Chapter 6: Evidences That Demand A Verdict - Jesus Christ’s warning of false prophets
8. Jesus Christ’s warning of false prophets.
Jesus Christ gave His disciples a clear warning of false prophets:
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matthew 7:15,16).
The apostle John also said:
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 (I John 4:1 - NKJ).
To identify the false prophet, we have to identify the true prophet.
Here, I would like to call your attention to the fact that there are three kinds of prophets:
The prophet called by God to be the founder of a divine religion.
The prophet sent by God to warn people and bring them back to God when they drift away from God’s ways.
The false prophet who speaks from his own motivation and not by the inspiration of God and claims that he is speaking in the name of God.
I will only discuss the qualifications of the true prophet who is called by God to be the founder of a divine religion.
1. The true prophet must receive a direct call from God Himself.
Moses, the founder of Judaism, is the best example in that matter. God appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush and told him,
Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt (Exodus 3:10 NKJ).
That was a direct call from God. After Moses received that call, God never ceased to speak to him. Again and again, we read in the Torah: "And the LORD spoke to Moses" (Leviticus 11:1).
The Quran says, "And to Moses Allah spoke direct"
(Surat Al-Nisa 4:164 - King Fahd Holy Quran).
A call through an angel, a spirit, a vision, or any third party, is not sufficient to qualify a person to be the founder of a new divine religion.
2. The true prophet must perform divine miracles to authenticate his call.
Moses was a miracle worker. God authenticated his call by the miracles he performed. He brought ten plagues on the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:19-12:1-39). He divided the water of the Red Sea, and by that miracle the children of Israel escaped from the bondage of Egypt and the tyranny of Pharaoh (Exodus 14:12-29). He performed many more miracles.
Jesus Christ, who is the founder and foundation of Christianity, performed many miracles, which are recorded in the gospels. Jesus said, "... the works which the Father has given me to finish - the very works that I do - bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me" (John 5:3 - NKJ).
A prophet without miracles is not fit to be the founder of a divine religion and is not a credible messenger of an almighty, eternal God.
3. The true prophet must utter true and accurate prophecies.
Moses, the founder of Judaism, uttered accurate prophecies which were fulfilled to the letter during his life. Moreover, he told the children of Israel that they would be scattered among the nations and a sword would be drawn out after them (Leviticus 26:33). That prophecy was fulfilled to the letter throughout their history, especially through the holocaust of the Jews by Hitler during the Second World War. Furthermore, Moses told them that God would not cast them away, but would fulfil His covenant with their fathers (Leviticus 26:44,45). The return of the Jews to their land and the existence of Israel as a nation is a fulfilment of that prophecy.
Moses also prophesied about the coming of a prophet like him: "The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren, Him you shall hear" (Deuteronomy 18:15). That prophecy was fulfilled to the letter in Jesus Christ, as we mentioned in a previous chapter.
Christ uttered many prophecies: He told His disciples that he would be crucified (Matthew 16:21); He told them about the destruction of the temple:
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down (Matthew 24:1,2).
That prophecy was fulfilled to the letter.
In the Olivet discourse Christ told His disciples about the signs of the end time.
He told them about the signs of the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:5-8).
He told them about the coming great tribulation (Matthew 24:15-21).
He told them that He shall come in glory and all the holy angels with him (Matthew 24:29,30).
All these prophecies will be fulfilled to the letter before His second coming.
The prophet who does not utter true and accurate prophecies is not a true prophet.
4. The true prophet must be in agreement with the former revelations given by the true prophets of God.
When Jesus Christ came He was in complete agreement with the Old Testament, which contains the former revelations given to the true prophets of God.
After His resurrection, he met two disciples in the road to Emmaus and:
Beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).
In His Olivet discourse, He said to His disciples:
Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy place (Matthew 24:15 - NKJ).
That means that Jesus Christ was in total agreement with the Book of Daniel and the Old Testament prophecies and prophets.
The Quran recorded that Jesus said:
And [I come - referring to Jesus Christ] confirming that which was before me of the Torah (Surat Al-Imran 3:50)
Agreement with the former divine revelations is a sign of the true prophet.
Was Muhammad in total agreement with the Old and the New Testaments?
Let us examine this point.
In the Old Testament we read:
When a man takes a wife, and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her and he writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house, and goes and becomes another man's wife, if the latter husband detests her, and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand, and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before the LORD, and you shall not bring sin on the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance (Deuteronomy 24:1-4).
Does the Quran agree with this clear commandment?
Here is what the Quran says:
So if a husband divorces his wife [irrevocably], he cannot, after that, remarry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her. In that case there is no blame on either of them if they re-unite, provided they feel that they can keep the limits ordained by Allah. Such are the limits ordained by Allah, which He makes plain to those who know (Surat Al-Baqarah 2:230 - King Fahd Holy Quran)
What the God of the Bible calls "abomination" that brings sin on the land, the Quran calls the limits of Allah.
Who would believe that these two revelations are from the same source?
Again the Word of God says in the four gospels and with many witnesses that Jesus Christ was crucified and killed:
So he (Pilate, the governor) delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away. And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center (John 19:16-18).
The prophecies in the Old Testament clearly declare that Jesus Christ must suffer and that He would be crucified and killed as the Lamb of God to pay the penalty for man’s sins, and reconcile the justice of God with His mercy (Isaiah 53:1-12, Psalm 22:16). All the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the suffering, the crucifixion, the burial and the resurrection of the Messiah, which were written centuries before His birth, were fulfilled to the letter in the person of Jesus Christ as mentioned before.
Then, after six hundred years, Muhammad, who never lived in the land of Israel, who was not yet born at the time of the crucifixion of Christ, came and declared in the Quran:
That they said "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah" - but they killed him not, nor crucified him. Only a likeness of that was shown to them. And those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no [certain] knowledge. But only conjecture to follow, for a surety they killed him not (Surat Al-Nisa 4:157).
That means that God, blessed be His holy name, performed a great deception when He placed someone else other than Jesus Christ on the cross, according to Muslim scholars’ interpretations, and for six centuries left the world to believe that Jesus Christ was truly crucified. This is something no one would imagine that a Holy and truthful God would do.
Would we accept the declaration of the Quran that Jesus Christ was not crucified and ignore what was recorded in the four Gospels, the book of Acts, the letters of the apostles, and the book of Revelation concerning the crucifixion of Christ, knowing that some of the writers were eye witnesses of that crucifixion?
The revelations of the Quran do not agree with what is recorded in the New Testament.
Moreover, Jesus told his followers, "Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44). He also said to Peter, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52), but we read in the Quran, "O Prophet [Muhammad] rouse the believers [Muslims] to the fight (Surat Al-Anfal 8:65). A prophet who incites his followers to fight, torture, and kill their enemies is not in agreement with the former divine revelations.
Any prophet whose stories or teachings contradict the former revelations of God is not a true prophet, for God does not contradict Himself.
These are the four qualifications of a true prophet who is called by God to be the founder of a true religion. Apply them to any prophet or any person who is introduced to you as a prophet sent from God. You will reject at once the false prophets, and will not be trapped by their deception. Remember that Christ said, "Beware of false prophets" (Matthew 7:15).