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Featured How Paul changed the course of Christianity

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Trailblazer, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    Well, that's just not true, IndigoChild. Maybe to you, and many other Jews, Jesus hasn't been accepted as the Messiah, but then there are thousands of Jews who have accepted Jesus as their Saviour and Christ. And unlike the claims made by Muslims and Baha'is, the Christian claim is made upon firm scriptural grounds. The New Testament was written by Jews, contains hundreds of direct quotations from the Tanakh, and mentions all the main characters (types) who appear in the Torah. Nowhere does it stray from the major themes of the Torah.

    The stumbling block for Jacob [unrepentant Israel] is the idea that God should come into the world as a servant to save. Coming as a King to judge, it seems, is not as hard to swallow.

    Zechariah 9:9. 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ***, and upon a colt the foal of an ***.'
    Who fulfilled this scripture? Jesus entered Jerusalem on a colt, just as the scripture foretold. [Matthew 21:5-11]

    Daniel 7:13, 'I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.'

    When was this fulfilled? When Jesus ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God the Father.
    Acts 1:11. 'Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.'

    When will Jesus Christ return? At the time of judgment. Read Isaiah 61:1,2 and note the comma dividing the 'acceptable year' from the 'day of vengeance'. That comma hides a two thousand year gap in time - the Church.

    Despite numerous passages declaring that God's servant will come prior to God's vengeance, or final judgment, it is still not accepted by the whole nation.

    Try listening carefully to Isaiah:
    'Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful, and the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.
    Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages:'

    Who was it who was despised? Who is abhorred by the nation? Who was a servant of rulers? Who is worshiped by princes? Who proclaims the 'acceptable' year? When is the day of salvation? Who establishes a new covenant with God?

    Consider this is the light of Isaiah 53:3, 'He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.'

    Verses 7,8, 9. 'He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
    He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
    And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.'

    If you have read the Gospels carefully, you will have encountered the fulfilment of these scriptures. Jesus was understood to be the Lamb of God by the prophet John, well before the tide had turned against him. Jesus was finally captured and imprisoned, questioned but remained silent [Psalm 39:9], was deserted by friends, crucified with robbers ie 'made his grave with the wicked', and was buried in the grave of Joseph of Arimathea, a rich man.

    It even states that he was 'cut off out of the land of the living', or killed just as the prophet Daniel says of the Messiah. [Daniel 9:25,26] [Psalm 22]

    I could go on, because the whole of scripture becomes a picture of Christ - the Word of God.
     
    #101 Redemptionsong, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  2. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    I debated whether I should even answer this. It wasn't one of your best posts (even though it was long). It was basically a sermon designed for fellow Christians who already agree with you -- you can root each other on. It gave no real arguments for me to deal with.

    Your only point worthy of noting is also flawed. that would be, "And unlike the claims made by Muslims and Baha'is, the Christian claim is made upon firm scriptural grounds." It is flawed in several ways.
    1. You have to twist the scripture to make it scriptural.
    2. Baha'is, Mormon's, etc, also use the text as their foundation iow they make the same claim as you do.
    3. You say that you base your belief on the Tanakh, but then you turn around and disrespect it, calling the Law a curse... This is hypocrisy.
     
  3. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    I have clearly not disrespected the Tanakh. Why would I disrespect a scripture that I believe to be the inerrant Word of God?!! I have quoted from it to demonstrate that the Hebrew scriptures contain passages that point to the coming Messiah. It is only your opinion that decides whether or not it is twisting scripture.
    Take one scripture at a time and tell me what you understand it to be saying.
    Isaiah 49: 5-12. I quoted part of this passage above and said that I believed it pointed to the Messiah.
    Do you agree?
     
  4. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    Let's address your first statement before we go on to that.

    If you take the Law that is recorded in the first five books, that covenant with which God blessed Israel, and you call it a curse, do you REALLY not understand that that is disrespect not just of the Torah, but of the God who gave it?

    I am sure this has never ever occurred to you before. I hope you will pause and think before you answer, and not just give me a quick knee jerk hit the reply button and type.
     
  5. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    I believe the law of Moses to be good because it came from God, who is good. So the problem does not lie with the law. It lies with the people who fail to keep it.

    But can anyone ever be justified by works? Or are they justified by faith?
     
  6. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    So we are both looking at Galations 7:10. Good to know we are accessing the same source -- it keeps things simple.

    I assume you also believe God gave us our brains to use and reason to reason with, yes? In that verse Paul is saying that people are cursed who try to keep that law but fail (and I think you agree that he means even in the smallest respect). Are we on the same page so far?

    Do you not see how utterly irrational that is? What Paul is basically arguing is that i a man gets into a quien es mas macho bar room brawl (assault) for which he is heartily sorry, that it is a CURSE for him to try to keep the rest of the law, don't murder, don't steal, don't commit adultery, don't worship idols even... It's a ridiculous notion. You can keep it.

    This is not an issue for Jews. EMUNAH means both faith and faithfulness if I'm correct. We don't divide belief from action -- our actions show our faith.

    You seem to be a little behind the times in the news about the faith work Protestant complaint. Lutherans and Catholics worked it all out, signed and seals, kisses and hugs, back at the turn of the century. Since then, Methodist church, and the World Communion of Reformed Churches have added their signatures to the document, and the Anglican communion has it on their to-do list. I believe that Oct 31 last week was the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing he 95 theses on Wittenburg's door and Catholics and Protestants celebrated it together, having moved past the faith/works boondoggle.

    If you desire more than that, you'll have to find perhaps a Catholic willing to talk to you, hopefully one that will not be bullied into your false dichotomy. As for me, I just don't have a dog in the race.

    You should take the time to read the Lutheran Catholic Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification; it's a little stiff even for my tastes but not impossible. It's one o those must reads for anyone into comparative religion.
    Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification

    Here is a clip of Catholics (including the Pope) and Lutherans Worshiping together on Reformation Day.

     
    #106 IndigoChild5559, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018
  7. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    Are you differentiating God from Lord? As I said before, I believe that the Holy Spirit is the Bounty of God, the rays that emanate from God and come to Manifestations of God, but the rays are not God. I believe that God spoke to Moses through the Holy Spirit at the Burning Bush, so the bush was symbolic for the Holy Spirit. Moses could barely look upon the Holy Spirit but He could not look at God directly.
    When I say Attributes I mean Qualities possessed by a human, a Manifestation of God, or God.
    As I said, those were Attributes specific to God. Manifestations of God are not God so they do not have certain Attributes of God.

    Here are “some” of God’s Attributes that are unique to God’s nature: Eternal, Holy, Unchanging, Impassable, Infinite, All-powerful, Everywhere-present, All-Wise, All-Knowing, Self-Existent, Self-Sufficient, Sovereign, and Immaterial; but God is also Good, Loving, Gracious, Merciful, Just, Forgiving, Patient.

    Here are “some” Attributes that Manifestations of God such as Christ reflect/manifest: Good, Loving, Gracious, Merciful, Just, Forgiving, Patient.

    Humans have the potential to reflect/manifest all the Attributes of Christ but not the “unique” Attributes of God. However, no human will ever reflect/manifest the Attributes of Christ to the same degree as Christ, because Christ was a perfect mirror image of God and He was sinless, whereas no human is either of those.

    Incidentally, in the Baha’i Long Obligatory Prayer it says that God is above all His Attributes, meaning God transcends all His Attributes, so God cannot be described.

    I believe that Muhammad and Baha’u’llah were without sin, since They did the Will of God. As I said before, what YOU consider a sin is not a sin in the eyes of God. Moreover, sin is a word that has many connotations.

    I will have to research this further because I do not recall sin being mentioned specifically in the “authoritative” Baha’i Writings, so it is not official unless I find it there. I just recalled reading it on a website some time ago, but I have been unable to find that Word document I saved it in.
     
  8. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    These prophecies refer to Baha’u’llah. They were fulfilled in 1844, when the Bab came to announce the coming of Baha’u’llah. The Bab means “Gate” or “Door” in Arabic, so He was like John the Baptist was to Christ.However, the Bab was more than a man, He was a Manifestation of God. The Bab and Baha’u’llah were called the “twin manifestations” since they declared their missions only 19 years apart.
    With all due respect, Baha’is believe that all of Chapter 53 has to do with the Messiah, and it was fulfilled by Baha’u’llah.

    The following is an excerpt from: Thief in the Night, pp. 156-160

    There in the valley of ‘Akká, in sight of holy ‘Carmel’, the entire prophecy of the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah was brought to its fulfilment.

    Isaiah had foretold:

    1. “He is despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief …” Isaiah 53:3.
    • Bahá’u’lláh was rejected by his own countrymen, and was sent into exile. His life was filled with grief and sorrow.
    2. “We hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Isaiah 53:3.
    • The Emperor Franz Joseph passed within but a short distance of the prison in which Bahá’u’lláh was captive. Louis Napoleon cast behind his back the letter which Bahá’u’lláh sent to him, saying: “If this man is of God, then I am two Gods!” The people of the world have followed in their footsteps.
    3. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows …” Isaiah 53:4.
    • I read the following words of Bahá’u’lláh concerning his persecution and imprisonment: “Though weariness lay Me low, and hunger consume Me, and the bare rock be My bed, and My fellows the beasts of the field, I will not complain, but will endure patiently … and will render thanks unto God under all conditions … We pray that, out of His bounty—exalted be He—He may release, through this imprisonment, the necks of men from chains and fetters…” The Promised Day is Come, Shoghi Effendi, pp. 42–3.
    The prophecy of Isaiah continues:

    4. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5
    • Bahá’u’lláh was twice stoned, once scourged, thrice poisoned, scarred with hundred-pound chains which cut through his flesh and rested upon the bones of his shoulders. He lived a prisoner and an exile for nearly half a century.
    5. “He was taken from prison and from judgement …” Isaiah 53:8
    • Bahá’u’lláh was taken from the black-pit prison in Tihrán for judgement before the authorities. His death was expected hourly, but he was banished to ‘Iráq and finally to Israel. In the prison-city of ‘Akká, on another occasion, “… the Governor, at the head of his troops, with drawn swords, surrounded (Bahá’u’lláh’s) house. The entire populace, as well as the military authorities, were in a state of great agitation. The shouts and clamourof the people could be heard on all sides. Bahá’u’lláh was peremptorily summoned to the Governorate, interrogated, kept in custody the first night … The Governor, soon after, sent word that he was at liberty to return to his home, and apologized for what had occurred.” God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi, pp. 190–191.
    6. “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death …” Isaiah 53:9.
    • Bahá’u’lláh was buried in the precincts of the Mansion of Bahjí, owned by a wealthy Muslim. He was surrounded by enemies; members of his own family who betrayed his trust after his death and dwelt in homes adjacent to his burial-place.
    7. “… he shall see his seed …” Isaiah 53:10.
    • Bahá’u’lláh did see his ‘seed’. He wrote a special document called the Book of the Covenant, in which he appointed his eldest son to be the Centre of his Faith after his own passing. This very event was also foretold in the prophecies of the Psalms that proclaim:
    • “Also I will make him my first-born higher than the kings of the earth … and my covenant shall stand fast with him.” Psalms 89:27, 28
    • The ‘first-born’ son of Bahá’u’lláh, was named ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, which means ‘the servant of Bahá’(‘u’lláh). Bahá’u’lláh appointed him as his own successor in his Will and Testament. He called ‘Abdu’l-Baháthe Centre of his Covenant.
    8. Isaiah’s prophecy continues:

    “He (God) shall prolong his days …” Isaiah 53:10.
    • Bahá’u’lláh’s days were prolonged. He was born in 1817 and passed away in the Holy Land in 1892. In the last years of his life, Bahá’u’lláh was released from his prison cell. He came out of the prison-city of ‘Akká and walked on the sides of Mount Carmel. His followers came from afar to be with him, and to surround him with their love, fulfilling the words of the prayer of David spoken within a cave: “Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” Psalms 142:7.
    • These events in the valley of ‘Akká with its strong fortress prison had been foreshadowed in Ecclesiastes 4:14: “ For out of prison he cometh to reign; whereas also he that is born in his kingdom becometh poor.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Isaiah 53 is just one chapter that precludes Christ: Isaiah 53:3, 4, and 5 could refer to Christ, but Isaiah 53:8, 9, and 10 cannot refer to Christ. Christ was not taken from prison and from judgment. Christ did not make his grave with the wicked and the rich. Christ did not see His seed. Christ’s days were cut short, they were not prolonged.

    Logically speaking, the only way that Christ could be the Messiah would be if Christ fulfilled these prophecies upon His Return. Is Christ going to do those things when He returns? This makes no logical sense.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg concerning prophecies that were fulfilled by Baha’u’llah and not Christ, prophecies that cannot realistically be fulfilled by Christ if He returned.
    If Jesus rose from the dead, you cannot say that He “made His grave” anywhere because He was not IN the grave.

    (Continued on next post...)
     
  9. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    @ Redemptionsong
    Baha’is would say that Jesus Christ was indeed cut off out of the land of the living, since He was crucified, but if Christians are going to hold to the bodily resurrection they cannot rightly claim this prophecy for Christ, because you claim Jesus lives.

    The following is an excerpt from: Thief in the Night, pp. 45-48

    I had already mentioned clearly that the time of the end came to pass in 1844; therefore, I could now reduce this to plain terms: until 1844 understanding of the holy Scriptures was hidden; after 1844 it would be revealed. Daniel, as we have already seen, foretold in astonishingly accurate prophecies both the first and second comings of Christ. He foresaw that the Messiah would be cut off (crucified) in His thirties, and that this same spirit of the Son of man would return again in 1844. Yet no one understood the meaning of these prophecies until 1844. Not even Daniel himself. Why? Daniel certainly asked for the explanation and meaning of his wondrous vision. He asked God to tell him the meaning, and he received a very blunt answer: “O Daniel, shut up the Words and seal the Book, even to the time of the end …” (Daniel 12:4). It is in this same chapter that Daniel makes another of his references to 1844 (1260), giving this as the date when ‘all these things shall be finished’. Daniel was not satisfied when he was told to ‘seal the Book’. He pressed God for an answer to the meaning of his remarkable vision. In his own words: “… then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” (Daniel 12:8). There was no mistaking the answer he received this time:

    “And he (the Lord) said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” (Daniel 12:9).

    The meaning seemed self-evident: no one would be able to discover the meaning of the prophecies in the Book until the time of the end when the return of the Son of man (Christ) took place. Isaiah reinforces this view: “And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed.” (Isaiah 29:11). Isaiah goes a step further. He prophesies that not only the people, but even the educated and wise would be unable to grasp the meaning of the Book until the last days. According to Isaiah, the Bible would be a Book, “… which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed.” (Isaiah 29:11).

    My study of the facts suggested that these seals mentioned by Isaiah and Daniel would not be opened by Christ in His first coming, but only in His second. It would happen only at the time of the end. Furthermore, I found that the New Testament upheld this reading of the case. In the words of St. Paul: “… judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who … will bring light to the hidden things of darkness.” (I Corinthians 4:5).

    Apparently when Christ returned, all would be clear. Until then, it would remain hidden. The Apostle Peter left a similar warning to the followers of Christ not to interpret the prophecies according to their own deficient understanding before the day of His return:“We have also a more sure word of prophesy … that no prophesy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.” (II Peter 1:19–20). Peter told them that there was only one way in which prophecy came to man, and only one way in which it could be interpreted:

    “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (II Peter 1:21). Until this Holy Spirit appeared again in the Son of man at the time of the end, the meaning of the prophecies would remain hidden. There seemed to be little doubt that the truth was ‘closed up’ and the ‘books sealed’ and that none would be able to read them correctly until that time.

    I found that Christ made no claim that the time of the end or the day of the one fold and one Shepherd, were fulfilled by Himself. On the contrary, He revealed a prayer which was both a prayer and a prophecy of the future. He said: “… Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” I found ample evidence that Christ never tried to ‘unseal’ the Books Himself. He left this for a future date. Rather, He spoke in parables and hidden meanings. He even prophesied that while He (Christ) spoke in parables,

    there would be a time in the future, when the Son would return in the Glory of the Father, and would speak plainly to them. Christ said: “These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall speak no more unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.” (John 16:25).

    This promise to explain the hidden meanings is given by Jesus in the very same chapter in which He speaks of the coming of the Spirit of Truth who will guide His followers unto all truth. When this ‘Comforter’ comes, Christ promises: “… he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26). Christ, in these words, seems to offer the clear promise that the new Messiah would, in the day of His coming, ‘unseal the books’ and bring to light the ‘hidden things of darkness’. If He had appeared in 1844, that would certainly account for all the renewed enthusiasm.​
    I could go on, but the prophecies are all in the book entitled Thief in the Night which is available to read online.

    You might want to read what I just posted to 2ndpillar on the thread entitled Which Messianic verses of Isaiah refer to Christ?

    #173 Trailblazer, 17 minutes ago
    #174 Trailblazer, 9 minutes ago
     
  10. dfnj

    dfnj Well-Known Member

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    Once you accept Paul as your Lord and Savior everything will make sense.
     
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  11. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    o_O
     
  12. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

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    In Genesis 18:1 it clearly state that yad hey and vav hey appeared to Abraham. That's God. Did he speak through an angel? Yes. The same thing happened at the burning bush. Yad hey and vav hey, God himself, spoke, but spoke THROUGH the Angel of the Lord. This is because God has no vocal chords, he has no body at all. He does not manifest in this way. Any time he manifests in a bodily way, he manifests through an angel (even on those occasions where the text simply assumes it and does not mention it).
     
  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure what you mean, how do you define angel? What is the Angel of the Lord?

    I agree that God has no vocal cords, no body, so God cannot speak, which is why God has to speak THROUGH a medium.

    Baha’is believe that God spoke to Moses and the burning bush was a medium.

    Muslims and Baha’is believe that God spoke to Muhammad through the Angel Gabriel.

    Baha’is believe that God spoke to Baha’u’llah through a Maiden, called the Maid of Heaven. She could be considered an Angel according to the Baha’i definition of Angel.

    Baha’is believe that of the Holy Spirit (Bounty of God) descended upon Jesus like a dove, so maybe the dove symbolizes an Angel of God who BROUGHT the Holy Spirit to Jesus.

    What do Jews believe about the Holy Spirit? Baha’is believe it is the Bounty of God that is sent by God to Prophets/Manifestations of God who in turn shed the Holy Spirit upon all of humanity. I am not completely clear on this but I do not believe that the Holy Spirit is sent to all Prophets, but rather only the universal Manifestations of God. The passage below explains what Baha’is believe about the different kinds of Prophets. We would consider the Old Testament/Tanakh prophets such as Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel to be followers and promulgators, not leaders of lawgivers.

    Question: How many kinds of divine Prophets are there?

    Answer: There are three kinds of divine Prophets. One kind are the universal Manifestations, which are even as the sun. Through Their advent the world of existence is renewed, a new cycle is inaugurated, a new religion is revealed, souls are quickened to a new life, and East and West are flooded with light. These Souls are the universal Manifestations of God and have been sent forth to the entire world and the generality of mankind.

    Another kind of Prophets are followers and promulgators, not leaders and law-givers, but they are nonetheless the recipients of the hidden inspirations of God. Yet another kind are Prophets Whose prophethood has been limited to a particular locality. But the universal Manifestations are all-encompassing: They are like the root, and all others are as the branches; they are like the sun, and all others are as the moon and the stars.

    Additional Tablets, Extracts and Talks | Bahá’í Reference Library

    Do Jews believe that God spoke to the prophets in the Tanakh such as Solomon, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel through the Angel of the Lord?

    Do Jews differentiate the “station” of Abraham and Moses? Are they both considered Prophets of equal stature? Baha’is believe they were both Prophets which we also refer to as Manifestations of God. Baha’is believe that Moses was a universal Manifestation of God because He revealed a new religion and brought Laws and teachings. Abraham is also considered a Manifestation of God by Baha’is but I am unclear as to what His mission was. Did He inaugurate the Oneness of God? According to Judaism, did Abraham reveal a new religion or was He a precursor to Moses all of which comprises Judaism...

    Please forgive my ignorance of things most people know... I think I told you when I first met you here that I never had an interest in religion till now so I never studied it. I have only begun to learn about Christianity and Judaism during the last six years on forums. I wish I had more time to read and study independently, but I do not have much time right now, and I consider the forum a priority. I was reading and posting more on the forum but I have had to cut back lately till I get my real world life straightened out. I have to keep my foot in the door though because I consider God more important than the material world and all that is therein.
     
  14. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    In answer your last accusation, and to make my position clear: Faith comes first; works follow faith. As I understand it, works without faith in the Saviour do not bring justification.

    You may think that this position of faith is naive, even irrational, but the more I lean upon the Lord the more I find that His Word is revealed. As it says in Psalm 19, the law will make the simple wise.

    As regards Paul's teaching, it seems there are quite a few on this forum who question the authority of his words, just as some also seem to question John's authority. In both cases, scripture tells us, these men were chosen apostles of Jesus Christ. I also believe that you cannot pull threads out of a seamless garment without destroying the whole. The garment of Christ is seamless. So those who detract from the authority of the apostles also detract from the authority of Christ, and in so doing I believe they place themselves in a position of enmity with God.

    So, on to the question of curses. In Deuteronomy 28, we have a long pronouncement from Moses regarding curses. These are curses that will be brought upon a disobedient nation.

    Verse 15, 'But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:'
    Verse 25, 'The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.'
    Verse 58, 'If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.'

    So what happens when people fail to keep the law? Justice. Well, God is always happy with a contrite heart. Under the law, the means of gaining mercy was through sacrifices. See Leviticus 5: 5-7. I am also aware that an annual holy day was, and is, set aside to atone for sins. But, under the law it was always necessary to shed blood to atone for sin.

    So, taking this into consideration, if Israel were obedient it would not be experiencing the punishment of the law (the curses). Israel would be living peacefully in its own land. But what Moses foresaw has come true. The nation has not been obedient, and the result has been exile 'into all the kingdoms of the earth.' That exile continues to this day. Do you deny this?

    [I'll refer to Galatians in the next post]
     
    #114 Redemptionsong, Nov 8, 2018
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  15. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    Galatians 3:9-14:
    'So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.[Habakkuk 2:4] And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. [Leviticus 18:5]
    Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:[Deuteronomy 21:23] That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.'

    Paul calls the law a curse because those living under the law of Moses have made the law a curse - by not following it obediently. The law can be a blessing, or a curse, depending on whether one is obedient, or not.

    Now, IndigoChild, you may claim to live by faith in the law, but I think you're confused. If you really lived by the faith of Abraham, you would not be under the law. But you are under the law because you have chosen to live under the law of Moses. That means you must keep all the laws in obedience. But Paul sends you a stark warning, which is that you will never be justified by the law. Why? Because your flesh is at war with your mind, and you cannot avoid sinning.[Romans 7:23] As Paul says, 'O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from he body of this death.' [Romans 7:24]
     
  16. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    The Bible describes sin as the transgression of God's law. Since God is perfect, His Will and Law are also perfect. So it follows that anything short of perfection is sin. That is why the Bible says that 'all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;'

    Trailblazer, your definition of sin makes you vulnerable to all kinds of false messianic claims. The real Christ is from heaven, not from the earth.
     
    #116 Redemptionsong, Nov 8, 2018
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  17. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    The Saviour who comes the first time, as a servant, is not then followed by a different Messiah at judgment! It's the same Jesus Christ.
    Read Acts 1:10,11.
    You can't just pick and choose the bits of scripture you happen to like. Accept it all, or reject it all.
     
  18. Redemptionsong

    Redemptionsong Active Member

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    This is really interesting. So, you acknowledge that God is able to come to earth in the form of an angel? The angel in question is clearly not Gabriel or Michael, but the Angel of the Lord. This angel has remarkable authority, over and above all other angels. What we have here is God on earth, not just delivering a message, but speaking with the authority of God Himself.
    Think about this: God is spirit, but when God wills something his WORD takes form. That Word, which is spiritual breath, was in the mouth of the Angel of the Lord.
    In which case, why do you find it so hard to believe that God (in the form of his Word) could dwell in Jesus?
     
    #118 Redemptionsong, Nov 8, 2018
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  19. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    That is not necessarily true. We can avoid sins of the flesh if we CHOOSE to follow the Law.
     
  20. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    That is an extreme definition of sin and makes it impossible not to sin, but then that is the reason we needed Jesus Christ to does for us and wash our sins away, according to Christianity... The only problem is, even if there was such a thing as original sin and Jesus removed that curse, which is not a Baha’i belief (see below), people still sin. To say that just because Jesus died we are forgiven for all the sins we commit is not just and it leads to complacency about sin. That is why the Law is so important.

    The law of the Torah was not given to make the Jews just and pleasing to their Father in Heaven, but because it makes known the holy will of this Father in Heaven. The Rabbinic glorification of the law is to be understood only in the sense of carrying out the divine will, never in any ethic of “merit” of whatever Kind. Paul says in Romans 3:20 that “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified” in God’s sight but scripture does not teach that as the “purpose” of the Law. The Jews of all other centuries have known that man falls into sin because he does not live up to the revealed Law of God. That is also a Baha’i belief.

    Baha’is do not believe in original sin, that sin was inherited from Adam and Eve, so there is no need for redemption from original sin. Baha’is believe that man was born good but has a lower material nature that has the propensity to sin. In brief, the symbolic meaning of the serpent in the Adam and Eve story is attachment to the human world, or the material world, as opposed to God and the spiritual world. Adam was a Prophet, so His soul was in the spiritual world before His body was born into the material world. When Adam was born and entered the human world, He came out from the paradise of freedom (where he was in the spiritual world) and fell into the world of bondage (the material world). From the spiritual world, in the height of purity and absolute goodness, He entered into the world of good and evil (the material world)... This attachment to the material world, which is sin, was inherited by the descendants of Adam, and is the serpent which is always in our midst and continues and endures... It is because of this attachment that men have been deprived of essential spirituality and their exalted position and instead have the propensity to sin.

    But those who turn towards Jesus, receive His teachings and follow Him, are saved from this attachment and sin and obtain everlasting life. They are freed from the vices of the human world and are blessed by the virtues of God’s Kingdom. I believe this is the meaning of the words of Jesus, John 6:51 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
    I do not know what my definition of sin has to do with my vulnerability to messianic claims. The fact remains that, according to Baha’u’llah, Jesus sacrificed Himself for our sins...

    “Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.

    We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 85-86

    But now that has been done (Jesus even said “it’s been done” when He died on the cross) so we have moved onto another age in history, the Messianic Age. Now is the time for the salvation of ALL of humanity, not just saving individual souls. This is God’s Purpose for the Messianic Age and that was the “mission” of Baha’u’llah...

    “Wert thou to consider, for but a little while, the outward works and doings of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, thou wouldst fall down upon the ground, and exclaim: O Thou Who art the Lord of Lords! I testify that Thou art the Lord of all creation, and the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible. I bear witness that Thy power hath encompassed the entire universe, and that the hosts of the earth can never dismay Thee, nor can the dominion of all peoples and nations deter Thee from executing Thy purpose. I confess that Thou hast no desire except the regeneration of the whole world, and the establishment of the unity of its peoples, and the salvation of all them that dwell therein.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 243

    Of course the real Christ is from heaven, not from earth. The spirit of Jesus came down from the heaven of the Will of God, as did the spirit of Baha’u’llah... Both were the SAME Christ Spirit. The physical body in which they manifested God is of no real import.

    John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

    John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

    Baha’u’llah did not claim to replace Jesus, He just came with another mission, He came to complete the work Jesus started.
     
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