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The Old Testament prophet Malachi also rebuked the infidelity of the Old Testament, temple-priesthood as follows, “The Lord does not regard the offering anymore nor receive it with goodwill from your hands… because He has been witness between you and the wife [singular] of your youth, with whom you have dealt treacherously; yet she is your companion and your wife by [marriage] covenant. However, did He not make them one… [one husband and one wife, because He seeks godly offspring? [The Godly family, resulting from monogamous marriage.] Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife [singular] of his youth…” (Mal. 2:13-16.)
Through New Testament Scripture, Paul and the other disciples also command this creation principle and strict marriage covenant of the Sovereign God, (1 Cor. 7; 6:16-20.) So, in accusing Christians of fornication and sexual filth, Muslims forget their own sin, as their men are allowed continual adultery and fornication according to Muslim custom.
I am ashamed to say, however, it is a sad fact that one cannot compare the diligent religious service of most Muslims to the lukewarm lip service, which most Christians pay to the God of the Bible. It is therefore important to understand that Jesus’ believers cannot be effective witnesses for Christ and expect to permeate pagan society with the truth of God’s Word, if they are not wholly committed to God. If we do not hunger for an ever deepening understanding of His Word; if we do not seek after the “whole truth” of the Word for ourselves first, we are bluffing ourselves to think we belong to the Most Holy God of the Universe, Christ Jesus. The Word of God commands, “Your sanctification [living in holiness] is the will of God. Abstain from sexual [and all other forms of sin and] immorality… [Do not live in vile] passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God… for God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this [commandment] does not reject man, but God, Who has also given us His Holy Spirit,” (1 Ths. 4:1-8.)
SINCERE BELIEVERS NEED THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Pagans know the terrifying power of witchcraft. People of other religions are surprisingly familiar with the entities that inhabit the spirit world, because they all have their witchdoctors or shamans, who have personal relationships with powerful demonic entities. Consequently, the Great I Am of the Bible sent Moses in His Word and Power to the court of Pharaoh, just as Jesus sent His disciples with His Gospel and the Holy Spirit into the world. It is always encouraging to remember that Jesus said, “I Am with you, even to the end of the world… Take courage; it is I; do not be afraid,” (Mt. 28:20; 14:27; Lu. 10:1-17.)
We should never lose sight of the fact that Jesus’ born again believers are spiritual priests and kings, whom Jesus Himself had entrusted with the Gospel and authority of their King, (Rev. 5:9.) And so, Jesus Himself declared, “Those who believe and are baptized [as sincere believers,] will be saved… and these signs will follow them. In My Name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents, [not the ceremonial handling of snakes, but shirking off ‘accidental’ encounters with them, Acts 28:3-6.] If they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover… And as the disciples went out and preached everywhere, the Lord worked with them and confirmed the Word through His accompanying signs,” (Mark 16:16-20.)
These Gospel-signs confirm the Everlasting Word of the All-powerful God.
The Spirit Filled Bible explains that these Gospel-signs “cannot be limited to the apostolic age any more than the Lord’s commission to carry the Gospel through the world. The signs, therefore, confirm the ministries of Christ’s ambassadors in every generation. Similarly, a servant of the Lord may look for divine protection in matters pertaining to food and drink. Many missionaries have testified to God’s miraculous protection in heathen territories, where they experienced no ill effects from impure food and drink. All of the signs listed here have occurred repeatedly in God’s [continual] ministry [through the ages,]” (Eph. 4:31, 1 Cor. 5:2.)
Every sincere believer is called to evangelize his or her personal, as well as the general world, according to the particular gifts and opportunities, which the Holy Spirit had entrusted to each of us. We should never become cold and stagnant in our walk with the Lord. We should continually move forward in the wisdom, leading, and power of the Holy Spirit, and with the bold Gospel truth of the Risen Christ in our hearts and on our lips. We simply cannot allow timidity and fear to enslave us and keep us from living in the power of the Word and the real, Biblical anointing of the Holy Spirit.
We need to ask God to manifest His real Scriptural, Holy-Spirit power through us as He deems each one of us fit to preach His Gospel to the world, and to minister to His ecclesia, His assemblies of believers, or the ‘called out ones’ from the world, (Jn. 3:16.)
We have to pray continually for the Muslims and other religionists all around us. Prayer is the most powerful weapon, which makes a way for the Gospel of our Lord to dispel the darkness in this world. May our love for our pagan and Christian enemies never grow faint and go cold.
“What reward will you have if you love only those who love you in return?” Jesus asked. Instead, our Lord has called us to an unselfish lifestyle of Godly love in Gospel truth – and He commanded us to forsake all our comfort zones in His pursuit of bringing His salvation to the world, (Lu. 6:32; 12:51-53.) Muslims and other religionists like Mary worshiping Catholics are our neighbors; they share many of our workplaces, supermarkets, and the playgrounds, schools, colleges, and universities of our children. We breathe the same air; drink water from the same reservoir, and God makes His sun to shine on all of us.
We should never focus merely on the miraculous, but we should never exclude it either. When God sends His born again instruments to peach His Gospel, heal the sick, and deliver the oppressed and possessed, we simply dare not linger any longer on the troublesome deck of Old Jonah’s boat – the boat of church-exclusiveness.
THE WHOLE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW THIS MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH
Every person on earth is important to God. As a result, all must come to a saving knowledge of the One True God, or be eternally condemned. The crux of the Gospel is this: only the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is the Savior of the world. Jesus Himself clearly stated in Jn. 14:6, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father except through Me." His awesome declaration was confirmed by the Holy Spirit, as recorded in Acts 4:12, “Nor is there salvation in any other [god,] for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
In response to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God, Muslims say, “God has no son. To say that God has a son is blasphemy! The Qur’an, in Surah 4, 171 states, ‘O People of the Book… [Believers of the Bible,] Do not say ‘Trinity…’ for Allah is One God… far Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth…’”
Jesus Himself asked to the Jews, “Do you say of Him Whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I Am the Son of God?’” - Jn. 10:36b.
God the Father also declared in Mt. 4:17b, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I Am well pleased.” Did God make this incredible announcement to any other person who ever lived – Mohammed included? Of course not; therefore John could write in Jn. 3:16, “God SO loved the WHOLE world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”
Still, Muslims have only the following to say about the Biblical Son of God, “Jesus was only an ordinary prophet. There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet. Mohammed is the last and most important prophet – peace be upon him!”
None of the great religions such as Buddhism and Islam attempt to deny the divine life and miraculous ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. Historically, that would simply be impossible. However, they attempt to degrade the Divine Jesus to the status of an ordinary prophet. They might not state it this way, but in reality Muslims have substituted Mohammed with the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible and instead of Jesus, they have crowned Mohammed as their christ.
THE BASIC HUMAN NEED OF THE SAVIOR
The Legalistic Path of Religion:
Every religion on earth is called ‘a path,’ i.e.: the Buddhist path to enlightenment; the Islamic path – even the legalistic Christian, Catholic, and Protestant path. [A path = a predefined, visible track that has been worn by the continual passage of feet which gradually leads to some distant destination; a clearly constructed, physical road one needs to follow to go from one place to another over a period of time.]
In all kinds of religion, that long, predefined path consists of legalistic, outward, prescribed laws, rites, rituals, and ceremonies, which have to eventually, earn its followers some kind of merit with a distant, unreachable, and unknown god. However, even the slightest divergence from that path; any form of non-adherence to its rules and rites, is in fact desertion of that religion and of course, desertion from that god. (In religious Christian circles, deviation from the legalistic path is called ‘backsliding,’ for instance, when a church member misses one or more of the many meetings.)
The legalist’s concept of sin:
To Muslims and other religionists, (most Christians too,) sin is never defined as moral sin like idolatry, greed, hate, lovelessness, adultery, stealing, lying, slander, etc., but any form of failure to conform to their religious path, (Jam. 1:14-15.) For instance, it is a deadly ‘sin’ not to make the right Islamic, Buddhist, Judaist, or Christian confession; to miss religious meetings; to neglect tithing and/or offerings; not to wear a head-covering or ceremonial robes, etc. Accordingly, every religionist can declare, “The church/temple/mosque with its accompanying hierarchy of priests, rituals, and ceremonies is our mother; outside her there is no salvation!”
Muslims, as all other religionists like the Christian ‘Mother’ Theresa, believe that humankind is basically good. As such, humankind does not need spiritual salvation; they are merely in need of continual Islamic, Buddhist, or Christian guidance in adhering to their path. And so, all religionists have no need for Jesus’ atonement in their place. Eventually, one day, their religious works might (hopefully) reach their far off god and appease him enough to grant them entrance into their different concepts of paradise or heaven.
However, we must seek God’s face in this matter so that we will not shame Him through our unscriptural conduct. Paul asked in Rom. 2:23-24, “You who make your boast in [keeping certain Old Testament/Covenant laws like tithing,] do you dishonor God through breaking the [Moral] law [of love]? For the Name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of [your lack of morality.]” Peter added his voice to this admonition in 2 Pet. 2:2-3, “False prophets and false teachers will secretly bring in destructive heresies, and many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.”
Let us ask God to have mercy on us so that our lives may testify to the fact that through the blood of Jesus Christ “we were washed and sanctified, and we were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”
Oh Lord, let our lives be “an epistle of Christ, written not with ink on tablets of stone but on tables of flesh, that is, of the heart… known and read by all men…” (1 Cor. 6:11; 2 Cor. 3:4-6.)
The Way, The Door, and The Shepherd Versus the Path
The context of New Testament Scripture does not declare that there is any such gradual ‘path’ to salvation. On the contrary, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is a Living Person and not a religion, calls Himself “The Way.” [A way = a certain direction; an invisible feature, an abstract aspect, a manner, sense, or style; or a certain character to follow through continual behavior. A way is also a door or direct opening leading into, or providing immediate access to or from somewhere, [i.e.: I came in by the front door and now I am inside.]”
One reason why Jesus is The Way and not a path, is that all of humanity is born under a state of sin and cursedness; “none are good; none are righteous, none are acceptable to God, no, not even one!” Humankind’s sin is a cursed position, state, or a dreadful place of lostness without God, from which humankind can do absolutely nothing at all to contribute to their salvation, redemption, and blessing, (Gal. 2:21; 3:10-14; Rom. 3.)
Muslims, as all other religionists, seemingly know nothing about the fallen ‘heart’ (human spirit) and corrupt soul (mind) of humankind, or the fact that God created humans as tri-part beings with both a soul and a human spirit living in a physical body, (1 Ths. 5:23.) Religionists do not see sin as an evil disposition or condition of lostness, cursedness, lovelessness, darkness, and eternal damnation from which humankind, by themselves, have absolutely no escape.
It is therefore no coincidence that Jesus called Himself “The Door to the Father,” (Jn. 10:9-10.) In order to be saved and blessed, spiritually dead and cursed humankind needs to be reborn into spiritual life in a position salvation, redemption, and blessedness. This can only be achieved through sincere faith in, acceptance of, and reliance on The Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus Alone can be The Christ, or Savior, because only Jesus fulfilled the entire Law in the place of all humankind by becoming a curse for them and bearing the punishment for their entire state of sin. (This is the entire law and all its precepts: the Old Testament’s ceremonial/ritual law as well as the Moral law of the Old Testament.)
What’s more, the spiritual rebirth through faith in Christ is definitely not a prolonged process; a path of ‘initiation’ into a religion, church, or any other kind of spiritual ‘enlightenment.’ Just as natural birth, spiritual birth is an instant, momentarily event. During the spiritual rebirth, the Holy Spirit moves the sincere believer, who truly accepts Jesus’ complete atonement in his or her place, from the spiritual clutches of damnation and darkness, and brings him or her through The Door of God’s Complete Atonement into God’s spiritual light. From the banishment of spiritual death into the acceptance of spiritual life; from damnation to salvation, and from cursedness to complete blessedness in Christ!
Praise God, we cannot, and do not have to follow a prolonged ‘path of enlightenment.’ The moment we truly accept Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, we have [present tense] complete ‘enlightenment,’ because our personal Savior, Jesus The Door to the Father, IS the Light, and the Only Light of the world!
IS GREESON’S ‘CAMEL METHOD’ TO EVANGELIZE MUSLIMS BIBLICAL?
All the teachings of the Bible focus on the Sovereign God of the Bible and the salvation of humankind through personal and confessed faith in the crucified but risen Son of the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. In contrast, Muslims are very devout worshipers and followers of Allah and they strictly adhere to the teachings of their prophet Mohammed. Muslims understand the fact that the Qur’an (their bible) only recognizes Jesus as another human; a Muslim prophet, (subject to Mohammed,) who was ‘also’ sent by Allah to proclaim the Islamic message. As a result, most Qur’anic teachings are set against “The people of the Book,” or believers of the Bible, as Mohammed’s writings teach Muslims to answer every truth of the Bible with, “Say to the people of the Book…”
Yet, in his book, ‘The Camel Method – How Muslims are Coming to Faith in Christ,’ Kevin Greeson tries to draw parallels between the Bible and the Qur’an, and alleges that Christians can use Qur’anic references to Jesus’ Divinity to turn Muslims to Christ. However, this article will prove that it would be impossible to use Greeson’s non-contextual verses from the Qur’an to impact learned Muslims with the Real Biblical Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, as nearly all Muslims can recite the Qur’an from an early age. As we will see, Muslims are intelligent and well schooled in the teachings and practices of their religion, and by true Biblical definition, human methods of evangelization are completely incapable of piercing the lost soul of any religionist with authentic Scriptural truth. As a result, this article focuses on genuine Biblical evangelization by exploring the incredibly significant way in which Jesus and His early disciples affected the pagan world.
Greeson (in The Camel Method) believes that, by preaching the Gospel outright, we will offend pagans and ‘loose’ them for all eternity. Instead of preaching the Gospel straightforwardly, Greeson teaches that we should become their friends and ‘carry’ them to Jesus like camels, because Mohammed respected the Christian faith. In Scripture, no one ‘carried’ anyone to Jesus except the people who were lame and could not go to Jesus by themselves. Jesus called, and those “who had ears” obeyed, listened, and chose to follow Him, just like any other person on earth who is in need of the Savior, (Jn. 1:11-13.) Greeson alleges Mohammed wrote the Qur’an with good intentions, and leaned heavily on Bible-Scripture in writing the Qur’an, therefore some Islamic scripture can be used to prove to Muslims that they must obey the Bible. When you read the Qur’an yourself, however, an entirely different picture emerges.
As we will see, all of the Qur’anic verses that Greeson uses, (read in context,) contradict the hope of using Qur’anic scripture to turn Muslims to Christ. It is strange that learned Muslims do not laugh aloud at Greeson’s references to Qur’anic scripture as a means of Christian evangelism!
THE “HUNDREDTH NAME OF ALLAH,” ISLAMIC SALVATION, AND OUR SAVIOR IN THE QUR’AN
In his book, ‘The Camel – How Muslims are Coming to Faith in Christ,’ Kevin Greeson recites the following Muslim proverb, “…Allah has one hundred names. And… he has revealed 99 of his names to the sons of men that they may know and worship him. But one name, the one-hundredth name, he has told only to the camel. And, the camel, he is not talking.” The writer then challenges Islam with the assumption that the hundredth name of Allah is Isa al-Mashi, which means the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is not correct that Muslim Scripture actually ‘reveres and accepts’ the True Jesus Christ of the Bible, because Jesus is the God of the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments, and His Name is definitely not Allah! The Names of the True God of the Bible is YHWH (I Am Who I Am,) Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God (Rev. 1:8) Jesus Christ, and many more, but Jesus was never called ‘Allah.’ Yet, the Qur’an was supposedly based on Hebrew dogma, and so Muslims claim spiritual ancestry to the Hebrew patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. If this were true, however, and they really do worship the God of the Bible, why do they call YHWH (or Christ Jesus) “Allah?”
In fact, Jesus brought His atonement and Gospel to earth in the first century A.D. and Mohammed only came into existence some 600 years later, but Muslims compensate for his late arrival by calling him ‘the last prophet.’ Instead of researching the available Scriptures of Jesus’ time, and how the birth and growth of the first ecclesia, (the early called-out assemblies of Christ) happened, Muslims believe Mohammed’s interpretations of, and additions to the original Hebrew and New Testament manuscripts. [Torrey, ‘The Jewish Foundation of Islam.’]
Nonetheless, Kevin Greeson, in his book, ‘The Camel,’ extracts certain lines from verses in the Qur’an to supposedly point Muslims to the real ‘Isa al-Masih,’ the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. This book, also known as ‘The Camel Method’ is currently revered as the ultimate methodology of Muslim evangelization.
Greeson wrote,’ “Thirteen verses of the Qur’an’s book, Surah al-Imram chapter 3, tell of Isa al-Masih. Here we read that Isa would be born of a virgin, [yes, but they call Him the “son of Mary” not the Son of God;] that He would do miracles; that He would be a sign to the whole world; that Allah would cause Him to die and raise Him again to heaven…. The full Qur'anic name for Jesus is Al-Masihu Isa – ‘the Messiah Jesus’ (cf. Surah 4.157, 4.171).”
Greeson’s extractions from the Qur’an sounds like the Gospel of the Bible, but sadly, the full Qur-anic implication of Greeson’s statements differs drastically from the picture he is trying to paint. Greeson only uses lines from verses and passages in the Qur’an. If one reads Greeson’s extracts in context, as any sane Muslim would, it goes like this, “There is no god but Allah… It is He Who sent down to you, in truth, the book… and He sent down the Law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus… as a guide to humankind… Those firmly grounded in knowledge say, We believe in the Book, the whole of it is from our Lord: and none will grasp the Message except men of understanding… [However, the Qur’an is not speaking of the Jesus of the Bible nor the True Gospel of the Bible; it is interpreting the life of Jesus from the perspective that the man Jesus Christ was and always will be a Muslim!] (Surah 3.2-7.)
The Qur’an continues, “The angels said: O Mary! Allah gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him: His Name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary… [Not the Son of God.] She said, O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man has touched me? He said: Even so: Allah creates what He wills: when He has decreed a Plan, He but says to it, Be! And it is. And Allah will teach him [Jesus] the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel, [Allah had to teach Jesus Muslim doctrine!] and appoint him a messenger [not the Savior] to the children of Israel, with this [Muslim] message: I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord…. And I heal those born blind and the lepers, and I quicken the dead by Allah’s leave [as
ON THIS PAGE:
Þ The Whole World needs to know this All-important Truth
Þ The Path of Religion VS the Way, the Truth, and the Life
Þ Is Greeson’s ‘CAMEL METHOD’ to evangelize Muslims Biblical?
Þ The ‘Camel Method’s’ 100th name of Allah, Islamic Salvation, and our Savoir in the Qur’an