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shah_gee

Who Is James Of The Gospel Of Thomas?

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To continue in Matthew 6:

Fasting to Be Seen Only by God

16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.

17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.

--- This is another discipline that Jesus taught in living in, what some call, --- “A life apart.”

Fasting, --- in the simplest form, is depriving oneself of food for the body. --- It can be time and other things as well, but it is the easiest to use the example of food.

--- So much of our time and interest revolves around food, does it not?

We have had different times of fasting in our Churches over the years. In a lot of Churches, fasting is rarely observed. --- However, I remember one time when we ‘fasted for a day.’

--- The idea was that with a special need that you wanted to support, everyone would ‘fast for a day,’ --- and the amount you would spend on food, you would give that in an offering. --- I remember it being hard to miss the regular meals, but it was the discipline of,

“Bringing the body under subjection to the will.”

Suppose 25 people assessed that their food for a day would be $20 each, --- then in one day they could gather $500 for a good cause, --- and if you think of it in the sense of 'truly fasting,' it wouldn’t cost anybody anything, would it? --- (As long as you didn’t have to eat extra before and after to make up for what you missed.)

True fasting is a sacrifice, you deprive yourself at the time, and when the time is over, you resume normally. --- While you’re fasting personally to be close to God, you wash your face, and appear normal, so that no one knows, except that you may not be there at mealtime.

--- “One only knows the blessing by trying it.”

We are creatures of habit, and we could get into the habit of fasting, but the real purpose of fasting is to ‘fast unto the Lord.’ We could deprive ourselves of eating, and spend the time praying, --- and this is why prayer and fasting often are mentioned together, because you can do them both together, and for the same purpose, --- to fast and pray ‘unto the Lord.’

--- Often times in prayer we may be asking for things for ourselves or help for our family and friends, --- but as we spend more time in fasting and prayer, we run out of things to ask for, and we move to praying, “Lord, let Your will be done.”

--- Then God can work ‘outside of our box’ and bless us in unexpected ways, and give us the assurance that He sees and hears us in our prayer and devotion.

In John 4, Jesus had been talking with someone, it was after lunchtime and the disciples brought food and said, “Rabbi, eat.” --- And Jesus said, “I have food to eat that you know not of, --- My food is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.”

An extension of us, --- “Bringing our body under subjection to our will,” --- is the one step further in our surrender and submission of our time and ability to God,

“So that we bring our mind and heart under subjection to His will.”

These are rather ‘heavy’ thoughts and suggestions, but there is a pattern to the ‘disciplines of Jesus,’ which I will mention later.

Placid

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To continue in Matthew 6:

--- And this is a subject that can lead us to success or destruction.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If we go into philosophy we can ask some of the basic unanswered questions of the ages:

Why are we here? --- What is the meaning of life? --- Where am I going? --- Since I didn’t ask to be born, who can tell me what my purpose is?

--- But it seems to be a reality, and we are ‘here,’ --- ideally because ‘parents wanted children’ that they could love and live with, and then train them to live and love others, to work with them, and to make our way through life.

--- But what is the purpose? --- That they will grow up and fall in love and have a desire to have children? --- Who will grow up, fall in love and have children?

--- It seems the motivation of life is love and desire. --- If we go back, we can trace this Love back to God, because He started it all. --- If we can accept that Almighty God was like a Heavenly Father, who desired to create children that He could love, and who would love Him in return, --- then we can kind of understand this cycle of life.

--- But in order for one to respond in love, they must have freedom of choice. --- So, here we are, in a rather unfriendly world, doing what we must do to survive.

If we are lazy, we hope to go through life by having everyone give to us, and serve us. --- If we are ambitious, we work our way through life and become successful. --- If in our ambition we become greedy and selfish, then we want others to serve us in a way that benefits us, and not necessarily in a way that benefits them.

Someone said, “We are to love people and use things, --- but some seem to love things, and use people.”

So the response to God and His love for us can be that, --- we take what He provides for us, and share it with others, --- meaning that we can share His love, in whatever measure of ‘selflessness’ that we desire to have. --- And, as we share, --- He blesses,

--- Or by selfish ambition we can take what God gives and use it for ourselves, and if possible, multiply it for ourselves, so that we can be wealthy in earthly treasures. --- We can provide for others through employment, as long as it benefits us, so that we remain the master of our own domain. --- Sometimes selfishness leads to greed, sometimes to dictatorship.

The pattern that has developed from, “Love God, --- Love your neighbor, --- and Love your enemy,” is that we are the vessel that God can use, if we are willing.

The Joy in living comes from Loving God and sharing His love with others, with family, friends, other believers, and showing benevolence to strangers before they perhaps become friends, --- and all done in obedience to God.

--- If we can work towards the ‘selflessness’ that Mary showed in Luke 1 when the angel Gabriel said she would have a Son, --- and she responded in verse 38, “Behold the handmaiden of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word,” --- then we are laying up treasures in heaven.

If we can have this ‘attitude’ in all of these areas of our life, ---5:43-47, our Loving, --- 6:1-4 our charitable giving, --- 5 -15 in our praying (the Scripture says, “Pray without ceasing,” which can mean also, “Be constantly in the attitude of prayer.” --- 16-18 in our fasting, --- 19-21 and in our priorities of treasures with God, --- then we will have fulfilled this verse in 5:

48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

--- In our case, this does not mean ‘perfect,‘ as without flaws, --- but ‘mature’ and ‘complete.’ --- And because our heart is right with God, our ‘treasures’ are laid up with Him in Heaven.

--- This teaching of Jesus to the disciples was the ‘Ideal.’ --- He set very high standards as being Himself, the ‘role model,’ for the Apostles who followed Him, --- and who He entrusted to carry His Gospel message to the world.

--- (I am willing to admit that we often fail to meet the standard.)

Placid

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Dear Placid,

Thank you for your highly insightful and great teachings in line with great teachings of Jesus.

First of all i'd like to wish you a happy easter feast to you, your family, church and loved ones, and may these festivities strengthen your spirits in a good way.

happy-easter.png

.. although, of course am not sure if your church celebrates it on this date, but happy easter anyway :)

You made so many good amazing points in your blessed posts, that it is hard for me to answer with justice to the light and guidance that you offer. Thank you and God bless you!

However, some points that i noted while eagerly reading and learning are the following:

- Two good forgivers = marriage

that is so true, and hope we all have happy loving marriages that help us in our closeness to God.

- The needlessness of swearing by others in order to convince of our honesty:

you know what? i thought of this many times, especially when i found myself saying "i swear to God .. blablabla" .. it kind of makes me feel like i'm degrading my previous talk, because why would i need to swear if my other talk is true anyway. it's sort of "this time i'm saying the truth ok?? because i'm swearing .. ", which of course defeats the purpose of guaranteeing perpetual sustainable honesty and unconditional trust. It also made me feel in a paradoxical way that i'm begging to be believed, and like i'm worshipping other than God.

Of course i understand that in certain occasions swearing an oath is something else, such as marriage or other such formal occasions. but while talking normally, i don't like to swear in general either. It's a great point dear Placid. Thanks a lot again !!

- Then the verse from James 4, which talks about saying "God willing" when planning something, reminds me of a verse in the Quran 18:23, 24, which says exactly the same:

And never say of anything, "Indeed, I will do that tomorrow," 18:23

Except [when adding], "If Allah wills." And remember your Lord when you forget [it] and say, "Perhaps my Lord will guide me to what is nearer than this to right conduct." 18:24

- "go the extra mile"

it is great to know now where this term comes from, and it's surely a good thing to exceed people's expectations when it comes to services and help.

- Importance of charity (secretly) & love:

it is interesting that you said how the translation is often diverted from the original word of charity, towards love, because the way i see it, charity is the key to world happiness. It is way underrated, and people usually see it as an extra thing and not a must. In Islam we have the rule of spending a small percentage of our idle savings per year in charity. Of course, imagine if all the billionaires would follow this rule, then surely there would be no poverty on earth whatsoever. Even if we use the imperfect interest-and-debt-based financial system of today. So charity can never be emphasized enough of course, and understanding that when we give things away, it isn't our things we are giving, but that God has written it for somebody else. And of course to keep it secret. It was very touching to read that even you and your wife give charity independently without making a point out of it. And it's a lovely interpretation of the right hand giving without the left knowing. And above all, the knowledge charity you are giving people like me on the internet is of the highest value, filled with love and light and guidance, much needed by all of us. May God reward you multiple times and quickly.

- Narrow gates and difficult paths for 'believers':

This is so true! It seems the more 'right' a path is, the more difficult and struggling it is. I believe we can all (especially the older people) identify with this. Especially these days it's much easier to make a living and get by immorally than morally. So it's always refreshing to read for the great wisdom of Christianity a reminder that is a blessing for all people who struggle and suffer for their conscious decisions in the path of God and His Light and Prophets. These sayings really are a Light and motivation, thank you!

- Guidance through books of Moses, Jesus, Mohamed and us competing "racing" in context to what we have been given:

This is a very important point in my life personally. It is clear to me that the basic message of all Godly religions are one and the same. There are slight variations in rituals and perceptions, which are surely all flawed in their own ways, as us humans are flawed and depend on God's forgiveness and infinite understanding of things. So personally, when i compete in the only competition i truly care about (love and closeness to God) i don't really differentiate between followers of Christ, Moses and Mohamed. Especially, because i see self-proclaimed followers of Mohamed who are less in tune with the messages than atheists (who may actually be believers at heart), and at the same time i see followers of Christ who are more soft-hearted and knowledgable, humble and wise than followers of Mohamed. So, there is a lot of truth in referring to what God has given us, and looking beyond the differences. Just because some aspects are different, and some seem to be stronger in certain areas, it does not mean that one is ahead in this race, unless the person is compared with the basic message in each. And at the same time, understanding that whichever code we may follow, we need God's forgiveness. So, for instance, a follower of Quran can easily fall into the trap of saying "hey! I'm muuuch better than the Christians because i don't say Jesus is a son of God", and will become prone to arrogance and let his faith sleep, while forgetting his own weaknesses. From an Islamic perspective this would be like the rabbit who fell asleep at the starting line, and lost the race to the persistent turtle (that's of course from the muslim perspective which states that God has no son, just as an example). So the follower of the other religion keeps up the faith and humbleness and slowly but surely reaches the destination of God, while the other one who overlooks his own doctrinal weaknesses lags behind. So, even if, let's say, saying God has a son is a mistake, it may be forgiven, while being arrogant or overlooking ones own religious deviations may perhaps not be forgiven. So, i predict that many self-proclaimed "muslims" may end up very surprised in Judgment day about the judgment of Christians being superior than theirs, even if they are full of memorized knowledge outside of the heart. Bottom line is that as a striver of a softer heart, we must take all God fearing people as serious competitors in this short race, and use the basic key indicators such as forgiveness, kindness and lovingness as a measuring tool. It's a very exciting topic, which can open up mutual respect and understanding, as well as benefit between the faiths. Of course tolerance, as well. While praying that God reveals to us evidence and Light and proof that may definitively improve our religious understanding, and get us closer to the truth in our own context.

- Interesting with Pharisees distorting meaning of scriptures:

You know, i had difficulty understanding exactly why Jesus said to pray and love our enemies. But now i understand why. And it's easy to imagine how the "hate your enemies" can be abused. I see this all the time happening. Even here on ShiaChat people abuse of the idea of cursing and hating those they believe to be enemies, for reasons that don't deserve it. In the end it ends up being a tool by the evil one to divide brothers and believers, and even (as discussed earlier) distract them during praying and worshiping. Somebody who hold grudges will most likely not have a humble and focused care-free stance during prayer. So the Word of God Jesus did this as a balancing act, in order to encourage unity and harmony. I must say, we muslims today are in need of this Spirit and thought as well to a greater extent. Syria today is the perfect example where people forget all moral and human values while swimming in their hatred spurred by the "it's ok to hate your enemies" thing. And not realizing that both actually worship the same God.

- Interesting with 10 Commandments 1-4 Vertical, 5 home, 6 - 10 horizontal.

I never thought of this one before, but it's really a beautiful deep philosophical wisdom that i can not thank you enough for. Really!!

- Love your enemies, bless these who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you:

again, this part is one of the most central teachings of Jesus, along with the giving the other cheek part. As a muslim we are not encouraged to directly do so; however, after reading your bit on the abuse of texts by the Pharisees, I can picture how it must have happened. It must have been again a balancing act, and even if as a muslim i don't intentionally do that, i can't help but respect those rules. It goes along with the "love conquers all" concept. And essentially it is a technique of getting ready for judgment day, where we ultimately don't want anything to be used against us. We want clean hands, so if it is said to us "your association with this person .. " we can say "they did this evil to us, and for God's sake we overcame our evil ego and only returned good to them" There is a verse in the Quran that reminds me of this, where God tells us about "preventing evil with good" 13:22.

Also, Imam Ali, had an interesting statement, where he said something along the lines of: 'don't love your friends too much, because they could end up being enemies, and don't hate your enemies too much, because they could end up being friends'. So basically, i think we can all agree that the only one worthy of 100% love is God Himself, and expressing this through obedience to Him and His Commandments.

- Importance of private discrete and intimate prayers in seclusion:

This is really the key as you said, i believe too. Even our highly important group prayers actually are only as good as our solitary prayers, i've noticed. Of course congregational prayers are more powerful with higher potential, but the basic building block is our private relation with God. I would personally go as far to say that even our relationship outside of prayer with God is the building block of the our personal prayers. Because that is even more private. We could be sitting in a public place while talking with God, and even less people would know that as well. Then, when we go on to make ritual prayers, that would make it even more special and focused i hope :)

- "God knows our needs before we ask":

It's funny you bring this up now, as i've been thinking about that as well (many times you talk about things that i think about, showing and proving the power of the Spirit connecting all God loving souls beyond time and space). The other day i found myself supplicating to God in a very specific way, saying please God this and that, in human language. Then i felt it was kind of not intelligent to do so, because while i say a human sentence, i obviously know what i will say before i say it, then it takes time to speak it with my lips. And at the same time, i was thinking that God knows what i want to say even more than i do. Plus, He knows if it's good for me to start with or not. So i started just supplicating in a new way to me, where my thoughts and wishes don't go beyond that. just a thought, like an impulse, and then move to the next thought. While my ritual prayer of course has pre-set words to be said, that i take more as a tuning act, and orders of God to me, that must be said. But beyond that i felt there isn't a need to say "Oh please God please bring this or make this happen .." .. it's enough to think or feel Oh God in the heart and the rest is just like a colorful bundle of light, which is how our thoughts work on a crude level. There is no need to translate to words i felt. Anyway, that's to go back to your statement of "God knows what we will say before we say it". Ultimately it made me feel like it's more important to focus on what you spoke about as well: which is "glorification & worship and adoration", while trying our best to live by the spirit of "Lord let Your Will be done".

-fasting:

fasting is again an underrated topic, which science journals are more and more discovering is a secret to success and good health. Of course the modern science focuses on material health, while the spiritual health is probably even more impacted by this. I love fasting and again, you pointed out the great teaching of Jesus saying that we should do our best to keep it secret, so it becomes a true spiritual growth. Fasting is really part of every religion and always intertwined with worship and prayer.

- "we are to love people and use things, but some seem to love things and use people"

it's always refreshing to read great quotes like that, even if the author is not specified. That is so true, and that statement alone can lead a person to salvation it seems :)

- Attitude:

In many of your blessed texts you speak about attitude. This is a great thing to talk about and thank you for reminding me again of it. That is exactly what i meant when talking about this race with contestants across the religions. There might be a Buddhist who is bordering on worshipping statues (from a visual material point of view), but in his heart has a great humble attitude, loving, understanding and kind. Not out to look for a fight, and clashing with people ideologically or pointing out what they see as weaknesses. This person might be ahead in the race towards God in comparison to a child of Israel for instance who knows in theory that there is One God and all the amazing teachings from Adam to Moses, as well as the countless prophets in between. But what i believe makes the Buddhists chance higher of being forgiven is the attitude. Attitude in every aspect of life. I love the word attitude, because it eliminates the over-rated importance of shallow knowledge. People think they are superior because they can regurgitate and parrot scriptures and narrations, but their attitude shows that whatever they have learned, did not enter the heart. Yet there are other people who have no such mental libraries, and yet have a loving and lovable attitude, while innately attracting love from everywhere. One word again, that is under-rated in my opinion is "lovable". People use the word "loving" sometimes, but when we ask ourselves how "lovable" we are, that may reveal more to us than any other act, ritual, and stored information. We can train a robot to do ritual prayers and repeat holy scriptures, but it takes a lot of self-work to live those principles and be a loving person. In modern culture the closest word used for "lovable" is "cute". And unfortunately especially men are ashamed of being "cute" beings, and see it as a sign of weakness. Also in the Arab world nowadays, where i grew up some of my life, being "tayeb" or "nice" is considered a weakness, close to mental retardation. it goes in line with the Arabic word "Ghalban", which is like "poor/unfortunate". And that is common culture nowadays unfortunately. Also, when i was in school once, as a new student, a girl once asked to walk with me and a group of people to the mall next to the school. So as we were walking around, the girl who was obviously interested in me said: "i thought you were arrogant!!" . i was really surprised, as she told me this as if it's a bad thing that i'm not an arrogant guy. So she actually lost interest in me because i wasn't arrogant. Unfortunately this is probably one of the biggest shortcomings of the world today, that being soft-hearted is considered a weakness, and so people support tyrants and dictators too easily. Anyway, i know that in life one has to be firm at times, but i believe that the more one is kind and soft-hearted, the more strong one actually will be when it counts the most. So attitude, attitude, attitude: the ultimate symptom of faith, and indicator. thank you again for this God bless.

- Finally i'd like to point out how the Lords prayer your mentioned above is so similar to our version of this prayer, which is the Opening or Hamd (Thanks) prayer.

Anyway dear Placid, thank you again for your highly insightful guidance and light in the Spirit of God, and am as always looking forwards to your next blessed lessons, while keeping you in my prayers and mind, as well as your family, church and friends.

faithfully yours'

peace seeker

(wasalam)

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Hi Seeker,

Quote: Thank you for your highly insightful and great teachings in line with great teachings of Jesus.

First of all I'd like to wish you a happy Easter feast to you, your family, church and loved ones, and may these festivities strengthen your spirits in a good way.

Response: --- Thank you so much for your appreciation and insight in relating these teachings of Jesus to your daily life.

Yes, we do celebrate Easter, we had a meal with our family on Saturday evening.

Sunday we had our Church service commemorating the Resurrection of Christ, and then went out for lunch with some of our Church Family. --- Had a Good Day.

--- I much appreciate your confidence, and for these words, ---THANK YOU FOR YOUR HIGHLY INSIGHTFUL AND GREAT TEACHINGS ‘IN LINE’ WITH GREAT TEACHINGS OF JESUS.

--- These GREAT TEACHINGS OF JESUS have been in the Scriptures since it was recorded. --- The wonderful thing is that the Holy Spirit can give us THE INSIGHT TO THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS, --- so, it is not of us, --- but by God’s enlightenment.

--- And this ENLIGHTENMENT can cross any language barrier, so that we no longer doubt that the teaching came from God’s wisdom.

--- In your “Hunger and thirst after righteousness,” you are also identifying with Jesus and His teaching, are you not? --- So you and I, are like two pilgrims sitting on the hillside, listening to Jesus speaking to the crowds, and to the disciples, His close followers.

--- You have given me the greatest compliment by saying, ‘this teaching that God has given to me’ is --- ‘IN LINE’ WITH THE GREAT TEACHINGS OF JESUS.

So the TEACHINGS OF JESUS reveal to us that God loves us, and sent Jesus to tell us so, --- and to reveal what God is really like. --- The more we study, the more we desire to be like Him, Jesus. --- And a simple way to say it is,

WHEN WE FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS, WE FALL IN LOVE WITH GOD.

--- And we seem to have a mutual desire in studying, so thank you again.

Often in studying, --- there needs to be a review, to see if the end of a subject is consistent with the beginning. --- In your insightful reading you have noticed that so much of our feelings, emotions and actions depend on our --- ATTITUDE.

Let’s recap from the BEATTITUDES from the beginning of Matthew 5.

As I said before, the word ‘beatitude’ comes from the root word, ‘beatify’ which in its simplest form means ‘to make happy.’

However, the word ‘beatify’ is no longer used, and in Scripture they have replaced it with either, ‘blessed’ or ‘happy,’ --- but neither one of them quite do the job

Now that we are considering ATTITUDE, let’s look at them again in 5:

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

--- The Amplified Bible gives the full meaning of the word ‘beatify’ in the Greek:

3 Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the poor in spirit (the humble, who rate themselves insignificant), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!

--- Wow. That gives us a better understanding of the ‘humble’ ATTITUDE, does it not?

To continue, --- although I won’t add the Amplified meaning to each one:

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.

--- These are all beautiful, are they not? --- And the promises are God’s response to our ATTITUDE and action.

The next ones test us when we are called on to prove our trust and Faith in God:

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.

--- If we have confidence in God to lead us through difficulties, we will accept the verbal abuse and persecution, if necessary, --- because with the teaching of ‘checks and balances’ ---what we suffer on the Lord’s behalf here, we will be rewarded for, in heaven. --- (Like turning the other cheek.)

Next the Proof Test --- Did we make it through to having God’s approval, --- Yes!

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. --- (In cold climates they do throw salt on ice, to melt it, but its primary purpose is for seasoning, to the pleasure and approval of the head table.)

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."

16 --- is the ‘crowning verse’ --- that others may see what we do and identify our service with God, and glorify Him, --- and not the servant.

--- And we can couple this with another ‘concluding’ verse, which is 5:

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

--- Having God’s approval, --- and attaining maturity, we are complete in Him.

And our final ‘concluding’ verse is where we ended there in 6:

21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Placid

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dear Placid,

Thank you very much again, it's very beautiful and great reminder. What us muslims can learn from Jesus and the followers of Jesus is the humble and great attitude. May the Spirit of God thrive within us and through us always, and purify us and may God guide us all with every single breath and heartbeat and action.

God bless you

your peace seeker at your spiritual service

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Hi Seeker,

Quote: And obey Allah and His Messenger and do not quarrel for then you will be weak in hearts and your power will depart, and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient. 8:46

--- What a good verse to compliment these teachings of Jesus. --- Thanks

To continue with the Sermon on the Mount Chapter 6:

The Lamp of the Body

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

---We can relate this to the former verse 21, that says:

“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

If our treasure is IN, and WITH, the Lord, ‘we should be guided right.’ --- The King James Bible says, “If your eye be single,” --- and the Amplified Bible says, “If your eye be sound,” --- the New King James Bible which I have been using says, “If your eye is good.”

--- They all mean about the same, but if our eye, and attention is singly focused on God, and what is good, then we will be rightly guided, --- and our body, or being, “Will be full of light.”

This takes us back to “Guidance” and “Light,” --- does it not? --- Remember this verse that we used before? --- Surah 42:

52 And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right path.

Notice: --- We (God) have made ‘IT,’ --- ‘the revelation of the Scriptures and Faith’ a ‘LIGHT’ --- whereby We ‘GUIDE’ Our servants.

--- Muhammad was ‘inspired by the Spirit of God’ and given insight, or ‘enlightenment’ of the Scriptures, and this prompted living the ‘life of Faith,’ which carried him through his Mission, --- and his Faith would be reinforced every time he got a new ‘revelation,’ would it not?

And God said, “You verily guide unto a right path.”

Jesus said in John 8:

12 “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

And Jesus said in Surah 3:

50 “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."

--- (Is this not the ‘Spiritual guidance’ that we all should follow?

23 But if your eye is bad (unsound, or evil), your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

--- A simple example is that when we are walking towards the light, our shadow is behind us. --- If we are walking away from the light, we are walking in our own shadow. --- If there is no light to follow, we become lost in the darkness of this world. --- So this is why we must abandon all selfish desire, pride, and prejudice, and seek the Light of God and walk on the ‘right path,’ or 'the Way that is straight.'

This follows the same theme:

You Cannot Serve God and Riches

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, worldly gain).

--- If God is our master, we will love Him, and be aware of the dangers of turning aside from Him, so we will hate, or have a strong aversion to anything that is against God, and our relationship with Him.

If we are given to following riches or possessions, we will want to cling to them and put any loyalty to God out of our mind. ‘Despise’ seems to be a strong word. --- The dictionary meaning is, “Have a low opinion of; scorn; or detest.

Often the wealthy are cynical or critical of the humble life of faith.

The Scripture speaks other places of the ‘deceitfulness of riches,’ --- and riches usually buy pleasure, though not necessarily happiness, --- and this is written in 1 John 2:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Placid

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Dear Placid,

I'm so glad that you like this verse from the Quran :) it goes in line with "come on guys!! give the other cheek .."

and of course God supports Jesus and Mohamed and us hopefully too, with His Spirit. His Spirit is such a mysteriously beautiful indescribable Light. It is beyond description for us and beyond understanding, because it is greater than we can ever grasp in our limited minds. I usually just imagine it as a very special Light.

It's really beautiful to find the parallels of bible and quran. Jesus and Mohamed. All the essential teachings seem to be one and the same to me anyway.

One of them of course the importance of selling this life for the next and being careful with ambition in this life. I think it was Jesus who said this life is a bridge to the next life, so don't build on this bridge. I always knew about millionaires (nowadays they're called billionaires), who can't sleep at night because they are so afraid of losing their money. So it's kind of easier not to have so much to lose, so one has less to worry. Jesus was the champion in this regards, as he was known to have a rock as his pillow and the sky as his roof, and his hands as his servants, and his feet as his camel. Jesus apparently didn't even marry, so he really was a true ascetic, and it made sense for him to do so, because he was especially sent to the children of Israel, who had the problem of symbolically worshipping the golden calf. Basically this problem of letting their riches getting to them and being detrimental to their Spiritual development. However, it is possible to be rich and still pious, as Kings David and Solomon have proven. But they are one of the few, who could handle being rich and still being close to God, right?

David and Solomon probably didn't love this world very much, even though they were rich compared to most humans in history, which proves that being rich in itself isn't the problem. There are people who are poor and love this world, while there are people who are rich and don't. It's really quite interesting this whole thing. So for you dear brother / father Placid and your family, i wish for you richness in this world and the next, with ever- growing closeness to the Light and Love of God , and constant connection via the Glow and Flow of the Holy Spirit of the Lord

Hope we all perform nothing but the Will of God forever in this life and the next, and in-between.

your peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

Quote: There are people who are poor and love this world, while there are people who are rich and don't. It's really quite interesting this whole thing.

Response: --- Yes, in many places the ‘poorer people in worldly goods’ are closer to God than the rich. --- Another interesting thing is that ‘the richer people in worldly goods,’ are often more ‘selfish’ than the poorer, who rely on God.

--- The rich people begin to rely on their possessions for security, so their goal is to increase them.

--- This next section deals with total trust and dependence on God, who provides our needs, --- and He invites us to pray. --- If people become ‘self-reliant’ --- they are apt to spend more time thriving to ‘make it on their own’ --- than to pray for God’s help.

--- We need to remember this verse on prayer, in 6:

8 “For your Father (in Heaven) knows the things you have need of, before you ask Him.

First, you have to get used to considering God as the Heavenly Father, who provides for us. --- Then, if He knows our need before we ask, that is evidence that He is ‘watching us.’ --- This encourages us to live with that awareness, ‘that we are constantly monitored, as we are being provided for.’

Notice this in Surah 50:

16 It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein.

17 Behold, two (guardian angels) appointed to learn (his doings) learn (and noted them), one sitting on the right and one on the left.

18 Not a word does he utter but there is a sentinel by him, ready (to note it).

--- (Now, does that make you more comfortable, or more fearful?)

To continue in Matthew 6:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;

29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

--- Most of this teaching needs no explanation, --- and the final line says, “Don’t ‘worry’ about tomorrow.” --- We are to live in such a way that we make preparations for our tomorrows in our responsibility to family and for our livelihood, --- but to ‘worry’ about it shows a lack of complete trust in God.

--- Each tomorrow will have its problems, and sometimes God is teaching us by forcing us to trust Him before we see His blessings and answers to prayer. But this should draw us closer to Him. --- Whereas, ‘worry’ (being overly concerned), may keep us in a state of anxiety.

It says this concerning anxiety in Philippians 4:

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

--- Somebody said, “Worry is like a rocking chair, --- it keeps you busy but doesn’t get you anywhere.”

Another said, “Don’t pull tomorrows clouds over today’s sunshine.”

I think you will be interested in the following article that I found here on Shiachat a few years ago:

(I will print it next, rather than make this post too long)

Placid

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Dear Placid,

Thanks for the wisdom. Indeed the issue of worrying and worrying is a big problem that one struggels with. Especially when it comes to worrying about tomorrow. Sometimes i worry about tomorrow and its issues as a result of my own shortcomings. Like, sometimes i would worry about not making a good livelihood because i'm too lazy today. That's when it gets tricky :) but of course it's always best to trust in God and His Capacity to Forgive and Guide us, even if we are full of shortcomings and mistakes.

hope you are having a great day

ur peace seeker

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This relates to Matthew 6:

(Quote from Shiachat):

The Prophet (s,), in the last year of his life, is reported to have said:

"Verily, I am leaving with you two weighty things (thaqalayn): the Book of Allah and my kindred, my household, for indeed, the two of them will never separate until they return to me by the Pond [of Kawthar on the Last Day]." (End of quote).

The first, of course, was the Quran, God’s message to the Arabs, as revealed to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. Ali knew and taught the Quran, and it seems that God gave him wisdom through the Holy Spirit to teach all the Scriptures. This gives evidence that they had the Torah (OT) and Gospel (NT) translated into Arabic before this. The Quran was written in Arabic and that would be Ali’s language, would it not? --- Ali said:

(Quote from Shiachat):

Verily, I will instruct the follower of the Torah, according to the Torah. I will instruct the followers of the Gospels according to the Gospels, until both the Torah and the Gospels are made to speak and bear witness to the following: Ali has spoken the truth and the verdict that he has given is according to what has been revealed in us. (End of quote).

The second was, his household, or family that continued in service to God.

(Quote from Shiachat):

The words of the Spirit of God reported in the selections that follow are primarily concerned with morals. These are Christian morals and at the same time Islamic morals. The simple morality taught by Jesus ('a) and which continues to be emphasized in Islam resonates in the narrations of the Shi'ah. While excessive asceticism is forbidden, we are to turn, like Jesus ('a), away from the world to find refuge in God.

From the following narrations we not only become reacquainted with the moral teachings of Jesus ('a) and with his character, but we also discover what the dear friends of Allah, the Household of the Prophet (s) found it important to transmit about him, and thereby we get a glimpse into their moral teachings and characters, too.

Muhammad Legenhausen

The Words of Jesus ('a). (End of quote).

One subject they were familiar with was ‘The Moral teachings of Jesus,’ and they used the Gospel of Matthew as follows:

(Quote from Shiachat):

28. Al-Sayyid ibn Tawus, may Allah have mercy on him, said: I read in the Gospel that Jesus ('a) said: "I tell you, do not worry about what you will eat or what you will drink or with what you will clothe your bodies. Is not the soul more excellent than food, and the body more excellent than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they neither sow nor reap nor store away, yet your heavenly Lord provides for them. Are you not more excellent than they? Who among you by worrying can add a single measure to his stature? Then why do you worry about your clothes?'' (Bihar al-anwar, xiv, 317) [6]. (End of quote).

This is further evidence that --- as well as Muhammad confirming the Gospel --- and Ali explaining it, --- Muhammad’s household continued teaching from it.

The following passage was quoted in the same article, perhaps for comparison:

From Matt 6:25-28,

25. 'Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

26. Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

27. Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28. So why do you worry about clothing?' (End of quote).

Is this not amazing? --- This confirms that they had the NT in Arabic in the time of Muhammad and his followers, --- and this is an account of one who taught from this same portion of the Sermon on the Mount.

Consider that the Gospel would have been translated from Greek to Arabic and then come down through the years in Arabic, to be translated from Arabic into English after the English language came into being, and we have it today as quoted above.

Ali also uses the first verses from Matthew 6 to teach his son about giving:

(Quote from Shiachat):

Matt.6

[1] Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

[2] Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

[3] But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

[4] That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Imam Ali explained this issue to his son Hassan :

Remember my son, that before you is a long and arduous journey (life). The journey is not only very long, exhausting and onerous but the route is mostly through dismal, dreary and deserted regions where you will be sadly in need of refreshing, renovating and enlivening aids and helps and you cannot dispense with such provisions as to keep you going and to maintain you till the end of the journey - the Day of Judgement.

But remember not to overload yourself (do not entrust yourself with so many obligations and duties that you cannot honourably fulfil them, or with such luxurious life as to be wicked and vicious).

(Distribute your wealth amongst the poor, destitute and the needy, help others to the best of your ability and be kind and sympathetic to human beings). Thus relieve yourself from the heavy responsibility and liability of submitting an account on the Day of Judgement of how you have made use of His Bounties (of health, wealth, power and position).

The only way out of it (life) is either in Paradise or in Hell. Therefore, it is wise to send your things there beforehand so that they (good deeds) which reach there before you, prearrange for the place of your stay before you reach there because after death there is no repentance and no possibility of coming back to this world to undo the wrong done by you. (End of quote).

--- It is evident that ONLY GOD COULD PRESERVE HIS WORD, and guide it through the various languages and translations--- and He has preserved it for us to believe today. So, let’s believe it, --- The Torah (OT) and the Gospel (NT), and the Quran. These are the Books (Book) that God has preserved and protected.

Placid

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Dear Placid,

Yes thank you for pointing out that many teachings are directly transfered from the bible to us via Islamic sources such as Imam Ali. This story of the birds i actually read before as well from Imam Ali, and it really is proof of how God takes good care of all His creations no matter what. And that we should not worry.

I even read about the giving the other cheek story from shia Islamic books and studying Jesus' teachings is always very inspirational. Even though we love Mohamed and his progeny, we get a different kind of inspiration from Jesus, which confirms, complements and completes the bigger picture, and promotes our faith. The Quran keeps on mentioning Jesus, Mary, the Gospels, Moses, Taurat, etc again and again. This alone should be an order for us muslims to delve into those texts, which are also timeless texts containing truths for those who seek truth.

am always hoping and looking forwards to learning new things from those books and great prophets, and their great followers.

your peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

To continue in Matthew 7:

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.

2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

--- (It is better to consider the way we ‘judge,’ after having learned the right attitudes for life from the previous chapters. --- We have learned to be ‘selfless,’ or ‘unselfish’ in our desires and actions, --- so how can that carry over into our judgment and decision making?)

Judgment involves making decisions, and that may depend on our nature, as well as our attitudes.

For instance, an ‘insecure person’ is apt to make decisions that will influence the outcome, whether perfectly wise or right. --- They may be indecisive, because they are thinking of how it might affect them. --- That may not be bad in itself, because we all might do that to be ‘self-preserving,’ to a degree.

--- They may not be ‘selfless’ --- but be considering how a decision today may play itself out tomorrow, --- so in being ‘insecure’ they want to influence, or guarantee their desired outcome. --- (Sometimes they are thought of as ‘manipulators.’ --- That may take a little thinking).

The ‘self-assured person’ might make decisions quickly, --- and if something goes wrong in their choice, then they simply have to make another decision, to correct, or readjust the situation. --- It all becomes quite complicated in life, does it not?

This is why, if we have guidance from God, and the right attitude, we should be able to make right decisions.

--- The ‘justice’ is, that the way we see situations and judge them, we can expect the same measure of judgment in return. --- Jesus said in John 7:

24 “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

To continue from Matthew 7:

3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?

4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?

5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

We understand this well enough to say, “We really can’t judge anyone else, because we have some of the same problems.”

However, --- we are called on often to ‘judge’ or ‘decide,’ --- so we have to be ‘wise and prudent,’ --- do we not?

--- This is good guidance from James 3:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.

15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

And this verse from Matthew 7:

6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

--- Another area of ‘judgment’ is, rightly handling that which is valuable.

Ungrateful people will throw away what WE might cherish. --- A gift or heirloom given in sincerity, might be sold for a small price, or given away, --- (it can be like a ‘slap in the face.’)

I worked for some years at a ‘Rescue Mission’ and we would talk to men who had problems with alcohol, drugs, unemployment or whatever.

Some were helped and some were not. --- We would often give them a little pocket sized New Testament to take with them.

--- I gave one once, and the fellow took it and began to tear it up. --- He then threw it on the ground and stomped off.

I picked up the pieces and considered whether I had been unwise in giving it. --- I might have been, --- but in praying for him, he may have been convicted later and apologized to the Lord for his action.

We live in a wicked world, and the leaders of countries have questionable motives. ---We need to be wise in our dealings, and even in our giving to others with ‘Good Intentions’ --- some have come back to rob the very ones who helped them. --- (We always need to pray for God’s guidance.)

Placid

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Dearest Placid,

Thank you and God bless us all, and may you be bathing in the Spirit of God non-stop till hopefully you enter gardens of Eden in proximity of the Lord, along with your family and friends.

Your latest post is very touching as usual, and i can thankfully identify deeply to everything you said. Again thank you so very much!

quote:

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

response:

this quote above is really what i feel every person who considers themselves religious in any way should meditate on. I can understand if a person who does not believe in life after death, and does not believe in a God, will say "why should i be good?? why should i have good conduct? "

but all too often it's the people who consider themselves religious and Godly who seem to forget the "conduct" part, which is probably the most important part. Be it in physical actions or actions through the tongue.

quote:

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

response:

i just love this description of wisdom, and how to identify it. It's among the best descriptions of wisdom i ever came across thank you.

quote:

We need to be wise in our dealings, and even in our giving to others with ‘Good Intentions’

yeah absolutely. I once had a christian telling me that he doesn't want to tell me something, and then he used the example with not feeding perls to pigs. of course i got offended because he was insinuating that i'm a pig, but apart from that it was a good metaphor. There is no point of throwing seeds on barren rock, because the seeds wont be able to grow. that's what Jesus said too, right? you mentioned this in several of the quotes in this thread, i think it was referring to gathering of pentecost.

it's tricky sometimes, to chose between telling people the truth, so they may perhaps listen, and perhaps remember one day, and keeping things secret from them. It's challenging to chose what to say and when. Not saying anything is wrong, because wisdom has to keep on flowing, and saying too much is also disastrous. i don't know.

quote:

We would often give them a little pocket sized New Testament to take with them.

--- I gave one once, and the fellow took it and began to tear it up.

wow, that was quite heroically patient of you, to be able to deal with somebody doing that. honestly i don't know what i'd do. But that must have been spiritually devastating for you. Just hearing that story makes me already feel somehow confused and upset. Hopefully the guy regreted and turned to the Lord as you were hoping.

quote:

6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

this is the first time i hear the full version. it's definitely something to keep in mind and of benefit with the most precious gift from God, which is wisdom and knowledge.

thank you again so much dear Placid. It's always wonderful reading your posts on this thread, which is an oasis of peace for me. God bless you and God bless James and Jesus and all the prophets and saints

peace

your peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

Thank you for your kind remarks. --- I am glad that you are relating to what Jesus was teaching his disciples, who were around Him, --- as well as the multitudes that heard the long message that day.

In the Red Letter Edition, it shows the three chapters were one sermon, on one day, so it would be hard to take it all in, --- but as it was recorded by Matthew, it has been studied and understood from then till now. --- It began in chapter 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:--- (Then Jesus' words in red letters.)

On another day, when He fed the multitudes with ‘five loaves and two fish’ by multiplied them, it said there were about 5000. --- Matthew 14:13-21. --- In fact it says:

21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children

So this day, Jesus saw the ‘multitudes’ and went up to an elevated position --- perhaps a place where it would be like a natural ‘amphitheater,’ so that all of the people could hear.

--- Now, notice this ‘picture.’ --- “When He was seated, His disciples came to Him.”

--- So everyone would see His disciples close to Him, who were in training to be the leaders, --- that people could go to later, as teachers.

As we continue in chapter 7 we have to realize that each new subject follows the previous lessons we’ve learned.

--- So as ‘right living’ follows ‘right attitudes,” --- even so, our reliance on God increases as we see our ‘attitudes’ in ‘judgment and decision making’ being challenged in our daily lives, do we not?

--- As Christians we are quick to pray, perhaps with our eyes open, and say under our breath, “Lord, what would you have me do?” --- Or, “Lord, what can I say to this person.”

As a Muslim, you might think that this is being too ‘familiar with God’ --- but Jesus had told us to pray directly to, ‘Our Father in Heaven.’

Lots of times we simply say “Lord, help me.” --- Remember also that it says, “God knows our needs before we even ask Him,”

--- So, as children that go to an earthly father, --- these verses make the comparison between our trust in an earthly father, --- and the trust we can have in our Heavenly Father. --- To continue in 7:

7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

7 --- In the Greek it gives the sense of, “Ask (and keep on asking) and you will receive, --- seek (and keep on seeking) and you will find, ---knock (and keep on knocking) and it will be opened unto you.

8 --- It is those who continue to ask, seek, and knock, that receive, --- and are given what they desire, in their needs, --- or knowledge and enlightenment.

--- (About your own life, and this topic. --- You were interested in the genealogy of Isaac, and down to the Apostles. --- If, at the end of that, you had said, “Thank you,” and we ended the topic, we would have gone on to other things, --- but you asked about the Sermon on the Mount, --- and you have been seeking ever since, have you not?

Also, I want to say that I am not ‘preaching,’ but simply teaching that which has been in the Scriptures for all this time, and I am ‘learning’ along with you, --- So we are together ‘learning what Jesus taught His disciples.’ --- I am aware that there are others who read our posts, and hopefully, are benefitting from what Jesus taught about ‘attitudes, lifestyle, and action,’ --- the same as we are.

--- I say that I am still learning because that is the sense of ‘asking and keep on asking.’ --- Would you say your live has been enriched by being a “Seeker,” --- and continuing to, ‘ask, seek, and knock’?)

9 and 10 give the simple comparison, --- and naturally our earthly fathers can be trusted to give us what we ask for, --- and not a useless or negative thing.

11 (The comparison) --- “If you then, being evil (that does not mean wicked, but of a sinful nature, compared to God’s Perfection and Righteousness) --- and we still know our responsibility in giving ‘good gifts’ to our children (who ask us).

HOW MUCH MORE WILL YOUR FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN GIVE GOOD THINGS TO THOSE WHO ASK HIM?

--- Something to note: --- When the Jews were disagreeing with Muhammad early in his time in Madinah, --- it says this in Surah 2:

144 We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad).

(Muhammad had formerly been facing Jerusalem when he prayed, but since the Jews were rejecting his teaching, --- yet they thought, as long as he faced Jerusalem in prayer, he was still under their influence, --- so, in his need for guidance, he ‘turned his face upward to God.’

God then instructed him to face Mecca, and this was a ‘veiled prophecy’ that Muhammad would one day return to his ‘Hometown.’)

Placid

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Dearest Placid,

Once again, i would like to thank you for your great channeling of Jesus' teachings, way of life, attitude and actions. I can never thank you enough, so i'll just keep on thanking you on every occasion i can. At the same time rest assured that i will always thank God as well, which will hopefully directly help you become closer to Gods blessing and love.

quote:

--- As Christians we are quick to pray, perhaps with our eyes open, and say under our breath, “Lord, what would you have me do?” --- Or, “Lord, what can I say to this person.”

As a Muslim, you might think that this is being too ‘familiar with God’ --- but Jesus had told us to pray directly to, ‘Our Father in Heaven.’

Lots of times we simply say “Lord, help me.” --- Remember also that it says, “God knows our needs before we even ask Him,”

response:

not at all. muslims are also encouraged to turn to God and ask of God directly as much as possible. Of course most muslims including myself probably only know this in theory and don't practice it enough. All too often we go for hours without remembering our God once, or without asking for help in situations where we should. May God forgive us.

quote:

8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

response:

This verse really is a huge encouragement and light for anybody with good intention. It somehow empowers anybody who believes in God, that even though we are just little individuals out of billions, our hopes and wishes can be fulfilled. It encourages people to not give up and to keep on striving and having faith that some day we will find what we are looking for, and that we will be given access to enter those doors we have been knocking on. And perhaps if we haven't been seeking or knocking yet, then such verses will help us to take that step God willing.

quote:

you asked about the Sermon on the Mount,

response:

yes, i can not get enough of this Sermon and the teachings of Jesus and his spirit. It's addictive in a lovely way and am knocking knocking seeking seeking for more and more of the Spirit of God and Word of God and Love of God.

quote:

So we are together ‘learning what Jesus taught His disciples.’

response:

Yes, and it's hard being satisfied with the amount one learns, as one always wants to learn more, see more, understand more, feel more, know more, understand more, be more enlightened. One of the biggest challenges here is to be grateful for the amount one learns, and be satisfied and praise the Lord for it, even if one wants more wisdom and more unity and assimilation and integration.

quote:

‘attitudes, lifestyle, and action,’

response:

that's what it's all about. it's like a lovely circle (opposite of a viscous circle), where one has a better attitude that leads to a better actions that lead to better lifestyle, which leads to better attitude, which leads to better action, leading to better lifestyle, and so on and on and on. like a wheel that moves us forward to our beloved dear God.

quote:

Would you say your live has been enriched by being a “Seeker,” --- and continuing to, ‘ask, seek, and knock’?

response:

well, the only time i truly feel enriched is when i gain insights from God through people like you, after having asked, and sometimes God even grants without seeking, which just shows again how great and generous He really is. I hope and pray that we all keep on knocking on the Door of God's help and teachings and Spirit, till our last breath on this earth. God willing

quote:

God then instructed him to face Mecca, and this was a ‘veiled prophecy’ that Muhammad would one day return to his ‘Hometown.’

response:

this change in physical direction of prayer is a very interesting to me, and it's the first time for me to hear idea of it being also hint to future event of return to the prophets hometown and place of birth. :) thank you so much for this insight.

Am looking forwards more than ever to more more more insights please, with the blessing and permission and peace and success and victory and truth and light and hope and faith and beauty and trust and belief and love of God

God bless

ur peace seeker

(wasalam)

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Hi Seeker,

To continue with guidance and goodness:

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, “How much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

--- (I included verse 11 --- because when a verse starts with “Therefore,” it is dependent on what came before it.) --- ( Someone said, ‘Then you look back and see what it’s ‘there for.’)

--- So, ’having full confidence that God will provide ‘good things’ to us,’ (verse 11)

We go on to verse 12 which is called THE GOLDEN RULE:

--- “Therefore, whatever you want men (others) to do to you, do also to them.”

What a good rule. --- If we analyze it, we see that we should act first.

If we assess what we would like others to do to us, --- we do that to them..

--- However, --- if we are good to others, there is no assurance that others will be good to us in return, --- but that cannot be our concern, can it?

--- While we can ‘expect’ the best from others, --- we are ‘extending’ ourselves in expressing our ‘goodness’ to others, but the end result is up to them, not us.

If we are taken advantage of, from our ‘goodness,’ we again have to take it patiently, and it may be in the realm of ‘turning the other cheek.’ --- If we retaliate, we are ‘trying to settle the account,’ on our own.

If we lend money to help someone, and they know we are wanting to be helpful, --- and, though they may promise to repay it, so that we could lend it to somebody else, --- it may not happen.

There may be excuses instead of repayment, so it might become a donation rather than a loan. --- I feel that if we give to someone and do not get it back, we are acting on the side of ‘good’ --- rather than withholding what the Lord provides for us, --- perhaps, in order to share with others.

--- So it is better to ‘err’ on the side of ‘good’ and be taken advantage of, --- rather than be selfish with what the Lord has provided for us.

(Jesus was teaching some hard lessons, --- but they are in the realm of service [obedience] and self-sacrifice. --- But we bear in mind that anything we do on earth that we are not compensated for, --- God records in heaven.)

This is where life gets ‘tricky’ in a world where it is easy to be taken advantage of.

--- But God gives this instruction, to follow the NARROW WAY:

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.

14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

We see the many that follow ‘world values’ and we realize that there is very little “Honor of God,” --- in the Business world, the Government world, the Academic world, the Sports world, the Entertainment world, or in the Secular world.

The narrow way is the way that is 'focused on God, and His guidance.' To go back a little we see this verse in 6:

22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

--- And what does it say about the ‘narrow’ or ‘straight’ or ‘right’ Way in the Quran? --- It records this, that Jesus said in Surah 3:

50 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."

It says this about Muhammad in Surah 42:

52 And thus have We inspired in thee (Muhammad) a Spirit of Our command. Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith. But We have made it (the revelation) a light whereby We guide whom We will of Our bondmen. And lo! thou verily dost guide unto a right path, or a straight Way.

--- So through knowledge of Scripture and Faith in God, --- it is the LIGHT, or enlightenment that keeps us on the ‘right,’ or ‘straight,’ or ‘narrow’ road.

Another verse from John 5:

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

Placid

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Dear Placid,

Yes, absolutely. i couldn't agree more with all you said. People taking advantage of kindness and generosity is the pest every person who is religious has to deal with. It is especially hard these days, when living in a rat-race condition, where getting a job and getting promoted depends on stepping on others rights as a ladder. There are very few institutions left on earth, where the most competent ones get the promotion. We are artificially put in a situation where we are playing this game where there are less chairs than people, and when the music stops, everybody has to sit down by any means. and every time people sit down and stand up, one chair is removed. It's a fun game to play, but when it comes to livelihood, it's not that fun. Only the ones with least good manners win, who use their elbows and selfishness to get the chair. While the nice people say "here you go!" and offer the chair to somebody else. I think it's artificially induced, because this world is full of resources, but the evil one has caused people to be corrupted and to create artificial shortages and dependences. Basically, this world is poor because of corruption, and not because of lack of resources.

Anyway, lending money, without getting it back, being good to others and getting no goodness in return, etc. really is a great life-lesson. to just expect rewards from God, and not necessarily in this life as well.

and also, the narrow way instead of the wide one, also of course again, is a great metaphor. it seems that the better path to take is usually the non-conventional main-stream path, but more of a difficult one.

so i hope that God always grants us this, as taught by the great Jesus, and the likes. And may God always protect us and guide us along the way, and grant us patience to withstand lack of gratitude, return, consideration, and ease. And may God increase other people's gratitude, consideration, sensitivity, gentleness, moral behavior, as well as our own of course :)

thanks dear Placid and God bless,

your peace seeker

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Dear Placid,

Yes, absolutely. i couldn't agree more with all you said. People taking advantage of kindness and generosity is the pest every person who is religious has to deal with. It is especially hard these days, when living in a rat-race condition, where getting a job and getting promoted depends on stepping on others rights as a ladder. There are very few institutions left on earth, where the most competent ones get the promotion. We are artificially put in a situation where we are playing this game where there are less chairs than people, and when the music stops, everybody has to sit down by any means. and every time people sit down and stand up, one chair is removed. It's a fun game to play, but when it comes to livelihood, it's not that fun. Only the ones with least good manners win, who use their elbows and selfishness to get the chair. While the nice people say "here you go!" and offer the chair to somebody else. I think it's artificially induced, because this world is full of resources, but the evil one has caused people to be corrupted and to create artificial shortages and dependences. Basically, this world is poor because of corruption, and not because of lack of resources.

Anyway, lending money, without getting it back, being good to others and getting no goodness in return, etc. really is a great life-lesson. to just expect rewards from God, and not necessarily in this life as well.

and also, the narrow way instead of the wide one, also of course again, is a great metaphor. it seems that the better path to take is usually the non-conventional main-stream path, but more of a difficult one.

so i hope that God always grants us this, as taught by the great Jesus, and the likes. And may God always protect us and guide us along the way, and grant us patience to withstand lack of gratitude, return, consideration, and ease. And may God increase other people's gratitude, consideration, sensitivity, gentleness, moral behavior, as well as our own of course :)

thanks dear Placid and God bless,

your peace seeker

Greetings peace seeker,

I love your analogy about the musical chairs... you are so right... In this world, "Only the ones with least good manners win", it seems.

Thank goodness Yeshua came to tell us that it is the humble that will receive eternal life and be lifted up to high position, and to teach us another way.

In my view the only reason for poverty in this world is greed. The influence of evil to always want more than we need. If everyone just took what they needed and only their share of the pie...

well we could feed the people with '5 loaves and two fishes', so to speak. :)

we could clothe and house all the people...

God has provided more than enough, if people would just share and not feel the need to subjugate and rule...

if we could only do away with the evil of greed, and pride which leads to greed.

Salaam to you friend.

Edited by CLynn

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Greetings peace seeker,

I love your analogy about the musical chairs... you are so right... In this world, "Only the ones with least good manners win", it seems.

Thank goodness Yeshua came to tell us that it is the humble that will receive eternal life and be lifted up to high position, and to teach us another way.

In my view the only reason for poverty in this world is greed. The influence of evil to always want more than we need. If everyone just took what they needed and only their share of the pie...

well we could feed the people with '5 loaves and two fishes', so to speak. :)

we could clothe and house all the people...

if we could only do away with the evil of greed and pride which leads to greed.

Salaam to you friend.

Greetings dear CLynn,

Yes indeed, you are totally right. How many people are hoarding money, that would be enough to feed and clothe and provide for huge numbers of people? If people were happy with the bare minimum, everybody would have enough, as you said.

Thanks for your wisdom and confirming that at least in theory there is a solution to it all :)

less greed God willing and more satisfaction with less.

lots of Salaaaams back to you my dear friend

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Hi Seeker and Clynn (welcome back).

Quote from Seeker: So i hope that God always grants us this, as taught by the great Jesus, and the likes. And may God always protect us and guide us along the way, and grant us patience to withstand lack of gratitude, return, consideration, and ease. And may God increase other people's gratitude, consideration, sensitivity, gentleness, moral behavior, as well as our own of course

What a great world we could have.

Quote from Clynn: I love your analogy about the musical chairs... you are so right... In this world, "Only the ones with least good manners win", it seems.

Thank goodness Yeshua came to tell us that it is the humble that will receive eternal life and be lifted up to high position, and to teach us another way.

In my view the only reason for poverty in this world is greed. The influence of evil to always want more than we need. If everyone just took what they needed and only their share of the pie...

You are right, --- it is not need, but greed.

There are examples of Christian communities that live in harmony. I have worked with Mennonites and learned some of the Structure of their communities.

The Father of the family is honored as the head, or ‘Patriarch.’ As the family grows and children marry, they try to settle close together, usually in a farming community, which is their way of life.

--- They share with one another, and depend on one another. ---“Ideally,’ it is like the attitude of the first Church in Acts 4:

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked;

--- I say “Ideally” because that is the ‘model’ --- but in reality it is hard to maintain.

Let’s suppose there is a family with five boys who are under the guidance of the father, until the father dies, --- then each of the sons become the leader or ‘Patriarch’ to their children, --- If one son has more world values that Spiritual values, then he might lead his family away from the closeness of the community, so there are breakdowns in the structure.

However, it is the ‘goal’ to live in love and harmony. --- For instance, they don’t buy insurance for their farm buildings. --- If a man’s barn burns down, then the community brings lumber, materials, whatever is needed and they rebuild the barn and make it a community project, --- and it is an expression of service to one another, --- (You see, there is no greed there.)

--- When you really trust God in all things, even in tragedy or loss, you can say, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord.”

As we study through these 'attitudes' and 'actions' of following the ‘narrow road,’ we have to remember that this is the Way of Victory, and it needs to be a Way of Joy. --- Someone said, --- “Joy” means --- Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.

--- Even in giving to others there should be Joy, (which proves unselfishness)

Wow! --- We seem to be getting deeper all the time. --- Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:

7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

--- (The principle is, that God returns to the giver in abundance, so the giver has more to give.)

---- Someone commented once on “God loves a cheerful giver,” --- and they said, “If you can be cheerful when you’re giving, you can be cheerful all the time.”

Paul wrote this, which compliments what we have been studying, --- Romans 13:

8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Blessings on you both.

Placid

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Hi Placid,

the new idea you brought up of the importance of not only giving, but again the attitude of giving cheerfully. Of course we can give the beggar, just to shake them off, and throw at them money with a bad attitude, or we can give it to them with a smile, a nod and perhaps a silent prayer, coupled with a warm greeting. I think that in general how one gives is almost more important than what one gives. thanks for that reminder!

quote:

32Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

response:

that is an interesting verse. It actually shows that people were aware of the truth, which is that all things on earth belong to God. Even our own selves. So, it makes sense to treat things as if we were given responsibility of them by God, to care for His things. Nowadays, the disease of loving earthly things and feeling a fake sense of ownership is called "materialism".

quote:

9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

response:

yes those commandments are wonderful. with all our complicated holy books and diverse teachings, most of us will break those simple commandments one way or the other. and of course with love as the fuel for salvation. As long as we treat people the way we want to be treated, probably nobody would ever break any commandment.

thanks for your blessings dear Placid and God bless you too, and your family and loved ones

ur peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

Your responses are so perceptive, --- they really “Make my day.”

When you say, “It actually shows that people were aware of the truth, which is that all things on earth belong to God.”

--- And the basic thing that belongs to God is His Word, which He gives us the privilege to discuss, --- and really find the truth of.

Yes, the world flounders in materialism and man’s knowledge, --- but the Wisdom of God is revealed in His Scriptures, --- and this Wisdom is there for those who will study and seek God’s guidance to understand it.

Surah 2:121 Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers.

Now, I could go on complimenting you, --- but since we are ‘keyed in’ to the attitudes and actions that Jesus taught, there are some further comparisons that help us to separate the truthfulness from the falseness in others we meet.

So, I want to continue in Matthew 7:

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Do we need to say anything about this, or is it not plain enough?

--- By their fruits you will know them.

Two things to bear in mind: --- People can be deceitful, and appear to be very good (in sheep's clothing)in order to gain favor, --- but what is the end result?

--- So we need this closeness to God so that through prayer for His guidance and an awareness of our dependence on Him, we will be rightly guided, --- to recognize truth from falsehood.

Secondly, --- People are not genuinely good of themselves (they usually have an angle or a motive), --- but those ‘motivated by God' will provide fruits that last.

I want to give you such an example:

--- As you know, most Christians are, at the least, skeptically of Muhammad, and what his Mission accomplished. --- They can say, “Look at the world today, and what do we see?”

--- Others go to the extreme of burning the Quran. --- As though that changes what is written in it, or who Muhammad was as a messenger of God, --- any more than those who destroy and burn Bibles. --- (Or those who might tear apart the Bible on some topics on this forum.)

--- But they can’t destroy the teaching of Jesus in this ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ can they? --- But I must warn you: --- Once this teaching of Jesus, gets in our heart, we do not go back to being a ‘non-seeker,’ --- but we become ones of whom it spoke in Matthew 5:

6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.

In my quest to learn about Muhammad, --- his calling, his Mission, his opposition, --- he suffered the same as both Moses and Jesus suffered from their own countrymen.

--- So what was the end result of Muhammad’s Mission that God called him to?

What was the ‘fruit’ of his labor? --- Because, ‘By their fruits you will know them.’

Mr Pickthall wrote this in the Intro to his translation, on the last ten years:

Quote: In those ten years he destroyed idolatry in Arabia; --- Raised women from the status of a chattel to complete legal equality with man; --- Effectively stopped the drunkenness and immorality which had till then disgraced the Arabs; --- Made men to live with faith, sincerity, and honest dealing; --- Transformed Tribes who had been for centuries content with ignorance into a people with the greatest thirst for knowledge; --- And for the first time in history, made universal human brotherhood a fact and principle of common law. --- End of quote.

Placid

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Dear Placid,

It is my pleasure and honor to have any contribution to your day and general mood. I really like what you said concerning tearing up and burning our scriptures, and that it has no effect on us, as the teachings are spiritual. That is very true, and the way i see it, is that they are making propaganda for the quran, which will make several people want to read it. And definitely at least some will find the similarity to Christian scriptures as well.

And of course, once God blesses us with knowledge and spiritual awareness, that makes it very dangerous, as leaving that path is catastrophic for the soul. It is probably better to live all ones life in ignorance, than to gain beliefs, and then go against them. Its a bit like someone who said 'the higher we rise, the higher we can fall'. I heard about narrations of the devil having been very close to God, and some say he was the closest one, from among all creatures. But deliberately disobeying God in one occasion, was enough to eternally doom him into damnation. And of course this reason having been his arrogance and jealousy of Adam. So, thanks for reminding that one should never take ones blessings and Light from God for granted. And to be careful not to lose this blessing and Spiritual gift from God.

quote:

--- By their fruits you will know them.

response:

absolutelz. Their fruits can be words or actions, and are always very revealing indeed. and, as your example mentioned, many people are not what they appear.

quote:

Quote: In those ten years he destroyed idolatry in Arabia; --- Raised women from the status of a chattel to complete legal equality with man; --- Effectively stopped the drunkenness and immorality which had till then disgraced the Arabs; --- Made men to live with faith, sincerity, and honest dealing; --- Transformed Tribes who had been for centuries content with ignorance into a people with the greatest thirst for knowledge; --- And for the first time in history, made universal human brotherhood a fact and principle of common law. --- End of quote.

response:

it is true that Mohammad worked towards that and achieved it to some extent, however, because of the false believers and false leaders, the Arabs and world at large has returned to the corrupted deceptive ways of old again. Especially in the Arab world, women still dont have their rights, and paganism exists under of cover of pretentious beliefs. Even, unfortunately in the western world, most new generation children who live around churches, have little connection to the message of Jesus, or to any true church. And the more time passes, the more detached the generations get from the original teachings of Jesus and Mohamed and Abraham and Moses.

But for those who have studied the scriptures properly know that perhaps people got a taste of universal brotherhood after those great personalities, and that the true time where 'men live with faith, sincerity, and honest dealing, .. ', is still to come. They laid a foundation and set a spiritual cycle into place that is carried by a minority of individuals such as yourself, until the time is ripe, and the promise of God can come true. hopefully soon God willing. And at that time this Spirit will hopefully prevail for a given amound of time. Kind of like a light at the end of the tunnel, for those of us who are still on this earth and hope for a better day. :)

peace to you dear Placid,

your peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

We move on to another comparison and contrast in Matthew 7:

21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

A verse that emphasizes verse 21 is this one in John 5:

24 “Most assuredly, I (Jesus) say to you, he who hears 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.

--- This is the promise and assurance, --- that we can be saved by Faith in God and obedience to the words of Jesus. --- So what greater words did Jesus teach than this “Sermon on the Mount”?

Notice: --- In 21, not the false ‘professors of faith,’ --- shall enter the kingdom of heaven, --- “But he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

In John 5:24, “He who hears My word, and believes in Him (God) who sent Me.

--- There are many who claim to be believers, but they have no real Faith. The contrast is between ‘saying’ and ‘doing.’

22 We can assume that, ‘in that day,’ --- refers to the Judgment of mankind.

--- So, were there those who ‘prophesied in Jesus’ name,’ and ‘cast out demons in Jesus’ name,’ and ‘did many wonders in Jesus’ name’?

--- Yes, there have been those who professed faith in God and started on the road of Salvation, and after knowing the power of God in their lives, to cast out evil spirits, were discouraged or led astray, so that they denounced their faith, followed other religions, or became entangled again in the world.

I will give you two examples from the Scriptures, and we have seen it at different times among Christians.

The first is Judas Iscariot, mentioned this way among the Apostles in Matthew 10:

1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

7And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

So Judas was involved in this ministry of healing and deliverance, but he was lured away from trusting in Jesus and God’s salvation, --- to receiving money from the world, --- so he betrayed Jesus.

Secondly, in the Parable of “The Sower,” it says this in Matthew 13:

1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.

2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.

4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.

6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Notice verses 5 and 6. --- The seed that fell on shallow ground. --- Jesus gave the explanation to the disciples later in these verses:

20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;

21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

--- Many have started well and turned back to their own destruction. --- On the Day of Judgment they may plead their case by saying, “Didn’t we do miracles in Your name?” --- “Yes,” --- But they didn’t enter into a relationship to be of use to God, and the record shows their life after turning away from faith in God.

--- To them Jesus will say, "I never knew you, depart from Me."

This gives a stern warning to those who turn away, --- in 2 Peter 2:

20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, --- they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.

21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.

Another verse says, “He who endures to the end, shall be saved.”

--- (I realize this is kind of heavy teaching, but Jesus was giving the challenge to the insincere.)

Placid

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Hi Placid,

Well, it's important to absorb heavy teachings of God, so that God may bless us to be like the seeds that grow in fertile ground. It's the frist time for me to come across the metaphor that some people rejoice for a while at teachings of God, but because their roots don't find a home, it is only short-lived. That is so true! the sun burning them and also the metaphor of seeds that fall among thorny plants also don't make it, as they get entangled by them. These thorny plants also make me wonder what exactly they refer to. ( and the birds eating others )

may we become members of the kingdom of heaven, and act as seeds in fertile ground, free of other harmful plants, and may we be persistent till the end God willing.

looking forwards to more teachings that fill us with the essence of the day of pentecost and the sermon of the mount, and the sermon of the sower.

and may God always make us believers beyond claiming, and also in our every action.

peace and blessing to you

ur peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

We can look at the Parable of the ‘Sower’ next, but I want to finish Matthew 7,

This is the final comparison and challenge to each one who reads this ‘Sermon.’

24“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:

27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

*** As we recap the content of this Message we see the various personalities and lifestyles of the ‘Blessed ones’ in the “Beatitudes,” --- in 5:3-16.

*** Then the upgrading of the Commandments, with the New Commandment to “Love God and Love your neighbor as yourself.” --- 5:17-48

--- Notice this simple verse in Romans 13:

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

--- (Can you imagine what kind of society we would have if everyone was motivated by this ‘Love your neighbor,’ attitude and action? --- Everyone would help their neighbor as they help their families, whom they love, --- there would be no stealing, no lying, no violence, as ‘Love does no harm to a neighbor.’)

--- The best example of this type of community was the first Church in Acts 2:

42 And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

--- The other example I mentioned was the original Mennonite lifestyle.

*** Chapter six deals with ‘attitudes’ in our relationship with God and others.

*** Chapter 7 deals with judgment and decisions in our ‘actions.’ --- For instance, this ‘action to others,’ which is called, “The Golden Rule,” --- 7:

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

*** Then the conclusion: --- Not those who ‘hear with their ears,’ fulfill the Law, --- but those who ‘do with their heart.’ --- ‘Their inner conviction and motivation of Love for God and their fellow man,’ --- fulfills the Law, and is the fulfillment of the teaching of the Prophets.

This uninterrupted Sermon is the Gospel Message that Jesus brought, ‘The Injil,’ --- given through Jesus, recorded by Matthew, and preserved by God, Himself, --- to be read, understood, believed, and accepted.

Jesus said in John 14:

6“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

*** He said, “I am the Way,” and it says this in Surah 3:

50 --- 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.'"

*** He said, “I am the truth.” --- These three chapters are “truth” and, if all we knew and followed of Scripture was this ‘Sermon on the Mount,’ --- we would certainly be following the “Way of Truth.”

*** He said, “I am the life,” --- Jesus made this statement in John 5:

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears 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.”

--- And one of the comparisons says this in Matthew 7:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, “But he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

--- (If anyone knows another way, --- that is up to them, but to believing Christians, this is the Way that leads to Eternal Life.)

When Jesus added these words, in 14:6 “No one comes to the Father except through Me,” --- this is the challenge he left to us all.

And this is the ending of Matthew 7:

28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,

29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Placid

Edited by placid

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Hi Placid salam aleik

I didn't see you my friend since long time >>>>

As you know my friend that both christians and shia are in common about ( except through me ) >>

I will write subject about this issue .

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Dear Placid

Thank you again and again.

The metaphor of the house on the rock being stable versus the house on sand that is swept away is yet another beautiful one. thanks :wub: . is that somehow related to Simon Peter, as he is called the Rock or something like that?

God bless,

peace seeker

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A comment on Peter and the name, “The Rock.”

Most of it comes from his name ‘Peter’ which comes from Petros, which means ‘rock.’ --- His other name, Simon, means “Hearing.”

When Andrew brought his brother Peter to Jesus, He said this in John 1:

40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.

41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ).

42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

--- (There is perhaps a deeper meaning in Greek, but ‘Rock’ and ‘Stone’ mean about the same in English.)

After Peter faltering in his commitment to follow Jesus, he became a Rock, after the Day of Pentecost and he was the recognized leader of the Apostles.

However it is not true that The Church was built on one man, Peter, --- as we have discussed this before.

--- Also it is a false claim that Peter was the Pope in Rome. Peter was in Rome and was put to death there, but since the Roman Church didn’t start till after 300 AD, there couldn’t have been a Pope before there was a Church and a hierarchy that appoints a Pope.

--- One more interesting reference is in Matthew 16:

13 When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”

14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

The Christian Church was built on the testimony that Peter gave;

“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

--- Peter was the quick spokesman, but this testimony was given also in John 6:

68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Placid

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Hi Seeker,

I believe that the Sermon on the Mount was delivered in the first year of Jesus’ Ministry, after the disciples were called, --- who would later become Apostles. --- The great crowds followed Him and He taught them, and miraculously fed them, He healed their sick, raised the dead, and delivered them from evil spirits, --- as it says in Surah 3:49 and Surah 5:110.

They began to follow Him for the benefits without necessarily believing the Spiritual Message in His preaching.

--- After the basic Gospel Message in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus continued to teach them truths of God, --- but this Message is clear.

As Moses gave the ‘Criterion of Right and Wrong,’ in the Ten Commandments, Jesus gave us the ‘Criterion of eight and wrong’ in this ‘Sermon’ --- and He ends it with this firm foundation:

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:

25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

--- But at one point he used a different method in teaching the disciples.

--- Kind of like moving from ‘high school’ to ‘university.’

So we will begin with Matthew 13:

1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.

2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow.

4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.

6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.

12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.

13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:

‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,

And seeing you will see and not perceive;

15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull.

Their ears are hard of hearing,

And their eyes they have closed,

Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,

Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,

So that I should heal them.’

--- Though the disciples didn’t understand the meaning of this Parable, Jesus commended them on the understanding they did have, --- with these words:

16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Placid

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Hi Placid,

thank you i love love love you wisdom very much and hope that we all get counted as those who saw, heard and understood the deepest and brightest Truths.

may our hearts be fertile ground for the idea that Jesus sowed, and may we reap them more than a hundred-fold, rather at least a billion-fold God willing :)

may we be accepted in the kingdom of heaven, and the highest heights thereof, in the proximity of our Lord and His Light, Love, Compassion, Beauty, Grace, Bounty, Richness, Holiness, Completeness, Happiness, Peace, Truth, Trust, and everlasting Bliss. God willing in sha Allah

peace seeker

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Hi Seeker,

Before we go on to the explanation of the Parable (which you have perhaps already read), I will try and deal with the verses that precede it, that refer to the people of the Prophecy in Isaiah.

10Then the disciples came to Him and said, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

--- And the answer is almost as obscure as if it was another ‘parable.’

11 And He replied to them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets and mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.”

--- The disciples were slow learners, but they had spent time with Jesus and saw the miracles and knew the power of God, --- but it hadn’t yet become a Spiritual experience to them. --- As children have to learn to walk by faltering and falling in the process, --- the disciples would have to grow step by step. ---

12 (Amplified Bible) “For whoever has [spiritual knowledge], to him will more be given and he will be furnished richly so that he will have abundance;”

--- Spiritual knowledge has to be an inner action. --- An example might be the difference between the conscious mind, and the subconscious mind. --- The conscious mind might receive something quickly, and say, “Now I understand.” --- But conflicting thoughts might come and cause the mind to doubt the first thoughts, so one could almost say, “Now I don’t understand.”

The subconscious mind is not quick to accept without some reasoning or verification, but once a truth is established in the subconscious, it is there.

--- (We used to live close to a railroad track and going through town the trains would be noisy, you could feel a slight tremor, and when it blew its whistle, it was almost too loud for the ear. --- That reality appealed to the conscious mind. --- At night, when we were sleeping, the trains would go through with the same noise, the same loud whistle, but we didn’t hear them. --- The subconscious mind knew there was no reason for alarm. --- Yet at the slightest unnatural sound, the subconscious could awaken the conscious to possible danger or intrusion. --- So the subconscious is like the ‘sentinel’ of the soul. )

--- Another example might be a comparison between ‘happiness’ and ‘joy.’ --- If ‘happiness’ is the result of ‘happenings,’--- then it is a temporary feeling. --- Joy can be like an inner surge of emotion that is stable. --- It may be more expressive at times, depending on ‘happenings,’ --- but it has an inner source of supply.

Happiness is like the ‘whitecaps’ that bounce along on the top of the water, and Joy is like the current that flows beneath the surface. The surface ripples and waves can change with the wind, but the current of a river is constant.

So this is the mystical world of Faith. --- What happens on the outside affects the inside, but what develops on the inside stabilizes the outside.

More on this later, but to finish these verses:

12 b “But from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

--- If there is no capacity for Spiritual knowledge, then even their interest in Spiritual things may be turned off, ‘like the seeds that fell on the wayside,’ on the hard ground. --- The devil is quick to lure the weak away from enlightenment.

13 “This is the reason that I speak to them in parables: because having the power of seeing, they do not see; and having the power of hearing, they do not hear, nor do they grasp and understand.”

--- Physically they could see and hear, --- to ‘hear’ in the Spiritual sense means, to understand. --- Let’s check this line concerning Muhammad from Surah 42:

52 Pickthall: ‘Thou knewest not what the Scripture was, nor what the Faith.’

Yusuf Ali: ‘Thou knewest not (before) what was Revelation, and what was Faith’

Shakir: ‘You did not know what the Book was, nor (what) the Faith (was),’

Khalifa: ‘You had no idea about the Scripture, or Faith.

14 “In them indeed is the process of fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah, which says: You shall indeed hear and hear but never grasp and understand; and you shall indeed look and look but never see and perceive.”

--- Among the Jews who listened to Jesus, --- their inner understanding of God had been through 'laws and traditions', so the stories or Parables, they would hear with their ears, and understand the surface meaning, --- but they could not relate it to God. --- Being farmers, they would easily understand the planting of seed in good soil, --- but the Spiritual meaning was to prepare souls for the Eternal harvest.

--- From their natural understanding they did not see the Spiritual application.

Kind of like using a magnet to attract steel. --- If a carpenter spills some nails in the sawdust, he can use a magnet to draw out ‘what is attracted to it.’

--- So, with those who have some ‘attraction’ or some Spiritual knowledge, it will draw them closer to God, as steel to a magnet. --- (And then the thirst develops for more Spiritual understanding.)

15 ”For this nation’s heart has grown gross (fat and dull), and their ears heavy and difficult of hearing, and their eyes they have tightly closed, lest they see and perceive with their eyes, and hear and comprehend the sense with their ears, and grasp and understand with their heart, and turn and I should heal them.”

--- Isaiah’s Prophecy refers to the Jews in his day, who had heard the law repeatedly, and observed the leadership and the people ignoring it, and they were Spiritually dead. --- But God prophesied this through Jeremiah 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—

33 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.

--- The Gospel was the New Covenant. --- It meant an ‘emptying of the old, and filling with the new.’ --- (And many did turn to God and receive Spiritual healing.)

Placid

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