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St Paul the Apostle

Updated on September 18, 2017

Teachings of Paul

St Paul the Apostle authored 1/4 of the New Testament. By reviewing his letters (Epistles) to the churches he established, I assembled a summation of his teachings. I did not use his pastoral letters, as I might publish a short Hub about those sometime in the future.

The Apostle Paul said he was called by God to reveal His Son to the world. Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead. If He was not, then Christianity is meaningless. Jesus is the image of God—the firstborn of all creation. By Him, through Him, and for Him—all things were created. He is before all things and in Him all things exist. He is the Head of the Body of Christ and the Church. Christ lives today through the lives of Christians.

APOSTLE PAUL IN ATHENS BY RAPHAEL PAINTED IN 1515
APOSTLE PAUL IN ATHENS BY RAPHAEL PAINTED IN 1515
PAUL ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS PAINTED BY CARAVAGGIO IN 1601
PAUL ON THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS PAINTED BY CARAVAGGIO IN 1601

SOTERIOLOGY

Paul the Apostle concedes that all humans have sinned. That is why we must be justified by faith in grace through the Redeemer—Jesus Christ. It is by His shed blood on the cross that we might be saved—by His sacrifice for us. By faith in Jesus we may be forgiven our past sins. We may be reconciled to God through His Son. This does not mean we may continue on in our sinful ways. We must throw off the shackles of sin and be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. We must not let sin reign in our lives or obey its lusts. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God through Christ is eternal life.

Those who are baptized into the faith become sons and daughters of God and all are equal regardless of their station in this world. Though Christians are now in natural bodies—which are but dust—they will be resurrected after death into spiritual bodies—which are heavenly. The mortal Christian shall become immortal. We have treasure in these earthen vessels. Our outward person is perishing, but our inward person is renewed day by day. St Paul proclaims that the gospel (good news) is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—rooted and grounded in love. You may comprehend the infinite love of Christ which surpasses all human knowledge. You may be filled with the fullness of God. True, the old you was corrupt according to the lustful flesh; now be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Become a new person—set apart to serve God.

St Paul writes that God has called certain people from among us for His purpose; that those He foreknew are predestined to be Christians. Paul says he is persuaded that nothing can separate Christians from the love of God which is in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God who works in Christians for His good pleasure. God is rich in mercy because of His great love for us. By grace Christians have been saved through Faith—this is a gift from God. This gift cannot be obtained through your own works—lest you should boast. Christians are members of the household of God. God intends that His manifold wisdom shall be made known to the Church, according to His eternal purpose which He accomplished in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians have access to God through Jesus.


PAUL THE APOSTLE PAINTING FROM 16TH CENTURY
PAUL THE APOSTLE PAINTING FROM 16TH CENTURY

You Are the Temple of the Holy Spirit

Christians are not to serve the lusts of the flesh, because the desires of the flesh are opposed to the desires of the Holy Spirit of God, which dwells in us.  The Holy Spirit will help you overcome your weaknesses.  God will not be mocked—if we serve our flesh, our reward shall be corruption; if we serve the Holy Spirit, our reward shall be everlasting life.  We will set our minds on one or the other; and this determines what our end shall be. 

Paul the Apostle teaches that you are the temple of God and if you defile His temple you will be destroyed by God.  Glorify God with your body.   We should cleanse ourselves of all filthiness and become holy (set apart for God's will and purposes).  Christians are to present their bodies as a living sacrifice; setting aside fleshly desires; not conforming to the ways of this world but instead—being transformed through the Holy Spirit.  This is our reasonable service to be acceptable to God.

THE WORLD OF THE APOSTLE PAUL
THE WORLD OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

We Wrestle Not With Flesh and Blood

The works of the flesh include adultery; sex outside of marriage; homosexual sex; lust; lewdness; wickedness; deceitfulness; theft; extortion; greed;  jealousy; envy; gossiping; backstabbing; covetousness; maliciousness; selfishness; boasting; pride; hatred; murder—those who practice these things will not inherit the Kingdom of God.   The Apostle Paul goes on to say that the wrath of God will be visited upon those who practice sorcery, blasphemy; who are untrustworthy, unforgiving, bitter, unloving, unmerciful; those who use filthy language, foolish talk, evil speaking, coarse jesting, and liars.  He advises us to abhor evil.   Do not let your understanding be darkened, and be alienated from God, because of ignorance or a blind heart.    

The Christian is at war not against flesh and blood—but against dark demonic powers filled with wickedness that inhabit the Earth.  We must beware false teachers who pretend to be ministers of God but are truly ministers of Satan—the great Deceiver of humankind.  He is the evil prince of this world who sows disobedience among humankind, deceiving them to give in to the desires of their flesh.  St Paul the Apostle teaches to gird yourself with truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith—to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the wiles of the Devil.  We are not to be tricked by the cunning craftiness of deceitful men.  We must bring every thought into obedience to Christ.  

Christians are to warn the unruly, but always be patient with them.  We are not to be deceived by those who oppose or exalt themselves above God.   We are to withdraw from professed Christians who are disorderly or sexually immoral, and not keep company with them—so that they might be ashamed of their conduct.  We are to admonish them to repent (to be contrite and change their ways).   But we may keep company with non-Christians who are immoral—otherwise, we would all have to live in monasteries and convents.   Walk in wisdom toward non-Christians.  Their god is their appetites—they set their minds on earthly things.  Have no fellowship with the darkness but instead expose it for what it is. 

People who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ will be punished with destruction.  All human beings will appear before Christ to be judged.  God's wrath will be revealed against the ungodly—those who serve the creature rather than the Creator.  Each of us shall give an account of ourselves to God when the time comes.  The enemies of the cross of Christ shall be destroyed.  Paul admits his words may make some feel condemned.  But if that might lead any to change their ways whereby they might be saved—he does not regret it but rejoices because of it.  

PAUL THE APOSTLE
PAUL THE APOSTLE

Fight the Good Fight

St Paul the Apostle equates the Christian life with that of an athlete who is disciplined, and trains constantly, so as to win the prize.  Our chief aim is to imitate Christ.  Use your mind and mouth to honor God.   Christians must examine themselves that they are doing no evil but doing what is honorable.  We glorify God by obedience—and by sharing the gospel with others.  The Apostle Paul teaches that everything that happens to a Christian is for the good—because whatever happens to us, it is for us to be transformed into the image of His Son.   If you have received Jesus Christ, walk in Him, that you may become taught, established, rooted, and built up in your faith—abounding in it with thanksgiving.   Set your mind on the things above—not the things of this Earth. 

We are to choose our words not to please people, but to please God.  We are urged to esteem those who minister.  We must remember the poor, and God loves a cheerful giver.  We must be strong, brave, and do everything we do with love—for God's glory.  Our faith is not to be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.  We do not look to the temporary things we see—but to eternal things not seen.  We walk by faith.  Those who take up the walk with Christ are no longer condemned nor do they walk according to the desires of the flesh but according to the will of the Holy Spirit.  For Christians, our troubles produce perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope.  No one should think highly of himself.  Sing with spiritual grace to the Lord.  Pray earnestly with thanksgiving.    

Paul the Apostle is against divorce and those who are divorced are to remain celibate.  Paul does say the highest ideal of life is to remain unmarried because such a person can devote their life on Earth entirely to the service of God and His people; rather than worrying about pleasing their mate.  

PAUL PREACHING IN THE RUINS AS PAINTED BY PANNINI IN 1744
PAUL PREACHING IN THE RUINS AS PAINTED BY PANNINI IN 1744

Body of Christ & Spiritual Gifts

St Paul writes that each of us are given by God—as He pleases—particular spiritual gifts for the express purpose of using these gifts to the benefit of others.  These gifts may include wisdom; knowledge; faith; mercy; leadership; the ability to heal; to perform miracles; to prophesy (God speaking through you); to teach; to administer; to encourage others; to give financially; to be able to discern good spirits from evil spirits; to speak in tongues; to interpret those who do speak in tongues.  Whatever gifts we have been given, if we do not love—they are worthless.  All Christians are members of the same Body of Christ and each member is necessary to the others—none can be done without.  We do not all perform the same functions in that Body.   We are to suffer together, rejoice together, and weep together.     

Paul pleads with Christians to be united—not divided—in their minds and their words.  Don't get hung up about what you eat or certain days.  Do not judge your fellow Christian in these things.  Avoid those who cause division in the Body of Christ, contrary to the doctrine you have learned.  Their smooth words will deceive the hearts of the simple.  May we strive together in one faith and one spirit for the gospel; being of one accord, with the same love. 

APOSTLE PAUL BY REMBRANDT FROM 1657
APOSTLE PAUL BY REMBRANDT FROM 1657

Instructions for Believers

Christians are to give thanks to God for other Believers. We must love and comfort one another. We are to serve one another and bear one another's burdens. Christians need to pray for one another, that they may be filled with wisdom of God's will and have spiritual understanding; that they may walk worthy of their Lord—fully pleasing Him. Pray that your Brothers and Sisters may be fruitful in their good works; be strengthened; have patience; and partake in their inheritance as saints. Pray that God will deliver them from the power of darkness; that their sins may be forgiven through the blood of our Redeemer. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another. Pray for your Christian Brothers and Sisters that their love, knowledge and discernment may abound; that they may approve of excellence; be sincere; without offense; filled with righteousness—to the glory and praise of God. Pray for your Christian Brothers and Sisters without ceasing.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Love is kind; love does not envy; love is not proud; love is not rude; love is not selfish; love is not evil; love rejoices in truth; love bears all, endures all. The three greatest attributes in the world are faith, hope and love—and love is the greatest of these. Cling to what is good. Be affectionate, diligent, and fervent. Bless those who do you wrong. Do not repay evil for evil. Overcome evil with good. Do not set your mind on high things—associate with the humble. Be full of goodness and knowledge. As the elect of God—beloved—put on tender mercies, humility, forgiveness, and above all—Love. Do not look out for your own interests but look for the interests of others. Let nothing be done because of selfishness or conceitedness. Esteem others better than yourself—as Jesus humbled Himself and was obedient; even accepting death on the cross. Do all things without complaining and disputing. Become blameless and harmless children of God without fault—shining as lights—in the midst of a perverse world. Do this so you may know Him and the power of His resurrection. Be not anxious about anything. Let your requests be known to God. Then the peace of God—which surpasses all human understanding—will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Whatever state you are in: be content. Do not lose heart. Speak the truth. Give to those in need. Impart grace to others. Study God's Word to understand what is acceptable to the Lord. Give thanks for all things to the Father in the Name of His Son. Amen.

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    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

      ticktacktock— I apologize if I was less than courteous to you. I do not mean to be argumentative. I will examine your concepts in more detail. I am merely a seeker of the Truth and if I found your ideas to be true I would be more than happy to embrace them.

      By the way, I pulled up "Page 167" of "The Age of Reason" and there is nothing about St Paul there at all.

      You quote Muslims, Deists, and Catholics, who are quite opposed to each other. For instance you quote Thomas Paine, the founder of The Church of Theophilanthropy, which is considered heretical by Muslims and Christians. Paine called the Old Testament a "book of lies, wickedness, and blasphemy." I believe Muslims honor the Old Testament, do they not?

      Paine, who wrote was is commonly described as the "the anti-Bible of all lower-class nineteenth-century infidel agitators," also wrote:

      "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish [Muslim] Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish [Islam], appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

      So Thomas Paine thought no more of Islam than he did of Catholicism. He was a Deist. I have published a Hub about Deism. Here is a link to it:

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Deism-Dei...

      Now, the Ebionites did not believe Jesus was God Incarnate but they did believe in the Resurrection. Do you?

      You quote Epiphanius but he was a Catholic who was totally an orthodox Christian and who firmly believed in the Trinity. Do you?

      Panarion means "medicine chest" and it was written specifically to ward off the "poison of heresy" against the orthodox Christian Faith, to which I take it you do not adhere.

      Ebionites clung to strict observance of Mosaic Law. Do you?

      The fact that the Ebionites were abominable heretics according to both Islamic and orthodox Christian theology should make people question why Muslims use their late singular non-multiply attested testimony against Paul as evidence.

      The Ebionites abhorred the doctrine of the Virgin Birth. The Quran condemns the Ebionites by admitting that Jesus had a virgin birth in Quran 19:19-22 which states:

      “He said: I am only a messenger of thy Lord, that I may bestow on thee a faultless son. She said: How can I have a son when no mortal hath touched me, neither have I been unchaste? He said: So (it will be). Thy Lord saith: It is easy for Me. And (it will be) that We may make of him a revelation for mankind and a mercy from Us, and it is a thing ordained. And she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a far place.” (S. 19:19-22)

      The Ebionites did believe Jesus was the 'adopted Son of God' – a heresy according to both Christianity and Islam. The gospel of the Ebionites alludes to the Baptism of Jesus saying, “… a voice sounded from Heaven that said: ‘You are my beloved Son, in you I am well pleased.’ And again: ‘I have this day begotten you’.”

      Now about Paul, I found no reference after hours of searching that mentioned any woman named Poppea connected with Paul BUT I did find references to a fable that you mentioned of him falling in love with an unnamed daughter of the high priest. This Pauline fable is not attested by any source in the 1st or 2nd centuries. Therefore, this charge against Paul not only fails the historical test of early accounts and early eyewitness testimony, but it also fails the test of multiple independent attestation. It is impossible for this absurd claim to be true since the orthodox evidenced view has Paul as a true Apostle and martyr for the faith from the beginnings of the Christian Faith.

      Based on the nature of this fanciful charge it seems that the Ebionites were hard pressed for any real convincing evidence or argumentation against Paul’s reliability and so after Paul was dead and not able to defend himself, the Ebionites invented this story to justify their heresies and their rejection of Paul’s 1st century apostolic teachings of grace and faith. There is no evidence to suggest that this kind of anti-Pauline Ebionite thinking was part of any major strand of early 1st century Christian teaching - none whatsoever. There is a wide and broad scholarly view for this absurd Ebionite charge against Paul being a later fabricated legend, story or development as opposed to historical reality.

      I would pose the following question to the Muslims who believe that Allah is the author of the Quran: If Paul was a false Apostle and major corruptor of early Christianity then why didn’t Allah mention this explicitly and warn people about Paul or inform Muslims about how he supposedly corrupted Christianity?

      Commenting on S. 61:14 the respected Islamic commentator Al-Qurtubi grants the apostleship of Paul:

      “It was said that this verse was revealed about the apostles of Jesus, may peace and blessing be upon him. Ibn Ishaq stated that of the apostles and disciples that Jesus sent (to preach) there were Peter and Paul who went to Rome; Andrew and Matthew who went to the land of the cannibals; Thomas who went to Babel in the eastern lands; Philip who went to Africa; John went to Dac-sos(?) which is the tribe to whom the sleepers of the cave belonged; Jacob went to Jerusalem; Bartholomew went to the lands of Arabia, specifically Al-Hijaz; Simon who went to the Barbarians; Judas and Barthas(?) who went to Alexandria and its surrounding regions.”(60)

      Notice that this ancient Muslim tradition has Paul as a true apostle. If Muhammad and the early Muslims taught that it was a priority to view Paul as a false usurper whose teachings were to be avoided then we would not expect to find these ancient Muslim traditions which grant Paul’s reliability.

    • ticktacktock profile image

      ticktacktock 5 years ago from Serbia

      check The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine and Epiphanius, Panarion , The Ebionite Account

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      ticktacktock— Thank you for your additional comments. I have spent a lot of time researching to find out where you getting these wild ideas. Abdullah Smith, right? And what makes you think that idiot knows the "motivations" of the Apostle Paul?

      You claim that The Apostle Paul didn't want the "Nazarenes to overtake the established Jewish church." But there was never any danger of that happening whatsoever.

      Once again you mention this ridiculous notion that Poppea rejected Paul. Where do you find evidence that they ever even met? Poppea was not the daughter of the High Priest of Jerusalem. Records are extant of this. She was born in Pompeii to Roman citizens. The Jewish High Priest during this entire time you are talking about was Caiaphas. He did not have a daughter named Poppea. The record shows that Caiaphas had five sons but no daughters. He did have granddaughters, but they would have been far too young to attract Paul. And there is no record that Caiaphas ever went to Rome or that Poppea ever even visited Jerusalem, nonetheless was born and grew up there. Poppea was married by the time she was 14. At what age do you suppose she was when Paul fell in love with her?

      It was not at all Paul that destroyed the Temple at Jerusalem. He was long dead when that happened and the blame for that falls upon pagan Rome. It had nothing to do with Christians whatsoever.

      You are right that Paul was against devil-worship—what we call Roman paganism. But it went on for hundreds of years after he died.

      It sounds like you are defending the Emperor Nero, one of the most crazed and perverted men who ever lived. If you are then you are simply insane. Other than maybe Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao, Nero must be the most undefendable of all men who ever breathed a breath on this Earth.

      What you have written here is pure fiction, with no basis in truth, no written record to back up any of it, just a fantasy land concocted by Satan. Saul did not invent any stories and certainly never preached "his own doctrine." Paul's theology is perfectly in line with that of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter, and the Apostolic Church. Paul did not preach anything new. He explained Jesus to people, that's all, as he was told to do by the Holy Spirit. Peter, James, and John approved of Paul's teachings wholeheartedly, as did Luke.

      You wrote: "For Paul, Jesus and Christ were two distinct and separate personalities."

      That is absolutely a lie. Show me the proof of this.

      Paul taught the doctrines of Christ Jesus, and no other. You are inhabited by Beelzebub. I will pray for you in the Name of Jesus.

    • ticktacktock profile image

      ticktacktock 5 years ago from Serbia

      Saul was a resilient man; he was resourceful. He was a man of action. Remember, he was not satisfied to lay back and watch the Nazarenes overtake the established Jewish church. He acted then. Saul had three years to muse upon his vengeance. Popea’s rejection represented rejection by the High Priest and all that he stood for – the Old Jewish Law. The Roman Emperor, that pagan son of a Saul would deal with him. He would undermine them both. Undermine the Orthodox Jewish tradition and law – destroying the power of the established Jewish Church and the power of the High Priest, Popea’s father.

      Secondly, Saul would lure away the pagan from their traditional worship of their Emperors (one who had dared to possess the body of his believed Popea) and leave the Emperor without an empire. Luring away the pagan worshippers from their defied Emperors to a God-like Christ would torpedo the Emperors love for glorification. That hero worship would be transferred from Emperor to Christ. That would leave the Emperorship as a mere shell – a semblance of its former self. Saul decided he would kill two birds with one stone. He worked out his strategy during his three years self imposed exile in the dessert.

      To work his plan, Saul knew that he could not allow himself to be sidetracked or diverted by the philosophy, theory or doctrine of others. He therefore invented a story about a direct revelation received from Christ which nobody could dispute, and by virtue of which he enjoyed the latitude to preach his own doctrine. Saul recognized NOT the teachings of Jesus handed down by his Apostles and disciples, but claimed that he was divinely inspired to teach the new doctrine of Christ, rather than of Jesus, which he utterly discarded. For Paul, Jesus and Christ were two distinct and separate personalities. Such was Paul’s motivation and determination. His inclinations were always destructive. Destroy the Nazarenes. Then later, destroy the old – the Jewish orthodox power, destroy the Roman Emperor

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      ticktacktock— Welcome to the HubPages Community. I look forward to reading your writings. Thank you for taking the time to check out this article of mine. I appreciate your comments.

      I can find no historical record that Poppaea was the daughter of a Jewish high priest. Everything I can find says her father was Titus Ollius and she was born in Pompeii. I have certainly never heard of the Apostle Paul having a love affair with her. Where do you get this information?

      I do not believe that the Apostle Paul 'despised' anybody, least of all the Jews, of which he was one.

      At 14 Poppaea was married to Roman, and I find no evidence she ever even visited the Holy Land. She was a convert to Judaism and she did protect the Jews of Rome while goading Nero into persecuting Christians.

      Paul did not move to Jerusalem to marry that woman—he was sent to school in Jerusalem at his 13th birthday. The quote you gave does not appear on page 167 of Thomas Paine's book, The Age of Reason. That is a fabrication. I checked, just in case.

      Your comments are nothing more than Muslim propaganda. Paul certainly did not invent the Christian Faith. It was spread far and wide by hundreds of men, including the 11 apostles and Luke and Mark, etc. etc. etc. There is nothing in Paul's doctrines that were 'fabricated. You can say anything about Paul you want but to say he was not honest and sincere is ridiculously insane.

      The other book you quote, Fundamentalism Revisited, is so obscure that Amazon doesn't even have entry for it and they have entries for nearly every book known to man. When Paul finally got to Rome, there was an entire Christian community there already. It wasn't started by him. That is a stupid statement. By the time he died, the Faith had already reached as far as Ethiopia and India with no help from Paul. I would not follow a religion founded by a child molester and you shouldn't either.

    • ticktacktock profile image

      ticktacktock 5 years ago from Serbia

      Sorry,if I m going to say that Christianity is the result of love affair between Paul and Popea,, the high Jewish priest’s daughter, which had failed. Paul despised both the Jews and Romans because Popea was Jewish and Nero was a Roman. They fell in love, and married each other, rejecting Paul completely.According to Ebionite sources, Paul was born to pagan parents in Tarsus, he later moved to Jerusalem to marry Popea. He converted to Judaism and persecuted the followers of Jesus. When she refused to marry Paul, he burst into rage and created “Christianity”. [1]

      The Ebionites, or Nazarenes, who were the first Christians, rejected all the Epistles of Paul and regarded him as an imposter. They reported, among other things, that he was originally a pagan; that he came to Jerusalem where he lived some time; and that having a mind to marry the daughter of a high priest, he caused himself to be circumcised. But, that not being able to obtain her, he quarreled with the Jews and wrote against circumcision, and against observing the Sabbath and against all the legal ordinance.” (The Age of Reason” by Thomas Paine, p. 167)

      'They declare that he was a Greek ... He went up to Jerusalem, they say, and when he had spent some time there, he was seized with a passion to marry the daughter of the priest. For this reason he became a proselyte and was circumcised. Then, when he failed to get the girl, he flew into a rage and wrote against circumcision and against the sabbath and the Law' (Epiphanius, Panarion, 30.16.6-9, The Ebionite Account)

      Paul converted to Judaism for the sole purpose of marrying Popea:

      Saul did everything in his power to win the attention and hopefully the love of beautiful Popea. Saul’s exertions against the Nazarenes – his bitter and zealous persecution of the early followers often brought mere approval from Popea, condescending affection – but his repeated offers of marriage were repeatedly spurned. A case of unrequited love! (Farouk Hosein, Fundamentalism Revisted, p. 40-41)

      The brokenhearted Paul (then) traveled to Arabia for three years to fabricate his new doctrines, which later became “Christianity”.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      oceansider— Once again, I welcome you to the HubPages Community, Helen. I have made myself a note to come over and peruse your Hubs soon. I surely appreciate your comments. Thank you for taking the time to read my work. I am honored by your gracious presence. And you are most welcome.

      I certainly agree with you that "Spreading the gospel of Christ is what it is all about," and that we all need to "try even harder to be like Jesus." I am trying to fulfil my "assignment." :-)

      I am grateful for your blessings. God Bless You!

      James

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      oceansider 5 years ago

      James,

      Thank you for writing this article, for accurately quoting from the scriptures of the Holy Bible, which is the Living Word of God, because Jesus is the Word, and He lives inside of each one of us, His saints.

      Spreading the gospel of Christ is what it is all about, so I thank you for doing God's work and spreading His Word for those who may not know Him, and for inspiring those who do know Him, to try even harder to be like Jesus. Yes, I myself ask Jesus to make me more like Him every day, and to show me what He wants me to be doing in my "assignment" while temporarily being here on earth for His Glory, for His perfect Will to be done!

      God bless you brother,

      Helen

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

      Caroline Kennedy— Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article. I appreciate your insightful and thoughtful comments.

    • profile image

      Caroline Kennedy 5 years ago

      I think st.paul made the right choice of becoming a christian. If he didnt become a christin then je never would hve beenn a follower of jesus

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      blessing— Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I very much appreciate your gracious comments. I am so pleased to read of the effect this page had on your soul. Yes: the Word of God is alive!

      God Bless You for being a disciple of Jesus and for preaching the Good News in South Africa. My heart is gladdened reading your warm words. Thanks again for visiting and sharing your heart with me.

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      blessing 6 years ago

      james- i like apostle Paul,the time i was reading your article,i just felt somethng moving within me and i immediatly undestood that somethng more was invested in me.a fruits had been developed in me because of what you wrote.the word of God is alive.thats why the one who believe in it become alive.keep on writing more hub man of God.we are growing the way God want us 2 grow.i live in South Africa and im preachng this gospel more to people as Jesus made me His 1 of His deciple.well done james.be blessed.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Wehzo— You're welcome, my friend. I will keep Bethany Christian Church in my prayers. God Bless You and your mission.

      James

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      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 6 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Thank you James, I appreciate you as always. Keep us, 'Bethany Christian Church', in your prayers.

      God Bless,

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Wehzo— Thanks for the update. I will visit your pages and check out your newest Hubs. Helping develop the church is a very good way to invest your time. God Bless You!!

    • Wehzo profile image

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 6 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Hi James,

      Yes, it is a blast out of the past :). Along with my primary job at Chrysler I've helping redevelope our Church. I haven't been writing much, but I am back into it, at least for now. I see you are still going strong as ever. That is very good. I will be staying in touch.

      God Bless You and the Family,

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Wehzo— Wow. Talk about a blast out of the past! It is good to hear from you again. It's been a long time. Thank you for coming by. I appreciate your gracious compliments. I will come over soon and see what you've been writing. :D

    • Wehzo profile image

      Nathaniel Stalling Jr 6 years ago from Detroit, MI

      Very good hub brother Watkins, and exceptionally informative.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      SirDent— I'm glad you made it to this Hub. Yes, I agree with your comments 100%. Thank you for your gracious compliments. It is always a pleasure to hear from you, brother.

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      SirDent 6 years ago

      No idea how I missed this hub when it was first published. Read a few of the comments and it seems there was a lot said concerning Paul.

      One thing not mentioned in your hub. The disciples preached the kingdom gospel. They preached to the Jews only. Paul is the Apostle to the gentiles. He preached Christ and Him crucified. I did notice it was touched on somewhat in the comments.

      Great hub. I love your writing.

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      James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

      Huntgoddess— I am quite familiar with the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. No doubt it is an incredible repository of information, knowledge, and wisdom.

      I hope I did a decent job of summarizing Paul's teachings in this short format. Thank you for visiting my Hub. I appreciate your remarks.

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      Huntgoddess 6 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      If you want the authoritative and authentic information, go to the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church.

      She has had two thousand years of teaching experience.

      Magister = Teacher.

      Mater et magistra = Mother and teacher. That was the title of one of the encyclicals of our Holy Father of Beloved Memory, John Paul XXIII.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      jparedes— You are welcome. Thank you for your insightful comments. You are a thoughtful woman. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

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      jparedes 7 years ago from Makakilo, Hawaii

      Awesome Hub! Paul was a truly devoted disciple and a great example to follow! Thanks for the insight!

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      angela_michelle--- Thank you for your kind comments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community! :D

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      Angela Michelle Schultz 7 years ago from United States

      Wow, looks like I'm not the only one who finds your writings full of insight!

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      gonzo62003--- Amen! Hello. He is good. He is to be praised. I, too, am greatly inspired by the Apostle Paul. What a man!! God provides the increase. Thank you, brother. I will see you in heaven. I appreciate the visit on this side.

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      gonzo62003 7 years ago from Texas (Alaska for a season)

      Hello my friend, praise the Lord for he is good and greatly to be praised! The apostle Paul is truly an ispiration to me because he was a man willing and able to accept truth and spread truth. As Paul said through the power of the Holy Ghost some plant and some water but; God provides the increase. Take Care James see you in heaven.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— Usted es la mayoría de la recepción. Fue totalmente mi placer. Gracias por su interés.

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      Mattie 7 years ago

      James,un millón de gracias por el resumen del Apóstol San Pablo en español, estoy muy agradecida. Ahora voy a ser capaz de compartir sus escritos maravilloso con muchos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas cristianos de muchos países Latinos. Permitiré que lo sea sabido que usted es el autor del resumen. Bendiciones en Cristo

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— Pablo ruega a los cristianos a estar unida, no dividida, en sus mentes y sus palabras. No se colgó con lo que comes o ciertos días. No juzgues a tu compañero cristiano en estas cosas. Evite aquellos que causan división en el Cuerpo de Cristo, en contra de la doctrina que has aprendido. Sus palabras suaves se engañan los corazones de los sencillos. Podemos luchar juntos en una sola fe y un mismo espíritu por el Evangelio, siendo de común acuerdo, con el mismo amor.

      Los cristianos han de dar gracias a Dios por los demás creyentes. Debemos amar y comodidad entre sí. Estamos para servir a otros y llevar los unos las cargas. Los cristianos deben orar unos por otros, que pueden estar llenos de sabiduría de la voluntad de Dios y tener la comprensión espiritual, para que caminen digna de su Señor se agradarle. Oren para que sus hermanos y hermanas pueden ser fructíferos en sus buenas obras, se reforzará; tener paciencia, y participar en su herencia en los santos. Oremos para que Dios los librará de poder de las tinieblas, que sus pecados sean perdonados a través de la sangre de nuestro Redentor. Que la palabra de Cristo habite en abundancia en vosotros, la enseñanza y la amonestación de uno al otro. Oren por sus hermanos y hermanas cristianos que el amor, el conocimiento y discernimiento abunde; que se podrá aprobar de excelencia, ser sincero, sin ofender, llena de justicia-a la gloria y alabanza de Dios. Oren por sus hermanos y hermanas cristianos sin cesar.

      El fruto del Espíritu Santo es amor, gozo, paz, bondad, fidelidad, mansedumbre, dominio de sí. El amor es bondadoso, el amor no tiene envidia, el amor no es orgulloso, el amor no es descortés, el amor no es egoísta, el amor no es malo, se alegra el amor en la verdad, el amor soporta todo, aguanta sin límites. Los tres grandes atributos en el mundo son la fe, la esperanza y el amor y el amor es el mayor de ellos. Aferrarse a lo que es bueno. Sea afectuoso, diligente, y ferviente. Bendice a los que usted equivocado. No devuelvan mal por mal. Vencer al mal con el bien. No programe su mente en las cosas de alta asociarse con los humildes. Estar lleno de bondad y de conocimiento. Pues, como elegidos de Dios, amado, puesto en misericordias, la humildad, el perdón, y sobre todo, amor. No mirar hacia fuera para su propio interés, sino buscar los intereses de los demás. Nada hagáis por egoísmo o vanagloria. Estima que otros mejor que tú-como Jesús se humilló y fue obediente, e incluso aceptar la muerte en la cruz. Haced todo sin murmuraciones y contiendas. Se convierten en hijos irreprensibles y sencillos de Dios sin mancha, brillante como las luces en medio de un mundo perverso. Haga esto por lo que puede conocerle, y el poder de Su resurrección. No te aflijan por nada. Deje que sus peticiones se conoce a Dios. Y la paz de Dios, que sobrepasa todo entendimiento humano, guardará vuestros corazones y vuestros pensamientos en Cristo Jesús. Cualquiera que sea el estado está en: ser contenido. No te desanimes. Decir la verdad. Dar a los necesitados. Dar gracia a los demás. Palabra de Dios de estudios para comprender lo que es aceptable para el Señor. Dar gracias por todas las cosas al Padre en el nombre de su Hijo. Amén.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— Hemos de elegir nuestras palabras a favor de la gente, sino para agradar a Dios. Se nos insta a la estima que ministran. Debemos recordar a los pobres, y Dios ama al dador alegre. Tenemos que ser fuerte, valiente, y hacer todo lo que hacemos con amor, para gloria de Dios. Nuestra fe no es estar en la sabiduría de los hombres, sino en el poder de Dios. Nosotros no vemos a las cosas temporales que vemos, sino a las cosas eternas que no se ve. Caminamos por la fe. Quien inicia la caminata con Cristo ya no son condenados ni andar de acuerdo a los deseos de la carne, sino según la voluntad del Espíritu Santo. Para los cristianos, nuestros problemas producen perseverancia, que produce el carácter, que produce la esperanza. Nadie debe pensar muy bien de sí mismo. Canta con gracia espiritual al Señor. Orar sinceramente con acción de gracias.

      Pablo, el Apóstol es en contra del divorcio y los divorciados que se han de permanecer célibes. Pablo lo dice el más alto ideal de la vida es permanecer soltera porque una persona puede dedicar su vida en la Tierra por completo al servicio de Dios y su pueblo, en lugar de preocuparse por complacer a su pareja.

      San Pablo escribe que cada uno de nosotros son dados por Dios, como Él quiere-dones espirituales con el propósito expreso de usar estos dones para el beneficio de los demás. Estos regalos pueden incluir la sabiduría, el conocimiento, la fe, la misericordia, liderazgo, la capacidad de curar, de hacer milagros; a profetizar (Dios habla a través de usted), a enseñar, para administrar, para alentar a otros; un aporte financiero, para poder discernir los espíritus buenos de los malos espíritus, para hablar en lenguas, para interpretar los que hablan en lenguas. Los dones que nos han dado, si no de amor que no valen nada. Todos los cristianos son miembros del mismo Cuerpo de Cristo y cada miembro es necesario para los demás, no se puede hacer sin. No todos realizan las mismas funciones en ese órgano. Vamos a sufrir juntos, alegrarse juntos y llorar juntos.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— Los cristianos deben advertir a los revoltosos, pero siempre ser paciente con ellos. No debemos ser engañados por aquellos que se oponen o exaltar por encima de Dios. Estamos a retirarse de los cristianos profesos que son desordenados o sexual inmoral, y no estar en compañía de ellos, de modo que puedan estar avergonzado de su conducta. Hemos de advertir que se arrepientan (a contrito y cambiar su forma). Pero podemos estar en compañía de los no cristianos que son inmorales, de lo contrario, todos tendrían que viven en monasterios y conventos. Andad en sabiduría para los no cristianos. Su dios es su apetito, se han propuesto, en lo terrenal. Y no participéis en las tinieblas, sino que lo exponga por lo que es.

      Las personas que no obedecen al evangelio de Jesús Cristo, será castigado con la destrucción. Todos los seres humanos van a aparecer antes de Cristo para ser juzgados. La ira de Dios se reveló contra los impíos, los que sirven a las criaturas antes que al Creador. Cada uno de nosotros dará cuenta de nosotros mismos a Dios cuando llegue el momento. Los enemigos de la cruz de Cristo, serán destruidos. Pablo admite que sus palabras pueden hacer que algunos se sientan condenados. Pero si eso podría dar lugar a cualquier cambio de sus formas por el que se salve-que no se arrepiente, pero se alegra por ello.

      San Pablo Apóstol compara la vida cristiana con la de un atleta que es disciplinado y entrena constantemente, a fin de ganar el premio. Nuestro objetivo principal es imitar a Cristo. Usa la mente y la boca para honrar a Dios. Los cristianos deben examinarse a sí mismos de que están haciendo no mal, sino hacer lo que es honorable. Glorificamos a Dios por la obediencia y por compartir el evangelio con otros. El apóstol Pablo nos enseña que todo lo que sucede a un cristiano es por el bien-porque lo que nos pasa, es que seamos transformados a la imagen de su Hijo. Si usted ha recibido a Jesucristo, caminar en él, que puede ser enseñado, con domicilio social, con raíces, y acumulado en su fe, que abunda en ella con acción de gracias. Poned la mira en las cosas de arriba, no las cosas de esta Tierra.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— El apóstol Pablo nos enseña que sois templo de Dios y si contaminan su templo será destruido por Dios. Glorificar a Dios con tu cuerpo. Debemos limpiarnos de toda inmundicia y ser santo (apartado para la voluntad de Dios y propósitos). Los cristianos deben presentar sus cuerpos como sacrificio vivo, dejando a un lado los deseos carnales, que no se ajusten a las formas de este mundo, sino que-siendo transformados por el Espíritu Santo. Este es nuestro servicio razonable que sea aceptable a Dios.

      Las obras de la carne son el adulterio, el sexo fuera del matrimonio, el sexo homosexual, la lujuria, la lascivia, maldad, engaño, robo, extorsión, la codicia, los celos, envidia, chismes, traiciones, la codicia, la malicia, el egoísmo, jactancia, orgullo, odio; el asesinato-los que practican tales cosas no heredarán el reino de Dios. El apóstol Pablo continúa diciendo que la ira de Dios caerán sobre los que practicar la brujería, la blasfemia, que son indignos de confianza, que no perdona, amargo, sin amor, sin misericordia, los que utilizan el lenguaje sucio, palabras tontas, hablando mal, bromas gruesas, y mentirosos. Él nos aconseja que aborrecen el mal. No deje que su comprensión se oscurecerá, y estar alejado de Dios, a causa de la ignorancia o de un corazón ciego.

      El cristiano está en guerra no contra sangre y carne, sino contra los oscuros poderes demoníacos lleno de maldad que habitan la Tierra. Debemos tener cuidado con los falsos maestros que pretenden ser ministros de Dios, pero son realmente los ministros de Satanás, el gran engañador de la humanidad. Él es el príncipe del mal de este mundo que siembra la desobediencia entre los hombres, engañando a ceder a los deseos de su carne. San Pablo enseña el Apóstol ceñir a sí mismo con la verdad, la justicia, el evangelio de la paz, el escudo de la fe para apagar los dardos de fuego del maligno. Ponga toda la armadura de Dios, que puede ser capaz de resistir las asechanzas del diablo. No debemos ser engañados por la astucia de los hombres engañosa. Debemos llevar todo pensamiento a la obediencia a Cristo.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— Los que son bautizados en la fe se convierten en hijos e hijas de Dios y todos son iguales, independientemente de su lugar en este mundo. Aunque los cristianos están ahora en los organismos naturales que no son sino polvo que serán resucitados después de la muerte en los cuerpos espirituales, que son celestiales. El cristiano se convierte en mortal inmortal. Tenemos un tesoro en esas vasijas de barro. Nuestra persona hacia el exterior se va desgastando, pero nuestra persona hacia el interior se renueva de día en día. San Pablo proclama que el Evangelio (buenas noticias) es el poder de Dios para la salvación de todo aquel que cree. Cristo habite en vuestros corazones por la fe, arraigados y cimentados en el amor. Usted puede comprender el infinito amor de Cristo que sobrepasa todo conocimiento humano. Usted puede ser llenado con la plenitud de Dios. Es cierto que la edad que era corrupto, según la carne lujuriosa y ahora ser renovados en el espíritu de su mente. Conviértete en una nueva persona-puesto aparte para servir a Dios.

      San Pablo escribe que Dios ha llamado a ciertas personas de entre nosotros para su propósito, que los que Él conoció de antemano están predestinados a ser cristianos. Pablo dice que está convencido de que nada puede separarnos del amor de los cristianos de Dios que está en el Señor Jesucristo. Es Dios el que trabaja en los cristianos por su buena voluntad. Dios es rico en misericordia, debido a su gran amor por nosotros. Por los cristianos de gracia han sido salvados mediante la fe-esto es un regalo de Dios. Este regalo no se puede obtener a través de sus propias obras, no sea que se gloríe. Los cristianos son miembros de la familia de Dios. Dios quiere que Su multiforme sabiduría se dará a conocer a la Iglesia, conforme a su propósito eterno que él ha hecho en el Señor Jesucristo. Los cristianos tienen acceso a Dios a través de Jesús.

      Los cristianos no están para servir a los deseos de la carne, porque los deseos de la carne se oponen a los deseos del Espíritu Santo de Dios, que mora en nosotros. El Espíritu Santo nos ayudará a superar sus debilidades. Dios no será burlado, si servimos a nuestra carne, nuestra recompensa será la corrupción, si sirve al Espíritu Santo, nuestra recompensa será la vida eterna. Vamos a poner nuestras mentes en una o la otra, y esto determina lo que será nuestro fin.

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      James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

      Mattie— San Pablo Apóstol autor de 1 / 4 del Nuevo Testamento. Mediante la revisión de sus cartas (epístolas) a las iglesias que él estableció, reuní a la suma de sus enseñanzas. Yo no uso sus cartas pastorales, como podría publicar un Hub breve los en el futuro.

      El apóstol Pablo dijo que fue llamado por Dios para revelar a su Hijo al mundo. Jesús Cristo fue resucitado de entre los muertos. Si no estaba, entonces el cristianismo no tiene sentido. Jesús es la imagen de Dios, el primogénito de toda creación. Por Él, por Él y para Él, todas las cosas fueron creadas. Él es antes de todas las cosas y en Él todas las cosas existen. Él es el Jefe del Cuerpo de Cristo y la Iglesia. Cristo vive hoy a través de la vida de los cristianos.

      El apóstol Pablo reconoce que todos los seres humanos han pecado. Es por ello que debe ser justificado por la fe en la gracia por medio del Redentor: Jesucristo. Es por su sangre derramada en la cruz para que podamos ser salvos por su sacrificio por nosotros. Por la fe en Jesús puede perdonar nuestros pecados pasados. Nosotros podemos ser reconciliados con Dios por medio de Su Hijo. Esto no significa que podemos continuar en nuestra forma de pecado. Debemos a través de las cadenas del pecado y de ser transformado en la imagen de Jesús. No debemos permitir que reine el pecado en nuestras vidas o obedecer a sus deseos. Porque la paga del pecado es muerte, mas la dádiva de Dios a través de Cristo es la vida eterna.

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      Mattie 7 years ago

      James, your summary on St Paul the Apostle is absolutely awesome ,is there anyway you could post it in Spanish? I do outreach ministry through the internet by e-mail, mostly in Spanish. Would like to be able to share your writings with my outreach ministry. I am presently doing a study on the Life & Ministry of Paul the Apostle, your summary is so very welcome. Please let me know about a Spanish translation.

      And to Upal19, my prayers are with you, I hear you crying out for understanding and clarification. Please pray to Jesus for revelation and understanding, if that is possible for you. That is the only way you will ever get understanding: open up your heart and spirit to Him, He will answer you if you submit to Him in mind, soul and spirit. You will never regret it.

      To the rest of you out there reading all this, pray for Upal19.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Kinderling— I am quite familiar with the "Gospel of Thomas." Elaine Pagels has made a fortune from it. But I do agree, the Kingdom of God is within us. And outside of us, too. I am a child of the living Father—thank God. I know myself all too well. The more I know of myself the worse I look.

      Thank you for coming back and leaving these comments. I will also check out this link you have provided.

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      Then you will love the stories in St Thomas' Gospel

      http://users.misericordia.edu//davies/thomas/Trans...

      3 Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

      When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Excalibur. I actually love the stories about "Le Morte d'Arthur."

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      King Arthur, claimed the magic sword (like a dove fell upon him), had 12 knights, died and will rise again in our hour of need? You bet.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      kinderling— Legends. (sigh) As in King Arthur? I speak to Jesus and He speaks to me. We have a relationship.

      Well, my wife has Parkinson's. She can't walk very well. The medicine that finally brought the shaking under control—after 90 days non-stop (if you can imagine what that might be like)—has side effects. It is tragically sad to see. But worse to have happen to you. After an initial bout of depression over it, she now is in good spirits. She has accepted it. Thank you for your concern.

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      James, you couldn't have met a person you never met, but were told legends about, in the spirit. You have to live by spirit or else you'd have affinity for St Paul "in the spirit" or Ohbama "in the spirit" whatever.

      Anyway. I did not meet that fraud Saul "in the spirit" and have argued my case with you putting voodoo on me all the way!

      I am troubled by your wife having a neurological disorder and I hope she recovers. I can only offer a person to seek the root of their stress that there may be relief for the mind, soul and brain to work and the doctors to discover a cure for that that cannot be done by peace alone.

      Sometimes after losing three wives we are afraid to lose our fourth. Do not be afraid. He who loses his life will save it, and if she does not have to worry about you, she can let go about worrying about herself.

      I'm not there, do not wish to pry, and can only share what I know. I will test, discover, but not step beyond my own understanding.

      Best wishes.

      Kinderling.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Kinderling— I think you may be giving Paul a bit too much credit here, friend. You must assume, that because THIS particular Hub is devoted—not to Paul but to what Paul wrote—that I think this is all that matters regarding the Bible. This is part of a series, sir. Broken down into pieces to be easier swallowed. My previous Hub, "The Life of Jesus" is a summary of the four gospels. My next Hub will be a summary of the General Epistles.

      If you walked into a football game right when they ran a running play, it would not mean that all they do is run.

      My Hub "When did Christianity Starts" explains exactly what the title says. Following that are three other published Hubs which trace the Church directly from Jesus up to about 600AD. I am planning to carry the story further maybe to 1000AD in my next Hub about the history of the Church. All that said, Who did Peter say Jesus was? Who did John say Jesus was? Mark? Luke? Matthew?

      I met Jesus in my spirit, sir, not in my flesh.

      I do not know who James N Watkins is. Never heard of him. This link above has nothing to do with me. For one, I'm not that old! :)

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      OK, non of the Believers have commented.

      St Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and this changed the whole course of Christianity into the Jesus-God worship we know today.

      You now say "I have met Jesus".

      This HAS to BE the BIGGEST THING that has ever happened!!!

      I thought you had no power when you used His Name against me "...by the power of the Name of Jesus Christ my Saviour I say "Get thee behind me Satan."" And I'm still in front of you.

      But please tell me what He is like in appearance and dress. Does he speak Hebrew/Aramaic or English? Are their wounds in his hands? Did he have some fish? What new mission and people to Witness to did he instruct you to?

      Wow. To be called as an Apostle for the 21st centrury. Does the Pope know this? If this happened to me I know my life would be one completely dedicated to the conversion of everyone. Internet, media, movie transcription of the event. I'll google James A Watkins.... oh,... James N. Watkins is preaching the received gospel. http://www.jameswatkins.com/jesus.htm

      I was not making a fool of you. You were making a fool of me.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Kinderling— I have been divorced 3 times. But I am innocent of the concubines. I object to your assertion that I have "used" women. That is far from true. I don't have a female centered nature, either. Just because I wrote a Hub about the women who have been important in my life doesn't mean what you are saying. The fact is, I have been blessed with hundreds of important males in my life as well (A Father, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Mentors). I am a man with many friends, some as far back as Elementary School. You assume too much because of one Hub I wrote. You don't know me.

      Women left because they felt neglected by an absent husband and because of the times we live in, which impress upon people if you have any discontent, move on.

      Jesus did not need a savior, correct. But I do. And Jesus is He. And au contraire—I have met Jesus. I live with Him every day—something I highly recommend to you.

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      James,

      You're an experienced man of using women being divorced four times and the concubines (gosh, you sound more like a Muslim). You used women as your saviours and they rose to the occassion to fix broken ol' you.

      The biggest woman-betrayer always turns out to be a female, just as the victim is always the greatest sadist if given the chance. You carried that female-centred nature and either women left to escape your fascination and praise, or their souls died within their bodies. A woman joins a man not man joins a woman. You even said you had God in you when you commited these attrocities of putting family last.

      Isn't it time then, rather than more Allah, that you let go?

      I ask you to follow your conscience and not ride on the coat tails of anyone. I don't need a Saviour. Jesus didn't. You use a man you never met but heard pagan legends about.

      How dark a heart that needs verily no less than the "Son of God" to save them.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Kinerling— Well, those are beautiful words about love—some of the most quoted words about love among people on the Earth. The Beatitudes are also well beloved, but less understood. This is not a matter of supplanting anything. Paul and his theology was approved by the Apostles, as recorded in the Book of Acts by Dr. Luke. What about Peter, James and John. Were they supplanting the Gospels also? If so, then why were the first universally accepted teachings of the Bible the Gospels and Paul's letters?

      God is Truth. But God is also Love. That twin message is all over the Bible. Now you are quoting Paul to make your own point.

      I am sorry but you will never convince me to follow your Gnostic ways no matter what kind of guru you perceive yourself to be. I have diligently studied these words for myself and my beliefs are Orthodox and shall remain so until the day I die. I reject Heresy. Which is what you are expounding.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      tyhill27— That's a great quote. Thank you very much for visiting mu humble hub. I appreciate your comments. Welcome to the Hub Pages Community!

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      Muley84 stated of Corinthians 1-13 "The most beautiful, and the most important words in the Bible"

      Muley84,you confirm that for the majority of Christians Jesus's teachings are supplanted by Saul's, because the most beautiful and important insights were the Beattitudes.

      Saul stated in Corinthians 1-13 about 'Love' being the most important that "It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things"

      Like Mohammed he has taken you away from the path of truth to the path of love. Away from critical thinking as 'love' believes all things.

      "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways".

      Thus the path of becoming a child again to find the truth about yourself is 'foolish'. Unless a man is born again he does not see the kingdom of god, so all men and women must tread this path. No other Way.

      Now you only have the new way of Knowledge and the bible, like the Koran, is a study manual and not for finding Jesus as the inspiration to be yourself, but an outspiration to do Jesus-alike and Jesus-soundalike things, as Mohammedans do of their cult leader and behave Mohammed-alike. Truly, you do have the same God.

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      Tyhill27 8 years ago from Red Deer, Alberta

      A quote from one of my favorite pastors Tommy Barnett said in one of his sermons, "If the Apostle Paul were here in this day, just give him a cell phone and a jet plane and he would conquer the world." Paul was truly a pioneer to the early church, and still is today! Blessings to you James, this was truly a great read!

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      muley84— I don't know who is but I doubt very much it would be me. :-) You sure did make me smile from ear to ear though. Thank you.

      I agree with you all the way. Those words are some of the most beautiful ever written by anybody anywhere.

      Thank you for visiting. Always a pleasure to hear from you, my friend.

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      Michael A Muehleisen 8 years ago from Miami,FL

      The most beautiful, and the most important words in the Bible were written by St. Paul in Corinthians 1-13. These words are about what love truly is, and what we all should strive to give to others. Great hub once again James. If you are not the best writer on hub pages, please tell me who it is.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      divinemercylover1— Thank you for your kind words. Your article on St Augustine is excellent. You're welcome Brother. Thank you for your comments.

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      divinemercylover1 8 years ago

      Not to worry James. You always answer all emails, and comments of the writing community. It really is quite valued that folks can depend on your comments and feedback. Please, do not ever feel you must, but the fact in and of itself that you do, speaks volumes for the humbled integrity of your heart so full of grace as well as the faithful content of your character. Thanks for being there!!!

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— You are a master theologian, sir. You have explained this far better than I did. I thank you very much for this contribution.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      heyju— Thank you very much for your gracious words. God is a reader of hearts. I do not believe He will judge people by what rituals they observe or what church, if any they attend. St. Anthony didn't go to church, but he certainly worshiped God. God is to be worshiped, of course. I don't belong as a member to a church. I go to church. I enjoy going. But I am a church visitor. I have been to hundreds of churches, from Roman Catholic Mass to Pentecostals rolling in floor and speaking in tongues—and I enjoyed them all and still do. I have never been to a church that didn't have friendly, welcoming people, earnestly worshiping in their way.

      I am glad you enjoyed the Hub and I welcome you to the HubPages Community.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Kinderling— Just for the record: the link in your comment leads to a blog that equates Mohammad with Michael Jackson.

      As to your comments, who is flattering me? Some have complimented my condensation of Paul's letters into 2500 words. That represents a fair amount of work. But I didn't create any of the words of Paul. So if anybody is flattered it should be him, not me. If anyone is curious what Paul wrote and they don't want to slog through the 13 Epistles for themselves, if they just want a primer or an overview, that is why I was called to write this page.

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      Allan McGregor 8 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      Upal19. You asked about Jesus' famous utterance on the Cross, recorded for us in Matthew 27:46:

      'And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani"; that is, "My God, my God, why did you forsake me?"'

      And again in Mark 15:34:

      'And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" (Which being translated is, "My God, my God, why did you forsake me?"'

      There are two points here.

      1) Jesus is quoting from Psalm 22:

      'To the Chief Musician, on the deer of the dawn. A Psalm of David:

      'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, and are far from my deliverance, from the words of my groaning?

      O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and in the night, and there is no silence to me.

      But you are holy, being enthroned on Israel's praises.

      Our fathers trusted in you; they trusted, and you delivered them.

      They cried to you, and were delivered; they trusted in you, and were not ashamed.

      But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of mankind, and despised by the people.

      All who see me scornfully laugh at me; they open the lip; they shake the head, saying,

      "He rolled on Yawhweh, let him deliver him; let him rescue him, since he delights in him."

      For you are he, my Taker from the womb; causing me to trust on my mother's breasts.

      I was cast on you from the womb, from my mother's belly, you are my God.

      Be not far from me; for trouble is near; because no one is there to help.'

      That's just the first 11 verses to illustrate, but it continues. This is an example of something very familiar to anyone who knows about rabbinical teaching the use of the 'kesher'.

      This is widely used as a rabbincal shorthand to introduce a familiar idea by association with a familiar scripture. It's a bit like the way we use proverbs in English: e.g. 'A stitch in time saves nine'. What does that mean? It means that when we attend to those things that need our immediate attention we save time in the long run, by not having to deal with an crisis we allowed to develop.

      So a Rabbi like Jesus often taught using partial scriptural referrences, expecting his audience to link it to the bigger picture. And this was particularly useful here as he hung on a Roman gibbet, scarcely able to breathe.

      He is actually pointing to his fulfilment of the Messianic prophecy of Psalm 22.

      2). It expresses a particular reality of our Atonement through Jesus' Blood - that he became rejected by God, that we might be restored to his Father.

      Throughout Jesus' ministry he revealed the beautiful and wonderful truth of the Fatherhood of God. While Jesus would sometimes refer to 'God' when speaking 'about' him indirectly, whenever he addressed God directly, he always called him 'Father' - except in this one instance, where their eternally intimate relationship suffered the separation of sin. Paul refers to this moment in 2 Corinthians 5:21 -

      'For He made the One who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.'

      This is a moment Israel had rehearsed for centuries in two of its animal sacrifices:

      The Burnt Offering, in which the innocence of the lamb was transferred to the sinner; and

      The Sin Offering, where the sinfulness of the sinner was transferred to the lamb.

      Every symbolism of every offering of the Old Covenant was fulfilled in the Antitype of Jesus, who described his own Blood as that of the New Covenant.

      But let's look again at the Transfiguration in Luke 9:26-35.

      "For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that one when He comes in His glory, and that of the Father, and of the holy angels. But truly I say to you, there are some of those standing here who in no way shall taste of death until they see the kingdom of God."

      And about eight days after these sayings, it happened: also taking Peter and John and James, He went into the mountain to pray. And in His praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing was dazzling white. And, behold, two men talked with Him, who were Moses and Elijah.

      Appearing in glory, they spoke of His exodus, which He was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.

      But Peter and those with him were pressed down with sleep. But fully awakening, they saw His glory, and the two men standing with Him. And it happened in their parting from Him, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is good for us to be here. And, Let us make three tents, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah", not knowing what he said.

      And he saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them. And they feared as they entered into the cloud.

      And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My Son, the Beloved; hear Him!"

      Paul didn't write any of this. Paul was not even there. Only Jesus, Moses and Elijah, and three of Jesus' apostles: Peter, whose name means 'Stone', James, whose name in Hebrew, 'Jacob' can mean 'Overturner' and John, whose name in Hebrew is Yochanan or 'Yahweh is Gracious'.

      There is no word placed in Scripture without reason, and some of us believe that the three disciples present confirmed what happened on the mountain when Jesus appeared with Moses (representing the Law) and Elijah (representing the Prophets) - in other words what we would call the Old Testament. As soon as Peter (the 'Stone', representing the tablets of the Law) suggested making three tabernacles placing Moses and Elijah on an equal footing with the Son of God, both disappeared because they knew their place. Then God the Father spoke from heaven, to declare who those who would worship him in Spirit and in Truth are to listen to today.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal19— I thank you for the story of Mohammad. I am quite familiar with this. I take no opposition to your words except one issue: you say Islam only fought in defense? I think it is well known that Muslim warriors fought wars of aggression all the way to the gates of Vienna. Surely, no one was attacking Arabs in Austria at the time, or in Spain, or in the Holy Land for that matter.

      But you explained it well and I hope we do worship the same God through different revelations. It would be wonderful if that were the case. God has not given me any special revelation for or against Islam. So, we may not agree but we don't have to disagree either. :)

      Thank you for coming on the board and leaving your heart felt beliefs.

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      heyju 8 years ago

      James,

      I had just read your other hub and enjoyed it very much. Looking around I clicked on this one not knowing it was yours as well. Again I enjoyed this hub as well, it was inspirational. I was born and raised catholic, my parents let us experiment in other religions, let us form our own choices. After reading this I felt as if I had slept through all those years of services. lol I believe in God and Jesus Christ but I don't have a denomination. I don't believe I have to go to church to love God or receive his love. I remember as a young child the nun's telling me my father was going to hell because he didn't go to church or was not baptised, oh how I cried. He went to church the next Sunday just for me. lol I guess I feel it's a hard choice to find a church that I feel comfortable with now.

      Most judge you on the way your dressed, God doesn't care what you wear. Or they preach things to you but are they following those same rules? He who casts the first stone thing ya know.

      Anyway I just wanted to let you know I really enjoyed your hub and I may just have to become a fan!!

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      upal19: "You and I are from same god. Only our religions are separate".

      This is true King James. You worship Allah. When will you wake up and stop being seduced by flattery?

      http://kinderling.blogspot.com/2009/09/true-dhimmi...

      Thank you making my point upal19

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      Ashraf Mir 8 years ago from Dhaka

      Dear James, I liked and loved your words. You and I are from same god. Only our religions are separate. There are many religions in this world. Everyone is happy with his/her own religious belief. Belief is I think somewhat dogmatic idea. As a Muslim I didn’t accept my religion blindly. when I grew up, I collected books and read those to know the actual thing. I studied philosophy too. At last I was satisfied with my justification that I’m alright that I’m a Muslim. Muslim means surrendered, Surrendered to god. When one is surrendered to god his or her life is directed by the god’s direction. We find the directions in our religious book al quran. That’s why we pray to god five times a day; before sunrise, midday, afternoon, after sunset and at the beginning of night. We go to Makkah to perform hajj as an attendance to god, fast one month a year during day time, every Friday we gather for special prayer, recite al Qur’an which is poetry first to last. We get answers of all questions from Quran. Without reading this book one should not die in this world. Thousands of Muslims get this whole book by heart. They are called hafiz. Now, i like to share with you the life sketch of Mohammad in very short.

      Mohammad was born in Makkah in 570 A.D. His father died six months before he was born, mother died when he was 6 year old. Grand father Abdul muttalib and later uncle Abu talib raised him. Grand father and uncle were supervisors of house of god Kaba. The period was dark. People used to kill anyone for silliest excuse, bury a girl alive, gamble, drink wine. After series of meditation in a cave of hill near Makkah Gabriel met him and gave him the message that he had been appointed as a prophet by god. He was 40 at that time. First he revealed it to his wife. She brought him to a Christian saint who was her brother. The saint recognized him as the said prophet and told the prophet that the angel is Gabriel who is appointed by god to maintain correspondence with prophets.

      People one by one came to accept new religion of Islam. Mohammad’s preaching was that there is only one god who creates all things, nobody is sharer to him. Jesus is a prophet like other prophets are. God has no wife no children. God is above all these worldly relational terms. When god wishes to create something just the word is said “be” and it becomes at once. 13 years he preached in makkah. He left his motherland when people planned to kill him. He came to madinah where tribes of Christians, Jews and other religious people had long been waiting for the said prophet. They had known it that the said prophet would come there. Some of them welcomed him, some were skeptical. Mohammad was doing nothing but preaching. His people grew larger and larger. People of makkah feared to know this. They planned to attack Mohammad going to madinah. They established a force of one thousand people skilled in fighting. Knowing this Mohammad started to prepare to defend. He had only 313 men to fight with the attacking force. He fought and won. The rest of his life was fighting with attacking forces. Finally he established the religion of Islam.

      If you read the revelations received by Mohammad in makkah, you will find the words are very bold and strong which means Mohammad must be a success in establishing a new religion. Victories in battles are miraculous. He ever fought only to defend himself and his followers.

      We respect all the prophets sent by god along with Jesus. It is unbelievable to us that god needs to adopt a child.

      Thank you all thank you James to take me in this discussions. God bless you.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      divinemercylover1— I'm sorry. Was I supposed to write to you today? I didn't remember. Did you send me an email that I didn't answer?

      Thank you for reading my article and I appreciate the compliments. I can't tie the sandals of those you mentioned but I wish I was that learned and filled with the Holy Spirit. :)

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      divinemercylover1 8 years ago

      Hello James,

      Excellent material!!!! I KNOW this is why I equate you with others as Augustine, Gregory the Great, St Paul, and Gregory of Nyssa..... I've waited to hear from you today....hope all is well on your end and your circle of friends and family.

      John

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      reconciled heart— You are welcome. We do need unity. Disunity has brought down most all organizations. Organisms die when they become disorganized, such as with cancer. I'm glad you liked the art. Thanks for visiting and for your kind comments.

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      reconciled heart 8 years ago

      Thank you for posting this article. I especially appreciated the emphasis on the need for unity in the Body of Christ. Thank you for including the beautiful artwork as well. God bless!

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      kinderling— Yes, upal19, be perfect like Kinderling and you can be a guru like he is, too! You won't need God—you be your own God!

      Thanks, kinderling, for this illuminating message.

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      Kinderling 8 years ago

      upal19, great to see you're more logical and informed than the Believers here and in humour walking rings around them. But please, please do the same for your own fixation as you do for theirs in their holding of religion. Get out of the headlights. You won't die if you criticise Mohammed - only from the billion ritually cleaned hands of the Submitters - so you have to be a billion-to-one person. All it takes is one small criticism.

      Baptising with water is symbolic to the baptism of fire, the refining of your conscience. Truth once revealled cuts like a sword that wounds on one side and heals on the other. You can never go back to unknowing.

      Jesus wanted you to be a Jesus. Be perfect as he was. To go out with nothing but yourself. For you are the temple. Mohammed and St Paul wanted you to be a Follower of the only persons that they considered Perfect.

      You see the difference and the sleight of hand in making you removed from yourself believing you have to be outfilled by the Holy Spirit rather than infilled by conscience that flows like an unquenchable spring?

      I come to divide father from mother, mother from daughter, that you even hate your son, for whoever looses his life shall save it.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal19— Jesus is called throughout the New Testament the Son of God, the Son of Man, the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Word, the Redeemer, the Savior, the Good Shepherd, the King, the High Priest, etc. He is all these things.

      The reason he cried out that way on the cross was when He took the sins of the world onto Himself on the cross, the Father had to turn away. (He was also quoting David from Psalms).

      He did not die again after the resurrection. He came back to Earth and visited with at least 500 people for about 40 days. Then, in front of His disciples, He lifted up off the ground, and ascended up into the sky and disappeared. Now, He sits next to God in the Throne Room.

      In the Gospel of John; Jesus is saying that shortly after he leaves the Holy Spirit will come to dwell in us. 10 days later that happened.

      We also believe men must repent to be saved.

      I don't know who Mohammad was. That's a good question. I'm not going to say he was fake. I'm not qualified to make that judgment. I mean, I know who he was historically. I have studied the history of the spread of Islam extensively. But who he was in God's eyes . . . I can't say with any authority. But I do know who Jesus is. That I can say.

      Your language skills are fine. I understood everything you wrote. Thank you for bringing us the Muslim point of view. You are welcome anytime. It is a good thing for us to talk.

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      Ashraf Mir 8 years ago from Dhaka

      Dear James, if you say so that he is the only son of god then there must be at least one proof of that in previous books we follow. there is a word messiah or saviour there but not a son of god. if you say that crussification is predefined then how we hear from jesus on cross "Eli, Eli, why have you left me?" after resurrection did jesus die again? how he disappeared? where is he now?

      at least tell me please about john's writing as jesus says "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and will announce it to you."

      who is that person? is that jesus himself? how should we believe that?

      what Mohammad brought is very clear to us. was Mohammad a fake prophet? can a fake man build such a spiritual emperialism? we, muslims believe in all god sent prophets, jesus was also a prophet and a man only, you can't call only jesus a son of god but we all in a sense. father is not father as we use this term, father is lord, father is master. he can switch off of everything in moment. once he was alone nobody was his imperial's sharer, never will be anyone his sharer, not a son, not a wife, not a daughter. one thing is clear that he needs no sharer. all control is in hid hand. in christianity sinners are forgiven. but we believe that sinners must repent before die or must face the judgement of god. one ever life good man and one ever life evil will be treated same- we don't believe it.

      thank you all who have taken part in this conversation. my english is poor as my native language is Bangla, so, I beg pardon of you all.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Mickey McNew— I thank you for your profound explanation of these dogmas from Scripture. You are an outstanding teacher of the Truth. God Bless You for taking the time to come in here and reveal to us what the Spirit has revealed to you.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— You sure answered that question better than I did! :-)

      Hebrews 11 is an excellent place to start. And the Transfiguration speaks for itself in regard to the fate in the afterlife of the faithful Jews of Old Testament times.

      Thank you very much for this addition to this thread. Well done.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      patful— Thank you so much for your gracious words. I humbly accept your compliments. I can't claim to be the author. I just worked the keyboard. I especially appreciate that you have clearly discerned my purpose in writing this article.

      I agree with you that it is a special blessing how Paul mentions many people briefly and acknowledges their contribution to the fledgling Church. I think this is a message to us that our contributions shall also be remembered.

      Paul was one tough dude. But there is no record of any violence perpetrated by him, in spite of the way he was treated. Sort of like his Master. :)

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal19— No. The Hebrews who lived before Jesus are not lost. They lived according to the Revelation they had—Judaism. Abraham, Noah, Joseph—all lived by faith in God. They could not be anti-Christ before Christ walked the Earth and revealed Himself and His Gospel. An Anti-Christ means just that: someone who hears the Gospel and rejects Christ, or more specifically, works against Him.

      Barnabas did not know Jesus personally that I am aware of. And the Gospel of Barnabas was written in Spain a millennium and a half after the death of the person Barnabas. So, it means nothing.

      I appreciate you for coming into this Hub and asking excellent questions. I know you are seeking and wondering and you are alone here. I don't want you feel ganged up on. You are welcome to ask or express anything you want. I appreciate the dialogue.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— I see the dogmatic and scriptural problem here. While I am very familiar with a worldwide movement to remove any exclusivity from all religions—that God revealed Himself at different times in different places to different peoples including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism—I don't see that God would directly contradict Himself ever. And if the major religions have conflicting messages about who God is and what He has revealed—if their "truths" conflict—then obviously somebody is incorrect in their scriptures and beliefs.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Mickey McNew— I must say, sir, you are a theological heavyweight. I appreciate your fine explications of Scripture here. I think you've got it right. Thank you for posting.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal19— You have asked a profound question. Is the Christian God the God of Islam. I know people who come down on both sides of this question. Some say, "The Arabs, sons of Ishmael, would not accept a Jew as their savior, so God sent them their own prophet so they could find Him, too. Then there are those who view Islam as a false religion, period. And I am sure there are Muslims who view everybody but them as having false religions. I will say, that I hope Muslims are worshiping the same God. Because as my fellow human beings, I care about them. I can't say I can answer that question with absolute certainty, either way. But I have long wondered about it.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— Your understanding is illuminated, sir. Jesus did call Himself "I AM" which can only mean one thing, and as you say, the Jews certainly knew what He meant as they had Him crucified shortly thereafter. His death on the cross is vastly unjust by human terms yes. But God's justice and our justice are two different things.

      Christology and Soteriology are difficult subjects to grasp. That is because it seems so incredible that God does what He does. People tend to want to put God in the "human" box; that He must have done what WE would have done. God's ways are not our ways.

      Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom on this page.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal19— My understanding is that God is referring to His Son and His Holy Spirit when He says "Us." He may use a plural to refer to His greatness, also, as you say. After all, if He is the Creator of everything that is—He is surely great and can call Himself whatever He wants.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Allan McGregor— Thank you for your wise exposition of these theological ideas, or doctrines. I agree with everything you wrote so there's not much I can add except thank you very much! And I appreciate you for coming to this page and sharing your discerned knowledge.

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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal19— You are absolutely correct that Saul was the persecutor of the first Christians. Saul (Paul) is the last person who ever saw Jesus, on the road to Damascus. I wouldn't say Christians read the "Paul written Bible," though he did write 25% of the New Testament. But we do not read Paul alone. We read writings by Dr. Luke—who traveled with Paul to Rome; Matthew the disciple of Jesus; Mark—who traveled with Paul; Peter the Apostle—who voched for Paul's writings in his own; John the Beloved Apostle; James; and more than likely Barnabas is the author of the book of Hebrews. If what Paul wrote disagreed with the others we would have a problem. But he doesn't. All of the 27 books proclaim the same message in different ways.

      I am familiar with the gospel of Barnabas that says Paul was a fake and that Jesus was not who He said He was either. But this book was written in 1634—a long time after Barnabas was dead. Please remember that Barnabas was Paul's mentor, traveled extensively with Paul, and personally got Paul accepted by the Jerusalem church leaders—Peter, James & John—so the likelihood of him calling Paul a fake is nil. And the likelihood of Barnabas calling Jesus a phony is even more zero since he gave his life for the Gospel of Jesus on Cyprus.

      The Jews of Jesus time also misunderstood about Jesus being like Moses. They expected a warrior king to come and slaughter the Romans for them and reestablish a Jewish Kingdom such as David had. But Jesus is like Moses in that is the Deliverer of people from bondage. In Moses case, physical bondage to Egypt (followed by giving the laws by which those delivered were to live). In Jesus' case, Spiritual bondage (followed by laws by which those delivered were to live). The "Comforter" Jesus sent was the Holy Spirit—the same Holy Spirit that lives in me today.

      The point of Jesus in relation to Justice is that if we want true justice—all of us are lost. What human person is good enough? You? Me? No. The Jews sacrificed lambs for propitiation. They stopped after Jesus because he was the sacrificial lamb for us all. A perfect person killed for the imperfect.

      Did Jesus die on the cross? Of course he did. There were plenty of witnesses to that. The better question is: Was He resurrected from the dead? And there were plenty of witnesses to that, too. Yes, He was. No matter what Paul or John or Mark or Barnabas or you or me say: all that really matters is that last question. Was HE resurrected from the dead?

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      Mickey McNew 8 years ago

      Upal19,

      Paul didn’t write the Bible his letters were collected by Christians and latter were chosen into the collection of Scripture which is now the New Testament. Barnabas and the others who wrote their gospels were forgeries known as Gnostics and are easily discerned as such by those who are studious in Scripture. It was Barnabas who went and got Paul to preach the Gospel at Antioch were the disciples began to be called Christians, i.e. followers of Christ, Acts 11:23-26. Barnabas didn’t feel as confident to preach this message to these people but instead sought the help of Paul! He believed in Paul strongly.

      As far as Paul never seeing Jesus this is not Scriptural, Luke in his account of the Acts of the apostle’s says that Paul had several encounters with Christ. And the Gospels declare that after Jesus’ resurrection, He appeared to the apostles as well as too many others. Luke wrote this letter by request of the official Theophilus, Acts 1:1 & Luke 1:1-4.

      What about all those who never saw Christ before He came. That is why every one was looking for the Messiah, God had promised throughout the Old Testament a Savior who would take away their sins. The sacrifice of bulls and goats was atonement for their sins until the Sacrifice came, namely Jesus, Isaiah 53 & 7:14. Atonement only covers sins it doesn’t take them away. Peter says of the prophets, “Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven” 1 Peter 1:10-12. The very first act of this Sacrifice of the awaited propitiation was seen in the Garden of Eden were God covered Adam and Eve with an animals skin. Sin brought guilt and shame. God took the life of an animal to cover their sin. This was the first shadow of the cross were the death of Christ would not only cover us but reconcile us to God.

      Jesus after he was crucified went to the spirits who had died before the cross and preached the Gospel to them. Those who believed He was the Messiah and Sacrifice for sin was released and taken to heaven. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, 19 through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20 who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built” 1 Peter 3:18-20 NIV “For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.” 1 Peter 4:6 NIV

      Ever since Christ, we who live must receive the truth of Jesus and if we die without accepting His Sacrifice as payment for our sins and transgressions of God’s law then we will pay for it ourselves through death and separation from God with our own blood. “Just as man is destined to die once , and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” Heb 9:27-10:1.

      Through Noah and his obedience to God built the Ark in which 8 people were saved. They had full knowledge of God, yet some of their descendants forsook God and sought Him not. God choose one of Noah’ descendants Abram to show the world His true nature and means of worship to be acceptable to Him. He made a covenant with him and made promises to him of the coming Messiah who would come through his own seed. “Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, " By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 " In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Gen 22:15-18. NASU

      Through his seed Jesus all mankind every nation and tongue can find peace in God. This is how man is saved and how God is both just and justifier of all who live and all who will perish. Accept Jesus and be reconciled to God, He is the awaited promise. The one who came after Him was the Holy Spirit. I have personally met Him and all those who have can’t be persuaded other wise He is very awesome and gives sound proof of the truth of Jesus.

    • profile image

      Allan McGregor 8 years ago

      Upal19. Thanks for crediting the Bible as mine, I'm very flattered but I didn't actually write it. About 40 writers did over some 1500 years under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

      Clearly you haven't read it or you'd have noticed that I was quoting from the apostle John and not Paul. Also, the questions you asked have already been answered in numerous places in the Bible, although Hebrews chapter 11 would be a good place to start. And I would draw your attention to the account of the Transfiguration, where Jesus met with Moses and Elijah on a mountain top. Clearly, they were not excluded from the fellowship of God's people.

    • patful profile image

      patful 8 years ago

      For people who haven't read Paul's epistles in the New Testament, your hub is a marvelous introduction and summary. For those of us who have read those letters, it's a reminder of the powerful truths. Paul was university-educated, with an impeccable Jewish heritage. He was vehement, even fanatical in his war against the Christ-followers. And then one day! God stepped in, turned him around in more ways than one and enabled Paul not only to mentor new gatherings of believers but to provide for us, centuries later, the basics of Christian theology and a real-life look at what the Church is meant to be. Recently,I read through the epistles, looking for the names of "ordinary people", not the usual "stars". I was amazed at the numbers of people Paul credited with contributing in one way or another to the growth of local communities. Of course, there were some troublemakers, too, that he chastised (and we still have their types around today, too.) Paul was a strong-minded, practically invincible human being, and yet he could say, while he was chained and waiting for trial in Rome, that he was happy to serve God and share the "good news" with so many people.

      Using the technology of the 21st century, you have brought truths (that are timeless)to viewers on the Internet, who might never walk into a Barnes & Noble and purchase a Bible.

      Thanks.

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 8 years ago from Dhaka

      Very nice to read all your description and explanation. bible is teaching people to call jesus son of god. who does not call him son of god is antichrist. please tell me what about the people who were in this world before christ? would they be treated by god as antichrist? what will happen to moses and his followers who did not call christ son of god? only they will be saved by god who call jesus son of god and others will be ignored by god? is this god's justice? is other people created by other god? you must admit that there is only one god. there must be a unique religion linked to that only god. if you say bible is only bible other books are in vain then I'm disappointed. have you ever read the gospel of Barnabas who was a direct disciple of jesus please? you are quoting and reading bible written by paul who was not a direct disciple of jesus. he never saw jesus. how he writes all true?

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 8 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      Actually, Upal19, the God revealed in the Christian Bible and Muslim Qur'an are not the same. It is not I but our respective scriptures that separate us.

      The Qur'an in emphatic that Allah has no son, for example, Sura 4.171, and 5.72, 73 & 75.

      In contrast, 1 John 4:2-3 says:

      'By this know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not from God; and this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.'

      1 John 4:15,

      'Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.'

      1 John 5:5,

      'Who is the one overcoming the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

      1 John 5:20, 'And we know that the Son of God has come, and He has given to us an understanding that we may know the true One, and we are in the true One, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and the life everlasting.'

      And 2 John 1:3 & 7 says:

      'Grace, mercy, peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love...Because many deceivers went out into the world, those not confessing Jesus Christ to have come in the flesh, this is the deceiver and the antichrist.'

      So, there is a clear problem in that the Qur'an calls me a blasphemer for teaching what my Bible says about Jesus, while my Bible calls your Qur'an Antichrist.

      My Bible says that Gabriel told Mary her son would called the Son of God. Muhammed claimed that Gabriel told him the opposite: Clearly, one of our Gabriels was lying.

    • Mickey McNew profile image

      Mickey McNew 8 years ago

      Upal,

      If Allah does not love sinners Sura 2:190 and the Koran declares Muhammad a sinner Sura 48:2 & 47:19 but Jesus sinless Sura 19:19 and to be the Messiah as well Sura 3:45-46; then you would be wise to follow what Jesus said over Muhammad. Since you like to quote John, Jesus declared Himself to be God in this book. “Truly, truly, before Abraham was born, I am” John 8:58. This is what God called Himself to Moses, “God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM .This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" Ex 3:14 NIV

      John declares Jesus to be God, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” John 1:1-4 “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

      “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” John 1:18

      The God of the Bible declares that those who sin must die. Genesis 2:16-17. This we can agree on without argument, every man dies. If you break Gods law you die that is payment. No righteous act can be payment to a perfect God. How then is man reconciled to God? He became flesh subjected Himself to the Law and lived a perfect life, Heb 2:17-18 and Heb 4:15. Jesus’ death, God in the flesh, was unlawful. His life was taken. That blood spilled is transferred to all who will believe in Him for reconciliation. We call it propitiation that is to cause to become favorably inclined, or regain the good will of and appease. This is why Jesus said to those who where opposing His claim as Messiah, “You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins." John 8:23-24 NIV. This is the truth, therefore we exalt Jesus.

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 8 years ago from Dhaka

      Dear Allan, who are we? are we not the same god created? is christian' god different from muslim god? can't be. god is the same. we are dividing him.

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 8 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      Upal19 complains that Jesus' vicarious death for sinners is 'unjust'. Quite right it was, which is the very essence of the doctrine of grace, which is the undeserved, unmerited favour of God, rather than what we deserve.

      How could God die? By 'emptying himself' of all his divine privileges and prerogatives as it literally says in the Greek in Philippians 2:7. Clearly, in this respect the Christian concept of God is less limited than the Muslim, because we believe he could do what he said, whereas Islam claims he could not. Hmmm! Somebody's God is not as all-powerful here as they claim. Christians merely stand back in amazement in faith and say: 'Hey that was really clever of God', while Muslims seem say: 'That was too difficult for God, he couldn't have done it'.

      As for the plurality of God, Jesus referred to himself on several occasions as 'I AM'. Every Jew knew exactly what that claim entailed and many picked up stones to execute Jesus for blasphemy for claiming to be God.

      And in Luke 24:25-27, Jesus spoke to his disciples on the road to Emmaus, after his resurrection:

      'And He said to them, "O fools and slow of heart to believe all things that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"

      And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.'

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 8 years ago from Dhaka

      James, I'm again, US or WE whatever you say, I've researched on that, god uses these terms in many places even in Qur'an. we know this as plural but please read about those languages in which religious books were written originally. there the terms are not for plural. god has uses these terms to express his greatness.

    • Allan McGregor profile image

      Allan McGregor 8 years ago from South Lanarkshire

      You are a very patient man Mr Watkins with some of the absolute nonsense that has been thrown at you. As often happens, many of Paul's critics forget one of Jesus' more enigmatic utterances in John 16:12-15,

      "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. For He shall not speak of Himself, but whatever He hears, He shall speak. And He will announce to you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will receive of Mine and will announce it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and will announce it to you."

      Paul was one of the apostolic recipients of that particular grace, inpired by the Holy Spirit to write those things Jesus' original apostles were not prepared to receive at his first coming.

      Predestination is simple: God (whose name Yahweh may be rendered as 'Always') is eternal and 'declares the end from the beginning'(Isaiah 46:10). From his eternal pespective, 'beyond the finishing line', so to speak, our eternal destiny is fully known. This is analogous to sitting in a railway terminal awaiting a certain train. Its eventual arrival at the destination comes as no surprise to us who are waiting because we were expecting it and could say its journey was predestined.

      Check out your own Bible and read Revelation chapter 22. Who wins? Hey, you peeked at the end of the Book, didn't you! Well so does God, except for real - and the Book he peeks in is all history and all time.

      Does God have a Bride? - Well, the Son sure does, she's called the Church and the Holy Spirit is the Divine Matchmaker. In the Old Testament she was Israel, which answers the Replacement Theology fallacy that Israel is rejected (something Paul vehemently addressed in Romans chapters 9-11). God is a covenant-keeper (Psalm 89:34) and has only one wife, which is why the Church is spiritual Israel - grafted into God's people who God calls back to himself at the end.

      The Virgin Birth is clear and essential. Neither the Holy Spirit nor the Father could not die on the Cross for our sins, so God had to manifest incarnate. However, as a descendent of the Patriarch Adam Jesus would have been tainted by the legacy of Original Sin, to say nothing of the curse on Jeconiah's line, pronounced in the Old Testament and passed down through Joseph's genealogy.

      However, one of the cool things about being God is being omniscient and able to circumvent all those problems by overshadowing a young Jewish virgin called Miriam, espoused to a Nazareth carpenter. When the angel foretold her she would be so impregnated, she asked how. His answer in the Greek is often mistranslated as 'with God nothing is impossible'. In fact, Gabriel said that 'with God, no rhema is impossible to him', meaning that whatever word (rhema) God had divinely uttered through his prophets would be accomplished. Miriam, whom we know as Mary, understood that Isaiah had already recorded God's promise of the virgin birth of his Messiah and replied: 'Let it be according to your rhema'. Because prophecy is not merely predictive, but prescriptive and once God had spoken it through Isaiah it was inevitable.

    • upal19 profile image

      Ashraf Mir 8 years ago from Dhaka

      James and Mickey, I’ve read follow up both of you. Being a Muslim I’ve been reading bible and Old Testament from my childhood. But the present bible read by Christians is written by Paul who was not one of the twelve apostles. He was first dead against Jesus. Paul who never saw Jesus writes bible and that book is now read as bible. In this bible Mathew, mark, Luke and john describe almost same story when only john is somewhat different. My question is why we read Paul written bible. Why we don’t read Barnabas written bible which should be treated the original bible. I had the opportunity to read that.

      Barnabas writes, Jesus says, “I’m giving you baptism with water but he who is coming next will baptize you with fire.” Can anybody tell what that fire is? In john we can read Jesus says, “My going back is good for you, if i go back I’ll send him to you who will tell you everything.” Jesus pointed him as soul of truth. Jews were waiting for that prophet, but when they saw that Jesus is not like Moses as Moses earlier said they asked Jesus frequently whether he is that prophet. It can be proved by many ways that Jesus was not like Moses, firstly we can say Moses had parents Jesus not. Secondly, Moses married Jesus not. Thirdly Moses died Jesus not. Did Jesus die? Again I’m asking- did Jesus die? You may say that yes he died on cross. May I ask you that you are saying that Jesus is god, then how can god die even for a moment? In Qur’an we read that Allah says, “How do you tell that that Jesus is son of god? How god had a son when he has no wife? Jesus is just like Adam. Rather Adam was created by me without parents.” “Jesus is a prophet like other prophets.” From Adam to Mohammad there are so many prophets sent by god. All prophets performed their duties. In Christian belief, Jesus has suffered for our sins. So we are forgiven. It can’t be. This is not justice. Justice is that when someone commits offence he/she must be punished and when someone does a good thing he/she must be awarded. Sinners and pious are not the same. If Jesus suffers for sins of all then what about them who do not believe in god and believe not in Jesus?

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Mardi— Well, thank you! I am glad you are interested in this subject. I'll probably do some more work in this area in about ten days. I'm going to be writing about some unrelated topics between now and then. I appreciate your gracious remarks.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Mickey McNew— Thank you again for the expert comments. They are helpful. I think where he is going is that Mohammad is more like Moses than Jesus. I have an inkling this is the followup that is yet to come.

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Mickey McNew— Thank you for the excellent additional information. Feel free to comment anytime. Your first Hub was great by the way.

      I might add also that at the Creation, upal19, God said, "Let US make man in our own image." Us? I think the Us included His Son and Holy Spirit.

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi 8 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      James this is a very informative hub and one that is also very inspiring. I am always interested to hear others perspectives as I think this is part of growing and learning both spiritually and intellectually. I look forward to your next hub and the comments that follow.

    • Mickey McNew profile image

      Mickey McNew 8 years ago

      Sorry James can't help myself.

      Was Jesus like Moses?

      1. Both had to be protected as infants from leaders who wanted them dead.

      2. Both found protection in Egypt.

      3. Both where called out of Egypt.

      4. Both where rejected by Israel.

      5. Both met resistance from Satan.

      The list goes on and on. But this should be a start.

    • profile image

      Mickey McNew 8 years ago

      Upal

      Let's see, why does God want a Son? To fulfill His Word!!!!!!!

      Isa 9:6

      6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;

      And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,Eternal, Father, Prince of Peace."

      Prov 30:4

      Who has gone up to heaven and come down?

      Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?

      Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?

      Who has established all the ends of the earth?

      What is his name, and the name of his son ?

      Tell me if you know! NIV

      I know, Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazerath, Jesus, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, The great I AM....

    • James A Watkins profile image
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      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      upal— God is the Father; Jesus is the Son.

      I wouldn't say God "needs" a Son. I would say that God has a plan for the world He created; And part of His plan involves activities of His Son and his Holy Spirit, which are extensions of Himself, to accomplish His purposes. Many people may ask: "Why does God do things the way He does?" We can neither know nor understand. How is the clay to ask the Potter, "Why did you make me this way?"

      God doesn't have a wife or a daughter. When he uses the term Son He is using a term that should be easy for humans to understand. I have a Son, who is my genes and DNA, and so a part of me. I didn't "need" a son—I wanted one. Of course, God's ways are vastly more mysterious and complicated but the analogy is there for our benefit.

      The "soul of truth" was what Jesus promised to come to comfort, counsel and teach Believers after He ascended to Heaven. And for ten days after Jesus left the Earth in bodily form, his Apostles stayed in a room praying for this soul of truth to come. The tenth day it, The Holy Spirit of God, came: what is known as "The Day of Pentecost."

      Moses is like Jesus symbolically not literally since Moses was merely a man. But both came to free an enslaved people and lead them to the Promised Land.

      I know the three persons in one God is a difficult theological concept. Because in human terms, each of us can only be one person. Of course, we are not God, and we should not project our human limitations onto Him. He can do anything He wants.

      And I know some religions claim it is polytheism. But it is not. There is only one God. God lives in community with His Son and His Holy Spirit. Why? You will have ask Him that.

      Thank you for coming and asking such fine and deep questions. God Bless You.