Thursday, 15 November 2018

Were There God-Ordained Prophets After John?

In my continuing, and hopefully not tedious, comparison of Islam and Christianity, I need to deal with the subject of prophets prophesying after John. Both Islam and Mormonism claim to have been given revelations from the Lord through their divinely-inspired prophets. Is that true?

According to Matthew 11:13 (KJV), John was the final prophet sent by God. "For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John."

Likewise, Luke 16:16 (KJV) explains, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it."

But what about Acts 11:28 (KJV)? Does this contradict what Jesus said? "And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar."

The verse doesn't say that Agabus was a special prophet, as Muhammad and Joseph Smith claimed themselves to be. This man just prophesied according to what the Holy Spirit told him. What he said came to pass, proving that he spoke from the Spirit and not from his own ideas.

Furthermore, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:8 (KJV), "Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."

By the way, this shows that tongues and prophecies wouldn't be with us forever but Christ's love is eternal. I know that some Christians assume those gifts are for our time too but this verse tells me otherwise.

This is one subject which I can't adequately cover in a blog post. I'll expand on it in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Many people figure that speaking in an unknown language is still for today but studies have shown what those people speak is gibberish and not a real language.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Islam and Christianity on Revenge

I know that many of us know what the Bible says about revenge, specifically what we should do about wrongs done to us. But the Quran teaches its adherents differently regarding this subject.

Sura 30:47 (THE ROMANS) states, "Before you, We sent messengers to their people. They came to them with clear proofs. Then We took revenge on those who sinned. It is incumbent on Us to help the believers."

However, Romans 12:19 (KJV) teaches us who follow Christ, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.'"

On the other hand, the Quran has this to say, both about enemies and those who refuse to submit to Allah. Sura 8:12 (THE SPOILS) reads, "Your Lord inspired the angels: “I am with you, so support those who believe. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. So strike above the necks, and strike off every fingertip of theirs."

But our Lord gave us a noble command regarding those who wish us harm. Matthew 5:44 (KJV) reads, "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"

Furthermore, Muslims are commanded in the Quran to have only believing friends except in one circumstance. Sura 3:28 (FAMILY OF IMRAN) states, "Believers are not to take disbelievers for friends instead of believers. Whoever does that has nothing to do with Allah, unless it is to protect your own selves against them. Allah warns you to beware of Him. To Allah is the destiny."

This flies in the face of what Jesus taught. Paul also showed that there's no qualification regarding if the neighbour is a believer or sinner. Romans 13:9 (KJV) is clear on this point. "For this, 'Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet;' and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

This is another subject on which I could point out the ways Christianity is superior when compared to Islam or any other human religion. I'll save what I've written about this for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? It's obvious from reading both the Quran and the Bible that our scripture is far superior in every way.

On Thursday, I'll write about prophets coming after John the Baptist and whether or not they were sent by God. That's bound to stir up controversy, especially among Muslims and Mormons.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Saturday Song: Bolland, "You're in the Army Now"

Though this song was written and performed in the early eighties, it still brings back memories to us who lived through the Vietnam war years. In fact, the whole theme of the Domino Theory album is about that conflict and how it effected soldiers.

Listen to a live performance of this song here.

Believe it or not, all born-again Christians are in Christ's army. Only our weaponry is different from worldly armies and jihadists. As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 10:4 (KJV), "(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)"

Not only that but Paul likened our armor to the real thing. For example, we must wear our breastplates and helmets. In 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (KJV), he wrote, "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation."

We also need to wear a belt to keep our armour together and for our scabbards. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:14 (KJV), "Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;"

Additionally, Hebrews 4:12 (KJV) tells us how our only offensive weapon can defeat our satanic enemies.  "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Paul likewise admonished his protege in 1 Timothy 6:12 (KJV) to, "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."

How beautiful it is that we don't kill our enemies but love them with the gospel. Imagine how peaceful this world would be if no religions urged their followers to avenge themselves on those who don't believe the doctrines they do. But we're stuck with the world we have.

I'll be dealing with the topic of revenge on Monday. This is another subject where the Bible and the Quran differ.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Islam and Christianity on Heaven

Continuing on with my examination of Islam, I need to point out that their version of heaven is different from what God described in Scripture. Basically, it's fleshly rather than spiritual.

The Quran says in sura 3:15 (FAMILY OF IMRAN), "Say, “Shall I inform you of something better than that? For those who are righteous, with their Lord are Gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will remain forever, and purified spouses, and acceptance from Allah.” Allah is Observant of the servants." There are many other verses which say essentially the same thing.

But Christ contradicts what the Quran says. The Sadducees, who say there's no resurrection, tried asking our Lord a trick question regarding a fictitious woman who wed seven husbands. They wanted him to tell them who's wife she would be in heaven. Matthew 22:30 (KJV) records Jesus' answer. "For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven."

However, the Quran describes heaven in sura 56:27-40 (THE INEVITABLE). "And those on the Right—what of those on the Right? In lush orchards. And sweetsmelling plants. And extended shade. And outpouring water. And abundant fruit. Neither withheld, nor forbidden. And uplifted mattresses. We have created them of special creation. And made them virgins. Tender and unaging. For those on the Right. A throng from the ancients. And a throng from the latecomers."

But Jesus said in Matthew 25:34 (KJV), "Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:'"

Scripture talks about a feast for the righteous but it doesn't say what's on the menu. Revelation 19:9 (KJV) reads, "And he saith unto me, 'Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he saith unto me, 'These are the true sayings of God.'"

And instead of lounging around and having sex, we'll be ruling with our Lord and Master. Paul said in 2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV) that, "If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:"

There's so much more I could write on this subject but the post would become too long. Instead, I'll write more about it in my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? The future God has planned for those of us who yield our lives to Christ is far more grand than mere bodily pleasure as the Quran teaches.

On Saturday, I'll post about a wonderfully truthful song I heard on a bargain bin record I bought. Better still, it's perfectly themed for Remembrance Day / Veteran's Day.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Islam and Christianity on Obeying the Government

Another difference between Islam and Christianity is the way in which Muslims and Christians are taught about obedience to the governments of this world. Understanding this difference explains why people in both belief systems act the way they do.

The Quran says in sura 4:60 (WOMEN) that this world's rules are from the Devil. "Have you not observed those who claim that they believe in what was revealed to you, and in what was revealed before you, yet they seek Satanic sources for legislation, in spite of being commanded to reject them? Satan means to mislead them far away."

Their book also teaches that secular laws are secondary compared to what the Quran teaches. Muslims are told  to obey their theocratic religious authorities in all things. Sura 4:59 (anNisa’) reads, "O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you dispute over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is best, and a most excellent determination."

But what does the Bible teach? Paul wrote in Romans 13:1 (BBE) that, "Let everyone put himself under the authority of the higher powers, because there is no power which is not of God, and all powers are ordered by God."

Likewise, he wrote in Romans 13:7 (KJV) that we must, "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour."

When the Pharisees asked Jesus whether it was right to pay taxes to Caesar, Luke 20:25 (KJV) reads, "And he said unto them, 'Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.'"

I could write so much more about how God rules in this world. Instead, I'll leave that for my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? We're commanded to only disobey when governments order us to do what God forbids or forbids what God commands us to do.

On Thursday, I'll post about Islam's view of heaven verses what the Bible teaches. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Saturday Song: Daniel Amos, "Cloak and Dagger"

I can't recall how I met my friend Paul. What I remember well is him introducing me to the music of a Christian band from Los Angeles called Daniel Amos. I also saw the band play live at a church in Edmonton, Alberta. To my delight, they were a real rock band whose aim was to glorify the Lord.

One of their fine songs is "Cloak and Dagger." Listen to it here.

During 1984, I was also introduced by a shortwave listener's club to the shadowy world of spy number radio stations. On certain frequencies,  spy agencies would broadcast groups of numbers which were red off by the sampled voice of a woman. Some stations used a male voice but I never heard those.

Spy's in the field would be given a decoder, such as a pad of paper with numbers printed on each page,  to convert the numbers into instructions which they would follow. These codes would only be used once and then discarded so as to protect the message sent out.

I wrote all this to explain that we also are in a covert war, not with a military force but a spiritual one. We have our instructions in Scripture. And though the world can read them, the messages are obscure due to sinners' lack of the Holy Spirit teaching them.

Even so, we have double agents posing as believers. Paul warned in 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV) that, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"

We're also warned in 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV), "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."

And I know some women won't like this verse but Paul does have a point. In 2 Timothy 3:6 (KJV), he wrote about these traitors and double dealers, "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,"

I hope you liked what I wrote and this song. Please comment if you feel led to do so.

By the way, I'll be posting on Monday about what the Quran and the Bible say about our duty to governments. And if you're not careful, you might even learn something. :-)

Thursday, 1 November 2018

The Majesty of the Book?

I've heard that Muslims admire the Quran for its majesty. They say it's the most perfect and beautiful of all the world's books. As proof, they quote sura 2:23 (THE HEIFER)  which reads, "And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant, then produce a chapter like these, and call your witnesses "

First, is that any way to assess a book? Many classic tomes have been written over the centuries. Some of those are fiction while others are factual. Does it make sense to claim that the Quran is beautiful because people say it is? Reasonable people understand that lofty language doesn't prove a book to be true.

And shouldn't all verses be definitive if a book is to be believed as being divine? Look at  what sura 3:7 (FAMILY OF IMRAN) says. "It is He who revealed to you the Book. Some of its verses are definitive; they are the foundation of the Book, and others are unspecific. As for those in whose hearts is deviation, they follow the unspecific part, seeking descent, and seeking to derive an interpretation. But none knows its interpretation except Allah and those firmly rooted in knowledge say, '“We believe in it; all is from our Lord.' But none recollects except those with understanding."

Furthermore, I've pointed out in past posts that Muslims believe in the principle of abrogation, that later revelations replace earlier ones. They get this idea from sura 2:106 (THE HEIFER) which reads, "We never nullify a verse, nor cause it to be forgotten, unless We bring one better than it, or similar to it. Do you not know that Allah is capable of all things?"

But does abrogation apply to the Bible? Jesus instigated the new covenant but it never replaced the old one. Instead, our Lord fulfilled it. Matthew 5:17 (KJV) is one verse which explains how. "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."

As I've written before, Jesus himself explained that the prophets foretold his coming. Luke 24:25 (KJV) says, "Then he said unto them, 'O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:"

And if one wants to read majestic words, none could be moreso than what people call The Sermon on the Mount. Look at how our Lord began his sermon to those following him. Matthew 5:3-10 (BBE) reads, "Happy are the poor in spirit: for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Happy are those who are sad: for they will be comforted. Happy are the gentle: for the earth will be their heritage. Happy are those whose heart's desire is for righteousness: for they will have their desire. Happy are those who have mercy: for they will be given mercy. Happy are the clean in heart: for they will see God. Happy are the peacemakers: for they will be named sons of God. Happy are those who are attacked on account of righteousness: for the kingdom of heaven will be theirs."

And though we have such lofty quotes, the one who made them is far more honoured. Look at what 2 Peter 1:16 (KJV) says. "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty."

Our Lord is truly awesome and far more glorious than what Muslims are taught to believe about him. That's partly why I'm writing my next book called You Think You're Going to Heaven? Our opinions of Christ won't get us into heaven. Only by surrendering our lives to him will open those glorious gates.

On Saturday, I'll be posting about the shadowy world of spy number radio stations and the covert war we believers are fighting. Stay tuned.