(Continued from page 434)
Muhammad - Christ's Successor?!
Muhammad claimed to be the Person referred to by Christ in John 14:16. The word translated 'Comforter' in this verse is parakletos in Greek, meaning 'one called alongside to help', and is translated 'advocate' in 1 John 2:1. Any of these descriptions in themselves nullify Muhammad as fulfilling this role because he certainly is no 'comfort' or 'help' to true believers, and does not 'help' or 'advocate' for Christ in any way but is, instead, altogether an anti-Christ figure! Sura 61:6 reads:
And when Jesus, son of Mary, said, O children of Israel, I am God's messenger to you, confirming the Taurat (the Law) which was before me, and announcing the good tidings of a messenger who will come after me, bearing the name of Ahmed.
Christians know that this is a fabrication. Another part of the fabrication is the desperate Muslim claim that the original Greek manuscript of John (and 1 John) spelt the word paraklutos, meaning 'a praised one' and therefore had the same meaning as 'Ahmed', but Christians supposedly altered the spelling to parakletos in order to get rid of Christ's testimony to Muhammad as His successor!
However, the fact is that hundreds of Greek manuscripts of the Scriptures, or portions of them which include this verse, have been preserved and all of them date from long before the time of Muhammad and not a single one of these manuscripts has any variation in the spelling of parakletos, so this word used in the New Testament has never been found spelt as paraklytos (when the Greek 'u' [upsilon] is translated into English, it is not translated by the English 'u', but by 'y' [gamma] and spelt paraklytos).
Thus it is ignorance of facts that is the foundation of this Muslim belief, as with the Scriptures in general.
This evidence of the New Testament manuscripts is not the only irrefutable evidence which proves that in John 14:16 Christ was not referring to Muhammad, but to the Holy Spirit. Christ said the Holy Spirit was to be given to His disciples shortly after His ascension (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-6; John 7:37-39). Acts 2:1-4,33,38; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13,14; 5:18; Romans 8:9,11,13-16 reveal the fulfilment of the promise. Obviously, Muhammad was not born until circa AD 570 so could not possibly fulfil this promise!
The Spirit was to indwell believers, and be the source of their power and success in witnessing to Christ (John 14:16; Acts 1:8) and He was to indwell them 'for ever' (John 14:16). The reason the world could not receive Him, said Christ, was because they could not see Him, or know Him as an invisible, purely Spiritual, Being (John 14:17):
15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever - 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."
Acts 1:8: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Muhammad clearly could not fulfil any of these attributes or descriptions and, note also, the Holy Spirit was not to speak of Himself - as did Muhammad - but only of Christ (John 16:13; 15:26)! He was to bring all things which Christ had spoken unto them to their remembrance in speaking and writing of them (John 14:26):
'But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you').
Note carefully: since the Holy Spirit was to remain with believers until the End-Times (2 Thessalonians 2:7), which have not come yet, and 'remind' us of everything that Jesus 'said,' it would be impossible for Christianity to 'lose' the Word of God, thus the Bible could never be corrupted!
He was to convict men of sin for not believing in Christ - not Muhammad (John 16:8,9).
He was to reveal to Christ's disciples things to come (John 16:13).
He was to guide them into all truth so that their testimony in preaching and writing would be Divine truth in everything (John 16:13).
His one ministry would have for its object the glory of Christ - not Muhammad (John 16:14).
The only unpardonable sin is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, Who cannot be other than a Divine Person, for only God can be blasphemed (Matt. 12:31,32). This conclusively proves Christ has made propitiation for all other sins, since God cannot forgive sins except on the ground of Christ's bearing for us the curse of the Law.
No further evidence or discussion is required for any honest investigator to see the falsity of the Muslim claims that the appearance of Muhammad on earth was ever prophesied in the Bible or that the Qur'an abrogates the Bible!
It is clear that the New Testament doesn't abolish the Old Testament, or the Qur'an abolish the Injil. God would not be God if He changed His Word. And, if God is all knowing, He does not need to give an order and then change it, since He knows every single thing from the beginning to the end. When God ordered the Jews to leave Egypt, they were small in number and faced many great nations. But God told them not to be afraid of the power of the Egyptians, or to accept their idols and worship them, but to destroy them. When they became well armed, He told them the same thing. He never abolished what He told them from the beginning, because He wanted to teach them that the victory is from the Lord and would never depend upon their power or number (Zechariah 4:6):
Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts.
We can compare this with His lesson for Gideon in Judges 7 when (v2-3):
'The LORD said to Gideon, "You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, 3 announce now to the people, `Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.' "
So, by degrees, He reduced an army of thirty-two thousand men to only 300 men to prove His point - and then defeated the Midianites through His miraculous power alone, proven by using the devastating weapons of trumpets and pitchers and setting each enemies 'sword against his fellow'!:
16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put into the hands of all of them trumpets, and empty pitchers, with torches within the pitchers. 17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outermost part of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. 18 When I blow the trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, For Jehovah and for Gideon. 19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outermost part of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake in pieces the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands wherewith to blow; and they cried, The sword of Jehovah and of Gideon. 21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran; and they shouted, and put them to flight. 22 And they blew the three hundred trumpets, and Jehovah set every man's sword against his fellow, and against all the host; and the host fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the border of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.
Allah did not do the same when Muslims were few in number - or when they were strong in number. Allah initially did not even ask them to fight the Christians or the Jews but gave Muhammad the nice, gentle, Suras about both Christians and Jews! Then, when Muhammad had a large army, Allah abolished the nice way of dealing with Christians and Jews and replaced it with a very violent way using the sword - and no genuine miraculous interventions whatsoever. And this violent method - jihad of the sword - was then to be used until the whole world was in subjugation to Allah by violence! Clearly, this Allah is not the God of the Bible.
Just as tellingly we find that Allah was not even with every part of this jihad. Certainly, Islam advanced across the world using the sword until, in Europe, they were defeated in France at the Battle of Tours/Poitiers in 732 A.D. - just 170 miles or so from Paris! The end of the 700s marks the peak of Islamic jihad worldwide but, over the next 700 years, Islamic strongholds were broken down until, in Europe, the last bastion in Spain, Granada, fell (1492 A.D.). In turn the Ottoman Turks' empire crumbled by degrees - loss of Kiev, Vienna, Russia and Egypt; the Serbian revolt (1815); financial bankruptcy (1861-1876); a palace coup (1876); the Arab revolt (1916-21); the Turkish War of Independence (1919-21). When they sided with Germany in Word War I they were defeated by the Allied Forces (specifically the British) and, having controlled Palestine almost continually for nearly 1300 years (from 636 A.D. until 1917) they lost control to the British.
Now, we know that Israel repeatedly fell into sin and the God of the Bible warned them through His prophets that they would be taken captive, dragged away into exile until their punishment and repentance was fulfilled, e.g., the prophet Amos described an impending visitation of God for judgment upon Judah and Israel (Amos 2:5; 3:9-11) as the "day of the LORD" (5:18-20), but also looked forward to the final day of judgment and restoration of his people (9:7-15). Do Muslims also accept that they must have mightily sinned against their 'god', Allah, in order for all the gains they made worldwide to have been taken away in this manner? And is this not a major factor in the fundamentalist drive of such as Al Qaida to 'put right' Islam's straying from the path of violent jihad?
In places like Israel, Muslim school-children are fed the idea that one day a fulfilment of an ancient prophecy by Muhammad will come to pass and, after the battle in which the Holy Land is recaptured, the elimination of the Jews will take place in a massive slaughter:
"The day of judgment shall not come to pass until a tribe of Muslims defeat a tribe of Jews." (narrated by Abu Hurairah, Sahih Muslim, Hadith #6985; Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, #177)
Apparently, when Muhammad was asked where this would take place he replied:
"In Jerusalem and the surrounding nations."
No wonder Palestinian children, taught to sing songs such as "Arabs Our Beloved and Jews Our Dogs," believe in Muhammad's prophecy and offer their lives to jihad as the only means to obtain either victory or martyrdom - the only way to ensure 'salvation' and enter into heaven (although various hadith are claimed to contradict this view!) since Allah and his prophet promised it (The Family Of Ìmrán - Al-Ìmrán - Sura 3:169):
'Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah (in a Holy War), as dead. Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision.'
How sad that, despite the victories of little Israel against the colossal might of the Islamic world (shades of Gideon against the Midianites!), in the 1948 'War of Independence', the Six Day War, the PLO resistance, the bloody wars in Lebanon, the war of Yom Kippur etc., Muslims have to cling to the hope of this one victory predicted by the false prophet Muhammad, since that is all they hope it will take to destroy Israel. Sadly, for those putting their faith in this hope, we find that the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 38-39) predicted that in the future God will destroy specific nations attacking Israel - nations recognised to be predominantly Muslim which are becoming progressively more fundamentalist by the day!
(Continued on page 436)