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How do Muslims View the Atonement

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You may wonder why I am interested in studying the Quran, but I see the closeness of God's commandments in the NT and the Quran.

Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

So these verses deserve to be read and pondered

Surah 2:25, --- 82, --- 148, --- 177, --- 277, --- 3:57, --- 114, --- 4:57, --- 122, --- 124, --- 173, 

5:5, --- 9,--- 48, --- 69, --- 93, --- 7:42, --- 43, --- 11:11, --- 23, --- 13:29, --- 14:23, --- 16:97, 

18:2, --- 30, --- 88, --- 107, --- 19:96, --- 20:75, --- 112, --- 21:73, --- 90, --- 94, --- 22:14, --- 50, --- 56,

23:51, --- 24:55, --- 25:70, --- 26:227, --- 28:67, --- 80, --- 29:7, --- 9, --- 58, --- 30:15, --- 45, --- 31:8,

32:19, --- 34:4, --- 37, --- 35:7, --- 38:24, --- 28, --- 41:8, --- 42:22, --- 23, --- 26, --- 45:30, 

47:2, --- 12, --- 48:29, --- 65:11, --- 84:25, --- 85:11, --- 95:6, --- 98:7, --- 103:3.

--- I found another one, so 68.

Here are some special ones:

28:65 That Day (God) will call to them, and say: "What was the answer ye gave to the apostles?"

66 Then the (whole) story that Day will seem obscure to them (like light to the blind) and they will not be able (even) to question each other

67 "But any that (in this life) had repented, believed, and worked righteousness, will have hopes to be among those who achieve salvation."

--- (This speaks of 'repenting' from the sin in our lives, and believing in God for salvation, then doing His work of righteousness.)

48:29 Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel - like as sown corn that sendeth forth its shoot and strengtheneth it and riseth firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers - that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward.

65:11 An Apostle, who rehearses to you the Signs of God containing clear explanations, that he may lead forth those who believe and do righteous deeds from the depths of Darkness into Light. And those who believe in God and work righteousness, He will admit to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever: God has indeed granted for them a most excellent Provision.

85:11 For those who believe and do righteous deeds, will be Gardens; beneath which rivers flow: That is the great Salvation, (the fulfilment of all desires),

Now I want t show you something interesting, and that is, --- how two verses can be written quite differently, but mean the same:

42:15 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. 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.

5:48 To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what God hath revealed, and follow not their (the Jews') vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. --- To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If God had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to God; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;

These above verses are all from the Quran, but I enjoy reading them because they reflect the teaching of the Gospel.

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I would like to compare our approach, and service to God.

The Gospels say we must 'believe in God,' --- and here in these 68 verses in the Quran it says we must 'believe in God.'

It gives specifics as to what Christians are to believe --- in John 5:

24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears (follows) My word and believes in Him (God) who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

In the Quran it quotes Jesus as saying to His disciples in Surah 3:

50 And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a Sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to God and obey me.

51 Lo! God is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path.

--- These two Scriptures say the same thing, do they not? --- And the right way, or the 'straight path' to eternal life is by "Believing God, and doing works of righteousness." --- Which is what the 68 verses say.

 

How do we know what are 'good works' or works of righteousness?

One of the verses is this one in Surah 2:

177 It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West; but righteous is he who believeth in God and the Last Day and the angels and the Scripture and the prophets; and giveth wealth, for love of Him, to kinsfolk and to orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask, and to set slaves free; and observeth proper worship and payeth the poor-due. And those who keep their treaty when they make one, and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress. Such are they who are sincere. Such are the God-fearing.

This means believing in the former Scriptures and then giving of wealth and of yourself 'for the love of Him' (God), --- to these various 'good works,' that God would have us do.

--- (It is interesting that Surah 2 was revealed about the first or second year of the Hijrah, when Muhammad started his teaching in Al-Madinah. --- It mentions this again when Muhammad was instructed to establish worship in Mecca, in the ninth year of the Hijrah), in Surah 9:

18 The mosques of God shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in God and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except God. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.

--- (Until this time some idolaters were serving and working in the Mosque in Mecca, but they were not believers so they were no longer allowed.)

19 Do ye make the giving of drink to pilgrims, or the maintenance of the Sacred Mosque, equal to (the pious service of) those who believe in God and the Last Day, and strive with might and main in the cause of God? They are not comparable in the sight of God: and God guides not those who do wrong.

20 Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in God's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of God: they are the people who will achieve (salvation).

21 Their Lord doth give them glad tidings of a Mercy from Himself, of His good pleasure, and of gardens for them, wherein are delights that endure:

22 They will dwell therein for ever. Verily in God's presence is a reward, the greatest (of all).

 

So verse 177 and these verses outline the 'works of righteousness' that God honors and for which He promises everlasting life.

--- This was in year 9 of the Hijrah, when Muhammad was restoring right worship to Mecca, and it says this of the idolaters.

28 O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans (idolaters) are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. And if ye fear poverty, soon will God enrich you, if He wills, out of His bounty, for God is All-knowing, All-wise.

--- At the Pilgrimage, the idolaters would sell merchandise which would benefit the economy in Mecca, but after this year, they would be gone.

By year 10, the idolaters either had to leave, --- be converted to Islam, or run the risk of being killed as enemies of God.

This didn't apply to Jews or Christians, because they believed in the worship of One God, that Muhammad was reinstating, verse 18 --- 'such as believe in God and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except God. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.'

--- (In year 10, at the Pilgrimage, Muhammad gave his 'Farewell address,' --- declaring that idolatry was destroyed, and there had been amnesty for many offenders, and there was a temporary 'peace.')

Muhammad declared the Mission that God gave him to do, 'completed' because idolatry was gone and people were worshiping One God.

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So these above verses give a number of benevolent works that honor God, and in turn God honors those who serve Him, both with provisions here on earth, along with some suffering, but with the promise of eternal life for their faithfulness, in what He leads them to do.

--- If you feel that God is too remote and doesn't hear your prayers, then you have to see what changes need to be made to draw closer to Him.

Sometimes the division is made with Christians because Christians say, "We are saved by Faith," and Muslims sometimes have the idea that after you are 'saved by faith,' then you can do what you like, because you think you are 'Saved" so you can get away with living your own selfish life again.

However being 'Saved by Faith' means being 'saved from sin,' and the effects of it. --- The term 'being born again,' means having surrendered one's will to God, to do His service, and to denounce the world and all of Satan's temptation and pitfalls, --- and to encourage others to follow Jesus as well.

James gives this example in James 2:

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,

16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

 

The Scripture that speaks of Faith and Works together in the service of God, is often not used in full context because the emphasis is put on Faith, and believing God first, as the 68 verses say, --- but "Faith produces works."

--- "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He IS, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." Hebrews 11:6.

Here are the verses that are used to explain Faith and works 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 those teaching the verses stop here because they want to emphasize that salvation is a gift of God and can't be worked for, or paid for, or it is not a gift, so it says:

"For by (God's) grace you have been saved through (your) faith, and that not of yourselves, (not of anything you have done to attain it or deserve it), it is the gift of God,"

 

--- "Not of works lest anyone should boast," (not by doing works or giving money, so that one could boast that they paid their way to heaven). --- But because we turned our will over to God and trust Him to guide our lives, by faith, we have been given His gift of salvation.)

 

But verse 10 is of the same context and starts with the word 'for,' which means that it is dependant on the former verses. (for, because we have received this free gift, we are His workers to do His 'good works.')

10 "For we are His workmanship (workers), created (recreated or 'born again' to the new life) in Christ Jesus for 'good works,' which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them" (God has a 'work schedule' of 'good works' for each believer so that, along with faith, there is guidance by the Holy Spirit, to do God's work).

The benevolent works outlined for Muslims are the same 'works' that Christians do. wherever there is a crisis, the Christian organizations send in volunteers and money to help others. --- God sends Missionaries to poor countries to help them grow food and provide for themselves. They set up schools and hospitals, but often Christians are attacked and killed by militants who don't undestand God's work in the world.

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To finalize our comparison of the 'good works' detailed in the Quran, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in 'good works' for Christians, I would like to return to this verse in Surah 5:

48 And unto thee (Muhammad) have We (God) revealed the Scripture with the truth, confirming whatever Scripture was before it, and a watcher (guardian) over it. So judge between them by that which God hath revealed, --- and follow not their (the Jew's) desires away from the truth which hath come unto thee. --- For each We have appointed a divine law and a traced-out way. Had God willed He could have made you one community. But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are). So vie one with another in good works. Unto God ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ.

 

Surah 5 was revealed about year 5 of the Hijrah so, what was in the former Scriptures and what was revealed to, and through Muhammad, till about year 5, was what this is referring to,

"But that He may try you by that which He hath given you (He hath made you as ye are)."

 

"So vie one with another in good works."

--- To 'vie' means to compete, as in a race, each trying to outdo the other (and in this case) in doing 'good works.'

 

--- And finally, "Unto God ye will all return, and He will then inform you of that wherein ye differ."

As the song says, "We'll understand it all by and by."

--- However, we see enough difference now between our attitudes and actions, --- that we should be checking ourselves out, and seeing if we are believing in God and, have surrendered our will to Him, --- and are doing the 'good works' that are acceptable to God, for our salvation.

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Since this topic is about "Atonement," meaning at-one-ment, or reconciliation, there was one more special sacrifice that the Jews observed, and it was meant to be an 'ongoing sacrifice.' --- It is found in Numbers 19:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

2 "This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.

3 You shall give it to Eleazar the priest, that he may take it outside the camp, and it shall be slaughtered before him;

4 and Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood seven times directly in front of the tabernacle of meeting.

5 Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned.

6 And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer.

7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes, he shall bathe in water, and afterward he shall come into the camp; the priest shall be unclean until evening.

8 And the one who burns it shall wash his clothes in water, bathe in water, and shall be unclean until evening.

9 Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification; it is for 'purifying from sin.'

10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes, and be unclean until evening. It shall be a statute forever to the children of Israel and to the stranger who dwells among them.

--- This was to be a pure unblemished hiefer that was sacrificed. Some of its blood was drained out, and sprinkled ceremoniously in front of the Tabernacle of Meeting, and the rest of the blood was burned with the carcass, along with 'cedar wood, hyssop, and scarlet.' --- The ashes then were saved, and this is how they used them:

14 ‘This is the law when a man dies in a tent: All who come into the tent and all who are in the tent shall be unclean seven days;

15 and every open vessel, which has no cover fastened on it, is unclean.

16 Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain by a sword or who has died, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.

17 ‘And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for 'purification from sin,' and running water shall be put on them in a vessel.

18 A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were there, or on the one who touched a bone, the slain, the dead, or a grave.

19 The clean person shall sprinkle the unclean on the third day and on the seventh day; and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, wash his clothes, and bathe in water; and at evening he shall be clean.

21 It shall be a perpetual statute for them. He who sprinkles the water of purification shall wash his clothes; and he who touches the water of purification shall be unclean until evening.

The Jews were very particular about cleanliness, and God taught them this cleanliness to keep disease out of their camp, as well as keeping them 'pure from sin.'

So they would take a basin and put some ashes in with running water, then a clean person would take some hyssop, dip it in the basin and sprinkle it on the persons and things that were unclean.

When the ashes were all used up, they would get another unblemished heifer, and make more ashes the same way. --- Quite different from offering an animal for each offense, but this was to be the continual, 'purification for sin' for the people.

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--- It was interesting to me when I read the Quran through, that there was so much of the OT written as history and exmples of failure and success, but the same "Faith of Abraham" is to be followed.

I found there were no new laws other than dietary, and instructions concerning extra wives and inheritances.

I wondered why Surah 2 was called 'The Cow.' --- not only does it seem different, but Mr Pickthall said it was taken from, "The story of the yellow heifer, verses 67-71.

Naturally I was interested in the context of the Yellow Heifer.

The setting follows the fact tht the Jews, who had welcomed Muhammad to Madinah at first, were beginning to criticize some of his teaching. --- So God took them on a tour down memory lane to remind them of how their ancestors failed to be obedient to God so many times.

The context goes back to Surah 2:

49. And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women-folk live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.

50. And remember We divided the sea for you and saved you and drowned Pharaoh's people within your very sight.

51. And remember We appointed forty nights for Moses, and in his absence ye took the calf (for worship), and ye did grievous wrong.

52. Even then We did forgive you; there was a chance for you to be grateful.

53. And remember We gave Moses the Scripture and the Criterion (Between right and wrong): There was a chance for you to be guided aright.

54. And remember Moses said to his people: "O my people! Ye have indeed wronged yourselves by your worship of the calf: So turn (in repentance) to your Maker, and slay yourselves (the wrong-doers); that will be better for you in the sight of your Maker." Then He turned towards you (in forgiveness): For He is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful.

57. And We gave you the shade of clouds and sent down to you Manna and quails, saying: "Eat of the good things We have provided for you:" (But they rebelled); to us they did no harm, but they harmed their own souls.

62. Those who believe (in the Qur'an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, shall have their reward with their Lord; on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.

63. And remember We took your covenant and We raised above you (The towering height) of Mount (Sinai) : (Saying): "Hold firmly to what We have given you and bring (ever) to remembrance what is therein: Perchance ye may fear God."

64. But ye turned back thereafter: Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of God to you, ye had surely been among the lost.

65. And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."

66. So We made it an example to their own time and to their posterity, and a lesson to those who fear.

And here are the verses the name is taken from:

67. And remember Moses said to his people: "(God) commands that ye sacrifice a heifer." They said: "Makest thou a laughing-stock of us?" He said: "(God) save me from being an ignorant (fool)!"

68. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what (heifer) it is!" He said; "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age. Now do what ye are commanded!"

69. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us Her colour." He said: "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!"

70. They said: "Beseech on our behalf Thy Lord to make plain to us what she is: To us are all heifers alike: We wish indeed for guidance, if God wills."

71. He said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will.

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To continue:

The fact that the first Surah after the 'Opening Prayer' was called 'The Cow" after a special sacrifice in the time of Moses, must have some significamce, and it relates back to the Sacrifice of the unblemished heifer in Numbers 19:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

2 This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: "Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come."

And it says in Surah 2:

67. And remember Moses said to his people: "(God) commands that ye sacrifice a heifer."

68. "He says: The heifer should be neither too old nor too young, but of middling age."

69. "He says: A fawn-coloured heifer, pure and rich in tone, the admiration of beholders!"

71. "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish."

--- (She was the 'queen of the pasture,' --- a pure heifer that had done no work and without blemish.

They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice, but not with good-will.

--- (Some Jews remained rebellious even in their service to the Lord.)

 

It seemed that this sacrifice related back to their sin in worshiping the 'golden calf' in the wilderness, but this was also to be the continuing sacrifice for, 'purification from sin.'

 

The context here is that God was reminding the Jews of the past sins of disobedience, not only the golden calf, but also the breaking of the Sabbath in the time of Moses, showing that they were a rebellious people.

--- And here in the first teaching Surah in the Quran, --- it also reminds the Jews of the sins of their forefathers, in the time of Jesus in the next verse.

 

72 Pickthall: And (remember) when ye slew a man and disagreed concerning it and Allah brought forth that which ye were hiding.

72 Yusuf Ali: Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But God was to bring forth what ye did hide.

72 Hilali Khan: And (remember) when you killed a man and fell into dispute among yourselves as to the crime. But Allah brought forth that which you were hiding.

72 Shakir: And when you killed a man, then you disagreed with respect to that, and Allah was to bring forth that which you were going to hide.

72 Sher Ali: And remember the time when you killed a person and differed among yourselves about it, and Allah, would bring to light what you were hiding.

72 Khalifa: You had killed a soul, then disputed among yourselves. GOD was to expose what you tried to conceal.

72 Arberry: And when you killed a living soul, and disputed thereon -- and God disclosed what you were hiding --

72 Palmer: When too ye slew a soul and disputed thereupon, and God brought forth that which ye had hidden,

72 Rodwell: And when ye slew a man, and strove among yourselves about him, God brought to light what he had hidden:

72 Sale: And when ye slew a man, and contended among your selves concerning him, God brought forth [to light] that which ye concealed.

 

In a footnote in Mr Pickthall's translation, --- the translator and commentater Maulana, who was contemporary with Pickthall, --- gives his "Exposition of 72 as referring to the martyrdom of Jesus Christ."

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One of the most interesting portions of Scripture in the Quran relates to these few verses, Surah 2:71-73.

It mentions the OT Sacrifice from the time of Moses:

71. Moses said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice,

 

--- Then it moves to the time of Jesus, and says:

72 Yusuf Ali: Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But God was to bring forth what ye did hide.

72 Sher Ali: And remember the time when you killed a person and differed among yourselves about it, and Allah, would bring to light what you were hiding.

--- This was the conspiring together of the Pharisees to have Jesus killed, but to try and have the Roman Government do it, charging Jesus with something worthy of death, --- and calling for Him to be crucified.

But Pilate said, "I find no fault in Him, you take Him and crucify Him." --- And he said again in Matthew 27:

24 "I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it."

25 And all the people answered and said, "His blood be on us and on our children."

--- They spoke the incriminating words that have followed them in history, so the secret was out. --- Not all of the Pharisees were in agreement with their plan and it said, "They fell into a dispute," but the Jews took the responsibility for His death. --- This is why in Surah 4:157 they said, "We have killed the Messiah."

 

The response is given in the next verse:

73 Yusuf Ali: --- Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.

73 Sher Ali --- Thus Allah gives life to the dead and shows you His Signs that you may understand.

--- This is referring to the death and resurrection of Jesus, is it not?

 

Often where it mentions 'Sign' or 'Signs' it refers to Jesus, as in Surah 19:

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

20 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."

3:49 "And (appoint him, Jesus) 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, and obey me.

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

21:91 And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a Sign for all peoples.

23:50 And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs.

43:61 And (Jesus) shall be a Sign (for the coming of) the Hour (of Judgment): therefore have no doubt about the (Hour), but follow ye Me: this is a Straight Way.

62 Let not the Evil One hinder you: for he is to you an enemy avowed.

63 When Jesus came with Clear Signs, he said: "Now have I come to you with Wisdom, and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) on which ye dispute: therefore fear God and obey me.

64 "For God, He is my Lord and your Lord: so worship ye Him: this is a Straight Way."

 

66:12 And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).

So It was by this miraculous act of God that Jesus and Mary were the Sign from God. --- And His destiny was to be the Redeemer for mankind.

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To Continue:

And this is why I say these verses are so interesting, because of the part I left out of verse 73, --- from the way it is translated from Arabic:

73 Yusuf Ali: So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.

 

--- This was translated literally, and it relates back to the sacrificed heifer:

71. Moses said: "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish." They said: "Now hast thou brought the truth." Then they offered her in sacrifice.

72 Yusuf Ali: Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But God was to bring forth what ye did hide.

73 Yusuf Ali: So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)."

--- It was impossible to strike the dead body of Jesus with a piece of the heifer, --- which was reduced to ashes, in the days of Moses from Numbers 19.

 

As I mentioned before, in a footnote in Mr Pickthall’s translation, Maulana Muhammad Ali says these verses 2:72-73 refer to the martyrdom of Jesus Christ.

In his commentary on verse 73, Maulana says the Arabic word used can mean, ‘striking,’ or ‘likening,’ --- or, ‘comparing,’ --- as Sher Ali renders it:

72 Sher Ali: And remember the time when you killed a person and differed among yourselves about it, and Allah, would bring to light what you were hiding.

73 ‘Then WE said, "Compare this incident with some other similar ones and you will discover the truth." Thus does GOD give life to the dead and show you HIS Signs that you may understand.’
--- (Here is the death and resurrection of Jesus mentioned together in 2:72 and 73, is it not?)

 

72 Yusuf Ali: Remember ye slew a man and fell into a dispute among yourselves as to the crime: But God was to bring forth what ye did hide.

73 Yusuf Ali: So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.

 

72 Sher Ali: And remember the time when you killed a person and differed among yourselves about it, and Allah, would bring to light what you were hiding.

73 Sher Ali: Then WE said, `Compare this incident with some other similar ones' and you will discover the truth. Thus does Allah give life to the dead and show you HIS Signs that you may understand.

--- "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer) --- or

--- "Compare this incident with some other similar ones, and you will discover the truth."

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I believe that most Muslims would like to ignore the OT sacrifices, and the sacrifice of Jesus, and just say: --- "We follow Abraham."

However, the Jews who didn't readily believe in Jesus had to be taught how His 'sacrifice' compared to the 'sacrifices' in the OT. --- This is why the Book of Hebrews was written to the Jews. --- To use OT examples of 'sacrifice for sin,' to enlighten them to the New Covenant that God gave, which did away with animal sacrifices. --- The Jews were not obedient to God's instructions anyway, so they had gone astray and would be lost without a new Covenant where they could be saved by Faith, --- following the Faith of Abraham.

 

Referring back to Surah 2:71, from verse 73, is interesting because it says:

71 "He says: A heifer not trained to till the soil or water the fields; sound and without blemish."

And this compares to the sacrifice of the heifer in Numbers 19:

1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,

2 "This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord has commanded, saying: ‘Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring you a red heifer without blemish, in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.

--- And this is how they prepared and used this sacrificed heifer:

5 Then the heifer shall be burned in his sight: its hide, its flesh, its blood, and its offal shall be burned.

6 And the priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet, and cast them into the midst of the fire burning the heifer.

9 Then a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer, and store them outside the camp in a clean place; and they shall be kept for the congregation of the children of Israel for the water of purification; it is for purifying from sin.

17 ‘And for an unclean person they shall take some of the ashes of the heifer burnt for purification from sin, and running water shall be put on them in a vessel.

18 A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, sprinkle it on the tent, on all the vessels, on the persons who were unclean.

--- So this was a special purification from sin for offenders, --- and when the ashes were all used up, they would have to find another heifer to make more ashes.

But since the Jews were disobedient and had been taken into captivity, they could not continue their Hebrew style of worship where they were taken, so they would have to return to the Faith of Abraham, --- or drift into unbelief or idolatry.

 

--- So these verses speak of the OT sacrifices which only provided purification and atonement for the flesh, but did nothing to keep them spiritually. --- Hebrews 9:

13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,

14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

16 For where there is a testament (or a will), there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.

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."

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 the Jews needed to be taught from the New Testament, using the OT, even so the Muslims have to be taught from their Quran, using the OT and NT.

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To continue:

In seeing that there was a connection between the Sacrificed heifer from Numbers 19, and Surah 2:71, especially since Surah 2 was named 'The Cow' after that heifer, --- it increases our interest in the connection between the sacrificed heifer of 2:71, and 2:73.

Let's look again at the various translations:

73 Pickthall: And We said: Smite him with some of it. Thus Allah bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His portents so that ye may understand.

73 Yusuf Ali: So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.

73 Hilali Khan: So We said: "Strike him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow)." Thus Allah brings the dead to life and shows you His Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) so that you may understand.

73 Shakir: So We said: Strike the (dead body) with part of the (Sacrificed cow), thus Allah brings the dead to life, and He shows you His signs so that you may understand.

73 Sher Ali: Then WE said, `Compare this incident with some other similar ones' and you will discover the truth. Thus does Allah give life to the dead and show you HIS Signs that you may understand.

73 Khalifa: We said, "Strike (the victim) with part (of the heifer)." That is when GOD brought the victim back to life, and showed you His signs, that you may understand.

73 Arberry: so We said, 'Smite him with part of it'; even so God brings to life the dead, and He shows you His signs, that haply you may have understanding.

73 Palmer: then we said, 'Strike him with part of her.' Thus God brings the dead to life and shows you His signs, that haply ye may understand.

73 Rodwell: For we said, "Strike the corpse with part of her." So God giveth life to the dead, and sheweth you his signs, that haply ye may understand.

73 Sale: For we said, strike [the dead body] with part of [the sacrificed cow]: So God raiseth the dead to life, and sheweth you his signs, that peradventure ye may understand.

 

I had used two before:

73 Yusuf Ali: So We said: "Strike the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)." Thus God bringeth the dead to life and showeth you His Signs: Perchance ye may understand.

73 Sher Ali: Then WE said, `Compare this incident with some other similar ones' and you will discover the truth. Thus does Allah give life to the dead and show you HIS Signs that you may understand.

 

--- It is interesting that the other translators used the literal meaning, but they were definite about comparing the 'dead body' with the 'sacrificed cow.'

So it seems that the translations of Sher Ali, and Maulana, who translate the word 'compare' instead of 'strike,' give a simple reading.

Yusuf Ali: So We said: "(Compare) the (body) with a piece of the (heifer)."

Hilali Khan: So We said: "(Compare) him (the dead man) with a piece of it (the cow)."

Sale: For we said, (Compare) [the dead body] with part of [the sacrificed cow]:

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To continue:

To compare the Sacrifice in Surah 2:71, --- to the death of Jesus, 2:72, and then the resurrection in 2:73, we see a difference.

73 Sher Ali: Then WE said, `Compare this incident with some other similar ones' and you will discover the truth. Thus does Allah give life to the dead and show you HIS Signs that you may understand.

 

The difference was that all of the OT sacrifices died, and had to be replaced with another. --- But Jesus Christ went through death, His blood was drained from His body, BUT HE WAS RESURRECTED IN NEWNESS OF LIFE.

You see, everybody likes to concentrate on His death, but the VICTORY OVER SIN was in the Resurrection.

--- This is a picture of how believers will be resurrected in NEWNESS OF LIFE.

 

The interesting thing is that this 'Sacrifice' is written in the Quran, and it is to reveal the truth to both the Jews in Madinah, and the Muslims who needed to understand it. --- The Muslims have been told for years that the crucifixion didn't happen, --- or of some false 'replacement theory,' or the 'swoon theory,' --- so they have ignored, and missed out on the benefits given to Christians.

However, this is the 'Redemption' for the Christians, so whether you believe it or not, it doesn't affect the faith of Christians who believe it and believe all of the 'Signs' given, and who have the assurance of 'eternal life.'

 

--- Every now and again there is mention of the name Barnabas, and the distorted Gospel of Barnabas, which was written from 1200 -1400 AD. --- However, the Barnabas that was in Jerusalem when it all happened wrote a letter which gives the understanding of the death of Jesus for the forgiveness of sin. --- So you might as well see what he said.

Copying the Epistle of Barnabas from the Codex Siniaticus, from 400 AD, Chapter 5:

Barnabas 5:1 For to this end the Lord endured to deliver His flesh unto corruption, that by the remission of sins we might be cleansed, which cleansing is through the blood of His sprinkling.

Barnabas 5:2 For the scripture concerning Him containeth some things relating to Israel, and some things relating to us. And it speaketh thus; He was wounded for your transgressions, and He hath been bruised for our sins; by His stripes we were healed. As a sheep He was led to slaughter, as a lamb is dumb before his shearer.

Barnabas 5:3We ought therefore to be very thankful unto the Lord, for that He both revealed unto us the past, and made us wise in the present, and as regards the future we are not without understanding.

Barnabas 5:4 Now the scripture saith; Not unjustly is the net spread for the birds. He meaneth this that a man shall justly perish, who having the knowledge of the way of righteousness forceth himself into the way of darkness.

Barnabas 5:5 There is yet this also, my brethren; if the Lord endured to suffer for our souls, though He was Lord of the whole world, unto whom God said from the foundation of the world, Let us make man after our image and likeness, how then did He endure to suffer at the hand of men?

Barnabas 5:6 Understand ye. The prophets, receiving grace from Him, prophesied concerning Him. But He Himself endured that He might destroy death and show forth the resurrection of the dead, for that He must needs be manifested in the flesh;

Barnabas 5:7 that at the same time He might redeem the promise made to the fathers, and by preparing the new people for Himself might show, while He was on earth, that having brought about the resurrection He will Himself exercise judgment.

Barnabas 5:8 Yea and further, He preached teaching Israel and performing so many wonders and miracles, and He loved him exceedingly.

Barnabas 5:9 And when He chose His own apostles who were to proclaim His Gospel, who that He might show that He came not to call the righteous but sinners were sinners above every sin, then He manifested Himself to be the Son of God.

Barnabas 5:10 For if He had not come in the flesh neither would men have looked upon Him and been saved, forasmuch as when they look upon the sun that shall cease to be, which is the work of His own hands, they cannot face its rays.

Barnabas 5:11 Therefore the Son of God came in the flesh to this end, that He might sum up the complete tale of their sins against those who persecuted and slew His prophets.

Barnabas 5:12 To this end therefore He endured. For God saith of the wounds of His flesh that they came from them; When they shall smite their own shepherd, then shall the sheep of the flock be lost.

Barnabas 5:13 But He Himself desired so to suffer; for it was necessary for Him to suffer on a tree. For he that prophesied said concerning Him, Spare My soul form the sword; and, Pierce My flesh with nails, for the congregations of evil-doers have risen up against Me.

Barnabas 5:14 And again He saith; Behold I have given My back to stripes, and My cheeks to smitings, and My face did I set as a hard rock.

Barnabas 6:4 And the prophet saith again; The stone which the builders rejected, this became the head and the corner. And again He saith; This is the great and wonderful day, which the Lord made.

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To continue:

All the major events are written at least twice in the Quran, and sometimes more than that. --- And the disobedience of the Jews that was mentioned in Surah 2, is mentioned again in Surah 4:

153 The people of the Book ask thee to cause a book to descend to them from heaven: Indeed they asked Moses for an even greater (miracle), for they said: "Show us God in public," but they were dazed for their presumption, with thunder and lightning. Yet they worshipped the calf even after clear signs had come to them; even so we forgave them; and gave Moses manifest proofs of authority.

154 And for their covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) we said: "Enter the gate with humility"; and (once again) we commanded them: "Transgress not in the matter of the sabbath." And we took from them a solemn covenant.

155 (They have incurred divine displeasure): In that they broke their covenant; that they rejected the Signs of God; that they slew the Apostle (Jesus) in defiance of right; that they said, "Our hearts are the wrappings (which preserve God's Word; We need no more)"; - Nay, God hath set the seal on their hearts for their blasphemy, and little is it they believe; -

 

--- In the day of Moses, they broke the covenants with God, they worshiped the calf and had to be repremanded, and make a special sacrifice, but God forgave them, --- and they transgressed on the Sabbath, so God later rejected them and brought in the New Covenant, --- So it brings their violations up to the time of Jesus.

--- 'that they rejected the Signs of God; that they slew the Apostle (Jesus) in defiance of right;'

--- This speaks of the Pharisees that believed they had God's protection in whatever they did, but they had said, "Let His blood be on us and on our children." --- They also slandered Mary in the next verse:

156 That they rejected Faith; that they uttered against Mary a grave false charge;

157 That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Apostle of God."

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To continue:

Okay, --- so you might think this is all 'more of the same,' --- That Jesus was a sacrifice for sin. --- But that is what this topic is about which was started by Elihu the 31 of March --- is it not?

Now I want to shift gears as most people see this as negative, --- but as you will see, --- it was 'positive' for the Jews and Christians.

It is interesting to me that this is included in the Quran because it was written to, and for, the Jews. --- It wasn't written for the followers of Muhammad, but in the same way that they were to recognise and believe the Gospel Message, --- the Quran gives this information to be understood, as well.

 

--- So, why did Jesus come? Let's look at some verses in Surah 19:

19 The angel said, `I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may give thee glad tidings of a righteous son.'

20 She said, `How can I have a son when no man has touched me, neither have I been 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."

 

19 'that I may give thee glad tidings of a righteous son.' --- That would be 'Jesus,' Surah 3:45.

20 Mary asked the obvious question, "How can I have a son?"

21 He (the angel) said, --- So (it will be). --- This refers to God's ability to say "Be" and it is. --- Notice how this is written later in Surah 19:

35 Pickthall: It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.

35 Shakir: It beseems not Allah that He should take to Himself a ! son, glory to be Him; when He has decreed a matter He only says to it "Be," and it is.

35 Sher Ali: It does not befit the Majesty of Allah to take unto Himself a son. Holy is HE. When HE decrees a thing, HE says to it, `Be, and it comes into being.'

35 Arberry: It is not for God to take a son unto Him. Glory be to Him! When He decrees a thing, He but says to it 'Be,' and it is.

--- Notice: it said in 21, "It is a matter (so) decreed."

And 35 says, "When He (God) decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: 'Be!' and it is.

God didn't 'have' a Son, but He DECREED that Mary would have a righteous son. --- Almighty God who is the author of life can say, "Be" and it comes into being. --- And this is what it said some 600 years before, in Luke 1:

34 Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?"

35 And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

--- Notice, "Will be CALLED the Son of God."

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In the Quran it says "God is not begotten or does He beget." --- Then how did all the people come on the earth? --- He didn't 'beget' them as children, but He "Created them," did He not?

When God said, "Be," --- and the Son, Jesus, was implanted in the womb of Mary, was that not a 'new creation'?

Notice a little more in Luke 1:

35 "The power of the Highest will overshadow you. --- The Power of God would come upon Mary and as it says in Surah 66:

12 Yusuf Ali: And Mary the daughter of 'Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our Spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).

12 Palmer: And Mary, daughter of Imran, who guarded her private parts, and we breathed therein of our Spirit and she verified the words of her Lord and His books, and was of the devout.

12 Rodwell: And Mary, the daughter of Imran, who kept her maidenhood, and into whose womb we breathed of our Spirit, and who believed in the words of her Lord and His Scriptures, and was one of the devout.

12 Sale: And Mary the daughter of Imran; who preserved her chastity, and into whose womb we breathed of our Spirit, and who believed in the words of her Lord and his scriptures, and was a devout and obedient person.

 

So 'the Power of the Highest was the One who was with God from the beginning, and through whom all things were made, John 1:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made through Him (the Word), and without Him nothing was made that was made.

So the Word was with God from the beginning, and through the Word (Logos, the creative power of God), all things were made.

--- And it said, "The Word was God," --- He was the Manifestation of God to the world through Jesus.

So Jesus was not God, nor did Jesus 'create,' --- but the Word took the position of power when He entered the world in the Person of Jesus. --- So Jesus was human, and the Word displayed the Power of God through Jesus.

If you look at another verse it gives similar information in Surah 4:

171 People of the Book, go not beyond the bounds in your religion, and say not as to God but the truth. --- The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only the Messenger of God, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him.

--- So Jesus was the Messenger of the Three in heaven, God (who was called the Father, --- the Word, --- and the Holy Spirit.

God 'decreed' that Mary would have a holy or righteous son, ---

--- So, the Power of God (not God Himself, but the Word came upon Mary to give her the miraculous Child, --- then the Spirit of God breathed life into the new creation.

The Word (Logos, the creative power of God) did the 'creating,' and the Holy Spirit 'breathed' life into the child.

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To continue:

I want to go back to these verses in Surah 19:

19 The angel said, `I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may give thee glad tidings of a righteous son.'

20 She said, `How can I have a son when no man has touched me, neither have I been 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."

 

So God had 'decreed' that the Virgin Mary should have a righteous son, --- He was appointed as a Sign to the Jews, as it says in Surah 3:

47. She said: "O my Lord! How shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?" He said: "Even so: God createth what He willeth: When He hath decreed a plan, He but saith to it, 'Be,' and it is!

48. "And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel,

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, and obey me.

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

 

--- Jesus was the Sign to the Jews, and of course to the Christians. --- Even His death and Resurrection was a Sign in Surah 2, where verse 71, refer to the sacrificed heifer, --- then

72 Sher Ali: "And remember the time when you killed a person and differed among yourselves about it, and God would bring to light what you were hiding.  

73 Then WE (God) said, `Compare this incident with some other similar ones' and you will discover the truth. Thus does God give life to the dead and show you HIS Signs that you may understand."

 

Again, remember that this was written to the Jews in Madinah to remind them of the disobedience of the Jews in the OT where they worshiped the calf and transgressed the Sabbath and had to offer a sacrifice, --- then the admission of 'killing the Messiah, the son of Mary.'  --- So the Signs were well established.

 

Then we can go to the next part of 19:21 --- 'a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us'

How could the Virgin Birth of Jesus be a Mercy to the Jews?

--- What does Mercy mean? The dictionary says: Forbearance; compassion; willingness to forgive; leniency; kind treatment; a blessing.

--- A blessing is usually something not earned. --- Like an added favor.

Often we find Mercy and Grace together, so what is the difference?

Somebody said, 'Grace' is getting what we don't deserve, and 'Mercy' is not getting what we do deserve.

--- So 'Mercy' is the 'embodiment ' of 'Grace.'

Grace comes first --- God was providing an answer to man's sin that separated him from God. He sent to the Jews the Messiah and Redeemer He had promised from the Days of Adam, and the day of Abraham.

So how did this work out with the Jews, --- the believers and the unbelievers?

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To continue:

Quote: "Grace comes first --- God was providing an answer to man's sin that separated him from God. He sent to the Jews the Messiah and Redeemer He had promised from the Days of Adam, and the day of Abraham."

The Old Covenant of Law was effective while people believed, but they had lost their way and the Northern kingdom of Ten Tribes, which was called Israel, was taken captive to Assyria in the 700's BC.

Then the Two Southern Tribes, called Judah, were taken captive to Babylon in 600 BC. --- There was a return from Babylon, and a revival in the true worship of God, but it faded again by about 400 BC.

Through those 400 years before Jesus came, there was Temple worship, and services. The different religious groups were the Pharisees, --- The Saducees, --- and the Essenes. --- The Essenes were the remnant of true believers who followed the Scriptures and observed Prophecy, which said that 'one day a virgin would give birth,' as it says in Isaiah 7:

14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a Sign: "Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son." --- (Notice this is the first mention that the Son born to the Virgin, would be a 'Sign.')

--- And it was believed that from the Essenes came Zecharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. --- Then also, Joseph and Mary, whose genealogy dates back to Abraham, and Adam.

 

The New Covenant came in a different form. --- While the old Covenant was based on 'obedience to the Law,' --- the New Covenant was to be built on Faith and Obedience. It says this in John 1:

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

 

The changing of the Covenants is explained to the Jews, and to us, in Hebrews 8:

7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.

8 Because finding fault with them, He says: "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—

9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

 

Notice these words, "I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

So, this was God's Mercy, --- remember the former verse in Surah 19, "We (God) wish to appoint him (Jesus) as a Sign unto men, and a Mercy from Us':  

And apply this verse as well:

14 "And the Word became flesh ( or, 'indwelt' the body of Jesus) and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

--- So Jesus came as the embodiment of Grace and Truth.

Where it says, "Among 'us', and 'we' beheld His glory," --- that refers to John and Andrew who were the first followers or disciples of Jesus;

 

So Jesus came with Grace and truth, --- as a Blessing to the Jews, declaring 'amnesty,'

"Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

--- That is GRACE, --- giving them pardon, which they didn't deserve. --- and

"I will be MERCIFUL to their unrighteousness," --- So there is MERCY, --- not giving them the punishment they did deserve for their unrighteousness.

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To continue:

Again, referring to this verse directed to the Jews in surah 19:

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."

So Jesus was the Sign prophesied, and the MERCY (blessing) from God unto mankind.

And he began teaching the people, no new laws, but new 'attitudes.' --- The first part of the Sermon on the Mount is called "The Beattitudes." --- It comes from the word "Beatify" which means "To make happy," --- so the verses start with the word "Blessed," --- the state of "Being Happy." Matthew 5:

1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.

2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

In this teaching you can see the main theme of the Gospel Message, "Love God, and Love your neighbor." --- This is what is missing in our world today.

--- Can you find any flaw, or any weakness, or any prejudice in His words? --- But the closing line says it all,

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

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To continue:

The following verse in the Sermon on the Mount is one that is often used, and misunderstood, in 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.

--- Yes, it was Jesus who changed the Law, not Peter, John, James, or Paul. --- If we were to do a study of each of their writings we would find they fulfilled the Law by the new 'Law of Love,' expressed in attitudes.

So it becomes a matter of truly believing in God, with love in your heart, which is given by the Holy Spirit. showing love for God, and your neighbor, so that you do the right things toward all men.

 

18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

--- This is hard for us to undertand, but if God has a perfect filing system, He will have everything fitting in it's place. --- However, I want you to notice the 'grading system' it suggests. --- We are not perfect, and we don't always say and do things perfectly, and it says,

--- "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven."

 

He is not talking about the Ten Commandments which are a 'code of ethics' to be followed, but He is talking about the new 'principles' He puts in our mind and heart, when we follow Him. --- The Beattitudes, were spoken to the common people. and the common people followed Him. --- He said, "Those who break some of these new commandments, and teach other to break them," will have diminishing rewards in heaven.

--- "But whoever does and teaches 'these new principles,' he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." --- Righteousness is obtained by Faith in God, and love for Him and others, and the result is, --- right actions or 'good works' done with the right attitude.

 

Then He zeros in on the religious leaders who had lost their way Spiritually, and Jesus said:

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.

--- He makes this definite statement to the common people, that the present leaders, "will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

 

We will see how there principles work out in relation to the former laws.

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In Post 1, Elihu said:

Quote: I am fully aware that Muslims reject the atonement through Christ, but what is their "alternative"?

While I have touched on different aspects of the 'atonement for sin,' I thought it important for readers to know more about the nature of Jesus Christ, who was the one who 'made atonement,' --- 'at one ment.' --- He who brought us back into harmony with God, or 'at one' with God so that we believe in Him and can pray to Him as our heavenly Father, --- as we are His 'adopted children.'

In the Beatitudes, or the 'new attitudes' in the teaching of Jesus we see 5:

8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

8 Those who have surrendered their will to the will of God are His vessels to fill with His Holy Spirit. --- This is when they are 'pure in heart,' --- or 'single minded' in their service to God. --- And we see the works of God.

9 One of the main attitudes of those who serve God is 'Peace.' --- They are at 'peace' with God, and are at 'peace' in themselves, --- and they spread 'peace' among others. --- It says, "Blessed (happy) are the 'peacemakers' for they shall be called 'sons of God.' --- Their attitude and lifestyle exemplify the nature of God, so the 'true believers' are identified as 'God's children.'

 

--- I have to say I am sorry about the many why leave a bad impression and have no peace in themselves, so it shows that they have no real relationship with God. --- They may be seeking, or halfway committed, but until one commits their life completely to God, they are still hanging onto the world.

10 You can be sure that the ones dedicated to God's service will be persecuted by unbelievers, --- but, the verse says, "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

 

Are there some mentioned in the Quran who fit this category?

How about this list of works in Surah 2:

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 Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him (God), 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.

That was given in the first or second year of the Hijrah in Madinah, and again in year 9 of the Hijrah, a year before Muhammad's death, in Surah 9:

18. The mosques of God shall be visited and maintained by such as believe in God and the Last Day, establish regular prayers, and practise regular charity, and fear none (at all) except God. It is they who are expected to be on true guidance.

20. Those who believe, and suffer exile and strive with might and main, in God's cause, with their goods and their persons, have the highest rank in the sight of God. They are the people who will achieve (salvation).

 

So in he Beatiudes, Jesus revealed the right relationship with God which is expressed in humility and service to our fellow man. --- Starting with a change in direction, and a 'new attitude' in life in Matthew 5:

After to mentioned the various classes of believers as 'the salt of the earth,' and 'the light of the world.' --- with the understanding that a 'light' draws others to it, and of the righteous it says:

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

--- Notice the wording, "And glorify YOUR FATHER in heaven. --- You see, as believing Christians we are identified as 'children of God, or 'sons of God,' --- So if some take offence at believers being called 'sons of God,' --- The Scripture won't change, so I guess you will have to accept it.

Next we will tackle the real issues with the Pharisees, who didn't fit the categories.

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To continue:

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."

So Jesus changed the approach or the attitude to the old laws that were being broken, or disregarded anyway. --- Let's begin with this law in the following verses:

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.

--- The attitude of anger is the same as murder, and to be angry with someone without cause speaks of envy or jealousy, which can lead to 'wanting to get even by inflicting harm.' --- So he may bring judgment on himself by his action against others.

 

"And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council."

The word 'Raca' is a belittleing term; meaning an empty, vain, or worthless fellow, --- a term of contempt, suggesting that someone is not too intelligent. --- He may be brought before the council and warned about his manners and arrogance.

 

"But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire."

--- This word, that is quite mild in our society, referred to one 'lacking in Spiritual understanding.' This is in the area of judging another, so that judgment may come back on us. --- So any unkindness to others can be what arguments are made of, which can lead to anger, hatred, and murder.

 

--- As an example of keeping a good attitude and relationship with others this is a test:

23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

It does not say, "If you have something against your brother," --- But rather, "If a believing brother or sister has something against you."

God may not accept your offering till you are in right relationship with that one. --- Then when you have reconciled and are in harmony with others, you are in the right attitude to present your offering to God.

--- Jesus stated how these principles can affect our relationship to others, and they are not laws, that you are judged on if you don't obey.

They are principles that will be observed by each person themselves as they become more obedient and dedicated in their service to God.

 

The result of saying, "You have heard, --- you shall not murder."

--- "But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause," --- (has the spirit of murder in his heart, and can easily be motivated to violence.)

Do you know any angry men?

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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."

To continue from this verse in another of the Ten Commandments in Matthew 5:

27 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

--- This is where we see the difference in simple marriage of one man and one woman who are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together, --- and any multiple wives or whatever society may decide. --- God's word says in Genesis 2:

24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

 

And it speaks of the same marriage law being in effect as Jesus says here, in Matthew 19:

4 And He answered and said to them (the Pharisees), "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’

5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

--- This says that the ideal marriage before God is, 'one man and one woman for one lifetime.' --- If a husband or wife dies, then the other one is free to marry again.

 

And the further teaching about avoiding immorality in a wayward society is found in 1 Corinthians 7:

1 "It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.

3 Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.

4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.

--- From the beginning marriage was to be a sacred union before God. --- One man and one woman, --- and the children were the reproduction of them both as 'one flesh,' --- and so life continued.

 

Now the difference with Christians who belong to 'the family of God' --- who are 'born of the Holy Spirit' and have been redeemed to a higher standard, --- we are seen as 'brothers and sisters,' in one family. We are to love one another and be in harmony, but with no thought of sensuality. --- This may surprise you, but in our Evangelical Churches, we greet other men with a handshake, and sometimes a hug, and the women greet each other with hugs and kisses, and the women greet the men with hugs, and someimes kisses. --- Everyone has their own wife or husband, but the same way as greeting our family members, we greet our spiritual brothers and sisters.

--- You see, if you so much as look at another man'e wife, and picture having a sexual relationship with her, you have violated your own righteousness before God.

If the Holy Spirit rules our heart and mind, then He keeps our thoughts and desires above immorality. --- It was customary in the Churches to greet one another in this manner:

Romans 16:16 "Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you."

 

1 Corinthians 16:19 "The churches of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you heartily in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.

20 All the brethren greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss."

 

2 Corinthians 13:11 "Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.

12 Greet one another with a holy kiss."

 

1 Thesalonians 5:26 "Brethren, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss."

 

--- And this was the greeting from the Apostle Peter:

1 Peter 5:14 "Greet one another with a kiss of love.

Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen."

--- So Churches that follow the pattern of the first NT Church in Acts, follow the same expression of love in the new attitude of 'brothers and sisters in the Fanily of God.'

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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."

 

We will move on to the law of retaliation in Matthew 5:

38 "You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’

39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also."

--- This is a big change because everybody wants to fight for their rights, --- so the best advice is, "Don't become a follower of Jesus," because He never 'fought for His rights.'

The Scripture says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord.

It was because of 'an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth' that the Jews got fighting among themselves, and lost their heritage and were scattered among the nations of the world.

Is this not what happened among the Muslims after Muhammad's death? --- In year 10 of the Hijrah, at his 'Farewell Pilgrimage,' Muhammad declared that he had fulfilled the Mission that God gave him, to remove idolatry from Arabia and return them to the worship of One God. --- He brought in a temporary peace that was short lived, before rivalry began for the leadership.

--- But that is all history, --- and are things better or worse today?

 

39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

--- This has to be undersood in the right sense. --- let us say that two Christian brothers disagree (as they often do), --- usually things can be discussed and reconciled, but let's say that one gets so angry he slaps the other. --- That is an evil action, so, what is the reaction?

If the other person is angry enough to strike him back, then you have an exchange of evil actions, --- so if it comes to that you can either get involved which often is seen as taking sides, --- or you can back away and let them fight it out. --- Whatever. --- Often innocent people are drawn into problems that are not their own, so they may have to let things settle down until reasoning returns.

Whereas if two are disagreeing and one gets so angry he slaps the other's face, --- He vents his anger, and waits for the reaction. --- This is where the person who provoked the other one to anger, might stop, and realize he offended his fellow believer, and might say he was sorry, --- or he might test the other by turning the other cheek and allowing himself to be slapped again. --- This is a challenge to the first offender.

--- When you don't respond by striking back, --- but you allow the other to strike again, if the anger is still there, --- usually the attitude of the first offender will have changed and he will be convicted of what he did, and say, "I'm sorry I struck you." --- The other might say, "I'm sorry we got in such a heated argument." --- So when you see them both apologizing, the worst is over. --- They might mutter under their breath, "He makes me so mad," but they will realizeI they have to avoid those arguments, and control themselves. --- Christians are meant to be 'peacemakers,' so later when reason returns, these things can be discussed with the intent of resolving hard feelings, --- because Christians are not to carry grudges, either.

 

40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also.

41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.

42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

--- Yes, these things happen as well. --- The interesting thing though about giving to those in need, or lending and giving money, is that when we are 'guided' by the Holy Spirit, He often weeds out the deceivers, so you don't have to rely on your own thoughts. --- Sometimes you don't feel a direct leading to give or not to give, and if one is so inclined, it is better to give in good faith as an act of generosity, --- because it is better to err on the side of good, --- than to refuse someone who needs your help.

--- These are great "Life lessons" and we live them all the time. (God repays generously for that which we give away.) --- It is another item of Faith that what we have is not our own, as though we should selfishly cling to it, but by the 'law of 'reciprocity' (reciprocal giving), --- God usually returns to us more than we give to Him.   

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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."

 

Matthew 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

--- Jesus said, "You have HEARD that it was said, --- "Love your neightbor, and hate youe enemy."

But they would have to have HEARD IT, because it is not written in the OT.

However, the Pharisees taught that because they had a lack of respect for all but themselves. and they hated the Gentiles, the Romans, even the Samaritans who were Jews whose land had been infiltrated with foreigners, so some had become a mixed race. --- And the Jews in general hated them all. --- This is verified in John 4:1-42.

When the Jewish teachers changed the law and gave permission for people to 'hate their enemies,' they damaged their society because, --- if neighbors who lived side by side got into a dispute about land or fences, or whatever, they could see their neighbors as their enemy and begin to hate them. --- It develops into a selfish, "Everybody for themselves" society.

So the Pharisees, who should have been the examples in keeping the Law and loving their neighbor, --- disregarded God's Law, and added their own convenient rules. 

 

--- And Jesus continued:

44 "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,"

--- That is a turnaround, but that is the attitude of the 'Beatitudes," --- Love God and love your neighbor. --- If you do something helpful or generous to a friend, neighbor, or stranger, you are setting yourself up for a blessing. ---

 

45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven"; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

--- God can bless good and generous people in the midst of evil and unjust people, and sometimes the evil and unjust people come to love and trust God, too.

 

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

--- It is simple reasoning that most people are congenial and treat their friends and business associates in an acceptable way, and it uses the 'tax collectors' as an example, because they were not well respected by anyone, --- but they would show respect to one another.

 

But Jesus teaches to go beyond that and, "Show love to your enemies, bless those who would curse you," --- and pray for them, --- "That you may be sons of your Father in heaven." --- That you may be His representatives wherever you are.

 

48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

--- The word 'perfect' when applied to people does not mean, 'without flaw,' --- but rather it means, 'complete' or 'spirtiually mature.'

We can never be as perfect or complete as our Father in heaven is, but we know that He gave us the 'standard of perfection' in Jesus Christ, and we are to try to attain to that standard. --- This is why we need the Holy Spirit to guide us in all things. --- I am sorry about the many times that we fail.

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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."

 

Next Jesus talked about charitable deeds in Matthew 6:

1 "Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

 

This simply shows humility in giving whether money or assistance.

--- If you are looking for praise from men for giving something, and men praise you, then you have the reward you are looking for, so there is no reward laid up for you in heaven.

 

If you do something to get glory from men, and they put your name in the paper, --- then you have the recognition you wanted. --- But Jesus said:

3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.

 

I like this verse that explains good works in Surah 2:

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 (God), 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.

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