Stay Away from Indoctrination and Dogma

"As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;" (Ephesians 4:14 NASB).

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Following God's Word versus Human Intuition and Interpretation



What would you say to a person of the Islamic religion, if they told you that Muslims trace the religion of Islam, especially the pilgrimage to pay homage at the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to Abraham of The Bible?

The Hajj (Arabic: حج‎ Ḥaǧǧ "pilgrimage") or haj is one of the largest annually occurring pilgrimages in the world, and one of the five pillars of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so at least once in his or her lifetime.

During the Hajj (pilgrimage), each Muslim walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three day global festival of Eid al-Adha.

The Truth of God's Word, if followed by mankind, could end the Arab and Israeli conflict---and set the indoctrinated free!

Recently, I attended the Men's Connect Group of my church on a Thursday night. The guided Bible open discussion was coordinated by our group leader, Fernando, who played a clip from, "The Bible," a television miniseries based on the Bible. It was broadcast weekly between March 3 and March 31, 2013 on The History Channel. The scene we watched at our Men's Connect Group showed Abraham's emotional and spiritual struggle to keep his faith in God, as he obeyed the Lord's command for him to sacrifice his son Isaac.





THE QUR'AN ACCOUNT OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH

The Qur'an, the central religious text of Islam, contains references to over fifty people and events also found in the Bible.

In the Qur'an, it is mentioned that the original Gospel (and original Torah) tells about Muhammad, as the final prophet to whom Muslims claim was given the last revelation of God.

Anything in the Bible that agrees with the Qur'an is accepted, and anything in the Bible that disagrees with the Qur'an is not accepted. Many stories in the Bible are not mentioned at all in the Qur'an; with regard to such passages, Muslims are instructed to neither believe nor disbelieve in them, but they are allowed to read them and pass them on if they wish to do so.

There are several differences between the Biblical and Qur'anic accountsIn Genesis, the sacrificial son is Isaac, whereas in the Qur'an it is Ishmael, since it first narrates this story, followed by the account of Abraham receiving the tidings of a son, Isaac (As-Saaffat 37:102–112). Therefore, Muslims believe the sacrificial son was Ishmael and that this event happened prior to Isaac's birth.


While God seems to speak directly to Abraham in Genesis, He speaks through a vision in the Qur'an. In the Qur'an, Abraham directly tells his son Ishmael that he intends to sacrifice him. In Genesis, Abraham avoids telling Isaac, saying instead that "God will provide the sacrifice."

At first glance of Genesis 22:2, it is easy to conclude that God was using Abraham and Isaac to foreshadow what He would do centuries later in the world, by sacrificing His only son, whom He loved for the redemption of mankind's sins (John 3:16).

Regardless of Muhammad (c. 570 AD – c. 632 AD), who was a religious, political, and military leader from Mecca who unified Arabia into a single religious "civil government" under Islam, 500-plus years after Jesus Christ, I am prejudiced by faith, secular and redemptive history to believe the Holy Bible.




Mount Moriah, Jerusalem, is the name given to a mountain range by the Book of Genesisin which context it is the location of the sacrifice of IsaacTraditionally Moriah has been interpreted as the name of the specific mountain in Jerusalem at which this occurred, rather than just the name of the range.

In modern translations of the Hebrew and Christian Bible, the word Moriah is used only twice:

Genesis 22:2: "And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'"


2 Chronicles 3:1: "Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where [the LORD] appeared unto David his father; for which provision had been made in the Place of David, in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite."


The Qur'an states that Ibrahim (Abraham), together with his son Ishmael, raised the foundations of the Kaaba [Quran 2:127], years later after the incident of "The Binding," when supposedly Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael reunited, several years after the birth of Isaac, and the exile of Ishmael and his mother, Hagar. 

According to the Qur'an, Allah had shown Ibrahim (Abraham) the exact site, very near to the Well of Zamzam (a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia), where supposedly Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael began work on the Kaaba's construction in circa 2130 B.C. 

According to the Qur'an, Muhammad was born and lived in Mecca for the first 52 years of his life (570 AD–622 AD). 

Throughout Muhammad’s ministry he often tried to appease Jews and Christians in the hope of convincing them that he was a true prophet like the prophets of the Holy Bible. Some of the ways in which he went about it was by adopting certain Jewish or Christian practices such as fasting, purification rites, dietary restrictions etc. When he saw that the Jews and Christians were not embracing him, that they were not accepting his prophetic claims, Muhammad turned against them and did away with some of these customs and practices he had originally adapted from them. He had also commanded Muslims to pray towards Jerusalem (the prayer direction of the Jews), but then rescinded this and told them to pray towards Mecca.



FAITH AND RELIGION ARE NOT THE SAME

Twelver or Imami Shīa Islam is the largest branch of Shī'ī (Shi'a) Islam. Adherents of Twelver Shī'ism are commonly referred to as Twelvers, which is derived from their belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imāms, and their belief that the Mahdi will be the returned Twelfth Imam who disappeared and is believed by Twelvers to be in occultation.

Students of the esoteric tradition look for Maitreya, a World Teacher, and head of the Masters of Wisdom...

All the great religions posit the idea of a further revelation to be given by a future Teacher. Christians hope for the return of the Christ, the Buddhists look for the coming of another Buddha (the Lord Maitreya), while Muslims await the Imam Mahdi, the Hindus a reincarnation of Krishna, and the Jews the Messiah. According to esoteric teaching, Maitreya manifested Himself 2,000 years ago in Palestine by overshadowing His disciple Jesus.

BUT THERE IS NOTHING ESOTERIC (hidden or limited to the knowledge of a few) ABOUT JESUS AND CHRISTIANITY.



JESUS WAS NOT A MILITARY LEADER

Unlike MuhammadJesus did not teach His followers to go to war and kill people who did not accept His teachings



THE TWO ACCEPTED MEANINGS OF JIHAD

Jihadan Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Twelver Shi'a Islam, however, Jihad is one of the 10 Practices of the Religion. 

There are two commonly accepted meanings of jihad: an inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle. The "greater jihad" is the inner struggle by a believer to fulfill his religious duties. The "lesser jihad" is the physical struggle against the enemies of Islam. This physical struggle can take a violent form or a non-violent form. The proponents of the violent form translate jihad as "holy war."

When Christ began His ministry, HE PUT AN END TO WAR, especially Holy Wars---and taught love for enemies...


Matthew 5:43-48 (NKJV)

Love Your Enemies


43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, 
just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

If you read Genesis 22, verses 1 through 2, you will realize, perhaps for the first time, as the men of my church and I did, that God said to Abraham, Take your sonyour only sonwhom you love..."


Genesis 22:1-2 (NIV)

Abraham Tested

22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.


2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

In Genesis 22 verse 12we find that God again refers to Isaac as Abraham's only son.




Genesis 22:11-13 (NIV)

11 "But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

Footnotes:

Genesis 22:13 Many manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint and Syriac; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text a ram behind him



WHY DID GOD REFER TO ISAAC AS ABRAHAM'S ONLY SON IN THE HOLY BIBLE?


Galatians 4:22-26 (NLT)

22 "The Scriptures say that Abraham had two sons, one from his slave wife and one from his freeborn wife.[a] 23 The son of the slave wife was born in a human attempt to bring about the fulfillment of God’s promise. But the son of the freeborn wife was born as God’s own fulfillment of his promise.

24 These two women serve as an illustration of God’s two covenants. The first woman, Hagar, represents Mount Sinai where people received the law that enslaved them. 25 And now Jerusalem is just like Mount Sinai in Arabia,[b] because she and her children live in slavery to the law. 26 But the other woman, Sarah, represents the heavenly Jerusalem. She is the free woman, and she is our mother."

Footnotes:
4:22 See Gen 16:15; 21:2-3.
4:25 Greek And Hagar, which is Mount Sinai in Arabia, is now like Jerusalem; other manuscripts read And Mount Sinai in Arabia is now like Jerusalem.

Jesus Christ, God's only Son and our sacrificial lamb, gave His life willing to die on the cross for the remission of sin and to conquer death through His glorious resurrection. 


Galatians 1:4 (NLT)

4 "Jesus gave his life for our sins, just as God our Father planned, in order to rescue us from this evil world 
in which we live."


Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1, John 1:14, Revelation 19:13). Every reference to "the word" or "the word of God" or "the Word of the Lord" in the Bible is either the Greek word, meaning logos or rhema, both of which mean "words spoken by a living voice."


1 Peter 1:23-25 (NLT)
23 For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. 24 As the Scriptures say,

“People are like grass;
    their beauty is like a flower in the field.
The grass withers and the flower fades.
25     But the word of the Lord remains forever.”[a]
And that word is the Good News that was preached to you.

Footnotes:
1:24-25 Isa 40:6-8.


No other prophet in history has claimed to conquer death for all mankind who believe in Him, or promised to go prepare a place and come back for His followers to have eternal life.


John 14:1-7 (NLT)

Jesus, the Way to the Father

14 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”

5 “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” 


John 8:31-42 (NLT)

Jesus and Abraham

31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, 
‘You will be set free’?”

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. 35 A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. 37 Yes, I realize that you are descendants of Abraham. And yet some of you are trying to kill me because there’s no room in your hearts for my message. 38 I am telling you what I saw when I was with my Father. But you are following the advice of your father.”

39 “Our father is Abraham!” they declared.

“No,” Jesus replied, “for if you were really the children of Abraham, you would follow his example.[a] 40 Instead, you are trying to kill me because I told you the truth, which I heard from God. Abraham never did such a thing. 41 No, you are imitating your real father.”

They replied, “We aren’t illegitimate children! God himself is our true Father.”

42 Jesus told them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, because I have come to you from God. I am not here on my own, but he sent me."

Footnotes:

8:39 Some manuscripts read if you are really the children of Abraham, follow his example.



Jesus Christ did not come for the self-righteous, but rather He came for the lost---those who are oppressed mentally and spiritually. Jesus came to set the captives' minds free from dogma and Tradition(s) of men and false religions.

Thereforeare you going to follow God's Word or human intuition and interpretation? 

The Apostle Paul wrote: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (2 Corinthians 11:3). Please repent and accept the Gift of Salvation by saying this short prayer


"Dear Jesus, I repent of my sins and the original sin of mankind, please come into my heart and change me to trust in you and build my personal relationship with you by studying your word and applying it to my life to the best of my abilityThank you for dying on the cross for the remission of sin. Thank you for conquering death with your resurrection. I accept you Jesus as my Lord and Savior, please lead me and guide me. Amen!"

If you have said the short prayer above, I welcome you to the True Body of Christ (not a sect or religious denomination).

Please get into a Bible-based church where the Word of God is taught unadulterated and reject the Tradition(s) of men. Pray, meditate upon God's Word and trust Jesus that He will guide you with His Spirit. 


Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

"And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."




Godspeed, love and Truth,

Brother David Johnson, XU



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