Comparing Christianity to Islam: Gospel of Peace vs. Mandate of Terror

At the writing of this essay in 2015, there were 2,501 attacks by Islamic Terrorists; 178, just in the month of November.[1]

Since the attack on America at the Twin Towers in New York City, on September 11, 2001, Islamic Terrorists have carried out 27, 290 attacks, world-wide.[9]

Number of terror attacks by the followers of Jesus during the same period: -0-

With the advent of radical fundamentalists Muslims who take their religion to such an extreme that they kill non believers; many critics of Christianity claim that fundamentalists followers of Jesus are no different.

The Crusades which took place from 1095-1291, were ordered by the leaders of the Catholic Church,[10] who murdered millions of Muslims. This event is often cited as the reference to assert claims that Christianity has committed similar events to those of Muslims, which is historically, incorrect.

Over the course of human history, there have been many groups of people who have hijacked religion and use their ancient scriptures to justify atrocities that they wish to commit. When we examine the actual words of Jesus in the New Testament, we find that He never instructed any of His followers to kill people who refuse to believe. In fact, we see just the opposite. A great majority of the fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel describes Jesus’ instructions to His followers in how they should respond to people:

Jesus Speaking

But I say to you, 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

But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. Matthew 5:39

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, “Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:21-22

Only the Catholic Church is guilty of the horrendous acts of the Crusades. There were millions of other Christians throughout the world during that time, who never participated in, nor condoned, these unjust actions. At no time in the history of the world, has the Christian Church as a whole, ever participated in the murder of non believers, nor have they ever taken up arms against any people in order to convert them to Christianity.[11]

President Obama said the following, regarding Christians and their past behavior, at the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5, 2015, in Washington, D.C:

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” he told the group, speaking of the tension between the compassionate and murderous acts religion can inspire. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

The record of the Catholic-Christian church during its 2,000 year history, is inexcusable.* We must understand that Jesus did not command His followers to take up arms and threaten or kill those who refused to convert to Christianity. These unlawful, unjust actions took place as a result of corrupt and evil men from within the Christian church who approved and orchestrated these immoral actions. In the Christian church, to the present day, there are frauds who take the name of Christ, while failing to display the qualities of Christ. These people are not the true followers of Jesus Christ, and they do not represent Him, nor the church for which He died.

We should not blame Christ, or His church for the wrongful actions of evil men who took actions that were not sanctioned by Jesus, nor did He ever instruct anyone to carry out these actions. The Christian church wins people to God by love, not force. Jesus was very clear about the manner in which the people who follow Him, should conduct themselves:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. —Romans 12:21

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” —John 13:35

The fact that men pretend to take up the title of “Christian,” while never intending to emulate the true character and behavior of a Christian—using this title for evil purposes, is great evidence to make the case that all men need a Savior. Evil men will even use what is Holy to perpetrate their evil deeds.

Is Islam a Religion of Peace?

According to those who study the Muslim religion and the specific texts of the Quran which are used by terrorists to justify their reign of terror, there are at least 109 open-ended verses within the Quran that instruct Muslim’s to go to war with non-believers.[1]

In contrast to the verses of the Hebrew Bible which described God as instructing His people to destroy those who attacked God’s people, these were limited and specific moments of history when these acts were necessary. God did not give an open-ended command to all Christians to destroy non-believers.

When God brought His people into Canaan, the land was settled by some of the most barbaric, blood-thirsty and horrific people who have ever lived upon the earth.

See the article:Understanding The Wrath Of God

In contrast, the 109 plus verse of the Quran, are a never-ending edict to continue bloodshed upon anyone who will not convert to Isalm.

Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”[2]

It must also be stated that just as all Christians are not Crusaders, not all Muslims are terrorists. Just because someone claims to be a Christian or a Muslim, does not make them a Christian or a Muslim.

I have had many conversations with Muslims who are horrified by the actions of ISIS. They do not want to be identified with this abhorrent branch of their religion. I have also found that many people are misinformed about the unjust actions of the Crusaders. It is commonly believed that the entire Christian church is responsible for the murders of millions of Muslims during the time of the Crusades. It is important to understand that only the Catholic church, led by Pope Urban II in Italy, is responsible for these atrocities.

*In 1095 the Byzantine Emperor, Alexios I, in Constantinople, dispatched his ambassador to Pope Urban II in Italy pleading for his soldiers to move against the growing Turkish threat. The Pope dispatched Catholic soldiers to join the first Crusade.

It was many hundreds of thousands of Roman Catholics from all over Western Europe who were the crusaders. In exchange for their service, the Pope granted these men plenary indulgences from the church.[11][12][13] According to Pope Urban II, any man who participated in the killing of Muslims was forgiven of their sins. Many others were promised financial and political prosperity for their devotion to the Catholic Church. As the Crusaders pillaged the countries they conquered, the leaders of the Catholic Church retained these territories instead of returning them to the people of the Byzantines..[14][15]

In the event known as “the People’s Crusade,” thousands of Jews were killed in the Rhineland massacres. All subsequent actions that resulted in the murder of many hundreds of thousand of people during the Crusades, were a result of the Catholic Church, not Christianity as a whole.

In the same way, the actions of ISIS/ISIL, in murdering thousands of people around the world, does not represent the entire religion of Islam.

If you are a member of Islam and you detest the actions of terrorist who have taken your religion and have used the Quran as an instrument for murder, then please speak out against the actions of ISIS and other terrorist organizations in the world. Write a comment to this article that declares you do not want Islam to be used for terrorism. If we stand together as one people on the earth, we can defeat this scourge once and for all.

The Wrath of God in the Old Testament

The Old Testament Bible recounts the Amalekites who attacked the helpless, the sick, and the old, when Israel first came out of Egypt. They attacked Israel a second time, at Hormah, without being provoked, as described in Exodus 17. They joined a third time with Eglon and attacked Israel in the days of the Judges. Whenever Israel planted their crops, the Amalekites along with the Midianites in Judges 6, destroyed Israel’s animals and crops.

Since the Amalekites attacked Israel from the rear and slaughtered the children, the sick, and the helpless, as well as destroyed Israel’s animals, crops, and dwellings—God’s judgment on the Amalekites is equal to their crime. The Lord, here in 1 Samuel 15, is going to tell King Saul to “destroy their weak, their helpless, their animals, their crops, and their dwellings.”

utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. —1 Samuel 15

The Amalekites were well known by the Lord as a people completely given over to satan, totally debased and perverse from their infancy onward. Known as eaters of raw meat, having no house, having the instincts of an animal, and living like wolves.”[3]

These debased people practiced child sacrifice, which is confirmed by archeological artifacts discovered in the remains of Amalekite villages.[4] In 2 Kings 23:10 and Jeremiah 7:31, there is a vivd description of how the Amalekite children were offered to one of their most blood thirsty gods, Molech.

And King Josiah defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech. 2 Kings 23:10

Molech was a great cast iron god that sat upon a stone throne above the people. His body was hollow, with an area at the lower section of the statue where a fire could be kindled. The flames of the fire would superheat the cast iron—at times—develop such high temperature, that fire was said to shoot out from the outstretched arms of Molech. A newborn baby from a willing family was placed live on the outstretched arms of this vicious god, where the infant would be burned to death. This was one of many horrible gods that the Canaanites worshipped.

Paul G. Mosca, in his Greek thesis describes a similar type of child sacrifice:

“There stands in their midst a bronze statue… its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall upon the body, the limbs contract and the open mouth seems almost to be laughing until the contracted body slips quietly into the brazier. Thus it is that the ‘grin’ is known as ‘sardonic laughter,’ since they die laughing.”

Molech[5]

Archeologists have uncovered the ruins of Canaanite villages and found the remains of clay jars that were used in their ritual worship.[6] Newborn babies were dismembered, and their body parts were placed inside these jars and sealed inside the walls of newly built homes—to bring the blessings of their brutal gods.[7]

It is not necessary to list all the horrendous acts that were perpetrated by the Canaanites. It is sufficient to say—if all the facts were known by people today, the horrific deeds carried out by these cruel people, we would likely commend God for ending their lives.

The Amalekites were among the four kings that Abraham defeated, who had taken Sodom and Gomorrah captive as well as Abraham’s nephew Lot. In the period of the Judges, the Amalekites joined forces with the Ammonites and King Eglon of Moab to attack and capture Jericho. The Amalekites were defeated by Gideon and his armies at the valley of Jezreel, where the future Battle of Armageddon will be fought. By the time Saul is king of Israel, the Amalekites had gained a mountain in the land of Ephraim in Israel, where they were once again living and multiplying.

Amalekites in Ephraim[8]

The Amalekites had heard of God’s pronouncement of their destruction for more than 900 years, and yet they did not repent of their sins and turn to God. This is in contrast to Nineveh, where Jonah was sent by God to speak the same message of future judgment that would result if they did not turn away from their wickedness.

At the preaching of Jonah, Nineveh did repent and turned to the Lord. True to His promise of mercy, the Lord relented from bringing His judgement, sparing Nineveh total annihilation.

Now the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.” 3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent.4 And Jonah began to enter the city on the first day’s walk. Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 Then word came to the king of Nineveh; and he arose from his throne and laid aside his robe, covered himself with sackcloth and sat in ashes. 7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published throughout Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; do not let them eat, or drink water. 8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? 10 Then God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God relented from the disaster that He had said He would bring upon them, and He did not do it. Jonah 3:1-10

The prophet Jeremiah said that if any nation would turn from their sins to the Lord, He would not destroy them.

The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, 8 if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. Jeremiah 18:7-8

God’s Judgment on His People

The Lord made the same promise of destruction to His own people, if they would not listen to His word and turn from their sin.

In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD, saying, 2 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word. 3 Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.’ 4 And you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, 5 to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded), 6 then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” ’ ” Jeremiah 26:1-6

When Jonah brought God’s warning to Nineveh, they listened and turned from their sin; and God ceased in His promised destruction of their nation.

We should understand that our Great God of Love is also a Great God of Justice.

The Lord could not possibly be righteous if He did not punish sin. It is morally wrong to allow the guilty to go unpunished. At the Cross, the Lord showed us the magnificent example of Love and Justice working together. We were guilty; God judged our sins by punishing His own Son. In doing this, His justice was satisfied; and He was able to maintain His righteousness while, at the same time, showing His Great Love.

The total destruction of the entire Amalekite nation was a righteous and justifiable action by God against an evil that had to be dealt with. Those who condemn God for His judgement of the Amalekites or see a different God in the Old Testament from the God of the New Testament have not correctly understood Him. God displayed an amazing duration of patience with an evil and debased group of people, who rightfully deserved a much swifter judgement than they received. God waited because He is loving and kind and does not take any pleasure in destroying even wicked people. It has always been the sincere desire of the Lord that all people would repent and come to Him for salvation. He cannot, however, save anyone without their full consent.

The God of the Bible does not force anyone to believe

Although God is unlimited in His power and might, He will not use His great power to force anyone to come to Him so that He can show His love and mercy. This decision rests with each one of us. He has warned us what the consequences of our actions or inactions will be, so that we will have no one else to blame but ourselves—if we do not heed His warning.

Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention when the earlier prophets said to them, This is what the Lord of Heavens Armies says: Turn from your evil ways, and stop all your evil practices. 5. Where are your ancestors now? They and the prophets are long dead. 6. But everything I said through my servants the prophets happened to your ancestors, just as I said. As a result, they repented and said, We have received what we deserved from the Lord of Heavens Armies. He has done what he said he would do. Zechariah 1:4-6 (NLT)

Those who state that there are two different Gods between the Old and New Testament, have failed to understand the points of this chapter. Yes, God hates sin and has promised to punish all sinners. Just as important is the fact that God has already punished all sin, in His Son. Jesus bore the full wrath of God for all sins and has made forgiveness and eternal life as simple as requesting it from God.

We have embraced the grace of God—while forgetting His just and righteous hatred of sin. One of the reasons that people mistake this second attribute of God—His justice and punishment of sin—is that we don’t understand the Holiness or perfection of God. We fail to understand the full effects that sin has on human life. God, who sees every event at once, understands that billions of lives have been devastated—all because of Adam’s disobedience and our continuing decision to sin ourselves.

We forget that we are only here on the earth for an extraordinarily short period of time. God, on the other hand, lives forever. Who are we to protest the actions of an eternal being with the power to create the vast universe that we have come to observe? Can we instruct God? Can we judge His wrath against sin as a wrongful action? Do we have the capacity to understand the reasons why a transcendent being of unlimited power and wisdom has determined the specific details for how all of us can be saved? All we can do is fall at His feet and humbly ask for His mercy, for He has described a day in which all of us will give to Him a full account of our life. We will not be able to utter a word nor execute a single excuse for why we did not submit our lives fully to Him.

When we examine the Quran and compare the text of their scriptures with the narrative of the Bible, we find a stunning difference. One is a gospel of peace, the other, a mandate for war. One is a gospel of love, the other, violence. One is a message of sacrifice by God in giving His only Son for the sins of the world, the other, a directive to murder anyone who will not convert to Islam.

See Also:


NOTES:
[1] http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/quran/023-violence.htm Glen Roberts, Editor
[2] (Translation is from the Noble Quran) The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families. The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries. In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest). The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.
[3] Myth of the Wedding of Amru, Inscription of Shu-Sin
[4] From the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10, regarding child sacrifices to Molech by the Amalekites: “An eighth- century b. c. Phoenician inscription speaks of sacrifices made to Molech before battle by the Cilicians and their enemies. Topheth was the cultic installation where children were offered to the god Molech. The word is thought to signify the hearth where the child was placed. The Hebrew term has parallel terms in both Ugaritic and Aramaic with the meaning “furnace, fireplace.” Scholars have thought that Topheth was at the edge of the valley of Ben Hinnom before connecting with the Kidron Valley. The valley of Ben Hinnom has been identified with Wadier-Rahabi southwest of the City of David. Many consider Molech to be a netherworld deity featuring rituals with Canaanite origins focusing on dead ancestors.”
[5] Graphic Art by Rob Robinson
[6] J.B. Hennessey, Palestine Exploration Quarterly (1966)
[7] “There is archaeological evidence that the Canaanites of the second millennium BCE followed the custom of child sacrifice owing to excavations of a shrine near the city of Gezer which has yielded clay jars containing the charred bones of babies.” Retrieved from: http://www.baal.com/baal/about/divine_overview.shtml
[8] Illustrated Map by Rob Robinson
[9] http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/attacks-2014.htm
[10] “The Crusades were military campaigns sanctioned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. In 1095 Byzantine Emperor Alexios I, in Constantinople, sent an ambassador to Pope Urban II in Italy pleading for military help against the growing Turkish threat. The Pope responded promptly by calling Catholic soldiers to join the First Crusade. The immediate goal was to guarantee pilgrims access to the holy sites in the Holy Land under Muslim control. His long-range goal was to reunite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom after their split in 1054 with the pope as head of the united Church. A complex 200-year struggle ensued.” Source: Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades
[11]  1.Baldwin, Philip B. (2014). ‘Pope Gregory X and the crusades’. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. ISBN 9781843839163. 2. Barber, Malcolm (1992). The Two Cities: Medieval Europe 1050–1320. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-09682-0.
[12]Nelson, Laura N. (2007). The Byzantine Perspective of the First Crusade. ProQuest. ISBN 9780549426554.
[13} Davies, Norman (1997). Europe – A History. Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6633-8.
[14] Asbridge, Thomas (2011). The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land. Ecco. ISBN 978-0-06-078729-5.
[15] Cohn, Norman (1970). The pursuit of the Millennium.
[16} Davies, Norman (1997). Europe – A History. Pimlico. ISBN 0-7126-6633-8.



Categories: ISIS/ISIL, Islamic Terrorism, The Quran and Violence, The Wrath of God

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4 replies

  1. Wow……………. this is saddening Robert.

    As a person who should be a respectable christian apologist, I would expect you to not intentionally misquote and take verses in the quran out of context in order to suite your agenda that aims to make christianity look peaceful and Islam violent. This fails not only on your part Robert, but also deeply embarrasses the Christian apologetic community, as this not only makes it look hypocritical, but also shows your double standards when reading what you consider to be holy scripture and what someone else may consider holy scripture. EVEN A MUSLIM CAN DO THIS ROBERT!!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS???????

    LETS REMEMBER ROBERT, according to trinitarian christians, this is JESUS saying all of this……..

    -This is what the Lord of hosts has to say: ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.’ (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)
    (-Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, “All of you who are on the LORD’s side, come over here and join me.” And all the Levites came. He told them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.” The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing.” (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)

    See Robert, its incredibly easy for someone from another faith group to quote verses from what you consider holy scripture and say “Hey you see all those violent things terrorists groups who are christian like the KKK and the lords resistance do, yeah it must be motivated by the bible”. Not only is such an argument quite embarrassing and fallacious, it also makes Christian apologists look like hypocrites when they start hurling these silly arguments at Muslims, especially when the bible has verses THAT CAN APPEAR FAR MORE GRAPHIC AND VIOLENT.

    You should be deeply shameful Robert, especially as a person who I would hope aims to follow a man as Respectable as Jesus, peace be upon him. It also quite sad to see this is the level of polemical argument that Christian apologists have stooped to in the past few years.

    Regards,
    a fellow brother in humanity.

    Like

    • The slaughter of innocents by the Religion of Islam, is not equal to the judgment of God against the guilty Canaanites in the Old Testament. Your inability to understand this difference has caused you to misunderstand what happened, and incorrectly blame God and Christians for something that was righteous and just.

      God’s hatred of sin is illustrated in the Old Testament

      Was God justified in wiping out the entire Canaanite nation in the Old Testament? For almost 900 years, the Lord warned these brutal people to cease their worship of demonic gods and the offering of their children to the fiery hot arms of their sadistic god, Molech. After nearly a millennia, these warnings bore consequences, as the Lord ordered the systematic destruction of all the nations of the Canaanites.

      Because of the patience of God, He was willing to delay judgement for an extraordinary long period of time. The Lord loved the Canaanites and earnestly desired that they would not see judgment, but instead turn to Him in repentance and be saved. Before the Lord ordered their complete annihilation, He would demonstrate for us a very important principle in the Old Testament: God’s hatred of sin is rooted in His love for us.

      Although God hates sin, His love for us is exceedingly greater. Although His law demands judgment for the sinner, His mercy offers us forgiveness. The consequences of sin is death, but the Grace of God offers us eternal life. Jesus was willing to bear all of God’s wrath for sin in His own body and die for all of our transgressions. Those who think God is willing to send sinners to hell should consider that His Son died, so that this might never happen.

      God’s judgment is always preceded by a long interval of time.

      Before the Lord would order the destruction of the Amalekites, He would provide their nation with an extended period of time in which they might change their minds and come to Him for salvation. Before it is too late for each one of us, God allows an entire lifetime in order that we might decide to obey Him and receive His salvation. The Lord is always very patient, kind, and long-suffering towards us. Although each one of the Amalekites would face their own separate judgment at the conclusion of their life, the Lord would allow nearly 900 years before His judgment would fall on the entire nation.

      What we find in the example of the Amalekites is that God is not angry and spiteful, but instead He is extraordinarily kind and patient. Although the Lord warned these nations to cease their evil, He relented from destroying them for a very long time. The Lord always gives us as much time as possible, with the hope that we will see how much He loves us and that His ways are far better than those we have chosen for ourselves.

      Delayed judgment creates a problem

      The obvious downside in a delay of judgement is that people develop the false idea, that God really does not want to judge sin or He doesn’t care how they live their lives. I have often heard the spiritually naive make statements, such as: “My God loves me, and He will not judge me for my sin.” Although the Lord is very patient in dealing with human frailty, He will hold each of us accountable at the end of our life for everything we have said and done.

      (Jesus) But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.1

      The Amalekites each died and faced individual judgment for their sins. After nearly 900 years, the entire nation faced God’s judgment, and today there is not a single Amalekite on the earth. Had the individual members of the Amalekites turned to God no matter how evil their actions were, they would have been forgiven and granted a full pardon for all their sins.

      In the same way, each one of us has a decision to make. Either we agree with God that we are sinners, which is self-evident, and then accept His offer of forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice for us; or we will refuse. The wonderful promise of God is that—because Jesus has paid for our sins on the cross, all our sins have already been dealt with and judged. Every wrongful word and action we have done throughout our life has been fully paid by Jesus’ death for us.

      …the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.2

      Those who come to God in sincere repentance (willingness to stop sinning), and request that God would forgive all their sins according to Jesus’ death and resurrection, have the promise of God that they are forgiven and have eternal life.

      God has demonstrated His patience:

      The Book of Exodus Chapter 34 describes how God will withhold judgment for an extended period of time, but He will eventually bring it upon a future generation.

      And the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, will by no means clear the guilty, but will punish the sins of the fathers upon the generation of their children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”3

      This is a staggering revelation. What we do, as a people, has profound consequences for future generations. We might think that our sins are a private matter, but this assumption would be wrong. Just as the love and honor for God by America’s founders allowed all of us to enjoy a great nation of peace and prosperity, so also will our present disobedience and dishonor of God cause great peril and suffering upon future generations.

      Paul wrote, in the Book of Romans, that one of the purposes for God’s long delay in judgement is to display His grace and mercy. The Lord endured the terrible evil of the Amalekites for such a long time, so that in this delay we might understand that God would much rather show us His mercy than His judgement.

      What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called.4

      Those who think that God will not judge their sins, because Jesus has not returned, have forgotten that in former times, God has waited for many, many years before finally bringing judgment and destruction on the unrepentant.

      For God did not spare even the angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, in gloomy pits of darkness, where they are being held until the day of judgment. And God did not spare the ancient world—except for Noah and the seven others in his family. Noah warned the world of God’s righteous judgment. So God protected Noah when he destroyed the world of ungodly people with a vast flood. Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.5


      How many of us would be willing to patiently wait for over 900 years for a murderer to repent, who had killed our son or daughter? Most of us cannot wait a few days for someone to apologize, who has hurt or offended us. Imagine the patience of the Lord in withholding judgment for 900 years against a brutal people who murdered their newborn babies as sacrifices to their god (sounds strangely similar to abortion in the U.S. today).

      The dual nature of God

      In the Old Testament, we see two important elements of God’s nature that is reflected in His Love as well as His absolute desire for justice. Although God loves human beings so much that He was willing to give His only Son to die for us, He will not allow those who continue in their wrongful actions to remain, without judgment, forever.

      The New Testament is a wonderful commentary on the patience of God that has been displayed for all of us to see. We observe both the love of God and the justice of God demonstrated by His allowance of Jesus to die for the sins of the world.

      In this the love of God was demonstrated for us, that God has sent His only Son into the world, that we might live through Him. This is love, not that we loved God first, but that He first loved us and sent His Son to be the payment for our sins.⁠6

      God loves people so much, that He allowed His only Son to come to earth and die for us. God hates sin so much, that He poured out His wrath on His Son instead of us.

      God will grant each person a full pardon for every wrong thought, word, and deed we have committed throughout our life, if we will only come to Him in sincere repentance and turn to Jesus as the payment for our sins.

      God is also a righteous judge

      Although He waits patiently for us to repent, He has promised a day certain when His patience will run out, and He will judge all sin. We long for the Love of God, but we recoil in offense at His justice. When the Lord carries out the sentences He warned us would come, people claim that God is cruel and impatient.

      The Canaanites are an example of God’s patience

      When Abraham was born in Haran, the Canaanites were already heavily occupying the entire area of land that would one day be the future home of Israel.7

      Interesting fact: Abraham, the father of the Jews, was born in 1948 by the Hebrew calendar. The nation of Israel became a nation once again in 1948 A.D.8

      The Canaanites are the descendants of Canaan, the son of Ham, one of Noah’s three sons. Among the Canaanites are the most infamous: the Amorites, who lived in the hill country of Israel. The rest of the Canaanites include the Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, Hittites, Moabites, Edomites, Philistines, and Girgashites.
⁠9

      The people of the Canaanite nations were some of the most brutal and vicious human beings who have ever lived on the planet. While Israel was traveling across the desert on their way to the land God had promised, the Amalekites ruthlessly tormented, attacked, and killed the weak, the young, the sick, and the elderly, who were at the rear of the Israelites as they moved through the desert.

      It was for this reason that God ordered the Israelites to destroy every Amalekite, because they had committed these vicious acts of murder against: the weak, the young, the sick, and the elderly. The punishment God ordered for the Amalekites, was equal to their crimes. Every single Amalekite was destroyed.

      As these events were taking place, and as a result of their cruelty to Israel, the Lord instructs Moses to record these events, so that later generations might understand when God finally sends judgment upon the Amalekites, understanding that His actions were justified.

      Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. …Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.”10

      In the Book of Deuteronomy, as the Lord is instructing Moses concerning the statutes and requirements for the people, He also tells Moses:
      Remember what Amalek did to you.

      This is a reminder for the future, when the people come into the land God has promised them, so that they will understand why He will instruct them to completely annihilate the Amalekites from the face of the earth.

      Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.11

      There are two places in the Old Testament where the Lord describes Israel being attacked from the rear by the Amalekites: At Rephidim and Hormah.

      Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.12
      Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah.13,14

      
In a large group of more than 2 million people who are making their way across the desert of Sinai, there would be many thousands of elderly, the sick, and women with children at the rear of the multitude of Israel. The Amalekites viciously came up from behind, and slaughtered the weak and the helpless who were already traveling by great difficulty.

      At the beginning of the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses begins his instructions to the people whom he has led out of Egypt by God’s power and grace. In chapter 9, Moses reminds the people that God has not led them into this new land because they were righteous and they deserved the land, but it was because of the wickedness of the Canaanites that God was going to drive these nations out.

      Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, “Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?” Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you. “Do not think in your heart, after the LORD your God has cast them out before you, saying, ‘Because of my righteousness the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’; but it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the LORD is driving them out from before you.”15

      God remembers the cruelty of the Amalekites, but He will not destroy them just yet. He is still granting time for repentance. This is a fact that those who condemn God for finally destroying the Amalekites forget. Many people incorrectly assume that God suddenly gave an order to indiscriminately destroy women and children without mercy. What we discover is that the Lord allowed the Amalekites nearly 900 years before His judgment arrived.

      God calls Abraham to make him a great nation

      When God had called Abraham to depart Haran and go into the land of Canaan, He told him that the land the Canaanites occupied would be given to him and his descendants forever.⁠16

      1. When the Lord first came to Abraham, he was living in Ur.
      Genesis 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldeans, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. (UKJV)

      2. The Lord instructs Abraham to depart Haran for Canaan.
      Genesis 12:1 Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.”

      3. Abraham arrives in Shechem, where the Canaanites dwell.

      Genesis 12:5-6 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

      4. Abraham departs Canaan for Egypt because of a famine.
      Genesis 12:10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land.

      5. Abraham returns to Canaan, where he lives with Lot.
      Genesis 13:12 Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom.

      When Abraham received the promise of God that He would make him a great nation from where the future Messiah would come, He also informs Abraham that the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.

      Genesis 15:13-16 Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

      Not until Saul is the king of Israel will the Lord finally give the order to completely destroy the Amalekites:

      God instructs Samuel to inform King Saul:

      “I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel.” Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt.’ ”17

      This prophecy of the total annihilation of the Amalekites was fulfilled precisely as God had said. There are no Amalekites anywhere on the earth today. Nine hundred years after the Lord first made this declaration, He kept His word and destroyed the nation of Amalek through Saul.

      (The Lord speaking to Saul) Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.18

      This verse is regarded as one of the most difficult portions of scripture to understand, that is in the Bible.

      The Lord orders the complete slaughter of all men, women, and children, including all infants and nursing children, as well as every animal.

      The critics of God use this verse as an example of the viciousness of God.

      • They assert that God is not nearly as loving as He claims.

      • They maintain that God is angry, vindictive, and cruel.

      • They claim that God is dual in His personality: loving and merciful in the New Testament, while vengeful and bloodthirsty in the Old Testament.
The reason people have developed these ideas is because they don’t know God nor comprehend His word.

      It is common for people to make untrue statements about people whom they do not know nor have any type of relationship with. This is what human beings do: We judge without knowledge of the true facts. We read and observe what the Bible says that God has done, and many times we don’t have a clue what is really going on. The fact that the Old Testament discloses these verses of scripture to us—describing God’s command to destroy these nations entirely—should reveal a few clues for us.

      The recording of these events serves to validate the fact that the Bible is a true and accurate account of actual occurrences—not contrived stories or myths. If someone were seeking to convince a skeptic that they should surrender their life to God and believe in Him, they would not disclose information about Him, revealing a side of His personality that might be misunderstood. The fact that the Bible is completely honest with us, in regards to the true nature of God, speaks volumes of its authenticity.

      The fact is, the Bible is a true account of God

      The Amalekites and the entire Canaanite culture were amongst some of the most evil people who have ever lived on the face of the earth.

      The word “Amalekite” means: a people that licks up.19 This gives us a clue as to the kind of people this text is describing. The Amalekites were a populace who literally licks up or drains away the life of other people. The Amalekites had no permanent home; they were nomadic, roaming from place to place in the Sinai desert. They were descended directly from Ham, whose son Canaan was cursed by God because of his sexually-perverse character. The Amalekites were the specific tool used by satan to try and destroy God’s people, before they ever departed Egypt and arrived into the land God had promised.

      Deuteronomy 25 contains a direct statement from the Lord that the Amalekites did not fear God:

      Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, …and he did not fear God.20

      The Biblical definition of the term “fear God” is defined as “to honor or respect God.”

      The Amalekites attacked the helpless—the women, the children, the sick, and the old—when Israel first came out of Egypt. They attacked Israel a second time at Hormah, without being provoked, as described in Exodus 17. They joined a third time with Eglon and attacked Israel in the days of the Judges. Whenever Israel planted their crops, the Amalekites along with the Midianites, in Judges 6, destroyed Israel’s animals and crops.

      Since the Amalekites attacked Israel from the rear and slaughtered the women, children, sick, and the helpless, as well as destroyed Israel’s animals, crops, and dwellings, God’s judgment on the Amalekites is equal to their crime. The Lord, here in 1 Samuel 15, is going to tell King Saul to “destroy their weak, their helpless, their animals, their crops, and their dwellings.”

      …utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.21

      The Amalekites were well known by the Lord as a people completely given over to satan, totally debased and perverse, from their infancy onward. Known as eaters of raw meat, having no house, having the instincts of an animal, and living like wolves.”22

      These debased people practiced child sacrifice, which is confirmed by archeological artifacts discovered in the remains of Amalekite villages.23 In 2 Kings 23:10 and Jeremiah 7:31, there is a vivid description of how the Amalekite children were offered to one of their most bloodthirsty gods, Molech.

      And King Josiah defiled Topheth, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech.24

      Molech was a great cast-iron god that sat upon a stone throne above the people. His body was hollow, with an area at the lower section of the statue where a fire could be kindled. The flames of the fire would superheat the cast iron and at times develop such high temperature, that fire would shoot out from the outstretched arms of Molech. A newborn baby from a willing family was placed alive onto the outstretched arms of this vicious god, where the infant would be burned to death. This was one of the many horrible gods the Canaanites worshipped.

      Paul G. Mosca, in his Greek thesis, describes a similar type of child sacrifice:

      “There stands in their midst a bronze statue… its hands extended over a bronze brazier, the flames of which engulf the child. When the flames fall upon the body, the limbs contract and the open mouth seems almost to be laughing until the contracted body slips quietly into the brazier. Thus it is that the ‘grin’ is known as ‘sardonic laughter,’ since they die laughing.25

      Archeologists have uncovered the ruins of Canaanite villages and found the remains of clay jars that were used in their ritual worship.26 Newborn babies were dismembered, and their body parts were placed inside these jars and sealed inside the walls of newly built homes, in order to bring the blessings of their brutal gods.27

      It is not necessary to list all the horrendous acts that were perpetrated by the Canaanites. It is sufficient to say—if all the facts were known by people today regarding the horrific deeds that were carried out by these cruel people—that we would likely commend God for ending their lives.

      The Amalekites were among the four kings Abraham defeated, who had taken Sodom and Gomorrah captive as well as Abraham’s nephew, Lot. In the period of the Judges, the Amalekites joined forces with the Ammonites and King Eglon of Moab to attack and capture Jericho. The Amalekites were defeated by Gideon and his armies at the valley of Jezreel, where the future Battle of Armageddon will be fought. By the time Saul is king of Israel, the Amalekites had gained a mountain in the land of Ephraim in Israel, where they were once again living and multiplying.28

      The Amalekites had heard of God’s pronouncement of their destruction for more than 900 years, and yet they did not repent of their sins and turn to God. This is in contrast to Nineveh, where Jonah was sent by God to speak the same message of future judgment that would result if they did not turn away from their wickedness. At the preaching of Jonah, Nineveh did repent, and turned to the Lord. True to His promise of mercy, the Lord relented from bringing His judgement, sparing Nineveh total annihilation.

      On the day Jonah entered the city, he shouted to the crowds: “Forty days from now Nineveh will be destroyed!” The people of Nineveh believed God’s message, and from the greatest to the least, they declared a fast and put on burlap to show their sorrow.

      When the king of Nineveh heard what Jonah was saying, he stepped down from his throne and took off his royal robes. He dressed himself in burlap and sat on a heap of ashes. Then the king and his nobles sent this decree throughout the city:

      “No one, not even the animals from your herds and flocks, may eat or drink anything at all. People and animals alike must wear garments of mourning, and everyone must pray earnestly to God. They must turn from their evil ways and stop all their violence. Who can tell? Perhaps even yet God will change his mind and hold back his fierce anger from destroying us.”

      When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened.29

      The prophet Jeremiah wrote that if any nation would turn from their sins to the Lord, He would not destroy them.

      The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it.30

      The Lord made the same promise of destruction to His own people, if they would not listen to His word and turn from their sin.

      In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came from the LORD, saying, 2 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word. Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I may relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring on them because of the evil of their doings.’ and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: “If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded), then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.” ’ ”31

      When Jonah brought God’s warning to Nineveh, they listened and turned from their sin, and God ceased in His promised destruction of their nation.

      We should understand that our Great God of Love is also a Great God of Justice:

      The Lord could not be righteous if He did not punish sin. It is morally wrong to allow the guilty to go unpunished. At the Cross, the Lord showed us the magnificent example of Love and Justice working together. We were guilty; God judged our sins by punishing His own Son. In doing this, His justice was satisfied; and He was able to maintain His righteousness while, at the same time, showing His Great Love.

      The total destruction of the entire Amalekite nation was a righteous and justifiable action by God against an evil that had to be dealt with.

      Those who condemn God for His judgement of the Amalekites, or see a different God in the Old Testament from the God of the New Testament, have not correctly understood who God is.

      God displayed an amazing duration of patience with an evil and debased group of people, who rightfully deserved a much swifter judgement than they received. God waited because He is loving and kind and does not take any pleasure in destroying even wicked people. It has always been the sincere desire of the Lord that all people would repent and come to Him for salvation.

      He cannot, however, save anyone without their complete repentance and full consent. Although God is unlimited in His power and might, He will not use His great power to force anyone to come to Him so that He can show His love and mercy. This decision rests with each one of us. He has warned us what the consequences of our actions or inactions will be, so that we will have no one else to blame but ourselves, if we do not heed His warning.

      Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention when the earlier prophets said to them, This is what the Lord of Heavens Armies says: Turn from your evil ways, and stop all your evil practices. Where are your ancestors now? They and the prophets are long dead. But everything I said through my servants the prophets happened to your ancestors, just as I said. As a result, they repented and said, We have received what we deserved from the Lord of Heavens Armies. He has done what he said he would do.32

      Those who state that there are two different Gods between the Old and New Testament have failed to understand the points of this chapter. Yes, God hates sin and has promised to punish all sinners. Just as important is the fact that God has already punished all sin in His Son. Jesus bore the full wrath of God for all sins and has made forgiveness and eternal life as simple as requesting it from God.

      We have embraced the grace of God while forgetting His just and righteous hatred of sin.

      One of the reasons why people mistake this second attribute of God—His justice and punishment of sin—is because we don’t understand the holiness or perfection of God. We fail to understand the full effect that sin has had on human life. God, who sees every event at once, understands that billions of lives have been devastated—all because of Adam’s disobedience and our continuing decision to sin ourselves.

      We forget that we are only here on the earth for an extraordinarily short period of time. God, on the other hand, lives forever. Who are we to protest the actions of an eternal Being with the power to create the vast universe we observe?

      Can we instruct God? Can we judge His wrath against sin as wrong? Do we have the capacity to understand the reasons why a transcendent being of unlimited power and wisdom has determined the specific details for how all of us can be saved?

      All we can do is fall at His feet and humbly ask for His mercy, for He has described a day in which all of us will give to Him a full account of our life. We will not be able to utter a word nor execute a single excuse for why we did not submit our lives fully to Him.

      The words Psalms 90 perfectly illustrate the contrast between us, as temporal and imperfect beings, and God who is perfect in every way, and lives forever.

      Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. You turn men back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.” For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

      You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning—though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered. We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.

      All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.

      Who knows the power of your anger? For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our days correctly, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.33

      We are transient, frail, and passing away every day that we live. Yet, in our weakness, God loves us all. He will, however, only put up with our sin and rebellion for so long. The fact that we can observe the judgement of God, so carefully depicted for us in various places throughout the Old Testament, should greatly humble us and bring our hearts to repentance. As surely as God has judged the horrible acts of the Canaanites, He will also bring into judgement all of our sins if we do not repent and turn to Him for Salvation.

      God is always good

      There are appropriate reasons for why God does everything. If it seems that God is unfair in any regard, then we have not fully understood the purposes and plans of God.

      An important principle that should be understood is that God is perfect in every way, and it is impossible that He could ever do any wrong. In order for God to be God, He must be perfect. Therefore, if He had the capacity to commit any wrongful action, this would show that He is not perfect and not God. Everything He does is always good, right, and just. We must understand and accept this basic principle before we can progress any further with God.

      But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is God, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.34

      The origin of the word “Good” came from the ancient English word “God.”35 Those who created the word “good” used the example of God’s goodness as their model. All Good is defined by the perfect goodness of God. Any person who claims that God is not good in every way is wrong. Their understanding of what God has done has been incorrectly interpreted. We must start with a foundation that enables us to sincerely believe that God is Good, or we will never be able to correctly understand Him in anything He says or does.

      Contrasting the goodness and perfection of God with the goodness of man, we are always deficient in achieving perfection. Human goodness is defined as transient. On occasion people display goodness, but this in not at all our true nature. It is our nature to commit wrong, and only when we are under discipline can anyone commit goodness. The idea that good people go to heaven is also erroneous because God’s definition of goodness is perfection in all things. Because we are not always good, we are disqualified from heaven.

      When any person believes in Jesus as their Savior, His death and resurrection takes away that persons record of sins, and they become truly good, without any imperfection. Salvation begins with our awareness that we are sinners, and we feel an abiding desire to be forgiven by God.

      David wrote that when the Messiah arrives, those who come to Him for their salvation must do so with fear (deep respect), rejoicing (worship), and trembling (awareness of His Holiness).

      Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.36

      The Book of Leviticus establishes the manner and attitude in which we must come to God:

      And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ”37

      To regard the Lord as Holy means to understand that He is perfect in every way. He is completely Good, and it is impossible that He could ever do any wrong. All that God asks of us is all that He asks of Himself. Because God is perfect and Holy, He demands that we, as made in His image and likeness, also be perfect and Holy.

      It is by moral perfection that we are able to live forever. It was because each of us have chosen sin that we become sick and die. In the beginning no one died on earth. It was Adam’s rebellion against God that brought sin into the world and caused all of the evil, suffering, and death we see in the world today.

      Jesus’ arrival on earth, and His death for all sins, reversed this course. When Jesus returns to earth, those who have trusted in Him, will never die again.

      Although critics of the Bible constantly highlight moments in the history of man when God brought judgement, there are far more examples of His grace and mercy, and constant provision and care for all people. In reality, God is always far more patient with us than we would ever be with anyone ourselves. Our sense of justice in punishing evil provokes us to vengeance; while God waits for the guilty, giving as much time as possible for the hard and obstinate hearts of people to change.

      Say to them: “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die.”38

      “Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient…”39
      The LORD is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty
      .40

      Many have criticized God for His order of destruction against the Canaanites. Stated once again—what these critics have not realized is that from the time God told Moses that He would destroy these people, until the eventual destruction of all their nations, there was a period of about 900 years.

      In Genesis 15, God informs Abraham that He will destroy the Amorites, but not until their “iniquity is complete.” He will give them adequate time to repent.

      After four generations (Abraham) your descendants will return here to this land (Canaan), for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”41

      This verse was given to Abraham at about 1926 B.C.42

      God orders the total destruction of the Amalekites, in 1 Samuel Chapter 15, by King Saul.

      This order came about 1028 B.C.43

      (The Lord speaking to Saul) Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.44

      God told us in advance of His actions what He was planning, by the prophetic word. The intent and purpose of this book is to demonstrate the transcendent and extraterrestrial origin of the Bible. We understand who God is, by what He has written and how He fulfilled every promise of His word.

      And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your heart.45



      NOTES:

      1 Matthew 12:36

      2 1 John 1: 7 (UKJV)

      3 Exodus 34:6 (RCR)

      4 Romans 9:22-24

      5 2 Peter 2:4-9 (NLT)

      6 1 John 4:9-10 (RCR)
      7 Genesis 11:26
      
8 http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/abraham.html and Judaism101.com
      
9 Graphic Image by Robert Clifton Robinson
      
10 Exodus 17:8-14 8.

      11 Deuteronomy 25:17-19

      12 Exodus 17:8
      
13 Number2 14:45
      
14 Graphic Image by Robert Clifton Robinson
      
15 Deuteronomy 9:1-4

      16 Graphic Image by Robert Clifton Robinson

      17 1 Samuel 15:1

      18 1 Samuel 15:3
      
19 Expositional Commentary on the Amalekites of the Old Testament.

      20 Deuteronomy 25:17-19

      21 1 Samuel 15
      
22 Myth of the Wedding of Amru, Inscription of Shu-Sin.

      23 From the Expositor’s Bible Commentary on 2 Kings 23:10, regarding child sacrifices to Molech by the Amalekites: “An eighth- century b. c. Phoenician inscription speaks of sacrifices made to Molech before battle by the Cilicians and their enemies. Topheth was the cultic installation where children were offered to the god Molech. The word is thought to signify the hearth where the child was placed. The Hebrew term has parallel terms in both Ugaritic and Aramaic with the meaning “furnace, fireplace.” Scholars have thought that Topheth was at the edge of the valley of Ben Hinnom before connecting with the Kidron Valley. The valley of Ben Hinnom has been identified with Wadier-Rahabi southwest of the City of David. Many consider Molech to be a netherworld deity featuring rituals with Canaanite origins focusing on dead ancestors.”

      24 2 Kings 23:10

      25 Graphic Image by Robert Clifton Robinson

      26 J.B. Hennessey, Palestine Exploration Quarterly (1966).
      
27 “There is archaeological evidence that the Canaanites of the second millennium BCE followed the custom of child sacrifice owing to excavations of a shrine near the city of Gezer which has yielded clay jars containing the charred bones of babies.” Retrieved from: http://www.baal.com/baal/about/divine_overview.shtml

      28 Graphic Image by Robert Clifton Robinson

      29 Jonah 3:4-10 (NLT)

      30 Jeremiah 18:7-8

      31 Jeremiah 26:1-6

      32 Zechariah 1:4-6 (NLT)
      
33 Psalms 90:2-12 (NIV)

      34 Hebrews 11:6
      
35 As defined by the Merriam-Webtser Dictionary, 2013. The origin of the word “good,” was always God before recent history, because only He is truly good. Today, secular society has removed this original definition, but the true etymology of good, was always God during the entire history of the world.
      
36 Psalms 2:11 (KJV)

      37 Leviticus 10:3 (UKJV)

      38 Ezekiel 33:11
      
39 Isaiah 1:18 (UKJV)

      40 Numbers 14:18

      41 Genesis 15:16 (NLT)

      42 1926 B.C. According to the timelines given in the Bible for births and deaths: Genesis 16:16, http://www.matthewmcgee.org/ottimlin.html

      43 1 Samuel 15:1-2
      
44 1 Samuel 15:3
45 2 Peter 1:19-21


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      • Robert,

        Thanks for the reply, however, it seems like you either did not carefully read my comment or just didn’t AT ALL. I never once claimed that Christians are bad because there may be what some may interpret as violence in the old testament. I just pointed out the hypocrisy that was presented in this article, WHICH ONLY EMBARRESSES the christian apologetic community, and it is truly quite sad to see. It is no wonder that even though you throw these weak arguments at Islam, it is still the fastest growing religion in the world.

        Also, may I ask you a question Robert???????

        Do you believe that Jesus(PBUH) was a false prophet? Because either the gospels are unreliable, or they accidentally made Jesus(pbuh) a false prophet…..
        Matt26:29 – I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
        But now according to the Gospel of John, for some reason Jesus drank wine on the cross…
        John 19:29-30 – A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

        Like

      • Robert,
        Thanks for the reply, however, it seems like you either did not carefully read my comment or just didn’t AT ALL. I never once claimed that Christians are bad because there may be what some may interpret as violence in the old testament. I just pointed out the hypocrisy that was presented in this article, WHICH ONLY EMBARRESSES the christian apologetic community, and it is truly quite sad to see. It is no wonder that even though you throw these weak arguments at Islam, it is still the fastest growing religion in the world.

        Also, may I ask you a question Robert???????
        Do you believe that Jesus(PBUH) was a false prophet? Because either the gospels are unreliable, or they accidentally made Jesus(pbuh) a false prophet…..
Matt26:29 – I tell you, I will never again drink of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
But now according to the Gospel of John, for some reason Jesus drank wine on the cross…
John 19:29-30 – A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.When Jesus had received the wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

        In your first post to me, you denied that Islam is a religion of violence, and stated that Christians are hypocrites because the God of the Bible murdered the Amalekites.

        I showed you that this is not true regarding the God of the Bible. This event was a judgment from God, after He warned the Canaanites for nearly 900 years to cease from their horrendous offering of their children to Molech and many other atrocities. The Canaanites did not list or repent.

        When Israel was coming into the land, the Amalekites came up from behind hand slaughtered the women, children, weak, and sick. When God destroyed the Amalekites, His judgment was equal to what they had done to the Jews. This was not an unrighteous slaughter of innocents, but a judgment from God, after 900 years of patience. God is righteous in all His judgments.

        This is in contrast to Islam, which is a religion of violence, stated clearly in the Qur’an:

        In hadith 1.24, Muhammad says, “I have been ordered by Allah to fight against people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity . . . then they will save their lives and property from me.”

        Muhammad is saying that he would fight people until they became Muslim or until he killed them and took their property.

        In hadith 1.25, the Qur’an says that the greatest thing a Muslim can do after having faith is to engage in jihad. As if to clarify what kind of jihad, Sahih Bukhari clarifies, “religious fighting.”

        As I stated in this essay,

        Quran (2:191-193) – “And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”

        This translation is from the Noble Quran. The verse prior to this (190) refers to “fighting for the cause of Allah those who fight you” leading some to believe that the entire passage refers to a defensive war in which Muslims are defending their homes and families.

        The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, however, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries.

        In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did). Verse 190 thus means to fight those who offer resistance to Allah’s rule (ie. Muslim conquest).

        The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is disingenuous (the actual Arabic words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse). The word used instead, “fitna”, can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation. This is certainly what is meant in this context since the violence is explicitly commissioned “until religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

        On one occasion, Muhammad ordered a warrior to assassinate a mother of five, Asma bint Marwan. She was breastfeeding a child when she was murdered, her blood splattering on her children. When the assassin told Muhammad he had difficulty with what he had done, Muhammad showed no remorse. Source: Guillaume, Life of Muhammad, 676. See also Ibn Sa’d, Kitab al Tabaqat.

        Even though this account is in the earliest biographies about Muhammad, the Muslims online pointed out that it is not in Sahih Bukhari or other trustworthy hadith. Therefore, they just dismissed it outright. Source: Qureshi, Nabeel. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (p. 222). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

        Nabeel Qureshi, said this in his book:

        “But I could not accept these explanations. The merciful, kind Muhammad that I knew as my prophet would never order men and boys to be beheaded. He was a prophet of mercy and peace. Nor would he sell women and children into slavery. He was a defender of the rights of women and children. I found one violent story after another about Muhammad. I consciously tried to dismiss each one, just like the Muslims online, but subconsciously, the pressure was building. How many could I dismiss? How was I going to go on like this?” Source: Qureshi, Nabeel. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (p. 223). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

        Jesus taught a Gospel of peace, and He never commanded anyone to fight in his name to force people to convert to Christianity or die. The history of Islam is one of violence, not love and peace.

        Regarding your assertion that there is a contradiction between Matt 26:29, and John 19:29-30, you have made this error because you don’t understand the context of what Jesus is describing.

        When Jesus said that He would not drink from the fruit of the vine again, until He did it with us in the kingdom, after He returns to earth, He is saying this in context with what was happening at that moment.

        Matthew 26:26-30 (NKJV) Jesus Institutes the Lord’s Supper
        Also found in: (Mark 14:22–26; Luke 22:14–23; 1 Cor. 11:23–26)

        Matthew 26::26-30

        “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”

        Jesus said these words during the Last Supper, the time of communion between Himself and His disciples. Jesus is not just drinking wine from a cup, He is participating in a meal of fellowship that will be the last of its kind on earth. Not until Jesus comes again at the end of the seven year Tribulation will He once again have this fellowship meal with all who love Him, in the one thousand year kingdom of the Messiah on earth.

        See Psalm 23:5; compare Exodus 24:9-11; Luke 12:37.

        Just as Jesus was not saying to literally eat his flesh and drink His blood, in the same context, He is not saying that He can’t or won’t drink wine again. He is speaking figuratively, spiritually, of a time when He will drink from the cup of fellowship with all who love Him in the kingdom. He will not drink from this cup of fellowship with His disciples, until He does this new in the coming kingdom.

        The sour wine offered to Jesus while He was on the cross, was not even real wine, it was a sedative offered the ease Jesus’ pain.

        Wine that had turned bitter in the process of becoming vinegar was the common drink of Roman soldiers. This is why it was readily available by the Roman soldiers, who were nearby observing Jesus on the cross. When Jesus spoke the words, “I thirst,” this bitter wine was offered to Him on a sponge that was placed at the end of a long pole or spear.

        Although this wine had turned sour, it still maintained the intoxicating effects that alcohol will cause. The soldiers gave Jesus this wine to torment Him. Even as thirsty as He was, this tortuous concoction would only add to His suffering.

        The reason Jesus refused to drink was not due to its taste. Bitter wine was frequently offered to a dying criminal because it would numb their pain and allow them some degree of comfort during their crucifixion.

        Jesus was dying for all of our sins. Because of this, He wanted to take the full effect of God’s wrath as He bore the complete penalty we all deserve. Jesus would not permit His suffering to be diminished nor His pain numbed.

        Jesus sought no relief from the vicious torture He endured, because He was taking the fury of God’s wrath that was required to pay our debt. The wages of sin is death, and Jesus was dying for every person who would live on the earth.

        Jesus bore the full force of God’s judgement because He was not willing that you should have to bear it yourself. This is how much He loves you, and a practical demonstration of how far Jesus was willing to go to cleanse you of all your sins and give you the blessing of eternal life for trusting in His sacrifice.

        David wrote that at the crucifixion of the Messiah, He will be given vinegar to drink.

        “They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

        Matthew and Mark Confirm Jesus’ Fulfillment of these prophecies:

        And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.

        Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.

        The gospel of Matthew describes this as a mixture of wine and gall; Mark describes it as wine and myrrh. There is no discrepancy here; both writers are correct.

        The word “gall,” in both the Hebrew and Greek languages, is translated as bitter or poisonous.

        • Hebrew: ros
        • Greek: chole

        The wine that the Roman soldiers offered Jesus contained a bitter gum resin called myrrh. Wine that has turned bitter in the process of becoming vinegar was the common drink of Roman soldiers because it was cheap and readily available. It was common during a crucifixion that Hebrew women would mix myrrh with wine and give it to the dying as a sedative, to ease their suffering.

        Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.

        We see confirmation of the use of the word “gall” as bitterness from an Old Testament prophecy of the Messiah found in Psalms 69:21. David wrote that when the Messiah is given wine at His crucifixion, it will be mixed with gall. The translators could have chosen either gall or myrrh here, in which both mean the same thing—bitterness.

        At the crucifixion of the Messiah, He will be given wine mixed with gall.
        “They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

        • Myrrh is known to have analgesic or pain-relieving effect.
        • Wine contains alcohol, which can also ease pain.

        The effects of mixing the sour wine, of the Roman soldiers, with the bitter myrrh acted as a pain killer for those who were dying.

        On this first occasion when the soldiers offered Jesus soured wine with myrrh, He would not drink from it. At this point, Jesus had not completed the full payment that was required for our sins. For this reason, He would allow nothing to diminish His suffering. Jesus would bear the full wrath of God for all of us, and He would do so while fully sober and conscious of every affliction placed upon His body. Had Jesus taken the wine mixed with myrrh, some might have claimed later that He did not take the full punishment our sins required, and thereby His sacrifice was not complete.

        On the second and later occurrence, when Jesus said from the cross, “I thirst,” He knew that all things were now accomplished. It was at this point that He accepted the wine mixed with myrrh.

        After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

        Notice that immediately after Jesus received the wine mixture, He dismissed His Spirit, and died. There would not have been sufficient time for the effects of wine and myrrh to have diminished any of His suffering on the cross. It is my opinion that this is an important difference between Jesus’ rejection of the wine on the first occasion and His acceptance of the wine on the second occasion. Jesus was fully in control over everything that happened during His crucifixion and death.

        …I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.

        We learn, in this example, why these Old Testament prophecies are so crucial to our understanding of the events that are described in the New Testament. This chapter speaks of the Messiah being given “gall” and “wine” to drink in anticipation of the Crucifixion. Since myrrh was commonly added to the sour wine the Roman soldiers drank, it is certain that when Jesus “tasted” the wine—which was first offered to Him before He finished His sacrifice—He determined that this mixture was not proper for Him at that point, while still dying for our sins on the cross. He may have tasted it to see if it was water, which He could drink. The fact that He refused the wine with the myrrh, and would not drink, is a significant point. Jesus would not diminish His suffering by the effects of the wine and myrrh while He was bearing the horrors of the cross. He did this so that He could proclaim from the cross: “It is finished.” Our debt for sins has been fully paid.

        Why Jesus Died For Us

        There are many who claim that God does not really love people because He allows us to suffer so many perils in our life. They do not consider that the suffering of this present world is not caused by a lack of God’s love, but an abundance of evil men who are committing these terrible acts. We live in a world that has publicly declared they do not want God to rule over their lives. Countless millions of people—to this very day—reject, mock, and ignore God’s pleas to be reconciled to Him. Yet, He continues to speak to all of us throughout every age, and He has demonstrated His love for us by allowing His only Son to suffer and die for our sins. This is so that we might no longer live under the curse of this present world and that we might experience the Kingdom Jesus will bring to earth, in which righteousness and peace will prevail.

        If we want to know how much God loves us, all we must do is look to the cross. If we want to know how much God hates sin, all we must do is look at how much Jesus suffered for our sins.

        When Jesus had the opportunity to lessen His suffering, He refused. It was the full intensity of God’s judgment for sin that Jesus was seeking to take for us, so that no person would ever see the wrath of God for their own sins. By Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, all judgment has been fully satisfied. Jesus did it all just because He loves us.

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