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Joel Rosenberg's book, The 12th Imam.

     I just finished reading Joel Rosenberg's book, The 12th Imam.  Let me introduce Joel Rosenberg. He is a Christian author whose books have been widely read; over one million of his books have been bought.  He writes very well, and his books are page turners.  I brought it aboard ship, and finished the book in a couple of nights.  His books are easy to read and understand.
     His basic premise in the book is that today's Israel is God's chosen nation.  I do not agree with that premise.  But he also writes that God is working in the Muslim community, often through visions and dreams.  Most Muslims will not read the Bible and are closed minded.  That is why you won't find Bible book stores in Iran or Saudi Arabia.  So God has apparently been using other means to reach the Islamic community, and that is through visions.  Many have been coming to Christ because of that.
    Bottom line:  get his books and read them and think and talk about them.  They are great conversation starters.

Re: Joel Rosenberg's book, The 12th Imam.

Hello Mr. Palmer,

     I just finished reading your current post and I decided to make a comment. Why, I do not know. May 21, 2011 and October 21, 2011 apparently came and went just as any ordinary day. This would would lead many to believe that my opinion about what the Bible says holds far less weight. I have been wondering if I owe everyone who I told about May 21, 2011 an apology. I am not sure. I will place that aside and make my comment anyway. You state in this blog that God has apparently been using other means to reach the Islamic community and that He is using visions. You also state that many have been coming to Christ because of that. My questions/comments are simple. If the Bible was completed in approximately 95 AD (I am not sure if we can know for sure if this was the exact date, but I will use it for this discussion anyway), then would that not mean the God is no longer giving any further revelation. God speaks to man through the Bible. God states in Romans 10:17 "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." Would not these things mean that God does not speak to man through dreams, visions, and by just plain talking to them anymore?  Does this not mean that God saves through the hearing of His Word (the Bible). Secondly, you stated that many have been coming to Christ because of those visions. How do you know this? I assume that you mean by coming to Christ that these people have been saved. How do you know that? How can you tell if someone has become saved? We cannot see the condition of their hearts. That means we could only assume or give a quess. How can you know for sure if someone else has become saved? Where is your Biblical proof for these things? 

Donald Austin

Re: Joel Rosenberg's book, The 12th Imam.

     I agree with you that the Bible is absolutely central for belief.  You have to read the Bible as it is God's message to us.  You are correct in quoting Romans 10:17:  "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."
    However, God is apparently using visions to convert Muslims.  They are seeing visions and then on the basis of that vision(s) are searching for Christ.  In Joel Rosenberg's book, after seeing a vision of Christ, the Muslims immediately begin looking for the Scriptures.  In Africa, there are plenty of Muslims who see a vision of Christ and then based on that vision decide to become a Christian.  So the vision is a catalyst to start the people on the way to belief.
    If you rely strictly on visions, then you won't be able to grow in the knowledge of Christ.  But apparently visions are used in difficult countries where Islam has a strong grip to shock the people into belief.  In other words, the Bible is so foreign to them, that they will not even read it.  But after a vision of Christ, they are brought to Christ and His Word.
    There are many fewer visions of Christ in the West where the culture is familiar with the Bible and where the Scriptures are taught.  Thus, in the West, you can turn on your radio, and if you are in the South, you can hear two or three stations broadcasting Christianity.  You can go to a church.  In the Hampton Roads area, there are hundreds of churches to choose from.  Thus, visions are often not used by God as the Bible is readily available.  However, visions appear to be much more frequent in the Islamic countries, where the Bible and churches are banned and where there is darkness covering the land.   
      You write "How can you know for sure if someone else has become saved?"
      You cannot know for sure and it is not our place to judge if someone has definitely become a Christian.  But in Matthew 7:16-20 we read: "By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."  While the passage is specifically about false prophets, it applies to the church as well.  It is not an absolute guarantee, but it is a good indication if the person is living a changed life.
    So a Muslim prays five times a day and prays to Allah and never in Jesus's name.  He tries to achieve salvation by works.  He receives a vision of Christ, and then becomes a Christian.  He attends church and no longer goes to the mosque.  He prays to the Father in Jesus's name and asks that the Holy Spirit fill his life.  Can I be absolutely certain that he is a Christian?  NO.  But I would say that by his fruits he is known, and he is now living as a Christian should.

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