Articles written by editor to challenge non-Christians and help those in the faith.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Jesus Just a Prophet?

This article has been written in the hope giving Moslems answers to faith in God, which they so desperately need.

Those of the Islam religion, Moslems, want to tell us that the Jesus they call “a prophet of Islam” is the same Jesus that Christians worship. Do they know what the Jesus of the Christians said, do they have any knowledge of what he did? Let’s have a look.

In an article written in “The Sydney Morning Herald” (SMH) on May 28 2011, Diaa Mohamed says Jesus was a prophet of Islam who was to come before Muhammad. “The only difference is we say he is a prophet of God, and they say he is God.”

Muhammad was born circa 570 AD and founded the religion of Islam. (Find more here). Moslems consider him to be (among other things) the last law-bearer and the last prophet of God.

The last law-bearer

The first (and only) law bearer I am aware of is Moses. To him was given ten commandments:

The Decalogue (10 Commandments)

God spoke all these words:
I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery.
  • You shall have no other gods before me.
  • You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is on the earth beneath or that is in the water below. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, responding to the transgression of fathers by dealing with children to the third and fourth generations of those who reject me, and showing covenant faithfulness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
  • You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold guiltless anyone who takes his name in vain.
  • Remember the Sabbath day to set it apart as holy. For six days you may labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; on it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your male servant, or your female servant, or your cattle, or the resident foreigner who is in your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, and he rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
  • Honour your father and your mother, that you may live a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving to you.
  • You shall not murder.
  • You shall not commit adultery.
  • You shall not steal.
  • You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
  • You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.
All the people were seeing the thundering and the lightning, and heard the sound of the horn, and saw the mountain smoking – and when the people saw it they trembled with fear and kept their distance. They said to Moses, "You speak to us and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die." Exodus 20

Moses was also given a bunch of other rules to supply more detailed  outworking of these fundamental laws which form the basis of most Western societies laws.

Can you find fault in these laws?

I have yet to find a man find fault in these laws (apart from atheists who would have trouble with the first four). Taking the last six laws, one would have to seriously question what kind of man condones the opposite behaviour, (most end up in prison eventually), while every one of us has to admit we fall short of this perfect law at some point in our lives, especially if we take the whole. see Psalm 14

The law (10 commandments) was given to the Jews, whom Moslems want to destroy (along with other infidels’ like me!). This law is described throughout the bible as being perfect, holy and good. (eg. Psalm 19:7, Romans 7:12) Why would God introduce another law? The true and living God is not the author of confusion. see Exodus 12:4, Exodus 24:12

"For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?' But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14

What advantage does the Jew have, or what is the value of circumcision? Actually, there are many advantages. First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. see Romans 2:17-3:8

Christianity and the Law

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For no one is declared righteous before him by the works of the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the law the righteousness of God (which is attested by the law and the prophets) has been disclosed – namely, the righteousness of God through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness. Romans 3:19

There is no need for a new law, the law given to Moses was sufficient in every way. It can be condensed into two simple phrases: “Love the Lord with all your heart and all your mind and strength, and love your neighbour as you love yourself.” Unfortunately, though he law is perfect, it cannot make us perfect as we can see by Israel's track record. The shedding of blood the of animals was also given to demonstrate the need of a redeemer to take away sin once and for all. The Israelite prophets saw this and spoke of a new covenant, one of relationship with God:
“But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord. “I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be my people.”
“People will no longer need to teach their neighbours and relatives to know me. For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.” Jeremiah 31:31-34

The expectation of Israel was for a saviour. Like all peoples, they looked for one to redeem them from earthly troubles, but God, through Israel, teaches us we need a change of heart. Not by being forced into a new religion, or catching onto some fancy philosophy, or bowing and scraping our way to God, but a transformation occurring from within the heart. The prophet Ezekiel went on to say God would give us a new, tender heart. (Ezekiel 11:19, Ezekiel 36:26)

God new that to bring about a change of heart, He would have to send someone, a perfect man, perfect in every way, to first of take the just punishment sin deserves, and in so doing claim mercy for those who have transgressed and seek forgiveness. Christians know that man had to be God in person; his name is Jesus and he is the one and only Son of God.

The last prophet

That is, in a line of prophets including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus. Interesting how a bunch of names from the Torah appear, yet none of the noteworthy men of Israel to whom the title “prophet” was given. (In Christianity Jesus bears titles “Christ, Messiah, Saviour, King of Kings” and is recognised as the one whom the prophets testified about in relation to his coming – Even though he prophesied, he is not attributed with the title of prophet).

If it is necessary to have a succession of prophets and laws, what makes it end with Muhammad and Islam. Surely the Bahá'í faith is one we should be the flavour of the month, since they claim some more recent “progression” in the knowledge of God having the more recent messengers in their camp!

Jesus, the Christ, coming prophesied

There are hundreds of verses in the bible which testify to the what where and why of Christ’s coming. A few can be found here. Why has God drawn so much attention to His son, yet none to the coming of other prophets except when Jesus warns of false prophets who would come:
Jesus began to say to them, “Watch out that no one misleads you. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will mislead many. When you hear of wars and rumours of wars, do not be alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise up in arms against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines. These are but the beginning of birth pains.
“You must watch out for yourselves. You will be handed over to councils and beaten in the synagogues. You will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a witness to them. … You will be hated by everyone because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Mark 13:3-13

For Christians prophecy ends with the book of Revelations, a book of words and visions given to John (a disciple of Jesus) by Jesus Christ himself many years after his ascension into heaven. Prophecies given in the old testament such as the re-establishment of the nation of Israel are being fulfilled in this day and age.
Have you heard about wars, famines, earthquakes, floods lately. They are prophesied by Jesus. The book of revelations is full of woe and the persecution of Christians is alive and well in many countries, especially among Moslem countries. All the revelation we need pertaining to life, relationship with God, relationship with one another, the problem and solution of sin, and what will happen is well and truly documented. Having studied it I ask; what more do we need?

Why are Moslem’s claiming the same Jesus when they clearly hate Christianity, knowing nothing of what Jesus actually said? Could it have something to do with the Shahadah?

Whom should we worship?

Shahadah: "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God"

To show ones commitment to Islam is earnest, several essential criteria have been developed. One of those is as follows:
To love him (Muhammad) more than you love yourself, your family and anything else in this world. wikipeda

This, I must say, is an oxymoron. Love the messenger. He’s dead! How will you love him? Furthermore, is not God creator, and being so, should not our delight be in Him? How does Islam include Moses (the law giver) as a prophet and so blatantly ignore the law that was given through him? Can this be because there is no relationship with the Almighty? I call my God “Father” because I know I was born anew into His kingdom. I love Jesus Christ, His son, because of the mercy he poured out for me when he died for my sins. How has Muhammad shown mercy? Indeed, who can possibly die for another man's sin and claim that substitution  valid before the Judge of all the earth?

Jesus answered, “The most important is: ‘Listen, Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Mark 12:28-34

If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And the commandment we have from him is this that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him. By this we know that we love the children of God whenever we love God and obey his commandments. 1 John 4:20-5:2

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? Can this kind of faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well,” but you do not give them what the body needs, what good is it? So also faith, if it does not have works, is dead being by itself. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without works and I will show you faith by my works. You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that – and tremble with fear.  James 2:14-19

The Father loves the Son and has placed all things under his authority. The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who rejects the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him. John 3:31-36

Who needs a prophet when we have the Son!

Introduction: God Has Spoken Fully and Finally in His Son
After God spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days he has spoken to us in a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he created the world. The Son is the radiance of his glory and the representation of his essence, and he sustains all things by his powerful word, and so when he had accomplished cleansing for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Thus he became so far better than the angels as he has inherited a name superior to theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4

I must conclude here that any man, woman or child that would think to enter the realm of God (Creator, Almighty) by any means apart from the blood of Christ shed on their behalf, they will not, indeed cannot find God's blessing. God's Son is His ultimate gift and ultimate act of mercy for the people of this world. How can anyone who would diminish this gift expect to find blessing from Him. If you doubt this "The Gates Are Open" might be a good starting place for you to learn more.

Scripture references taken from Net Bible