Mar 26, 2017

The Authenticity of the Bible Compared to the Koran

The Bible has been under attack from the secular world for a very long time. The attacks have only grown stronger with the passing of time. The enemies of the Bible are so convinced of its error, they seek to ban it from all public places.

One of the most repeated attacks against the Bible is the notion that it is just a collection of stories that have evolved over time. The claim is that a group of unknown writers got together and wrote down a series of legendary tales; as the Bible was copied, the narrative changed with each translation.

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls should have silenced these critics. With the 1940s discovery, we suddenly had biblical text going back as far as 200 B.C., that perfectly matched modern Old Testament passages.

There is even bonus evidence of the Bible’s authenticity. In 1979, two tiny silver scrolls were found in a tomb from the 7th century B.C. that were inscribed with portions of the well-known prophylactic Priestly Blessing from the book of Numbers. The scrolls show that some of the material found in the Five Books of Moses existed in the First Temple period.

The more recent establishment of the Muslim faith should give the Koran a much easier track record. Since Muhammad’s death was in 632 A.D., there should be better records of his revelations. As it turns out, the Koran’s documentation trail is incredibly vague.

The prophet Muhammad did not write any part of the Koran. The teachings of Islam were first based on oral tradition. Over time, bits and pieces of Muhammad’s sayings were written down on the Bronze Age version of Post-It notes. For example, one Quranic verse was inscribed on the shoulder blade of a camel while others were written on stones. Because Islam’s teachings were so disorganized, a decision was made to compile all their sources into one document.

Over a twenty-year period, a series of people had a free hand in creating their version of the Koran. According to Islamic tradition, the standardization of the text of the Koran was seamless. In reality, there were conflicting accounts of Muhammad’s words, meaning there is more than one Koran. History also shows that on one occasion, a man named Uthman decided for himself what was correct, and then had all other records destroyed.

The Koran also has a problem with some glaring errors. There are numerous scientific and historical errors in the Koran. In several passages, Muhammad claimed that the sun and the moon orbit each other. He also said there was a time when the moon split into two.

The Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Persians, Chinese and Indians were all avid astronomers. They would have likely recorded this event:

“The moon has split and the hour has drawn closer.” —The Quran, 54:1

“That the Meccan people requested Allah’s apostle to show them a miracle, and so he showed them the splitting of the moon.”  —Sahih Bukhari 4:56:83

In 1972, during the restoration of the Great Mosque of Sana’a, in Yemen, laborers found old parchment and paper documents—damaged books and individual pages of Arabic text. In this mash was the oldest Koran in existence; dated to around 700 A.D.

A team of German scholars pried apart the pages and made several shocking discoveries. The Yemeni Koran was written in a kind of shorthand that allowed an individual word to have up to thirty different means. In light of this discovery, suicide bombers that expected to get “72 wide-eyed virgins,” may in fact receive “a modest bunch of grapes.” The pages also show signs of embellishment where versions were clearly written over even earlier, washed-off versions.

Since the early 1980s more than 15,000 sheets of the Yemeni Korans have painstakingly been flattened, cleaned, treated, sorted, and assembled. Yemeni authorities have been reluctant to allow the documents to be seen by the public. It is very telling that the Dead Sea Scrolls have their own museum for public view, while the Islamic world’s version is kept under lock and key.

If someone found a Bible that was based on variable text, the academic world would question its reliability. If a biblical manuscript had been found where the text was disjointed and rewritten (as discovered with the content of the Koran), the entire Bible would be conclusively declared a work of fiction.

The Koran doesn’t need authenticity. It gets by on a cult of mythology. It’s not what the Koran says, it’s what Muslim’s believe it says. They boldly claim that Islam is the “religion of peace” and if you say otherwise—they will kill you.

Muslims will boast that Arabic is used so eloquently in the Quran that it must have been created by a god. In Fact, the Koran is so special, a person needs to learn Arabic in order to fully understand the “holy” text. The problems of the Yemeni Korans can be dismissed because they were uncovered by Western scholars who had a “Christian mindset.”

The simple reason why the world hates the Bible and gives the Koran a free pass is because the Word of God is true. The realization of this reality should give comfort to all believers in Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:1-5 ESV).

–Todd


Rumors of War Realities

Jesus sat with His immediate disciples upon the Mount of Olives just before His crucifixion. He answered the question that most troubled them, following His declaration that the Jewish temple would be completely destroyed, with not a stone left standing.

Their question–offered in wide-eyed amazement, no doubt–was: “When shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3).

Jesus then said that  there would first come deceivers and great deception, even people declaring themselves to be Christ. Another thing that would signal the end of the world (the age) would, He said, be wars and rumors of war.

So, rumors of war is a major signal, given by God, Himself, that the end of human history is on the verge of reaching its conclusion. We do note that the Lord next said:  “See that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

The disciples surrounding Him at the moment of His prophecy about the wrap-up of human history were to understand that the “end” was still future, and we know that the future in this instance has extended nearly 2000 years to this point. The end, as we know, is not yet…

But there is now, in these portentous times, more than enough rumblings upon the volatile geopolitical horizon to cause the diplomats of the world to be “troubled.” Nuclear weaponry and its imposition into the present-day mix of the possibility of war-making is something of which the disciples could know nothing.

Diplomats, and the rest of us as well, however, have seen what such weaponry can wreak, since “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” did their war-concluding work on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August of 1945.

Possibility of war is much more than mere “rumors” these days. We have the historical experience, prophesied by Christ many centuries ago, to confirm that in this present hour upon planet earth there is reason to “be troubled.”

Wars down through the last two millennia have run their courses, with hundreds of millions dead in their aftermaths. Nuclear war will, if initiated, make all the conflicts of the past pale by comparison. Thus, it is incumbent upon the so-called “peacemakers” to put a bridle on the vicious jaws of tyrants who seek nuclear weapons in order to rein in their megalomania.

We have for years heard about Iran seeking such weapons. Attempts to rein in the Ayatollahs’ nuclear weapons ambitions have been tepid. Iran has basically been given a practically unencumbered pathway to developing not only nuclear bombs, but the means to deliver them anywhere in the world.

Russia has been complicit in helping Iran get its way, with little resistance from the Obama administration or anyone else So, the rumors of a future war loom mightily, if the new president doesn’t deal effectively in the matter.

Now we are facing another building crisis involving a major rumor of future nuclear war. Our other chief antagonist, China, is acting in much the same way in dealing with their proxy state, the North Koreans, as the Russians are in dealing with the Iranians. These matters constitute rumors of war of infinite magnitude. It has been left by previous administrations–particularly the most recent previous–for the new president to deal with these potentially deadly situations.

American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson a week or so ago, while visiting South Korea, refused to rule out a preemptive strike against North Korea’s nuclear facilities. The ongoing fallout has China pushing back against such an eventuality, making veiled and not-so-veiled threats. It is not a lovely picture of international, diplomatic tranquility we see developing, to say the least.

Yet, there is comfort in all of this rumors of war business, I can happily report, based not upon my word, but upon the Word of God. Jesus’ words “but the end is not yet,” still apply to our time upon this much-bedeviled sphere.

As a matter of fact, Jesus said life would be pretty much as usual right up until the time He next catastrophically intervenes into the affairs of mankind. It is God, Himself, who is holding back all the evil of the world (read 2 Thessalonians 2) until that moment of intervention Jesus spoke of as recorded in Matthew 24:36-42 and Luke 17:26-30.

When the Church (all born-again believers, according to Romans 10:9-10) goes to be with Christ when He calls us to “come up hither” (Revelation 4:1-2) as detailed by Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 4:51-55 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, then the red horse of war, according to Revelation 6, will gallop forth.

That’s a  long, rambling sentence, I realize, but well worth your taking apart and analyzing from the pages of your Bible. It is a matter of great comfort to read and study such promises. Such comfort–to those who know Christ for salvation–more than neutralizes the troubling, even terrifying rumors of war we now face.

–Terry

Mar 19, 2017

North Korea Is a Ticking Time Bomb

North Korea has been a problem nation since day one. It is a product of the Cold War. After Japan was defeated in World War II, the Soviet Union and the U.S. split up Korea on the 38th parallel.

The willingness of the Communist Bloc to support any nation that would hold high the Marxist banner resulted in one of the worst dictatorship’s on the planet. The government is based on an elaborate cult of personality—around Kim Il-sung and his family. All households are required to have a photo of the “Great Leader” on their wall. Anyone who makes even the most casual negative remark about the government can result in being sent to a death camp.

Kim Jong Un is the third descendant of this dynasty; he is a joke of a leader. He was made commander of the army despite the fact he doesn’t have any military experience. Kim Jong Un looks like a clown, with his Dr. Evil suits, his high cut hair and lumbering weight. The Chinese press has focused on how odd it is to have a fat guy running a nation where millions constantly face starvation.

All this nuttiness would be entertaining for us in the West if North Korea was not one of the most heavily armed nations on earth. It is the country with the highest number of military and paramilitary personnel (a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel). Its active duty army of 1.21 million is the fourth largest in the world.

North Korea has become even more dangerous by its nuclear program. The nation’s first atomic bomb was too heavy to fit onto a missile and on a jet. After years of development, they appear to now have a nuke that could fit for a short range mission.

With North Korea’s ingenuity, they will soon have an atomic missile that can reach Hawaii or the West Coast of North America.

Kim Jong Un has boasted that North Korea has enough plutonium to make 10 nuclear warheads and the ability to launch ballistic missiles at least 600 miles. North Korea is working on building hydrogen bombs. They have made two underground tests that show how they are making continuous progress in achieving this goal.

If there is any doubt we are dealing with evil people, the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother, Kim Jong Nam, should show the ruthlessness of the Pyongyang leadership. Kim Jong Nam was walking through a Malaysian airport when two women walked up to him and touched him on the face with two clothes. Both of them produced the banned VX nerve agent; which killed the brother within two minutes.

The North Korea media constantly put out saber-rattling statements that warn of how ready they are for war. The propaganda press agency KCNA issued this statement attributed to Kim:  “If they [The U.S.] infringe on the DPRK’s sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater.”

The average North Korean is constantly being told to prepare for warfare. This past week Kim Jong Un gave orders that every soldier—even if away on business, on leave, off-base for training, or even those with a recent death in the family must return to their units. The authorities have ordered the military police in each region to summon all soldiers back to their bases.

This constant high level of tension will eventually produce a miscalculation on someone’s part. Once a mistake is made, the consequences will be very high. The North Koreans have thousands of missiles aimed at the south. Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is only about 20 miles from the border.

The day will eventually come where North Korea will be able to strike downtown Los Angeles with an H-bomb. Our leaders may come to regret not acting when Pyongyang only had conventional weapons. China should be the one with the greatest remorse. It foolishly supported North Korea for decades. Now that South Korea has decided to install a THAD missile defense system, the Chinese are starting to realize the mess they’ve allowed to fester right on their doorstep.

By now, a war between the West and North Korea should have started a dozen times. I think God is holding things back because now is the time of “peace and safety” (1 Thessalonians 5:3). As we reach the Tribulation hour, situations like North Korea  will likely continue to get worse and worse.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

–Todd


Presidential Prophecy Briefing

This president is doing his best to fulfill campaign promises. His “best” is something to behold. He is getting it done at breakneck speed and despite opposition–much of that opposition satanically inspired.

The hatred toward him and even his family is unlike anything witnessed in our nation’s post-election history. Donald J. Trump forges ahead as if he doesn’t notice the fierceness and threats of the haters screaming their vitriol from every quarter. At least the rage doesn’t seem to bother him much.

He doesn’t turn the other cheek, of course. His Tweets can be as devastating as slaps across the face.

For example, his Tweet that asked the question: Isn’t it terrible the way Obama had my phones tapped in the Trump Tower?

He responds immediately in most cases to the written words of the hostile news media and spoken words of political antagonists. He is a New York City street fighter, and can obviously handle himself amongst the political and media street brawlers in spite of the fact that he is a political neophyte–but one that is quickly attaching himself to the learning curve.

Mr. Trump can be very kind, generous, and compassionate, as well as tough. We have seen these traits demonstrated on a number of occasions before and since he became president. He gets no notice of approval for this side of his personal deportment from any of his opposition of course. Neither does he seek it. He just…well…forges ahead and accomplishes what he has promised.

Although I’ve received criticism even from brothers and sisters in Christ who read this column for being “too caught up in worldly politics,” I don’t mind being perhaps overly transparent that I’m an ardent supporter of our new president. This doesn’t mean I approve of some of his NYC street jargon or his every word uttered or action taken. But for the most part, I think he is a man of honor, determined to do exactly what he promised the voter who supported him. I have no doubt that he is God’s chosen man for the job at this critical time in history.

The larger part of what makes this a critical time is Israel’s position on the world stage. That stance is becoming more front and center –more focused– with every hour that passes. This, as we have said many times in these essays, is a prime indicator, if not the prime indicator of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline.

I believe this, in conjunction with the convergence of many prophetic indicators at this late hour constitutes the number one signal that the Rapture of the Church is very near.

After all that positive assessment of President Trump to this point, I must project an exhortation, almost an admonishment, in his direction. Rather, more to the point, I am issuing such to a select few people who orbit him, on a personal basis, I’m presuming.

I’ll mention five men specifically. These, I believe, have a responsibility the Lord Himself appointed for influencing this president. Each, I know absolutely, has biblical knowledge of God’s Word regarding the wind-up of human history. They must, if they have opportunity–and I have no doubt they do have opportunity–inform Mr. Trump, in detail, what Bible prophecy has to say about anyone dealing with Israel.

These men whom I believe have this responsibility are Franklin Graham, Dr. Robert Jeffress, Dr. David Jeremiah, and Mike Huckabee. One other might be Jerry Falwell, Jr. Each is thoroughly familiar with the futurist view of biblical prophecy. Each understands Israel’s role in the final disposition of prophetic fulfillment.

I’m not certain about Huckabee as to how in-depth is his stance on prophetic details regarding Israel. Sadly, Southern Baptist seminaries are now egregiously weak in prophecy teaching. Huckabee, however, was inculcated as a budding Southern Baptist minister when that denomination was on the money in God’s truth surrounding eschatology. Falwell surely must adhere to his late father’s viewpoint in matters concerning Israel’s future.

These people have apparently been embraced as evangelical leaders friendly to and accepted by the president. Thus, their responsibility to advise him is profound.

My reason for addressing the matter stems from President Trump’s meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Trump’s subsequent comments. The following news excerpt frames my concern.

US President Donald Trump is mulling the option to hold a peace conference in the Middle East in an effort to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, after speaking on Friday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas…

“The president emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal,” the White House said…

“The president noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world,” the White House clarified. (Source: Trump Mulls Middle East Peace Conference, Annette News -Israel news by Orly Azoulay & Elior Levy, 3/12/17)

So, the question comes: What’s wrong with the president of the United States trying to make peace?

Another question: Didn’t Jesus say, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will inherit the earth”?

The problem isn’t the effort at peacemaking by Mr Trump or anyone else. The problem is that the attempt at making peace between Israel and her enemies always involves Israel having to give up its land for peace–something that God says will bring mankind to the battle of Armageddon.

For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. (Joel 3: 1-2)

God will not abide the dividing of His land–which the world, in effect, has already done. To further divide the land, after God has brought the Jews back from dispersion will, undoubtedly, be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back.

God’s Word prophesies about peace deals that involves His chosen people and nation He forewarns His people, Israel:

Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves… And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. (Isaiah 28: 15, 18)

Antichrist will make that final peace deal with Israel (read Daniel 9: 26-27). The results, as you see from Isaiah’s prophecy, will be catastrophic for Israel. Joel, in his prophecy, makes it clear that it will be equally disastrous for the whole world.

President Trump, like all presidents before him, receives daily briefings on the important matters he must consider. There is no matter more important than the way he deals with this nation so close to God’s great heart.

The gentlemen I’ve mentioned have an awesome responsibility to give the president the most important briefing he will ever receive: forewarning from God’s prophetic Word regarding Israel.

–Terry

***For Your Information ***

This isn’t a commercial or ad. We don’t do ads in this announcement-section of RR, as you know.

I do, however, want you, our RR family, to know about a product that my family, including Todd, and I, have found to be most effective in the relief of soreness in muscles and joints.

I’m always very skeptical about claims of such creams, etc., but this one is one I want to strongly recommend, because many of us, as we get older, feel the aches of the years. Those of my family, and I have tested this new cream and have found it to live up to the claims of almost instant relief of most muscle and joint pains.

We have no tie whatsoever with the product, financially or otherwise. –Just wanted to help you deal with such discomfort, if possible.

To find out about it and order it if you wish, go to the following website.

tedsbrainscience.com

If you like it, let me know.

–Terry