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The Death Penalty in the Torah and Koran 5:32

November 26, 2017 Leave a comment

In this blog post I am going to talk about the exception phrase in Koran 5:32. Koran 5:32 says:

For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (Koran 5:32, Pickthall)

The exception phrase is “for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth.” In order to properly talk about the exceptions which allow the taking of life, it is necessary to look at the Torah because this prohibition against taking human life was given to the Children of Israel. So, I am going to provide here the reasons for administering the death penalty found in the Torah. I will also provide a short explanation regarding why I think each of these death penalties has been abrogated.

Before beginning this discourse on the death penalty, I want to point out the plain and simple fact that everyone dies someday. This is just a plain and simple fact.

For we shall surely die, and be as water poured upon the earth, which shall not be gathered up. (II Samuel 14:14, LXX)

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. (Hebrew 9:27, NKJV)

Every soul will taste of death. Then unto Us ye will be returned. (Koran 29:57, Pickthall)

The only thing that the death penalty really does when it is administered is shorten someone’s life. The person who is put to death has, therefore, less time to repent and reform himself before dying. So, that person might go straight to hell.

The first reason for administering the death penalty is for manslaughter, that is, murder. In Genesis, it says:

For your blood of your lives will I require at the hand of all wild beasts, and I will require the life of man at the hand of his brother man. He that sheds man’s blood, instead of that blood shall his own be shed, for in the image of God I made man. (Genesis 9:5,6, LXX)

God instituted a death penalty for murder after the Flood, but there are no specific instructions regarding how it would be implemented. It just says that God requires the life of a man who sheds the blood of another man. In Exodus and Leviticus, it says that a murderer should be put to death.

And if any man smite another and he die, let him be certainly put to death. (Exodus 21:12, LXX)

And if any one lie in wait for his neighbour to slay him by craft, and he go for refuge, thou shalt take him from Mine altar to put him to death. (Exodus 21:14, LXX)

And whosoever shall smite a man and he die, let him die the death. (Leviticus 24:17, LXX)

Whosoever shall smite a man, and he shall die, let him die the death. (Leviticus 24:21, LXX)

More specific instructions regarding the implementation of the death penalty are found in the Book of Numbers.

And if he should smite him with an iron instrument, and the man should die, he is a murderer; let the murderer by all means be put to death. And if he should smite him with a stone thrown from his hand, whereby a man may die, and he thus die, he is a murderer; let the murderer by all means be put to death. And if he should smite him with an instrument of wood from his hand, whereby he may die, and he thus die, he is a murderer; let the murderer by all means be put to death. The avenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: whensoever he shall meet him he shall slay him. And if he should thrust him through enmity, or cast any thing upon him from an ambuscade, and the man should die, or if he have smitten him with his hand through anger, and the man should die, let the man that smote him be put to death by all means, he is a murderer: let the murderer by all means be put to death: the avenger of blood shall slay the murderer when he meets him. (Numbers 35:16-21, LXX)

Whoever kills a man, thou shalt slay the murderer on the testimony of witnesses; and one witness shall not testify against a soul that he should die. And ye shall not accept ransoms for life from a murderer who is worthy of death, for he shall be surely put to death. Ye shall not accept a ransom to excuse his fleeing to the city of refuge, so that he should again dwell in the land, until the death of the high priest. So shall ye not pollute with murder the land in which ye dwell; for this blood pollutes the land, and the land shall not be purged from the blood shed upon it, but by the blood of him that shed it. (Number 35:30-33, LXX)

Basically, the avenger of blood puts the murderer to death after at least two people have testified that they saw him commit the murder.

Toward the end of the Book of Deuteronomy, it says:

Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon them. (Deuteronomy 32:35, NKJV)

Vengeance belongs to God.

St. Paul quoted from this verse in his Epistle to the Romans.

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19, NKJV)

He also said in the same epistle:

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. (Romans 12:17, NKJV)

So, the practice of avenging the death of someone has been abrogated by these New Testament verses. A relative of a murder victim is forbidden to execute the murderer.

In another place in the same Epistle, it says:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Romans 13:1-4, NKJV)

I would like to call attention to the words, “for he does not bear the sword in vain.” Why would a ruler have a sword in executing judgment? It was used for putting people to death.

Not all governments in the world have a death penalty. In those countries where there is a death penalty for certain crimes, we are supposed to let the ruling authorities carry out the execution. We, as private citizens, are forbidden to do that ourselves. If there is no death penalty for murder in a particular country, we are still forbidden to execute the murderer.

In the case of unborn children, the Torah requires the death penalty to be administered if the child died during the late stages of pregnancy.

And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman’s husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation. But if it be perfectly formed, he shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe. (Exodus 21:22-25, LXX)

The “eye for an eye” law was abrogated by Jesus.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matthew 5:38,39, NKJV)

We are not to “repay evil for evil” nor are we permitted to “avenge ourselves.” (Romans 12:17,19) We must allow the government authorities to administer justice. (Romans 13:1-4) If they fail to do that, then God will avenge the death of the murdered child. “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Someone might escape the judgment of man, but he will never escape the judgment of God.

The death penalty was supposed to be administered to those who offered up their children as human sacrifices.

Thou shalt also say to the children of Israel, If there shall be any of the children of Israel, or of those who have become proselytes in Israel, who shall give of his seed to Moloch, let him be surely put to death; the nation upon the land shall stone him with stones. And I will set My face against that man, and will cut him off from his people, because he has given of his seed to Moloch, to defile My sanctuary, and profane the name of them that are consecrated to Me. And if the natives of the land should in anywise overlook that man in giving of his seed to Moloch, so as not to put him to death; then will I set My face against that man and his family, and I will destroy him, and all who have been of one mind with him, so that he should go a whoring to the princes, from their people. (Leviticus 20:2-5, LXX)

This practice was not only murder, but it was also idolatry. God did not require human sacrifices. The pagans believed that their gods required them.

The only human sacrifice acceptable to God is the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. He died in order to destroy death by His death and He bore away our sins. It was a self-sacrifice. (John 10:17,18)

This Old Testament law has been abrogated. For the commission of murder, the government authorities are supposed to administer justice. (Romans 13:1-4) For the practice of idolatry, no death penalty is to be administered. The Christian practice regarding those who claim to be Christians but practice idolatry is to disfellowship them.

I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (I Corinthians 5:9-11, NKJV)

A priest would stop serving communion to such a person. If they want to leave the Church, we are supposed to simply let them leave.

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. (I John 2:19, NKJV)

There is another law against the practice of idolatry and apostasy in the Torah. It is in  Exodus and Deuteronomy.

He that sacrifices to any gods but to the Lord alone, shall be destroyed by death. (Exodus 22:20, LXX)

And if there should be found in any one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God gives thee, a man or a woman who shall do that which is evil before the Lord thy God, so as to transgress His covenant, and they should go and serve other gods, and worship them, the sun, or the moon, or any of the host of heaven, which He commanded thee not to do, and it be told thee, and thou shalt have enquired diligently, and, behold, the thing really took place, this abomination has been done in Israel; then shalt thou bring out that man, or that woman, and ye shall stone them with stones, and they shall die. He shall die on the testimony of two or three witnesses; a man who is put to death shall not be put to death for one witness. And the hand of the witnesses shall be upon him among the first to put him to death, and the hand of the people at the last; so shalt thou remove the evil one from among yourselves. (Deuteronomy 17:2-7, LXX)

The Christian practice is to disfellowship that person (I Corinthians 5:9-11) and allow that person to leave the Church on his own accord (I John 2:19). The death penalty for idolatry and apostasy has been abrogated.

The Torah requires that people who spread idolatry be put to death.

And if there arise within thee a prophet, or one who dreams a dream, and he gives thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass which he spoke to thee, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye know not; ye shall not hearken to the words of that prophet, or the dreamer of that dream, because the Lord thy God tries you, to know whether ye love your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall follow the Lord your God, and fear Him, and ye shall hear His voice, and attach yourselves to Him. And that prophet or that dreamer of a dream, shall die; for he has spoken to make thee err from the Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, who redeemed thee from bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in: so shalt thou abolish the evil from among you. And if thy brother by thy father or mother, or thy son, or daughter, or thy wife in thy bosom, or friend who is equal to thine own soul, entreat thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, of the gods of the nations that are round about you, who are near thee or at a distance from thee, from one end of the earth to the other; thou shalt not consent to him, neither shalt thou hearken to him; and thine eye shall not spare him, thou shalt feel no regret for him, neither shalt thou at all protect him: thou shalt surely report concerning him, and thy hands shall be upon him among the first to slay him, and the hands of all the people at the last. And they shall stone him with stones, and he shall die, because he sought to draw thee away from the Lord thy God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (Deuteronomy 13:1-10, LXX)

The Christian practice is to disfellowship that person who is spreading idolatry and to allow him to leave the Church on his own accord. (I Corinthians 5:9-11; I John 2:19) The death penalty for this sin has been abolished by New Testament teachings.

The Torah says that blasphemers are supposed to be put to death.

And the son of the Israelitish woman named THE NAME and cursed; and they brought him to Moses: and his mother’s name was Salomith, daughter of Dabri of the tribe of Dan. And they put him in ward, to judge him by the command of the Lord. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Bring forth him that cursed outside the camp, and all who heard shall lay their hands upon his head, and all the congregation shall stone him. And speak to the sons of Israel, and thou shalt say to them, Whosoever shall curse God shall bear his sin. And he that names the name of the Lord, let him die the death: let all the congregation of Israel stone him with stones; whether he be a stranger or a native, let him die for naming the name of the Lord. (Leviticus 24:11-16, LXX)

In the New Testament, Jesus said that the only sin that will never be forgiven is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Someone can be forgiven for blaspheming Christ, however.

Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31,32, NKJV)

I do not want to take up the subject of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in this blog post. I will say this much about the subject though. I prefer to stick with the teachings of the Church Fathers regarding this subject.

Some of the Christians in Colossae may have been committing this sin. St. Paul told them to put blasphemy out of their mouths.

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8, NKJV)

Nowhere in his Epistle to the Colossians does St. Paul command the Christians to put to death blasphemers. He just simply tells the people who do that to stop blaspheming.

St. Paul tells us to follow his example.

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (I Corinthians 11:1, NKJV)

Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. (Philippians 3:17, NKJV)

In his First Epistle to Timothy, we can see how St. Paul dealt with blasphemers.

Of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme. (I Timothy 1:20, NKJV)

The punishment for blasphemers is to deliver them to Satan. I think that this means to stop serving Communion to them. The New Testament does not have a death penalty for blasphemy. So, the Old Testament law requiring blasphemers to be put to death has been abrogated.

In the Torah, fornicators were supposed to be put to death.

And if the daughter of a priest should be profaned to go a whoring, she profanes the name of her father: she shall be burnt with fire. (Leviticus 21:9, LXX)

And if any one should take a wife, and dwell with her, and hate her, and attach to her reproachful words, and bring against her an evil name, and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her I found not her tokens of virginity: then the father and the mother of the damsel shall take and bring out the damsel’s tokens of virginity to the elders of the city to the gate. And the father of the damsel shall say to the elders, I gave this my daughter to this man for a wife; and now he has hated her, and attaches reproachful words to her, saying, I have not found tokens of virginity with thy daughter; and these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity. And they shall unfold the garment before the elders of the city. And the elders of that city shall take that man, and shall chastise him, and shall fine him a hundred shekels, and shall give them to the father of the damsel, because he has brought forth an evil name against a virgin of Israel; and she shall be his wife: he shall never be able to put her away. But if this report be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel; then shall they bring out the damsel to the doors of her father’s house, and shall stone her with stones, and she shall die; because she has wrought folly among the children of Israel, to defile the house of her father by whoring: so thou shalt remove the evil one from among you. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21, LXX)

And if there be a young damsel espoused to a man, and a man should have found her in the city and have lain with her; ye shall bring them both out to the gate of their city, and they shall be stoned with stones, and they shall die; the damsel, because she cried not in the city; and the man, because he humbled his neighbour’s spouse: so shalt thou remove the evil one from yourselves. (Deuteronomy 22:22-24, LXX)

The Torah does not require that a man who fornicates be put to death unless he fornicates with a woman who is engaged to marry another man.

The Christian practice is to disfellowship the fornicators. (I Corinthians 5:9-11) There is no death penalty for fornication in the New Testament. The requirement to put fornicators to death has been abrogated by New Testament teaching.

Furthermore, Christians are forbidden to pass judgment on such people, but we are still supposed to disfellowship other Christians who fornicate.

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:1,2, NKJV)

Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. (Luke 6:37, NKJV)

In Leviticus and Deuteronomy, it says that adulterers should be put to death.

And thou shalt not lie with thy neighbour’s wife, to defile thyself with her… For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, the souls that do them shall be destroyed from among their people. (Leviticus 18:20,29, LXX)

Whatever man shall commit adultery with the wife of a man, or whoever shall commit adultery with the wife of his neighbour, let them die the death, the adulterer and the adulteress. (Leviticus 20:10, LXX)

And if a man be found lying with a woman married to a man, ye shall kill them both, the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou remove the wicked one out of Israel. (Deuteronomy 22:22, LXX)

The Christian practice is to abstain from passing judgment on such people, but to disfellowship them. (Matthew 7:1,2; Luke 6:37; I Corinthians 5:9-11) In the Gospel according to St. John, there is a story about an adulteress being brought to Jesus.

Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear. So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 8:2-12, NKJV)

Jesus told the Jews, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” Since no one is without sin, no one is qualified to stone an adulteress or an adulterer. Jesus, who never sinned (I Peter 2:22,23), did not even throw a stone at her. In verse 12 of this passage, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” This means that we should follow Jesus’ example and not stone to death people who have committed adultery. Of course, we should follow His example in other respects as well. The Old Testament laws requiring that adulterers and adulteresses be put to death have been abrogated by New Testament teachings.

A Christian, however, is required to divorce his wife if she has committed adultery. Many of the Church Fathers taught this. In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, the exception allowing divorce is for adultery.

But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:32, NKJV)

And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 19:9, NKJV)

The Church Fathers often quoted this verse from the Septuagint version of Proverbs as a proof text for requiring Christian men to divorce their wives for committing adultery.

He that puts away a good wife, puts away a good thing, and he that keeps an adulteress is foolish and ungodly. (Proverbs 18:23, LXX)

They also cited this verse from the New Testament as justification for divorcing an adulterous wife.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! (I Corinthians 6:15, NKJV)

Someone who retains an adulteress as his wife is foolish and ungodly. A Christian man is not supposed to be sexually joined to a harlot because his body is a member of Christ. If his wife is having sex outside of their marriage, then remaining married to her is the moral equivalent of taking a member of Christ and making it a member of a harlot.

St. Paul wrote:

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28, NKJV)

Since Christian men and Christian women are “one in Christ Jesus,” the principles for initiating a divorce apply to both men and women. A Christian woman should divorce her husband if he has committed adultery.

Divorce is, therefore, another consequence for committing adultery according to the New Testament.

In the Torah, raping another man’s fiancée was punishable by death.

But if a man find in the field a damsel that is betrothed, and he should force her and lie with her, ye shall slay the man that lay with her only. And the damsel has not committed a sin worthy of death; as if a man should rise up against his neighbour, and slay him, so is this thing; because he found her in the field; the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to help her. (Deuteronomy 22:25-27, LXX)

In the New Testament, such people are supposed to be disfellowshipped. The Christian community is not supposed to inflict the death penalty on those who commit this crime. The government authorities are responsible for administering justice. (I Corinthians 5:9-11; Romans 13:1-4) If the rapist escapes the judgment of man, he will not escape the judgment of God. (Romans 12:19)

Incest was punishable by death in the Torah.

No man shall draw nigh to any of his near kindred to uncover their nakedness; I am the Lord. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father, or the nakedness of thy mother, for she is thy mother; thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s wife; it is thy father’s nakedness. The nakedness of thy sister by thy father or by thy mother, born at home or abroad, their nakedness thou shalt not uncover. The nakedness of thy son’s daughter, or thy daughter’s daughter, their nakedness thou shalt not uncover; because it is thy nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of the daughter of thy father’s wife; she is thy sister by the same father: thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s sister, for she is near akin to thy father. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy mother’s sister, for she is near akin to thy mother. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy father’s brother, and thou shalt not go in to his wife; for she is thy relation. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy daughter-in-law, for she is thy son’s wife, thou shalt not uncover her nakedness. Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of thy brother’s wife: it is thy brother’s nakedness. The nakedness of a woman and her daughter shalt thou not uncover; her son’s daughter, and her daughter’s daughter, shalt thou not take, to uncover their nakedness, for they are thy kinswomen: it is impiety. Thou shalt not take a wife in addition to her sister, as a rival, to uncover her nakedness in opposition to her, while she is yet living… For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, the souls that do them shall be destroyed from among their people. (Leviticus 18:6-18,29, LXX)

And if any one should lie with his father’s wife, he has uncovered his father’s nakedness: let them both die the death, they are guilty. And if any one should lie with his daughter-in-law, let them both be put to death; for they have wrought impiety, they are guilty. (Leviticus 20:11,12, LXX)

Whosoever shall take a woman and her mother, it is iniquity: they shall burn him and them with fire; so there shall not be iniquity among you. (Leviticus 20:14, LXX)

Whosoever shall take his sister by his father or by his mother, and shall see her nakedness, and she see his nakedness, it is a reproach: they shall be destroyed before the children of their family; he has uncovered his sister’s nakedness, they shall bear their sin. (Leviticus 20:17, LXX)

Whosoever shall lie with his near kinswoman, has uncovered the nakedness of one near akin to him: they shall die childless. Whoever shall take his brother’s wife, it is uncleanness; he has uncovered his brother’s nakedness; they shall die childless. (Leviticus 20:20,21, LXX)

The Christian practice is to disfellowship the person who has committed incest (I Corinthians 5:9-11) and deliver that person to Satan, that is, stop serving Communion to him or her.

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles — that a man has his father’s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (I Corinthians 5:1-5, NKJV)

The example of St. Paul should be followed. (I Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17) There is no death penalty for committing incest in the New Testament. The Old Testament laws requiring that people who commit such acts be put to death have been abrogated by New Testament teachings. The government authorities are responsible for administering justice. (Romans 13:1-4)

A man who engages in homosexual sex with another man was supposed to be put to death according to the Torah.

And thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, for it is an abomination… For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, the souls that do them shall be destroyed from among their people. (Leviticus 18:22,29, LXX)

And whoever shall lie with a male as with a woman, they have both wrought abomination; let them die the death, they are guilty. (Leviticus 20:13, LXX)

The Christian practice is to disfellowship the people who engage in homosexual sex. (I Corinthians 5:9-11) There is no death penalty for practicing homosexuals in the New Testament. The Old Testament laws requiring men to be put to death for engaging in homosexual sex have been abrogated.

People who engage in sexual acts with animals were supposed to be put to death according to the Torah.

Every one that lies with a beast ye shall surely put to death. (Exodus 22:19, LXX)

Neither shalt thou lie with any quadruped for copulation, to be polluted with it: neither shall a woman present herself before any quadruped to have connexion with it; for it is an abomination… For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, the souls that do them shall be destroyed from among their people. (Leviticus 18:23,29, LXX)

And whosoever shall lie with a beast, let him die the death; and ye shall kill the beast. And whatever woman shall approach any beast, so as to have connexion with it, ye shall kill the woman and the beast: let them die the death, they are guilty. (Leviticus 20:15,16, LXX)

The New Testament teaching is to disfellowship people who engage in sexual acts with animals. (I Corinthians 5:9-11) There is no commandment in the New Testament to put to death someone who practices bestiality. People who engage in such acts are subject to the government laws of the nation or locality in which they reside. (Romans 13:1-4) The Old Testament laws requiring that such people be put to death have been abrogated.

In the Torah, a man who has sex with a woman who is menstruating was supposed to be put to death. The menstruous woman who had sex with him was supposed to be put to death, too.

And thou shalt not go in to a woman under separation for her uncleanness, to uncover her nakedness… For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, the souls that do them shall be destroyed from among their people. (Leviticus 18:19,29, LXX)

And whatever man shall lie with a woman that is set apart for a flux, and shall uncover her nakedness, he has uncovered her fountain, and she has uncovered the flux of her blood: they shall both be destroyed from among their generation. (Leviticus 20:18, LXX)

About the only way that anyone can find out if someone did this is if they talk about it. The New Testament instructions are to disfellowship the man and the woman. (I Corinthians 5:9-11) There is no death penalty in the New Testament for having sex with a menstruous woman.  Those Old Testament laws have been abrogated by New Testament teachings.

The Torah says that fortune-tellers and sorcerers should be put to death.

Ye shall not save the lives of sorcerers. (Exodus 22:18, LXX)

And as for a man or woman whosoever of them shall have in them a divining spirit, or be an enchanter, let them both die the death: ye shall stone them with stones, they are guilty. (Leviticus 20:27, LXX)

The New Testament practice is to exorcise the divining spirit. (Acts 16:16-18) According to New Testament teaching, Satan has been bound so that his activities are limited. (Matthew 12:29; Revelation 20:2) (I do not want to talk about this subject in this blog post, but I will say this much. The Second Ecumenical Council of the Church in 381 rejected pre-millenial eschatology as a heresy.) There is no New Testament commandment to put someone to death for involvement in the occult. That person might not be allowed to receive Communion from his priest, however.

The Torah required parents to be put to death for giving their children to serve a political leader.

And thou shalt not give of thy seed to serve a ruler; and thou shalt not profane My holy name; I am the Lord… For whosoever shall do any of these abominations, the souls that do them shall be destroyed from among their people. (Leviticus 18:21,29, LXX)

There is no death penalty in the New Testament for doing such a thing. If a political leader took someone’s children away from him or her so that the children could serve him, that would be a matter to be dealt with in civil courts. Christian parents have a responsibility to provide spiritual and religious instruction to their children. (Ephesians 6:4) If they give them away, they cannot do that. I think that Christian parents who do something like this would be under a penance from their priest.

In the Torah, people who abduct others were supposed to be put to death.

Whosoever shall steal one of the children of Israel, and prevail over him and sell him, and he be found with him, let him certainly die. (Exodus 21:17, LXX; 21:16, Hebrew)

The Church, being a spiritual kingdom (John 18:36), does not put to death kidnappers. Such people who are members of the Church might be put under a penance by their priest. The civil authorities are responsible for administering justice for the commission of such crimes.

Whoever smites his father or his mother, let him be certainly put to death. (Exodus 21:15, LXX)

The Church is a spiritual kingdom. (John 18:36) The government authorities deal with a child who does such a thing through the juvenile justice system. It is not the practice of the Church to administer the death penalty to anyone at all.

The Torah requires that children who have reviled their parents be put to death.

He that reviles his father or his mother shall surely die. (Exodus 21:16, LXX; 21:17, Hebrew)

Every man who shall speak evil of his father or of his mother, let him die the death; has he spoken evil of his father or his mother? He shall be guilty. (Leviticus 20:9, LXX)

Revilers are supposed to be disfellowshipped according to New Testament teaching. (I Corinthians 5:9-11)

The Torah requires that children who stubbornly refuse to obey their parents be put to death.

And if any man has a disobedient and contentious son, who hearkens not to the voice of his father and the voice of his mother, and they should correct him, and he should not hearken to them; then shall his father and his mother take hold of him, and bring him forth to the elders of his city, and to the gate of the place: and they shall say to the men of their city, This our son is disobedient and contentious, he hearkens not to our voice, he is a reveler and a drunkard. And the men of his city shall stone him with stones, and he shall die; and thou shalt remove the evil one from yourselves, and the rest shall hear and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21, LXX)

Such children might be put under a penance by their priest, but the Church does not administer the death penalty to anyone since it is a spiritual kingdom. (John 18:36) Unruly children might be placed in a juvenile detention center by the governing authorities. Parents must respect the laws of their nation or locality when administering disciplinary action to their children. (Romans 13:1-4)

The Torah requires that those who disobey a priest or a ruler be put to death.

And the man whosoever shall act in haughtiness, so as not to hearken to the priest who stands to minister in the name of the Lord thy God, or the judge who shall preside in those days, that man shall die, and thou shalt remove the evil one out of Israel. (Deuteronomy 17:12, LXX)

The New Testament requires Christians to obey ecclesiastical and civil authorities. (Hebrews 13:17; Romans 13:1-4) The Church does not administer the death penalty to anyone since it is a spiritual kingdom. (John 18:36) The penalty for disobeying a priest might be a penance. The penalty for disobey the governing authorities is determined by the laws respecting such acts of disobedience.

The Torah required that the owner of a bull that has been known to gore people to death be put to death if he did not restrain the bull and the animal killed someone. Nowadays, this is called negligent homicide.

And if a bull gore a man or woman and they die, the bull shall be stoned with stones, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the bull shall be clear. But if the bull should have been given to goring in former time, and men should have told his owner, and he have not removed him, but he should have slain a man or woman, the bull shall be stoned, and his owner shall die also. And if a ransom should be imposed on him, he shall pay for the ransom of his soul as much as they shall lay upon him. (Exodus 21:28-30, LXX)

Since the Church is a spiritual kingdom and does not administer the death penalty to anyone (John 18:36), the governing authorities would administer justice in such cases. (Romans 13:1-4)

The Torah commands that people who do work on the Sabbath (i.e., Saturday) be put to death.

Six days thou shalt do works, but the seventh day is the Sabbath, a holy rest to the Lord; every one who shall do a work on the seventh day shall be put to death. (Exodus 31:15, LXX)

Six days shalt thou perform works, but on the seventh day shall be rest — a holy sabbath — a rest for the Lord: every one that does work on it, let him die. (Exodus 35:2, LXX)

And the children of Israel were in the wilderness, and they found a man gathering sticks on the Sabbath day. And they who found him gathering sticks on the Sabbath day brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel. And they placed him in custody, for they did not determine what they should do to him. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Let the man be by all means put to death: do ye all the congregation, stone him with stones. And all the congregation brought him forth out of the camp; and all the congregation stoned him with stones outside the camp, as the Lord commanded Moses. (Numbers 15:32-36, LXX)

In the Orthodox Church, Saturday is the Sabbath and Sunday is the Lord’s Day. We are not supposed to observe the Sabbath like the Jews do, that is, abstain from work on that day. Sunday is the day we celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead. We are supposed to observe Saturday as a feast and abstain from work on Sunday if possible.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. (II Thessalonians 2:15, NKJV)

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. (Acts 20:7, NKJV)

On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. (I Corinthians 16:2, NKJV)

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet. (Revelation 1:10, NKJV)

But every Lord’s day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. (The Didache, chapter 14, written sometime between 80 and 120 A.D.)

Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ. (Canon 29, Council of Laodicea, 390 A.D.)

St. Paul said that sabbaths are a shadow of things to come.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16,17, NKJV)

The Old Testament laws regarding observing the Sabbath have been abrogated by New Testament teaching and Holy Tradition. There is no death penalty for working on Sunday.

The death penalty in the Torah was inflicted upon people who committed murder. Killing an unborn child during the late stage of pregnancy, offering up one’s children as a human sacrifice to a pagan god, and negligent homicide were classified as murder. The other reasons for administering the death penalty to someone are called by the Koran “corruption in the earth.” They include such things as idolatry, apostasy, spreading idolatry, blasphemy, fornication, adultery, raping another man’s fiancée, incest, homosexual sex between men, bestiality, sex with a woman who is menstruating, fortune-telling, sorcery, giving one’s children to serve a political leader, abducting someone, striking one’s parent, reviling one’s parent, disobeying one’s parent, disobeying a priest or a political leader, and working on the Sabbath. The death penalty has been abrogated by New Testament teaching and Holy Tradition for all of these sins and crimes. The Church is a spiritual kingdom. (John 18:36) Christians are required to obey the governing authorities (Romans 13:1-4) and the ecclesiastical authorities (Hebrews 13:17) The death penalty might be administered by the governing authorities for violating local or national laws.

 

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Theocracy or Freedom of Conscience?

November 25, 2017 2 comments

I remember back when I was in school the history teacher explaining to us why we have separation of Church and State. People came to this continent because they experienced religious persecution in Great Britain. The Church of England was the official state religion and those who disagreed with the doctrine and church polity of that Church were mistreated. The Puritans who came to this continent were Congregational Calvinists. They settled in New England. Then, there were the Anabaptists, the Presbyterians, and the Roman Catholics. Some people who came to this country were Deists. People wanted to be free to exercise their choice in what to believe and which religion to practice. Some people want to set up some kind of theocracy in this country, but I believe that this would be contrary to the teaching of both the Bible and the Koran.

I would not like it if some particular Protestant sect or denomination became the official religion of our country and I had to join a Protestant church. I would not like it if I were forced to become a Roman Catholic. I would abhor the thought of having to become an atheist or join some cult. So, freedom of religion is a good thing in my opinion.

Every man seems to himself righteous; but the Lord directs the hearts. (Proverbs 21:2, LXX)

There is a tendency in all of us to think that we are right and everyone else is wrong. I used to be a fundamentalist Protestant Christian. I thought that I was right and the Roman Catholics and everyone else who interpreted the Bible differently from the way I did was wrong. If my fundamentalist Protestant religion were the official religion of this country, I probably would never have converted to Orthodox Christianity.

Whenever one religion dominates a nation, other religions are squashed and no one has access to other ideas. So, if the official religion of that country is in error, then everyone in that country is forced to adopt unquestionably that religion’s errors.

One of the great things about the internet is that people can exchange ideas and be exposed to other views. Of course, there is such a thing as truth. There are not many truths. There is only one truth. I am not advocating relativism. I am advocating freedom of conscience and freedom to exchange ideas. In a theocracy, such a possibility does not exist.

I do not believe that Jesus intended for us to establish a theocracy after He ascended into Heaven. Before His crucifixion, He told Pilate:

My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here. (John 18:36, NKJV)

His kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. The Church is His kingdom. Although He has all authority in Heaven and on Earth (Matthew 28:18), He still wants us to “render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.” (Matthew 22:17-21) This is one of His commandments. He told His apostles to teach those whom they baptized all of His commandments. (Matthew 28:19,20)

St. Paul said:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (Romans 13:1-4, NKJV)

The authorities which exist in our world whether they be bad or good are “appointed by God.” So, we are supposed to obey them unless, of course, they want us to engage in some grave sin, such as, idolatry. Ancient Christians obeyed the Roman government, but they did not worship the Roman pagan gods.

The problems that a Christian may encounter under a bad government are for his sanctification. “The testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:3, NKJV)

In the Koran, it says:

God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in their hearts. (Koran 13:11)

There is no commandment in the Koran to establish an Islamic state. The Koran is a book that warns people not to sin and promises a blissful existence in the afterlife to those who believe in God and strive to keep His commandments

It is not a book that teaches salvation by works. No one is good enough. (Koran 16:61) Therefore, it is only by God’s mercy that anyone is ever saved from the Fire in the end. (Koran 12:92)

There is no commandment in the Koran to establish a religious government for the Muslim community. This is quite different from the Bible which mentions bishops and deacons as being officers in the Church. [The Koran requires us to believe the Bible and obey its teachings. (Koran 2:285; 4:136,137) Maybe the Muslims should have bishops and deacons.]

Muhammad was not supposed to compel people to adopt his religion.

We are best aware of what they say, and thou (O Muhammad) art in no wise a compeller over them. But warn by the Qur’an him who feareth My threat. (Koran 50:45, Pickthall)

Even when the Muslims were fighting the polytheists, if one of them sought safety among them, he was not required to convert to monotheism. He only was required to hear the word of God. Then, he could go to a place of safety. (Koran 9:6)

Muhammad did not promote polytheism, but he still allowed people to make their own choices regarding religious matters. If they became part of the Muslim community, they were subject to the laws of that community.

The Koran says that God has made several different nations and tribes in the world.

O mankind! Lo! We have created you male and female, and have made you nations and tribes that ye may know one another. Lo! the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware. (Koran 49:13, Pickthall)

A diversity of political governments exists in the world. This, according to the Koran, is part of God’s grand design. The notion that there should be one theocratic state that governs the whole world in this present age is contrary to the teaching of the Koran.

Just as the Bible teaches that “there is no authority except from God” (Roman 13:1), the Koran likewise teaches the same thing but in different words.

Allah bestoweth His Sovereignty on whom He will. (Koran 2:247, Pickthall)

Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty! Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt, and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt. Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt, and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt. In Thy hand is the good. Lo! Thou art Able to do all things. (Koran 3:26, Pickthall)

O my Lord! Thou hast given me (something) of sovereignty and hast taught me (something) of the interpretation of events – Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protecting Guardian in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die submissive (unto Thee), and join me to the righteous. (Koran 12:101, Pickthall)

He said, “My Lord, forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as will not belong to anyone after me. Indeed, You are the Bestower.” (Koran 38:35, Sahih International)

The Koran teaches that we should obey the existing authorities.

O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end. (Koran 4:59, Pickthall)

And if any tidings, whether of safety or fear, come unto them, they noise it abroad, whereas if they had referred it to the messenger and to such of them as are in authority, those among them who are able to think out the matter would have known it. If it had not been for the grace of Allah upon you and His mercy ye would have followed Satan, save a few (of you). (Koran 4:83, Pickthall)

Muhammad is dead. So, all that one has is God, the Bible, the Koran, and those who are in authority when trying to resolve a dispute between individuals. The Bible and the Koran were what was used in the seventh century among the first generation Muslims. (Koran 2:285; 4:136,137) In a secular state, one must obey the ones that God has given sovereignty, that is, the existing government authorities.

Although there are many earthly governments in the world and all are there because God, in His own invisible and providential way, has “appointed” them, the Kingdom of God still exists among them. It is a kingdom which is “not of this world.”

Knowest thou not that it is Allah unto Whom belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; and ye have not, beside Allah, any guardian or helper? (Koran 2:107, Pickthall)

Unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. Allah is Able to do all things. (Koran 3:189, Pickthall)

Unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is therein, and He is Able to do all things. (Koran 5:120, Pickthall)

And unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth, and unto Allah is the journeying. (Koran 24:42, Pickthall)

Then praise be to Allah, Lord of the heavens and Lord of the earth, the Lord of the Worlds. (Koran 45:36, Pickthall)

The Muslim Ummah like the Church is supposed to be a spiritual nation among nations. I do not think that it was ever intended to be theocratic state during this present age. When Christ returns at the end of this age, there will be a theocracy which will last forever. (Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 22:3-5)

Like the Bible, the Koran also has its evangelism verses.

Invite (all) to the Way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: for thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance. (Koran 16:125, Yusuf Ali)

Who speaks better than one who invites human beings to God, acts righteously and says, “I am a Muslim.” (Koran 41:33, Muhammad Sarwar)

One caveat I need to mention. The religion presented in the Sunnah is not the same religion found in the Koran. There are false hadiths in the Sunnah which encourage Muslims to force people to convert to their version of Islam, sanction pedophilia, sanction female genital mutilation, instruct people to kill homosexuals, and make apostasy and adultery crimes punishable by death. None of these teachings are found in the Koran. Unfortunately, there are people in this world who have adopted these barbaric practices as part of their religion.

Koranic Islam is not the same as Islam based on all of those false hadiths attributed to Muhammad. The Koran is much more benign than the Sunnah.

In conclusion, the Koran and the Bible recognize that existing government authorities are in place because it is God’s will for them to exist. God bestows sovereignty on whom He will. (Koran 2:247) There is no authority except from God. (Romans 13:1) God’s kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:36). Unto God belongs the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is therein. (Koran 5:120) God’s kingdom is a spiritual kingdom and there is no compulsion to submit to God’s sovereignty.

There is no compulsion in religion. Certainly, right has become clearly distinct from wrong. Whoever rejects the devil and believes in God has firmly taken hold of a strong handle that never breaks. God is All-hearing and knowing. (Koran 2:256, Muhammad Sarwar)

Be Thankful

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. I think that we all need to be thankful for what we have and for whatever circumstances we may be living in. After all, that is God’s will for us — to be thankful.

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:18, NKJV)

In the Koran, it says:

If you count God’s blessing, you will never number it. (Koran 14:34, Arberry)

There is a video by some Contemporary Islamic Music artists that I think is quite appropriate for the occasion.

 

 

I like this video. It reminds me about how I need to thank God in every circumstance whether it be bad or good. So, let’s be thankful.

Categories: Christianity, Islam, Religion Tags:

Words of Inspiration and Comfort

November 12, 2017 Leave a comment

(This is) a Scripture that We have revealed unto thee, full of blessing, that they may ponder its revelations, and that men of understanding may reflect. (Koran 38:29, Pickthall)

I grew up hearing words of inspiration and comfort from the Bible, usually from my grandmother who spent much of her time studying it. When I became active in Christian organizations in college during my college days, I heard many of my Christian friends quote verses from the Bible which bring comfort during times of stress and hardship. We liked to hear such words during the week of final exams! Believe me that is true! I pulled many an all-nighter during my time in college trying to get through the courses I was taking. Even after graduating from college, there have been times when a consoling verse from the Bible would benefit my soul. Well, there are not only verses like these in the Bible, but also in the Koran. I am going to provide some verses of inspiration and comfort from both holy books.

First of all, it is important to know that adversity is what one should expect in this life if one is truly following the Lord. In Sirach, it says:

My son, if thou come to serve the Lord, prepare thy soul for temptation. Set thy heart aright, and constantly endure, and make not haste in time of trouble. Cleave unto Him, and depart not away, that thou mayest be increased at thy last end. Whatsoever is brought upon thee take cheerfully, and be patient when thou art changed to a low estate. For gold is tried in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of adversity. Believe in Him, and He will help thee; order thy way aright, and trust in Him. (Sirach 2:1-6, KJV)

The Koran says:

Do the people reckon that they will be left to say “We believe,” and will not be tried? We certainly tried those that were before them, and assuredly God knows those who speak truly, and assuredly He knows the liars. (Koran 29:2,3, Arberry)

Being tested with adversity is something that comes with serving God. God granted the Philippian Christians “on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” (Philippians 1:29, NKJV) In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, it is poor Lazarus who suffers, dies, and after death, his soul goes to Abraham’s bosom where he is comforted. The rich man enjoys all of the wonderful things of this life, he dies, and afterwards, his soul goes to hell where he is tormented. (Luke 16:19-31) Suffering precedes the reward for poor Lazarus. Such is true for many believers.

In the Catholic Epistle of St. James, it says:

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4, NKJV)

Trials are part of our sanctification. They are aids in helping us achieve theosis, union with God. I remember singing in a choir back during my freshman year in college. We used to sing a song:

Through it all. Through it all. I have learned to trust in Jesus. I have learned to trust in God. Through it all. Through it all.

Then there were these powerful words:

If I had never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them. I would never know what faith in God could do.

The Koran teaches that adversity comes from God in order to make people humble.

We have sent already unto peoples that were before thee, and We visited them with tribulation and adversity, in order that they might grow humble. (Koran 6:42, Pickthall)

Humility precedes exaltation. Jesus said:

And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12, NKJV)

Some words of comfort come from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NKJV)

God works all things together for good to those who love God. In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the blessed abode of Abraham’s bosom was the resting place for the soul of Lazarus after his death. This was a temporary place for his soul. Of course, his soul will be united to his body again on the Last Day after God has raised him from the dead. His body will then be immortal and will never die again. He will never grow old. We need to look toward the reward and not always focus our attention on this life. There is no perfection here. In the resurrection, we will have it all if we are worthy to attain to the resurrection of the just.

In the Koran, it says:

And if God visits thee with affliction, none can remove it but He; and if He desires any good for thee, none can repel His bounty; He causes it to fall upon whomsoever He will of His servants. He is the All-forgiving, the All-compassionate. (Koran 10:107, Arberry)

If God desires to do good to someone and bless that person, no one can stop Him from doing that. God is all-powerful. St. Paul said:

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31, NKJV)

St. John the Theologian wrote:

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (I John 4:4, NKJV)

In the Koran, it says:

Or do those who do evil deeds think they can outrun Us? Evil is what they judge. (Koran 29:4, Sahih International)

No one can fight against God and win. One plus God is a majority. There are evil people in this world who attack God’s people in many different ways. Those evil people are what the Koran calls “losers.” Despite all of their assaults on the people of God and the truth, they eventually lose in the end. No one can fight against God and win. Even when it looks like they are winning, they are actually losing even more, but usually do not realize it.

The rich man was indifferent to the sufferings of Lazarus. By the world’s standards, he was successful. In the end, however, he lost everything. If a man loses his soul, he has lost everything regardless of how much wealth and power he has amassed during his brief, mortal life

Wealth obtained during this life should be viewed as a means to an end and not as an end in itself. St. Paul told St. Timothy to tell the wealthy Christians under his pastoral care to be rich in good works. They were supposed to use their money to help others in need.

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (I Timothy 6:17-19, NKJV)

In the Koran, it says:

Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion. (Koran 3:185, Sahih International)

This life is “the enjoyment of delusion.” What is most important is that we are “drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise.”

How we live our lives is important. Faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) No one is justified by dead faith alone. Those who believe that believe a heresy and are severely deceived.

So, we should expect to encounter trials and adversity if we serve God. That comes with the turf. There are those who do not face adversity well. I have not always done that. The Koran tells about those who do not react appropriately to adversity.

And of the people is he who worships Allah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face [to the other direction]. He has lost [this] world and the Hereafter. That is what is the manifest loss. (Koran 22:11, Sahih International)

I am reminded here of the words of Jesus. He described different classes of people who heard God’s word and reacted in different ways. (Matthew 13:3-8) Some heard the Word of God by the wayside. Others heard the word among the stony places. Others heard the Word of God among the thorns. Still others heard the Word of God on the good ground and bore fruit. This verse in the Koran is talking about those who heard the Word of God among the stony places. Jesus says this about these people:

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. (Matthew 13:20, NKJV)

In this Parable of the Sower, only the ones who received the Word of God and bore fruit will inherit the Kingdom of God. All others are destined for the Fire.

When we encounter adversity, we need to remember that God can do anything. He can turn adversity into something wonderful within minutes. Jesus said:

For with God all things are possible. (Mark 10:27, NKJV)

The Koran says that God can do all things.

Unto Allah belongeth the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is therein, and He is Able to do all things. (Koran 5:120, Pickthall)

Blessed is He in Whose hand is the Sovereignty, and, He is Able to do all things. (Koran 67:1, Pickthall)

In His hand is the Sovereignty. God is in control at all times. Nothing can prevent God from doing what He intends to do. Remember Koran 10:107 quoted earlier in this blog post.

Victory over adversity only comes from God.

And Allah only gave it as a good news and that your hearts might be at ease thereby; and victory is only from Allah; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. (Koran 8:10, Shakir)

Believe in God and His messengers. (Koran 3:179) God is merciful to believers and blesses them. The angels also bless them.

He it is Who blesseth you, and His angels (bless you), that He may bring you forth from darkness unto light; and He is ever Merciful to the believers. (Koran 33:43, Pickthall)

This is a wonderful thought. Knowing that despite all of the adversity we believers encounter, God continues to bless us and so do His angels. We might not see the blessings now, but they might await us in the afterlife. St. Paul said:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (II Corinthians 4:16-18, NKJV)

The Koran talks about the blessings of the afterlife for those who believe and do good works.

Blessed is He Who, if He will, will assign thee better than (all) that – Gardens underneath which rivers flow – and will assign thee mansions. (Koran 25:10, Pickthall)

Who, of His grace, hath installed us in the mansion of eternity, where toil toucheth us not nor can weariness affect us. (Koran 35:35, Pickthall)

That Allah may reward them according to the best of their deeds, and add even more for them out of His Grace: for Allah doth provide for those whom He will, without measure. (Koran 24:38, Yusuf Ali)

Mansions to live in and gardens underneath which rivers flow are a portion of the reward of believers. God will provide for us believers without measure out of His Grace. There are many more things to look forward to in the afterlife. I believe that in the afterlife, I will be able to do things that I have never been able to do in this life either due to lack of money or lack of time.

There are two more things to always remember while going through trials and adversity. As long as we are keeping our duty to God and doing good, God is with us.

Lo! Allah is with those who keep their duty unto Him and those who are doers of good. (Koran 16:128, Pickthall)

Of course, God is in all places at all times. “He is with you wheresoever ye may be.” (Koran 57:4, Pickthall) When we are believing in God, trusting in Him, and striving to please Him, He is with us even when we are experiencing trials and adversity. In other words, He is on our side either planning our deliverance from hardship or counting out our reward to be received from Him on the Last Day.

There is a story about a monk who walked a long distance everyday to a waterhole to get water. One day, while he was walking to the waterhole, he looked behind him and saw a man following him. He turned back and asked the man why he was following him. The man told him that he was an angel and he was counting the number of steps that he took to reach the waterhole so that he could determine what his reward will be in the resurrection. The monk moved farther away from the waterhole.

After hardship, comes ease.

God will bring about ease after hardship. (Koran 65:7, Muhammad Sarwar)

So truly with hardship comes ease, truly with hardship comes ease. (Koran 94:5,6, Arberry)

So, we must bear all of the difficulties and look forward to the time when we will experience ease and comfort again. If we do not experience ease in this life, we have the hope of experiencing ease in the next one. Remember poor Lazarus.

So, if you intend on serving God, expect adversity in life, but know that God can change your circumstances for good. God intends on doing good for His people. He blesses them and the angels bless them. No one can prevent God from doing good to His people. No one can fight against God and win. He is all-powerful. He can do anything He desires. We need to look forward to the future reward in the afterlife. This life is only the enjoyment of delusion. When adversity strikes us, we need to persevere and continue to do good. We should not fall into despair. God is with us, that is, He is on our side, when we encounter adversity and continue to do good and keep our duty to Him. Victory over adversity comes only from God. Trials in life produce in us patience and make us humble. We must be humble before we will be exalted. The end is much better than the journey.

 

 

Karma in the Bible and the Koran

November 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Karma is a term used in Hinduism and Buddhism to express the concept that “whatever goes around, comes around.” In other words, whenever one does good, good comes back to him. Whenever one does evil, bad things come back to him.  This concept of Karma is also found in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam although Jews, Christians, and Muslims do not call it Karma. One can find the principle being taught in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible and even in the Koran.

The consequences of our actions may be experienced in this life or in the next one.

Buddhism and Hinduism teach the doctrine of reincarnation. Reincarnation is the belief that our souls pass out of our bodies after we die and enter new bodies later conceived. Someone might be a farmer in this life and a lawyer in the next one.

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam teach that there will be a future resurrection of the dead and a Last Judgment. According to these three Abrahamic religions, the souls pass out of their bodies and later will be reunited with their bodies after God has raised them from the dead. The souls will remain united to those resurrected bodies forever. Everyone will be judged by God after the resurrection of the dead. Some will go away to eternal punishment and others to eternal bliss.

Here are some verses from the Old Testament which teach the principle of Karma.

Behold, he has travailed with unrighteousness, he has conceived trouble, and brought forth iniquity. He has opened a pit, and dug it up, and he shall fall into the ditch which he has made. His trouble shall return on his own head, and his unrighteousness shall come down on his own crown. (Psalm 7:14-16, LXX)

But the righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell upon it for ever. (Psalm 36:29, LXX; Psalm 37:29, Hebrew)

Sinners shall fall by their own net: I am alone until I shall escape. (Psalm 140:10, LXX; Psalm 141:10, Hebrew)

The righteousness of upright men delivers them: but transgressors are caught in their own destruction. At the death of a just man his hope does not perish: but the boast of the ungodly perishes. A righteous man escapes from a snare, and the ungodly man is delivered up in his place. (Proverbs 11:6-8, LXX)

He that has pity on the poor lends to the Lord; and He will recompense to him according to his gift. (Proverbs 19:17, LXX)

He that sows wickedness shall reap troubles; and shall fully receive the punishment of his deeds. God loves a cheerful and liberal man; but a man shall fully prove the folly of his works. (Proverbs 22:8, LXX)

He that digs a pit for his neighbour shall fall into it: and he that rolls a stone, rolls it upon himself. (Proverbs 26:27, LXX)

He that digs a pit shall fall into it; and him that breaks down a hedge a serpent shall bite. (Ecclesiastes 10:8, LXX)

Here are some verses from the New Testament which also teach the principle of Karma.

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. (Luke 6:38, KJV)

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. (II Corinthians 9:6,7, NKJV)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7,8, NKJV)

The Koran also has verses in it that express this concept of Karma.

And for those who have earned evil deeds the recompense of an evil deed shall be the like of it; abasement shall overspread them, neither have they any defender from God, as if their faces were covered with strips of night shadowy. Those are the inhabitants of the Fire, therein dwelling forever. (Koran 10:27, Arberry)

The reward for a good deed will be greater than the deed itself and the recompense for an evil deed will be equivalent to the deed. (Koran 28:84, Muhammad Sarwar)

Whoever works righteousness benefits his own soul; whoever works evil, it is against his own soul: nor is thy Lord ever unjust (in the least) to His Servants. (Koran 41:46, Yusuf Ali)

And the recompense of evil is evil the like of it; but whoso pardons and puts things right, his wage falls upon God; surely He loves not the evildoers. (Koran 42:40, Arberry)

Whoever does good, it is for his own soul, and whoever does evil, it is against himself; then you shall be brought back to your Lord. (Koran 45:15, Shakir)

It is possible that this principle may have been expressed in the sacred texts of other religions. It definitely exists in the two religions that originated in India: Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also found in all three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is something to remember. Our actions have repercussions and may adversely or beneficially affect us in this life or in the next.

 

666 in the Bible and the Koran

September 16, 2017 Leave a comment

The symbolic number, 666, is attributed to the Antichrist in the Bible. (Revelation 13:18) It is the number of his name. Muslims call the Antichrist the Dajjal. I have never seen any place in the Koran where this number appears.

Here are the only three places in the Bible where this number appears.

The weight of gold that came to Solomon yearly was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold. (I Kings 10:14, NKJV)

The people of Adonikam, six hundred and sixty-six. (Ezra 2:13, NKJV)

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: his number is 666. (Revelation 13:18, NKJV)

This number is a symbolic number. The number six is the sum of the first three prime numbers: 1, 2, and 3. (A prime number is a number that is not divisible by any other number.) Six is also the third even number. (2,4,6) 6 x 6 = 36. 36 was called by the ancients a spherical number. A spherical number is a number that ends in the same number that one must multiply by itself to obtain it. 36 ends in 6. Another example of a spherical number is 25. 5 x 5 = 25.  16 is not a spherical number, because 4 x 4 = 16 and 16 does not end in a 4, but a 6. Actually, 36 is the third spherical number. 1 is the first spherical number. 1 x 1 = 1. The sum of all numbers from 1 to 36 is 666.

To determine who is the Antichrist, one needs to use the ancient Greek number system, not the ancient Hebrew number system. The ancient Hebrew number system was invented after all of the books of the Bible had been written.

If you write the Antichrist’s name using Greek letters, the sum of the values of the letters of his name according to the ancient Greek number system will add up to 666.

Now for some Bible-Koran trivia using this number, 666.

The 666th verse in the Bible is Genesis 25:7.

This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years. (Genesis 25:7, NKJV)

The 666th verse in the New Testament is Matthew 20:18.

Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death. (Matthew 20:18, NKJV)

The 666th verse in the Koran is Koran 4:173.

And as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, He will give them in full their rewards and grant them extra from His bounty. But as for those who disdained and were arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment, and they will not find for themselves besides Allah any protector or helper. (Koran 4:173, Sahih International)

I do not think that this verse from the Koran is saying that one must earn God’s mercy. Actually, that is impossible according to the Koran.

If Allah took mankind to task by that which they deserve, He would not leave a living creature on the surface of the earth; but He reprieveth them unto an appointed term, and when their term cometh – then verily (they will know that) Allah is ever Seer of His slaves. (Quran 35:45, Pickthall)

It is saying that we must have righteous deeds which accompany our faith. This is the same thing that St. James taught when he said that faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) This is the same thing that St. Paul taught when he told the Corinthian Christians that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10) This is also the same thing that Jesus taught when He said that only those who do the will of God will enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 7:21) However, we can never be good enough, so, in the end we enter the kingdom of God by His mercy. God is, according to the Koran, the most-merciful of those who show mercy. (Koran 12:92)

The 6th verse of the 6th chapter of the 6th book of the Bible is Joshua 6:6.

Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” (Joshua 6:6, NKJV)

I Chronicles 6:66 is:

Now some of the families of the sons of Kohath were given cities as their territory from the tribe of Ephraim. (I Chronicles 6:66, NKJV)

Psalm 66:6 according to the Hebrew Masoretic text is:

He turned the sea into dry land; they went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him. (Psalm 66:6, NKJV)

The Psalms are not numbered the same way in the Greek Septuagint as they are in the Hebrew. Psalm 66:6 in the Greek Septuagint is:

The earth has yielded her fruit; let God, our God bless us. (Psalm 66:6, LXX)

Isaiah 66:6 is:

The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the Lord, who fully repays His enemies! (Isaiah 66:6, NKJV)

The 6th verse of the 6th chapter of the 6th book of the Twelve Minor Prophets is:

With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? (Micah 6:6, NKJV)

In the Orthodox Old Testament, Jonah is the sixth book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. The Book of Jonah does not have six chapters.

John 6:66 says:

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. (John 6:66, NKJV)

Jesus had just told the Jews and His disciples that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood in order to have eternal life. Some of His disciples left Him after He said this. (The Twelve Apostles and the Seventy Apostles did not leave Him. These were others who had followed Him.)

The 66th verse of the 6th book of the New Testament is:

But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) (Romans 3:5, NKJV)

The 6th verse of the 6th chapter of the 6th book of the New Testament is:

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 6:6, NKJV)

66th verse of the 6th Epistle of St. Paul is:

Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. (Philippians 3:6, NKJV)

The 6th verse of the 6th chapter of the 6th wisdom book of the Old Testament is:

If one counts the prologue to this book as the first chapter, then the 6th verse of the 6th chapter of this book is:

And say not His mercy is great; He will be pacified for the multitude of my sins: for mercy and wrath come from Him, and His indignation resteth upon sinners. (Sirach 5:6, KJV)

Sirach was written before Wisdom, but if someone says that Wisdom is the 6th wisdom book, the 6th verse of the 6th chapter is:

For mercy will soon pardon the meanest: but mighty men shall be mightily tormented. (Wisdom 6:6, KJV)

The Letter of Jeremiah is attached the Book of Baruch as the sixth chapter of Baruch in many Bibles. In the Septuagint, the Letter of Jeremiah comes after the Lamentations of Jeremiah. The Lamentations of Jeremiah consists of five chapters. The 66th verse of the Letter of Jeremiah is:

For they can neither curse nor bless kings. (Letter of Jeremiah 66, KJV)

The Prophet Jeremiah was talking about idols. Idols are incapable of benefiting their worshipers.

The Church Fathers grouped Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah together with Jeremiah and the Lamentations of Jeremiah. The Church Fathers classified these books as canonical and not Ecclesiastical. To them, canonical meant the books that the Jews accepted as part of the canon of the Old Testament prior to the Council of Jamnia in 100 A.D. The Ecclesiastical books were the Old Testament books that were written after the Hebrew and Aramaic books of the Old Testament had been translated into Greek by the seventy Palestinian Jews during the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (309-246 B.C.) Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah were among those books that the Seventy translated. Therefore, the Church Fathers classified them as canonical. Seven other books were written after this Greek translation had been made. These books were accepted by the Church, but not by the Jews. Therefore, they were labeled Ecclesiastical. The Church Fathers quoted from these books calling them “Holy Scripture,” “divinely inspired Scripture,” etc.

The 6th verse of the 6th chapter of the 6th Ecclesiastical book of the Old Testament is:

Neither was it lawful for a man to keep sabbath days or ancient fasts, or to profess himself at all to be a Jew. (II Maccabees 6:6, KJV)

Koran 6:66 says:

Thy people (O Muhammad) have denied it, though it is the Truth. Say: I am not put in charge of you. (Koran 6:66, Pickthall)

This  verse states a recurrent theme in the Koran. Muhammad was not a compeller over the people  to whom he preached. (Koran 10:99,100; 50:45) He was merely a plain warner and a bringer of glad tidings. (Koran 2:119; 25:56; 27:92; 33:45; 38:70, etc.) The hadiths written down over two years after Muhammad had died present a totally different Muhammad — one that forces people to convert to Islam. Those hadiths are hearsay and should not be given much attention or credence. Islam, according to the Koran, is submission to God and believing God’s messengers. It is not any of the elaborate religious systems that people call Islam today.

Koran 66:6 says:

O ye who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire whereof the fuel is men and stones, over which are set angels strong, severe, who resist not Allah in that which He commandeth them, but do that which they are commanded. (Koran 66:6, Pickthall)

The Koran uses some graphic language when speaking about the torments that the damned will experience in the hereafter. This verse was addressed to believers. Muhammad did not teach that believers are guaranteed Paradise. Anyone can fall away after believing. None of the Church Fathers taught that people are “eternally saved” after believing either. We must strive to enter the “narrow gate” (Matthew 7:13) and take the kingdom of heaven by the force of our wills. (Matthew 11:12) Without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14) Despite all of our efforts to become holy and abstain from sin, we will still be welcomed into God’s kingdom only by His mercy. We can never be good enough. We must still continue to strive to do what is right and good.

I have included these verses from the Koran for all of those Koranophobes out there. Someone was circulating an e-mail around many years ago saying that Koran 6:66 said something about the 9-11 attacks in 2001. The person who started circulating that e-mail was not quoting the Koran. He invented a verse that does not exist in the Koran. I have found that the Koran is relatively benign. The Sunna, however, has some barbaric stuff in it. I am glad that there are Muslims who do not accept those hadiths that teach barbarism even though they are graded sahih (authentic) by the compilers. To me, the Sunna is a massive collection of hearsay.

Who are the Hypocrites?

September 4, 2017 Leave a comment

In the Koran and also in the Bible, there is mention made of hypocrites. In this blog post, I intend to look at some of those passages and talk about the characteristics of a hypocrite.

No professing believer should want to practice hypocrisy. The eternal consequences can be devastating. In the Gospel according to St. Matthew, Jesus said:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23, NKJV)

Praying to Jesus, prophesying in His name, casting out demons in His name, and performing miracles in His name do not guarantee one a place in the Kingdom of Heaven. Doing the will of God does insure one a place there. The Lord will accuse those who are damned of practicing lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. (I John 3:4) Those who practice sin (that is, break God’s commandments) are practicing lawlessness and should not think that their prayers and other activities done in Jesus’ name will secure them a place in God’s kingdom at the end of this present age.

St. Paul said that love is the fulfillment of the Law. Those who love others instinctively keep the commandments.

Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10, NKJV)

Someone who harbors hatred in his heart toward another person or group of persons is a murderer.

Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (I John 3:15, NKJV)

St. Paul said that people who practice certain sins will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21, NKJV)

Murder is one of those sins. Hatred is a form of murder. It  is murder in one’s heart. So, anyone who harbors hatred in his heart does not have eternal life abiding in him and he will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

If a man truly loves another man’s wife as himself, he will not commit adultery with her. If he truly loves an unmarried woman, he, likewise, will not commit fornication with her. By practicing adultery and fornication, he bars both himself and the women with he does such acts from the Kingdom of God. St. Paul warns us not to be deceived.

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)

People who are practicing fornication and adultery and thinking that they will inherit the Kingdom of God are deceived. They separate themselves from God, by not loving God. If they truly loved God, they would abstain from fornication and adultery. So, the adulterers and fornicators who think that they love each other really do not. No one can truly love another person unless he first loves God above all else. Those who practice the other sins mentioned in I Corinthians 6:9,10 and Galatians 5:19-21 should not think that they will inherit the Kingdom of God either.

In the Koran, it says:

Whoso doeth right it is for his soul, and whoso doeth wrong it is against it. And thy Lord is not at all a tyrant to His slaves. (Koran 41:46, Pickthall)

People who do wrong, wrong their own souls. However, it is possible to have miraculous gifts, give away all of one’s goods to feed the poor, die as a “martyr,” and still lose one’s soul.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (I Corinthians 13:1-3, NKJV)

The absence of love is hate. Those who hate others are murderers. Murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them and they will never inherit the Kingdom of God. One might still wonder whether those who feed the poor have love. Maybe they do, but it is still possible to do all of that and not have love. That is what St. Paul was teaching in the passage quoted from I Corinthians 13.  In the Koran, it says:

And feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, for love of Him. (Koran 76:8, Pickthall)

Those who do these acts of kindness out of love for God are the ones who profit spiritually and have a reward from God in the afterlife. Love for God produces love for others.

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? (I John 4:20, NKJV)

Love for others produces charitable deeds.

But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (I John 3:17, NKJV)

Likewise, it is possible to profess faith in God and not possess faith in God. In the Catholic Epistle of James, it says:

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17, NKJV)

The Koran says:

Thus is the Word of thy Lord justified concerning those who do wrong: that they believe not. (Koran 10:33, Pickthall)

People who practice unrighteousness are not true believers. Jesus said that there will be unbelievers mixed among the believers until the end of this present age.

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.”’” (Matthew 13:24-30, NKJV)

I remember someone telling me about people who would party and fornicate on Saturday night and then get up Sunday morning and go to church. I also remember attending an event for single Christians. Someone there was telling me about all of the women there at that event. He said that he had fornicated with some of them in the back seat of his car. I was immediately turned off when I heard that. Tares among the wheat. The tares are the hypocrites. In the Koran, it says:

Verily Allah knoweth those who believe, and verily He knoweth the hypocrites. (Koran 29:11, Pickthall)

Hypocrites are people who say they believe in God, but in reality they do not. The kind of lives they live demonstrate their unbelief. “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26)

When the hypocrites come unto thee (O Muhammad), they say: We bear witness that thou art indeed Allah’s messenger. And Allah knoweth that thou art indeed His messenger, and Allah beareth witness that the hypocrites indeed are speaking falsely. (Koran 63:1, Pickthall)

There will be hypocrites mixed in with the believers until the end of this present age. God knows who they are.

Hypocrites tell people to obey God’s commandments, but they do not obey them. Their walk does not match their talk.

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do… “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” (Matthew 23:1-3,13, NKJV)

Hypocrites might also tell people that it is all right to break God’s commandments. I have met many people over the years who think that the words, “saved by grace through faith,” in Ephesians 2:8 have granted Christians a license to sin. It is true that we are saved by God’s mercy, but no one has been given by God a license to sin. In the Koran, it says:

O Prophet! Keep thy duty to Allah and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise. (Koran 33:1, Pickthall)

If one is keeping one’s duty to God, then one is obeying God. Apparently, the disbelievers and the hypocrites in this verse wanted Muhammad to disobey God. That is why it says “obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites.”

Hypocrites strive to win converts and then teach the converts to travel the path to hell.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. (Matthew 23:15, NKJV)

Allah promiseth the hypocrites, both men and women, and the disbelievers fire of hell for their abode. It will suffice them. Allah curseth them, and theirs is lasting torment. (Koran 9:68, Pickthall)

Hypocrites do good deeds in order to be seen by men. They love the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Lo! the hypocrites seek to beguile Allah, but it is He Who beguileth them. When they stand up to worship they perform it languidly and to be seen of men, and are mindful of Allah but little. (Koran 4:142, Pickthall)

But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments… Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. (Matthew 23:5,14, NKJV)

So, hypocrites are people who profess to believe in God, but in reality they do not. They do not possess love for God and others. They do not have genuine faith which is manifested in good deeds. If they do good deeds, they do not do them out of love for God and one’s fellow man. They do them in order to be seen by men and receive praise from others. Hypocrites lead others to hell by teaching them to practice their ungodly lifestyle. Hypocrites profess to believe in God, but encourage others to disobey God.