What are prophets?
Dallas M. Roark, Ph.D.
The first occurrence of the word “prophet” appearing in the Bible relates to Abraham in the book of Genesis. The context of the story concerns Abraham and Abimelech. Sarah was a beautiful woman and because of this Abraham instructed Sarah to say that Abraham was her brother. Abimelech had Sarah brought to him, but before any relationships were established God appeared to him in a dream, warning him of his actions, telling him to return Sarah to Abraham, “But now, give the woman back to her husband. He is a prophet, and he will pray for you, so that you will not die. But if you do not give her back, I warn you that you are going to die, you and all your people.” (Genesis 20:7)
Needless to say, Abimelech did as he was told. The word prophet generally has the idea of being a speaker for God. There is little in the story of Abraham in which he spoke like the prophets following after him. More particularly, God does most of the speaking to Abraham. The command to preach seems to be absent from Abraham. God tells him that he is to leave his country and go to a new country. “The LORD said to Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's home, and go to a land that I am going to show you. I will give you many descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will bless you and make your name famous, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations."” (Genesis 12:1-3) In chapter 13 the land of Israel is promised to Abraham and his descendants forever. Genesis 15 describes the Covenant that God made with Abraham about the judgment on the peoples of the land, the Hebrews’ time in Egyptian slavery for 400 years, and the return to the land that God promised to Abraham.
There is a big jump from the time of Abraham to the time of Moses in which Moses had complained about not being a good speaker: “The LORD said, "I am going to make you like God to the king, and your brother Aaron will speak to him as your prophet. "” (Exodus 7:1) However, as one reads the account we see that Moses quickly got his confidence in speaking.
The next occurrence of the word “prophet” occurs in Exodus 15:20 “The prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took her tambourine, and all the women followed her, playing tambourines and dancing.” (Exodus 15:20) This is not the only mention of female prophets.
In Judges 4:4 we read of Deborah who was a prophet who sat “under a certain palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel would go there for her decisions.” Deborah is one of the many “judges” who delivered Israel from invaders.
Toward the end of the southern kingdom of Judah another female prophet is listed.
The Torah had been rediscovered and people were alarmed at what they read about God’s judgments. We are told: “At the king's command, Hilkiah and the others went to consult a woman named Huldah, a prophet, who lived in the newer part of Jerusalem. (Her husband Shallum, the son of Tikvah and grandson of Harhas, was in charge of the Temple robes.) They described to her what had happened, and she told them to go back to the king and give him the following message from the LORD: “I am going to punish Jerusalem and all its people with the curses written in the book that was read to the king. They have rejected me and have offered sacrifices to other gods, and so have stirred up my anger by all they have done. My anger is aroused against Jerusalem, and it will not die down.” (2 Chronicles 34:22-25.)
There is a prime example of prophetic jealousy expressed in the criticism of Miriam and Aaron of Moses for marrying a Cushite woman. “They said, "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses? Hasn't he also spoken through us?" The LORD heard what they said.” (Numbers 12:2) “The LORD said, "Now hear what I have to say! When there are prophets among you, I reveal myself to them in visions and speak to them in dreams. It is different when I speak with my servant Moses; I have put him in charge of all my people Israel. So I speak to him face-to-face, clearly and not in riddles; he has even seen my form! How dare you speak against my servant Moses?"” (Numbers 12:6-8)
The next important occurrence is found in the following passage:
Prophets or interpreters of dreams may promise a miracle or a wonder, in order to lead you to worship and serve gods that you have not worshiped before. Even if what they promise comes true, do not pay any attention to them. The LORD your God is using them to test you, to see if you love the LORD with all your heart. Follow the LORD and honor him; obey him and keep his commands; worship him and be faithful to him. But put to death any interpreters of dreams or prophets that tell you to rebel against the LORD, who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves. Such people are evil and are trying to lead you away from the life that the LORD has commanded you to live. They must be put to death, in order to rid yourselves of this evil. "Even your brother or your son or your daughter or the wife you love or your closest friend may secretly encourage you to worship other gods, gods that you and your ancestors have never worshiped. Some of them may encourage you to worship the gods of the people who live near you or the gods of those who live far away. But do not let any of them persuade you; do not even listen to them. Show them no mercy or pity, and do not protect them. (Deuteronomy 13:1-8)
This seems to be the first warning about false prophets. Yahweh is jealous for our well-being because idols cannot do any good for us, nor can they help, hear, or do good to humans. In fact idols involve concepts that are destructive of the family. In the case of Baal worship sexual rites are performed for the fertility of the soil which demeans the family, and in the case of the worship of Molech children are sacrificed. It should be noted that this is a command related only to the Jews. There is no command to root out false prophets or teachers in any other culture. The Jews were not to follow foreign customs. There is no jihad against any other power such as the Chinese, the Greeks, or Assyrians. The judgment is harsh for it means that one should affirm life, not death. To follow idol worship is death, to obey Yahweh is life. Therefore, choose life.
We will encounter more about false prophets shortly. In the warnings that Moses gave to the people about rejecting the evil and sinful practices of the people who live in the promised land, Moses indicated that God
will send you a prophet like me from among your own people, and you are to obey him. "On the day that you were gathered at Mount Sinai, you begged not to hear the LORD speak again or to see his fiery presence any more, because you were afraid you would die. So the LORD said to me, 'They have made a wise request. I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command. He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him. But if any prophet dares to speak a message in my name when I did not command him to do so, he must die for it, and so must any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods.' "You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet's message does not come from the LORD. If a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD and what he says does not come true, then it is not the LORD's message. That prophet has spoken on his own authority, and you are not to fear him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-22)
This passage is important for several reasons:
First, there are false prophets who have lead people astray. We will see some of them in the rest of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. There have been false prophets throughout history. Many people have been lead astray.
Second, there is the role of mediator for this prophet like Moses. The people were afraid they would die, and the prophet here would be told what to say. This passage was quoted in the book of Acts shortly after Pentecost when Peter called to the people of Israel. Here Peter identifies Jesus as the Prophet:
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins. If you do, times of spiritual strength will come from the Lord, and he will send Jesus, who is the Messiah he has already chosen for you. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for all things to be made new, as God announced through his holy prophets of long ago. For Moses said, 'The Lord your God will send you a prophet, just as he sent me, and he will be one of your own people. You are to obey everything that he tells you to do. Anyone who does not obey that prophet shall be separated from God's people and destroyed.' And all the prophets who had a message, including Samuel and those who came after him, also announced what has been happening these days. The promises of God through his prophets are for you, and you share in the covenant which God made with your ancestors. As he said to Abraham, 'Through your descendants I will bless all the people on earth.' And so God chose his Servant and sent him to you first, to bless you by making every one of you turn away from your wicked ways. (Acts 3:19)
Third, Mohammed did not speak in the name of Yahweh. In fact, the name of Yahweh is not mentioned in the Qur’an. The name of Yahweh appears over 6700 times in the Old Testament and it is His real name. Therefore, Mohammed is not to be obeyed.
The Gospel of John indicates a reference to this passage. “Seeing this miracle that Jesus had performed, the people there said, "Surely this is the Prophet who was to come into the world!"” (John 6:14) In another passage a similar conclusion is reached: “Some of the people in the crowd heard him say this and said, "This man is really the Prophet!"” (John 7:40)
There are many historical references in the Old Testament concerning things to come. The prophets declared that Israel would be carried into captivity and they were conquered in 722 and deported to Assyria. The prophets predicted that Judah, or the Southern Kingdom would fall to Babylon because of their great sin, and this happened in 586 BC. The return of the people from captivity was declared and this began with the rule of Cyrus.
The promise of a Messiah was foretold by the prophets and what he would do.
Gen 3:15 is the precursor of the prophet’s message, Yahweh is the first fore-teller. “You and this woman will hate each other; your descendants and hers will always be enemies. One of hers will strike you on the head, and you will strike him on the heel.” These words are addressed to the serpent. The devil would be defeated at Calvary in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Through the centuries prophets renewed the promise of a Messiah in a variety of ways. The book of Isaiah has a number of different concepts about the coming Messiah.
A child has been born for us. We have been given a son who will be our ruler. His names will be Wonderful Advisor and Mighty God, Eternal Father and Prince of Peace. His power will never end; peace will last forever. He will rule David's kingdom and make it grow strong. He will always rule with honesty and justice. The LORD All-Powerful will make certain that all of this is done. (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Even while this lofty description is given, Isaiah also predicts the suffering of the Messiah.
Has anyone believed us or seen the mighty power of the LORD in action? Like a young plant or a root that sprouts in dry ground, the servant grew up obeying the LORD. He wasn't some handsome king. Nothing about the way he looked made him attractive to us. He was hated and rejected; his life was filled with sorrow and terrible suffering. No one wanted to look at him. We despised him and said, "He is a nobody!" He suffered and endured great pain for us, but we thought his suffering was punishment from God. He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well. All of us were like sheep that had wandered off. We had each gone our own way, but the LORD gave him the punishment we deserved. He was painfully abused, but he did not complain. He was silent like a lamb being led to the butcher, as quiet as a sheep having its wool cut off. He was condemned to death without a fair trial. Who could have imagined what would happen to him? His life was taken away because of the sinful things my people had done. He wasn't dishonest or violent, but he was buried in a tomb of cruel and rich people. The LORD decided his servant would suffer as a sacrifice to take away the sin and guilt of others. Now the servant will live to see his own descendants. He did everything the LORD had planned. By suffering, the servant will learn the true meaning of obeying the LORD. Although he is innocent, he will take the punishment for the sins of others, so that many of them will no longer be guilty. The LORD will reward him with honor and power for sacrificing his life. Others thought he was a sinner, but he suffered for our sins and asked God to forgive us. (Isaiah 53:1-12)
Jeremiah and Ezekiel both prophesy of the new covenant that Yahweh would make with His people. Jeremiah wrote:
The LORD says, "The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. None of them will have to teach a neighbor to know the LORD, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the LORD, have spoken.(Jeremiah 31:31-34)
Ezekiel wrote: “But I will honor the covenant I made with you when you were young, and I will make a covenant with you that will last forever.” (Ezekiel 16:60) The prophet Micah foretold where the Messiah would be born: “The LORD says, "Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times."” (Micah 5:2)
There is an important issue involved in the prophecies of the Old Testament. There are many comments made about a coming Messiah. In the Gospels questions are raised about the nature of the Messiah, who he would be, and his origins. In many instances an appeal is made to the Messianic prophecies. One can see this in the examples of Matthew 1:22 (Isaiah), Matthew 2:5 (Micah), Matthew 2:15 (Hosea), Matthew 2:17 (Jeremiah). There are many others so that a Messiah was expected, certain facts were stated, and in the case of Jesus they were confirmed.
In the case of Mohammed, Muslims have attempted to find some kind of prophetic prediction for his role. There are none. The most descriptive words come from the letter of I John in which Mohammed would be described as a false prophet. For a fuller treatment of this issue go here and here.
When a person claims to be a prophet there is no assurance that he is a true prophet. There are indeed false prophets in the Old and New Testaments. Kings had a number of prophets on their payroll and they were simply “yes men” to the king’s wishes. An example of this is found in I Kings 22 in which Ahab asked Jehoshaphat to attack Ramoth. Ahab had about 400 prophets who all said, "The Lord will give you victory." But Jehoshaphat was not satisfied and wanted a prophet of the LORD. Micaiah was called but Ahab declared that he “never prophesies anything good for me; it's always something bad.”
I can see the army of Israel scattered over the hills like sheep without a shepherd. And the LORD said, 'These men have no leader; let them go home in peace.' "Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, "Didn't I tell you that he never prophesies anything good for me? It's always something bad!" Micaiah went on: "Now listen to what the LORD says! I saw the LORD sitting on his throne in heaven, with all his angels standing beside him. The LORD asked, 'Who will deceive Ahab so that he will go and be killed at Ramoth?' Some of the angels said one thing, and others said something else, until a spirit stepped forward, approached the LORD, and said, 'I will deceive him.' 'How?' the LORD asked. The spirit replied, 'I will go and make all of Ahab's prophets tell lies.' The LORD said, 'Go and deceive him. You will succeed.' " And Micaiah concluded: "This is what has happened. The LORD has made these prophets of yours lie to you. But he himself has decreed that you will meet with disaster!" Then the prophet Zedekiah went up to Micaiah, slapped his face, and asked, "Since when did the LORD's spirit leave me and speak to you?" "You will find out when you go into some back room to hide," Micaiah replied. Then King Ahab ordered one of his officers, "Arrest Micaiah and take him to Amon, the governor of the city, and to Prince Joash. Tell them to throw him in prison and to put him on bread and water until I return safely." "If you return safely," Micaiah exclaimed, "then the LORD has not spoken through me!" And he added, "Listen, everyone, to what I have said!" Then King Ahab of Israel and King Jehoshaphat of Judah went to attack the city of Ramoth in Gilead. (1 Kings 22:17-29)
Micaiah was right and the 400 prophets were wrong. Ahab was killed and the army defeated and the words of Micaiah came true. Micaiah suffered for his stand. We are not told if he died in prison or was released for his truth.
Prophets are not to disobey the LORD’s commands. An un-named prophet was sent to Bethel to rail against the altar there when Jeroboam was to offer a sacrifice. The king pointed at the prophet saying, “Seize Him,” but at that point the King’s arm became paralyzed. The king asked the prophet to pray for him to heal his arm. The prophet did, and the King invited him home to eat and be given a reward for what he had done. “The prophet answered, "Even if you gave me half of your wealth, I would not go with you or eat or drink anything with you. The LORD has commanded me not to eat or drink a thing, and not to return home the same way I came."” (I Kings 13:8-9) An old prophet learned of all this and went after the prophet and found him under a tree resting.
Then the old prophet from Bethel said to him, "I, too, am a prophet just like you, and at the LORD's command an angel told me to take you home with me and offer you my hospitality." But the old prophet was lying. So the prophet from Judah went home with the old prophet and had a meal with him. As they were sitting at the table, the word of the LORD came to the old prophet, and he cried out to the prophet from Judah, "The LORD says that you disobeyed him and did not do what he commanded. Instead, you returned and ate a meal in a place he had ordered you not to eat in. Because of this you will be killed, and your body will not be buried in your family grave." (1 Kings 13:18-22) [The rest of the story relates the death of the prophet from Judah.]
Many of the prophets were empowered to do miracles. The miracles seem to have a relationship to the difficult times, or threatening times in the life of Israel. For example, the time of Moses is filled with acts of God in delivering the people from the slavery of Egypt. The next big series of miracles are related to the lives of Elijah and Elisha. Those were dark time in which people were drawn to idolatry and the acts of Yahweh were related to bringing them back to Yahweh and rejecting Baalism, and other idolatries. One should not overlook the period of the Judges in which specific people were empowered to bring deliverance from invaders when the Israelites cried out repenting of their sins. In all of these examples miracles were related to calling the people back to the worship of Yahweh and obeying His laws. No new demands were laid on them by the prophets such as the command for jihad which appears in Islam.
The last period of great miracles in the Bible comes in the time of Jesus. He was not merely empowered to do miracles as the earlier prophets were, he did the miracles on His own power. He healed the lepers, the raised the dead, he healed the lame, he gave sight to the blind, he healed women as well as men, he also healed the young as well as the old. He foretold that he would be killed and he would rise from the dead. Before and after his resurrection Jesus gave power to his disciples to do miracles. (Mt. 10:1-8; the book of Acts)
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God with power. This claim is related to his relationship to His Father. Jesus had healed a man on the Sabbath and people began to persecute him for the good deed..
Jesus answered them, "My Father is always working, and I too must work." This saying made the Jewish authorities all the more determined to kill him; not only had he broken the Sabbath law, but he had said that God was his own Father and in this way had made himself equal with God. So Jesus answered them, "I tell you the truth: the Son can do nothing on his own; he does only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. He will show him even greater things to do than this, and you will all be amazed. Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, in the same way the Son gives life to those he wants to. Nor does the Father himself judge anyone. He has given his Son the full right to judge, so that all will honor the Son in the same way as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. "I am telling you the truth: those who hear my words and believe in him who sent me have eternal life. They will not be judged, but have already passed from death to life. " (John 5:17-24)
One must ask the question concerning people who claim to be prophets – are they genuine or frauds? What can be shown historically, factually, that their predictions came true? One must ask these questions particularly of Mohammed. Did Mohammed do any miracles? What is the evidence? On the one hand, some of the hadiths claim that Mohammed did a number of miracles. See here.
On the other hand, this is contradicted by the Qur’an. Remember that hadiths were created over a long period of time in contradiction to the claimed revelation from Allah. Hadiths are more like fables that arose about Mohammed. Hadiths are not revelation.
Note the following from the Qur’an about the lack of miracles by Mohammed.
And they that know not say, 'Why does God not speak to us? Why does a sign (ayatun) not come to us?' So spoke those before them as these men say; their hearts are much alike. Yet We have made clear the signs (bayyanna al-ayati) unto a people who are sure. ( 2:118)
Yet if thou shouldst bring to those that have been given the Book every sign (ayatun), they will not follow thy direction; thou art not a follower of their direction, neither are they followers of one another's direction. If thou followest their caprices, after the knowledge that has come to thee, then thou wilt surely be among the evildoers.( 2:145)
They also say, 'Why has no sign (ayatun) been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Say: 'Surely God is able to send down a sign (ayatan), but most of them know not.' ( 6:37)
They have sworn by God the most earnest oaths if a sign (ayatun) comes to them they will believe in it. Say: 'Signs (al-ayatu) are only with God.' What will make you realize that, when it comes, they will not believe? (6:109)
“They say, 'Why has a sign (ayatun) not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Say: 'The Unseen belongs only to God. Then watch and wait; I shall be with you watching and waiting.'” S. 10:20
The unbelievers say, 'Why has a sign (ayatun) not been sent down upon him from his Lord?' Thou art ONLY a warner, and a guide to every people. (13:7)
Then, it may be that you will give up part of what is revealed to you and your breast will become straightened by it because they say: Why has not a treasure been sent down upon him or an angel come with him? You are ONLY a warner; and Allah is custodian over all things. (11:12 Shakir)
For further study on the miracles see here.
If the Qur’an is true, then the hadiths are not. If the hadiths are true, then the Qur’an is not.
Jesus also warned about false prophets
Be on your guard against false prophets; they come to you looking like sheep on the outside, but on the inside they are really like wild wolves. You will know them by what they do. Thorn bushes do not bear grapes, and briers do not bear figs. A healthy tree bears good fruit, but a poor tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit. And any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire. So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do. (Matthew 7:15-20)
What are the applications of this warning. Joseph Smith claimed to be a prophet and corrupted the teaching of Jesus by saying that God was once a man and man can become God. This boils down to polytheism, a belief in many gods which violates the first commandment, thereby identifying Joseph Smith as a false prophet. Centuries before Smith, Mohammed claimed to be a prophet. The record speaks of his activities in which he left Mecca for Medina and began raiding Meccan caravans, robbing, and plundering. He slaughtered the Jews for not believing in him as a prophet. When he gained power in Medina he claimed that Allah demanded jihad on those who disbelieve in Mohammed. With this self appointed commission he attacked villages in Arabia, inspired his followers to move beyond Arabia and attack the world. There are many other things Mohammed did which are not the mark of a prophet as described in the Bible. The words of Jesus: “you will know the false prophets by what they do.”
Another warning from Jesus about false prophets.
For false Messiahs and false prophets will appear; they will perform great miracles and wonders in order to deceive even God's chosen people, if possible. (Matthew 24:24)
We must remember that the passage in Deuteronomy 13 mentions the possibility of miracles by a false prophet. The real issue was not the miracle but what was said. If someone did a miracle and tried to persuade people to worship other gods than Yahweh, they were to be rejected. The message was the issue. The miracle did not prove the message here. In the case of Mohammed there were no miracles claimed but there was the deviation from the Law and the Gospels. To claim that the Qur’an itself because of its eloquence was a miracle is no miracle at all. There were books before and after the Qur’an and there were books before and after that were eloquent. Eloquence is not mark of truth. The truth is in the message, not the form.
Peter also warns against false prophets:
False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake! (2 Peter 2:1-3)
This passage warns against a number of things Mohammed did. First, he denied the Master who came as redeemer. While the Qur’an speaks of Jesus as Messiah it denies the real important issue of Jesus as the Son of God. It is only as the Son of God that he can be redeemer. At the same time Mohammed taught half-truths in affirming the role of Messiah, but denying the key issue in who Jesus is. The immoral ways mentioned by the Apostle Peter can be seen in Mohammed’s polygamy. Not only did he claim sexual privileges above the common Muslim, but he debased women in a precarious position. She can be divorced quite easily, she can be humiliated by a man’s acquiring a younger wife, and the daughters can be married off without their consent.
Since the beginning of Islam Muslims have been speaking evil of the Way of truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his church. Not only has there been speaking against the church that Jesus founded, they have been destroying it wherever they can. One other item in the passage refers to “made-up stories.” The Qur’an has a lot of stories that are made up. They are not historical, they are only fables. But the sad truth is that Mohammed pawned these stories off on his followers as revelation. Some of the stories include the apocryphal story of Abraham, the story of Haman, the stories of the children who hid in a cave for 300 years (here and here).
The Apostle John gave warnings about false prophets also. There are several passages from the epistle that relate to the teaching of Mohammed.
Who, then, is the liar? It is those who say that Jesus is not the Messiah. Such people are the Enemy of Christ – they reject both the Father and the Son. For those who reject the Son reject also the Father; those who accept the Son have the Father also. Be sure, then, to keep in your hearts the message you heard from the beginning. If you keep that message, then you will always live in union with the Son and the Father. And this is what Christ himself promised to give us – eternal life. I am writing this to you about those who are trying to deceive you. (1 John 2:22-26)
This is a serious passage with grave implications for the Muslims. Even though the Qur’an affirms that Jesus is the Messiah there is more to the issue than that. The great issue is this: if you reject the Son you reject the Father also. Only by accepting the Son will there be worship of the Father. This is not academic – it is real life. If you want eternal life it is found only in the Son. If you have the Son you have the Father. If you do not have the Son you do not have the Father, nor do you have eternal life. Now the question is: who are Muslims worshiping? Who is Allah? Muslims claim that Allah has no Son. We must conclude that Muslims are worshiping some being other than Yahweh. What does this mean for true worship? Are Muslims idolaters?
There are some thinkers who seek to talk about the three faiths that came from Abraham. From the perspective of the Bible it is difficult to talk about Islam being compatible with either the Old or the New Testament. The character of Allah and the character of Yahweh are quite different. So the question comes again: Who is Allah? He is not Yahweh.
What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us. (1 John 3:23)
This passage is very similar to John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” We are commanded to believe in his Son Jesus Christ. If we reject this command there is nothing else that will be available to anyone.
We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit. And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us. (1 John 4:13-15)
The good news of the Gospel of Jesus is that we can have an awareness of Christ’s presence within our lives. Islam does not offer such a union. Many Muslims do not believe this is possible. Many do not search for it because Islam denies it. There is the fear of hell because one never knows whether the good deeds will outweigh the bad deeds. Moreover, one never can know whether Allah has predestined one to hell in spite of the good deeds. The passage above focuses on our relationship with God though His Son, Jesus, the Son of God. The most profound experience occurs when we ask Jesus to come into our lives. Not only do we have a Savior from sin, but we have a union with the Son and the Father. There is no other way to the Father without the Son. This union or relationship begins when one invites Jesus, the Son of God into our lives.
Who can defeat the world? Only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:5)
The world has a permeating influence in our lives. There is so much that is so shallow and worthless. How can one live in a wicked world and overcome it? The answer is the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This believing is not mere assent to an idea, but it is a commitment to a person who lives in our lives.
So those who believe in the Son of God have this testimony in their own heart; but those who do not believe God, have made a liar of him, because they have not believed what God has said about his Son. The testimony is this: God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in his Son. Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:10-12)
This is a serious accusation of the Muslim ideology. Rejecting the Son of God makes a liar of God. This is not a cultural difference merely, it is a life or death issues. The issue of the lie comes in denying what God has affirmed. If one denies what God has said there is no eternal life in the presence of God.
Last of all we have this statement from the Apostle John,
We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we know the true God. We live in union with the true God---in union with his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and this is eternal life. My children, keep yourselves safe from false gods! (1 John 5:20)
This message was written 600 years before Mohammed. To follow Mohammed is to turn away from this message and a rejection of eternal life. The life of Jesus is the revelation of the Son of God who came to redeem the sinner from his guilt and give the sinner life everlasting in the Kingdom of God. The message of the book is that there are false gods, false prophets, and the only hope for mankind is Jesus, the Son of God. Turn away from a false god to the living God who loves you so much that you can be forgiven and know that you have everlasting life.
The conclusion of the Scriptures that Mohammed accepted as authoritative in the Qur’an does not leave any room for believing that Mohammed was the final prophet, nor the restorer of the religion of Jesus, nor the seal of the prophets. Go here.
The words of Jesus are still true:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.” (John 14:6)