Be Not Deceived
17 August 2010
This article is the final in a four-part series. If you missed the first three articles, you will want to go back and read them first. Start with A Mentally Ill God?, which is followed by part two, Messianic Muslims? and then part three, A C-5 Critique.
In the previous three articles we have been looking at the contextualization of the gospel as it relates to Muslims, the idea of "Messianic Muslims", and the C-1 to C-6 Spectrum of Contextualization.
So, what is the bottom line? Why am I writing this series of articles? Indeed, why have I created this entire Your Islamic Future Web site?
A major reason is to expose and refute the demonic lie and deception that the God of the Bible, Yahweh, who is the God of Israel, and Allah, the god of the Qur'an, the god of Islam, are actually the one and same God.
This stupendous lie is often expressed in ways very similar to what I quoted from Mission Frontiers magazine in the first article of this series: ... God, the creator of heaven and earth, the God who revealed himself in Abraham, the God of the Bible, [is] indeed the God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims.
The fact that many Christians swallow this deception hook, line and sinker, and that a large number of Christian leaders worldwide believe, advocate and promote this lie, is a cause for serious alarm. Therefore it would behoove us to scrutinize this issue again so that we can strengthen our grasp on the truth.
If the God of the Bible and the god of the Qur'an are the exact same God, then the Bible and the Qur'an are equally the inspired word of one God. But as we have discussed in previous articles, the Bible and the Qur'an are so hopelessly contradictory that it is impossible that they are both true. As I wrote in part two of this series, ... the only way we could say they are both the inspired word of the same God is by having a mentally-ill, multiple-personality god — which would be no god at all!
Those who support the position that Yahweh and Allah are the exact same God often reply with the argument that the god the Muslims believe in IS the one true God, but that the Muslims simply have incorrect concepts about God — along the lines of what Yeshua (Jesus) said to the woman at the well in John 4:22, You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him. Today, they might say: "You Muslims know very little about the one you worship, while we Christians know all about him."
How do Muslims know about Allah? It is through the Qur'an that Allah revealed himself. Every word of the Qur'an is the inspired word of Allah — so much so that Muslims insist is must be read in the original Arabic. But this Qur'an, the holy inspired word of Allah, contradicts and opposes the Bible, the holy and inspired word of Yahweh, in hundreds and hundreds of verses. So how can these two books possibly be inspired by the same God? How can Yahweh and Allah possibly be the same God? They CAN be the same — only if white and black are the exact same color! Or if you can put water in a hot oven and watch it freeze! Or if Hitler and Mother Teresa are the same person! My goodness! How hard is this to understand?! Those Christians who insist that Yahweh and Allah are the exact same God have no truth or reality to base that claim on, only lies and deception.
As for Islam itself, one of the major themes throughout the entire Qur'an is that Allah is the same god as the God of the Bible, and that faith in Allah is the next evolutionary step from faith in the God of the Jews and Christians. This doctrine is so deeply rooted in the Qur'an that if you removed these principles from Islam the entire ideology would simply disintegrate. This is its whole claim to fame and legitimacy: that Allah is the God of Adam, the God of Abraham, the God of Moses, the God of the Jews, the God of Jesus, the God of the Christians. That is what the Qur'an proclaims — read it for yourself.
If you truly have eyes to see, ears to hear, and a mind to understand, then there is no way in heaven or earth that Yahweh, the God of the Bible, and Allah, the god of the Qur'an, can be the same God. The only place where they are the same is in hell, and those places on the earth where hell holds sway. As I have stated before on this Web site, Allah is no god at all, but a demonic impostor, masquerading as God. Was this not Satan's ambition from the beginning — to take the place of God?
How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Neither was it the angel Gabriel who appeared to Muhammad, but again, a demonic impersonator "masquerading as an angel of light". This fake "Gabriel" brought a different gospel than the Gospel proclaimed in the New Testament of the Bible, for he brought messages (the Qur'an) that declared at least 24 times that Yeshua (Jesus) is NOT the Son of God. What does the Bible, the inspired word of the one true God, have to say about that? The apostle Paul wrote:
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8-9)
What's that?! Regarding an "angle" from heaven that preaches a different Gospel than the New Testament, God says twice: let him be eternally condemned! That sounds pretty serious and final to me! So how can we continue in this folly? How can we keep playing this game that the God of the Bible and the god of the Qur'an are the same God, and that Muslims are worshipping the same God (with wrong concepts, of course!) as Christians?
Regarding these "Messianic Muslims" we have been referring to in this series of articles, I for sure do not want to put any obstacles in front of Muslims who want to become followers of Isa (Yeshua, Jesus). I'm sure I can't begin to imagine the horrendous difficulties and dangers they face trying to escape the bondage of Islam and enjoy the freedom of belonging to Messiah. I'm not in their shoes, so how can I know for sure how they should be conducting themselves or exactly how God wants them to live? I can't know — but I do have concerns.
As we have seen, Islam is a demonically-inspired ideology with a demonically-inspired book, the Qur'an. Formerly-Muslim followers of Isa who retain their Muslim identity and appear to those around them as Muslims are continuing to submit themselves to this demonic ideological system. The apostle Paul addressed this very issue in the early Church:
So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. When we bless the cup at Yahweh's Table, aren't we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren't we sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren't they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don't want you to participate with demons. You cannot drink from the cup of Yahweh and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at Yahweh's Table and at the table of demons, too. What? Do we dare to rouse Yahweh's jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is? You say, "I am allowed to do anything" — but not everything is good for you. You say, "I am allowed to do anything" — but not everything is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 10:14-23)
Because there is no ethnic group called "Muslim", then retaining a Muslim identity is keeping a religious identity, not an ethnic one. It seems to me that it would be much more beneficial, and much more in keeping with the teaching of the New Testament, for these former-Muslim followers of Isa to take on the identity of Isa — expressing Him through the aspects of their ethnic culture which are not contrary to the teachings of the Bible — and clearly demonstrate their allegiance to Him rather than dabbling in this strange mixture of Christianity and Islam.
Regarding the followers of Isa (Yeshua, Jesus) using the word Allah as their term for God, let me quote again from When God's Kingdom Grows Like Yeast: Frequently-Asked Questions About Jesus Movements Within Muslim Communities which appeared in the July-August 2010 issue of Mission Frontiers magazine. In section 17 of the article we find:
Not only do Jesus-following Muslims use the term Allah, but all Arab Christians use Allah as their term for God, as do millions of Christians in various parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the Middle East. Even before the rise of Islam, Arabic-speaking Christians called God Allah, since the name Allah pre-dates Islam. Jews used the term Allah in their Arabic translation of the Old Testament. Following in the tradition of Arab and Christian use of the term Allah, the Qur'an uses Allah to refer to God... A person's accurate understanding of God is a separate issue from the term used for God.
Despite the historic use of Allah by Christians to refer to the God of the Bible, in today's world the word "Allah" has an almost exclusive linkage to the god of Islam. So much so that the government of Malaysia has banned the Christian use of the word Allah, saying that the word is exclusive to Islam (see this article on CNN). And according to the Wikipedia article on Allah, Arab Christians today use terms such as Allah al-'Ab ('God the Father') to distinguish their usage from Muslim usage. In other words, the word "Allah", which was originally used by Christians, has been hijacked and taken over by Islam, so that the Christian use of the word is much less valid than it was in past centuries.
The famous Islamic confession of faith starts off: "There is no god but Allah..." Despite the assertions that the word "Allah" is the generic word for "god", notice that in this phrase there are two different words used: "god" and "Allah" — just as there are two different words used in the original Arabic. (I'm assuming that the translation into English is accurate.) Now it seems to me that if the word "Allah" was really just the generic word "god", then this phrase would be written: "There is no god but God..." or "There is no allah but Allah..." But the fact that it is written: "There is no god but Allah..." is yet more evidence that the word "Allah" is NOT just a generic word for god, but is in fact a specific reference to the god of Islam, and is more like a proper noun — a name, like the name of God, Yahweh, in the Bible.
Because the word Allah has become so closely associated with the god of Islam, who, as we have seen, is a demonic impersonator, a God-wannabe "masquerading as an angel of light," if I were a former Muslim I would for sure want to find another word for God. If English Christians could borrow words from Hebrew, anglicizing them as hallelujah, Jehovah and amen, for example, then perhaps former-Muslim Christians, in light of the common linguistic roots of Arabic and Hebrew, could borrow and adapt some new terminology from the Hebrew language. For me, the word Jehovah has been so corrupted by its identification with the Jehovah's Witnesses cult that I much prefer the alternative, and possibly more accurate, Yahweh.
As Shakespeare once wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Perhaps so, but on the other hand, words DO have meaning, or else they are useless. You could call a "rose" a "thistle" instead (and according to Shakespeare it would still smell as sweet!), but I doubt if that would encourage many people to call up the florist and order a dozen "thistles" for Valentine's Day. Calling a "thistle" a "rose" does not transform the thistle INTO a rose. Likewise, calling Allah "God" does not transform him INTO God. Just because some demon comes along and pretends to be the God of the Bible does not MAKE him the God of the Bible, no matter how much those who believe the demon's lies claim that he is. And associating the word "Allah" with the God of the Bible seems to me to be associating the true God with demonic lies and deception.
Well, let's bring this article and this series to a close. As we journey ever deeper into the Last Days, Your Islamic Future gets correspondingly nearer. We need to be alert and clear-minded, paying close attention to the words of Yeshua (Jesus) as He warns us about the dangers of the Last Days, particularly the danger of deception:
"Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in My name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many.... You must be on your guard.... False messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time.... Be on guard! Be alert! What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!" (Mark 13:5,6,9a,22,23,33a,37)
For more on this topic, see Claims and Reality.