Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ongoing Arguments.

The following is another answer to a letter I've received from visitors to this site and readers of my book. As usual, I believe my answer serves to reveal the contents of the original letter that prompted my reply.

As for your idea that I drew conclusions and then proceeded to research to find the proof, you truly have it reversed. When I began to study the Holy Books of all three religions, I was curious, especially about Islam, which I knew nothing about. It was only after I had studied the Koran that it finally dawned on me what Muhammad was actually saying. And, as I said to you before, I am NOT INTERESTED in which rules for daily life you or anyone follows, aside from the Ten Commandments, which all three religions try to embrace. Otherwise, I couldn't care less if anyone wants to sacrifice a cow on any day of the week. I am strictly concerned with what the Prophets revealed about God and the Promised Messiah.

Now, onto particulars! You advise me: “If you want to argue stuff, please do so with more knowledge and less hate.” I honestly cannot understand how you perceive “hate” in any sentence I’ve written, including my whole book: “Of
Promises and Previews.” And that is especially true of discussions of Muhammad, whose role as a God-sent Prophet commands my full and sincere respect. But I do NOT honor the CLERGIES of all three religions, and perhaps that is how you
think you see “hate” in my words. However, I certainly do NOT “hate” them—I am disgusted with them and their centuries-long efforts to prove their own religion the “Only Truth.”

In addition, “everything” is certainly not about Israel. Essentially “everything” is about the “gross darkness” that the Hebrew Prophets specifically described, which humans can now create through nuclear weapons. The “war” against modern Israel’s existence, on the land that God gave them, can
become the reason those weapons will be used. Thus, the darkest prophecies can readily be fulfilled, though the Prophets also told us we could avoid the “darkness” by turning our hearts to each other (Isaiah 60:2; Malachi 3:24/4:6). It is WISDOM for us to avoid the darkness--not because it will be the time of the Judgement--as you so glibly dismiss it--but because it will be a horrific nightmare that will not be relieved until the Messiah comes to rule the world from Jerusalem. You think the Judgement is at hand--but we have prophecies to see fulfilled before that happens--and I hope, for your sake and everyone's--that you and the billions like you have learned not to promote division before you are judged!

IF Jews, Christians and Muslims reconcile their concept of the One and Only Lord God, as Muhammad taught, they would lead the way for all mankind to “turn” their hearts to each other. And we could create a peaceful world that would
welcome the Person Muhammad described as “…the Messiah, Isa son of Marium…” who “… does not disdain to be a servant of God” (Women 4:171-172). In the course of writing my book, I have studied numerous English translations of the Koran and
some of them translate the Messiah’s name as “Jesus” and some call him “Isa.” But every one of them speaks of him as the “Messiah.” Muhammad was “simply” trying to explain to Christians (and Jews and Muslims) that the Messiah is NOT a
god, he is “the Messiah”—who “does not disdain to be a servant of God.” I’d sincerely like to hear why you, as a Muslim, ignore that elementary message that Muhammad spent his life delivering to mankind.

Aside from the Ten Commandments, which all three religions honor, I am NOT interested in what you and all believers eat and all the other various rules observed by the individual religions! My only concern is what ALL the Prophets
told us about God and the Messiah He promised to send us. On those subjects, the Prophets NEVER contradict each other. It is the individual CLERGIES that are so busy contradicting what other religions teach about Them and—sadly—it is the
clergies that you are so busy quoting.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Ignoring Muslims, Christians and Jews

In the last few months, I’ve received numerous letters from readers of my book and visitors to this site, which have prompted me to answer them in detail. I’ve now decided to print some of those answers here for those who haven’t written but could be interested in the ideas expressed. I believe the content of the original letter from a visitor is self-evident in my reply.

Dear Commentator,

In truth, I have little respect for how Muslims, Christians and Jews interpret their Scriptures! I do not learn about their religions from THEM or THEIR CLERGY. Instead, I listen very closely to the Prophets of all three faiths. I wrote my book, “Of Promises and Previews,” in the hope that others would also learn from ALL the Prophets, who told a continuous story. In fact, the Prophets never contradict each other. It has been the clergies that have tried to prove their own religion the “only true faith." By so doing, they have spread the hatred that plagues the world and now threatens to start a nuclear war. But, the Prophets also tell us that we don’t have to suffer that war and the "gross darkness" (Isa. 60:2) they vividly describe. And that is my sole purpose for writing my book: the Prophets precisely described a nuclear winter, but they also told us how to avoid it. And therein lies my whole focus.

You, on the other hand, do not even mention those prophecies, but busy yourself with other matters that fail to capture my interest. For instance, I do not pretend to know the precise individuals God will condemn. In fact, I think it a grave error on your part--and all who join you--in your presumptuous proclamations about who will be saved and who will be condemned!

The God I worship and the Messiah He promised us will take care of judging us. I am solely trying to awaken people to Their Promises and the Previews of them. Some of those Promises can be fulfilled in our lifetime in the form of a nuclear war, the nuclear winter that follows the war and the eventual return of our Messiah to deliver us from our manmade horrors. But some of those Promises told us how we can avoid the prophesied destruction and experience the joyous return of our Messiah. In short, I'm simply not interested in the mysterious statements in the Book of Revelation that occupy you. I stay concerned with the realities of our world, which does not include conjecturing on the identify of "beasts." Nor do I think that mouthing phrases like "trying to live in peace with others” is worth a penny! People have been saying such things for thousands of years--it doesn't work! Nor does preaching "tolerance," and all other fine sounding sayings, mean anything in practical life.

We urgently need an improved and enlarged understanding of God and our promised Messiah, which we can gain by studying what ALL the Prophets told us. Without such understanding, the extremist Muslims will FULLFILL the most dreadful prophecies, which they believe it is their God-given duty to fulfill. And, sadly, they are probably right, since someone must fulfill them, if we refuse to grow wise enough to avoid them!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Elementary but Essential Information

Recently, I received a letter from a Christian visitor to this site who has been reading the Koran. He's asked me a reasonable question that I suspect has occurred to others. He questioned why the Koran, when repeating some Biblical stories, clearly contradicts the Biblical accounts. He cited, as a glaring example, the story of Abraham sacrificing his son. In the Hebrew Scriptures, Abraham attempts to sacrifice Issac (Gen. 22:1-12), but in the Koran, he offers Ishmael (37:102-107). In reply, I provided an excerpt from
Chapter 21 of my book, "Of Promises and Previews." And now I've decided to include it here, in case others have asked the same question, without expressing it.

An excerpt from Chapter 21, entitled "A Promise Resounds Across Arabia."

During the next 22 years—the rest of Muhammad’s life—Gabriel occasionally visited him. With each visit,
Gabriel revealed more of the Koran, which means “the Recital.” In turn, Muhammad recited Gabriel’s
messages to persons he trusted. At first, his recitations were memorized and passed by word of mouth. As belief in Muhammad grew, literate believers recorded his words on any available material, including stones, scraps of leather, and palm leaves.

After Muhammad died, Islamic authorities spent years collecting the verses and determining their authenticity, before publishing an authorized version of the Koran. The original Text, however, was written in a script that contained no vowels or diacritical points, which left the meaning of some words in doubt. To this day, official readings of the Koran vary, but they are all considered of equal authority.

Muslims firmly believe that God is the Principal Speaker throughout the Koran, though they also believe
Gabriel and Muhammad speak in specific passages. Still, the need for the first Muslims to memorize Muhammad’s recitations, record them on any material at hand, and collect them years later, has aroused reasonable suspicions about the Text. Today, even some devout Muslims doubt that Muhammad delivered every word included in the Koran. Furthermore, Koranic versions of certain Bible stories unmistakably differ from their Old Testament counterparts. Jews and Christians have always cited those glaring differences as proof the Koran was invented by Muhammad and other illiterate, ignorant Arabs, who cunningly used religion to gain power over their even more ignorant kinsmen. In truth, most Arabs knew little or nothing about Biblical persons and their deeds. After hearing only brief references to the numerous Bible characters, they could have easily erred when repeating the stories (even as today’s schooled Jews and Christians, when speaking extemporaneously, sometimes confuse particulars). The Koran, however, never alters the essential teachings of the Testaments.

In fact, the Koran was never intended to merely repeat Bible stories in the Arabic language. The Sacred Book of Islam brings its own messages. And many of those messages severely chastise Jews and Christians for corrupting their Scriptures in far more serious ways than by confusing the words and deeds of a few people!