Archive for the ‘Bible study’ Category

Faith Over Fear: The True Meaning of 1 John 4:18

November 22, 2019

(This is an excerpt from the pre-edited, pre-publication book by the author, tentatively titled, The Heresy of Interfaith Dialogue with Muslims).

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2019 newspaper clipping in Minnesota.

By extracting the phrase, “perfect love casts out fear,” from 1 John 4:18, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, either deliberately or ignorantly misquote the scripture within its full context and apply an unintended and completely erroneous Biblical message that is not supported by the Apostle John.

First, the complete verse is, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” What is the “fear” that John is referring to and why would it involve “torment”?
To completely understand this verse, one must understand the context of John’s intent and message which starts in verse one of the chapter.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1; author’s emphasis).

The “Beloved” are the followers of Jesus Christ and John is reminding them that they are not to believe every spirit, but rather, to “test the spirits” in order to determine if they are from God. Why? “Because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” That was true during the life of the Apostle John and it is exceedingly true today.

By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, (1 John 4:2; author’s emphasis).

“Every spirit,” the Apostle John wrote, “that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God.” In the last verse of chapter three, John makes it clear what he means about those who confess Christ as coming in the flesh.

Now he who keeps His [Christ’s] commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us (1 John 3:24).

Those who are able to confess that Jesus Christ, the Son of God (see 1 John 3:8, 5:5, 10, 12-13, 20), has come in the flesh, can only do so by the presence of the Holy Spirit that resides in them. Muslims do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, nor do they believe in the Holy Spirit.

The Qur’an proclaims, “Wonderful Originator [Allah] of the heavens and the earth! How could He have a son when He has no consort [partner], and He (Himself) created everything . . . (Qur’an 6:101).

Again, the Qur’an asserts, “. . . and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!” [from the truth] (Qur’an 9:30; see also, 4:171).

Muhammad had no concept of the Triune God or Trinity, and, in fact, included Mary, the mother of Jesus in the Trinity instead of the Holy Spirit. “And when Allah will say: O Isa [Jesus] son of Marium! Did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah, he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say) . . .” (surah 5:116).

The writer to the Hebrews made it clear the purpose of Jesus coming in the flesh as the Son of God.

Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:14-16).

The Apostle Paul, who persecuted and killed Christ-followers before Jesus revealed Himself to him, knew the importance of God sending His Son in the flesh. “O wretched man that I am!” Paul proclaimed. “Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:24-25).

In his first letter to the Church in Corinth, Paul shared further his understanding of Christ coming in the flesh.

So when this corruptible [body] has put on incorruption, and this has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory” [Isaiah 25:8].

“O Death, where is your sting? [Hosea 13:14].
O Hades, where is your victory?”

The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:54-57).

It was essential for Almighty God to send His Son in the flesh; to die to the flesh as a sacrifice for all sin, for all mankind—for all those who would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and His sacrificial death on the cross and subsequent resurrection from the dead.

The Apostle John explains it this way: Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years (Revelation 20:6).

Now, back to 1 John 4. As a reminder, in verse two, John stated: “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,” and in the next verse, he wrote,

and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world (1 John 4:3; author’s emphasis).

In verse four, John provides comfort for those that follow Christ.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4; author’s emphasis).

Who are them and who is he? Them are the antichrists and he is the devil. Those who are in Christ Jesus—who are saved by grace through faith in Him—need not fear the antichrists or the devil because through Christ’s shed blood, He and those who accept His work on Calvary, have overcome the antichrists and the works of the devil.

“They [the antichrists] are of the world,” John continues. “Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them (1 John 4:5; author’s emphasis).

We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:6; author’s emphasis).

The Apostle John is making it clear, those who are able to discern false prophets, false teaching and the antichrists are those who truly know Jesus Christ and have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Islamic ideology is born and bathed in an antichrist spirit or the antichrist spirit, Satan himself. Islamic ideology proclaims the following:

• Jesus is not the Son of God;
• Jesus did not die on the cross, nor did He die at all;
• that Jesus was not resurrected;
• that He did not die for anyone’s sins;
• that there is no salvation through Jesus Christ;
• that there is no guarantee of eternal life;
• and the reversal of many other Biblical truths.

Despite this obvious antichrist ideology and firm Muslim stance against the Christian faith, interfaithers would much rather stand “shoulder to shoulder” with antichrist Muslims than join with their supposed “brothers and sisters in Christ” to bring the Gospel of Jesus to those lost in darkness.

In verse six, John states that, We are of God. Who are the we? The we of verse six that John refers to are the true followers of Jesus Christ—those who can discern the false prophets and the antichrists. Those who fully accept Jesus Christ, His atoning work on the cross and share His Gospel of salvation.

Now, for the moment, let us jump ahead to verse fourteen. “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world (1 John 4:14; author’s emphasis). To testify is to swear by, affirm, provide evidence of, bear witness to or be a witness of the truth; the reality that God the Father Almighty—not Allah—sent His Son, Jesus Christ—not Muhammad—as the Savior of the world.

All true Christians—true followers of Jesus Christ—desire to provide testimony to the truth, sacrifice and mission of Jesus Christ and His saving grace for everyone that calls upon Him for forgiveness and redemption.

But what does it [the righteousness of faith] say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that 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.
Romans 10:8-10

Now, to look at verse seventeen, the verse right before the verse that the interfaith group, Faith Over Fear, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, likes to partially misquote.

Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17; author’s emphasis).

The New Living Translation (NLT) states the verse this way:

And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world (author’s emphasis).

First, let us refresh verse 18 in its entirety:

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:18; author’s emphasis).

Remember, the phrase “cherry-picked” by the ELCA interfaithers is perfect love casts out fear. However, verse 17 states clearly that this “perfect love that casts out fear” has to do with the followers of Jesus Christ not having to fear or “be afraid on the Day of Judgment.”

There is no fear in love, John proclaims. No fear in the Day of Judgment. Why? Because perfect love casts out fear. Love of who and fear of what?

According to the Apostle John, true love is this:

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:7-11; author’s emphasis).

Who are the beloved? Are they the strangers among us; the non-believer; our neighbors? No, the “beloved” are strictly brothers and sisters in Christ, and only them. Are the followers of Christ called to love the non-believer and even their enemies? Yes, but that is not what John is addressing here.

The Apostle John is reiterating what Jesus taught His disciples.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35; author’s emphasis).

Right before His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus told His followers that the world of non-believers would come to know Him and His love by how those who confessed to be Christ followers loved one another. Not by how they loved their non-believing neighbor.
John, one of the apostles closest to Jesus, wrote:

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him (1 John 4:20-5:1; author’s emphasis).

Interfaithers prefer to misquote the Bible in order to justify standing with those who believe in an antichrist ideology, rather than stand with brothers and sisters in Christ who have a real desire to see captives set free from an oppressive, satanic belief system.

So, why are true Christ followers not to fear the Day of Judgment? Because:

• they discern the false spirits and the false prophets (1 John 4:1);
• they know the Spirit of God (1 John 4:2);
• they know and can identify the antichrist spirit (1 John 4:3);
• they are of God and God is in them (1 John 4:4);
• they know the antichrists are of this world (1 John 4:5);
• and they know the spirit of truth (1 John 4:6).

So, in 1 John 4:18, which interfaithers so proudly proclaim in faith over fear has nothing to do with fearing people. It solely has to do with the fear of the Day of Judgment, which the followers of Jesus Christ need not fear because Christ’s perfect love for those who chose Him, casts out all fear of judgment.

NOTE: If you are interested in receiving a notification of when the author’s book on Interfaith Dialogue will be available, visit his website at: https://understandingislaminthelightofchristianity.com and click on “Contact” and provide your e-mail address. Publication is anticipated to be in the first quarter of 2020.

Biblical Reasons on why Allah is not the God of the Bible

October 30, 2019

©2019 James F. Gauss, Ph.D.

(This is an excerpt from the pre-edited, pre-publication book by the author, tentatively titled, The Heresy of Interfaith Dialogue with Muslims).

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The list of comparative contradictions between the God of the Bible and the god of the Qur’an are limitless, but the following are some of the most obvious.

How supposedly learned men and women in the Christian Church can ignore the obvious and proclaim Allah and Jehovah God are the same, is not only heretical and sinful, but is leading thousands, if not millions of church goers into the pits of hell, as well as affirming the satanic beliefs of millions of Muslims and diverting them from the One and Only True God and His Gospel of liberation and salvation.

First, the God of the Bible commanded Abraham (nee: Abram) to sacrifice his only son (see Genesis 22), Isaac, whereas Muhammad claimed that Allah commanded Abraham to sacrifice the illegitimate son (Ishmael) of the ungodly union of Abram and the pagan Egyptian, Hagar. Why would the God of the Bible choose Isaac for the sacrifice, but the god of the Qur’an call for Ishmael to be sacrificed? Because it was through the lineage of Isaac and his son Jacob that Jesus Christ would be born. The god of the Qur’an wanted to abort that Biblical ancestry.

Second, the God of the Bible told Moses that His name was Yahweh (YHWH) or I AM WHO I AM (Exodus 3:13-15). God Almighty of the Bible is not Allah or to be called Allah despite the assertion of some Middle Eastern and Southeast Asia missionaries that Allah is just the Arabic name for God. It is not! It is the name of one of the 360 pagan gods known during the life of Muhammad.

Third, the God of the Bible gave Moses the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) as a moral compass for life. Allah of the Qur’an calls for his followers to violate most of those commandments.

Fourth, throughout the Torah (Pentateuch)—the first five books of the Bible, Yahweh made it clear where the Jewish people were to live after their exodus from Egypt and their 40-year wandering through the Sinai desert. Their homeland, known as Canaan (the Promised Land), as set forth by God in Genesis 15:18-21, included from the river of Egypt (NKJV), which could be interpreted as the River Nile, to the Euphrates River to the northeast. Some Bible versions refer to the western border as the Wadi of Egypt (NIV) which put the western border of Canaan in the eastern Sinai Peninsula. The New Living Translation simply refers to this western boundary as the border of Egypt, but then has a footnote stating that it could be the eastern fork of the River Nile or the Brook of Egypt in the eastern Sinai. From the western to the eastern border, Canaan included the lands occupied by the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites (vss. 19-21). Today, such boundaries would include (at minimum) the eastern Sinai and all the land east of the Mediterranean Sea, including western Jordan and southwestern Syria.

In the Qur’an, it is acknowledged that Canaan—the holy land—belongs to the Jews in perpetuity. However, throughout the Qur’an, Allah instructs his followers to persecute the Jews and drive them from the Promised Land.

And when Musa said to his people: O my people! Remember the favor of Allah upon you when He raised prophets among you and made you kings and gave you what He had not given to any other among the nations.

O my people! Enter the holy land which Allah has prescribed for you and turn not on your backs for then you will turn back losers (surah 5:20-21).

Fifth, Yahweh of the Bible made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and his descendants, the Jews (Genesis 17:4-8) and promised them the land of Canaan as an everlasting possession. At the same time He changed Abram’s name to Abraham and promised the Jews that He would be their God and they would be His people.

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”

Allah of the Qur’an acknowledges no such covenant with the Jews, nor does he offer such a covenant to anyone who follows him.

Sixth, Yahweh, through Moses foretold the coming of Jesus in Deuteronomy 18:15, 18. “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, . . . I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.”

While Muslims believe in the Bible and the Old Testament prophets, they have been taught since the days of Muhammad that the Bible has been corrupted and therefore cannot be fully relied on as God’s word.

However, there is one biblical verse, in particular, Muslims do rely on as a testimony of Muhammad’s coming. They cite Deuteronomy 18:15 as evidence that the coming of Muhammad as God’s prophet was foretold by Moses about 2,000 years before Muhammad’s birth. There are a number of problems with this assertion. First, the full context of the scripture carries through verse 22.

The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you [the Israelites] said, ‘Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.’

The Lord said to me: ‘What they say is good. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him. If anyone does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name, I myself will call him to account. But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.’

You may say to yourselves, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:15-22; author’s emphasis).

The particulars of this prophecy of Moses should shed some light on the claim of Islam, that this prophecy refers to the coming of Muhammad.

• First, the prophet is to represent the God of the Jews. The word “Lord” in the first verse refers to the self-Existent Jehovah God of the Jews.
• Second, the prophet foretold is to be like Moses. Moses was a Jew born to the house of a Levite (Jewish high priest). Muhammad was neither a Jew nor born of the house of Levi.
• Third, the prophet was to be from among your own brothers, that is, from among the Israelites themselves. This does not fit Muhammad either, since he was an Arab, a descendant of Ishmael.
• Fourth, this prophet is to speak only the words of Jehovah God, not Allah or a god by any other name. Muhammad spoke the words of an unknown god, and initially believed that it was a demon who spoke to him and that he was demon-possessed.

Jesus, on the other hand, made direct reference to this prophecy by Moses. As He was speaking to the Jews, Jesus said, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me” (John 5:46).

Seventh, the God of the Bible—Old Testament—prophesied the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, in over 300 Old Testament prophesies, but not one prophesy about the coming of Muhammad or any other Arabic “prophet.” There is no prophecy in the Qur’an about the advent of Muhammad.

Eighth, the character of the god of the Qur’an is the antithesis of Jehovah God of the Bible. Clearly, throughout the Qur’an, Allah is portrayed as an impersonal, unloving, unforgiving and vengeful god who desires to see everyone, including his followers, in hell.

By stark contrast, the God of the Bible demonstrates His immeasurable love and compassion for all people. “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Ezekiel 33:11).

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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Allah, on the other hand, sent Muhammad to curse the world and persecute, maim and murder all those who refused to accept the Islamic tenets of belief and follow him.

Ninth, Yahweh foretold of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Messiah (verses), but Allah denies that Jesus was crucified, that He died or was resurrected (see Psalm 16:10, 22:16, 30:3; Zechariah 12:10).

The god of the Qur’an claims that he substituted Judas for Christ on the cross and took Jesus to heaven without his dying or being resurrected. This, of course, is an effort by the devil to deny one of the central truths of the Bible and the Christian faith.

Tenth, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, the God of the Bible demonstrated His clear plan of salvation for all mankind. The god of the Qur’an has no plan of salvation for his followers.

Eleventh, the God of the Bible proclaims Jesus to be His Son, the only begotten of the Father God. The god of the Qur’an denies having a son.

Twelfth, Jehovah God of the Bible calls those that accept Jesus as His Son and Lord and Savior of their lives, “children”, sons and daughters of Almighty God. Allah of the Qur’an proclaims that he has no children.

Thirteenth, through Jesus Christ, God’s Son, His followers have a guarantee and promise of eternal life in Heaven with God. Allah offers no such promise. In fact, the only guarantee the followers of Allah have, is that they will all go to hell before Allah’s judgment (surah 19:70-72).

Again We do certainly know best those who deserve most to be burned therein. And there is not one of you but shall come to it; this is an unavoidable decree of your Lord. And We will deliver those who guarded (against evil), and We will leave the unjust therein on their knees.

Fourteenth, and most important. The entire Bible points to Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, the promise of God to all mankind. The entire Qur’an is anti-Christ and anti-Christian and anti-Jew.

Fifteenth, the core of Christianity, after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the release of the promised Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity of God. Without the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, the Christian faith is meaningless. Allah denies the existence of the Holy Spirit, the essence of God’s empowerment on earth for those who believe in Him and His Son.

NOTE: If you are interested in receiving a notification of when the author’s book on Interfaith Dialogue will be available, visit his website at: https://understandingislaminthelightofchristianity.com and click on “Contact” and provide your e-mail address. Publication is anticipated to be by January 1, 2020.

understandingislamcover

Available at: https://understandingislaminthelightofchristianity.com/

Interfaith Dialogue with Muslims—is it Biblical?

October 16, 2019

James F. Gauss, Ph.D.

Imagine, you are asked to become a member of your church’s community outreach ministry. However, there are two concessions you must agree to: Never share your faith or the Gospel of Jesus Christ and you must acknowledge that your Christian faith is no better than another faith, such as Hinduism, Islam, et al.

Would you be interested in participating? Would you be denying your faith if you did so? Most importantly, would you be denying Jesus Christ and His salvation work in your life?

The goals of “interfaith dialogue” are really not dialogue at all, especially when it comes to interfacing with Muslims in one’s community. The goals are to be “sensitive;” to consider the other’s “feelings;” to build “friendships;” and, of course, to do “good works.” Through all this it is hoped that the love of Christ will be demonstrated with understanding and compassion. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with this. As Christ followers, we are all called to be loving and caring toward our neighbors, the stranger and even our enemies, but interfaithers, when it comes to “bridging” relationships with Muslims, often make erroneous assumptions.

First, they assume that Muslims worship and pray to the same God as Christians and Jews. This is categorically false. Allah is not the God of the Bible, but a pagan god of satanic origin. While interfaithers will strongly recoil at such a statement, the statement is factually true. Just ask any former Muslim who has turned to Jesus Christ for eternal salvation (or read my highly researched and detailed compendium, Understanding Islam in the Light of Christianity).

Second, those that seek interfaith dialogue incorrectly believe that Islam is an Abrahamic faith. This is also false. In my book there is a long detailed explanation on why Islam is not an Abrahamic faith, but for now, I will just say that while Arabic Muslims can legitimately claim to be descendants of Abraham, through Ishmael, Muslims as a group cannot. The reality, according to the Bible, is that Arabs descended from Ishmael 2700 years before the birth of Islam. In addition, an estimated 80 percent of Muslims in the world are non-Arabs. In Genesis 22, God denies that Ishmael is Abraham’s son, referring to Isaac as Abraham’s “only son” three times.

Third, interfaith dialoguers maintain that Islamic teaching offers similar views on family, loving one’s neighbor, etc. That is also misleading and largely false, especially when it comes to love of neighbor. Islamic teaching is clear and firm and commands Muslims not to take Christians and Jews as “friends.” The only acceptable way for a Muslim to befriend an unbeliever is to deceive the one befriended in order to achieve a higher, likely nefarious purpose. This is difficult for those in the West and especially in America where older generations have been taught that a man’s word is his bond. We like to believe that everyone says what they mean and stands by what they say as a badge of honor. It is not so with most Muslims, nor in Islamic teaching—and, yes, I know it is becoming sadly too true among Americans, many of whom “truth” no longer holds the weight of honor.

Fourth, the interfaithers refer to Muslims as “brothers and sisters,” which is also erroneous. The designation of “brothers and sisters” according to Christian teaching is reserved for Christ followers and not for an association of a Christian with a non-believer. There is no spiritual relationship between Christians and Muslims or between Christians and non-believers. On the other side, Muslims do not believe that a Muslim can enter into any meaningful relationship with a non-believer or infidel. Any such friendship perceived by a Christian is both false and against true Islam tenets of faith.

Fifth, interfaithers believe that we (Christians, Jews, Muslims and everyone) are “children of God” and therefore have a lot in common.

While my emotions want to proclaim the same, the truth is that according to the Bible that is not true. The term, “children of God,” is not used until the New Testament. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were most often referred to as the “children of Israel.”

The Apostles John and Paul were the ones to use the term in the New Testament. “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).

Later, John wrote, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:1-2). According to John, only those who call upon Jesus as Lord and Savior are the children of God. Although that may seem harsh, if we truly believe in the unadulterated Word of God, then we must accept this as true. A few verses later, John wrote, “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). Again, Muslims do not worship the God of the Bible, nor the same God as Christians and Jews. While they are a part of God’s creation, as we all are, they are not “children of God” (that is, the One True God, whom they neither recognize, nor serve).

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Rome, had this to say: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Only those who are heirs to God’s promised covenant through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the shed blood of Christ are the legitimate “children of God.”

“That is, those who are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted as the seed” (Romans 9:8). Not my words or proclamation, but the Spirit of God through the Apostles John and Paul.

Despite those among the interfaith who want to see Muslims as children of God, Muslims, themselves do not believe they are children of God because Islam teaches that Allah has no children, nor does he want any. Allah does not want such a personal, loving relationship. That is what Muslims fleeing Islam love about the Christian God—the true God.

Again, there is nothing wrong with reaching out with the love of Christ to those in need or to non-believers. That is part of Christ’s teaching and the calling of every Christian, but it is not the Great Commission for the Disciples of Christ.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.’ Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20). Although Jesus is concerned about the physical and emotional wellbeing of people, His greatest concern and calling for His followers is to call people to the Kingdom of God and everlasting salvation through His death and resurrection. Interfaith dialogue does not accomplish that, nor is it the goal.

As an example of the goals of Interfaith Dialogue, one should consider the bylaws or mission statement of your local group. In one community, the goals, in part, were stated as such: “Dialogue should enhance our sensitivity to the feelings of all professing religious people in their relationship with God.” Two misconceptions here: First, Christians are not called to be sensitive “to the feelings” of others when sharing the truth of the Gospel. Yes, we can be understanding and compassionate, but we are not to hold back on sharing the Gospel for fear of offending someone’s sensibilities. If that were the case, the Gospel would never reach anyone. Second, the erroneous assumption that all faiths have a “relationship with God.” Muslims, as well as many other faiths, do not believe in or have a relationship with Jehovah God. If you approach a Muslim on that foundation you are committing heresy, leading an unbeliever astray and will fail.

In order to participate in the aforementioned interfaith group you must agree to two things:

1. You may not “proselytize any other participant.” In other words, you may not share your faith in Christ or what He means to you. Essentially, you must deny your faith and calling as a Christian.

2. “. . . no group possesses total and absolute knowledge regarding the nature and works of God and human involvement with the Divine.” Really! Did not Jesus Himself say: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). If one does not believe that, then one is not a Christian. As Christians we must undeniably believe the Bible is God’s final uncompromising and infallible Word to His creation—not the Qur’an or any other man contrived text.

End Note. Fellow Americans, brothers and sisters in Christ, we are in a battle for the very survival of constitutional America and the Church in America. The future of us, our children, grandchildren and all that come after is at stake. This is not a war against Muslims, but against the evil, oppressive ideology that holds them in bondage. Everyone needs to know the truth to turn the tide of Islamic indoctrination. I am trying to do my part but could use your help. I am trying to raise funds to print and distribute the truth about Islam and get it to politicians, educators, community leaders, church and seminary leaders and Muslims as well. If you can help, visit our campaign site here, for more details. Your prayers are also appreciated and please spread the word. Thank you and God bless you.

New Release–Be Pruned

August 26, 2019

BrPrunedFINAL

Pruning-masterful pruning-is the most important practice in developing a good or sound tree (vine, shrub, or other plant). Spiritual pruning, the subject of this book, is the most important development process for the growing Christian who desires to be more Christ-like each day. God, the Master Gardener of us all, uses spiritual pruning to bring forth the greatest purpose for which our life was created. As you prune your plants with care to avoid injury, and thus encourage and stimulate maximum growth, function, beauty, and production, so it is God’s intention in our pruning process. This masterful pruning procedure by the Master Gardener (while it may seem painful at times) does not inflict harm or injury upon those He desires to see mature to their fullest potential. This devotional/Bible study book is excellent for small groups or personal reflection and spiritual growth.

Awesome book, easy read but powerful!—Amazon customer.

The ideal gift/Bible study book for those wanting a greater understanding into the challenges one faces in the Christian walk. Perfect for personal growth & reflection, students, youth groups, small groups & Sunday schools, homeschool & Christian school students, special occasions (youth & adult).

Available from Lakeside Press at: https://lakesidecreates.com and many other online retailers. For bulk discounts, non-resale of 10 or more copies, call 1-800-371-5849.

Or direct link here: https://lakesidecreates.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fbe-prunedto-bear-fruite-that-will-last

About the Author. James F. Gauss earned a B.S. “With Distinction” in Horticulture degree from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in horticulture from Rutgers The State University. Before retiring he held university level research, teaching, and extension positions in horticulture; served as the horticulturist for a major botanical garden and worked as a landscape horticultural consultant for residential and commercial clients for many years.

It is through this experience that he is able to present insight into the horticultural concepts presented in the Bible. He is the author of 19 books; mostly on Christian topics and spiritual growth.