Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Revelations of Islam and Christianity

Due to the fact that Christianity had become corrupt by worshipping a trinity of three beings, instead of one God, by the time this doctrine had become orthodox and the original monotheistic Christians were declared heretics, it was time to yet again set the course straight with another revelation. And that revelation was Islam, which was given by God to remove idolatry from many nations of this world. That it was given as a revelation was shown in visions to Emanuel Swedenborg. While it was given as a revelation, not everything was revealed - this is due to the fact that polygamy was allowed, as it was in Judaism. For that reason, states Swedenborg, since a monogamous relationship is most sacred in Christianity, as it represents the union between God and man, so Muslims were not allowed to know of the Divine union that took place in the God-Man, Jesus. Instead he was accepted as a prophet. In order to reconcile this view with the Bible, Muslims either don't know what's in the Bible, or (falsely) claim that it has become corrupt. But what does the Koran (Quran) have to say on Christianity? I found some interesting statements on this topic.

DENIAL OF A TRINITY OF THREE BEINGS

Sura 5 is most definite: there is no trinity of three beings, and Jesus is just a prophet:

[5.72] Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Marium; and the Messiah said: O Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust.
[5.73] Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve.

[5.116] And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things.
[5.117] I did not say to them aught save what Thou didst enjoin me with: That serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord, and I was a witness of them so long as I was among them, but when Thou didst cause me to die, Thou wert the watcher over them, and Thou art witness of all things.

According to the visions shown to Swedenborg, there is no trinity of three beings, but rather, there is a trinity of soul, body and spirit in every man. When the Word of God made its descent and assumed a human form, a Holy Trinity was created in Jesus Christ. Before that, the Trinity did not exist.

The other statement Swedenborg made, and explained in detail in many pages, is that Divinity made its descent in degrees, gradually. As Mary (Miriam) was human, the human body from the mother had inherited a sinful nature. Thus Jesus endured incredible temptations, and was like every other human, except he never succumbed to temptation, and advanced more quickly and more perfectly than any other human born before or after him. He came in the role of a prophet, so before the ressurection, that is what he was - the human body served as a prophet. The Koran speaks of this state of being. It is after the crucifixion where the Divinity became united with the human - thus Jesus declared all power was given to Him on heaven and earth. It is this state of being that the Koran was not allowed to reveal.

A TRINITY OF BEING

As said before, there is a trinity of being in every man: soul, body and spirit. This became a Holy Trinity in Jesus Christ, as stated in the visions seen by Swedenborg. Remarkably, we find something similar in the Koran:

[4.171] O followers of the Book! do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.

Jesus is: (1) an apostle, meaning sent one, and (2) is the Word of God, and (3) a spirit from God. That is very close to the concept of a Trinity of being in Jesus Christ. The Gospel of John declares that Jesus is the Word of God incarnate. To Swedenborg, He was Jehovah incarnate, to be "sent" into the world means His body was conceived by the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to speak directly to man.

In the following verses from Sura 2, Jesus is again said to have been endowed with the Holy Spirit:

[2.87] And most certainly We gave Musa the Book and We sent apostles after him one after another; and We gave Isa, the son of Marium, clear arguments and strengthened him with the holy spirit

[2.253] We have made some of these apostles to excel the others among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank; and We gave clear miracles to Isa son of Marium, and strengthened him with the holy spirit.

The Holy Spirit, is the spirit of God which flows directly to man from the body of Jesus. It became available to mankind after the ressurection of Jesus Christ. Thus the gospel of John stated that the Holy Spirit was not yet, for Jesus was not glorified. The gift of the Holy Spirit is the reason why Jesus came.

NO SON OF GOD "BORN FROM ETERNITY"

The Koran is specifically opposed to the concept of a Son of God. This can be seen above in verse 171 in Sura 4, as well as Sura 9:

[9.30] And the Jews say: Uzair is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!
[9.31] They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).

Despite these admonitions in the Koran, the Koran declares that Jesus was born by God through the virgin Mary:

[3.45] When the angels said: O Marium, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him (of one) whose name is the '. Messiah, Isa son of Marium, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near (to Allah).
[3.46] And he shall speak to the people when in the cradle and when of old age, and (he shall be) one of the good ones.
[3.47] She said: My Lord! when shall there be a son (born) to I me, and man has not touched me? He said: Even so, Allah creates what He pleases; when He has decreed a matter, He only says to it, Be, and it is.

So, despite the fact that the Koran is opposed to the concept of a Son of God, when I have told Muslims that Jesus is the Son of God due to the fact he was born of the virgin Mary, they are not opposed to this concept. Jesus was the Son of God born in time, before that time there was no Son of God. In fact, ancient Christians knew of no other Son of God except the one born in time through the virgin Mary. A Son of God "born from eternity" before Jesus was born was a later doctrine that was invented to oppose the Arian heresy. This false doctrine is in fact the origin of a trinity of three beings. It was added in the First Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., which in fact was a modification of the older Apostle's Creed.

The original Apostle's Creed is quite simple:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.

In this Creed, Jesus is the Son simply because he was born through the virgin Mary. Now in 325 A.D. this original belief was modified in the Nicene Creed:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth];
who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man;

Notice the changes? The Nicene Creed changed the Apostle's Creed to make a Son born from eternity to later descend and be born as Jesus. The "begotten not made" statement was added to oppose the Arian heresy, which proposed that Jesus was some sort of secondary archon that was created before the world was created. But in opposing this heresy, the Nicene Creed adopted another false belief, one that does not make sense.

The Nicene Creed was further made clear in the First Council of Constantinople of 381 A.D.:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (├Žons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;

With these two Creeds, the belief in a Son of God born from eternity was invented. Such a belief was unknown in the original revelation of Christianity - Jesus was simply the Son of God, born in time, as we was born by the Holy Spirit through the virgin Mary. In the visions of Swedenborg, these doctrines which entered the Church corrupted Christianity, until now there is barely a remnant of the original revelation.

NO SUCH THING AS BLOOD ATONEMENT

The concept of vicarious atonement, where one could pay for the sins by dying in one's place, was also a later doctrine that was added into Christianity. In the visions of Swedenborg, this is another false doctrine which has utterly corrupted the Christian revelation. Jesus did indeed save the human race, but he did this by making his human body Divine, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to become available to all mankind. A Divine Human was created, once all temptations were overcome. After the crucifixion, Jehovah was able to reorder all of heaven and hell, by first making a descent into hell, and then later ascending into heaven. In both the Koran, and visions of Swedenborg, one must simply shun what is evil, and do what is good. This is the essential truth of most religions.

[4.31] If you shun the great sins which you are forbidden, We will do away with your small sins and cause you to enter an honorable place of entering.

THE "HIDDEN CHRISTIANITY" WITHIN THE KORAN

As stated before, Islam was not allowed to know the true identity of Jesus Christ due to the fact that the revelation was designed to remove idolatry from eastern nations where polygamy was accepted. Thus, he is regarded as a great prophet. However, for any Muslim who will read the Koran carefully, there are some statements given which can lead them to the truth of the original Christian revelation. Here is a collection of statements I had gathered:

First, only God (Allah) is Creator, and can raise the dead. This is declared in Suras 6:2, 38:71-72 and 16:17, 20-21, 25:3. Yet the Koran states that Jesus could do the same thing! Of Jesus it is said:

[3.49] And (make him) an apostle to the children of Israel: That I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, that I determine for you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah's permission and I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah's permission

[5.110] When Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! Remember My favor on you and on your mother, when I strengthened you I with the holy Spirit, you spoke to the people in the cradle and I when of old age, and when I taught you the Book and the wisdom and the Taurat and the Injeel; and when you determined out of clay a thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then you breathed into it and it became a bird by My permission, and you healed the blind and the leprous by My permission; and when you brought forth the dead by My permission; and when I withheld the children of Israel from you when you came to them with clear arguments, but those who disbelieved among them said: This is nothing but clear enchantment.

Jesus here is allowed to create a bird from clay, and cause it to live and fly away. The story actually comes from an apocryphal Infancy Gospel. To make it more clear, a clue is dropped in Sura 22:

[22.73] O people! a parable is set forth, therefore listen to it: surely those whom you call upon besides Allah cannot create a fly, though they should all gather for it, and should the fly snatch away anything from them, they could not take it back from i weak are the invoker and the invoked.

Why is this declared a parable? Only God can create something and cause it to live, yet elsewhere the Koran states Jesus was given the capability to do the same thing. He does not simply create a little fly, he creates an entire bird.

Here is an odd statement, where those who will have followed Jesus will be honored in the day of the ressurection:

[3.55] And when Allah said: O Isa, I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so I will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.

One thing I have noticed, is that English translations of the Koran tend to be poorly done. Here is a verse from Sura 9, that may have been mistranslated intentionally:

[9.31] They have taken their doctors of law and their monks for lords besides Allah, and (also) the Messiah son of Marium and they were enjoined that they should serve one God only, there is no god but He; far from His glory be what they set up (with Him).

In this translation, it states that other men, including the Messiah, have been worshipped in place of Allah. But that is not what the original says. In the above verse, the word "also" has been added by the translator. This is apparent in another translation of verse 31 of Sura 9 by Yusef Ali:

31. They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah. there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).

Again, words have been added by the translator. The original verse actually says this:

They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah and Christ the son of Mary

As translated, no one should be worshipped except Allah and His Messiah, Jesus Christ. This, of course, is a problematic statement for translators of the Koran, to the point they feel compelled to add words to the translation.

Next, the Koran itself states that Christians worship the same God as the Muslims do:

[29.46] And do not dispute with the followers of the Book except by what is best, except those of them who act unjustly, and say: We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you, and our God and your God is One, and to Him do we submit.

Finally, the Koran states that all should bow down to Allah in the following Suras: 2:43, 125, 131, 133, 136, 3:43, 84, 5:58, 111, 114, 7:126, 206, 9:112, 16:81, 21:108, 22:77, 27:81, 91, 39:12, 54, 41:33, 46:15, 48:29, 96:19.

And, the Koran states that all should bow down to Allah only:
6:14, 163, 22:18, 26, 29:46, 40:66, 68:41-43

That is straightforward. But in the Koran, there is a very odd story: when Adam was created, he commanded that all the angels should bow down before Adam. One angel did not, this angel was Satan. This story is not found in the Bible, and is referred to in the following Suras:
2:30-34, 7:11, 17:61, 18:50. Ultimately the question should arise for any Muslim: if the Koran states that one should bow down to Allah, and to Allah only, why in the world is there a story in the Koran that states Allah commanded his angels to bow down before Adam?

I am not sure how Muslims have answered this question, but here is an interesting reference to Adam:

[3.59] Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was.
[3.60] (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of the disputers.
[3.61] But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: Come let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.
[3.62] Most surely this is the true explanation, and there is no god but Allah; and most surely Allah-- He is the Mighty, the Wise.

Isa (Jesus) is declared to be in the likeness of Adam. Could it be, that the Koran is referencing a story where God commanded the angels to bow down before Jesus? It could be that this story was taken from the epistle to the Philippians (2:5-10), found in the New Testament:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God;
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

THE KORAN REAFFIRMS THE EARLIER BIBLICAL REVELATION

Up until the last quote I have tried to avoid quoting the Bible, because a common belief among Muslims is that the Bible became corrupt, and does not represent the original message given to Jesus. But ironically the Koran says the opposite. In the following Suras, it affirms the revelation given in the Torah (the first five books of Moses, or the OT) and the Gospel (the four gospels of the NT): 3:3, 47-50, 5:46, 49, 66, 68, 110, 10:37, 94, 12:111, 17:101-103, 28:48-49, 46:10, 12, 61:6.

Further, not only does the Koran reaffirm the revelation of the Torah and the Gospel, but it states that Allah would never allow his words to be changed or altered:
6:34,115, 10:64, 18:27, 48:23, 50:29.

Given that, why do Muslims maintain the Bible was altered? It is the only way that they can maintain the belief that they were taught. What I have learned is that all religions contain truth, but mixed in with what is false. Jesus taught that we should first learn to recognize our own faults before pointing at the faults of others. If Christians would recognize the faults of their religion, and Muslims the faults of their own, people will come to the realization that it is in fact the same religion, but accustomed to the truth men were willing to accept at the time the revelation was given.

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