اخواني الأعزاء, ابحث عن رد مفصل و مفحم على هذا المقال فأنا بامس الحاجة الى ردودكم
و جزاكم الله خير دنيا و اخرة و ثقل موازين حسناتكم و اصلح دينكم و دنياكم
Is Muhammad Foretold in the Bible?
by John Gilchrist
MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE?
MOSES AND THE PROPHET
1. The Word of God in the Prophet's mouth
2. A prophet from among their Brethren
3. A Prophet like unto Moses
4. Jesus - the Prophet like unto Moses
JESUS AND THE COMFORTER
MUHAMMAD IN THE BIBLE?
During 1975 Ahmed Deedat held a series of lectures at the Durban City Hall, two of which set out to prove that Muhammad is foretold in the Bible. The first lecture, entitled "What the Bible Says About Muhammad", dealt with the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18.18 in the Old Testament, and in it Mr. Deedat sought to show that Moses was predicting the coming of Muhammad when speaking of a prophet to follow him who would be like him. During 1976 Mr. Deedat published this lecture in booklet form under the same title. In his second lecture in 1975 he spoke on "Muhammad the Natural Successor to Christ" and here he endeavoured to prove that Jesus was foretelling the coming of Muhammad when he exhorted his disciples to wait for the coming of the one he called the Comforter who, he said, would follow him.
Deedat's lectures were typical of numerous similar attempts that have been made by Muslim writers over the years to make these two particular prophecies fit Muhammad. The effort has generally arisen from a verse in the Qur'an which states that the coming of Muhammad was foretold in the Jewish and the Christian ******ures. It reads:
Those who follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (******ures) - in the Law and the Gospel.
It is not surprising, therefore, to find that Muslims have searched exhaustively through the "Law and the Gospel" (the Tawrat and the Injil, the Old and New Testaments respectively) for proof that these two books indeed contain prophecies of the coming of Muhammad. The Qur'an seems to suggest that these prophecies would be found in the Torah and the Gospel without much difficulty, but when Muslims have applied themselves to finding these alleged predictions, they have been unpleasantly surprised to discover that in these two books it is Jesus who is the subject of the many prophecies in them and not Muhammad. The birth of Jesus, his ministry, parables, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, second coming, deity, glory and honour are the concerns of the prophetic ****s of the Torah and the Gospel, and so extensively do these prophecies herald his advent as the ultimate climax of God's revealed truth and love towards men that one cannot help but be struck by the fact that the Bible makes no allowance for the anti-climax of a "prophet" to follow him. Such prophecies are conspicuous only by their absence.
Nevertheless, spurred on by the assurance in the Qur'an that the Bible indeed foretells the coming of Muhammad, Muslims have made every effort to find these prophecies. The obvious dearth of material in support of their quest has led most of them to wisely rely solely on the two prophecies we have already mentioned - one in each of the Testaments -, to prove their claim. Others, like Kaldani and Vidyarthy, have unwisely tried to apply every major prophecy in the Bible to Muhammad (including striking predictions of the crucifixion, atoning work and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53 for example!), but the shameless twists of interpretation that they have been compelled to resort to together with an abdication of all reason in their efforts to prove their points has fortunately restrained other Muslims from following in their steps and they have accordingly relied solely on the two prophecies we have mentioned, one by Moses and one by Jesus respectively.
We are in the circumstances entitled to presume that these two prophecies are believed by the Muslims to be the strongest in support of their claims. Accordingly, if it can be proved that these ****s do not in any way refer to Muhammad, or anticipate his advent or prophethood, then the whole theory that Muhammad is foretold in the Bible must simultaneously fall to the ground.
We shall therefore in this booklet generously consider the strongest evidence of the Muslims that Muhammad is foretold in these two passages and will, in the light of the con**** of each passage, and of other factors crucial to a proper determination of the matter, decide whether the evidence is sufficient to prove the point or whether the case must ultimately be found to go against them.
It is universally accepted in all civilised communities that if a matter is to be determined properly, all the relevant evidence must be weighed together and all irrelevant evidence must be ignored accordingly. No matter how great the temptation may be to ignore the relevant facts while giving undue weight to the irrelevant ones if this is the only way a matter can be decided in one's favour, the man who really loves the truth and seeks for it will resist the temptation. It is our sincere hope that the Muslims who read this ******** will do likewise.
MOSES AND THE PROPHET
"I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him".
Whenever Muslims seek to establish that Muhammad is foretold in the Torah, the Old Testament, they invariably refer to this verse as the one obvious prophecy in support of their claim. They argue that the prophet who was promised by God to Moses was Muhammad because:
1. The Qur'an is allegedly the Word of God and therefore, as Muhammad recited each passage that was delivered to him, he had the words of God put into his mouth in accordance with the words of this prophecy;
2. The prophet to come would be from among the brethren of the Israelites, hence the Ishmaelites, because Israel (Jacob) and Ishmael were both descended from Abraham, and the tribes who descended from the twelve sons of Ishmael are therefore "brethren" of the tribes who descended from the twelve sons of Israel. As Muhammad was the only Ishmaelite to claim prophethood in the line of the Old Testament prophets, they aver that the prophecy can only refer to him;
3. Muhammad was like Moses in so many ways that the prophecy can only refer to him.
We shall consider these claims briefly and will do so in the light of the con**** of the prophecy, for this is the only way that a correct interpretation of the **** can be obtained. Every intelligent expositor of ******ure knows that no passage can be fairly interpreted if it is isolated from its con****. Therefore it is essential to quote from the whole passage in which the prophecy is found and the following two extracts are of great importance:
The Levitical priests, that is, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings by fire to the Lord, and his rightful dues. They shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance as he promised them.
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren - him shall you heed - just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, or see this great fire any more, lest I die'. And the Lord said to me, 'They have rightly said all that they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. And whoever will not give heed to my words which he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die'.
We shall proceed to briefly consider the three points that supposedly prove that Muhammad is the prophet referred to in the **** and thereafter will, in the light of the con**** of the passage, discover precisely which prophet is referred to in the prophecy contained in Deuteronomy 18.18.
1. THE WORD OF GOD IN THE PROPHET'S MOUTH.
Christians do not believe that the Qur'an is the Word of God but, purely for the sake of argument, we shall proceed as if God did indeed put his words in Muhammad's mouth to discover whether this might prove that Muhammad is the prophet referred to in Deuteronomy 18.18. In our view the statement "I will put my words in his mouth" does not help to identify the prophet referred to at all. It is true of every prophet that God has put his words in his mouth. For God said to Jeremiah:
"Behold I have put my words in your mouth".
Furthermore we also read in Deuteronomy 18.18 that the prophet to follow Moses "shall speak to them all that I command him". Now we read that Jesus once said to his disciples:
"For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me".
A similar **** which illustrates this point is found in the great prayer which Jesus prayed on the last night that he was with his disciples. He said:
"I have given them the words which thou gavest me".
In no way, therefore, can the identity of the prophet in the **** of Deuteronomy 18.18 be established from the fact that God would put his words in his mouth. With every prophet who is true this is the case and the great prophet referred to in the ****, who would be uniquely like Moses in a way that none of the other prophets were, must accordingly be identified from other sources.
2. A PROPHET FROM AMONG THEIR BRETHREN.
Muslims allege that the expression "their brethren" in Deuteronomy 18.18 means the brethren of the Israelites, hence the Ishmaelites. In this case, however, if we are truly to discover the real identity of the prophet who would be like Moses, we must consider the expression in its con****.
God said, "I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brethren." Of whom is God speaking when he speaks of "them" and "their"? When we go back to the first two verses of Deuteronomy 18 we find the answer:
"The Levitical priests, that is, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel ... they shall have no inheritance among their brethren".
It is abundantly clear from these two verses that "they" refers to the tribe of Levi and that "their brethren" refers to the remaining eleven tribes of Israel. This is an inescapable fact. No honest method of interpretation or consistent method of exposition can possibly allow that Deuteronomy 18.18 refers to anyone else than the tribe of Levi and the remaining tribes of Israel. Let us briefly examine the only possible exposition of the prophecy that can lead to a correct interpretation and identification of "their brethren". We need only accentuate the relevant words from Deuteronomy 18.1-2 to discover the only possible conclusion that can be drawn. The **** reads:
"The tribe of Levi shall have no inheritance with ISRAEL. They shall have no inheritance among THEIR BRETHEREN".
Therefore the only logical interpretation of Deuteronomy 18.18 can be: "I will raise up for them (that is, the tribe of Levi) a prophet like you from among their brethren (that is, one of the other tribes of Israel)". Indeed throughout the Old Testament one often finds the expression "their brethren" meaning the remaining tribes of Israel as distinct from the tribe specifically referred to. Let us consider this verse as an example:
But the children of Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brethren, the children of Israel.
Here "their brethren" is specifically stated to be the other tribes of Israel as distinct from the tribe of Benjamin. In Deuteronomy 18.18, therefore, "their brethren" clearly means the brethren in Israel of the tribe of Levi. Again in Numbers 8.26 the tribe of Levi is commanded to minister to "their brethren", that is, the remaining tribes of Israel. In 2 Kings 24.12 the tribe of Judah is distinguished from "their brethren", once again the remaining tribes of Israel. (Further ******ures proving the point are Judges 21.22, 2 Samuel 2.26, 2 Kings 23.9, 1 Chronicles 12.32, 2 Chronicles 28.15, Nehemiah 5.1 and others).
Indeed in Deuteronomy 17.15 we read that Moses on one occasion said to the Israelites "One from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother". Only an Israelite could be appointed king of Israel - "one from among your brethren" - no foreigner, be he Ishmaelite, Edomite or whoever he may be, could be made King of Israel because he was not one of "their brethren", that is, a member of one of the tribes of Israel.
At this stage, therefore, we have a fatal objection to the theory that Muhammad is foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18. He was an Ishmaelite and accordingly is automatically disqualified from being the prophet whose coming was foretold in that verse. The prophet was obviously to come from one of the tribes of Israel other than the tribe of Levi. God said he would raise up a prophet for the Levites like Moses from among "their brethren", that is, from one of the other tribes of Israel. As we intend to prove that Jesus was the prophet whose coming was foretold it will be appropriate to mention at this stage that he was descended from the tribe of Judah (Matthew 1.2, Hebrews 7.14). He is therefore ably qualified to be the prophet who would be raised up from among the brethren of the Levites.
3. A PROPHET LIKE UNTO MOSES.
The Islamic publications listed in the Bibliography to this booklet are full of comparisons between Moses and Muhammad where evidence is brought forward of certain likenesses between them. These publications also produce many differences between Jesus and Moses as the authors try to disprove that Jesus is the prophet whose coming was foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18.
In his booklet "What the Bible Says About Muhummed" Mr. Deedat produces a number of similarities between Moses and Muhammad which he claims do not exist between Moses and Jesus. Most of these are meaningless, however, and only serve to show the supreme uniqueness of Jesus over against the whole human race. For example, Deedat argues that Moses and Muhammad were both born naturally of human parents and are buried on earth, whereas Jesus was born of a virgin-woman, had no earthly father, and ascended to heaven (Deedat, What the Bible Says About Muhummed", p. 7, 12). It is obvious that all men have natural parents and go back to the dust, and all Mr. Deedat is doing is to reveal certain ways in which Jesus was absolutely unique among men. This does not help to identify the prophet predicted by Moses, however.
In the publications referred to we do find occasionally more prominent likenesses between Moses and Muhammad which do need to be analysed more carefully. Three such comparisons are:
1. Moses and Muhammad became the lawgivers, military leaders, and spiritual guides of their peoples and nations;
2. Moses and Muhammad were at first rejected by their own people, fled into exile, but returned some years later to become the religious and secular leaders of their nations;
3. Moses and Muhammad made possible the immediate and successful conquests of the land of Palestine after their deaths by their followers, Joshua and Umar respectively.
At the same time it is alleged in these publications that Jesus and Moses were so different, according to Christian belief, that Jesus cannot be the prophet referred to. Such differences are these:
1. Moses was only a prophet but, according to Christian belief, Jesus is the Son of God;
2. Moses died naturally but Jesus died violently;
3. Moses was the national ruler of Israel which Jesus was not at any time during his ministry here on earth.
We are constrained to ask: do these similarities and contrasts in any way prove that Muhammad is the prophet like Moses whose coming was foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18? It is the easiest of matters to show that this sort of reasoning will in no way assist us to discover the real identity of the prophet. Firstly, none of the alleged differences between Moses and Jesus are of any importance. The Bible often calls Jesus a prophet as well as the Son of God (see, for example, Matthew 13.57, 21.11, and John 4.44) and the fact that Jesus died violently is hardly relevant to the issues at stake. Many prophets were killed by the Jews for their testimonies, a fact to which both the Bible and the Qur'an bear witness, (cf. Matthew 23.31, Surah 2.91). Furthermore the Bible teaches that the Christian Church as a whole has replaced the nation of Israel in this age as the collective object of God's special favours. Likewise, whereas Moses led that nation during his life on earth, so Jesus today heads the Church of God from his throne in heaven above. In this respect, therefore, he is really like Moses.
Secondly, if we reverse the process we can show many similarities between Moses and Jesus where Muhammad at the same time can be contrasted with them. Some of these are:
1. Moses and Jesus were Israelites - Muhammad was an Ishmaelite. (This is, as we have seen, a crucial factor in really determining the identity of the prophet who was to follow Moses).
2. Moses and Jesus both left Egypt to perform God's work - Muhammad was never in Egypt. Of Moses we read: "By faith he forsook Egypt" (Hebrews 11.27). Of Jesus we read: "Out of Egypt have I called my Son" (Matthew 2.15).
3. Moses and Jesus forsook great wealth to share the poverty of their people which Muhammad did not. Of Moses we read: "He considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt" and that he chose "to share ill-treatment with the people of God" (Hebrews 11.25-26). Of Jesus we read: "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8.9).
So we have similarities between Moses and Jesus where Muhammad can be contrasted with them. This shows how weak the Muslim method of comparing Moses with Muhammad (while contrasting them with Jesus) is, for it works both ways. How then can we truly identify the prophet who was to be like Moses?
As there were numerous prophets down the ages, it is logical to assume that this prophet would be uniquely like Moses in a way that none of the other prophets were. Clearly the prophet to come would emulate him in the exceptional and unique characteristics of his prophethood. Indeed we would expect that God would give some indication in the prophecy of the distinguishing features of this prophet who was to be like Moses. We only have to refer to the con**** of the prophecy to find this striking verse which very clearly gives us an indication of the nature of the prophet to follow:
"The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren - him you shall heed - just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die' ".
The prophet would be raised up just as God had raised Moses up as the mediator of the covenant which he gave at Horeb. The Israelites pleaded with Moses to become a mediator between them and God because they did not wish to hear God's voice face to face, and God said "They have rightly said all that they have spoken" (Deuteronomy 18.17). God henceforth raised Moses up as the mediator of the covenant between himself and Israel. We need also to consider that God spoke to Moses in a very special way as well and in the Bible we read:
Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.
The Qur'an also teaches that God spoke directly to Moses in a way in which he did not speak to other prophets (Surah 4.164). Furthermore, to confirm the great mediatorial work which Moses was to perform, God did great signs and miracles through him in the presence of all Israel. Now as God had promised that the prophet to come would be like him in this mediatorial work, we must conclude that the distinguishing features of the prophet would be these:
1. He would be the direct mediator of a covenant between God and his people;
2. He would know God face to face;
3. His office would be confirmed by great signs and wonders which he would do by the power of God in the sight of all the nation of Israel.
This conclusion is in fact clearly established by these last words in the Book of Deuteronomy:
And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all the great and terrible deeds which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
The three distinguishing features of Moses as a prophet are clearly mentioned: he was the mediator between God and Israel, he knew the Lord face to face, and he did great signs and wonders. The prophet like him would obviously have to emulate these unique features of his prophethood. Did Muhammad possess these exceptional characteristics by which the prophet was to be recognised?
Firstly, whereas God spoke directly to Moses, so that he was a direct mediator between God and the people of Israel, the Qur'an is alleged to have come at all times from the Angel Gabriel to Muhammad and at no time did God directly communicate it to him face to face, as the Muslims themselves admit. He also did not mediate a covenant between God and the people of Israel.
Secondly, Muhammad performed no signs and wonders. Although the Hadith record some fanciful miracles, these are purely mythical, for the Qur'an very clearly says of Muhammad that he performed no signs. In Surah 6.37, when Muhammad's adversaries say "Why has no sign been sent down to him from his Lord?", Muhammad is bidden to reply merely that God could send one if he wanted to but had not done so. In the same Surah we read that Muhammad said, "I have not that for which you are impatient" (Surah 6.57), meaning signs and wonders such as Moses had. He goes on to say that if he had had them, the dispute between him and them would have been decided long ago.
Again in the same Surah Muhammad's adversaries say they will believe if signs come from God, but he only replies that God has reserved them because they would still disbelieve anyway (as indeed the Jews did with Jesus - John 12.37). Furthermore the Qur'an also says that Muhammad's adversaries in Mecca also once said to him:
"Why are not (signs) sent to him, like those which were sent to Moses?"
The answer the Qur'an gives is much the same - they rejected the signs of Moses anyway, so why do they now expect Muhammad to perform signs? Nevertheless, in terms of the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18.18, this was a very poignant and significant observation for it plainly distinguishes between Moses and Muhammad in the very important matter of performing signs and wonders. How indeed could Muhammad possibly be the prophet whose coming was foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18 if he was not granted the power to perform the kind of signs and wonders performed by Moses? In this case, therefore, he was definitely not like Moses in one of the vital, distinguishing characteristics of his prophethood. The Qur'an has its own testimony to this effect.
So we find that Muhammad was not a direct mediator between God and man, nor could he do any signs and wonders to confirm his office. Deuteronomy 34.11 makes it essential that the prophet like Moses would do similar signs and wonders to those which Moses did, and as Muhammad did not, we have a second fatal objection against the theory that he is the prophet foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18. We can conclude by saying that whatever evidence the Muslims may produce in favour of their assertion, the really relevant and crucial evidence needed to prove the point is not only unfavourable in his case but in fact fatally rules out the possibility that he might indeed be the prophet of whom Moses spoke.
4. JESUS - THE PROPHET LIKE UNTO MOSES.
Considering now whether Jesus is the prophet referred to, let us begin by answering a few typical objections raised by the Muslims. Firstly, if he was the Christ, they say he could not be the prophet to follow Moses, because the Jews distinguished between Elijah, the Christ, and the prophet (John 1. 19-21). The argument goes that John the Baptist is believed by the Christians to have come in the spirit of Elijah, Jesus was the Christ, and Muhammad, therefore, must have been the prophet. We have already shown, however, that it is impossible for Muhammad to be the prophet. In any even nothing conclusive can be construed from the speculations of the Jews. They once said of Jesus: "This is indeed the prophet" (John 7.40). On another occasion they said he was "one of the prophets" (Matthew 16.14), on another "a prophet" (Mark 6.15) and worse still thought of him as both Elijah (Mark 6.15) and John the Baptist himself (Matthew 16.14).
It needs to be pointed out that the Bible does not teach that Elijah, the Christ, and the prophet were to come in that order. The questions put by the Jews to John, whether he was Elijah, the Christ, or the prophet, merely expressed their own hopes and expectations of figureheads to come. In the light of their confusion, however, we can see that no serious consideration can be given to the distinctions they made between the Christ and the prophet. It is also important to note that the predictions of the prophet, etc., were made in the reverse order in the Old Testament (the prophet was promised by Moses, most of the prophecies of the coming Christ were set out in the writings of the later prophets, and the promise of the coming of Elijah only appears at the end of the book in Malachi 4.5). Furthermore no deliberate distinction between the prophet and the Christ was ever drawn in these prophecies and it is not surprising to find the Jews in one breath proclaiming that Jesus was indeed both the prophet and the Christ (John 7.40-41).
Another favourite objection is that Jesus died at the hands of the Jews and God said, in Deuteronomy 18.20, that only the self-styled prophets would die. Every prophet, however, died - many violently as the Qur'an and the Bible jointly testify - and the mere physical death of a prophet was certainly no evidence against his divine mission. God obviously did not mean that every true prophet would not die! What he meant was that a false prophet was to be put to death and would perish eternally - and all his prophecies with him. Only Judgment Day will reveal all the false prophets of the ages.
What we are ultimately concerned about is this - God gave a definite promise that a prophet would arise like Moses who would mediate another covenant and that signs would accompany this covenant to confirm its heavenly origin. The very Bible that contains the prophecy of the prophet to come confirms quite clearly that that prophet was Jesus Christ. The Apostle Peter, claiming that God had foretold the coming of Jesus Christ through all the prophets, appealed specifically to Deuteronomy 18.18 as proof that Moses had done so (Acts 3.22). Jesus himself said, "Moses wrote of me" (John 5.46) and it is difficult to find elsewhere in the five books of Moses such a direct prophecy of his advent. Peter chose Deuteronomy 18.18 as the one distinctive prophecy in all the writings of Moses of the coming of Jesus Christ into the world.
Likewise in Acts 7.37 Stephen appealed to Deuteronomy 18.18 as proof that Moses was one of those who had "announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One", Jesus, the one whom the Jews had recently betrayed and crucified.
After witnessing all the signs that Jesus had done and after taking part in the New Covenant which he had mediated face-to-face between God and his people, the early Christians knew that Jesus was the prophet whose coming was foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18. They also knew that the prophecy of a prophet to come like Moses had been supplemented by God's promise to the prophet Jeremiah that he would mediate a new covenant in the days to come between himself and his people. For in speaking of this new covenant God clearly distinguished between it and the old covenant he had made with Moses and it was therefore obvious that the one who would mediate it would be the prophet whose coming Moses had foretold. God said:
"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each man teach his neighbour and each his brother, saying 'Know the Lord', for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more".
"I will make a new covenant", God said, thereby confirming the promise in Deuteronomy 18 that a prophet would come to mediate between God and his people in the likeness of Moses. The promised new covenant was directly compared with the covenant God had made with Moses. The covenant would be different to that given through Moses but the prophet who would mediate it would be like him. It is therefore quite obvious that the prophet whose coming was foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18 would be the one to mediate this new covenant between God and his people. And we read: "Therefore Jesus is the mediator of a new covenant" (Hebrews 9.15). To ratify the first covenant we read that:
Moses took the blood and threw it upon the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words'.
Just as the first covenant had therefore been ratified by the blood of a sacrificial offering, so the prophet to follow Moses would be like him and would also ratify God's new covenant with blood. And Jesus therefore said:
"This cup is the new covenant in my blood".
1 Corinthians 11.25
God's promise of the coming of a prophet like Moses who would mediate a new covenant was one of the great blessings in the days preceding the advent of Jesus Christ. Although God mediated the old covenant through Moses, the blazing fire the Israelites saw together with the tempests and other portents made them "entreat that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given" (Hebrews 12.19-20). They all broke the covenant (Jeremiah 31.31) and died in the wilderness like flies (1 Corinthians 10.5). They failed to receive the life that was promised to those who abided by the old covenant.
Therefore God promised to their descendants that he would raise up another prophet like Moses and would mediate a new covenant through him which God's people would both give heed to and obtain the promised blessings accompanying it - true knowledge of God, forgiveness of sins, power to keep God's law, and the public favour of God (Jeremiah 31.33-34). This new covenant Jesus brought in in due time.
Unlike the Israelites under the old covenant who fell by the wayside, the people of God through this new covenant have come "to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to a judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel" (Hebrews 12.23-24). This is the covenant which Jesus brought in.
Jesus therefore is the promised prophet like Moses for he mediated the new covenant between God and his people. Like Moses (and in a way in which no other prophet could compare), he also knew God face-to-face and became a direct mediator between God and men. "I know him, I come from him, and he sent me", Jesus said (John 7.29). Again he proclaimed: "No one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him" (Matthew 11.27). And yet again Jesus said: "Not that anyone has ever seen the Father except him who is from God - he has seen the Father" (John 6.46). And what further evidence do we need that Jesus knew God face-to-face and is the direct mediator between him and men than these two verses: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me ... Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14.6, 14.9).
When he spoke to God face-to-face, "Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him" (Exodus 34. 29-30). When the image of the invisible God was directly revealed through the transfigured face of Jesus Christ, "his face did shine as the sun" (Matthew 17.2). No other prophet could claim such a distinction - no one else knew God face-to-face in such a way that his face shone while he communed with him.
Not only was the new covenant mediated through Jesus who knew God face-to-face as Moses had done, but he too performed great signs and wonders to confirm his mediatorial work. One of the greatest signs that Moses did was to control the sea: "Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind" (Exodus 14.21). Although other prophets had power over rivers (Joshua 3.13, 2 Kings 2.14), no other prophet emulated him in controlling the sea until Jesus came and we read that his disciples exclaimed "What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?" (Matthew 8.27). He caused a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee to cease with just three words: "Peace - be still" (Mark 4.39).
Another of the great signs that Moses did was the feeding of the Israelites with bread from heaven. When the Israelites at the time of Jesus saw him perform a similar miracle by feeding no less than five thousand people with just a few loaves of bread they were convinced that he was the promised prophet.
When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, 'This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world'.
When they saw the sign, they said "This is the prophet". They knew well enough that the promised prophet would be recognised among other things by the performance of signs similar to those which Moses had done. When Jesus gave no indication of repeating the sign, the Israelites recalled that Moses had performed his feat for forty years unabated. So they said to Jesus, "What sign do you do that we may see and believe you?" (John 6.30), appealing to Moses' act of sustaining the lives of their forefathers in the wilderness. Jesus replied:
"I am the Bread of Life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh".
In every way he gave proof that he was the prophet who was to come - one to mediate a covenant like that mediated through Moses at Horeb - one who would know God face-to-face - one who would perform great signs and wonders as Moses had done. In every way the Jews were right on this one point when they said "This is really the prophet" (John 7.40).
So it is proved that Muhammad is not foretold in Deuteronomy 18.18 but rather that the prophet whose coming was foretold in that verse was Jesus Christ. We shall go on to see that if Muhammad is not foretold on the Old Testament, neither is he foretold in the New Testament.
We shall again see that Jesus Christ is the climax of all prophecy in all the revealed ******ures of God. For all the promises, revelations and blessings of God are vested in him - the fountainhead of the love and favour of God towards men.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1.20
We shall also see, even more clearly, that in the Torah and the Gospel there is only one Saviour, one man alone through whom the favour of God can be obtained. While there were many prophets in ages past - both true and false - yet for us there is only one Lord and one Saviour - Jesus Christ. Again it will be seen how deeply God wishes to impress this truth upon all men that they may believe in and follow Jesus Christ into the Kingdom of Heaven.
For all who do not heed his words or believe in him with all their hearts, there remains only a "fearful prospect of judgment" (Hebrews 10.27) when God will fulfill his warning in Deuteronomy 18.19 by requiring of them their unbelief in the Saviour he sent and he will surely dismiss them, one and all, from his presence for ever and ever.
Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.