The Faith of Abraham
Muhammad wanted to see the Jews, Christians and his people all united in one religion, Islam. He recognized that it was God’s will for the believers in Abraham’s God to be one. However, while it is God’s will for us to be united as one, it is not His will for us to be united by a “religion.” God wants us all to be united as one by His Spirit, which transcends any one religion. God wants us to be brought into a relationship with Him – a relationship like the one He had with Abraham.
Muhammad’s goal was to have a pure faith like Abraham – “follow the faith of Abraham, the upright one, and he was not of the polytheists” – 16.123.
What is the 'faith of Abraham?' Is it Islam, as the Muslims believe?
Islam is a religion of works, but Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:6). There was no work that Abraham was required to do to enter into a relationship with God. Abraham was accepted by God before there was any written law, before there was circumcision. He was justified by his faith which was the foreshadow; a type or pattern of the faith that God requires for us in order to have a relationship with Him. The faith of Abraham, is not a religion like Islam, it is a relationship with God. It is the pure faith that Muhammad so admired.
In the Old Testament, God communicated by His Spirit with a very few people that He chose to help advance His plan of redemption for all nations. It is through the fulfillment of that plan we are enabled to have the relationship with God that was once reserved for only a chosen few, like Abraham.
The only way that God has provided for all of us to have that relationship is through the Holy Spirit. It cannot be obtained by self-effort or works.
Muhammad acknowledged the Holy Spirit and recognized that God communicates and operates through His Spirit. –
Say: The Holy Spirit has revealed it from your Lord with the truth, that it may establish those who believe and as a guidance and good news for those who submit. -16.102
Muhammad also recognized that God gave the Holy Spirit to Jesus.
We gave clear miracles to Isa (Jesus) son of Marium, (Mary) and strengthened (supported) Him with the Holy Spirit. - 2.253
He taught that Jesus was given life as a man by the Holy Spirit.
And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our spirit, and We made her and her son a sign for all peoples. -21.91
And Marium, the daughter of Imran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into her of Our spirit and she accepted the truth of the words of her Lord and His books, and she was of, the obedient ones. -66.12
Muslims recognize that Jesus is like Adam and in the Bible Jesus is referred to as the last Adam. Jesus is called the Son of God because His life as a man, like Adam, originated directly from God without any human agency. But there is a crucial difference between the first Adam and the last Adam, Jesus.
In the Torah, the first five books of Moses which Muhammad referred to as “The Book of Allah” we are shown Adam receiving life by the “Breath” of God.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. – Genesis 2:7
In the Hebrew, the word breath is Neshamah. The word for spirit is Ruach and although this word can be used to designate a human spirit, it is most often used to identify God’s Holy Spirit. Therefore Adam was not given life by the Holy Spirit; Adam’s life began by the neshamah, the “breath”.
As the Koran and the Bible attest, Jesus was given life by the Holy Spirit. Muhammad said that Jesus was “a spirit from God,” (4.171) and called Him “Ruh (spirit) Allah (God).” That Spirit is God’s Holy Spirit, which is the life force of the Messiah Jesus that God gave to Him as the Koran says. Jesus was not given life by the “breath,” the neshamah that God gives to every man. Jesus said “As the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26). That Life in the Messiah Jesus is God’s Holy Spirit.
Moses tells us in his writings that the life, or the life force of anyone is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). God gave His Holy Spirit to Jesus, as Muhammad said, and that Spirit is in His blood.
God placed His Spirit into the Messiah to give to us, thereby giving us the opportunity to have the connection with God that makes it possible for us to have the relationship that God had with Abraham.
Muhammad said that God caused Jesus to be killed and then raised Him up to Himself –
Thus, GOD said, "O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me, and ridding you of the disbelievers. I will exalt those who follow you above those who disbelieve, till the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is the ultimate destiny of all of you, then I will judge among you regarding your disputes - 3.55
This is the Gospel which was prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus’ life was “terminated” and He arose to God.
The prophet Isaiah said concerning the coming Messiah, that He would be “wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities,” and that His soul would be the offering for our sins. –
But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed - Isaiah 53:5.
Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put him to grief: when You shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, (Messiah would live again, rise from the dead) He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. – Isaiah 53:10
It is through faith in the death and resurrection of the Messiah Jesus that we are enabled to receive the wonderful gift of God’s Holy Spirit. In order to receive that which is holy from God we must be cleansed in order to receive it. Jesus took our sins upon Himself fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that His soul would be the offering for our sins. After His resurrection He breathed the Holy Spirit, His life force into His disciples -
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (John 20:22).
The only other time the word “breathed” is used in the Scriptures in relation to the giving of life is when God breathed the breath of life into Adam. Here Jesus is overriding the neshamah with the Holy Spirit, giving all who believe in His death and resurrection the ability to have eternal life, be accepted by God at the last judgment, and live lives that are holy and well pleasing to God - like Abraham.
The Koran confirms that Jesus has the ability through God to give life. –
…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; - 5.110
Only the Holy Spirit of God can give life and raise the dead.
Because Adam was designed to live on this planet, his soul was not equipped to abide forever in eternity with God; the breath, the neshamah, cannot give our souls eternal life, or transport our souls into heaven. When Jesus gives us His Holy Spirit that God gave to Him, our souls are made acceptable to God and are enabled to live forever in God’s holy presence.
There is no work we can do that will enable our souls to live forever. Man cannot do what can only be done by God Himself. Only God can give us His Holy Spirit.
The plan and pattern that God has established for mankind to be able to enter His presence when we die, is outlined throughout the Old Testament. As God said through Moses, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul" – Leviticus 17:11. God has never changed this requirement for the remission of sins.
After Jesus came and fulfilled God’s plan for the redemption of mankind, God allowed the temple in Jerusalem where the sacrifices were being made, to be destroyed, signifying that continual animal sacrifices for the remission of sins was no longer needed. Jesus made one sacrifice for all time for all men.
Jesus came at that particular time in history because the religious leadership of His day was adding laws and ordinances to what God had originally commanded Moses, thus bringing people into religious bondage. Jesus came to set the people free from that bondage. He said to the people about the Pharisees – “For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.” – Matthew 23:4
Jesus came to restore to us the pure faith of Abraham, a faith that did not have to labor under the bondage of man inspired laws, but a faith that naturally followed God’s ways through the leading of God’s Spirit.
It is only through the blood of the Messiah Jesus that the Holy Spirit, the Life in His blood, is released to us, so that we too, can have a pure faith and a relationship with God like Abraham.
Historical confirmations of Jesus' crucifixion
Lucia c. 120- after c. 180 - Referred to Jesus as a crucified sophis (philosopher).
Tacitus c.56 - c. 120 - quote - "Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty...at the hands of our procurator, Pontus Pilate."
Josephus - c. 37 - c. 100 - quote - "At the time there appeared Jesus, a wise man, for he was a doer of amazing deeds. When Pilate condemned him to the cross, the leading men among us, having accused him, those who loved him did not cease to do so."
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