Posted by: admin on Sun, Jun 3, 2012
by haRold Smith , a citizen of the Commonwealth
"…let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to
eat from the tree of Life, which is in the midst of the Garden of YHVH." Revelation 2:7
Who Is Israel?
Part One - the Gentiles
by haRold Smith , a citizen of the Commonwealth (Ephesians 2:12)
…He answered them and said, "The kingdom of YHVH does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' for indeed, the the kingdom of YHVH is within you." Luke 17:20-21
"Truly YHVH is good to Israel, to those who ...not by observation are of a pure heart." Psalm 73:1
After the last article To Be Born Again (click on highlighted words to view content), several have written asking the same question - "Who is Israel today?" To begin with, we need to be sure our terminology is in alignment with the words and life of Yeshua, Who is the benchmark by which everything is measured - including other scripture (Revelation 19:10, see Arrows of Famine for more detail). In the article, the Beatitudes, we found that the words Yeshua spoke were not something "new", that is, unique just to His message; but, rather, all of His Words can be referenced back to the Words of YHVH in the Tenakh (the OT, John 14:24). In like manner, if we simply look to what the words of scripture say and mean without overlaying any preconceived traditions upon them, those words make clear the question of who comprises the family of YHVH, the Kingdom of Israel. As we see from Psalm 73:1 above, YHVH considers Israel to be those who maintain a pure or cleansed heart before Him. 1Peter 1:22 tells us HOW our lives are cleansed and made pure - by obedience to the Truth through Spirit. That Truth is found in the standard set by the Words of the Father of the family of the Kingdom Who IS Spirit (John 4:24, see Who's Word Is It?).
In the light of exploring who Israel is, it is just as important to come to an understanding of who Israel is not. Most of the misunderstanding concerning YHVH's family has come from the false teaching of Christian replacement theology concerning who constitutes "the church". This theology runs much deeper than a simple declaration of being for or against the physical nation of Israel but, in fact, permeates through most of Christian theological thought (i.e., there are "two" Israels - one physical and one spiritual when, as we shall see, scripture clearly indicates there is only one). It was originally designed as a deliberate act of creating a distinction between "ethnic" Jewish and "non-ethnic" monotheistic (one God) believers in YHVH in order to escape the horrific persecution heaped upon Jews and all who stood with them in the worship of the Holy One of Israel from the Roman Empire, who worshipped polytheism (meaning several gods).
This persecution of Jews by Rome began in earnest with the destruction of the Jewish second temple in 70 AD up until the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine to Christianity. Constantine subsequently convened the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD to set forth the edicts of this "new" religion (the declaration of those disturbing edicts can be found in the Word). A brief involvement with history will confirm that the theological aspects of this new religion were non-existent for well into the third century - 150 to 200 years after the Resurrection. Scripture confirms that at the time of the apostles and the writing of the epistles, believers in Yeshua as the promised Messiah of scripture were considered a heretical sect of Judaism - believers in YHVH, the Holy One of Israel (Acts 24:5, Acts 24:14).
In order to justify the existence of Christianity as something apart from the belief of the Jews and as a condition of appeasement to the power of Rome, existing scripture thus had to undergo a re-interpretation to establish a separation from the Holy One of Israel and His Hebrew Family, conflicting with what had been in existence for thousands of years. This was accomplished through the Nicaean Council, the foundation for what became known as the Roman Catholic Church - the root from which all subsequent Christian sects and denominations can be traced (click here for an in-depth look at the Origins, Teachings and Errors of Relacement Theology).
However, in spite of those contrived edicts, when we remember that all of the books of the Book were written by Hebrews and were primarily addressing Hebrews; from a strictly Hebraic perspective, we find there are only two categories of people contained in scripture - Hebrews and others. These others are called Gentiles - those who worship gods other than the Holy One of Israel. The term "Gentile believer" is oxymoronic and does not exist in a Hebrew world view. When a Gentile or foreigner (someone from outside the family, from another nation) becomes adopted into YHVH's Hebrew family of Israel by observance of the standards set by the Father, it has always been the case that he is to be treated no differently from those naturally born into the family (Leviticus 19:34). So, when a Gentile abandons the multiple gods of any society and "comes to faith" in YHVH, the One True God of Israel, he is considered a Hebrew convert. This was the same Father the Hebrew Yeshua addressed in His Words and Life. This is the same Name that appears over 2500 times in the Hebrew scriptures but not once has YHVH found its way into our modern English translations. Why is that? - because it has been replaced. So, everytime the word "God" or "Lord" appears in scripture, our mind should be seeing His Name - YaHoVeH, or the shortened version, YHVH (see One Spirit, One Name for more evidence).
While adoption is not a new phenomenon among YHVH's family - supplanting the family is. When a branch is grafted into a tree, it draws its sustenance from the life flowing out of the root of that tree - not the other way around. The branch does not bring life to the root (Romans 11:16-18, John 4:22). To cut away the root from the rest of the branches condemns that tree to death. Yeshua said those who try to enter the Father's Kingdom by any other means are considered thieves and robbers (John 10:1, see what it means to be a Gatekeeper).
Those who propose the "one new man" of Ephesians 2:11-14 to be a new species or an amalgam of Gentile and Jew neglect the admonition of the verses preceding that statement. These verses call for a remembrance that those "who were once Gentiles …were without Messiah, aliens from the Commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without YHVH in the world." Someone who is a Gentile is one without the Elohiem (Hebrew for "God") of Israel. Now, however, because of the resurrection of Messiah, the opportunity is now open for those having been once separated to be brought into the Commonwealth of Israel - not into something else newly created just for them. Gentiles are those turning away from beliefs regarding something other than belief in the Holy One of Israel to join themselves as a "new man" into YHVH's family. The name of this one new man is Israel - all those who purify their hearts by adhering to the standards set within the family of YHVH by the Father of that family.
"For through Him we BOTH have access by one Spirit to the Father of Israel. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the HOUSEHOLD OF YHVH ." Ephesians 2:18-19
Christians are taught the "church" was first formed at Pentecost - contrary to what scripture holds. The Greek word used for "church", ekklesia, means "those called out…" and most of Christianity stops right there with their definition - but that definition is not complete. The complete definition continues with "those called out of their homes to an assembly, an assembly of Israelites". The first time this Greek word is used in scripture is not in the book of Acts on Yom Shav'uot (Day of Pentecost) as Christianity maintains, but appears first in the gospel of Matthew, specifically in the words of Yeshua in chapter 18:15-17. In this passage, Yeshua referred to those not hearing the ekklesia ("the church") are to be treated as a Gentile - someone other than a member of the Hebrew family of Israel. When Yeshua made this statement, there were no "Christians" around. He was speaking to Hebrews who understood "the church" to have existed long before Pentecost. In the wilderness, whenever the Israelites gathered before the tabernacle, they were called the "assembly" - from which the Greek word ekklesia gleans its definition (Leviticus 8:4).
In the text of Hebrews 8:13, the Hebraic background of the word “new” (quoted directly from the passage in Jeremiah 31:31) cannot be taken in the sense of essentially new or completely new - as from scratch. To understand kainos (Greek for "new" meaning "fresh") in this verse is to understand that it is speaking of a new element that was previously out of sight is now coming into view - not something newly created. It is the revelation of what was always present but unperceived. Only by divorcing kainen from its Hebraic influence of the word actually used in Jeremiah 31, chadash (whose root meaning is to re-new, or re-pair), can someone conclude that this represents an entirely unprecedented creative act.
What is "new" about the covenant is the manner of delivery of YHVH's Words. They are now written and renewed on the hearts of men who will receive them, instead of on tablets of stone - BUT THEY ARE STILL THE SAME WORDS (John 1:12, Jeremiah 31:33). These Words are not altered, not done away with, as Yeshua reinforces in Matthew 5:17-19 - just a better way of having them delivered - by or through Spirit.
The Greek word pleroo translated as "fulfill" in this passage means "to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally, to fill to the brim" - there is nothing in that definition that remotely lends itself to something "done away with". When a cup is "filled to the brim" it means it is whole or complete so that nothing else can be added - it does not mean to throw the cup away, for then there would be no way to partake of what the cup holds. In Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, and Luke 22:19-20; the word "new" in front of "testament" or "covenant" (depending on the translation) is not found in the original manuscripts - having been artificially inserted at a later date to reinforce a replacement theology embraced by the translators. The text should be read "this is My blood of the covenant which is poured out for the many…" - not a "new" covenant, but a promised restoration or fulfillment of what came before (see One Covenant, part 1 for explanation).
Only with the understanding there is no "new" covenant (simply the same covenant that has been renewed or repaired - much in the same way a house or a car is given a restoration to make it better), can we see the consistency in the first usage of ekklesia by Yeshua in Matthew 16:18 where Yeshua says He will build (Greek oikodomeo, meaning "to restore by building, to re-build, to re-pair") His church on the same rock of revelation by Spirit that Keifer (Peter) received in the prior verse. This is the gospel Yeshua spoke of in Luke 4:43 as the purpose for His being sent (see what the Gospel is). He was sent as the Kinsman Redeemer to the house of Israel for the restoration of the Kingdom of YHVH (expounded upon in the Kinsman Redeemer Series: Establishing the Signet, the Inheritance, the Need for Atonement, and Inhabiting Inheritance).
In Matthew 5:34 Yeshua reinforces that heaven is YHVH's throne, His residency, the place where Spirit dwells (quoting directly from Isaiah 66:1). The Kingdom of YHVH tells us whose it is and the Kingdom of heaven tells us where it is - but there is only one Kingdom referred to in scripture that belongs to Spirit (Matthew 6:10). There was an epochal event that occurred on Yom Shav'uot (Day of Pentecost) that had not happened since the separation took place in Gan Edan (the Eden garden). For it was on that day, as a result of the sacrifice of the Kinsman Redeemer that the promise of the restoration of the Kingdom was fulfilled. On that day, the Kingdom of YHVH's residency, His throne, moved from the "heavenlies" once again into the hearts of men who would receive His Words (Jeremiah 31:33, John 1:12). Yeshua said in Luke 17:20-21 above that the Kingdom of YHVH is "within" - not "over yonder". The throne of YHVH today resides in a tabernacle not made of stone, but in the hearts of men who have allowed His Words to cleanse and purify their hearts - His Kingdom is within and among His saints (Revelation 21:3, Hebrews 9:11).
We began this discourse by asking "who is Israel?" This is a valid question since YHVH proclaims His Husbandry to the physical people of Israel in Jeremiah 31:32 and that He will never abandon or cast them away in 31:35-37. Christianity, however, has proclaimed itself as the de-facto, "spiritual" Israel, replacing the Israel YHVH supposedly gave up on - which, as we have seen, is not the position laid out in scripture. If He were able to dissolve His Promises to His Family of Israel, what does that say about where you and I stand with Him on His Promises today? There was a second epochal event that occurred in 1947 with the re-emergence of the physical nation of Israel - beginning the fulfilling of the covenant promise made to the Hebrew patriarch, Abraham, concerning His People and the Land. That promise is still in the process of being made complete (see One Covenant, part 3).
Having established the place of adoption in the family of Israel for Gentiles coming to faith in YHVH, in the next article we will continue this discussion with the relevancy of Spirit toward the physical Israel.
"...all Israel will be saved... With respect to the Good News they have been separated for your sake. But with respect to being chosen they are loved for the Patriarchs' sake, for YHVH's free gifts and his calling are irrevocable."
Please feel free to email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to share with you what the Spirit is uncovering.
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: They shall prosper that love you." (Psalm 122:6)
(prosper - from the Hebrew, "shalav", meaning "to be at rest")
Please visit the website http://hethathasanear.com for other articles and videos
or for information if you feel led to contribute to this ministry.
Click here to watch the short movie Maranatha!.
Shalom Alechem B'Shem Yeshua HaMashiach.
(Peace be unto you in the Name of Yeshua the Messiah) haRold Smith
Note: The following is from The Name by Franklin Graham.
The Bible is the most widely read book in history and, certainly the most influential. Critics have tried for centuries to discredit the Bible but have failed. The Bible is validated by outstanding original sources.
In contrast to the Bible, Islam's book, the Koran (a word meaning "recitation" in Arabic), was compiled over a period of twenty-three years during Muhammad's lifetime and is viewed by Muslims as taking precedence over the Bible. (The Koran is about four-fifths as long as the New Testament and divided into 114 chapters, called Suras.) The Koran contains the supposed revelations and visions of Muhammad as well as his teachings that were recorded by others. Included in the Koran are stories lifted and twisted from the Old and New Testaments. Over the years additional sayings of Muhammad and his early followers were compiled. These are called the Hadith. The Koran has not had the widespread effect on the Western and civilized cultures of the world that the Bible has had.
Contradictions in the Qur'an
The Qur'an states that it is a perfect book preserved on tablets in heaven (Surah 85:21-22). If the Qur'an is a perfect book from Allah, then there shouldn't be any contradictions in it. Of course, the Muslims will deny any contradictions exist in the Qur'an, but they do. Some of the contradictions below could be debated, but some of them are clearly contradictions.
A contradiction occurs when one statement on a subject excludes the possibility of another. The first one here is a good example. In Surah 19:67, it states that man was created out of nothing. In 15:26, man is created from clay. Since clay is something, we have a contradiction since "nothing" excludes the possibility of "clay." Both cannot be true.
All quotes from the Qur'an, unless otherwise specified.
· What was man created from, blood, clay, dust, or nothing?
§ "Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood," (96:2).
§ "We created man from sounding clay, from mud moulded into shape, (15:26).
§ "The similitude of Jesus before Allah is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be". And he was," (3:59).
§ "But does not man call to mind that We created him before out of nothing?" (19:67, Yusuf Ali). Also, 52:35).
§ "He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer! (16:4).
· Is there or is there not compulsion in religion according to the Qur'an?
§ "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things," (2:256).
§ "And an announcement from Allah and His Messenger, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage,- that Allah and His Messenger dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If then, ye repent, it were best for you; but if ye turn away, know ye that ye cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith," (9:3).
§ "But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful," (9:5).
§ Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued," (9:29).
· The first Muslim was Muhammad? Abraham? Jacob? Moses?
§ "And I [Muhammad] am commanded to be the first of those who bow to Allah in Islam," (39:12).
§ "When Moses came to the place appointed by Us, and his Lord addressed him, He said: "O my Lord! show (Thyself) to me, that I may look upon thee." Allah said: "By no means canst thou see Me (direct); But look upon the mount; if it abide in its place, then shalt thou see Me." When his Lord manifested His glory on the Mount, He made it as dust. And Moses fell down in a swoon. When he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to Thee! to Thee I turn in repentance, and I am the first to believe." (7:143).
§ "And this was the legacy that Abraham left to his sons, and so did Jacob; "Oh my sons! Allah hath chosen the Faith for you; then die not except in the Faith of Islam," (2:132).
· Does Allah forgive or not forgive those who worship false gods?
§ Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed," (4:48). Also 4:116
§ The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: "Show us Allah in public," but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority," (4:153).
· Are Allah's decrees changed or not?
§ "Rejected were the messengers before thee: with patience and constancy they bore their rejection and their wrongs, until Our aid did reach them: there is none that can alter the words (and decrees) of Allah. Already hast thou received some account of those messengers," (6:34).
§ "The word of thy Lord doth find its fulfillment in truth and in justice: None can change His words: for He is the one who heareth and knoweth all, (6:115).
§ None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things?" (2:106).
§ When We substitute one revelation for another,- and Allah knows best what He reveals (in stages),- they say, "Thou art but a forger": but most of them understand not," (16:101).
· Was Pharaoh killed or not killed by drowning?
§ "We took the Children of Israel across the sea: Pharaoh and his hosts followed them in insolence and spite. At length, when overwhelmed with the flood, he said: "I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam). (It was said to him): "Ah now!- But a little while before, wast thou in rebellion!- and thou didst mischief (and violence)! This day shall We save thee in the body, that thou mayest be a sign to those who come after thee! but verily, many among mankind are heedless of Our Signs!" (10:90-92).
§ Moses said, "Thou knowest well that these things have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence: and I consider thee indeed, O Pharaoh, to be one doomed to destruction!" So he resolved to remove them from the face of the earth: but We did drown him and all who were with him," (17:102-103).
· Is wine consumption good or bad?
§ O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper," (5:90).
§ (Here is) a Parable of the Garden which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord. (Can those in such Bliss) be compared to such as shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)?" (47:15).
§ Truly the Righteous will be in Bliss: On Thrones (of Dignity) will they command a sight (of all things): Thou wilt recognize in their faces the beaming brightness of Bliss. Their thirst will be slaked with Pure Wine sealed," (83:22-25).
Islam--Submission vs. Grace
(by Robert Leroe, Cliftondale Congregational Church, Saugus MA)
Romans 5:1-5:9 (NIV, NIRV, TNIV, KJV)
Having participated in Desert Storm, I received training from the Dept of Defense in Arab culture and Muslim thought. I've read the Koran and have spoken with Muslims serving in the military, to include the US Army's first Muslim Chaplain.
From the start, I want to contrast Islam with the Christian concept of grace. The word Islam means "submission", which means keeping the rules. Our Judaic-Christian heritage includes rules as well, the most well-known being the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament and the Golden Rule from the New. But here's the difference: Getting to heaven under Judaism and Christianity involve redemption, through an atoning sacrifice for sin. We believe God's promise and accept His gift of forgiveness. Under Islam, salvation comes through strict adherence and obedience to the directives given in the Koran.
I don't know about you, but I prefer grace. Under grace, God gives us what we don't deserve—Heaven; and He doesn't give us what we do deserve—Hell. God's grace forgives what it cannot excuse. The Bible is clear that we can't save ourselves. We're sinners, and we're far from perfect, so we clearly need God's mercy. We are not saved by good works but by God's work. Thanks to the Cross, we are declared "not guilty." The Gospel message declares that we can know for certain we are citizens of Heaven; and so we enjoy assurance of salvation. God is a relational being Who has chosen to reach out to us in love. Under Islam, it's a whole different matter. According to the Koran, God is characterized primarily as a Judge, whose primary attribute is justice. Not surprisingly, the Koran harshly condemns all who reject the teachings of Islam. Under Islam, God is not seen at all as a loving Father; in fact such a concept is considered blasphemous by Muslims.
In speaking with Chaplain Mohammed at Fort Bliss, I posed a hypothetical question: What if a soldier breaks the required fast during Ramadan? This is a monthly period in which Muslims are to abstain from food from daybreak to sunset. I asked, "Can such a violation be forgiven?" The firm answer was No—that soldier has broken Islamic law, and his action will be a black mark against him for all eternity.
Christian ministers are sometimes labeled as "fire & brimstone" preachers. The OT mentions Hell 31 times, the NT 74 times…but the Koran warns of hell 783 times, and anyone who questions the divine inspiration of the Koran can expect to go there.
By now we all know that Islam is a strict religion. It divides people into two categories: "those who have submitted/the house of Islam", and "those who are resisting/the house of war." Non-Muslims are regarded as infidels, under God's curse. The Koran states, "Those that deny our revelations will burn in fire" (Al-Nisa). The Koran repeatedly dictates aggression against non-Muslims, e.g. "Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell among you" (9:123). Islam claims to be a religion of peace…but only for those who convert.
In the aftermath of 9/11 we've learned that America is regarded by the militant Muslim world as the "Great Satan". According to this thinking, there are no innocent Americans. Osama bin Laden has repeatedly directed his followers that it is their duty to kill Americans and their allies. The Koran, filled with declarations of war, states: "Let those who would exchange the life of this world for the hereafter, fight for the cause of God", and offers rewards for those who die as martyrs in the cause of Jihad/holy war. Muslim heaven is filled with concubines to satisfy those who die in its cause.
Followers of Christ point to verses that state believers should be willing to give up their lives rather than deny their faith…but nowhere does our Bible instruct disciples to kill nonbelievers. While many Christians believe warfare can be justified for a nation's defense, war may not be used to coerce religion. Have so-called Christians used force to promulgate their faith? Yes, indeed. The Crusades and the Inquisition are prime examples. But here's the difference: No one can find or quote any words of Jesus to justify the slaughter of others. Such action is in violation of Scripture. The atrocities of the Crusades and Inquisition contradicted the teachings of Jesus. Yet Muslim suicide bombers are acting in full accord with their holy book. In addition, Muslim teaching demands Islamic control over all civil authority--no separation of church and state, no freedom of religion. Christians who live in Muslim countries are being imprisoned for holding prayer meetings and Bible studies in their homes. Most non-Muslim nations, and most world religions condemn violence today, and are tolerant of other faiths. The intolerance of Islam is very troubling.
Muslim faith is summarized by 5 basic "pillars": The declaration that Allah is the only God and Mohammed is his messenger; daily prayers five times a day, facing the city of Mecca; almsgiving to the poor (1/40th of one's income), fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and making a pilgrimage at least once in one's lifetime to the Muslim holy cities.
The Koran, the Muslim holy book, is said to supercede all previous writings. Its title means "recite". It was allegedly given to Mohammed over a period of 23 years. Although Moslems regard the Old & New Testaments as historic documents, they consider them corrupted and unreliable. While translations of the Koran exist, Muslims regard only the original Arabic to be authoritative. Christians are more lenient when it comes to translation, and while we regard the original Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic as our primary text, we value making the Scriptures available to people in their native languages. The Koran claims to be divine revelation given to Mohammed, and is supplemented by the haddith, a collection of additional sayings attributed to the prophet and teachings by his early followers.
Mohammed was born in 570 AD. He claimed that the angel Gabriel commissioned him to be a prophet. Moslems believe that when Jesus promised that God would send another Counselor (John 14), He was referring to Mohammed, not the Holy Spirit. In the city of Medina (modern-day Saudi Arabia), Mohammed set up the first Islamic state. The Jews of the area rejected his prophetic claim. Those who weren't slaughtered were sold as slaves. Though Islam is often described as a peaceful religion, Mohammed engaged in numerous battles and the Koran is filled with 109 verses on warfare and damnation. He united Arabic tribes into a vast army to carry the faith to other lands by force.
According to Islam, the six greatest prophets are: Mohammed, Jesus, Adam, Noah, and Moses. Jesus is regarded by Muslims as a sinless prophet who will return in the last days to command everyone to embrace Islam. Muslims reject His divinity and deny that Jesus died on the cross and shed His blood as a sacrifice for sin. Since there is no atonement, no payment for sin, people must earn their way to Heaven. Islam strongly denies that Jesus is God the Son. The Koran states, "God is but one God. God forbid that He should have a son!" (4:171). We affirm that God is One, yet revealed as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and this sets us apart from Islam.
The non-Muslim world is justly concerned over Muslim practices of terrorism, slavery, polygamy, oppression of non-Muslims, and the oppressive treatment of women. Apostates, those who leave the faith, are charged with a capital offense.
Although marriage is a requirement for every Muslim, and men may have as many as four wives, a Muslim man may divorce a wife at any time and for any reason. The Koran makes it clear that women are inferior, and counsels husbands to beat disobedient wives (4:31). I even read such advice in an Arab newspaper, encouraging husbands to beat their wives on a daily basis. Women are often isolated, forced to cover themselves from head to toe, and denied basic human rights.
Under Islam, there can be no firm guarantee regarding one's eternal destiny; in fact, there's no assurance that, once admitted, one will be allowed to remain in Heaven. Mohammed stated, "As for the blessed, they shall abide in Paradise as long as the heavens and earth endure, unless your Lord ordain otherwise" (11:107). I call that "eternal insecurity". Christianity operates under grace; under Islam, people earn their salvation through strict adherence to the rules.
Islam does not speak with one voice. There are several divisions within Islam, to include extreme, militant factions. While some Muslims regard jihad as an inner struggle, many see it as a holy war against all infidels, especially Israel and the US.
F -- fear not
A -- assurance from God's Word
I -- in God's love
T -- trust in God and the Bible
H -- holiness with Holy Spirit and Bible help
P -- power from Heaven
R -- ruled/guided by the agapè love of God and His Word
A -- attentive to the Holy Spirit
Y -- yearning for knowing Jesus
E -- earnest to be righteous and compassionateR -- ready for the return of Jesus
Living for God,
Bible lover Bill
Romans 8:28, Philippians 4:4-8, & Proverbs 3:5-6
My Bible study tools-- https://www.4shared.com/folder/udJCReRj/1a__My_Bible_study_tools.html
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