To my Muslim readers, this page is dedicated to helping you in

your search for truth. As I have been reading the Qur'an, it has

become plain to me that the Qur'an teaches that Muslims are to

seek the truth,even searching the Book, as the Qur'an refers to 

the Bible.

Following are some questions that havebeen asked by Muslims

in their quest to find the truth. May God bless you as you search

for and seek truthful answers to your questions.

Here is a list of the following articles on this page.


 

The Anti-Christ and the Muslim Mahdi

 

An Open Letter to Moderate Muslims

 

A Personal God is My God - But, How About Allah?


Is Allah The God of The Bible?


How can I, as a Muslim, be assured of paradise? Scroll down.

 

Can keeping the Five Pillars of Islam get me to heaven? Click Here!

Do the Qur'an and Muhammad affirm or reject the Bible? Should a

Muslim read the Bible? Click here!

Is Jesus God's Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son? Click

here!

I Am A Muslim. Why Should I Consider Converting to Christ? Click here!

If I Convert to Christ, My Family Will Disown Me. Should I follow Christ? Click here!

 

Muslims All Over the World Having Dreams and Visions of Isa. Click

here!

Comparisons of some beliefs held by Muslims and Christians pertaining

to various spiritual aspects of life. Click here!

The Love of God for Muslims Core Convictions 1-5 Five articles. Click here! 

My Name Is Mohammed - This is My Life

Testimonies of Muslims Who Have Converted to Christ

It is time for the scattered sons of Abraham to be gathered together in unity

If Islam is not the religion of peace, Muslim need to convert to the Prince of Peace

 

 



 The following article explains why more and more American's are resisting allowing more Muslims into this country. Who can dispute that this is Americas future if we don't change our immigration policies?


Adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam:

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life. Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to
agitate for their religious privileges.

When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well..

Here’s how it works: As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority, and not as a threat to other citizens.
It is a trick.

United States — Muslim 0..6%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs. This is happening in:

Denmark — Muslim 2%
Germany — Muslim 3.7%
United Kingdom — Muslim 2.7%
Spain — Muslim 4%
Thailand — Muslim 4.6%

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves — along with threats for failure to comply. At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world.

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris, we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. Such tensions are seen daily, particularly in Muslim sections in France.

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues.

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, from 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and Jizya, the tax placed on infidels.

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim. Everyone copy and post this!

 

 

 

 


The Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi (Part 1)

Michael Youssef

Many people—religious and non-religious—are asking questions about a word they hear the media use when referring to ISIS and other Islamist jihadists. That word is apocalyptic, which is used when specifically referring to the fatalism of Islamists.

People wonder, why do so many Muslims (both Sunni and Shiite) operate with such an “apocalyptic,” end-of-world mindset?

Our secular society, however, coupled with the media’s carelessness, is bandying about words like apocalyptic without using them properly and without explanation. That creates a great deal of confusion for some, many of which just throw up their hands in resignation and say, “I don’t understand this.”

But for those who want to understand, I am offering this 2-part column, taking excerpts from my newest book, Jesus, Jihad, and Peace. I hope this will put things into perspective, so when the media says that an Islamist entity (such as ISIS, al-Qaeda, Iran, etc.) operate with an apocalyptic vision, you can make sense of it.

The word apocalypse does not, in fact, refer to a disastrous, catastrophic, end-of-world event. It’s a Greek word, the root of which means revelation, or revealing things that are hidden. For instance, we know the last book of the Bible asRevelation, but in the original Greek language, it is Apokalupsae. It reveals what is happening in the heavenly realm, as well as events in the future.

The Concept of the Antichrist

Both the Old Testament and New Testament spoke of an end-times figure, the Antichrist, some six hundred years or more before Islam came on the scene. That timing will be important when I explain Islam’s “end of time” coming of a Mahdi in my next column.

The Antichrist is known by various names. Paul calls him “the lawless one,” “the man of lawlessness,” and “the man doomed to destruction” who “will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12). The most detailed description of the Antichrist is in Revelation 13, where the Apostle John refers to the Antichrist as “the beast.” The Old Testament prophet Daniel describes the abominable works of the Antichrist, but gives him no name or title (Daniel 9:27).

Who, then, is the Antichrist, whose brief but terrible reign is predicted in both the Old and New Testaments? He will be a world leader of unparalleled political, military, and religious power. He will be charming, persuasive, and popular beyond measure. The world will not know him as the “Antichrist,” but by some attractive name and appealing title. But just as the word “Antichrist” suggests, he will be the opposite of the Lord Jesus Christ in every way. Everything Christ is, the Antichrist is not; everything Christ is not, the Antichrist is.

Jesus came from heaven (John 6:38); the Antichrist comes from the Abyss, the spiritual domain of evil (Revelation 11:7). Jesus came in the name of the Father; the Antichrist comes in his own name (John 5:43). Jesus was despised by the world (Isaiah 53:3); the Antichrist is worshiped by the world (Revelation 13:3-4). Jesus came in humility as a servant (Philippians 2:7-8); the Antichrist comes in pride, claiming to be God (2 Thessalonians 2:4; Daniel 11:36). Jesus is the truth (John 14:6); the Antichrist is the lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-11). Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 1:1; Luke 1:35); the Antichrist is the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV).

The Apostle Paul tells us that the mystery (or secret) of godliness is that God Himself has appeared to us in human flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)—and that the mystery (or secret) of lawlessness is that Satan has produced a counterfeit Christ, the Antichrist, Satan wrapped in human flesh (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). Jesus is the true Shepherd; Satan will have his evil shepherd, the Antichrist. Jesus is the Holy One of God; the Antichrist will be the lawless one of Satan. Jesus is the Man of Sorrows; the Antichrist will be the man of sin.

One Antichrist and many antichrists

First of all, the Antichrist is coming—a lawless man who will come in Satan’s power, demanding to be worshiped as God, destroying all those who love God. But John tells us that there are many other antichrists, lesser deceivers who are also self-exalting, evil, and destructive. They are antichrists, but they are not the Antichrist.

Jesus tells us that, shortly before His return, the Antichrist will arise during a time of global chaos and confusion, when the world is in political, social, financial, and ecological upheaval. The terrified people of the world, desperate for a strong leader, will turn to this man and give him control of the governments of the world.

Daniel tells us that the Antichrist will speak “boastfully” (Daniel 7:8), yet it is clear that these will not be empty boasts. The Antichrist will appear to possess superhuman brilliance. He’ll be the ultimate smooth talker, the greatest con-man who ever lived, and he’ll unite the nations under his rule. At first, he’ll seem to be a wise and benevolent dictator, bringing peace, prosperity, and hope. But once he is firmly in control of the gears and levers of power, he’ll reveal his true intentions.

The way has been paved for such a leader. Atheists, humanists, New Age mystics, Hindus, Buddhists, and Islamists have little in common with each other—but they all share in the belief that Jesus is not the only way to salvation. There are even many self-styled “Christians” who deny the Lord’s claim to be the only way to God. So it will be easy for the Antichrist to establish himself to many as an acceptable alternative.

In these days of muddled and confused worldviews, it is vitally important to know the truth. After all, Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” As events unfold, we need to see them not only through the cameraman’s lens, but also through the lens of biblical revelation.

That the Antichrist is coming is known—only the timing is unknown. Although we know not the hour of night that the thief comes, we must be prepared nonetheless.

In next week’s article (Part 2), we’ll take a look at the striking parallels between the Antichrist and Islam’s Mahdi (savior).


The Antichrist and the Muslim Mahdi (Part 2)

 

Michael Youssef

 

 

In my last article, I explained the Judeo-Christian understanding of the Antichrist, and that he will somehow be intertwined with Israel, and more specifically, Jerusalem.

 

Because Islam borrowed a great deal from Judaism and Christianity, it is not surprising that they too have a figure with a messianic complex—the Mahdi, or the Guided One.

 

Muslims see the Mahdi as a savior who will lead a global revolution and establish a worldwide Islamic empire. The Mahdi will rule the earth as the final Caliph of Islam (a caliph is both a political ruler and a spiritual representative of Allah on earth).

 

Muslims revere Jesus (whom they call Isa) as the Masih or Messiah. In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi will arrive at the same time that Isa returns. Isa will descend to earth in Syria, east of Damascus, dressed in yellow robes, and will assist the Mahdi, who will rule over the earth for seven years (or, in some Islamic traditions, nine or nineteen years). At the end of the Mahdi’s rule, there will be a Day of Judgment for the entire human race.

 

The parallels between the biblical Antichrist and the Mahdi of Islam are chilling. Both are associated with the End Times and the Judgment. Both possess political, military, and religious power, and head up a one-world religion. The Mahdi will force all non-Muslim people to convert to Islam. Like the Antichrist, the Mahdi will establish Jerusalem as his capital, from which he will rule the earth. Islamic scholars Muhammad ibn Izzat and Muhammad Arif write:

 

The Mahdi will be victorious and eradicate those pigs and dogs and the idols of this time so that there will once more be a caliphate based on prophethood as the hadith states. . . . Jerusalem will be the location of the rightly guided caliphate and the center of Islamic rule, which will be headed by Imam al-Mahdi. . . . That will abolish the leadership of the Jews . . . and put an end to the domination of the Satan who spit evil into people and cause corruption in the earth, making them slaves of false idols and ruling the world by laws other than the Sharia [Islamic law] of the Lord of the worlds.

 

Though Muslims revere Jesus as a prophet, they deny that Jesus is the Son of God. Jews and Christians are, to Muslim fundamentalists, “pigs and dogs” who must either convert to Islam or be eliminated. Bible prophecy makes it clear that the Antichrist will target Jews and Christians for destruction, just as Islamic prophecy states that the Mahdi will wage war against Jews and Christians. Those who oppose the Antichrist’s worldwide religion will be executed.

 

Muslim scholar Imam Muhammad Baqir states clearly how the Mahdi will establish his one-world religion: “There must be bloodshed and jihad to establish Imam Mahdi’s rule.” And Ayatollah Ibrahim al Amini of the Religious Learning Center in Qom, agrees: “The Mahdi will offer the religion of Islam to the Jews and Christians; if they accept it, they will be spared, otherwise they will be killed.”[ii]

 

Daniel tells us (and Jesus affirms in the Olivet Discourse) that the Antichrist will establish “the abomination that causes desolation” in the temple in Jerusalem. The apostle Paul adds that the Antichrist “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thessalonians 2:4). Since the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., as Jesus predicted, this has led some (not all Christians) to suggest that the Jewish temple must be rebuilt on the Temple Mount before the Antichrist can be revealed to the world.

 

Yet the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque stand on the Temple Mount today. One of the Islamic Hadiths (traditions) records that their Prophet Muhammad said, “[Armies carrying] black flags will come from Khurasan [Iran and Afghanistan], no power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela [the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem] where they will erect their flags.” In Islamic tradition, black banners symbolize violent conquest, and Muslims await the Mahdi’s conquest of Jerusalem, when he establishes his reign from the temple site.

 

Daniel 9:27 tells us the Antichrist will establish a seven-year covenant with Israel—but he will break the covenant after three and a half years, defiling the temple with “an abomination that causes desolation.” The Hadiths of Islam also speak of a seven-year covenant that the Mahdi makes with Israel: “The Prophet said: There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans. The fourth will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Aaron [Honorable Aaron, the brother of Moses] and will be upheld for seven years.”[iii]

 

There can be no doubt: Muslims are preparing to accept the Mahdi as their leader—and the Mahdi is indistinguishable from the world leader we know as the Antichrist.

 

I bring all of this to your attention so we can have a knowledgeable perspective when viewing current events unfolding in the Middle East.

 

But Christians should not fear.

Regardless of whether the Antichrist comes in this generation or a hundred years from now, those who have placed their faith in God’s Messiah, Jesus the Christ, fear no one nor even death. Their eternity is secure in the one who is the only one to defeat death and rise from the grave.

 

 


An Open Letter To Moderate Muslims

Michael Brown

Al-Qaeda. The Taliban. Boko Haram. The Islamic State. Islamic Jihad. Hamas.

Christians being beheaded. Muslims slaughtering Muslims. Schoolgirls being kidnapped. Schoolboys being burned alive.

These are the images of Islam that we see on the news day and night, but we are told repeatedly that this does not represent true Islam. Instead, we are told, these atrocities are examples of radical Islam, committed by savages who know nothing of the real faith, people who misuse the Koran for their own malicious purposes and who represent perhaps 15 percent of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.

That would mean that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving, with no desire to take over the world violently or enforce their religion on others by means of the sword.

Of course, I fully understand that there are many “moderate Muslims” who are not true Muslims any more than many liberal Christians are true Christians. In other words, they are nominal believers only.

But there are certainly many Muslims who claim to uphold the Five Pillars of Islam and who feel that they, and not the radical Muslims, are following in Muhammad’s footsteps. And they would explain that while it is true that their prophet engaged in violent acts of war and that the Koran calls for harsh treatment of the enemies of the faith, this is no different than the book of Joshua in the Old Testament – something that happened in the past but is not to be repeated today.

To be sure, the moment I speak up about a controversial issue that is happening today, such as Israel’s right to defend itself against Islamic terrorists, my social media pages are flooded with Jew-hating comments made by angry Muslims, expressing sentiments like, “the decimation and annihilation of Israel is coming soon inshaalllah [Allah willing]. End of Israel will be fact I'm sure.” And, “Can somebody resurrect Hitler? [The Jews] are chosen. Chosen to be killers. Rapists. Racist. Murderers and worshippers of satan . . .”

Do they represent the true spirit of Islam, or are these some of the 200-300 million “radical Muslims”? (By the way, whether “radical Islam” is normative or not, it is, without a doubt, a massive threat to the world today.)

As for the “moderate Muslims,” whom I don’t seem to hear from as much, the ones who do write do not seem not to be that religious, based on the sentiments they express.

I’m aware that statements have been made by respected Islamic leaders renouncing violent jihad, but for the sake of clarity, I’d like to ask some simple questions which, I believe, can be easily answered.

If you uphold the Five Pillars of Islam and believe in the divine inspiration of the Koran and the reliability of the Hadith, I’d love to hear your responses to these questions.

The Islamic State has demanded that non-Muslims convert or die. Do you categorically and without qualification denounce the practice of forced conversions? Do you agree that conversion at the edge of the sword cannot possibly be true conversion?

All radical Muslim groups want to enforce Sharia Law. Do you stand against the implementation of Sharia?

There is a famous Hadith which states, “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’”

Do you categorically and without qualification denounce this tradition which allegedly goes back to Muhammad?

The concept of suicide bombers being shaheeds (martyrs for Allah) is widespread these days among radical Muslims.

Do you reject the idea that a suicide bomber who kills others – especially civilians – in the name of Allah is guaranteed a place in Paradise?

As you know, non-Muslims living in some Muslim countries have been reduced to severe second-class citizen status (dhimmitude, in full) and forced to pay the oppressive jizya tax. In some Muslim countries, they can be jailed or killed simply if someone accuses them of blaspheming Muhammad.

Do you categorically and without qualification denounce these practices and welcome non-Muslims to live as complete equals in your countries?

In quite a few Muslim countries, conversion is forbidden under penalty of death, which is obviously a fundamental assault on religious freedoms.

Do you categorically and without qualification denounce this practice and allow for free and open religious interaction as we have, for example, in the United States, with no corporal penalties for conversion?

We often hear horror stories of little girls being married to older men, along with honor killings of women who allegedly brought disrepute on their families.

Do you categorically and without qualification denounce the practices of child brides and honor killings?

There are many more questions I could ask, and I do so in the interest of understanding more than argument, since I would love to debate and discuss the deeper issues of our faith with those who renounce radical Islam.

The question many of us have here in the West is very simple: Is radical Islam normative Islam?

I look forward to reading your responses, and I encourage non-Muslim readers of this open letter to share it widely with your friends so as to reach the maximum number of moderate Muslims.


Why Revival is Exploding Among Muslims

Audrey Lee

Thousands of Muslims are converting to Christianity after reportedly encountering Jesus in dreams or visions. Charisma digs deeper into this global phenomenon.

It started with a dream. In A.D. 610, a man named Muhammad retreated alone to a cave in Saudi Arabia to meditate. There he believed he was visited by the angel Gabriel in a dream. It is said the disturbing experience thrust Muhammad into a depression until he received another angelic message: “O Muhammad, verily thou art in truth the prophet of Allah.” This revelation was the beginning of many for him and birthed a religion—Islam—that would profoundly change the course of the world.

Today thousands of Muhammad’s followers are having dreams and visions of their own—experiences that rock their world. While political revolution avalanches throughout the Middle East, tremors of spiritual change are also being felt on a widespread scale, especially within countries hostile to Christianity. Ironically, thousands of stories are emerging from around the world of Muslims being awakened to the gospel, literally from their dreams.

 Karima*, a Muslim, dreamed she was in a car when it crashed. She was knocked out, but when she opened her eyes (in her dream), she saw that Jesus was the driver. “Come to me,” He told her, “I am with you. I love you.” That experience led her to seek out a Christian church, where she responded to the gospel.

 Omar had been locked up and tortured for years in a jail cell in a nation ruled by a dictator. One night a messenger visited him in a dream, telling him he would be set free. Within days he was released from prison and traveled to America where newfound friends reached out to him. When he was given a book with a picture of Jesus on the cover, his eyes lit up. “I know him,” he said. “He came to me in a dream.”

 Yasmin was fearful and anxious. She cried out to Allah, asking him to help her, but she remained unchanged. One night while visiting friends in the U.S., she was awakened from her darkness with an epiphany. “Walking around the house of my friend,” she now explains in broken English, “suddenly I felt that I was blind, [but] now I can see.”

That terminology, though cliché to most believers, was foreign to Yasmin, who was born in an Islamic nation and was never exposed to “Christianese.” 

“It was very obvious,” she recalls, describing it as a feeling as if something literally changed inside her head. “I felt that it was Jesus who did something to me.”

She later learned her sister—a Christian still living in her home country—was praying for her. Yasmin received a Bible, was baptized and began to grow with her new church family. (Her sister, now in ministry, has also had supernatural encounters, saying that she’s heard the voice of God seven times, “like a man beside me, talking to me. Whatever He says to me, it happens to me,” she describes.)

Testimonies of dreams and other encounters with Jesus can’t always be verified because by definition spiritual experiences are personal. Further, in countries where owning a Bible is illegal, Muslim converts are subject to persecution and even death, so their stories are not always documented. But believers who work among Muslims tell of life-changing conversions resulting from dreams. Like martyrs from antiquity until today, believers who have had profound, unexplainable encounters often develop profound, unshakeable faith.

Still, if converting to Christianity comes with such high stakes, what is it about these dreams that compels Muslims to forsake their religion and embrace Jesus?

“I think because it’s a direct communication from God,” says Craig Keener, professor of New Testament at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky. “Some people are more open to it than others. In the Bible we see people making major decisions based on dreams.” Keener has written 14 books, including one on miracles and his latest, The Historical Jesus of the Gospels.

Indeed, the Bible is replete with examples of God speaking through dreams and visions, yet one New Testament encounter demonstrates an extreme spiritual makeover. Saul, a zealous persecutor of believers, was dazzled by a bright light while on the road to Damascus. He heard a voice saying: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? ... I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. ... Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do” (Acts 9:4-6) Blinded and shaken, he went to Damascus where he fasted for three days.

Meanwhile, a Christian named Ananias had a troubling vision. God told him to go to a specific house to pray for Saul because the renowned enemy of the church was God’s chosen instrument. When he arrived, Ananias learned that Saul also had a vision informing him of Ananias’ coming.

Saul’s blindness was dramatically healed, both physically and spiritually. He became known as Paul, one of Jesus’ most devout followers, writer of nearly half the New Testament while imprisoned for his faith, and the first apostle called to unveil the gospel to gentiles.

Who is ‘Isa?

Clearly, God can reach anyone, regardless of how strong his or her opposition is to His Son. Although Muslims are familiar with Jesus, they believe in ‘Isa (Jesus) as a prophet but not as Savior—at least not for today. 

“Allah [God] sent multiple messengers throughout the years, starting with Adam,” explains Abraham Sarker, founder of Gospel for Muslims in Dallas. “Every generation received a prophet—whoever followed him for that period of time will go to heaven. So whoever followed Jesus during His period of time will go to heaven.”

Muhammad, meanwhile, is revered as the last prophet of Allah who came with the best and final revelation. Muhammad believed that the Bible, canonized centuries before he lived, had become corrupt over time as a result of translations. He claimed Allah’s true word was supernaturally delivered to him over the course of 23 years and recorded in the Quran. According to Islam, “If we still follow Jesus, we are backward, like Windows 95,” Sarker says.

Growing up in Bangladesh, Sarker was groomed to be an Islamic evangelist. He devoutly followed his religion, fasting and praying and never questioning his faith. Then, three times in one week, he dreamed that he died and went to a lake of fire.

“I was very confused,” Sarker says. “I was thinking, I am not sure if I die right now that I would go to heaven, and I don’t know what I’ve done wrong.”

Praying all night in the mosque, he asked God to help him. Suddenly he felt drops of oil falling on him and even smelled its fragrance, he says. He claims another time he heard an audible voice telling him to read a Bible—an abomination to a Muslim. “We would not touch a modern-day Bible,” he says. “This voice immediately put a desire in my heart. It is so vivid, so clear, so overwhelming. Still today, I could not forget that voice.”

Sarker’s faith journey took a U-turn four years later when he was in the U.S. as a Muslim missionary and came across a Bible in his own language. Reading it, he was changed: “I was so moved that my Creator loved me unconditionally.”

Because Muslims are told the Bible is corrupt, many are loath to read it. Some are even afraid of its power.

Khalil was being trained as a jihadist in Egypt. He was given the important assignment to write a book proving that the Bible couldn’t be trusted, but he was afraid to even go near one. “Whoever reads this book comes under a spell!” he says in a video depicting his story at the website morethandreams.org. 

He had no choice but to submit to his orders, but as he examined the claims of ‘Isa and His death and resurrection—which aren’t included in the Quran—Khalil began to question his own faith. One day after someone stole his briefcase containing his Bible and passport, he panicked and then decided to pray. That night, ‘Isa came to him in a dream, telling him, “I’m the one you’ve been searching for.” ‘Isa told him to read his Bible and that he would find his missing copy in his closet. When he opened the door, it was there. Khalil’s heart was transformed from one of hate and violence to love and compassion.

Spirit, Science or Superstition?

Though most Muslims find Jesus and the Bible as the two biggest factors to reckon with in converting, they rarely wrestle with the means through which God is penetrating the Islamic world today. Indeed, dreams and visions have been a core part of Islam since its beginning.

In today’s Western world, psychologists understand dreams as a toss and turn of conscious and unconscious thoughts, and the brain’s neurological activity can be measured during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, when most dreaming occurs. 

Still, theories about the origins and purpose of dreams abound, and there is no real consensus in the scientific and psychological communities. During ancient times, however, dreams were thought of as messages from the gods. And in Middle Eastern cultures people still regard dreams much the same as they did in biblical days, particularly in folk or popular Islam.

That’s part of the reason Nik Ripken, a 28-year veteran of the mission field, believes God continues to use dreams and visions so prominently to reach Muslims. Ripken says a person’s willingness to believe in the validity of dreams directly impacts his response to them. After gathering research in nearly 60 countries, Ripken says Muslims’ dreams are, for the most part, like any others.

“But what is miraculous is that God breaks into them!” he says. “They hear a voice without a body telling them to find Jesus; they see a bright light; they dream of a Bible [and for some reason it’s almost always blue].”

Ripken says 20 years ago, Christian leaders in his circle didn’t buy into reports of the miraculous. They—like most Westerners whose worldview is fundamentally logical and scientific—found stories of Jesus appearing in a dream too mystical to accept. But over time the testimonies and life changes were so compelling, they couldn’t be denied.

“I remember seven or eight years ago when we [sheepishly] said, ‘If God wants to do this, we’ll let Him,’” Ripken says. Now he’s convinced: “It’s very clear ... everything that God has done in the Bible, God is still doing. God’s not waiting for you and me to get there.”

Crossing Over

Even Christians who are skeptical of modern-day Christophanies must recognize the value other cultures place on dreams and the life-changing role they play, because ultimately it’s not the dreams themselves that lead people to Christ; it’s believers.

“We do not find that dreams and visions alone ever change anybody’s life,” Ripken points out. “What it does, it seems, is to send them on a spiritual pilgrimage.”

Interfacing with messengers from heaven are ordinary people, because although many Muslims report seeing angels or Jesus in dreams, those heavenly beings often direct dreamers to a specific person who then provides a Bible or explains whom the biblical Jesus is.

As Keener says: “Ultimately, it’s the gospel that converts people.”

For example, one man in a nation hostile to Christianity says he heard a voice telling him, “Find Jesus, find the gospel.” He didn’t know what Jesus was—a chair, a tree, an animal? But the voice told him exactly what city and house to go to, so he traveled for two weeks, arriving directly at the door of one of only three believers in the city.

“God wants to take a people for Himself from every kindred and people and tribe and nation,” says Keener, quoting Revelation 14:6. He points out that, historically, different parts of the world have had a stronger Christian presence during different eras, even if only for a window of time. “There are places that it’s just so risky, God is intervening directly,” he asserts.

Sarker furthers this point with a grim reminder: “Most Muslims won’t ever hear the gospel, even here in America,” he says, adding that this underscores the importance of Christians worldwide praying for God to reveal Himself through dreams.

Miracle in the ‘Mundane’

Prayer certainly played a key role in the life of former Muslim Naeem Fazal. Shortly after coming to the U.S. from Kuwait, he attended a college-campus Christian event with his brother, who had become a Christian and was praying for Fazal to follow suit. As a Muslim, Fazal wasn’t impressed with the idea of a personal relationship with God, but one day during an argument he skeptically asked God, “If you’re real, why don’t You just show me?”

That night Fazal faced a terrifying encounter in his room. What he calls a demonic presence left him paralyzed with fear in his bed. He describes it as a feeling of death. 

When the presence eventually left the room, Fazal’s brother told him that Jesus is the only one with authority over angels and demons, so Fazal prayed, “Jesus, I don’t know You, but ... if you would help me I will give You my life.”

Later that night he found himself staring at a very different presence. “It looked like a figure made up with light—solid, yet transparent,” Fazal says. “It was an experience like no other. The peace I felt from this presence was so powerful, so aggressive ... and [He] introduced Himself to me and said, ‘I’m Jesus; your life is not your own.’ The next morning my life changed forever.”

Fazal is now the pastor of Mosaic Church in Charlotte, N.C. Yet what’s noteworthy about his story and people like him is that while their journeys with Christ may have launched from bizarre, otherworldly experiences, they’re only furthered through the dedicated study of Scripture, personal worship and discipleship with other believers in Jesus.

Though Westerners often consider these things mundane, Ripken contends that much of the world—including Muslims who have encountered Jesus in dreams and visions—marvels at doing them openly, incredulously asking, “Why do you call common in America and the West what we consider a miracle?”

“The basic is relationship with Jesus,”  Fazal says. “God’s Word is not magical. It’s too precious to become activated just by saying it. When people live it, 
it’s supernatural.”
Unwelcomed ... but Unstoppable

How the Holy Spirit is rising within the world’s most radical Islamic nations

Mission researchers estimate more Muslims have committed to follow Christ in the last 10 years than in the last 15 centuries of Islam. Yet Islamic governments make up some of the worst persecutors of Christians, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Despite the persecution, reports indicate God is moving dramatically in Islamic strongholds such as Indonesia, Pakistan and the following Middle East hot spots:

Iran: At the time of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 there were only about 500 known Muslim converts in the country, according to missions almanac Operation World. By 2000, there were a reported 220,000 believers, including Muslim converts. Even children of government ministers and mullahs have been converting to Christ, missions agency Open Doors reports.

Iraq: It’s estimated that before 2003 there were only about 600 known born-again followers of Jesus Christ in the country. By the end of 2008, Iraqi Christian leaders believed the number had risen to more than 70,000. Meanwhile, millions of Arabic New Testaments and Christian books have been shipped into Iraq since the ouster of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Egypt: Revival is reportedly widespread among nominal Christians within the nation’s historic Coptic Church, whose members number about 10 million. Yet Coptics are under severe attack, according to Voice of the Martyrs. Also, the USCIRF’s list of “Countries of Particular Concern” now includes Egypt, where since January 400 Christians have been murdered, hundreds more injured and multiple churches burned.

Audrey Lee·is a freelance feature writer.

 


Visions of Jesus appearing to Muslims?

Posted By Michael Carl

Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions,” asserts the promise of God from the book of Joel.

Yet some of those men reportedly seeing visions and dreams are neither Jews nor Christians … but Muslims.

What’s more, Middle East evangelists report the dreamers are coming to Christianity because of their visions of Jesus.

According to a CBN report, Christian Middle East evangelist Hazem Farraj’s television program “Reflections” is reaching a large Muslim audience. Farraj told CBN that he hears from Muslims who report having dreams or visions of Jesus.

Tom Doyle, an evangelist, pastor and the E3 Partners Ministry director for the Middle East and Central Asia says it’s true: Muslims are coming to Christianity through dreams and visions.

“Great things are happening in the Muslim world,” Doyle said in an email to WND. “It’s all very unexpected.”

Doyle told WND that he is familiar with Farraj’s program and that Jesus is breaking through where missionaries have not succeeded.

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“We’ve been seeing this for 15 years now, where Muslims are no longer Muslims but are Jesus followers,” Doyle said. “It’s someone who is a Christian, someone who is willing to die for Jesus.

“It all started with them with a dream,” Doyle said. “They had a Jesus dream, and some of them had many Jesus dreams. They would seek out Christians after a while because the dreams would get so intense that they wanted an answer.”

Doyle explains there is still a difficult process involved for a Muslim to convert to Christianity, even for those who have the dreams.

“Nobody goes to bed a Muslim and wakes up a Christian,” Doyle said. “They have a couple of barriers between them and Jesus. They’ve been told that Christians worship three gods. They’re told that the Bible is corrupted. It’s just what they’ve been told, kind of a party line rhetoric.”

Yet dreams, Doyle says, become a starting point.

“They’re motivated to find a Bible, find a Christian and ask what this means. Ninety-five percent of the Muslims who are now Jesus followers say that they were led to Christ by someone explaining the dream to them,” Doyle said.

Doyle says he wrote a book called “Dreams and Visions,” in which he recorded a series of real stories from Muslims who follow Christ and who did so because they had a dream about Jesus. He adds that the phenomenon is taking place in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria and on the West Bank.

Doyle says he knows of one Muslim who was on a hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca, and he had a daytime vision of Jesus.

“I met a man yesterday who said he saw a Jesus dream and he didn’t know what to do with it, so he got deeper into his Muslim faith,” Doyle said. “Then he went to Mecca on the hajj, and on the first time around the Kabah, he saw a vision of Jesus standing in front of him.”

Doyle said the man told him Jesus had a message: “You’re on the wrong path; you’re on the wrong road. Leave this place and come follow me.”

“This man is getting baptized in the next few weeks,” Doyle said.

Doyle believes that the phenomenon will continue and that the stories are taking place in countries that the West believes are bad and dangerous places.

Former PLO operative turned Christian and peace activist Walid Shoebat says he believes Jesus is compensating for the weaknesses of the Western Church.

“I had first doubted the countless stories of Muslims becoming Christian as a result of dreams until I met some of them and heard their testimonies,” Shoebat said. “My conclusion to this phenomenon is that Christ succeeds where the church fails.”

Doyle agrees. He says Jesus should get the credit.

“It is a real Divine intervention. That is for sure,” Doyle said.

Shoebat, a former radicalized Muslim, says he didn’t come to Christ through such a dramatic event, but through a personal journey.

“I must say that Jesus did not appear to me in a dream, but He did take me on my challenge as I prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to show me the problems in the Bible,” Shoebat explained. “Was the Bible corrupt? That was my question to God.”

Curiosity caused Shoebat to turn to the Scriptures.

“I finally read the Bible for myself in order to poke holes in Christian theology, but God’s Word did not return void,” Shoebat said. “It was as a hammer slamming into an anvil, and I finally broke under a power that cannot be explained by human hands.

“By the time I read through the countless predictions in the Bible in which God had laid out the future of Israel from Jeremiah to Joel and how intricate and accurate this manuscript was, I had to come to terms with reality,” Shoebat said.

Shoebat adds that he discovered it wasn’t the Bible that was corrupt.

“Indeed, the Bible was corrupted by man, for the Quran was that corruption. ‘The corruptors,’ I concluded, were the ones who always accused the Bible of corruption,” Shoebat said.

Shoebat is clear that he believes the Western Church is missing a great opportunity to win Muslims to Christianity.

“The 10/40 window is not on the radar of the Western church. Tourists and Christian pilgrims rarely would witness to us when they visited the Holy Land out of fear and respect to Islam,” Shoebat said. “Even in the West, I had had many occasions where I probed Christians to express their views about Islam, and they mostly where reluctant to say anything. They were easily repelled by our sarcastic comments about the Trinity and how the Bible was supposedly corrupt.”

Shoebat adds that God’s promises to Israel are also evidence of the truth of Christianity.

“I had found out from the Bible that God loves agreements. I had made a deal with Him to show me the truth and that I would do whatever He commands me to do. The volume of evidence from so many verses cannot be expressed here, but [there is] one word I concluded from the Bible that proves its caliber,” Shoebat said. “That word is Israel. He had promised to bring them back in unbelief and then to take away the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Today many hate Israel, exactly as the Bible predicted, yet we must await God’s plans to be carried out by Him, and in due time, Israel, God’s glory and His testimony to the Gentiles, will shine and come to pass.

“God’s timetable is not man’s timetable, and His ways are not our ways. I learned from the Bible to see things in God’s perspective and not ours,” Shoebat continued. “The bottom line for me was what the Lord Jesus Christ said ‘you shall know them by their fruits.’ Islam brought bloodshed, and Christianity brought light.”


Article printed from WND: http://www.wnd.com

URL to article: http://www.wnd.com/2013/02/visions-of-jesus-appearing-to-muslims/

Jesus Appears to Muslims in Dreams, Conversions and Testimonies (video)

posted by Donna Calvin

Dreams and Visions, Is God Awakening the Muslim World?

Dreams & Visions Moving Muslims to accept Jesus Christ

 

“Your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions,” asserts the promise of God from the book of Joel.

Yet some of those men reportedly seeing visions and dreams are neither Jews nor Christians … but Muslims.

What’s more, Middle East evangelists report the dreamers are coming to Christianity because of their visions of Jesus.

According to a CBN report, Christian Middle East evangelist Hazem Farraj’s television program “Reflections” is reaching a large Muslim audience. Farraj told CBN that he hears from Muslims who report having dreams or visions of Jesus.

Tom Doyle, an evangelist, pastor and the E3 Partners Ministry director for the Middle East and Central Asia says it’s true: Muslims are coming to Christianity through dreams and visions.

“Great things are happening in the Muslim world,” Doyle said in an email to WND. “It’s all very unexpected.”

Doyle told WND that he is familiar with Farraj’s program and that Jesus is breaking through where missionaries have not succeeded.

“We’ve been seeing this for 15 years now, where Muslims are no longer Muslims but are Jesus followers,” Doyle said. “It’s someone who is a Christian, someone who is willing to die for Jesus.

“It all started with them with a dream,” Doyle said. “They had a Jesus dream, and some of them had many Jesus dreams. They would seek out Christians after a while because the dreams would get so intense that they wanted an answer.”

Doyle explains there is still a difficult process involved for a Muslim to convert to Christianity, even for those who have the dreams.

“Nobody goes to bed a Muslim and wakes up a Christian,” Doyle said. “They have a couple of barriers between them and Jesus. They’ve been told that Christians worship three gods. They’re told that the Bible is corrupted. It’s just what they’ve been told, kind of a party line rhetoric.”

Yet dreams, Doyle says, become a starting point.

“They’re motivated to find a Bible, find a Christian and ask what this means. Ninety-five percent of the Muslims who are now Jesus followers say that they were led to Christ by someone explaining the dream to them,” Doyle said.

Doyle says he wrote a book called “Dreams and Visions,” in which he recorded a series of real stories from Muslims who follow Christ and who did so because they had a dream about Jesus. He adds that the phenomenon is taking place in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Syria and on the West Bank.

Doyle says he knows of one Muslim who was on a hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca, and he had a daytime vision of Jesus.

 

“I met a man yesterday who said he saw a Jesus dream and he didn’t know what to do with it, so he got deeper into his Muslim faith,” Doyle said. “Then he went to Mecca on the hajj, and on the first time around the Kabah, he saw a vision of Jesus standing in front of him.”

Doyle said the man told him Jesus had a message: “You’re on the wrong path; you’re on the wrong road. Leave this place and come follow me.”

“This man is getting baptized in the next few weeks,” Doyle said.

Doyle believes that the phenomenon will continue and that the stories are taking place in countries that the West believes are bad and dangerous places.

Former PLO operative turned Christian and peace activist Walid Shoebat says he believes Jesus is compensating for the weaknesses of the Western Church.

“I had first doubted the countless stories of Muslims becoming Christian as a result of dreams until I met some of them and heard their testimonies,” Shoebat said. “My conclusion to this phenomenon is that Christ succeeds where the church fails.”

Doyle agrees. He says Jesus should get the credit.

“It is a real Divine intervention. That is for sure,” Doyle said.

Shoebat, a former radicalized Muslim, says he didn’t come to Christ through such a dramatic event, but through a personal journey.

“I must say that Jesus did not appear to me in a dream, but He did take me on my challenge as I prayed to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to show me the problems in the Bible,” Shoebat explained. “Was the Bible corrupt? That was my question to God.”

Curiosity caused Shoebat to turn to the Scriptures.

“I finally read the Bible for myself in order to poke holes in Christian theology, but God’s Word did not return void,” Shoebat said. “It was as a hammer slamming into an anvil, and I finally broke under a power that cannot be explained by human hands.

“By the time I read through the countless predictions in the Bible in which God had laid out the future of Israel from Jeremiah to Joel and how intricate and accurate this manuscript was, I had to come to terms with reality,” Shoebat said.

Shoebat adds that he discovered it wasn’t the Bible that was corrupt.

 

“Indeed, the Bible was corrupted by man, for the Quran was that corruption. ‘The corruptors,’ I concluded, were the ones who always accused the Bible of corruption,” Shoebat said.

Shoebat is clear that he believes the Western Church is missing a great opportunity to win Muslims to Christianity.

“The 10/40 window is not on the radar of the Western church. Tourists and Christian pilgrims rarely would witness to us when they visited the Holy Land out of fear and respect to Islam,” Shoebat said. “Even in the West, I had had many occasions where I probed Christians to express their views about Islam, and they mostly where reluctant to say anything. They were easily repelled by our sarcastic comments about the Trinity and how the Bible was supposedly corrupt.”

Shoebat adds that God’s promises to Israel are also evidence of the truth of Christianity.

“I had found out from the Bible that God loves agreements. I had made a deal with Him to show me the truth and that I would do whatever He commands me to do. The volume of evidence from so many verses cannot be expressed here, but [there is] one word I concluded from the Bible that proves its caliber,” Shoebat said. “That word is Israel. He had promised to bring them back in unbelief and then to take away the heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Today many hate

 

Jesus 6

Israel, exactly as the Bible predicted, yet we must await God’s plans to be carried out by Him, and in due time, Israel, God’s glory and His testimony to the Gentiles, will shine and come to pass.

“God’s timetable is not man’s timetable, and His ways are not our ways. I learned from the Bible to see things in God’s perspective and not ours,” Shoebat continued. “The bottom line for me was what the Lord Jesus Christ said ‘you shall know them by their fruits.’ Islam brought bloodshed, and Christianity brought light.”

 


Niqab vs. Hijab: How Should Women Dress in Public?

Posted by: Lea Speyer 

 

“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (I Samuel 16:7)

 

The PEW Research Center released the results of a survey, conducted by the University of Michigan, illustrating what people in Muslim countries think a woman should wear in public. The survey was part of the overall Middle Easter Values Survey.

Men and women in seven Arab countries were asked which type of dress was most appropriate for women to wear in public. Six answers were provided, ranging from a full burqa, which covers the entire body from head to toe; a hijab, which covers a woman’s hair but not her face; and no head covering at all.

The results of the survey are being met with both fascination and disdain. In Saudi Arabia, the preferred style of dress is the black niqab which completely covers the face except for a slit near the eye. Overall, four countries chose a white hijab that completely covers the hair and ears as the most appropriate form of public dress for a woman.

Respondents in Lebanon, almost half of respondents chose no head covering. In Turkey, 32 percent favored no head covering as did 15 percent o Tunisians. The authors of the survey suggest that this high percentage of favoring no head covering at all reflects the presence of various religions in the countries, not just Islam. For example, in Lebanon, 27 percent of the sample of respondents was Christian.

Respondents were also asked: “Should women be able to choose their own clothing?” In four of seven countries, almost half said yes. Surprisingly, 47 percent in Saudi Arabia and 56 percent in Tunisia said yes. In Egypt, only 14 percent of respondents said a woman should be able to choose her own clothing.

 


Defending Persecuted Christians?

by Jerusalem Connection
Posted in Christian persecution, Egypt, Jordan Tagged Ateek, Christian, egypt, palestinian liberation theology, Sabeel

By MICHAEL CURTIS, AMERICAN THINKER—

It continues to be a source of amazement that the mainstream Christian churches in the West and in the Middle East pay so little, if any, attention to the plight of Christians and the destruction of their churches in Arab and Muslim countries.  Rather, they prefer to focus on the “oppression of Palestinians” so completely that they are blind to the real tragedies.  This myopic lack of perceptiveness has been typical of a significant part of the Anglican Church; the Presbyterian Church, USA; the National Council of Churches; the Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation; the World Council of Churches; and some Christian NGOs whose shortsightedness is limited to divestment from Israel or condemnation of it.

The most recent example of this hostility was exhibited in August 2013, at the Greenbelt Christian festival, held at the Cheltenham Racecourse in England.  This festival of “arts, faith, and justice” has been held annually since 1974 and is essentially a summer camp for young Christians.  However, claiming to speak on behalf of Christians and Muslims who share a belief in the “deep rooted history” and the “natural right” of Palestinians to the land of Palestine, it has become yet another forum for anti-Israeli messages.  This year, the festival launched “Kairos Britain,” a pro-Palestinian Christian organization drawing its motivation from the 2009 document of the Sabeel ecumenical movement of Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, Kairos Palestine Document: a Moment of Truth, which has called for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) of Israel and has portrayed Israel as an apartheid state.

Some extreme Catholic leaders have followed the same path of hostility towards Israel and total indifference to Muslim aggression against Christians.  A notable example was the statement in January 2011 by eight bishops from North America and Europe who visited Gaza.  The most striking comments were by French Archbishop Michael Dubost and William Kenney, Auxiliary Bishop in Birmingham, England.  Dubost told the Gaza population,  “I asked prisoners in the largest prison in Europe [in his town, Evry] to pray for you.”  The implication was that Israel is an even worse prison.  Kenney informed his congregation, “I have just returned from visiting two of the largest open prisons in the world, Bethlehem and the Gaza Strip.”

The indifference to the realities of the treatment of fellow Christians while concentrating on the criticism of Israel is equally true of Arab Christian leaders in the Middle East, who should be palpably anguished about these abuses but show little fervor to help the Christians suffering them.

The facts of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, as well as in Nigeria, Uganda, and Pakistan, could not be clearer.  Brave Christian leaders such as Naim Khoury have suffered for criticism of Muslim behavior.  His church has been bombed 14 times by what he calls  “extreme Hamas fundamentalists.”  Since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007, the Christian population has shrunk to about 1,500, less than half it was a decade ago.  An even more unprincipled form of behavior has been the use of Christian houses by Palestinian terrorists as sniper positions to fire at Gilo, the Jerusalem suburb.

In Iraq, more than one million Christians whose families have lived in the area for centuries have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic terrorism.  A Christian population once 1.4 million strong has now decreased to less than 400,000.  The attack in October 2010 on the church in Baghdad killed more than 50 worshippers and left many more injured.  In Egypt, perhaps as many as 100,000 Christian Copts have fled since the downfall of President Mubarak in June 2012 and the ensuing violence in the country.  About 100 churches have been ransacked or burned in Egypt, and Christians have suffered from attacks not only on churches and monasteries, but also on their shops, schools, and clubs.

Perhaps the most telling commentary on the fate of Christians is their disappearance from Bethlehem.  Since 1995, the city has been under Palestinian civil control, which has altered the demographics by changing boundaries, and its present population includes 20,000 Christians, one third of the population.  Two decades ago, Christians accounted for 75 percent of the city’s population.  In the West Bank as a whole, there are only 50,000, less than 3 percent of the total — a decline due partly to low birthrate but mainly to Christian emigration from the area.

The overriding irony is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East where people of all religions have freedom to practice their faith, and it is the only country where the number of Christians has increased.  While Bethlehem has been losing its Christians, the Israeli Arab town of Nazareth is increasing its Christian population.

Instead of the Christian leaders, Arabs as well as Western, expressing outrage about persecution, there is the sound of silence — except for the assertion that Israel is responsible for the plight of Palestinians.  Prominent Palestinian Christians such as Naim Ateek, Mitri Raheb, Michel Sabbah, and Fouad Twai express in similar ways the argument that Israel is responsible for suffering in the Middle East and that the Jewish state is responsible for the decline of Christianity.

Naim Ateek, an Arab citizen of Israel, is former canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem and now head of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, which is dedicated to the liberation of Palestinians.  Some of his utterances provide interesting reading by nature of their excessive rhetoric.  In a Christmas message in 2000, ironically at a moment when Yasser Arafat was instigating the violent Second Intifada against Israel, he told his congregation that “[t]he state of Israel has been brutally gunning down hundreds of people and injuring thousands of people whose only crime is their desire for a life of freedom and the independence of their country from the oppressive occupation. … It is the occupation that is evil and violent. It is apartheid in its ugliest form.”

Any objective observer must find Ateek’s extreme rhetoric shocking and appalling.  In an Easter message of April 2001, Ateek remarked, “In this season, Lent, it seems to many of us that Jesus is on the cross again with thousands of crucified Palestinians around Him. … The Israeli government crucifixion system is operating daily.”

Ateek’s recent utterances continue this animus.  At the 8th international Sabeel Conference in February 2011 in Bethlehem, he stated, “The establishment of Israel was a relapse to the most primitive concepts of an exclusive tribal God.”  Ateek has spoken of the need to win the battle in Washington.  In a remark in 2011 that will perhaps puzzle President Obama, he said that the Israel lobby has “confiscated American foreign policy.”

Ateek’s Sabeel Center holds annual international conferences.  Previous conferences have included familiar critics of Israel Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Edward Said, and Rashid Khalidi, now of Columbia University.  One should not expect pearls of wisdom, or even conciliatory remarks, to emanate from the next Sabeel conference, to be held in Jerusalem on November 20, 2013, at which the first item on the agenda is “The Occupation of the Bible and Palestine.”

A second person who can illustrate the regrettable antagonism to Israel is Fouad Twai, the Jordanian archbishop of the Catholic Church who, since 2008 has been the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, and who is also the Vatican’s representative in Israel.  In an interview in Die Tagespost on March 20, 2012, he said, “Israel’s existence as such has nothing to do with the Bible. … The concept of the promised land cannot be used as a base for the justification of the return of Jews to Israel and the displacement of Palestinians.”  At another time he condemned “the Judaization of Jerusalem.”

One can appreciate that Christians in the Middle East may be fearful of Muslim attitudes towards them, and believe that silence is the wisest option.  But that does not excuse the unwillingness and failure of Church leaders there and in the West to address the problem of Islamist violence against Christians.  It is high time for those leaders to express their views openly about the suffering by Christians in Arab and Muslim countries.


If Islam is the Religion of Peace, Muslims Need to Confront Muslim Evil

Dennis Prager

9/24/2013 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager

With this weekend's massacre by Muslim terrorists at a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, and Muslim terrorists killing about 80 Christians at a Christian church in Pakistan, most people wonder what, if anything in addition to a continuing war on terror, can be done to minimize the scourge of Islamic terror.

The answer lies with Muslims themselves. Specifically, it means that Muslim religious leaders around the world must announce that any Muslim who deliberately targets non-combatants for death goes to hell.

I arrive at this answer based on something that I have long believed about Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust.

I readily acknowledge that the situations are not the same. The Jews of Europe were not annihilated by Catholics in the name of Catholicism; whereas the Christians, Muslims and Jews who are massacred by Islamic terrorists are murdered by Muslims in the name of Islam.

I also readily acknowledge that many of the attacks on Pope Pius XII for his alleged inaction and even collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust are animated by individuals who hate Western religion generally or hate the Catholic Church specifically. Pius XII was not "Hitler's Pope," as one best-selling book on Pius XII is titled.

Moreover, Pius XII lived in Italy during World War II, in a fascist dictatorship that began as Hitler's ally and ended up being the target of Nazi atrocities. This was not the case with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, who lived in the safety of a free country six-thousand miles away from Germany, did nothing to save the Jews of Europe, and even sent a boatload of Jewish refugees from Hitler back to Europe. Yet the critics of Pius are silent about Roosevelt.

Nevertheless, Pius could have done more to at least slow down the Holocaust. And I say this recognizing that Italy's Catholic clergy saved many Jews, and that Pius, to his credit, had to be aware of this. What he could have and should have done was to announce that any Catholic -- and any Christian for that matter -- who in any way helps in the murder of innocent Jews is committing a mortal sin and will not attain salvation. In other words, he or she will go to hell.

This would have had no impact on the many Germans and other Europeans who had no belief in God or religion; but it would have had an impact on many who did.

I believe the same thing regarding Muslim terror. Muslim leaders -- specifically, every imam in the world who is not a supporter of terror, the leaders of the most important Sunni institutions, such as the Al-Azhar Mosque and University in Cairo, and religious leaders in Saudi Arabia and the in Gulf states -- must announce that any Muslim who participates in any deliberate attack on civilians goes to hell.

This must be announced as clearly and as repeatedly as, for example, Muslim condemnations of Israel.

Just as the promise of immediate entrance into paradise animates many Muslim terrorists, the promise of immediate hell would dissuade many Muslims from committing acts of terrorism. Just as the promise of 72 virgins animates many Muslim terrorists, the promise of hell would dissuade many Muslims from terrorism.

Whenever non-Muslims ask Muslim organizations about Muslim terrorism, these organizations trot out the various anti-terrorism statements they have issued. But these are largely useless because: a) they are usually issued by Western Muslim organizations; b) even when they are issued by Middle Eastern Muslims, they almost always include condemnation of "state terrorism," which is Muslim-speak for condemnation of any use of force by Israel; and c) these statements usually also condemn non-Muslim terror, as if Christian or Jewish or Buddhist terrorism is as great a threat to humanity as is Muslim terrorism.

Therefore the statements that need to be made by every Muslim teacher, school, mosque and organization that does not support Muslim terror must be unequivocal. They need to state that any Muslim who targets (SET ITAL) any (END ITAL) civilian for death -- whether that civilian is Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or of no religion -- goes to hell.

In addition, there need to be large Muslim demonstrations against Muslim terrorism. I understand that Muslim clerics who would organize such demonstrations in the Muslim world might be risking their lives. But what about Muslims in America and Europe?

There have been huge Muslim demonstrations against cartoons depicting Muhammad and any other perceived "insult" against Islam. But I am unaware of a single demonstration of Muslims against Muslim terror directed at non-Muslims.

And if morality doesn't persuade Muslim leaders to issue such a statement and organize such demonstrations, perhaps self-interest will. To just about everyone in the world outside of academia and the media, Islam is not looking good. Muslim leaders should be aware that with Muslims burning Christian churches and Christian bodies in Pakistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Egypt and elsewhere, and the regular massacring of innocents by Muslim terror groups, the protestations by Muslim spokesmen that "Islam is religion of peace" are beginning to wear thin. For a religion that seeks converts, this is not a positive development.

On the other hand, perhaps not that many Muslim religious leaders do believe that Muslim terrorists are going to hell.


Is the Allah of Islam the God of the Bible?

Long before Muhammad was born, Arabic Christians already were referring to God as Allah----and millions continue to do so today.  The Allah of Islam, however, is definitely not the God of the Bible.  For while Muslims passionately defend the unity of God, they patently deny His trinity.  Thus, they recoil at the notion of God as Father, reject the unique deity of Jesus Christ the Son, and renounce the divine identity of the Holy Spirit.

First, while the Master taught his disciples to pray "Our Father in heaven," devotees of Muhammad find the very notion offensive.  To their way of thinking, calling God, "Father" and Jesus Christ, "Son" suggests sexual procreation.  According to the Qur'an, "It is not befitting to [the majesty of] Allah that He should beget a son" (Sura 19:35).  Allah "begetteth not, nor is he begotten" (Sura 112:3).  The Bible however does not use the term "begotten" with respect to the Father and the Son in the sense of sexual reproduction but rather in the sense of special relationship.  Thus, when the apostle John speaks of Jesus as "the only begotten of the Father" (John 1:14 NKJV, emphasis added), he is underscoring the unique deity of Christ.  Likewise, when the apostle Paul refers to Jesus as "the firstborn over all creation" (Colossians 1:15, emphasis added) he is emphasizing Christ's preeminence or prime position as the Creator of all things (Colossians 1:16-19).  Christians are sons of God through adoption:  Jesus is God the Son from all eternity.

Furthermore, Muslims dogmatically denounce the Christian declaration of Christ's unique deity as the unforgivable sin of shirk.  As the Qur'an puts it, "God forgiveth not the sin of joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this" (Sura 4:116).  While Muslims readily affirm the sinlessness of Christ, they adamantly deny his sacrifice upon the cross and subsequent resurrection.  In doing so, they deny the singular historic fact which demonstrates that Jesus does not stand in a long line of peers from Abraham to Muhammad, but is God in human flesh.  The Qur'anic phrase "Allah raised him up" (Sura 4:158) is taken to mean that Jesus was supernaturally raptured rather than resurrected from the dead.  In Islamic lore, God made someone look like Jesus, and this look-alike was crucified in his place.  In recent years, the myth that Judas was crucified in place of Jesus has been popularized in Muslim circles by a late medieval invention titled The Gospel of Barnabas.  Against the weight of history and evidence the Qur'an exudes, "they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them" (Sura 4:157).

Finally, in addition to rejecting the divinity of Jesus, Islam also renounces the divine identity of the Holy Spirit.  Far from being the third person of the Triune God who inspired the text of the Bible, Islam teaches that the Holy Spirit is the archangel Gabriel who dictated the Qur'an to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years.  Ironically, while the Holy Spirit who dictated the Qur'an is said to be the archangel Gabriel, Islam identifies the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus in John 14 as Muhammad.  The Bible, however, roundly rejects such corruptions and misrepresentation.  Biblically the Holy Spirit is neither an angel nor a mere mortal; rather he is the very God who redeems us from our sins and will one day resurrect us to life eternal (Acts 5: 3-4; Romans 8:11).

For further study, see Timothy George, Is the Father of Jesus the God of Muhammad?  (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002).

"No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father” (1 John 2:23).


 

A Personal God is Our God - But, How about Allah?

What doth it profit thee to enter into deep discussions concerning the Holy Trinity, if thou lack humility, and be thus displeasing to the Trinity? For verily it is not deep words that make a man holy and upright; it is a good life which maketh a man dear to God. I had rather feel contrition than be skillful in the definition thereof. If thou knewest the whole Bible, and the sayings of all the philosophers, what should this profit thee without the love and grace of God? --Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), Of the Imitation of Christ

Occasionally an email reaches me from a Muslim who is seeking to persuade me that Allah is the one true god with no rivals. I often start a discussion by making a few comparisons between Allah the god of Islam, and Yahweh the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are major differences.

Yahweh is a personal God. He enters into personal relationships (covenants) with individuals and with groups of people. Allah is not a personal god. Muslims do not receive any assurance of forgiveness for their sins during their life-times, nor any inner confirmation that they are dealing with a living, personal, intelligent, responsive being.

Muslims are strict monotheists and have difficulty understanding that God could be One, yet possess an inner plurality of Persons. Many people today are polytheists (perhaps without realizing it). In religions where more than one god is supposed to exist, the gods are generally male and female and often sexually active among themselves and sometimes with mortals. They are frequently rivals of one another with a hierarchy, and with territorial boundaries or other limits to their power and rule. Some pagan gods are part human and part animal.

But consider a hypothetical universe where God was one person--one entity. Prior to creating anything, we can easily imagine that a one-person-god might eventually become, in time, a bit "lonely." In fact, when we think of "person" we always automatically think or more than one person(s). What would a one-personal god do with all his time if he had no companions? Surely he would be bored with no one to relate with? If that one-personal god then decided to created sentient beings--men and angels--how could he avoid creating robots and puppets who surely would soon also bore him? Without a consort this god one-personal deity would have no equal. But if god were to have a consort, we already would have a universe of two gods. i.e., living under some form of dualism.

If a one-person god were all-powerful, why would he ask his subjects to bow to his wishes and demand that they live in subservience in all matters? Surely that would be a dull and unimaginative arrangement for all parties?

One of the other Hebrew names for the God of Abraham is Elohim. This important name is used in Genesis One--and a total of 2750 times in the Old Testament. Elohim is a plural noun which takes singular verbs--implying more than one Person in the godhead, a Being who always acts self-consistently ("in concert" or "by divine counsel"). But it is only in the New Testament that we get a clear picture that the true God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit--three Persons yet one God. We only know this about God because He has chosen to reveal Himself to his creatures this way--it is not something we can discovery by reason or scientific investigation.

Now consider the situation where no universe has yet been created, but a Three-Personal living God exists (eternally). The three Persons, we suppose, are equal, but not identical. Since all "personal relationships" we know about involving giving and taking, initiating and responding, leading and following, it is easy to imagine that the Persons of the godhead are likely to be perpetually involved in some kind of totally fulfilling relationships among one another. They evidently do not ever become bored with one another. Nor does a three-personal God need a creation. This kind of God could exist with an inner dynamism which we can scarcely begin to even imagine. When we add into this picture the additional information--which He has also revealed to us--namely "God is Love," then it is not difficult to imagine that each Person of the godhead lives not for Himself but for the other Persons within the godhead. This God can apparently not act selfishly as we do -- His love is always "self-giving."

For this three-Personal God to decide to create a universe with men and angels in it now takes on a whole new dimension. What if this God has chosen to allow men and angels to know Him and to relate to Him personally? Suppose we are invited somehow to "share in His love?" If the real God has chosen to make men very much like himself in terms of free-will, creativity, imagination, diversity--and the capability of loving and being loved--then He has given us created beings the highest possible honor. [Richard Young, a colleague of mine and dear friend is responsible for provoking me to think a bit about the interpersonal relationships within the Godhead. See his notes on the Trinity in my article on the names of God, http://ldolphin.org/Names.html.]

Some non-Christian religion and cults imagine that man is already God, or somehow already a part of God. Other suppose they are capable of attaining "godhood" by some kind of path of trial and testing and good deeds. However, the Bible always makes a sharp boundary between the Creator and the created. God is separate from, and He transcends all that He has created. [Psalm 82 is sometimes used to argue that men are already gods. Ray Stedman addresses this in his commentary on John's gospel,
http://pbc.org/dp/stedman/john/3859.html]

Though men are not real gods and can not become "God" the Apostle Peter says something amazing in this regard. Peter writes, "God's divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature." (2 Peter 1:3-4)

The New Testament shows in clear terms that normal humanity was designed to be indwelt by God. We human are incomplete without a relationship with a personal God. This is how God decided to create us! Granting men free will and allowing to know their Creator by means of personal relationships (one at a time) now opens marvelous possibilities for life and liberty among men. "You are complete in Christ who is the head of all rule and authority," Paul writes in Colossians.

God uses mostly masculine pronouns when speaking to us in Biblical revelation. But believers understand right away that the Biblical God is not a sexual bring--as the heathen gods usually are. The image of God in man can not be expressed by a male alone, but must be imaged to us by male and female together.

"Then God [Elohim] said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26-28)

That is, the God of the Bible is as much "feminine" as He is "masculine"--(we must use these terms carefully when talking about the nature of God). Men and women are identical in spirit but different in soul and in body. The interactions of the two sexes are not the interactions of two identical clones with one another, but relationships of unique persons who are designed to balance and compliment one another. (See Made in the Image of God, http://ldolphin.org/Image.html). Furthermore, no two human beings are identical. Each one of us is a unique creation--a work of exquisite art. Therefore the personal relationship each of us has with God is one-of-a-kind. Every friendship, every marriage, every relationship we have with another person is also unique. God likes variety in His all creative handiwork--He did not make us a bunch of clones and we are far, far from being puppets or robots.

When we think of interpersonal relationships of any kind it is immediately evident that we are all constantly involved in both giving and receiving. One can not have the one without the other. There also exists in life a response to match a stimulus, a responder to answer to the initiator. God Himself is also a "community of three persons." Therefore the true God is also the God of community. The importance of community is very important. God Himself is a member of the community. This is also part of His design for mankind. God participates fully in all aspects of His creation.

If God being a member of the community was not a very evident fact of life before the birth of Jesus, it is certainly clear from the New Testament that in taking on the form of a man, the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity, has indeed joined Himself to our humanity. God's purpose in doing this is not only to accomplish our salvation from sin, but to enable us to live together in community with Him forever more. God meets us through the man Jesus Christ as our Mediator, our Great High Priest, our Counselor, our Lover, our Friend. For instance, there are two Adams in the Bible: the first Adam, from whom we have all descended--and Jesus the Last Adam who heads a whole new race of humans. Christians can think of Jesus as their Elder Brother--among His many other attributes.

"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11)

About this "family" the Bible has much to say! Once one begins to speak of a personal God who want to know people personally and once we learn that this God has chosen to meet us through a fellow human being of our own race, Christian faith moves quickly and radically apart from all other religions. [Because of the Fall--man's rebellion against God--one becomes a true member of God's family by spiritual rebirth--but this does not release non-Christians from ultimate accountability to God as Creator, Lord and Judge of all.]

My friend Glenn Miller of the Christian Think Tank amazes me constantly with his erudite and thorough essays on every conceivable subject of theology imaginable. Glenn's more recent 25 page "short" treatise is "must reading." Why can't God just forgive sin, instead of demanding justice? He asks, (see http://www.christian-thinktank.com/whyjust.html). Glenn shows that our behavior as humans implies accountability to our Creator, but also so one another. We have major responsibilities to the community--and God is a member of the community. Our actions--public or private--affect our relationship with God--but also the entire community. There are no private deeds and actions we do that are innocuous--"we are all bound up together in the bundle of the living" to use an Old Testament metaphor.

The Law of Moses given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai tells us what God is like as a Person. He is moral, just, holy, but loving and compassionate. Since He can not change, any outside "persons" who wish to live in a harmonious relationship with Him must find a way to adjust to what He is like. Briefly put, the writer of Hebrews says, "Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (Hebrews 14:14)

At first glance, it appears that the Old Covenant (the Law of Moses) is ordering us to try to change on our own, and to make every effort live up to the standards of Deity, by meritorious self-effort. Romans 3 sets us free from such a delusion--the Law was given to establish our deep need for grace and mercy. The Law also lets us know that we are to live daily in total dependence upon the Lord. We are quite incapable of any righteous deeds when running on our own steam.

The New Covenant, on the other hand, makes it possible for us to live in a harmonious personal relationship with God--because God changes us from the inside out, if we give Him permission to do so. This is a tall order! We all start out quite self-centered and self-seeking, and we must be changed into the likeness of a being who is self-giving.

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, then to wait until his enemies should be made a stool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds," then he adds, "I will remember their sins and their misdeeds no more." Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin. Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." (Hebrews 10:12-25)

Every one of us understands quite a bit about relationships among ourselves--with parents, siblings, spouse, friends and enemies--from experience. We all learn to relate to other people by trial and error, both positively and negatively. Instinctively we know and sense what an interpersonal relationship is all about.

But, it is strange to me that I do not tend to deal with God the way I deal with other "persons" whom I know. Yet God is much more of a living Person than any other "entity." God is the very Author of life. All of life, at every level, has its source in Him. Yet, I worry most about what other people think of me. Everything I think or say or do--my entire history--is known to God. But I can easily be indifferent to what he thinks about me! Often I remind myself of what the Lord said to Samuel about King Saul, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

I know intuitively than I can not expect to enjoy a more intimate relationship with another person which goes deeper than the degree of intimacy I have attained in my personal relationship with Jesus. But my time alone with God is easily set aside, compromised, crowded out by a thousand mundane matters, on a daily basis. (See http://ldolphin.org/Intim.html, http://ldolphin.org/relationships.html)

If we think we understand something about how two persons can relate with one another, imagine the intensity and vitality of the relationships the Three Divine Persons share with one another! For us to know God is to be drawn into God Himself, into union with Them. From the closing chapter of C.S. Lewis' science fiction trilogy:

"For one moment she had a ridiculous and scorching vision of a world in which God Himself would never understand, never take her with full seriousness. Then, at one particular corner of the gooseberry patch, the change came. What awaited her there was serious to the degree of sorrow and beyond. There was no form nor sound. The mould under the bushes, the moss on the path, and the little brick border, were not visibly changed. But they were changed. A boundary had been crossed. She had come into a world, or into a Person, or into the presence of a Person. Something expectant, patient, inexorable, met her with no veil or protection between. In the closeness of that contact she perceived at once that the Director's words had been entirely misleading. This demand which now pressed upon her was not, even by analogy, like any other demand. It was the origin of all right demands and contained them. In its light you could understand them; but from them you could know nothing of it. There was nothing, and never had been anything, like this. And now there was nothing except this. Yet also, everything had been like this; only by being like this had anything existed. In this height and depth and breadth the little ideal of herself which she had hitherto called me dropped down , and vanished, unfluttering, into bottomless distance, like a bird in a space without air. The name me was the name of a being whose existence she had never suspected, a being that did not yet fully exist but which was demanded. It was a person (not the person she had thought), yet also a thing, a made thing, made to please Another and in Him to please all others, a thing being made at this very moment, without its choice, in a shape it had never dreamed of. And the making went on amidst a kind of splendour or sorrow or both, whereof she could not tell whether it was in the moulding hands or in the kneaded lump.

Words take too long. To be aware of all this and to know that it had already gone made one single experience. It was revealed only in its departure. The largest thing that had ever happened to her had, apparently, found room for itself in a moment of time too short to be called time at all. Her hand closed on nothing but a memory. And as it closed, without an instant's pause, the voices of those who have not joy rose howling and chattering from every corner of her being.

"Take care. Draw back. Keep your head. Don't commit yourself," they said. And then more subtly, from another quarter, "You have had a religious experience. This is very interesting. Not everyone does. How much better you will now understand the Seventeenth-Century poets!" Or from a third direction, more sweetly, "Go on. Try to get it again. It will please the Director."

But her defences had been captured and these counter-attacks were unsuccessful." (C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength)

Solomon, by the way, says that contentment and happiness in life is a gift from God--and he gives these gives only to those who choose to serve Him.

"...for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment? For to the man who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy." (Ecclesiastes 2:25-26a)

Our society is crumbling rapidly. Families are falling apart. Close friendships are few and far between. Promises that are kept and commitments that are honored--are few and far between. People seem to have forgotten that God is a Personal God. What this means is that true community is almost gone as well. God, the Creator and Judge and Master of the community must inevitably move decisively to judge, to heal and to restore that community. In the real world that means that some will be excluded in the time of renewing, and all of us will be judged and evaluated in the process.

"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

My Name is Mohammed

Chapter One

Whatever I Did I Was An Extremist

I was 39 years old and in one night I came to Christ without anybody witnessing to me. For 20 years I was addicted. I was using five kinds of drugs. Six or seven years I was outside Iran. Being outside Iran, I was free to use all kinds of drugs. Whatever I did I was an extremist – using of drugs, even my religion.

My father went to war. My elder brother was in the Iran/Iraq war all eight years and he was wounded in the war. One of my brothers was in war for five years and was killed in war. When I went to war myself, I told my commander to please either send me to a place that by this time tomorrow I will be a martyr or [else] I will go back to my city. I don’t want to play around. For the God I knew [Allah], I wanted to do my best.

The first time I got familiar with robberies, I was outside Iran. I went on to gang robbery. When I was with them, after one week I realized that whatever we bring into our house and whatever we eat is because of the robbery. I thought this is such an advanced country, how can there be so many thieves and robberies here? They said, “Let’s go; I will show you.” When I saw how they steal things, after one month those who were the gang leaders were giving me projects and asking me to steal things that they couldn’t steal.

When I got to know about drugs, the first time I used drugs I smoked it from night until morning. In everything I was an extremist. I couldn’t control my own flesh. I was strong in other ways but whatever my flesh wanted, I had to fulfill. Those who used drugs with me said, “Take this for tonight so in the middle of the night you won’t call us. Because whenever you want it you have to come and disturb us in the middle of the night.” So when I got the drugs, I would use it all that night, I couldn’t resist, if I had drugs in my home I had to use it. I would finish it and would go after [more the] next day.

I started exercising, this was before my addiction. Within a couple of months I was first pick in wrestling, and I was very serious when I was doing sports, but my coach did not allow me to go to more than local competitions. For local competition, I won him first spot. He only allowed me local competitions to win for him. I probably could have been an athlete at the national level.

When I found out that I had that potential, I asked God for one thing. “Why don’t you bring me a good teacher in life; I have so much potential?” Later I encountered Jesus and he was called the teacher. That is why I won’t let him go: he is the teacher I have been looking for all my life!


 

Chapter Two

“God, Save Me!”

One day I was high on drugs and I turned on the television and was checking out the channels on satellite. For just a few seconds I was on a Christian channel and I only heard one sentence. The only phrase I heard was a brother saying: when I give my heart to Jesus — and I switched [the channel]. I only heard that phrase before I changed the channel.

I thought, “Christians are crazy they give their heart to somebody.” These days nobody gives somebody even a pen.

[Ed’s note: the Farsi words for heart and pen sound similar.]

Ten days later I got drunk and again I turned on TV. And I was just flipping channels. Again with the Christian channel I just heard a lady say: when I gave my heart to Jesus — and I switched. These Christians are crazy just sitting down and giving their hearts away. I know this was God’s timing and miracle because I never heard that phrase [before].

It was 2 a.m. I was tired of taking drugs. I was taking drugs on the roof of my house. I was taking crack and it was the end of it in the glass. Just a few days before [that night], my family was going somewhere and said, “Let’s not take him, he doesn’t look good.” I hated to hear that. So that night I was on drugs and I was tired of life. I realized I may be powerful over many things but I have no power over my drug addiction.

So I lifted my head and said, “God, save me.” I asked him to save me from my addiction to drugs. I couldn’t even imagine that I could live without drugs for even one day. Because I had tried before to be free from drugs and had failed. I told myself even if I could put away drugs, I would just live a little bit longer so what was the use. I said, “God, this is like another accident I am in. Would you save me again?”

Suddenly I found myself in the memory of the accident 15 years earlier. All the things in these 15 years came together. I didn’t know what hand saved me 15 years earlier but I tried to hold on to that hand. I always said there was a hand that saved me. So I realized it was the hand of God that saved me. The hand of God that saved me from this accident today saved me from this. It was revealed to me that night that it wasn’t my brother or the prayer of my parents, but it was God who saved me.

I fell on my knees and I repented. I said, “God I am sorry. I repent of saying that the prayers of my parents saved me or the spirit of my brother saved me.” I said, “God you have to save me from these drugs tonight.” I was praying and lifting my hands for two hours and my hands were numb. I expected to hear a voice or that I might see a light. I didn’t see that and I was really disappointed. I went back to sleep in my bed.

Before I went back, I looked in the sky and said, “God it doesn’t match your character to let me go empty handed. Either you are not real or I am too sinful that you would do anything for me.”

I got back and I turned on TV. I was changing channels. A few minutes before that I was on the roof asking God to save me and then I was flipping channels and again [I came to] this Christian channel and I heard, this time the whole sentence: when I gave my heart to Jesus I was saved. Exactly the same word – save; because I was asking God to save me when I was on the roof. All my life I was paying attention to these details. Pray for salvation, and the same words were used here in this sentence. I was always looking for main points of things and I would use them in my life. So suddenly it was revealed to me that salvation is in this.

So I continued watching that channel, and when I heard the testimony, I realized the person giving the testimony had a similar life to me. And his face, you know, to me he didn’t look like a drug addict, and I wanted to be like him. So he finished his testimony and then the pastor was talking and said, “Those who are watching this program, God wants to save you. You are in bondage to drugs and Satan and this is the way of salvation.”

I was a person testing everything and I tested that. The person said whatever heart and expectation you go with to God he will fill it. If you go with a small heart you will get small things from God, if you go with a big heart you will receive big things from God. I want to follow my heart completely. I prayed the prayer of salvation and I repented from the ignorance of my ancestry. I repented because I was following [Islam] without doing research. It might be strange for you but at that point I gave everything. I wanted to experience the whole thing.

When I closed my eyes to pray, I felt the presence of Jesus beside me 100 percent. I felt if I had opened my eyes at that point I would have seen him. I was too ashamed of myself and my sins to open my eyes. As a sinner, I don’t deserve to see him but my feeling was telling me God is here.

When I opened my eyes, a power inside me told me it was finished. "Your old life is finished."


Chapter Three

Sent to Save

Starting the next morning until now I have shared this good news of the gospel with whomever I have met. In a few months [from the time of this interview] it will be four years that I am a believer. Over 1,000 people have knelt down with me in these four years and have prayed to receive Christ. Thousands have heard the gospel. And even all those who have not prayed to receive Christ; these are seeds that I believe will come to fruition later. Because when I sow seeds I do it with everything I have.

I have shared the gospel with very young children who have prayed to receive Christ. Even when they are just starting to speak I have shared Christ with them. I prayed with old people to receive Christ who prayed that night and then died the next morning. I don’t evaluate the value of people according to earthly values; every person for me is valuable because of Jesus. In every situation I ask the Holy Spirit, “What you want to do?” so I am available to share the gospel. I started my ministry and there was a large portion of the Bible I hadn’t read.

Since I became a minister, I accepted my calling and I am reporting every detail of what I am doing [to church leaders]. So when they arrested me, I was in jail for one month, when I came out I didn’t report to my pastor about me being arrested, I reported to him my ministry [in prison].

Last summer, I went to the seashore, the beach [to share the gospel.] When they arrested me [there] for no reason I just knew that God was sending me to a place to witness. I couldn’t resist them. “I was wrong and you take me,” I told them. “I broke the law.” So I didn’t fight so they would take me to the jail.

They took me to jail and I saw two people who were bound, because their crimes were very serious. When I came to those people, I told them, “God has sent me to save you.” So by faith I believe that those who are around me God has sent for me to share the gospel.

So I shared the gospel very briefly, just about in 15 minutes, and they knelt and prayed to receive Christ. I only had those 15 minutes to share the gospel because after I shared the gospel, immediately after that the police came and said, “You have been very good and you shouldn’t be here. You are very kind to us we want to release you.” They opened the door and said, “You can go.”

When they opened the door to release me, I hugged those two criminals and they were crying and hugging me really hard. So the warden of the police was like, “You have only known these people for 15 minutes and they act like you are family.”


 

Chapter Four

Focus on the Presence of Jesus

I am serving God now and I will serve God until the day of the end of my life. I have goals but I feel I have reached my goals. I feel like I am fulfilled.

I don’t want anything from God, because I feel like I am paying back for what he has done for me. I know he has a great plan for me and he will take me step by step towards his plan for my life.

Ed’s note: Mohammed was arrested a second time.

I went to a city to serve, to share the gospel. The zeal I have for evangelism, when I lead somebody to Christ, they get that zeal and become evangelists also. So in that city I had led people to Christ and when I came back those people had led people to Christ, so those people came to Christ through [our ministry] also. Last time I went to that city, one of the people I had led to Christ witnessed to somebody and that person’s father was an Information Officer. So that person had talked to his father about his faith, and said, “Oh, I would like to meet your friend, bring him.”

Interviewer:  So he was an Intelligence Officer or Security?

He was a Security Officer. [The new Christian told his father,] “Well, this person that witnessed to me doesn’t know much but there was a person coming from Tehran, he knows a lot.” So when I went there, they had plans for me and were ready for me.

For security, when I go to a city like that, I don’t do large gatherings. I go house to house every two hours and in every house there is a gathering and that’s how I serve. But that house we went to, they were ready for us and they arrested us. I didn’t believe they were going to arrest me and when I was walking off, they said, “Where you are going? We are here to arrest you.” All our books, CDs, anything they could find in the house, they took.

Interviewer:  How many people were there in the house?

Me and three others. Four of us were arrested, each one of us in a separate car. There were many cars, so they covered our eyes and took us. When they took us to jail, they put us in separate rooms. For 10 to 12 hours they were interrogating us. We were in a room [where] we couldn’t see them, there was just a mirror. They could see us and they would ask us questions.

But my answers were full of God’s love. In those situations, when you are being persecuted love has great power. So it was 12 a.m. and they said, “Just sleep in the corner.” One of the agents came to my room to sleep in the same room that I was in. He said, “We are studying you with softness, but if you don’t cooperate it will get harsh.” I knew about the cruelty, violence of the agents in Iran. So when the first 12 hours of interrogation was over and he said this was soft; they said tomorrow will be harsher.

I learned to focus on the presence of Jesus. I said whatever happens to me it is worth it for what you did for me. I realized or learned what it means to wrestle with God because at that point I told God even if they rape me, I will not renounce you. I decided, because I want to share your glory, I am ready to share your suffering.


 

Chapter Five

“Your Life will be Changed!”

The next day they took us to the judge for my case; he was a religious leader. So this is how they presented my case, or started. They said they had arrested me in a home with another man and two girls and the girls were not covered. So that was the first thing they brought against me was about those women and I said, “The covering should be on our [men’s] eyes, not on the women.” This made him mad. He said, “You are very crafty if you are saying this to me. What have you told others? You are trying to make yourself holy saying our eyes have to be cleaned.”

So I shared my testimony with the judge about how I was a drug addict and how Jesus has saved me. Since I was freed from my drug addiction I told him from that day on every time I see a drug addict, I share the gospel so they can be free from drugs. I told him, “And this works, I am free from drugs and you can ask them they have been freed from drugs too.”

They were trying to connect me to a [house church] network and I explained to them that I got saved through satellite television and I am doing this because I am so thankful to God because he saved me from addiction that is why I am sharing with others; I am not part of a network. So the judge looked at the case and saw that we were not doing political things, we are just using Christ’s name to help addicts, so he saw that this wasn’t a serious thing so he said ok, go.

I felt the Holy Spirit was on me and whatever [the judge] was asking I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking through me. But there was another person who was arrested that came after me. That person was zealous but the Holy Spirit was not speaking through him so he did not have the wisdom but he had just the zeal. He was not wise he started saying boldly we are Christians this is what we do and you cannot stop us, challenging the judge. So we were about to be released but because of what that person did, the judge said to take them to jail and do more interrogation of them.

I have three kids and I am committed to serving my family 100 percent. But when I knew God is calling me to a mission and I give my family to God and I accept this mission. God knows that I have nothing negative in my heart towards this young Christian that caused us trouble. All I knew is that I believed at that moment that God is sending me for a mission. For ten days they interrogated us. Morning until night they would ask us questions. With our eyes covered and they would bring us back with our eyes covered. For ten days from morning until night.

Interviewer:  What kinds of things would they ask you during these 10 days of questioning?

As an example they asked me, “Are you a Christian?” and I said, “Well my ID card says I am a Muslim but I have encountered Jesus and he has changed my life.” “What do you think about the Quran? What kind of book is it?” they asked me. This is the first book for Muslims. They asked me who is Mohammad—Mohammad is a prophet for Muslims. They ask us many, many questions but their main purpose is to find anything to connect us to Israel or to America or to prove that we are supported financially from outside, that we are a part of a network; that was their purpose for questioning.

So they were trying to connect us to another network so they could arrest the rest but we were telling them we got things from the internet. When they asked us where did you get this CD, we said internet, where did you get this, we’d say we got it from the internet. We said all these things we have you can find it on the internet.

And we were telling them this faith works, we are free from drug addiction, if you try it in your own house it will work. We told our interrogators, “If you try Jesus tonight, your life will be changed.”


Chapter Six

Prayer in Jail is Different

I know those who have worshipped in jail; when they come out they never can repeat that experience. Prayer in jail is different than when you pray outside.

After 21 days they took us to a group jail where everybody is there. They took us to a place where there were 400 detainees. In one room there were 12 murderers. There were 65 gay people that had committed other very serious crimes. One of the people who was arrested with me, one of his relatives was in charge of jail. So they took care of him well during those 21 days. They sent him to a better room where there were fewer people. He met me in the jail yard and he took me to his room and gave me tea. And they told me that your room has changed. He was there earlier so they had assigned him a room. He said be careful because the room they are sending you to they are crazy, full of murderers or drug addicts and I will ask my relative to change your room and bring you in with me.

I said if God is sending me there I don’t want to be here. So I drank the tea and I went to my room. It was 65 people in one room. There were 45 beds and 20 people would sleep on the floor.

Fifteen beds, each three bunks, so there were 45 beds with 20 [sleeping] on the floor. I entered and I saw this scene and I was shaken. My knees were weak and I just knelt down, it was really bad. It was too tight and when I sat down there were two people on both sides of me sitting because there was not enough space. Someone asked me if they had just brought me to jail and I said no, I have been here for 21 days.

This person asked me, “Where were you before? If you were in solitary haven’t you gone crazy for being alone there for 21 days? I was in there for six days and went crazy.”

I said, “I was not alone in my cell, I was with God.” He was shaken. When I said I wasn’t alone I was with God, he was shaken and said I want to talk to you. I knew then I was sent there to give him the message and I said we will talk later.

Another person by my side said, “they arrested me four days ago; I haven’t used drugs for four days and my body is hurting a lot.” I put my hands on him and I prayed. Right there he said, “My pain is gone.” So it was confirmed that God had sent me there for a mission. There were three cameras in that room. I was there eight days. In the eight days I was there in that room 24 people came to Christ. Two of those who came to Christ were on death row. They would never come out. So I said God had sent me.

We would go under the beds; I would witness and pray with people under the bed. Because of the cameras I would take people under there to pray the prayer of salvation there so the cameras could not get us. It was the sweetest time of my life.

After five days there they said I could put up bail and get out. I was postponing paying bail to come outside so I could have more time to witness. I was not worrying about my family because I knew that God was taking care of them. All my life belongs to Jesus. So they said you can go, we told you – you can put up bail and go so why don’t you? They were suspicious why I was here when I could go out. So I postponed it for three days but then...I came out...

I was a very violent person before I came to Christ. It was God’s love that made me like this. In jail when the food came everybody was attacking the food, but I would wait until last and would get the least amount of food. It was because of the other prisoners watching out for me, making sure that I would get food. The guards all heard about Jesus...

The day I was out of jail I continued my ministry. And until my last breath I owe Jesus. Whatever I have done it was the Holy Spirit in me. I know who I was and I was so weak before so all the glory goes to Jesus. I remember the folk story of the donkey who Jesus rode on. The donkey went to his mother and said, “They respected me!” And his mother said, “No it wasn’t you. It was who was sitting on you.”

So I feel the same: I am nothing Jesus is everything. Without Jesus I am the same person I was before.

 

 

 


 

More and More Muslims Having Visions of Jesus

 

Christ

 

 

One of the most dramatic developments in prophecy is seen in what God is doing through Muslims throughout the Middle East and even in the United States.  Many Muslims are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus.  They are coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus. This is in fulfillment of Biblical prophecy.  Joel 2:28 "And it shall come to pass afterward ,that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions" This is what is happening in these last days.

Muslims Encountering Jesus In Unusual Dreams Reported that among African Muslims, "42 percent of the new believers come to Christ through visions, dreams, angelic appearances and hearing God's voice."  Over one-fourth of those surveyed state quite emphatically that dreams and visions were key in drawing them to Christ and sustaining them through difficult times. Rick Love, International Director of Frontiers, has recognized the pattern as well. He writes that, "Just as God used a vision to convert Paul, in like manner He reveals Himself to Muslims through dreams and visions. Just as God prepared Cornelius to hear the Gospel through a vision, so God is preparing a multitude of Muslims to respond to His good news."

The great majority of dreams seem to fall into one of two broad categories. The first could be considered the preparatory dream.  For example like Christ appearing in a white robe, the vision confirms thoughts or conversations one has been having about Christ or the Christian faith.  The second could be called the empowering dream. Here the dream or vision commonly gives the believer strength in the face of persecution.  Short of persecution, it may embolden believers, strengthening the nature of their witness.

An Afghan court may sentence Abdul Rahman to death for converting from Islam to Christianity.

*In Afghanistan, for example, there were only 17 known evangelical Christians in the country before al-Qaeda attacked the United States. Today, there are well over 10,000 Afghan followers of Christ.

*Uzbekistan- There were no known Muslim converts to Christ there in 1990. There have been more than 30,000 converts to Christ there since 1990.

* In Iraq, there was only a handful of Muslim converts to Christianity back in 1979 when Saddam Hussein took full control of that country. Yet today, there are more than 70,000 Iraqi Muslim background believers in Jesus (MBBs). Approximately 50,000 MFFS came to Christ as refugees in Jordan after the first Gulf War in 1990-91, and another 20,000 who have come to Christ since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

*In Kazakhstan, there were only three known evangelical Christian believers before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Today there are more than 15,000 Kazakh Christians, and more than 100,000 Christians of all ethnicities.

* Egypt- More than 1 million Egyptians have trusted in Christ over the past decade or so. The Egyptian Bible Society reports that they used to sell about 3,000 copies of the Jesus film a year in the early 1990s. But in 2005 they sold 600,000 copies, plus 750,000 copies of the Bible on tape (in Arabic) and about a half million copies of the Arabic New Testament. "Egyptians are increasingly hungry for God's Word," an Egyptian Christian leader said. Last Christmas, I had the privilege of visiting the largest Christian congregation in the Middle East, which meets in an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo. Some 10,000 believers worship there every weekend. A prayer conference the church held in May 2005 drew some 20,000 believers.

* Iran- In 1979 when the Ayatollah Khomeini led the Islamic Revolution, there were only about 500 known Muslim converts to Christianity. Today, interviews with two dozen Iranian pastors and church leaders reveals that there are well over 1 million Shia Muslim converts to Christianity.

* Sudan- More than 1 million Sudanese have made decisions to follow Jesus Christ just since 2001. Since the early 1990s, more than 5 million Sudanese have become followers of Jesus. Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity." Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year," the cleric confirmed, adding, "a tragedy has happened."

Filipino Muslims Report Dreams of Jesus, Dreams and visions move Muslims to Christ. Central Asian Muslims dream about Jesus, Accounts multiply of Muslims who have encountered Christ in unusual dreams. Over 600 ex-Muslims now follow Jesus after seeing Christ in dreams.

In Mina's book she tells of the Lord Jesus' miraculous radiant appearance to an elderly Muslim theologian in Iran., and about Jesus telling this man he is not Allah! Jesus then tells this man that He is "the Bread of Life", and words similar to His (Jesus') blood washes sins away. Realizing whom he is dealing with, the man asks Jesus to accept him.

A North African believer found the needed strength to face his imprisonment from a dream he had while imprisoned for his faith. In it, he saw thousands of believers pouring through the streets of his city, openly proclaiming their faith in his restricted country. While in prison, he was tortured, suspended upside-down naked for hours, beaten with electrified rods and repeatedly threatened with execution. His vision of a day when people of his country would openly proclaim their faith in the streets gave him great strength to persevere.
One Egyptian Muslim was reading the Injil (Gospel), when he came to Luke 3, where the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. God said, "This is my son, in whom I am well pleased." As he read those words, a stormy wind broke into his room. A voice spoke to him saying, "I am Jesus Christ, whom you hate. I am the Lord whom you are looking for." He recalls that he "wept and wept, accepting Jesus from that time."

A lady named Karen Dunham organizes Christian baptism services and worship celebrations for Muslims who come to Christ through dreams and visions. These celebrations, an outgrowth of her ministry, are one of a kind in the Middle East. A few years ago, Dunham established a church for Muslim converts in the West Bank city of Jericho. "We have a church that reaches sometimes 600," Dunham said. "And what you'll see is just Muslims lifting their hands to the Lord. And they're not there because I went house to house and invited any of them. They're there because they've had a dream or a vision, or a visitation from the Spirit of the Lord. And so they've come to find out about Jesus." Latifa is one of the people from Jericho who has had a dream about Jesus. She explained, "The dream, when I was sleeping -- I see a Man dressed in white and He comes to ask me, 'What is your name?' And I am afraid at first. But He told me, 'Don't be afraid. I am Jesus.'" Others have experienced miracles. "Tuesday, I think there was either two or three who had deaf ears -- one had never spoke before," Dunham said. "Tuesday was just full of miracles. A lot of the people here were at our service Tuesday - they were here, they were talking, they were moving. I've just seen the Lord move. Even we think sometimes that they have to be fasting and they have to be Christians to get healed, but I'm telling you today that God's healing the Muslims." Jan, a helper at the event, said, "People need to know that it's not a bad report all the time. God does good things in spite of what the news shows. People need to know that God is busy, He's at work. He's good." But establishing a church in Jericho was not easy for Dunham. "When I first went to Jericho about four years ago, they talked about me in every mosque," Dunham said. "They wanted to execute me. They were giving us death threats by way of letters -- me and my son -- because we were handing out Gospel tracts. Well, the governor of Jericho called me into his office. He said, "we had a meeting and we feel if you want to give out Bibles and you want to give out those booklets, we don't consider it evangelism any more. Go ahead, Karen." Dunham now tapes a television program out of Jericho. She says the best language to speak in these areas is the language of love. "The biggest lesson I've learned in the West Bank is that Jesus Christ loves everybody," Dunham said. "Jesus loves them all. There's nobody He don't love. And there's not a soul He can't save." "They've heard me when I'm preaching, speaking in their own language," she continued. "You can't sit on a pew or sit at home and say I don't have the language. The Lord said the language is love: 'Just give them the Word, they'll hear you, Karen.' The language is love. There's no reason why we can't reach out to those Arab nations, reach out and show them what the arms of Jesus Christ - how big and how great and how awesome God is."

 

 


 

Question: "How can I, as a Muslim, be assured of paradise?"

Answer: Although our sins separate us from the holy God and His paradise, He sent a sinless One to intercede for us!

A Muslim believes that his choices on earth affect his entrance to either heaven or hell. A wise man once said, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36). This wise man was Isa/Jesus.

No doubt Isa will be in paradise. But He warned that heaven wasn't easily obtained. He said, "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves" (Matthew 7:13-15). The one way to paradise is not easy to find. Many people, deceived by false prophets, try to enter heaven the wrong way. Their end is hell.

If you doubt that you can make it to paradise, the Qur'an instructs you where to find out: "And if you are in doubt concerning that which We reveal unto you, then question those who read the Scripture (that was) before you. . ." (Surah 10:94).

Scripture (the Bible) tells us how we can be assured of paradise.

Can good works earn us a place in heaven?
A true Muslim is submitted to Allah. That means Allah controls all he thinks, acts, speaks. If a Muslim does something Allah would not do (such as lie, worry, covet), he is not fully surrendered to Allah. That is sin. Can good works make up for sin?

The Bible says, "For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. . . . for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:20, 23).

God is just and will not let sin go unpunished-regardless of how well the Five Pillars are kept or how many good deeds are done. Even one sin is enough to merit hell fire (James 2:10). Since sin prevents our entrance to heaven, and God, being just, will not arbitrarily forgive sin, who will help us?

Can Muhammad intercede for us?
While some hadiths suggest that Muhammad may intercede for them, Muslims accept the Qur'an as their ultimate authority. It teaches that a mere man-even Muhammad-cannot mediate on behalf of sinful men (Surah 2:48; 6:51; 35:18).

Can Isa intercede for us?
A mediator to the holy God must be perfect himself. He must be no ordinary person. Thankfully, God sent the holy Jesus to intercede for sinful man: "For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all" (1 Timothy 2:5-6a).

Many people witnessed Jesus Christ as a prophet, teacher, and miracle worker. They told "how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. We are witnesses of all the things He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They also put Him to death by hanging Him on a cross. God raised Him up on the third day and granted that He become visible, not to all the people, but to witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God, that is, to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins" (Acts 10:38-43).

All true prophets witness that Jesus is the only way sinners can be forgiven. Without Jesus as your Savior from sin, you will face Him as Judge with your sins exposed. Jesus says, "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24).

You must turn from your sin and realize that you cannot earn paradise through good deeds. Believe that Jesus is the Savior sent from God to save you from the penalty and power of sin. If you refuse to follow Him, you must be separated from the holy God in hell.

Those who trust in Jesus-not merely knowing about Him but relying on Him for salvation, submitting to Him as Master, and loving Him as the greatest treasure-will be saved from sin and hell.

Jesus assures those who follow Him of heaven! "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes [on Me] has eternal life" (John 6:47).

Have you trusted Jesus as Savior and Lord through reading this article? If so, please click on the Contact Button in the Main Menu and send me an email letting me know.


 

Question: "Can keeping the Five Pillars of Islam get me to heaven?"

Answer: Because God is just, He requires a payment for sin - regardless of how well the Five Pillars are kept.

Are you a faithful Muslim? If so, you truly believe in one Allah, Creator of the universe, and Muhammad, His prophet. After your death, you long to reach paradise, but how will you escape hell? "Ah!" you say, "My faithfulness in keeping the Five Pillars will outweigh my sins." Five times a day you kneel towards Mecca. The creed (shahadah) often forms on your lips. To your mouth comes no bread or water during the daylight of Ramadan. You are saving up money for the pilgrimage to Mecca, while freely giving alms to the poor.

But still, you question, "Is it enough?" Your conscience convicts you of failing God's standard of holiness. How could the holy God accept to paradise someone stained with even a little sin? God is a righteous Judge. Even on earth, a judge must punish sin. A judge can't pardon someone who has stolen - just because the criminal claims to visit the mosque every Friday and fast during Ramadan. If sin goes unpunished, the law would be disregarded, and Allah would be dishonored.

God is just and will not let sin go unpunished - regardless of how well the Five Pillars are kept or how many good deeds are done. Heaven is for the perfect alone. Only one sin caused the first man's downfall. This sin was not a "big sin" like adultery, murder, or blasphemy. By eating the forbidden fruit, Adam's one disobedience brought the curse of sin on the world.

Shall we escape? We who have dishonored our parents, lied to our neighbors, or cheated our customers? We sin routinely by putting selfish interests ahead of loving God. Will we go to heaven with sin - even if we keep the Five Pillars?

If we were honest, we would admit that our rightful home is hell. We need Allah's mercy. But how can Allah be both merciful and just? The Qur'an instructs you to turn to the Bible with such questions (Surah 10:94).

The Bible explains how God's mercy fits with His justice: "For by works of the law no human being will be justified in [God's] sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it - the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe." (Injeel Sharif Romans 3:20-22).

Keeping the law cannot get us to heaven. Instead, the law reveals our sin. God's justice requires death for sin, but His mercy provided a substitute - Jesus - to die for our sin.

Since Jesus/Isa was born by the power of the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, He didn't inherit Adam's sin nature. Jesus is called the second Adam (Al-Imran 3:59; 1 Corinthians 15:22). While Adam's one disobedience brought the curse of sin on the world, Jesus' perfect life brings the hope of paradise.

He died on the cross to pay the punishment of sin for those who believe in Him. God proved the sacrifice conquered sin by raising Jesus from the dead. He saves all who turn from sin and trust Jesus, not good works. Our sin triumphed over, we can have a relationship with God and go to heaven.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one. Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. . . . For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 3:23-31; 6:23).

To receive God's free gift of eternal life, trust Jesus as your crucified Savior and follow Him as your resurrected Lord!

Do you have assurance of heaven through reading this article? If so, please click on the Contact Button on the Main Menu and send me an email.


 

Question: "Do the Qur'an and Muhammad affirm or reject the Bible? Should a Muslim read the Bible?"

Answer: In the Qur'an, Muhammad commanded Muslims to read the Bible.

What is your guide? If hadiths or imams differ with the Qur'an, which would you believe? Most likely, the Qur'an is your ultimate authority. As a Muslim, does the Qur'an give you permission to learn from the Bible?
· "Lo! We did reveal the Torah, wherein is guidance and a light" (Surah 5:44a).
· "And We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow in their footsteps, confirming that which was (revealed) before him in the Torah, and We bestowed on him the Gospel wherein is guidance and a light, confirming that which was (revealed) before it in the Torah - a guidance and an admonition unto those who ward off (evil)" (Surah 5:46).
· "It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion (of judgment between right and wrong)" (Surah 3:3).
· "And be not thou of those who deny the revelations of Allah, for then wert thou of the losers" (Surah 10:95).
If you are a Muslim, you have no excuse not to read the Bible. The Qur'an commands and praises it. Why don't you start today? Begin with the Gospel of Luke which tells the story of Isa. He alone can give you assurance of paradise.

As the Qur'an says, reading the Bible will answer your questions: "If thou wert in doubt as to what We have revealed unto thee, then ask those who have been reading the Book from before thee: the Truth hath indeed come to thee from thy Lord: so be in no wise of those in doubt" (Surah 10:94)

 


 

 

Question: "Is Jesus God's Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son?"

Answer: Being from God, Jesus is called God's Son. Jesus is one with His Father in deity yet distinct in the Trinity.

One God, one Lord:

As monotheists, Muslims, Christians, and Jews all agree that there is only one true God. Jesus Himself upheld monotheism. When asked for the greatest command, Jesus responded, ". . . The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:29-30).

The Apostle Paul, leader of the early church, also taught monotheism: "There is no God but one. . . the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him (1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

As followers of Jesus, the early Christians preferred to reserve the title "God" for the one whom Jesus called "my Father and your Father" (John 20:17) and the title "Lord" for Jesus. This title indicates that Jesus is both Master and deity.

The Son of God

Christians alone believe that Jesus is God's Son. Rest assured, the Bible (which the Qur'an commends in Surah 4:136) does not teach a parental relationship between God and Mary. That idea is as blasphemous to Christians as it is to Muslims. Rather, the concept of Christ's being God's Son demonstrates the relationship between the two and the shared nature of deity. At Isa's (Muslim name for Jesus) was conceived, the angel told the virgin Mary: 

"‘Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!' But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. . . . of his kingdom there will be no end.' And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I am a virgin?' And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy-the Son of God'" (Luke 1:26-35). 

Previously, God had spoken to man through His prophets, but then He sent One from Himself: 

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers by the prophets at many times and in various ways. But in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in the heaven" (Hebrews 1:1-3). 

This Jesus, who came to provide "purification for sins", has the exact same essence as God yet is distinct in Person as His Son. He was the instrument through whom God created the universe (John 1). Sharing the nature of God, Jesus is one with His Father in deity.

The doctrine of Jesus as God's Son is hard to understand, but the Word of God clearly teaches it. Who are we to limit God to our own understanding? God has revealed Himself as one God manifest in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

Man's testimony that Jesus is divine:

Is Jesus really God's Son? When people witnessed His miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection, they believed and testified that He was divine: "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God" (1 John 4:14-15).

Followers of Jesus testified after he calmed a storm: "And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God'" (Matthew 14:32-33).

Peter, Jesus' disciple, testified: "Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?' And they said, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.' He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?' Simon Peter replied, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven'" (Matthew 16:13-17).

A woman testified: "Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?' She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world'" (John 11:25-27).

Military officer and soldiers who were guarding Jesus at his death on the cross testified: "When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!'" (Matthew 27:54).

Thomas testified after God raised Jesus from the dead: "Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.' But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.' Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.' Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.' Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!' Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.' Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" (John 20:24-31).
Jesus' own testimony

When some Jews were plotting to kill Jesus, He testified: "This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill [Jesus], because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. So Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life'" (John 5:18-24).

At Jesus' trial, He testified: ". . . Again the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?' And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven'" (Mark 14:61-62).

God the Father's testimony

God testified at Jesus' baptism: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am

well pleased" (Matthew 3:17; see also Luke 9:35).

God's testimony is truth: "If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life" (1 John 5:9-13).
Religion vs. relationship

Although mankind consists of many races and nations, speaking many languages and adhering to many religions, we all share a common need. Our greatest need is this: to know personally our Creator. If knowledge of Him depended upon man's investigations and experimentations, then it would be essential for us to find the answers to such questions as, "If God is one, how can Jesus be His Son?" But because knowledge of God depends upon His revelation of Himself, believing His revelation found in His Word, the Bible, is more important than having our difficult questions answered. In the Bible, trusting that God's revelation is true and obeying that truth is called faith.

We will die with many hard questions yet unanswered. But we must not die without responding personally to God's promise of salvation through His Son. Before Jesus came to earth in the form of man, He was with God the Father. God sent His Son to be born of a virgin. As God in the flesh, Jesus lived a perfect life.

He didn't deserve the punishment for sin: separation from God by death. But by dying on the cross and rising from the dead, he paid the penalty for sin and broke the dominance of sin for those who believe.

God is calling sinners to turn from their own way to the living Lord Jesus in repentance and faith. "God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God" (John 3:16-18).

Believe in God's Son today, trusting Jesus to save you from the penalty and

power of sin and to give you eternal life in heaven.

 

 

 

 


 

Question: "I am a Muslim. Why should I consider becoming a Christian?"

Answer: People often follow the religion of their parents or culture, whether Muslim, Buddhist, or Catholic. But when we stand before God on Judgment Day, each person must give account for himself-whether he believed in God's truth. But among so many religions, what is the truth? "Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me'" (John 14:6).

True Christians are followers of Jesus. How could Jesus claim to be the one and only way to God the Father? Let's find out in the Scripture, the Bible.

Jesus' life, death, and resurrection

The Bible records how Jesus fulfilled prophecy when He was born to the virgin Mary. He grew up unique from any other human because He never sinned (1 Peter 2:22). Crowds flocked to hear His teaching and marvel at His miracles. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, and walked on water.

Of all people, Jesus did not deserve to die. Yet Jesus prophesied that He would be crucified and raised from the dead (Matthew 20:18-19). His words came to pass. Soldiers beat Jesus and put a crown of thorns on His head; people mocked and spit on Him; nails pierced His hands and feet into a wooden cross. Jesus had the power to save Himself, but He gave Himself, willingly dying on the cross (John 19:30). Three days later, Jesus rose from the grave!

Why the cross?
As a Muslim, you may ask, "Why would Allah allow His Prophet Isa to be mistreated and killed?" Jesus' death was essential because . . .

• Every person is a sinner: "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Whether dishonoring parents, telling a lie, failing to love God best, or disbelieving God's Word, we each have sinned against the holy God.

• The punishment for sin is death: "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23a). God pours out His wrath against unbelieving sinners by separating them forever in hell (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 9). As the just Judge, God will not overlook sin.

• We cannot save ourselves by good works: "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). This is a key difference between Christianity and Islam. Islam teaches that a person can earn paradise by keeping the Five Pillars. Even if possible to outweigh bad deeds with good deeds, the Bible teaches that "all our righteous acts are like filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6b). Even one single sin makes a person guilty of breaking all God's law (James 2:10). Sinful humans can do nothing to merit heaven.

• God sacrificed His Son for sinners: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). God knew mankind's sin kept them from heaven. God knew the only way the sin debt could be paid was by a perfect One paying the price of death. God knew He alone could pay such an infinite price. So God's eternal plan was to send His Son Jesus to die in the believing sinner's place.

Becoming a Christian
"Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved" (Acts 16:31b).

As a Muslim, you may say, "Oh, I believe in Jesus. I believe Isa was a true teacher, a great prophet, and a good man."

But you cannot say Jesus was a true teacher and yet deny His teaching that He is the only way, truth, and life (John 14:6). You cannot believe Jesus was a great prophet and yet reject His prophecy that He would die and rise again in three days (Luke 18:31-33). You cannot admit Jesus is a good man yet disbelieve His claim to be the Son of God (Luke 22:70; John 5:18-47).

You cannot consider becoming a Christian without realizing that Christianity excludes all other religions (Acts 4:12). The inescapable conclusion of Christianity is this: either Jesus bears your sin on the cross or you bear your sin in hell. "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him" (John 3:36).

As you search the Bible, may God awaken your heart to turn from your sin and trust in Jesus. You may respond with a prayer like the one below. Remember, the prayer does not save you. God alone can save! But the prayer may be your expression of the faith God gives you in the Lord Jesus Christ.

"Dear God, I grieve that I have sinned against You. As a sinner, I'm worthy of death in hell. But I believe You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for sin and rise from the dead in victory. I now turn from following my own sinful desires and from trying to reach heaven through my own works. I trust in the Lord Jesus alone as my Savior from sin. I love You, Lord, and submit myself to follow You by Your Word, the Bible. Amen!"

Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior and Lord because of what you have read here today? If so, click on the Contact Button to the left and let me know via email.

This article is from Got Questions Ministries

 


 

Question: "If I convert to Christianity, my family will disown me, and I will be persecuted. Should I follow Jesus?"

Answer: Converting to Christianity means becoming a follower of Jesus by faith (John 10:26-30). Crowds flocked to Jesus, but most were not His true followers. They just wanted to experience healing of their diseases, see Jesus cast out demons, and eat their fill of the bread He miraculously provided. Jesus warned them of the cost of following Him.

"Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels'" (Mark 8:34-38).

Would you follow your own fleshly desires, or would you deny yourself and follow Jesus? Do you value your earthly life or eternal life? Do you treasure the goods of this world or the salvation of your soul? Do you fear being ashamed of Jesus or fear Jesus being ashamed of you?

You pursue what you treasure. You go to work and sweat because you know the rewards of a paycheck outweigh the temporary pleasure of reclining at home in front of the T.V. If Jesus calls you, you will follow, knowing that losing your earthly life is worth gaining eternal life.

Would you follow Jesus? Count the cost (Luke 14:25-33):

• Following Jesus costs your own life. Jesus said you must deny yourself, taking up your cross. One who rejects the cross cannot be Christ's disciple (Luke 14:27).

• Following Jesus may cost the loss of family and friends. Jesus said His coming often brings division between His followers and their families, friends, and the world. Anyone who does not hate (meaning love less) his family is not worthy of Christ (Matthew 10:32-39).

• Following Jesus may cost the loss of your possessions. One rich man proudly thought he was good enough to go to heaven. "Jesus said to him, ‘If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me'" (Matthew 19:21). Loving wealth more, the rich man sadly forsook Jesus.

• Following Jesus will cost facing persecution. Christians should expect suffering as a normal part of belonging to the "man of sorrows" (See Isaiah 53 and John 15:18-21). Jesus even called the persecuted one "blessed," saying "rejoice and be glad for your reward in heaven is great" (See Matthew 5:10-12).

God's people have always faced persecution. The prophets were reviled, tortured, and killed (Hebrews 11:37). History records that ten of Jesus' disciples were executed for preaching Christ. Tradition states that Peter insisted on being crucified upside down because he counted himself unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord. Yet he wrote, "If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you" (1 Peter 4:14). The apostle Paul was jailed, beaten, shipwrecked, and stoned numerous times for preaching Christ, but he considered suffering not even worth mentioning compared to the reward he knew awaited in paradise (Romans 8:18).

Following Jesus doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose your possessions, family, friends, and physical life, but are you willing?

While the cost of discipleship seems high, persecution brings earthly and heavenly rewards. Through persecution, the Lord stays with believers (Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5); He knows their limits and gives grace (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:9); He rewards them in heaven (Matthew 5:10-12); He works persecution for good, shaping the believer's character and glorifying Himself (Romans 8:28). The rewards far outweigh the cost of following Jesus!

Jesus suffered and died on the cross to take the believer's punishment for sin. The only way of forgiveness and eternal life is through faith in the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-9). Although a Christian's enduring persecution does not add any saving merit to the perfect work of Christ, a true believer will faithfully follow Jesus through suffering.

"For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, ‘who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth' and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls" (1 Peter 2:21-25).


 This article is from Got Questions Ministries.


 

Muslims all over the world are having dreams and visions of Isa

The following is an excerpt from National & International Religion Report.

More and more Muslims are having dreams and visions of Christ, Christian ministries say. There is increasing evidence that the supernatural is playing a role in drawing Muslims to Christ.

Campus Crusade for Christ has received thousands of letters from Muslims, many of whom claim to have had a similar dream of Christ, according to the ministry's radio broadcast office in northern Africa. In the dream, Jesus appears and tells people, "I am the way," Campus Crusade founder and president Bill Bright said. Moved by the dreams, they contact the radio ministry and "freely respond" to the gospel message, he said. In Algeria, an imprisoned Muslim political radical said Jesus appeared to her in her cell. The woman now is a Christian and works with Campus Crusade ministering to Muslims.

In one African Muslim country, a young man violently tore up a Bible tract and threatened the life of the Every Home For Christ worker going door-to-door with the literature, Dick Eastman of Colorado Springs-based EHFC told NIRR. The next afternoon as the worker sat in his home, he was shocked to see the man knock at his door. "I must have another booklet," the Muslim told him. He explained that the previous night two hands awakened him, and when he turned on the light and asked who was there, a voice said, "You have torn up the truth." The voice instructed him to acquire another booklet, directing him to the EHFC worker's home, the young man said. There, the Muslim read the booklet and became a believer. He has since been expelled from his wealthy family, lives with EHFC's Africa director, and is preparing for ministry to Muslims.

In another incident, several EHFC workers were distributing literature in a marketplace. A man who received a booklet gasped and said he had a vision of the person pictured on the cover in his dream the night before, Eastman said. In the dream, the man was in a deep pit when a rope was thrown to him and two strong hands pulled him up. Upon climbing out, he looked into the face of the man who helped him: Jesus. The workers explained the meaning of the dream and the man was converted on the spot. Later, three other people recounted the same dream and two of them became Christians, Eastman said. God is preparing Muslims, and Christian workers follow through, he said.

In Kawuri, Nigeria, a Christian was beaten nearly to death by his tribe for leaving Islam, according to Open Doors With Brother Andrew. As the man lay close to death, he asked God to forgive his attackers, unaware that they were listening in the next room. That night, two Islamic priests who participated in the beating had visions. One said Jesus showed him his three greatest and most private sins. The next day, the two mullahs repented and let 80 followers to a church, the Santa Ana, Calif.-based group said.

"Increased prayer on the home front" has had a large impact, Assemblies of God missionary Gordon Barnett said. Supernatural incidents playing a part in conversion have increased over the past 10 years due to more prayer, he said. Barnett, who has lived in the Middle East for 24 years, credited several prayer initiatives. They are the AG's Center for Ministry to Muslims, which has 500,000 people who pledge to pray for the Muslim world every Friday; AD 2000's Praying Through the Window (NIRR 10/2/95), which calls millions of Christians to pray for several Muslim countries each October; and Youth With A Mission's 30 days of prayer during Ramadan (NIRR 2/6/95).

Muslims who have such dreams or visions of Christ usually have had a Christian contact and are looking for spiritual answers, said one Assemblies of God missionary and anthropologist who has worked for 10 years in the Middle East and Northern Africa. "It all takes place in context--dreams are one step, a link in the chain" that leads to conversion, he said. God is using people as well as the supernatural to draw people to Him, he said.

Dreams and visions have, through recorded history, often guided mankind. God has frequently made use of dreams in communicating his will to men. The following special dreams are recorded in the Tawrat's Book of Genesis written by the Prophet Musa (Moses, pbuh):

Yaqub (Jacob, pbuh) (28:12 & 31:10)
Laban (31:24)
Yusuf (Joseph, pbuh) (37:9-11)
Abimelech (20:3-7)
Egypt's Pharaoh (41:1-8). (Pharaoh is also mentioned in the Qur'an in Surah 10, Ayat 90-92)
Egypt's Pharaoh's chief butler and baker (40:5)

And in other books of what is known as the Old Testament, also sometimes referred to as the Tawrat:
Gideon (Book of Judges, 7),
King Sulaiman (Solomon) (Book of 1 Kings, 3:5)
The Midianite People (Book fo Judges, 7:13)
King Nebuchadnezzar (Book of Daniel, 2:1; 4:10, 18)

And in the Injil (New Testament), we find:
Joseph, husband of Maryam (Mary), the mother of Jesus
"...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.' 'She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.' Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 'BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,' which translated means, 'GOD WITH US.' (Book of Matthew, 1:20. See also 2:12, 13, 19)

The wise men from the east who were led to the birthplace of Isa al Masih (Jesus) (Book of Matthew. 2:12)
Pilate's wife (Book of Matthew 27:19)
Paul In a night vision a "man of Macedonia" stood before Paul and said, "Come over into Macedonia and help us" (Acts 16:9; see also 18:9; 27:23)

God is Great! Just as He did in the past, God is showing His mercy and guidance to Muslims throughout the world today! Read the following story portions from Muslims worldwide who have reported such dreams and now follow Isa al Masih as their Savior:

"...two angels dressed in white robes stood on top of the mountain. Jesus was standing between the angels. He left the angels and came to where I stood watching. As he approached me, I knelt down and he laid his hands on my head..."

"...['D.'] dreamt he was sitting with his arms tied to a chair. Then he saw a man he recognized as Jesus coming. Jesus touched the ropes and they fell from his arms..."

"...In the dream, Jesus told me to come to Him and read the Bible and He would show me the way, truth and the life..."

"...I was standing in a cross shape with a low wall around it. In my right hand, I had a big stack of white unwritten papers. I was standing at the cross beam, and I was looking to a small group of people who were standing at the top. They all wore long white clothing, but one of them was different. He was standing at the right side, and with his left hand he was leading the people through a door in the wall. Beyond the door was light, and I could not see what was in there. One moment I was standing in the dream, and the next moment I was seeing the cross from above..."
"...I saw some Christians standing in line to get into Heaven. I tried to get into this line also, but a very tall being blocked my path and I started to cry because the side I was on was really horrible but the side they were on was a beautiful place, so beautiful, so blue..."
"...I went back to bed after a short prayer and saw a second dream. This time it was Jesus as I saw him in the Jesus film years ago and I had trashed his video. He was hanging on the cross, the nails were in his hands and feet, yet he was smiling at me and talking to me. Though he was dying he seemed so beautiful. The cross was huge and I seemed like a little boy. My neck was falling back trying to see the whole face of Jesus and suddenly a huge big circle of light came from above the cross and down upon me

"...I was swimming. It was very dark, without any stars in the sky. After swimming for a while, I stopped and looked up at the sky. Suddenly, I saw a star shining. I closed my eyes and made a wish. I said, 'Morning Star, teach me the secret of life'...I kept having this dream for years almost every other month and this pattern continued until a few months after my conversion, when I read Rev. 22:16, which says, 'I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star'..."

Other Stories:
Filipino Muslims. Stories from the Zamboanga and Basilan regions of the Southern Philippines are starting to come in. Yakan and Tausug Muslims are reporting having dreams of Isa during and after Ramadan.
A Vision. The story of one Malay's trip to Mecca for the hajj and the strange incidents that occurred there.
The Battle. The story of one Turkish man's spiritual journey while studying in the Caucasus.
From Mosque to Church. Yilmaz, a Turkish man, decides to follow after Isa Mesih.
Out of Kundalini. (non-Muslim) The story of one Indonesian man's journey to Christ
Power to Heal. (non-Muslim) The story of one Malaysian man's miraculous healing.

A magazine published in California reports the following (based on questionnaires completed by over 600 Muslims who placed their faith in Jesus) [1]:

"Though dreams may play an insignificant role in the conversion decisions of most Westerners, over one-fourth of those surveyed state quite emphatically that dreams and visions were key in drawing them to Christ and sustaining them through difficult times. Rick Love, International Director of Frontiers, has recognized the pattern as well. He writes that, 'Just as God used a vision to convert Paul, in like manner He reveals Himself to Muslims through dreams and visions. Just as God prepared Cornelius to hear the Gospel through a vision, so God is preparing a multitude of Muslims to respond to His good news.' [2]
One believer from Guinea recounts the dream of a figure whom he later believed to be Christ. The figure was in a white robe, calling the man to come to Him. In a related dream, he recalls that the same figure's arms were extended, beckoning him. Dreams of this type have become recognized as a pattern of work among Muslims. Though there are variations, Christ appearing in a white robe is a recurring image among those who have had dreams and visions. Similarly, a Muslim Malay woman was drawn by a vision she had of her Christian parents who had died. She saw them rejoicing with others in heaven. Jesus, appearing in a white robe, said, "If you want to come to me, just come." Feeling that she had tried her entire life to reach God without success, she now saw God initiating the effort to reach her through Jesus.

A convert from the Middle East who had been afflicted with severe headaches was lying on his bed after having prayed for his sick son. A man with a beautiful, peaceful face appeared. Dressed in white, the figure walked to the head of the man's bed and touched him three times on the head. The next morning his headaches were gone. His son, too, was fully healed. Understandably, he now recounts with confidence, "I believe in prayer in the name of the Christ."
The great majority of dreams seem to fall into one of two broad categories. The first could be considered the preparatory dream. Like Christ appearing in a white robe, the vision confirms thoughts or conversations one has been having about Christ or the Christian faith. The second could be called the empowering dream. Here the dream or vision commonly gives the believer strength in the face of persecution. Short of persecution, it may embolden believers, strengthening the nature of their witness.
Preparatory. One Sunni woman from the Arabian Peninsula had a figure appear to her in a dream, telling her to visit a Christian woman she knew. The figure, who she was later convinced was Christ, told her this woman would teach her.
Prior to his conversion, a Persian man had a vision. In it, he was falling in darkness over a cliff and was saved by a light holding onto his back.
In a fascinating twist on God's use of dreams and sleep, one Algerian recounted how she heard her sleeping Muslim grandmother say, "Jesus is not dead. I want to tell you He is here."
A West African man recounts a succinct, yet powerful vision he had prior to conversion. He saw a devout Muslim in hell and a poor Christian who couldn't afford to give alms in heaven. A voice explained to him that the difference was belief in Jesus.
Empowering. A North African believer found the needed strength to face his imprisonment from a dream he had while imprisoned for his faith. In it, he saw thousands of believers pouring through the streets of his city, openly proclaiming their faith in his restricted country. While in prison, he was tortured, suspended upside-down naked for hours, beaten with electrified rods and repeatedly threatened with execution. His vision of a day when people of his country would openly proclaim their faith in the streets gave him great strength to persevere through this most difficult time.
Encounter. Though not strictly a dream or a vision, a number of Muslim-background believers have had a significant supernatural encounter that was instrumental in drawing them to Jesus. One Egyptian Muslim was reading the Injil (Gospel), when he came to Luke 3, where the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove. God said, "This is my son, in whom I am well pleased." As he read those words, a stormy wind broke into his room. A voice spoke to him saying, "I am Jesus Christ, whom you hate. I am the Lord whom you are looking for." He recalls that he "wept and wept, accepting Jesus from that time."
Whatever personal perspective one has on dreams and visions and the Christian walk of faith, it is difficult to consider engaging in ministry to Muslims without a recognition of and an openness for God to continue drawing people to Himself through what may be viewed as unconventional means.
The Story of Al-'Uris
Al-'Uris was a historical figure associated with the family of Saladin and the journals of the Ayyubids and their conflicts with the Crusaders. Muslim history records a dream he had which sounds very similar to the stories above:
"Al-'Uris saw in his sleep Christ Jesus Son of Mary, who seemed to turn his face toward him from heaven. Al-'Uris asked him, 'Did the crucifixion really happen?' Jesus said, 'Yes, the crucifixion really happened.' Al-'Uris then related his dream to an interpreter, who said, 'The man who saw this dream shall be crucified. For Jesus is infallible and can speak only the truth, yet the crucifixion he spoke of cannot refer to his own, because the Glorious Qur'an specifically states that Jesus was not crucified or killed. Accordingly, this must refer to the dreamer, and it is he who shall be crucified.' The matter turned out as the interpreter said. (p. 205)" [3]
Sadly, it is recorded that Al-'Uris met a horrific death sometime after telling his dream to someone who did not believe in the resurrection of Jesus. If this story is true, it is clear that Jesus was trying to tell him the truth of his death and resurrection to call Al-'Uris unto himself. Perhaps Al-'Uris put his faith in Jesus as his Savior as this account records that he himself was crucified. As a searcher of the truth, perhaps he was willing to follow the truth even though it led to an untimely death.
The Next Step
Have you had dreams or visions of Isa? He is trying to tell you something of great importance: the assurance of salvation and the acceptance of God. We would be happy to correspond with you via email if you have any questions. (See our contact information for details. Any correspondence will be kept confidential.). Or you may wish to tell someone you know about your dreams.
If you have not had dreams of Isa, don't be alarmed. He does not speak to everyone in such ways. Pray for guidance from God and ask that He would show you the way of truth in the person of Isa al Masih.
Footnotes:
This material is a portion of an article originally published in Mission Frontiers magazine, March 2001. www.missionfrontiers.org. Reprinted with permission.
Rick Love, Muslims, Magic and the Kingdom of God (Pasadena, William Carey Library, 2000), 156
The Muslim Jesus: Sayings and Stories in Islamic Literature by Tarif Khalidi, Harvard University Press, 2001. Jamal al-Din Wasil (d. 697/1298), Mufarrij al-Kurub, 1:248. Cf. al-Abshihi, al-Mustatraf, 2:83 (variant).

Dreams and Visions of Jesus

Testimonies of Muslims having dreams of Jesus
The so called Night of Power, or "Laylat ul-Qadr" as it is known in Arabic, is one of the most significant moments of the Islamic year (It is the 27th night of Ramadan which varies from country to country depending on when people start Ramadan). Muslims believe that groups of angels are sent out on the Night of Power to perform special acts. Some come down to earth to worship Allah, others come to bring about the requests of believing Muslims. Special angels are also said to descend to earth to make proclamations about the coming year. This night is also called the "Night of the Decree or Destiny" by some. This night of "blessing" is supposedly the same night of the month of Ramadan as when Mohammed first received the revelation of the Qur'an. Muslims are often encouraged to stay awake during the entire night, and pray for blessings and forgiveness. This is one moment of the year when Muslims are perhaps a bit less fatalistic and have increased confidence that God will hear and act on their behalf.
The "30 Days" movement wants to encourage Christians around the world to especially pray for Muslims especially during the next 48 hours that many Muslims will really meet the Lord in visions and dreams. We also want you to pray for the success of a special web site which tells the stories of several Muslims who met the Lord in incredible ways (www.DreamsAndVisions.com).
Testimony
A testimony from the site: Mohammed grew up in a Fulani tribe in Nigeria and started rearing cattle when he was six years old. He did this for almost 10 years until he went to an Arabic school to study the Qur'an. Prior to this, Mohammed had learned about Islam from his father. After several years of schooling, he returned home.
One night he had a frightening dream. Then as second and a third. Then for six nights, Mohammed had similar dreams. Each time, Mohammed saw himself in different places and, regardless of where he was, the same man in white came and helped him. In the last dream (the 9th dream), Mohammed was sitting under a tree reading books that he couldn't understand. The man in white (Jesus) was sitting beside him. Jesus took a book and said, "This book comes from the Lord and it has the message of God inside of it. In this book, I will show you verses which will help you." Jesus read scriptures to Mohammed, including John 14:6, which says, "I am the way, the truth and the life." The next day Mohammed told a Christian acquaintance about his dream. Mohammed suffered greatly for his new found faith. He was rejected by his father and several times he was in danger of death by persecution.
You can read his whole story on the dreamsandvisions.com web site.
Suggested prayers:
* Lord, may You break down all thoughts of self-righteousness through religious activity among Muslims who participate in the Night of Power. May You move them toward true humility before You (Dan 4:37).
* May all glory be Yours because of Your loving character and for all You have done. Lord, may You be acting during the Night of Power so that people may have a revelation of Jesus, the Messiah.
* Lord, remember those who are genuinely seeking Your help this night. May You give them the help they need in such a way that they will understand that help comes through the Messiah, Jesus (Ps 34:18, Zech 9:9).
* Lord, may the dreams and visions site (dreamsandvisions.com and morethandreams.org) become well known in the Muslim world. Open many doors so that many Muslims can have similar experiences and be encouraged by the testimonies on the site.

We have compiled several testimonies of former Muslim-background believers on our About Islam site.

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Posted by TDI
Filed under Middle East · Tagged with Laylat ul-Qadr, mohammed, Night of Power, qadr, qur
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More Than Dreams: Muslims Coming to Christ Through Dreams and Visions

"In the last days," says God, "I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." (Joel 2:28)

Throughout the Muslim world men and women without knowledge of the gospel or contact among Christians have experienced dreams and visions of Jesus Christ.

For decades, a well-documented phenomenon has been occurring in the Muslim world-men and women who, without knowledge of the gospel, or contact among Christians in their community, have experienced dreams and visions of Jesus Christ. The reports of these supernatural occurrences often come from "closed countries" where there is no preaching of the good news and where converting to Christianity can invoke the death sentence. But these are more than just dreams. Setting them apart is the intense reality of the experience and the surrender of one's heart and mind to Christ in the wake of the dream. A common denominator appears to be that the dreams come to those who are seeking-as best they can-to know and please God.

Beginning in 2002, a group of people interested in this phenomenon took initial steps in bringing it to the attention of a worldwide audience through a series of video programs. Numerous on-site interviews were conducted with former Muslims who had experienced a dream or vision of Jesus resulting in their conversion to Christianity. From the outset, the producers endeavored to represent a global cross-section of Islam in the series, and for that reason, stories were sought in Arabic-speaking countries, Muslim areas throughout Africa and Asia and the secular Muslim nation of Turkey.

The project's goal was to create versions of these stories in multiple languages, and, in league with ministry partners around the world, disseminate the product globally both to evangelize unbelievers and encourage those who have already experienced a dream or vision of Jesus that they are not alone. The following five stories were put together into the video series called More Than Dreams:

Khalil. In September 2004, production began in high-definition video on the first of five stories. It was the remarkable account of Khalil, a radical Egyptian terrorist who was changed from a murderous "Saul" to a forgiving "Paul." He set out to discredit the Bible but could not; and although he despised Christians and Jews, his heart was changed forever when the savior appeared to him in a dream that penetrated his soul.
Khosrow. Later that same month, production began on the story of Khosrow, who, as a teenager in Iran, despaired of life itself. That is, until he experienced a vision of Jesus Christ. In the vision, Christ extended his hand toward Khosrow, inviting him to take hold and promising him that his "life would change forever." Khosrow took Jesus' hand and, as he describes it, "waves of electricity flowed through my body over and over again. I wept for the first time since I was a child and joy filled my heart."
Dini. Dini also came to faith in Christ as a teenager in her native Indonesia. Feeling let down by family, friends and society and drifting into rebellion, Dini nonetheless yearned to know God and please him. On the night of Lailatur Qodar, when Muslims around the world make individualized prayers to Allah, Dini experienced a vision of Jesus Christ, who appeared before her and told her to follow him. Dini was hesitant. As a Muslim, she realized that following Christ would make her a Christian. But she overcame her fear and committed her life to Christ that same night. Peace filled her heart, even as persecution began.
Mohammed. Mohammed of northern Nigeria did not have just one dream of Jesus Christ-he had seven! Son of a prominent Fulani herdsman, Mohammed had studied the Qur'an in depth at several Muslim schools and was preparing to leave for advanced studies in Saudi Arabia when he experienced the series of dreams that convinced him of the deep love and lordship of Jesus Christ. Although his father tried to kill him in the wake of his conversion, Mohammed survived the various attempts on his life and persevered in his Christian walk, eventually leading his father to faith in Christ.
Ali. Ali grew up in an area of Turkey heavily influenced by communist ideology. As a boy, he talked to a god he surmised must be there, as evidenced by the beauty of the natural world around him. Married at a young age, he became an alcoholic. Desperate for a solution to his addiction, Ali went to Saudi Arabia to work in construction, reasoning that he would have to quit drinking because alcohol was forbidden there. To his dismay, friends showed him where to buy liquor on the night of his arrival. Not willing to give up easily, Ali made the pilgrimage to Mecca in hopes that God would free him of his addiction to alcohol and lead him in the way of a true and better Muslim. While sleeping a stone's throw from the Ka'aba, Ali experienced a dream of Jesus Christ that changed him forever.
your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Joel 2 v28 Muslims and Jesus.

Much of what we know about the attitude of Muslims towards Christians and Jews is very discouraging. However, one can meet Muslims who provide a very pleasant surprise. I had one such encounter on a train recently.
I was traveling home by train, having been reading Christine Darg's new book on the Jesus Visions. When I got on to an overcrowded train, the only seat for me was one of a pair of single seats facing each other over a small table. Seated in the other seat was a young Muslim man (Maybe 18 - 25 years old)
We smiled to each other as I sat down and he continued reading his Islamic study books. I settled down and re-read the first part of Christine's book in order to make some notes.

I prayed silently, saying that I was not going to start an un-anointed religious argument but that I was up for what the Spirit may have in mind. After a while this young man asked me what I was reading, so I could do nothing but spin the book around to show him and explain that it was written by my friend who ministers around the Middle East and it is all about Muslims who have been having dreams and visions of Jesus. He was quite excited, and replied that, "we talk about Jesus all the time." My young friend talked animatedly and he proved to be really friendly and very earnest about his faith. He told me he had just recently been to sit under the teaching of a Sufi Imam. He was most taken with one of the imam's teachings.

The Imam had taught him that if one is confused by religious arguments, one should go home, have a shower and sit in a dark room and pray that God would reveal the truth.

I obviously pray that this young man will go home and do just that, and that Jesus will reveal the truth to him.

I was interested to hear what he believes as he told me that all three faiths lead to God. He believes that if we are sincere, God will use a stay in Hell to make us all fit for heaven.

Although avoiding un-anointed religious argument, I gently declined to share this view and said that I know I am not good enough, but that I am trusting Jesus for forgiveness before I die.

Christine Darg's new Book, "The Jesus Visions" contains many amazing testimonies of how Jesus has appeared to Muslims and brought them to faith in Him.
This book contains so many clues for informed and hopeful prayer for the world and the 10-40 window.
Having read the Qur'an (in an approved English translation) I could see little chance of it leading people to Jesus, but this book contains the testimony of a man who found the Qur'an pointing him towards the Injil (the Gospels) and to Jesus the Messiah.
Here are a few wonderful things that this man discovered....
In the 114 Suras of the Qur'an, no sin is attributed to Jesus, but in Sura 40 Mohammed is commanded, "to ask protection and forgiveness for your fault." (you will also notice that Mohammed is not credited with any miracles, but Jesus is, and that Jesus is accorded the title of the Messiah - although its significance is not explored) This led this man to check out how special Jesus was, knowing that the fourth Sura said,
"They say we killed the Messiah, the son of Mary. He was not killed, he was not crucified. Another person who resembled him was killed in his stead. God raised a living Jesus into the sky."

But the next day he found in the third Sura,
"Oh Jesus I will make you taste death. I will raise you up unto me, and I will deliver you from the unbelievers and those who follow you will be above those who do not believe in you until the day of resurrection. You will return to me. I will judge your differences."

As he continued to seek the truth, he discovered, in Sura 19, the infant Jesus saying,
"Peace be with me on the day of my birth, on my place of death and on my place of resurrection."
He said, "After six months of investigation, I realized that the Qur'an confirms the Bible and that Jesus is above the other prophets. He is the Messiah, the Apostle of God, Mary's son, the Spirit of God, the Word of God. I was further convinced that He was crucified." The story continues with Jesus' appearing to him and the man coming to saving faith in Him.

The book is full of thrilling accounts such as this. It also contains a thorough discussion of the place of dreams and visions, throughout the Bible and in the "Last Days".
Get the whole story by ordering your own copy via www.exploits.tv .

The Jesus Visions is Christine Darg's web site account of the

miraculous works Jesus is doing in the lives of Muslim people;

appearing to them in dreams and visions and convincing them of His

love for them. www.jesusvisions.org

 

 


 

Following are comparisons of some beliefs held by Muslims and Christians pertaining to various spiritual aspects of life. 


 

Comparing Beliefs: (1). What Muslims Believe; (2). What Christians Believe

Is Man Sinful

(1).Muslims believe that people are born sinless. They do not seek a Savior. They depend on their own good works to please Allah, who they worship. They hope Allah will forgive their sins.

(2).Christians believe and the Bible teaches that sin is part of human life:

Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned-- Romans 5:12

They also believe and the Bible teaches that Christ died for our sins to bring us to God.

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, 1 Peter 3:18

Christians also believe and the Bible teaches that by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, people can be forgiven of the sins that separate them from God as seen in Ephesians 2:8:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

Asking for forgiveness

(1).The Quran is the Muslims' holy book. It tells Muslims that they can do good deeds to cancel out bad deeds as stated in the Quran: Surah 11:114:

And keep up prayer in the two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night; surely good deeds take away evil deeds; this is a reminder of the mindful.

They believe they can ask Allah to forgive their sins. Allah may or may not forgive them. The Quran says,

"[Allah] punisheth whom he will and forgiveth whom he will" Surah 5:40.

(2).Christians believe and the Bible teaches that all sin is displeasing to God, whether or not it is "balanced" by good deeds. Romans 6:23 says:

...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

The Bible also says:

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" 1 John 1:9.

Salvation by works alone

(1).Muslims believe Allah will judge everyone on Judgment Day. If they have done enough good deeds, they believe they will go to paradise and be saved from hell

(2).Christians believe and the Bible teaches that humans are not righteous enough to save themselves through good works. All fall short of God's standard. Christians believe and the Bible teaches that it is not by works of righteousness, but faith in God's Son that guarantees a person eternal life. Ephesians 2:8&9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph 2:8-9

and Titus 3:5:

(It is) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5

God sent Jesus to redeem the lost from sin, so that those who believe in Him may have eternal life. Romans 3:21&22-25 promises:

But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

Beliefs

The Quran says Muslims should believe in: Allah, the prophets of Islam, the Quran, angels, and Judgment Day From Surah 4:136 we read'

O you who believe! Believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Book which He has revealed to His Apostle and the Book which He revealed before (the Holy Bible?); and whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His apostles and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error.

But believing in those things will not necessarily assure Muslims of salvation.

In the Bible a non believing Philippian jailer asked the Apostle Paul and another Evangelist named Silas this question, "What must I do to be saved?" They answered. "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved...." See Acts 16:31. In the most quoted Scripture verse in all the world Jesus himself told a Jewish leader this in John 3:16,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Where is salvation found?

The Quran says evildoers will have double doom unless they repent, believe, and do good works. Allah will "change their evil deeds to good deeds" if they do these things.

Except him who repents and believes and does a good deed; so these are they of whom Allah changes the evil deeds to good ones; and Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Quran 25:70. However their salvation is still not a sure thing.

The Bible says, "Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved" Acts 4:12.

 


Following are five articles in the series, The Love of God for Muslims.

The Love of God for Muslims - Core Conviction #1 Starts below.

The Love of God for Muslims - Core Conviction #2

The Love of God for Muslims - Core Conviction #3

The Love of God for Muslims - Core Conviction #4

The Love of God for Muslims - Core Conviction #5


THE LOVE OF GOD FOR MUSLIMS

 

As I have been contemplating how I can conduct a dialogue with Muslims, hoping to convince them of

God's love for them, I've come up with five truths about the one who would be the true God of the

universe that I am going to call Core Convictions. These core convictions are the defining character

traits that makes this God who He is and sets Him apart from all lesser gods and mere mortal beings.

The very first defining character trait that I am calling Core Conviction #1 is: A True God Loves All of

Mankind!  


Core Conviction Number One: A True God Loves All Mankind

I have here in my possession the Koran (Qur'an), the Bible, some of the sayings and writings of Tao, Confucius, et al, and I have available to me online just about every written word attributed to the gods and holy men and women since the beginning of time.

Search as we might, the God of the Bible is the only God in the History of the world and the history of mankind that states emphatically in His recorded Word that He loves every man, woman, and child on the face of the earth unconditionally.

In reading what is written by, for and of the other major deities of the world, I can find nowhere that any other god has spoken of his love for mankind or has demonstrated that love in any way, shape, form or fashion without conditions.

The Qur'an speaks of Allah's love for some men and the need on the believer's part to love him in return. A typical text in the Qur'an which speaks on the one hand of the love of Allah and on the other exhorts Muslims to respond to him in love in return reads:

Say: "If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful". Surah 3.31

In reading the Qur'an thus far, I am not finding many verses that speak of Allah's love for people. In my research I have found articles that compare Biblical and Qur'anic tenets and the writers, when noting the numbers of times that the Qur'an speaks of Allah's love for people, uses words like "numerous", and "host of passages", with one writer stating, "no less than twenty-one occasions". In every instance I have come across the verses in the Qur'an speak of Allah loving those who seek to do good, such as these verses:

"Surely, Allah loves the doers of good" (Surah 2:195); "Surely, Allah loves those who turn much to Him, and He loves those who purify themselves", (Surah 2:222); Allah loves those that guard against evil.(Surah 3:76)

In each of these passage the word used for "love" is yuhibbu from the basic Arabic word meaning to love, namely ahabba.

On the other hand the Qur'an speaks perhaps more often of those whom Allah does not love and in each case the negative simply precedes the same Arabic word, namely laa yuhibbu. He does not love transgressors (Surah 7.55), the treacherous (Surah 8.58), arrogant boasters (Surah 31.18), ungrateful traitors (Surah 22.38) and the like.

Nevertheless one will search in vain through the Qur'an to find any text which defines Allah's love for mankind as something which rises from deep within his own heart. However, in the Word of God Jehovah, The Old and New Testament, one can find written down many, many times that God loves people unconditionally. The Hebrew word for God's love is 'ahabâ and the Greek word is Agape. Love is the highest mark of God's character, the one attribute in which all others harmoniously blend. The gracious love of God to men, even to sinful men, is most strongly declared in both the OT and NT (e.g., Exodus 34:6; Isaiah 63:9; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; 1 John 4:10).

In the Bible I find that God loves all people - regardless of their race, color, nationality, tribe or language. I find these truths and realities coming from the mouth of God Himself:

He loves us with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3

He loved all of us before we loved Him. 1 John 3:19

He so loved mankind that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in that Son shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

He (God) is love. 1 John 4:13

He has demonstrated His love for each of us in that while we were yet sinners He sent His Son to die in our place. Romans 5:8

His love that He wants to bestow on us is so great that He wants us to be called His children. 1 John 3:1

He assures us that nothing or no one can separate us from His love. Romans 8:35

He loves us so much He wants to be infinitely involved in our lives on a daily basis:

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope. Whenever you pray, I will listen. When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me." Jeremiah 29:11-13.

"I came that You might have life, and have it more abundantly." John 10:10 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 

"For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3-4.  

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.

"You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you." John 15:14-15 

These are just a glimmer of the promises from God's Holy Word that His love is sure and His love is eternal and His love is for everyone and His love is unconditional. Not to discredit any of the writings of the other gods in this world, but just to emphasize that only the Holy Bible, the true and unadulterated word of the God of the Universe, reveals the God who truly has an unconditional love for and commitment to all mankind. 

I welcome your thoughts, comments, criticisms and prayers. Use the Contact page to share what ever you choose to share.

 



The Love of God for Muslims. Core Conviction #2

My greatest resource for this article for helping Muslims and anyone else who doesn't know about the love of God understand and believe that God loves them infinitely, unconditionally and without reservation is the new book by Joel C. Rosenburg, Inside the Revolution: How The Followers of Jihad, Jefferson & Jesus are Battling to Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World.  

The Five Core Convictions that I am sharing in this series of articles come from the hearts of dozens of middle eastern men that Rosenburg calls Revivalists. These are evangelists, all Muslims, who have converted to Christ and are risking their lives daily that other Muslims might hear the Truth and have the Truth set them free. 

I want to share something that is so exciting that I can hardly wait to tell the whole world! The greatest number of supernatural events since the Lord Jesus walked this earth is taking place right now in the lives of Muslims all over the world, but predominantly in the middle east. These supernatural events were prophesied in the book of Joel, chapter 2, verse 28. 

"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28. 

I'm talking about the phenomenon of millions of Muslims who are experiencing dreams and visions in which the Lord Jesus appears to them and convinces most that He is real and the words He speaks are true. I had been hearing for more than ten years from people who have close contact with Muslims all over the world that many are converting to Christ because of dreams and visions. In fact, I was so convinced that God was beginning to fulfill His promise in Joel that I began some time ago praying that God would send dreams and visions to Muslims in the six to seven Muslim countries I pray for daily. Apparently God is fulfilling His promise because, according to Rosenburg, He is bringing millions of Muslims to His Son through dreams and visions. 

If I were a Muslim reading this article, I would put the God of the Christians to the test. I would pause right now and pray. I would say something like this, "Jehovah God of the Christian. If you truly are sending dreams and visions to Muslims in which Jesus speaks words of truth would you please send one to me as soon as possible." And if I were an intelligent person I would lie down right where I was. Because, whether it is a dream or vision He is going to send, you don't want to be seated in a chair out of which you could fall when it happens. And I can assure you that it will happen because there is nothing the God of this Universe had rather do than to give you the truth you need to believe in the Truth. 

In my first article I covered Core Conviction #1, God Loves All Of Mankind. Core Conviction #2 is God is Perfectly, Infinitely Holy and Pure and All Mankind Is Sinful and Thus Separated From God Who Loves Them. 

One of the things that Muslim men and women, who are having dreams and visions in which the Lord Jesus appears and speaks to them, say happens either during the dream/vision or immediately afterwards is the recognition of their sins. Some have awakened from their dream to find their pillow drenched with tears. They were tears of remorse and shame brought about by the realization of how sinful they really were after having been in the presence of the Holy Son of God. 

The sin problem is not just with Muslims. It is the problem of all mankind. The bible teaches that every man, woman and child has sinned against God. Some may have gone through life basically just disregarding God, having no interest in Him or His word, or they have actively disobeyed Him. Regardless our attitude we were sinning.

None of us are innocent before God, though some have committed more sins than others and some more despicable sins than others. We are all guilty sinners. And because of our sins we are separated from God. I believe the Bible makes it clear that God wants a loving, personal relationship with each one of us. But because He is perfectly righteous, holy and good He can not allow sin or sinner into His Holy presence. Therefore, He will not let one person with even one sin into heaven. Why not? Because if He did, that persons sin would corrupt and disgrace His Holiness and destroy His Kingdom. As long as we have our sinful nature we cannot know and experience God's love and plan for our lives. 

Look at what the Bible says about man and his sin: 

For all (mankind) have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23  

"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Luke 12:4-5  

And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched-- where 'Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.' Mark 9:45-46 

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this (comes) the judgment, Heb 9:27 

As we read passages of scripture such as these we see the dilemma in which man finds himself. But man is not to despair, God has provided the way for man to come to Him and be forgiven his sins and to receive a infinitely valuable free gift, the gift of eternal life. As I have been writing this article a refrain from Jeremiah 31:3 kept running through my mind. I want to end on this note. This refrain from Jeremiah is a message from the very heart of God to you the reader. Read it and meditate on it. Let God's word to you penetrate down deep into your heart and soul. For in these words there is life, hope and truth to be found. 

The Lord has appeared ......., saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;"

Who is speaking? God! To whom is He speaking? To you and all the people of the world! What is His message? That He loves you with a love that will last through all eternity. There will be no end to His love! That is why it is called everlasting love! Until next time, God loves you. Tom 



The Love of God for Muslims - Core Conviction #3 

There are folks in this world who will not admit that they are sinners. I was once one of those people. From the age of seventeen until I was thirty four I professed to be an atheist. One of my mantras back then was, 'there is no God therefore there can not be sin. ' 

I was a fool in a lot of ways, one being that in my heart I said there is no God. Of course the writer of the Book of Psalms had correctly identified my sorry condition when He stated, 

"The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good." Psalms 14: 1 

That describes who I was in those lost, dark years of my life to a T. The truth is that all of us before our spiritual eyes are opened are sinners separated from God. No amount of denying it, forgetting it (if we can), or pretending that it is not so, will change the truth of who we are apart from God. 

In the article Core Conviction #2, I quoted a number of verses from the Bible that identifies who we are when we are separated from God. We are lost, depraved, disobedient, hopeless sinners who are greatly loved by their merciful, loving, caring creator God. We also learned that as lost, godless people our destination is death - eternal separation from God in hell. Yet, because God so loves us He has provided a way for us to experience an eternal, familial relationship with Him as our heavenly Father. The most familiar verse of scripture in the whole world, reveals this truth to us. 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life". John 3:16 

And just to prove that He meant for all mankind to get the message that He loves them without conditions, completely, perfectly and eternally, He gave us many more scripture to convince us. Consider these verses: 

"For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Romans 5:6 

"God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23 

"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, He was seen by Peter, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred" 1 Cor 15:3-6. 

Many Muslims who have converted to Christ, say that until Jesus appeared to them in a dream or until they discovered the truth for themselves while reading the New Testament, they had no idea that God wanted to be their friend. They said that this is something that a person would never learn from reading or teaching the Qur'an. Some also say that it was through their encounter with Jesus and/or through reading the Bible that they came to realize that they truly were sinners and were therefore eternally separated from this wonderful kind and loving God. 

The testimony of many converted Muslims is that at this point in their lives when they suddenly become aware of the truth that they were sinners and separated from God they are faced with a great dilemma. Which way do I go from here? Do I turn to and follow this loving God and discover how to be forgiven my sins and spend eternity with Him? Do I turn back to the religion I have always known and strive to find forgiveness of my sins through keeping the five pillars of Islam? What about accepting Jesus' death on the cross as the payment for my sins? What is the way I should go? How can I be saved from hell? Can I be assured of salvation by killing innocent people in the name of Allah whom I have followed all my life, or by accepting the truth that God allowed the sacrifice His Son on a cross that I might know forgiveness of my sins and come into an eternal relationship with Him as an adopted son? 

Almost to the person, the answer to all these questions confronting Muslims who have found that there is a man called Jesus who died on a cross that all men might know forgiveness and have eternal life have come to one conclusion. They must determine which book is true, the Qur'an or the Bible. If the Qur'an is right, then Islam was indeed the answer, and jihad is indeed the way to Allah and eternal salvation. But if the Bible is right, then Jesus was speaking the truth when He said, 

"I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." John 14:16.

How can you as a Muslim know which book is right? You can do exactly as Muslims have been doing for many, many years. Study the New Testament, perhaps beginning with the book of John, while asking God continually to reveal to You what the truth is. Here are some promises to you from God's word, the Bible:

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" James 1:5

"You will call upon me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord," Jeremiah 29:12-14

 "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11 :28-30 

"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever" John 6:47-48,51 

As I have been reading of the many accounts of Muslims experiencing a visit from Jesus through dreams and visions I have been struck by the beautiful way in which God is demonstrating His love for Muslims. They are actually coming into the presence of God's precious, glorious Son. Wow! What a privilege and blessing that is! And to think, some of these Muslims were actually terrorist with the blood of innocent people on their hands. They did not know in their ignorance and sin that they were on the wrong path. But, down deep in their hearts, through radio, television, hearing a portion of scripture, reading a gospel tract, they began to yearn and search for the truth. And the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life heard their unspoken cries for help and came to them. 

Some of you, reading these words, know in your heart of hearts and have known for some time deep down inside that You were being drawn by an invisible force toward the source of all truth. Jesus said in John chapter six, verse forty four these precious words: 

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." John 6:44 

Yes, the God of the Universe has been drawing you to His Son. If you want to continue that journey with the hope of soon experiencing love such as you have never known, then why don't you right now, audibly or in the quietness of your heart just ask Him to reveal Himself to you where you are and as you are.



The Love of God for Muslims: Core Conviction #4 A person Must Individually Choose to Follow Jesus Christ as Personal Savior and Lord

God is sovereign. His sovereignty is one of God's great prerogatives and it is based upon the perfections of His divine Being. Sovereignty expresses the supreme rulership of God. God is under no external restraints whatsoever. He is the Supreme Dispenser of all events. All forms of existence are within the scope of His dominion. And yet His sovereignty is not to be viewed in any such way as to lesson or curtail the reality of the moral freedom of God's responsible creatures or to make men anything else than the determiner of their own eternal destinies. God has seen fit to create beings with the power of choice between good and evil. He rules over them in justice and wisdom and grace.1 

It is not enough for Muslims to simply realize that God loves them. It isn't enough for a Muslim to realize that he/she is a sinner. Every man, every woman who has ever become a child of God has come as a result of their acting on their faith. Let me put it this way. The Bible in Ephesians chapter 2, verses 8 and 9 states:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Eph 2:8-9  

Note: It is by God's grace through each person's faith that the person is saved. We can't believe for someone else and they can't believe for us. Thus, Muslims must individually receive Jesus Christ as his or her own personal Savior and Lord. He or she must believe in their hearts that Jesus died for them on that cross and it was there that He paid for their sins. That means that Jesus bore the punishment for every person's sins. There is therefore no condemnation, no judicial punishment, now or evermore, for anyone who believes in Jesus Christ as his or her Savior. Muslims must believe that Jesus rose from the grave proving that He is the Messiah. A Muslim must choose by faith to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and accept the free gift of salvation. 

Muslims, just as every person who has ever come to faith in Christ, must be willing to declare to others his or her allegiance to Jesus Christ, telling them that Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of lords.  

Consider the following verses: 

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: John 1:12  

".... if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For "whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved." So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:9-10, 13, 17 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Rev 3:20  

To their eternal joy, any Muslim who hears Jesus knocking on the door to their heart and who opens that door and invites Jesus into his or her heart will be adopted into God's forever family. Because Jesus will answer any prayer of faith and He will come into that person and will forgive them their sins, will sanctify, justify, redeem and possess them for all eternity through the free gift of eternal life. 

Would you like to make that kind of decision? If you are willing to repent - that is turn away from your sins and from living in disobedience to God's will- and begin following the God of the Bible, you can receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord right now. Here is a suggested prayer that has been helpful to many sinners (Muslims, Jews and others) including yours truly. The key is not so much the precise words as the attitude of your heart. 

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving me. Thank You for having a wonderful plan and purpose for my life. Please forgive me all my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place and paying the penalty for my sins. Thank You for rising from the grave and for proving that You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and the only way by which any man or woman can be saved and go to heaven. 

Jesus, I confess that You are the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I believe in my heart that God raised You from the dead. I now open my hearts door and the door to my life and ask You to come in and take control of my life. 

I receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me the free gift of eternal life. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit that He might take control of my life and make me the person You want me to be. I want to serve You and please You forever. Thank You so much. I love You and want to follow You all the days of my life. Amen 

If you just prayed that prayer with sincere faith in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection, you have just been adopted into the family of God and angels are rejoicing in heaven over this miraculous event. The Bible teaches that many wonderful things have just happened to you: 

You have just been adopted into God's family: (Romans 8:15) (Ephesians 1:5) 

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15  

having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, Eph 1:5  

You are accepted in the Beloved Son (Ephesians 1:6) 

.......to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. Eph 1:6 

You have just been Redeemed (Romans 4:24) (Ephesians 1:7) (Colossians 1:14)

And therefore "it was accounted to him for righteousness." Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, Romans 4:22 - 24 

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace. Eph 1:7 

......the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Col 1:13-14 

You have forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7) (Colossians 1:14) 

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace Eph 1:7

In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Col 1:14 

You have been sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) 

Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Eph 1:13 

You are justified before God by faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26) (Romans 3:24) 

to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:26 

being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Romans 3:24

You are a new creation in Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17) 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Cor 5:17

You are indwelt by God's Spirit (Galatians 4:6) 

And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Gal 4:6 

You have been consecrated, sanctified, made holy (Hebrews 10:10) 

then He said, "Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.0 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:9-10  

I encourage you to began immediately studying God's Word and claiming His precious promises. Each time you go to read the Bible, begin in prayer asking God to reveal His truths to You. Ask the Holy Spirit living in You to use God's word to shape and mold You into the image of Jesus Christ. There or so many wonderful things that you have just received when you believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. To get an idea of other blessings that are yours, in addition to the few listed above, I invite you to click on Reflections/Bible Study and copy the article Riches of God's Grace Through Jesus Christ and begin a study of the wonderful blessings that are ours the moment we believed. 

I also would appreciate your emailing me and letting me know about your decision for the Lord. Go to the Contact Page. I will be glad to answer any spiritual question that you might have or I will help you find the answer. Grow in God's grace precious new child of His.  



The Love of God for Muslims: Core Conviction #5 

Christ - Followers Are Commanded to Love Their Neighbors and Their Enemies and to Make Disciples of All Nations 

Because one of God's attributes is His perfect love, He wants His children to love others as they love themselves. In fact, when asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered,  

"'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' (Matt 22:37-39) 

Now think about that for a moment. In fact, let us cogitate on this verse if you will. That is, think seriously about what Jesus is saying. Wrap your heart and mind around this truth. The greatest thing you and I can do to please God is to love Him completely, totally and with all that we are and to do it unconditionally. There is nothing more important that we, the Children of God, can do than love the Lord God with all our hearts, souls and minds. Jesus emphatically states that this is the first and great commandment. But wait! The first and great commandment has a co-equal commandment! Did you grasp that? Look what Jesus said immediately after telling us what is the first and great commandment. He said, "And the second is like the first." What could Jesus possibly mean? Doesn't He mean that in the eyes of God it is just as pleasing to Him for us to love our neighbors as it is for us to love Him? 

Wow! Does Jesus really mean that? Yes, He means what He says, "Love the Lord God with everything thing you have and everything you are and your neighbor in like manner." And if you think that is a heavy responsibility hang on to your head.  

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons (and daughters) of your Father in heaven." Matt 5:43-45 

Has your head stopped spinning yet? As a child of the living God, we are to turn the world upside down. How do we best do that? Start loving people the way God loves them. God is not pleased with the sinful actions of lost people, but He does not hate them for being lost and sinful. He loves them in spite of their sinfulness. Look at Romans 5:8, 

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8  

May I take some liberties and rephrase this verse to give it more poignancy and make it very personal? 

God showed you and me how much He loved us while we were dirty, rotten scum bags. He sent His only Son to suffer and die on that horrible cross in our place!  

It should have been you and me, especially me, hanging there on that cross, but because He wanted a loving relationship with you and me He sent the Lord Jesus from His home in heaven to earth to die in our place. Now that is not only how much He loves us, but it is also how much he wants us to love others. Are you and I up to it?

Joel Rosenberg in his book, Inside the Revolution, tells the stories of many Muslim terrorists who come to faith in Jesus Christ and commit their lives and ministries to loving and ministering to those who hate them and want to kill them because of their love for the Lord. Now that is a difficult type of love. But with God's grace and the Lord Jesus living His life through us we can do it. We take one step at a time as we follow the model and pattern that the Lord Jesus Himself set for us. 

Jesus knew that only people who are supernaturally transformed by being born from above and filled with God's love and power could and would obey such commands as those quoted above and this one, 

"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." Matt 28:19-20  

Note that Jesus did not say, "Go to those with whom you are comfortable being around." Nor did He say, "Go to those who live in opulence, or in a moderate, pleasant climate." Nor did He say, "Go to those who will embrace you immediately and love you for bringing the message of the Gospel to them." In fact, I believe He was saying, "As you allow Me to live My life through You, we are going to go forth and make disciples of all nations.....and where ever I lead you, you are to follow" Therefore, we are to go while taking just one step at a time. 

I pray that those of you who have made a commitment to follow hard after Jesus Christ will be running full speed ahead when He calls for you. And He will call, either with that great trumpet sound, or with the loving whisper that says, "Come on home my good and faithful servant. Your trials on earth are o're." 

If you have not visited my Reflections and Bible Study page, please do and let me know what you think about the Bible Study, Riches of God's Grace Through Christ. Let me hear from you. I pray God's blessings on you and your household. Tom 

Footnotes:

1Based on the definition of The Sovereignty of God from Unger's Bible Dictionary

 


 

 

Below are testimonies of Muslims who have come to faith in Christ

 


Khalid's Challenge

And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15, NKJV

When I was 14 years old I was studying in a convent school in Pakistan. I belong to a Muslim family.

My parents had forced me to learn the Qur'an by heart when I was seven, and so I did. I had a lot of Christian fellows (or acquaintances) at school. I was surprised to see them studying because I had always found Christians to be of low profile in the society.

I discussed and argued a lot with them about the accuracy of the Qur'an and rejection of the Bible by Allah in the Holy Qur'an. I always forced them to accept Islam. Often my Christian teacher told me not to do so. He said, "God may choose you as he chose the Apostle Paulus." I asked him who Paulus was because I knew Muhammad only.

A Challenge

One day during our discussion I challenged the Christians, suggesting that we each burn the other's Holy book. They should burn the Qur'an and I should do the same with the Bible. We agreed: "The book which would burn, would be false. The book which would not burn, would have the truth. God himself would save his Word."

The Christians were not ready to do this because they were frightened. Living in an Islamic country and doing such a thing could lead them to face the law and meet its consequences. I told them I would do it by myself.

 With them watching, first, I set the Qur'an on fire and it burned before our eyes. Then I attempted to do the same with the Bible. As soon as I tried, the Bible struck my chest and I fell to the ground. Smoke surrounded my body. I was burning, not physically, but from a spiritual fire. Then suddenly I saw a man with golden hair at my side. He was wrapped in light. He placed his hand on my head and said, "You are my son and from now on you will preach the gospel in your nation. Go! Your Lord is with you."

Then the vision continued and I saw a grave stone, which had been removed from the tomb. Mary Magdalene spoke to the gardener who had probably taken the body of the Lord. The gardener was Jesus himself. He kissed the hand of Mary and I woke up. I felt very strong as if someone could strike me, but I would not be hurt.

A Rejection

 I went home and I told my parents what had happened, but they did not believe me. They thought the Christians had me under some kind of magic, but I told them that everything had happened before my very own eyes and that many people were watching. They still did not believe me and they turned me out of my home, refusing to accept me as their family member.

I went to a church close to my home; I told the priest there all about what had happened. I asked him to show me the Bible. He gave me the Scriptures and I read about the event I had seen in the vision with Mary Magdalene. That day, February 17, 1985, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

A Calling

My family rejected me. I went to various churches and got more knowledge about the Word of God. I also followed many Bible courses and then I went into Christian ministry. Now, after 21 years, I have had the joy of seeing many people come to the Lord and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Thanks to the Lord, I am now married and have a Christian family. My wife Khalida and I are involved in the work of the Lord and have been able to share the miracles God has been doing in our lives.

Even though it is not easy and we face many hardships, we feel like Paul who went through hardships and suffering for the glory of his Savior, Jesus, who himself suffered during his walk on earth and his time on the cross.

We thank God the Father for sending his Son to this earth and giving us free, eternal life through him. Likewise, we thank God for his Spirit who encourages us day by day to live for him.

 


Nasir's Vision

A Born Again Christian Testimony

Just beginning his new life in the United States after moving from the Middle East, Nasir was robbed, beaten and left for dead. Yet, while hospitalized and in a coma, Jesus appeared to Nasir, explaining that he must be born again to live. Soon he awoke from the coma, and within days Nasir was, indeed, born again. Then he began an amazing journey of physical and spiritual healing.

Nasir's story is one of many uniquely featured testimonies from you, the visitors of this site. Each story reveals a life transformed by Christian faith. If your relationship with God has made a significant difference in your life, we would like to hear about it. Submit your testimony by going to the Contact Page and sending me an email with your testimony pasted in the body of the email. I do not need your name or address and would prefer that you not include any personal information about yourself or others, other than first name, or nickname.

Nasir's Vision

Reverend Nasir Iqbal was raised in a nominal Christian home in Pakistan. As a young man, he moved to Saudi Arabia to pursue a career in electronic engineering. After some time in Saudi Arabia, Nasir decided to move his young family to the United States to build upon his successes.

Shortly after his arrival in New York, Nasir opened a convenience store in Brooklyn. Then, on a spring day in May 1995, Nasir was robbed, severely beaten over the head with a metal pipe and left for dead. As he lay in the hospital in a coma with traumatic brain injury, Nasir was visited in a vision by the Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus asked him if he wanted to live. Nasir replied, "Of course, Lord, I want to live."

You Must Be Born Again

Jesus told Nasir, "Nasir, if you want to live, you must be born again." When Nasir awoke from his coma, a Christian pastor visited him later in his rehab center room. Nasir told the pastor that he wanted confession before he died. The pastor replied, "Son, confession alone does bring about salvation. You must repent of your sins and ask Jesus into your life so that you may be born again."

Nasir remembered what Jesus spoke to him in the vision about being born again, so he asked the pastor, "What must I do to be born again?"

The pastor said, "Pray after me."

That day, Nasir gave his life to the Lord and his journey began as the Lord restored his fractured life and brought him new hope. Since that encounter, his doctors have been amazed at how Nasir has recovered. They never thought Nasir would walk again—he did. They thought he would never be able to read or study again—he has.

As further testimony, Nasir was able to study and pass the smog technician certification test in half the time it took the rest of his class.

A Second Visitation

Nasir was visited by the Lord a second time. Jesus told him that He was going to use him to reach people of different languages. Soon after this, Nasir took a job with Good Shepherd Ministries with their International School of Ministry (ISOM). Nasir's language skills in Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, and English allowed him to excel in his new position. Six years later, Nasir was directed by the Lord to begin Hope In Christ Ministries International (HICM).

The vision of HICM is to take Nasir's message of hope, healing and restoration through Christ to the nations using TV broadcast, the Internet, and healing crusades. Reverend Nasir and HICM are seeing God's name glorified as signs, wonders and miracles follow His Word that is preached.

With the help of his wife, Fabina, his two children, and a small staff of volunteers, Hope In Christ has purposed to be a resource for both Christians and those seeking to know Christ. Native Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi speaking people, as well as seekers from Sikhism, Hinduism, and Islam are encouraged to contact the ministry with specific questions and prayer requests.


IS IT CRIME TO BE A CHRISTIAN

The Life and Testimony Of a Converted Muslim

I Hassan, born in a orthodox family where I was hearing always about the Islam; my parent sent me to the Islamic school to learn the Quran. They want make me Hafiz Qari and a good preacher of Islam. I taught Quran by heart, [memorized Quran] and was studying to learn more so that I can teach to other people about the Islam. According to my faith, Islam was a good and perfect religion and I was against to the second big religion Christianity. My only vision was to convert Christians to the Islam.

I always says that Christian people are foolish and mad because they believe that the Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Is Mary was the wife of God? There were many questions in my mind, which I can ask to Christian people. How a man, Jesus Christ, can save you? How you can call God the Father? God is God, and He has no wife that He can have Children.

Since 1975, I was at my uncle’s Shop, where some Christian organization were throwing hand bills regarding the Christianity, and I decided to read it so that I can debate with Christian, and I can guide them because they don’t know about the truth. When I started studying the scripture, interest increased in myself and, instead of converting soul to Islam, I felt some power is pulling me to the Christianity to know much more about the truth and time came I was fully agreed with the scripture. Since that day and my stage, I could not return to Islam. Let me explain how interest increase in myself and force me to know more about Christ.

I was praying and asking to Allah for help for the wisdom and knowledge so that I can convert Christians to the Islam. Hand bill that I picked up was Gospel of John and when I read it, my eyes were opened through the scripture. When I started reading John 1:1-2:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

I laughed at the Christian mind and say they are foolish nation, they do not know that in the beginning was the Allah, and they believe every word, surely they are stupid and it will be easy to convert them into Islam.

I continued praying to Allah to accomplish my vision of converting Christians into the only and holy religion of Islam. One night I saw in dream, a man dressed in white appeared and asked me, “do you want to convert Christians to Islam?” Yes I answered, (he said) “read the Quran with the meanings in your own language.” It was encouragement to me to know that there is some power helping me to know more about the truth and I will convert them and in this way I will go to heaven.

I started studying the Quran and read about Jesus that God called Him word of His mouth, or word of God or Word from God. I was shocked to read this the same thing I read in the Gospel of John that in the beginning was word. It allow me to read more carefully. Again the same person appeared in dream. he asked, “do you want to know more about Truth so that you can convert Christian into Islam?” Yes I answered. (He said) “Read the Quran in your own language.” I continue studying in my own language and found that Quran call Jesus the Spirit of God or Spirit from God, or Spirit from Him.

 I was very upset that what I am reading and confused on what to do? Again third time same person appeared and asked, “do you want to know more about the truth?” Yes I answered. (He said) “Read the Quran in your own language.” I continue studying and found that Jesus the only one who performs Miracle and have power to heal the leprous and give sight to the blind born by birth. Jesus only in the Quran spoke out when He was child infant that I am a servant of God and God made me prophet. I continue studying and found most my questions that I could ask Christian. I was surprised when I read in Quran, Jesus say, blessed is the day when I was born, when I will die and when I will raise again. I found so much from Quran. as for me it was unholy to read the Bible because according to my knowledge it is not a true copy of the original Bible.

Then, I met a preacher of Gospel who told me more and helped me to study the Bible thoroughly. I was aware of the Muslim’s religion. I studied and compared the Bible with the Quran, where I found that Jesus Christ is not only the prophet but He is Lord and God with us on earth who has power to forgive anybody’s sins. In the meanwhile, when I talked to my family and friends about the truth, a conflict arose between us which started a fight between other people and me.

My parents and few friends call a preacher of Islam to teach me. They asked me some questions and request me to change the decision.

The big question was, How can you call God the Father? I proved it with reference. But, preacher of Islam was not agreeing yet, says God is God, you can’t call God the Father this is a big sin if you will call God the Father. And you have to apologize otherwise you will be punished.

Preacher said you are out of mind and devil is working in you. I don’t know what he whispered to others but they beat me severely. My chin was apart and my clothing were wet with running blood. It was so painful. But, this pain was a sweet pain because it was of my faith and I proved that my faith is true. A Muslim doctor stitched my chin.

Since 1976, when my father said you cannot eat with us you cannot live with us and you cannot get share in my property because now you are a non-Muslim and you know very well that, according to Islam, your punishment is death. But, I want to give you some time so that you can think about your wrong decision.

It was second week of January 1976 when my parents kick me out from house with these word that from now on we don’t have any relationship with you, from now on you are pagan for us, and still we will be ready to accept you if you can come to mosque and announce that you don’t believe this paganism.

Many time, Muslims people and an Islamic organization tried to kill me. But, God saved me from every step of evil.

I was running and sharing testimony, city to city. Few friends told me that your parents and a religious group are looking to kill you because you are a bad example for them.

I ran away to other city where, a principal of a Christian technical training center, a British man kept me and I spent two years there; one year training for electrician and one year to serve the Lord in town and villages.

After a few month, when Muslims heard that I am living in CTTC [Christian Technical training center], they sent few bad characters people to kidnap me. When a British Teacher saw and listens what they are whispering, he told principal and he ordered to shift me to other nearest city. It was a big old hospital building that they bought for mission work and I spent two months there. After two months, principal call me back for final examination for my trade because I was away from CTTC, for two month, and I passed this examination with grade C.

I wrote a book titled “Christianity or Islam” and I sent it to a Christian press. They answered, we cannot print this book. Muslims can burn our press because of this book. Then, I sent it to the USA. A brother wrote me, Muslim are looking for Sulman Rushdi, writer of satanic verses, and we can’t print it, for your sake, because Muslims can kill you and we don’t want that.

Sulman is of Indian origin and Iranian Government issue decree to kill him. But Govt of France give him asylum and security. I am not sure whether still he is alive or not.

I missed my home city and, after two years, when I return to my city, a Christian man gave me a room to live in. Next to my room, a preacher of gospel was living with his family. They were aware of my situation. When a few people beat me severely because of my religion, the same preacher of gospel looked after me for a whole night and he was praying for my life when I was terribly injured. He provided me medical treatment and, after a few days, he said I love you and your faith. I want to ask you if you can live with me, as my family member.
He moved to another area and I spent few years with them.

My brothers heard that I am back to home city. One of them contacted me, Hassan still we are waiting for you. Please, just go to mosque and pretend that still you are Muslim. Please, for our mother sake, because she is sick because of this situation. Please, she is waiting for you.

How I can leave my life? How I can leave my Savior who has died for me? I answered.

My brother changed the topic. He smiled and says we are glad that you have come back. Mother cannot wait to see you and we realize that we really treated you wrong, and we want to welcome you back to the family. We will celebrate it with good memory. We will arrange a big party today; whole family will eat together.

I accepted the invitation. I said this is answers of my prayers and I will join my family again.

Same day, in the evening, I was with my father and brothers when I greet my mother. She was weeping and cried tears of joy. It was obvious she had done everything possible to make the reunion a happy occasion. Everyone one was happy at this occasion and table was overloaded with food. My mother cooked my favorite dishes.

When I dipped my fingers in food, my father and brothers were talking about the family business. I told them shortly about my travels and about my faith. No one was trying to convince me to return to the Islam.

My brother and father are whispering when still I was eating, I suddenly became very ill. My arms and legs prickled and went to sleep, blood was running from my nose and body was convulsed with pain. I was praying to God in my heart because I knew what they did with me. They gave me poison in my food. Then, I remembered when few friends told me that I am a bad example for the family and the religion of Islam. I ran out to the road.

A riksha [taxi driver] asked me where you want to go? When I saw a cross is hanging in his motor riksha, I asked his name, he said, my name is Peter. I went to my preacher and he took me to a hospital, where doctor washed my stomach. Praise the Lord, who saved me from the hand of evil and gave me life. I was terribly sick because of poisons reaction, and the preacher and a brother in Christ sent me to a village where I spent few days until I got better.

I was very dis-hearted and feel so discouraged, wondering what is next and I always think that Muslims can kill me anytime. One evening around 9:00pm I was sitting in Church and wondering if I can return home, because this pain of suffering is too much for me and I cannot bear it any more, I am alone weak and tired and torn. Suddenly, I feel as if I am sleeping and my body becomes as if I am a little baby. Someone dressed in a white robe is holding me in His arms and is caring and sustaining me like a mother holds her sick child and the child feels so comfortable in his mother’s hands. I could not see His face as I was just a child held in His arms, but He was dressed in white. After a few minutes when I was lying on the floor, I felt so comfortable and it made me strong. Since that day I feel someone is with me and is always taking care of me.

Up to this day, I always feel as if someone is with me and comforts me any time when I feel uncomfortable. He encourages me when I feel discouraged. He sustains me at the time of sorrow and comforts me when I cry.

Some Brothers in Christ decided that I should leave the country for a while. And I ran away to other countries so that I can hide myself. I went to Iran, Turkey, Syria, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Austria, and China.

God is great. He can use His servant anywhere and he used me in Syria, at the Syrian check post when police put me in a basement prison. I asked what is the charge, they did not answer. After a week in the basement prison, where you cannot see the light, they took me to the central prison of Damascus and my charge was that I have a full bag of scripture and you cannot preach Christianity in our country, and now you will be in prison for two and half month. When I entered the prison, a prisoner, an Australian Citizen, name David, welcomed me and gave me few instructions.

I was continuously praying to God Father, asking why He brought me here. Please, let me know what is my fault. I was feeling very alone in prison. Most of the time, I was spending in prayer and in singing to the Lord.

 After nine weeks, police brought a British young man, named Allen, into the prison. He was dressed in Syrian clothes. He and Muslims prisoners and workers were in prison together and were praising their God. When I asked a prisoner the reason why they were together, he said, praise the God that this British man changed his Christian religion and now he is a Muslim, and we are happy that now he will go to heaven. We are glad that we convert a Christian to the Islam.

 I was very sad about this situation. It was against to my faith. When I was looking to Allen, he was going to Mosque and acting in his prayers as they were doing in the mosque.

 Father, how can Allen convert to Islam? I asked. I cried, O, Jesus, I am sure Allen is not aware of Islam. So, why did he deny you before these people?

 One day, I asked to God, Father, I can’t face it every day and I want to ask this young man what fault he has seen in my Jesus Christ. Is this is the fault, that Jesus has died for you? Is this is the fault, that He was crucified for you? I prayed, Father, give me wisdom and knowledge, and I will talk to him.

 About 11 o’clock one night, I went to his bed, afraid that he would tell the Muslims of this meeting, about religion. But, I decided I had to talk. He was smoking when I greeted him with a Hi!

He said, Hi!

I said, my name is Hassan and I am from Asia.

He answered, I am Allen from UK.

I asked, what is the charge against you?

I can see the tears in his eyes. He said, I was in a hotel. Someone stolen my passport and the police brought me here because I don’t have proof of my citizenship. I am very much worried because there is no UK embassy in this country. I don’t know what I should do.

 When I heard his story, it made me sad. I asked, what is your religion?

He answered, I am Muslim.

How long have you been a Muslim? I asked.

I accepted Islam in this country. He answered.

I asked him, did you study about Islam?

No. Was his reply.

Are you Muslim? He asked me.

I said, no, I am a Asian Christian.

He was surprised when I told him that I had converted from Islam to Christianity. He told me that he changed his religion because of the charge that he lost his passport. A Muslim advised him, if he would change his religion, police would treat him as a good person. Otherwise, they could torture him.

I promised Allen, I would pray for him and I would talk to a Australian friend to see if he can help him. At night, we were praying together.

One day, I saw David in next campus. I spoke to him little about the Allen and his situation. David told me Syrian are very against to British people. Therefore, they kick out UK embassy from Syria. But, God is great and He will help us. David promise me that he will talk to the Australian embassy, if they can help Allen.

David wrote a letter to the Australian embassy and, after few days, three people, from Australian embassy, came for visit to Allen. They brought some fruit, cloth, and a pocket size copy of the New Testament. They promised for help.

 After two days, a man came from Australian Embassy with ticket and a emergency passport for Allen.

 He gave me a huge hug and says, O, Father, forgive me. You are so good to me. His last word was to me, my friend, I am thankful to God that I am a Christian and I am thankful to you for all kind of help, and for you that you reminded me and proved that our God is alive.

I gave thanks to God, Father, thank you that I am not alone. Thank you that you can use your children anywhere.

After a two days, a police man called me and said, you are released. And he said he was enjoying when I was singing songs in my language. Police bus released me at the Turkish border.

I was sick and tired and could not find the job in Turkey. I decided to return to Iran. When I went to Iranian embassy for visa, they required to charge $50.00 at the Iranian border. It make me sad because I had $45.00 in my pocket. I fast for one day, to ask God for money so that I can get visa for Iran. I was in prayer and I decided to tell the Iranian embassy that I don’t have money.

After prayer, I went to Iranian consulate and I told him whole story that how Syrian put me in prison and now I don’t have money. He was happy when I was talking in Persian language. He said, give me your passport. I will see if I can help you. Next day, when I asked him, he said, this is against our law but I don’t know why I stamped visa on your passport. It was great joy. I praised to God for the help.

I went to Iran, in Tehran City, where few friends welcome me and they helped me to find the job. I was working in a scale factory, named Benazeer, out of Tehran. I was worshiping with a church at the University Road, in Tehran.

 During the first week when I reached Iran, I went to church and I met Ali an Iranian, Muslim friend who was studying Christianity. I told him about myself, how I accepted Christ my Savior.

 After a month, he proclaims and accepted the Jesus as his Savior. He was working in Air Force and was living with his brother. When his brother heard that Ali is interested in Christianity, he kick him out from house.

 When I left Iran, Ali was seeking for shelter in his own country and I was ashamed that why I couldn’t help Ali. When I told Ali that, tomorrow, I am leaving your country, he was sad.

 Then, I went to China and stayed there for a month. I contacted to brothers in Christ, in my motherland, so that I can return to my own land. Same day, when a military man who was also a religious leader died in plane crash, I returned to my motherland.

It was a great joy. There is no place like the motherland. But sometime, it is very difficult when you are not safe in your own home.

When Muslims heard that I am back, they tried to kill me by accident and they crushed my legs. God sent some people and they took me to a nearest hospital, which belong to a Prime minister of Country.

When Christian world heard about this incident, they were praying for me. Muslims were happy that now I will never walk and I will spend my life as a disable person.

God is great and He is always so good to me. I spent more than one and half year like a disable person and my God saved me. Now, I can walk and work. But up to now, sometime inside pain remind me that God is alive and he brought me to the life when I was on bed, like a dead person.

God gave me new life. But, I was not able to travel. I decided to live in a town so that I can hide myself from this evil world.

I brought a mini truck and decided to start a business, so that I can get my daily needs. I started work as a salesman with a food factory. After a few months, after some struggle, I won the market. As God is with me and I was starting my work with prayer and guidance from God. He really blessed me and gave me a name in this work. When other workers heard that I am converted from Islam to Christianity, they beat me and, after a year, I left that factory.

After a few days, God gave a contact for other factory and I got the job as sales supervisor. After a year, when people heard that I am a converted from Islam to Christianity, before they persecute me I left the factory.

I joined another food factory. They were happy with my job and they gave me distribution for their products. I spent two years with them and, when I left this place because of my faith, a friend told me a job as a salesman. I went to there for interview and I was selected.

My Church advised me to marry and I marry to a Christian lady. Sarah, my wife, was working as a staff nurse in a government hospital. Life was smooth and we were happy in our home. Three years later, God blessed us with a baby boy. Then, just over a year later, God blessed us with a baby girl. We were living in town, away from the enemies of faith.

 It was April 1998, I was working as a salesman. One day, in my factory where I was working, a Muslim man asked me, let us to go to mosque for prayer. I ignored him, as I didn’t hear him. He asked me again and repeat it three time.

 After that, he asked one of my drivers, “why your boss is not going to mosque.”

He answered, “how he can go to mosque? He is Christian.”

“No how, he can be Christian. In our record, he is Muslim; by his name and father’s name.” (The man answered.)

When he insists, my driver he said, “why are you asking me? Ask him he is converted from Islam to Christianity.”

It was too much for a Muslim. He talked to other fellows. They beat me severely. They said, “why you didn’t inform us when you join the factory? We were eating with you and we don’t know that you are a unholy person.” They beat me and broke my truck. I ran away. They warn me to leave the factory and return to the Islam.

I left everything. I talked to a Christian friend about the situation. He was sorry to help me.

One day, I was with a preacher of gospel when, 10:30 at night, he dropped me at home. Burglars had forcefully opened the safe with a steel bar. Money, jewelry, and other many things were gone.

We called to other brothers for help. We pray together for the wisdom and decided that we will not go to police, because police can arrest me because of my faith. I was praying to God for help and was asking to God for wisdom, and I told God, I am leaving this country. Father, you know they warn me and they want to kill me and my family. Please, help me.

A converted brother whom we love, who is working as a preacher, he came to me and said, “I am very sorry for the situation.” He talked to a friend who is a Bishop.

One day, the Bishop call me and said, “I am sorry for everything. I wish if I can help you” and he provided me help to escape to the UAE.

One day, same Bishop phone me from next state, to me in UAE, that he want me to introduce to a couple, they are servants of Lord. It was really a great fellowship, when I met a Dutch couple husband and wife. I felt that God blessed me through this couple. They are lovely people and you can see the God from their lives. They asked to see my wife in my country and, after few days, my wife told me about their meeting.

It brought tears in my eyes when my wife phone me and was explaining me about their love. My wife told me she met her, as if she is her mother. She said she was crying with me, as if I am her real daughter ~ when my wife told, to the great Dutch couple, about our past; how Muslims robbed our house. She presented a precious gift, a diamond ring, to my wife. This precious ring will stay with us until we are in this world. It will remind us the love of God and it will explain us the love of his children.

I was fasting and praying in the UAE. I was praying to God, Father, guide me about my future.

One day, I received a phone call from Nashville, Tennessee, USA. A brother said, “we heard about you and we are very sorry.” He said, “we have a brother next to your state, named Larry K. Harm. He is a USA national. We already talk to him and he will help you.” I took his phone and address and went to his state.

When I phoned, his servant told me that brother Larry K. Harm is in office. When she phoned him in office, he came to see me. (He said) “Hi! My name is Larry and you must be Hassan.”

“Yes,” I answered. Brother Larry K. Harm gave me a good respect and asked about my need. He asked me if I need money. I told him I have different problem, that I ran away from my country because of religious persecution and I can’t return to my country. He said, we will pray for you and we will help you as we can.

One day, he phoned me that he has contacted Swaziland, where church can give me shelter. I don’t have word to explain about their love. Larry K. Harm’s family and the church treated me as I am their real brother.

After a one-month, I flew to South Africa where a friend who sponsored me for this trip received me at the airport. I could not see my brother, Larry K. Harm, again. But, they will be continually in my prayers. Praise the Lord, who helped me to flee the persecution from UAE.

After a few month, Brother Larry K. Harm and the church brought my wife and children to UAE and, after a week, they see off my family for Swaziland. I am thankful to God for the wonderful families and their undying love.

One day, I received a packet from Holland. It was a great joy when I open it and received a wonderful book. It is written by same wonderful Dutch Servant of God whom I met in UAE. Book title is “Hidden Sorrow Lasting Joy”, from a worldwide Christian Organization, where she also wrote my story. They make worldwide prayer request for us and so many people in the world are praying for us. We cannot forget their love and I can’t evaluate their love with anything in the world. I want to say that they are servants of the Lord and the blessed people in this world.

So, I spent over 6 years in Swaziland. Church applied, for USA and Canada, for us so that we can live an independent life, but were refused. When a friend told me that situation is bit better in our country, I decided to return to home land. I have been visiting South Africa and Mozambique couple of time. Wednesday, 08, September 2004, I was attacked by some fanatic Muslims in Pakistan and injured badly, but saved and alive by the special grace of God.

In March 2005 I was introduced by an American friend to a brother in Christ in South Africa name Johan Lourence When I told Johan about my conversion he just wrote an invitation letter to visit him in Pretoria. I asked my wife about this invitation and we decided to keep it in prayers. At the second week of March we just applied to South African embassy for visit visa and start waiting might they will call us for interviews. It was God’s plan for us to apply for South African visas and it was revealed upon us later. Satan was busy working against me and trying to punish me with death sentences.

I was serving through Internet among Muslims and people from other religions. One day I received email from a Muslim friend where he asked me few questions and it was so easy for me to give him with answers. He asked me how we can call God the Father or Jesus the Son of God and it was easy for me to prove from the teaching of Islam and he was agree with me.

In April 2005, I received a legal notice from an attorney that I spoke against the Islam and he wanted me to get into court. Getting a converted Christian into court means they will punish him/her with death penalty as they have done to many like me. We started pray about this issue and asked to our mighty God for help. We asked Him to move on our behalf and force South African High commission to act on our application.

______________________________
I wrote some of Brothers and sisters in Christ about this legal notice, some advice me leave the country immediately before he files charges in court otherwise it will be a big problem for you. One brother even advised me on what to do in country of destination. It made my life so miserable and we could not sleep in peace until we left the country. After prayer I decided to leave the country and start continue praying to God for help.

Legal notice from an attorney

No. MISE/4/05 Dated. 12-04-05To,
Mr. ——– son of Niaz Ali resident of Kashana Asad But street, inside Dil Kusha Lahore.

Dear Sir,

I have been instructed by my client Mr. Asad Ehsan Son of Ch. Ehsan Qadir resident of House House No, 275-N samamabad Lahore, to serve upon you with the following Legal Notice:-
1- Whereas you got published an article about converting of your faith/Religion from Muslim to Christian and while commented upon back ground for converting your religion from Muslim to Christian you with deliberated and malicious intention of outraging the religious feeling of all Muslims including my client by using words in written manner and attempted to insult the religion of Islam .Para 6 of your article is reproduced below for reference:-
Entire world knows that Pakistan is very difficult country for Minority especially for Christian. According to the Islamic Rules and regulation of Islam if someone convert from Muslim to Christian will be arrested immediately and can sentenced death punishment and his all property can be snatched by fundamentalist Islamic.
2- Your point of view about religion of Islam as well as Pakistan is highly Objectionable & misrepresentation of facts and caused hurt to every Muslim of Pakistan.
3- Your statement referred to above is an Offence under Section 295-A, Pakistan Penal Code and liable to be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years or with fine or with both.

Now by this legal notice you are advised to return back your statement against the principal of Islam otherwise I have clear instruction from client to move legal machinery against you and get remedy from the court of law at your costs &risks.

A copy of this legal notice is retained in this office.

I received a phone call from Attorney that you are a bad example to Islam it is better for you to come back and we will provide you whatever you need, bring your family in Mosque and pretend that you was wrong and Christian provide you with money to become a Christian. He asked me the name of Christian who keeps Converted from Islam into Christianity.

I answered him Sorry I cannot accept Islam and Christian do not force and keep converted but I accept Jesus by myself and it was my personal decision. He was angry and threatens me to file charges in court. I was thinking he is just talking and trying to bring me back into Islam but after few days I saw a policeman at my door asking for that there is summons for Mr. ——– to appear in court before Judge. It was enough for me understand what they will do with me. Of course surely they will charge me under death sentences. They can kill me anytime as they have already killed many like me. So I left the home and decided to leave the country.

In same week I received a packet from South African High Commission and found our Passports with visas and we thank God for that as even they did not call us for interviews. Praise the Lord for all His help and love for me and my family.

It was 27th of April when I saw police on the door asking for me to come into court but we were able to escape. By the help of God we were able to move into a friend’s home and on 29th on April at 10:30 pm we just move into the Air Port building as police was searching for us. We give thanks to God that we were able to fly at 3:30am and arrived at Johannesburg International airport at 4:45pm.

A very good friend of mine and relative to my wife who also hide me at his home in Pakistan when Police was searching for me, after a two week he sent me rest of papers from Court with charges where Attorney mention some other charges as well and also that I spoke filthy language against the Islam, even I do not know what he is talking about as they are falls charges.

God is with us and taking care of in His mysterious ways, I want o share a testimony with you. One day there was not food at home and I was praying to God for help and think how I will explain children. Same hour I received a phone call from a person who I do not know before. And he asked me come over as he want to talk with me. I walked as it was about 20 minute walk from my home. He asked me some question and I share my faith with him and when I left he said if you need any spiritual need tell us and will pray for you. I left him with the words of thanks that he will pray for me but ask to God, Father you know that we are in need of physical thing we need food but he want to pray for us.

Before sun down again I received phone call from same person that I am at your gate please can you come at the gate. I went and he handed me over bread and some soup. So I call my wife to come and serve food to children and decided to leave some for tomorrow.

Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow it will take care of itself. Tomorrow same time I received phone call from same brother that I am at your gate please come over. He park his car inside the yard and open the back show me that I brought some food for you I hope you will be able to eat it. There was so much and my wife was confused where to put this all and what to eat.

I remind my wife the promise of our Lord.Heb 13:5-65. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6. So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

By the grace of God I am well and alive in South Africa with many Christian brothers and Sisters in Christ. I serve the Lord with a local Church and my desire is to spread the Gospel of Christ among all people. God is so good to me and my family and He is taking care of us and provides all we need. We met some wonderful Servants of God and get encouraged through them.

Article Published in Miracle Time and Phone call death threats from Muslims

It was February 2006 when a Sister in Christ Dr. Rosalie told me that she is working for a local Christian Newspaper called, The Miracle Time, and she wanted to publish an article on me. Her motive was to help me and make me known among other Christians, most important for me was to glorify the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In March article was published in Miracle Time, with my house, Tel and Mobile Tel NOS. In same week we were learn that Muslim also read this newspaper and I received some phone calls from Unknown Numbers (saying), “you are a bad example to Islam how you dare to convert from Islam into Christianity? Leave the Christianity otherwise we will kill you and your family.”

I talk to one of our Pastor and he advised me to change the Tel. Numbers that I changed in same week. After that there were no more phone calls and I stop answering mobile phone calls without ID or whom I do not know.

Letter received from Muslims

In the name of Allah Most gracious and merciful.

Dear Mr. ————–

I am reading your ugly statement about the last prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) and also about the Holy Quran and the religion of Islam. You are disgracing our religion and Holy Quran with the last prophet (Peace be upon Him) for years. I want to let you know that you hurts our feeling, and I want you to stop publishing such ugly statement about our Holy religion.

You say you was Hafiz and a preacher of Islam, read the Holy Quran above and tell me how you dare you convert from Islam into paganism? You call Jesus the son of God and Mary the wife of God. God forbid it is so ugly statement about Allah. Can you see God with wife? Or talking with His son? Allah is Holy never has wife or son, you must admit it. Mr. you disgrace not only the Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) but Holy Quran and the great religion of Islam and you must die. You have no right to live on this earth.

Mr. ——– you are deceived by western paganism, your belief is a seed from paganism and anyone who against the Islam we consider him enemy. Yes we declared war against the paganism and your punishment is death, you and your family have no right to disgrace our religion and you must die.

I warn you to return to Islam and ask for forgiveness and renounce your faith.

May Allah show you the right path, ——— Alhamdu-lillah you was Muslim and will die a Muslim, your children must grow in Islam.Allah is with all Muslims and cannot allow a Muslim to spend life with enemy of Allah and His Prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) do not waste your time and return to the right path. Otherwise it is not the end of story we will not sit and calm until you punished.Again I want to inform you that Publishing your ugly statement in pagan newspaper disgrace our religion and hurt the feelings of so many Muslims, we will not ask any question but want you to return to Islam or get ready for punishment, Mr. ——– you and your family must die it is only punishment you deserve.

Tell your pagan fellows that you will never live in peace, we are coming to destroy you.

You know very well that we Muslim do not fear to die but love death more than life. So awake and leave the paganism, they are ugly destroyer and murderer. They are destroying whole Islamic countries and we cannot sit and watch. They use money to buy innocent Muslims, It is time to awake and join the war against paganism and turn this world into Islam.

May Allah and His prophet (Peace be upon Him) be with you and show you the right path. Jazak-Allah

Abdullah Al- Jabbar

Abduction and Power of God.

It was March 31 Friday evening when some loving Christian brothers from other Church came into my house for prayer. We spent some hours and they prayed for our safety and protection.

It was around 4:00 am when my wife awoke me and say that there is some noise outside as someone knock our door. I say puppies are hungry and looking for food, I decide to feed them. When I open the door I saw three men with guns pointing on my head force me to take the keys with me and open the main gate. I opened the gate and they took me to the double cab was parked nearby, push me into it and asked, now you can call your Jesus for help. I started praying in my heart, asking to God for help and mercy. They drugged me and chained my hands backward, lock both hands and third lock with body, there was no way to escape. I fell asleep and suddenly felt that car is broken, I found myself in another small bucket. I think when they drugged me after that sometime they transfer me into this small car.

Car was broken and I was awaked and they were trying to start. It was dark road no light and cars or person, many trees along the road. I started praying Father help me, finally they start the Car and it came into my mind why I cannot jump out. My hands were tied chained but third lock that was locked with body of car was open. It was good time to jump off, when they put can in gear same time I jumped out. I was weak and powerless and I do not know from where this power came and I was running at the dark road.

They could not see me in dark and God allow their car to stop and open the lock. I was running to light for away and after few minutes I was at the road by a petroleum station. I fell on ground as I was very tired of running and hungry and thirsty. A lady asked me and I told her and asked to call Police for help. She helped me to phone to my friends, when I request my friend please can you take my wife and children into your home, he says they are already with him and safe. Case was open in our city and brethren were praying for my safety.

Police came and break the locks and set my hands free, when they ask me and contact the police in my city, case was registered there and they decided to send me back. By the help of our living God I was set free from the step of evils. According to police might they were trying to take me into nearest port so that they can take me into another country. But GOD failed all their evil plans and He show His power to prove that He is alive. Praise be to Him.

Right now we are trying to leave this country and some friends in USA trying to help us to get into any safe place and country where we can live without fear and act as a Christian.

CONTINUE

In His Love,

HassanName changed for security reasons


 

It is time for the scattered sons of Abraham to be gathered together in unity

 


To the sons of our father Abraham everywhere, Sons of Ishmael and sons of Isaac, Sons of the beautiful Hagar and the beloved Sarah.

It is time for the scattered sons of Abraham to be gathered together in unity

Who can unify the scattered?

Who can change the hearts and renew the spirits? Who can bring about peace, mercy, and love? Who can reconcile heaven with earth? Reconcile one with oneself? Reconcile man with his fellow man? Who is that great man who can do all this? Sons of Abraham, let us go! Let us revolt, praise, build, and love.

Introduction

As the prodigal son returned to his father after a time of being lost, going astray, and wandering aimlessly, so Ishmael goes back nowadays to the bosom of his father Abraham, even to the bosom of Christ who existed before father Abraham. He existed before the foundation of the world. Ishmael goes back to the One who came from heaven and was incarnated for him. Yes, my God and my Savior, You came to preach the Good News to the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. You came to rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; to renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations, and proclaim freedom, peace, healing, and love. Oh, my God and Savior, You came to save all nations.

We, the sons of Ishmael, have lived so many years unaware of You, knowing nothing about You, and many times we not only denied You and fought against You, but also were hostile to You. But Your love that is beyond all minds, all imagination, and beyond all enmity found us, guided us, had mercy upon us, and purified us. Your love, my Savior, brought us back to You as the prodigal to the bosom of his father, as a fondling returns to his mother’s bosom, as a drowning person brought back to the ship of rescue.

My God and my Savior, here we are, we sought You and You found us; we asked You and You answered us; we prayed to You and You have heard our prayers. You have loved us first. Now we have become sons not slaves, free not captives. We became righteous instead of being wicked; we became like You in loving whole nations.

We are the children of Ishmael, the sons of our father Abraham, who was called “the friend of God.” We decided on the coming few pages to proclaim to all nations our love, admiration, submission, and loyalty to you. We are the branches and You are the vine; we are the bride and You are the groom; we are Your city and You are our God, Savior, and King. Yours, The Children of Ishmael.

Repentance in Front of a Mosque

This is the story of my conversion to Christianity. My name is Abraham. I am so proud of my Arabic name because it is the name of the great Patriarch. My new name is Timothy, but that does not change the fact that I am Abraham, nicknamed Abu-Khalil, the son of a couple of simple peasants. I was raised in a humble place, where we had reeds for a carpet, an oil lamp for light, and hard cheese for food. I used to study my lessons by the little stream, wearing my white galabia. I still wear the galabia even now. When I was a small child my mom took me by the hand and brought me to the village Kottab (Islamic learning place), where a Sheikh taught us reading, writing, and reciting the Qur’an. He charged us a dime at the end of every week. At the Kottab my mind and my heart were filled with obedience for God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

When I joined the prep school (junior high) I became more interested in Dhekr sessions (mystical worship) at the mosque. I started attending the mystical sessions of the village’s Sufi group. We used to praise the Prophet Mohammed until we were not aware of our surroundings, repeating, “Oh,Messenger of God, help!”

One day after the sunset prayers at the mosque, two men came up to me and introduced themselves. One was named Mohammed, the other Solomon. They greeted me in a pious, friendly way. I saw in them a unique kindness and a real desire to please God. They introduced me to the rest of their friends. They loved one another and encouraged each other to obey God. I was impressed by their unity. They were the elite of our town’s young men. They noticed my dedication to worshiping God and my public speaking skills. Our group had a meeting the first Monday of every month, where I used to deliver a speech right after the sermon of the Emir (prince of the group). I actually started preaching in mosques when I was only fourteen years old. I guess it was fine to do that; Imam Shafai used to give fatwa (religious advice) when he was six or nine years old.

I remember my first sermon at the mosque was about the ideal way to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday. We used to fast and eat together at the mosque, following in the steps of the Prophet Mohammed, even in the minutest details, such as the manner of walking, talking, praying, eating, drinking, dressing, etc. I owe it to these people because they encouraged me to read, search, and research. These factors actually brought me to where I am today.

One day, a friend of mine said to my father, “Abraham is one of the public speakers of the Sunni Group; he attends all their public and secret meetings.” I was surprised and upset because that man was the one who had originally encouraged me to commit to the Islamic Call and to join the Muslim Brethren Group. We used to go together from one mosque to another, proclaiming the Islamic Call. I always wished that my father had been present when I delivered my sermon.

After my secret was revealed, my dad started to warn me and threaten me many times, hoping that I would change my mind and leave the Muslim Brethren Group. Our group became well-known to an informant named Mohammed. He used to follow all our news and movements and report them to the State Security Investigations (SSI) office. He would tape all our speeches and deliver them to the local SSI office. I was proud to see Mohammed taping my speeches at the mosque. On the other hand, my father and I were not pleased that the SSI had gotten my name.

My father was so concerned about my safety that he went to the Muslim Brethren Group at the mosque and screamed at them in front of everyone and asked them to leave me alone. He then came back and hit me and broke my teeth. One of my front teeth is still broken, a reminder of my days with the Muslim Brethren. For the first time in my life, my father burned all my religious books. He was very concerned about me and afraid that I might get hurt because of the Sunni Group. He even threatened to divorce my mother if I continued to go to the Sunni mosque. I asked him to allow me to just sit outside the mosque so that I could listen to the Muslim Brethren Sheikhs without actually going into the mosque. He agreed on the condition that he should go with me. We used to sit outside the mosque as I listened attentively. Threats did not deter me from spreading the Islamic Call.

At school, I used to deliver an Islamic public speech every morning. I forced my sister to wear the veil. I stopped shaking hands with women and listening to songs for fear of God’s punishment on Doomsday, punishment in the form of hot lead poured into the ears. My neighbors made fun of me for being so meticulous in applying all the commands of the Qur’an and Sunnah to the letter. It was not my fault; I had been taught that Islam was relevant and valid for every age and every country, and that Islam was the solution!

While striving to spread the Islamic Call, I had an idea. I thought I should win my Christian friends to Islam so that we all would go to the Jannah (heaven). At that time, if you had asked me my opinion of Christians, I would have told you that they were infidels and polytheists, but I discovered that the Qur’an itself taught otherwise. In Surah 5:82 the Qur’an says, Strongest among men in enmity to the believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to believers wilt thou find those who say, “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning, and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. According to this verse, the Qur’an made a distinction between Christians and infidels; if Christians were infidels, the Qur’an would have put them in the same category. In Surah 2:62 the Qur’an says, And the Christians and the Sabians—any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

I tried to convince the Christians I met at school or in my neighborhood that Islam was the true religion. I even corresponded with some Christians in order to convert them to Islam. As a result, I had a burning desire in my heart to compare Islam and Christianity to find out, once and for all, which was right and which was wrong, which was God’s way and which was the devil’s way.

For two years, I had been struggling. Many times I decided to end this internal battle by stopping the reading of Christian books, focusing on reciting the Qur’an every morning, and following the example of the Prophet Mohammed. I wanted to find peace and to obey God through the true religion. Therefore, I got rid of all my Christian books in order to become a real Muslim, dedicated to the one true God, Allah. But God did not leave me alone. His Holy Spirit used to stir me in my sleep. Whenever I went to bed I got edgy. My conscience was restless. I could not sleep for nights on end.

I wondered, if Mohammed were really the Seal of Prophets, why would he not come at the end days instead of Christ as a fair judge? In this case, Mohammed would be one of the signs of the Last Day and not Christ. I wondered about the secret behind Christ’s supreme status among all prophets so much so that He became the center of history. Do we not say that a certain historic event took place before Christ (B.C.) or after Christ (A.D.)? What is the secret of Your glory, Isa, son of Mary? These questions, and many more, made me strike a comparison between Christ and Mohammed. After spending a long time comparing them, I learned that it was an unfair comparison, even in the Qur’an itself.

In the Qur’an we never find Christ asking God’s forgiveness for any sin or guilt, as did the rest of the prophets and messengers. Christ was right when He challenged the Jewish leaders saying, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46). He even rebuked the Jews for their false piety when they caught the adulterous woman in the act: “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). On the other hand, I found from the Qur’an itself that Mohammed was just a human being like any other, with his sins, his hostility toward the infidels, and his death. This happened until God inspired him with another verse: “Never we did send a messenger or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire; but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His signs” (Surah 22:52). That was the reason for Surah 17:73,74: “And their purpose was to tempt thee away from that which We had revealed unto thee, to substitute in Our Name something quite different: Behold! They would certainly have made thee (their) friend. And had We not given thee strength, thou wouldst nearly have inclined to them a little.”

I could not find any verse in the Bible that said that Christ almost joined the infidels if it hadn’t been for God’s providence. The reason behind this fact, as I learned from my studies, that Christ was the Word of God. The New Testament, which was written originally in Greek, states that Christ is the Word of God in the sense of “the spoken mind of God.” Christ is the mind of God. God and God’s mind are the same entity and the same essence, without any difference, division, or separation. Christ is the Incarnated Word, God who came in the flesh. His divine nature has never departed from His human nature, not even for a moment or a twinkling of an eye. All these thoughts bombarded my mind and fought in my heart. I was afraid of God’s wrath that came upon infidels. Whenever I knelt down for prayers, I cried from the bottom of my heart, “Oh, God, show me the truth. If Mohammed is right, I will follow Him until I die; if Christ is right, I will follow Him until I die. I would give my whole life to You and serve You all my life whatever the cost may be.” I kept repeating this prayer until Christ came to me in a vision, in a dream. He said to me in His kind voice, “I love you.”

I meditated on the unending love of Christ and His sacrificial death on the cross to save and redeem us. With tears running down my face I said to Christ, “I love You. I know You. I know that You are the Alpha and the Omega. I know that You are eternal, and that You are the beginning and the end.” I was so happy, dancing like a small child and praising God.

Being a fair judge, God sentenced His Son to die in our place so we don’t have to spend our eternity in hell. We do not say that God Almighty has a son from a wife—God forbid! We consider anyone an infidel if they say so. God never had a wife or a physical son. We say that Christ is the Son of God in the same way light is born out of light. It is a spiritual sonship. We Egyptians are called “sons of the Nile,” but we don’t say that the Nile got married. We proclaim in the Nicene Creed: “We believe…in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.” At the same time, we testify that there is no god but God, and we worship Him alone.

A few weeks later, I was baptized on September 6, 1987, in a home. In my heart, my baptism was my second date of birth. I have been a Christian for twenty six years now. I told my wife that, when I die, I want my tombstone to read “Christ is Victorious!”

All human beings on the face of this earth are mortal. Only Christ is immortal. All prophets are buried in tombs that we know and visit, but only the tomb of Christ is empty because He is in heaven, a Victorious King. Through His death on the cross, Christ conquered the power of death. Praise and glory to You, my beloved Jesus!

A friend of mine stole my diary and gave it to Solomon of the Muslim Brethren Group. Solomon and his followers conspired together to trap me. They photocopied my diary, in which I explained my belief in Christ, and distributed it among the people in my village. It was like a scandal, but as Joseph said when his brothers conspired to harm him, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good” (Genesis 50:20). The Word of God says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).

My family members were ashamed of me. My mother could not appear in public. People used to point fingers at her because her son had brought her shame by becoming a Christian. She told me that she had disowned me until the Last Day. Nothing broke my heart more than the hurt, humiliation, and disgrace I caused my family, especially my mother. But what could I possibly do? I really loved my mother, but it was impossible for me to abandon my belief in Christ for her. She once hit me on the head with her shoe. Another time, she wore black and announced to everyone that she was mourning the death of her son, Abraham.

One day, all the people of my village came together to beat and torture me in order to convert me back to Islam. They kicked and slapped me in front of my family. My mother knelt down and begged them not to hurt me, but they stepped on her. My poor mother was crying on the ground, while they shouted at my family, “You disgraced us!” In the middle of this chaos, one of the village’s Sheikhs shouted at the people, “What’s the crime of this poor woman if her son has chosen the path of infidelity?” I thank the Lord. If it were not for His mercy, I would have been a martyr long ago.

Afterwards, all my friends avoided me. They thought I would give them a bad reputation in town. I became a famous “guest” at the local police station and the SSI office. I had to spend many nights at the police station in fear for my life. One night, people in my village crowded around my family’s house and wanted to burn it. They burned some of my Christian books, while the police confiscated the rest as if they were confiscating the property of a drug dealer.

The police had a twenty-four-hour watch around my house to prevent any Christian material from coming to me. Well, the Word of God came to me in the form of a newspaper page in which my sandwich was wrapped! It was the front page of the newspaper, which included an article by the Coptic Pope Shenouda. He mentioned many Bible verses such as, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you” (Genesis 26:24), and, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:8). It was a miracle and a sign from heaven to have this newspaper brought to me under the heavy siege of the police force surrounding my house. It encouraged and lifted me up at a time when I was in desperate need of God’s help. As soon as I finished reading that newspaper page, a police officer knocked on the door. Afraid for my life, someone in my family snatched the paper and burned it. I was so sad to lose my source of consolation, but to my surprise the following day I was walking around the corner when I found another copy of the same page lying on the ground!

I used to wake up every morning at 4 a.m. to the voice of my mother crying to Allah to bring me back to Islam. Christians are not dearer to me than my own mother. As a matter of fact, my mother is more precious to me than any Muslim or Christian. On the other hand, I have someone more precious than my mother or my very life—my Lord Jesus Christ! If I don’t love Him more than myself, I would not deserve to have a share with Him.

My mother left no stone unturned in order to get me back to Islam. She visited a sorcerer to cast a spell on me. Muslims think that the Jinn believe in the Qur’an. Well, there was nothing that sorcerer could do to affect me. I was praying to Almighty God in the name of Jesus Christ, the name that terrifies all demons and Jinn. Strangely, the sorcerer told my mother, “Your son is following a path that he will never leave!”

God has done many signs and wonders in my life. I feel encouraged whenever I remember any of them. They are milestones along the way of God’s fatherly love that carried me from the beginning and saw me through, and brought me to this place twenty six years later. God has never forsaken me, not for a single moment! Abraham.

 



Through reading these articles, have you trusted Jesus as Savior from your sin

and Leader of your life? If so, please open the contact page and send me an

email telling me about your decision, or sharing anything that is on your heart.

God bless you, Tom