As usual, I’ve been watching the news. What I am seeing is upsetting. There is much hatred, shouting and screaming, but not much communication, love, or understanding is evident. Particularly, I’ve seen many pro-Hamas and pro-Palestinian demonstrations going on. These is much hatred of the Jewish people. Why?
So I’ve have begun to research a bit in an attempt to answer some of my questions. For instance, what is Hamas? Who are the Palestinians? What is Islam?
I am not a religious scholar or in anyway an “expert” on the scriptures. Much of my understanding comes from faith in the name of Jesus. However, I have begun to try to deepen my understanding of Islam. Here’s what I have learned so far.
The complete meaning of “Islam” is: attaining a state of peace by submitting oneself to the will of Almighty God. Accordingly, all who have done so, including Christians, are by definition Muslims. Interesting! However, there are differences between what a Islamist believes and what a Christian believes. For instance, consider the following passage from the Qur’ann 2:136:
“Say (O Muslims): ‘We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrahim (Abraham), Isma’il (Ishmael), Ishaq (Isaac), Ya’qub (Jacob), and to Al-Asbaat [the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya’qub (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Musa (Moses) and ‘Isa (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam)’.”
All of these names are from people who actually lived and breathed in the scriptures of the Bible. However, only one of them is the actual son of our heavenly Father – is name is Jesus. Only Jesus received open verbal confirmation from Heaven. A voice came from on high during His baptism, saying,
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.”
Matthew 17:1-8 describes an incident where Jesus received the same verbal commendation from on high.
Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
Who did they see? Jesus alone! I’d say that is a very big distinction between Jesus and other prophets.
From my readings so far I have learned that a Muslim is not permitted to worship anyone or anything besides “Almighty God” or Allah, This is true for Christians also. God warns against worshiping the creation and not the Creator. In Romans 1:25-27 it says:
For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.
Yes, only the Creator should be worshipped. However, we know from scripture that all created things were made through Him and for Him, and without Him, nothing was made (John 1:3). Jesus is the Creator, thus we are allowed and encouraged to worship Him. Only Jesus is the radiance of His glory (God the Father) and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
Jesus himself said to His disciples in John 14:8-9, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.”
Muslims do not believe that Jesus is the Son of God, only one of many prophets, Muhammad being included in that list, he allegedly being the last and final prophet sent from God or Allah.
Some of my reading was taken from the web site of the Muslim Unity Center. On the site it states that Deuteronomy 18:18 speaks of Muhammad and not Jesus. This is patently false. The site claims that Muhammad was like Moses because they both had earthly mothers and fathers, they both were married with children, both died natural deaths, both were kings who could inflict capital punishment, both were accepted as prophets in their lifetimes, and both brought new laws to the people.
On the other hand, the father of Jesus was not of this earth. Jesus did not marry or have children. The death of Jesus was not natural, in that He was raised from the dead. Jesus was rejected by his people, Jesus was not a king on earth, and He brought no new laws. Therefore, the prophet “like Moses” cannot be Jesus, it’s Muhammad. This is erroneous, and downright ridiculous reasoning in my humble opinion.
The fact and truth of the matter is summed up in Deuteronomy 34:10-12 where it says,
Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, for all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
Since Moses, no prophet has seen God face to face accept Jesus (John 6:46), and that includes Muhammad. Indeed, no man can see God and live, (Exodus 32:18-23). Therefore, the verse in Deuteronomy expressly refers only to Jesus, the son of God, who came forth from God and who alone has seen God.
Other Old Testament verses are sited as well. The site claims these verses are references predicting the appearance of Muhammad. They even go so far as to liken him to Holy Spirit. These are erroneous, untrue notions. They quote John 16:12-14, they claim,
“The Sprit of Truth, spoken about in this prophecy refers to none other than the Prophet Muhammad.”
In summation the site says:
“Some Christians say that the Comforter mentioned in these prophecies refers to the Holy Spirit. They fail to realize that the prophecy clearly says that only if Jesus (pbuh) departs will the Comforter come. The Bible states that the Holy Spirit was already present on earth before and during the time of Jesus, in the womb of Elizabeth, and again when Jesus (pbuh) was being baptized, etc. Hence this prophecy refers to none other than Prophet Muhammad.”
Am I understanding this correctly? Because the Father allowed the Holy Spirit to enter certain prophets in the past, it means that the comforter mentioned in John 16:7 cannot be the Holy Spirit from God? It has to be Muhammed? Jesus was confused? Seriously?!
This is another falsehood and misinterpretation of scripture.
Admittedly, my knowledge of Islam and the Qur’aan is very limited. I will need much more reading time and study time to attain a fuller understanding. However, in the meantime, of this unshakeable truth I am certain, as found in Acts 4:12,
there is salvation in no one else (but Jesus); for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among mankind by which we must be saved.”
Furthermore, in Philippians 2:5-11 it says:
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Did the prophet Muhammad have knees? Did he have a tongue? I think he did. That means he will bend and confess to the name of Jesus. It is all about Jesus, and no one else. Salvation is in Him and Him alone. No one gets to or comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6).
I’ll close by siting one more paragraph from the afore mentioned web site:
The essence of falsehood is the claim that Almighty God cannot deal with and forgive His creatures directly. By over-emphasizing the burden of sin, as well as claiming that God cannot forgive you directly, other religions teach to despair the Mercy of God. Once they are convinced that they cannot approach God directly, people can be mislead into turning to false gods for help. These “false gods” can take various forms, such as saints, angels, or someone who is believed to be the “Son of God” or “God Incarnate”. In almost all cases, people who worship, pray to or seek help from a false god don’t consider it to be, or call it, a “god”. They claim belief in One Supreme God, but claim that they pray to and worship others beside Almighty God only to get closer to Him. In Islam, there is a clear distinction between the Creator and the created. There is no ambiguity in divinity – anything that is created is not deserving of worship and only the Creator is worthy of being worshiped. Some religions falsely believe that Almighty God has become part of His creation, and this has led people to believe that they can worship something created in order to reach their Creator.
Did the above paragraph say that Jesus was a false god? Wow! This directly contradicts holy scripture, thus is misguided and wrong. It actually sounds like something the Pharisees said in scripture. It shows no understanding of the One God who is, and consists of three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The over-emphasizing of sin? Sin is serious and therein lies the danger, for it is part of who we are. Proverbs 20:9 says,
Who can say, “I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin”?
It’s a rhetorical question to which the answer is – no one! There will be no sin tolerated in heaven or in the presence of God. There will be no practitioners of sin. No liers, haters, or thieves. There will be no mixing of the saved with the unsaved. So much for inclusivity.
Furthermore, scriptures teach that sin cannot be forgiven without the shedding of blood. That’s why the sacrifice of Jesus was required. It is impossible for the blood of sacrificial animals to cleanse sin (Hebrews 10:4-10). To deny in word or in deed the truth of who Jesus was is dangerous.
I John 4:1-3 says:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world.
As I stated previously, I have much still to learn. I will continue to grow in faith. Trusting in the name of the Son of the most high God. His blood has paid for my sin, and my stedfast faith in His name will allow my unworthy self to one day be where He is, and see Him as He is.
Now that’s Good News Only.