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Redemption Accomplished

פישלמן יונת השלום

Three Separate Religions

April 22, 2015 – History has witnessed three major revelations of the one God of Israel that have given rise to three great monotheist faiths. Three chapters of a single story are read separately. Three legs of one building of faith stand apart from each other.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam snap together like a large jig saw puzzle of perfect theological congruity. Only one problem prevents the comprehensive design from being revealed. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. His accomplishment is his fame as the Son of God.
That obstacle to clear understanding must be overcome. Neither Judaism nor Islam can swallow this bone. The unification of the three faiths requires the view that Jesus is fully a man and no part of God. The three faiths can be unified only if Jesus is not the Son of God.
Jesus was not properly the Son of Man because he secretly and privately believed that he was the Son of God. Not to be a proper messiah is not to be the messiah at all.
Three separate religions together run a single race. The stories of each religion considered consecutively tell the larger story of God's changing yet constant relationship with men through a single act of progressive revelation. The one bump in the narrative that must be cleared before cars can pass is Jesus, Son of Man and Son of God.
The revelation of the God of the Old Testament presents an extreme case of evolutionary and progressive revelation. Two separate great revelations are lumped together as one in the Five Books of Moses. The mysterious God of Genesis is different from the morally harsh God of the Exodus and the Conquest. Beneath altered appearances He remains the same God. Yet His emotional approach changes greatly from one age to the next.
God continues to change over time. The God of Moses is quite unlike the God of Jeremiah, who said that surrender is the better way. Ecclesiastes and the Book of Esther and the Book of Daniel are inspired religious writings; they are part of the canonized text. The Old Testament is a literary record of many different faces of one God that cannot be known. Revelations come to many heroes of the faith; revelations change emotional character over time.
Jeremiah has everything and nothing in common with Moses. The message is different. Moses advocates a brazen flight from Egypt in contempt of chariots; Moses advocates the brave military invasion of Canaan in contempt of giants. Jeremiah preaches fear of the enemy; he preaches peace and conciliation with the idol worshipping enemy. Yet each man is recognizably a Jewish prophet. Each speaks from an isolated position addressing a whole people in the name of God.
The New Testament revelation is condensed into a short time span. Testimony comes from the life of Christ and the Apostles; the record is limited, but remarkable. There has never been anyone like Jesus of Nazareth. Those who believe in his messianic mission came to look on him as God in the flesh.
Spirit tends to a state of unity. God is one and one only.
Spirit in this universe longs to attain greater unity, just as does matter, as is told by the law of gravity.
God is more intensely one than the stuff that exploded in the Big Bang. Trinity is a mistaken idea. It represents confused understanding of the position of God in the life of Jesus. Judaism and Islam, in contrast, keep clearly in mind and insist strenuously upon the unity of God.
Islam is founded on the divine revelation that came to Mohammed. Although the angel Gabriel gets credit for speaking the Koran to Mohammed the messenger, the message must come directly from God. When seen in the context of progressive revelation, the Koran is shrewd and audacious, comic and sneaky and deadly. Only God could have done this work. This work is beyond the courage of angels.
The Koran offers the most detailed and realistic picture that we possess of a saving revelation that transpired under the recognizable conditions of ordinary life. Mohammed both received a remarkable message and was transformed personally by it such that he had the power to transform the world.
There is power to convince and instruct in each of these three great literary records. The message is incorrectly grasped unless the three revelations are heard consecutively as three attempts to keep a single conversation going.
The three revelations are sequential acts of communication by a single great spiritual being.

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