Who is Muhammad’s Gabriel?


 Three questions are asked in this essay. First, who is Gabriel? The answer prompts a second question, who is Allah? The answers to these provoke a third question, who is Muhammad? All that is Islam hangs on the answers to these three questions.

Gabriel of the Bible

Gabriel, the name, is found in four places in the Bible: Daniel 8:16 and 9:21, and Luke 1:19 and 1:26. The name Gabriel means, God is mighty.

First, the two passages from the Old Testament book Daniel

When I, Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it. And behold, there stood before me one having the appearance of a man. And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, and it called “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.” (Daniel 8:15-16)

While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the LORD my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. (Daniel 9:20-21)

Gabriel is introduced in the Book of Daniel, and we see more of him in the New Testament.

Second, the two passages from the New Testament book of Luke

 While the priest Zechariah was on duty at the Temple in Jerusalem, an angel of the Lord appeared to him. The angel announced to Zechariah that his and his wife Elizabeth’s prayers had been answered, to the effect that Elizabeth would bear a son and his name would be John. We pick up the story in Luke chapter 1:

And Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.” (Luke 1:18-19)

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:26-27)

Now we look at the words of Gabriel to Mary, verse 28: “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” Mary, greatly troubled at the greeting, tried to understand what the angel meant. Gabriel continued:

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)

The angel in Matthew: Is this Gabriel also?

 Joseph, about to marry Mary with whom he was engaged, was troubled when he learned she was pregnant. Thinking to divorce her quietly, he had a visit from an angel while in a dream. The angel (no name given) said to him:

“Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.”

Is the angel who spoke to Joseph the same one who spoke to Zechariah and Mary? We cannot be completely sure, but it seems as though it must be the case. However, the argument I am about to make does not depend on the answer to that question, as both angels in Luke and in Matthew are clearly angels of the Lord.

What have we learned so far?

 The angelic appearances have to do with the birth of Jesus, the one who would save His people from sin. The birth was miraculous, by the Holy Spirit, and this is all the explanation for the pregnancy we have. The point is clear: no human being had sex with Mary. Neither God the Father nor God the Holy Spirit had sex with Mary. The birth was miraculous, and this fits perfectly with the word God revealed to Isaiah:

There the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

The passage is referred to as “The Sign of Immanuel,” meaning that the virgin’s child is God come to be with us in a miraculous, non-human manner—thus a sign. God actually became flesh, which the Creator of the universe could do. And He did.

The child born to Mary was not called Immanuel but Jesus. Immanuel, in traditional Jewish understanding, is what He, Immanuel, is, which is God become man. The name Jesus refers to what He would do. “Jesus” is a word derived from the Hebrew name for Joshua. It means, “God saves.” Joshua was the one who brought the Chosen People across the Jordan River into the Promised Land of Canaan. Moses would not be allowed to do this, and the concept is that the Law of Moses cannot in itself bring salvation. No, salvation is a gift of God and is not by works of the Law. In His dying for sin, Jesus became the Savior, and this is proven by His resurrection. Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.

However, nearly six hundred years later, there appeared another “Gabriel.”

Gabriel of the Qur’an

 The angel that appeared to Muhammad at a cave on the slopes of Mount Hira near Mecca, about AD 610, also had the name Gabriel. It was the custom of many Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, and Gnostics to retire to secluded places in hopes of receiving spiritual dreams and visions, a direct connection with deity. Muhammad was one of these.

Ascetics would fast, meditate, and stay awake for days in order to empty the mind and receive dreams and visions. Muhammad, after a time, achieved trance-like states during which the angel Gabriel, as the angel announced himself to Muhammad, spoke to him. We find a hint of this in the hadith of Abu Dawud, Book 12, No. 2247a, which reads, “When the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) came to himself (after the revelation ended)…”

Muhammad reported his visits by Gabriel to his wife Khadija, who supported

the idea that it was indeed an angel speaking to her husband. Muhammad, however, was not sure of the nature of the vision he had, but eventually adopted his wife’s opinion.

At the very beginning of Muhammad’s encounter with Gabriel, he wondered if he was actually in contact with a jinn (demon) rather than an angel. This is stunningly apparent based on a hadith reported by Aisha (the mother of the faithful believers and favorite wife of Muhammad) as found in the most trusted of all hadiths, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 1, Book 1, No. 3:

The commencement of the Divine Inspiration to Allah’s Apostle was in the form of good dreams, which came true like bright day light, and then the love of seclusion was bestowed upon him. He used to go in seclusion in the cave of Hira where he used to worship (Allah alone) continuously for many days before his desire to see his family. He used to take with him the journey food for the stay and then come back to (his wife) Khadija to take his food like-wise again till suddenly the Truth descended upon him while he was in the cave of Hira. The angel came to him and asked him to read. The Prophet replied, “I do not know how to read.”

The Prophet added, “The angel caught me (forcefully) and pressed me so hard that I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read and I replied, ‘I do not know how to read.’ Thereupon he caught me again and pressed me a second time till I could not bear it any more. He then released me and again asked me to read but again I replied, ‘I do not know how to read (or what shall I read)?’ Thereupon he caught me for a third time and pressed me, and then released me and said, ‘Read in the name of your Lord, who has created (all that exists) has created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.

Muhammad was so harshly treated by what he thought was the angel Gabriel that he doubted it was an angel from Allah at all. He became depressed and considered throwing himself off the mountain of Hira. It was only through the intervention and convincing of Khadija, his first wife, that Muhammad was prevented from doing so.

There is an interesting account referred to as “The Lap.” The story is that Muhammad continued to believe the being that appeared to him was a jinn, a demon. Khadija, in the midst of Muhammad’s fears and doubts, asked him to sit on her lap, first one side then the other. When he did she asked him if he saw the angel. He responded, yes. Then she asked him to sit on her lap and once again asked if he saw the angel. Again, yes. Then she disrobed and asked Muhammad to sit on her lap again. She asked if he saw the angel and Muhammad said, no. With that Khadija convinced Muhammad it was indeed the angel Gabriel by saying that only a good angel would not look upon a woman’s nakedness.

The above account is a paraphrase from the Sira the official biography of Muhammad. Below now is the account, called “The Lap” as reported by Ibn Ishaq, Muhammad’s biographer:

Ibn Ishaq recorded that when the spirit came to Muhammad another time, Khadija tested him:

Ishma’il b. Abu Hakim, a freedman of the family of al-Zubayr, told me on Khadija’s authority that she said to the apostle of Allah, ‘O son of my uncle, are you able to tell me about your visitant, when he comes to you?’ He replied that he could, and she asked him to tell her when he came.

So when Gabriel came to him, as he was wont, the apostle said to Khadija, ‘This is Gabriel who has just come to me.’ ‘Get up, O son of my uncle,’ she said, ‘and sit by my left thigh.’

The apostle did so, and she said, ‘Can you see him?’ ‘Yes,’ he said. She said, ‘Then turn around and sit on my right thigh.’ He did so, and she said, ‘Can you see him?’ When he said that he could she asked him to move and sit in her lap.

When he had done this she again asked if he could see him, and he said yes, she disclosed her form and cast aside her veil while the apostle was sitting in her lap. Then she said, ‘Can you see him?’ And he replied, ‘No.’ She said, ‘O son of my uncle, rejoice and be of good heart, by Allah he is an angel and not a satan.

(Ibn Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, tr. Guillaume, 1967, p. 107)[1]

Who or what was the angel that appeared to Muhammad?  

The question is, and it is of incredibly significant importance, is the Gabriel of the Bible and the Gabriel of the Qur’an one and the same?

The reader, of course, will be aware that I am going to make the case that the two are different, in fact, very different.

Let me be clear at once: both are angels. One is an angel of the Lord; the other is a fallen angel, a demon.

The apostle Paul warned the Church at Corinth that demons could disguise themselves as angels.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

The majority of Muslims today hold that the Qur’an is eternal (eternal as Allah is eternal), was brought down to earth by the angel Gabriel, and was then recited by the angel to Muhammad. Allah spoke each and every verse to the angel Gabriel who then recited them, piecemeal, over the course of about twenty-two years, to Muhammad. Muhammad, unable to write, memorized the recitations and spoke them to others, who then wrote them down. (Qur’an means recitation, or that which is recited.)

My contention is that a fallen angel—a jinn or demon—appeared to Muhammad on Mount Hira. Muhammad was right in the first place.

The Ultimate Offense

 To state that Islam’s Gabriel is a jinn is to state the ultimate offense for Muslims, since it utterly negates the big three: Allah, the Qur’an, and Muhammad. Allah because it is Allah who is relaying to Gabriel what is in the Qur’an. Then Gabriel is no angel but a demon. And Muhammad is merely passing along what a demon is reciting to him. Islam is then based upon absolute error and nothing more.

Such accusations, let alone suggestions, can earn one the death penalty in Muslim-majority societies.

With the understanding of this enormous deception, what must a Christian do? Must we remain silent and not voice even the possibility that the whole of Islam is based on demonic deception? To refrain from speaking out is immoral and unethical.

Writers of Scripture were known for denouncing false religion and the behaviors they spawn. Many paid the ultimate price for standing with the truth. Many are dying today in Muslim dominated nations for speaking their hearts and minds.

The Weakness of Islam

Islam is weak, because it forcefully stifles dissent, often ruthlessly, even in countries where the Muslim population is small. If a Muslim abandons Islam, which is called apostasy, he or she may be punished by death, though this is not clearly spelled out in the Qur’an.

In the face of terror and in light of the great commission given Christians by Jesus Himself (see Matthew 28:19-20, among others), it is necessary to stand up to the murderous lying of the chief demon, Satan. Jesus, while countering the attacks of religious opponents, was clear. Jesus said:

You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)

It is not disrespectful to challenge error, especially when the difference is between heaven and hell, both of which are eternal.

One last word from Gabriel, the angel of the Lord

Gabriel said to Mary in reference to the child she would bear: “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). This virgin birth, not the result of sexual intercourse, would be miraculous. The child would be of the same nature as the father, God, analogous to the fact that all our children are human, just as we are.

Then Gabriel said, “he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:33). The meaning is obvious—the child will be the reigning King forever.

This wonderful news is not new news either. Nearly eight centuries earlier, the prophet Isaiah spoke of the miraculous birth and gave clear information as to the nature of the child who would be born. From Isaiah 7:14 we read: “Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Again let me point out that the Hebrew word translated “Immanuel” simply means, “God with us.”

From Isaiah 9:6 we read: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Without question, the Prophet Isaiah states that the child born is God Himself.

Certainly this takes us into the mystery of the Trinity. We will never comprehend how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one and complete God all at once.

The point is plain enough—the child born is God in the flesh. He is Jesus born of the virgin in Bethlehem, the one who would die in our place, taking our sin upon Himself, then on the third day be raised from the dead. He is alive now in heaven, one day to return to receive His own.

Gabriel in the Qur’an and hadith

Gabriel appears in only three verses in the Qur’an: Sura 2:97-98 and Sura 66:4.

Say, (O Muhammad, to mankind)[2]: Who is an enemy to Gabriel! For he it is who hath revealed (this Scripture) to thy heart by Allah’s leave, confirming that which was (revealed) before it and a guidance and glad tidings to believers. Sura 2:97

Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers. Sura 2:98

If ye twain turn unto Allah repentant, (ye have cause to do so) for your hearts desired (the ban); and if ye aid one another against him (Muhammad) then lo! Allah, even He, is his protecting Friend, and Gabriel and the righteous among the believers; and furthermore the angels are his helpers. Sura 66:4

Islam identifies Gabriel as the Holy Spirit in both the Bible and the Qur’an.

In Sura 2:87 and Sura 2:253, it is said, and without the word Gabriel appearing, “We supported him with the Holy Spirit” and Islamic interpreters say this “We” is the angel Gabriel. But the plain text of the Qur’an does not so state.

Not only does the Qur’an not identify Gabriel with the Holy Spirit, neither does the hadith. Instead we find just the opposite as illustrated by Sahih Muslim, in book 30: “Gabriel, the Apostle of Allah is among us, and the Holy Spirit who has no match.” Gabriel is not the Holy Spirit.

Gabriel in the Bible

The Bible, both testaments, show the nature and identity of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is deity often referred to as the Spirit of God. Holy Spirit also means that the Spirit is holy and only God is holy. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, is a “He” thus person, and is omnipotent, all-powerful. And the Holy Spirit can only be God as is the Father and the Son.

The second verse of Genesis speaks of the Holy Spirit being involved at the moment of the creation of the universe. “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

2 Samuel 23:2-3 identifies the God of Israel with the Spirit of the LORD.[3]

The Spirit of the LORD speaks by me; his word is on my tongue. The God of Israel has spoken; the Rock of Israel has said to me; When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God;

Isaiah 40:13 reads, “Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD or what man shows him his counsel?” We notice “LORD” in the phrase “Spirit of the LORD” clearly identifying the Holy Spirit with God.

There is much more, however, but now we turn to the New Testament, first to the third chapter of the Gospel of John.

A leader of the Jewish people named Nicodemus approached Jesus at night, presumably to speak with Him in private. He says he knows Jesus is from God because of the miracles Jesus performs. Jesus however redirects the conversation by saying, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Of course, the elder statesman does not understand how a person can be reborn. Jesus replies, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” To be born of the flesh in one thing, but to born of the Spirit is quite another. And we must be clear, Jesus is not talking about any angel much less one named Gabriel. Only God brings life, both physical and spiritual.

The Holy Spirit works the new birth or conversion. This is clear in the passage in John three and we find the same in Acts 8:14-20. Also in Acts 3:1-4, the Holy Spirit is directly referred to as God. The writer of Hebrews also declares that the Holy Spirit is eternal when in reference to the power of the shed blood of Jesus says, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to sere the living God” (Hebrews 9:14).
Looking back to the passages in Luke’s Gospel, the birth passages, we find in answer to Mary’s question to the angel Gabriel as to how she will have a baby, Gabriel says, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you” (Luke 1:35) Very obvious that the angel Gabriel separates himself from the Holy Spirit. For sure, the Holy Spirit and Gabriel are not the same at all.

It is clear that the Qur’an nowhere identifies Gabriel with the Holy Spirit.

Some dramatic conclusions

The goal of Islamic scholars’ claim that Gabriel is the Holy Spirit is intended to contaminate the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Which is it then? Is Gabriel an angel or the Holy Spirit, or maybe, both at once, at least from an Islamic point of view? Part one above however, shows that Gabriel is actually a jinn or demon thus making things even more confused.

There is a danger for Islam in its claim that Gabriel is the Holy Spirit. Islam is supposed to be monotheistic meaning that Allah has no partners. If Gabriel is the Holy Spirit then Gabriel would be deity as well—Allah has a partner. And then again the traditionalists in Islam believe that the Qur’an is eternal in heaven. Another partner? And the reverence shown to Muhammad is so complete that he is actually lifted to the status of deity as well. One more partner for Allah?


“Allah” is the name used by Christians and Jews in the Arabian Peninsula for centuries before the Islamic era. Indeed, the word Allah was used by Jews in the Arabian Peninsula for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob before the Christian era.

To put it another way: Neither Muhammad, Abu Bakr, Umar, nor Uthman invented the word Allah. They would have known the word Allah from childhood.

Is it not the word that counts, it is the content.

To the Jew of that period, Allah would be the creator, the lawgiver, the one who led the family of the patriarchs out of Egypt, and gave them the Promised Land, the land of Canaan.

To the Christian of that period, Allah would be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ in addition to all that the Jewish people believed about God.

It would be only natural for Muhammad to use the term Allah as well in reference to the creator God. And certainly, Muhammad gave new definition to who or what Allah is.

From what we find in the Qur’an and hadith about Allah is that he is a God transcendent and not immanent. In fact, the God of the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, is transcendent but is also immanent in that He interacts personally with His people. He walked and talked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, otherwise known as Paradise. He did so until the Fall, that breaking of a single law we read about in Genesis chapter three. The terrible consequences of that event was that God’s human creation is sent out of Paradise, east of Eden. But he never left them entirely alone.

Out of a burning bush in the Arabian desert, God appeared to Moses; God once again spoke with a human being. In the Tabernacle built under the direction of Moses, which God commanded Moses to erect, there was a special place within it, the Holy of Holies, and God dwelt there with His people.

This was a foreshadowing of what would come later. The prophets pointed to a time when God would arrive in person. This is what the word Immanuel means—God present. We can see this in the word itself even if we are not Hebrew literate. The last two letters of Immanuel, “el” is the English transliteration of the Hebrew word for God, El. Then “imman” and we get our word immanent from it; immanent means present. Simply put, God with us.

Though God took His time about it, from our perspective, John the Baptist, the last of Israel’s great prophets, came announcing the arrival of the Messiah. John pointed clearly to Jesus as the long awaited Christ. (Examine the opening chapters of Matthew, Mark, and Luke to verify this for yourself.)

Jesus, Immanuel, God come to be with us, called to Himself disciples, those whom He would teach, and for some few years did so. Yes, He did many miracles including three resurrections from the dead, healed many hundreds with actual organic disease, multiplied food (perhaps the greatest of His miracles since these broke the universal laws of physics), calmed the sea waves and wind, and much more.

On three separate occasions He told His disciples He would be killed, by crucifixion, and be raised from the dead. Three times. And it happened, exactly fulfilling the ancient prophecies by David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and a number of others.

After His resurrection He set His followers about the work of proclaiming who He is and what He did to the entire world. Then at some time unknown, He will return to save His followers and judge the world. He never said anyone else would show up to carry on the work or to add to it or subtract from it. We are waiting right now for His return.

Muhammad’s Allah


Muhammad is not God, never claimed to be either despite how Muslims tend to view him, and neither is Gabriel. In fact, it is not a stretch to say that Islam has its own trinity, Allah, Muhammad, and the Qur’an.

The story goes that Allah spoke to Gabriel who then spoke to Muhammad, who then recited the revelations that originated with Allah, by way of Gabriel, to other people who at some point committed them to writing.

The narrative of the collecting of the Qur’an is fascinating. There were so many variations going about that Uthman, the third caliph after Muhammad, ordered all the renditions be gathered together in order to make a uniform document. All the other manuscripts were then burned. But the picture of Allah in the Qur’an is interesting.

Allah is distant, speaks through an angel, and loves those who love him and hates those who do not believe in him. And it is a murderous hatred, too. Allah is the greatest of deceivers and will lead astray even the best of Muslims. Though Allah repeatedly refers to himself as the most beneficent, the most merciful, the most forgiving, and so on, there is no evidence of this other than what he says of himself.

It is not unfair, nor a misrepresentation, to say that the God of the Qur’an is very far different from the God spoken of in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

Is Allah a fiction?

My premise is that Gabriel is indeed an angel, but a fallen angel. Muhammad was correct when he thought the being that presented itself at the cave on Mt. Hira was a jinn, which is an Arabic word meaning demon. It was only his wife Khadija who convinced him otherwise.

The point then is: If Gabriel is a demon, and Gabriel is reciting to Muhammad what is supposedly spoken by Allah, then just who or what is Allah?

It is clear from the Old and New Testaments that Satan, and his demons, are surely angels but fallen angels who become the enemies of God. And Satan is a god, too.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

“The god of this world” Paul says, and some chapters later in the same letter he writes of those who “veil” the gospel,

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

(Note: An apostle is a messenger, one sent with a message.)

Is Allah a fiction? No, there is an Allah but it is Satan in disguise that directed an underling demon to approach Muhammad while Muhammad was in a trance state and therefore open to demonic invasion.

Have I committed blasphemy and of the worst sort against the Islamic trinity? Yes, indeed I have but not out of meanness or an attempt to deceive.

To say that Allah is a demon (Shayton or Satan), to say that Gabriel is also a demon (jinn), and that then Muhammad was very cleverly deceived, is the only possible conclusion to come to. And this is what most Christians do believe, but it is a little scary to put it out into the public purview, given what we have seen of Islam in these past few decades.


Is Muhammad a true prophet of God?

Was he duped into thinking he was hearing words from Allah?

Did he make the whole thing up?

Was it all a dream?

Was it a scheme to acquire power and prestige?

Is Muhammad a prophet to be trusted?

Is he to be obeyed? Is he to be believed?

Is he a false prophet?

Is Allah a deceiver?

We cannot be afraid to ask these questions. Too much hinges on the answers, for Muslims especially. I am well aware that Muslim people are sincere seekers after God. Even the most radical among them are only following through on what has been communicated to them from the cradle. Muslim people, in my experience are more “religious” than most Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, and so on.

Few desire to be with God in Paradise as much as Muslims. And many will do anything to assure themselves of being there. After all, no Muslim can be sure they will make it either as Allah is a great deceiver, schemer, plotter, (these three designations are synonyms and in different versions of the Qur’an they are used to describe Allah) and will lead astray any he chooses.

And they (the disbelievers) schemed, and Allah schemed (against them); and Allah is the best of schemers. Qur’an 3:54 Are they then secure from Allah’s scheme? None deemeth himself secure from Allah’s scheme save folk that perish. Qur’an 7:99 Also see: Qur’an 8:3- and 13:42.

Unlike the Christian who will experience assurance of salvation, the Muslim can only hope and work hard to earn Allah’s favor.

Some commentators doubt Muhammad even existed. I am not one of those. As to whether early Muslims embellished the story, especially in the latter part of the seventh and into the eighteenth century, is a possibility. We are aware Gnostics in the second and third centuries did that with Jesus, made Him into a super hero and magician.

It is well established that Muhammad was not certain in his own mind as to the nature of the entity he encountered on Mt. Hira. At first he thought the ‘angel’ was a jinn, a demon; his wife Khadija convinced him it was an angel of God. Is it fair to ask: Ought one to commit themselves to a “lap dance?”

What is the truth?

That which was revealed to Muhammad differs utterly from what we see of God in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. Which account is the true one?

Islam, of course, says that the revelation to Muhammad supersedes or replaces what is found in the Bible. And in a number of significant ways. For instance, Jesus is not God come to be with us. And He definitely did not die on a cross for our sin. Jesus is a prophet, yes, but not of the rank of Muhammad, the final Prophet. Jesus plays a role in the last days, but dies and ends up being buried next to Muhammad. It is rather complex, but the Jesus of the Qur’an (Isa) is not close to the Jesus of Christian Scripture.

Then, God in the Qur’an is separated from humans and speaks through an angel. In the Bible, God becomes flesh and dwells among us. Also, being in Paradise/heaven in the Qur’an depends upon believing that Allah alone is God and that Muhammad is his messenger. But that is only the beginning. Mostly heaven is earned by doing good deeds, working for salvation. In the Bible forgiveness, salvation, and being assured of heaven depends upon God’s gift alone.

My closing statement

Who is Allah? Allah is either a chief demon, perhaps Satan himself, or a fantasy figure invented by Muhammad. Allah is not God at minimum.

Who is Gabriel? Gabriel is either a jinn, meaning a demon, or again is a fantasy figure invented by Muhammad. Gabriel is not an angel of the Lord God.

Who is Muhammad? A seventh century man living in Arabia who was either deceived by a demonic entity or developed a fictional account of being communicated with by God. Muhammad is not a prophet of God; he is a false prophet.

[1] The Sira has for centuries been linked with the Qur’an and hadith as authoritative on the life of Muhammad. In more recent years the Sira has been largely neglected, as the accounts of what Muhammad said and did are rather fantastic, problematic, and embarrassing.

[2] Words in brackets-( )-indicate explanatory notes made by editors of the Qur’an. Without them so very many passages of the Qur’an would be unintelligible.

[3] LORD, all capital letters shows that the Hebrew text has Yahweh, that name spoken to Moses in the burning bush incident. See Exodus 3:14.

Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders, Acts 20:17-28


Paul Speaks to the Ephesian Elders

Acts 20:17-38

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Carefully read the passage of Scripture. Reread it.
  6. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Paul invites the Ephesian church’s leaders to join him at Miletus, the city’s harbor, 10 miles east. He intends to bid them farewell as he is bound for Jerusalem.
  8. This is the first and only sermon delivered by Paul to Christians. He reminds them of his service and states he did not hold anything back from them but declared the whole counsel of God, both publically and from house to house.
  9. Verse 21 is a key Biblical passage where Paul describes his evangelical work: for both Jews and Greeks he preached repentance toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  10. Paul knows what is coming as he heads for Jerusalem. He is willing to suffer even death, as first and foremost, he will continue the work he had been given by Jesus Himself.
  11. Paul knows that after he leaves, thus leaving a power vacuum, fierce wolves from even within the Ephesian church will attack the flock, people attempting to draw people away to themselves.
  12. These wolves will teach messages that combine truth with error, twisted things. Paul says, “be alert.”
  13. Paul can only commend the church “to God and to the word of his grace.” (Likely the wolves will teach a works based faith.)
  14. Paul did not seek money from the Ephesians but worked with his hands to supply his needs. The wolves will not.
  15. Before departing, Paul and Ephesians leaders are on their knees praying and bidding Paul farewell. Their sorrow was that they would not see Paul again.

A Riot at Ephesus, Paul in Macedonia & Greece, Eutychus Raised from the Dead, Acts 19:21-29:12


Acts 19:21-20:12

A Riot at Ephesus, Paul in Macedonia & Greece,

Eutychus Raised from the Dead

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Luke now takes us for a series of events that cover an unknown period of time. He moves us from Ephesus to Philippi where Luke rejoins the missionaries (see “us” and “we”) then on to Troas in what is now northeast Turkey.
  8. The cult of Artemis (or Diana) with the silver images made of the goddess provided considerable sums of money. This business was suffering due to Paul’s preaching.
  9. Luke does not give us as much as we would like; it is likely he only heard second-hand accounts of the fast moving and tumultuous events.
  10. A riot ensued in Ephesus, and two of Paul’s companions were dragged into the local arena by an angry mob. This arena, when excavate was found to seat 25,000.
  11. The crowd of Ephesians is quieted, and soon Paul leaves for Macedonia and visits Philippi before settling for a time in Troas.
  12. On a Sunday morning in a meeting place in Troas, after celebrating the Lord’s Supper, Paul begins to speak. We are not told of the content of what Paul said, but he went on seemingly all night.
  13. Unable to remain awake while Paul preached, on and on, the young man Eutychus, perched on a window sill, fell to his death. Without fanfare, Paul announces he is alive. This resulted in much comfort to the church in Troas.

The Sons of Sceva, Acts 19:11-20


Acts 19:11-20

The Sons of Sceva

  1. Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions.
  2. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace.
  3. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer
  4. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
  5. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
  6. Reread it. From memory, determine the central points.
  7. Ephesus would have been typical of the ancient world, which was much engaged with magical practices.
  8. Now Paul, through Paul, God was doing incredible miracles, primarily power over unclean spirits. There were healings and the casting out of demons. Shocking to the Ephesians.
  9. It was thought that the covenant name of God, given to Moses at the Burning Bush, Yahweh, had magical powers. 7 sons of a supposed Jewish high priest named Sceva, used this name to perform miracles.
  10. Seeing what Paul did, they tried using “the name of the Lord Jesus” when they saw the evil spirits subject to Paul.
  11. The evil spirits knew who Jesus was, of course, the same today, and they recognized Paul, who they knew was wrecking havoc among them.
  12. This did not work, indeed, it backfired, and an evil spirit, or demon, attacked them and wounded them.
  13. Such authority over the demonic realm brought even more attention by the Ephesians to Paul. An awakening was under way already, and now it increased to a great degree.
  14. Word quickly spread in Ephesus and the hand of God is evident in that the citizens brought together a large pile of their magical books and burned them, publically.
  15. The magical materials, Luke tells, totaled 59,000 pieces of silver—a staggering amount.
  16. This all abounded to the glory of God and the Word spread.