Click to ViewSeven Lesson Sunday Morning Sermon Series on Islam

Sermon #6

"The Prophets" Sermon Series

The Superiority of Jesus Christ, with a view to Islam.

Introduction

  1. During a discussion of Jesus of Nazareth in a university history class, a student asked the professor about the theory that Jesus did not die on the cross as history records. The professor replied, "Young man, if Jesus of Nazareth did not die on the cross, then someone else, who lived at the same time and had the same name died on the cross!" In fact this is the whole issue between Islam and Christianity. Muslims do not deny the history that someone died on the cross of the New Testament, the squabble merely revolves around exactly who was on that cross!
  2. As you will see, the Muslim position is a deliberate re-writing of history so poorly thought out, that it assaults the common sense.
  3. Parrinder, said in his book, Jesus in the Qur'an, said, "No serious modern historian doubts that Jesus was a historical figure and that he was crucified, whatever he may think of the faith in the resurrection." (Parrinder, Jesus in the Qur'an, p. 116).
  4. It is a historic fact that all the nations of the world recorded the true history as "Jesus died on the cross" up to 600 AD. Only after 600 years did one illiterate man (Muhammad Q7:157) listen to a spirit calling itself 'Gabriel' which said "No, Muhammad, the whole world is wrong! Jesus didn't die!" Thus Muhammad accepted the crucifixion of Christ as invalid history.
  5. Isaac Watt, said in his book, Islam and Christianity Today, "By the standards of modern historiography, the crucifixion of Jesus is one of the most certain events in past history" (Watt, Islam and Christianity Today, p. 144).
  6. The central theme of the New Testament is the crucifixion. The secondary theme is that Jesus is the son of God.
E.F. Harrison wrote: "Some religions, both ancient and modern, require no historical basis, for they depend upon ideas rather than events. Christianity is not one of these" (Harrison, E.F., A Short Life of Christ, 1968, p 11).
Adolf Harnack said that the history of Jesus was "far beyond the power of men to invent" those who deny he died on the cross lack "the capacity to distinguish between fiction and the documentary evidence"

I. Muslims know the real battle is over the cross!

Ahmed Deedat, a Muslim missionary, in his book: Crucifixion Or Cruci-Fiction, said this:

  1. "NO CRUCI-FICTION NO CHRISTIANITY: "The death of Jesus on the cross is the centre of all Christian theology. . . All Christian statements about god, about creation, about sin and death have their focal point in the crucified Christ. All Christian statements about history, about the church, about faith and sanctification, about the future and about hope stem from the crucified Christ", says Professor Jurgen Moltmann in his "The Crucified God"." Deeded continues, "In a nutshell. No Crucifixion No Christianity! This is the experience of us Muslims, in this ocean of Christianity" (Crucifixion Or Cruci-Fiction, Ahmed Deedat, chapter 1)
  2. In a rare defense of Jews, but one that is totally self serving, Deedat continues in a section called, "PLAYING THE "CRUCI-FICTION" CARD: The Christian world has been unjustly persecuting, and hounding and killing our Jewish cousins for nearly two thousand years for a murder they did not commit. Attempted murder? may be! But murder? NO! By absolving the Jew of a crime he did not commit, we are also taking the wind out of the hot-gospellers' and the Bible-thumpers' sail. In the battle for the hearts and minds of mankind, "cruci-FICTION" is the only card the Christian holds. Free him from his infatuation and you will have freed the Muslim world from missionary aggression and harassment." (Crucifixion Or Cruci-Fiction, Ahmed Deedat, chapter 1)
  3. Muslims know the battle ground is the cross!
  4. If Jesus died on the cross, then Muhammad was a fake, a fraud and a false prophet.
  5. If Jesus did not die on the cross, then Christianity is trashed to the core.

II. Muslims claim that early Christians taught Jesus didn't die:

Muslims often made reference to Yusuf Ali's comment in footnote 663:

"But some of the early Christian sects did not believe that Christ was killed on the Cross. The Basilidans [Basilides] believed that someone else was substituted for him. The Docetae [Docetism] held that Christ never had a real physical or natural body, but only an apparent or phantom body, and that his Crucifixion was only apparent, not real. The Marcionite Gospel (about A.D. 138) [Marcion] denied that Jesus was born, and merely said that he appeared in human form. The Gospel of St. Barnabas supported the theory of substitution on the Cross. The Quranic teaching is that Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, notwithstanding certain apparent circumstances which produced that illusion in the minds of some of his enemies; that disputations, doubts, and conjectures on such matters are vain; and that he was taken up to God" (The holy Qur'an, text, translation and commentary by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. 1872-1952, First published in 1938, 1973 ed., p. 230, footnote 663, commenting on 4:157)

First three are Gnostics: Marcion, Docetism, Basilides & Cerinthus:

All Gnostic sects: Gnostics viewed Jesus as divine, but because he had not flesh, composed wholly of spirit, they couldn't have a spirit nailed to a cross, any more than wind could be nailed to a cross.

Marcion (100-160 A.D.) The most famous Gnostic. He denied the salvation of the body; only the souls of men would be saved. Marcion held the flesh of Christ to be imaginary, and his birth to be a phantom and a trick. Marcion taught there were two gods; the Just/angry God of the Old Testament who punishes and the Kind/benevolent God of the New Testament who pities man.

Basilides,120-140 AD, in their view, it was not, Christ who died on the cross, but rather Simon of Cyrene, who was constrained to carry the cross for him, and mistakenly crucified in Christ's stead. Simon having received Jesus' form, Jesus assumed Simon's and thus stood by and laughed at them. Simon was crucified and Jesus returned to His Father. So we have a case of the big switch!

Cerinthus (150 AD) taught "Jesus" was physical, but that the "Christ" came upon him at his baptism, and left before his death, so that the "Christ- spirit" never suffered - cf. 1 Jn 5:6. He did not accept that Jesus had yet been resurrected although he had been crucified.

Docetism is from: dokein "to seem". Docetists taught that Jesus only "seemed" to have a physical body, (addressed in 1 Jn 1:1)

Gnosticism was actually the first false doctrine on the nature of Christ actually condemned in the Bible as the anti-Christ!

"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world." (1 John 4:1-3)

"For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist." (2 John 7)

See also: 1 John 1:1; 2:22; 5:6; John 1:14

It is as unscholarly to quote the Gnostics as a Christian sect who denied Jesus died on the cross, as it is to quote the Bahai's as a Muslim sect that Muhammad was not the last prophet!

The only reason they denied Jesus died on the cross, is because they also denied he even had a human body!

Actually the Gnostics prove that Jesus is divine because they were so convinced of his deity, that they denied his humanity.

It wasn't until 300 AD that Arius came along and denied the deity of Christ. Arius is the great grandfather of the modern fringe cultic sects that claim Jesus is merely a creature or an angel.

Gospel of Barnabas: a 16th century forgery and fake written by a Muslim. 1m

Jesus is seen praying five times a day in the G.o.B., a practice that did not exist until Muhammad.

Muhammad is mentioned by name many times in the G.o.B.: In Chapters 44, 54, 112, 97 and 163

Plagiarizes the Italian poet "Dante's inferno" who died in 1321 AD.

It says that Judas died on the cross in place of Jesus. Echoing the Koran 4:157, "Verily I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that be was Jesus".

Tisdall said in his book "The Religion of the Crescent":

"But in teaching his followers that Christ was not really crucified by the Jews but miraculously delivered from their hands, some one being substituted in His stead, Muhammad was merely following in the footsteps of Basilides, the Valentinians, the Manicheans and other heretics of early times. (Tisdall, The Religion of the Crescent, p. 168).

III. Most Muslims believe the Substitution Theory of the crucifixion

The Muslim world generally believes, that at the very moment Jesus was about to be arrested and crucified, God performed a miracle to cause someone else to suddenly look exactly like Jesus and to be crucified in his place. Speculation as to who this man was, includes: Judas Iscariot, Simon of Cyrene, one of his disciples or one of the Roman soldiers.

Muslim commentator at-Tabari lists a number of these traditions.

Deedat, is a Muslim who has been criticized by fellow Muslims for proposing the swoon theory that says Jesus was taken down from the cross before he died: "Mr. Deedat ... seems to have a fixed notion about Prophet Jesus' Crucifixion Theory. ... Now why should Mr Deedat tell his audience that Jesus was put on the cross and he swooned because nowhere the Qur'an speaks that Jesus was put on the cross and he swooned." (Mohammed Bana, "Allegations Confirmed", p. 3, Muslim)

Islam hardly offers a rational alternative to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Not only is the Qur'an's brief treatment of the subject embarrassingly vague, but the substitution theory, where someone else was substituted for Jesus on the cross, is clearly a desperate view that does not withstand the acid test of critical analysis.

God tricked the disciples into thinking Jesus was crucified by causing someone who looked like Jesus to die in his place:

Muslim Yusuf Ali writes, "The Qur'anic teaching is that Christ was not crucified nor killed by the Jews, notwithstanding certain apparent circumstances which produced that illusion in the minds of some of his enemies." (Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur'an, p. 230).

Muslim scholar Daryabadi said, "It was not Jesus who was executed but another, who was miraculously substituted (how and in what way is another question, and is not touched upon in the Quran) for him." (Daryabadi, The Holy Qur'an, Vol. 1, p. 96-A).

Robertson says, "Even as it is unbelievable for a Muslim to accept the death of Jesus, it is equally unbelievable that the people who witnessed the event were fooled. Islam theology would have us believe that the crucifixion was the greatest act of deception in history [by God]." (Robertson , Jesus or Isa, p. 50).

Abdul-Haqq comments, "The teaching of the Koran that Jesus Christ did not die upon the cross implies that the entire Christian movement is based on a unique deception in history [by God]." (Abdul-Haqq, Sharing Your Faith with a Muslim, p. 133).

Basetti-Sani, "God miraculously put a "double" in his place. Because of this interpretation, all Christian apologists were firm in concluding that the Koran could not possibly be of divine origin. This error was too blatant." (Basetti-Sani, The Koran in the Light of Christ, p. 163).

The idea of a substitute for Christ is a very crude way of explaining the Qur'anic text ... The text is taken to mean that the Jews thought that they killed Christ but God raised him unto Him in a way we can leave unexplained among the several mysteries which we have taken for granted on faith alone. (Hussein, The City of Wrong, p. 222).

Muslims claim that Allah had to rescue Jesus from being killed:

Maududi writes, "After this, God, who can do any and everything He wills, raised Jesus to Himself and rescued him from crucifixion and the one who was crucified afterwards was somehow or other taken for Christ." (Maududi, The Meaning of the Qur'an, p. 390).

Why would God rescue Jesus, since all the other prophets had been killed by the Jews?

Exactly what is it about Christ that was so special anyway as compared to the rest of the prophets? After all, since Muslims reject the entire New Testament as a forgery and a fraud, we don't really know anything that Jesus taught anyways!

Jesus himself said: "The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day." Mt 17:23

Analysis of the Muslim view:

God causes someone who looked like Jesus to die on the cross.

God therefore tricked the apostles of Christ into thinking he was crucified.

When they wrote the New Testament which revolves around this trick of God, they were actually reporting what God made look real.

Christians believed from the cross and resurrection, that Jesus was God.

Therefore, Christianity is still the direct result of the action of God in the Muslim mindset.

I dare say, if this were true, God would not wait 600 years to say, "Hey guys, it was only a trick!"

The largest religion in the world, Christianity, is the result of a the direct action of Allah, who consciously and deliberately deceived the world into believing the resurrection of Christ.

The Muslim position is so poorly thought out, that if Christianity is not from God, then Allah is solely responsible for the deception, because it was Allah, who caused someone who looked like Jesus to die on the cross.

The Muslim view of the crucifixion of Christ, is in fact so ridiculous, that it is an assault on the common sense.

Since Muslims reject the entire Bible as a forgery and myth, it would have been far easier to deny the resurrection story in its entirety, than claim like God, like a master Ventriloquist, thew the appearance of Jesus onto someone else who was nailed to the cross.

Only by blind faith in the "Miracle of the Koran" could any man ever believe anything so far fetched.

IV. Deity of Christ

The central theme of the New Testament is the crucifixion. The secondary theme is that Jesus is the son of God.

I ask Muslims, since you as a Muslim deny Jesus is God, can you accept as a principal of faith, that Jesus is merely the son of God?

If Muslims quote Jehovah's Witnesses to prove Jesus was not God, then I will be justified in quoting the Bahai's that Muhammad was not the last prophet! Just as the Koran proves Bahai's wrong in their view of Muhammad, the Bible proves JW's wrong in their view of Christ.

The Muslim challenge: Find one Bible verse where Jesus says, "I am God, worship me."

Find one verse in the Koran that says, "I, Muhammad, am a prophet of God."

If I pointed the verse out to you... you would merely reject it as a corruption.

Isn't it funny that if the whole of the New Testament is a corruption written the apostles of Christ who were tricked by God into thinking Jesus was God, that they nowhere wrote these most important words, "I am God, worship me", in the New Testament?

The Bible calls Jesus God in 10 places:

Was Muhammad called, "God with us": Isa 7:14, Jesus was! Or is this bad scripture?

Was Muhammad called, "Mighty God": Isa 9:6 Jesus was! Or is this bad scripture?

John 1:1 If the Koran said, "In the beginning was Muhammad, and Muhammad was with God and Muhammad was God"? No Muslim would misunderstand, Yet this is applied to Jesus... Or is this bad scripture?

John 20:28 "my lord and God"? Or is this bad scripture?

Heb 1:8 God the Father calls Jesus God? "Thy throne oh God is forever!" Or is this bad scripture?

Col 2:9: "the fullness of deity dwells in Christ?" Or is this bad scripture?

Titus 2:13-14 "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior ,Jesus Christ?" Or is this bad scripture?

1 Timothy 1:16,17 " Now to Jesus, the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." Or is this bad scripture?

1 Timothy 6:14-16 "Jesus is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords; who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." Or is this bad scripture?

1 Peter 1:1 "Jesus is our God and Savior" Or is this bad scripture?

You see, the Muslim challenge of "Find one Bible verse where Jesus says, "I am God, worship me."" is insincere, because if such a verse did exist, Muslims would immediately reject it as bad scripture!

Eternal pre-existence

Jesus was six months younger than John the Baptist, yet the older John said Jesus existed before him: John 1:15 + Lk 1:24-26

Phil 2:6-8 Jesus existed in the form of God before the virgin birth.

Jesus pre-existed before Abraham who died 2000 BC: John 8:56-58

""Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?" Jesus answered, ... "Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple." (John 8:53-59)

Jesus is called the creator:

John 1:3 Or is this bad scripture?

Heb 1:2,8-12 Or is this bad scripture?

Col 1:16-17 Or is this bad scripture?

Christians prayed to Jesus

Encyclopedia Americana reports: "The oldest surviving fragment of an early Christian liturgical prayer is probably "Our Lord, come" (Maranatha, I Corinthians 16:22; compare Revelation 22:20); it implies that prayer was addressed to the risen, glorified Christ." The Aramaic title Mar or Lord (Greek Kyrios; I Corinthians 12:3) was a term or title regularly used in religious worship. (Encyclopedia Americana, Trinity, p116)

5 Bible verses command prayer to Jesus: Jn 14:14 says, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."; James 1:1-7; 1 Cor 1:2; Eph 5:19; Acts 8:22

There are 4 different examples of men praying to Jesus: "Concerning my thorn in the flesh, this I prayed to the Lord Jesus three times that it might leave me" 2 Cor 12:7; Rev 22:20, -9, Acts 7:54-60; Acts 8:24)

Three passages where men prayed to Jesus by necessary inference: 1 Jn 5:11-15, Acts 1:24; Heb 7:25

Christians worshipped Jesus

Angels should not be worshipped, only God: Rev 19:10; 22:8-9

Yet, Jesus accepts worship from Angels: Heb 1:6 Or is this bad scripture?

Men should not be worshipped, only God: Acts 10:26

the wise men worshipped Jesus: Mt 2:11 Or is this bad scripture?

the leper worshipped Jesus: Mt 8:2 Or is this bad scripture?

the ruler worshipped Jesus: Mt 9:18 Or is this bad scripture?

His disciples in the boat worshipped Jesus: Mt 14:33 Or is this bad scripture?

the Canaanite woman worshipped Jesus: Mt 15:25 Or is this bad scripture?

the man born blind worshipped Jesus: Jn 9:38 Or is this bad scripture?

the women and other disciples following His resurrection worshipped Jesus: Mt 28:9,17 Or is this bad scripture?

the disciples following His ascension worshipped Jesus: Lk 24:52 Or is this bad scripture?

All creation worships both Father and Lamb together: Rev 5:11-14 Or is this bad scripture?

Again you see, the Muslim challenge of "Find one Bible verse where Jesus says, "I am God, worship me."" is smoke and mirrors, because if such a verse did exist, Muslims would immediately reject it as bad scripture!

Jesus forgave sins in Mark 2:5-12, Only God forgives sins.

Jesus almost stoned twice for claiming to be God:

Jn 10:30-32 I and the Father are one... they picked up stones for claiming to be God

John 8:59 "So the Jews said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple." (John 8:57-59)

 

 

V. Jesus divinity questioned and affirmed 6 times:

Deity Questioned

Deity Affirmed

Satan "If you are Son" (Mt 4:3)

God "This is My Son" (Mt 3:17)

Jew's "If you are Christ" (Jn 10:24)

Jesus "I Am" (Jn 10:36)

Soldiers "If you are King" (Lk 23:37)

Pilate "This is the King" (Lk 23:38)

Some at cross "If you are Son" (Mt 27:40)

Centurion "Truly He was Son" (Mt 27:54)

Thief #1 "If you are Christ" (Lk 23:39)

Thief #2 "He has done no wrong" (Lk 23:40)

Thomas "I will not believe unless" (Jn 20:27)

Thomas "My Lord and my God" (Jn 20:28)

 

Thank you for your time.

  Written by Brother Andrew

 

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