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How do Muslims View the Atonement

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The reason I want to comment on 'atonement' is because it seems that Muslims blame Christianity, and the Christians for saying 'we are all sinners,' and that there is need for 'admission of guilt' --- and then, 'forgiveness.'

--- So I want to go back to how it came about.

 

I have studied some in 'Angelology,' --- and from Eternity past there have been many orders of angels. They are servants of God, and certain orders are 'servants of believers,' as it says in Hebrews 1:

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said: "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"?

14 Are they (the angels) not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

 

However, the conditions set forth for a certain 'order of angels,' who were given 'freedom to choose,' --- or 'volition to make choices,' --- was repeated with the man, Adam.

Quote from Zondervan Bible Dictionary:

"God is love, and God is holy. Because love is His predominating characteristic, God desired to surround Himself with creatures whom He might love, and by whom He might be loved. Because of His holiness, these creatures must also be holy; and by logical necessity love and holiness cannot be forced. Compulsory love or holiness would not be either love or holiness, and could not satisfy the all-wise Creator. Therefore these loving and holy creatures must be endowed with the ability to choose whether 'to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,' or to reject Him and suffer the consequences."

Obviously the 'sin cycle' was already in existance throught the fall of Satan, whose name means 'adversary,' --- so he was exactly what God said to Adam and Eve, "He is an enemy to you."

020.117
"Then We said: "O Adam! indeed, this is an enemy to you and your wife: so let him not get you both from the Garden (Jannate), so that you would suffer".

 

--- Adam was given the command, and was warned against Satan/Iblis. --- So it depended on Adam's love and loyalty to God.

Here is the big hurdle in life. --- Faith that is not tested is really not faith at all.

We can know what is right to do, and have all the assurances that we want, --- but if something entices us in a different direction, we can be deceived into doing the very thing we were guarding against.

After God gave that 'ability to choose' --- He did not take it back. --- God may have enjoyed the love and fellowship of Adam and Eve for a thousand years before the temptation wore Eve down to first being enticed, --- but Adam was to be the 'vessel' that God created for His enjoyment and devotion. --- So it was his unfortunate choice. --- The choice of listening to Satan's subtle suggestions, --- and disobeying God. --- But there are more complications.

 

So God set the rules, and didn't go back on His word, --- but allowed Adam to make his choice, which proved that Adam would not be the one who would defeat Satan, and restore what was lost.

--- God actually made Himself 'vulnerable' to His own creation.

Had Adam been true to God and resisted Satan, he would have remained in the holy state of 'felicity' in the Garden, or in God's righteous Kingdom forever. --- And "What about us?"

--- We won't go into that, but we might have all come into being as 'holy angels' --- another wonderful mystery.

However, Adam failed, AND IT WASN'T OUR FAULT.

--- This is enough to consider for now.

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Atonement as in repairing ones relationship with God that has been damaged through sin is possible at all times. Shirk can be forgiven if you sincerely abandon it. Every sin can be forgiven through repentance. 

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Hi Ibn Matta,

Quote: Atonement as in repairing ones relationship with God that has been damaged through sin is possible at all times.

 

Response: --- You are right. God hears our prayers and we need to acknowledge anything that comes between us and Him.

The word 'atonement' is interesting as it can mean 'at-one-ment' --- so when we are in harmony with God, we are 'at one' with Him.

 

Quote: Every sin can be forgiven through repentance. 

--- Yes, and as we confess and repent of the wrongdoing, we become stronger in avoiding the same sin again.

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Hi Ibn Matta,

 

I would like to ask a personal question , if I may.

 

How do you know when you have sinned? Do you have a 'pinge of conscience,' which draws your attention to something you have done wrong? --- Or do you depend on others to tell you of something you have done wrong?

I have wondered, for the sake of understanding, how God deals with others in bringing them to confess before God that they have done something they are sorrry for, --- so they are asking forgiveness.

 

Many people try to justify what they do, so they don't admit doing wrong, and don't ask forgiveness from God and from other people.

 

We have great verses in the Scriptures that give assurance of the Lord's help in confessing and forsaking a particular sin that might be repeated, as it tells us in 1 John 1:

8 "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

 

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To continue commenting on Atonement:

As I said above, there were many different orders of angels, and in the order of angels called the Sons of God, the leader was called 'The Bright Morning Star.' --- Everything holy was touched by God's glory, and our Greek and Hebrew teacher says that the Greek name for Adam is "Ish" --- which means, 'shining man,' --- and the Greek name for Eve was "Isha" which means 'shining woman. --- They were shrouded in God's glory, which is called "The Shekinah Glory."

So we will learn what we can from what is written in Genesis, and it is stated with every part of Creation that --- "God saw it and it was good."

--- So Adam was created in a perfect body, and it speaks of the kind of body Adam had in Genesis 2:

7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So Adam was made of dust. --- It says this also in the Quran in Surah 3:

59 "Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him of dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is."

 

So his body was 'light weight' of dust. --- And God "Breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." --- The 'Breath of Life' is really the Spirit of God, And God's Spirit is holy, so Adam's 'Life support system, was the Holy Spirit of God.

 

However, this body made of dust had fesh and bones, as it says when God brought Eve into being in Genesis 2:

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.

22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man."

 

If we keep in mind that the Garden was a large area because four rivers watered it, --- and the animals were in at least certain parts of it because Adam had named them all, and was aware of them and the food they ate, etc. --- and was the 'caretaker or vice regent' in charge of the Garden.

 

The instructions were given plainly to Adam about their food. It was all fruit, which is mainly water, and suitable for the special 'water body' that Adam and Eve had. --- So we look again in Genesis 2:

8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.

9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;

17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."

 

--- Something that may escape many: --- Is that Adam and Eve were in a holy state, where they would live forever, and would be the perfect examples to whatever would follow them in God's plan. --- And since they were "Alive in the Spirit,' or, the Spirit of God was their 'Life support system,' --- they had nothing to fear, because all was at peace and in harmony in the anmal kingdom, as well as Adam and Eve were in harmony with God.''

 

Their food was the fruit off of the trees, --- Let's suppose there were twelve manner of fruit in the Garden, then that were their food, the same as it is given in the Revelation for the saved from earth, in Revelation 22:

1 "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.

2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month."

 

So the Heavenly Garden can be like the earthly Garden was, with fruit trees. Surah 2:

35 We said: "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden; and eat of the bountiful things therein as (where and when) ye will; but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."

9:72 God hath promised to Believers, men and women, Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein, and beautiful mansions in Gardens of everlasting bliss. But the greatest bliss is the good pleasure of God: that is the supreme felicity.

--- There is our word again, 'felicity,' --- which 'the discussion' said was Adam and Eve's first state.

11:108 And those who are blessed shall be in the Garden: They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as thy Lord willeth: a gift without break.

29:58 But those who believe and work deeds of righteousness - to them shall We give a Home in Heaven, - lofty mansions beneath which flow rivers, - to dwell therein for aye; - an excellent reward for those who do (good)! -

 

What confirms the Scripture to me, and I hope might confirm something to you, --- is that it says the same in Genesis as in the Quran, and it says the same in the Revelation as it says in the Quran. --- So God is in control from Eternity past to Eternity future.

--- (Enough for now, feel free to comment,)

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To continue with Adam and Eve in the Garden with their various fruits to eat, and instructions not to eat the wrong fruit, --- because God said, "In the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Gen 2:17.

It was a test of obedience, as well as a proving of loyalty and character.

God said, "You shall surely die."

--- Satan, speaking through the serpent, said to Eve, in Genesis 3:

4 "You will not surely die.

5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

 

It may have been customary for both Adam and Eve to walk in the Garden, whether together, or separately, --- and it could have been that the serpent had spoken to Eve a number of times before the real enticement. --- The serpent may have been in this particular tree munching on the fruit when it asked Eve about God's instructions.

The devil's answer was a 'deceptive partial truth.'

--- "God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened, --- and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
 

God was holy. What He did was 'good' and He gave only good to Adam and Eve, so they knew only 'good.'

The serpent tricked them into doing something 'evil' against God, --- so their 'eyes were open' to know evil, as well as good.

God did not know evil, except in having seen it in Satan, who rebelled and had to be cast out of a higher heaven, --- so he appeared here to tempt Adam and Eve, and defeat God's perfect plan, which he did. --- So Satan got them put out of the Garden, as well as himself, and they ended up in a lower state on earth, where mankind has continued till now, and has been plagued by Satan, who is still trying to defeat God's plan for each one of our lives.

 

Okay, back to the fruit trees. --- When Eve looked at the tree and believed Satan, --- that they would not die, but their eyes would be opened to wisdom of another kind, it says in Genesis 3:

6 "So when the woman saw that the tree was 'good for food,' that it was 'pleasant to the eyes,' and a tree 'desirable to make one wise,' she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened."

 

Their 'Life support system' was the Holy Spirit of God, and by their disobedience, they experienced guilt, and the result was that the Holy Spirit could not remain in unholy vessels. --- the 'shining man' and 'shining woman' began to lose the shroud of light or glory that had been their covering, and they lost their identification with God.

--- Someone said, "They lost their 'God consciousness,' and their eyes were open to 'self consciousness.'" --- They were immediately ashamed and it says,

7 "And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings."

It was not any 'sensual shame' as some verses in the Quran indicate, but it was the breaking of the holy relationship with God where they knew only 'good,' --- to now, knowing 'evil' as well. --- But to know evil was to be evil, the same way that Satan originally rebelled against God. --- So they lost their Shekinah Glory, and would appear as 'beings' among the animals, but no longer set apart, or 'set above' by their brightness.

 

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--- To add a little more:

So what was wrong with the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

Let's suppose that the fruits were common to us and mostly common to the Middle East, --- apples, oranges, peaches pears, grapes, plums, dates, figs pomagranates, pineapples, and let's include olives and lemons.

 

I studied this through some years ago to see what were the thoughts of the Scholars, because it doesn't mention anything specific in the Scripture, and I found this as a theory. --- I have forgotten the name as I didn't think of it as very importnt except for my own satisfaction.

This commentator said, that it wasn't an 'apple tree,' but an 'apricot tree.'

Specific instructions were given to Adam, 'this, not that.' --- It must have been a similar looking fruit, and appeared good for food, but forbidden for the perfect 'water body'.

 

Football players and other sports people drink orange juice or 'Gatorade' for quick energy. --- Apparently, as it goes down, some of the sugar and nutrients go through the tissue into the bloodstream, without even getting to the stomach to be digested. --- Now if the perfect body was nourished with these twelve fruits that were in perfect harmony with the body, there would be no need for a digestive system as everything would be expended and absorbed in the 'perfect water body.' --- Most fruits are over 90 % water, are they not?

This commentator said, the apricot tree. --- I have forgotten all of his commentary, --- but let's suggest that the apricot was 'not' one of the twelve fruits, but was a result of cross pollination between the peach and plum.

--- It could be as pleasant looking as the others, and just as sweet and juicy, --- but as a hybrid, if it was not in 'harmony with the body,' not all of it would be absorbed in the body, so there would be some residue.

--- So if there was residue, there would eventually have to be a system of 'waste' from the body, would there not?

--- If this was evident in the perfect body, there would be no way for Adam to deny what he had done, would there? --- And his radiance was gone so he appeared naked and ashamed before God, and he was afraid.

 

--- This is a theory that you might easily discount, but the reason it has merit is because in the renewed 'state of felicity' where it mentions in Rev 22:1-2 'the pure river of water of life,' and the 'tree of life' with its twelve manner of fruits, --- this is the food of heaven, is it not?

--- Do you imagine that there are going to be 'washrooms and toilets' in heaven? --- Or will God restore the resurrected body to being a 'flesh and bones' body which completely absorbes the fruits injested?

 

God asked in 3:11 "Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"

12 Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."

Adam had never done wrong before so didn't have to defent himself, but now from his 'self' consciousness, --- he does the best he can, and involves Eve.

--- Also he says, "The woman YOU GAVE TO BE WITH ME, she gave to me," --- so he tried to put a little blame on God as well.

 

So God cursed the serpent, then the woman, and then in 3:

17Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:

"Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return."

So from then on Adam would have a different type of body and would feel the heat of the sun, as he grew their own food.

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So the 'transition down for Adam and Eve,' was expressed before:

Quote: So the 'Final Thoughts' --- or 'conclusion' from the above discussion was:

--- "What changed was the state of felicity that they initially acquired and after sinning, were subsequently banished from it."

 

God had "Breathed into him the 'breathe of Life, and man (Adam) became a living being."

So the 'Life support system' was the Holy Spirit of God. --- When sin came in, with the disobedience to God, the vessel was no longer holy, so the Holy Spirit had to withdraw, and that is when they "Died Spiritually."

Their glowing covering was withdrawn and they lost their relationship with God. --- Satan had deceived them and 'got them out of the Garden,' --- the very thing that God warned them about.

--- So they were given the same 'life support system' as the animals, --- 'a circulatory blood system,' where they could eat the herbs and grains of the field. --- The breath carried oxygen into the lungs, the blood circulated in the body, --- then the blood brought the impurities back to the lungs where they were exhaled in carbon dioxide.

--- The 'heart' now was the perpetual motor of the body.

--- Adam was no longer over the animals, although he had greater intelligence than them, so he could control and use them, but Adam had lost his dominion over them. --- Adam and Eve now lived among them.

 

Now there has to be a few questions asked about the changed body. --- It would seem that the light weight 'flesh and bones' body --- the 'water body' was closer to 'neutral gravity,' so that Adam could have 'rapid transit' in the Garden to be able to check it all, --- so he would be like the angels in that respect. --- But now, in his 'flesh and blood' body, he was heavy weight and could only walk or run to where he wanted to go, so --- mankind was limited.

--- Also, they were given 'coats of skin,' or layers of skin over their bodies to make it a sealed unit, as the blood is under pressure and has to be contained.

I suppose our skin is one of the most amazing parts of our body, It keeps the blood in, and even the slightest cut allows us to bleed, --- but at the same time, the skin is full of pores, so that we can sweat and keep cool. --- In the hot weather the pores enlarge to allow this water cooling system to work, and in cold weather, the pores close slightly to moderate the body temperature.

--- (You may hear some say that God gave Adam and Eve animal skins to cover them, but there is no verification of this in Scripture, --- and we all, after the pattern of Adam and Eve, have various layers of skin, do we not?)

 

Enough for now

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So the transition was 'down' from the Spiritual body that had flesh and bones, and was sustained by fruit with high water content.

It was perhaps more like a sponge, filled with water, and without an outer skin, and of light weight. --- Then the former body would be like the angels who could move through the atmosphere in flight, and also they could appear and disappear, as they were busy in God's service.

--- And remember, after Jesus was raised in a body with flesh and bones, --- He could also appear and disappear, as it says in Luke 22:

36 Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, "Peace to you."

37 But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.

38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have."

--- And at His ascension Jesus simply raised up as it says in Acts 1:

9 "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight."

 

--- Also it speaks of the first Adam, who failed to defeat Satan, --- and the Last Adam, who is Christ, who defeated Satan. --- Romans 5:

17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

 

You might ask, are there any examples of a 'water body,' or an intermediary type of body appearing on earth, that we can learn from?

--- While this is not called a 'water body,' or a 'flesh and bones' body, --- it was not a human body. --- The Person of Melchizedek.

It says that he appeared and was the King and Priest in Salem, the first mention of 'Jerusalem," and what were his credentials? --- Genesis 14:

18 "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.

19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."

And he gave him a tithe of all."

--- Then he (Abraham) gave him (Melchizedek) a tithe of all.

It seemed that Melchizedek came on the scene and taught some OT Law to Abraham, hundreds of years before the time of Moses. --- Even to tithing, --- But this is only a little bit of what it says about Melchizedek. It adds to this in Hebrews 7:

1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham and blessed him,

2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace,"

3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.

 

So this says that he was an Eternal being, so was not human. --- And the Scripture speaking of Jesus, says in Hebrews 7

"You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."

--- So Jesus' new position in heaven is, "A Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek."

 

So Jesus was raised in a 'flesh and bones' body, which I have been referring to as a 'water body.'

And there is a reference to this type of body in 1 John 5

6 "This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth."

 

The interesting thing about this statement is that Christ could have come to earth as Melchizedek did, and preach the Gospel, lead the people in righteousness, but could not have gone through death in a 'water body.'

--- So Jesus was born in a flesh and blood body, so that Christ could live through His body, --- And while they went to death together, the physical body of Jesus died, but Christ, who represented God, could not die, and didn't die.

--- But the power and redemption and the atonement and the justification for the believer, and the victory over sin, Satan, and death, --- was all accomplished in the Resurrection.

 

I am getting closer to showing the 'atonement' which is the subject, but I want to show something else first in response to a statement.

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Hi Qa'im,

 

I would like to return to one of your statements, but first:

Quote: The ADAMIC COVENANT: --- Which could be called the 'Covenant with mankind,' for it sets forth the conditions which will hold sway until the curse of sin is lifted. --- The conditions that will prevail are:

[a] The serpent, the tool used by Satan to effect the fall of man, is cursed. While it may have been a desirable upright creature, it became loathsome (3:14.)

Satan is judged, but has limited freedom to tempt mankind, who now exercizes his free will, --- until the final judgment (15).

[c] The first prophecy of a coming Messiah (15).

[d] There will be a multiplication of conception, necessitated by the introduction of death into the human race (16).

[e] There will be pain in childbirth (16).

[f] The woman is made subject to her husband (16).

[g] The ground is cursed and will bring forth weeds among the food that man must eat for his existance (17-19).

[h] The physical changes that have taken place in man, causes him to perspire when he works, and he will have to work all his life long (19).

In sinning, man died spiritually, and ultimately dies physically. His flesh will decay until it returns to dust from which it was originally taken (19).

 

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Qa'im, --- I want to look at this statement, which I can understand from your perspective,

Quote: Original Sin implies that all humans are guilty for the sin of Adam, and are deserving of hellfire. But what's interesting is that God does not send Adam and Eve to hell for their sin, only their descendants, who had nothing to do with their mistake. This is against the justice of both the Old Testament and the Quran, which teach that everyone is accounted for his/her own actions. After the Original Sin came, God did not rectify this sin right away, but instead waited thousands of years before sending Jesus - putting all of those before Jesus through tedious and unnecessary toil and suffering. Furthermore, this idea of Original Sin guilts an innocent man for our wrongful actions.

 

Response: --- Often in studying Scripture, we find an example of the question we might ask, --- and the answer, revealed in the Scripture itself.

In going on from the conditions of the Adamic covenant we see in Genesis 4:

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, "I have acquired a man from the Lord."

2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord.

4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering,

5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.

6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?

7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

 

--- Apparently there was some teaching on the subject of 'offering something to God,' and Cain brought of his produce. --- Abel brought 'of the first born of his flock.'

(4) "And the Lord respected Abel and his offering,"

(5) "But He did not respect Cain and his offering."

 

Some have said, --- Cain brought the wrong offering, --- but there were no instructions to suggest that. --- Had there been, Cain could have gotten a similar animal from Abel. --- but it isn't about the offering, is it?

God had respect to Abel (the man first) then He accepted the offering.

God did not respect Cain (the man first), so He did not accept the offering.

(5) "And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell." --- Was he repentant? --- did he ask, "Oh God, what must I do to be accepted?" --- Instead he was VERY angry.

 

(6) So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?

7 IF YOU DO WELL, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

--- (Had Cain been doing well? --- Apparently not, or he would have been repentant when he was rebuked.)

 

--- Now you say, "Everyone is responsible for his own sin." --- so here is the example.

--- IF YOU DO WELL, will you not be accepted?

And IF YOU DO NOT DO WELL --- SIN (Satan in whatever guise that works) is waiting at the door.

--- It is like saying , "Cain, the first move you make will be to do good, or to do evil, --- it depends on your own reaction. --- You are angry and your countenance is fallen to show your anger. --- If you follow your emotion of anger, sin will be at the door to encourage that emotion that leads to murder."

So here is where Cain was faced with a choice, --- The 'die was cast,' Adam and Eve had sinned, so the 'emotions that lead to sin' were in everyone of their children. --- Abel was 'doing well,' making right choices, which might have made Cain more angry.

 

--- And (7) SIN LIES AT THE DOOR. --- (7) AND ITS DESIRE IS FOR YOU.

--- Did you know that sin has a desire? Oh yes, sin is the 'selfish desire' that puts 'me first.' --- and generally takes us away from God, and into the hands of Satan.

 

(7) BUT YOU SHOULD (MUST) RULE OVER IT.

--- Does this not reveal that it was Cain's choice to do what he did?

This can be a struggle every day, can it not? --- If we are not surrendered unto God and following His guidance.

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Hi Qa'im,

 

6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen?

7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

Now just pause and think about this. --- Who made the first agreement in saying 'If you do well,' you will live forever in this Garden of Delights?

Was it not God who made man, and gave him the ability to make choices?

God also said, --- "But 'if you do not do well' by eating the fruit that I command you not to eat, then you will die to all of this 'good' that I have provided for you, and you will know evil."

So God had given the provisions and the instructions, --- and the choice was OBEDIENCE or DISOBEDIENCE.

--- Had God stopped Adam short of eating the fruit, He would have violated His own covenant. --- When He gave them the ability to choose, He had already shown them the path of righteousness, or 'rightness.'

--- They were influencesd by Satan, --- but they 'chose' to do what they did.

They proved that they were not trustworthy.

 

Let's go back to Cain, "If you do well, will you not be accepted?

And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door.

And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

 

This is referred to in the Quran in a few places, but let's go to Surah 7:

27 O ye Children of Adam! Let not Satan seduce you, in the same manner as He got your parents out of the Garden, stripping them of their raiment (of righteousness), to expose their shame: for he and his tribe watch you from a position where ye cannot see them: We made the evil ones friends (only) to those without faith.

So Satan has an army of demonic spirits that he can send to attack us in various ways, --- but Satan also has the 'evil ones who live without faith.'

--- They are Satan's tools just like the serpent was, to entice us believers away from our obedience to God.

 

If we acknowledge that God made an honorable covenant with man, --- but Satan interfered and caused man to fail, --- then should we blame God for making Himself 'vulnerable' to such a covenant with an unfaithful servant? Or should we blame Satan for deceiving the 'vulnerable' servant?

--- Once we figure out that Satan is the enemy of us all, then we can all resist him, --- and our only goal should be to find God's plan of salvation for us.

 

--- While Muslims might like to blame Christians for using these verses;

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God," --- and, "There is none righteous, no not one."

--- I want to relate that to what you said in the last line of the above quote:

"Furthermore, this idea of Original Sin guilts an innocent man for our wrongful actions."

 

--- So, does the Christian Message do wrong in warning people against the consequences of sin, the same way that God warned Adam against the consequences of sin? --- Gospel means 'Good News' --- and the good news is that there is a way for us to, --- 'do well and be accepted.'

--- Or should we have the philosophy that when we sin, we ask forgiveness, and that is all we have to do, --- we can continue to sin because God knows we are weak in the flesh.

 

--- But we need to at least hear the Message, that God sent Jesus Christ as the Savior and Messiah, to Redeem us from a life of sin, to a life of righteousness, when we truly believe. --- Once we hear it, we can accept it or reject it.

 

However, if the Muslim faith is completely satisfying, then that is okay for you, I am not knocking it,--- but the Quran says for Christians in Surah 5:

46 "And in their (the Jews') footsteps We sent Jesus the son of Mary, confirming the Law that had come before him: We sent him the Gospel: therein was guidance and light, and confirmation of the Law that had come before him: a guidance and an admonition to those who fear God.

47 Let the people of the Gospel judge by what God hath revealed therein. If any do fail to judge by (the light of) what God hath revealed, they are (no better than) those who rebel."

You see, the Quran says to us Christians, "If we don't follow what is revealed in the Gospel, we are no better that those who rebel."

--- Does that not mean that we would be disobedient (rebelling against the truth), the same as Adam and Eve did?

--- Or would we not be like Cain, who 'did not do well'? 

Edited by placid

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Again with Cain, --- "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it."

8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?"

He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?"

--- This saying has been heard and used around the world, often to say, "We are our brother's keeper."

 

If Cain would have had no conscience, or knowledge of right and wrong, --- when the Lord asked, "Where is Abel your brother?" --- Cain would have said, "I killed him."

But his anger led to murder and then to lying about it, --- so the devil really met him at the door, didn't he?

--- We might see this as a worse sin that that of Adam and Eve.

 

10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground.

11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand."

 

The Quran mentions this and adds a little in Surah 5:

27 Recite to them the truth of the story of the two sons of Adam. Behold! they each presented a sacrifice (to God): It was accepted from one, but not from the other. Said the latter: "Be sure I will slay thee." "Surely," said the former, "God doth accept of the sacrifice of those who are righteous.

28 "If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee: for I do fear God, the cherisher of the worlds.

29 "For me, I intend to let thee draw on thyself my sin as well as thine, for thou wilt be among the companions of the fire, and that is the reward of those who do wrong."

30 The (selfish) soul of the other led him to the murder of his brother: he murdered him, and became (himself) one of the lost ones.

32 On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear Signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.

 

Let's consider the statement "If anyone slew a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people:" --- in relation to Abel.

It mentions nothing about wives so let's consider that Cain and Abel were not married, --- so the devil uses Cain, who was really 'angry at God' for not accepting his sacrifice, --- but he took it out on his brother, who was righteous, --- and who would have raised his family with 'right principles,' and they would likely have been Godly descendants down through the ages. --- But by Satan infuriating Cain to kill Abel, --- he wiped out the whole 'people' before they were born. --- Yes, Satan has been on the warpath, and just look at our world today.

We know that God is going to intervene soon, so these verses apply today even more than when they were written in 1 Peter 5:

8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."

 

And what did Jesus say, just after He made the statement about the law? --- Matthew 5:

17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’

22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment."

 

Cain was angry at Abel but without a cause, because Abel had done nothing against him. --- In 'doing right' and being 'accepted by God,' it may have caused envy and jealousy, --- but that was Cain's problem to work out with the Lord.

 

But this is the nature of human nature, and this example is still played out today, is it not?

We can see that the human nature which came from Adam and Eve to their children, is still the nature that continues with us and our children, --- and we are each responsible for our own sin, are we not?

 

 

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The thing that is hard for a lot of people to understand in the OT was the constant offering of sacrifices to the Lord. --- It seemed that every time there was an event or a revelation given, there was an altar built and a sacrifice, made to the Lord.

--- So I guess in studying 'atonement' we should see if we can find the reason for sacrifices in the OT.

Abel offered 'the firstlings of his flock' --- so he offered the best.

We will check some who built altars, going back to Noah in Genesis 8:

Then God spoke to Noah, saying,

16 "Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.

18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.

 

Genesis 12:4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him. --- So they came to the land of Canaan.

7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, "To your descendants I will give this land." And there he built an altar to the Lord,

26:24 And the Lord appeared to him (Isaac) the same night and said, "I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake."

25 So he built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord.

Genesis 31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread. And they ate bread and stayed all night on the mountain.

 

--- Some sacrifices were burnt offering where the animal was killed, the blood was drained, and the carcass was totally burned in the fire. --- Throughout the OT, they was the choice of 'good' animals, not weak, sick, or lame, --- but after they were killed and drained of blood, then offered to the Lord, --- they would be cooked and eaten for food.

 

They had all kinds of offerings after the law was given through Moses, and the instructions given for different types of offerings. --- There were happy occasions also, where someone would invite his friends and family, --- He would offer the animal in sacrifice and ask God's blessing on their time together, then roast it, and they would have a feast. --- (roast beef.)

--- It was something like a family 'barbecue' these days, --- but it was a holy gathering where they honored the Lord, and it was part of their worship of God.

 

I know, pretty well everyone is turned off by the suggestion of a blood sacrifice, and that God always instructed the draining of blood from the body of the animals, --- and the blood was caught in basins and used in different ways. --- Some have called it a "Slaughterhouse religion," --- but the thing to bear in mind is that, we didn't cause it, --- nor invent it, --- but it is there.

We can learn about it and understand why we are in the predicament we are in, --- where God cannot forgive our sin until WE come to HIM.

Now it is going to get a little messy, so bear with the Scripture for a little bit. Remember that Moses is mentioned some 120 times in the Quran, so it is pretty hard for us to ignore him, --- and what God called him to do.

Next time we will look at this and try to undertand it.

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I want to remind you that there is only One Almighty God, and this is how He dealt with the Israelites when He called them to be His people. --- Moses read to them the Book of the Covenant, then called on them, 'to be obedient,' and to be 'santified' or 'set apart' unto the service of God.

 

Exodus 24:1 Now He (the Angel of the Lord) said to Moses, "Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar.

2 And Moses alone shall come near the Lord, but they shall not come near; nor shall the people go up with him."

3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which the Lord has said we will do."

4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

5 Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord.

6 And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient."

8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words."

 

This represented all the Tribes of Israel, so they would kill the animals for sacrifice, then drain the blood, and Moses sprinkled half of the blood on the altar, and the burnt offerings would be made for the Twelve Tribes.

 

--- But then, he sprinkled the other half of the blood on the people. --- What was the reason for sprinkling blood on everything?

This may seem unrealistic to us but the sprinkling of blood was a covering for sin. --- Not that it took away sin, but it was the 'sealing of the covenant' with God.

It says of this and other covenants in Hebrews 9:

18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.

19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you."[b] (The cross reference is to Exodus 24:8 above.)

--- And later in their worship in the tabernacle:

21 "Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.

22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission."

--- So, as offensive as it may seem to us, this is what they did.

For individuals who came to be purified, they would bring a good anmal and it would be killed and drained of blood, then offered to the Lord. --- And as I said before, the meat would then be given to the Levitical Priests for food, or perhaps given to the poor.

 

--- But what was the relationship between the person offering the sacrifice, and the pure animal that was drained of blood, and offered as a pure sacrifice?

In this 'action' was the whole purpose of the sacrifice. --- Because all descendants of Adam were sinful, --- when a person came to God, he brought an animal as a substitute for himself. --- God would look on the pure animal with no blood in its body, and it would be acceptable to God for the sinful one who offered it. --- Then he would be declared 'clean,' or righteous, or in right standing with God, and would continue 'clean' until he might offend again later.

--- Next we will look at it from God's perspective of holiness.--- You might either understand it, or reject it.

 

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I ended with this:

--- But what was the relationship between the person offering the sacrifice, and the pure animal that was drained of blood and offered?

In this 'action' was the whole purpose of the sacrifice. --- Because all descendants of Adam were sinful, --- when a person came to God, he brought an animal as a substitute for himself. --- God would look on the pure animal with the blood drained from the body, and it would be acceptable to God for the sinful one who offered it. --- Then he would be declared 'clean,' or righteous, or in right standing with God, and would continue 'clean' until he might offend again.

So the natural man was not acceptable to God and in this plan of Redemption for the Jews, they would bring a pure animal to be a substitute, or 'stand in' for them and, 'by their Faith and obedience' they would be declared righteous.

 

The blood body of man is an 'offense' to God. --- Animals were made with a flesh and blood body, but Adam was created with a 'flesh and bones' body, and the Breath of life, the Spirit of God, --- was the 'life support system.'

--- When they were put out of the Garden and given the 'life support system' of blood in the body, they were separated from God, and they 'died spiritually' as the Holy Spirit of God had to be withdrawn, --- but the conditions for all who followed them, were the same, --- there must be 'Faith and obedience' before acceptance. --- And 'obedience' to the Jews meant, offering a pure and blameless animal on their behalf.

--- After the animal was killed and drained of blood, and offered to God, on behalf of the individual or the people it represented, it was according to God's instructions whether the animal was then roasted for food, eaten by the Priests, divided and given to the poor, or totally consumed as a burnt offering, --- it was according to God's instructions for that occasion.

--- It was through disobedience that Adam lost his position of holiness, or felicity, and it is only through man's obedience that we will gain favor with God and enter the Kingdom that God has prepared for those who love Him.

 

As I said in the quote from the Zondervan Bible Dictionary:

"God is love, and God is holy. Because love is His predominating characteristic, God desired to surround Himself with creatures whom He might love, and by whom He might be loved. Because of His holiness, these creatures must also be holy; and by logical necessity love and holiness cannot be forced. Compulsory love or holiness would not be either love or holiness, and could not satisfy the all-wise Creator. Therefore these loving and holy creatures must be endowed with the ability to choose whether 'to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,' or to reject Him and suffer the consequences."

--- So, unfortunately, we are 'suffering the consequenses,' but the teaching in the Bible and the Quran is for us to be Reconciled to God in this life, since we have similar choises to make, --- but it must be on God's terms.

--- Joshua, who led the Children of Israel after Moses died, said in Joshua 24:

15 "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

 

And what happened that this system for the Jews changed?

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So what happened that the Jews lost their position?

--- They were feared and respected by the nations around after the days of Joshua, and they continued their particular form of worship, and they flourished, because God was blessing them. --- I suppose Israel reached its highest point when David was the king, --- and under Solomon it expandes in different ways. --- If the kings around had daughters that were eligible to marry Solomon, it was a good 'peace agreement.' --- If you were a father-in-law to the wealthy king, you might also gain some favors. --- The people had grown used to wealth and expected it to continue under new kings. --- However, the kings that followed Solomon were not good to the people. Rather than restoring the country, it became divided. --- 10 Tribes were called Israel in the North, with headquartere in Samaria, and 2 tribes were called Judah.

Around 750 BC, Samaria was besieged and taken captive to Assyria --- there were less true believers because the Jews were becoming scattered throughout the land. --- During this time God sent Prophets to lead the people, and give them predictons of what was to come.

Jeremiah prophesied a short time before the invasion of Israel by Nebchadnezzar and the carrying away into Babylon of the wealth, about 600 BC, and many of the people of Jerusalem including Ezekiel and Daniel, who were taken to Babylon, with other young men.

 

The Prophecy goes back to something that has been said here, "That everyone shall die for his own iniquity." --- In Jeremiah 31:

27 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.

28 And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord.

29 In those days they shall say no more:

‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

A New Covenant

31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

But there is more history of the Jews before the New Covenant.

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Here is some of the sad history of Israel and Jerusalem in 2 Kings 24:

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged.

11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it.

12 Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner.

13 And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said.

14 Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.

15 And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king’s mother, the king’s wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

 

Also it tells us of another desire Nebuchadnezzar had, in Daniel 1:

3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles,

4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans.

6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.

7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

 

--- To know how they influenced the King, you have to read on in Daniel. --- The prophecies in the Book of Daniel reveal the kingdoms of the world that would come, and how some would be revived in the Prophecies in the Book of Revelation.

They were in Babylon for approximately 70 years then King Cyrus came on the scene in the Book of Ezra 1:

1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying,

2 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: --- "All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.

3 Who is among you of all His people? May his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, which is in Jerusalem.

4 And whoever is left in any place where he dwells, let the men of his place help him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for the house of God which is in Jerusalem."

5 Then the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.

6 And all those who were around them encouraged them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

7 King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem and put in the temple of his gods.

 

So the captivity was over and the Jews were able to return to Jerusalem and had instructions to rebuild the Temple and restore the worship of God in Jerusalem.

--- Notice it mentioned, "That the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled." --- This was prohesied in Jerusalem before the captivity began, and it is written in Jeremiah 29:

10 For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.

 

King Cyrus was obedient and provided all kinds of help to the Jew who returned to Jerusalem.

--- It is interesting that this return was led bu the scribe Ezra, and that is why he is referred to as a 'notable one' in Surah 9:

30 And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah,

--- Some referred to Ezra as their 'messiah' in the sense that he led them from bondage back to freedom.

--- Okay, enough history, but you can read it on your own in Ezra.

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After they returned from the captivity, the Temple was repaired and they renewed the worship of God in Jerusalem, which continued for some time, but there was always the influence of the pagan nations around them, and their idolatry, so conditions deteriorated again until this that is written in the Book of Malachi 1:

6 "A son honors his father, And a servant his master.
If then I am the Father, Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence?
Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’

7 "You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’
By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’
8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil?
And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil?
Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you?
Would he accept you favorably?" Says the Lord of hosts.

9 "But now (you say) entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands,
Will He accept you favorably?" Says the Lord of hosts.
10 I have no pleasure in you," Says the Lord of hosts, "Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.
11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles;
In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering;
For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the Lord of hosts.

12 "But you profane it, In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’
13 You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it," Says the Lord of hosts.
"And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering!
Should I accept this from your hand?" Says the Lord.
14 "But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow (to offer it),
But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—
For I am a great King," Says the Lord of hosts, "And My name is to be feared among the nations."

 

2:1 "And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.
2 If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name," Says the Lord of hosts,

7 "For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth;
For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
8 But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law.
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi," Says the Lord of hosts.

13 And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, With weeping and crying;
So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.
14 Yet you say, "For what reason?" Because the Lord has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth,
With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant.
15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring.
Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

16 "For the Lord God of Israel says That He hates divorce,
For it covers one’s garment with violence," Says the Lord of hosts.
"Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously."

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words; Yet you say, "In what way have we wearied Him?"
In that you say, "Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the Lord,
And He delights in them," Or, "Where is the God of justice?"

--- (The unfaithful priests carried on the religious service in the temple, but were defiling the offerings, the 'Table of showbread' and that which represented 'Goodness and Mercy' from the Lord, --- and their attitude was, --- 1:13 'What a weariness to serve the Lord,' --- and 2:17, "Everyone who does evil Is good in the sight of the Lord, And He delights in them,"

--- They were seeing the success of the world as more attractive than their faithful service to God, and assumed that 'God delighted in them' because they seemed to be more prosperous than the believers, and were getting away with what they were doing.)

So we can see why the Old Covenant was no longer effective in bringing people to God. --- The faithful ones who kept the law and worshipped God, did it outside of the hypocricy of the temple.

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To continue in Malachi we find the prophecy of the coming Messiah to restore righteousness to the remnant of the people of Israel.

Malachi 3:1 "Behold, I send My messenger,
And he will prepare the way before Me.
And the Lord, whom you seek,
Will suddenly come to His temple,
Even the Messenger of the covenant,
In whom you delight.
Behold, He is coming,"
Says the Lord of hosts

 

This is the Lord of hosts, who has represented God through the OT from the image given to Joshua in Joshua 5:

13 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?"

14 So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come."

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?"

15 Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.

 

So if we analize the verse to understand it, the Lord of Hosts is saying:

"Behold, I (the Lord of hosts) send My messenger (small 'm' on messenger, meaning John the Baptist).

And he (John the Baptist) will prepare the way before Me (the Lord of hosts)

And the Lord (the Messiah) whom you (Jewish people) seek

Will suddenly come to His temple (the Messiah would come to indwell an earthly body (John 1:14, and Surah 3:45 --- "A Word from Him [God] whose name is the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary.")

Even the Messenger (Capital 'M' on Messenger, meaning the Messiah, Jesus Christ) of the (New) Covenant

In whom you delight (the Jews delighted in the hope of His coming, and the believers delighted in Him when He came)

Behold He is coming," --- (it changes from 'I am coming,' to 'He is coming.' --- So it is speaking of the Word who cannot be seen, coming in a new form, in the 'body' of Jesus, --- referred to as a 'temple' in John 2:

19 Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."

20 Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?"

21 But He was speaking of the temple of His body.

22 Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said.

 

And the last statement is: --- "Behold, He is coming." Says the Lord of hosts.

--- The Lord of hosts is not mentioned in the New Testament, but the new representative of God is 'the Lord Jesus Christ.'

John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus, --- the name Jesus means Savior, and Christ means, Messiah.

--- This was the transition from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant.

 

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Hi Elihu,

Sorry, I kind of ran away with your topic, but the posts reveal a lot of what people don't understand and don't believe about atonement. --- You said:

Quote: the Israelites were required to make sacrifices in order to make atonement (Exodus 29:36; Leviticus 4:20). Animals that were to be sacrificed had to be unblemished and Leviticus 17:11 makes it clear that it was the blood that made the atonement.

Exodus 29:36 "And you shall offer a bull every day as a sin offering for atonement. You shall cleanse the altar when you make atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it."

--- This next is the offering on behalf of the congregation in Leviticus 4:

15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the Lord. Then the bull shall be killed before the Lord.

16 The anointed priest shall bring some of the bull’s blood to the tabernacle of meeting.

17 Then the priest shall dip his finger in the blood and sprinkle it seven times before the Lord, in front of the veil.

18 And he shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar which is before the Lord, which is in the tabernacle of meeting; and he shall pour the remaining blood at the base of the altar of burnt offering, which is at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

19 He shall take all the fat from it and burn it on the altar.

20 And he shall do with the bull as he did with the bull as a sin offering; thus he shall do with it. So the priest shall make atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them.

21 Then he shall carry the bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is a sin offering for the assembly.

 

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

 

None of these rituals continued into the New Covenant, though some Churches have gone back to try and dress their holy men in the high priestly clothing of Judaism.

At any rate we can see from these above verses that God set the requirements and the STANDARD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS for the Children of Israel that Moses led out of Egypt. --- We can see that they started out well, but as we read in Malachi, they had abandoned God and His holiness, --- so the New Covenant was no longer according to laws that people disobeyed, --- but by Faith in God, and obedience to Him directly.

 

I would like to establish some principles, --- and then respond to some more statements on Page 1.

First, If we are mature in our faith (as this was said), "We are happy in our own religion," so there is no feeling that we are trying to convert each other.

Secondly, we can agree to accept each other's religion as being right for them.

Thirdly, that there is no reason to blame Christians for the things they don't understand about Judaism. --- (It would be nice to have some Jewish input again, as we have had from time to time.)

Fourthly, that we should accept what is written in the Scriptures, the Bible and Quran, as these are the Books that God has given us --- and all the arguing about changes are futile in our quest to be prepared for heaven.

 

--- The Scripture doesn't change but people try to change it, as it says in Surah 2:

174 Those who conceal God's revelations in the Book, and purchase for them a miserable profit, - they swallow into themselves naught but Fire; God will not address them on the Day of Resurrection. Nor purify them: Grievous will be their penalty.

175 They are the ones who buy Error in place of Guidance and Torment in place of Forgiveness. Ah! what boldness (They show) for the Fire!

176 (Their doom is) because God sent down the Book in truth but those who seek causes of dispute in the Book are in a schism Far (from the purpose).

177 It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness - to believe in God and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Apostles; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.

 

--- You may want to add some more 'principles', --- but we need to present our information from the Scriptures without using the 'blame complex.'

We are in this life together. --- We didn't ask to be born, but now that we are mature we must seek and find God, and His will for our lives, or our time will run out.

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Hi Qa'im,

Quote from your post April 3:

"The first two sentences are in contradiction here, because it is Christ that is held responsible for my sin rather than myself. If this were true, then my only responsibility would be belief in Christ's sacrifice. Before Christ, the religion stipulated prayer, fasting, diet, and other acts of devotion. But with Christ, I can commit sin and not fear its consequences, because my debt would have already been paid."

 

Response: --- Jesus died as a final sacrifice for sin, --- 1 Peter 3:

18 "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit."

--- While Jesus Christ died for all, so that no more animal, or other type of sacrifices needed to be made, it will only benefit those who believe, and are obedient to God --- after they make a commitment to follow Him.

--- There is no sense in which now, "Christ is held responsible for my sin rather than myself." --- We are responsible for our own sin and if we sin after we make a profession of Faith and obedience to God, we must repent of each sin. --- A person cannot continue to practice the same sins and expect to be acceptable to God.

 

One of the 'emphasis' that Evangelicals usually present as part of the Gospel, is that "We are saved by Faith." --- But we acknowledge that "Faith without works is dead," (or dormant) producing no fruit. --- However, the emphasis IS ON FAITH, but many only use part of the Scripture in context, in Ephesians 2:

8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

9 not of works, lest anyone should boast."

--- Often they use this to say, "For by (God's) grace you have been saved through (your) faith; it is the gift of God. --- (A gift cannot be earned or paid for, or it is not a gift.)

Not of works (that we have done), lest anyone should boast, (as though we had contributed anything for our salvation, because we haven't).

--- (So that sounds pretty simple, just 'believe' and the responsibility is turned over to Christ, so that what we do from then on is covered, --- but not so. --- The context continues to verse 10, which starts with the word 'for,' which means it is dependant on the former verse, or verses, which it does here):

 

10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

--- For we (who have believed) are His (God's) workmanship (or workers) created in Christ Jesus, (re-created through the new spiritual birth) in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God 'prepared beforehand' that we should walk in them (to do the good works that He prepared for us to do, --- and that He has equiped us to do for Him).

--- "We are saved to serve," --- we were not called to dead works, but rather, our commitment to God 'comes with a work schedule.'

Somebody said, "The Christian life ain't for wimps."

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I would like to clear up the misunderstanding about the children bearing, 'the sins of the Father,' as we find written in the OT.

 

The second of the Ten Commandments says in Exodus 20:

4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

 

And these commandments are reviewed in Deuteronomy 5:

6 ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

7 ‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

8 ‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

 

This firm commandment is given in the next chapter, in Deuteronomy 6:

"1 "Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,

2 that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’

4 "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

6 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.

7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."

--- They were to fear the Lord (with a reverential awe and respect in worship) and keep all of His statutes and commandments (2). --- And the Fathers were the head of the families to teach their sons and grandsons these laws (1-2).

"The Lord our God, the Lord is one," (4).

--- And the main Commandment was, "Love God with your whole being," (5).

They were to 'write them on their heart' (6), or memorize them, and talk of them regularly (7) and even wear little leather pouches or cases with strings to tie them on their wrists, called 'philacteries' or on their foreheads, called 'frontlets' (8). --- Even to write them on their doorposts and gates (9).

(And for those who think the Jews were primitive and couldn't read or write, they need to understand that these were GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE. --- God provided them with everything they needed. --- And when they got settled they dwelt in houses with gates and no doubt fenced yards.)

 

--- The problem was that when the Fathers rebelled against God, and departed from the law, --- that is what they demonsrated to their children.

When a Father rebelled or got into habitual sin, he took his family, his son's grandsons, and perhaps his great grandsons astray as well, --- till somewhere down the family tree they got fighting with the neighbors and were wiped out, or someone would look back to what they should be, and bring about a change in their families, and humble themselves again before the Lord.

 

There are verses that speek of this failure of families, as in Numbers 14:

17 And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying,

18 ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.

--- So this sin that started with a father someplace, would continue with the children, because 'father to son' was the pattern of teaching.

Does it not mention the same pattern in the Quran in Surah 5:

104. When it is said to them: "Come to what Allah hath revealed; come to the Messenger: They say: "Enough for us are the ways we found our fathers following." what! even though their fathers were void of knowledge and guidance?

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We can see what a high standard the Jews were held to, and how they could suffer to the third and fourth generation for the sins of the father.

It would be like an alcoholic family today, where the parents allow their children to drink at a young age, so it becomes part of their lifestyle.

However, there was a change that came and it was introduced by this strange expression, in Jeremiah 31:

29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.

30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity [only]; every man who eats sour grapes—his [own] teeth shall be set on edge.

--- The term 'eating sour grapes' can refer to one's bitterness, or bad disposition, --- like some say, 'getting up on the wrong side of the bed.' --- If the son is taught to be like his father, he may display the same temperment and teach his own children the same.

Fathers taught their children, and if they led them astray from God, then the children would suffer with the father, --- or as a result of his sin and error.

 

But no more, God's New Covenant is with each individual, so they will be responsible for their own sin, as it is written in Geremiah 31:

31 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah—

32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a Husband to them, says the Lord.

33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."

This was the New Covenant that Jesus was given in the Gospel, and it is interesting that everyone 'knows the Lord' through the testimony of Jesus, that he came to bring us back to God through our willingness to accept Him.

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The angel was speaking to Mary about having a son, in Surah 19:

20 She said: "How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?"

21 He said: "So (it will be): Thy Lord saith, 'that is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us': It is a matter (so) decreed."

 

Quote: "Mercy and grace are best illustrated in the salvation that is available through Jesus Christ. --- We deserve judgment, but if we receive Jesus Christ as Savior, we receive Mercy from God and we are delivered from judgment. --- Instead of judgment, we receive by grace --- salvation, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life." --- Selected.

 

--- So Jesus came as a Sign and Mercy from God, and the instruction in the Gospels is to 'Believe in God,' and follow Jesus. --- Jesus went about doing 'good works.' --- Because He had the power of the Holy Spirit He healed the sick, as it says in Surah 3:

49 "And (appoint him) an apostle to the Children of Israel, (with this message): "'I have come to you, with a Sign from your Lord, in that I make for you out of clay, as it were, the figure of a bird, and breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God's leave: And I heal those born blind, and the lepers, and I quicken the dead, by God's leave; and I declare to you what ye eat, and what ye store in your houses. Surely therein is a Sign for you if ye did believe;

50 "'(I have come to you), to attest (confirm) the Law which was before me. And to make lawful to you part of what was (before) forbidden to you; I have come to you with a Sign from your Lord. So fear God (with reverential awe and respect), and obey me.

51 "'It is God Who is my Lord and your Lord; then worship Him. This is a Way that is straight.'"

 

I have found 67 verses in the Quran which say "Believe and do good works," or, "Believe and do works of righteousness,"

It always puts, "Believe" first, the same as in the Gospels.

James said, "Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead," James 2:17.

Faith is an 'action' word. --- If Faith doesn't 'produce 'good works,' it is dead, or dormant.

 

Let's look at some verses from the Quran in context to see what they implied when they were written, such as Surah 42:

13 The same religion has He established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah - the which We have sent by inspiration to thee - and that which We enjoined on Abraham, Moses, and Jesus: Namely, that ye should remain steadfast in religion, and make no divisions therein: to those who worship other things than God, hard is the (way) to which thou callest them. God chooses to Himself those whom He pleases, and guides to Himself those who turn (to Him).

14 And they became divided only after Knowledge reached them, - through selfish envy as between themselves. Had it not been for a Word that went forth before from thy Lord, (tending) to a Term appointed, the matter would have been settled between them: But truly those who have inherited the Book after them are in suspicious (disquieting) doubt concerning it.

15 Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their vain desires; but say: "I believe in the Book which God has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you. God is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. God will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal.

16 But those who dispute concerning God after He has been accepted, - futile is their dispute in the Sight of their Lord: on them will be a Penalty terrible.

17 It is God Who has sent down the Book in Truth, and the Balance (by which to weigh conduct). --- And what will make thee realise that, perhaps the Hour is close at hand?

18 Only those wish to hasten it who believe not in it: those who believe hold it in awe, and know that it is the Truth. Behold, verily those that dispute concerning the Hour are far astray.

19 Gracious is God to His servants: He gives Sustenance to whom He pleases: and He has power and can carry out His Will.

Notice especially verse 15:

--- (It was the Jews that became divided in 14, though they were entrusted with the Book, the Torah, but they lost their way and followed their Knowledge, rather than God's word, --- which always causes division. --- So Muhammad is instructed to 'call them to the Faith.')

15 Now then, for that (reason), call (them to the Faith), and stand steadfast as thou art commanded, nor follow thou their (the Jews') vain desires; but say: "I believe in the Book which God has sent down; and I am commanded to judge justly between you (Jews). --- God is our Lord and your Lord: for us (is the responsibility for) our deeds, and for you for your deeds. There is no contention between us and you. --- God will bring us together, and to Him is (our) Final Goal.

To each of us individually is the challenge to find our way to God. --- But it has to be on His terms, and the Quran, like the NT, says, "Believe and do works of righteousness, --- 'good works' that God leads us to do.

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