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1. Some Muslim - Christian interaction-  

From Isk

Joseph bhai wrote:

"Out of all the signs that Jesus could have given about himself, he chose to give the sign of Jonah: This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. (Luke 11:29, Matthew 12:39, Matthew 16) Jonah was swallowed alive by a whale and remained in its belly alive for three days. For Jesus to have properly fulfilled the prophecy, he would need to enter the tomb alive and come out alive. Why should Jesus give this, of all signs, if he was to die and be resurrected? "

Why do you simply assume that Jesus was referring to Jonah being in the belly of the whale? The sign of Jonah was that he preached to the people of Nineveh, Gentiles, who repented in sackcloth and ashes, and were saved from the impending judgement, because they received the message of God, given to them through the prophet, and mixing it with faith, acted appropriately by repenting of their sins. But the Jews of the day beleived that only they were eligible to receive God's forgiveness and blessings, because they had the covenants and law and were descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And so also, within one generation of Jesus, many Gentiles came in and received the blessings of the covenants, by faith and obedience, thus provoking the Jews of the day to jealousy. This was the sign of Jonah given to that generation.

But what is a sign? On the road there is a sign, saying "Lahore 50 km". So you can see that the sign is not exactly the same as that to which it points. A flag is a sign, an ensign, a symbol of the country it belongs to, but it is not the same as that country, it only points us to it, or reminds us of it.

Joseph also wrote: "Jesus was the Messiah, the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. He frequently made reference to himself as the suffering servant foretold in the Book of Isaiah (Matthew 8:17 & Isaiah 53:4; Luke 2:30 & Isaiah 52:10; Luke 22:37 & Isaiah 53:12). The Messiah of the Old Testament was, however, promised by God that he would not be killed (Psalms 34:19, Isaiah 53:10). How was it, therefore, that the Jews had succeeded in killing the Messiah if Jesus died on the cross?"

It was not promised that Messiah would not die, but only that he would not see corruption. Lying in a tomb from Friday dusk to Sunday early dawn, it is not likely that a body will see corruption, or become decomposed within that time.

And that Jesus suffered at the hands of the Jews, was that not the meaning of the 'suffering servant'?

And Jesus had cleansed the temple and occupied it, sitting there teaching the words of God, and forgiving sins and healing the sick, thereby putting himself a man in the place of the LORD, Ha Shem. But somehow he offended the powerbase or the position or the theology of the Jews, who therefore sought to kill him. And so sad, as surely then he would have brought in the Kingdom, but his own people rejected him.

But let us look at the story of Joseph, son of Jacob, rejected by his brothers, who sought to kill him, but Joseph went on to become a king (of sorts, he was a governor in Egypt, I suppose). And when his brothers came to recognise him in the end, whom they had at first rejected, then they were truly humbled and became reconciled. This also was a sign.

You also wrote: "Why did Jesus die before the other two who were crucified with him even though the legs of the other two were broken to hasten death? (John 19:32)"

Jesus laid down his life of his own accord, no one took it from him. He was truly 'slain for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities'. But remember also that he had been flogged early in the morning, and beaten by the Roman soldiers, and had been too weak even to carry his cross that another was found to carry it for him.

 

<****>

From Wafa 2-9

Isk

You said Jesus laid down his life of his own accord, no one took it from him. He was truly 'slain for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities'

Was Jesus sent to be crucified?

Peter and the two sons of Zebedee were with Jesus Christ before the elders of the people and the chief priests came to take him to crucify him. Jesus at this point talked to Peter and the two sons of Zebedee as in Matthew 26:38 " Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me". Then Jesus went a little further way from them and prayed to God as in Matthew 26:39 " And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt".

It is very clear from the above verse in Matthew 26:39 that Jesus had no intention of dying. In this verse it is shown that Jesus was praying strongly (Matthew mentions that Jesus repeated these prayer three time) to have this death removed from him. Had Jesus Christ been sent to be crucified he would not have hesitated to be killed at all. When I relate this to my Christian friends, they tell me that this hesitation comes from the flesh side of him (in other words he was tempted), and that his soul which is godly does not have this hesitation at all. When we look at Matthew 26:38 we see that Jesus is contradicting this idea by saying, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death" (Matthew 26:38). He himself says that it really his soul that is hesitating and not his body. These are Jesus' own words.

God Answered the prayers of Jesus Christ:

After Jesus made the above mentioned prayer he was answered by God according to Hebrews 5:7 " Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared". These words clearly show that when Jesus was praying strongly to God, God would grant him his request. The word " heard in that he feared" (Hebrews 5:7) mean that God granted him what he requested. So the above verse shows that when Jesus asked of God to " let this cup pass from" (Matthew 26:39) him, God respond to his prayer and saved him from death or crucifixion.

Why Would Jesus Have to Die on the Cross?According to the Christian doctrine, Jesus died on the cross as a sacrifice for our sins. The idea here is that every human is born with sins, or that all humans will sin, and therefore it was necessary that someone as pure as Jesus would be the crucified to nullify these sins. The question is; why does anyone have to die for our sins when God, the All-Merciful, could as easily give us forgiveness if we ask for it? Isn't God the one who makes the rules? Why does He have to make someone suffer for our sins or for someone else's sins? Isn't that unjust of Him? According to the Bible the way to redemption could be obtained without the need for sacrifice. The Bible says:

* Ezekiel 18:20 " The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him".

* Ezekiel 18:21 " But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die".

Clearly the soul that sins shall die. Clearly that no one shall bear the iniquity (sins) of others. So Jesus cannot bear the sins of others either. If one is righteous then it shall be upon him, and if one commits a sin then it shall be upon him, and not on Jesus. Finally, the way to repentance and forgiveness is by turning from all sins, doing what is right, and keeping the commandments.

Also we see the same message given by Solomon. He says in the book of Ecclesiastes 12:13 " Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man". This is the whole message, and this is the conclusion of messages. It is that one should fear God, and keep the commandments, and nothing else.

Again in 2 Chronicles 7:14 " If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land". This clearly states that to seek forgiveness from God we have to humble ourselves, pray and seek God, and turn away from wickedness.

Finally the Bible says in Samuel 15:22 " And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams". This clearly states that obeying God is better that sacrifice whether this sacrifice is of objects, animals, or humans, or any other type. What God likes is for us to heed and obey Him, and if that is what God likes then it is not of Him to come later and change his mind, and change his ways. God says in the Holy Quran,“ Verily God is All-Knowing, All-Wise” (Ch 9: Vr 28).

Now that we have seen this, Christians say that Jesus has changed some of these laws. Let's look at what Jesus says. In Matthew 5:17 " Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil". Jesus clearly states that he was not sent to abolish the law, the law of which had already existed. So what is mentioned above cannot be discounted. Then Jesus continues to say, in Matthew 5:18 and 19 " For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven". Jesus here states that not even as much as a dot (tittle) shall not pass from the law. Every thing is kept the way it was. That is why the previous laws cannot be removed or discarded, and those who willfully change these laws " he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven".

Wafa

 

 

From Lewieke

1. If Jezus was not to be crucified, how could he know he was going to die then? ("And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.")

2. Jezus didn't want to erase the law of the Old Testament, but he showed us on a number of occassions that we shouldn't follow the law blindly. For example, by stating that one IS allowed to labour on sabbath-day, and by preventing an adulterous woman from being stoned to death. For his message is LOVE and FORGIVENESS. They surpass everything, even, on occasions, the law.

 

<****>

From Wafa 2-10-02

Peace,

He knew he was going to be killed because he knew what the jews had for him, they never believed him and tried to kill him as they killed many other prophets before him.

Jesus orders Christians to follow the Old Testament's laws: "Do not think that I [Jesus] have come to abolish the Law (the Old Testament) or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke or a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law (the Old Testament) until everything is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)" It is quite clear from these verses from the New Testament that Jesus peace be upon him did honor the Old Testament and did say that every single "letter" of it has to be honored, followed and fulfilled

Is it rational for you that Jesus would forgive an adulteress and kill her child????!!

Jesus killed the adulteress' children:

"So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.

Of course adultery is punishable in Islam, But I wonder why did Jesus kill the woman's innocent children? What did they do? All this to prove something to the Churches?! I thought you should love your enemies and forgive them! It's not like the woman had killed anybody!! Let alone her children didn't have any part of Jesus and their mother! There is no record in the Bible of these children committing any crimes or sins!

The Bible, with all due respect to Christians, is ambiguous and self-contradicting! There is always room for finding excuses for wickedness as some extreme Christians do such as the Homosexuals and the Sexually Liberated. There is no solid ground for anything in the Bible. When you think you found an answer for a question or an issue, you can almost always find a contradiction or conflicting verse that nullifies it. Take the following example:

Is circumcision allowed in the Bible? Jesus says Yes. Paul says No. Go figure!! .

your second question:

To your comfort of heart No, I can not!!!

Wafa

 

 

From Lewieke 2-10

"So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds."

May I ask you where you found these phrases?

Furthermore, while it may be true that there are contradictions in the Bible, exactly the same goes for the Qur'an! Allah even replaces verses by other verses. So let's be honest with each other: both our religions - like all other religions - have some weak spots.

 

 

From Isk

Dear Wafa,

Lord Jesus could have saved himself, and called upon angels to defend himself from arrest, and from crucifixion, but he did not. When he prayed 'Not my will but thine be done', he was accepting that it was part of God's plan for him to die - certainly a very hard thing to accept for one who loves life; he gave the untimate submission to God's will. And remember crucifixion is a very painful way to die.

You said Jesus laid down his life of his own accord, no one took it from him. He was truly 'slain for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities'

The above is a quotation from Isaiah ch.53. It pictures Jesus as the scapegoat, being taken out of the city, to remove sins from the worshipper who brought the sacrifice (in the temple, in accordance with the Law of Moses). Even one of the High Priests of the day said that Jesus must die to save the rest of the nation (from further oppression by the Roman occupying armies). And after the events the Christians came to understand Jesus' death as an atoning sacrifice (in analogy to the sin sacrifice of the Mosaic law) because in a very real sense when we identify ourselves with Jesus in his death, we can come to have a clean conscience, which is perhaps the most important thing, to cleanse us of the guilty feelings of our personal sin. The Christians further believed that baptism, as a going down into the waters (death) is a means of personally identifying with Jesus in his death and resurrection (raise up to a new life).

Furthermore, the Christians believed that Jesus in dying gained a decisive victory over the enemy Shaitan, whose minions bind human souls in sins and habitual wrongdoing, and inflicting them with sicknesses, depressions &c. This is thought to be in fulfillment of the prophecy given by God when Adam and Eve were sent out of the garden, "The Seed of the woman shall crush your head, but you shall bruise his heel." Meaning that Satan thought he had finally won over God by manipulating the people to kill the Messiah, but in doing so Satan himself was undone, because Jesus had shown complete submission and obedience to God, he had kept the Covenant completely and perfectly, and so Satan could find no grounds on which to accuse Jesus of any wrongdoing. (Note also Orion in the stars shows a victorious hunter standing on the head of the serpent, while the serpent is biting his heel.)

It is also thought by the Christians that Jesus' death was necessary to extinguish the righteous anger of God on all the sins of man (the law demands a penalty to be paid). Also the Mosaic procedures of sacrifice teach us that the blood of the sacrifice was taken to cleanse the altar itself. In the same way the Christians believe that Jesus took his blood to heaven to cleanse the altar before God's throne. And also that Jesus' blood is available by faith as the spiritual power to cleanse our repentant hearts.

That's why the Christians believe that Jesus' death had the power of atoning sacrifice. Maybe in some ways God can forgive without it, but in Christian belief it is neccessary to have a clean conscience, and to have healing from the blood of that sacrifice (releasing the power of heavenly life). It's true that God does not want sacrifices of animals, because they can't take away our sins; in the Christian belief it is Jesus' sacrifice that is the only one accepted by God, and the other ones taught in the Law of Moses were there to teach us the principles involved. And God wanted to make himself known as the God who would give all, even his own life for the people, in the greatest love.

The Christians also believe that Jesus' resurrection from death gained a victory over death, which was the ultimate penalty for sin, and the bond around all human souls since the time of Adam's sin (our first father). Jesus was the only person who raised himself up from death (though this miracle had been done before by some of the prophets) - and death could not hold him because he was himself without sin, and had no human father by which he could inherit sin ('the sins of the fathers shall be visited onto the children...' Exodus ch. 20).

While it's true that Jesus' disciples did not see things this way before Jesus died, it was afterwards that they came to understand, in the light of the Torah and writings, and everything that Jesus had taught them. It was Apostle Paul who wrote many of these things down for our learning today.

So I hope you can understand me now because I am trying to explain the Christian beliefs to you to answer your questions.

Yours sincerely,

Iskandar.

 

 

From Isk

Dear Wafa,

You quoted from the Book of revelation (the final book in the New Testament), as follows:

"So I will cast her on a bed of suffering, and I will make those who commit adultery with her suffer intensely, unless they repent of her ways. I will strike her children dead. Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds."

This is from the famous passages called the letters to the seven churches. It is Jesus addressing the Christians through prophecy. He was disciplining the Christians who knew better how to live, but were going astray with different sins. This is to show us that it is serious when you learn the Christian faith to then not follow it. It also shows us that Jesus wanted to make his church a community of holy and obedient people, a special people. It would seem that Jesus would not necessarily discipline people outside of his church quite so strongly. There are other examples of such deaths in the church though, such as Annanias and Saphira, who lied to the apostles about money they were offering to the church community (in the Acts of the Apostles). They were both struck down dead on the spot, becasue they knew exactly what they were doing, and did not repent of it. The result was that the other members of the community were more careful to live in pure obedience to God, becasue they saw that God is serious and powerful.

The adultery mentioned was perhaps physical or perhaps referring to following some teachings against the Christian beliefs ('spiritual adultery'), so 'her children' may have referred to those who followed the teachings of that particular woman. It's also Christian belief that God will always give plenty of warning to anyone before he disciplines them.

So I hope that explains to you the context of that quotation.

 

 

From Rick 2-11-02

Hello Wafa,

Once again you are critiqueing Christianity on Muslim terms. This is bound to happen when a person of one faith begins evaluating another. However, you might come to understand Christianity better if instead of trying to prove it wrong you seek to understand it from a Christian perpective. This doesn't mean that you have to agree with it, just try to see it from our point of view.

Your last post raised a number of important issues. Let me address just a few.

You wrote, "The Quran doesn't contradict it’s self, believing that Allah’s book is not perfect is believing that God himself is not perfect not almighty or al knowing ." And then, "The bible contains the word of God but man’s hand distorted it intentionally /unintentionally. God is al knowing and doesn’t make errors whereas the bible contains a lot of errors and contradictions that’s enough proof that the bible is not all God’s word and therefore can not be a reliable source of guidance."

This seems like a contradiction to me. First you say that because God is perfect his book must be perfect. Then you say the Bible contains the word of God. Then you say it has been distorted. Then you say parts of the Bible are God's word and parts are errors. Using the same reasoning, couldn't we say that the Qur'an has been corrupted intentionally/unintentionally? If God has protected the Qur'an from corruption, why hasn't he protected the Bible if it also contains his word?

I'll skip over your comments concerning the Trinity, sin, and the atonement, though those are very worthwhile subjects to address. They are bigger issues than I have time to tackle!

Instead, let me address your comment that "No miracle attributed to Jesus signifies that he was God-Incarnate." Again, this is where the difference between the Christian/Muslim worldview comes into play. In my experience and in accordance with what you have been posting, the proof of the Qur'an's authenticity is its miraculous nature. I get the sense from this that "miraculous" is evidence of "divine origin" for a Muslim. Is this correct?

It isn't necessarily the case for Christians. Our belief that Jesus is God incarnate does not come from the fact that he did miracles. Rather, our belief that Jesus is the self-representation of God comes from Jesus' own teaching ("He who has seen me has seen the Father," "I and my Father are one," etc.) and especially the nature of God that we see revealed in Jesus (including but not limited to the miracles he performed). Miracles really have very little to do with our doctrine of incarnation. This is why I have suggested that you try to understand these doctrines from our perspective rather than presenting arguments against Christianity that reflect an Islamic rather than Christian method of understanding.

Warmly in Christ,

Rick

 

 

From Isk 2-11

Dear Wafa,

You wrote:

"There is no difference between Muslims and Christians on the imperfection of human nature, the necessity for atonement, the pursuit of salvation and the primacy of God’s grace and forgiving qualities. The difference, however, relates to the way of seeking forgiveness and strength to “overcome sin”. The Qur’an teaches that God is both just and Merciful. But since He created humankind and knows its weaknesses, He does not require bloodshed to forgive.."

You say that Muslims believe that atonement is necessary, and also you say that shedding of blood is not necessary. Christians see the shedding of blood as the atonement, what do Muslims believe is 'atonement'?

And, what is the meaning of the sacrifices made at the Eid-ul-Azha (bukri eid)? Where did this practice originate from? What is its history? What is its significance? Why is blood shed at this festival?

 

 

From Aasim

Assalamu aleikom,

Inshalla, this will help:

Eid-ul-Adhia is a festival that is celebrated on the 10th of Dhul Hijja and marks the close of the Hajj ceremony or Pilgrimage to the Ka'aba.

 

A Muslim is required to perform the pilgrimage at least once in his lifetime, provided that he can afford the cost of the journey, is not indebted to anyone and is not otherwise prevented from performing the Haj. Those who unable to perform the pilgrimage join in the Eid-ul-Adhia ceremony at their own places.

 

The Eid is celebrated with great solemnity and reverence everywhere. Like Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims make preparations several days before the festival. The animals to be sacrificed are bought well before the Eid day by those who can afford to do so. These animal should be free from all physical defects and should be fully grown. In case of sheep, goat or lamb, one animal suffices for one household, while a cow or a camel can be shared by upto seven families.

 

On the day of the Eid, Muslims assemble in the Eid-gah or in the large mosques of the town for Eid Prayer Service. The Eid Prayer is comprised of two Raka'as and offered in the same manner as Eid-ul-Fitr. Generally no breakfast is served on this Eid, and those who offer sacrifice do not eat anything until after they have sacrificed the animal. After the prayer the Imam delivers a sermon in which he explains the significance of the festival, giving the details of the sacrifices offered by Abraham, his wife Hager and their son Ishmael. Returning by a different route and singing the praise of Almighty Allah, Muslim worshippers return home and slaughter their animals. On Eid day, Muslims recite the praise of Allah in the following words:

 

Allah ho Akbar, Allah ho Akbar

La illaha illa Allah, wa Allah ho Akbar, Allah ho Akbar

wa Lillah hil Hamd

 

Translation:

Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest

There is none worthy of worship except Allah and

Alah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and

All praise belongs to Allah

 

The person who offers the sacrifice is allowed to use a portion of the meat, the remainder is distributed among the relatives, friends, neighbors and the poor. The animals my be sacrificed on the day of the Eid or the two days that follow. Millions of animals are slaughtered all over the world on this occasion. The skins of the slaughtered animals are sold and the proceeds given to different charities.

 

Philosophy of the Sacrifice:

According to the teachings of Islam, the sacrifice of animals is not offered to appease offended deities nor to win their favor as an atonement of sins as was the case of many other nations. The Holy Quran made it quite clear by stating:

"Neither the flesh nor the blood of your sacrifices reaches God, but it is the righteous motive underlying them that reaches Him." (22:37)

 

In other words, the slaughtering of animals is a symbolic expression whereby a Muslim declares his readiness to lay down his own life and everything he owes for the sake of God Almighty. The animal that is sacrificed really stands for the animal in man himself.

This information was obtained at islam.com

Personally, I do not see the Gospels or the New Testament as God's word. I do not say this to be antagonistic, I just wanted to share my own insights.

Personally, and as a Muslim, I see the Gospels as a "testimony" of men, and the NT as the teachings of Paul, not Jesus. Even as a Christian I approached the Bible in this manner. I have never considered the Gospels and the NT as the "word" of God, but rather, a dispensation of the ministry of Jesus and the teachings of Paul, all fallible and quite normal human beings.

Having been a Christian, and am now a Muslim, I can understand how Rick would assume two different "world views." But I have to dissagree with this point. We all look towards God with the eyes of an individual person, not the eyes of a "Christian" or "Muslim" or "Jew." We each seek and understand God in our own time and experience(reality), not by the dictums of any religion(no religion can dictate our experience of God). I may look towards God differently than another Muslim, does this mean one of us is not Muslim? Certainly not. I think this is a use of over-generalization or stereotypical thinking. I don't think it is all bad, per say. It has always been easier to group people into a "class" or "identity" in order to try to reach an understanding of their beliefs. Unfortunately, this categorizing is often the first stumble!

There are many problems that need solving. I hope one day we may all come together as a member of our faith (Jew,Muslim,Christian), using our own and unique perspectives to solve these problems. Lets take a problem like illiteracy. I, obviously, cannot solve this problem by myself. So if I find a very talented teacher who happens to be a Jew or Christian, will I pass up the opportunity to enlist their help in this cause? No way! I put aside our differences of personal beleif and work with them to solve a greater and more immediate problem: children and adults who can't read. Of course, I would pray that this teacher would become a Muslim...and that teacher would probably pray that I would convert...or perhaps, this is God's way of bringing us together to solve a common problem without worrying at all if anybody "converts.". Allah(swt) knows best, and is the best of planners.

I hope this finds you all in good spirits and health.

-Aasim

 


PS.

Sister Wafa, I have tried to contact you via email, please let me know if my email reached you. If not, I will look into it. My email service has been less than reliable these past few weeks. But I can't complain about a free service!

 

 

From Lewieke 2-13

Dear Wafa,

There are many places in the bible where it is said that Jezus is the son of God. Probably the most explicit one is Luke 3:22, where God says about Jezus: "Thou art my Son, the beloved one". (I don't have an English bible, so I'm translating from my Dutch bible.) If Jezus is God's Son, he must be divine as well.

But now you will probably say that this is another corrupted passage in the bible. That makes it so difficult to debate with (some) muslims: they can always say that a certain bible passage has been corrupted.

 

 

From Isk

27. "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

28. "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

29. "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.." (John 10:29).

Exactly! When you are in God's hand, you are also in Jesus' hand, and vice versa. The hands are the same, and they belong to the same person!

'In Jesus Christ, the fullness of the Godhead is made known'.

'God was in Christ, reconcilling the world to Himself'.

That is the Christians' belief, and the Christians' hope.

That is the Christian path: to listen to His voice and follow Him, as obedient sheep.

 

 

From Wafa 2-14

Lewieke,

How many sons does the Bible tell us that God Almighty has?

  1. Jacob is God's son and firstborn: "Israel is my son, even my firstborn" Exodus 4:22.
  2. Solomon is God's son "He shall build an house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son": 2 Samuel 7:13-14.
  3. Ephraim is God's firstborn: "for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." Jeremiah 31:9 (who is God's firstborn? Israel or Ephraim?).
  4. Adam is the son of God "Adam, which was the son of God." Luke 3:38.
  5. Common people (you and me) are the sons of God: "Ye are the children of the LORD your God" Deuteronomy 14:1. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" Romans 8:14. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:" John 1:12. "That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;" Philippians 2:15. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: ... now are we the sons of God" 1 John 3:1-2. "When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" Job 38:7. "Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD," Job 2:1. "Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD," Job 1:6. "when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men," Genesis 6:4. "That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair" Genesis 6:2

As we can see, the use of the term "son of God" when describing normal human beings was not at all an uncommon practice among Jesus' people.

As we can understand from these and many other verses like them, "son of God" in the language of the Jews was a very innocent term used to describe a loyal servant of God.

The quran says

2.116 They say: "(Allah) hath begotten a son" :Glory be to Him.-Nay, to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and on earth: everything renders worship to Him.

3.59 The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was.

1. Say: He is Allah, the One;

2. Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;

3. He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;

4. And there is none like unto Him.

Wafa

 

From Wafa

Again another contradiction here

was it Jacob or Ibrahim the first born ?

 

 

From Aaron 2-14-02

Aasim Ahmad,

Peace.

In response to post#1-Though I am sure you have had other responses to this post, with no offense intended, I will add mine to the others.

(You said) There is little doubt that although the three Abrahamic faiths have common roots in history, there is a real and tangible tension between the three regarding the validity of each religions belief in God and how salvation in acheived.

(acr Aasim, I would agree that there is a commonality in all three of these religions and that commonality is clearly the Abrahamic Covenant. I believe that it is just that simple. Then in addition to that, I believe that these three religions might also have a commonality in "how salvation is achieved". That commonality for the salvation of each of these religions would be the matchless grace of Almighty God. So what we are saying is this—The Abrahamic Covenant unifies Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and God’s grace saves those whom He wills to save. If we could agree on these two points, I think that the discussion could be much simpler for all of us.)

(You said) This tension, which sometimes manifests itself into open conflict, is sometimes unavoidable.

(acr Aasim, "unavoidable" tension in what way? Unavoidable for you? Or unavoidable for me? It would seem that the conflict would belong to those who seen to be having so many problems with the other’s religion. Might we conclude that the majority of the conflicts within all religions, is generally the result of a deficiency in understanding? I have been here only a short time, but it would appear that many from the Islamic community, like yourself, have some serious problem with both Judaism and Christianity.)

(You said) I belong to an Islamic movement that has many goals, and one of those goals is to dispell the theory of the Trinity and Ressurection. It is referred to as the "Breaking of the Cross".

(acr Aasim, without the Cross, there would be no resurrection, and without the resurrection, there would be no Christian Church. Though I am sure that you know that by the above statement, you are saying that one of your stated goals is to destroy the Christian Church. Now since the Muslim movement has been trying to destroy the Christian Church since their beginning in the seventh century, and because I was already fully aware of that point in the Islamic ideology, your statement does not really surprise me. I might also add this, that after nearly two thousand years of Christian history, one should fully recognize that it does not really matter what some may want. Thankfully, God is still in charge of everything. And Aasim, that Islamic ideology happens to be one of the major differences in our religions. What I mean by that, is that the Christian Church does not base its legitimacy on the presence or absence of any other denomination or religion, but on the revealed fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham. We should also understand that Christianity is only a fractional part of God’s universal reconciliation—as are Judaism and Islam. As I stated earlier, religious security can be achieved only through a thorough understanding of the Abrahamic Covenant.)

May The Most Holy God—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, guide all of us to His blessed truths-

Aaron

 

 

From Aasim 2-14

Peace to all,

Aaron,

You post some very legitimate and thought provoking statements.

I cannot dispel the fact that there are basic and very real theological differences between the three faiths (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) where salvation is concerned. Because of these differences, some tension between the faiths is unavoidable.

Some people are more passive than others, and can easily look the other way when the theology of their religion is challenged. Others are more aggressive and outspoken, this is when the tension manifests into open debate or conflict.

When we are presented with a situation like this, it is our choice to stay and argue, or to politely dismiss ourselves from the situation until things cool down.

I cannot agree that the three faiths can be truely unified. How can Islam be truely unified with Christianity? In Islam, the Trinity is shirk, denial of the oneness of God. It is like saying, we will unify water and oil. Tawhid and Trinity do not mix. They are opposites. If you throw ice into hot oil, what happens? The oil molecules expell the water. The two are not compatible.

However, I do agree that the people of these three faiths can come together in semblance of peace and social unity in order to achieve many goals such as curing hunger, wiping out illiteracy, struggling for social justice, etc. These causes are not religion specific; any one from any religion can work to solve these problems. Perhaps the "work" that we do together can be the binding force. Three different religions struggling for the same causes.

Though we may never agree on theology, we must agree on what is best for this world. I'm sure everyone has noticed how out of hand things have become.

in faith,

Aasim

///

 

Answers to questions—pertaining to Jesus

 

From Aaron 8-23-02

My friends

Peace

Now as I have reviewed the posts on "Questions pertaining to Jesus—Prophet or God", that more often than not challenge the correctness of some of the Christian doctrines, some very interesting questions come into my mind. And because of this, I hope that bringing this subject back for some additional discussion is acceptable? Additionally, these comments will go along the same line as my post#19 (Questions pertaining to Jesus—Prophet or God)—to which no one has been obliged to give any direct response thus far. So to re-start this discussion, I refer to Jade’s hypothetical question and the Muslim’s conclusions concerning the necessity of a sacrifice for sin.

This quote is taken from Jade’s post #5 (Questions pertaining to Jesus—Prophet or God)—"Dialogue between myself and a Muslim.

C= myself [Jade]

N= Muslim

C= ...but the Christians say that their God or our God is so loving that he sent his only son to die and by his blood we are redeemed and forgiven.

N= Yes, but Allah has no need to go through the process of the crucifiction. Allah has no need to send an innocent man to die for other people sins... Allah just forgives a repentive person."

"Now I guess this goes on to another lengthy subject, the crucifiction. The Muslim in the dialogue puts up a valuable question in my opinion. God does not need to go through that process he just simply forgives.

SO why did God send his Son?

What is the meaning behind the crucifiction?

Why did God go through this drawn out process when he could have easily just forgiven man?

After reading the Christian accounts, something just isn't adding up. Christians say, "he died for your sins."

WHy? I just don't understand it."

This logical conclusion that is given in the above hypothetical situation is probably true with respect to the sovereignty of God—for God Himself does not need a sacrifice of any sort. But since God is in charge of everything, God also gets to set the rules. So then the sacrificial system that we find described in the Holy Bible, is in fact the system designed by the Creator God. With one specific aspect, the sin offering, that God established as a cover for the sins of the creature. This is not a question about what God needs to do or does not need to do. But simply to say that it was God Himself who first established the necessity for a sin sacrifice for the people.

Consequently, the first difficulty in this scenario that comes to my mind, is the fact that the Muslim here in this discussion seems to be questioning the Creator God concerning His established sacrificial ordinances. What I mean by that, is the fact that the Muslims are questioning the sacrificial laws that the Creator God Himself established through Moses and the prophets. For example, a "sin offering" for the sins of the people is specifically mentioned ninety-one times in the Old Testament. Now this is what I fail to understand. When God has so clearly established an ordinance that is so frequently described in such precise detail in His Holy Bible, how anyone would have the courage to judge it to be unnecessary? I am at a loss for words! It would almost seem that the Muslims are saying that they know more about these things than God does. They seem to be speaking for God when they tell the world that this is what God wants or does not want. Or that my way of worship is the only way to worship God. I would inquire of the Muslims—by what authority have you determined God’s sacrificial laws obsolete?

I guess it all comes down to our individual view of the authenticity of the Holy Bible. Is God’s Holy Word something that we can trust in for truth or not? Whenever we start to pick and choose which Scriptures are accurate and which Scriptures are corrupted, I believe that we are placing ourselves on very tenuous ground. Are Muslims really ready to completely ignore God’s established sacrificial system? Are you sure that you want to tell God that His sacrificial laws were /and are without value and completely meaningless?

I would like to say this—the Christian doctrines are simply declaring what the Holy Bible clearly states. The real issue here, is our difference in the acceptance of the Holy Bible as the God inspired factual truth concerning His universal reconciliation. And I can see that there is a very serious downside here, in the fact that the Muslims are trying to promote their own religion on the basis of the corruptness and unreliability of the Christian’s Holy Bible rather than their own authenticity. They would challenge the reliability of the Gospel of John, the writings of the Apostles—especially Paul’s writings, and anything pertaining to the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. But if we were to allow the Muslim’s prejudicial interpretation of the Holy Bible to go unchallenged, there would be no Christian Church in existence at all. That is, without the crucifixion—without the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there is no Christian Church. And since these principles do not require your approval, I can only suggest that the Muslims simply accept these Christian doctrines as Christian doctrines. Though I am very sorry if the Muslim’s religious perspectives seem to conflict with Judaism or Christianity. I am presently constrained by the Scriptures from going any further for now.

Though I have presented some of these passages from Isaiah before in "YESHUA-MESSIAH of the Bible", I believe that the plain language that is given here will guide all of us to more fully understand God’s universal reconciliation. My Scriptural contention is that Jesus the Christ is in fact the Arm of Jehovah.

"53 Who has believed our report? and to whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed? (Ref.Jn.12:38; Rom.10:16) 2For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: (Ref.Rom.15:12; Isa.11:10; Rev.5:5; 22:16) he has no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3He was despised and rejected of men; (Ref.Mk.8:31; Lu.9:22; 17:25) a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: as one from whom men hide their face; he was despised and we esteemed him not. (Ref.Mk.10:33-34; Lu.18:31-33)

4Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, punished of God, and afflicted. (Ref.Mat.8:17)"

By these passages, we understand that "the Arm of Jehovah" was to have a human existence here on earth: He would appear as an ordinary man who would know grief and be rejected by the people.

We then come to the passages that describe the reasoning behind the crucifixion of Jesus the Christ; YESHUA—MESSIAH; the Arm of Jehovah:

"5But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Ref.1Pe.2:21-25) 6All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Yes, Jesus was to carry the full burden of the creature’s sins—That, through His love for His creation "God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all":

"7He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. (Ref.Jn.1:29; Rev.5:5-) 8By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who among them considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due? (Ref.Acts.8:32-33) 9And they made his grave with the wicked, (Ref.Lu.22:37) and with a rich man in his death; (Ref.Mat.27:57-60) although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth." (Ref.Lu.23:1-56)

With the clear words of these passages, how can anyone argue that Jesus did not die upon that tree? God tells us that Jesus was—

"a lamb that is led to the slaughter".

"cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due?"

"9And they made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death."

"His death" my friends! To please Jehovah, Jesus died for our sins! "You shall make his soul an offering for sin", "and he shall bear their iniquities." Listen to these words!

"10Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand. 11He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; (Ref.Mat.21:42; Mk.12:10; Lu.20:17) and he shall bear their iniquities." (Ref.Rom.4:25; 1Cor.15:3; Heb.9:28; Isa.53:5)

We are clearly given Jehovah’s reason for Jesus’ death—"10Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin". "by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many". "and he shall bear their iniquities."

Then these following passages do in fact describe that necessary atonement that came from Christ’s sacrificial death for the sins of creation:

"12Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the plunder with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, (Ref.Mat.26:38, 39, 42) and was numbered with the transgressors: (Ref.Lu.22:37) yet he bare the sin of many, (Ref.2Cor.5:21) and made intercession for the transgressors." (Ref.Rom.8:34; Heb.7:5) Amen.

Then here in Isaiah chapter 54, we are given prophetic insight into the universal character of God’s reconciliation. I believe that the "barren" or the "desolate" would be representative of the Nations, and that the "married wife" would be representative of God’s first peoples Israel. God was predicting something wonderful that was going to happen in His universal reconciliation. This is how I see it from the perspective of God’s universal reconciliation.

"54 Sing, O barren, you that did not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you that did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, says Jehovah."

Here, I believe that God is referring just to His very own children—to the corporate peoples of God that would ultimately come from every kindred, tribe, tongue, and Nation. Then in preparation for God’s universal reconciliation, we read—

"2Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; spare not: lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. 3For you shall spread abroad on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited."

These passages express God’s intent to incorporate all of the Nations into His universal reconciliation—The culmination and fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant.

"4Fear not; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be confounded; for you shall not be put to shame: for you shall forget the shame of your youth; and the reproach of your widowhood shall you remember no more. 5For your Maker is your husband; Jehovah of hosts is his name: and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall he be called."

Then once again we are given insight into the plurality of our Creator God. As far as the Nations are concerned, the Creator God—our Maker is our husband; "Jehovah of hosts is his name". We are then told that "the Holy One of Israel is our Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall he be called." This is always the clear message of the Christian Church.

God then turns His attention back to His first peoples Israel:

"6For Jehovah has called you as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even a wife of youth, when she is cast off, says your God. 7For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you. 8In overflowing wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting lovingkindness will I have mercy on you, says Jehovah your (Israel’s) Redeemer. 9For this (Referring to Jehovah’s commitment to His wife—Israel) is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. 10For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my lovingkindness shall not depart from you, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed, says Jehovah that has mercy on you."

I cannot even begin to grasp or express the magnanimity of these promises that God has made to His first peoples Israel. With all that has happened throughout the millennia’s, yet God’s lovingkindness for Israel endures forever.

Now God describes His future promise for all of His peoples:

"11O you afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in fair colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12And I will make your pinnacles of rubies, and your gates of carbuncles, and all your border of precious stones. (Ref.Rev.21:18-20) 13And all your children shall be taught of Jehovah; (Ref.Jn.6:45) and great shall be the peace of your children. 14In righteousness shall you be established: you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. 15Behold, they may gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against you shall fall because of you. 16Behold, I have created the smith that blowes the fire of coals, and brought forth a weapon for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy. 17No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Jehovah, and their righteousness which is of me, says Jehovah." Amen.

Then in Isaiah 55, God further explains His Covenant of Peace that He has made with the Nations of the world:

55 "Ho, every one that thirsts, come you to the waters, (Ref.Jn.4:14; 7:37) and he that has no money; come, buy and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? And why do you labor for that which satisfies not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3Incline your ear, and come unto me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David. (Ref.Acts.13:34-41) 4Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples. (Ref.Ps.18:43) 5Behold, you shall call a nation that you know not; and a nation that knew not you shall run unto you, because of Jehovah your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you."

Once again, we can observe God’s expanded reconciliation that was to extend far beyond his first peoples Israel. This unknown nation that is joined by God’s design to Israel, has befriended Israel because of Jehovah and the Holy One of Israel: YESHUA—MESSIAH. I believe that this would be representative of the natural alliance between Judaism and Christianity.

Next, we see God further explaining His Covenant of Grace that was facilitated during The Year of Jehovah’s Favor. It is God Himself who is accomplishing His universal reconciliation—His reconciling of the world: "6Seek Jehovah while he may be found; call upon him while he is near: 7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Jehovah. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 10For as the rain and the snow comes down from heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I have sent it. 12For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands. 13Instead of the thorn, shall come up the fir-tree; and instead of the brier, shall come up the myrtle-tree: and it shall be to Jehovah for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." (JEHOVAH-SHAMMAH) Amen.

Then dealing specifically with the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, I believe that these passages from Psalm 22 are, as a clear conformation for Isaiah 53, very convincing proofs for that special event. I believe that Jesus is speaking here in the first person:

Psalm 22

"1My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Ref.Mat.27:46; Mk.15:34) Why are you so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? 2O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you answer not; And in the night season, I am not silent. 3But you are holy, O you that inhabit the praises of Israel. 4Our fathers trusted in you: They trusted, and you did deliver them. 5They cried unto you, and were delivered: They trusted in you, and were not put to shame. 6But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people. 7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, (Ref.Mat.27:39; Mk.15:29; Lu.23:35-38) saying, 8Commit yourself unto Jehovah; Let him deliver him: Let him rescue him, seeing he delights in him. (Ref.Mat.27:43) 9But you are he that took me out of the womb; you did make me trust when I was upon my mother’s breasts. 10I was cast upon you from the womb; you are my God since my mother bare me.

11Be not far from me; For trouble is near; For there is none to help. 12Many bulls have surrounded me; Strong bulls of Bashan have circled round me. 13They come upon me with their open mouth, As a ravening and a roaring lion. 14I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. 15My strength is dried up like a potsherd; And my tongue clings to my jaws; And you have brought me into the dust of death. 16For dogs have compassed me: A company of evil-doers have enclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet. (Ref.Mat.27:35; Jn.20:25) 17I may count all my bones; They look and stare upon me. 18They part my garments among them, And upon my vesture do they cast lots. (Ref.Jn.19:24; Lu.23:34)19But be not far off, O Jehovah: O you my succor, you hurry to help me. 20Deliver my soul from the sword, My darling from the power of the dog. 21Save me from the lion’s mouth; yes, from the horns of the wild-oxen you have answered me.

22I will declare your name unto my brethren: In the midst of the assembly will I praise you. (Ref.Heb.2:12) 23You that fear Jehovah, praise him; All you the seed of Jacob, glorify him; And stand in awe of him, all you the seed of Israel. 24For he has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither has he hid his face from him; But when he cried unto him, he heard. 25Of you comes my praise in the great assembly: I will pay my vows before them that fear him. (Ref.Heb.12:22-24) 26The meek shall eat and be satisfied; They shall praise Jehovah that seek after him: Let your heart live for ever. 27All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah; And all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before you. 28For the kingdom is Jehovah’s; And he is the ruler over the nations. (Ref.Rev.11:15) 29All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and worship: All they that go down to the dust shall bow before him, Even he that cannot keep his soul alive. 30A seed shall serve him; It shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation. (Ref.1Pe.2:9; Mat.24:34; Mk.13:30; Lu.21:32) 31They shall come and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he has done it." Amen. (RASV-1901)

Finally, I would say that all of these sighted passages have considerable New Testament conformation and support—at least from my own perspective and understanding. Your kind participation here is greatly appreciated.

God’s truth does reign forever.

Aaron

 

 

THE HOLY TRINITY-Proofs

From Aaron-

For your information:

Post#19- From "Questions pertaining to Jesus—Prophet or God"

Jade,

Greetings!

To go back to your original question. I think that what Rick was saying early on—was that even we ourselves do not completely understand this foundational doctrine of the Trinity that is held by the Trinitarian segment of the Christian Church. If I am wrong in this assumption, Rick will correct me.

As Rick has stated, the Triune nature of the Godhead is not clearly taught in the Scriptures. But I believe that the certain implication for it is there within many passages from the Bible. Passages, of which I will, from my own perspective and understanding, point to as selected examples.

My question is this—Does the Bible teach that our Creator God has a plurality?

Gen.1:1 God—(‘elohim) is generally interpreted as the plural form of the Creator God.

Gen.1:2 Is where we immediately receive insight into a second attribute of God—it is the activity of "the Spirit of God".

Gen.1:26 God’s plurality is also evident when God speaks of making man "in our image, after our likeness".

Even though we will never completely comprehend the in depth details of this plurality of the God of Creation, we should never stop trying. We must never allow ourselves to ignore the Scriptural reality of this Divine mystery.

Isa.48:16-17 speaks specifically of the plural nature of God— "16Come near unto me, hear this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there I AM: and now (first) THE LORD JEHOVAH has sent (second) ME and (third) HIS SPIRIT. 17This says JEHOVAH, your REDEEMER, the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL: I am Jehovah your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go." [And we all know that it is God’s Holy Spirit that is always our teacher and guide.]

This question must be asked—can anyone contend against the defined plurality of this passage from Isaiah? [There are three distinct characteristics pictured here—(first) THE LORD JEHOVAH, (second) ME, and (third) HIS SPIRIT. Yet we all know that the LORD or God is one LORD.]

Isa.61:1-2 is the cornerstone passage for Messiah’s stated ministry in the formation of the Covenant Christian Church— "1The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor," Then in Lu.4:18-19 Jesus openly stated that upon His reading of this selected portion from Isaiah, that this ‘Year of Jehovah’s Favor’ was being fulfilled in their hearing. That was the very beginning of God's universal reconciliation-this present dispensation of grace—the common Christian era.

Isa.63:8-14 as in Isa.53:1-12, we see the clear picture of first—JEHOVAH, second—HIS HOLY ARM (YESHUA-MESSIAH), and third—HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

"8For he (Jehovah) said, Surely, they are my people, children that will not deal falsely: so he was their Saviour. 9In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them up, and carried them all the days of old. 10But they rebelled, and grieved His Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. 11Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? where is He that put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them? 12that caused His Glorious Arm to go at the right hand of Moses? that divided the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name?" Amen.

Isa.7:14/Mat.1:23 then clearly define Yeshua-Messiah— "14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Immanuel—God with us.) Ref. The Gospel of John.

I will not go into the numerous New Testament proofs, because the New Testament more than confirms the above stated facts and principles.

Then it is also understandable that if you reject the Bible as being God’s inspired Holy Word, you will probably reject these findings as well.

God’s grace and mercy is always near.

Aaron

 

For your information:

Post#19- From "Questions pertaining to Jesus—Prophet or God"

Jade,

Greetings!

To go back to your original question. I think that what Rick was saying early on—was that even we ourselves do not completely understand this foundational doctrine of the Trinity that is held by the Trinitarian segment of the Christian Church. If I am wrong in this assumption, Rick will correct me.

As Rick has stated, the Triune nature of the Godhead is not clearly taught in the Scriptures. But I believe that the certain implication for it is there within many passages from the Bible. Passages, of which I will, from my own perspective and understanding, point to as selected examples.

My question is this—Does the Bible teach that our Creator God has a plurality?

Gen.1:1 God—(‘elohim) is generally interpreted as the plural form of the Creator God.

Gen.1:2 Is where we immediately receive insight into a second attribute of God—it is the activity of "the Spirit of God".

Gen.1:26 God’s plurality is also evident when God speaks of making man "in our image, after our likeness".

Even though we will never completely comprehend the in depth details of this plurality of the God of Creation, we should never stop trying. We must never allow ourselves to ignore the Scriptural reality of this Divine mystery.

Isa.48:16-17 speaks specifically of the plural nature of God— "16Come near unto me, hear this; from the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there I AM: and now (first) THE LORD JEHOVAH has sent (second) ME and (third) HIS SPIRIT. 17This says JEHOVAH, your REDEEMER, the HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL: I am Jehovah your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go." [And we all know that it is God’s Holy Spirit that is always our teacher and guide.]

This question must be asked—can anyone contend against the defined plurality of this passage from Isaiah? [There are three distinct characteristics pictured here—(first) THE LORD JEHOVAH, (second) ME, and (third) HIS SPIRIT. Yet we all know that the LORD or God is one LORD.]

Isa.61:1-2 is the cornerstone passage for Messiah’s stated ministry in the formation of the Covenant Christian Church— "1The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah has anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2to proclaim the year of Jehovah’s favor," Then in Lu.4:18-19 Jesus openly stated that upon His reading of this selected portion from Isaiah, that this ‘Year of Jehovah’s Favor’ was being fulfilled in their hearing. That was the very beginning of God's universal reconciliation-this present dispensation of grace—the common Christian era.

Isa.63:8-14 as in Isa.53:1-12, we see the clear picture of first—JEHOVAH, second—HIS HOLY ARM (YESHUA-MESSIAH), and third—HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

"8For he (Jehovah) said, Surely, they are my people, children that will not deal falsely: so he was their Saviour. 9In all their affliction He was afflicted, and the Angel of His presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them up, and carried them all the days of old. 10But they rebelled, and grieved His Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them. 11Then he remembered the days of old, Moses and his people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherds of his flock? where is He that put His Holy Spirit in the midst of them? 12that caused His Glorious Arm to go at the right hand of Moses? that divided the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name?" Amen.

Isa.7:14/Mat.1:23 then clearly define Yeshua-Messiah— "14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." (Immanuel—God with us.) Ref. The Gospel of John.

I will not go into the numerous New Testament proofs, because the New Testament more than confirms the above stated facts and principles.

Then it is also understandable that if you reject the Bible as being God’s inspired Holy Word, you will probably reject these findings as well.

God’s grace and mercy is always near.

Aaron

 

 

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  All text copyright © 2005 Aaron Randall. All rights reserved.  Photos, unless otherwise credited, are the property of the auth, all rights reserved.  Originally posted February 24, 2004.  Revised: February 20, 2009.