Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Do They Really Worship the Same God?

Many have bought into the deception that the three major monotheistic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity), all worship the same God. While it is true that each religion worships one God, the real issue is, "Do they worship the same God?"

In reality, the beliefs of these three religions are as far apart as east is from the west. Therefore, let's take a reality check assessments regarding these three religions  and their origin and credibility.

The first thing we notice is that all three religions claim kinship to a man named Abraham. A look at Islam first will uncover some details that do not add up to their claim. Abraham was originally named Abram. His wife's name was Sarai and without child. God promised Abram they would have a son in their old age, but Sarai gave Abram her handmaid Hagar to obtain a child. Abram's son by Hagar was named Ishmael. Ishmael is the one whom Islam claims God made the Abrahamic covenant with as the father of their religion. Notice Abram, not Abraham, was the father of Ishmael.

After Ishmael was born, God changed Abram's name to Abraham and his wife Sarai's name to Sarah. This was done right before Sarah bore the son God promised, and his name was Isaac. The simple question to ask is, "Why was Abraham named Abram when Ishmael was born? And, why did God change Abram's name to Abraham right before his wife had Isaac?" The simple answer is; so there would be no question about the one with whom God wanted to make a covenant with. That covenant is now known as the Abrahamic covenant.

Now let's look at this from another angle. Around 1900 BC, a man named Abram had a child  named (Ishmael) by his wife's handmaid (Hagar). God also made a promise to Hagar that Ishmael will be fruitful and multiply exceedingly, and will beget twelve princes. From God's promise to Ishmael, the Arab nations (twelve princes) developed. Notice, it was not Islamic nations, but Arabic nations that Ishmael became the father of. God did not establish the Abrahamic covenant through Abram, but waited until his name was changed to Abraham, and that brings us to our next major monotheistic religion -- Judaism.

God changed Abram's wife's name from Sarai to Sarah and Abram's name to Abraham right  before Sarah bore a son named Isaac. Only after Isaac was born did God established the Abrahamic covenant. God selected Abraham to become the father of the Jewish people around the year 1890 BC. Later, God chose Moses to lead the Jewish people from slavery into the Promised Land (Israel). Abraham was not the founder the religion of Judaism but the recipient of the covenant. Through the covenant made with Abraham, God promised the nation of Israel to be established through Abraham's son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob, and for the Promised Land (Israel) to be populated by a people called Jews. The holy book of the Jewish people is the Tenach and is also called the Old Testament.

Some 2000 years after Abraham, a Jewish man named Jesus founded Christianity. The followers of Jesus believe He is God in the flesh. He declared He is the Son of God (John 10:36), and that He is the Messiah (John 4:25,26). Through His miraculous birth, Jesus came from heaven to earth to save man from death that sin produced, and provide everlasting life. Christians also believe in three manifestations of God through a concept called the Trinity. The Trinity expresses God as the Father, God's Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. The Jewish Tenach (Old Testament)and the New Testament comprise Christianity's holy book called the Bible. Christians believe in and worship the same God as Judaism although Judaism does not recognize the three manifestations of God.

Years after Christianity was founded, a man named Mohammad founded the Islamic religion in the year AD 622. Reportedly, Mohammad received a series of messages by the angel Gabriel. His messages stated that Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets and messengers were only forerunners of the prophet Mohammad. Muslim is the name given to a follower of Islam. Muslims believe Mohammad is the final prophet of God. Many Arabs have adopted the Islamic religion mainly through the urging of their culture. However, an Arab can become a Christian, Jew or whatever religion he chooses and not only a Muslim. Islam's holy book is called the Koran, and oddly; even though Islam considers the Bible corrupted, it considers Bible prophets as its own and frequently quote it to justify a point.

All three religions claim that their roots go back to Abraham, to Israel and Jerusalem. Howbeit, the God of the Bible is the God worshipped by both Jews and Christians; yet Allah, the god of the Koran is not the same God as the God of the Bible. In addition, the prophets of the Koran cannot be the prophets of the Bible since in Islam's eyes the Bible is corrupted. Although they claim only part of the Bible is corrupt; what and who decides which parts? The only way one can decide if the Bible is right or wrong is that either 100% is right or 100% is wrong. There cannot be an in between, because no one, not even a religious group can dictate which parts are right and which parts are wrong.

So what is the real problem here? What single issue is the root cause of division? What is the greatest hindrance to unity among these three religions? By far, the greatest deterrent to unification centers on disagreements and lack of understanding by both Islam, Judaism pertaining to Jesus, the founder of the Christian religion. As mentioned, Jesus is the central part of the Christian doctrine called Trinity. The Trinity professes that Jesus is actually God in the flesh.

This Trinity is a sticking point for both Islam and Judaism. Each denies the existence of the Trinity and this is true even though Judaism and Christianity share the same God and the same holy book. Most Jews believe Jesus was a good man, but not God in the flesh. Muslims believe according to the Koran that Jesus was a prophet or a messenger of God. If we consider both of these viewpoints, they each contain inconsistencies. First of all Jesus could not be a good man if He is not God in the flesh because He would be the biggest liar who ever lived. Billions of His followers today believe He is God in the flesh and many in previous generations believed the same. Was Jesus a good man if He deceived all of His followers when He said: "I and My Father are one?"

The Islamic view that Jesus was simply a messenger or a prophet of God also contains inconsistencies. The Jesus of the Koran cannot be the same Jesus of the Bible, because if Jesus was a messenger of God, He was reporting what God wanted us to know. Jesus told us "He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man comes to the Father, but by Him." If this and the hundreds other related statements by Jesus is what God wants us to know, why would a Christian want to join another religion? However, if as Islam declares, Jesus was
merely a prophet and these statement were not true, then God would be a liar and Christians should throw their Bibles away. Should Islam rethink this position and face the facts or should Christians throw away their Bibles and begin reading the Koran? In any case, the Jesus of the Koran cannot be the same as Jesus of the Bible.

There are many more differences among the three monotheistic religions. The positions of these religions are inflexible an unyielding within the borders of their hierarchy and subordinate ranks. Each religion holds firm to what they believe as truth. Nevertheless, we shall never find real peace in the world today until these three religions come to a full agreement on one issue--is Jesus God in the flesh or was he a mere man? Is the Trinity true, or is it a false teaching? Since the Trinity has been revealed to us now at the beginning of the 21st Century, both Judaism and Islam leaders need to revisit and reevaluate the Trinity once more.

With prospects of any dialog remaining slim, it yet appears as the only way to resolve this issue. In the past, the Trinity had been a mystery, which other religions preyed upon and slammed as a false teaching. However, now that has all changed, and the Trinity has ceased to be a mystery. The full comprehension is now available with simplicity, divulging how God manifests Himself in three Persons. These biblical facts have been documented into a book form ("The Unveiling of the Trinity") and the overall current evidence is clear, credible and overwhelming enough to warrant the Trinity a fresh examination.

Continuing to hold our heads in the sand will never accomplish anything. The I'm right, you're wrong attitude must be met with proof. Perhaps the only way to achieve any measure of peace in a world torn by strife is to remove this single obstacle first by setting down together and examine these new facts. However, someone must take the lead and swallow pride by suggesting, "maybe we should take a look at this Trinity issue one more time." As the Scripture in Isaiah suggest; "Come let us reason together saith the Lord..." An updated book "The Mystery of the Trinity -- Revealed" is due for release soon.


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