Image result for picture of a wallet with cash in it

Those who “think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (1Ti 6:5) are falling for the “prosperity gospel,” a false doctrine that claims financial blessing and good health is the will of God for Christians, and that faith, positive speech and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one’s material wealth and lead to physical healing.

  Rather than telling people that if they simply send in their check they will prosper financially, we give people the five steps or seven secrets to spiritual prosperity. Much like a preacher in a congregation who proclaims a prosperity gospel of financial blessing we tell our church members that if they will simply follow tips from Scripture or put into practice easy techniques, they will spiritually prosper.

  There is an element of truth in this,because if we stop sinning we will prosper spiritually. But the real path to prosperity can only be found in knowing, following and obeying Jesus.

 Want to avoid falling for a gospel of spiritual prosperity? Try this:

  ➤ Question your motives—Ask yourself, “What is my goal for spiritual formation? Are my efforts to become more like Christ, or am I seeking a more worldly form of ‘spiritual prosperity.’ ”

 ➤ Question your methods—Tips and techniques that aid in spiritual formation are not shortcuts to spiritual prosperity. While these practices can focus our efforts and clear our path so we might have an active role in our sanctification, they are merely means to an end: helping you to become more like Christ. Are you using any methods that put your hope for spiritual growth in anything other than Jesus?

 ➤ Question your understanding—Do you understand the role of sanctification in the Christian life? Do you understand what role God expects you to play in your spiritual formation? Until you do understand these roles, you will have difficulty achieving true spiritual growth.

It’s your heart God wants, not your wallet.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

TRUMP (NOT THE PRES)

April 2, 2017

It’s traumatic when thieves steal your identity and your money, but there is something far more traumatic and tragic, namely, when spiritual con artists, who claim to be Christian, deceive the unsuspecting. The stakes are much higher than someone’s life savings. The eternal destiny of souls is at risk! Since the days of the New Testament, Satan has planted these deceivers in Christian churches, where they prey on the untaught or on those who are disgruntled. To avoid spiritual deception, you must develop biblical discernment and be vigilant at all times.

But we live in a day when the whole idea of spiritual discernment is minimized because spiritual truth is minimized. The slogan is, “Doctrine divides. Let’s set aside our doctrinal differences and come together on the areas where we agree.” Another popular mantra is, “Jesus said that they will know that we are His disciples by our love, not by our doctrine.” The implication is, “Set aside your doctrinal views and accept anyone who says that he believes in Jesus.” Tolerance, unity, and love are viewed as much more important than doctrinal truth, which often smacks of pride.

I have had my share of unpleasant encounters with those who arrogantly claim to have the truth. They beat you up with it, not showing much grace or kindness. But we should not allow such experiences to cause us to throw out the biblical emphasis on sound doctrine. It is not a minor theme in the Bible!

It is highly significant that John, the apostle of love, who has just written that love is an essential mark of the true Christian (2:7-11), now calls these false teachers “antichrists” and “liars”! He doesn’t call them “brothers in Christ,” who just have different ways of understanding things. He makes it plain that they were trying to deceive the true Christians and that they were not Christian in any sense of the term. True biblical love is not divorced from an emphasis on biblical truth. To compromise the truth about the person and work of Jesus Christ is to be hateful to the core, because such error results in the eternal damnation of those who embrace it.

In these verses, John applies his third test by which you may evaluate the soundness of a teacher, as well as your own life. He has already given us the moral test of obedience to God’s commandments (2:3-6). He has given the relational test of love (2:7-11). Now he gives the doctrinal test of truth about the person and work of Jesus Christ (2:18-27). He says,

To avoid spiritual deception, be discerning of people and doctrine.

The section (2:18-27) falls into three parts. In 2:18-20, John shows that to avoid spiritual deception, you must develop discernment with regard to people. In 2:21-23, he shows that you must develop discernment with regard to doctrine, especially, the truth about Jesus Christ. In 2:24-27 (which we will study next week), he shows that the means of developing such discernment is to abide in the Word and in the Spirit.

  1. To avoid spiritual deception, be discerning of people (2:18-20).

John contrasts the false teachers with true believers. He addresses all of his readers as “children,” (see 2:13), implying their vulnerability and the need to be on guard against these unprincipled men who were trying to deceive them (2:26). As a wise spiritual father, John is giving important counsel that will help us avoid being deceived.

He says, “It is the last hour.” The way that we know it is the last hour is that “many antichrists have appeared.” Some have said that John mistakenly thought that Jesus would return in his lifetime. Such a view undermines the divine inspiration of Scripture. If you buy into it, you cannot trust anything that the apostles wrote. You become the judge of Scripture according to what strikes you as true. This view also impugns the intelligence of the apostles. John had heard Jesus say that no one knows the hour of His coming (Matt. 24:36). It is not reasonable to accuse him of being mistaken here about the time of the second coming.

Rather, John is calling the entire period between Jesus’ ascension and His return “the last hour.” No one knows how long this period will last, but the phrase, “the last hour,” implies a sense of urgency, in that Jesus may come at any moment. Jesus concludes His teaching on the end times with this application to the wise hearer: “Take heed, keep on the alert; for you do not know when the appointed time will come” (Mark 13:33).

John says that a distinguishing feature of this age is that antichrist is coming and that even now many antichrists have appeared. John is the only New Testament writer to use this word, and it only occurs five times in four verses (1 John 2:18, 22; 4:3; 2 John 7). But the concept of the antichrist is more frequent. Daniel 7 talks about the horn and Revelation 13 talks about the beast, both of which refer to antichrist. Paul (2 Thess. 2:1-12) mentions the man of lawlessness who will exalt himself and display himself as being God. His coming will be “in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders” (2 Thess. 2:9). He will deceive many, who will perish. When John says that antichrist is coming, he refers to this future evil leader.

But when he says, “even now many antichrists have appeared,” he means that the evil spirit that will characterize the final antichrist is already working in these false teachers who have left the churches. The prefix, “anti,” can mean either “instead of” or “in opposition to.” It may contain both ideas here. The false teachers rise up within the church and present a system that subtly presents something instead of Jesus Christ. The false teacher may use the same label, “Jesus Christ,” but he will not be the same Jesus that is presented in the Bible. If a gullible person takes the bait, he is led farther away until finally he is in total opposition to Christ.

These false teachers, whom John labels antichrists, did not carry pitchforks and wear red suits with horns and a tail, or T-shirts saying, “Warning: I am an antichrist!” Rather, they arose in the churches. Some of them may have been elders or pastors, who for a while had taught the truth. Paul warned the Ephesian elders, “from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). Now these men were leaving the churches to form new groups, saying, “We have come into a deeper knowledge of the truth. Follow us and we’ll let you in on this secret knowledge.” John gives three guidelines to watch for:

  1. BEWARE: SATAN WORKS IN THE REALM OF RELIGION.

False teachers invariably adopt Christian terminology and posture themselves as being Christians, but they are not. They usually begin within the church (2:19) and at first, their teaching is orthodox. They often have attractive personalities and they build a following of people who seem to be helped by their teaching.

But, eventually, they begin subtly to veer from the truth. There may be multiple motives. Sometimes, they fall into immorality, and to justify their sin, they have to deny Scripture. Or, they may love the acclaim of being popular, along with the financial rewards that often go along with a successful ministry. It feels good to be in demand as a speaker, to stay in luxury hotels and speak to large crowds. As a man’s popularity grows, he grows in power. He hires a loyal group of lieutenants who carry out his wishes. No one dares to challenge the man’s teaching or lifestyle, even though he is preaching heresy and living in disobedience to Scripture. But, in spite of his deviance, he is still trafficking in the realm of religion.

Note, also, that there has never been a perfect church, even in New Testament times while the apostles were still living. We sometimes idealize the early church, thinking that if we could just get back to the New Testament principles, we wouldn’t have all of the problems that we constantly battle in the modern church.

But, these early churches had gone through the damage of false teachers in their midst, who now had left the churches to form new groups. Undoubtedly, they took with them people from the churches. Whenever that happens, those who still are in the church are confused and wounded. They wonder, “Why did our friends leave? They claim that they have found the truth now and that we are in the dark. Maybe there are problems here. Maybe we should leave, too.” This is how the enemy has worked from the earliest days of the church. Don’t be surprised when it happens.

  1. BEWARE OF ANYONE WHO BREAKS FROM THE TRUE CHURCH TO FORM A NEW GROUP WITH NEW THEOLOGY.

“They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (2:19). John’s words here do not apply to people who get disgruntled in one evangelical church and leave to join or form another evangelical church. While that practice is usually regrettable and sad, it is wrong to label those who left as heretics, unless they also have abandoned core Christian truth.

Heretics not only eventually separate themselves from true Christians to form their own groups, but also, they deviate from orthodox Christian doctrine on major issues. They claim that they have the truth and that others do not, or that they now see things that others do not see. And, invariably they try to recruit others from within the church to join them.

While such situations are painful and unpleasant, John’s words here should prepare us not to be surprised or disheartened when it happens. If it happened to the churches under John’s care, it can and will happen to churches today. But, when it happens, we need to think biblically about some issues.

First, true Christians are born of God. The key issue with these false teachers was, they were not of us. They did not share the new life in Christ that brings us into His body, the church. So, they felt free to leave. You can be on the membership list of the church without having experienced the new birth. While I believe that it’s important to join a church, it is far more important to make sure that you’re truly of the church through the new birth.

Second, if you truly know Christ, you will persevere with the church. It is imperfect. It contains difficult and irritating people. But, it is family! You were born into it through the new birth, and so was everyone else who has truly trusted Christ. While you may not have picked these folks to be in your family, God picked them and you’ve got to learn to get along with them! Although they often grate like sandpaper against your soul, it’s by persevering with them that God smoothes your rough edges. You will experience hurt feelings and misunderstandings if you get involved in a local church! Be committed to work through these matters. Don’t bail out on the church!

Third, note that John was more concerned about purity of doctrine than he was about church growth or unity. He never says, “We should go after these dear brothers and bring them back!” Or, “Let’s set aside our differences and love these men.” Rather, he says in effect, “Their departure shows their true colors. Let them go!” Of course, we need to evaluate the seriousness of the doctrinal matter at hand. Sometimes sincere Christians have to agree to disagree or even to work in separate parts of the Lord’s vineyard. But if the doctrinal issue is a core matter of the faith, purity is much more important than unity or church growth. We should not measure a church’s success by the numbers who attend, but rather by its faithfulness to the truth of the gospel.

So John says, “Beware, Satan works in the realm of religion. Beware of anyone who breaks from the true church to form a new group with new theology.”

  1. BEWARE OF ANYONE WHO OFFERS “NEW TRUTH” THAT OTHERS HAVE MISSED.

The test of orthodoxy is submission and adherence to the apostolic teaching contained in the New Testament. If someone comes up with some new “truth” that no one else has discovered since the days of the apostles, beware! The heretics claimed that they had now been initiated into a deeper level of truth than the average church member had experienced. It always flatters our pride to think that we have some level of truth that others lack, or we have had some special spiritual experience that other poor souls are missing out on. These false teachers were claiming such knowledge and offering it as bait to those who had yet to be enlightened.

This is probably the background to verse 20. There is a textual variant here. The KJV (and New KJV) follows the reading, “you know all things.” Most other versions follow the reading (probably original), “you all know.” John is telling his readers that spiritual knowledge is not restricted to some elite inner circle. Rather, they all know the truth of the gospel because they all have the anointing from the Holy One, which refers to the indwelling Holy Spirit that Jesus, the Holy One, promised to send.

The false teachers may have been using the word “anointing” as a technical term for being initiated into their special gnosis, or knowledge (John Stott, The Epistles of John [Eerdmans], p. 107). But John takes their term and uses it of the Holy Spirit. At the moment of the new birth, God’s Spirit opens our blind eyes to see the truth about our sinfulness and the all-sufficiency of what Christ did on the cross to pay for our sins. This simple gospel message is what these believers had heard from the beginning (2:24). Rather than moving on from it to some “new truth,” they needed to abide in the old gospel truth that they had believed from the start.

So John’s first point is that to avoid spiritual deception, be discerning of people. Satan disguises himself as an angel of light and his servants disguise themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:14, 15). But, they are liars and deceivers!

  1. To avoid spiritual deception, be discerning of doctrine (2:21-23).

The late philosophy professor Allan Bloom began his 1987 best-seller, The Closing of the American Mind ([Simon and Schuster], p. 25), “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely certain of: almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative.” He goes on to say (pp. 25-26), “The danger they have been taught to fear from absolutism is not error but intolerance. Relativism is necessary to openness; and this is the virtue, the only virtue, which all primary education for more than fifty years has dedicated itself to inculcating.”

He was right: We live in a day that has rejected the idea of absolute truth, especially in the spiritual realm. It smacks of arrogance to say that you know the truth and that others who do not share your view are wrong. You’re free to have your own spiritual opinions, as long as you don’t claim that your view is the only true view.

This prevailing tenant of postmodernism has now invaded the church through “the emergent church.” This growing movement downplays preaching (what could be more arrogant than for one man to stand up and say that he is proclaiming the truth?). And it magnifies sharing personal experiences in an accepting, non-judgmental atmosphere.

Notice how contrary this is to John’s statement in 2:20, “you all know,” and to 2:21: “I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth.” That sure sounds like John believed in absolute truth in the spiritual realm, and that you can know when you’re right and others are wrong! There are three implications here, which I can only touch on briefly:

  1. SOUND DOCTRINE REALLY MATTERS!

John says (2:23), “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father.” He goes on to say (2:25) that all of this concerns God’s promise to us about eternal life. That’s fairly important! If you deny the truth about God’s Son as revealed in the New Testament, you do not have the Father and you do not have eternal life!

A popular sentimental, syrupy view goes, “It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you’re sincere.” When you share Christ with someone who buys into this thinking, he will respond, “It’s nice that you believe that, but I have my own beliefs.” According to this view, sincerity is the main thing; truth doesn’t matter. That is utter nonsense! You can sincerely drink poison, believing that it is medicine, but it will kill you just the same. Sound doctrine really matters!

  1. SOUND DOCTRINE IS INEXTRICABLY LINKED WITH A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

John says that if you deny the Son, you do not have the Father. He goes on to talk about abiding in the Son and the Father (2:24). “Abiding” is John’s word for fellowship or a close relationship with God. His point is that if you deny cardinal truth about Jesus Christ and yet claim to know God, you are deceiving yourself. This is not to say that a new believer must be able to give precisely correct theological statements about the trinity or the two natures of Christ in order to be truly saved. But it is to say that if someone knowingly makes heretical statements about Christ and is not open to correction, his salvation is suspect. Sound doctrine necessarily goes along with a genuine personal relationship with God.

  1. SOUND DOCTRINE ABOUT THE PERSON AND WORK OF CHRIST IS ABSOLUTELY VITAL.

Most heresies go astray with regard to the person or work of Jesus Christ. John Calvin pointed out that since Christ is the sum of the gospel, heretics especially aim their arrows at Him. The only way that we can know the Father is through the Son (John 14:6). These false teachers were denying that Jesus is the Christ (2:22). This probably was more than a denial that Jesus was the Old Testament Messiah. The context here, which refers to Jesus as the Son of God and which closely links the Father and the Son, indicates that these false teachers denied the full deity of Jesus Christ. They denied the incarnation, that God took on human flesh in the virgin birth of Jesus. They taught that “the Christ” came upon the human Jesus at His baptism and departed at His crucifixion. John says that they denied both the Father and the Son.

The modern cults all go astray on the person and work of Jesus Christ. They deny His deity and His substitutionary death on the cross. They deny the trinity. Some of them speak in Gnostic fashion of “the Christ within us all.” By denying the Son of God, they do not have the Father. In the words of this apostle of love, they are liars, deceivers, and antichrists.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

true dat

February 23, 2017

All of God’s acts are consistent with all of His attributes. All that God does agrees with all that God is, and being and doing are one in Him. He cannot act out of character with Himself.

I think it might be demonstrated that almost every heresy that has afflicted the church through the years has arisen from believing about God things that are not true, or from over-emphasizing certain true things so as to obscure other things equally true. To magnify any attribute to the exclusion of another is to head straight for one of the dismal swamps of theology, and yet we are all constantly tempted to do just that.

For instance, the Bible teaches that God is love; some have interpreted this in such a way as virtually to deny that He is just, which the Bible also teaches. Others press the Biblical doctrine of God’s goodness so far that it is made to contradict His holiness. Or they make His compassion cancel out His truth. Still others understand the sovereignty of God in a way that destroys or at least greatly diminishes His goodness and love.

We can hold a correct view of truth only by daring to believe everything God has said about Himself. It is a grave responsibility that a man takes upon himself when he seeks to edit out of God’s self-revelation such features as he in his ignorance deems objectionable

And yet it is happening, it’s not just unbelievers distorting God, it’s charlatans and imposters that are fleecing the flock, preaching a false gospel for their own fame, fortune and a form of self-idolization.

Some preach that God is all love and there can’t be a hell, some preach racism and hate, others are just feel good spin doctors weaving a hype that few can find in the real world. So it’s up to the those that are faithful to the Word of God to not be liars and self-promoters.

So here’s an easy thing to do just google false preachers, or preacher’s with bad doctrine, you will be surprised who is on that list. So if you want to send a good chain letter send that list.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

SUNDAY MORING 02_19 LIAR LIAR

February 19, 2017

Four things that Satan did to Eve in the Garden of Eden. Look, if you will, in 3:1: “Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field [the word subtle means crafty and sly], more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

Spiritual flaw number one is to despise God’s goodness and to think negatively about God, to think negatively about God. That’s what the devil wants you to do. He wants you to think negatively about God. Satan came crawling his slimy, corroding path into the pages of history, and he said, “Did God say that you shall not eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden?” Now, what was that? It was an attempt to get Eve to doubt God’s goodness, God’s love, God’s amazing grace, He wanted Eve to think negatively about God. What it was was a slander of the character of God. It was Satan’s way of saying God is not good. God is some sort of a cosmic killjoy. God doesn’t want you to have all of this good fruit. Now, of course, that was a lie. God had not said that she could not eat of that fruit. As a matter of fact, just put in your margin Genesis 2:16: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden  thou mayest freely eat.”

“It’s there! It’s for you! Adam, Eve, I made it for you! Help yourself!” But what did Satan say? “O, hath God said ye shall not eat of the fruit of every tree of the garden?” The truth of the matter is there was only one tree that they were forbidden to take of. But what Satan was trying to do was to get Eve to think negatively about God. God is so straight-laced. God is so cruel that anytime He sees anyone having any pleasure, He just sort of moves in to break up the party. Everything good and pleasurable is a no-no. The truth of the matter is that God has said a resounding yes to your pleasure. God loves you. Don’t get the idea that being a Christian is some sort of a penalty that you pay in order to get to heaven. I would be a Christian is there were no heaven. There is. I would be a Christian if there were no hell, just to know the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior.

Can you imagine what all God made for Adam and Eve? Can you imagine the glories, the splendor of Eden and what it must have been like? The most beautiful place you’ve ever seen would not even begin to compare with Eden. And God made it for Adam and Eve, and God said, “Help yourself.”

They tell a little story of Cain and Abel after Adam and Eve had been put out of the garden because of their sin. Cain and Abel came to a wall, climbed up that wall and looked over and saw Eden. Went back to Adam and said, “Daddy, we have just seen the most beautiful place in the world. Hey, hey, dad, you think we could ever live in a place like that?” Adam said, “We did once, boys, before your mother ate us out of house and home”. Well, it was a beautiful and a glorious place, and God made it, and God said to Adam and God said to Eve, “Help yourself.”

Do you know what the devil will do to many of you? He will put negative thoughts in your hearts concerning the goodness of our God. Listen to Psalm 37:4.

The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desire of your heart.” Listen to Psalm 84:11: “The Lord thy God is a sun and a shield: the Lord will give grace and glory [now, listen to this]: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Isn’t that great? “… no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Listen to 1 Timothy 6:17. The Bible says, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches [but now, listen to this], but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.” “… the living God, who has given to us richly all things to enjoy.” The dirty devil wants you to think negatively about God. Now, listen to me. God is good all of the time (amen). And anything that causes pain and suffering and moan and moan and groan and woe and heartache and tears is the fruit of sin. It is not because of God. God made a beautiful, wonderful paradise and He put man and woman in that paradise. And so, Satan’s spiritual flaw, number one, is to get you to doubt the goodness of God and to think negatively about God. And, friend, it’s a foolish thing if you think negatively about our great God, who has given us richly all things to enjoy. When I invite you to Jesus Christ, I’m not inviting you to a funeral; I’m inviting you to a feast (amen) to know the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Spiritual flaw number two is to deny God’s truthfulness and to think skeptically about God. Now, notice verses 2, 3: “And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden [Eve knew better than that]: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” You know how I think he said it? I wasn’t there, but I, you know how I think he said it? (noise) “… Ye shall not surely die.” I mean, what he is doing here is denying God’s truthfulness. “How do you know that you’re going to surely die?” And what he did was to make a skeptic, to make a doubter about God’s truthfulness. You see, what he did, first of all, was to question God’s goodness, and now he is questioning God’s truthfulness. Now, I want to say this: anybody who causes a question mark concerning the Word of God, or anybody who denies the veracity and the truth of the Word of God is doing the work of the devil. I don’t care what university he teaches in, or what seminary he may teach in. I don’t, I care not how many degrees he has after his name. If he inculcates in the hearts and minds of anybody a doubt or a denial of the Word of God, that man is an emissary of Satan (amen). It goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. “Yea, hath God said ye shall not eat? Oh, come on! You will not surely die. Oh, no. Why, your eyes will be open.”

You see, modern man today will do anything except believe the truth. We have so many substitutes for the truth. We have today, relativism. Hagel, the philosopher, began relativism, and relativism in our society, and so everything is relative. And our kids are going to school today being taught there are not absolutes. All truth is relative truth, and if that doesn’t go, then others.

And especially in some churches today, have been given to subjectivism. Not relativism, but subjectivism. They say, “Well, this is what I feel is truth. This is what I think. This is what it means to me. Well, what is true for me may not be true for you, but isn’t it wonderful that we all have our own truth.” And that’s, that’s subjectivism. Truth is what we experience.

And, and for others, the answer is not necessarily relativism or subjectivism, but rationalism. They somehow have the idea that all that is truth is what we call empirical truth, what they can put into the laboratory. If they can put God in a test tube, then they might believe in God. Puny man thinks that he can prove God through rationalism, and so he substitutes “Thus saith the mind of man,” for “Thus saith the Word of God.”

And another substitute for God’s truth is pragmatism, and this is the one that’s working in America today. In America today we don’t ask, “Is it true?” We want to know, “Does it work?” Does it work! And so, we’re not all that interested in pragmatism.

But, you know, the most damning assault on truth today is a word you may not have heard much, but if you’ve read or been in theology, you’ll hear this word, and it’s post-modernism. What on earth is post-modernism? You say, “Pastor, I’ve been longing all morning to hear something about post-modernism”. Post-modernism. These folks, they don’t believe there is a truth. They won’t argue about truth to you because it’s not even an issue with them. It’s just, there is no real truth, and so it’s a hodgepodge of all of these other things that I have talked about—rationalism and relativism and emotionalism and all of these things. But when they finally finish, they just simply say, “Nobody knows truth. There never has been truth. Never will be truth. We make up truth as we go along.” Now, that kind of thinking, which is one of Satan’s spiritual flaws, leads people with no rationale basis as to say what is right and what is wrong.

And that’s, we’re, we’re still thinking about the kids in the high schools these days. What has happened in America? Well, one thing: there’s a famine for the Word of God. There’s a famine for the Word of God. If you listened to

P-A-V-L-O-V, the Russian who worked with animals in what we call “conditioned response.” That is, he could, he would ring a bell and feed the dogs and the dogs would salivate after a while just at the ringing of a bell because they associated the ringing of a bell with food. But another thing Pavlov did was this, and I’d not heard this before. He would put a dog down and over here and put in front of the dog a perfect circle. And when the dog would see the perfect circle, he taught the dog to jump to the right. And if the dog would see the circle and jump to the right, the dog would be rewarded. And so the dog learned—circle = jump = food.

And then, after he got the dog trained this way, he put in front of the dog an oval. Not a circle, but an oval. And then, at the sign of the oval, he taught the dog to jump to the left. Jump to the left = oval = food. Circle—jump to the right = reward. And the dog was trained this way. And the dog had it down perfectly.

And then Pavlov began to do something. He began to take the circle and morph it just a little bit so it began to look like an oval. He took the oval and began to change it a little bit so it looked like a circle. And the dog was getting confused and still trying, as best he could, to get the reward and to do what was right. And, finally, Pavlov had a figure on the ground that the dog would not tell whether it was a circle or an oval, and the dog went mad.

Now, folks, that’s where our kids are today! They don’t know whether it’s a circle or an oval. They do not know that there is a fixed standard because that dirty devil has gotten people to think skeptically about God and cannot believe the fixed Word of God. Parents are having difficulty today raising children. Well, let me tell you how to raise them. “Child, it’s wrong to steal because God says so. It’s wrong to commit adultery because God says so. You’re to obey your parents because God says so. We’re to worship one because God says so.” But if the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do.

Now, here’s the third spiritual flaw. First of all, Satan wanted Eve to think negatively about God, to doubt the goodness of God. Secondly, he wanted Eve to think skeptically about God, and to doubt the truthfulness of God. Thirdly, third spiritual flaw was to defy God’s righteousness and to think carelessly about God. To think carelessly about God. Look in verse 4 again. “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” That is, “Eve, you don’t have to worry about judgment. I mean, you can be cavalier about this thing. You don’t need to fear God. God is not all that righteous. Now, don’t worry about God’s laws.” Well, friend, God is righteous and God is holy. Not only is God good, but God is righteous. God will punish sin. God had forbidden them to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God said, “In the day that you eat thereof, you will die.” That was God’s holy law. And law without penalty is only advice. And God wasn’t giving advice. You see, it’s, it’s the devil’s gospel, the devil’s gospel that God will not punish sin, but God sent me here to tell you that God is a holy God—God is a righteous God—and God will punish sin. And whatever happened to hell? If you disobey God and refuse the gospel of Jesus Christ, you’re going to die and go to hell. You’re going to die and go to hell. There is a hell. You say, “Well, Pastor, today people don’t believe in hell anymore.” Well, that doesn’t change it at all. Jesus Christ had more to say about hell than any preacher in the Word of God. Jesus Christ, the loving Jesus, had more to say about hell than any other preacher in the Word of God.

Abraham Lincoln, who was wise in old fashion kinda homey ways, said to a little boy one time, said, “Son, I want to ask you a question. If a dog has four legs and you call his tail a leg, then how many legs would he have?” The little boy said, “He’s have 5.” And Abe said, “No, he’ll only have four. No matter what you call his call, it’s still a tail. You can call his tail a leg if you want to, but he only has four legs.” And no matter what people say about hell, they do not take away God’s truth concerning the punishment of sin.

Now, Satan knows that man fears death. Satan knows that. And so he says to Eve, “You will not surely die.” And, by the way, I said, you know, this is not new or old. It’s, it’s up to date. It’s all New Age religion. Everything that I have given you, everything, is all New Age religion.

How do the New Agers deal with this idea, “You shall not, you will not surely die?” Well, it’s re-incarnation. What is re-incarnation? Well, you just, you just keep going around and around. You get recycled. You get as many chances at perfection as you need. And in re-incarnation there’s no judgment. There’s no personal God. And you know who the high priestess of this New Age religion is? Do you remember Shirley MacLaine, an actress of sorts. She said, listen to this, and I quote her, “We can eliminate all fear of death.” And she said she had discovered that once she was a princess in Atlantis, and then she was an Inca in Peru, and then one time she was a child raised by elephants. That’s in her past lives that she’s had. And, you know, Shirley MacLaine said, “It’s like show business. You keep doing it until you get it right.” And so there are a lot of kids today who, while they cannot be taught biblical truth, eastern mysticism and New Ageism has come in like gangbusters into the church and they believe that. The idea is that we have something called karma. And if your karma is good, next time you go through, you keep on going up and you get higher and higher and higher. But if your karma is bad, you’re degraded in the next life.  And so, it just all depends. So, you just keep going through and through. And that’s the reason many of them are vegetarians, because they believe that animals and humans are all interrelated, and so when you go to McDonalds, you might be eating your grandmother. And so, they believe this—that that cow has been re-incarnated from something else, re-incownated , and so this is what they believe. I believe re-incarnation is putting the milk back in the can, but you won’t get that till after the service.

Satan, Satan does not want people to believe that there is a death, and a holy and a righteous God, and a judgment to face, and so they, you come up with these silly ideas, like re-incarnation. People don’t like the idea of judgment, and they’re glad to listen to this third spiritual flaw that you can deny the righteousness of God and think carelessly about God.

Do you know one of the worst things people say about preachers today? He’s a hell-fire preacher, hell, fire, and damnation preacher, like you don’t want to go there to hear him. I want to say again—you would not have wanted to hear Jesus. I have an idea, I have a suspicion, it’s almost a conviction, if the Supreme Court of the United States of America could vote on it, they would outlaw hell and cruel and unusual punishment. They would say, “Well, that’s certainly an un-American thing. You cannot have eternal punishment.”

You see, this is a lie out of hell. The devil wants you to think negatively about God. The devil wants you to think skeptically about God. The devil wants you to think casually and lightly about God.

Fourth spiritual flaw is this: that Satan debases God’s greatest and he wants you to think suspiciously about God. He wants you to think suspiciously about God. Now, notice how clever he was. Look in verse 5: “For God doth know that in the day that ye eat thereof, ha, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” Now, you know what he’s saying here? “Look, you can’t trust God. Ha, Eve, you’re a babe in the woods. Your eyes are not even open. You don’t know what’s right. You don’t know what’s wrong. You don’t know what’s good. You don’t know what’s bad. All you have is His word for it. That’s all you have, is His word for it. You’ve never experienced it. How do you know it’s bad? How do you know? After all, Eve, experience is the best teacher.” Have you ever heard that? Experience is the best teacher. So we get the idea today that in order to find out whether something is good or bad, we have to experience with it. That’s the reason why so many young people have their lives that are wrecked and ruined and are sucked down in the swirling sewers of sin because of experimentation. They say, “Well, I want to experiment a little bit with drugs. I want to experiment a little with eastern meditation. I want to experience, experiment a little bit with pre-marital sex. I want to experiment a little bit with sexual perversion.” “I mean, just try it, Eve. You might like it. Hey, Eve, if it’s good, then you can do it some more. If it’s bad, you don’t have to do it anymore. But, Eve, your eyes are not even open. Why, listen, if you’ll do it, then your eyes will be open. You’ll be like He is. You will know the difference between good and bad. You see, He’s got a monopoly on being God. Ha, He’s trying to head you off at the pass. He doesn’t want you to have fulfillment. He doesn’t want you to be liberated. He wants to keep you under His thumb. Eve, experience is the best teacher, not somebody’s word.” Let me tell you something, folks, when it comes to sin, experience is a very poor teacher. And those who know the least about sin are those who are the deepest into it, did you know that?

The Bible speaks of the deceitfulness of sin, the deceitfulness of sin. And those who know the very least about sin are those who have been blinded and they’re into sin, and they come to the place where they get a reprobate mind. They cannot tell up from down, good for bad. They put bitter for sweet, sweet for bitter, light for darkness, darkness for light, good for evil, and evil for good because they try to make themselves the sum, the substance, the total decider of what is good and bad. And, folks, I’m going to tell you, the world is full of that today. These kids who are ruining their lives through experimentation.

WHAT LIES HAVE YOU BELIEVED? ONLY THE WORD OF GOD CAN CHASE THOSE LIES OUT OF YOUR LIFE

GOD BLESS FROM SCUMLIKEUSCHURCH@GMAIL.COM

 

The Sting

February 13, 2017

No treachery is worse than betrayal by a family member or friend. Julius Caesar knew such treachery. Among the conspirators who assassinated the Roman leader on March 15, 44 B. C. was Marcus Junius Brutus. Caesar not only trusted Brutus, he had favored him as a son. According to Roman historians, Caesar first resisted the onslaught of the assassins. But when he saw Brutus among them with his dagger drawn, Caesar ceased to struggle and, pulling the top part of his robe over his face, asked the famous question, “You too, Brutus?”

what we know about Judas in sequential order:255

Judas is chosen as one of the 12 (Luke 6:12-16; Mark 3:13-19).

Judas is sent out as one of the 12 (Matthew 10:4).

Judas accompanies Jesus with the other 11 disciples, beholding our Lord’s character and power, and hearing Him teach and claim to be the Messiah (Mark 3:14).

In all of this, Judas never comes to faith in Jesus as his Messiah (John 6:64-65; 13:10-11, 18; 17:12).

Judas is put in charge of the money box (John 12:6; 13:29).

Judas begins to steal money from the money box (John 12:6).

When Mary anoints the feet of Jesus, Judas is incensed by her extravagance, and is distressed that Jesus would allow such “waste” when this ointment could have been sold, and the proceeds given to the poor. He apparently manages to convince his fellow-disciples, so that they verbally harass Mary also (John 12:1-8; Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9).

[At this same point in time the chief priests and Pharisees are panic-stricken by our Lord’s growing popularity, as a result of the raising of Lazarus and then the triumphal entry (John 11:45-53, 57; 12:9-11). They wanted to seize Jesus privately, but not during the feast of Passover, lest they stir up the crowds (Matthew 26:3-5; Mark 14:1-2). They become so desperate they decide to kill not only Jesus (John 11:53), but Lazarus as well (John 12:10). The time was “ripe” for Judas to come to them with his proposal of betrayal.]

Shortly after this incident with Mary, in which Jesus rebukes Judas and the other disciples, Judas goes to the chief priests and strikes a deal with them to betray Jesus and to hand Him over to them (Matthew 26:14-15; Mark 14:10-11).

Judas begins to look for the right moment to hand Jesus over to the chief priests and Pharisees (Mark 14:11).

Judas is with Jesus and the disciples during the first part of the Last Supper, apparently in the place of honor, next to Jesus (John 13:26).

At the meal, Jesus indicates that one of the disciples will betray Him (Matthew 26:20-25; Mark 14:17-21), and then, by means of His dipping a piece of bread and handing it to Judas, our Lord indicates that it is Judas who will betray Him (Mark 14:20; John 13:21-27).

Judas accepts the bread Jesus offers him, after which Satan immediately possesses him (John 13:27).

Jesus dismisses Judas to carry out his terrible deed (John 13:27-30).

Judas leads the soldiers to Jesus, where he identifies Jesus as the One they are to arrest by kissing Him (Matthew 26:47-50; Mark 14:43-46; Luke 22:47-48; John 18:1-9).

Judas regrets his betrayal and tries to reverse his actions by returning the money, but it is too late. Judas then goes out and hangs himself (Matthew 27:3-10; Acts 1:15-19).

Judas—Who Would Have Ever Thought …

Who would have ever thought that Jesus would be betrayed, and by one of His 12 disciples? Answer: none of the 12, except for Judas. The Gospels do not really mention Judas all that often, but we do read of Judas being sent out by Jesus, along with the other 11 (Matthew 10:1.; Mark 3:19; Luke 9:1.). Imagine, Judas was used of our Lord to manifest His power over the demons, and over every kind of illness: “He called his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits so they could cast them out and heal every kind of disease and sickness” (Matthew 10:1).

Who would have ever imagined that he would refuse to trust in Jesus as his Messiah?

Think of all the miracles which took place before the eyes of Judas. He witnessed the casting out of demons, the giving of sight to the blind (even a man born blind—John 9), and the raising of the dead (e.g., John 11). He was there when Jesus stilled the storm (see Luke 8:22-25) and when He walked on the sea (John 6:19-21). He took part in the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6:1-14) and then of the 4,000 (Matthew 15:29-39). Each of the other disciples grew in their faith at each new manifestation of our Lord’s power, love, mercy, and holiness. Not so with Judas.

And yet Judas seems to be the last one any of the disciples would have suspected of being the betrayer of whom our Lord was speaking. He seems to have been seated in the place of honor at the Last Supper, beside our Lord. He was the one entrusted with the money that was given to our Lord (John 12:6). Even when Jesus indicated that Judas was His betrayer by giving him the bread, the disciples still did not recognize him for who he really was.

You never see it coming when it’s close to the heart, family, your best friend; but it happens, and what is most important is your response. You’ll be hurt, but you can’t lash out, your heart might break but you can’t swear or strike out. A loving long time relation may be over, but all that matters is that no bitterness be born in your heart at that moment or you’ll be twice cursed and the recovery period will be twice as long. All that can protect you at the moment is your closeness to God.

So how’s your relation to God, close enough, sweet enough, blessed enough to survive the serpent’s kiss?

I hope so.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

“We have allowed the enemy to come into our churches.

“What happens is we think we can fight the homosexual invasion by smiling and being real nice and loving,”   “We have to understand who the enemy is and what he wants — he wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation.”

“We have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with,”  “We have to be so careful about who we let into the churches. You have immoral people that have malice and wicked intent who get into the churches and  begin to affect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”

“So, I’m going to encourage you the church to take a stand for Christ,” “To be the a church, to take a stand for righteousness.  And homosexuality is still a sin, you can’t be a practicing homosexual and claim to be a Christian–  we have allowed them into our schools – that’s why I want to get the school boards back — homosexuality is taught to be okay in our universities, and you have all these diversity classes and all these nice names that they come up with promoting and pushing homosexuality.”

“Listen, I’m not here to bash gays, I don’t want to do that – and God does love them. I have people ask me, can a gay person go to Heaven? Absolutely, sure.”

“But the gay person is going to have to repent of their sins and turn from their sins, leave their sins,”  “And they have to believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and trust Him as their Savior. They have to be willing to follow him as their Lord.”

“But you cannot stay gay and continue to call yourself a Christian,” “You can’t do it.”

“You know, it’s a whole lot broader than just the gay agenda. L-G-B-T. People are militant, intolerant and hate all Christians. When they say people have this inclination and want to fall in love and want to express this in the form of marriage and so on, they have no idea what a Godly marriage is and now want to adopt and spread their anti-god message.

 “L-G-B-T. You know what the B stands for? Bisexual.  That is lots of sex with lots of people.” The average homosexual (age 18- 50) has over 300 different sexual partners in a year. I believe there is a no unhappier person than the homosexual. We have an opportunity to show them the joy of the Lord that a changed life can bring.

Are there Christian churches and Christian people that have handled this all wrong and not been the love of God, yes, but we cannot be ignorant of the peril and accepting the idea that it is an alternate lifestyle. Read the first three chapters of Genesis, God had no plan, ever for this sinful lifestyle. I’ve said this before and it’s not a joke, there was only Adam and Eve and not two Bob’s. God’s plan has always been for a man and a woman to be wed in marriage and that is the basis for the family.

There shouldn’t be one pastor, Sunday school teacher, deacon, elder or day care worker or janitor or secretary working in a church that has not gone through a thorough background check.  We have a duty to protect our families and also not cause confusion on where the church stands.

Send your hate mail, questions, comments and prayer requests to scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

And yes,, people can leave this lifestyle and be set free and lead wonderful lives either celibate for the rest of their lives or in a consecrated marriage of one man and one woman.

one way, one path, one God

November 10, 2016

christ on cross

ALL ROADS DON’T LEAD TO HEAVEN, AND THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, THE GOD OF THE BIBLE. FOLLOW ANY OTHER “faith” or “god” AND YOU’VE PURCHASED A ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL.

WE’VE BEEN ASKED TO REPRINT THIS DEVOTIONAL

The difference between God and Allah; first let me say this is not written to cause division or stress between Christians and Muslims, this has been written to address the differences and produce clarity of thought and allow the two groups to dialogue and not allow language to be the source of confusion.

Dr. James Kennedy in his excellent book; ‘Evangelism Explosion’ (EE). This is one of the top ten books I recommend you read. In the EE book one of the first issues to decide is what our words mean. In this case we are speaking to the issue of; “is the term God as used in the bible is the same as Allah in the Quran.”

If they are not the same person; what does that do to our dialogue between the faiths of the two religions. This is a long, long letter 29 pages to be exact. And you might be tempted to not read the whole letter if that is your position then please read the last paragraph titled “TO SUM IT ALL UP” ON PAGE 29. (WHICH TO BE HONEST I’M NOT SURE HOW EXACTLY THE WORD 2013 FORMATS EXACTLY INTO THE WORDPRESS BLOG WRITER) YOU MIGHT HAVE TO JUST SCROLL DOWN TO THE END.

This study examines the crucial question that needs to be addressed which is whether the God presented in the Quran is indeed the same God revealed in the Holy Bible. The Quran alleges that the God of Islam, Allah, is indeed the God of Abraham and hence the God of Scripture, Yahweh Elohim. But is this the case?

Are we to assume that just because the Quran states that Allah is Yahweh of the Bible that both Jews and Christians are obligated to believe this to be true? Or do we examine the nature and attributes of Allah in order to compare them with the biblical portrait of Yahweh to find if this is the case?

This process of examination is essential since our objective is to discover the true nature of God, a process whose outcome entails eternal consequences in regard to man’s future destiny in the afterlife. After all, if Allah is the God of Abraham then Jews and Christians are wrong for not embracing Islam. But if Allah is not Yahweh, then Muslims are not worshiping the same God only with a different name.

We will examine certain qualities of Allah as stated in the Quran and briefly compare them to Yahweh and see where the evidence leads us. The reason why we are comparing Allah to Yahweh as opposed to contrasting Yahweh to the quranic portrait of Allah, using the Quran as the standard, is due to the fact that it is Islam that claims to worship the same God of the Holy Bible. Thus, the burden of proof rests upon the Muslims to defend this contention since they believe Allah is the same as Yahweh.

AUTHOR OF EVIL

The Holy Bible teaches that God cannot be tempted by evil and neither tempts anyone with evil; evil being understood as referring to immorality and sin. James 1:13 (c.f. Psalm 5:4-5; Habakkuk 1:13)

Yet, the Quran teaches that Allah is the author of evil:

Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salat (the prayer), they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little. S. 4:142 Hilali-Khan

And (the unbelievers) schemed and planned, and Allah schemed also, and the best of schemers is Allah. S. 3:54

Are they then secure from Allah’s scheme (makra Allahi)? None deemeth himself secure from Allah’s scheme (makra Allahi) save folk that perish. S. 7:99 Pickthall

Remember how the unbelievers schemed against thee, to keep thee in bonds, or to slay thee, or get thee out (of thy home). They scheme and plot, but the best of schemers is Allah. S. 8:30

And when We make people taste of mercy after an affliction touches them, lo! they devise schemes (makrun) against Our communication. Say: Allah is quicker to scheme (makran); surely Our apostles write down what you plan. S. 10:21

And those before them did indeed scheme (makara), but all scheming (al-makru) is Allah’s; He knows what every soul earns, and the unbelievers shall come to know for whom is the (better) issue of the abode. S. 13:42

So they schemed a scheme: and We schemed a scheme, while they perceived not. S. 27:50

The term for scheme in Arabic is makara which denotes one who is a deceiver, one who is conniving, a schemer. It is always used in a negative sense. Allah is thus seen as the best of deceivers, the premiere schemer and conniving one.

This is not simply a Christian perspective but one thoroughly endorsed by Muslim theologians as well.

For example Dr. Mahmoud M. Ayoub in his book, The Quran and Its Interpreters, Vol. II The House of Imran, brings up the question of “how the word makr (scheming or plotting), which implies deceitfulness or dishonesty, could be attributed to God.” (Ibid. [1992 State University of New York Press, Albany], p. 165)

After listing several Muslim sources he quotes ar-Razi as arguing that “scheming (makr) is actually an act of deception aiming at causing evil. It is not possible to attribute deception to God. Thus the word is one of the muttashabihat [multivalent words of the Quran].” (Ibid., p. 166)

Moreover, here is how one of the earliest sources on the life of Muhammad interpreted Q. 8:30:

Then he reminds the apostle of His favour towards him when the people plotted against him ‘to kill him, or to wound him, or to drive him out; and they plotted and God plotted, and is the best of plotters.’ i.e. I DECEIVED them with My firm GUILE so that I delivered you from them. (The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ibn Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah, with introduction and notes by Alfred Guillaume [Oxford University Press, Karachi, Tenth impression 1995], p. 323; capital emphasis ours)

In fact the Quran furnishes plenty of examples on some of the methods Allah adopts in devising evil:

Remember in thy dream Allah showed them as a few: if he had showed them to thee as many, ye would surely have been discouraged, and ye would surely have disputed in your decision: but Allah saved you: for He knoweth well the (secrets) of (all) hearts. S. 8:43

Allah is said to have shown the opposing fighting forces as few to Muhammad since if he had shown them as they actually were, the Muslims would have been afraid to fight. Hence, Allah had to use deception in order to encourage the Muslims to fight in his cause.

And when We desire to destroy a city, We command its men who live at ease, and they commit ungodliness therein, then the Word is realized against it, and We destroy it utterly. S. 17:16

Allah commands men to sin in order to destroy them completely.

They (Jinns– demon spirits) worked for him (Solomon) as he desired … then when We decreed death upon him, nothing showed them his death except a little creeping creature of the earth, which gnawed away at his staff. And when he fell the Jinns saw clearly how, if they had known the unseen, they would not have continued in the humiliating penalty (of work). S. 34:13-14

Allah deceived the Jinns into working for Solomon by preventing the latter’s death from being disclosed to them, otherwise they would have stopped their work.

Allah also deceived both Christians and Jews into thinking that Jesus was crucified when in fact “it was so made to appear unto them”, seeing that he never was crucified or killed. S. 4:157

According to S. 9:51, nothing befalls Muslims except what Allah has ordained. And in S. 14:4, we are told,

“Allah leads astray whomsoever He will and guides whomsoever he will.”

And,

“Whomsoever Allah guides, he is the one who follows the right way; and whomsoever He causes to err, these are the losers. And certainly We have created for hell many of the jinn and the men; … Whomsoever Allah causes to err, there is no guide for him; and He leaves them alone in their inordinacy, blindly wandering on.” S. 7:178-179, 186

“If thy Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one People: but they will not cease to differ. Except those on whom thy Lord hath bestowed His Mercy: and for this did He create them: and the Word of thy Lord shall be fulfilled: ‘I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together.’” S. 11:118-119

Not only does Allah guide people astray, but also has created men specifically for hell. To make matters worse, he even ordains the evil one commits as we have already seen in S. 17:16 and further clarified by this Muslim tradition:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Apostle as saying:

Verily Allah has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he of necessity must commit (or there would be no escape from it).” Sahih Muslim #6421, 6422

To even imagine that Allah causes adultery is not only horrendous but disqualifies him from being the God of Moses.

A keen reader might raise the objection that the Bible itself indicates in several places that God had intended to do evil to certain nations and individuals such as Absalom in 2 Samuel 17:14. Or that Jeremiah had been deceived by God in Jeremiah 20:7:

“O LORD, thou hast deceived me and I was deceived.” King James Version

Firstly, in regard to 2 Sam. 17:14 as we had noted earlier God does not tempt anyone with moral evil in the form of sin but brings upon man calamity as a consequence of their sins. In fact, the term which the King James translates as evil is the Hebrew ra. Accordingly, some Hebrew scholars see it as being derived from the word ra’a which means to “break, smash, crush.” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testaments, p. 232)

Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible gives various meanings some of which include adversity, affliction, calamity, distress, evil, grief (#7451 of the Hebrew Dictionary Section).

Thus, the evil God poured out upon these individuals was not immorality like that of the Quran but judgement upon the wicked due to their persistence in sin and a refusal to come into repentance.

The Hebrew term for deceive used in Jeremiah 20:7 is pathath. Strong’s lists it as #6601 in the Hebrew section with the following meanings; allure, enlarge, entice, deceive, flatter, persuade, silly. In light of the wide range of meanings, there is no reason to assume that Jeremiah meant that God was actually deceiving him.

In fact the context itself shows that the word can only mean “persuade” since Jeremiah is complaining that God is persuading him to continue his ministry, even though he doesn’t want to:

“O LORD, You induced me, and I was persuaded;
YOU ARE STRONGER THAN I, AND HAVE PREVAILED.
I am in derision daily;
Everyone mocks me.
For when I spoke, I cried out;
I shouted, ‘Violence and plunder!’
Because the word of the LORD was made to me
A reproach and a derision daily.
Then I said, ‘I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.’
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.” Jeremiah 20:8-9 NKJV

God was therefore insisting that Jeremiah continue and did so by constant persuasion. This passage has nothing to do with deception whatsoever.

Another possible objection would be the King James rendering of Ezekiel 20:25 where God says to Israel that he “gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgements whereby they should not live.” This strongly suggests that God is the author of evil.

The context of the passage is referring to Israel’s reluctance in observing God’s holy commands, which prompted God to hand them over to their own desires (all of chapter 20).

Scripture clearly teaches that when God sees that a nation refuses to embrace the truth he has revealed, the Lord then hardens their hearts that they might continue in their wickedness. This is done that he might bring upon them the judgement that they deserve for their evil (c.f. Romans 1:18-32; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Therefore, God does not give them unholy commands but allows them to embrace statutes which are evil. This is the meaning of the Hebrew text as accurately reflected in the New King James Version:

“Therefore, also gave them up to statutes that were not good, and judgements by which they could not live.”

Yet, the Arabic makara does not allow for other possible meanings. And the Quran itself gives examples of Allah using deception and sin to fulfill his will.

AUTHOR OF ABROGATION

According to the Quran Allah reveals a verse only to have it canceled out a short time later:

None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten but We substitute something better or similar- Knowest thou not that Allah has power over all things? S. 2:106

When We substitute one revelation for another- and Allah knowest best what He reveals (in stages)- They say, “Thou art but a forger”; But most of them understand not. S. 16:101

This leaves us with the difficulty of having a God who does not remain consistent and often changes his revealed purpose. This being the case, how is one to know that the promises of such a Being in regard to eternal security can be trusted? Just as he changes his mind in relation to the revelation, he can also decide to change his mind in regard to the believer’s ultimate destiny without anything stopping him from doing so.

This is different from Yahweh of the Holy Bible who does not change and as such can be totally trusted in fulfilling all his promises:

God is not a man that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it good? Numbers 23:19

For I, Yahweh, do not change. Malachi 3:6

If we are faithless, he remains faithful; he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

Because the God of the Bible is immutable he can promise, “Heaven and earth will pass away but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35).

Two responses can possibly be presented and often are by Muslims. The first is the fact that abrogation is not referring to the Quran but to previous scriptures such as the Bible.

Unfortunately for the Muslims making this argument, this interpretation cannot be defended in light of S. 87:6-8:

By degrees shall We teach thee (Muhammad) to declare (the Message) so thou shalt not forget, except as Allah Wills: For He knoweth what is manifest and what is hidden. And We will make it easy for thee (to follow) the simple (Path).

It becomes obvious that certain parts of the revelation given to Muhammad will eventually be caused to be forgotten, since Allah later willed it.

The second response often presented is that the Bible clearly speaks of God regretting to create man or having repented of bringing on a certain disaster which he had planned to do. (c.f. Genesis 6:6; Exodus 32:14)

There are basically two responses for this assumed Muslim allegation. First, both the Holy Bible and the Quran use anthropomorphic language in describing both the nature and acts of God. For instance, both books speak of God’s eyes, hands and feet without implying that these things are to be taken literally. The purpose of using such language is to communicate certain incomprehensible truths of God in human language in order for man to grasp certain realities of the divine nature. Hence, statements such as God having regrets is used to communicate certain realities to man in relational terms, i.e. that God identifies with our human condition and grieves for man’s fallen state, having compassion for him.

Secondly, the reason for indicating that God refrained from fulfilling an act he had decreed is an indication of his divine patience. God does not desire to destroy the wicked but to save them, desiring that they come into repentance:

Say to them: “As I live”, says the Lord God, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?” Ezekiel 33:11

Likewise, if a nation which has been promised prosperity turns to wickedness, God will also refrain from fulfilling his promises of blessing. This is pointed out in Jeremiah 18:7-10:

“The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster I thought to bring upon it.

“And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and plant it, if it does evil in My sight, so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I would benefit it.”

An example of this is seen in I Kings 21:29 where God had sworn to destroy Ahab for his wickedness, but decided against it:

“See how Ahab has humbled himself before Me? Because he has humbled himself before Me, I will not bring the calamity in his days. In the days of his son, I will bring the calamity on his house.”

Or God deciding not to destroy Ninevah after seeing their sincere repentance and humbleness:

“Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it.” Jonah 3:10

These examples indicate that certain warnings are given specifically to lead the person(s) into right standing with God, and are not given as a sign that the matter has been sealed and there is no averting the disaster.

AUTHOR OF HISTORICAL ERRORS

The Quran contains historical errors which implies that Allah is not an Omniscient Being, since an all-knowing Being would be able to accurately recall historical events. Below is a list of just some of the many problems we find in the Quran.

  • In S. 17:1 we are told that Muhammad was taken to the farthest Mosque, Masjid al-Aqsa. The problem with this is that the Aqsa Mosque had not been erected since Abd al-Malik only built it in AD 691. It cannot be referring to the Temple in Jerusalem since that was destroyed by the armies of the Roman general Titus in AD 70.

  • S. 18:9-26 alludes to several men and their dog who slept for approximately 309 years only to be awakened in perfect condition.

  • According to S. 18:83-98, Alexander the Great called Zhul Qarnain, “the Two Horned One,” was a Muslim who traveled till he found the Sun literally setting in a muddy spring. When we keep in mind that the title“the Two Horned One” was a title given to Alexander in pre-Islamic times, the Muslim attempts of trying to deny this fact utterly fails.

  • According to S. 4:157 the unbelieving Jews boasted by saying, “We killed the Messiah Jesus the son of Mary, the apostle of Allah.” The only problem with this is that the unbelieving Jews never admitted that Jesus was Messiah and would not have killed him if they had believed that he was their long-awaited Messianic Deliverer. The unbelieving Jews had Jesus killed because they believed he was a false Messiah:

“And they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and CLAIMS to be Christ a king.’” Luke 23:2 NIV

  • Christians are accused of worshiping Mary and Jesus as two gods apart from the true God:

And behold! Allah will say: “O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, Worship me and my mother … ” S. 5:116

Christ the son of Mary was no more than an apostle- many were the apostles that passed away before him. His mother was a woman of truth. They had both to eat their (daily) food. See how Allah doth make His Signs clear to them … S. 5:75

In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary. Say: “Who then hath the least power against Allah, if His Will were to destroy Christ the son of Mary, his mother, and all – every one that is on the earth…” S. 5:17

This presumes that since Mary ate food and could be destroyed by Allah she could not possibly be divine. This gives the misleading impression that Christians believe that she is more than simply human.

In fact, the Quran proceeds to accuse Christians of worshiping three gods:

“They do blaspheme who say: Allah is the third of three (inallaaha thaalithu thalaatha)” S. 5:73

“… so believe in Allah and His apostles. Say not three (thalaatha): desist: It will be better for you: for Allah is one Allah …” S. 4:171

According to Muslim biographer Ibn Ishaq in his work, Sirat Rasulullah, a Christian deputation from Najran came to debate Muhammad on the person of Jesus. Accordingly, these Christians allegedly believed that Jesus, “is God; and He is the son of God; and He is the third Person of the Trinity, which is the doctrine of Christianity.” (Alfred Guilliame trans., The Life of Muhammad [Oxford University Press, Karachi], p. 271)

He goes on to say, “They argue that he is the third of three in that God says: We have done, We have commanded, We have created and We have decreed, and they say, If He were one He would have said I have done, I have created, and so on, but He is He and Jesus and Mary. Concerning all these assertions the Quran came down.” (Ibid., pp. 271-272)

The errors in the Quranic teaching on what Christians believe becomes apparent to anyone familiar with the basics of Christian doctrine. Firstly, Christians have never taken Mary as a goddess alongside God. Secondly, Christians have never said God is three or the third of three which is tritheism, three separate gods forming a unity; as opposed to Trinity, ONE God who exists in Three distinct yet inseparable Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Thirdly, Christianity has never taught as part of its doctrine that Jesus is the third Person of the Trinity. Rather, he is the Second Person, with the Holy Spirit being the third Person of the Godhead. Matthew 28:19

Fourthly, Muslims believe that Allah of the Quran is the same as God the Father of the Holy Bible since they do not believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, nor in God the Holy Spirit who to Muslims is the angel Gabriel. This again causes a problem since if Allah is indeed the same Person as God the Father then the Quran is wrong in saying that Christians believe that the Father is the third of three. Christians teach that the Father is the FirstPerson of the One True Godhead, not the third deity of three gods.

And finally, Christians do not believe that Allah is the Messiah, or that God is the Messiah since this implies that Jesus is the entire Godhead, which would be modalism. The correct and biblical statement is that Jesus is God, since this suggests that although Jesus is fully God by nature he is not the only Person who shares the essence of Deity perfectly. The Bible also teaches that both the Father and the Holy Spirit are fully God.

  • Mary the Mother of Jesus is confused with Mary the sister of Aaron and Moses, the daughter of Amram:

Behold! The wife of Imran (i.e. Amram) said, “O my Lord! I do dedicate unto thee what is in my womb”… When she was delivered, she said: “O my Lord! Behold! I am delivered of a female child … I have named her Mary… ” S. 3:35, 36

“And Mary the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity..” S. 66:12.

“… They said: O Mary! Truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste.” S. 19:27-28

“Then Mary (Heb. Mariam), the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand …” Exodus 15:20

“The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt; and to Amram she bore Aaron and Moses and their sister Miriam.” Numbers 26:59

This is an error of nearly 1400 years! How could Moses’ sister Mary be Jesus’ mother, making Moses his uncle?

Muslims give two responses in trying to deal with this anachronism. First, it is stated that the expressions “sister of Aaron” and “daughter of Amram” refers to Mary’s lineage, i.e. that Mary was a descendant of Aaron and Amram of the tribe of Levi. Unfortunately for Muslims, this assertion cannot possibly be the case since Mary was a daughter of Judah and a descendant of David:

“Now Jesus Himself began his ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed the son of Joseph, the son of Heli … the son of David … the son of Judah.” Luke 3:23, 31, 33

The words, “as was supposed,” are given to clarify the fact that it is Mary’s genealogy which is being presented, with Joseph acting as the male representative. This is supported by extrabiblical documents such as the Jewish tractate of the Talmud, Chagigah, where a certain person had a dream in which he saw the punishment of the damned. There, “He saw Mary the daughter of Heli amongst the shades.” ( John Lightfoot, Commentary On the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica [Oxford University Press, 1859; with a second printing from Hendrickson Publishers Inc., 1995], vol. 1, p. v; vol. 3, p.55)

In the book of Hebrews we are told that, “it is evident that our Lord ( Jesus ) arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood” Heb. 7:14.

And,

“I ( Jesus ) am the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.” Revelation 22:16

It is therefore impossible for Mary to be a descendant of Levi, since both the orthodox Jewish understanding and the biblical record agree that Messiah would arise out of Judah (c.f. Genesis 49:10-12; Matthew 22:42-45).

Someone might interject at this point and suggest that the Bible calls Elizabeth a relation of Mary:

“Now, indeed, Elizabeth your relative also conceived a son in her old age…” Luke 1:36 NKJV

This seems to imply that Mary is of Levitical descent, since Elizabeth is addressed as one of Aaron’s descendants. (Cf. Luke 1:5)

The term used for relative in the Greek is syngenes. Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich define it as:

  1. ” The adjective refers to a person of common origin,i.e., belonging to the same family, race, tribe, or people. It can then mean ‘related’ in disposition, ‘corresponding’, ‘analogous’, or ‘similar.’

  2. The noun means ‘relationship’ by descentor disposition, then more broadly ‘analogy’ (e.g. between deity and humanity, or ideas and the senses, or the stars and human destiny), whether in philosophy or popular belief.” (Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, abridged in one volume by George W. Bromiley [Eerdmans, 1985], p. 1097)

Hence, Elizabeth and Mary were related in the sense of being of the same race of people, i.e. the Israelites. But this meaning seems to be unlikely since this could be said about any other Israelite woman’s relationship to Mary. It seems more likely that Elizabeth and Mary were blood relatives. This being the case, this still wouldn’t prove that Mary was of the tribe of Aaron. All this would prove is that Elizabeth had Judean blood in her, since Levites were allowed to marry women from any of the twelve tribes:

“The woman he (the Levitical Priests) marries must be a virgin. He must not marry a widow, a divorced woman, or a woman defiled by prostitution, but only a virgin from his people.” Leviticus 21:13-14 NIV

Ezekiel, in his vision of a restored priesthood and temple, further clarifies this point:

“They shall not marry a widow or a divorced woman, but only virgins of the offspring OF THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, or a widow who is the widow of a priest.” Ezekiel 44:22 ESV

The Holy Bible even provides an example of a priest who had married a woman from Judea, who was actually a descendant of king David:

“Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family of the house of Judah. But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were about to be put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus Jehoshabeath, the daughter of King Jehoram and wife of Jehoiada the priest, because she was a sister of Ahaziah, hid him from Athaliah, so that she did not put him to death.” 2 Chronicles 22:10-11

The foregoing demonstrates the plausibility of Elizabeth’s mother being from the line of David, from the tribe of Judah, accounting for her being related to Mary.

Elizabeth could also be an aunt to Mary, see the entry on Luke 1:36 in the Bible Commentary section.

Muslims are not to be blamed for taking the phrase “brother of” as a reference to Mary’s lineage since Muhammad also used a similar line of reasoning to cover up this error. In Sahih Muslim Mughirah ibn Shu’bah narrates:

“When I came to Najran, they (the Christians of Najran) asked me: You read ‘sister of Harun’ (i.e., Mary), in the Quran, whereas Moses was born well before Jesus. When I came back to Allah’s Messenger I asked him about that, and he said: ‘The (people of old age) used to give names (to their persons) after the names of Apostles and pious persons who had gone before them.'” #5326

Again,

Ibn Abi Ahaybah and Ahmad and Abdel Hameed and Muslim and At-Tirmidhi and An-Nassaa’I and Ibn Al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Haatim and Ibn Hibbaan and At-Tabaraani and Ibn Mardaweih ans Al-Bayhaqi in ad-dalaa’il, narrated that Al-Mughirah Ibn Shu’bah said: “The Prophet of God (PBUH) sent me to the people of Najran. They asked me: Do you see what you read? O sister of Harun while Moses precedes Jesus with such a long time? He (Al-Mughirah) said: So I went back to the Prophet and mentioned that to him. He told me: “Would you tell them the folk used to be called after Prophets and pious people who preceded them?” (Jalaaluddeen As-Suyuti, Ad-durr Al-Manthur)

The only difficulty with Muhammad’s statement is that the Jews before and during the time of Christ never used this phrase in this manner at all. Not one single reference from the Bible, either Old or New Testaments, the Jewish literature before the birth of Christ, or even the Jewish Talmud and Targums after Christ can be found to support Muhammad’s assertion. This is simply a gross error which cannot be swept away.

The second argument is actually a clarification of the first in that it is suggested that both the Bible and the Quran furnish further evidence for the term “sister of” being used to imply ancestry:

“His (Zechariah) wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.” Luke 1:5

It is obvious that the term “daughters” is speaking of Elizabeth’s lineage and is not to be taken to literally mean that her father was actually Aaron the brother of Moses.

Again it is unfortunate for Muslims that this argument does not help them, but actually serves to weaken their argument. Although the Bible does use the phrases “son of,” or “daughter of” to refer to ancestry, it never uses the terms “brother of” or “sister of” to indicate this fact. A few examples of the former usage include:

“So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound- think of it – for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath’?” Luke 13:16

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham.” Luke 19:9

“And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, ‘Have mercy on us, 0 Lord, Son of David.’ ” Matthew 20:30

Scripture never addresses a person as a “brother of Abraham,” or “sister of David” when wishing to imply lineage. Hence, the Muslim position cannot be defended biblically.

The second example is from the Quran where Salih is called Thamud’s brother:

“We sent ( aforetime ) to the Thamud, their brother Salih …” S. 27:45

The term brother here refers to kinsmen, not actual bloodbrothers, exemplifying the many different ways the term is used.

Once again the problem is far from being resolved since the term “brother” is used to address Salih’s contemporaries, not his ancestors. This implies that to call Mary Aaron’s sister meant that Mary and Aaron were contemporaries, living at the same time.

Unlike the Quran, the Holy Bible contains no historical errors. Most attacks on the Bible stem from arguments from silence, i.e. the fact that no independent archeological research has been discovered in support of certain recorded biblical events. Yet, such arguments only prove that as of yet archeology has failed to furnish evidence against an event reported in the Bible. Other attacks center on the precise dating of certain archeological findings which some see as contradicting the Holy Bible’s chronology. Again, one cannot say that the Holy Bible is in error when archeologists themselves are divided over the precise dating of certain discoveries. This is especially so when one realizes that there are certain archeologists who provide evidence which they feel proves that the data corresponds perfectly with the Bible’s chronology of the events in question.

This is far different from archeology providing evidence to show that certain events did not occur in the same manner in which the Bible says it did. In fact, not one archeological discovery has ever proven the Bible wrong; discovery after discovery has demonstrated the amazing historical accuracy of scripture. The following quotations from the world’s leading archeologists affirms this fact:

“Nowhere has archeological discovery refuted the Bible as history.” ( John Elder, Prophets, Idols and Diggers [New York; Bobs Merrill, 1960], p. 16 )

“Near Eastern archeology has demonstrated the historical and geographical reliability of the Bible in many important areas. By clarifying the objectivity and factual accuracy of biblical authors, archeology also helps correct the view that the Bible is avowedly partisan and subjective. It is now known, for instance, that, along with the Hittites, Hebrew scribes were the best historians in the entire ancient Near East, despite contrary propaganda that emerged from Assyria, Egypt, and elsewhere.” (E. M. Blaiklock, editor’s preface, New International Dictionary of Biblical Archeology [Grand Rapids, MI; Regency Reference Library/ Zondervan, 1983], pp. vii-viii)

The late William F. Albright, one of the world’s foremost archeologists, stated:

“There can be no doubt that archeology has confirmed the substantial historicity of Old Testament tradition.” (J. A. Thompson, The Bible and Archeology [Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans, 1975], p. 5)

Nelson Glueck, world renowned archeologist, concurs: “As a matter of fact, however, it maybe clearly stated categorically that no archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference. Scores of archeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or exact detail historical statements in the Bible.” ( Norman Geisler & Ron Brooks, When Skeptics Ask; A Handbook on Christian Evidences [Wheaton, IL; Victor, 1990], p. 179)

It should be noted that both Albright and Glueck were not conservative Christians and did not believe in the inspiration of scripture. Their conclusions were based strictly on the archeological data, forcing them to make the above admissions.

This cannot be said of the Quran with all of its historical and scientific mistakes.

AUTHOR OF CARNAL PLEASURES

The Quranic paradise is totally different from the biblical portrait of heaven. In Allah’s paradise, we find sexual and carnal pleasures for believers to engage in throughout eternity:

But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portions is Gardens, beneath which rivers flow, every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, they say: “Why, this is what we were fed with before,” for they are giving things in similitude; And they have therein damsels (Arabic – Houris ) pure (and holy); and they abide therein (forever).” S. 2:25

But to those who believe and do deeds of righteousness, We shall soon admit to Gardens, with rivers flowing beneath, their eternal home. Therein they have damsels pure and holy; We shall admit them to shades, cool and ever deepening. S. 4:57

Of a rare creation have We created the Houris, and We have made them ever virgins, dear to their spouses, of equal age with them for the people of the right hand. S. 56:35-38

But for those who fear Allah is a blissful abode, enclosed gardens and vineyards, and damsels with swelling breasts (Arabic – Kawa’eb), their peers in age, and a full cup. S. 78:31-34 (Arberry and Rodwell translate this part correctly, see also this overview page)

The orthodox Islamic understanding of these references are that Muslim men shall have a host of swelling breasted maidens to engage in sex with, who return to their virginal state after intercourse.

The paradise of Yahweh is one that is devoid of such carnality, being filled with the infinite love and joy of God instead. Hence, the believers’ reward is to dwell with God forever in eternal glory:

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” Luke 20:34-36

“The kingdom of God is not food or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17

“And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

AUTHOR OF FOREIGN WORDS

The Quran claims to be in pure Arabic speech:

We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran, in order that ye may learn wisdom. S. 12:2

“An Arabic Quran, wherein there is no crookedness…” S. 9:28

And We know very well that they say, “Only a mortal is teaching him.” The speech of him at whom they hint is barbarous- and this is Arabic, pure and clear. S. 16:103

But according to Arabic scholars the Quran is not in pure Arabic, containing dozens of foreign words:

Abariq, S. 56:18, Persian

Adam, S. 2:34, Akkadian

Araik, S. 18:31, Persian

Firdaus, S. 18:107, Pahlavi

Fir’awn, S. 73:15, Syriac

Habr, S. 9:31, Hebrew (Haver)

Istabraq, S. 18:31, Persian (Istabar)

Sakina, S. 2:248, Hebrew

Sijjil (baked clay), S. 105:4, Persian

Taghut (idols), S. 2:257, Syriac (Teghutha)

Zakat, S. 2:110, Syriac (Zkhutha)

Zanjabil (ginger), S. 76:17, Pahlavi

Muslims respond by presuming that all living languages adopt words from other cultures, and it is therefore not an error for the Quran to contain foreign words. This argument only works in regard to imperfect human beings who continually adopt and adapt to other cultures and customs.

Unfortunately for Muslims, this argument will not work for an all-powerful Being who is the Originator of human language. Such a Being is capable of inspiring his word in perfect Arabic completely devoid of foreign words, especially when he himself states that the Quran is in pure Arabic. This is even more so in light of the claim that the Quran is the eternal speech of God, i.e. that the Quran existed (on an eternal tablet) before the creation of human language. How can God’s speech contain foregin words when these foreign languages did not exist in eternity? As one Muslim writer stated:

The Qur’an itself repeatedly asserts that it is a unique and inimitable “Arabic Qur’an” (12.2, 13.37, 16.103) in order to communicate its meaning in a perfect manner to a people who took great pride in the expressive quality of their language. Much of the early discussion about the linguistic components of the Qur’an centred on the presence, or otherwise, of non-Arabic words in it – of course, based on the premise that it was essentially an Arabic text. The verses referred to above became the key supportive texts for those who argued that the Qur’an did not contain any non-Arabic terms. The earliest exegetes, particularly those associated with ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Abbas (d. 68/67-68), a cousin of Muhammad, freely discussed a large number of non-Arabic words in the Qur’an. Hadith literature credits Ibn ‘Abbas and “his school” with having a special interest in seeking their origin and meaning. Later eminent scholars of the Qur’an such as the philologist/exegete Abu ‘Ubayd (d. 838), however continued to argue that the Qur’an contained foreign words. Others such as Ibn ‘Atiyyah (d. 541/1146), Suyuti (d. 911/1505), and ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Tha’labi (d. 1468) tried to reconcile theology with linguistic principles. They argued that the foreign words in the Qur’an came into Arabic through the ancient Arab’s contacts with other languages in foreign travel and commerce but that they had been thoroughly Arabized by the time of the Prophet [Sam- If this were so then there would have been no need to highlight the fact that these foreign words had become part of the language since this would have been common knowledge to native Arab speakers like Ibn Abbas. That an explanation was needed to explain why foreign words appear in the Quran demonstrates how weak this Muslim claim actually is!] Various theories were evolved to resolve THE CONTRADICTION between the notion ascribed to Ibn ‘Abbas and the one which subsequently gained greater acceptance, i.e., that the Qur’an does not contain any foreign terminology. To deal with the actual occurrence of words in the Arabic language that were also found in non-Arabic languages, some of these scholars, such as Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi (d. 204/819) and Tabari, developed the notion of tawafuq (coincidence). They argued that both Arabic and other languages employ the same words with identical meanings and that this uniformity of meaning was purely coincidental.

The idea of any language or discourse being absolutely free from expressions or words used in another language is alien to one of the most basic linguistic principles, i.e., the inter-relatedness of human speech. While this may sound trite, two factors, however, ensured that this notion was rejected by the “orthodoxy”: first, the Qur’an IS NOT REALLY REGARDED AS HUMAN SPEECH BUT RATHER GOD’S AND GOD’S SPEECH CANNOT BE SUBJECTED TO ANY LINGUISTIC PRINCIPLES. Indeed, as is commonly known, Qur’anic Arabic became the standard of Arabic grammar. (The problem of God’s speech of necessity having to coincide with human speech for effect and meaning remains.) Second, for the “orthodoxy”, God’s own eternalness and self-subsistence fused with those of His revelation. The Qur’an and its language thus came to be viewed as equally timeless and independent of any “non-divine” elements, non-Arabic included. The fact of God’s revelation occurring in Arabic (or any other language for that matter) alongside the insistence that this is the unmediated medium which was used by God raises an interesting question: If all comprehensible language and speech is the result of social interaction THEN DOES THIS IMPLY THAT GOD IS ALSO ‘LIMITED’ OR CONFINED TO THE LIMITATIONS OF LANGUAGE? If so, then WHAT DOES THIS IMPLY FOR THE ALL-POWERFUL NATURE OF GOD? (Farid Esack, The Qur’an – A Short Introduction [Oneworld Publications, Oxford 2002], pp. 68-69; bold and capital emphasis mine)

AUTHOR OF GRAMMATICAL ERRORS

Not only does the Quran contain foreign words, but according to Arabic grammarians it also contains grammatical mistakes:

The Qor’an contains sentences which are incomplete and not fully intelligible without the aid of commentaries; foreign words, unfamiliar Arabic words, and words used with other than the normal meaning, adjectives and verbs inflected without observance of the concords of gender and number- illogically and ungrammatically applied pronouns which sometimes have no referent- and predicates which in rhymed passages are often remote from the subjects … To sum up, more than one hundred Qor’anic aberrations from the normal rules and structures have been noted… ( Ali Dashti, 23 Years: A Study of the Prophetic Career of Muhammad [Costa Mesa, Ca. 1994; Mazda Publishers], pp. 48, 50)

A few examples include the following passages:

  • S. 7:56 – “The mercy of Allah is near”

Arabic – “inna rahmata Allahi qaribun min al-mohseneen.”

The word qaribun is the predicate of rahmata Allahi, and as such should match in gender. Since rahmata is feminine the word qaribun (which is masculine ) should be qaribah, its feminine form.

  • S. 7:160 – “We divided them in twelve tribes”

Arabic – “wa qata’nahom ‘ethnata ‘ashrata asbatan.”

In Arabic, any noun which is counted by a number above ten should be singular, as is the case in S. 7:142; 2:60; 5:12; 9:36; 12:4. As such the Arabic asbatan should be sebtan.

  • S. 5:69 – “Surely they that believe, and those of Jewry, and the Sabians, and the Christians, whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, and works righteousness- no fear shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow.”

Arabic- “Innal-laziina ‘aamanuu wal-laziina haaduu was-Saabi’uuna wan-Nasaara man’amaana bilaahi wal-Yawmil Aakhiri wa ‘amila saali-hanfalaa khaw-fun ‘alay-him wa laa hum yah-zanuun.”

According to scholars, the Arabic Saabi’uuna has been wrongly declined. Compare the same grammatical structure found in the following suras:

  1. 2:62- “Innal-laziina ‘aamanuu wal-laziina haaduu wan-Nasaara was-Saabi’iina…

  2. 22:17- “Innal-laziina ‘aamanuu wal-laziina haaduu was-Saabi’iinawan-Nasaara…”

In the last two suras the term was declined correctly, Saabi’iina, as opposed to Saabi’uuna. This is due to the word inna found in the beginning of the sentence causing a form of declension called “nasb” (as in the cases of accusative or subjunctive) with the “yeh” being the “sign of nasb”. But the word Saabi’uuna is given the case of ‘uu, a sign of “rafa” ( as in cases of nominative and indicative ). Accordingly, the verse in 5:69 is wrong.

  • S. 91:5 – “By the heaven and that which built it.”

Arabic- “was-samaaa-i wa maa ba-naahaa.”

The word ma is impersonal in Arabic. Yet, the subject of the verse is Allah, heaven’s Creator. As such the word man, meaning “him who“, should have been used instead of the impersonal ma.

It should be pointed out that it is not only Arabic scholars who have discovered dozens of grammatical mistakes within the Quran, but Muhammad’s very own companions in the past have also admitted this fact. The Muslim scholar Ibn al-Khatib in his book al Furqan quotes Muhammad’s wife Aisha as saying:

“There are three grammatical errors in the Book of Allah, they are the fault of the scribe: In 20:63 … And in 5:69 … And in 4:162.” (Muhammad M. abd al-Latif Ibn al-Khatib, Al-Furqan [Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyah, Beirut], p. 91)

After seeing the first standard copy of the Quran, Islam’s third Caliph Uthman proclaimed, “I see grammatical errors in it, and the Arabs will read it correctly with their tongues.” (Ibid., p.90)

For the Quran to be the word of Allah and for Allah to be God one should find no grammatical mistakes, especially since Muslims claim that the Quran contains no human element whatsoever. Muslim view is that the Quran was dictated word for word to Muhammad, which implies that Allah is the Author of these grammatical errors. This disqualifies Allah from being God, especially Yahweh God of the Holy Bible.

To avoid this problem, Muslims assert that the Quran was revealed in a style called balaagha, which is an eloquent method of expressing the Arabic. Due to this feature, the Quran is not required to be grammatically correct since its aim is at eloquence.

Once again this assumption serves to undermine the Muslim position. It may be true that a document written by man cannot be both grammatically correct and still retain an optimum level of eloquence, since a human writer most often sacrifices one literary feature over the other. But this cannot be said of God since he can easily produce a book which contains both perfect grammar and eloquence without ever sacrificing one for the other. This the Quran fails to do.

ALLAH AND OATHS

A real point of difference between Allah and Yahweh is that Yahweh swears by himself, since there is nothing greater for him to swear by:

For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself. Hebrews 6:13

For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Hebrews 6:16

Hence, every time God makes a pledge he swears only by himself to insure believers that he will do all that he promises:

“I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow…” Isaiah 45:23

“I swear by Myself, says the LORD.” Jeremiah 22:5

Yet, Allah swears by things less than him:

Swears by the Quran

By the Quran, full of wisdom. S. 36:2

By the Quran, full of admonition. S. 38:1

Swears by the sky and constellations

By the sky and the night visitant S. 86:1

Nay verily: By the moon, and by the night as it retreateth, and by the dawn as it shines forth. S. 74:32-34

By the star when it goes down. S. 53:1

Swears by the pen

By the pen and by the record which [men] write. S. 68:1

Swears by the city

Nay I do swear by this city. S. 90:1

Swears by the Creation

By the night as it cancels [the light]; by the day as it appears in glory; by the Creation of male and female. S. 92:1-3

The fact that Allah swears by practically anything and everything, while Yahweh swears only by himself, makes it very difficult for the two to be the one and the same God.

ALLAH IS NOT TRIUNE

The final proof that Allah is not Yahweh Elohim of the Holy Bible is that Allah is not a trinity. According to the Holy Bible, there is only One true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Galatians 3:20).

Yet, at the same time Scripture affirms that this One God eternally exists in three Persons:

The Father

“…elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father…” 1 Peter 1:2

The Son

“… looking for that blessed hope and glorious appearing of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ…” Titus 2:13

The Holy Spirit

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit… you have not lied to men but to God.” Acts 5:3-4

Three in One

“… baptizing them in the Name (singular – implying unity) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit …” Matthew 28:19

But the Allah of the Quran is not any of the three Persons mentioned above. For example S. 112 states,

Say: He is Allah, the One and Only; Allah, The Eternal, Absolute-, He begetteth not, Nor is He Begotten; And there is none like unto Him. S. 112: 1-4

Allah does not “beget” meaning that Allah has no children either in a spiritual or carnal sense. Thus, Allah can never be the Father. Nor does he allow himself to be “begotten”, i.e. does not take on human nature such as God the Son did when he became man for our salvation. Finally, in orthodox Islam the Holy Spirit is not God, but the angel Gabriel. This fact separates Allah from ever possibly being the same God that Christians worship.

Furthermore, we read in I John 2:22-23:

“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is Antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”

Thus, to the Christians Allah cannot be the biblical God since the inspired New Testament record teaches that anyone denying the Father and Son as God is Antichrist.

One common Muslim allegation needs to be briefly addressed before concluding. In Exodus 31:17 it says that after Yahweh created the universe, he rested on the Sabbath and was refreshed. This description is not befitting God since he never fatigues nor does he need to be refreshed.

In response to this, as we have already noted scripture often uses anthropomorphic language in describing God’s relations with man. The context of this passage deals with the necessity of Sabbath observance as a sign between God and Israel, and as such God is speaking to his covenant people in relational terms.

Just as God rested on the seventh day, it is important for Israel to do likewise especially in light of the fact that they are the chosen people of God and must imitate him by observing all his commands.

Furthermore, the term for Sabbath in Hebrew is shabat. It is listed in Strong’s as #7673 with the following meanings: to stop, to cease, to rest, to end. Also, the term “refreshed” doesn’t necessarily mean that God needed to take a breather after creating the universe anymore than the expression “my heart was refreshed” implies fatigue. Rather, it refers to God rejoicing over the goodness of his creation.

Thus, these terms do not imply that God literally needed to rest and be refreshed. It simply means that after the formation of man God stopped his work of creation and rejoiced at the fact that all creation up to that point was very good. (c.f. Genesis 1:31)

This interpretation is consistent with the clear teaching of Scripture that God never fatigues:

“He will not allow your foot to be moved- He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121: 3-4

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28

To then try and use Exodus 31:17 as a prooftext while neglecting the overall context of scripture is rather poor exegesis and unscholarly, since the Bible is clear that God has inexhaustible power and energy.

Our brief examination of Allah as presented in the Quran leads us to conclude that he cannot possibly be the same God worshiped by Abraham and as described in the Holy Bible. The contradictions in attributes and nature between Yahweh and Allah are too numerous to pass over, and cannot be reconciled.

With that in mind, we must point out another major difference between the two; namely that the God of the Holy Bible gives an assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ the Lord, something which Allah never guarantees:

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

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgement, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24

And if anyone hears my words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. John 12:47

The Bible clearly teaches that there is no other way for man to be saved, since Jesus alone can guarantee eternal life, something which the Quran cannot promise any Muslim:

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father except through me.'” John 14:6

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

The reason why Christ alone can promise salvation is because he alone paid the penalty for sin which is death. By his death on the cross Christ provided the only acceptable sacrifice to God on behalf of sinners:

“Being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation) a sacrifice offered which satisfies the divine justice of God) in his blood …” Romans 3:24-25

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

To sum it all up

It is therefore up to Muslims to decide whether to accept Jesus Christ as Yahweh’s Son and the Savior of the world and receive the assurance of eternal salvation. Or continue to worship Allah of the Quran who never promises Muslims the joy of knowing that their sins have been forgiven, giving them the assurance of eternal salvation. The choice is left for the reader to decide.

Yet the problem arises from the fact that Muslims insist that Allah is not a title, but the personal name of the God of Islam. This becomes problematic since according to the Holy Bible the name of the God of Abraham is Yahweh/Jehovah, not Allah:

God spoke further to Moses and said to him, “I am Yahweh (YHVH) and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty; BUT BY MY NAME, YAHWEH, I did not make myself known to them.” Exodus 6:2-3

Therefore, in order to avoid confusions, our Arab friends who convert should be encouraged as new Christians to realize that the correct name for the God of the Bible is Yahweh or Jehovah and not Allah; and that in order to become Christians, all must believe in the Jesus Christ as the Son of God and that the Bible is the only inspired Word of God, and all other literature is the work of men telling myths.

All the heavy lifting for this article was done by Sam Shamoun

WHY SATAN USES FEAR IN OUR LIFE

It’s Thursday,, so it’s Nehemiah night. I know, twice in one week

I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me. Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me…. Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.

Nehemiah 6:12-14, 19

We have already dealt with this a little previously, but since it happens twice in this passage, I think it needs a separate point. One of the enemy’s primary tactics against Nehemiah was psychological warfare, more specifically, fear. We just read it in Nehemiah 6:13-14 and again in verse 19. In bringing a false prophet, Tobiah and Sanballat were ultimately trying to make Nehemiah intimidated or it can be translated frightened, which would have led him to sin. Tobiah also tried to intimidate him through the sending of letters (v. 19).

It’s important to see the enemy’s intent of bringing fear behind the tactic of false teaching and the letters because it was also the same intent behind the tactic of slander. Nehemiah 6:9 said, “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”‘

Behind the tactic of slander, false teaching, and the letters, the enemy was ultimately trying to make Nehemiah afraid. Satan also constantly tries to do that with us. He is always trying to promote fear, anxiety, and worry in those who follow God. In fact, Peter compares Satan to a roaring lion seeking whomever he may devour. First Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Why does a lion roar? The roar is strategic to paralyze his prey with fear, so he can attack and devour it. In the same way, Satan commonly uses fear to try to devour believers.

Tobiah and Sanballat were trying to use fear to immobilize and paralyze Nehemiah. They tried to frighten him with gossip, which could have led to the king of Persia’s wrath. The enemy tried to attack him with the threat of killing him. The enemy was trying to use fear to hinder the work of God. Our enemy, Satan, uses fear for similar purposes with us.

  1. Satan uses fear to stop believers from doing God’s work.

We see this in the Parable of the Talents. Matthew 25:24-25 says,

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.”

In Matthew 25, the person with one talent never used his talent. His reason was fear; he was afraid. We see this same excuse all the time with believers. They are afraid of failure; they are afraid of success; they are insecure about their abilities. Many are paralyzed and kept from doing God’s work because of fear. They won’t serve in the leadership of a ministry; they won’t evangelize; they won’t pray. Fear keeps them from doing the work of God.

In fact, we commonly see this tendency with many God called for service. We saw this with Moses and Gideon. Both struggled with fear when God called them to serve. Similarly, many Christians are paralyzed by some type of fear which limits their usefulness. The enemy uses psychological warfare.

  1. Satan uses fear to hinder the work of God in believers.

We see this in the Parable of the Sowers. Matthew 13:22 says, “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.”

The worries of this life (fear) kept the Word from ever producing fruit in the thorny ground. The Word of God is ineffective in many Christians because of the thorn of worry. Maybe they hear the Word and agree with it, but their fears keep the Word of God from producing fruit. They are worried about the future, about the past, about family, about career, etc. These worries hinder the work of God in them. It chokes the power of the Word of God.

  1. Satan uses fear to lead believers into sin.

That was the enemy’s plan with Nehemiah. He was tempting Nehemiah to fear with the hope that he would run into the temple and sin against God, weakening the people and causing them to doubt his leadership.

It’s the same thing in our daily lives. A person’s fear and insecurities will often lead them to sin. Abraham was afraid of losing his life because of his beautiful wife, so he lied to Pharaoh and said she was his sister. Abraham was afraid to not have a child, so he married a second wife, Hagar, and sinned against God. Fear led him into sin, and it is the same for us.

  1. Satan uses fear to lead a believer into discouragement.

Nehemiah 6:9 says, “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’”

Tobiah’s and Sanballat’s desire was to make Nehemiah too weak to complete the work. Similarly, as mentioned before, a discouraged, depressed Christian won’t be very productive in serving the kingdom of God. Their fear weakens their hands in the work. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of a man brings depression.” Because of this, Satan works hard in sowing seeds of fear to weaken and discourage the Christian.

  1. In order to defeat fear, we must recognize that fear is not of God.

Listen to what Paul told Timothy: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Paul tells Timothy, God has not given you that spirit of fear. He is calling Timothy to recognize that his insecurities, probably in ministry, were not from God. Paul said to the Philippians, “Be anxious for nothing” (4:6). We should not accept fear as from God. Certainly, there are healthy fears, such as the fear of the Lord, but fear that keeps us from serving God or trusting him is not from the Lord. In fact, Paul commands us to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts (Col 3:15).

  1. In order to defeat fear, we must recognize our resources in God.

Paul did not simply tell Timothy to reject fear, he also gave him reasons. Look again at what he said: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Paul said, “Timothy you don’t need to be afraid because God has given you power for whatever task he has called you to. He has given you love for people who are difficult. He has given you discipline to get the task done. Timothy, there is no reason to be afraid. Look at the resources God has given you.” God has given us these resources as well: power, love, and self-discipline.

  1. In order to defeat fear, we must pray.

In two of the times that Nehemiah was tempted to be afraid, both the open letter and the false prophet, how did he respond? He prayed.

They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”

Nehemiah 6:9

Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me.

Nehemiah 6:14

Aren’t we encouraged to battle fear similarly in the New Testament? Remember what Paul told the Philippians:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

We combat it by: (a) choosing not to fear, (b) choosing to pray about everything, and by (c) giving thanks in everything.

This is the reason so many are crippled by fear and kept from doing the work God has called them to do. They have chosen to be anxious, chosen to be afraid. They have chosen to not pray about everything. And finally, most Christians don’t give thanks in everything. They complain, they get mad, they get angry, and therefore, the enemy still wins the victory. The promise of peace only comes to those who practice all these disciplines. Nehemiah battled fear through prayer and we must as well.

Do you realize you have an enemy just like Nehemiah?

There are events that are happening to you and your family through which the enemy wants to immobilize you with fear; he wants to cripple you with worries. However, God wants you to have peace so that you can continue serving him. Do you recognize the enemy’s tactics?

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Daniel, 38 and facing serious prison time

Pray for Nathan, 27 years to go in a federal prison, no parole, no time off, he’s just had a birthday, he’s 38, raised in church.

Pray for sally his wife, 5 kids, she is resorting to prostitution to pay the bills, has already contracted aids.

the fox in the hen house

October 20, 2016

Image result for picture of a fox in the hen house

Nehemiah on a Wednesday, I know it’s not Thursday, but I’ve been on the road all week and using my ipad which I hate, and the devotions tend to be a little skimpy because of my lack or expertise with an ipad. So here’s something to sink your teeth into.

Satan will try to use Infiltration through False Teaching. It’s been a long time since I’ve slammed all the religious talking heads out there that are full of hooey. Whether it’s Joel Osteen or Benny Hinn, or the local pastor, false teaching seems to prevail. When we do our annual district pastor sermons review, I’m amazed at the chaff in the sermons, more smoke than fire. The biggest problem is laziness on the part of the pastor, the second problem is lack of mentoring and accountability.

So let’s look at Nehemiah;

One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple, and let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you—by night they are coming to kill you.” But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should one like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!” I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. He had been hired to intimidate me so that I would commit a sin by doing this, and then they would give me a bad name to discredit me. Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets who have been trying to intimidate me.

Nehemiah 6:10-14

The next tactic of the enemy was to intimidate Nehemiah through false teaching. In this scenario, Tobiah and Sanballat hired a prophet named Shemaiah to deceive Nehemiah. His intent was to get Nehemiah to protect himself from the enemy by hiding in the temple (v. 10).

It seems that Shemaiah was trying to give the illusion of a “prophet utterance.” When we see the prophet “shut in at his home,” he probably was acting out the prophecy. This was common for prophets in the Old Testament. For example, we see Isaiah prophesy naked against Egypt and Cush to demonstrate how Assyria would conquer them, take them captive, and lead them naked in order to shame them (Isaiah 20). We also see that Hosea was called to marry a prostitute to represent how Israel was adulterous in her relationship with God (Hosea 1).

Shemaiah said, “let us close the temple doors, because men are coming to kill you, by night they are coming to kill you” (v. 10). This utterance seemed to be written in the form of a poetic couplet in order to trick Nehemiah into sin.1 However, Nehemiah realized that this prophet had been sent by Sanballat to make him commit sin and to give him a bad name.

This is important because one of the common tactics Satan uses to try to lure people away from God and their callings is through false teaching and false prophets. Listen to what Christ said:

Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:15-16

Jesus said to beware of false prophets. They are deceptive; they come to us in sheep’s clothing. However, they are really wolves trying to destroy. We will be able to recognize them by their fruits.

The enemy has led many astray through his false teachers. In fact, Paul said this:

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Paul said that these people are in the church masquerading as servants of righteousness. This is still happening today, and we must be aware of it. Consider what Paul taught Timothy about the last days:

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

1 Timothy 4:1-2

Paul said that false teachers and false teachings will be common in the last days. Essentially a new cult of Christianity pops up every day, and many people from the church are often led into them. If this will continue to increase in these last days, how much do Christians need discernment more than previous generations?

Interpretation Question: How did Nehemiah know this was a false prophecy? How can we know?

  1. He tested it by Scripture.

Nehemiah knew this was a false prophesy because he knew it would be sin for him to enter into the temple and close the doors. The fact that the prophet talked about closing the door indicates that the prophet was calling him to enter the Holy Place, which was only for priests (Num 18:7).2 For him to enter would have been sin and possibly led to his death.

He, no doubt, tested this prophecy by knowing Scripture. God would never tell him to enter a forbidden area of the temple. A king in the Old Testament actually entered the Holy place to offer a sacrifice and God struck him with leprosy (cf. 2 Chr 26:19).

The best protection from false teachers and false doctrine is through diligent study of the Word of God. Listen to the story of the Bereans:

Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Acts 17:11

We need Christians who are diligent in the study of the Bible and test everything that comes out of the teacher’s mouth. God is calling all of us to be “noble” Christians.

  1. He knew his identity.

Nehemiah said, “Should a man like me hide?” Nehemiah knew his identity as governor, but more than that, as a servant of God and the people of Israel. In serving God and man, he could not sin against them.

In the New Testament, this reality is also true of us. Part of the reason many of us fall to the deceptions of Satan is because we really don’t know who we are in Christ. When people don’t know their identity, then they will run around trying to find it in everything.

You will find your identity in wealth, education, relationships, or even sin, if you don’t know who you are in Christ.

For example, Christ taught his disciples about their identity as children of God in order that they would not struggle with fear and worry about future provisions. Listen to what he says:

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:31-33

Jesus essentially said, “The world runs after what they will eat, drink or wear, but you have a Father who takes care of you. Stop living for food, drink and clothing. The world does that, but you don’t have to because your Father will provide.” Knowing your identity will help free us from the lies of the enemy.

One of the ways we will be kept from the myriads of false teachings that will continue to increase as we get closer to the end times is by knowing the Word of God. Nehemiah knew it would be sin to enter the holy place in the temple. It was only for priests. But Nehemiah also knew his identity as a leader of Israel and servant of God. Knowing who we are will protect us from much of Satan’s tactics.

God bless and praise and thankfulness to the Lord, one area I often fall short of is counting my blessings and looking at the good.

scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Image result for picture of someone saying shhh

i know Thursday night is supposed to be Nehemiah night, but with the blackout, no electric, no internet and all the hassle i’ve fallen behind and lost track of what day and what I’ve posted, so in theory all is back on track.

Then, the fifth time, Sanballat sent his aide to me with the same message, and in his hand was an unsealed letter in which was written: “It is reported among the nations—and Geshem says it is true—that you and the Jews are plotting to revolt, and therefore you are building the wall. Moreover, according to these reports you are about to become their king and have even appointed prophets to make this proclamation about you in Jerusalem: ‘There is a king in Judah!’ Now this report will get back to the king; so come, let us confer together.” I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.” But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
Nehemiah 6:5-9

We see that the enemy also attacked Nehemiah through slander. Initially, he sent four personal messages to Nehemiah, but on the last one, he sent an open letter. Typically, when sending a letter to a government official, it would be a closed letter so that no one else could see the contents. However, Sanballat sought to pressure Nehemiah to respond to this meeting by slandering his name. Therefore, this open letter would not only have been read before Nehemiah but, probably, all along the way till it reached Nehemiah.

Sanballat lied about Nehemiah by saying he was trying to become king (v. 6-7). If this had gotten back to Artaxerxes, it could have potentially meant Nehemiah’s life, as Persian kings were known for quickly getting rid of any resistance.

Similarly with believers, when Satan is trying to stop the work of God, slander and gossip are common tactics. The very name “devil” means “slanderer” or “accuser.” That is what he does, he slanders God; he slanders people. He speaks slander to anyone who will listen. He will even slander us to our own ears—offering an array of condemnation. Consider the heavenly description of Satan in Revelation 12:10:

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

1. Satan slandered Job before God.

In the book of Job, he told God that Job only followed him because God blessed him. He said, “Touch his family, his riches, his body and you’ll see that he doesn’t love you.” He slandered Job before God.

2. Satan slandered God before Eve.

In the Garden of Eden, Satan said, “you will not die but you will become like God.” Satan slandered God before Eve, implying that God was keeping the best from her and Adam.

3. Satan slandered Jesus through the Pharisees.

Christ was slandered and accused by the Pharisees. They trumped up many false witnesses against him to lie about him.

The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward.
Matthew 26:59-60

Satan commonly uses slander. He brings discord and problems to individual Christians and the church by bringing false accusations. That is the devil’s character; he is a slanderer.

Application Question: Why does the enemy use slander?

1. Slander is meant to discourage the Christian.

Listen to what Nehemiah said: “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed’” (Nehemiah 6:9).

A discouraged, depressed Christian isn’t very productive in serving the kingdom of God. Often they become so focused on their problems that it weakens their hands in serving the Lord. Therefore, Satan works relentlessly to weaken and discourage the Christian, especially through slander.

2. Slander is meant to change the focus of the Christian.

Many times in seeking to defend our own reputation, we will find ourselves drawn away from focusing on God and the work of God. Satan slanders in order to distract the Christian.

3. Slander is meant to bring division.

Solomon said, “a whisperer separates friends” (Prov 16:28). The enemy will divide the church through slander, as he sends his whisperers around the church.

Observation Question: How does Nehemiah respond to the slander? How should we respond to gossip and slander?

1. Confront slander by telling the truth.

Nehemiah 6:8 says, “I sent him this reply: ‘Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.’”

Nehemiah resisted the devil with the truth. He simply told them it was not true. Many times we cannot do much more than that.

2. Confront slander by trusting in God.

We see this by the fact that Nehemiah prays and puts the situation in God’s hands. Nehemiah 6:9 says, “They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’”

It should be said that at times, in entrusting things to God, it might be best to just remain silent and not defend ourselves. Because rumors are false, many times the truth will become evident. There were times when Christ was accused falsely, but instead of defending himself, he chose to remain silent and entrusted the situation to God. Consider Matthew 26:61-63:

This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent.

Certainly, we should confront lies with truth, but sometimes, in trusting God, we should allow him to be our defense (cf. Rom 12:19).

3. Confront slander by living a life that is above reproach.

The lies about Nehemiah seemed to have had very little traction. This was because Nehemiah was a man who was above reproach in the way he lived. As governor of Israel, he brought reform to the previous administration’s corruptness; he never even used his food allotment but instead paid out of his own pocket to meet his needs and others’ (cf. Neh 5:14-18). He had a reputation for being upright.

It becomes hard for anyone to lie about you if you consistently live a life that is above reproach. We see nothing in this text about the Jews or the king of Persia responding to this gossip, and we can have no doubt that it was because of Nehemiah’s chaste and holy behavior.

Listen to what Peter commanded of the Christians being persecuted in the Roman Empire: “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (1 Peter 2:12). Let this be true of us as well.

always speak the truth, don’t listen to lies, walk away from gossip.

god bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com