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), [although they do not need a savior in Islam].”
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 do, 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 prophet!] (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 a mere messenger of Allah, not as the Anointed, Biblical Savior,] and I… have come to you to attest [not fulfill] the Law which was before me… So fear Allah, and obey me [as a Muslim messenger.] It is [Islam’s] Allah who is my lord and your lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight. When Jesus found unbelief on their part, he [Jesus] said: Who will be my helpers to the [Muslim] work of Allah? Said the disciples: We are Allah’s helpers: We believe in Allah and you bear witness that we are Muslims. Our Lord! We believe in what you have revealed, [the Muslim path,] and we follow the [Muslim] Messenger… “Behold! Allah said: O Jesus! I will take you and raise you to Myself and clear you of the falsehoods of those who blaspheme; [those who say You are the Son of God and the Savior of the whole world,] I will make those who follow you [as Muslims] superior to those who reject [the Muslim] faith… As to those who reject [Muslim] faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help…
“The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, [the Bible states that Jesus was “begotten by God,” not ‘created!’] then [Allah] said to him: Be! And he was. The [Muslim] Truth comes from Allah alone… There is no god but Allah… “Say: O People of the Book! [Bible believers.] Come to common terms as between us and you: that we worship none but Allah, that we associate no partners [like Jesus] with Him… It is a wish of a section of the people of the book [Bible believers] to lead you astray. But they shall lead astray not you, but themselves, and they do not perceive. You People of the Book! Why do you reject the Signs of Allah, [the miracles of Jesus] of which you are yourselves witnesses? You People of the Book! [Bible beliers.] Why do you clothe truth with falsehood, and conceal the Truth, [that Jesus was a Muslim] while you have knowledge…” (Surah 3:42-71.)
Then, in Surah 4.157: “They [the Jews] rejected [Muslim] Faith… and they said in boast; We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the [human] messenger of Allah – but they did not kill him nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no certain knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they [the Jews] did not kill [Jesus.] Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself… And there is none of the People of the Book but must believe in Him before his death; and on the [Muslim] Day of Judgment [when Jesus returns to earth as a Muslim,] He will be a witness against them, [because Jesus will condemn every non-Muslim to eternal hell.]”
The Qur’an does not state that Jesus was raised from the dead, it actually states that Jesus ascended into heaven without being crucified or resurrected from the dead!
In spite of these clear anti-Biblical, anti-Savior, anti-God statements about Jesus in the Qur’an, one of Greeson’s disciples, Gilchrist, continues, “What is most significant is that the title [Messiah or Christ Jesus] is applied solely to Jesus in the Qur'an and [defined also as] Al-Masih, namely, the Messiah. The title is never used without the definite article. This rule out any possibility that the title can be applied to anyone else. No one else in the Qur'an is, or accordingly possibly could be, the Savior. Jesus is not a savior or one of the saviors, he is Al-Masih – [Christ Jesus,] the [Anointed] Savior…”
What Greeson and his followers apparently do not understand, is that Muslims respect Jesus solely on the Qur’an’s teaching that He was a Muslim messenger of Allah, who had to proclaim the Muslim path during his time. The Qur’an definitely does not revere Jesus as the Anointed Christ of the Bible; God’s only begotten Son, and Muslim scholars will not and cannot relate their Qur’anic version of Christ Jesus to the Real Biblical Jesus; Creator-God of the universe and the Savior of the entire world, (Heb. 1:1-7; Jn. 1:1-13.)
Muslims are schooled in Qur’anic doctrine from a very early age; they know that Islam only accepts Jesus as a human prophet. Surah 2.136; 43.59, 5.78, and many other verses clearly state that Jesus is no more than a human servant and a messenger of Allah. According to Biblical principles and even sound logic, it seems impossible to use such uncontextual Qur’anic references to lead Muslim scholars to the real Christ Jesus of the Bible Who declared, “I Am the Truth and the Way and the Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Me!” (Jn. 14:6.)
STRAIGHTFORWARD, BIBLICAL EVANGELISM IS WHAT JESUS TAUGHT
I agree with evangelists who use clear, uncomplicated Biblical truth in Holy-Spirit conviction to lead people to Christ. Jesus Christ and all His disciples used a direct Biblical approach in evangelism without attacking other religions, but focusing solely on the unalterable Truth of the Ever-living God of the Bible to show what others believe, as described in Acts 17:22-34, when Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and preached, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for… I even found an altar with this inscription: To The Unknown God. Therefore, the One Whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you…”
Knowing that the entire Qur’an was written with an anti-Bible, antichrist view in mind, one really cannot find any Biblical Truth in its writings. They do not even refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as the “Unknown God”; they refer to Him as the “Messenger of Allah,” meaning the Islamic god. Even if one would be able to use certain lines from the Qur’an, (not whole Qur’anic verses or passages, because in fact, no Biblical truth exists in the context of the Qur’an,) to turn Muslims to the True Jesus Christ of the Bible, one should be aware of the fact that Islamic teachers have already used these verses to warn Muslims against Jesus’ evangelists, (e.g., ‘Say to the People of The Book…’)
And so, one can understand why Muslims deny Jesus as the Son and the Lamb of the Most High God; the risen Savior of all personally believing humanity, (Jn. 3:16.) The Real sin-bearing, risen Savior, Jesus Christ, was omitted from the Qur’an. He’s just not there. As a result, Greeson’s ‘Camel Method’ proves that “truth,” and especially evangelical methodology, is only as relevant as the viewpoint from which it is preached.
TRUE BIBLICAL EVANGELIZATION OFTEN WILL OFFEND SOME PEOPLE — EVEN BELIEVERS
In evangelizing pagans or indoctrinated church Christians, one has only sincere prayer, God’s Biblical truth, and Holy Spirit conviction to stand on. None of our human understanding and independent efforts can benefit the true Kingdom of God. Henry Matthew wrote in his commentary, “Those that follow Jesus must not trust themselves to ‘handle’ anything. They must not so much as parley with the [proud] tempter and the roaring lion, but rather flee from all forms of self-reliance, which is idolatry,” (Luke 5:5-6; 9:57-62; 14:25-35.)
When Jesus, the Final Authority, was faced with the accusation, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard [your teaching,]” He answered, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. [Those who will not accept My Scriptural truth were not planted by My heavenly Father.] Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind...” (Mt. 15:10-14.)
Jesus also declared that, if we sincerely and earnestly choose Him; the Truth, the Way, and the Light, we will “know the truth” of His Word, the entire context of the Bible, and the truth of Scripture will set us free! For this purpose He has given His sincere disciples the Holy Spirit to guide them into “all truth,” (Jn. 16:13.)
So, when making disciples for the True Kingdom of Jesus, we do not have to fear offending pagans and other religionists by preaching His contextual truth. Of course, we must not be disrespectful of people’s humanity, but only lies, deception, false doctrine, and other forms of sin can offend our Lord. Thus, pagans and other religionists have no Godly reason to be offended by the Gospel. We must realize that we do have the heavenly authority of Jesus to “go into the entire world and preach the Gospel; to make disciples; to water baptize these disciples, and to teach these disciples everything Jesus had said!” As in all other forms of spiritual ‘work,’ Jesus forbade us humanist, compromising methods of evangelization.
THE FIVE PILLARS OF ISLAM VS BIBLICAL FAITH AND SALVATION
Every religion on earth is based on the unsure foundation of a mere hope of salvation by immense legalistic effort.
For Muslims, the hope of salvation by works centers on the 5 pillars of Islam.
Firstly, faith: Their faith is not our saving, inward faith in the Savior, (adhering to, trusting in, and relying on Jesus our Lord under all circumstances,) but the very diligent and constant confession that “there is no god but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.” The more they recite and declare their ‘confession of faith,’ the more they ‘prove’ their faith in Allah; the more they earn confessional merit with him, the more devoutly they follow the Islamic path.
Secondly, prayer: The Islamic pillar of prayer consists of 5 ritual prayers a day, which they must, quite paradoxically, say with real sincerity, although they can never know Allah personally or even think of having a personal relationship with him! Regardless where a devout Muslim might be, he must do his ritual prayers by kneeling down, his face to the floor. On Fridays, they must attend a mosque at noon for collective, ritual prayer called ‘Jum’ah Prayers.’
Muslim prayer, as all other forms of legalistic prayer, contradicts our spiritually born again, personal, anytime, ‘anyhow’ prayer of inward relationship-faith by simply speaking to God from a sincere heart. Jesus rebuked all legalistic forms of prayer by commanding, ‘Do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.’ He also warned in Isa. 29:13, “These people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men…”
The third pillar of Islam is ritual fasting during the month of Ramadan. They must then abstain from food and drink during daylight, but at nighttime, they may eat and drink as much as they like. This fast cannot be related to Jesus’ commandment that our fasting must be seen only by God, (Mt. 6:16-18.) God described the meaning of fasting in Isaiah 58:5-12, “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To lose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke [of sin?] If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, [false accusations] and speaking wickedness…” The Spirit Filled Bible comments, “The yoke refers to all forms of social [and personal] injustice. The pointing finger refers to falsely accusing people with fear tactics. Speaking wickedness refers to stirring up trouble.” As a result, the true Biblical meaning of fasting is not seated merely in prayer, but in radical repentance from all forms of moral sin and the abuse and oppression of people.
The fourth pillar is the giving of alms to the poor, which consist of 2½% of capital income. As all legalistic ‘tithing’ and ‘offering,’ that giving of alms does not relate to Jesus’ commandment, ‘When you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites… but do not let your left hand [fellow believers and other people] know what your right hand is doing,’ that your charitable deed may be seen only by God, (Mt. 6:2-4.)
The fifth pillar is the pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the ‘hajj.’ The hajj earns Muslims extra credit to enter into the Islamic paradise. Sadly, the hajj can and does relate to Christian crusades and other futile religious pilgrimages to ‘sacred shrines’ and “holy places;” even modern ‘crusades’ such as ‘Bible’ tours to the ‘holy land’ of Israel in search of ‘deeper’ spirituality, while neither Jesus nor His disciples mentioned such a thing. Our God is omnipresent. Even the Old Testament psalmist rejoiced in Psalm 139:7-10, ‘Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me…’
Muslims, sadly, need to adhere earnestly to the 5 pillars of Islam while none of these religious acts guarantees them salvation. According to their doctrine of predestination, (akin to John Calvin’s Reformed church predestination dogma,) Allah has already made up his mind concerning the individual Muslim’s eternal destiny. Chances are, everything the poor diligent Muslim sacrifices for Allah will be in vain! We can undoubtedly say that the Muslim’s (and Calvinist) non-surety of salvation, despite all human effort, is one of the major differences between religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism – Christianity – and the Scriptural Way of being spiritually born again into a relationship with the Father through the complete atonement of His Son Jesus Christ, (Rom. 3:21-26; Jn. 1:12-13.)
Many born again believers simply do not fully appreciate the indescribable gift of unmerited salvation, which God had entrusted to us through His Son Jesus Christ. And so, slowly and subtly, in the course of their diligent church devotions, even sincere believers are in danger of leaving their inherited position of grace in Christ to join the cursed position of thousands upon thousands of Christian and other religionists, (Gal. 3:10-14; 5:1-6)
Others, misinterpreting their freedom in Christ, believe it is their ‘right’ to live eternally in the salvation and blessing of God without ever repenting from personal sin, false doctrine, or disobedience to the New Testament commandments of Jesus, (Gal. 5:13.) Consequently, they revert to the doctrine of ‘unconditional salvation’ in the so-called ‘unconditional love of God,’ and cling to the dangerous once-saved-always-saved deception. They conveniently forget that Jesus Himself uttered these bone-chilling words in Matthew 7:21-24, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your Name, cast out demons in Your Name, and done many wonders in Your Name?’ Then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! Therefore, whoever hears these saying of MINE and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” Of course, that Rock is Jesus Himself, as He revealed Himself through the full context of His eternal Word, (Rom. 5:20 – 6:14.)
Often, we become so familiar with the peace of God in our hearts and His protection over our lives, we actually begin to believe the most comfortable and popular interpretations of Scripture, instead of “enduring to the end” in loving obedience to our Savior; striving for and clinging to the truth of our Lord. As we defile our minds with false teaching, we begin to make up our own personal doctrines; we derive our own truth from God’s holy Word, thus forfeiting our concern for our own salvation, and especially for the redemption of the lost and dying world!
Gradually, we begin to believe that hell cannot be real. Somehow, we convince ourselves that everlasting punishment cannot pertain to willfully disobedient believers in Christ; neither does hell affect the unbelieving world that seriously at all. Surely, a God of grace, Who ‘loves us unconditionally,’ will “judge everyone according to the degree of light which they themselves have chosen to receive?” Some simply fail to realize that God does not view the world in terms of dusk or dawn. God looks at every human heart in terms of darkness or light – as lost in sin and dead in religion, or saved in Jesus Christ and enduring in loving obedience to Him until the end of our lives in this world! (Mt. 24:13.)
THE ISLAMIC/CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF PREDESTINATION
The Muslim doctrine of ‘double’ predestination teaches that most of humanity is damned and only a small number are predestined or foreordained to enter into heaven. Muslims believe that Allah alone decides who goes to hell and who doesn’t; no matter what they do or neglect to do, they have absolutely no say in the matter.
Some deviations from Judaism do teach predestination, while most Jewish rabbis believe that predestination conflicts with the God-given free will, and the personal responsibility of humanity. Sadly, the Muslim doctrine of ‘double’ predestination belongs to Christianity as well. Gleaned from paganism and incorporated into the Roman Catholic Church by their so-called ‘saint’ Augustine of Hippo, ‘double’ predestination is another serious heresy, which Reformer Protestants John Calvin, Martin Luther, and their followers inherited from the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic ‘church father’ Augustine and Protestant ‘church father’ John Calvin both believed that God alone decides the eternal destination of every individual without respecting any of man’s personal choices.
Louis Berkhof described the doctrine of ‘double predestination’ as, “The eternal decree of God whereby He has determined to pass some men by with the operations of His special grace, [without allowing them any choice in the matter,] and to punish them for their sins, to the manifestation of His justice.”
Brian G. Mattson wrote, “Lutherans, on the other hand, teach single predestination; that while God in eternity past did indeed elect a people for himself whom he would actively save in the outworking of history, he did not decree that the rest of mankind would absolutely be lost and reprobate them to eternal hell. That is, while affirming election, Lutherans reject reprobation [or Divine rejection.] God refrained from electing some men to salvation, but at the same time did not actively decree their continuation in sin, and ultimate suffering as a consequence.”
Scripturally, however, the doctrine of single predestination is also a deception, because John declared in 3:16, “For God SO loved the [whole] world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever [personally] believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Reformer John Calvin actually taught particular atonement, which means that Jesus died only for the ‘elect;’ the so-called ‘chosen’ members of Calvinism, the Dutch and other Reformed Churches and their affiliates. Calvinist membership, and not solely the Biblical blood-atonement of Jesus Christ, gives adherents of this religion a chance to enter into heaven – but their god had to decide beforehand either to choose the individual to inherit eternal life or to damn him or her to eternal punishment in hell! While the apostle John clearly wrote in 1 John 5:13, “[These things were written] that those who [sincerely] believe in the Son of God, may know [for certain] that they have [present tense] eternal life…”
Yet, all adherents of predestination never know what will happen to them at the moment of death, even though they had been devout Muslims, Catholics, Calvinists, Catholics, Lutherans, etcetera.
Þ Predestinating Allah even chooses the measure of sin which man ‘has to commit’
“Verily Allah has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he of necessity must commit (as there would be no escape from it).” – [Sahih Muslim Book 033, Number 6421, 6422 or The Kitab-ul-Qadr, the Book of Destiny, Book 003, Chapter 5, no. 6421/22.]
As in Augustinian/Calvinist or Catholic and Protestant double predestination, this means that, as the god of religion forces his disciples to sin morally, immorality is not the personal responsibility of the religionist and has nothing to do with his salvation! In fact, in their personal lives, adherents of Islamic and Christian double predestination believe they may live whichever way they choose, as long as they adhere to the ritual or ‘sacramental’ path of their religion! While modern Catholicism teaches single predestination, most Catholics live according to the principle of double predestination. As a result, these religionists never meditate on their condition of sin or their responsibility to repent from personal sin.
Þ Predestinating Allah created the black race from his left side
The Islamic writing Mishkat al-Masabih, vol. 3, p. 117 also states that in predestinating Providence, “Allah created Adam and stroked his right shoulder and took out a white race as if they were seeds. He stroked his left shoulder and took out a black race as if they were coals. He then said to those who were on his right side: ‘Towards paradise and I don’t care.’ He said to those on his left side: ‘Towards hell and I don’t care.’”
Some Muslim scholars interpret this not as a “race” as it is clearly written, but as the bad ‘hearts’ and good ‘hearts’ of people. Someone rightfully asked, “What are Muslims doing in Africa if black people are predestined for hell - and then Muslims still call Islam ‘the religion for black people!’”
The True God of the Bible desires that all men should be saved by a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and His Name is not Allah. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved [if they choose to personally accept Jesus, Jn. 1:11-13.] He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not [personally] believe is condemned already, because he has not [chosen to] believe in the Name of the only begotten Son of God,” (Jn. 3:16-19.)
In Islam, eternal life does not relate to the Biblical heaven at all. To those who have been ‘lucky’ enough to have been predestined by Allah, eternal life will mean ‘paradise’ or ‘the gardens;’ a place that overflows with material luxuries such as delicious food, wine - and numerous perpetual virgins. Some believe there will be 70 virgins for each man, [Surah 55:54-74; 56.21-22.] On the other hand, predestined Muslim women, who remained patient and steadfast in the path of Islam, might also have a chance of entering Paradise, but they will have the heavenly pleasure to only have eyes for their perpetually fornicating husbands!
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ON THIS PAGE:
Þ Straightforward, Biblical Evangelism
· The Five Pillars of Islam VS Biblical Faith and Salvation
· The Islamic/Christian Doctrine of Predestination
· Predestining Allah even chooses their measure of sin
· Allah created the black race from his left side
· Islamic Paradise