Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. C.T. Studd
Jesus Christ came to save us from religion! Religion is a man-made curse, and nothing blinds people more from the truth than religion. Religion in all its various forms is man seeking to earn acceptance with God by way of his own performance. A more proper term is legalism which is dependence on moral law rather than on personal faith. All faith-based religions endorse and promote a very different salvation plan from Biblical Christianity. Below is religion's salvation plan formula.
Faith + Good Works = The Hope of Salvation
Religions advocate that we can work our way to Heaven, but it's never promised. There are many Christian based sects (Abrahamic) such as Islam, Catholicism, Mormonism, Jehovah Witness, etc. that are essentially Cults. The religious collection of ideas and man-made systems among Christian and Jewish sects originated in the first century known as Gnosticism. We refer to them as the “Jesus Plus Something” religions because Christ's free gift of salvation is not enough to secure eternal life. They also deny the deity of Jesus Christ and only promote the Bible scripture verses that apply to their narrative. The Bible clearly states that we have freedom from human rules:
"Jesus + Something" religions repudiate that Jesus Christ is equal to God the father or part of the Triune God which is in direct contrast to Biblical doctrine covered in the three letters by John (1 John, 2 John, 3 John) . This denial is an easy way to identify a cult. In the Book of Jeremiah, Yahweh (God) is referred to as the God of all flesh which is prophesizing the Messiah, Jesus Christ who was fully God and man.
The Messiah is given the name of God alone as YHWH, Jehovah. The Midrash on Proverbs 19:21 has eight names given to the Messiah; Yinnon, Shiloh, David, Menachem, Jehovah, Justi de Nostra, Tzemmach, Elias.
"Jesus + Something" religions also violate the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith like the creeds (Apostles, Nicene, Athanasian). These Creeds were formed by the early Church to expose the heretics, for example;
"We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God." Nicene Creed
Cults tend to overemphasize one doctrine or passages in the Bible and deny or overlook the others. A common example is for them to accept the love and mercy of God, but deny His holiness and ability to judge sin. Discussed in detail below are some of the false or "Jesus + Something" religions and how they differ from Biblical Christianity.
"There are only two kinds of religion in the world...They all say, "Do, do, do." Only Christianity says, "Done." Christ has done it all."
― J. Vernon McGee
American Theologian, Ordained Minister
The scientific method could be used to identify errors and contradictions in all of the Holy Books because all of these books discuss the universe. Once tested, if the Holy Book contained any errors then it must not be from a supernatural, perfect God of all creation. A perfect God does not make mistakes. A perfect God's written word must be without error. The Holy Books we compared are from the following Faiths: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Mormon, Baháʼí Faith, and Christianity-Judaism
Throughout the New Testament (Epistles) we have references to "a lie" or "the lie". This is describing those who are committed to living a lie which is serving a temporal value system just as Esau did when he sold his birthright twice to his brother Jacob for temporal things (Hebrews 12:16-17). Unbelievers spend the majority of their time on worldly things that are temporal, not eternal because they believe the lie. People in their rebellion choose to ignore the truth and follow after the lie. They follow after the lie even though Romans 1:18-23 says that God has revealed the truth to every human being and He will not water down His justice.
The lie is that there is another way to obtain salvation (eternal life in Heaven) other than through Christ plus nothing. Many try to follow these other ways or cult substitutes, but they always lead to guilt because any other way you will end up bankrupt. "Pseudes" in Greek means liar or false. All of us lie, but this verse is condemning the liars who believe "the lie" and will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire, the second death.
During the end times Tribulation God send a delusion to the unbeliever because they reject the truth for a lie.
"It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so."
― Robert A. Heinlein
Science-fiction Author (7 Jul 1907-1988)
Mormonism (a.k.a. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) today sparks up the image of clean living and strong family people who oppose abortion when just twenty-five years ago it would have conjured up completely different mental images of an ultra-conservative person who had three wives and lived in Utah. The Mormon Church is one of the wealthiest west of the Mississippi collecting in excess of $5 billion annual revenue with 16.7 million members. It has spent tens of millions of dollars in order to change its public perception. It’s goal has been to present itself as just another Christian denomination. Mormonism theology includes mainstream Christian beliefs with modifications stemming from revelations of Joseph Smith and other religious leaders. Mormons have a completely different plan of salvation than biblical Christianity.
The doctrines of Mormonism (LDS) began in 1820 with Joseph Smith forming the basis for The Book of Mormon when he had a vision in the woods while praying at age fifteen because he was confused about what church to join. In the vision God appeared to him and told him not to join any established church because they were all a corrupt, abomination to God ever since the demise of the apostles occurring 18 centuries ago. God was calling on Joseph Smith to restore the true, pure, authentic church which had been absent for the past 18 centuries. His followers saw Smith as a modern-day prophet. Brigham Young, now considered their modern day prophet, who constantly receives direct revelation from God to guide the Church that become unchallenged truth for members. Joseph Smith was involved in the occult and adopted the demonic practice of glass looking (crystal ball) which is the method he used to write the Book of Mormon. In 1826 in NYC Joseph was convicted of fraud and lying for milking people out of huge sums of money. He would have them pay money upfront before using his glass ball to make false "hidden treasure" predictions about their lives. He died in jail in 1844 from a mob killing in cartage, Illinois. A mob came to get him in jail and In the process, Joseph Smith killed a number of the mob persons before he and his brother were shot to death.
God was a Man
Mormon's believe that God was once a man who achieved godhood by his deeds on earth; "As man now is God once was: As God now is, man may be." which is in direct contrast to the Bible. Mormon's believe humans can achieve godhood too. This heavenly God has many wives which he procreates with producing "spirit babies" that are dispatched from heaven to enter the bodies in the wombs of pregnant females in order to take up residence on the earth. There are two goals in life for the "spirit babies"; (1) to join the Mormon church and (2) to begin earning your way to godhood. Mormon's believe that Jesus Christ was the very first spirit baby God spawned and was a result of sexual union between Mary and God. The second spirit baby was Lucifer, the third was the Holy Spirit.
Salvation Performance Plan
Mormon's system for salvation is based primarily on good works. First, you must join the Mormon church following all it's rules and regulations and second, believe in Jesus Christ. You must earn your way to being a God. There is also a mandatory missionary for men to serve two years cycling around in suits recruiting new members. There are three heavens. The lesser Heaven is for non-Mormons like me, the middle heaven for unworthy Mormons and a third is a celestial heaven for worthy Mormons where each male Mormon with his "eternal" wife (although they can have multiple wives) is given a planet like earth to spend eternity populating with spirit babies. The wife basically spends eternity pregnant. There is a tribunal made up of father God, Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith who decide if you make it into the third Heaven. You can also be baptize for any dead person on their behalf so they too can enter Heaven.
The Book of Mormon Inaccuracies
They believe the Bible is the Word of God which has been corrupted for centuries and is impossible to translated it accurately. The truth sources are the other three books; Book of Mormon, Doctrines and Covenants (J.S. revelations from God), Pearl of Great Price (constitution). The truth is that The Book of Mormon is historically and archeologically inaccurate whereas the Bible has thousands of examples of it's accuracy and inerrancy. There hasn't been one city, river or mountain named in the Book of Mormon that supposedly existed in America has been found to be true. The Smithsonian Institution put out a research letter stating that categorically, nothing has been found that would substantiate the historical accuracy of The Book of Mormon.
Mormon's & Islam's Commonalities
The Mormon faith seems to change with the times previously having practices of polygamy, racial purity (blacks couldn't become Mormon until June of 1978 because of pressure from civil rights movement), etc. Joseph Smith's Jewish related prophesy's have all been wrong. Of the 50 explicit predications in the book of Mormon sampled, not one had come true. Both Islam and Mormonism both originate in the Abrahamic traditions. Each religion sees its founder (Muhammad, Joseph Smith) as being a true prophet of God. Listed below are a few eerily similarities.
Both religions share a high emphasis on family life, charitable giving, chastity, abstention from alcohol, and a special reverence for, though not worship of, their founding prophet. Before the 1890 Manifesto against plural marriage (a prophets new revelation), Mormonism and Islam also shared in the belief in and practice of plural marriage, a practice now held in common by Islam and various branches of Mormon fundamentalism. Mormonism is a sect, a mystery cult with a new religion, church, people and nation (America). Mormon's are not preaching the true gospel and even though most Mormons are nice people and good Americans, they will go straight to hell teaching a false doctrine that is contrary to the gospel.
Jehovah Witnesses are quite common in America. I'm sure at some point two of them have come knocking on your door or mailed you some of their Watchtower literature. The Jehovah's Witnesses are an outgrowth of the International Bible Students Association, which was founded in 1872 in Pittsburgh by Charles Taze Russell who dropped out of school at age fifteen to work in his fathers clothing business. Charles had no formal, religious doctrinal or theological training. While he was attending a congregational Church, he started to have serious doubts about (1) the existence of Hell and (2) the truthfulness about eternal torment, which is completely contrary to sound Biblical Doctrine. At age seventeen, he left that church and gave up on the Bible. Soon after he heard a seventh-day advent preach that there was no Hell or eternal torment for the unsaved, so he adopted it as his own. Over next few years he started a Bible group as "Pastor" teaching false doctrine and called it the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society which later became the Jehovah Witnesses (1931) based on Isaiah 43:10.
Exactly who are they witnesses for? Jehovah Witnesses (JW's) are obsessed with the return of Jesus Christ. Russell became obsessed with trying to target the date of His return. After years of study he came up with the date of 1914 as the year of His return from measuring the great Egyptian Pyramids and the Bible. This is what sparked the publication of the Watchtower magazine with his prediction the same year. It basically recruited new members because on that date when Jesus returns, only Watchtower Society members would survive Armageddon. As 1914 approached thousands of members joined based on fear. 1914 came and went, and Jesus never showed. Russell went back to the drawing board and came up with a new date of 1915. 1915 came and went, and still no Jesus. Russell died in 1916, but the organization continued under Judge Rutherford. His predictions gave a date of 1925 and wrote a book called "Millions will never die" which became the rallying cry in the 1920's for the JW's recruitment, if you don't join you will perish. 1925 came and went, and still no Jesus. The JW leaders went back and had to alter their prophesy's. Just as recent as 1978 JW's predicted this date to be the Return. You know the end story. If you are not a JW when Christ returns you will not go to Hell to be tormented, you will be annihilated for all eternity at the battle of Armageddon which is always right around the corner.
JW's firmly deny the Trinity, especially the deity of Christ. They believe in one God the creator and he is the only person in the Godhead. This too is contrary to sound Biblical doctrine. They also believe that God created the Archangel Michael (incarnation) who was sent to live inside the body of Jesus Christ to redeem mankind and pay for our sins. Afterwards, Jesus Christ ceased to exist after His death on the cross and Michael went back to his duties as Archangel in Heaven. Therefore, Jesus is not Jehovah God and the Holy Sprit is an energy force that does the bidding for God, but is not part of the Godhead. They accept the Bible as the word of God and accept the Bible on their own terms much like the Mormons. They reinterpret the Bible based on the means of the bi-weekly Watchtower magazine publishing's. They believe they are the only organization on earth that speak for God, expanding on the Bible through the Watchtower magazine (primary truth source).
Jehovah Witnesses will also claim the Jesus Christ himself never claimed to be God. Not so fast...
Salvation Performance Plan
As a JW's, your performance based, salvation plan, is a lot different than what the Bible teaches. It includes the following.
Will every JW's member go to Heaven when Jesus returns? Nope. If a JW truly proves his worthiness to receive the ransom of Jesus Christ by fulfilling the Watchtower demands, you get to survive Armageddon! That doesn't mean you go to Heaven though. There are only a select few that get to go directly to Heaven, the anointed ones, the count being 144,000 (taken from Revelation 7:4). Everyone else gets to stay here on paradise earth forever. JW's spend much of their time in anguish proving themselves worthy of Christs ransom. When do you ever know if you've done enough? You don't. If you try to leave the JW's it's extremely difficult because they practice a tactic called "shunning". If you become a ex-witness, you are basically on your own because exiting the cult means that you will surely lose both your family and friends. It's a small price to pay for eternal salvation.
The scripture clearly says that the 144,000 are from the twelve tribes of Israel so they have to be Jewish! They are sealed by God as evangelists and the seal protects them from being killed during the Tribulation.
There are a few primary questions one can ask to test other faith-based religions for heresy:
a) What does their faith teach about the person of Jesus Christ and the Trinity? All cults deny Christ's deity and the Triune God!
b) What does their faith say about their plan salvation?
c) What result does their faith produce?
d) What does their faith say about eternal torment in Hell? All cults deny it!
Artificial Hierarchical Structure
Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity with 1.345 billion members and the Catholic Church is the largest among Church denominations. Catholicism injects a nonbiblical, a man-made hierarchy structure where the pope is pontiff supreme and the cardinals, bishops, and dioceses primarily maintain Church order. The pope, also known as the Roman pontiff who is head of the worldwide Catholic Church and head of state or sovereign of the Vatican City State.
Salvation Performance Plan
Followers are required to perform three "acts" on the part of the penitent:
There are also rules when confessing to a priest. No where in the Bible does it state that we need to confess our sins to a priest (man). Christ died on the cross in order to restore our spirit so that we have a direct communication with God through prayer.
Elevated Virgin Mary Coequal to Jesus
Catholic followers pray to the Virgin Mary, evaluate appearances of Mary, and carefully approves ones believed to be true. Popular devotions include earing the Miraculous Medal, praying novenas (a nine-day set of prayers for a specific intention), Consecrating themselves to Jesus through Mary, praying the Rosary. In other words Jesus and Mary are of equal importance where you must go through Mary to get to Jesus. None of this is in sound Biblical doctrine and there are no Bible verses to back it up. This is all manufacture by man so they can control the congregation and elevate their importance.
Accepted Replacement Theology
Catholics also believe in replacement theology which basically says that when the Israelites rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah in 33 A.D., they forfeited their covenants (which are promises from God) so they are no longer God's chosen people. When this happened the Christian Church (primary Catholics) became the new Israel. Replacement Theology is also called Supersessionism where the Christian Church has succeeded the Israelites as the definitive people of God. It holds the view that the New Covenant has replaced or superseded the Mosaic covenant. From a supersessionist's "point of view, just by continuing to exist [outside the Church], the Jews dissent". This view directly contrasts with dual-covenant theology which holds that the Mosaic covenant remains valid for Jews.
More than one-fifth of adults in the West give credence to astrology; an equal number have practiced some form of meditation. Three to five million Americans identified themselves as New Agers or as accepting the beliefs and practices of the New Age movement of the late 1980s. There is no membership, leader, single organization, set of beliefs or cohesive doctrine to this movement. It’s made up of thousands of independent, local groups of “channelers” and faith healers. These channelers try to reach deceased people from the past for a fee. Some New Age American’s self-identify as Christians and also hold what are sometimes characterized as “New Age” beliefs including belief in reincarnation, astrology, psychics and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects like mountains or trees. The Ouija board games in consistently in the top ten in sales and popularity. New Agers believe that God is an impersonal force or energy. He is a cosmic power or consciousness that can be tapped into only if you know how. God is like “the force” in the movie Star Wars. They are overtly pantheistic and believe that all human beings are in fact God. A major theme is that most human beings are not aware of their "Godness" and when their awareness finally occurs, unlimited power is unleashed for that person. Christian’s truth source is the Bible, but for a New Ager that answer is excessively narrow. Each New Ager has their own truth, which differs from person to person so there is no such thing as “the truth”. This is a recipe for moral and behavioral anarchy like back in the Old Testament when everyone did as they pleased.
They believe in a unique type of reincarnation that always improves each time you are reincarnation, you will have an upward evolution until you become free and one with the universal spirit form for eternity. For example, you cannot “go down” and become an animal as you can with traditional Hinduism. This is a no lose reincarnation condition. There is also no reason to fear death because there is no hell, no judgement or day of reckoning with a holy God. Sin is merely a failure to be enlightened to your godhood.
Some New Agers believe that Jesus Christ was a reincarnation of either Buddha or Hare Krishna; a belief that is more common is that he was a good person who was enlightened. He was not born from the Virgin Mary, he is not God in the flesh or the savior of the world, instead between the ages of twelve and thirty where the Bible is silent, Jesus went to India and studied under the great guru’s and he became so enlightened that this Christ consciousness descended upon him. In addition, at the age of thirty, he returns from Indian to John the Baptist at the Jordan with this this Christ consciousness just like Buddha and Krishna. Moreover, if we can get enlightened enough we too can experience the same Christ consciousness as they did. They believe there is a new Christ living on earth today in seclusion somewhere outside of London and in a few years he will make himself known to the entire world so he can take everyone into the New Age.
The belief that human beings contain a piece of God (the highest good or divinity) within themselves, which has fallen from the immaterial world into the bodies of humans. More specifically, the thought and practice especially of various Christian based cults distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that the process of being truly free comes through or is intended to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest of spiritual truth held by the ancient Gnostics to be essential to salvation. Jesus is identified by some as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring knowledge of spiritual mysteries to the earth, while others adamantly denied that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained enlightenment through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same.
What salvation plan are you on? The "Jesus Plus Something" plan...where your good deeds won't save you. The human performance treadmill won't work. The only plan God will honor is the Biblical "Jesus Plus Nothing" plan. Human beings are ultimately responsible for saving their own soul."
McLean Bible Church, June 4, 2003
"There is a price to pay for speaking the truth. There is a bigger price for living a lie."
― Cornel West
Author & Philosopher
An insurmountable problem some performance based religions is the absence of any answer for the origin of love. In these religions God is a single person. Love is not possible unless there are at least two persons to express and receive love. Christianity is completely unique in that the Trinity is consists of three separate persons (God the Father, His son Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit), but they have one essence and express love before ever creating. For strictly monotheistic religions, a none loving entity supposedly creates beings with the capacity to give and receive love. Their basic claim is that a lesser entity creates that which is greater—a clear violation of the principle of cause and effect.
A common rebuttal from strict monotheists (belief in the existence of one god) is the hypothesis that their single-person God had the capacity to experience love and created humans so that he could begin to give and receive love. In this scenario God is unfulfilled until he creates. He is compelled to create in order to experience love. For the trinitarian God, creating is not a need, It's an option.
The problem for polytheistic religions (multiple Gods) is the lack of a single essence among the panoply of Gods. This lack of a single essence results in different character attributes, goals, plans and purposes. The resultant lack of complete harmony inevitably diminishes and even destroys love. This lack of a singe, distinct purpose and plan contradicts what we see in nature. What we do see with these polytheistic religions is inconsistencies and contradictions because many different gods are involved. When we examine the scientific record we see just the opposite; we see harmony and consistency across the board. Contrastingly, Jesus told his disciples, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9) and “I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (John 14:11). We experience love because God is love and love comes from God. However, the love we currently experience is not yet at the level that God intends. Once God permanently eradicates evil at the Great White Throne judgement, followers of Jesus Christ will become one as the Father and the Son are one (John 17:11). Our love for one another will become greatly multiplied as we more fully and intimately observe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit loving one another. We will also fully experience love from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and from each other in the Second Creation.
"One man with God is always a majority"
― John Knox
November, 24 1572
Knox led Scotland to establish the Presbyterian Church. A descendant of John Knox was Presbyterian minister John Witherspoon, who signed the Declaration of Independence and, as President of Princeton, taught James Madison.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the World at 1.9 billion followers (25% of world population) and soon to be the largest non-Christian religion in America surpassing Judaism. Islam began with a single, identifiable leader named Mohammad born in 570 A.D. in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. His parents died when he was very young and he was raised by his grandfather. As a teenager, Mohammad became fed up with all the idolatry occurring in Mecca. He had contact with Christians and Jews and came to the conviction that there was only one God. At age 40 he began having visions. At first he thought they visions were demonic, but his wife convinced him that they were from God. He began writing down these vision and these writings later became the basis for a book we call today, the Koran. He preached in Mecca and the Meccanites didn't like his preaching, so on September 24, 622 A.D., year one of the Islamic calendar, the prophet Muhammad completes his Hegira, or “flight,” from Mecca to Medina escaping persecution. He later returned to Mecca with his follower and conquers Mecca making it the capital of his Islamic empire. He died in 632 A.D. and within 100 years after his death, his Islamic empire stretched from southern France and Spain to the borders of China on the east. There are two branches of Islam; relatively moderate Sunnis who makeup 90% of Muslims and the Shiite or the radical, militant fundamentalist Shia branch of Islam.
Allah is One
Muslims believe that there is one eternal God called "Allah" and Mohammed is his prophet. Allah has no son and the idea of the Trinity is considered the ultimate heresy. Allah is one, undivided and without persons. The Koran says that it is blasphemy to believe that Jesus is Gods' son and is and it is an offense worthy of hell. It also says that the Hoy Spirit is not God. Allah is not a personal God because he is far too high above man to be a personal God. You cannot call him father because he is way too separated from mankind. Allah is a God of judgement who is without mercy, grace, forgiveness or compassion which is not part of Allah's basic nature. Islam's Allah is a far cry from the God of Biblical Christianity (Psalm 145:8-9). As a result these values have permeated to Muslim followers. Just ask Salman Rushdie (story below).
Muslims Truth Source
Muslims truth source is the Koran considered the word of God. They believe the Bible has been corrupted (although there are no facts to backup their claim). Muslims will tell you that the Koran is the only uncorrupted truth source. Since the Koran was written in Arabic, Orthodox Muslims believe that it cannot be translated accurately into any other language, so it must be read in Arabic. Islam does have a high regard for Jesus, but unlike the Jesus of the Bible, the Koran calls Jesus "the word of God" and "the spirit from God" and even calls Him "the Messiah". The Koran says that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, performed many miracles and Jesus is one of Allah's holy prophets (but not as great as Mohammad), but He's not the Savior of the world. They believe Jesus is alive today in Heaven with Allah and will one day return to the earth to establish Islam throughout the world. They also believe that Abraham and Adam were Muslims. Despite the many similarities to the Bible, Islam adamantly denies that Jesus is the Son of God. They deny the deity of Jesus Christ and devote an entire chapter to it; "Jesus was only a messenger of Allah, far be it removed from Allah's transcendent majesty that he should ever have a son" (Koran, Chapter 112). The Koran also denies that Jesus died on the cross or was resurrected. They believe that when Jesus got to the cross, Allah wanted to spare Jesus the pain and suffering, so he took Jesus directly to Heaven and he transfigured or transformed Judas Iscariot to look like Jesus. So it was Judas who actually died on the cross for the sins of mankind. So if Jesus never died on the cross, then he never had to be resurrected. Jesus is the penultimate prophet and messenger of God, who was sent to guide the Children of Israel with a new revelation. Islam denies the deity of Jesus Christ.
Salvation Performance Plan
Islam's plan of salvation is very different from Christianity's in that Allah is judgmental, Allah is demanding, Allah is exalted and holiness is not one of his stressed components. Islam has sin, but it's not the sin we see in the Bible. Man doesn't have a sinful nature and and can only sin when you break the laws of Allah. So by not breaking the laws of Allah, you are not a sinner, and paradise can be attainable.
Muslims will look you in the face and say that you are only 5 easy steps away from Heaven. These step or laws of Allah (Islam) are based on human performance. Muslims must follow the laws of Allah in order to have the possibility of receiving salvation, but there are no assurances of eternal life (Heaven). For example; the Koran requires that Muslims perform the "Five Pillars" of Islam daily. This is why Islam is so attractive because the plan of salvation appears to be obtainable. If Muslims perform these pillars daily, they will please Allah and he might grant them salvation. The problem is that salvation is not guaranteed because we all fail at some point in our life. The Five Below are the Pillars or core beliefs and practices of Islam:
If a faithful Muslim performs these five things religiously, he will go to paradise only If it is the will of Allah. It the reasonable expectation of Muslims that if they are a "good Muslim" and do these five thing, then there is a really good chance they will make it to paradise, but there's no guarantee. Or if they don't go to paradise right away, they go to Hell where they are tormented for a short period. After this time they can join the faithful in paradise. Paradise to Muslims is a place filled with sensual things like a cosmic party or orgy for all eternity. Heaven for Christians is a place when we go to serve and worship God for eternity.
There is another thing you can perform to get to paradise and that is to be part of a holy war or "jihad". Jihads don't happen often, but when there is an opportunity to fight in a holy war, male Muslims must go to fight in the war. There are only two reasons to have a jihad, to spread Islam or defend Islam from infidels (non-Muslims). The Koran teaches that any Muslim man who dies in a jihad will automatically enters paradise. It's a great recruiting tool. This is the only guaranteed way to get to paradise even if you didn't perform any of the five pillars. This is why parents are excited to send their boy off to wars and why these Muslims were so willing to commit suicide by crashing into the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001. Islam is also the state religion of all the Arab countries, so their religion, culture and government are one. No separation of Church and State. This is why it is so difficult to reach them for Christ and why Muslim's tend not to assimilate very well in foreign countries. Islam goal is to convert the entire world to Islam. Their belief is that non-Islamic governments are wicked, infidel, Satan filled and either need to convert to Islam, be conquered or killed. Those born into Islam find it impossible to leave because it's so intertwined in the culture and there is no honorable way to leave. They would be traitors to their faith, family and country. Also, In Saudi Arabia if a Muslim converts to Christianity their relative is obligated to kill them.
Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks made headlines around the world after his 2007 cartoon caused outrage, leading then Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt to meet ambassadors from 22 Muslim countries in an attempt to defuse the situation. Vilks, most famous for his sketch of Muhammad as a dog, was an artist and activist who often worked with paint or created installations. Shortly afterwards, al-Qaeda in Iraq offered a $100,000 (£73,692) reward for his murder.
In 2015, Vilks attended a debate on free speech that was targeted in a gun attack in Copenhagen. He said he was probably the target of the attack, which killed a film director. The 75-year-old artist had been living under police protection after receiving death threats over the cartoon. On October 3, 2021 Lars Vilks died in a mysterious high-speed crash. The crash is still being investigated as to the reason why the bodyguard car was on the wrong side of the road before the car exploded.
The Satanic Verses, first published September 26, 1988 was inspired in part by the life of prophet Muhammad. The novel exposed the evils of fundamental Islam and provoked great controversy in the Muslim community for what some Muslims believed were blasphemous references. They accused the author, Salman Rushdie, of misusing freedom of speech. Pakistan banned the book in November 1988. On February 12, 1989, a 10,000-strong protest against Rushdie and the book took place in Islamabad, Pakistan. Six protesters were killed in an attack on the American Cultural Center, and an American Express office was ransacked. As the controversy spread, the importing of the book was banned in India and it was burned in demonstrations in the United Kingdom.
In mid-February 1989, following a violent riot against the book in Pakistan, the Ayatollah Khomeini (Shiite), then Supreme Leader of Iran and a Shi'a Muslim scholar, issued a fatwa calling for the death of Rushdie and his publishers (Issued a $1 Million Reward), and called for Muslims to point him out to those who can kill him if they cannot themselves. Although the British Conservative government under Margaret Thatcher gave Rushdie round-the-clock police protection, many politicians on both sides were hostile to the author. Out of fear for his life, he converted to Islam, but that didn't stop the hit put on his life. Since 2000, Rushdie has lived in the United States near union Square in Washington, D.C.
The Satanic Verses, 1988
1988 Booker Prize finalist, 1988 Whitbread Award novel of the year
In Chautauqua, New York on Friday, August 12, 2022, Salmon Rushdie was attacked by Islamic extremist Hadi Matar. Matar praised Iran’s ayatollah in an exclusive jailhouse interview with The NY Post on Wednesday and admitted he didn’t think the author would survive. He went on to admit he had not actually read Rushdie's book at the source of the controversy, "The Satanic Verses." He stated in the interview “I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person,” he said about Rushdie. “I don’t like him. I don’t like him very much. “He’s someone who attacked Islam, he attacked their beliefs, the belief systems.”. Matar pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault. Rushdie was stabbed ten times, suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, according to his agent.
"Don’t bother to give God instructions, just report for duty.”
― Corrie ten Boom
Dutch Christian Watchmaker & Writer
There is a debate in our world today whether Jewish people need Jesus Christ to secure their eternal life. The Christian Scholars Group made up of about 20 Christian scholars from various Christian denominations mission is to "develop more adequate Christian theologies of the Church's relationship to Judaism and the Jewish people". They promote the idea that God's covenant with the Jewish people endures forever, the Bible both connects and separates Jews and Christians, Christians should not target Jews for conversion because Jews have a different plan of salvation than Gentiles do. Jews are fine without Jesus Christ and there is no need for conversion. Unfortunately, thanks to John Hagee, the Evangelical Churches have began to buy into the Theological Myth. Christians United for Israel executive director, David Brog, stated that "those who work for us tend to tend not to talk about Jesus more, but to talk about Jesus less because we realize that reaching Jews for Jesus will interfere with building a bridge to the Jewish Community". David, an unbelieving Jew when this was written, stated that "After three years of my attendance at evangelical Churches and conferences as an open Jew and have yet to be subjective to a serious effort to convert me to Christianity." This theological shift is due to a smooth political campaign by the Jewish leaders in the U.S. in which they have tried to convince the Christian community that as Abraham's seed they have their own unique arrangement with God, apart for Jesus Christ, so it is unnecessary for Christians to share Christ with Jews. This is commonly referred to the Two-covenant Theory where God made one covenant with the Jewish people through Abraham and made a different covenant with Gentiles through Jesus and therefore, it is not necessary for Jewish people to except Christ to go to Heaven, going to Hell and needing a Savior is a Gentile problem. This is creating a slippery slope because if Jews can be exclude then every other religion could follow.
Jewish Salvation Plan
Do Jewish people really need to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord as their Messiah and Savior to enter Heaven and have eternal life?
The Bible clearly states that Jews and Gentiles must believe and are not excluded because they are descendants of Abraham...if this were the case than so would Muslims because they are also the descendants of Abraham through Ismael & Esau. In the Apostle Paul’s farewell address to the Ephesian Elders he said:
Replacement Theology Fallacy
In the first 19 Centuries of Church history, the predominate theological view of the Church was that God had disinherited Israel from all the promises in the Bible He made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David because of their rejection of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and had given these promises to the Church instead. This idea is referred to as Replacement Theology (Supersessionism). The view of the Church was that the Jews killed and rejected their Messiah which invalidated the Jews old testament covenants. Supersessionism is a Christian doctrine which asserts that the new covenant through Jesus Christ supersedes the Old Covenant, which was made exclusively with the Jewish people.
"Some Jews believe that Christian evangelism is a form of anti-Semitism, for that reason, many Christians that have become involved in the pro Israel activism have stop sharing the Gospel with Jews altogether."
Jay Lee Grady
Editor of Charisma Magazine
In the beginning of the 20th century with the reemergence of dispensationalism which professes a definite distinction between Israel and the Christian Church where Christians are not bound by Mosaic law. They are separate entities in the plan of God and that God has not disinherited Israel, the Church has not replaced Israel and that God plan is to fulfill every single promise He made to the Jewish people. In the beginning of the 20th Century, Jews were found in ghettos scattered throughout the world and were a disenfranchised people. This was prophesied throughout the Bible thousands of years before it occurred in 70 A.D. when the Romans ransacked Jerusalem and the Temple.
This all changed with the Balfour Declaration which was a public statement issued by the British government in 1917 during the First World War announcing support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine, then an Ottoman region with a small minority Jewish population. President Woodrow Wilson at the end of WWI went to the United Nations (UN) and insisted that they approve and adopt the Balfour Declaration. In 1948 under President Harry Truman, the UN mandate created the State of Israel granting them International recognition guaranteeing it's survival.
As a result of dispensationalism taking over the framework of the Evangelical Church, something spiritually began to happen in the Church. Jewish missionary organizations began to spring up in the 20th century targeting Jewish people with the message of Jesus Christ. At first the success of these missionaries was very minimal, but over the past 30 years their success has become phenomenal. There are more Jewish believes alive today than their have been since the days when the disciples of Christ walked the earth in the early days of the Church. Because of this success, it has caused Jewish leaders to embark on this Two-covenant Theory public relations campaign. By saying that Jews don't need Christ being God's chosen people was their way of combating the evangelical Church success because they couldn't win on Biblical facts on fulfilled prophesy proving Christ as the Messiah (See "Fulfilled Prophesy" link below).
The Jewish people are God's chosen people, but what exactly did God choose them for? Did He choose them for automatic salvation and given an automatic ticket to Heaven without requiring faith in Jesus as their Messiah.
In Romans 9, the Apostle Paul tells the Church that God chose the Jewish people for three distinct purposes:
In spite of all these great privilege's and entitlements God gave the chosen people, automatic personal salvation and automatic eternal life was never one of them. This was the same misunderstanding the Jewish people of Jesus day had as the Jewish leaders of today endorse.
John the Baptist summed it up when speaking to the Jews when he said don't think because of Abraham that you are exempt from repentance and believing in Christ (Matthew 3:9). The Bible proclaims that being a physical descendent of Abraham won't give you eternal life or get you into Heaven. Jesus said to Nicodemus, a Pharisee or elite ruler of the Jews, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless someone is born again (born of the Spirit) he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) Also see Peters response to the Jews in Acts 4:12, (Romans 3) The fact is that Jewish people have the same arrangement with God as Gentiles have to secure eternal life.
"Folks, it doesn't matter if you descended from Abraham or Billy Graham, it makes no difference, for a person to have eternal life in Heaven, they must embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior."
― Lon Solomon
Jewish People are Fine Without Christ
Dallas Theological Seminary, July 10, 2012
Judaism is an Abrahamic ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. Within Judaism there are a variety of religious movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the written and Oral Torah. Torah (Tanakh) or "the law" refers to the 5 books of Moses which are known in Hebrew as Chameesha Choomshey Torah. These are: Genesis (Bresheit), Exodus (Shemot), Leviticus (Vayicra), Numbers (Bamidbar), and Deuteronomy (Devarim). In addition to the Torah there are the Nevi'im which are the books of the prophets; and Ketuvim which are the remaining writings. These books makeup the Old Testament Bible covering Jewish law, history, literature and prophesy.
The Jewish elites (Sanhedrin) felt it was necessary to include their own books in addition to the Torah, which contains the Ten Commandments. The reason God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments was to show them that no matter how hard they tried, they could never keep the law and live up to God's perfect standard. The Rabbi's perverted God’s Word by including their books which made it even more unrealistic for Jews to keep the entire law. This imposed legalism caused them to lose focus on the purpose of the commandments. These additional law books were not inspired by God and were written to encompass the Ten Commandments with a countless number of rules and practice that were regarded as Jewish Law. For example, the Shabbat or Sabbath which deals with the "day of rest" was intended by God to be a day of the week where no work was performed (Genesis 2:2). On "Saturdays", Jews were expected to read the Torah and meditate on God’s Word instead of working. Rather, the elitist Rabbi's went to the extreme by inventing a bunch rules and regulations in addition to God's Word to impose more control.
This is why the Sanhedrin (Pharisees and Sadducee) would become so angry at Jesus for purposely healing people on the Sabbath because healing was considered work by their set of rules. Obviously, a human life is more important than keeping their definition of the Sabbath. To God this was man-made legalism created to distort His word and purpose for creating the Sabbath. Man was not made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man. Allowing these books in addition to God's word is a reason why Judaism is a false religion, not to mention that Judaism deny the deity of Jesus Christ.
The other Holy Book for the Jewish religion is the Talmud which includes the Mishnah, which means "repetition" or "study" and the Gemara, which means "addition" or "completion." The Talmud includes ~600 extra man-made rules or laws in addition to Gods laws of the Tanakh. As society changed, the Jews found that the Torah needed to be updated from its original agricultural emphasis. Those changes became part of the Mishnah. The Mishnah also includes a description of Jewish life was during the period of the second temple. The Mishnah is divided into six sections (Sedarim):
The Sedarim are divided into 63 treatises. Also included in the Mishnah are a collection of wise sayings called the Pirke Avot (Chapters of the Fathers). After the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D., the Talmud defines the Jews' religious life more than the Torah. Jewish tradition says Moses received two Torahs on Mount Sinai. The first is the written Torah above and the second is an oral Torah passed down from generation to generation. The oral Torah finally was written down at the end of the second century. Biblical scholars and scribes in Babylon edited the written between 200 and 600 A.D. and that is now known as the Gemara, which means "completion" in Aramaic. Although there is only one Mishna, there are two Gemaras. The first Gemara called the Yerushalmi was created in Israel and the second called the Bavli was created in Babylon. The Gemara adds to the Mishna and are a source of history and legend.
"All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All, separated from government, are compatible with liberty."
― Henry Clay
Statesman & Orator (1777-1852)
There is only one piece of property on this planet that God has deeded to a people while the rest of the land has been obtained by conquest. The Land of Palestine, renamed Israel in 1948, was deeded to the Abraham and his descendants, the Israelites over four thousands of years ago.
Moses prophesized in Deuteronomy 30 (before entering the Promise Land) that the God would have their land (Canaan) destroyed twice because of their unbelief. The first time was during the Neo-Babylonian Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar and the second time was in 70 A.D. by the Romans under Titus. It's still God's land that He deeded it to the Israelites and no one else. It wasn't until 635 A.D. when the Muslims Nations took possession of Palestine that it truly became a desolate ruins. The prophet Ezekiel prophesized in 570 B.C.E. that those nations surrounding Israel would face Gods wrath for destroying His land. Below God speaks to the land or mountains of Israel which is talking about those surrounding nations of Israel.
God will cause the Muslim Nations to do irrational things as if they were drunk. The will rush into making decisions that are not in their best interests because they are messing with His land and the people he deeded it to. So for all nations who are involved in trying to reset Israel's boundaries and divide up the land to get a peace treaty between Jews and Palestinians will be destroyed. The only reason the U.S. and other countries insert themselves into this dispute over God's land is that the Muslim nations have their hand on the oil spigot, so whatever troubles them, they trouble the world by using this as political leverage. The irony here is that the Western Nations are the ones who developed the technology that discovered oil for these Muslim countries and now it's used against them. Muslims already have Mecca and Medina as their holy sites and now they want Jerusalem too because they hate the idea of Jews (and Christians) being in control of what they claim is their 3rd most holy site (Dome of the Rock). Muslims didn't discover that passion for Jerusalem as a one of their holy sites for a long, long time after the death of Mohammad. When they saw it was important to the Christians is when they had to claim it was their holy site too. Most Muslims don't even know the name "Jerusalem", they call it "Al-Quds" which means the farthest mosque.
During biblical times, Gaza was part of the land promised to the Jews by God. In 2005 President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon evacuated the Gaza Strip containing 21 civilian Israeli settlements and 4 in the West Bank. Sharon said that his plan was designed to improve Israel's security and international status in the absence of political negotiations to end the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. About 9,000 Israeli residents within Gaza were instructed to leave the area or face eviction by the night of Tuesday August 16, 2005.
God's Response to the U.S. Endorsement of the Gaza Evacuation
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina a category 5 Atlantic hurricane that caused over 1,800 deaths and $125 billion in damage made landfall near New Orleans (Sin City), Louisiana. Less than a month later, making landfall in Cameron Parish in Louisiana on September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita was the fourth most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded. You can call this a coincidence, but we feel that these events were God's immediate response to the U.S. for supporting the purge of Jews from His land in Gaza.
At first you may think that God targeted NOLA because it's a sinful place like Las Vegas, but we don't believe that's the primary reason it was targeted with Hurricane Katrina & Rita. Synonymous with New Orleans, voodoo first came to Louisiana with enslaved West Africans, who merged their religious rituals and practices with those of the local Catholic population. New Orleans Voodoo is also known as Voodoo-Catholicism. It is a false religion connected to the occult. Voodoo was bolstered when followers fleeing Haiti after the 1791 slave revolt moved to New Orleans and grew as many freed blacks made its practice an important part of their culture. We believe is not a coincidence that the Island of Haiti is constantly experiencing devastating earthquakes, the place where Haitian Vodou originated and is currently practiced, whereas all the Islands surrounding Haiti experience minimal seismic activity.
The core belief of New Orleans Voodoo is that one God does not interfere in daily lives, but that spirits do. Connection with these spirits can be obtained through various rituals such as dance, music, chanting, and snakes.
Today gris-gris dolls, potions and talismans are still found in stores and homes throughout the city as a reminder of the New Orleans fascination with spirits, magic and mystery. Voodoo practices include readings, spiritual baths, prayer and personal ceremony.
"Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans."
― John Lennon
British Singer, Songwriter, Musician and Peace Activist
Hinduism is one of the world's oldest religions with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with 1.2 billion followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam. Roughly 95% of the world's Hindus live in India.
The core of Hindu theology is based on the doctrine of reincarnation. Hindus teach that humans go through these ongoing reincarnations cycles where we live, die and are reborn again. It's based on the doctrine that the entire universe reincarnates. This is explicitly written in the Hindu Vedas, meaning “knowledge” and are the oldest texts of Hinduism. These text do agree with the Bible in that they say that the universe has a beginning. The difference is that Christianity teaches a single beginning and Hinduism teaches there are cycles of the universe coming into existence, disappearing and then being reborn. This idea is very consistent with the oscillating universe theory that was popular in the 1970's where the universe expands, contracts, repeats. The difference being that Hinduism actually put a limit on the cycle at every 4.32 billion years. There is overwhelming evidence that the universe has been continually expanding for over 13.8 billion years so this fact puts the doctrine of Hinduism to rest.
Entropy is a measure of disorder and is zero for a perfectly ordered system. Hinduism is also mistaken about the universe being able to restart itself. The universe lacks, by a factor of 100 million times, the necessary low-enough entropy measure required to permit the possibility of a future restart or rebound.
In summary, if the Hindu's are wrong about the reincarnation of the universe chances are that they are also wrong about the reincarnation of beetles, dogs, cows and human beings. Some people reason that an all-loving God wouldn’t grant humans just one chance to pass the test of life. The Bible, however, emphatically states otherwise:
Some people view reincarnation as a benign belief. They say, “Why not let people believe in reincarnation? What harm can it do?” It can do a great deal of harm.
A major component of reincarnation belief systems is that the next life is predicated on one’s performance in the previous life. If one has led an exemplary life full of good deeds, one will be more richly endowed and born into a more privileged state and status in the next life. On the other hand, if one has led a life full of evil deeds, one will be stripped of endowments, privilege, and status in the next life. Another major component of reincarnation belief is that the more one suffers the consequences of being born into a lower state, the greater the opportunity for being born into a much superior state in the next life. It was these reincarnation beliefs that led to the caste system in India.
The consequences of these reincarnation beliefs are that people born into wealth and high status tend to believe that they deserve their wealth and life of ease, and that it is their right to be served and financially sustained by people born into lesser states. Likewise, people born into poverty, suffering, and persecution tend to see themselves as paying for the misdeeds of their past lives and that through such payments they have the promise of a better future life.
In such a culture, it is considered morally wrong to assist the poor and disadvantaged. Such assistance is seen as preventing the poor and disadvantaged from gaining a better life in the next reincarnation. Similarly, it is considered morally wrong to encourage the rich and advantaged to share their wealth with others or to discourage the rich from demanding service, gifts, and money from people of a lower social status.
The physical harms of reincarnation belief systems are bad enough to warrant the complete repudiation of reincarnation doctrines. However, as bad as these physical harms are, they pale in comparison to the spiritual consequences. If we know we have as many chances as we desire and there are no long-lasting consequences for failing, we do not take this life seriously. God wants us to take our lives here on Earth very seriously. As Paul explains in his New Testament epistles, God intends us to run the race of life with all of our strength, heart, mind, and will (1 Corinthians 9:24–27; Philippians 1:20–26, 3:12–16; 2 Timothy 4:6–8).
It is important for all of us to realize that Satan’s goal is to get as many human beings as possible to fail the test of life. What better strategy for him is there than to persuade us humans that we have as many chances (lives) as we want to pass the test? If Satan can get us to be nonchalant about our present life, he wins and we lose.
You've probably heard the statement “We are all God’s children”. Many Hollywood celebrities love to use this quote at the award ceremonies as if it were truth. It's true that we are all God’s creation and that He loves us. The Bible clearly says that God's children only applies to the followers of Jesus Christ. God's ultimate goal is for all of us to be called His children.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.”
― Winston Churchill
The Hebrew Bible contains 10 times more content on the origin and structure of the universe than all other holy books combined.
"The temptation to believe that the Universe is the product of some sort of design, a manifestation of subtle aesthetic and mathematical judgment, is overwhelming."
― Paul Davies
The Cosmic Blueprint: New Discoveries in Nature's Creative Ability to Order the Universe, 1988
A new “Christian” sect is popping up in our youth and have formed an activist group called “Young Evangelicals for Climate Action” or YECA. They claim that the Bible compels the faithful to take care of the environment and they do not see many churches heeding that command. They consider themselves religious or spiritual but are wary of religious institutions. Their motto is “Love God. Love your neighbor. Act on climate.” Their faith is more rooted in a calling to social justice and a calling to social action and not focused on promoting Christ’s free offer of Salvation for redemption. Their religion unfortunately has become “climate change” only using Christianity or Christ as its platform. It is true that Christian faith and salvation should lead to performing good works but leading with taking action on the climate is all about doing good works. Mankind is commanded to rule over the earth and living creatures (Genesis 1:26-30), but this is not the Christianity’s primary message. It also seems that the YECA is missing His message about worrying about issues that bigger than us and we can have little impact.
The number of deaths from natural disasters can be highly variable from year-to-year; some years pass with very few deaths before a large disaster event claims many lives. If we look at the average over the past decade, approximately 45,000 people globally died from natural disasters each year. This represents around 0.1% of global deaths.
In the visualizations shown here we see the annual variability in the number and share of deaths from natural disasters in recent decades. If we look at decade over decade total deaths caused by natural disasters are on a steep decline since 1900.
What we see is that in many years, the number of deaths can be very low – often less than 10,000, and accounting for as low as 0.01% of total deaths. But we also see the devastating impact of shock events: the 1983-85 famine and drought in Ethiopia; the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami; Cyclone Nargis which struck Myanmar in 2008; and the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquake in Haiti. All of these events pushed global disasters deaths over 200,000 – more than 0.4% of deaths in these years.
"Worry is like a rocking chair: it keeps you moving but doesn't get you anywhere."
― Corrie ten Boom
Dutch Christian Watchmaker & Writer