This title is not meant to offend anyone. It is my own personal feeling. I was a Christian for 40 years and still could not understand what the Minister was saying. I was reading the Bible, sometimes. Like most Christians I didn't understand it. I kept telling myself I want to go to Heaven. What do I have to do? I believed I had done what God wanted me to do. My family was teaching me from the Bible. When I read on my own I couldn't understand it. I was going to Sunday school every week, Bible Study on Wednesday, Revival Meetings with my uncle, and Bible camp in the summer. I can still remember waking up crying in the middle of the night. Dreaming I was going to go to Hell. I called my uncle on the telephone and woke him up. I really wanted to know the truth and I couldn't find it. I just couldn't understand from the teaching of the Bible.
Looking back I now realize why I was so confused.
Because as a Christian, I never believed I would go to heaven. This hopelessness led me to ask questions that no Christian could answer.
When I was about sixteen years old I heard the Minister say; "In Jesus name we pray" I was in shock. My whole life I had been taught to pray to God. Now they say we are supposed to pray in Jesus name?
I went and ask the Minister why he said "In Jesus name we pray"? He showed me in the Bible the verse he was using for reference. In Colossians 3: 17 " And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
This went against what I was taught by my family and I couldn't accept it. In the Bible it says; Exodus 20:3-6 God said to Moses; "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a Jealous God,"
The other point is, this is not the way Jesus told us to pray. In Mathew 6:9 "Pray then like this; Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." Nowhere in the Bible did he say pray in my name. I later found out this was the teaching of Paul not Jesus.
My true intention is to reach heaven. I had to find the right way. All through my life as a Christian I became more curious and as the title of this story says; I'm concerned with honesty, after all, our eternal life will be based on honesty. In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 5: 19-20, two of the Ten Commandments, "And you shall not steal. And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor".
Honesty & Truthfulness
Webster's New World Dictionary's definition of honesty can be summed up as "The state or quality of being honest; refraining from lying, cheating, or stealing; being truthful, trustworthy, or upright; sincere; fair; straight forward" .
The Muslims give a good example of honesty, although some of them don't follow it, it is still a good example.
In Islam, "Truthfulness leads to piety. Piety leads to Paradise. A Man continues to speak the truth until he is recorded in the sight of God as a sincere lover of truth. Falsehood leads to iniquity. Iniquity leads to Hell. A Man will continue to speak falsehood until he is recorded in the sight of God as a liar". This hadeeth came from the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as reported by Bukhari and Muslim.
I have decided to start at the very beginning and do my own research to find out where the truth is and who is being honest about the teachings of Jesus?
The definition of a Christian can be found in the Webster'
New World Dictionary, it says;
"A Christian is a person professing belief in Jesus as the Christ or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus."
From the definition, we learn that a Christian is a person who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The next question is where do you find the teachings of Jesus Christ?
There must be a book without contradictions and half truth that I can understand. In my heart, I believed God wouldn't make it difficult for me to find the truth if I was really looking for it.
Myself as a Christian, I believed the Bible was a Holy Book of God with all the correct teachings of Jesus. The Bible I bought to do my research is the 2001 English Standard Version of "The Holy Bible." It is divided into two Parts
"The Old Testament" has 39 books and "The New Testament" has 27 books. This version of the Bible has 66 books written by forty different authors.
As a Christian we are taught that Jesus died on the cross so that God would take away our original sin. What original sin?
Genesis 3: 1-16. "Now the snake was wiser than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God truly said that you may not take of the fruit of any tree in the garden? And the woman said we may take of the fruit of the trees in the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden, God has said; if you take of it or put your hands on it, death will come to you. And the snake said death will not certainly
come to you: For God sees that on the day when you take its fruit, your eyes will be open, and you will be as gods having knowledge of good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and a delight to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit, and gave it to her husband. And their eyes were open and they were conscious that they had no clothing and they made themselves coats of leaves stitched together.
And there came to them the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the evening wind: and the man and his wife went to a secret place among the trees of the garden, away from the eyes of the Lord God. And the voice of the Lord God came to the man, saying, Where are you? And he said, Hearing your voice in the garden I was full of fear, because I was without clothing: and I kept myself from your eyes. And he said, who gave you the knowledge that you were without clothing? Have you taken of the fruit of the tree which I said you were not to take? And the man said, the woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me
the fruit of the tree and I took it. And the Lord God said to the woman, what have you done? And the woman said, I was tricked by the deceit of the snake and I took and the Lord God said to the snake, because you have done this you are cursed more than all cattle and every beast of the field; you will go flat on the earth, and dust will be your food all the days of your life. And there will be war between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed: by him will your head be crushed and by you his foot will be wounded.
To the woman he said, Great will be your pain in childbirth; in sorrow will your children come to birth; still your desire will be for your husband, but he will be your master".
Right away I had a question. Why was the snake talking?
I did some research and found out the snake was Satan. In the Bible it says;
Revelations 12:9 "And the great dragon was forced down, the old snake, who is named the Evil One and Satan by whom all the earth is turned from the right way; he was forced down to the earth, and his angels were forced down with him."
In the Bible God punished Adam, Eve and the Devil in Genesis 3: 14 God cursed the Snake for his sin to crawl on the earth, Genesis 3: 16 God cursed the woman to have pain from childbirth and in Genesis 3: I 9 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground.
Did Jesus (pbuh) Really Die for the Original Sin?
I understand now where they got the idea of original sin but did Jesus really die so God would forgive us for Adam
If Jesus died on the cross and now we are forgiven for the original sin, then why is Man still working for food, Women still screaming from childbirth and Snakes don't; have legs. As these three are still cursed I guess we haven been forgiven or the book is wrong.
I personally believe the book is wrong because in the Bible, Ezeiekel18:20 it says:
"The soul which does sin will be put to death: the son will not be made responsible for the evil-doing of the father, or the father for the evil-doing of the son; the righteousness of the upright will be on himself, and the evil-doing of the evildoer on himself."
Another questions I had as a Christian was Jesus really the only Begotten Son? John 3: 16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
I found another who was begotten. David said in Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee".
How about Adam, he had no Mother or Father and he was made by the hands of God from clay.
How about Eve she had no Mother or Father and made by the hands of God from a single rib of Adam.
Did Jesus Call Himself the Son of God, Son of Man, or Son of David?
Harper's Bible Dictionary, under the heading 'Son of man,' points out that, "With one exception Acts 7:56 …the term (Son of man) is used exclusively by the earthly Jesus reference to himself."
The New Catholic Encyclopedia, under the heading 'Son of man,' complements this view by stating, "This title is of special interest because it was the one employed by Jesus by preference to designate Himself and His mission.
Jesus described himself as 'son of man' a total of 88 times in the New Testament, it is doubtful that he ever called himself 'son of God.' The term 'son of God' is encountered 47 times in the New Testament, but always 0 the lips of others.
Testament, starting with the very first verse, of the book of Matthew.
We know the message Jesus brought because he told us.
He said in Mathew 5:17&18 Jesus said, "think not that I come to destroy the law (Torah) or the Prophets: I come not to destroy but to fulfill. I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all is fulfilled."
I found Christians are not allowed to eat it either.
Leviticus 11: 7 "And the swine, though he divides the HOOF, and be CLOVEN footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you".
Deuteronomy 14:8 "And the swine, because it divideth the HOOF, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass".
The message Jesus came to confirm, not to change was simple, as we see here, in Exodus 20:3-6 God said to Moses "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any Iikeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shall not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God,"
Isaiah 46:9 "I am God unrivalled, God who has no like.' Isaiah 40:18 "To whom could you liken God? What image could you contrive of him?" Isaiah 40:25 "To whom could you liken me and who could be my equal?" Says the Holy One.
Exodus 19:5 The Law or Ten Commandments were a covenant between God and his people. God told Moses to tell his people, "Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people."
Mark 12:29-31, Jesus was asked by a scribe what was the first commandment Jesus said, "The first of the commandments is, Hear O Israel; The Lord thy God is One Lord; and thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, this is the first commandment".
Where did Trinity Come from?
History indicates that the word 'Trinity' was first proposed by Tertullian, a third-century lawyer in Carthage, who put forth his theory on co-sharing of Divinity between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
of Jesus collectively sprung from the interpretation of the council of Nicea in the year 325 CE.
It may have come from the Gospel of Mark 16:9-1 where it says: "in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost." While it is generally admitted Mark's Gospel is the oldest of the four Gospels. All the ancient Greek manuscripts do not contain the last twelve verses.
The Encyclopedia of Catholicism admits, "The doctrine of the Trinity as such is not revealed in either Old Testament or the New Testament"
The New Catholic Encyclopedia observes that devotion to the Trinity was delayed until as late as the 8th century which time it began to take hold in monasteries at Aniane and Tours.
I know all children in the Philippines are
man can serve two Masters". (Yet Paul wants us to serve
With lack of Biblical evidence to substantiate the Trinity, some have asserted that Jesus taught this element of creed to his disciples, but in secret. Even this claim has an answer, for Jesus presented his message for all to hear, stating in John 18:20, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing"
No as we see in Galatians 5:2 "Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing". Galatians 5:3 "for I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law". Galatians 5:4 "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from circumcised as this was an order from God to the Prophet Abraham and all the people after him. Jesus himself was circumcised 8 days after birth, as was Paul and all the 12 disciples.
In the New Testament, John 14:16 When Jesus found out
about the plan to have him killed he told the people n worry" And I will pray to the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you forever' .
John 16:7 Jesus said "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send him to you".
John 20:21-22 "But when the comforter comes, who I will send to you from the Father, the spirit of truth proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me".
John 16: 12-14 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when the spirit of truth (or Comforter) comes, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears, he will speak; and he will tell you things to come."
In the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 18:15 "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; "
Deuteronomy 18: 18 "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."
John I: 19-25 "The rabbis and Levites went to visit John and they ask him are you the Messiah? He said no, are you Elijah? He said no, are you that Prophet? No". Who was that Prophet? Muslims and common sense say he is but Muhammad (pbuh).
We know Jesus (pbuh) was the Messiah.
Jesus said John was Elijah in Mathew 11: 1314, "For all Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come", I do know why John denied he was Elijah in the gospel of John. The Rabbis and Levis foretold of three Prophets first Elijah, then Messiah, and that Prophet. You must believe John is Elijah, because if you don't then Jesus is not Messiah. The choice is yours as Jesus said are you willing to believe?
Up until the council of Nicea in 325 AD, there were m than 300 Gospels all were destroyed by the Catholic Church and Romans. If you were found with one of these books you were killed. There were the Gospels of Hebrews, The Gospel of James, Timothy, Barnabas and many more. The only ones accepted are the four we have today written by people who never met or knew Jesus. The Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as canonical in the Church of Alexandria up until 325 A.D.
(1) (Abu Yahya) Jerald F. Dirks, M. Div, Psy. D. Dr.
Dirks is a former minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church. He holds a Master's degree in Divinity from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver. Author of "The Cross and the Crescent: An Interfaith Dialogue between Christianity and Islam" (2001), and "Abraham: The Friend of God" (2002).
(2) In 2001, Father Stall Soria, who had served as parish
priest in various cities and towns in Metro Manila after taking his college and theology studies at Xavier University and Loyola School of Theology, both of the Jesuit run Ateneo de Manila University, reverted to Islam. He has since been known as Muhammad Soria, but many,
including his Muslim friends, still call him "Father The 64-year-old Soria said his decision was met with condemnation and disgust by most of his relatives and former parishioners, an experience similar to what many of the Muslim reverts, locally known as Balik Islam go through. This, however, did not deter him from leaving the priesthood after 14 years and embracing Islam.
(3) Before he became a Muslim and changed his
to Abdul-Ahad Dawud, Rev. David Benjamin Keldani. B.D was a Roman Catholic priest of the Uniate-Chaldean sect. He was born in 1867 at Urmia in Persia; educated from early infancy in that town. From 1886-89 (three year) was on the teaching staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury Mission to the Assyrian (Nestorian) Christians at Urmia. In 1892 he was sent by Cardinal Vaughan to Rome, where he underwent a course of philosophical and theological studies at the Propaganda Fide College, and in 1895 was ordained Priest.
(4) My name is Yusuf Estes now, but in years past my friends used to call me Skip. I have preached Christianity and worked in the entertainment and music industry since I was a boy in the 1950's. My father and I have established music stores, TV and radio programs and outdoor entertainment for fun (and profit). I was a music minister and even used a pony ride and entertained the children as "Skippy the Clown."
(5) My name is Julianne (Noora) Scasny. I was born in the United States to a mother who is Syrian (Arab) Christian and a father who is white European descent. Both are Catholic. When I was 15 years old I wanted to be a nun in the Roman Catholic Church. So I was close in relationship to God - or so I thought - and never really had this so-called personal relationship with Jesus (peace be upon him). I told myself, "I don't care what my parents say. I don't care what anyone says! I want this feeling. I want to be a practicing
devout Muslim! I am sick of trying to do things my way: submit to the will of Allah Almighty." AI-hamdu Iillah, that Ramadan I made Shahadah in the back of the masjid in front of a group of women because the imam was afraid of what my parents would do if I made Shahadah out loud front of everyone. I started wearing hijab that Ramadan.
These are only five examples; I'm sure by now you understand how I believe I have been lied to. I don't think it was on purpose but once a lie has been told many times, it becomes fact.
I eventually did what I would ask all of you to do. I read the Qur'an. I found it to be the Truth. It did not ask me to stop believing in Jesus it said all Muslims must believe in him as a Prophet, if they do not they are not Muslims. I finally said my testimony of faith or Shahada on April 16, 2000.
Since I said there is only One God and Muhammah (pbuh) is His last messenger, I don't have any of the confusion or questions about God, the prophets, or how to get to heaven.