Monday, 28 December 2015

People of the Book

I have previously criticised Islam and even suggested that Muhammad fulfils the descriptions of the Anti-Christ. It might appear from this that I am opposed to Muslims, which is not the case; Muslims are among the most observant and pious of people. I oppose the violent concepts of Islam as taught by the Quran and practiced by its zealots but not against people; many of whom observe the commandments handed down to Moses, which are the same commandments that Jesus exhorted his followers to obey, and have been taught by Jewish prophets and sages for more than three thousand years. We often hear that Islam is a religion of peace (usually when some Muslim group have slaughtered innocents) but it is not a religion of peace; it is a religion of Jihad (Holy War) and conquest whose aim is to impose sharia law over the whole world.

There are those in all faiths that have false views of the followers of other religions and have a tendency to group all members of that religion into an image that fits their own opinion. There are questions surrounding all religions and each expresses views about various aspects of historical teachings. In the past Christians were so sure that their view was right and their interpretation of scripture was the only correct version that they burned at the stake those who disagreed. All people are more alike than different; the habit of assuming something about a group of people because of their religion is a faulty practice. Most people are not strict adherents to religious law, being more interested in earning a living and taking care of family and friends; enjoying a comfortable and pleasant life than in fighting a war over religion. There are also those who use agitation between religions to advance their own political agenda, we must all be wary of these people.

Muslims are handicapped by the teachings of Muhammad and the Quran exhorting them not to befriend Christians and Jews, Islam is inherently violent and intolerant. Muhammad also set an example of violent conquest, paedophilia and beheading of those opposed to his views. The Banu Qurayza (a Jewish tribe) were besieged by Muhammad’s forces for 25 days until they surrendered.  Muhammad's companions decided that "the men should be killed, the property divided, and the women and children taken as captives". Muhammad approved of the ruling, calling it similar to God's judgment, after which all male members of the tribe who had reached puberty were beheaded. The Muslim jurist Tabari quotes the number 600–900 being executed, the Sunni hadith do not give the number killed, but state that all post-pubescent males were killed and one woman. This action is dictated by the Quran; Surah 47:4. “So, when you meet in Jihad in Allah's Cause, those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly on them.” (i.e. take them as captives).

It is unfortunate that today many devout Muslims adhere strictly to these violent commands; and feel they cannot assimilate into modern society because to do so would be an affront to their Islamic tradition and opposed to the instructions of the Quran. Surah 5:51 O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies; (friends in some translations) some of them are allies of one another. Whoever of you allies himself with them is one of them. God does not guide the wrongdoing people. In other words befriending Christians or Jews makes you one of them.

Jewish people adhere to old traditions that predate Christianity, because ancient prophecies can be demonstrated to describe and explain the history of Israel. These same prophecies outline events that are to occur at the arrival of the Mashiach (Messiah) Lit. anointed: A man who will be chosen by God to put an end to all evil in the world, rebuild the Temple, bring back the exiles to Israel and usher in the world to come; the Jewish concept is thus different from the Christian one. It is obvious from this description that the expectations for the Messiah have not yet been fulfilled. In the time of the Christian Messiah (Jesus) the Jews had not been completely dispersed among the nations so of course it would have been impossible to bring back the exiles, because they were not yet exiled or rebuild the Temple that had not yet been destroyed. Those events happened in 70 CE when the Romans destroyed the Temple and expelled or enslaved the Jews from Judea and Jerusalem renaming the land Palestine after the Jews ancient vanquished enemies the Philistines.  

There is also the Biblical instruction in Deuteronomy 18:9, God said, “You shall not learn to do … the ways of those nations” which urges Jews to retain their ancient customs and only follow the Torah (The five books of Moses).  It is the adherence to this command that ensures Jewish resistance to change and has guaranteed that Biblical teachings have been preserved for over three thousand years. The teachings of Jesus are all derived from the Torah and it has been the Jewish protection of the Torah that ensured that Christianity today is based on these values. There is often confusion in other groups about Jews as to whether they are a race or a religion; the simple fact is that they are a family or a tribe. They are the descendants of Jacob who were enslaved in Egypt then liberated to receive the commandments; those present at that event were changed for all time and their offspring carry that change to the present day.

Prior to the birth of Christ Israel was controlled by the Greek King Antiochus IV who banned Jewish religious rites such as observing the Sabbath, the covenant of circumcision and Torah reading. Antiochus also endeavoured to turn the Temple in Jerusalem into a Greek Temple of Zeus, but the Maccabees revolted and a handful of Jewish Rebels under Judah Maccabee defeated the mighty Greco-Assyrian army. The victory is one of two miracles celebrated today by the festival of Hanukkah; the other miracle of the time was the miracle of the oil. There was insufficient purified oil for the Temple Menorah but one day’s supply lasted eight days and it is this peaceful miracle of the oil that is celebrated today far more than the violent miracle of the defeat of a conqueror. It would be a different world today if the Maccabees had not been victorious and Jesus had been raised to be a priest of Zeus.

Since 1948 when the modern state of Israel was proclaimed exiles have been returning to the land, indicating that the prophecies regarding the Messiah may well be approaching fulfilment. Prophecies also state that in the “final days” every hand will be against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:3) this prediction appears to be being fulfilled before our eyes; with the rise of anti-Semitism all over the world and boycotts of Israeli products being supported by many countries. Of the 193 member states of the United Nations only one is continually castigated for its policies and that is Israel. Despite many other nations having very serious human rights violations only Israel (the only free democracy in the Middle East with equal rights for all citizens) is the one state that is regularly accused as a violator of human rights. The statistics alone support the fulfilment of the prophecy that “every hand” is against Israel, the only part of the prediction yet to be fulfilled is that of storms, upheavals and earthquakes in diverse places. The predicted wars and rumours of wars seem to be occurring in sufficient abundance to qualify as fulfilment of the prophecy.

At the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE the Christian churches ruled that Jesus is God despite prophecies saying that the Messiah is a man, thus driving a wedge between Christianity and Judaism.  The wedge was driven further by Christian aggression and events such the Crusades, pogroms, the Inquisition and the Holocaust. Just as Muslims have a history of slaughtering those with whom they disagree so too until recently did Christianity have a similar history. The office of the Catholic Inquisition began in 1542, in 1908 the name was changed and in 1965 it changed again but is still charged with protecting the faith from “unacceptable doctrines”. None of the violent actions performed in the name of religion is instructed by the Bible; instead they were the actions of zealots. To kill in the name of God is to take his name in vain which is strictly forbidden by the third of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:7).

The major religions of the world are alienated from each other by their views, many of which are false and have been fostered by religious leaders more bent on political power than on religious teaching. Nothing has changed since the days of Cain and Abel each seeking approval and jealous of any who appear to find greater esteem and success; to the extent that one would slay his brother. Each holds his fellow man in contempt because of his religion, it should therefore be no surprise that so many now declare no religious affiliation. Atheists pour scorn on those of faith because of the history of violence and the straying from the law. Many have never read the Bible/Torah and have no idea that there are 613 commandments or what they entail. Only very few have read the work of the prophets and compared them to history to establish any accuracy, those that have done so are regularly amazed by the comparison.

Western society has abandoned religious teaching and rushes headlong toward the inevitable destruction that comes from discarding the laws that built strong nations. Allowing the rule of ego, greed, hatred, sexual deviance and petty jealousy can only result in catastrophe. Studying Biblical prophecy amazes at the number of events that can be recognised as having eventuated and at what appears to await the world in the very near future. When one human life is deemed to be less valuable than others, then all life has become less valuable we must accept the value of all people despite our view of their religion. It is however important that we do not lose sight of the fact that there are among all people those who, like Cain, are evil enough to kill those they blame for their own shortcomings and that Islam urges its followers to war and violence to achieve their aims.

Muslims are convinced that their Mahdi is about to arrive and lead them to victory over the infidels and students of Biblical prophecy (both Christian and Jewish) see events that were predicted millennia ago happening right before their eyes. Those with no Biblical knowledge continue on blindly as predicted for the Bible says, “As in the days of Noah” they will continue oblivious until disaster overtakes them.

Information on the outcome of prophecy is explained in my latest book which endeavours to bring a little more light to the darkness that is creeping over the world.