The Nation of Israel: God’s Prophetic Sign

Since this past Wednesday when the U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a hoopla has erupted in both the traditional and new media. So far, there have been denunciations from various political and religious quarters. The Coptic Pope cancelled the meeting with Pence over this issue whilst Arab nations are mounting a pressure on Trump to back down on his decision.

There have been clashes leading to the deaths of few persons. Many Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest at the US embassy in Lebanon. I saw a picture of protesting Muslims in Morocco and their visage was of pent-up rage. The hornet’s nest has been stirred up. Our Muslim friends are now getting bent out of shape, throwing fits of rage, foaming at the mouth and attacking their keypads like a hungry bird pecking at a juicy worm.

Even the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) who have otherwise been insouciant about the murderous rampage of Fulani herdsmen and reports of Muslim Arabs enslaving Nigerians in Libya, suddenly found the voice to urge world leaders to reject Trump’s declaration over Jerusalem. The chains of mental slavery that bind many African Muslims compel them to automatically support Arab politics – no matter how irrational – even though these Arab Muslims view them with pure disdain.

Pope Francis, a man who tries to project an image of a “revolutionary thinker” has also (like his predecessors) taken sides with the Palestinian Arabs against Trump’s decision. The Vatican Radio says “the Holy See reiterates its conviction that only a negotiated solution between Israelis and Palestinians can lead to a stable and lasting peace and guarantee the peaceful coexistence of two states within internationally recognized borders.”

Some ask, “Why is this such a controversial issue? Does it really matter who occupies Jerusalem? Can’t the Jews just give up the land for the Arabs  for peace to reign?” To answer these questions, we need to take a brief look at the Biblical history of the nation of Israel.

In Isaiah 43:10, God declares the Jews as His witnesses to the world that He is God. The specific Bible prophecies interwoven into their history are irrefutable evidence of God’s existence, purpose for man and the authenticity of the Bible:

1. God promised a land of clearly defined boundaries to Abraham (Gen. 12:1). He renewed that promise to Isaac (Gen. 26:3-5), to his grandson Jacob (Gen. 28:13) and to their descendants forever (26:3-5, 28:13, Lev. 25:46). He fulfilled this promise by bringing these chosen people into this “Promised Land” through a series of miracles (Dt. 7:6). Note: God didn’t give Ishmael or his descendants any promised land.

2. When the Jewish people entered the Promised Land, God warned them that if they practiced the idolatry and depraved sexual sins of the land’s previous inhabitants whom He had destroyed, He would also cast them out as well (Dt. 28:63; 1 Kgs. 9:7). This was what precisely happened.

A scholar noted that: “During the reign of Jehohakim’s, the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar first invaded Judah ([2 Kings] 24:1). The Lord sent other raiders – Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite, and Ammonite – against Judah during his reign … just as the prophets had long ago foretold.” [1]

3. God declared that His people would be scattered “among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other” (Dt. 28:64) and they would become “a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples” (1 Kgs. 9:7). This happened just as foretold. A reference work explains that: “God gave Zedekiah and the nation [of Israel] many warnings through Jeremiah and the other prophets, but they were all ignored. The judgment that came spelt death or exile for the whole nation. The exile lasted until the Persians took over the Babylonian Empire.” [2]

4. God warned that wherever the Jews wandered, they would be “an object of cursing … of scorn and reproach” (Jer. 29:18) “a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations” (Dt. 28:37). This has been true of the Jews down through history. They have been maligned, hated and treated as scum, not only by Muslims or anti-Semitic political figures, but also by those who claim to be Christians.

A historian recorded that: The [Catholic] “Council of Vienne (1311) forbade all intercourse between Christians and Jews. The Council of Zamora (1313) ruled that they must be kept in strict subjection and servitude. The Council of Basel (1431-33) renewed canonical decrees forbidding Christians to associate with Jews … and instructed secular authorities to confine the Jews in separate quarters [ghettos]…” [3]

Muslims have mistreated Jews far worse for a total of 1300 years.  In Morocco, for example, a historian writes that rape, looting, burning of synagogues, destruction of Torah scrolls and murder were “so frequent that it is impossible to list them.” [4]

5. In spite of being scattered throughout the world, God promised to preserve the Jews as an identifiable ethnic, national group (Lev. 20:26; Jer. 30:11; 31:35-37). The Jews had every reason to intermarry, change their names and hide their identity by any possible means in order to escape persecution. There was no reason for them to have preserved their bloodline when they had no land of their own, when their race imposed cruel disadvantages on them and most of them didn’t really believe the Bible. Yet, they didn’t get absorbed into the nations because God’s promises stand sure.

6. God said through His prophets that He would bring the Jews back into their own land in the last days prior to the Messiah’s second coming (Jer. 31:8-12, Ezk. 11:17; 28:25). This prophecy was fulfilled after 19 centuries since Jerusalem was destroyed (in 70 A.D.) when the nation of Israel was reborn in 1948. This restoration of a nation after 25 centuries is a striking event unparalleled in the history of other peoples. It is beyond mere chance or natural means; only God could have done it.

7. God foretold that the Jews would have hostile nations surrounding them (Zech. 12:1-14) and that in the last days before Jesus’ second coming, Jerusalem would become “a cup of trembling” and “an immovable rock for all people” (Zech. 12:2-3). At the time Zechariah uttered this prophecy some 2,500 years ago, Jerusalem lay in ruins and was surrounded by wilderness and so it remained century after century.

This prophecy seemed absurd even after Israel’s rebirth in 1948, since Israel occupies about one-sixth of 1% of the land area the Arabs possess. Nothing could have indicated that the land of Israel would be a centre of worldwide concern, but today we see fulfillment of Bible prophecy as a terrible war over the city of Jerusalem looms on the world stage.

Today, Jerusalem has become a “burdensome stone” around the necks of all nations of the world who fear what would occur there. It’s the most perplexing problem the United Nation faces currently and it is a sign of the last days. These Biblical prophecies offer us sufficient proofs of God’s existence and the sign of the times we are in. God’s “sign” to the whole world is the land and people of Israel.

There are two main reasons why Muslims want the Jews to give up Jerusalem and their entire promised land.

(a) The Quran is an anti-Semitic book. It says that some Jews were turned into apes and swines by Allah (2:65; 7:166). The Saudi Ministry of Education Textbooks for Islamic Studies says Jews “are people of the Sabbath, whose young people God turned into apes, and whose old people God turned to swine to punish them. As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews … while the swine are Christian infidels of the communion of Jesus.”

Speaking of the Jews, Sura 2:61 says: “And humiliation and wretchedness were stamped upon them and they were visited with wrath from Allah.” Sura 98:6 says Jews and Christians are “the worst of creatures.”

The hadith says that the path of “those who earn your anger” in Sura fatiha Muslims recite daily, refers to Jews while “the path of those who go astray” refers to Christians (Bukhari 1:12:749). Sura 5:64 says: “The Jews say: Allah’s hand is tied up. ‘Be their hands be tied up and be accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter … Amongst them we have placed enmity and hatred till the Day of Judgment.”

Muhammad said: “The last hour will not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or tree and a stone or tree would say: Muslim…there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him…” (Muslim 41:6985)

That’s why a Muslim scholar, Yusuf Qaradawi said: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler … This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be in the hands of the believers [i.e Muslims].” [5]

(b) Muslim leaders intend to maintain their hold on Jerusalem so as to sustain the mythical link Muhammad made up to tie his cult to Abraham. Muslims are told that Ishmael was the promised son who inherited Abraham’s covenant promise. But the Quran disproves this long-held theory.

Sura 11: 69-72 say Isaac was the promised son: “And his wife standing by, laughing when We gave her good tidings (of the birth) of Isaac, and after Isaac, of Jacob. She said: Oh woe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man?”

The Quran re-tells this story in Sura 37:101-108 where Abraham asked for a righteous son and: “Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said ‘O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice. Now see what is thy view. (The son) said ‘O my father! Do as thou art commanded. Thou will find me if Allah so wills…”

The Quran clearly says it was the same “righteous son” that Abraham asked for that God promised He would give, and God later demanded that the same son be sacrificed to Him. Nowhere in the Quran is the “promised land” given to anyone else other than the Jews, so the land of Jerusalem rightfully belongs to the Jews and they alone.

Notes

[1] John Sailhamer, NIV Compact Bible Commentary, Zondervan, 271-272.

[2] The Lion Handbook to the Bible, 1983, eds. David and Pat Alexander, London, 303.

[3] Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Simon and Schuster, 1950, IV, 729.

[4] Andre Chouraqi, Between East and West: A History of North Africa, PA, 1968, 51.

[5] MEMRI, Feb. 3, 2009

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The Book of Mormon vs Mormonism

Many Mormon converts are told to read the book of Mormon in order to know about the Latter-day Saints church. This is a bait-and-switch tactic. Actually, many doctrines taught within the book of Mormon have been ignored and replaced with other ones by the Mormon church.

While the book of Mormon is a false scripture, some teachings in it appear to be closer to the Bible than the ones later concocted by Joseph Smith and his successors. Hence, Mormonism is not only a departure from biblical, historical Christianity, it’s also fraught with internal inconsistencies and incoherence. Here, I’ll point out some key LDS doctrines that directly contradict and cannot be supported by their book of Mormon.

Abbreviations:
B of M = Book of Mormon
D and C = Doctrine and Covenants
PGP = Pearl of Great Price
J of D = Journal of Discourses

1. Monotheism

In the B of M we read: “And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No” (Alma 11:27-29).

“… and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged…” (Alma 11:44)

“…And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God without end. Amen” (2 Nephi 31:21).

At the time the book of Mormon was published (1830), Smith adhered to monotheism and even tried to emulate the doctrine of the Trinity. But decades later, his theology changed into polytheism:

“And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind, and cattle after their kind … and the Gods saw they would obey” (PGP, Abraham 4:25)

“The head one of the Gods brought forth the Gods, that is the true meaning of the words [in Genesis 1:1] … Thus the head God brought forth the Gods in the grand council” (Joseph Smith’s King Follet Discourses, 614).

“Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one of them” (Brigham Young, The J of D 7:238)

2. Immutability of God

“For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity” (Moroni 8:18).

“For we do not read that God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is a shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles” (Mormon 9:9-10).

“And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I may speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure…” (2 Nephi 29:9)

But the LDS religion adheres to what Joseph Smith taught:

“…I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see … I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form – like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as man” (King Follet’s Discourses, ed. B. H. Roberts, 1963, 5)

“We were begotten by our Father in heaven, the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father, and again. He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on, from generation to generation” (Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, 1853, 132).

One supposedly inspired source says God never changes and another says God was a man who evolved into deity or was born by another God on another planet. Interestingly, Smith says elsewhere “There is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God” (D and C, 20:17).

3. God’s Omnipotence and Omniscience

“… the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men…” (Mosiah 7:2)

“For behold, God knoweth all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold he sent angels to minister unto the children of men…” (Moroni 7:22)

But Mormonism teaches that: “God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end” (Wilford Woodruff, J of D, 1857, 6:120)

“We are now, or may be, as perfect in our sphere as God and Angels are in theirs, but the greatest intelligence in existence (God) can continually ascend to greater heights of perfection” (Brigham Young, J of D, 1852, 1:93).

4. God is a Spirit

“And then Ammon said: Believeth thou that there is a Great Spirit? And he said, Yea. And Ammon said: This is God. And Ammon said unto him again: Believest thou that this Great Spirit, who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth” (Alma 18:26-28). (cf. John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17)

But Joseph Smith taught that: “If the vail was rent to-day, and the great God, who holds this world in its orbit, and upholds all things by his power; if you were to see him to-day, you would see him in all the person, image and very form as a man…” (Times and Seasons 1844, vol. 5: 613-14).

5. Christ’s virgin birth

“And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God” (Alma 7:10).

But this was denied by Smith’s successor: “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father? He is the first of the human family … Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost” (Brigham Young, J of D, 1:50-51).

6. Men becoming Gods

The book of Mormon presents God as one and eternal negating the idea of men becoming gods. But Joseph Smith taught that: “… you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you … to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power” (B. H. Roberts, History of the Church, 1844, VI, 306).

Mormon prophet, Lorenz Snow also declared: “As man is, God once was, As God is, man may become” (Millennial Star, vol. 54).

7. Pre-mortal existence of humans

The LDS religion officially teaches that “all men lived in a premortal estate before they were born into this world; all were born in this premortal existence as the spirit children of the Father” (What Mormons Think of Christ? Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, 1976, 25).

Nowhere in the book of Mormon is this idea of human pre-existence taught. Similarly, the Bible teaches that human souls were created at the point of physical conception (Is. 44:2, 24; 49:5). But Smith taught: “And that it might be filled with the measure of man according to his creation before the world was made” (D and C, 49:17)

“Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth … Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth was not created nor made, neither indeed can be” (93:23, 29).

8. Three levels of heaven

Smith taught that there are 3 levels of heaven: the telestial (for those who don’t believe the gospel), the terrestrial and the highest called the celestial:

“And again, we saw the glory of the terrestrial, which glory is of the latter … And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial … And those we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding” (D and C, 76:81-90).

Nowhere is this taught in the book of Mormon. Apparently, Smith adopted the 3 degrees of Masonry (which he was involved in) into his imaginary heaven. Now, if Smith was really inspired, why did he contradict the book that he presented to the world 14 years earlier as the final revelation?

9. Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood

The B of M says that “the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son… high priesthood of the holy order of God” (Alma 13:1, 6).

But in D and C (107:1), we read: “There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic including the Levitical Priesthood.”

It also says: “For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and then magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of the Lord” (D and C, 84:33-34). The Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods were evidently made up later by Smith.

10. Baptism for the dead

This rite is based on Smith’s revelations: “For a baptismal font there is not upon the earth, that they, my saints, may be baptized for those who are dead – For this ordinance belongeth to my house…” (D and C, 124:29-30)

“You may think this order of things to be particular; but let me tell you that it is only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead who should die without a knowledge of the gospel” (128:5)

But the B of M says the opposite, that there’s no hope for sinners after death:

“And, in fine, we unto all those who die in their sins; for they shall return to God, and behold his face, and remain in their sins” (2 Nephi 9:38)

“Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of all guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord … which is like unquenchable fire whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever” (Mosiah 2:38)

11. The Word of Wisdom code

Smith laid down this code forbidding Mormons to take wine, strong drinks, tobacco, and hot drinks (tea, coffee etc). He said:

“Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days. I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by revelation” (D and C, 89:4-9). But nowhere is this code given in the book of Mormon.

12. Polygamy

The B of M says that “the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon his son” (Jacob 1:15).

“Behold David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord” (Jacob 2:24). But D and C says: “David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants…and in nothing did they sin save things which they received not from me” (132:38).

It wasn’t only Smith’s doctrines that changed between 1830 and 1850, his morals also declined as well. After the book of Mormon was published, he had dozens of wives and concubines (including minors) so he needed to justify his sins with another “revelation” forgetting that his earlier one already condemns him.

13. Secret rites

Mormons who intend to become “temple workers” undergo secret rites in Mormon temples which include blood oaths, receiving secret names, learning secret passwords, endowment initiation and “sealing” marriage. But the B of M condemns these practices:

“And it shall come in a day when the blood of saints shall cry unto the Lord because of secret combinations and the works of darkness” (Mormon 8:27)

“And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of these things…” (2 Nephi 26:22)

“But behold, Satan did stir up the hearts of the more parts of the Nephites … And it came to pass that they did not have their signs, yea, their secret signs, and their secret words; that they may distinguish a brother who had entered into the covenant…” (Helaman 6:21-22).

Indeed, these temple rites have links with Masonry and witchcraft. Now, if the LDS religion truly believes that the B of M is “the most correct of any book on earth,” the “fulness of the everlasting gospel” which reveals “all things unto the children of men,” then it’s illogical and inconsistent for their other “sacred” books to contradict it at any point. Such contradictions must never be minimized or rationalized as “mysteries,” they are proofs of a diabolic deception.