Objections by an “ex-christian-muslim”

These objections were received on my cell phone by short text messages on 29th May 2012 during our ministry outside the Royal Show Grounds in Pietermaritzburg. The posts of this event, in particular, can be read at these links: Day 05 and Day 07. A muslim convert who called himself an “ex-christian” (a contradiction of terms) raised these questions and these will be replied to by quoting the question raised and then the answer given from Scripture.

1. Q. “Who incited David to count the fighting men of Israel? (a) God did (Samuel 24:1)? (b) Satan did (1 Chronicles 21:1)?”

A.      In dealing with this question and providing an answer, you cannot raise a question in isolation and refer to one Scripture verse and raise it against another Scripture verse without first looking at the verses in the context in which they were given. We see in Samuel 24:1 that “And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel” so there were other times also that God’s anger was kindled against His people Israel, and for the people’s sin David was left to act wrong. We see in 1 Chronicles 21:1 “And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel” which we also understand from the Scriptures that follow that in 1 Chronicles 21:3 “And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?” (Writer’s emphasis and underlining, and hereafter). God does not tempt anyone as we read in James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”, but God can use Satan (or a man) to go and try his children for His purpose and His will as we see in the case with righteous Job in the Book of Job 1:12 “And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.” In the context of the Scriptures under discussion, God used Satan to try David to count the fighting men, which was in any event against what God wanted. The sins of Israel were the real issue here just as the sin that you have raised against God by tempting Him by not trusting His Word. Our Lord Jesus Christ, the anointed of God (see Acts 10:38), said to Satan as it is recorded in Matthew 4:7 “Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

2. Q. “Jesus descended from which son of David? (a) Solomon (Matthew 1:6)? (b) Nathan (Luke 3:31)?”

A.      Both. The Book of Matthew shows the genealogy – descendants going forward – from David through Solomon to Salathiel (Matthew 1:12) by Succession and the Book of Luke shows the genealogy – descendants going backwards – from Salathiel (Luke 3:27) through Nathan to David by Nature. From both genealogies from Salathiel (Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27) to Joseph: “And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” (Matthew 1:16) and Mary: “To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary” (Luke 1:27) the lineage that comes through Joseph is by Law and the lineage that comes through Mary is by Nature. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary sums it up: “Matthew’s list of the forefathers of Jesus showed that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and heir to the throne of David; but Luke shows that Jesus was the Seed of the woman that should break the serpent’s head, and traces the line up to Adam, beginning with Eli, or Heli, the father, not of Joseph, but of Mary. The seeming differences between the two evangelists in these lists of names have been removed by learned men. But our salvation does not depend upon our being able to solve these difficulties, nor is the Divine authority of the Gospels at all weakened by them. The list of names ends thus, “Who was the son of Adam, the son of God;” that is, the offspring of God by creation. Christ was both the son of Adam and the Son of God, that he might be a proper Mediator between God and the sons of Adam, and might bring the sons of Adam to be, through him, the sons of God. All flesh, as descended from the first Adam, is as grass, and withers as the flower of the field; but he who partakes of the Holy Spirit of life from the Second Adam, has that eternal happiness, which by the gospel is preached unto us.”

3. Q. “Was John the Baptist Elijah who was to come? (a) Yes (Matthew 11:14; 10:13 [misquote])? (b) No (John 1:19-21)?”

A.      This question shows the arrogance of attempting to catch God in His Word. Let us see what God’s Word teaches on the matter. Yes – John the Baptist was to come “in the spirit and power of Elijah”. We read in Luke 1:16,17 “16And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” We also read the prophet Malachi prophesied in Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

As also the prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 40:3 and recorded in the Gospels of Matthew (3:3), Mark (1:3) and Luke (3:4), John the Baptist surely did “go before him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elias” as was confirmed by the Son of God Jesus Christ when He came down from the mount of transfiguration after meeting with Moses and Elijah in the presence of His Father God, when He said in Matthew 17:10-13 “10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.”

To answer (b) the answer is also: No. When the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist who he was, their question to him was: “Art thou Elias?” (John 1:21). John the Baptist told them the truth – No, he is not Elias [Elijah]. They never asked him whether he was the one coming “in the spirit and power of Elias”, so he confirmed what the prophets prophesied of him in times past in verse 23: “He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.” He truly did come as Elias in spirit and power, but not as Elias in the person of Elias. There is nothing irrational reading both portions of Scripture in context and answering both “yes” and “no”.

4. Q. “Did Judas kiss Jesus? (a) Yes (Matthew 26:48, 50 [misquote])? (b) No. Judas could not get close enough to Jesus to kiss him (John 18:3, 12)?”

A. Yes – Judas Iscariot, the betrayer, did kiss Jesus Christ of Nazareth. We read in Matthew 26:48,49 “48Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. 49And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.” Now from the apostle Matthew’s vantage point, he saw Judas Iscariot kiss Jesus in betraying Him. In the account of John as we read in John 18:3, 12 there is no reference that “Judas [Iscariot] could not get close to Jesus to kiss him” as quoted in the question. We cannot presuppose something when there is no mention to the contrary. The apostle John did not record that Judas kissed Jesus, but we cannot then take it that this was what never took place. The apostle Matthew from his vantage point saw the kiss and recorded it under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost (see 2 Peter 1:20,21), but the apostle John under the same inspiration did not record it, but revealed other information that Matthew did not. They were both at the same place at the same time, but reported from two different perspectives of the very same event. Both could have been ‘hindered’ by seeing the events unfolding before their eyes, as eyewitnesses from two different vantage points – possibly one close to the events, another afar off; one with a clear view another with soldiers and other persons obscuring the view.

Q. “The Bible directly contradicts its self. How did Simon Peter find out that Jesus was the Christ?? (a) By Revelation from heaven (Matthew 16:17)? (b) His brother Andrew told him (John 1:41)?”

A. The Holy Bible is a Lion who can defend itself. It does not need sinful man to convince sinful man to the facts of the Truth. The Bible is the Holy Words of God and can never contradict itself. Just as the questions were absurdly raised trying to catch God in His Word as we have seen in the Q&A’s to items 1-4, we will see the folly of the statement: “The Bible directly contradicts its self.” The answer to this question would be BOTH! In Matthew 16:17 we need to read the verse in context. There were debate as to who people were saying Jesus is. Some saying John the Baptist, some Elias [Elijah], and others Jeremias [Jeremiah], or one of the prophets. There were contentions as to who He was, so Jesus asked the question at that time in Matthew 16:15 to His disciples: “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?” In Matthew 16:16 we read: “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” When Peter answered this, Jesus was affirming that he could not have said that unless it was given to him by revelation of His Father in heaven.

In the account where Peter is told by his brother Andrew in John 1:41 we need to go a few verses back to get context again. Andrew had heard what John the Baptist had said in John 1:36 “And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!” Being Jews they knew what the Scriptures spoke about when the prophets prophesied of a Messiah (Christ) to come. And so Andrew went and fetched his brother Peter to come and see as we read in John 1:41 “He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” Just as John the Baptist went before Christ proclaiming Him as dealt with in item 3 above, so Peter came to see this Christ. This fetching of Peter by his brother Andrew was not something just by happenstance, as we read what Jesus the Christ said to him when he arrived to see Jesus, as it is written in John 1:42:  “And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.”

You see – the Holy Bible never contradicts itself. It always confirms Scripture with Scripture – the Living Word.

If you are reading this post and you too have questioned the integrity of God and His Holy Word, just as I also had in times past, then you need to know that you are a mocker and a blasphemer. To call God a liar is a grievous thing. Instead of trying to believe in a man named Mohammed who is dead in a grave and who has seen corruption where he lays cold and lifeless, if God is speaking to you through His Word then you best repent towards Him and have your faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, who is alive and who sits at the right hand of the throne of God the Father in heaven, in order that you could be saved from the wrath of God that abides on you in your unbelief. Scripture tells us:

He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. ~ 1 John 5:10

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~ Philippians 2:6-11

This is your only hope. Repent today!


The link to this response has been sent to the questioner’s cellular phone. Please pray that God will show him mercy and offer him the free gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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