Five: Helping Muslims Find Salvation
This next section of the book is mainly for those who love the Muslim people enough to set aside the bitter hate of the media, and the pro-Zionist crowd, and give Muslims the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ. If you will follow some of these steps, and others the Holy Spirit reveals, then you will not be an offense to the Muslim people. Your principle concern must be the Arab people who always send their culture along with Islam wherever it goes. You must ask God for a great measure of zeal to faithfully and compassionately make new friends of Arabs and Muslims while you exalt Jesus Christ.
After you have become a friend to Middle Eastern Muslims, you will find it much easier to reach Black Muslims and other-cultural Muslim groups. To motivate you let me remind you that there are about six million Arabs in the USA. There are possibly as many in the United Kingdom, and there are many in France who came from North Africa. There are about 400,000 Arabs in the Detroit area and a like number in New York City and Birmingham, England. God has brought these people to our doorstep. Will we be the same friend to them that we are to others who do not yet know Jesus Christ?
The best way to be a witness to Muslims is to simply open your home in sincere love to these people. All Middle Eastern people love good hospitality, which is in short supply in American homes. Most Americans, including many Christians, play with their modern toys and avoid people.
You will find the experience of entering into the everyday life and hospitality of another culture very rewarding and unmatched for excitement. Add to that the joy of speaking for the Savior, and you will experience the high calling and exuberance for life that God used in firing up the great Apostle Paul. Most of you reading this book will only have to walk a few doors or blocks to find your nearest Arab neighbor.
To my Arab or Muslim reader, I trust that you will see in Part Five that I sincerely love the Muslim people in the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ. It is my desire to never be an offense to any man except for the Gospel's sake. It is impossible to avoid offending some people who refuse to consider the truth, but at least one can avoid blundering into people's lives like a mad camel on the loose. That is my fervent desire.
CHAPTER TWENTY TWO:
Things to Do and Not Do
The Jesus of the Koran is totally alien to the Jesus of the Bible. In the past era, when the Presbyterian Church was in the forefront of missionary and Bible based evangelism, two of their men wrote the following comments in The Presbyterian Guardian, Aug. 15, 1942, p. 253, "Missionaries labor under the false impression that Allah is the true God of the patriarchs, whereas in reality he is the anti-Christ or the devil."
The second brother wrote, "The clash between Christianity and (Islam) is irreconcilable because the God who reveals Himself through the one Mediator, Himself man, Christ Jesus, can by no stretch of the imagination be identified with the god whom Muhammed reveals. If we are ready to say with Paul that there is only one God, and that the one Mediator between God and man is Christ Jesus, then we must be ready also to say that the God whom Muhammed proclaimed was not God, but an idol, a false god." (FOOTNOTE 1: 214 / 307-308 / 491-492 Please remember, footnote numbers start over with each new Part.)
You will find that the vast majority of missionaries who witness to Muslims create great confusion as they try to introduce Jesus to them. The salvation of Muslims rests entirely on who Jesus is, and to diminish Christ's person, work, or deity is to tell the Muslim listener, "Go to Hell." This is why so few Muslims ever completely break with Islam and find victory in Christ. Witnessing to a Muslim is a spiritual war of the highest order, and Satan will try to draw you into compromise and confusion at every turn. Therefore; first things first....
1. DO NOT CALL JESUS "ISA"
Before you can win a Muslim to the Lord Jesus Christ it is urgent that you use his right name in Arabic. I realize that I shall be disagreeing with the overwhelming majority of those, inside and outside of Islam, who call Jesus "Isa," but if you will bear with me, I think you will see that this is every bit as urgent a matter as not calling Jehovah "Allah."
If all men disagree with me on this point, I shall not be moved, since The Bible says in Romans 3:4, "God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged." Please read the following carefully and prayerfully, especially my dear Arab Christian friends.
The Bible says in Matthew 1:21, "And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." It is absolutely necessary to get the name of Jesus right to be saved. Vatican II and John Paul II agree that all of the religions of the world are transcendent, inclusive, and redeeming if reduced to mediocrity. Blasphemy! Bible Christianity is not universal, rather; it is very specific, exclusive, and narrow.
The Hebrew for Jesus is Yeshu or Yeshua. What is the Arabic name for Jesus? Muhammed claimed it was Isa, and the whole Christian community has taken his word for it. As a matter of fact, Muhammed got the name of Jesus from his neighbors. We cannot even blame his demon possessed mind from the days he spent in the caves outside of Mecca where he received his alleged revelations from Haji Allah.
Some "scholar" will tell me that the pre-Islamic Arab Christians in Arabia called Jesus Isa. That is a lie, and I shall now tell you the name of Jesus, or Yeshua, used by pre-Islamic Arabs. In about 300 to 500 BC the North and South Arabian inscriptions had an influx of the name YTH. You will recall that Semitic writing lacks vowels, which the reader must supply. This deity, YTH, was appealed to in Saba along with the gods and goddesses, Dhat Hmy, Immaqah, Athtar (this is Ishtar of Babylon), Hambas, Rudah (Al Uzza, a goddess), and Karib`il (note the late use of LIL / IL of Sumer).
YTH was listed in one inscription as the consort of the goddess Allat. One Sabaean even built YTH a prayer house and sacrificed animals to him there. These inscriptions were found in Saba in the south to Syria in the north, or, in the whole Arab community. (FOOTNOTE 2: 207 / 342-353 / 636-641)
What is the point? There are two.
ISA NUMBER ONE: Long before the prophet Muhammed was born, the Kaaba in Mecca was a veritable convention center for any god of any significance in Arabia. The Kouraish tribe, which tended the Kaaba for the many pilgrims to Mecca, stood to benefit immensely by enrolling every god they could get their hands on and by giving these gods and goddesses a place in the scheme of things. They even threw any odd meteorites, or strange objects that fell from the sky, into the Kaaba and declared them to be gods. This made the Kaaba the object of holy pilgrimage to every Arab in Arabia, since his favorite god was certain to be residing there awaiting his devotions. Arab traders would make sure they passed through Mecca, on their way to trade their goods around the Middle East, so that they could pay their respects to their personal God in the Kaaba.
Two of the deities which had been collected over the centuries were Isaf (male god) and Na`ila (a goddess). Legend says that they tried to commit fornication in the Kaaba, but the other gods caught them and, as punishment, turned them to stone. Local Arabs decided they were fine objects of worship since they were the picture of virility, so sacrifices were regularly made to them.
You will at once notice that Na`ila has the ancient Sumerian root, LIL / IL, or the primal goddess, in her name. Also, more importantly, if you drop the "f" off of the end of Isaf you have Isa. This god would have been in residence when Muhammed later came to cleanse the Kaaba of gods. Also please recall that Muhammed found a painting of Jesus and Mary in the Kaaba, and you can see how Muhammed might easily have confused Isaf with Jesus and given the name Isa to Jesus. (FOOTNOTE 4: 194 / 46 / 709)
ISA NUMBER TWO: Muhammed took much from his Jewish neighbors as he developed his view of things sacred. One historian claims that Islam is in fact a sect of Judaism. Actually, one might say that, in regard to its laws, codes, and legend, Islam is heavily Judaistic, while in regard to its revelatory notions it is more a cult of Christianity. One legend Muhammed must have heard, from his Jewish friends, came from Babylon in the Cabalistic legends told by paganized Jews.
It seems, according to the Cabala, that Elijah was met one day by Lilith, the wife of Satan, on her way to kill a woman while she was giving birth. Elijah questioned her, and when she told him her mission the good prophet chased her off. If you believe that one I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would like to sell you. During the conversation with Elijah Lilith gave the names of her fourteen goddess entourage, and one of them was Kali, the vicious goddess of India. Another was Kitsha.
Here then is another possible origin of the name Isa in that we find the feminine goddess form given. If there was not such a clear bridge to India in this story I would ignore it, but Kali connects us to Persia and India, and that is where we go for the next Isa, so keep Kitsha in mind. (FOOTNOTE 5: 122 / 214-215 / 1368)
ISA NUMBER THREE: In the Satapatha Brahmana, the Mahabharata, and the Puranas of the Hindus of India, a story is told of Manu and a sacred fish which he caught. The fish was a god, and it warned Manu of an impending flood and how he could escape it by building a big ship. This flood account is very much like the Chaldean flood account and is typical of many cultures of the world which derived their legends from the Bible's true account handed to us by the patriarch Noah.
Manu kept the fish, but later released it into the sea. He built a ship, and the nice fish returned, Manu tied a rope to its tail, and it towed the ship to safety. While this tale sounds more like mother goose than the true biblical account, it does give another possible source for the name Isa. The fish's name was Vishnu (note the ISH root), and the forest where he resided was called Visala, so it seems that here again we find the Isa root. The root form is "ish" which can run to Isha as the root of the god name. It is of note that, in the Semitic Ethiopian language, the word for fish is "asa," which shows the possibility that the word Isa was well engrained in the whole of the old world as the fish god. (FOOTNOTE 6: 114 / 190-193 / 1633-1634 ) Before you accuse me of obscurity, please hear me out.
To see the god, Vishnu, CLICK HERE.
This all comes together in this last and frightening observation.
Vishnu, and the whole god and goddess system of India, were derived from the ancient Vedas and Upanishads of Persia. The Vedas of 1800 - 1000 BC came to the conclusion that animistic paganism was disgusting, and so they developed a discipline of meditation on the unseen supreme deities. Their god list was very short and included Rahman from Syria and Babylon, who became Brahman. They missed Jehovah altogether, but they did pitch out general idol worship. Ah yes, they did have one more god- a fellow named Usha. Does that sound familiar? Please remember that the vowels are not provided in written Semitic languages, and they can be different from area to area.
To see the connection of Rahman of Islam and the Brahman of Hinduism, CLICK HERE.
The next group to come after them were the Upanishads, and they modified the Vedas' system and transported it to India in 1000 - 800 BC. Their various thinkers, over the ages, slowly abandoned the mystical and replaced it with a more tangible god system that centered on grotesque many armed images and universal spirituality. This has resulted today in virtually every Hindu having the option of inventing his own god, and, if he abandons the world and makes a disgusting filthy mess of himself, he can deceive the Indian masses into actually worshiping him, and the gods be damned.
Now, please prepare yourself for a bit of a shock. The next thought will be heavy for my Christian Arab readers. The greatest of the ancient Upanishads were called the ISA UPANISHADS. This name came from Persia, and it predated Christ Jesus by at least 800 years. It is thought by some historians that the name Isa came from Syria where, 1400 years later, Muhammed could have heard it during his camel caravan journeys which he conducted for Khadijah before he married her.
The name Rahman came from Syria to Persia where the Upanishads altered it to Brahman. So we see that the Vedas brought Usha into fashion, which was modified into the title Isa, and was used in the title of the Isa Upanishads, who were the founders of modern Hinduism.
There is more. My Vedanta dictionary of Hindu terms gives this definition for LORD- as "ISA. I invite you to look in a Vidanta Hindu dictionary under Isa. So, let us not hear any nonsense that Isa came to Hinduism from Islam. The Upanishad Isa cult of Persian and Babylonian religion greatly pre-dated Islam, and this is why Hinduism has always hated the intrusion of Islam. To Hindu purists, Islam is a gross cult of their ancient heritage.
To see a map showing the migration of the name ISA, CLICK HERE
To show the solid bridge to Sumer and Babylon from Hinduism, the pleasure of Brahman is called LILA. Here we see the most ancient name for the goddess from Sumer-- LIL. The filthy sexual connection is clear, in that LILA is associated with the god Brahman's pleasure. I tell you this last bit to be sure you understand that Isa came along with a whole body of sexually explicit Sumerian and Babylonian theology right into modern Hinduism. Muhammed, how did he pick up Isa? It is easy to see that Isa would still be a god on hand in Syria or Palmyra when Muhammed visited there on his caravan journeys for Kadijah in the 600s AD. The gods may migrate, but they never vacate their land of origin completely. (FOOTNOTE 7: 140 / 11-121 / 2038-2051. More material available upon request.)
Isa is also the Hindu root for the god name, Iswara. Iswara is a sort of press agent for Brahman, who cannot communicate with men, so Iswara makes the mind of Brahman known to the common Hindu. This is why the name Isa is very current to Hinduism, and it is the most urgent reason why the name Isa cannot possibly be the name of The Lord Jesus Christ.
Now, do you recall Kitsha, the goddess friend of Lilith who allegedly confronted Elijah? That legend came from Babylon in the mind of Cabalist Jews who were paganized by Babylon during the captivity. This is very incriminating, since the Cabalistic Jews didn't migrate back to Palestine until just before the time of Christ. This shows the staying power of the name Isa who may well have been the male consort of the goddess Kitsha.
Also, please recall the god in the Kaaba, Isaf. We know that the Arabs conducted trade with India as early as the Dilmun era which was highly developed long before the time of Muhammed, so Isaf could well have been Isa imported from India by Arab merchants. Any way you figure it, the heritage of the name Isa is pagan and cannot be that of the biblical Jesus. Wherever Muhammed got Isa, he is just as vile as the name Allah.
The same trade routes that brought Allah and the gods of Sumer and Babylon to Mecca, also brought Isa to the demon possessed mind of Muhammed. Many missionaries and Arab Christians today call Jesus Isa, which is a terrifying tribute to the power of Satan to deceive the most sincere of us when we get a bit careless. I have included a map of the Middle East and India showing the locations of Isa's heritage and the evolutions of this pagan deity's migration to Mecca. There may be another whole book in this discussion, but this presentation must suffice to warn the faithful.
I believe I have to do this in order to convince you of this-- you cannot call Jesus Christ "Isa." Use the name used by pre-Islamic Arab Christians-- "Yitha." This is more likely the right name for him. You cannot expect our Lord to give you a full measure of blessing, in your witness to Muslims, if you perpetuate the blasphemy of Muhammed against our Lord's holy Name.
You may also use the Hebrew name, Yeshua. You could get some criticism for using a Hebrew name, but who do you want to offend, the Muslim listener or Jehovah? If a Muslim asks why you use a Hebrew name for Jesus, tell them that God gave Ishmael a Hebrew name, so why should the name Yeshua offend us?
If Muslims ask why you use Yitha for Jesus, simply tell them that it is the most purely Arabic way to speak of Jesus Christ, then move on to discuss the life of Jesus. Don't get into the details of the above discussion before a Muslim is born-again, since your first priority is to exalt Christ's person and words.
Dear Arab Christian, if this discussion of Isa has caused you great stress, I understand. But, would you want me to hold back the results of my research? I would answer to God for not revealing the truth. With so much blasphemy in Islam, how could you expect Muhammed to pass on the correct name for God and The Lord Jesus Christ? When you come to the name Isa in your Bible reading, simply speak the correct Name, Yitha, or Yeshua, and you will soon hear from the Holy Spirit as He gives you peace in this.
Again, I invite you to communicate with me by E-Mail. I shall pray with you that your zeal will be strong as you resolve to cleanse your mind and mouth of the demonic name, Isa, and exalt the holy Name of Jesus as Yitha in Arabic. I would also be very encouraged to hear from those whom God has helped through this transition to victory.
From the author: Steve Van Nattan-- If this gentleman is correct, then we have here an alternative which again would not dishonor our Lord in calling Him by this name. Perhaps some other observer will send E-Mail regarding this disscussion.
2. DO NOT ENTER INTO ANTISEMITIC DISCUSSIONS
If you skipped Chapters One and Two, you must now go back and read them, since they are foundational to your understanding the Arab as God sees him. It is very clear from the Bible that God favors all of the Semitic peoples, and he has planned them into the Messianic Kingdom. As we mentioned in Chapter Two, the highway to Jerusalem will begin in Egypt, an Arab Semitic country, and probably end in Nineveh, a Semitic city. We also saw that the direct descendants of Ishmael will one day bring rams to offer on the altar of Messiah in Jerusalem.
Now, how can you expect to win Jews or Arabs to Christ if you become emotionally involved in the ongoing feud of the Semitic family? You must reject this sub-christian racism which we hear at every prophecy conference? The "keynote speaker," usually a "Messianic Jew" (which does not exist in the New Testament), raves on and on about the nasty sons of Ishmael. This turns soft-headed American Christians viciously against the Arabs, for whom Christ died. DO NOT be drawn into a bitter spirit toward either Jews or Arabs. Also, beware of these books on Israel written by Christian writers who attack the Arabs and exalt Zionism. They write like God did not elect one Arab to eternal life.
Let me also add a caution that you not confound the Islamic Jihad of hate and killing with all Arabs. In fact, the vast majority of Arabs in the Middle East, and in other nations, are fed up with the uncivilized aspects of Islam. They may not say so out loud, but most Arabs and Muslims would like to live a quiet life and be left out of the Islamic hate program. So, avoid the politics of Islam and Israel. Keep this OUT of your relationships if you expect to win Muslims to Christ. The Apostle Paul was in Arabia being prepared by Christ to lead the Church to truth, and Paul did not complain about the Arabs.
Here is what I want you to do. First go to a Jewish neighborhood, find a restaurant that serves the Jewish community, and sit for a few hours over several days. Watch those sons of Abraham come and go. Watch the tired little grandmother heave herself into a booth, and look at the expression on her face. Get a conversation going with someone, and as you are talking with these people, think... Fifty percent of these dear Jewish people will soon be deceived by Antichrist, they will be horribly massacred, and Jesus "sweat... as it were, great drops of blood" for every one of them. He died for them on the cross... His own people... and He still loves them. Do you?
Now, do the same thing at The Cedars of Lebanon restaurant, of whatever the Arab Middle Eastern restaurant is called in your city. Sit and watch the Arabs come and go. Watch the Mullah in the corner finger his prayer beads, and listen to the patter and courtesies passed around. Oh, you'll have to listen to the griping about Israel, but do you see these Arabs as Jesus sees them? Can you hear the words of their patriarch, father Abraham, as he pleads, "Oh that Ishmael might live before Thee." Now, how can you take sides in this wretched low-down Arab versus Jew bashing that is creeping into the Lord's Church? And please, cancel those newsletters from the late great prophecy scholars who wander around Israel in khaki pants and come back with their belly full of poison for those whom Jesus died to save.
When you visit with Arabs they will get onto the subject of Israel. Listen, ask questions, and show compassion for their sorrows, but NEVER encourage hate. Have verses ready to show the gentleness and love of Jesus, and quote them compassionately. Also, be ready to show the hope of the Arabs and Palestinians in the Messianic kingdom (see Chapter Two). Don't try to give "the other side" of the political story, and don't imagine that their stories are made up. You don't have any idea what it feels like to be violently thrown out of your home that was in your family for 300 years.
One Arab gentleman, a PhD, told me about his father in Palestine who was forcibly evicted from the family home in Nazareth, by Zionists, in the '50s. My friend returned to Palestine recently from the USA to visit his father, and he talked him into going back to look at the family home in Nazareth. The old Arab wept bitterly as he stood before his family's ancient heritage. Two days later, my friend's father had a massive stroke and died. My friend, with tears in his eyes, turned to me and asked, "Did I kill my father?" Neither my friend nor his father were born-again. I cried with him.
Only a sovereign God can give the right answer at such an emotional moment, and it won't do to fan the fires of bitterness. An Arab lady for whom we pray sat in our living room and wrestled with the truth of Jesus and His offer of salvation. We showed her how Messiah would heal the wounds in Israel and reward evil men for their deeds. She told a friend of mine that she saw that she needed to be truly born again, but she said, "If I become a Christian I shall have to love Jews, and I cannot do that." I didn't tell her that, she figured it out by looking at the life of Jesus.
With BOTH Jews and Arabs, if you enter into their bitterness, they will lead you on to make you a propaganda agent for them, but they will totally lose respect for you. You have no idea what fools these fly-by-night evangelists, and American pro-Zionists, look like to both Arabs and Jews.
Your heart will groan as you get really close to these dear Muslim and Arab people, but you must resist the urge to turn against the Jews. (Jewish stories are just as heart rending, and they are usually filled with tales of Arab terror, but you can end up eating your guts out over it all, rather than showing Christ to them.) Think-- how can they believe that Christ can heal their hatred if you are easily drawn into that hate? You are the first Gospel they will read. But, when the stories of suffering come tumbling out, please show compassion, and please show the tender mercies of Jesus.
Only use the Bible's end times prophecies enough to show your Muslim friend that Messiah will resolve all of the present turmoil, but, remember, there is no such thing as the Gospel of the Tribulation. Your Gospel is the Gospel of The Lord Jesus Christ, who said in John 12:32, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." So, lift Him up, as Philip did with the Eunuch, a Semitic descendant of Joktan.
3. DO CALL THE MUSLIM TO REPENTANCE
One of the most deadly temptations in witnessing to Muslims is to wimp out before there is true repentance. It is not hard to get a Muslim to listen and discuss Islam and Christianity, indeed, he may be the first to ask questions about Christianity. But, these conversations can go on for months with no sign of conviction of sin.
Then one day he may make some comment to the effect that he sees the truth about Jesus, and he may even say that he believes that Jesus is God, or he may visit a church service. You can assume absolutely nothing at this point, though you may well rejoice at progress. Your Muslim friend will die and go to Hell if he doesn't make a full confession of his faith and openly reject Islam.
All we are talking about here is Pauline soul-winning as we find it in Romans 10:9-11, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. There will have to be an open rejection of Islam and confession of the Faith of Christ. There is no such thing in the New Testament as a, "secret believer."
Along with this confession of faith I suggest several verbal acts of rejection of Islam. But, first remember the principle of replacement that our Father uses. David said in Psalms 40:1-3, I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. Each time the new believer rejects something from Islam, it is your duty to replace the profane with the holy-- some choice thing from our God. Here then are some acts of repentance or rejection along with my suggestions of God's replacement:
Another option would be for the new believer to hold the Koran in his hand and, in prayer to El Elyon or Jehovah, denounce the Koran. Then he should put it down (or burn it) and pick up the Bible, King James Version 1611, and pledge his devotion to it in prayer, and in the Name of The Lord Jesus Christ. I believe we do not require enough in the way of acts of devotion in the Lord's Church today. The Africans had to burn their fetishes and break objects of paganism, why not us?
After the acts of rejecting the old and taking up the new, the Muslim-turned-believer must at once be taught that, whereas he simply recited and mechanically read the Koran, the Bible is a living book. Set a time for Bible study, and begin in a simple and literal way to study through a Gospel and the book of Psalms. When he sees that doctrine, and life-changing truth, is bound up even in the poetry books, he will be moved deeply, since the Koran does absolutely nothing to change the Muslim's life. Remember, there is no such thing as a "Koran study," so Bible study will be very new.
The Muslim you are witnessing to needs to have a clear picture of the evil life of Muhammed, then invite him to denounce the prophet of Mecca in the most vehement terms, but short of vulgarity. I suggest this be done in a small group of only believers with spirited support and singing. You may be shocked at the zeal that will come from your quiet Middle Eastern friend. Take the new believer through the steps in II Corinthians 7:11, For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Revenge! What does this mean? Simply this, blast the filthy old prophet and his vile writings in a good loud voice, then the believer should pray a prayer to El Elyon, or Jehovah, asking Him to deliver him from the devils that may have controlled his mind through the writings and sayings of Muhammed. You should pray for him last, pleading the precious Blood of Jesus Christ , Yitha, over him for protection against evil men and devils.
Do not wait to immerse him in the person of Jesus Christ. Take him to prayer meeting to see how personally the saints feel about Christ, and, as I mentioned before, start studying the Gospel of John with him at once. The Mullahs hate John more than any other Gospel.
Never approve of the new believer going to the mosque to make friends. It may be that, at a later date, he would want to go there to preach to Muslims or to challenge the Mullah alone, and in zeal, for his salvation. But the Islamic mosque is NOT a place of "fellowship," that happens only when we assemble with the saints of Jesus Christ. Make sure the new believer is invited to local church fellowship gatherings. You may need to take him at first, for the joy and openness of a church gathering will contrast extremely with the gatherings a the mosque. But, do NOT make the mistake of taking the new believer to a local church where there is tom foolery during services and at informal gatherings. Fundamental Baptists are often blasphemously rowdy and raucous. This will offend the new believer greatly.
To see an example of a Muslim at prayer, CLICK HERE.
It is also urgent that you teach the new believer that he is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that he is in physical fellowship with the Lord at all times. This is a totally alien concept to the Muslim, so Bible study will be needed. A very encouraging verse is II Corinthians 6:16, And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Even in witness, you must begin to talk about this to Muslims so that they see the personal relationship a Christian has with his Lord. Show this yourself by personal references to your Lord, and pray for them frequently in their presence.
Psalm 48:2 Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.
Regarding prayer, the new believer will have a hard time praying at first. This is because the average Middle Eastern boy has a terribly impersonal relationship with his father. Add to this the vain repetition of Islamic chanting in the mosque, and you can see that he will not know a thing about personally talking to God the Father.
You must teach him by Bible study, and by personally praying with him at every opportunity. Encourage him to speak to the Father when the two of you are alone. Tell him to be respectful, and end all prayers in the name of Jesus. Don't use King James English when you pray with him. If you are not given to prayer, REPENT before you misguide someone else. He may want to pray in Arabic, or his native tongue. This is perfectly fine. You will not know what he is saying, but the freedom he may feel in this is worth the risk that his theology is not right yet. It is time for you to trust the Holy Ghost to read the new believer's heart.
Matthew 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
The King James Bible clears this up with the "archaic" pronouns. "Thou" is used in the KJV for the personal pronoun, and "ye" for the collective pronoun. So, group confessions and Apostle's Creeds are NOT biblical. God wants each individual Bible believer to speak his own words of faith. The Muslim does this all his life every time he attends prayers at the mosque. Keep him doing this, but encourage him to verbally declared his faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.
I suggest that several verses be memorized to cover the contrast between Islam and biblical Christianity. For the Godhead, (The word "Trinity" is not in the Bible. Avoid it.) I John 5:7, For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. This will settle the question of faith in the oneness of the three persons of the Godhead. If you use an NIV to try to disciple a new convert from Islam, you will find that the exalted Godhead and the Divinity of Jesus Christ is crippled, and the new convert will also be crippled. Also the contemporary vocabulary of the NIV may actually offend the new convert, for the Koran is in classical Arabic. The NIV, NASB, Living Bible, et al are in the vulgar tongue and worse. Beware.
For the deity of Christ and his unique ministry for the saints, I Timothy 2:5, For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
To show that the new convert believes he is truly delivered from Islam to walk in Christ, II Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
It would be excellent for this declaration of the Faith to be at the time of baptism. Baptism is a real turning point in the eyes of the Islamic community. This is because the Mullahs have the Roman Catholic, or Church of Christ notion, that the act of baptism makes one a Christian. We don't believe this, and you must make this very clear to the new convert, but this observation by the Mullahs and Islamic community will make the break with Islam final for all concerned.
This is why missionaries to Muslim people do not consider a new Christian's profession of faith to be certain until he has come through baptism. So, teach the doctrine of baptism very carefully, then ask the new believer to both declare his faith and be baptized. I strongly recommend baptism at a lake, in the ocean, a river, or even a swimming pool so that there is a public testimony. Regardless of your "mode" notions, if you sprinkle a former Muslim, you will rob him of the sensation of drowning Islam once and for all, so bite your lip, and dunk him in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
F. AL HAJJ-
If the Muslim you are witnessing to has been on the Hajj, you will have to deal with this before salvation. Use Hebrews 9:12-25 to show that Jesus made the ultimate pilgrimage to the Father and the throne of grace. There he sprinkled His own Blood to atone for our sins. This leaves us no need, or advantage, to go anywhere geographically to win God's favor.
Show him that the Christian is at rest, not in a frenzy to run round and round some stone monument, as we see in Hebrews 4:9-11, There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
The frenzy of Islam must be replaced by confidence in God's Grace and the rest he gives to those whose sins are forgiven. Do not cease to go over this truth in Christian conversation. Beware-- some churches are full of frenzied programs that exhaust the faithful. How is this different from running around the Kaaba? Take your new Christian friend to a church that preserves the sanity of the saints and their homes. I must tell you here that one of the most devilish things to corrupt Fundamental Baptist churches in the end of the Church Age is the total lack of real worship. You MUST help the new convert to find a local church where there is biblical worship.
Be careful that the new liberty in Christ is not turned to sensual and careless dress. Modesty is still the only standard for godly women, and you may destroy her at once if the women in your church wear sensual clothing. Would you change churches to guard the new life of a soul Christ gave you? If not, you are not worthy to serve Him. The new convert who is a man may also be offended at the careless and suggestive dress of Christian women. If you take this brother to a loose church, he will die on the vine, or he will turn into a hustler. You may have to leave your home church in order to start this new convert down the narrow way with Christ.
The kaffiya, the fez of North Africa, or Muslim hat for the man, comes under the same principle. It must come off, whether it is on a Middle Eastern Muslim or an American Shriner. It is pagan, and its origin is in the discriminatory disdain with which Muslim men hold the kaffir, or those outside of Islam.
What is the replacement aspect here? The lady coming out of Islam can now dress in modest clothing which is comfortable. The chacour, which completely covers the woman, can be hot and troublesome. This can be replaced by modest comfortable clothing. The man can now dress in any modest clothing which fits the occasion, and his Middle Eastern origins can more easily be concealed when traveling. When an Arab shows up at the airport with an Islamic cap or fez on, the whole place goes into panic. To be able to avoid this will be a blessing.
We conclude this discussion with a warning.
When we speak of denouncing Islam and declaring the new life in Christ, we ARE NOT here talking about positive visualizing. Your Muslim friend must be clearly born-again BEFORE you go on to encourage acts of Christian separation. They must simply make public and open what god has already done, and the testimony of the new believer to the Muslim community is commenced with zeal. (FOOTNOTE 8: 214 / 306-318 / 490-491; 49 / 40-41 & 68-69 / 1402-1403)
Remember, acts of personal separation and zeal are not in vogue in the Lord's Church these days, so you cannot judge what to do with a Muslim who comes to Christ by looking at the average local church in the USA or England. Rather, look at the Apostle Paul's zeal for your example,
Philippians 3:13-15, Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
This is the model for today for all Christian separation.
4. DO NOT USE CONTEXTUALIZATION
Contextualization is the presenting of the Gospel by first going to the "redeeming qualities" in the unbeliever's belief system, then salvaging and commending anything which coincides with Christian teaching, and finally moving on to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure you see the wicked nature of such a method of evangelism. We are told regarding the "good" in paganism and world religion, Bible, Isaiah 64:6, But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
There is not one bit of good in Islam. We have seen that Islam's Jesus (Isa) is a pagan deity, and Allah is a Sumerian devil. Islam's Mary is confused with Mariam, the sister of Moses, and the moral principles of Muhammed were filthy. Now, pray tell, what do you expect to salvage from that rubbish bin?
The truth is, contextualization is used for two principle reasons:
The day you find some genuine Christian doctrine correctly presented by the gurus and Mullahs, that is the day you can be sure that you, in fact, just heard from a devil. Your mind is in the flesh, and you have rebelled against the Holy Ghost. Ezekiel 22:26, Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane...
Your job is to make a total distinction between ALL of the alien counterfeits of man on the one hand and the holiness of the Bible message on the other. There will be no gray, no mixture, and no contextualization process, that is, if you obey the Lord. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. (FOOTNOTE 9: I have two video tapes of Jimmy Swaggart debating Ahmed Deedat in which Swaggart gave approval to aspects of Islam. Deedat saw this weakness in Swaggart and went for the jugular vein at once. Swaggart came off looking like a perfect fool. Muslim Mullahs are not stupid, and they study the Bible. They know that you have no business giving any dignity to anything in Islam. When a Muslim starts praising Jesus and adoring the Bible, watch out, you're about to get your ears cut off. Two video set- $50 if I can still order it.)
It is God's will that there must be controversy and confrontation between the holy and the profane:
Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean. 24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.
So, if you really love souls, make the Gospel just as narrow and demanding as did Jesus and Paul. Those who believe this Gospel will be truly saved. Those who reject it will have your witness as evidence for the prosecution at the Great White Throne judgment.
It is not necessary to be brutal or harsh to the Muslims to whom you witness. Jesus was very gentle with those who were truly seeking, but He NEVER let down the standard of repentance and faith, and he never accepted the profane paganism of His day as a starting point for anything but condemnation of sin.
Others may negotiate the Gospel, you cannot. Beware of these smooth talking heads in the high-backed chairs, in the Missiology Departments of seminaries, from Pasadena to Edinburgh, who justify this sloppy and diluted evangelism, Psalms 5:9, For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue.
Dear reader, trust the Word of God, speak in the Holy Spirit, and keep your witness single minded and simple. When you hang a cross around a whore's neck, you haven't brought her half way to Christ, and when you package the Gospel in an outer wrapper of the Koran, you have given the coming Whore religious system another way to send Muslims to Hell. The gospel of contextualization is a "Go to Hell" gospel.
5. DO'S AND DON'TS IN YOUR PERSONAL CONDUCT
Now, we have put some of the heavier things behind us. Let's discuss some of those cultural and social matters-- little things that can make so much difference when we witness to people from other cultures. Middle Eastern people are some of the most gracious people in the world, and they open their homes every day and night for hospitality and for coming and going. As we noted before, hospitality is of a higher importance to a Muslim than Islam, though he would not admit it. In the USA and Great Britain, Muslims are spiritually very secularized, but they have retained hospitality as a cultural anchor in their new surroundings.
But here is the problem with people who are so open and hospitable-- they have many taboos and social customs which they observe to avoid any offense or oversight of human grace. We in the USA and other Western cultures are brutish, blunt, and rowdy. Within limits, this is not evil, but the Middle Eastern people privately mock at us for this. Your first priority in your witness must be to become acculturated to new social customs, whether you are in Dearborn, Michigan, London, England, or Cairo. You have no right to play the Yankee (or Limey) fool and lose the respect of Muslims whom you might win for Christ otherwise.
This means that your home must always be open to these friends, and you may not turn down their invitations. To do so is to insult them and deprive them of showing you hospitality. If they like you, they will want their friends to meet you. In this way you enhance their prestige in the community, as well as yours. Sound tough? Don't worry, you have the Holy Spirit who will guide you. If you see any Muslim walking along the street, pick him up, even if you have to go out of your way, and take him where he is going. This will always open doors for the Gospel. When he thanks you, reply that you helped him in the name of Jesus.
I will now give you a list of social customs you should keep in mind. To offend in one now and then will be overlooked by your Middle Eastern friends, but to blunder along, overstepping regularly, will most definitely hamper your witness. Most Americans are boors in the eyes of much of the rest of the world, and the English and Germans are close behind. The English tend to be patronizing, a trait learned during the colonial days. Beware. Germans are in a hurry to conquer the world, so they don't sit still and listen very well. You Anglo-Saxons must make some changes.
The Apostle Paul gave us the perfect example when he said in II Corinthians 9:19-23, For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law. To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
Growing up on the missionfield, I saw missionaries who exemplified this Pauline model. They had great respect for the Africans, though the Africans seemed backward and primitive by American standards. They shared the Gospel of Christ out of a heart of love, overlooking the discomforts of joining in with African social exchange. Other missionaries remained aloof from the Africans while tossing bits and pieces of the Gospel to them from above. Guess who saw souls saved?
Personally, I get a great deal of sheer fun out of entering other cultural groups. It is a challenge to learn to fit in and avoid offense, but the things one can learn and glean are by far worth the effort. If you do not have this spirit, PRAY for it. Paul learned to change, to set aside his obsessive Judaism, so can you. Soon, you will have your living room buzzing with Arabs, Black Muslims, or Palestinian Catholics. (FOOTNOTE 10: Beware, Arabs and Blacks don't mix well until they are born-again. Your task is not to solve racial prejudice, it is to see the lost saved, so leave integration to the world's social system.)
You will be learning to eat filafil and baba ganoosh, and you will be learning some Arabic. The coffee is exceptional, and the conversation literally endless. Ask sincere questions about life in the Middle East and Islam. They will answer, and then, I promise you, they will ask far more questions about what Christians believe. You will also find your zeal and love for the Jewish people will become more Christlike and personal, as you are drawn into the whole Middle Eastern malaise. (FOOTNOTE 11: Dr. Ben David Lew who was a missionary to Jews in Detroit, Michigan, and a Jew himself, had a genuine zeal to witness to Arabs. He asked me to help him reach an Arab family to whom he was witnessing, and he had a good selection of Arabic witnessing material, even a Bible with both Arabic and Hebrew. And why not, for the two half-brothers, Ishmael and Isaac, both need our Savior.)
Here then are some suggestions of things to "DO" and "DO NOT".
B. Do not hurry-
You will be amazed how often the group may return to ask questions IF you are gentle, interested, and if you stay for a good period of time. If you have to leave, and if you truly love those people, don't just tell them you have to go. Tell them briefly why, such as, "Please excuse us. The children must get to bed, but we must continue this conversation over coffee soon." Never give them the idea that you have had enough visiting-- that is just plain rude to Middle Eastern people.
Do tell them what Christ has done for you-
NEVER launch into a "life story." Simply tell of the personal and recent things that God, through Christ, did for you. "You know, the Lord Jesus was watching over me today. My car ran out of gas right in front of Ahmed's home, and God provided the solution to my problem through my good friend." Just leave it at that. Many of these brief statements of your trust in Christ will be a powerful witness to the reality of the Christian life.
One day, your Muslim friend will finally realize that you have a relationship with the God of the Bible, and he too will want that. Then you may have the joy of leading him to Christ, but don't hurry. He is bound by one of the most powerful bonds in the world of religion, and he needs time to see that what you have is worth the risk he will take in leaving Islam.
D. Don't try to save the
whole neighborhood at once-
If there is a big Arab gathering for a wedding or funeral, offer to help cook the food. Learn to make Arab coffee and serve it correctly. Get the little cups and the ibrik from a Middle Eastern market to cook the coffee in, then ask the guest's wife to help you make it right. Don't serve the Arab coffee early in the evening because it is the signal that the evening is ending to some Middle Eastern folks.
Your home is your best place for evangelism, and your children should learn to be respectful and help serve the guests. If someone can play the piano, and your child sing about Jesus, this will melt their hearts, since Middle Eastern people love POLITE and talented children. If you have raised smart-mouthed cheeky kids, forget about winning souls in the Muslim community. I mean that-- go be a fat faced itinerant evangelist, but forget about trying to win souls of Muslims if you kids are brats.
Do mix up Arab Christians with Muslims-
F. Do attend
There is seldom anything going on an a Middle Eastern gathering which is outright ungodly. You will be able to avoid alcohol since Muslims are not supposed to drink it. The only problem will be if they decide to bring on a belly dancer. Don't hesitate to excuse yourself if your convictions are offended. Later, you may be able to show that you have moderation if they ask why you left.
Be polite, and tell them why you left. Tell them, "The belly dancer is not a dog, she has a soul just like I do, so Jesus died to save her. How could I stay and lust for her body, when Jesus wants her in his heaven?" Do not say this as a public announcement. This will be even tougher for you if the belly dancer is in a home you are visiting, but quietly use the same answer above. Muslim men believe that belly dancers have no soul, so it is acceptable to have them perform and to visually lust after them. These can be powerful moments in your witness if, in gentleness, you stick with your convictions in Christ.
Go to social and civic events as husband and wife. This will open doors to Muslims without offense, since Muslim men worry about their wives when they are not with them. If your wife is with you, this will eliminate their fears as to your motive. A Christian man must NEVER be alone with a Muslim woman. He can destroy his witness so much that he would have to move out of town.
I find that they can identify with that because every Arab, who has any strong feelings over politics, is tagged by Western society and the media as a fundamentalist. I point out, in good humor, that I, as a Fundamentalist, have suffered the brunt of the media just like they have, so we are on common ground. You do not need to introduce yourself as a missionary to Arabs, be, "wise as serpents and harmless as a doves."
You will have to wait very little time before someone asks a question about some aspect of the Christian faith. Then you are on your way. Be ready for anything though, because you may be invited to go on home with your new friends and visit some more. DO NOT refuse, God is at work, and you are on an adventure that is unequaled in this life. Jesus used this method all of the time with publicans and sinners, indeed, the Pharisees claimed that he spent too much time eating with sinners. If you are too busy to follow His example, unload something, and get back to the commission Christ gave to you.
Do not compliment children profusely-
Do not compliment the wife-
Along the same line, never wander carelessly through the house. In every Muslim's mind there is a line somewhere in the home past which no other man should go. That is usually at his wife's bedroom door or in the hallway. If you need to use the restroom, ask where it is, so that he can send you where he prefers.
Your sons who are into puberty must observe this courtesy also. If the coats have been tossed on the bed in the master bedroom, ask for your coat, or let your wife go fetch it, not you men. Again, you can get away with it, but why make your host uncomfortable? Of course, if he invites you on a tour of the home, follow his lead, since he is in control.
J. Foot rule-
K. Turn off the TV-
I suggest you subscribe to a local Middle Eastern newspaper that is in English and Arabic. Also, read up on the Middle Eastern mind. The best book on the subject is, The Arab Mind, by Raphael Patai, Pub. Scribner. See my Bibliography. All of his books are exceptional studies, and you must read them. See a university library if they are out of print.
No games or competition-
Older women and widows-
Do not openly admire objects-
Warn your children about this also, or they may thoroughly embarrass you in this matter and spoil your testimony. The most repulsive behavior a child can show in a Middle Eastern setting is to admire and handle the possessions of the host. This is seen as outright begging. Also, you MUST turn this around. Have some Bibles in Arabic and quality wall plaques with Scripture verses on them (no pictures) which you can give to your Muslim guests as they leave.
You don't want to out-do them in giving, but have things around that you intend to give them. If you can get something into the USA or England from the Middle East which is hard to find, they will be delighted. I am now desperate to get a few pounds of coffee shell from Yemen to give to a Yemenite shop owner in Dearborn. Be attentive to these oddities.
See I Corinthians 7:1-2, and obey!
You men must not go to their home looking like a fugitive from a Halloween party. Always wear a coat and tie. Some of them will be more casual, but some will have an old-world mentality toward dress. I have seen men try to relate to Arabs while being way underdressed. The Muslim men be polite, but they will not get serious with such a person. Of all of my suggestions this is the one you just don't have the option to ignore. We Americans, and most Europeans, have become some of the sloppiest people in the world, and we are not admired for this by the rest of the world.
If you succeed it will ONLY be if you have not taken sides in the matter, and DO NOT try to resolve it right there. If you can get them to drink coffee with you at this time, they are recognizing that you are their friend in a special sense.
The two men will not remain enemies as we Anglo Saxons would, but if, while the coffee is served, you sense from the Lord that they want your help, then you could quietly offer to listen to both sides of the feud and consider what compromises might be made. If they take you up on it, you are into Arab or Muslim culture for life, and you may have to do this again and again. Whatever you suggest, make it something that is truly fair, make sure both parties can save face, and tell them that you think that it is what Jesus would suggest. Conflict resolution is both a privilege and a ministry of the highest value in reaching Muslims for Christ. Pray for this as you build rapport with your Muslim friends. But, it may take years to reach this level of trust.
I note here that the men may at times make very bawdy comments of a sexual kind. Don't enter in, but understand, they have no idea in the world that they are being dirty. However; they would never do this in front of the ladies like dirty Americans. After a Muslim is born-again, this is an area that will have to be discipled out at once. Make a Bible study of it.
I suggest you NOT carry a Bible that you have marked up so heavily that it looks like a road map of Georgia. You may want to devise a simple way to guide yourself around in the Bible you use with Muslims, but they may think you don't respect your Bible if you scribble all over it. They don't study their Koran and mark it-- they only read and recite it. I am not suggesting that marking your Bible is wicked-- it is simply a foreign notion to a Muslim and could seem blasphemous to him.
NEVER put the Bible on the floor after you are finished using it, in fact, try to set it down in a place that is above waist high. Don't roll the covers around back and wave the Bible in the air like some clever evangelist you saw. When you read some text, offer to let your friend read it for himself if he wishes. Never set the Bible down with the Koran or any other book on top of it. These reverent acts, which the Muslim would show for his Koran, will show your respect for God's Word. Again, you want to simply eliminate the little nagging blunders that will distract your friend.
Before you discuss something in the Bible, you might even want to pray very briefly asking the Lord to open the Word to you and your friend. Never handle a Bible or the Koran of an unsaved friend with dirty hands. If you have just eaten, ask to go wash your hands before you read the Bible. This may mean nothing to you, but it will show your respect for the Bible, and the Muslim will not be so nervous letting you read or handle his Koran.
Should we take a gift of the Koran or an Islamic book? Absolutely! Thank the Muslim for his generosity, and explain that you are willing to read any religious book, though you are totally devoted to The Word of The Lord Jesus Christ. If you take his Koran, you have a basis to expect him to receive a Bible from you.
DO NOT tell the story of Joshua and Jericho. Many Arabs think that the Philistines were Palestinians. Don't even try to straighten it out.
Don't be overly dramatic, but don't be too casual either, be reverent and show genuine awe for your Lord. If you do well, you will know about it, because they will ask for more. You may also want to tell the story of some Christian who was very faithful under great adversity or pain. Please do NOT tell stories about some guru preacher you know. Talk about the simple saints who lived a faithful life in adversity.
Rule: Men tell stories to men, and ladies to ladies and children. Also, don't spin fishing and hunting yarns. You are a soul winner, and you only exalt yourself with such stories. Please do NOT waste time talking about baseball and football teams. This means absolutely nothing to Middle Eastern people.
U. "Muslim" and
Whenever I go to an Arab food shop to get Halwa (Halvah in Hebrew), which is a very good treat to add to your coffee time, I do my best to use the throaty Arab version of the word. The usual way we pronounce it is the Hebrew pronunciation, which goes over like a lead balloon with Arabs. All of the little things count, and the learning experience is great fun. By the way, while you are in the shop, buy a couple of Islamic literature booklets in English. You need to know how the Mullahs think, and these booklets show how they cover up Muhammed's silly life and puerile character.
W. Veteran missionaries-
Their favorite way to show zeal is to do seminars on how to reach Muslims in big dead churches where there are no ethnic people tolerated. Help yourself, but I stay clear of these people, and all such snakes, with mild dread. If you want to witness to Muslims, go find Muslims, and get to know them. Don't tell them your objective is to destroy Islam and turn the world upside down by 9:30 tomorrow morning, but do tell them you are a Christian and that you follow The Lord Jesus Christ. Mostly, just be a good and faithful friend, and the Holy Spirit will lead the way into their lives.
Also, beware of these scholars who can tell you all about Arabs, Muslims, and Islam, but they have no Arab or Muslim friends. They are seminary PhD's who sit in arm chairs and read about Muslims. They interview other people who have gone to Muslims with the Gospel, but they wouldn't know "salaam alechem" from salad salt. Their books are full of hate for Arabs, and have no zeal for their salvation. One recent alleged Christian writer has produced such a book, and it is just another footnote in a long line of bellyaching bully-books that run off of the press into the round file.
Your best manual for winning Muslims to Christ is not my book either, it is the Word of God, "...the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." II Timothy 3:15. If you are not an eager Bible student, you will make a poor witness to Muslims. Get into the Book, or get out of here! Aut disce aut discede.
Use the King James Bible-
The King James Bible has a poetic ring to it that is not found in the new versions, and this will be very appealing to the Arab who has been used to the poetic classical Arabic style of the Koran. Furthermore, these new versions and translations keep getting more affected by commercialism, modern notions, and idiom which parallels worldly and New Age language. Stick with the Bible God used for 350 years, the one that brought on all of the great revivals and awakenings, and the one still easiest to memorize.
As to the textual issues which are discussed these days, this should be noted. The Van Dyke Arabic translation of the Bible is highly received in all Arabic speaking churches. It is the old standard, and it was also done by men who wanted to retain the power of classical Arabic. Furthermore; the Van Dyke Arabic Bible was done by Reformed men, as was the King James Bible, and Van Dyke used only the Textus Receptus and related Greek texts. This will cause the King James Bible to parallel the Van Dyke Bible almost precisely. This is highly desirable so that the Arabic speaker from the Middle East will easily move back and forth between the two.
Please don't run an experiment on these dear lost Muslim people by trying out all sorts of versions on them. I have seen the King James Bible brighten up the face of Arab readers as the Holy Spirit illuminated them. I've become very convinced on this subject, but if you do not agree with me I love you anyway. Please do not ask me to help you if you use the NIV, NASB, Living Bible, etc. Again, use the Van Dyke, or old version, of the Arabic Bible, and substitute El Elyon for the name Allah and Yitha for Isa.
Do not give sacred pictures, like a picture of Christ, as gifts to Muslims-
CLICK HERE, to see the calligraphy picture.
I shall leave point Z for you to write and send to me as you reach out to Muslims near you for The Lord Jesus Christ. I would be very interested in hearing how our Lord may have used you in his service, and if this book has helped in some small way, then praise His Name.
Most Middle Eastern Muslims in the USA, England, and France are very westernized, and they may tell you quite boldly that they are "secularized Muslims." Those who are well educated, and live in larger cities, are also much more tolerant and western in outlook. They may break some of the rules I have just suggested, but you cannot tell who is sensitive, who is new in our country, or who is very secularized. Don't take chances. Learn to avoid offense all of the time for the Gospel's sake. Jesus offended the Pharisees and legalizers in their spiritual sins, but He never offended the people in cultural things which had no sinful nature. He is your example.
1 John 2:10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
Now, go find an Arab restaurant, and begin your adventure in winning Muslims for Christ, and please, don't neglect the Jews you meet. Jesus died for them too, you know.
Dear Muslim reader, and you Imams and Mullahs, I trust you can see that I have a love and zeal for the Muslim people. I shall not compromise one bit from the way of The Lord Jesus Christ, but I shall alter anything in my life and customs to convince you that I do love you for my Lord's sake. In fact, my experience in making friendships with Middle Eastern people have been delightful. Much of the cultural strength of the Middle East I find refreshing. My only zeal for you is that you see who Jesus Christ really is. The earlier chapters were pretty rough going, but my love for Muslim people is my sole motive for those chapters-- I think you have a right to hear the truth. May the Savior, Yitha, give you light.
The Gospel of John 8:36
If the Son therefore shall make you free,
ye shall be free indeed.