How to discern between divine and satanic messages

Hi all,

The other day I was talking to a Muslim and brought up my concerns about whether the creature that visited Muhammad in the cave and ultimately led him to establish Islam was a good angel. As the story goes, three times over (1) this being applied great physical pressure on Muhammad, (2) ordered him to read/recite (the Arabic word, aqra’, means both), and (3) Islam’s prophet responded that he was unable to do so. Muhammad then ran home to his wife, Khadija, and besought her to wrap him up, as in a blanket.

I expressed concern that a fallen angel would precisely be the one to act in this violent fashion. My Muslim interlocutor said the following:

  • Muhammad had many future interactions with ‘Gabriel’, and nothing of this kind occurred again. We might not understand why God had the angel conduct itself as it did, but due to what followed–the founding of Islam and signs pointing to its divine origin–we can conclude that this episode should not give us pause about accepting the truth claims of the religion taught by Muhammad.

  • If we say that the devil showed himself to be scheming against Muhammad or humankind by how ‘Gabriel’ interacted with him, we could also speculate that Mary received the same treatment, just with a different strategy being employed.

I mentioned that the resurrection was a major reason for considering Jesus to be so credible. But my Muslim interlocutor noted that a Christian could say that a great miracle in which he believed–the resurrection of Jesus from the dead–was sufficient testimony to the credibility of his religion, while a Jew could ask that something comparable to a miracle which he accepted–the parting of the Red Sea by Moses–be performed so that he could believe in a subsequent religion, and no progress could be made. In other words, one cannot pick the great sign which one likes the most and set it being equalled or surpassed as the standard that would have to be met for his mind to be changed.

I also brought up that others have claimed to be a prophet since this case in seventh-century Arabia–Mormonism being an example that bears a couple of striking similarities to Islam. First, Joseph Smith, like Muhammad, claimed to restore the true message of Jesus after it had become corrupted. Second, what prompted them to say such was being visited by an angel and being given a new text. My Muslim interlocutor wanted to know if some other signs following the appearance of ‘Moroni’ to Joseph Smith are claimed which could make the religion more plausible, but I didn’t know enough about Mormonism to go further.

So, on what basis can Christians have certainty that the mother of God was indeed visited by a good angel but the prophets of Islam and Mormonism were visited by a fallen one? (Not to forget that they also could have been hallucinating or inventing tall tales–both logical possibilities.)

By the results: The Incarnation whose life, miracles and resurrection are attested to by multiple witnesses.

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In his letter to the Galatians Paul warned them (and us) to avoid false teaching. He chastised them because they had done that very thing – accepted a new and false gospel. He warned them (and us) that even if an angel from heaven preach a different gospel than the one you have already received from us (the apostolic writings), he should be cursed!

Both Gabriel and Moroni did just that – claimed they were from heaven and offered a new and attractive gospel story. If Mohammad or Joseph Smith had read the Bible they would have known to not listen. However neither had read these warnings. Consequently they each introduced a “new and improved” gospel that appealed to the pride of man and was easily sold to those who wanted to be part of a new and better version.

Gal 1:6-9
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

Amazing what one can learn by reading the Bible.

Muhammad was a random dude who recited poetry. I do believe Satan himself designed Islam to corrupt the message of Christianity and what Jesus did on the cross.

And even if the Quran is from God, the hadiths certainly aren’t.

Hahaha. Yup.

I do believe Satan himself designed Islam to corrupt the message of Christianity and what Jesus did on the cross.

That’s what I suspect, too. How to communicate this fact persuasively to Muslims remains in question, however.

And even if the Quran is from God, the hadiths certainly aren’t.

Why could the Qur’an be and not the Hadith? (Muslims believe ‘Gabriel’ dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad, while the Hadith are reported narratives of his words and deeds–apart from some quotes from Allah, under the “qudsi” category.)

Yes Satan designed islam.

This is why islam see Jesus as a prophet instead of a false prophet as it is easier for someone to lead astray a Christian if they say good things about Jesus and just add that He was a prophet and not the Son of God. If islam stated Jesus was a false prophet then Christians would close their ears to it straight away.

It is easy to see Satan’s religions as they are generally just the one branch of that religion or generally two in islam but as Satan hates us so much he spends all his time destroying the Catholic church into many diluted branches.

from 1John 4… Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world……………6 We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

This passage is certainly apropos. But by what methodology could Muhammad and Joseph Smith have been able to “test the spirits” which they encountered, in such a way as to obtain a clear, even foolproof, answer?

The example is given in St. Paul:

Galatians 2:2 I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.

A revelation or vision would be to submit to someone…in Paul’s case the Apostles. In Muhammad or JS, someone with Apostolic authority.

And this is also how the CC investigates revelations, visions of saints and the claims of apparitions, obedience to Church authority, in this case, bishops, as God would not contradict what had been revealed or given before.

Yes, but it is God himself who is allowing satan to do all of this and get these anti-christianity religions out to the people!!! LOL

How does satan even have all this ‘time’ to concoct all this evil…isnt he supposed to be in hell, being punished for rebelling against God? LOL

I know Satan is only allowed to do what God allows him to do…but the more I think about it, it truly seems God is allowing him to do QUITE a bit, not only in modern times, but going back decades and centuries too!!

I wonder if all the souls in hell get the same special treatment satan does?

Mary tested Gabriel by asking questions. Muhammad did not - he only obeyed out of abject fear due to the physical coercion that occurred during the first vision.

Saint Padre Pio had all sorts of difficulties with the devil, to include physical confrontations. When visited by a spirit, he would first demand that the spirit bow and worship God. No bow, no worship, no listen.

Test the spirits!

Hmm. Couldn’t an angel of light have treated Muhammad well, feigned to worship God, and still deceived Islam’s prophet (along with billions of other unfortunate souls)?

Also interesting to note is that Waraqa bin Nawfal, a cousin of Muhammad’s wife Khadija and a Nestorian Christian, gave his opinion that Muhammad was a prophet…

I think it was the story of St. Gemma Galgani, (I am not sure), where I read one way to know a spirit from God is to make the spirit to acknowledge God…“My Lord and my God”…this is how she knew the spirit from God.

It seems that they either cannot or will not feign the worship of God, as that is not being true to their evil nature. They are pure spirits and the feigned worship of God is a message which contains truth. As well, we know them by their fruits. If they speak words that change the revealed nature of God, or lead to any form of disobedience to Bishop or Metropolitan, they are not from heaven.

Nestorianism is a condemned heresy. In the grand scheme of things, the evil one uses heretics to cause doubt and division in the Body of Christ. Small or large, those doubts and divisions serve his evil purpose. Seeds of evil are also planted by a sower, and some find a depth of soil and grow.

The Holy Spirit is discerned by His fruits as well. Basically, a message or action that promotes or leads to humble submission and Christian unity is from the Holy Spirit.


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