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From Christianity To Islam How I Came To Islam

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Yusha Evans

Channel: Yusha Evans

Episode Notes

Yusha Evans, a former Christian Youth Minister, shares his journey from Christianity to Islam at the Islamic Awareness Week hosted by the Sydney University Muslim Students Association.

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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I greet my brothers and sisters with the greeting of peace was to them it was simple labor care to and I welcome all of our guests.

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First and foremost, my name is Lucia Evans, I came to slim in 1998. And I did not change my name, you shy is just the Arabic form of Joshua, which is my birth name, I did not change my name, because if you have a good name, you don't change it. And plus my mother would have killed me and my grandmother.

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And secondly, this talk today, God willing is not a personal attack on anyone know their beliefs. It is my sincerest intention to tell my story, as I've been asked of how I came from where I was, to where I am now, as honestly as I can. And as they say, the cards fall where they may. But the only way anyone will benefit from this is with an open mind, as the old adage goes that our mind is like a parachute. There's only one way that it'll work. And that's if it's open.

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I was born in a small city called Greenville, South Carolina, which is on the East Coast of the United States.

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And I was raised by my grandparents, my mother had stepped out and my father was working two jobs. And then he moved to New York to take a job. So I stayed with my grandparents, who were both retired. And they were very old fashioned, to say the least. They were very conservative, and very much so religious. We are very attached to the church that was at the end of our street. My grandfather was full blooded, Native American Indian. And he was the patriarch of my family as a typical male patriarch figure. And my grandmother was the child of Irish immigrants.

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And there was a lot of religion in my home in the sense that we went to church on Sunday mornings going to church on Sunday evenings, and we went to church on Wednesdays, it was a necessity that you sat down at my kitchen table and you prayed before you ate, you prayed before you slept in all of these things. This was very much part of my upbringing.

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And there was no such thing as music in my home. Other than the music that my grandparents approved of which was music, I did not want to listen to them whatsoever.

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There were no girls allowed in my home. There were no parties, I didn't go to school dances, all of these things all my grandfather was alive. So I had the typical nerd upbringing, as they say.

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And the only thing I knew about religion growing up with which most children like me know is Sunday school was pretty much my religious upbringing, which was before the normal church services. I went to Sunday schools and we sung songs and painted pictures. And we learned about Noah and the flood. We learned about Moses and the children of Israel and Pharaoh and splitting the Red Sea and the bondage of Egypt and wandering in the wilderness. And we learned the story about David and Goliath. And we learned the stories of Jesus feeding the 5000. With the loaves of fish, I mean, the fish, the loaves of bread, and the fish. It is 15 hours behind for me so my mind is still in the United

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States.

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We learned about the Sermon on the Mount and the crucifixion and the resurrection. And this is pretty much the crux of what I knew about my religion growing up, then my grandparents would remove me from there and take me to the normal Sunday service, which was extremely boring. It was not like what you see on television, televangelists with drums and jumping and screaming and it was none of that. We went to a Methodist Church, United Methodist Church and the benches were somewhat like what you're sitting in today quite uncomfortable. And you stood up and you sung a hymn, you sat down, you listen to the preacher, you stood up and you song you sat down, you listened, you stood up and you

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Sung, and that was pretty much it.

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And I had an like I said typical normal upbringing, loving grandparents. All of that somewhat changed at around the age of 14, at the age of 14, I started to go to Saturday evening Youth Services, you could go at the beginning of 14, and that was a lot more fun. And then even Sunday school because we play basketball. We played volleyball, we played dodgeball, we had pizza and cake and candy and all that good stuff. And then in the end for 30 minutes, our youth pastor who lived across the street from me, would sit down and he would give us a 30 minute sermon about religion and God and something that was

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beneficial for the youth and the problems and the temptations that youth face. And I really

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Like that I really liked the way he presented it. He presented it in emboldened, fresh, new type of manner. I'm starting to sound like Bill O'Reilly Melvin fresh, but it was a lot different and a lot more interesting to me. And when I turned 15, I began to attend high schools freshmen, my grandmother could not take me to school because she was battling cancer at the time. On and off, she battled cancer all throughout my teenage years. So she talked to the youth pastors mother to take me to school. So it was a big prestige for me to be able to go to school with the youth pastor of my looked up to not only that, but he was the class president of our school. Not only that, but he was

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a senior. Not only that, but he drove a very nice car, which was a refurbished, remodeled 67 Mustang. That was I like, I'm a car guy. And so we became friends through that, even though it was very odd for freshmen and seniors to be any type of friends. We became very good friends. And he started to take me to other services throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia called young life, young life fellowship. I don't know if you guys have anything similar to that here. But it's called young life. It is a organization of youth run by youth put on by youth, and their services were a lot better than anyone I had been to there were, there was a lot of music involved.

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It was drums, guitars, the whole nine yards, there was a lot of very strong biblical preaching based on the Bible, but it was like the what they call the fire and brimstone preaching very heavy, very much directing towards look, either you do this, or this is going to happen. And it was based on biblical principles, the everyone seemed to have that love and cordial brotherhood and sisterhood that really attracted me. It was very entertaining to me very much at that point in my life, when I started to go to these different retreats and camps and etc.

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I would say I became a religious Christian by choice, rather than by upbringing. And I fell in love with my religion, I became emotionally attached to my faith. And it was at that point that I can say that I became what is known as saved by grace rather than just by birth.

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And all of that was fine and dandy that was going on for quite a period of time. And then my friend Benjamin graduated, and I became a sophomore. And when he graduated, he started to attend a Bible College in my hometown, which is very well known in the United States amongst religious conservative Christians. And it is known somewhat worldwide, it is called Bob Jones University. Bob Jones University is I would guess you would say ultra conservative in its biblical principles. There's no such thing as his boyfriend and girlfriend on that campus. There's no such thing as men and women mingling. There's no such thing as his his men dressing in an inappropriate manner. There was a very

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strict dress code of slacks and jeans or button up polo shirts, buttoned down polo shirts, and women had to wear skirts though they didn't weren't pants, they were more long dressed button up shirts. And this was just the way Bob Jones did it.

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And beyond his field of study of seminary and theology and all the the the regular courses that you would take in a seminary school, he wanted to focus on textual criticism of the Bible. And to go through what a textual critic is, for those who don't know, would take another two hour lecture, just to give you a synopsis of what textual criticism is.

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But to do it in as brief as I can. A textual critic is someone who takes the

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oldest existing documents that we have in the Bible today. And they tried to decipher them through learning their languages, which are very hard languages, almost all of them, you speaking of ancient Semitic Hebrew, ancient Semitic or anti Greek, Latin, in different languages that we find these parchments, some of them in Arabic. They were translated into Arabic. And they have to go through these existing documents, which there are now about 7000 variant documents of what we now know is the Bible. And the textual critic job is to try to decipher which one of these documents most accurately represents the original form of the author's faults. This is what the textual critic

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does, he takes these oldest because there are no originals. Any Bible scholar will come to that same deduction, there's no originals, and there is no chain of transmission back to an original. What we have are these documents that have to be sifted through and the textual critic has the job of sifting through these documents to find out which was the most original form of what the author's original thoughts may have been. And that's very difficult because the documents are written in different languages. And they're very, very different in many places. And,

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for instance, you might have a document that is very old, you might have the oldest existing document of the book of math.

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Do you. But that document might be a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy that does not agree with almost any other texts that we have. And then you might have a newer document, a very newer document, that may have only been a once or twice over copy of an original which agrees very heavily with more existing documents. Therefore, the textual critic would say that the newer document, even though it's a newer document, would have more validity than the older documents. So it's a very serious it's a very dedicated field to be in.

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And as I was his apprentice in all respects, I looked up in very much, I like them in some sense, I wanted to be just like him.

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I had made up my mind at the age of 16, that I wanted to go to Bob Jones, I got enrolled into the waiting list. I wanted to be a textual critic. I wanted to be a Bible scholar. I wanted to be a pastor, youth pastor, I wanted to be ordained as a minister. I wanted to be a missionary, I began taking missionary courses at a church that was across the street from my home.

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I wanted to do it to the best of my ability, and in all respects. And as Benjamin became more involved in his college studies, he was not able to really keep up with his pastoring at our church, and he was also not able to keep up as much with his young life. pastoring. So initially, he started allowing me to fill in for him with the pastor's approval, while they looked for a replacement as the youth pastor, because at

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that age 16 was too young to be a youth pastor. But I started to do some young life pastoring as well. And apparently people told me that I had the gift of the gab as they say, I could speak well, I could speak with with some type of education. And people were really intrigued by the way I spoke for some reason. So I was invited to more young life pastoring ships and things of that nature. And my youth pastor was very pleased with what I was doing filling in Benjamin's place. So he decided just to leave me for a while in that position as the youth pastor.

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And that was all going fine and dandy until the summer of 1996. The Summer of 1996, is where we would say the story really begins to get me to where I am right now. In the summer of 96, my friend Benjamin, came to me. And he asked me a question.

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He came to me and he said, Have you ever read the Bible? And I asked him, What kind of a silly question was that? You know, I'm doing your job. As the youth pastor, I'm filling in your position, and all of these pastoring responsibilities. And you're asking me if I've ever read the Bible, what do you what do you mean? He's like, you know what I mean? I said, No, I don't you need to tell me. He said, Have you read the Bible? Like you've read a novel? For instance, if I asked you, if you've read Stephen King's latest novel, you would know what I meant. You've read it cover to cover, you know, who are the players, you know, who are the who are the role players in the story, you can tell

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me how the story begins, you can help tell me what happens in the middle some of the major events, and you can tell me how the story ends? That is how you would read a novel, correct? Yes. He said, Have you read the Bible like this? I said, No, I have not read the Bible, Genesis and beginning Genesis one one and read it through revelation. I didn't really know anyone who had done that in one in one sitting like beginning to end.

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Because the Bible is a very deep and complex book to read like that. And so he asked me, How is it that we can be telling people that we're preaching God's word, and that our golden life is preach God's word. And the Bible is the acronyms and Vi Vi Li the basic instructions before leaving Earth? Yet we do not know it intimately like this, how can we say that we are preaching the gospel of Christ, and we have not read the book revealed by God in this manner? And I said, that's a good question. Instead, I want to challenge me in you to take this summer of 1996. And read the Bible cover to cover sit down, don't skip, don't flip, don't jumble around, start at Genesis one, one, and

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read it to Revelation. And let's see what God says to us. Because my belief was that God was God. Jesus was God, the second person image and the Holy Spirit was the third manifestation or percentage of the one Triune God, and that person lived inside of me. After accepting Christ as my Savior, that Holy Spirit lives inside of me. Therefore, if I hadn't got inside of me, then God's word should speak to me. Just like it can speak to everyone else. So we decided to Let the Bible Speak to us. Let the Bible say what it has to say to us. And I thought this was an amazing challenge. Again, I was a nerd, and this time I didn't wasn't doing much else. So I decided this was an amazing

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challenge. Being that I wanted to do this for my life. This will be a good place to start to spend a summer intimately getting to know God's word. And beyond that, I'm a perfectionist at heart.

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I like to call it a perfectionist. My wife says I have an OCD.

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I don't know if I want to take it that far. But I am someone who likes only perfection. If I do something, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability. And I have a competitive spirit that I'm probably going to try to beat everyone else that I know at it. So I wanted to do it all if I was going to be a Christian, it was going to be the best one I could be I was going to do everything that I could do within that field, if it meant traveling the world to spread the gospel of Christ. And that was what I was going to do if it meant that I had to study and learn God's word, like a bookworm, that that was what I was going to do whatever it took, that was what I was going to do.

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And beyond that, I started studying martial arts at the age of 14, I became a perfectionist at that I got one black belt, that wasn't enough. So I wouldn't get another black belt. That wasn't enough. So I got another black belt, that still wasn't enough. So I opened up to martial arts schools that wasn't enough opened up another one in DC, one in New York. That wasn't enough.

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And it seemed like it never was enough. But this is just the type of personality that I have. I'm a you know what they call a go getter.

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So in the summer of 96, we started and I started at Genesis one one. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And there were many things that I saw.

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And this is where there's going to be some sensitive information, but I have to give it to you, in all honesty and give it to you as clearly as I can. If I gave you all of the things that I saw that that led me to deduce the things that led me to where I am right now, we would be here for hours and hours and maybe weeks.

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But I want to get to the major points.

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My friend Benjamin was pointing out to me some of the things that were very interesting, that I did not really comprehend, until I actually accepted Islam and began to learn the Quran from the Arabic language. There were places in the Old Testament where you could see that the language that was being spoken, my friend, Benjamin can see that the language that was being spoken was inhuman, meaning that the language was so beautiful, the grammar was so delicate, the prose was so pristine, that you could tell it was not the language of human beings, human beings do not speak this way. And then there would be other places within the same old testament that you could tell were written by

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very different authors. They were written in different grammar, they were written with different syntax, they were written with different Hebrew word verbiage. And some of it was even remedial, some of it was not really a high status, scholarly, Hebrew. So you could tell that it was different people who were speaking and there were reasons behind that, that we were told because of the different authors that wrote it down. And it came to the minds of human beings. But nevertheless, that was what he was pointing out to me.

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What began to catch my attention was the stories of God's prophets. throughout the Old Testament, this is this is what really hit home with me.

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Because growing up my idea of God's prophets were that they were God's prophets. And he chose them because they were the best human beings to guide people. To him to himself. This was what I saw a prophet as someone that was the best of creation because they had to lead people to a righteous way of life.

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But when I started to read the New Testament, I began to get somewhat of a different picture. And that is depicted of some of the prophets in the Old Testament. And it's hard for me to even relate some of the stories of need for information purposes.

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The first one had to be, of course, in the beginning, in Genesis with Noah, peace be upon him.

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The story goes that Noah was a man who preached for almost 1000 years, and not very many people listened to know he but he was relentless in his preaching, until God finally decided that he was tired of the disobedience of human beings. And he was going to really begin his creation anew with those who believed in him. So he said, the flood, and know about the ark and save those who wish to be saved and believed in God in it. And that's a very beautiful story. But there's another story about Noah that happens after the flood that is not really prestigious, and in the least of terminologies. And the story is something such as Noah realized, and I'm giving the story to you in

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plain language, rather than in the Old English with the King James I was reading

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that no realize that if you took grapes, and you let them sit for a while, they fermented they became a very delicious drink, called alcohol and or decided to drink alcohol. And at one point, in Genesis, it describes Noah as being drunken, being drunk, passed out in his home naked. And someone apparently had to write this and see this Oh, it was known that Noah was someone who drank enough to be passed out in his home naked. And this caught my attention because I said to myself, this does not really seem to fit with my thought process of a prophet. I know I'm a human being and I shouldn't deal with my thoughts.

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But Noah was supposed to be God's Prophet, but I don't know how much credibility I can put on someone whom I can find

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out in their home, drunk naked. I've known a lot of alcoholics in my day. And I have seen only a few that I would say get drunk enough to be passed on in their home. But naked and and and this was no one.

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And someone that goes that far that drinks enough to be laying in their home naked has a problem with alcohol this is this is an excess excess. This is not just casual, having a glass of wine or two a day, this is drinking this

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any way you want to describe it. And it kind of came as a shock to me and what I said to myself and kind of a funny terminology in my mind, I was like, wait a minute.

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Now I know why not many people listened to Noah, if he's if hopefully he started this after the flood. But if he started this before the flood, I know why no one listened to Noah because he was someone who was passed out in his house, but naked drunk. And I don't know if you have here i'm sure every citizen I've been in the world has the same you have your drunks who went around getting drunk and passing out on park benches? Correct. You have them here right?

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Now if that same

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guy or woman jumps up on the park bench The next day, and says that God chose me to be a prophet, to guide humanity to himself. And I'm going to build this big huge boat in Sydney Olympic Park. And if you come and get on it, you will be saved. If not, you're going to be destroyed. How many of you are going behind this guy and watch him build this Ark and get on it?

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Nobody.

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So I said to myself, there's something that hit a chord with me that there's something not so right about this story. But I'm a human being I don't have the right to be using my own mind to do these things. I'm trying to see what the Bible says to me. So I kept reading that through many other stories. And I got to the story of lot.

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When we as Muslims know is now in the Arabic has looked. There is some difference between the biblical scholars whether or not it was a prophet or not, a lot of them say he was not a prophet. But regardless, God saw the him important enough to put him in his book. So he's worth talking about a lot was sent to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah, who many of you may know. And Sodom and Gomorrah was a complete city that was overrun with the sin of homosexuality, there was a blasphemy before God. And Mata was sent to warn them against this and did not listen. And God end up destroying this city. There's another story about like, it's not really so prestigious. And luckily, there's not

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children in here. Because when there's children around, I have to tone down the language of the story, because it's not really PG. It's not even pG 13, which we had. It's not even, I think you would have to put it in before like they have here, you know, mature audiences, you would need some ID to be able to give me to give you the story in its full language. The story is about Latin, his two daughters. And lots two daughters

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were concerned because a lot was growing old and he had no sons, he had no one to carry on his lineage. So his daughters decided to fix the problem. And the way they fixed the problem was that the oldest daughter, and this is directly from the Bible, you can go and find it. Lots oldest daughter got a lot intoxicated, got her father intoxicated one evening, and slept with him, and became pregnant by him. And then just to make sure there was a 5050 chance that a son would happen, the youngest daughter, the same thing the next night, she got a lot intoxicated, and she slept with him and became pregnant by him.

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Now I'm like, wow, you know, the story is getting worse and worse, by by by the messenger or by the prophet, or by the story, it's getting worse. You know, now we have someone whom we as Muslims call a prophet, he is he is a prophet of God, because a prophet is someone who was chosen by God to give a message to humanity. And this is the description of life. In the Old Testament, we have a prophet of God now committing incest with his daughters.

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So now I'm intrigued at the stories of the prophets. And I begin to read a little more quickly, even though I'm focusing as much as I can. There are parts that I'm going over quicker because I don't really see a lot of

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use for them and what I'm trying to accomplish. There's even a book like the book of Ruth that I don't even really understand To this day, why it's even in the Bible. It's a love story. It never the word God is not even in the entire book. It's like a romance novel, from beginning to end. And but what caught my attention more than anything, and really put a, as they say, the straw that broke the camel's back, was the story of Solomon, and the story of David, some of my favorite stories and the Old Testament. And Solomon was known as the greatest king of Israel, and he established the Temple Mount. He was one of the greatest kings that Israel ever knew. He established the mount that

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the what the Jews are attempting to rebuild now and attempts to bring their Messiah.

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But there's another story about Solomon that's not as prestigious. It is said that Solomon, once became so weak in his faith, that he worship idols, that he worship idols. And this is in the Old Testament that Solomon

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And turned to the gods of the idol worshipers. And so I caught myself and said, Wait a minute. What about the people who followed Solomon? If they would have followed him in his idol worship, what have they been right or wrong? Because he is God's prophet By the way, they are supposed to follow him. So if they follow him in idol worship, how could God punish them?

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And then I got to the story of David, and we know how many of you heard the story of David and Goliath? David killing the lions is the most famous stories, beautiful story. The story out of the Bible is, is very beautiful, even like the story this in the Quran, where David approaches Goliath, and the dialogue that takes place between David and Goliath is very amazing.

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But there is another story about David that's not as prestigious. And it's the story about David and a woman named Bathsheba. Bathsheba was a woman of astute beauty over time. And it is said that David saw her one day, whatever, sunbathing or whatnot, he decided this woman was so beautiful, he had to have her. So he slept with this woman named Bathsheba. The only problem with this story is that she's married to one of the commanders of his army named Uriah. So David has just committed the sin of adultery, which is punishable by death, according to his own law.

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And now David feels bad for what he's done. And he decides he needs to fix it, he has to fix the problem.

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He does not repent to God and seek to become better than any of these things. He decides the way I'm going to fix it.

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He decides that he's going to fix it. And the way he fix it is, is he sends a letter to his army who were fighting and Philistine at the time. And he says that in the letter when the battle becomes fierce for everyone to abandon Uriah and leave him, so that he dies, and he was killed. And therefore David is now able to have with Shiva, and there is no one who can say anything about it.

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So this is at a point where I stopped and I said, Okay, enough is enough, really enough is enough. Because now, not only do we have a profit that is

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given to alcohol, so much that he is passed out in his home, but naked, we have a prophet who is sleeping with his daughters, we have a prophet now who is committing idolatry. And now we have a prophet who is committing adultery, and murder. This is breaking the first five of the 10 commandments, all of them, every one of them,

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have no other gods before me, covet, not their neighbor's wife do not commit a murder. Just the list is 12345. So there's a huge problem. Now with me, there's a conflict I have within me.

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And honestly, these are people that not only would I not see as prophets and messengers of God, these are people whom you would see on that show in the states called America's Most Wanted.

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This guy, john Walsh with another jacket would be running around the world looking for these guys to lock them up forever.

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Not only that, but now as as an as an adult, I would not leave my four year old son alone with Noah, not responsible, and if not got anywhere near my daughter, I would kill myself. So I have a problem now with God's prophets of the Old Testament. So I began to ask questions to my pastor about this. I began to ask questions to Benjamin about this, I began to ask questions to my young life. Fellow pastors about this, I even got to talk to a man named Benny Hinn who was very famous in the states i don't know about here in Australia. But what I was told was the same thing, the same message, exactly the same message from us every single individual. And that message was Joshua, don't let a

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little bit of knowledge wreck your faith. Because you're not justified by knowledge, you are justified, quoting Paul, by your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shedding of his blood for the redemptions of the sins of humanity. And it is that faith and that belief alone, which leads one to justification, not works, not knowledge, nothing else other than faith. And my pastor, and a few more I had explained to me that this faith is the faith beyond the capability of understanding faith beyond the capability of reason. This is true faith is to believe when even there's no reason to believe you really believe. And

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my pastor told me, why are you even messing around in the Old Testament kind of got angry at me? Why are you even messing around in the Old Testament, the Old Testament has its value, it has its place for reference, but it is the Old Covenant. It is the old exclusive covenant that God had with the children of Israel. And he dealt with them in a different way, in an in a different manner. And they had their different issues with God. We have now passed from that old covenant into the new covenant of the salvation of Jesus Christ and the cross we have now passed over into the new covenant of the blood shedding in the center the redemption of sins. So therefore, the old covenant is no longer

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valid the way God dealt with the truth of Israel is no longer valid for dealing with human beings. You must now deal with it under the new covenant of God. So why do

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Don't you if you want to spend all of this energy? Why don't you spend it in the New Testament? Why don't you spend it in the life of Jesus Christ, if you want to know someone, know your Lord, know your Savior, know him intimately. And then you will come into redemption. You can't get redemption in the Old Testament. So I said, Okay, I didn't, because you have to understand, I had my whole life laid ahead of me. And it was based on this book, and I'm starting to see cracks in the foundation, and I want to seal them up as quickly as possible. So I get through the Old Testament, because I made a promise to Benjamin, that I would do it beginning to end. So I get through the new test Old

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Testament.

00:30:37--> 00:30:39

Even though I did see some things that bothered me in the Old Testament.

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There were some facts that were congruent throughout the Old Testament that were very clear.

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And the first and foremost fact of the Old Testament, that was extremely clear was the message that God was one. This this is extremely clear throughout the entire Old Testament, that God is one here, O Israel, the Lord your God is one that is still quoted in every synagogue throughout the world today. Here, oh, Israel, I am the Lord your God, and there is none else, your Israel, I am the Lord your God, and there is none like unto me, this was very clear over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. And it was also clear that God was jealous for only one reason. That was his worship, and that he did not tolerate people worshiping something else. Besides him. This

00:31:27--> 00:32:06

was capital crime number one. And this was the reason why He punished the children of Israel at every point. And that he could was for only one reason for their worshipping something else other than Him, He did not go along with that, as his first commandment was, thou shalt have no other gods before me, which is not the most proper translation of the Hebrew adage, the correct connotation of the first commandment is God says, You shall have no other God along with me, meaning that you should not make anything equal to me, this is what God's statement was, you make nothing in my creation, as equal as you have me the Creator. That's it, the worship that belongs to me, you give

00:32:06--> 00:32:17

it to nothing else, the sacrifices that I asked to give to me, you give to me alone into nothing else, the obedience that I have for me, you obey me, and you obey nothing else in creation.

00:32:18--> 00:32:49

This was very clear for the Old Testament. Another thing that was clear about the Old Testament was that if you wanted to go to heaven, there were two ways to do so. Number one, you worship god alone, without anything else. And the second way was that you obeyed Him. This was the path of salvation, the Old Testament, you worship God, and you obeyed Him. And when you made a mistake, you turned to him, You became sorry for your sins, you repented to him, You showed him that you were sincere through the sacrifices, and it's such nature, and therefore God would forgive. This is very clear. And

00:32:51--> 00:33:13

it was kind of interesting to me the last statement of the Old Testament, the last statement that God leaves as a bidding farewell of the Old Testament, which is in the book of Molokai and malikai. In the last chapter, God says something that's very profound, it says, I do not change. This is the statement amount of chi, I do not change, therefore the sons of Jacob are not consumed.

00:33:15--> 00:33:29

What that means is God is saying is a bidding farewell message, the Old Testament, he's telling the children of Israel, I don't change my mind, I don't change my opinion. I'm not someone who wakes up and feels one way, one day, and another way another day. And this is the reason I have not destroyed all of you.

00:33:30--> 00:33:36

This is exactly what God says, because I made a covenant with you to change, this is the reason I have not destroyed you.

00:33:37--> 00:33:45

So this is my frame of mind going into the New Testament. And I begin in the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and john. And

00:33:46--> 00:33:48

to give you the historical,

00:33:49--> 00:34:28

critical and textual analysis of the New Testament of the first four books of the New Testament, which is known as the Gospels, or even the first three, which is known as the Synoptic Gospels would take weeks and months and years, to give you all of the issues that arise just textually throughout the old, New Testament, but what I want to do is give you the message that I found, and there was a way that I read it that allowed me to see something that I would have never seen before I never had saw before. And not a lot of people see because of the way they read it. Most people read the New Testament, Matthew, beginning to end, Mark, beginning to end, Luke beginning to end, john beginning

00:34:28--> 00:34:38

to end. And what you get through that type of reading is you get four stories, seemingly from four different people telling the same story from a different vantage point. This is the the general belief.

00:34:40--> 00:35:00

But there was a way I learned to read it from the textual critic Professor Bob Jones University that gave me a completely different image. And that was the linear method of reading. And the linear method of reading is that you read the same story out of Matthew and then you go to mark and you find the same story you read it you go to Luke, you find the same story. You read it, you go to john, you find the same story.

00:35:00--> 00:35:30

You read it. And you do that with every single story that is throughout the life of Jesus Christ. When you read it in that method, you see a completely different picture than what you would normally see, you quickly will come to realize to that type of reading that it is not a story, one story told four different vantage points. It's four completely different stories, told by four completely different things, who saw and thought for different completely things, and whose meaning of Jesus's life was four completely different things.

00:35:31--> 00:35:41

But nevertheless, what I wanted to focus on was Jesus's life. What did he teach? What did he preach? What was his message? And what did he want to give to humanity.

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And I found out that it was this, and I've been doing this lecture for

00:35:50--> 00:36:03

almost eight years now. And the challenge still stands to, for someone to give me another message of Jesus Christ, in his clear terminology as what he gave us, and it's not their, Jesus taught about God.

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This is what he taught about God, that God was one, that in the New Testament, Jesus Christ teaches, here, O Israel, the Lord your God is one, he quotes this out of Deuteronomy. Here, O Israel, the Lord your God is one. He taught that God, the Father, who we refer to as the Father, which is not something

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reminiscent of only himself. This is the way that the Jews referred to God being the father of all creation, He is the Creator. God referred Jesus verta God the Father, as someone that was greater than himself. He even says that I have to go to the Father for the father is greater than I. He said, and he quoted, he made an analogy. He said that the servant is not greater than the master, nor is the son greater than the father, he was equivalent, that God is the greatest thing in creation. And once a man came to Jesus, and asked Jesus, oh, good Master, tell me how to inherit eternal life. And Jesus responded his question with a question. He said, Why do you call this me

00:37:14--> 00:37:44

good? I'm going to give you the quotation from the Old King James, why they'll call me good, but there is none. That is good, but one, and that's God. And if you really look into the, the Greek documents of this verse, what Jesus really said in that terminology, he said that, why do you call me good for there is only one source of good this is what is what he said, There is only one source of good, and that is God, the only source of good integration is God.

00:37:46--> 00:37:48

So I'm starting to see through Jesus's teachings,

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whom I believe was the second percentage of the Trinity, I thought Jesus was God. But I'm beginning to very quickly see that Jesus is spending a lot of time to not disassociate himself with God, but he distinguished himself from the Creator, that he was, indeed, as john as Jesus 17 verse three, which is one verse I know, and it couldn't be said, it's taken out of context. But I quite assure you that if you read all of Genesis, chapter 17, it says the same thing that the theme is very much similar. Jesus said in john 17, three, that this eternal life, he told people that this is the way to salvation, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. And

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this is what Jesus is saying, or what we have left of what he's saying, because it's even tough to find the original words of Jesus being that he was a man who spoke Aramaic. And we have no existing documents in Aramaic. And the oldest ones are in Greek and Latin. And those are even translated into English. So what we're reading is a translation of a language that Jesus did not even speak. But it says that this is the way this is. And Jesus even said that, yes, I am the way the truth in life, no one comes unto the Father, except through me except by me. And this is indeed true of all God's prophets. No one comes to the Father, God except through them. You do not know God except through

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his messengers. So I'm starting to see a Jesus who is uniquely different from the Creator God, and he's making this very distinguishable in many places.

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When someone came and asked Jesus, when was the day of judgment, and God is all knowing God knows everything. Someone asked Jesus, when would it be the hour meaning the Day of Resurrection and judgment? Jesus said, No, with no man the hour, not even the sun, only the Father in heaven. So I'm now questioning myself that if Jesus is God, he would know everything as God knows everything. God cannot be all knowing and not know something at the same time. So I'm starting to see that the nature of God and nature of Jesus are quite distinct amongst each other.

00:39:55--> 00:40:00

And there are places that true indeed, Jesus implicit

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make statements that can be deduced, alone if you take them along implicitly to say that he was directly related to God in a form of divinity. But I've quickly learned as a student of psychology, that you see that because of already preconceived notions of what you believe about God. Without that preconceived notion, you would see something quite different when you weigh Jesus's implicit statements against his explicit statements that are very clear throughout the New Testament. So now I have a question in my mind, about salvation.

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What does this mean for salvation if I'm now beginning to see from the New Testament that Jesus is not God, and He is someone that is distinct from God, and He is someone that taught us that he is distinct from God, even when he taught us to pray, said to pray this, Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as in heaven? What about salvation? A man once asked Jesus about this same issue about salvation. And he was a rich man made Lazarus, he came to Jesus. And he asked him and this story is very famous. But I saw something completely different when I read it, with this notion in my mind of Jesus being someone distinct of

00:41:11--> 00:41:48

God, and with the preconceived notions of what I learned from God, and the Old Testament and his nature and who he was. A man came to Jesus and asked him, oh, good Master, how do I go to heaven? How do I inherit eternal life? This is what he said to him. Basically, how do I go to heaven, Jesus, and Jesus did not tell him that I'm going to live and die on the cross and shed my blood for the redemptions of your sins. Jesus told this man, thus follow the commandments, obey God's law, listen to God, OBEY Him, do what he says to do, and you'll go to heaven. So the man says, I've done that, I've done that. I did that I follow God's law.

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And so Jesus saw this opportunity to teach them in a very valuable lesson. He said that if you've done that, meaning that you're perfect, meaning that you are obeying God in His fullest commandments, then what you need to do is you need to sell everything you own. You need to pick up your burden, which is translated cross, which is not the word this and the Greek, you need to pick up your burden. And you need to follow me meaning you need to be doing what I'm doing. If you're so perfect, you need to do my job, why don't you help me. And that's when the man realized that he was not fitting to the task, and he left crying. But Jesus nevertheless told him that if he wanted to go

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to heaven, He followed the commandments, and he did not correct it in that change it he left it as nuts that you follow God's law. And he even said that when the disciples were once debating about the commandments, which Jesus himself was a practicing Jew, he was a follower of the law of Moses, he taught that the law of Moses should be obeyed. He taught that he himself was not only to break the law, but to fulfill it, and that not one period of karma. So he got so serious about it. He said, not one period of karma will go from the law, until I fulfill everything bit of it. He even told a man and emphasized to him one time speaking of the law of God, he said, that whosoever shall

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break the smallest of the commandments of God, and teach men to break the commandments of God, this was very important to me later on, whoever shall break the smallest commandment of God of the law, and teach men to break the commandments and Law of God, then he would be the least, or the worst person in the kingdom of heaven. But whosoever shall obey the least of the commandments of God, and then teach people to obey the commandments of God, that person would thus become the greatest person in the kingdom of heaven. So Jesus highly emphasized on obeying God's law. And when the disciples one day were debating about the commandments, which one was greater, they asked Jesus, which is the

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greatest commandment, we don't find that he asked him, but we can tell from what he told them that they asked, they asked, he said, the greatest commandment is this, and he did not name any of the 10. He said, The greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God, with all of your heart, with all of your mind with all of your strength, and then you love your neighbor, like you love yourself. This is the greatest of the commandments. And he said, this is actually what the rest of the commandments hang upon. These are the two fundamental principles of Jesus's religion. When you want to know what Jesus his religion was, he said, it was this to love the Lord your God with all your

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heart, with all your mind with all your strength, and then you love your neighbor, like you love yourself. And it's very interesting, I'm gonna step off in just a small side note, it's very interesting as now I am working on a PhD in Islamic law, that the fundamental principle of Islamic law, and it's in the religion of Islam is this. There are two sets of principles that everything in Islam hangs upon. The first principle is that you love the Lord with all your with the Lord your God, with all your mind, with all your heart with all your strength, you give God who do right of worship. That's one side, on the other side, that you love your neighbor as you love yourself. This

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is Islamic law. And everything else descends from these two principles. Every law that you can find in Islam fits in one of these two categories, either the rights that you give to the Creator, or the rights that you give to the creation.

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This is what Jesus Christ Himself was teaching.

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So now I begin to question myself.

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And I'm saying that, wait a minute, I find that I'm finding that Jesus in the New Testament that taught that God was the greatest thing in creation, that you worship Him and OBEY Him, and you go to heaven. This is what I found God teaching in the Old Testament. So what about the salvation, the crucifixion? Where is all of this now sitting and resting? How does it rest on this point, and this is where I'm going to begin to wrap it up as they say entire bone. Because there's so much more, but I don't have the time, I have some DVDs available for you guys, that are that are outlining all of these things. But I want to get to the point which is salvation. I started to question the

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crucifixion. And so I started to read the crucifixion story out of Matthew, out of mark out of Luke and out of john. And if I gave you all of the reasons why I got to my conclusion, we would be here forever. But I want to give you the point. And I did not really realize the point

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in the beginning, first reading through the first four gospels, because I was conflicted, because he was seemingly a Jesus who came to live a life and die on a cross and shed his blood for the redemptions of sins. There are implicit verses in the New Testament that said that this was Jesus saying that this is why I'm here to share my blood for the redemption, your sins. But yet when the people came to him and told him that they're going to crucify you, we find that Jesus who was unwilling, we find a Jesus who was very unwilling. So unwilling that he took his disciples went to the garden against them, and he told them, You stand here and watch so that nobody can get me and

00:46:37--> 00:47:16

going down here, he falls on his face, he prays so hard that his sweat becomes this drops of blood and his prayer is not for strength. His prayer is not for the ability to be able to withstand the punishment that he's coming upon. No, his prayer was God, if it be let this cup pass from me, meaning God, don't let them crucify me. So I'm very conflicted now about this Jesus, who was supposed to crucify him to be crucified for the sins of humanity. Why is he reluctant to take this mission, and I couldn't figure it out, until I started to read the writings of Paul, which I had read before. But now I'm reading them in a completely different frame of mind. And when I got to the

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book of Galatians, the light bulb turned on for me, and it all fell into place. First of all, I found out that Paul puts himself directly in contradiction with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Paul taught that the law, God's law was not a method in salvation, that he spends a lot of time doing this, that God's law was not a method of salvation, that it should not be followed, that it shouldn't be abandoned, and people who come into Christianity that are not Jews should not follow God's law. And he even writes a letter called Galatians, which is to the church at glacia. And he begins the the letter by saying, Oh, you foolish Galatians. Why are you still following this occurs

00:47:54--> 00:48:35

at law, and in God and and all I could remind myself of was Jesus saying that whosoever shall break the lease of the commandments, and then teach people to break the commandments would be the worst or least King person in the kingdom of heaven. But Paul says something very profound in Galatians. He says that Christ was crucified and cursed, he was cursed according to the law, in order to remove us from the curse of the law, for it is written, everything that hangs on a tree is cursed. And he was quoting Deuteronomy. So I was like, wait a minute, what? What Why did Paul go to this link to explain this, this crucifixion as a curse, to remove us from the curse of the law? So I started to

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read Deuteronomy, and the do Jewish law. And what I what happened was all of the

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light bulbs fell into place. And Deuteronomy, God teaches that if you crucify a criminal, which is the worst capital punishment that you can, you can have in Judaism in the Hasidic Jewish law, if you crucify a criminal, to hang them, but do not let them stay on the cross overnight. If they are not dead, you break the legs, you let them die, but you take them down that night, and you bury them that night, for everything that hangs on a tree is cursed. And I talked to some rabbis of some Hasidic Jewish leaders, and they said that the reason why is because the person who is crucified as a criminal, according to God's law, they are cursed individuals in this life. And whatever is in the

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next life is not for them. They are done. These people will never see the kingdom of God, they are done. So this person is cursed. Yes, that's why it's there. And I it all hit home for me. I now know why they wanted to crucify Jesus. I now know why Jesus did not want to be crucified. And I now know why crucifixion was not a method into salvation.

00:49:42--> 00:50:00

Number one, Jesus came to a people who were the children of Israel who had forgotten and completely abandoned God's true message. There was a group of them called the Pharisees and the Sadducees, which Jesus said that were they were in a murderous and adulterous nation. They had become so entrenched

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In the law, that they completely forgot about the spirit of the law and the spirit of religion having connection with the Creator. And they actually turned religion into a way to get rich, they were using religion in a way to subjugate human beings. They were making themselves prestigious and using the law to subjugate everyone else. And Jesus came to put that down, he came to knock them off of their pedestal, to show them for who they were, and to put people back on a level footing with God. And he himself, even told them, this even brought this to them many times. And he came to show the children of Israel that God's law was sent in order to help human beings live a life according

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to God's pleasure and to please Him, not for them to please themselves. And he did this with walking through the cornfield, and the Sabbath and other things that he did, he was trying to show them this. And this was the problem of the Jews, this was the problem of the Pharisees and Sadducees is number one, Jesus was not the Messiah, they were hoping for their Messiah that they were looking for was the Messiah that was gonna come sit on the throne of Solomon, and rule the world with an iron fist in the law of Judah. This was what they were looking for in a Messiah. But this was not Jesus, Jesus was renouncing the world at every chance he could get. And they did not like that. But Jesus

00:51:15--> 00:51:34

was trying to explain to them, that I have not come to bring you the kingdom of this world, I've come to bring you the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of the hereafter to take you to paradise. That's what I have come to do. But they were not trying to hear that because they have become so attached to this world that they did not want to leave it that this was the only way they could find success was in this world.

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That wasn't the worst crime though. The worst crime that Jesus committed was that he challenged the status of those who were in authority, he challenged their position, he challenged their system, he challenged the status quo of the day of the people who are using the law to subjugate human beings. And I don't care what your message is, I don't care how good of a message you have, I don't care how good of a human being you are, the moment your message becomes a direct threat to those in authority to those who are using their power and their prestige to subjugate human beings, you will become public enemy number one, I don't care what your message is. And Jesus put himself in this position.

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So what happened, they had to get rid of him, they had to get rid of him, Jesus had to go. So if you look at through the New Testament, the first four gospels, there are many places where the Jews tried to trap Jesus in his own words, in order to get him to look like a fool in order to disgrace him in front of the people. And many times they even tried to get him to put himself at direct odds with the rule, ruler of the day, who was season. When they came to one time they asked him, and they tried to trick him, they asked him, should we pay taxes to season? had Jesus said, No, that's capital crime, automatically, Caesar would have chopped his head off on the spot. What did Jesus say

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he tricked them back. He said, give to God, what belongs to God, and you give to Caesar what belongs to season. And they're very angry. There are many times they tried to track him with his words, but they were unable to do so.

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So what they decided to do was, not only should we get rid of him, not only do we need to get rid of this guy, but they could have killed him. They could have just killed him. Jesus had no tribe, he had no land, he had no father, for goodness sakes, he had no one to support him. So they could have just killed him and gotten rid of him. But that would not have killed his message. what they wanted to do was discredit him and his message. And there was one sure way to do that they figured out one sure way to get him discredited was to crucify him was to crucify him. Because they knew if we can crucify Jesus as a criminal, according to the law, and crucify him, according to the very law, he's

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saying that he's coming to fulfill, we can now crucify him as a criminal according to it, and curse him as a criminal. According to it, he will look like the biggest fool on the face of the earth. So this was the goal, get Jesus crucified. And there were different ways to do that. They started saying that number one way they started saying that he was calling himself the King of the Jews. And he was saying that he was the king of the Jews, and that directly put him at threat to Caesars rule. Because it was not necessarily him calling himself God, or the Son of God that got him crucified, because the person who went on the cross, when they nailed the sign above the cross, what did it

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say? That it say, Here lies the Son of God or God in the flesh? No. They said, Here lies the King of the Jews. This was the biggest crime they were pushing against him. And they were using some of the things he said, to deduce that he was putting himself at a divine nature with God, which is a capital crime under the Jewish law. And when they went to pilot, they took these threats to him, and even pilot himself after inquiring about Jesus, he said, I don't see any fault in this man. What do you want me to do with him? What was their response? crucify him. You must crucify him. This is the only way we can get rid of him and his message. You have to crucify him.

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And when Jesus found out that they were going to crucify him, what did you do?

00:55:00--> 00:55:26

He went to the garden and gave him money. He fell on his face. And he prayed for God to remove him from this mission. He said, Do not let them crucify me. I know why. Because Jesus understood that if they crucify me, they'll never believe in me, you have sent me Only Jesus was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. That's a very important fact, he was not sent to anyone other than the law sheep of the house of Israel.

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And he said, if they crucify me, they'll never believe in me. So he said, God, if it'd be, you will let this cup pass from me. But nevertheless, not as my will, but your will be done. This was his prayer in the garden against somebody.

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And so now I'm starting to realize that why Jesus did not want to be crucified, why he cannot be crucified. And I realized that had he been crucified, he would have been alive. According to his own law, he would not have fulfilled the law of Moses, he would have actually been a criminal, according to the law of Moses hadn't been crucified according to it. And he would have been in a cursed individual, which Paul says he was he was crucified as a criminal. And he was occurs according to His law. But this is not the message of Jesus Christ.

00:56:13--> 00:56:21

So I now start asking a lot of these types of questions to my pastor. And he removed me from being the youth minister.

00:56:23--> 00:57:01

And I wasn't, I really didn't want to be the youth minister anymore anyway, because I could not see myself preaching a message that I no longer saw is valid. So I began to ask many questions that finally led me to the textual critic, Professor Bob Jones University. And what the textual critic professor told me was this. He told me, Joshua, the Bible that you have, what he said in the Bible that you have, is the product of the hands of men and women, that has been passed down over 1000s and 1000s of years and copied by the hands of men and women, who copied it by hand in the most remedial forms in its early stages. And during that copying, they made many mistakes, some of them,

00:57:03--> 00:57:42

purposely, some of them, many of them without purpose, but there were changes that were made, and they were not able to be corrected, and we lost the originals. And there's no way to know what we really have anymore. He said, so the scholars of the Bible do the best that they can to try to find out what is really sin. He said, but the end result of what you have, is a book written by the hands of men and women that they left their fingerprints on. And it is not perfect. No, he said, but the people who believe in it, believe in it by faith. And it is that faith, which takes them into their justification and salvation. And it is that faith alone without the capacity of reason, that leads

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one to salvation. And this is why I stopped him. And I said, You know what, I'm not going for that anymore. I'm not going for that anymore. I said number one, because God gave me an intellect for a reason. He created logic and human beings for a reason to understand the world around them. And that logic should indeed again, make them understand him. I said number two, God is perfect, right? He said, Yes. I said, therefore everything emanating from him should be perfect. His profits should be perfect. They should show us the right way to live a life not the wrong way. His book should be perfect. The book and the prophets of old Testament are not perfect. They're not sure what's the

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right way to them. They showed us the wrong way to live. The book that I have in my hands is not perfect.

00:58:30--> 00:58:53

The religion you're telling me to believe in is not perfect, because it does not agree with the same logic and reason that God gave me to understand himself. Therefore, it cannot be from God. And I left Christianity at that point. And I said that I believe in God, there was no fool in his right mind is going to get me to deny that the creator existed. The world around me was enough evidence for the existence of a designer.

00:58:55--> 00:59:01

But I did not know the right way he wanted from me. So I started to study other religions. I studied Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism,

00:59:02--> 00:59:09

Wiccan, Bushido, everything I could get my hands on that had any type of religious tint to it, I studied it. And

00:59:11--> 00:59:51

what I found was much of what I found in Christianity, because there was one evidence that there was one thing that I wanted from now on, there was only one way I was going to accept another religion. And that was, it had to come with proof. That was just as perfect as the religion says it is. Because my grandfather told me something when I was young, and I remembered it. He said, Young man, the truth always comes with proof. Therefore, if someone says they're telling you the truth, ask them for some proof. So I asked for proof in these religions, I asked the proofs from Hinduism taylorism. And and what I found was none of the proof that was perfect. It all of them had their

00:59:51--> 01:00:00

proofs that they said you believe they should believe that but when you boil it all down, every other religion always had to come to the point that you just have to

01:00:00--> 01:00:14

Believe it, this is it, you just have to believe it even if you don't understand it, and I was not going down that road, I read and and I've even been mocked quite a few times, even in my face once by a pastor who told me

01:00:15--> 01:00:20

you just showed yourself how big of a fool you are to tell me that you study the world's religions in a period of a year.

01:00:22--> 01:00:40

That no cannot be done. It cannot be done. So you are showing me that you did not do it. I said, No, what I'm showing you is that I have some common sense. If you go to the refrigerator, and you pull out the carton of milk, and you take a sip out of it and the milk is sour. Do you keep drinking the glass? No.

01:00:42--> 01:01:23

You don't drink the glass in hopes that the last sip of milk is going to not be solid. You trash the glass and the carton of milk. Correct. That's all it took for me was a sip. When I tasted the sourness, I discarded the milk. And I what I was looking for was the good milk. So after all of this, I read the some of the tour I read some of the Bhagavad Gita I read the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas, you could not read in a lifetime. I don't care who you are. I read the scrolls of Tao on the books of Confucius, the teachings of Buddha I don't, not to insult but I don't know why Buddha is religion. Buddha never mentioned God. He does not mention God whatsoever. Even it doesn't even

01:01:23--> 01:02:05

deduce that God even exists. I studied the book of Wiccan the book of spells, I studied this, what is known as the hydropool Ray, the Bushido code of conduct. And when I found that there were a lot of beneficial teachings mixed with things that only way you can believe in them and you take that logic that God gave you turned it off. So I read a book about Islam in the public library, and the book about Islam said that Muslims, how many of you ever seen the the the word Muslim spelled in Oh, s le n? How many of you seen a mo s LD M or M u z, Li m? That's a very derogatory word. Believe it or not, it's a extremely derogatory word, and you hear it pronounced Muslim, right? Muslim, very

01:02:05--> 01:02:47

derogatory. For someone knowing the Arabic language, they know that that word is derived from a word called Boolean, which means to oppress or to wrong or to harm people. So when you say Muslim, or you say Muslim, it means someone who wrongs or harms or oppresses people, whether that was intentional, I'll leave that for you to deduce. But it said that Muslims were Arabs, who worship the moon God called a law, who lived in the box in the desert in Saudi Arabia, and that they had many wives whom they beat regularly. And that the greatest duty of a Muslim was to kill a non Muslim, and it was a religious duty. And if they did, so they would be granted with virgins in heaven. So I put the book

01:02:47--> 01:02:53

about Islam up. And I said to myself, I've read some crazy religions before, but this one has to take the cake.

01:02:54--> 01:03:00

And if I ever meet a Muslim, I will beat him up. And I'll call the FBI.

01:03:01--> 01:03:09

But I lived in South Carolina, and I'd never seen a Muslim in my life. I seen some in New York visiting my dad, but you know, you stay on the other side of the street. And

01:03:10--> 01:03:15

they didn't bother anybody even bother them. It's kind of like bees, you know, you don't go near them, they do their thing, you stay over here.

01:03:17--> 01:03:38

So I'm fine. And at that point, I gave up religion, I gave up even looking for God at the age of 17 years old. And I don't know if any of you know, but a 17 year old who was frustrated with God and religion and his parents and all of that, there's a lot of trouble he can get into. And again, I am a perfectionist, so I was going to do the best I could to get into the most trouble I could.

01:03:39--> 01:03:50

And I was very good at it in a very short amount of time I started getting into fights was my big problem, because I had to work on my second black belt at the time. And I thought I was roughly reincarnated.

01:03:51--> 01:03:53

I think I got that from Hinduism. And

01:03:55--> 01:04:17

I was ready and willing to show anyone who challenged me that I could give you kung fu connection right on the spot. So and I really didn't need a reason. You know, I kind of provoked people to make me angry so that I could, you know, get my frustration out. That causes problems, you're going to have some issues if you try to live a life like that. I got kicked out of school, I ended up having to get my secondary education, my general diploma, I ended up

01:04:18--> 01:04:26

making a lot of enemies. I ended up getting into a fight with a young man on a payphone. He would not get off of it promptly. So I promptly made him get off of it.

01:04:27--> 01:04:36

And that did not really work out since I broke the phone over his head. So I didn't get to use it anyway. And it didn't help that he was the son of a judge.

01:04:37--> 01:04:55

So yeah, it didn't work out well for me that that way of life was was not working out well for me. I lost a four year scholarship to Clemson University to play baseball, which I had always played baseball. My wife and I had been granted a promise of a four year scholarship if I graduated with a 3.0. I lost that due to the arrest.

01:04:56--> 01:04:59

So I was going down the wrong road very fast and my grandmother was she was

01:05:00--> 01:05:08

Complex, she had no idea what to do. She was trying to give me all kinds of counseling send me to a youth camp and stuff like this, I ran away from the youth camp, I wasn't trying to use any of that.

01:05:09--> 01:05:47

There were two things that change that. And that brings us to the end. The first one was that I was coming home from a party at Clemson University since I got kicked out and I couldn't attend, I was going to make my name known at Clemson University. So I was coming back from a frat party party. And me and my friend were highly intoxicated. And he was driving, and he fell asleep at the wheel. And we flip the car over and over and over again on highway 85, in South Carolina. And we totaled the car so much that it broke into pieces. One part was in the media and the other part was in the ditch. When I woke up, I woke up to the ground being up in the sky being down, and the car flipping.

01:05:48--> 01:06:23

And you know, you don't really think then you just realize you need to get out of the car. I've seen Hollywood movies that when the car flips, what's the next thing happens, it blows up. So I get out and I drag my friend out. And I take assessment of myself and I realized that this car is destroyed. But he only has a broken ankle, and I only have a very small cut in my arm. That's it, we walked away from the accident. And when the state trooper came and took us to the hospital and my friend in jail, he told me, he said young man, God has a purpose for you, too. There's a reason why you're here today, I've been to too many accidents. And this one, neither one of you should walk away from

01:06:24--> 01:06:43

God has a reason for you to be here. You need to figure out what it is. Cuz my grandmother told him the problems I was having. I laughed in the back of my mind, I didn't laugh in his face, because I wasn't pushing, not going to jail. And I said, you know that God, if he wanted to find me, he had his chance. So I looked at my friend, I said, God must have a purpose for you. And I'm just glad that I was with you tonight. So we didn't both die.

01:06:44--> 01:06:57

And but I didn't listen. A couple of weeks later, maybe a month or two later, me and the same friend on crutches went to New York, we decided to go to New York, I told my grandmother I was going to sleep at his house, he told his mom, he has no sleep in my house. You know how that goes.

01:06:59--> 01:07:18

And we went to New York. And in New York, I went to go to the ATM to get some money out of my grandmother's bank account. She spoiled me too much. And they don't i don't think they have them here. But in New York, the the ATMs aren't glass rooms, you have to swipe your your debit card, and then you know the magnet releases and you go in and you're the only one in there.

01:07:20--> 01:07:53

But criminals I don't know if you know this or not credit criminals are pretty ingenious. They would take rocks and put them in the corner of the door so that when the door closes, the magnets don't touch, therefore the door doesn't lock. So when you take the money out, a guy walks in behind you with a gun or a knife. And here you are alone with a guy and a gun and a knife and you got money in your hand. You already know how that scenario is ending up, you're giving up the money. So I took out the money I turned around, it was a guy with a gun in my face pointing directly at me, one of my most distinct memories, I think, and he had the gun maybe four or five inches away from my face, he

01:07:53--> 01:08:07

was looking me directly in the eye. I never forget his revolver. And it may have been one of those little you know, the little ones, the little revolvers, but when it's in your face, it looks like you know that Dirty Harry, you know, or like Batman, where Joker had to pull it out like this, you know, the original Batman.

01:08:09--> 01:08:34

It was huge. And he did not say give me the money. He didn't say Put your hands up. He was really needing this money as opposed because he looked me directly in the eye and he pulled the trigger on the gun. His intention was to blow my head off, take the money and that's it. He's getting that money he's not taking the chance. So he pulled the trigger on the gun in golf. Whether you didn't have bullets bad bullet whatever it was the will of God. But at that point mine in his eyes both got like this.

01:08:36--> 01:09:08

And, and we're frozen looking at each other because what happens is, you know fight or flight syndrome, which is taught martial arts takes over your body is dumped with adrenaline because I didn't he didn't blow my head off. And he's like that because he didn't blow my head off. And neither one of us can move. And it may have been two seconds. But when you're sitting there feels like it's in slow motion. And the only thing I can remember is like a little guy running around in my head like are you serious, you need to go run hidden move, do something because the next one is gonna blow your head off. So I think my martial arts training at that time that I just quickly

01:09:08--> 01:09:17

reacted and jumped on him and smashed we both went through the glass door. He went flying the gun and flying, the money went flying. And then I jumped up and I went flying.

01:09:18--> 01:09:33

And I told my friend we got to go. So we left to South Carolina. And I did not tell anybody what happened. Because I knew that if I told my grandmother that I lied to her, went to New York almost got killed a couple of weeks after almost got killed. My father would just say, Okay, I'll finish the job. And I'll pick this up.

01:09:34--> 01:09:55

I know that would have been the end of that scenario. My dad would have just done it for me. He said you you want to get killed, do it for you. So I didn't tell my grandmother what happened. And I started to have some very bad nightmares about these two incidences they started becoming recurring every night nightmare that turned into what is known as a night terror. And I don't know if any of you've ever had a night terror.

01:09:57--> 01:09:59

If you've never had a night terror, it's like your

01:10:00--> 01:10:30

worst nightmare in HD. It's like your worst nightmare in high definition. You feel it, you smell it, you sense it everything it's highly is a highly sensatori dream. And the dream was about these two incidences, the gun in the car accident, but they ended quite differently. They ended with my death. And it's very rare that you die in dreams and see what happens after you die. But in both of these dreams, I died. And I passed over into the next life or whatever, some type of weird existence.

01:10:31--> 01:10:42

And there was something that was waiting for me on the on the other side of death, that was worse than Stephen King could dream up in his most awful nightmares was his name,

01:10:43--> 01:11:16

Rob Zombie, even though he's got a twisted, sick mind, he could not think of these things and his worst nightmare. And I'll never forget the distinct smell of strong software. Now, now To this day, Ryan Hayes is the smell that I remember, was stuck in my nose, and I woke up. And I would wake up screaming. And my grandmother finally asked me after a couple of nights, Why are you screaming at night, and I told her what happens. And she told me, God has a purpose for you. And if you don't see it by now, I told her about the dream and the gun. And New York, she told me if you don't realize that God has a purpose for you, you're the biggest idiot I've ever seen in my life, and I did not

01:11:16--> 01:11:44

raise an idiot. So you need to get out there and find out what's happening. You're lucky your grandfather's not alive, because he would beat you to death here at this kitchen table. And if you don't listen to God, you're going to hell. This is his warning to you. So I'm, you know, she caught me off guard. It's not even breakfast, I haven't even finished my eggs. And she's telling me I'm on the hill. So I tell her that I looked for God, I didn't find him. She told me she didn't tell me to go to church. She didn't tell me to get back into the church. She told me, God doesn't go anywhere. You just have not found him.

01:11:45--> 01:12:20

So I became a deist. At that point in my life, which is someone who believes in God, they just have no religion. And I started to something changed about me at that time, I stopped looking for God. And I got on my hands and knees and prayed, which is I this is how I knew the religious men of god and all the religious books, praying hands and knees on the ground. I got on the ground that I asked God at this point in my life, God, if you want me to know the truth, then you need to guide me. If you want me to know about you and your way of life, what you want from me, then here's your opportunity. I'm here, I'm not going anywhere. You can leave me a message. I'll get back to you. But

01:12:20--> 01:12:21

please,

01:12:22--> 01:13:01

I need some help here. So I started to try to clean up my act become a better person. It's not really that easy. Don't change overnight, but I was attempting to. And it just so happened that after that a few months after that, I met a Muslim who was a friend of mine. And I never knew he was a Muslim. I had been to his house on many separate occasions after school. And I never knew that he was a Muslim. And there was a couple of reasons why I was at his house one day, and we were debating about religion. And I didn't know he was a Muslim for two reasons. Number one, he was African American. And I thought that all Muslims were Adams. His name was Moosa, but we called him blunt. He

01:13:01--> 01:13:20

was from New York. And I did not know that Muslims along with their worshipping their moon, God in the box and killing and killing non Muslims and beating their wives. I did not know that he could sell drugs, which is what this guy did for a living. He sold marijuana as for living. So that's why we call him blunt. So I did not know that he was a Muslim.

01:13:21--> 01:13:31

And I was sitting there debating with another friend I forget. I have no idea. We were debating about 18 years old. And he came out and he's like, You ever heard of Islam? I'm like, yep, I heard all about

01:13:32--> 01:13:36

all about it. He was like, Well, I'm a Muslim. I was like,

01:13:38--> 01:14:02

I was like, I know you'd like to be funny. But that's that's taking it too far. And you shouldn't be a stand up comedian with that, as I said, But wait a minute, you don't really want to run around telling people that you are Muslim. You know, that's, that's not what you want. You want the FBI up in here, you already have enough drugs and he had to put you in jail forever. Now you want the FBI following you? Because you're saying you're Muslim. Not a good idea. I said, Wait a minute. You can't be a Muslim. He's like, why is it because you're black? He said You think I don't know that?

01:14:05--> 01:14:34

He was like, What? What are you talking about? Are you Nation of Islam? He's like, nope, he's like, I'm really real Muslim. I was like, it can't be and I started telling him what I knew about Islam. He was like, now what in the blank, have you been reading? Because that is garbage. And Islam is completely opposite than everything that you just told me. I was like, Alright, then you tell me about Islam. He said, I can't. So why not? He said, because I'm not the best Muslim. He said, I do good to pray five times a day I try. I used to wonder what he was doing when he used to go and get that rug thing. But

01:14:36--> 01:14:59

I thought it was just you know, it was kind of what he was doing, trying to keep the police from Companies House trying to pray to some gods and protection. I thought it was Centauri or something because I'd study Centauri and they do their protection type of stuff. But he said, but I do you know where you can go to find out about Islam. I said where he said Come with me on Friday to the mosque for Juma. I'm like wait a minute. The only thing I heard from that sentence was frightening. What about frightening

01:15:00--> 01:15:16

mosque and Juma you lost me. He was like a mosque is like our church. And Juma is like Sunday service but no chairs. I said, Okay, church, church with no chairs sounds amazing because that was the worst part about church is those pews. I can't take them.

01:15:17--> 01:15:37

As a kid, I used to lay on them and they still hurt. So he said, meet me. I said, Okay, where is this mosque? Because I know there's not one in green. He said, yeah, it's only in Hampton Boulevard. Like, yeah. Now I know you're playing games with me because I live off with Ana Boulevard. I've lived here all my life. There's no mosques. He said, You know where the road intersects with Hampton.

01:15:38--> 01:16:03

So yeah, buddy, I live on the road. Let me assure you, there's no mosques on the road. He said, you know, that missionary training facility? On the corner next to the gas station, say yes, I used to take missionary courses there. And I'm guaranteeing you without a doubt for sure. There's no mosque. He said, you know, that brick building that shares the same parking lot with the missionary training facility. I said with the gold thing on top. I'm like, Yeah, the gym. He's like, Nope, that's the mosque.

01:16:05--> 01:16:31

And I was like, Oh my God. I wasn't surprised. I was shocked that these crazy Muslims live at the end of my road. These crazy era wife beating killing machines live at the end of my street and I never knew. So, I go home. And I tell my grandmother, did you know these crazy mysteries of the NMR? Oh, she's like, yeah, they don't bother anybody though. So we, you know, we don't bother them. I was like, Well, I'm going down Friday for prayer. She's like, okay, just be careful.

01:16:33--> 01:16:59

So I went, and I have some street sensibility about myself. I have learned a few things in the street life. So I didn't just run up in a mosque. Come on. I have since I didn't just run up in a mosque. I went and I sat outside the church, because they shared the same parking lot. The church was here, the mosque was here, and I'm watching who goes into the building. And lo and behold, atoms, atoms, atoms, atoms, atoms, maybe some Pakistanis. But at that time, you all look the same to me.

01:17:00--> 01:17:12

There was a few Africans went into the building, but they were real to Africans. They were not African Americans. They were some you'll do Africans. So I said to myself, check number one, all Muslims are Arab, except for maybe a few Africans.

01:17:13--> 01:17:24

And I'm paging Moosa because he's not showing up and we didn't have cell phones weren't that big back then. So I'm paging him. And he's not calling me back. Little did I know he got arrested that day

01:17:25--> 01:17:27

when the job selling drugs,

01:17:28--> 01:18:02

but I'm sitting there and then a guy pulls in front of me and parks in front of me, he gets out and he asked me, can you help me because he sees I'm looking at everybody. And I said, Yeah, Moosa invited me to come and watch your Friday Prayer services. He's like, Oh, yeah, we know, he was very soft spoken. Very sweet. He's like, Oh, yeah, we know who so he just does not come that much. He said, But come in, we'll take care of you, you know, anything we can do for you. Please, please come. You know, it's like he was not taking no for an answer. I was kind of suspicious about how enthusiastic he was to take me inside. But I did not see anyone that went into the building that I

01:18:02--> 01:18:04

think I couldn't take two or three of them at a time.

01:18:06--> 01:18:28

So I went in, and they gave me a chair at the back of the mouse. So here I am, I'm the only person on the chair. There's this huge group of atoms in front of me. And then there's a curtain. I didn't see any women come in. But now all of a sudden, there's a curtain behind me. This they went in from the back and I hear this chattering of women. And I'm like, Why are the women behind the curtain? And why didn't I see them come in? I was like, I bet you it's because of all the bruises.

01:18:30--> 01:18:47

And then I thought then then I thought to myself, that's the hottest, you know, the heroine You know, when there's women you just go and pick them like flowers, you know, back in the you know, ever watched like the old movies Ali Baba and the 40 thieves and all that. I was like, This must be the harem. They just come and pick them up

01:18:49--> 01:18:51

and bring them back beat them for a while and bring them back.

01:18:52--> 01:18:54

I was like wow, that's crazy.

01:18:55--> 01:19:08

And so I'm sitting there and this is where my spider sense does going off and have you heard you know Spider Man right? I have kids you know Spider Man when he's in danger he tingles when dangerous close I started tingling.

01:19:09--> 01:19:30

And I said to myself, wait a minute. You've been set up before to get jumped which if you find a lot of people who make enemies I said it kind of felt like this. You had the same feeling. I was like why is musona here because I and then I started thinking he's always talking about going up to New York and getting that a rent money. You know doing business shady business deal with Abraham's because Arabs sell drugs in New York's big, big thing.

01:19:32--> 01:19:42

I said oh my god. This guy Moosa is working with these atoms and he sells us Americans to them, so they can do their Friday Jihad and get their versions after Juma.

01:19:44--> 01:20:00

I'm like it's over for me on the sacrificial lamb here today. This guy also set me up. When I see him. I'm gonna kill him. If I get out of here. They don't kill me. So I started thinking how I can get out of here. And I say to myself, you know that it's really gonna look odd if I go try to walk through all of these guys, you know, I mean, I can take a few of them.

01:20:00--> 01:20:12

But there's a lot of them. There's about 200 people here. I said, maybe I could go through the women's section I was like, but that might not be smart, because I know you do not deal with women in a group. And secondly, I said, that might be where they keep the swords and the weapons.

01:20:14--> 01:20:43

So I start thinking of myself at this time, the the mom, the prayer leader, he gets up on the stairs. And I say to myself, I'll try to go when everybody's focused on him, because I did not see this guy. He was too sweet to see for me to see him get up and start telling people to kill me. I just could not, would not imagine it. So he gets up on his stairs, and he starts his sermon. And then Alhamdulillah no matter who witnessed it, you know, who would not stop? You know, who were not to be lazy. I'm like, Oh, my God.

01:20:44--> 01:20:45

He's telling them to kill me.

01:20:48--> 01:20:54

Because he's yelling, he's yelling. In Arabic. He's pounding on this little thing.

01:20:56--> 01:20:57

Andy's pointing in my direction.

01:20:59--> 01:21:26

Oh, my, in my head. The translation was let us get this American and kill him and get on virgin when we go to heaven. I'm like, that's it. It's over. I started looking at the glass and wonder if it's shatterproof. You know, I'm about to color. I'm about to pull a Jackie Chan in the angles of the window. I started thinking, you know, what's the least of path of least resistance to these old guys? You know, how many Can I take out on my way out? I'm not I'm not going out like that. I'm fighting my way out of here. And the only thing that was missing was I was waiting for the women to start going.

01:21:28--> 01:21:30

That's it. That's all I'm waiting for.

01:21:31--> 01:21:32

I know that's next.

01:21:34--> 01:22:12

You know, I'm looking like a piece of meat to get today. So I said I need to go. So I'm really freaking out at this point. Even though it's funny, I'm flipping I'm really losing it. And then the guy starts screaming and pounding and yelling in Arabic. And he starts to translate what he says. And his translation was that all plays All praise belongs to God, the Creator of all that exists, we praise Him alone, we seek His help alone, we ask for his forgiveness alone. We seek refuge with God, the Creator from the evil that lies within the souls of human beings and from our evil deeds, and whomsoever God guides to the truth cannot be misguided funding, and whomsoever God leads astray from

01:22:12--> 01:22:38

the truth cannot be guided back to the truth except by God. And I bear witness that nothing has the right to be worshipped except the one true God, and I've ever witnessed in Mohammed is indeed the prophet and messenger of God. And I was like, Wow, well, he caught my attention really quick with that, because I had never heard that type of rhetoric, anywhere, not in that prose. I've never heard it like that. And it was the last thing I expected to come out of the mouth of a Muslim, the last thing I expected to come out of the mouth of a Muslim.

01:22:39--> 01:22:44

So I'm like, Okay, let's see what he has to say. I can take him afterwards.

01:22:45--> 01:23:20

So his whole sermon that day was on the forgiveness of God, and that the forgiveness of God is open to any individual at any place at any time without discretion, and that there are only three ways that the human being cannot be forgiven by God. He said, The first way is if you worship something other than God, knowingly, God does not forgive that, after you know the truth, if you worship something other than God, he doesn't forgive it. He said, number two, the only way you cannot be forgiven is if your soul has reached your throat, meaning that death has come to you. He said, The third way was if the sun has risen from the west, which I didn't understand, meant that the day of

01:23:20--> 01:23:53

judgment has begun. There's no forgiveness after that day, the end of days has come. He said, But other than that, God forgives everything. And he quoted a story of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and Angel Gabriel, and a discourse they had in the desert. The discourse was that Angel Gabriel came and told him, he said, Tell the Muslims that God has told them that if they steal, God will forgive them. So he would go and tell them, if you steal gonna forgive you, they're like, Okay, well, what if we commit fornication? What if we do this commit murder, whatever. So every time they would ask a new question that he would have to go back gave, we would have to go back and come back

01:23:53--> 01:24:32

and say, Okay, tell them God will forgive them of that, too. So finally, it's a long story, but I'm shortening it. Finally, Gabriel came back from God. And he told Muhammad peace be upon him. He said, Tell the Muslims that God has told them this, that no matter what they've done, no matter how great the amount of sins they have committed, even if they stretch as far as the oceans, that as long as they have not worshipped another god along with God, knowingly, he will forgive all of it. And I was just amazed I said, My God, I've never This is the God of the Old Testament. This is the God of Jesus Christ that I know where they get this from, where are they getting these things from? Because

01:24:32--> 01:24:53

they're quoting things that I've never heard before. he's quoting things that I've never heard. So after that, they get up in the lineup wall to wall I'm like, Oh, you know, it sounded good. But this is the end. Because they're lining up wall to wall there's no way out. And then somebody comes to me and says, we're going to pray. I said, Pray to who said to God, the Creator of all that exists. I said, Okay.

01:24:54--> 01:24:56

So when they started to pray, the Quran was recited

01:24:58--> 01:24:59

the meaning thing to me because it just sounded

01:25:00--> 01:25:00

Like some good singing.

01:25:02--> 01:25:40

But when the Muslims bowed like this, and they prostrate their faces on the ground that started ringing to me versus out of the Bible, verses out of the Bhagavad Gita versus out of different religious scriptures, when it described men of god praying, and prophets of God praying, they prayed like this. Jesus prayed like this, Abraham prayed like this. And I said to myself, they're not praying, they're worshiping, there's a difference. I said to myself, there's a difference. They're not praying, they are worshiping the creator of all that exists on their face on the ground, there is no I knew, there is no more humble position to be before you created them. This. This is the way

01:25:40--> 01:26:12

people bow before kings and the Emperor, the Japanese Emperor, which one I learned in martial arts, that you had to bet bow to the Emperor like that, only there. Because he was known as the incarnate of God and things of that nature, whatever. But they were, they were worshipping God. So add to the prayer, I went to the Imam. And the Imam came and he did his whole little thing of how we Muslims sometimes do our call to our religion. He said, the five pillars of Islam are this and the six beliefs of Islam. That's what I'm looking to not to be rude, but there's nothing you're going to tell me it's gonna make me believe in your religion. Just not be I'm not being rude, but I've heard

01:26:12--> 01:26:39

it all. I was arrogant. Yes. But I said, I've heard it all. Nothing you can say is going to make me believe in your religion. I just have one question for you. Do you have proof? Do you have proof to verify your truth? Do you have something that you can put right here, smack dab in my hands to say what you believe is true. And he smiled really big. He said, Come with me. He took me to his office. And he pulled a book off the shelf and he put it in my hands. And I looked at it and it said the holy crap. He said, this is the

01:26:40--> 01:26:44

end, he started to tell me that the Quran was revealed to Muhammad peace be upon it. So

01:26:45--> 01:27:02

if your book is what you say it is, it will say it for itself. And it didn't look like a big book. It was not very large. I said, so let me read it. And it'll say what it has to say on its own. So I took it home and I started to read the Quran on Friday night. I started with the first chapter which seemed to me like the Lord's Prayer of the Bible, very similar.

01:27:03--> 01:27:21

What caught my attention more than anything, and made me really want to read that book was the second verse of the second chapter. The second verse of the second chapter said this, that this is the book that has no doubt in it, no discrepancies, no contradictions, no wrong. And it is a guidance for those who fear God. And I was like, Really?

01:27:23--> 01:28:02

Really, now you think so? That was the that was really one of the boldest statements I've ever seen a religious book make of itself. I was like, You know what, I found discrepancies in every book. I'll find it in this book, I will find it. So my initial reading of the Quran was to find the discrepancies to disprove it. So I began to read chapter two, chapter three, chapter four, chapter five. And in chapter two, there's even another there's more things coming about what God is saying, if you're in doubt about this revelation, then prove find any discrepancies like wow, this is this is getting serious. You know, this is like a direct, like threat to me like it. This is finding

01:28:02--> 01:28:38

words. There's another one that says, if you're in doubt about this revelation, bring one something like it. And if you can't, it's not only that, it says, if you are doubt about this revelation, bring something like it and call everyone you wish to help you do it. And God says that if you can't do it, which you cannot, then you need to fear my fire whose fuel will be men and stones. And I'm just like, this is this is heavy is real heavy. So I started read chapter two, chapter three, chapter four, chapter five, and I started to notice names that I recognize, I noticed Noah, lot, Abraham, Moses, David Zechariah, john the baptist Jesus. And I'm like, wait a minute. I know, I know

01:28:38--> 01:29:13

all of these people. I know all of these people. And I've read about them before. But there was something different about these people in this book. The people in this book, Noah was the greatest human being of his time. He was a perfect human being of his time. He did not do the things which he was telling other people not to do. He lived a life that was pleasing to God in order to show people how to live a life that was pleasing to God. So was Abraham. So it was locked. So it was no one. So it was Moses. So it was David, so was Zachariah. So with john the baptist, and so was Jesus. They were all at the highest peak of morality. They were all at the highest echelon of character. And

01:29:13--> 01:29:56

they lived the message that they preached. And I looked at these people in this book, and I said, these are prophets. These are messengers they delivered the message not only with their speech, but with their actions, they did not do the thing which we have all heard before, don't do as I do, but do as I say, they did what they said they were supposed to be doing. So I said, these are prophets. When I read the Nativity story of Jesus Christ in the Koran, it it overshadowed any network activity story that I had ever read, it was like the sun against them. When I read the Nativity story in the in the Quran about Jesus's birth, when I read three chapters of the Quran, chapter three, Chapter

01:29:56--> 01:30:00

17, and chapter 19, every single question I had about the life of Jews

01:30:00--> 01:30:42

as Christ was answered, without question, without question, and by the time I was addicted to the book, I was highly addicted. It took me three days, Sunday night, I got to chapter 114, which is the end. And when I put down chapter 114, and close the book, I was by myself on Sunday night, and I did have tears in my eyes. And I said to myself that this is the book, it has no doubt in it. And it is a guidance for those who fear God, this is the evidence, this is the proof, this is the truth. I said, I want to be a Muslim. I don't care what it is, I don't care what else they believe. If they follow this book, then they're on the right path. Because this book is the proof this book is

01:30:42--> 01:31:10

tangible evidence that I could not find fault with in my first reading. And after my 100 200 300 reading, I still have not been able to find the fault, nor Has anyone been able to find the fault in 14 years. That is as it has existed, many people have tried, and they have failed. So I went back to the Imam on site on Monday, and the door was locked of the mosque. So they told me he lives right behind him there. So I went to his house and knocked on the door. And I told him, I want to be a Muslim. And he was shocked.

01:31:12--> 01:31:44

He said, Wait a minute, you know, you're the one that didn't want to use anything. He's like, Yeah, but your books and everything I needed to see for it. So he's like, Okay, wait, he called some people and have them come over. And he said, so you believe that there's only one God that's worthy of worship. I said, I've always believed that, that has never been, has never been laid out like this. He said, but to be a Muslim, you have to also believe in the messenger ship of Mohammed, peace be upon him. And he started to try to tell me about Mohammed. And I said, I only have one question for you about Mohammed, did he give us this book? He said, Yes, I said, then he's a prophet. That's

01:31:44--> 01:32:01

it. If he gave us this book, then he is what you say he is. And that's all the evidence I need. Because God is perfect. This book is perfect. Therefore the conduit for the in between has to be just as perfect because you do not pour clean water through a dirty glass and get clean water at the other end.

01:32:02--> 01:32:17

So I said, I want to be a Muslim, I said that this day, I've been witnessed that there is nothing that has the right to be worship except the one true God, the Creator of all that exists. And Mohammed is indeed a messenger of God, just like all the other messengers, and I entered into Islam on this day. And this was in December of 1998. And

01:32:19--> 01:32:45

that's pretty much it. And I tell my story all throughout the world, just for the simple fact that I don't want anyone to be struggling and have to struggle that wants to know the truth about God and His message for humanity. I don't want anyone else to have to go through what I went through. Because there are very, very simple things that have could have happened that I would have never had been here. And the only reason I am here is because God will get to be so.

01:32:46--> 01:33:22

And because he's given me that opportunity. I feel like sharing that gift that he's given me, which is to know him intimately, to know who he is in reality, and to be able to worship Him in a way that he wants me to worship and be pleasing to Him. And this is Islam. This is the religion of Islam in its entirety. I don't care what you've heard about Islam, I really don't I don't care what you've heard about Islam. I don't care what the media says about Islam. I don't care what any Muslim has told you about Islam, I guarantee you that most of it is not Islam. It's so far away from Islam. Because Islam is so simple, that if it takes more than two minutes to explain it to you, time is

01:33:22--> 01:33:53

wasted. Islam is very simple. It is the message that was initiated with the creation. When God created the heavens and the earth, He created them perfectly. And within that perfect creation, I finished this two minutes with this, they tell you what Islam is, when he created that creation, it was perfect. And within that perfect creation, God decided to create his greatest creation ever. And he named that creation, Adam. And it was the greatest thing he ever created. Because it was the only thing he had ever created, that had a choice as to whether or not to worship him or not to worship him.

01:33:54--> 01:34:32

And he told that creation, Adam, that this is what I want for you, I want you to worship Me and obey me. And after that creation came the rest of creation, he created he from Adam, and from those to the rest of human beings. And the message that Adam passed down to his children was this, God is one, you worship Him, and you obey Him and you go to heaven. And human beings stayed in that path for a while until they forgot. And then when they forgot, God sent them someone else. And he named Noah, and Noah told the creation, that God is one, worship Him, obey Him and you go to heaven. And every time God's Prophet would leave, the people would stay on this path for a while and they

01:34:32--> 01:34:59

forgot. And so they lost the message. They lost the books, they lost the writings, and so God would send somebody else but all of them had the same message, search and do your research yourself. Their message was God is one, worship Him alone, OBEY Him and you'll go to heaven. And then God decided to end his message to the creation to finalize it. So he sent the final messenger Mohammed and Mohammed's message was simple.

01:35:00--> 01:35:38

worship god alone as we OBEY Him and go to heaven and God's wisdom, there is no need to explain why Mohammed was the last messenger. It's very simple. He's the last messenger because his message still exists in its purest form. He's that's the reason why Mohammed is the last messenger. That's why the Quran is the last message because we still have it. We still have the Quran in its pure form, we still have Mohammed's message, what he said what he did, how he acted, how he walked, how he told how he ate, how he slept, how he used the bathroom, how he married women, everything, we have it to this day, this is why his miracle is the greatest miracle, which is the Quran, Jesus's miracles,

01:35:38--> 01:36:19

even though they were some of the greatest that ever existed, they were Jesus's miracles were that he healed the blind, he raised the dead to life. Moses miracle was that he split the Red Sea. Noah's miracle was the ark, Abraham's miracle was all of these things. But Mohammed's miracle is the Quran in it will always be to the Day of Judgment. This is his proof in his evidence for who he was, and why he is the last messenger. And this is Islam in its entirety. Everything else is just additional to this message. But it all is all in conformity. So this is the message of Islam in its purest form. And this is how I got from where I was, to where I am now. And we have time to have some

01:36:19--> 01:36:20

questions and answers

01:36:21--> 01:36:25

beforehand. So I'm going to leave time for questions and answers. But before I do,

01:36:26--> 01:37:08

as everyone and every religion is familiar with this, but I cannot leave and have come 15 hours and going 17 hours back tomorrow and deliver this message, without giving you the opportunity to ask you, is there anyone here who is not a Muslim, who wants to worship their Creator, the way he has desired for them to worship him as one, and they want to obey him, as he has asked them to obey Him. And they want to live this way of life called Islam in submission to God's will. Is there anybody here that is wanting to do that? That says, Okay, I agree. Yes, I believe that, no, then I made, then I did my job. That's the only thing that we're allowed to do as Muslims is give the message and

01:37:08--> 01:37:33

set it out plainly, and leave the rest up to God, because he guides people, not human beings. So now I'm going to leave time for q&a, right? If you have a question, you can raise your hand, you can ask it. And one thing that I will ask of you sincerely, sincerely, is please make it a question. If you want to talk with me and discourse with me afterwards. That's fine. You can do we can do that until

01:37:34--> 01:37:43

nighttime, I don't care. But in this setting, so that we can get every question answered, please make the question in question. Thank you. Yes.

01:37:45--> 01:37:46

Is one

01:37:48--> 01:38:29

is Mohammed far greater than Jesus? as a Muslim? We believe that all the prophets of God, we believe in them equally. We believe they all have that some of them had different statuses. Yes, we do believe some of them have different statuses and different levels. And we also believe that there is a group of them that had a much higher status, because God gave them new laws and new messages and new completions. And we do yes, believe as Muslims, that Mohammed was the greatest messenger. But that does not deduct from any of the messengers in any way. We do also believe in Jesus as one of the greatest messengers, and that is one of the tenants of Islam is, and this is this is Islam has

01:38:29--> 01:39:02

this alone, other than Christianity is that you cannot be a Muslim, if you're not believing Jesus. If a Muslim was to come and say they don't believe Jesus, they don't believe Jesus was born of a virgin. They don't believe Jesus was the Messiah, then the only thing I can say to them is that they're not a Muslim. You cannot be a Muslim without this. But we do believe that Mohammed was the greatest of God's prophets, because he was the one who God chose to be the seal to be the last and final messenger. And we believe that every other God prophets, message was incomplete, that it was all leading up to the last and final message. So I hope that answers that in the best possible way.

01:39:02--> 01:39:03

Any other questions?

01:39:05--> 01:39:06

Yes.

01:39:14--> 01:39:15

You're asking me a question I can't answer.

01:39:17--> 01:39:24

Honestly, I mean, if you're asking me a question that I can't, I can't explain. I don't know how to deduced

01:39:26--> 01:39:42

the first person to come up with it. I don't know. Paul was the one of the ones who promulgated it the most. But how it came to be formulated as a doctrine. I can tell you about it but how it came about to be, I don't know and I can't explain it, but it's I'm not going to try to.

01:39:47--> 01:39:48

Absolutely.

01:39:50--> 01:39:51

One of the

01:39:54--> 01:39:57

morning attendance is the Holy Scriptures, right.

01:39:58--> 01:39:59

As part of that,

01:40:02--> 01:40:04

Yes, yes and no.

01:40:08--> 01:40:44

We, we believe in the Quran. And the Quran does speak about the previous scriptures. And the people who believe in those previous scriptures are referred to as the people of the Scriptures. But we believe in those scriptures in their original form. But at the same time, we do not believe. And I do not believe through evidence, not just my belief, but through evidence that there is no book that exists in its original form to this day, except for the Quran. So we do believe in the Gospel given to Jesus, but we also believe that is not exist in that form anymore. We believe in the Torah that was given to Moses, but we do not believe that they exist in that form anymore. We believe in the

01:40:44--> 01:41:01

Psalms that were given to David, but we do not believe they exist in that form anymore. We also believe in the book that was given to Abraham called the subwoofer, but we do not believe that exists anymore. So yes, we do believe in them, but in their original context, but we do still have the respect and dignity for people who follow the scriptures.

01:41:05--> 01:41:06

Know

01:41:10--> 01:41:48

the Quran came to be see the word Quran and this is a misunderstanding of even Muslims, that when they think like, I don't have one, I wish I had a Koran. when when when you have a Quran, yes, like that he has in his hands. That's not a Quran. Even if it was an old garbage, it's still not the Quran, that's known as the most half means a book. That means they wrote the book, The Quran is is an oral recitation. It's something that is not tangible. It's the Word of God. And Mohammed, when he was revealed the Word of God, he would then teach that to his followers, who then wrote it down. And he then checked it with them. And he actually appointed one of his,

01:41:50--> 01:42:24

what was once his son, adopted son, who lived with him in his home names, he even said that he was given the who memorize the Quran directly from the mouth of Prophet Mohammed. After his death, he was given the job to collect the Quran. And then all the companions collected the Quran and verified it that this is what was revealed to us by the prophet Mohammed. And they then certified that in one book, which they still have originals of today. There's three that exists in the world today. But that's not really the Quran. The Quran is what has existed in the hearts of human beings since it was revealed. And this is actually the miracle of the Quran, that you can't destroy it. This is why

01:42:24--> 01:42:31

the I used to live in Florida and there's a pastor who has decided in a couple weeks, he's going to have a burn the Koran D, which is very laughable.

01:42:33--> 01:42:37

For the number one reason that the burning the Quran is actually a permissible way to destroy it.

01:42:39--> 01:43:13

So it's not it's not really it's not really it's not really abusing the Quran. And number two, it does nothing to the message of the Quran because it's written in the hearts of human beings. If you wiped off every Quran off the face of the planet today, there are so many people that have memorized it, they would start writing it again, like for instance, and I'll let you get a second for instance, my teacher who was teaching me the Quran, he can explain to you who he learned it from, and he can name to who that person learned it from, and he has a chain of transmission. And the last person in that chain is the Prophet Mohammed, he can name to every person who talked before on to

01:43:13--> 01:43:16

him from the Prophet Mohammed. So this is this is the Quran

01:43:20--> 01:43:22

written down in that way as a

01:43:27--> 01:43:28

transmission of information.

01:43:30--> 01:43:31

How can you therefore say,

01:43:33--> 01:43:38

like actual logic, that the Bible which you also believe this

01:43:45--> 01:43:51

is perfectly correct, but they were both transmitted by humans? Who let's face it weren't actually.

01:43:57--> 01:43:59

Okay. Did everybody hear a question?

01:44:00--> 01:44:39

The way we can do that is very easy with the evidence that we have left with us today. If you take the Koran and look at it today, it is exactly the same no matter where you go in the world. And it's not like the Quran was on the internet. 1000 years ago, it was passed to different parts of the world by companions who memorized it directly from the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. And no matter where you go in the world, that Quran was exactly the same to the letter, and it is never changed in this transmission. Those who know it today can go and look at the originals that were written down by a companion, who then verified it with all of the companions who said that yes, all

01:44:39--> 01:44:59

of them verified. This is the Quran that was revealed to Prophet Mohammed. That is what you call a direct chain of evidence that leads back to its originality with the Bible. There's nothing even remotely like that that exists at all. And no biblical scholar in their honest right mind will say that, because there's no originals that exist. There's no chain of transmission.

01:45:00--> 01:45:35

The documents that we do have the Bible are not the same, they do not agree with each other. And this is why you have so many versions and variations and differences of sex and Orthodox and they believe in this book and this version, and that version, that version, because it did lose its way along the chain of transmission. It was, and that's all part of God's wisdom, because it was not the last message, it was not meant to be preserved forever. It was a message that was for a time. So therefore it was part of God's will, that it not be preserved. But God said with this quote on it actually says in the Quran, that this is my revelation, and I will protect it, meaning that this is

01:45:35--> 01:46:05

my last message to humanity, therefore, I will protect it and it was protected in the hearts of human beings. So that's that's how we do it is we look at the chain of evidence, just like if you went to a courtroom, and somebody wrote evidence, not only does it need to be evidence, there needs to be a chain of evidence from the moment someone found it to the moment it got where it is today. And if there's a chain of evidence, it's broken somehow, that evidence is thrown out in a court of law. So we do the same thing with the Koran and the Bible. The chain of evidence is there. It goes all the way back to the beginning.

01:46:08--> 01:46:10

And some more questions at the table. You don't have time.

01:46:13--> 01:46:18

Okay, one, I'll take one more last one foreign people lat last question. Yes. And then you can meet me at the table.

01:46:25--> 01:47:01

Question, if I hear the question, do I believe that Jesus was crucified and die? No. I do not believe that Jesus was crucified. It's not I don't believe it, due to my studies of the Bible before I became Muslim, but it's also part of a Muslim tenant, that Jesus was not crucified, but that he was taken to God into heaven, just like Elijah was ascended into heaven. For his second return. We as Muslims believe that Jesus will return, I'm hoping that it happens any day now. Because when Jesus returns, he will set the record straight about who he is. And that will be his mission is to return to this earth and make clear who he was and what he would do. So that's a part of the Muslim

01:47:01--> 01:47:01

belief.

01:47:03--> 01:47:07

Thank you very much for your time. Now. Now, before anybody leaves, I have to stop, nobody will

01:47:08--> 01:47:10

have four black belts, I will keep you

01:47:13--> 01:47:37

before you leave, for the Muslims. I'm going to talk about this project. And this is for the non Muslims to have a project where I make DVDs 10s of 1000s of them a year and send them out with lectures like what you heard. And all of the evidences that I talked about. All these types of things are sitting right here on this table. And I give out 10s of 1000s of them a year. And it's a project that is not like some office and no, it's my basement. And my wife and kids are the slave drivers.

01:47:38--> 01:48:06

I don't have a sweatshop but they do it voluntarily. But we make these DVDs and give them out all over the world. But the only way I'm able to do that is if you Muslims contribute to the project by purchasing the DVDs and giving them to non Muslims or copying them over and over and over and over and over again. There's no copyrights in Islam to me. So you copy them all you want, cannot copyright knowledge. I don't know how you can do that. But give them out. So what I would like to do is in these all I have visit Don't make me take this home because customs had a field day with me when I had

01:48:09--> 01:48:39

my my challenges for every Muslim in here to come and get 123 or four of these and give them to our guests that we're here today. Because if not, I'm going to give them to them and I'm going to be the only one that gets the reward in it. But I want to be able to make more so I challenge everyone to come get one they're only $10 we sell them for $15 in the States. But when I saw the price of living here in Australia, I had to I had to, I had to say too much so $10 come and get 1123 or four and give them to our guests please thank you very much for your time and know that guidance comes

01:48:45--> 01:48:49

in anyone wishing to get in touch with me. You can do it right here. This is my website.