Monday, January 15, 2018

"The Vision ~ A Mystery"



 Everything will Come to Pass in the Order Shown to me

Adam, Eve, Cain, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac, Esau and Jacob, Joseph and the Children of Israel, Moses, Saul, David, Solomon, Jesus, and Muhammad

I looked until a big sword was given to the sheep [Muhammad] and the sheep went out against all the wild animals to kill them

[Enoch, the great-grandfather of Noah said,] "This is the vision which I saw while I was asleep, and I woke up, blessed the Lord of righteousness, and ascribed glory to Him.  But after this, I wept bitterly and my tears did not stop until I could not endure it.  When I looked, they ran down, because of what I saw, for everything will come to pass and be fulfilled, and all the deeds of men, in their order, were shown to me."
And [so] mention in the Book, Enoch.  Indeed, he was a man of truth and a prophet.  And We raised him to a high place -
[Whereby,] those three, who came out last, took hold of me by my hand and raised me from the generations of the earth, and lifted me up onto a high place, and showed me a tower high above the earth, and all the hills were lower.  And one said to me, "Remain here until you have seen everything which is coming upon these elephants, and camels, and asses, and upon the stars, and upon all the bulls."
[So] Enoch raised his voice and said to his son Methuselah, "To you, I speak, my son.  Hear my words, and incline your ear to the dream vision of your father.  Before I took your mother, Edna, I saw a vision on my bed, and behold, a bull came out of the earth [Adam], and that bull was white.  And, after it, a heifer came out [Eve], and with the heifer came two bullocks, and one of them was black [Cain] and the other red [Abel].
And that black bullock [Cain] struck the red one [Abel], and pursued it over the earth, and from then on I could not see that red bullock.
Torah[And one, Noah] was born a bull, but became a man, and built for himself a large vessel, and dwelt on it, and three bulls went with him in that vessel, and they were covered over.  And, again, I raised my eyes to heaven and saw a high roof with seven water channels on it, and those channels discharged much water into an enclosure.  And I looked again, and behold, springs opened on the floor of that large enclosure, and water began to bubble up and to rise above the floor.  And I looked at that enclosure until its whole floor was covered by water.
And all the bulls of that enclosure were gathered together, until I saw how they sank, and were swallowed up, and destroyed, in that water.  And that vessel floated on the water, but all the bulls, elephants, camels, and asses sank to the bottom, together with all the animals, so that I could not see them.  And they were unable to get out, but were destroyed, and sank into the depths.
And, again, I looked at that vision until those water channels were removed from that high roof, and the chasms of the earth were made level, and other abysses were opened.  And the water began to run down into them until the earth became visible, and that vessel settled on the earth [Mount Judiyy] and the darkness departed, and light appeared.
And they began to beget wild animals and birds so that there arose from them every kind of species, lions, tigers, wolves, dogs, hyenas, wild boars, foxes, badgers, pigs, falcons, vultures, kites, eagles, and ravens.  But amongst them was born a white bull [Abraham].
And they began to bite one another but that white bull [Abraham], which was born amongst them, begat a wild ass [Ishmael] and a white bull [Isaac] with it, and the wild asses increased.  But that bull [Isaac], which was born from it, begat a black wild boar [Esau] and a white sheep [Jacob], and that wild-boar begat many boars and that sheep [Jacob] begat twelve sheep [Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher].
And when those twelve sheep [the Children of Israel] had grown, they handed one of their number [Joseph] over to the asses, and those, in turn, handed that sheep [Joseph] over to the wolves [the Egyptians]; and that sheep grew up amongst the wolves.
And the Lord brought the eleven sheep to dwell with it [Joseph], and to pasture with it amongst the wolves, and they increased and became many flocks of sheep.
And the wolves [the Egyptians] began to make them afraid, and they oppressed them [the Children of Israel] until they made away with their young, and then they threw their young into a river with much water; but those sheep began to cry out because of their young, and to complain to their Lord. 
But a sheep [Moses], which had been saved from the wolves [the Egyptians], fled and escaped to the wild asses.  And I saw the sheep moaning and crying out, and petitioning the Lord with all their power, until that Lord of the sheep came down at the call of the sheep, from a high room, and came to them, and looked at them.  And He called that sheep [Moses], which had fled from the wolves, and spoke to it about the wolves, that it should warn them that they should not touch the sheep [the Children of Israel].
And the sheep [Moses] went to the wolves [the Egyptians], in accordance with the word of the Lord, and another sheep [Aaron] met that sheep and went with it.  And the two of them together entered the assembly of those wolves, spoke to them, and warned them that from then on, they should not touch those sheep [the Children of Israel].
And after this, I saw the wolves [the Egyptians], how they acted even more harshly towards the sheep [the Children of Israel], with all their power, and the sheep called out.  And their Lord came to the sheep and began to beat those wolves, and; the wolves began to moan, but the sheep became silent and from then on they did not cry out. 
And I looked at the sheep [the Children of Israel] until they escaped from the wolves [the Egyptians], but the eyes of the wolves were blinded, and those wolves went out in pursuit of the sheep with all their forces.  And the Lord of the sheep went with them, as He led them, and all His sheep followed Him; and His Face was glorious, and His appearance terrible and magnificent.
But the wolves [the Egyptians] began to pursue those sheep [the Children of Israel] until they met them by a stretch of water [the Red Sea].  And that stretch of water was divided, and the water stood on one side, and on the other, before them.  And their Lord as He led them, stood between them and the wolves.
And while those wolves [the Egyptians] had not yet seen the sheep [the Children of Israel], they went into the middle of that stretch of water [the Red Sea]; but the wolves pursued the sheep, and those wolves ran after them into that stretch of water.  But when they saw the Lord of the sheep, they turned to flee in front of Him; but that stretch of water flowed together again, and suddenly resumed its natural form, and the water swelled up and rose until it covered those wolves.  And I looked until all the wolves that had pursued those sheep were destroyed and drowned.
But the sheep [the Children of Israel] escaped that water and went to a desert [the wilderness], where there was neither water nor grass.  And they began to open their eyes and see, and I saw the Lord of the sheep pasturing them, and giving them water and grass [manna and quails], and that sheep [Moses] going and leading them.  And that sheep went up to the summit of a high rock [Mount Sinai] and the Lord of the sheep sent it to them.
And that sheep [Moses], which led them, again went up to the summit of that rock [Mount Sinai]; and the sheep began to be blinded, and go astray from the path which had been shown to them, but that sheep did not know.  And the Lord of the sheep was extremely angry with them, and that sheep knew, and went down from the summit of the rock, and came to the sheep, and found the majority of them, with their eyes blinded, and going astray from His path [by worshiping a molten calf].
And I looked until the sheep came to a good place and a pleasant and glorious land, and I looked until those sheep were satisfied.  And that house was in the middle of them in that green and pleasant land.  And sometimes their eyes were opened, and sometimes blinded, until another sheep rose up [Samuel], led them, and brought them all back.  And their eyes were opened.
And the dogs, and the foxes, and the wild boars began to devour those sheep until the Lord of the sheep raised up a ram [Saul] from among them, which led them.  And that ram [Saul] began to butt those dogs, foxes, and wild boars, on one side and on the other until it had destroyed them all.
And the Lord of the sheep sent the sheep to another sheep [David] and raised it up to be a ram and to lead the sheep in place of that sheep [Saul] which had renounced its glory.  And it went to it, and spoke with it alone, and raised up that ram [David], and made it the prince and leader of the sheep.  And, during all this, those dogs oppressed the sheep.
And the first ram [Saul] pursued that second ram [David] and that second ram arose and fled before it.  And I looked until those dogs made the first ram [Saul] fall.
And that second ram [David] rose up and led the small sheep, and that ram begat many sheep, and fell asleep.  And a small sheep [Solomon] became a ram, in place of it, and became the prince and leader of those sheep.
And I saw those sheep again, how they went astray [the lost sheep of the House of Israel], and walked in many ways, and left that house of theirs; and the Lord of the sheep called some of the sheep, and sent them to the sheep, but the sheep began to kill them.
But one of them [Jesus] was saved and was not killed, and it sprang away and cried out against the sheep.  And they wished to kill it but the Lord of the sheep saved it from the hands of the sheep, brought it up to me, and made it stay.  And He sent many other sheep [the disciples] to those sheep, to testify to them and to lament over them.
And after this, I saw how when they left the house of the Lord of the sheep, and His tower, they went astray in everything, and their eyes were blinded.  And I saw how the Lord of the sheep worked much slaughter among them, in their pastures, until those sheep invited that slaughter, and betrayed His place.
And the lions and the tigers [the Gentiles] devoured and swallowed up the majority of those sheep, and the wild boars devoured with them, and; they burnt down that tower and demolished that house [Jerusalem].  And I was extremely sad about that tower because that house of the sheep had been demolished, and; after that, I was unable to see whether those sheep went into that house.
And after this, I saw in the vision, all the birds of the heaven coming, the eagles, the vultures, and the kites, and the Ravens [the people of Mecca].  But the Eagles led all the birds, and they began to devour those sheep, to peck out their eyes, and to devour their flesh.  And the sheep cried out because the birds devoured their flesh.   And I cried out and lamented in my sleep because of that shepherd who pastured the sheep.
And I saw in the vision, how the Ravens [the people of Mecca] flew upon those lambs, and took one of those lambs, and dashed the sheep in pieces and devoured them.  And I looked until horns came upon those lambs but the ravens cast their horns down.  And I looked until a big horn grew on one of those sheep [Muhammad], and their eyes were opened.
And, besides all this, those eagles, and vultures, and ravens, and kites [the people of Mecca], were still continually tearing the sheep in pieces, and flying upon them and devouring them.  And the sheep were silent but the rams lamented and cried out.  And those ravens battled and fought with it [Muhammad], and wished to make away with its horn, but they did not prevail against it.
And I looked at them until the shepherds and the Eagles, and those vultures, and kites came and cried to the Ravens that they should dash the horn of that ram [Muhammad] in pieces.  And they fought and battled with it, and it fought with them and cried out so that its help [the angels] might come to it.
All the eagles and vultures and ravens and kites [the people of Mecca], gathered together and brought with them all the wild sheep, and they all came together and helped one another in order to dash that horn of the ram [Muhammad] in pieces.
And I looked until a big sword was given to the sheep [Muhammad and the believers].  And the sheep went out against all the wild animals to kill them [the people of Mecca].  And all the animals, and birds of the heaven fled before them."
And now I know this mystery; that many sinners will alter and distort the words of truth, and speak evil words, and lie, and concoct great fabrications, and write books in their own words.  But when they write my words exactly in their languages, and do not alter or omit anything from my words, but write everything exactly, everything that I testified about before; then I know another mystery, that books will be given to the righteous and wise and will be a source of joy and truth and much wisdom.  And books will be given to them, and they will believe in them and rejoice over them, and; all the righteous who have learned from them all the ways of truth will be glad.  And in those days, says the Lord, they shall call and testify to the sons of the earth about the wisdom in them.  Show it to them for you are their leaders and the rewards will be over all the earth.


====================================================================



References:

19:56 - 57, Qur'an
[Book of Enoch 90:40 - 41], Torah
[Book of Enoch 87:3 - 4], Torah
[Book of Enoch 85:2 - 3], Torah
[Book of Enoch 85:4], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:1 - 3],

[Book of Enoch 89:5 - 6], Torah

[Book of Enoch 89:7 - 8], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:10], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:11 - 12] Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:13], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:14], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:15], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:16 - 17], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:18], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:19 - 20], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:21 - 22], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:23 - 24], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:25 - 27], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:28 - 29], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:32 - 33], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:40 - 41], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:42 - 43], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:45 - 46], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:47], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:48], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:51], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:52 - 53], Torah]
[Book of Enoch 89:54], Torah
[Book of Enoch 89:66 - 67], Torah
[Book of Enoch 90:2 - 3], Torah
[Book of Enoch 90:8 - 9], Torah
[Book of Enoch 90:11], Torah
[Book of Enoch 90:13], Torah
[Book of Enoch 90:16], Torah
[Book of Enoch 90:19], Torah
[Book of Enoch 104:10 - 105:1], Torah

Sunday, December 31, 2017

"THE LAST PROPHET, MOHAMMAD, AS PROPHESIED IN THE BIBLE"



Deuteronomy 18:18-19
"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."

This is a key passage in the Moslem claims for Muhammad, whom they claim is the prophet like Moses predicted in this passage. They support their claim by producing an impressive list of ways in which Muhammad was like Moses and in which Jesus was not like Moses. This list includes the following:

Moses
Jesus
Muhammed
Rejected by his people and then accepted
Yes
No
Yes
Became a national leader
Yes
No
Yes
Miraculous birth
No
Yes
No
Encountered enemies in battle
Yes
No
Yes
Family - married with children
Yes
No
Yes

To answer an argument like this takes some thought, and this may not be available when being pressed by a Moslem in a discussion.
  1. There are a number of ways in which Moses was like Jesus, but unlike Muhammad:
    1. Moses had no known tomb but died on Mount Nebo (Deut. 34:6).
    2. Moses came out of Egypt at the Exodus, and Jesus went to Egypt as a baby and returned.
    3. Moses was brought up by his mother as a nurse in Pharaoh's household, and Jesus was brought up by Mary, but Muhammad was an orphan. Moses was saved as a baby in the rushes; Jesus was saved when God told Joseph to take him to Egypt.
    4. Moses was transfigured on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 34:29) and Jesus was transfigured in Matthew 17:1-6.
    5. Moses offered to take the sins of Israel on himself in Exodus 32:30-32; Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of mankind.
Even at this level of argument, there are more points of similarity between Jesus and Moses that there are between Muhammad and Moses. Not only that but some of the points where Jesus seems to be different from Moses only appear because the Moslems have not considered the whole of the life of Jesus. For example, Jesus was rejected by his people and has not been accepted by them yet. But the time will come when they will look on him whom they have pierced (Zech. 12:10) and God will cleanse them (Ezek. 36:26-31). Similarly, Jesus will become a national leader and will encounter his enemies in battle (Zech. 14:3).
  1. In Deuteronomy 18:18 God tells Moses to inform Israel that the prophet was to be from among their brethren, which means that he would have to be an Israelite. Moslems who dispute this assert that, as the Arabs are the brothers of the Jews, this refers to an Arab. However, there is no scriptural evidence to support this. The Arabs are never called the brethren of the Jews in the Bible. There are a few verses where Edom is described as the brother (singular) of Israel (e.g. Num. 20:14; Deut. 23:7; Amos 1:11), but the word brethren (plural) is never used. In any case, Muhammad is not a descendant of Edom (who joined the Jews in the second century BC), but of Ishmael, who is never referred to as the brother of Israel. The passage can only mean that the prophet like unto Moses was to be an Israelite.

  2. To list the similarities and differences between Jesus, Muhammad and Moses is a rather inconclusive and man-made way of looking at Deuteronomy 18. Rather than humans making lists of ways that Muhammad is, or is not, like Moses, it is better to let the passage itself say in what way the prophet will be like Moses. This is given us in the next two verses:
"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follows not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Deut. 18:21-22)
The prophet would validate his message by some sign, either a miracle or a prediction of the future which he would predict or announce and which would then be fulfilled. There is no doubt that Jesus worked miracles; even the Qur'an admits this (e.g. Q 5:115). However, Muhammad never performed a miracle and the set of predictions claimed for him is singularly unimpressive (he is said to have predicted that his followers would win the battle of Badr - probably a method of encouraging them to fight more fiercely, and self-fulfilling as one would never have heard of the prediction if the battle had been lost). The lack of signs from Muhammad is also commented upon in the Qur'an with words like: "They say: Why not a sign sent down to him by his Lord?" (Q 10:20; see also Q 6:109; Q 13:7; Q 17:59; Q 21:5,6). There is only one reason that the Qur'an would record passages like these, and that is because Muhammad never gave a prophecy or performed a miracle.
  1. Moslems cannot have things both ways. Either the passage in Deuteronomy 18 is from God, in which case they must believe it and reject Muhammad because he does not fulfill scripture, or it is not from God, in which case they cannot claim it as a prediction of Muhammad.

Isaiah 29:12
Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, “Read this, please,” they will answer, “I don’t know how to read.”

Song of Solomon 5:16
 حلقه حلاوة وكله مشتهيات. هذا حبيبي وهذا خليلي يا بنات اورشليم His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem.

I have just this moment found out that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16:

"Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem."

"His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem."

In the Hebrew language, I'm is added for respect. Similarly, I’m is added to the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to make it Muhammadim. 

In the English translation they have translated the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as "altogether lovely", but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is yet present !!

The name "Muhammad" is written in the Bible in the original Hebrew language.

In the 5th chapter of the Shir haShirim ( שיר השירים ), which is one of the five megillot or Sacred Scrolls that are part of the Hebrew Bible or for short the "Song of Solomon" (also called "Song of Songs"). That chapter is giving a prophecy about an individual to come, a mystery man. 

Song of Songs 5:15 compares this prophetic mystery man to the land of "Lebanon" which is the land of the Arabs. This implies that the mystery man would be an Arab.

Verse 15 of the NIV Bible says: “His appearance is like Lebanon", so this is an Arabic gentleman (or Arab looking). 

Verse 11 says: "his head is as the most fine gold, his locks are wavy and black as a raven". Verse 10 describes this man as being "radiant and ruddy" which means he was slightly light-skinned with a rosy color. This physical description matches exactly with the authentic Islamic sources.
Sahih Al Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 747, says Muhammad was slightly light skinned, with a rosy color (and has the same hair as is mentioned in verse 11)

Song of Songs 5:10 says: "My beloved is white and ruddy, pre-eminent above ten thousand." This is a prophecy of Prophet Muhammad as he conquered Mecca. It is a well known historically documented fact that in the year 630 CE Muhammad entered Mecca as the leader of an army of "ten thousand men". 

In reading the English translation of Song of Songs 5:16 it finishes the description by saying: "He is altogether lovely" but what most people don't know is that the name of that man was given in the original megillot. Here is the name is written in ancient Hebrew as it appears in verse sixteen: מחמד. It is read as "Muhammad"

Hebrew:
חִכּוֹ, מַמְתַקִּים, וְכֻלּוֹ, מַחֲמַדִּים; זֶה דוֹדִי וְזֶה רֵעִי, בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם.

English: His mouth is most sweet; yea, he is ALTOGETHER LOVELY. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.

There is a plural used together with this Hebrew word, with the plural it’s pronounced “Mahamadd-im”. The ending letters 'im' is a plural of respect, majesty, and grandeur for God’s prophet, just as in the word Eloh-im.

According to Ben Yehuda's Hebrew-English Dictionary, it is correctly pronounced as "Muhammad". 

If you don't believe me, go to translators, paste the name מחמד and then translate it into English. You will see that מחמד is translated as "Muhammad".

John 14:16 
And I will pray for the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;

Muslims also believe the promised Counselor or Comforter in the following New Testament verse is Muhammad rather than the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16).

Yusuf Ali makes the case in a footnote to Qur’an 3:81
:

That argument is: You (People of the Book) are bound by your own oaths, sworn solemnly in the presence of your own Prophets. In the Old Testament, as it now exists, Muhammad is foretold in Deut. 18; and the rise of the Arab nation in Isaiah 11, for Kedar was a son of Ismail and the name is used for the Arab nation: in the New Testament as it now exists, Muhammad is foretold in the Gospel of St. John 16, vrs. 26, and 7: the future Comforter cannot be the Holy Spirit as understood by Christians because the Holy Spirit already was present helping and guiding Jesus. The Greek word translated ‘Comforter’ is ‘Paracletos’, which is an easy corruption from ‘Periclytos’, which is almost a literal translation of ‘Muhammad’ or ‘Ahmad’. . . .


Yusuf Ali goes further in a footnote to Qur’an 61:6:
‘Ahmad,’ or ‘Muhammad,’ the Praised One, is almost a translation of the Greek word Periclytos. In the present Gospel of John, xiv. 16, xv. 26, and xvi. 7, the word ‘Comforter’ in the English version is for the Greek word ‘Paracletos,’ which means ‘Advocate,’ ‘one called to the help of another, a kind friend’ rather than ‘Comforter.’ It is contended that Paracletos is a corrupt reading for Periclytos and that in their original saying of Jesus there was a prophecy of our holy Prophet Ahmad by name.


Simply put, the argument is that in New Testament Greek manuscripts the word paracletos is a corruption of periclytos. But there is absolutely no manuscript evidence to support this claim. Of the over 5,000 manuscripts now available, not one witness to periclytos, making the charge of textual corruption in this example without historical or textual support. 


Further, while Muslims claim that identifying the promised Counselor with the Holy Spirit is a misinterpretation, Jesus states this exact connection in the context of John 14:16: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26). Muslims can claim that this statement was made up by later Christians, but such an accusation would need at least some evidence. 

Numerous other difficulties attend the Muslim attribution of John 14:16 to Muhammad. The Counselor was to be with Jesus’ early disciples “forever” (14:16), but Muhammad was never with them, nor is the answer that the message of Muhammad has continued to this day in the Qur’an a sufficient response. Jesus also said the Counselor would be “in you” (14:17), which harmonizes perfectly with the role of the Holy Spirit, but not Muhammad. The Counselor would also be sent in Jesus’ name (14:26), but Muhammad was not. 

We hope that any Muslim who would seek to accredit the prophecy of John 14:16 to Muhammad would first read John 14:16 in its entirety. As these chapters clearly demonstrate, the qualities of the Counselor cannot be plausibly attributed to Muhammad. 

Muslims use additional Bible passages to support their claim that the Bible prophesies the coming of Muhammad, but the same difficulties that accompany their attempts to use Deuteronomy18:16- 18 and John 14:16 in this way trouble the other (less significant) passages. 

John 15:26

But when the Comforter has come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

John 16:7
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

John 16:12-14
 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

John 8:32

“ And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”




Thursday, November 23, 2017

"Muslims and Christians sharing a common reverence for JESUS"



The belief in Jesus is an element of faith that is common to Christianity and Islam even though the two faiths believe in him differently. Both faiths hold Jesus in high esteem. Muslims and Christians believe that Jesus entered the world in a miraculous manner; that he worked mighty deeds on earth; that his exit was mysterious; and that his second coming will be spectacular. His miraculous entrance is hailed by Christians as the virginal conception, as is mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The Quranic story of Jesus as found in chapters 3 and 19 has many elements in common with Luke’s Gospel, leading to the common interpretation and belief among Muslims in the virginal conception as well.

Jesus is one of the greatest persons ever to have walked the earth.Two world faiths hold him in high regard. Islam holds him to be God’s Messiah, Prophet, and Righteous Servant. Christianity holds him to be all of the above and even more. Some Christians believe that Jesus is God the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Some believe that he is the Son of God. Some take this title to mean the Divine Son of God. Others think that ‘Son of God’ is a title that can refer to a person who is especially favored by God; and that it refers to Jesus more so because he was favored by God to a remarkable degree.
Jesus’ powerful deeds, especially during the last few years of his ministry, are detailed in the four Gospels in the New Testament. Likewise, the Quran informs us that God supported Jesus with the Holy Spirit and that Jesus healed the leper, cured the blind, and even raised the dead back to life, all with God’s permission.
According to the Gospels, Jesus’ exit from the world was at first a mystery to his disciples. But the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John show that Jesus later appeared to his disciples and confirmed for them that God had raised him alive to heaven. The Quran, without describing the event in any detail, confirms for Muslims that “God raised Jesus to Himself” (Quran 4:157). The belief that Jesus is alive with God, then, is common to Muslims and Christians.
Muslims also generally believe that Jesus will return to earth before the Day of Judgment. This belief is not clearly stated in the Quran although two verses (4:158 and 43:61) have been interpreted as possible references to this event. This belief is, however, stated in many sayings attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and found in the most authentic collections of his sayings.
In short, Muslims and Christians share a common reverence for Jesus, and this can serve as a starting point for dialogue leading to greater levels of mutual understanding, tolerance, and respect.
Focusing on our commonalities, however, should not prevent us from being honest about our differences, for only in understanding our differences as well can we truly understand each other.
One area of difference is the scriptural authority that settles questions for Muslims and Christians. For Christians, the Bible is the Word of God. Some Christians add that the Bible is the Word of God and the word of man—that it is the word of man that the Word of God is mediated. Many Christians believe that the authors of the Bible were basically free to write according to their knowledge and experiences and that God controlled the process such that the result is, in fact, His Word without ceasing to be the words of the human authors. Some Christians believe that the process by which God inspired the writings that make up the Bible guarantees their inerrancy. Others believe that the Bible is free of error only in those matters on which human salvation depends.
Muslims believe in the principle that any revelation from God must be accepted. Thus they believe in the Biblical prophets, especially as they are presented in the Quran. The Quran itself mentions some parts of the Bible as being based on scriptural revelations from God. In this way, the Quran mentions the Torah of Moses, the Psalms of David, and the Gospel of Jesus. But Muslims see no reason to believe that the Bible is the final revelation from God. They believe that after the Old and New Testaments God revealed a final testament: the Quran. For Muslims, therefore, the ultimate authority is the Quran itself. They believe it to be the final revelation from God confirming the truth of the previous scriptures and yet acting as a quality control on the previous scriptures (Quran 5:48).
Hence in principle Muslims accept as Divine revelation those parts of the Bible which are in agreement with the Quran. They hesitate, however about those parts which are in disagreement. For them, if the disagreeable part refers to the practices of the faith then the Quranic practices abrogate the old, and they follow the new. If the differences are matters of history or theology Muslims may consider these due to something lost in the translation or transmission of the Bible over the ages. Often in dialogue, Muslims point to some passages which are noted in many modern Bibles as having been changed over time. An example of this is The First Letter of John, chapter 5, verse 7 which used to say, “There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and that these three are one” (1John 5:7). These words, however, have been removed from the verse in most modern versions because Biblical scholars have discovered that it is absent from the earliest and most reliable manuscripts of John’s first letter.
Because Muslims and Christians accept different scriptural authorities, they may be expected to arrive at different conclusions about what to believe. This is why Muslims do not believe that Jesus died on the cross as depicted in the Gospels. The Quran does not describe in detail what happened but insists that Jesus’ enemies did not manage to kill him. In response to those who said, “We killed the Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, the Messenger of God,” the Quran says:
They killed him not, nor crucified him, but it was made so to appear to them. And those who differ about him are in doubt about him. They have no knowledge of him except the pursuit of a conjecture. They killed him not for certain. But God raised him to Himself. And God is Mighty, Wise” (Quran 4:157).

The Quran does not say specifically how Jesus managed to escape the plot of his opponents. But Muslims believe that the Quran, though very brief, gives God’s viewpoint on the story of Jesus.
But the main point of difference on the question of Jesus’ crucifixion is about the purpose of his purported death. For Christians, his death was not merely caused by sinful people but was for the cause of sinful people. Jesus laid down his life for the sins of many, or, in an alternative view, for all people. There are various ways of explaining the efficacy of Jesus’ death. Some believe that God accepts the death of Jesus as a substitute for sinful people who are henceforth spared their deserved penalties. Others believe that the death of Jesus appeased the wrath of God and made it possible for people to be forgiven.
Muslims, however, believe that the matter is simple. God is Gracious. He can forgive his servants if he chooses; nothing impedes him. His promise is that he will forgive those who turn to him in repentance. If we sincerely repent of our sins against him and do our best to repair the harm we have done to his creatures, his forgiveness is assured. On this point, Muslims and Christians seem to agree. For even on the view that Jesus died for our sins Christians also insist on the need for repentance and a return from sinful ways. Moreover, Muslims find it difficult to understand how a just God can punish an innocent person in order to free the guilty.
Finally, despite their agreement with Jesus, Muslims and Christians also disagree with him. Muslims find it puzzling to think of Jesus as God and man at the same time, for this seems to combine two contrary features in the same person. If he was God he only appeared to be a man. And if he was really a man with some of the imperfections this entails then he was not the perfect God in whom Muslims and Christians believe.
Even more perplexing for Muslims is the doctrine that Jesus is the Second Person of the Trinity. For Muslims, there is only one God, and Jesus is one of his greatest creatures. Christians agree that there is only one God. But they add that the one God subsists in three persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. To Muslims, however, the Holy Spirit is the angel Gabriel; and of the three persons only The Father, whom Muslims call Allah, can be truly God. Hence the simple Muslim declaration of faith: “There is no god but God.”
The dialogue must continue, and this will, we hope, lead to a greater level of understanding, tolerance and mutual respect. Mentioned here are some of the main issues that need to be discussed as starting points for the achievement of such mutual appreciation. These two world faiths together are followed by half of the world’s population. If they work together they can combat many of the ills that plague our world at present.


Thursday, October 12, 2017

"PROPHET JOB"



We are not only told that we must undergo many tests throughout this life, as indeed all humans must, but we are also given a pattern to follow in handling them. Face it. It is hard enough to maintain a decent attitude when you are going through troubles that you know you brought on yourself. But what about things that are patently unfair? Humanly, we all bristle at the idea of unfairness.

One of the most overwhelming things about a severe trial can be the sense of isolation. We want to make sure that God knows because when He finds out, surely He’ll do something about it! In Job, we are given a behind-the-scenes look at events of which Job was completely unaware. God, however, was very much aware of Job and of the wholehearted obedience he sought to render. In fact, God Himself called Satan’s attention to Job. Christ reminded His disciples in Luke 12:6–7 that God, who even takes a detailed note of the sparrows, is much more deeply interested in the affairs of His own creations, the humans. The Creator is aware of everything about us down to the smallest detail. “Even the hairs of our head are numbered.” When we are struck with personal tragedy or persecuted for obedience, we can be sure that God knows. This is vitally important to keep in mind to counteract the sense of isolation and loneliness that will often beset us at such times. “No one understands what I’m going through,” we think. But Someone does! We have a faithful Messiah who was tested in all ways like us and is, therefore able to empathize and give us the needed form of help. Though Job could not begin to understand why all of these things were happening to him, he knew God was aware of it. He did not react, as Satan had predicted, by cursing God. Rather, Job told his wife, “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” 

The story recounted makes us privy to actual conversations between God and Satan! When we begin reading the book of Job we learn that, while God allowed Satan to afflict Job, He set limits beyond which the devil could not pass. From the start, we know there are limits to Job’s trial, and we know what those limits are. Initially, God restricted Satan from harming Job’s health. Later, He allowed Job to be personally stricken but insisted that his life is spared. In all of this, we have an advantage over Job. At the time he was going through adversity, Job knew nothing of the conversation between God and Satan. He knew nothing of any limits God had pre-imposed upon his trial.

When we find ourselves in the midst of great adversity, we must always keep in mind that there may have been a similar “behind-the-scenes” conversation regarding us. God has established the limits of our trial, but we just do not know what those limits are! What we as His creation experience is not generally time and chance. The devil does not “sneak up” while God’s back is turned. God is involved in every test that we undergo and He has established preset limits beyond which Satan cannot go. Neither the duration nor the intensity of the trial is completely open-ended. Ultimately, God is in charge!


This is perhaps one of the hardest lessons to keep in mind. But seek Growth, not vindication. Job wanted God to vindicate him in the eyes of his friends. People ridiculed him and that can be hard to take. When Elihu began to answer Job on behalf of God, he pointed out that Job had been wrongly focused during much of his trial. Elihu explains that God instructs and chastens in various ways. God has His reasons for how He deals with us. And sometimes they are beyond our understanding. Job was so certain of his innocence and of the injustice of his afflictions that for a long time he was unable to see beyond that. He tried to defend himself from the false conclusions of his friends and in so doing was unable to see areas of needed growth in his life. Again, God has reasons for allowing whatever happens—though we are often at a loss to fathom what they are. If we do so in faith, He will surely give it. Whatever the trial or test, there is always growth that can be achieved. Even Jesus Christ Himself learned by the things He suffered. God wants us to grow. Therefore, we must undergo periodic pruning to stimulate that growth (John 15:2).


The “Why” often proves elusive. Humanly, we like everything to be neatly pigeon- holed. We want the world and the events in it to make sense. But in trying to give an explanation for everything we sometimes miss the point. This is the way it was for Job’s friends.The first of Job’s friends to speak was Eliphaz. He declared, “Remember now, who ever perished being innocent? Or where were the upright ever cut off? Even as I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, Job’s three friends, were all sure that Job must have had some dirty secret at the root of his newfound troubles. They “knew” there had to be a reason. So, they badgered poor Job to confess this suspected secret sin. Job knew there was no great hidden scandal in his life engendering his trials. He was defensive in the face of his accusers, but he also wondered—’ ‘Why?” One of the difficult things for us to accept is that many of the sufferings we go through simply cannot be neatly categorized. The why is often elusive. Bad things do not only happen to bad people. Job recognized that many times the wicked life to reach old age and even appear to prosper. There are many whys that we will never know in this life. Acceptance that the why may prove elusive sets the stage for a vital lesson from the book of Job.

Job was in despair. Was there trust in the face of anguish? His whole life had been turned upside down. He had lost his wealth and his loved ones in a series of sudden calamities. Now his health was gone too. Why? Job was deeply frustrated because he could not make sense out of his trials. Yet in the depths of perplexity and despair, he made one of the most profound declarations of faith recorded. “Though He slays me, yet will I trust Him”. In the story, we read the words of anguish that poured from Job’s lips. “Know that God has overthrown and put me in the wrong, and has closed His net about me.... He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass, and He has set darkness upon my paths.... My kinsfolk have failed me, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.... I am repulsive to my wife and loathsome to the children of my own mother”. Yet even at this low point of anguish and bewilderment, Job declares his heartfelt trust in God. “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth.... I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself”. Job understood the truth of the resurrection. “If a man dies, shall he live again?” Job asked. He went on to record the divinely inspired answer. “All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Job knew that God would call and that he would answer and come forth from the grave because God would have a desire to the work of His hands. It is relatively easy to trust God when things are going the way we like them. When the world around us makes sense it is fairly easy to believe God is in charge. But what about when things turn upside down and inside out? It is in the midst of such perplexity and anguish that faith in God is most needed.



One of the things Satan never understood about Job was his motive. Satan thought Job only served God because it was to his advantage here and now. He was convinced that if God removed blessings and protection, Job would curse and revile Him. But that was not true. Job loved God and served Him out of sincere devotion. He trusted God even when he was feeling abandoned. This lesson of steadfast trust is one of the most important aspects of character we can gain from any trial.

 God will ultimately reward both good and evil. Life can often seem unfair. There are those who make no pretense of serving God and yet they seem to be doing well. There are others who are genuinely trying, but they are experiencing many difficulties and setbacks. What we have to keep in mind is that this life is temporary. Job noticed that there were wicked men whose “houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds without failure; their cow calves without miscarriage” Yet he realized that was not the end of the story. Job said, “For the wicked are reserved for the day of doom; they shall be brought out on the day of wrath.” Even though it may seem that life is not fair, God is a God of justice. Ultimately, it is the resurrection that God will reward the righteous and punish the wicked. However, there are many times when even in this life events can make a sudden shift. The conclusion of the book of Job reveals, “Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning”. In the long run, there are blessings for obedience—entrance into the Kingdom of God – Paradise, is the greatest of all blessings—and curses for disobedience.

Many public schools and graduate students promote regardless of what they’ve actually learned. But God does not operate that way. We emerge when we learn what God is teaching. He is the great Teacher who is preparing us for a role in His Paradise and He insists that we learn our lessons properly. It was only when Job began coming to grips with the lessons that God wanted Him to learn that he began emerging from this period of great trial. God focuses on the bottom line. Job was an exemplary man but he had a flaw. The Scriptures say Job’s problem was that “he was righteous in his own eyes and that “he justified himself rather than God”. Ultimately Job emerged with a far deeper understanding of the Almighty as well as a deeper understanding of himself and his own human nature. “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes,” Job told God.

A vital lesson that all of us must learn in order to please God and to begin emerging from a trial is that of mercy and forgiveness. Job’s friends were miserable comforters. Regardless of their motives, they were a great part of Job’s trial. Yet notice the turning point when Job began to emerge from his great adversity. ‘And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends'.

Job came to really know God deeply, not simply to know about Him. He became a far more humble and compassionate man as a result of what he went through. Learning these lessons was the key to his emerging out of the dark shadows of life and into the sunlight once again. Our trials can make us bitter or they can make us better! Which will yours do for you?

Job is a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil  One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appears before God in heaven.


Job's story in Islam is parallel to the Hebrew Bible story, although the main emphasis is on Job remaining steadfast to God; there is no mention of Job's discussions with friends in the Quranic text, but later Muslim literature states that Job had brothers, who argued with the man about the cause of his affliction.


Almost invariably, all prophets come to their particular people with the same message. They ordered their peoples to worship God alone, and not associate anything or anyone in worship with Him.  The stories of the prophets emphasize this basic doctrine of Islam that God is One.

In the stories of the prophets, we see that God tested various nations through loss of health and through the loss of wealth, even extreme poverty.
  God declares repentance and patience to be the keys to eternal life, therefore accepting trials and even thanking God for them, denotes a high level of faith. Humankind, however, is a constant struggle to accept the message of God.  Many nations failed.The story of Prophet Job is different.  Through his story, we are able to view humankind’s struggle on a more personal level.  God does not tell us about Job’s methods of preaching or how his people reacted to his warnings and admonitions.  God does not tell us about the fate of Job’s people.  Instead, He tells us about Job’s patience. He (the Almighty) praises Job by saying,

“Truly!  We found him patient.  How excellent a slave!  Verily, he was ever oft- returning in repentance to Us!” (Quran 38:44)
Christians often refer to the “patience of Job” and interestingly, Muslims refer to Job’s patience and try to emulate him in the face of relentless adversity. 
Job was a descendant of Noah (Quran 6:84).  He loved God, worshipped Him alone, was patient, steadfast and sort forgiveness often. Satan overheard a group of angels discussing that Job was the best man of his generation and Satan’s dark heart was filled with jealousy and silent rage. His plan was to tempt Job away from goodness and have him fall into disbelief and corruptionSatan attempted to distract Job from his prayers but Job remained steadfast and prayed with commitment and concentration.
This caused Satan’s rage to grow and he complained to God saying that Job was a devoted worshipper only because God had blessed him with wealth and possessions. God allowed Satan and his helpers to destroy Jobs possessions, but Job remained true to his belief and acknowledged that God was able to give or take wealth and possessions as He pleased. Satan became even more frustrated and returned to God saying that Job only hid his disappointment because of his large happy family. Satan and his helpers destroyed Job’s home, the building came crashing down killing all of Job’s children.
Once again, Job turned to God for comfort and accepted this heaviest test without complaint.  Satan disguised himself and approached Job in the form of an old man.  The old man commiserated with Job and suggested that God was not rewarding Job for his devotion and prayers, but Job replied that God “sometimes gives and sometimes takes” and that he was well pleased with His Creator.  Satan’s silent but smoldering anger grew.  He returned to God saying that Job was fit and healthy and therefore had hopes of regaining his wealth and having more children.  Satan asked permission to destroy Job’s health.  God granted Satan’s third request excluding his ability to harm Job’s soul, heart, or intellect.
Satan and his helpers began to harm Job’s body, by the will of Allah.  He was reduced to skin and bone and suffered severe pain. Job was also stricken with a disease that made people turn away from him with revulsion and his friends and relatives began to desert him.  Only his wife remained with him. She cared for him and showered him with kindness even though they had become penniless and she had to work as a servant to provide them with a small morsel of food each day.
Throughout his ordeal, Job remained devoted to God.  His lips and tongue remained moist with the remembrance of God and he never despaired or complained. He continued to thank God even for this great calamity that had befallen him. Satan was at a loss, he did not know how to entice Job away from his devotion to God so he decided to harass Job’s wife. He came to her in the form of a man and reminded her of the old days and how easy their life had once been. Job’s wife burst into tears and confronted Job saying, “ask your Lord to remove this suffering from us”.
Job was saddened and reminded his wife that God had blessed them with wealth,  children, and health for 80 years and that this suffering had been upon them for a relatively short period of time.  He declared that he was ashamed to call on God to remove the hardship and admonished his wife saying that if he ever regained his health he would beat her with 100 strokes.  Job’s loving wife was devastated, she turned away and sought shelter elsewhere.  Job felt helpless, he turned to God, not to complain but to beg for mercy.
“Verily!  distress has seized me and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.”  So We answered his call, and we removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.”  (Quran 21:83-84)
God restored Job’s health almost immediately.  Job’s wife could not bear to be parted from her beloved husband for very long so she returned and was amazed when she saw his recovery.  She cried out her thanks to God, and on hearing her words, Job became worried.  He had taken an oath to beat his wife but he had no desire to hurt her for he loved her dearly.  God wanted to ease the heart of his devoted, patient servant so he advised him to “take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith your wife, and break not your oath”.  (Quran 38:44)
From the traditions of Prophet Muhammad, we learn that God also restored Job’s wealth.  It is said that one day when he was taking a shower (or bath) God showered him with grasshoppers made of gold. God rewarded Job’s patience abundantly.  His health was restored, his family was returned to him and multiplied, and he once again became a wealthy man.

God tells us that Job’s story is a reminder for all those who worship God.  (Quran 21:84)  When one truly worships God with full submission, it is necessary to have patience.  It is easy to worship for a few days or even weeks, but we must be consistent.  Prayer at night requires patience, fasting requires patience, living with tribulations and trials requires patience.  The life of this world is a test and in order to pass, and be rewarded with Paradise, we need to acquire the patience of Job.