22:7-8 Matthew 27:43

People sat there looking at Him Psalm 22:17 Matthew 27:36

Cried, "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?" Psalm 22:1 Matthew 27:46

Darkness over the land Amos 8:9 Matthew 27:45

No bones broken Psalm 34:20, Numbers 9:12 John 19:33-36

Side pierced Zechariah 12:10 John 19:34

Buried with the rich Isaiah 53:9 Matthew 27:57, 60

Resurrected from the dead Psalm 16:10-11; 49:15 Mark 16:6

Priest after the order of Melchizedek Psalm 110:4 Hebrews 5:5-6; 6:20; 7:15-17

Ascended to right hand of God Psalm 68:18 Luke 24:51

LORD said unto Him, "Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool Psalm 110:1 Matt 22:44; Mark 12:36;, 16:19; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34-35; Hebrews 1:13

His coming glory Malachi 3:2-3 Luke 3:17

Jeff said...

There are over 300 prophecies that foretold the coming of the Messiah. Manuscripts have been found that confirm that these various prophecies were written down 400-1,000 years before they actually occurred. Following are just a few of them.

PROPHECIES SURROUNDING THE BIRTH OF CHRIST


SEED OF A WOMAN

Prophecy:
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:15)

Fulfillment:
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,” (Galatians 4:4)


SEED OF ABRAHAM

Prophecy:
“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)

Fulfillment:
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham:” (Matthew 1:1)

“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)


SEED OF ISAAC

Prophecy:
“Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.” (Genesis 17:19)

Fulfillment:
“the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,” (Luke 3:34)

“Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise.” (Galatians 4:28)


SEED OF JACOB

Prophecy:
“I see Him, but not now; I behold Him, but not near; A Star shall come out of Jacob; A Scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult.” (Numbers 24:17)

Fulfillment:
“Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.” (Matthew 1:2)


FROM THE TRIBE OF JUDAH

Prophecy:
“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.” (Genesis 49:10)

Fulfillment:
“the son of Amminadab, the son of Ram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,” (Luke 3:33)


HEIR TO THE THRONE OF DAVID

Prophecy:
“Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:7)

Fulfillment:
“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33)


BORN IN BETHLEHEM

Prophecy:
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

Fulfillment:
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:4-7)

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

HE WILL BE MESSIAH

Prophecy:
“Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.” (Daniel 9:25)

Fulfillment:
“He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).” (John 1:41)

“The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” (John 4:25)


TO BE BORN OF A VIRGIN

Prophecy:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Fulfillment:
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS.” (Luke 1:26-31)


IMMANUEL, GOD WITH US

Prophecy:
“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

Fulfillment:
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23)


SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS

Prophecy:
“Thus says the LORD:
“A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.” (Jeremiah 31:15)

Fulfillment:
“Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:
“ A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.” (Matthew 2:16-18)


FLIGHT TO EGYPT

Prophecy:
“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.” (Hosea 11:1)

Fulfillment:
“When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 2:14-15)


HE WILL BE CALLED A NAZARENE

Prophecy:
“For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” (Judges 13:5)

Fulfillment:
“And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:23)

Jeff said...

PROPHESIES REGARDING CHRIST’S MINISTRY

Preceded by a Forerunner

Prophecy:
“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts.”
(Malachi 3:1)

Fulfillment:

“When the messengers of John had departed, He began to speak to the multitudes concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?” (Luke 7:24)

“This is he of whom it is written:
‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’”
(Luke 7:27)


Preceded by a “Prophet Elijah”

Prophecy:
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”
(Malachi 4:5)

Fulfillment:
“He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)


“A Voice Crying in the Wilderness”

Prophecy:
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“ Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.”
(Isaiah 40:3)

Fulfillment:
“As it is written in the Prophets:
“ Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.” “ The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘ Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.’” (Mark 1:2-3)


The Spirit Is on Jesus

Prophecy:
“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
(Isaiah 11:2)

Fulfillment:
“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.” (Matthew 3:16)


Declared the Son of God

Prophecy:
“I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
(Psalm 2:7)

Fulfillment:
“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)

“And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” (Mark 9:7)

Jeff said...

God Is Pleased with Him

Prophecy:
“Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.”
(Isaiah 42:1)

Fulfillment:
“Then a voice came from heaven, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)



Angels Protect Him

Prophecy:
“For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”
(Psalm 91:11)

Fulfillment:
“and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘ He shall give His angels charge over you,’
and,
‘ In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
(Matthew 4:6)



Galilean Ministry

Prophecy:
“Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, As when at first He lightly esteemed The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, And afterward more heavily oppressed her, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, In Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined..”
(Isaiah 9:1-2)

Fulfillment:
“And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“ The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”.” (Matthew 4:13-16)



Came to Teach the Jews

Prophecy:
“I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You.”
(Psalm 22:22)

Fulfillment:
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.”
(Matthew 4:23-25)



A Prophet

Prophecy:
“The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,”
(Deuteronomy 18:15)

Fulfillment:
“and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.” (Acts 3:20-22)



To Heal the Brokenhearted

Prophecy:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”
(Isaiah 61:1)

Fulfillment:
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Jeff said...

Healing the Blind, Lame and Deaf

Prophecy:
“In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, And the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.” (Isaiah 29:18)

Fulfillment:
“Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them.” (Matthew 11:4-5)



Rejected by His Own People, the Jews

Prophecy:
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.” (Isaiah 53:3)

Fulfillment:
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” (John 1:11)



Opposed by Hypocrites

Prophecy:
“Therefore the Lord said:
“ Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,” (Isaiah 29:13)

Fulfillment:
“He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘ This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” (Mark 7:6-8)



Rulers Plot to Kill Him

Prophecy:
“The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying,” (Psalm 2:2)

Fulfillment:
“Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” (Mark 3:6)



His Message Will Divide Families

Prophecy:
“For son dishonors father, Daughter rises against her mother, Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; A man’s enemies are the men of his own household.” (Micah 7:6)

Fulfillment:
“For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’” (Matthew 10:35-36)



Preaching in Parables

Prophecy:
“I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old,” (Psalm 78:2)

Fulfillment:
“that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“ I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13:35)



Priest after the Order of Melchizedek

Prophecy:
“The LORD has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

Fulfillment:
“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “ You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
As He also says in another place:
“ You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek”; (Hebrews 5:5-6)



He is the Cornerstone

Prophecy:
“The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.” (Psalm 118:22)

Fulfillment:
“Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
‘ The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the LORD’s doing, And it is marvelous in our eyes’?” (Matthew 21:42)

Jeff said...

Riding on a Donkey:

Prophecy:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9, around 520-480 B.C.)

Fulfillment:
“Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their clothes on it, and He sat on it. And many spread their clothes on the road, and others cut down leafy branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Blessed is the kingdom of our father David That comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
And Jesus went into Jerusalem and into the temple. So when He had looked around at all things, as the hour was already late, He went out to Bethany with the twelve.” (Mark 11:7-11)

“All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:
“ Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘ Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’” (Matthew 21:4-5)


Shouts of Hosanna

Prophecy:
“Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 118:25-26, final form of Psalms book was completed around 3rd century, B.C.)

Fulfillment:
“Then those who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:
“ Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’” (Mark 11:9)


Children Call Out His Praises

Prophecy:
“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm 8:2)

Fulfillment:
“and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read,
‘ Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’’” (Matthew 21:16)


Driving Out the Money-Changers

Prophecy:
“Behold, I send My messenger, And he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,” Says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1, around 433 B.C.)

“Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, And make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices Will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7, around 701 B.C.)

“Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” says the LORD.” (Jeremiah 7:11, around 626-586 B.C.)

Fulfillment:
“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13)

Jeff said...

Betrayed by a Friend

Prophecy:
“Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9)

Fulfillment:

“When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.
Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” (John 13:21-27)
“And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47-48)


Sold for Thirty Pieces of Silver

Prophecy:
“Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.” (Zechariah 11:12)

Fulfillment:
“and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.” (Matthew 26:15)


Abandoned by the Disciples

Prophecy:
“Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the LORD of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.” (Zechariah 13:7)

Fulfillment:
“Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘ I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ ” (Matthew 26:31)


“Your Will be done”

Prophecy:
“The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away.” (Isaiah 50:5)

Fulfillment:
“Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)


Accused by False Witnesses

Prophecy:
“Fierce witnesses rise up...” (Psalm 35:11a)

Fulfillment:
“Then some rose up and bore false witness against Him, saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.’ ” (Mark 14:57-58)


Silent to Accusations

Prophecy:
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.” (Isaiah 53:7)

Fulfillment:
“Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!” But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.” (Mark 15:4-5)

Jeff said...

According to the Qur'an, Jesus did miracles (Surah 3:49; 5:110), but Muhammad did not (Surah 13:8: "thou art a warner [of coming divine judgment] only"; also 6:37; 6:109; 17:59 and 17:90-93).

Jesus was sinless (Surah 3:46), but Muhammad sinned and needed forgiveness (Surah 40:55: "Ask forgiveness of thy sin"; 42:5: "Ask... forgiveness for those on the Earth"; 47:19: "Ask forgiveness for thy sin" ; 48:2: "that Allah may forgive thee of thy sin").

Jesus was called "the Messiah" by Allah in the Qur'an. And Jesus was even born of a virgin (Surah 3:45-57)!

Yet Muhammad, who had 12 wives, 2 concubines, and participated in many attacks on innocent caravans and villages, and insisted on 20% of all the booty from these raids --- is supposed to be the greatest of the prophets. Both Muslim holy books (Qur'an/Koran and Hadith)contain commands for Muslims to subjugate the world, militarily. Muhammad commanded Muslims to spread Islam through physical Jihad, or conquest of non-Muslim lands.

Jeff said...

If the Bible is God's Word, how could man change it?

Isn't God able to protect His Word from being changed?

Since the Bible is God's Word, whom are we accusing when we say it's been changed? Aren't we accusing God Himself by saying that He was not able to protect it from being changed?

Who changed the Bible? When was it changed?

Which parts were changed? And for what reason?

Jeff said...

Mathew 5:1 "...until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."

Mathew 24:35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Word will not pass away."

1 Peter 1:24,25 "...the grass withers and the flowers fall off, but the Word of the Lord abides forever." (Also Isaiah 40:8)

1 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof , for correction, and for training in righteousness."

2 Peter 1:21 "For no prophecy was ever made by an act of human but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

Jeff said...

We were born sinners.

"Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me." (Psalm 51:5)