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The Prophet Adam

June 9, 2018 Leave a comment

The majority of Muslims believe that the first man was a prophet although the Koran really does not clearly say that he was a prophet. There are some Muslims who say that he was not a prophet. I will talk about the prophethood of Adam from a Koranic perspective here.

One of the verses which is used to support the position that Adam was a prophet is taken from the Second Surah:

Mankind was [of] one religion [before their deviation]; then Allah sent the prophets as bringers of good tidings and warners and sent down with them the Scripture in truth to judge between the people concerning that in which they differed. (Koran 2:213, Sahih International)

The word translated from Arabic into English as “religion” is ummatan. This word is translated as community or nation in other translations of the Koran.

Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. (Koran 2:213, Pickthall)

Mankind was one single nation, and Allah sent Messengers with glad tidings and warnings; and with them He sent the Book in truth, to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. (Koran 2:213, Yusuf Ali)

So, this verse cannot be interpreted to mean that there was only one religion on earth and the first man was a practitioner of that religion without the use of other verses which would support that view.

In another place in the Second Surah it says:

Then Adam received from his Lord words (of revelation), and He relented toward him. Lo! He is the relenting, the Merciful. (Koran 2:37, Pickthall)

The words in parentheses are an addition by the translator. However, if Adam received any words from God then that would be a revelation from Him. So, those words would be words of revelation.

The next verse says:

We said: Go down, all of you, from hence; but verily there cometh unto you from Me a guidance; and whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve. (Koran 2:38, Pickthall)

Incidentally, this is one of many verses in the Koran, which in my opinion, teach the doctrine of the Trinity. God uses “We” indicating a plurality of Persons (namely, Three) and “Me” and “My” indicating that all Three Persons are one and the same God.

This verse says that Adam received guidance from God. This verse might be talking about a guidance coming from Adam and Eve’s offspring. In other words, one of their progeny is the guidance.

That would agree with the Bible which the Koran says to believe.

Believers, have faith in God and His Messenger, the Book which is revealed to him, and the Bible which has been revealed before. Whoever refuses to believe in God, His angels, Books, Messengers and the Day of Judgment, has gone far away from the right path. (Koran 4:136, Muhammad Sarwar)

If it is words given to them by God, these words were given to them after they were expelled from the garden. In verse 36 of this surah it says:

But Satan caused them to deflect therefrom and expelled them from the (happy) state in which they were; and We said: Fall down, one of you a foe unto the other! There shall be for you on earth a habitation and provision for a time. (Koran 2:36, Pickthall)

The words that God gave the Serpent are the words that Adam passed onto his posterity and are probably what the Koran is referring to. In Genesis 3, it says:

So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Genesis 3:14,15, NKJV)

These verses are interpreted by Christians to be a prophecy of Christ. The woman is a prophetic reference to Mary the mother of Jesus. Her Seed is a prophetic reference to Jesus Christ. The Serpent is Satan. Satan bruised Jesus’ heel when He was crucified. The idolatrous Roman soldiers were servants of Satan since they were idolaters. (See I Corinthians 10:20.) Jesus said the night before His crucifixion:

I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. (John 14:30. NKJV)

The “ruler of this world” is Satan. The Jews who came to get Jesus and try Him were also servants of Satan. Jesus told the Jews who did not believe in Him that their father is the devil. (See John 8:44.)

He had also said that “the ruler of this world” would be cast out.

Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” This He said, signifying by what death He would die. (John 12:30-33, NKJV)

He was talking about His crucifixion in this context. St. John the Theologian said that Jesus “was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:8) He did this by not just being a sacrifice for sins, but also by destroying death by His death. (John 10:17,18; Acts 2:24; II Timothy 1:10)

Koran 2:38 says: “whoso followeth My guidance, there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.” The guidance is to be followed by Adam’s posterity. Since a prophecy of Christ was given to Adam in Genesis 3. (His wife and he heard the words God said to the serpent.) Then the guidance is a reference to Jesus Christ in this verse from the Koran. Jesus said:

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6, NKJV)

Historically, the words of Christ, “I am the Way,” have been interpreted to mean that Jesus is our guide, teacher, and example. (I know that that is not how these words are interpreted by many in our modern times, but the Church Fathers interpreted these words that way.) If we are following Jesus’ teachings and example, then we are walking in the light and not in darkness. (See John 8:12.)

There are other words that Adam received from God before the expulsion from the Garden. In Genesis 2, God said:

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Genesis 2:18, NKJV)

St. Paul based his teaching concerning women on this verse.

For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. (I Corinthians 11:8,9, NKJV)

Further on in Genesis 2, we read:

And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24, NKJV)

St. Paul bases his teachings concerning marriage and the relationship between Christ and the Church on this passage.

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:28-33, NKJV)

Another text from the Koran that is used to say that Adam is a prophet of God is in the Third Surah.

Indeed, Allah chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of ‘Imran over the worlds. (Koran 3:33, Sahih International)

The family of Imran is the family of Joachim. According to Church tradition, Mary’s father’s name was Joachim and her mother was Anna. Both genealogies of Christ that appear in the Gospels are Joseph’s genealogies, not Mary’s. [See The Epistle to Aristides, by Julius Africanus (200-245).] Imran, according to the commentary section of The Study Quran, comes from an Arabic root which means to “erect,” “build,” or “set up.” The name, Joachim, means “He whom Yahweh set up.” (See page 141 of The Study Quran.) So, according to this verse from the Quran, God (Allah) chose Adam, Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of Joachim. According to Church tradition, Joachim and Anna had only one child, Mary, and Mary had only one Child, Jesus. (I know Protestants will disagree with me about Mary having only one Child, but that is a subject for another blog post.)

God chose them over the worlds. In other words, Adam, Noah, Abraham and his family, Joachim, Anna, Mary, and Jesus are the most important people in the entire universe. Christians, by the way, become part of Abraham’s family through their faith in Christ. (See Galatians 3:26.)

Back to the subject at hand. Not everyone in Abraham’s family was a prophet. He had children by Keturah who were not prophets. (See Genesis 25:1-4.) Joachim and Anna were not prophets. However, we did get some words of Scripture from Mary. (See Luke 1:46-55.)

One can build arguments from the Koran which say that Adam was a prophet. These Muslims believe that Adam was a prophet: https://islam.stackexchange.com/questions/31053/is-adam-a-s-considered-a-rasul and http://www.therevival.co.uk/adam-eve-quran. It is also possible to refute these arguments. This Muslim does not believe that Adam was a prophet: https://submission.org/friday_who_is_Adam.html. The Koran, as I have already pointed out, says to believe the Bible. (Koran 4:136) I think that when we look at the Bible we can see that the issue of Adam’s prophethood is clearly resolved.

Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:67-75, NKJV)

Adam was the first man who existed in the initial period of the world’s history. The Prophet Zacharias says that there have been prophets since the world began. Therefore, he was a prophet. Yes, he messed up, like a lot of prophets did, but that does not nullify his prophethood. (See Romans 11:29.)

The prophecies that they relate to us say “that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.” (Luke 1:71) From Adam, we get God’s words to the Serpent. (Genesis 3:14,15) That is a prophecy of Christ defeating the Devil — mankind’s greatest enemy. From Adam, we also get words which allegorically speak of Christ’s relationship to His Church. (Genesis 2:21-24) So, yes, those Muslims who say that Adam was a prophet are quite correct.

 

 

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From Polytheism to Monotheism: Abraham and His Father

May 20, 2018 Leave a comment

One of the things that I have found to be interesting is how someone from a polytheistic background can convert to monotheism. It is interesting to note that Abraham’ father, according to both the Bible and the Koran, was a polytheist.

In the Book of Joshua, it says:

And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘Your fathers, including Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, dwelt on the other side of the River in old times; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from the other side of the River, led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac.” (Joshua 24:2,3, NKJV)

Abraham and his brother, Nahor, became monotheists. Their father, Terah, was a polytheist.

In Genesis, Laban, who is Nahor’s son (See Genesis 24:15,29.), said to Jacob:

The God of Abraham, the God of Nahor, and the God of their father judge between us. (Genesis 31:53, NKJV)

Here, God is the God of Abraham, Nahor, and “their father.” Their father is probably an ancestor of Abraham and Nahor, like Noah, for example, and not Terah. It was customary to refer to one’s male ancestors as one’s fathers. (See John 4:12, for example. The Samaritan woman called Jacob her father. Also, See John 8:39. The Jews called Abraham their father. In Deuteronomy 6:10, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are called the Israelites’ fathers.)

In the Koran, there is similar testimony to the polytheism of Terah. Only Terah is called Azar in the Koran. The Koran often uses names which differ from those which appear in the Bible, like calling Enoch Idris, for example. The Arabic word “Azar” was simply substituted for the Hebrew word, “Terah.”

Remember when Abraham said to Azar, his father: “Why do you take idols for God? I certainly find you and your people in error.” (Koran 6:74, Ahmed Ali)

He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim (Abraham)? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” (Koran 19:46, Hilali & Khan)

Behold! Abraham said to his father and his people: “I do indeed clear myself of what ye worship.” (Koran 43:26, Yusuf Ali)

Terah, Abraham, and Lot journeyed to the land of Canaan, but they settled in Haran and not Canaan. Terah died in Haran. (Genesis 11:31,32)

When Abraham’s servant left Abraham to find a wife for Isaac, he went to the City of Nahor in Mesopotamia. (Genesis 24:10) The city was apparently named after either Abraham’s brother, Nahor, or his grandfather, Nahor. (See Genesis 11:24,25.) Mesopotamia is the land of the Chaldeans. Today, it is called Iraq. It was also called Babylon in ancient times. The Babylonians and the Sumerians, who lived in the same region, were polytheists.

In the 60th Surah, it says:

Abraham and those with him are the best examples for you to follow. They told the people, “We have nothing to do with you and with those whom you worship besides God. We have rejected you. Enmity and hatred will separate us forever unless you believe in One God.” Abraham told his father, “I shall ask forgiveness for you only, but I shall not be of the least help to you before God.” (Koran 60:4, Sarwar)

The enmity and hatred are generated by the polytheists and not by the monotheists. In the Third Surah, it says:

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors… Ah! ye are those who love them, but they love you not, — though ye believe in the whole of the Book. (Koran 3:110, 119, Yusuf Ali)

Those who believe in God love those who do not love them. When you look at all of the context in which these verses occur, it becomes clear that the people who did not love the monotheist Muslims were the Muslims’ enemies. The Muslims loved their enemies like Christ commanded, although their enemies did not love them. (Matthew 5:44)

The Koran teaches that God guides people into ways of peace.

Whereby God guides whosoever follows His good pleasure in the ways of peace, and brings them forth from the shadows into the light by His leave; and He guides them to a straight path. (Koran 5:16, Arberry)

There are only three reasons for war in the Koran: to exercise self-defense (Koran 2:190; 9:13), to end religious persecution (Koran 2:193; 9:12), and to liberate the oppressed (Koran 4:75). People who start wars are causing corruption on the earth. (Koran 5:64) The Koran forbids people to cause corruption of the earth. (Koran 2:11; 7:56)

Satan is the one who sows enmity among mankind.

Tell My servants, (O Muhammad), to say always that which is best. Verily it is Satan who sows discord among people. Satan indeed is an open enemy to mankind. (Koran 17:53, Maududi)

The Koran teaches us not to follow the footsteps of Satan. In this instance, do not sow discord and enmity among people like the devil does.

O believers, come to full submission to God. Do not follow in the footsteps of Satan your acknowledged foe. (Koran 2:208, Ahmed Ali)

So, Abraham, Nahor, Lot, and those with them did not exhibit enmity and hatred toward the polytheists among their people. The polytheists generated enmity and hatred toward the monotheists.

Being a monotheist involves more than simply acknowledging the existence of one God. The demons believe that there is one God. (James 2:19) Practicing righteousness and loving others is part of the practice of monotheism. In the Bible, it says:

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:26, NKJV)

He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. (I John 2:4, NKJV)

Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (I John 3:13-15, NKJV)

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (I John 4:8, NKJV)

In the Koran, the practice of righteousness and faith are joined together.

Surely this Koran guides to the way that is straightest and gives good tidings to the believers who do deeds of righteousness, that theirs shall be a great wage. (Koran 17:9, Arberry)

Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught. (Koran 19:60, Mubarakpuri)

Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Gracious will bestow love for them. (Koran 19:96, Mubarakpuri)

But whoso cometh unto Him a believer, having done good works, for such are the high stations; Gardens of Eden underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever. That is the reward of him who groweth. (Koran 20:75,76, Pickthall)

Those who practice transgressing God’s commandments are not like the believers who practice keeping God’s commandments.

Is one who is a believer like one who is a transgressor? No, they are not alike. (Koran 32:18, Ahmed Ali)

In other words, those who do not practice righteousness are not believers. They do not know God. (I John 2:4; 4:8)

Those who commit evil deeds should not think that they will receive the same rewards from God as the believers.

Do those who commit evil deeds think that We will make them (equal) to the believers who do good works, so that in life and death they shall be alike? How evil they judge! (Koran 45:21, Qaribullah & Darwish)

We demonstrate our faith by our works. Abraham did this. (Hebrews 11:8,9; James 2:21-23)

The lesson to be learned in regards to Abraham and his father is that we should not allow our own family to separate us from our faith in God. If our own family members do not believe, we should not follow their example of disbelief. Christ quoted the Prophet Micah, saying that a man’s enemies would be those of his own household. (Matthew 10:34-37; Micah 7:6) Muhammad, likewise, told his followers that their own family members would be against them.

Believers! [Even] among your wives and your children you have enemies: so beware of them. But if you overlook their offences and forgive and pardon them, then surely, God is most forgiving and merciful. (Koran 64:14, Wahiddudin Khan)

Jesus said to love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27) This was the practice of Muhammad’s followers. (Koran 3:110,119) Both Jesus and Muhammad said to forgive them. (Matthew 6:14,15; Mark 11:25,26; Luke 6:37; Koran 2:109; 3:134; 24:22; 45:14; 64:14) According to the Koran, Abraham practiced peace and forgiveness towards his idolatrous father.

And mention in the Book Abraham; surely he was a true man, a Prophet. When he said to his father, ‘Father, why worshippest thou that which neither hears nor sees, nor avails thee anything? Father, there has come to me knowledge such as came not to thee; so follow me, and I will guide thee on a level path. Father, serve not Satan; surely Satan is a rebel against the All-merciful. Father, I fear that some chastisement from the All-merciful will smite thee, so that thou becomest a friend to Satan. Said he, ‘What, art thou shrinking from my gods, Abraham? Surely, if thou givest not over, I shall stone thee; so forsake me now for some while.’ He said, ‘Peace be upon thee! I will ask my Lord to forgive thee; surely He is ever gracious to me. Now I will go apart from you and that you call upon, apart from God; I will call upon my Lord, and haply I shall not be, in calling upon my Lord, unprosperous. So, when he went apart from them and that they were serving, apart from God, We gave him Isaac and Jacob, and each We made a Prophet; and We gave them of Our mercy, and We appointed unto them a tongue of truthfulness, sublime. (Koran 19:41-50, Arberry)

The continual move away from polytheism to Abrahamic monotheism will eventually result in peace among mankind.

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it. Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. (Micah 4:1-3, NKJV)

It is amazing how God can bring monotheism out of a polytheistic society. How can this happen? Through divine revelation to someone chosen to be His prophet.

Creation in Six Days in the Koran

In both the Bible and the Koran, it says that God created the heavens and the earth (i.e., the entire universe) in six days. It is interesting to note that the Koran states that God did this in six different places and God says that He did it once.

Here are the six places where it says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days.

Surely your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days — then sat Himself upon the Throne, covering the day with the night it pursues urgently — and the sun, and the moon, and the stars subservient, by His command. Verily, His are the creation and the command. Blessed be God, the Lord of all Being. (Koran 7:54. Arberry)

Surely your Lord is God, who created the heavens and the earth in six days, then sat Himself upon the Throne, directing the affair. Intercessor there is none, save after His leave that then is God, your Lord; so serve Him. Will you not remember? (Koran 10:3, Arberry)

And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and His Throne was upon the waters — that He might try you, which one of you is fairer in works. And if thou sayest, ‘you shall surely be raised up after death,’ the unbelievers will say, ‘This is naught but a manifest sorcery.’ (Koran 11:7, Arberry)

Put thy trust in the Living God, the Undying, and proclaim His praise. Sufficiently is He aware of His servants’ sins who created the heavens and the earth, and what between them is, in six days, then sat Himself upon the Throne, the All-compassionate: ask any informed of Him! (Koran 25:58,59, Arberry)

God is He that created the heavens and the earth, and what between them is, in six days, then seated Himself upon the Throne. Apart from Him, you have no protector neither mediator; will you not remember? (Koran 32:4, Arberry)

It is He that created the heavens and the earth in six days then seated Himself upon the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth, and what comes forth from it, — what comes down from heaven, and what goes up unto it. He is with you wherever you are; and God sees the things you do. (Koran 57:4, Arberry)

Here is the only place where God Himself says He created the heavens and the earth in six days.

We created the heavens and the earth, and what between them is, in six days, and no weariness touched Us. (Koran 50:38, Arberry)

The mathematical coincidence is with the phrase “six days.” The Koran says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days in six different places. God, in the Koran, says that He created the heavens and the earth in six days once. When God speaks He uses the first person plural pronouns, “We” and “Us,” because He is tripersonal. Look at this verse from the Septuagint version of the Psalms.

By the Word [Greek, Logos] of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the host of them by the Spirit [Greek, Pneuma] of His [the Father’s] mouth. (Psalm 32:6, LXX; corresponds with Psalm 33:6 in the Hebrew)

In the Greek New Testament Jesus is called the Logos and the Holy Spirit is the Pneuma of God. This verse from the Psalms teaches the same thing that the Koran teaches. The Holy Trinity created the heavens and the earth.

We know from the Books of Moses that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11; 31:17) God rested on the seventh day although no weariness touched Him. (Genesis 2:2; Koran 50:38)

Of course, God does not literally need to rest nor did He literally rest like humans do. The language used in Genesis is figurative.

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, NKJV)

The six day creation is not a literal six 24 hour period of time event. This language is also figurative or symbolic. There are ancient Church Fathers who did not interpret Genesis chapter 1 as teaching that the universe was literally created by God in 144 hours (6 x 24).

144 is 12 times 12. 3 times 4 is 12. 3 plus 4 is 7. God rested on the seventh day. 7 symbolizes perfection. Do you see the symbolism? God created everything perfect.

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31, NKJV)

Such is the Knower of the Invisible and the Visible, the Mighty, the Merciful, who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay. (Koran 32:6,7, Pickthall)

He blessed His creation. Then, we made wrong choices and messed things up.

Surely, God does not wrong people at all, but people wrong themselves. (Koran 10:44, Wahiduddin Khan)

So, even those verses from the Koran which speak of a six day creation should not be interpreted as a literal six day history. (See Koran 3:7.) The creation of the heavens and the earth by God, however, is history.  The length of time He spent creating is, according to science, about 14 billion years.

 

 

I do not think that one should use the Bible and the Koran as scientific textbooks, although these Scriptures may agree with science in certain places. These are books about theology, morality, spirituality, and prophecy. The purpose of the books is not to provide scientific knowledge.

The interesting detail I wished to point out is that the Koran says that God created the heavens and the earth in six days. There are six places in the Koran where it says this. In another place in the Koran, God says that He created the heavens and the earth in six days. He used the first person plural pronouns, thus indicating that He is tripersonal. Both the Bible and the Koran teach that God, the Holy Trinity, created the heavens and the earth in six days and He created everything good, indeed very good!

Categories: Christianity, Islam Tags: , , ,

Science and Sacred Books

April 22, 2018 Leave a comment

If all the trees on earth were pens, and the sea [were] ink, with seven [more] seas added to it, the words of God would not be exhausted: for, truly, God is Almighty and Wise. (Koran 31:27, Wahiduddin Khan)

It is interesting how people can find verses from their sacred books which indicate to them that their books agree with science. People have done this with the Koran and also with the Bible. I have discovered a Youtube channel where there are uploaded videos demonstrating from the Koran that there are scientific facts in them that could not have been known 1400 years ago. Christians have also uploaded videos on Youtube showing that there are scientific facts in the Bible that could not have been known when the books that make up it were being written. Perhaps God has left some scientific markers in these sacred books to show that they come from Him.

Here are some videos about scientific facts in the Koran. The first video is about the seriousness of accepting the message of the Koran. The woman in the video, Clare Forstier, cites these verses from the Koran:

We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things? (Koran 41:53, Hilali & Khan)

And these similitudes We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge. (Koran 29:43, Hilali & Khan)

And if you are in doubt concerning what We have sent down to Our servant, then bring a surah like it, and invoke your helpers besides Allah, if you are truthful. (Koran 2:23, Qarai)

She also cites these verses, but her translation does not agree completely with how many translators have translated it.

By the sky which returns [rain] and [by] the earth which cracks open, indeed, the Qur’an is a decisive statement, and it is not amusement. (Koran 86:11-14, Sahih International)

Here is the video.

 

 

Many tranlators or interpreters of those verses from the 86th Surah think that the verses are talking about the sky returning with rain and the vegetation cracking the earth open when plants sprout. The word she interprets as bounce is a genitive case noun that is usually translated into English as return. The commentaries mention nothing about quantum physics. Maybe the commentators and translators were not knowledgeable about that branch of science. A physicist would bring his background to the text and see physics in the text.

The Bible records an incident where the earth cracked long before the cracking of the earth that happened in Arizona in the 20th century. (Numbers 16:31,32)

The next video is about the theory of relativity in the Koran. She cites these verses, but from another similar translation.

Do you not see how your Lord extends the shadow? Had He willed, He could have made it still. And We made the sun a pointer to it. Then We withdraw it towards Us gradually. (Koran 25:45,46, ITANI)

 

 

The pronoun it  in these verses is a masculine pronoun in Arabic. So, it refers to a masculine noun. The sun (Arabic, al-shamsa), is feminine. The shadow (Arabic, al-ẓila) is masculine. A pointer (Arabic, dalīlan) is also masculine. So, the pronoun it in the sentence, “Then We withdraw it towards Us gradually,” could refer to the shadow or the pointer (i.e., the sun).

Here is another translation of  these verses.

Have you not seen how your Lord lengthens out the shadow? Had He willed, He would have made it constant, but We have made the sun its pilot; then (as the sun climbs up), We roll it up little by little towards Ourselves. (Koran 25:45,46, Maududi)

These verses might just be talking about a common everyday phenomenon that people witness daily. The shadows are long in the morning and shorten as the sun approaches its zenith in the sky. As for the shadow being constant, that would occur if the sun “stood still” as it did in the miracle in the Bible. (Joshua 10:12,13)

Incidentally, I see the Trinity in these verses. “Your Lord” and the pronouns, “He,” indicate that God is one. The pronouns, “We” and “Us” (or “Ourselves”), indicate that God is tripersonal.

So, when Muhammad told the People of the Book (the Christians), “Our God and your God is one” (Koran 29:46), he was telling them that he was a Trinitarian, too.

In the next video, Clare Forestier cites this verse from a similar translation.

God is the light of the heavens and the earth. His light may be compared to a niche containing a lamp, the lamp inside a crystal of star-like brilliance lit from a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west. The [luminous] oil is as if ready to burn without even touching it. Light upon light; God guides to His light whom He will. God draws such comparisons for mankind; God has full knowledge of everything. (Koran 24:35, Wahiduddin Khan)

 

 

This video is particularly interesting and there may be some unknown scientific knowledge regarding light that God may have actually revealed to Muhammad in this verse.

In the next video, she cites this verse from the Koran to demonstrate that God had revealed to Muhammad some knowledge about mountains that would not have been discovered until modern times.

And among His Signs are the ships, in the sea, like mountains. (Koran 42:32, Hilali & Khan)

Here is the video.

 

 

Of course, the verse might be simply referring to the size of the ships as being like mountains. Ships are not as large as mountains, but a figure of speech called hyperbole could be used here. The Koran often contains poetic language. It even says that one should not always interpret it literally. (Koran 3:7) Then, on the other hand, perhaps God did reveal some scientific knowledge to Muhammad in this verse and in some others. Like the prophets who prophesied about Jesus and did not know all the details regarding His Advent into this world, Muhammad may have been at the time he was receiving the revelations unaware of the scientific knowledge contained in the verses.

Regarding science and the Bible, I will say, first of all, that I am familiar with one verse in the Book of Job which does contain scientific truth in it. It is in the 26th chapter.

He hangs the earth on nothing. (Job 26:7)

The earth is in space revolving around the sun. So, it hangs on nothing. There are other verses that Christians cite in these videos which, in their opinion, contain scientific knowledge or are based on science. You can be the judge of them here.

 

 

 

 

I believe the Bible, not because of scientific evidence that supports what it teaches about certain things, but because of the prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament and their fulfillment in the New Testament. That is the convincing proof for me. St. Paul always used the Old Testament to convince others that Jesus is the Christ. (Acts 17:2,3; 26:27,28)

The Koran claims to confirm the Bible (Koran 2:41,89,91,97,101; 3:3,4; 4:47; 5:48; 6:92; 35:31; 46:12) The Koran tells me to believe the Bible. (Koran 2:2-5; 4:136,137,150-152; 5:68) Muhammad received no new revelations and was not an innovator among the prophets. (Koran 41:43; 46:9) He claimed to worship the same God that I worship and accepted the Bible. (Koran 29:46; 42:15) I, therefore, understand the Koran in the light of the Bible and the Church Fathers. (The Bible is of no private interpretation. — II Peter 1:20 See also Koran 10:94.)

There are mathematical coincidences in the Koran. Those mathematical coincidences point to the book as being a work of divine providence.

Should I “convert to Islam?” What I see as being “Islam” is very unkoranic in my opinion.  The Koran already teaches my faith and contains no new revelations. It is only a confirming revelation of previous revelations. It teaches Trinitarian theology and rejects the heretical Christian doctrines of the Sabellians, Nestorians, Paulinianists, Arians, Maryamites, Bitheists, and Tritheists. So, there is no need for me to convert to anything.

As for science and these Sacred Scriptures, I say that none of these books are scientific textbooks. They are books about theology, prophecy, morality, and spirituality. Figurative language frequently occurs in such books. To me, the science and Koran videos and the science and the Bible videos are interesting, but I do not think that they are necessary for me to “have faith.”

Another Popular Heresy: Premillenialism

March 30, 2018 Leave a comment

There is another heresy which I wish to write about now and that is the heresy of premillenialism. This is one of the heresies rejected by the Second Ecumenical Council of the Church in 381 A.D.

It is the heresy that teaches that Jesus’ Second Coming will precede 1000 years of peace during which He will reign. At His Second Coming, the righteous will be resurrected. The immortal righteous will reign with Christ over the mortals for a thousand years. At the end of this 1000 year reign of Christ, Satan will be released and deceive the nations. Christ will then defeat Satan and there will be a second resurrection of the dead. After the second resurrection there will be the Last Judgment.

There are  many different versions of this heresy. There is pre-tribulation premilleniallism, mid-tribulation premillenialism, and post-tribulation premillenialism. There is also covenant premillenialism.

Some of the early Church Fathers were premillenialists. Examples of such are St. Justin the Martyr, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, and St. Hippolytus of Rome. None of them held beliefs that many Protestant premillenialists hold today.

There were others among the early Church Fathers who were not premillienialists. St. Dionysius of Alexandria is one such example. St. Justin the Martyr even acknowledged that during his day (the second century) there were many who did hold to the premillenial theory regarding Christ’s Second Coming.

For those who are not premillenialists, there are two other options held out: amillenialism and postmillenialism. Amillenialists say there is no millenium. They say that the souls of the righteous dead reign with Christ now in heaven. The postmillenialists say that the righteous reign with Christ now and that we are already in the millenium.

Both amillenialists and postmillenialists believe that there will be a general resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous at Christ’s Second Coming. There will not, according to them, be two separate resurrections separated from each other by 1000 years.

Augustinian postmillenialism is the view of the Orthodox Church. I asked a priest about the Church’s views on eschatology. He told me it is Blessed Augustine’s view without the predestination.

The premillenial heresy finds its support from this passage in the Book of Revelation.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:1-10, NKJV)

Now, I will demonstrate from the Bible the correct understanding of this text.

It says that an angel bound Satan for a thousand years. This binding of Satan refers to restriction of his power. He can not prevent Christ from plundering his kingdom.

In the Gospels, we read about Christ casting out demons and some Jews accusing Him of casting out devils by Beelzebub. Jesus asked them if Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? He also pointed out that one must first bind a strong man before one can plunder his house.

Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. (Matthew 12:29, NKJV)

In some sense, Satan was bound while Christ was casting out demons. Now, he is bound in some sense, too. He can not prevent people from coming to Christ.

In Colossians it says:

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love. (Colossians 1:13, NKJV)

Satan is bound in the sense that he can not prevent God from delivering people from the power of darkness.

The number 1000 is a symbolic number. It represents an indefinite period of time in this passage from Revelation 20. The Book of Revelation is full of symbolism and apocalyptic imagery. The number 1000 should not be interpreted literally in this passage.

The thousand years is the period of time between the resurrection of Christ (the first resurrection) and the Unleashing of Satan three and a half years before Christ’s Second Coming. Three and a half years before the Second Coming, Satan will deceive the nations. It will be much more difficult during this time for someone who is not a Christian to become a Christian because the deception will be so strong.

We take part in the first resurrection when we are baptized. St. Paul said in Romans:

Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. (Romans 6:3-6, NKJV)

When we are baptized, we are buried with Christ into His death.

In Colossians, it says:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4, NKJV)

The Colossian Christians were “raised with Christ.” This is what Blessed Augustine calls the spiritual resurrection.

In Ephesians, it says:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7, NKJV)

St. Paul says that God has “made us alive together with Christ.” This is another reference to the spiritual resurrection. The spiritual resurrection is regeneration.

I can demonstrate from the writings of ancient Christian writers and Church Fathers that the doctrine that has always been taught since antiquity is that regeneration occurs in baptism, but I do not want to address that subject in detail here. I will say this much, though. Regeneration is not conversion. People often confuse the two terms. After someone has been converted one will say that he got “born again.” No, that person was converted. He becomes born again when he is baptized.

The first resurrection is the resurrection of Christ. Jesus is “the firstborn from the dead.”

And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18, NKJV)

And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 1:5a, NKJV)

We take part in the resurrection of Christ when we are baptized.

It says in the passage from Revelation 20 that “they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6)

These words do not refer to some future age. They refer to the present one. In Romans it says:

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17, NKJV)

Christians are “reigning in life” now. Of course, they encounter problems, but still in some sense they reign with Christ. Further evidence, that Christians are “priests and kings” to God can be found in the Book of Revelation itself.

To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:5b,6, NKJV)

In St. Peter’s first Catholic Epistle it says:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9, NKJV)

St. Peter calls Christians “a royal priesthood.” Royalty signifies the kingship of believers. Priesthood signifies that believes are priests to God.

Old Testament believers were “a kingdom of priests.”

And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:6, NKJV)

There was a priesthood within the priesthood. The Levitical priesthood was that priesthood within the priesthood of believers. Now, the Melchizedek priesthood has replaced the Levitical priesthood. (Read Hebrews 7-10.) As priests, every Christian offers up spiritual sacrifices to God.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15, NKJV)

Only that priesthood within the priesthood of believers can legitimately handle the Holy Mysteries (the Sacraments). (I Corinthians 4:1)

In this passage from Revelation 20, it says that the souls of those who were martyred reign with Christ a thousand years. Christians continue to reign with Christ in heaven after they die.

Several places exist in the Bible indicating that the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous will occur simultaneously at Christ’s Second Coming. In Daniel, it says:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2, NKJV)

Notice that there is no mention of a thousand year gap between the two resurrections in this verse. In St. John’s Gospel, Jesus said:

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28,29, NKJV)

There is no thousand year gap in this passage from St. John’s Gospel. The resurrection of the righteous and the resurrection of the unrighteous occur at the same time.

In St. Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus said:

And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 8:11,12, NKJV)

The sons of the kingdom in this passage are the first century Jews who rejected Jesus as the Messiah. After the general resurrection of the dead, the unrighteous will be cast out “into outer darkness.” The righteous will inherit the earth. (Psalm 36:29, LXX; Psalm 37:29, Hebrew; Matthew 5:5)

Then, there is the Parable of the Tares and the Wheat.

Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” …He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Matthew 13:24-30, 37-43, NKJV)

Jesus is the one who sows the good seed in this parable. The field is the world or the universe. (The Greek word, kosmos, can mean universe.) The harvest of the wheat is the end of this age. The good seeds are the sons of the kingdom — that is, those who practice righteousness. The tares are the sons of the devil. The reapers are the angels. At the end of this age the angels will gather the righteous together so that they can inherit the kingdom of God. They will gather the unrighteous together and cast them into the furnace of fire, that is, Gehenna. There is no thousand year gap between these two events.

The same lesson is taught in the Parable of the Dragnet.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 13:47-50, NKJV)

At the end of the age there will be the Last Judgment. The angels will separate the wicked from the just. They will cast the wicked into Gehenna, the furnace of fire. No thousand year gap exists between these two events.

To sum up, premillenialism is a popular heresy. The Second Ecumenical Council of the Church rejected this heresy in 381 A.D. Satan is now bound in the sense that he can not prevent his kingdom from being plundered. (See Matthew 12:29.) The first resurrection is the resurrection of Christ. We partake of the first resurrection when we are baptized. The thousand year period mentioned in Revelation 20 is this present age. It is not a literal 1000 years. It is an indefinite period of time. At the end of this period of time, Satan’s power will no longer be restricted. He will deceive the nations with a great deception for three and a half years. Then, Christ will return and defeat Satan definitively. There will be a general resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous at the Second Coming of Christ. The righteous will inherit the land and dwell therein forever. (Psalm 36:29, LXX; Psalm 37:29, Hebrew) The angels will cast the unrighteous into Gehenna, the furnace of fire. “I believe in one God the Father Almighty… and in one Lord Jesus Christ… whose kingdom shall have no end.” (Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed)

A Popular Heresy

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

There is a popular heresy. We can see it in the media and on the internet. It is the heresy that the heretic Marcion of Pontus used to teach in the second century. He did not believe that people will ever experience a bodily resurrection from the dead after death. Many people including Christian pastors believe and teach this heresy today.

Have you ever noticed how people often depict deceased loved ones as angels in sites built to commemorate them? Even in the movies, and I am here thinking of a particular one, Almost an Angel, the deceased are portrayed to have become angels.

Many who believe this heresy cite verses like these from the Bible in support of this notion.

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. (Matthew 22:30, NKJV)

It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (I Corinthians 15:44, NKJV)

Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. (I Corinthians 15:50, NKJV)

Ancient heretics used to quote these same verses in support of this heresy. The heresy is not new. It just has new people teaching it.

Today is the third Sunday of Lent — the Sunday of the Holy Cross. On this day we Orthodox commemorate the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ died. One thing that is integral to the theology of the Orthodox faith is the resurrection of Christ. Whenever we think of the Cross, we also think of His resurrection from the dead. The purpose of the Cross was to effect the resurrection, not only for Him but also for everyone else who follows Him.  The resurrection of the dead and the hope of one day being immortal is what Easter is all about.

The soul is already immortal. Our bodies are mortal. To be truly immortal is to have not only an immortal soul, but also an immortal body.

I am going to use some other passages in the Bible to illustrate how stupid this heresy actually is. In the Gospels, we can read about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. (Matthew 28:7, NKJV)

In the Book of Revelation, it says:

And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands standing before the God of the earth. And if anyone wants to harm them, fire proceeds from their mouth and devours their enemies. And if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this manner. These have power to shut heaven, so that no rain falls in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to strike the earth with all plagues, as often as they desire. When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth. Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. (Revelation 11:3-12, NKJV)

The two witnesses in this passage have been interpreted by many as being Elijah and another prophet. The other prophet is possibly Enoch, since he was translated, that is, he never died, but ascended bodily into Heaven.

So, then, if there is no resurrection of the dead on the Last Day, we have a bunch of bodiless spirits and three resurrected men who have immortal bodies. Of course, there is Lazarus also. His sister, Martha, said to Jesus:

“I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11:24, NKJV)

Lazarus was resurrected by Jesus, but he eventually died again. The belief that Martha had was that her brother would be resurrected on the last day of this present age. Jesus did not “correct” her and say, “You are mistaken. Your brother is destined to be an angel forever and will not always have a body.”

So, anyway,  in order to continue to show the absurdity of this heresy. We will say the Lazarus along with the two prophets will have immortal bodies while everyone else will be bodiless spirits. We have four immortal men with bodies now.

There is another verse we need to look at that will increase the number of immortals with bodies even more. It is the same chapter of I Corinthians that the heretics have found verses in support of this heresy.

Some people will be alive when Jesus returns. What will happen to believers who are alive?

Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. (I Corinthians 15:51,52, NKJV)

So, then, everyone who is alive and is a believer at Christ’s Second Coming will have immortal bodies. Then, there will be many with immortal bodies and not just the four men mentioned earlier in this blog post. Everyone else who has died will, according to the heretics, be angels. This sounds like such a strange and odd belief to me.

Now,  let us look at more of this passage.

For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (I Corinthians 15:52-54,NKJV)

It says that the dead will be raised incorruptible. If the souls of the righteous are in heaven now, then what part of them will be raised? Their bodies. The Orthodox Christian doctrine is that the dead bodies of the righteous will be resurrected and changed into incorruptible ones. Jesus said:

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth — those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:28,29, NKJV)

He also said:

Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54, NKJV)

Jesus will call all of the dead out of the graves on the last day.

In the Book of Daniel, it says:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. (Daniel 12:2, NKJV)

The resurrection of the body is one of the most basic Christian doctrines. So, many professing Christians are ignorant of some these fundamental teachings and have ignorantly adopted an ancient heresy.

Jesus had flesh and bones on the day of His resurrection.

Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have. (Luke 24:39, NKJV)

He also had blood coursing through His veins on the day of His resurrection.

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (I Peter 1:18,19, NKJV)

His blood is incorruptible. It is not corruptible like silver and gold.

Corruptible flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It must be changed into incorruptible flesh and blood. Resurrected and changed. That is the correct doctrine.

The hope of all Christians is to one day be immortal in body as well as in soul. The heretics are teaching a false gospel and proclaiming a false hope. Let us look forward to the eternal day when death will be no more — only immortality and eternal joy.

Have You Been Deceived?

February 25, 2018 Leave a comment

Our society tends to promote some things that are spiritually harmful and result in our society becoming more decadent. One of the things that is promoted in TV shows and movies is sexual immorality. Fornication is portrayed as something normal and acceptable. People become brainwashed by the media and the messages generated through TV shows and the media into accepting something that is spiritually detrimental — sexual immorality.

I watch some shows on Netflix and see this subtle promotion of sexual immorality. I like to watch the shows to see how the protagonists win in the end, but I do not like the promotion of sin.

Superheroes, like Supergirl, the Flash, and Arrow, fornicate with unmarried partners. They are heroes. If heroes can fornicate, then it is OK for anyone else who is not married to fornicate, too. That is the subtle message being transmitted. Children watch such shows and end up believing the lie which is being communicated through the show’s plot.

In Orthodox Christian theology, sin is viewed as a subtraction from one’s humanity and not an addition to it. Therefore, the superheroes who fornicate are less human. The Flash is less of a man when he fornicates with a woman police detective. Arrow is less than a man when he fornicates with Shadow, Sarah, Laurel, and the Huntress. Supergirl is not from this world, but the moral standard still applies and even she loses some of her supergirlness when she fornicates with Mon-El.

St. Paul wrote two letters to the Christians in Corinth in the first century. He told the Corinthian Christians in his First Epistle:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10, NKJV)

Notice that fornicators and adulterers are among those whom he mentions as not inheriting the kingdom of God. These are people who have sex with someone who is not their spouse. In other words, they have sex out of wedlock.

The Koran, likewise, teaches that people who practice sexual immorality will go to Hell and not Paradise. In Surah 17, it says:

And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. (Koran 17:32, Sahih International)

Satan enjoins sexual immorality. Those who practice sexual immorality are following the footsteps of the devil.

O you who have believed, do not follow the footsteps of Satan. And whoever follows the footsteps of Satan — indeed, he enjoins immorality and wrongdoing. (Koran 24:21, Sahih International)

Satan summons people to Hell.

Lo! the devil is an enemy for you, so treat him as an enemy. He only summoneth his faction to be owners of the flaming Fire. (Koran 35:6, Pickthall)

Satan deceives them.

Satan promiseth them only to deceive. (Koran 17:64, Pickthall)

Therefore, those who practice fornication and adultery are  deceived. Once again the Koran confirms the teachings of the Bible. (Koran 5:48)

So, just because the media and the movie-makers say in subtle ways that fornication and adultery are OK, does not mean that sexual immorality is OK. Do not be deceived.

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil. (Exodus 23:2, KJV)

Just because everyone else is practicing sexual immorality, does not mean that you should do it, too. Most people in the world are going to Hell.

Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13,14, NKJV)

If most of the people in the world are following Satan into Hell, that does not mean that you should do the same? If you are practicing sexual immorality, ask yourself, “Have I been deceived?”