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From Polytheism to Monotheism: Abraham and His Father

May 20, 2018 Leave a comment

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

In the Book of Joshua, it says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the 60th Surah, it says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Satan is the one who sows enmity among mankind.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A Popular Heresy

March 11, 2018 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Book of Revelation, it says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now,  let us look at more of this passage.

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

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

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

He also said:

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

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

In the Book of Daniel, it says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corruption in the Earth

November 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Shall We treat those who believe and do good works as those who spread corruption in the earth; or shall We treat the pious as the wicked? (Koran 38:28, Pickthall)

In the Koran, there is an expression that occurs frequently: “corruption in the earth.” In this blog post, I intend to go through the Koran and explore the meaning of this expression. There are many different acts that can be classified as corruption in the earth.

First of all, let us look at Koran 5:32. In it, we can see that there are certain acts mentioned in the Torah which are classified as “corruption in the earth.”

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)

This verse says that God decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter (i.e., murder) or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind. Murder was punishable by death in the Torah. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that all other sins and crimes that are punishable by death in the Torah are “corruption in the earth.” Many of these sins are also mentioned in the New Testament and in the Koran. The death penalty for all of these sins and crimes has been abrogated in the New Testament and in the Koran. The Koran confirms the Old and New Testaments. (Koran 5:48)

I have already listed these sins in a previous blog post, “The Death Penalty in the Torah and Koran 5:32.” Here, I will mention them again along with verses from the New Testament and Koran. I will mention them again here and elaborate on some of them.

All forms of idolatry are corruption in the land. (Exodus 22:20; Deuteronomy 17:2-7) Idolatry includes offering sacrifices to pagan gods. Human sacrifice to a pagan god, which is also murder, is idolatry. (Leviticus 20:2-5) Since the death and resurrection of Jesus, God has abolished all animal sacrifices. (Psalm 39:6-8, LXX; Daniel 9:26,27; Hebrews 10:5-13) Idolatry includes covetousness and greed. (Colossians 3:5) Jesus said:

You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24, NKJV)

Mammon is money. Those who serve money, that is, live passionately to acquire more and more of it, cannot serve God. It is possible for one’s desires to become a god to someone, too. In the Koran, it says:

Have you seen the one who takes as his god his own desire? Then would you be responsible for him? (Koran 25:43, Sahih International)

These desires could not only be desires for material things, but also sexual desires. Lust can become a god to someone.

For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. (II Peter 2:18,19, NKJV)

Jesus said:

Most assuredly, I say unto you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. (John 8:34, NKJV)

Think about porn addiction. People who are addicted to porn are addicted to lust. Eating food offered to idols can be idolatry. (I Corinthians 10:19-21; Koran 5:3; 6:121)

Idolaters will not inherit the kingdom of God. (I Corinthians 6:9,10)

Spreading idolatry is also corruption in the earth. (Deuteronomy 13:1-10) Promoting greed and lust would be spreading corruption in the earth, since greed and lust can become gods to someone.

Blasphemy is corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 24:11-16) Many people use profanity and blasphemy without giving much thought to what they are saying. I am thinking here about the typical “cuss word” expressions that punctuate many people’s conversations.

Various sexual sins are corruption in the earth. These include fornication (Leviticus 21:9; Deuteronomy 22:13-24), adultery (Leviticus 18:20,29; 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), rape (Deuteronomy 22:25-27), incest (Leviticus 18:6-18,29; 20:11-12,14,17,20,21), sodomy (Leviticus 18:22,29; 20:13), and bestiality (Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:23,29; 20:15,16). Having sex with a woman who is having her menstrual period is also corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 18:19,29; 20:18) In the Koran, it says:

And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves. (Koran 2:222, Shakir)

Think about the society that we live in today and how it has become so accepting of immorality. I have watched some TV shows on Netflix. I have noticed how the film industry has made fornication appear so acceptable. Supergirl fornicates with Mon-El. Mon-El fornicates with Eve. The Flash fornicates with Linda, Patty, and Iris. I saw one episode of Deep Space Nine and Captain Cisco was fornicating with the lady captain of a cargo ship.

This practice of fornication has become so acceptable that many men and women today live with each other outside of wedlock. They even attend church together!

Foretune-telling and sorcery are corruption in the earth. (Exodus 22:18; Leviticus 20:27) Sorcery is listed by St. Paul as one of the works of the flesh. (Galatians 5:19-21) St. Paul said that people who practice any of the works of the flesh will not inherit the kingdom of God.

The Koran says:

O ye who believe! Strong drink and games of chance and idols and divining arrows are only an infamy of Satan’s handiwork. Leave it aside in order that ye may succeed. (Koran 5:90, Pickthall)

The occult flourishes so much in Western society. People play with ouija boards and check their horoscopes. Some people are more heavily involved in the occult.

Giving up one’s children to serve a political leader is corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 18:21,29) Kidnapping and abduction are corruption in the earth. (Exodus 21:16, Hebrew; 21:17, LXX)

In some ways, public education tends to indoctrinate children into accepting the politically correct ideology propagated by the mass media. The mass media often teaches that what has been deemed historically morally right is now morally wrong and what is morally wrong is now morally right. In a way, through public education parents have surrendered their children to the state. Of course, most people cannot afford to send their children to a parochial school. So, this is a reality that many must continue to live with.

Striking one’s father or mother is corruption in the earth. (Exodus 21:15) Reviling one’s father or mother is corruption in the earth. (Leviticus 20:9) Refusing to obey one’s father or mother is corruption in the earth. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Honor thy father and thy mother. (Exodus 20:12, KJV)

Disobedience to a priest or political leader is corruption in the land. (Deuteronomy 17:12)

The Koran says:

The messenger believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him from his Lord and (so do) believers. Each one believeth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers — We make no distinction between any of His messengers – and they say: We hear, and we obey. (Grant us) Thy forgiveness, our Lord. Unto Thee is the journeying. (Koran 2:285, Pickthall)

The first generation Muslims and Muhammad obeyed the commandments given by the messengers in the Bible. Disobeying the non-abrogated commandments in the Bible is working corruption in the earth. Jesus is the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Read Hebrews 7.) Anyone who disobeys Jesus’ commandments or encourages others to disobey His commandments is working corruption in the earth.

Working on the Sabbath, that is, Saturday was classified among the sins which merit the death penalty in the Torah (Exodus 31:15; 35:2; Numbers 15:32-36), but now is not even classified as a sin because the whole law regarding observing the Sabbath has been abrogated. Sunday is the day of rest now. (Colossians 2:16,17; II Thessalonians 2:15; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10)

The Koran mentions other sins which it classifies as “corruption in the earth.”

Destroying crops and animals is corruption in the land.

And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And Allah does not like corruption. (Koran 2:205, Sahih International)

People in a seventh century agrarian society depended on local agricultural produce more than people do today. Many agricultural products in the United States and Canada are imported from other countries. So, because of this dependence on local agricultural produce, the destruction of crops and cattle would severely harm the people in a seventh century city or town. The moral corollary is: any activity, therefore, that deprives someone of his livelihood or sustenance is corruption in the land.

In the Bible, it says:

He that taketh away his neighbour’s living slayeth him; and he that defraudeth the labourer of his hire is a bloodshedder. (Sirach 34:22, KJV)

People need food in order to survive and a means of obtaining it through good, lawful work. So, anyone who deprives another person of such necessities of life is working corruption in the land.

Starting wars is working corruption in the land.

Every time they kindled the fire of war [against you], Allah extinguished it. And they strive throughout the land [causing] corruption, and Allah does not like corrupters. (Koran 5:64, Sahih International)

Jesus said that the peacemakers are blessed and will be called the sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

I look at the news and I see how war has caused so much suffering in the world. People who start wars are spreading corruption in the earth. Wars cause famine and sickness. Look at Yemen. Look at how much harm has been done to the Syrian and Iraqi people because of war.

Not helping fellow believers causes the spread of corruption in the land.

Lo! those who believed and left their homes and strove with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah, and those who took them in and helped them: these are protecting friends one of another. And those who believed but did not leave their homes, ye have no duty to protect them till they leave their homes; but if they seek help from you in the matter of religion then it is your duty to help (them) except against a folk between whom and you there is a treaty. Allah is Seer of what ye do. And those who disbelieve are protectors one of another. If ye do not so, there will be confusion in the land, and great corruption. (Koran 8:72,73, Pickthall)

Doing evil causes corruption in the earth.

And do not cheat the people of their goods. Do not act wickedly on the earth, causing corruption. (Koran 26:183, Qarai)

People who commit genocide are working corruption in the earth. That is what Pharaoh was doing to the Hebrews.

We narrate unto thee (somewhat) of the story of Moses and Pharaoh with truth, for folk who believe. Lo! Pharaoh exalted himself in the earth and made its people castes. A tribe among them he oppressed, killing their sons and sparing their women. Lo! he was of those who work corruption. (Koran 28:3,4, Pickthall)

Transgressions increase corruption in the earth.

Remember God’s bounties, and do not act wickedly, spreading corruption. (Koran 7:74, eclectic translation)

Who transgressed in the lands, and increased corruption therein. (Koran 89:11,12, eclectic translation)

(I looked at the literal Arabic on corpus.quran.com and various translations on  www.quranwow.com  and then pieced together some “eclectic translations” of the verses cited above.)

We often think of sins, such as drunkenness and debauchery, when we think of transgression, but there are doctrinal transgressions as well. Spreading various heresies, such as Tritheism, Adoptionism, Sabellianism, and Arianism, is transgressing.

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. (II John 9-11, NKJV)

People who break a treaty are working corruption in the earth.

And He misleads not except the defiantly disobedient, who break the covenant of Allah after contracting it and sever that which Allah has ordered to be joined and cause corruption on earth. It is those who are the losers. (Koran 2:26,27, Sahih International)

Abusing God’s gifts is spreading corruption in the earth.

And [recall] when Moses prayed for water for his people, so We said, “Strike with your staff the stone.” And there gushed forth from it twelve springs, and every people knew its watering place. “Eat and drink from the provision of Allah, and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption.” (Koran 2:60, Sahih International)

So fear Allah and obey me. And do not obey the order of the transgressors, who cause corruption in the land and do not amend.” They said, “You are only of those affected by magic. You are but a man like ourselves, so bring a sign, if you should be of the truthful.” He said, “This is a she-camel. For her is a [time of] drink, and for you is a [time of] drink, [each] on a known day. And do not touch her with harm, lest you be seized by the punishment of a terrible day.” But they hamstrung her and so became regretful. And the punishment seized them. Indeed in that is a sign, but most of them were not to be believers. (Koran 26:150-158, Sahih International)

God’s gifts are our natural resources. If we abuse them, ecological and environmental damage will be done to our planet. If we destroy our planet, we destroy people’s livelihoods.

The heaven of heavens belong to the Lord: but He has given the earth to the sons of men. (Psalm 113:24, LXX; Psalm 115:16, Hebrew)

Those who reject the truth regarding Jesus’ created humanity are corrupters.

Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (This is) the truth from thy Lord (O Muhammad), so be not thou of those who waver. And whoso disputeth with thee concerning Him, after the knowledge which hath come unto thee, say (unto him): Come! We will summon our sons and your sons, and our women and your women, and ourselves and yourselves, then we will pray humbly (to our Lord) and (solemnly) invoke the curse of Allah upon those who lie. Lo! This verily is the true narrative. There is no God save Allah, and lo! Allah is the Mighty, the Wise. And if they turn away, then lo! Allah is Aware of (who are) the corrupters. (Koran 3:59-63, Pickthall)

Monophysites are corrupters. They affirm that Jesus has a divine nature and deny that He has a human nature. Dyophysites are not. On the opposite end of the heretical spectrum from the Monophysites are the Ebionites. The Ebionites deny that Jesus has a divine nature. Jesus’ humanity is created. His divinity is uncreated. The two natures are joined together without separation, division, mixture, or change. They are joined together by diffusion, not confusion.

St. John the Theologian, a very close friend and disciple of Jesus, wrote:

For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. (II John 7, NKJV)

Turning people away from God’s path is working corruption.

Lurk not on every road to threaten (wayfarers), and to turn away from Allah’s path him who believeth in Him, and to seek to make it crooked. And remember, when ye were but few, how He did multiply you. And see the nature of the consequence for the corrupters! (Koran 7:86, Pickthall)

For those who disbelieve and debar (men) from the way of Allah, We add doom to doom because they wrought corruption. (Koran 16:88, Pickthall)

St. Paul said in his Second Epistle to Timothy:

Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was. (II Timothy 3:8,9, NKJV)

But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (II Timothy 3:13, NKJV)

The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:15) Jesus promised that the Gates of Hell will not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18) The Koran says that God is setting those who follow Jesus above those who disbelieve in Jesus until the Day of Resurrection. (Koran 3:55) We need to look at the Church Fathers and other sources of Holy Tradition and apply the principles of universality, antiquity, and consent in order to make sure that we have the truth. God has guided the Ecumenical Church Councils into truth, just as He guided the Council of Jerusalem in the first century. (See Acts 15:22-29.) So, the doctrinal decisions of an Ecumenical Church Council are infallible.

Breaking kinship ties is working corruption in the earth.

Would ye then, if ye were given the command, work corruption in the land and sever your ties of kinship? (Koran 47:22, Pickthall)

We are supposed to love God more than our own families. (Matthew 10:37,38) We still need to maintain our kinship ties. Believing men and women are supposed to give aid to their widowed relatives. (I Timothy 5:16) We should help our other relatives who need help, too.

This is a list of sins mentioned in the Bible and the Koran which are classified as “corruption in the earth.” God does not want us to work corruption in the earth. When people commit sins like these and even promote them, they are destroying the moral foundation of society.

There has been much corruption wrought in the world. All of this corruption that has been wrought in the world needs to be stopped. The Sword of the Spirit (that is, God’s Word) is our offensive weapon. (Ephesians 6:17) The Gospel of Peace is what we need to spread. (Ephesians 6:15) Our defensive weapons are faith, love, and the hope of salvation. (I Thessalonians 5:8)

Let us not be corrupters. Let us be people who want to reverse the spread of corruption in the earth. Reading the Bible is a good place to start. Reading the Koran which confirms the teachings found in the Bible is also a good thing to do. Applying the teachings to our daily lives and striving to serve God instead of our own carnal desires should be our daily objective.

Prophecies of Muhammad in the Bible

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

When someone reads the title of this blog post, one might think that now I am ready to say the Shahada and go join a mosque. What I see of that which is labeled as Islam today is in my view extremely unkoranic. So, no, I am still a Christian. However, I do think that the Koran has a lot of good moral and spiritual teaching in it. I also recognize that there are mathematical miracles in the Koran which lead me to believe that it is a work of divine providence. God “works all things after the counsel of His own will.” (Ephesians 1:11) Many of the English translations of the Koran are full of mistranslations which reflect the errant theology of the translators. However, there may be some prophecies about Muhammad in the Bible. Many of the ones that Islamic religious leaders cite are not prophecies about him in my opinion.

I want to make a few remarks concerning the matter of authority first. In order for someone to be recognized as a Saint in the Orthodox Church, the Church must glorify that person. No one is recognized as a Saint while he or she is alive. This process of recognition begins at a grass roots level among Christians who knew the person while he was alive. People start venerating this person and eventually the Church does an inquiry and if the hierarchs are satisfied with their findings, the person is enrolled in the list of Saints. Not everyone who is in fact a Saint is on that list. The Church also recognizes that there are people who are Saints but they are known only to God as being such. So, there are the unknown Saints.

In regards to Scripture, the formation of the canon of Holy Scripture took several hundred years after the books of the Bible were written. In the fourth century, for example, the Church in Rome rejected St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews. The Church in the East was slow to accept the Book of Revelation into the canon. There were other books that were not accepted everywhere as Holy Scripture in the second and third century — II Peter, II John, and III John, for example. It took time for the Church to adopt all of the books that we have in our Orthodox Bibles today.

One solitary individual does not have the authority to include or exclude any book into the canon of Holy Scripture. The authority comes from the Church. The Church as a whole must recognize that a book is divinely inspired. Church councils merely state what the Church as a whole says as it is being guided by God into all truth.

Although, I personally have developed an affection for reading and studying the Koran, I do not have the authority to include it into the canon of Holy Scripture.

On the other hand, I cannot predict the future. What will be the Church’s attitude toward this book in the future is a matter of speculation.

I have read that His All-Holiness Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, has given away two copies of the Koran. I have also read that the Patriarch of Alexandria has given away one copy of the Koran. A former Patriarch of Alexandria who lived in the twentieth century has gone as far as to say that he thought that Muhammad was a prophet. I read about that in a book written by His Beatitude Kallistos Ware.

My own thoughts about Muhammad are that he was a better man than what we read about in the massive collection of hearsay called the Sunnah. I do not believe that he married a six year old girl and had sex with her when she was nine. That is a fabricated story invented by some Persians and written down by Persians in the ninth century. I do not believe that he told his followers, “Whoever  changes his religion, kill him.” That is another fabricated story written down over two hundred years after he died. I do not believe that he was a warlord. I believe that he encouraged his followers to defend themselves when they were being attacked by polytheists, but to be at peace with the polytheists if they wanted to be at peace with them. I do not believe that the Sword Verse (Koran 9:5) teaches offensive military jihad. When one reads it in context with other verses which come before and after this verse, one can see that this is talking about a seventh century battle fought in self-defense. I do not believe that the Koran teaches the heretical theology of the Arians. I believe that Muhammad was a Trinitarian monotheist.

Greek Numbers

 

Now, another side note about Muhammad. I have added up the values of his name in both Greek and Hebrew. There is no numerical value for h in the ancient Greek number system because that letter is represented in Greek by a diacritical mark — something like an apostrophe, only written backwards. In Greek the numerical value of his name is 526. Here is a theory about the meaning of this number. If one were to add 5 + 2 + 6, one would get 13. 13 consists of the numbers 1 and 3. One God, Three Persons. (I still have my Trinitarian bias, as you can probably see.) In Hebrew, the numerical value of his name is 137. This number consists of the numbers 1, 3, and 7. One God, Three Persons, Total Perfection. (7 symbolizes perfection.)

 So, Muhammad is not the Antichrist. His name does not add up to 666. If he was a Trinitarian monotheist like I believe he was, then he was not a heretic either.

Now, I want to look at a verse from the Koran. I am going to use Mohsin Khan’s translation first.

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e.Muhammad SAW) whom they find written with them in the Taurat (Torah) (Deut, xviii, 15) and the Injeel (Gospel) (John xiv, 16), – he commands them for Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden); he allows them as lawful At-Taiyibat [(i.e. all good and lawful) as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.], and prohibits them as unlawful Al-Khaba’ith (i.e. all evil and unlawful as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.), he releases them from their heavy burdens (of Allah’s Covenant), and from the fetters (bindings) that were upon them. So those who believe in him (Muhammad SAW), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Quran) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful. (Koran 7:157, Mohsin Khan)

If you ever want to buy a copy of the Koran, I would strongly discourage you from purchasing this Saudi funded Wahhabi translation. The man who translated it actually interpreted it according to the Wahhabi beliefs of his benefactors.

Notice that he cites Deuteronomy 18:15 as a prophecy about Muhammad. The Koran says:

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger, and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. Lo! those who believe, then disbelieve and then (again) believe, then disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never pardon them, nor will He guide them unto a way. (Koran 4:136,137, Pickthall)

The Scripture which God “hath revealed unto His messenger” is the Koran. “The Scripture which He revealed aforetime” is the Bible. In that “Scripture which God revealed aforetime,” that passage from Deuteronomy 18:15 is cited as prophecy of Jesus, not a prophecy about Muhammad. (Acts 3:20-23; 7:37) The Koran requires that we believe what we read in the Book of Acts. If we disbelieve, and then increase in disbelief, God will never pardon us. (Koran 4:137) Deuteronomy 18:15 is not a prophecy about Muhammad.

Notice also that he cites John 14:16 as a prophecy about Muhammad. Let us look at these verses from John 14.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever  —  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17, NKJV)

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26, NKJV)

Let us plug Muhammad’s name in these verses.

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that Muhammad may abide with you forever  —  the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Muhammad nor knows Muhammad; but you know Muhammad, for Muhammad dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:16,17, NKJV modified)

But the Helper Muhammad, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, this person Muhammad will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. (John 14:26, NKJV modified)

From the context of these verses, we can easily see that the Helper, the Spirit of truth, and the Holy Spirit all refer to the same Person. (The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity. He is the one who “neither begets, nor is begotten” in Koran 112.) Let us, now, plug in Muhammad again. Look at these verses from Matthew 28.

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. (Matthew 28:19,20, NKJV)

The baptismal formula is “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” (I know about the passages in the Book of Acts that talk about baptism in Jesus’ name. I prefer to stick with patristic explanations of those passages — that is to say, how the Church Fathers interpreted them. That is another subject for another blog.)

So, if Muhammad is the Spirit of truth who is also called the Helper or the Holy Spirit, then Jesus told His disciples to baptize new converts in the name of the Father, Jesus, and Muhammad. Muhammad was born in the late sixth century. Jesus’ apostles lived in the first century. This seems rather ridiculous to believe this, in my opinion. (By the way, these verses are not a later addition to the Bible. They existed in the seventh century Bible that the Koran told us to believe. The Church Fathers who lived hundreds of year before Muhammad quoted these verses in their writings.)

The Koran warns us about distorting God’s revelations.

Lo! those who distort Our revelations are not hid from Us. Is he who is hurled into the Fire better, or he who cometh secure on the Day of Resurrection? Do what ye will. Lo! He is Seer of what ye do. (Koran 41:40, Pickthall)

The Islamic religious leaders who are citing those verses from Deuteronomy 18 and John 14 are doing that.

Here is another popular distortion. Many Islamic religious leaders quote these verses from St. John’s Gospel or verses like them in parallel accounts in the other three Gospels as a prophecy about Muhammad.

John answered them, saying, “I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose.” (John 1:26,27, NKJV)

Well, in order to properly understand who it is that John was talking about, it is necessary for us look at the verses which come later in this chapter.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water.” (John 1:29-31, NKJV)

St. John the Baptist was talking about Jesus. Jesus is the one who is preferred before John. John 1:26,27 is not a prophecy about Muhammad.

I could go through some other so-called prophecies about Muhammad and debunk them, too, but I do not want to anger my Muslim readers any more than I already have. Instead, I want to be a bit more conciliatory and present some possible prophecies about Muhammad from the Bible. Please remember that I am only suggesting these passages as possibilities. I, as a single individual, really do not have the authority to say that they are in fact prophecies about him.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. (II Peter 1:20, NKJV)

First, let us look at a better translation of that verse from the Seventh Surah than that Wahhabi translation I quoted earlier.

Those who follow the Messenger-Prophet, the Ummi, whom they find written down with them in the Taurat and the Injeel (who) enjoins them good and forbids them evil, and makes lawful to them the good things and makes unlawful to them impure things, and removes from them their burden and the shackles which were upon them; so (as for) those who believe in him and honor him and help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, these it is that are the successful. (Koran 7:157, Shakir)

Some have pointed out that the Arabic word that is usually translated as “who can neither read nor write” or “illiterate” can mean Gentile. So, this Messenger is a Gentile prophet — a prophet who is neither a Jew, nor a Christian. Muhammad is a descendant of Ishmael according to Islamic history. From what I have read in the Koran, I can easily see that he lived among pagans — people who worshiped more than one god. There were also Christian heretics that he apparently encountered — Nestorians, Sabellians, Maryamites, Adoptionists, Bitheists, and Tritheists. The Koran frequently condemns these heresies. It condemns polytheism. It also condemns the unkoranic practice of rejecting the Bible.

There are some principles of interpretation that I want to present before I provide the suggested possibilities. I will first use these prophecies of Jesus and a passage from the New Testament to demonstrate how Scripture is interpreted. The prophecies about Jesus first:

But they shall serve the Lord their God; and I will raise up to them David their king. (Jeremiah 37:9, LXX; Jeremiah 30:9, Hebrew)

And I will raise up one shepherd over them, and He shall tend them, even My servant David, and He shall be their shepherd; and I the Lord will be to them a God, and David a prince in the midst of them; I the Lord have spoken it. And I will make with David a covenant of peace and I will utterly destroy evil beasts from off the land; and they shall dwell in the wilderness, and sleep in the forests. And I will settle them round about My mountain; and I will give you the rain, the rain of blessing. And the trees that are in the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her strength, and they shall dwell in the confidence of peace on their land, and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken their yoke; and I will deliver them out of the hand of those that enslaved them. And they shall no more be a spoil to the nations, and the wild beasts of the land shall no more at all devour them; and they shall dwell safely, and there shall be none to make them afraid. And I will raise up for them a plant of peace, and they shall no more perish with hunger upon the land, and they shall no more bear the reproach of the nations. (Ezekiel 34:23-29, LXX)

And My servant David shall be a prince in the midst of them: there shall be one shepherd of them all; for they shall walk in Mine ordinances, and keep My judgments, and do them. And they shall dwell in their land, which I have given to My servant Jacob, where their fathers dwelt; and they shall dwell upon it: and David My servant shall be their prince forever. And I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will establish My sanctuary in the midst of them for ever. And My tabernacle shall be among them; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be My people. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord that sanctifies them, when My sanctuary is in the midst of them for ever. (Ezekiel 37:24-28, LXX)

For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an altar, and without a priesthood, and without manifestations. And afterward shall the children of Israel return, and shall seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall be amazed at the Lord and at His goodness in the latter days. (Hosea 3:4,5, LXX)

In all four of these prophecies, the Christ (that is, the Messiah) is called David. David is a biological ancestor of the Christ. The prophets use the name of the Christ’s ancestor when speaking about the Christ.

Now, for the New Testament passage.

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (I Peter 2:9,10, NKJV)

St. Peter called the Church “a holy nation.” Of course, the Church is not a nation in the usual sense. The Church is a spiritual nation. Jesus told Pilate that His kingdom “is not of this world.” (John 18:36) The Church is a spiritual nation that thrives in and among earthly nations. St. Paul called the Church “the Israel of God.” (Galatians 6:16)

Now, let us look at this prophecy about Ishmael (Ismael in the Septuagint).

And concerning Ismael, behold, I have heard thee, and, behold, I have blessed him, and will increase him and multiply him exceedingly; twelve nations shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 17:20, LXX)

Although Ishmael had been cast out of Abraham’s household. God said that He has blessed him. He said that Ishmael will beget twelve nations. This prophecy about begetting twelve nations was fulfilled in this passage.

And these are the generations of Ismael the son of Abraam, whom Agar the Egyptian the hand-maid of Sarrha bore to Abraam. And these are the names of the sons of Ismael, according to the names of their generations. The firstborn of Ismael, Nabaioth, and Kedar, and Nabdeel, and Massam, and Masma, and Duma, and Masse, and Choddan, and Thaeman, and Jetur, and Naphes, and Kedma. These are the sons of Ismael, and these are their names in their tents and in their dwellings, twelve princes according to their nations. (Genesis 25:12-16, LXX)

Then, God says, “I will make him a great nation.” God promises to make Ishmael a great nation. Twice more in Genesis, God says that He will make Ishmael a great nation.

And moreover I will make the son of this bondwoman a great nation, because he is thy seed. (Genesis 21:13, LXX)

Rise up, and take the child, and hold him in thine hand, for I will make him a great nation. (Genesis 21:18, LXX)

To further understand what is being said here, we need to understand that Abraham has spiritual children — children who are not necessarily his biological children.

Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. (Galatians 3:7, NKJV)

Christians, regardless of their biological ancestry, are part of the commonwealth Israel. (God changed Jacob’s name to Israel. – Genesis 32:28)

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands — that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13, NKJV)

Jacob, therefore, has spiritual seed — children who are not necessarily his biological posterity. Understanding this principle will help one understand some possible prophecies about Muhammad in the Torah.

Here is one possible prophecy about Muhammad from the Torah. An angel appeared to Hagar, Abraham’s concubine. Hagar had only one child, Ishmael.

And the angel of the Lord said to her, I will surely multiply thy seed, and it shall not be numbered for multitude. (Genesis 16:10, LXX)

In Genesis, there are similar prophecies about God multiplying the seed of Isaac and Jacob. (Genesis 26:4,24; 28:3; 32:12; 48:4)

It is possible that Ishmael might have spiritual seed, too. So, what I am saying is this. The great nation that God promises to make Ishmael is a spiritual nation like the Church. Just as David is used prophetically to refer to Christ, Ishmael prophetically refers to Muhammad. The Muslim Ummah is the spiritual nation. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Although what a vast majority of their religious leaders are teaching is, in my opinion, heretical, still this vast, great spiritual nation exists. (There are Christians who teach heresies, too. So, we need to point the finger at ourselves as well as to the Muslims.)

The next two possible prophecies are found in the New Testament. I need to provide some more exemplary interpretations of some other passages so that we can apply those principles to the possible prophecies. First, let us look at this verse from St. Matthew’s Gospel.

For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26, NKJV)

Some parallel passages are Mark 8:36 and Luke 9:25. This has a general application. People should beware of greed and covetousness. However, the Lord may have been alluding to the Antichrist who will gain the whole world and lose his soul.

“It may be that our Lord Jesus Christ was thinking ahead to Antichrist when He said, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26) For, without a doubt, Antichrist will be the first and last human capable of gaining the whole world. And the cost of this great acquisition will be not only his own soul, but the souls of all people who side with him.” (Ultimate Things, p. 250, by Dennis E. Engleman, copyright 1995 by Dennis Eugene Engleman, published by Conciliar Press, Ben Lomond, California, ISBN 0-9622713-9-X)

Matthew 16:26 might have a more specific application in addition to the general one.

Now, for the possible prophecy. There was a man who was casting out devils in Jesus’ name, but he was not following along with the Apostles. They forbade the man and told Jesus. Jesus said:

But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.” (Mark 9:39,40, NKJV)

There is a parallel passage in Luke 9:50. Just as Jesus could have been alluding to the Antichrist in Matthew 16:26, here, He may have been alluding to Muhammad. When the Persian polytheists were attacking the Orthodox Christians, Muhammad prophesied that the Orthodox Christians would be victorious. (Koran 30:2-5) The Orthodox Christians eventually defeated the Persians and the prophecy was fulfilled. Also, Muhammad said that the followers of Jesus will be set over those who do not believe in Jesus until the Day of Resurrection. (Koran 3:55)

So, although Muhammad did not follow along with the Orthodox Christians, he was not against them. He, therefore, was on their side.

Someone might mention here the Jizyah verse. (Koran 9:29) The jizyah appears only once in the entire Koran. There are no rules regarding how much to exact and for how long one must exact this tax. The amount was determined by a seventh century treaty with polytheists. Judging from the context of this verse, the jizyah was being exacted from polytheists who had been given the Bible and maybe a Koran, too, but did not believe in God and the Last Day. Where there is no treaty, there is no jizyah.

All of the other passages in the Koran that appear to some misinformed people to be condemning the doctrine of the Trinity are really condemning ancient Christian heresies.

Then, there is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. From this parable we can learn some more principles of interpretation.

Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37, NKJV)

This parable has a general application. It tells us that we should be “Good Samaritans” and help everyone who needs help regardless of their race or religion. There is also an allegorical interpretation. The Good Samaritan in the parable is Jesus Christ. The Jews called Jesus a Samaritan. (John 8:48) Jerusalem represents Paradise. The Temple was in Jerusalem. Jericho represents Hell. After Jericho fell, Joshua said that the man who rebuilds it will cursed. (Joshua 6:26) The thieves are the demons. Jesus called the devil the thief. (John 10:10) The priest and the Levite are the religious elite. They ignore the man who had been wounded by the thieves. The man was half-dead indicating that there was still hope for his recovery. The Good Samaritan, Jesus, comes and bandages the man’s wounds (the Sacrament of Baptism; bandages = baptismal robe). He poured oil (the Sacrament of Chrismation) and wine (the Sacrament of the Eucharist) on them. Then, He placed the man in the Church. The inn represents the Church. He gave two denarii to the innkeeper. The innkeeper is the priest. The two denarii are Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition. The Samaritan told the innkeeper to take care of the man. The priest is supposed to take care of the man in his church. The Samaritan told the innkeeper that he will repay him when he returns. Allegorically, this means that the priest will be rewarded at Christ’s Second Coming.

Now, here are the two other possible prophecies about Muhammad.

45 “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. 47 Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. (Matthew 24:45-47, NKJV)

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. (Luke 12:42-44, NKJV)

Notice that in Matthew 24:46 and Luke 12:43 Jesus said, “Blessed is that servant.” In Luke 12:42, Jesus asked, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward?” Jesus is talking about a particular person. Prior to saying these words in Matthew 24 and Luke 12, Jesus spoke about future events and His Second Coming. So, this parable refers to future events. The faithful and wise steward who feeds the Master’s servants is possibly Muhammad. The Master of the Household is Jesus. The return of the Master of the Household is the Second Coming of Jesus. The food that is given in due season refers to the Koran which was revealed over a period of 22 years. In this saying of Jesus, the Word of God is spoken of as being food.

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4, NKJV)

The parallel passage is Luke 4:4. Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy.

And He afflicted thee and straitened thee with hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thy fathers knew not; that He might teach thee that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God shall man live. (Deuteronomy 8:3, LXX)

In the 18th Psalm of the Septuagint, it says:

To be desired more than gold, and much precious stone: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalm 18:10, LXX; Psalm 19:10, Hebrew)

So, the Word of God is, analogously speaking, food. Muhammad gave the Koran as it was revealed to him “in due season.” Of course, the Word of God is also the Bible. The Koran says to believe the Bible. (Koran 4:136,137) It also says to study the Bible. (Koran 3:79)

Of course, we all should be faithful and wise stewards of what God has given us. So, those passages also have a general application. Does not the Koran also say that Muhammad is a good example for us to follow? (Koran 33:21)

I think that at Jesus’ Second Coming the Theotokos will sit on His right hand. (Psalm 44:9, LXX; Psalm 45:9, Hebrew) St. John the Baptist will sit on His left hand because he is the greatest man born of a woman (Matthew 11:11) except for Jesus. (John 1:26-30; 3:25-30) I think that Muhammad will be Jesus’ deputy in the same way that Joseph was Pharaoh’s deputy (Genesis 41:37-45) and in the same way that Nebuchadnezzar made Daniel ruler over all of his kingdom. (Daniel 3:48, LXX; Daniel 2:48, Hebrew) The Twelve Apostles will sit on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. (Matthew 19:28)

In conclusion, many of the so-called prophecies about Muhammad are not prophecies about him at all. Nevertheless, that does not mean that there are no prophecies about him in the Bible. I have suggested some passages from the Bible as being prophecies about Muhammad. I, however, do not have the authority to unequivocally say that those are prophecies about him. As far as the Koran being included in the canon of Holy Scripture by the Church, that is for the Church to decide and not for any one particular individual. As for Muhammad’s prophethood, that has not been universally recognized by the Church. However, that does not mean that his prophethood will never be recognized by the Church. I do not believe that Muhammad taught heresies. I think that Islamic religious leaders are teaching heresies. I believe that many of the stories about Muhammad in the Sunnah are fabrications and are not true.

Sectarian Islam is Unkoranic

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

I have watched some of Sam Gerrans’ videos on Youtube and I agree with much of what he says. I do not agree with everything that he says. He rejects the hadiths as hearsay. I do, too. He rejects Sunni Islam which has been built on that massive collection of hearsay called the Sunnah. He calls it “brand Islam.” I have identified three key problems with “brand Islam.”

Here is a video from his Youtube channel. I found it very interesting.

 

The only ones who say anything resembling the shahada in the Koran are the hypocrites. (Koran 63:1) A lot of the practices derived from the hadiths, for example, the manner of prayer, are innovations. (Sunni Muslims hold their hands in certain ways while praying.) The Koran says that Muhammad received no new revelations and was not an innovator among the messengers. (Koran 41:43; 46:9)

That massive collection of hearsay, called the Sunnah, is the first key problem with “brand Islam.” All of it was written down over two hundred years after Muhammad died, except for Malik’s collection of hearsay. It was written down sometime between a hundred and two hundred years after Muhammad died. Muhammad died in 632. The compiler of Sahih al-Bukhari was born in 810. The compiler of Sahih Muslim was born in 815. Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim are the two most important encyclopedic collections of hearsay in Sunni Islam. All of the other encyclopedias of hearsay were compiled by people who were born after 815. Read more…

The Spirit of the Holy One in the Koran

October 22, 2017 Leave a comment

There is a phrase that occurs four times in the Koran. It is usually translated as “the Holy Spirit” or “the holy spirit.” Sahih International translates the phrase as “the Pure Spirit.” Literally, it says either “the spirit of the Holy One” or “the Spirit of the Holy One.” If the word, “spirit,” begins with a capital S, then this phrase is referring to the Third Person of the Trinity. I am going to provide my opinion on the meaning of this phrase in each of the four verses where it occurs in the Koran.

First of all, I need to provide some background detail. In the Book of Tobit, a book that is accepted by Orthodox Christians as Holy Scripture and a revelation from Allah as well as by Muhammad (Koran 29:46), the Archangel Raphael says:

I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One. (Tobit 12:15, KJV)

There are seven archangels. Three are mentioned in the Bible: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Only two of them are mentioned in the Koran: Michael and Gabriel. (See Koran 2:98.) Uriel and Salathiel are mentioned in an apocryphal book. The names of the other two are Jegudiel and Barachiel. Their names have been transmitted by tradition.

In the Bible, it says that angels are spirits.

And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” …Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:7,14, NKJV)

God is called the Holy One in both the Bible and the Koran.

He is Allah, than Whom there is no other God, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him). (Koran 59:23, Pickthall)

All that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth glorifieth Allah, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, the Mighty, the Wise. (Koran 62:1, Pickthall)

Compare Isaiah 43:3,15; 45:11. We have already seen in the Book of Tobit where the Archangel Raphael called God the Holy One. There are several other instances in the Bible where God is called the Holy One.

St. Peter called Jesus the Holy One.

But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. (Acts 3:14,15, NKJV)

Angels appeared several times during Jesus Christ’s ministry on earth, but only a few such instances were recorded in the Gospels.

And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (John 1:51, NKJV)

Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:11, NKJV)

And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. (Mark 1:13, NKJV)

The first occurence where this phrase appears is in Koran 2:87. Here, it says:

And verily We [the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit]  gave unto Moses the Scripture and We [the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit] caused a train of messengers to follow after him, and We [the Father and the Holy Spirit] gave unto Jesus, Son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah’s sovereignty), and We [the Father and the Holy Spirit] supported Him with the holy spirit [the spirit of the Holy One]. Is it ever so, that, when there cometh unto you a messenger (from Allah) with that which ye yourselves desire not, ye grow arrogant, and some ye disbelieve and some ye slay? (Koran 2:87, Pickthall)

The Arabic words translated as “with the holy spirit” by Pickthall are birūḥi al-qudusi. I think that these words are best translated as “the spirit of the Holy One.” I think that here in this verse “the spirit of the Holy One” is an angel and this might be a reference to this passage in St. Luke’s Gospel.

Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. (Luke 22:43, NKJV)

This verse and Luke 22:44 do not appear in some Greek and Latin manuscripts. St. Hillary of Poitiers (300-367) was aware of this. However, he commented on this passage in his writings.

St. Ambrose (340-397), St. Jerome (345-420), and Blessed Augustine of Hippo (354-430) cited this passage from St. Luke’s Gospel in their writings. Tatian (110-172) must have seen these verses in some second and possibly first century manuscripts because The Diatessaron, which Tatian wrote, mentions this incident in Christ’s life.

The next occurence of this phrase is in Koran 2:253.

Of those messengers, some of whom We [the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit] have caused to excel others, and of whom there are some unto whom Allah spake, while some of them He [the Father] exalted (above others) in degree; and We [the Father and the Holy Spirit] gave Jesus, Son of Mary, clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) and We [the Father and the Holy Spirit] supported Him with the holy Spirit [the spirit of the Holy One]. And if Allah had so willed it, those who followed after them would not have fought one with another after the clear proofs had come unto them. But they differed, some of them believing and some disbelieving. And if Allah had so willed it, they would not have fought one with another; but Allah doeth what He will. (Koran 2:253, Pickthall)

This verse like Koran 2:87 is probably talking about the angel who strengthened Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

If the angel is one of the seven archangels that goes in and out before the Holy One (Tobit 12:15), then it is most probably the Archangel Raphael. He assists in healing people. (Read the Book of Tobit.) The Archangel Gabriel’s mission is to proclaim glad tidings and reveal prophecy. (See Daniel 9 and Luke 1:26-38.)

The  third occurrence in the Koran is in Koran 5:110.

When Allah saith: O Jesus, Son of Mary! Remember My favour [the Father’s favour] unto Thee and unto Thy mother; how I [Allah the Father] strengthened Thee with the Holy Spirit [the Spirit of the Holy One], so that Thou spakest unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I [Allah the Father] taught Thee the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how Thou didst shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission [the Father’s permission], and didst blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission [the Father’s permission], and Thou didst heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission [the  Father’s permission]; and how Thou didst raise the dead by My permission [the Father’s permission]; and how I restrained the Children of Israel from (harming) Thee when Thou camest unto them with clear proofs, and those of them who disbelieved exclaimed: This is naught else than mere magic. (Koran 5:110, Pickthall)

Here, the words clearly refer to the Third Person of the Trinity. The incident about Jesus speaking in the cradle is mentioned in an apocryphal gospel. It is possible that this may have actually occurred. The miracle would be illustrating that Jesus is the Incarnate Word of Allah. He speaks even as a baby. Not all of the miracles that Jesus performed are recorded in the four Gospels. (See John 20:30; 21:25.) The creation of a bird out of clay is another miracle mentioned in an apocryphal Gospel. The purpose of the miracle is to illustrate that Jesus is our Creator. When it says that the Father taught Jesus, this is not contrary to the teachings in the Gospels.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52, NKJV)

I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him. (John 8:26, NKJV)

But as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. (John 8:28, NKJV)

I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father. (John 8:38, NKJV)

In the seventh chapter of St. John’s Gospel, it says:

Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?” (John 7:14,15, NKJV)

As God, Jesus knows everything.

His disciples said to Him, “See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” (John 16:29,30, NKJV)

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” (John 21:17, NKJV)

As Man, He continues to learn. The divine nature which is omniscient is joined together without separation, without division, without mixture, and WITHOUT CHANGE in one Person to His human nature which still retains the human properties of learning. His divine nature enriched His human nature.

As far as Him having permission from Allah the Father, He would, of course have His Father’s permission. He said:

Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19, NKJV)

and:

And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him. (John 8:29, NKJV)

In the Book of Acts, it is recorded that St. Peter said:

The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ — He is Lord of all — that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:36-38, NKJV)

Here, St. Peter is talking about the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus at His baptism. (See Matthew 3:16,17.) The words in Koran 5:110 must be talking about another activity of the Holy Spirit during Jesus’ infancy. Jesus said:

All things that the Father has are Mine. (John 16:15, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father (Matthew 10:20; Romans 8:11) and the Spirit of the Son. St. Paul called the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9) and “the Spirit of His Son” (Galatians 4:6). So, the Holy Spirit was already with Jesus during His infancy. Moreover, in St. Luke’s Gospel, it is recorded that the Archangel Gabriel said to Mary:

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. (Luke 1:35, NKJV)

The Holy Spirit was with Jesus, therefore, from the moment of conception in His mother’s Fallopian tube.

All Three Persons of the Trinity share the same essence. They occupy the same space and are omnipresent. The terminology such as, strengthened with the Spirit of the Holy One, and the Holy Spirit will come and upon you, are speaking about activities of the Deity. God is in all places at all times. However, Jesus’ human nature is not omnipresent. His human nature was joined inseparably to His divine nature, without division, without mixture, and WITHOUT CHANGE.

The last occurrence of this phrase is in the 16th surah of the Koran.

Say: The Holy Spirit [the Spirit of the Holy One, or the spirit of the Holy One] hath delivered it from thy Lord with truth, that it may confirm (the faith of) those who believe, and as guidance and good tidings for those who have surrendered (to Allah). (Koran 16:102, Pickthall)

There are two possible interpretations of the Arabic words, rūḥu al-qudusi. The words either mean the Spirit of the Holy One, that is, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, or the spirit of the Holy One, more specifically referring to the Archangel Gabriel.

This verse in the New Testament gives support to the first interpretation.

For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (II Peter 1:21, NKJV)

If Muhammad was truly a prophet, then he spoke as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. The other possible interpretation finds support in this verse from the Koran.

Say (O Muhammad, to mankind): Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah’s leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, and a guidance and glad tidings to believers. (Koran 2:97, Pickthall)

In conclusion, the words, birūḥi al-qudusi, in Koran 2:87 and 2:253 refer to an angel, probably the Archangel Raphael. The same words in Koran 5:110 refer to the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity. The words, rūḥu al-qudusi, in Koran 16:102 refer to either the Holy Spirit or the Archangel Gabriel.

To sum up, in Koran 2:87 and 2:253, the spirit of the Holy One is the angel who strengthened Jesus when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion. This angel is probably the Archangel Raphael. In Koran 5:110, the Spirit of the Holy One is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. In Koran 16:102, rūḥu al-qudusi is either the Holy Spirit or the Archangel Gabriel.

 

 

 

 

Prostrations Before Adam

October 7, 2017 Leave a comment

Worshiping anyone but God is clearly forbidden in both the Bible and the Koran. However, there is a curious account in the Koran about angels being told by God to prostrate themselves before Adam. This may initially appear to some as being a divinely granted license to practice idolatry, but I do not believe that that is the case. Actually, I think that this story, which occurs more than once in the Koran, is a theological statement.

First, let us look at a few passages in the Bible. In the Decalogue, it says:

I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:2,3, KJV)

Having any other god in addition to God is clearly forbidden. There is only one God.

Yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. (I Corinthians 8:6, NKJV)

St. John the Theologian was Jesus’ beloved disciple and the author of the Fourth Gospel. He said:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (I John 5:21, NKJV)

The holy angels who serve God refuse to be worshiped. In the Book of Judges, the angel told Manoah:

And if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the Lord. (Judges 13:16, KJV)

In the Book of Revelation, an angel  twice forbids St. John to worship him.

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:9,10, NKJV)

Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he said to me, “See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation 20:8,9, NKJV)

In the Gospels, Jesus refuses to worship Satan, who is a fallen angel.

And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” (Matthew 4:9,10, NKJV. See also Luke 4:7,8.)

However, in the Koran, it says in seven places that God told the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam.

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Prostrate yourselves before Adam, they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He demurred through pride, and so became a disbeliever. (Koran 2:34, Pickthall)

And We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. (Koran 7:11, Pickthall)

When I [God the Father] have shaped him, and breathed My spirit in him, fall you down, bowing before him! (Koran 15:29, Arberry)

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall down prostrate before Adam and they fell prostrate all save Iblis, he said: Shall I fall prostrate before that which Thou hast created of clay? (Koran 17:61, Pickthall)

And (remember) when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, and they fell prostrate, all save Iblis. He was of the jinn, so he rebelled against his Lord’s command. Will ye choose him and his seed for your protecting friends instead of Me, when they are an enemy unto you? Calamitous is the exchange for evil-doers. (Koran 18:51, Pickthall)

And when We [Father, Son, and Holy Spirit] said unto the angels: Fall prostrate before Adam, they fell prostrate (all) save Iblis; he refused. (Koran 20:116, Pickthall)

Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I [God the Father] am about to create man from clay: when I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.” So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together: not so Iblis: he was haughty, and became one of those who reject Faith. (Koran 38:71-74, Yusuf Ali)

Elsewhere in the Koran it says that the angels prostrate themselves before Allah and are not proud.

And unto Allah maketh prostration whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth of living creatures, and the angels (also) and they are not proud. (Koran 16:49, Pickthall)

It also says in the Koran:

Lo! whoso ascribeth partners unto Allah, for him Allah hath forbidden paradise. (Koran 5:72, Pickthall)

Was God ascribing Adam as a partner unto Himself? Of course not. He was making a theological statement.

In the Koran it says:

The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and His Word which He conveyed [literally, cast] unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. (Koran 4:171, Pickthall)

These words from the Koran say two things about Jesus. They say that He is human. He “was only a messenger of Allah.” They also say that He is divine. He is His Word, that is, the Word of Allah.

In the Koran, it says that Muhammad accepted the Scriptures of the Jews and the Orthodox Christians.

O ye who believe! Believe in Allah and His messenger and the Scripture which He hath revealed unto His messenger [the Koran], and the Scripture which He revealed aforetime [the Bible]. Whoso disbelieveth in Allah and His angels and His Scriptures and His messengers and the Last Day, he verily hath wandered far astray. (Koran 4:136, Pickthall)

And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us [the Koran] and revealed unto you [the Bible]; our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender. (Koran 29:46, Pickthall)

Therefore call thou, and go straight as thou hast been commanded; do not follow their caprices. And say: ‘I believe in whatever Book God has sent down; I have been commanded to be just between you. God is our Lord and your Lord. We have our deeds, and you have your deeds; there is no argument between us and you; God shall bring us together, and unto Him is the homecoming.’ (Koran 42:15, Arberry)

Therefore, these words from St. John’s Gospel were accepted by Muhammad.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was madeAnd the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-3,14, NKJV)

In St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews, it says:

Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 7:9,10, NKJV)

Levi was Abraham’s grandson. God commanded through Moses that the Israelites should pay tithes to the Levites — the men who were descendants of Levi. (Numbers 18:21-24) Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek. (Genesis 14:18-20) So, since Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek.

Now, apply this principle to those passages in the Koran which speak about God commanding the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam. Jesus’ humanity was already in the loins of Adam from the day that he was created.

Jesus is Allah’s Word which He cast to Mary. (Koran 4:171) The Word of Allah cannot be a partner with Allah, because Allah has no partners. Therefore, the Word of Allah is Allah. (John 1:1-3)

The incarnation of Allah the Word is prophesied in the Old Testament.

This is our God, and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison of Him. He hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob His servant, and to Israel His beloved. Afterward did He shew Himself upon earth, and conversed with men. (Baruch 3:35-37, KJV)

The incarnation took place when Allah cast His Word to Mary. When the angels prostrated themselves to Adam, they were making a theological statement. They were indicating that God the Word will assume His humanity from one of Adam’s descendants.

It says in the Book of Deuteronomy in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament:

And let all the angels of God worship Him. (Deuteronomy 32:43, LXX)

These words were quoted by St. Paul in Hebrews 1:6.

But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all the angels of God worship Him.” And of the angels He says: “Who makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire.” But to the Son He says: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. (Hebrews 1:6-8, NKJV)

Notice in the above cited passage that God calls the Son God. Since each Person of the Trinity is God in His entirety, it is appropriate for one Person of the Trinity to call another Person God.

If one were to divide the divine essence (that is, the substance of which God consists) into infinitesimally small particles, each particle would belong to all three Persons of the Trinity. One essence, one God. The same essence, the same God.

The incarnate God, according to His assumed humanity, is a descendant of Adam and in the loins of Adam. Therefore, the angels, according to those seven passages in the Koran, prostrated themselves before Adam. The divine nature of the incarnate God came from God the Father. Jesus said that He proceeded forth and came from God. (John 8:42) The procession of the Son from the Father is called “being begotten.” This is theological language. It should not be interpreted literally. God never had sex with anyone. Jesus’ divine nature had an origin, but no beginning. His human nature has both an origin and a beginning. The two natures were joined together inseparably without division, mixture, or change into one Person. Therefore, Jesus could say to the Jews:

“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” (John 8:56-58, NKJV)

The Koran truly confirms whatever Scripture was before it. (Koran 5:48) The angels prostrating themselves before Adam is a theological statement that God would one day assume a human nature from one of Adam’s descendants. This already happened nine months before the birth of Jesus in about 5 B.C. (His birth was in 4 B.C.)

 

 

 

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