God had a Dream and a Plan
(In the beginning...)
In the beginning.......God created....... (Genesis 1:1ff)
And God saw that everything was GOOD.....
And He created Man 'in His Own Image'...to share in His own wonder of what it is to be.
(Genesis 1:26,27; 2:7)
Freely, God created; and man, being created 'in the image of God', had also to be free....
And being made free in his heart and mind and soul, man could choose either to comply with all the good which God had made, or he could venture not to comply. God had warned him, if he chose not to comply, he would die..... (Genesis 2:17; 3:3)
Tempted, man ignored God's warning and continues to learn the hard way that life deprived of goodness, "of God, Who alone is Good," (Luke 18:19) is a life of suffering, evil and death. (Genesis 3:1-19)
And so, from the very beginning, God had His contingency plan ready should man choose to test the consequences of not complying with His warning. (Genesis 3:15) He would provide man with the means whereby he could, if he repented of his folly, reach out to Him to be saved and still, thereby, come to share in His Eternal Goodness and the wonder of what it is to exist, as was always His plan and desire in His love for man.
So, from the very beginning God planned to come and save him. Death and evil would be overcome. With His capacity to incarnate
Himself He would come Himself, as a man, to effect man's salvation, and with this in mind, God said to the Tempter,
"I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed, (evil spirits) and her seed; (the Devil would have no part with her; she would be created Immaculate in her seed, because she was to be His own mother, the mother of God Incarnate. See Articles 26 - To Set My People Free and 27.1 - The Incarnation, 27.2 - Mary - The Immaculate Conception & 27.3 - Mary - The Mother of Christ.) she shall crush your head and you shall bruise her heal." (Genesis 3:15)
(In 1858 at Lourdes, France, a "Beautiful Lady" appeared to St Bernadette Soubirous. Bernadette asked the Lady who she was. The Lady replied, "I am the Immaculate Conception".)
So, it was His plan, that as a child from the seed of a woman, He would enter His Creation.
"A virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His Name shall be called, Emmanuel."
(Emmanuel means "God with us". See Matthew 1:23)
(Isaiah 7:14. See Acts 4:12)
"He shall be called, God the Mighty and Father of the world to come." (Isaiah 9:6)
His birthplace is foretold:
"And you, Bethlehem.....out of you shall He come forth...
His going forth is from the beginning,
from the days of eternity." (Micah 5:2)
And the virgin conceived:
'The angel Gabriel was sent from God...to a virgin... whose name was Mary...and the angel said to her: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee:...behold you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus...and of His Kingdom there shall be no end...The Holy Spirit...and the power of the Most High will overshadow you...and the Holy which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God." ' (Luke 1:26-35 & Article 20 - Understanding the Holy Trinity)
At His birth an angel proclaimed to the shepherds
"This day is born to you a Saviour, Who is Christ the Lord... (1 John 4:14)
and the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go over to
Bethlehem and see...' " (Luke 2:11,15; Micah 5:2)
And so, the whole vexed question, as to which religion is the true religion of God, is clearly answered. It is the religion of the Messiah; the Messiah, "Whose going forth is from the days of eternity"; (Micah 5:2) the Messiah, "the Son of God", Who chose to be born into the world as child of the Virgin; the 'Mighty God' and 'Father of the world to come'. (Isaiah 9:6) Obviously, a religion without the Messiah cannot profess to be 'the true religion'. Islam, therefore, cannot possibly be 'the true religion' as it claims. It regards the Messiah as an apostle only; not as God and Saviour. (Koran 2:136; 3:83; 4:171; 5:72; 5:75; 19:88)
So, what is the credibility of Judaism? The Messiah was a Jew born of the line of Abraham. God made a Covenant with Abraham promising that because of his faith and trust, He would make him "the father of many nations with children as the stars of the heavens and the sands of the seashore. In him and his descendants all the nations would be blessed." (Genesis 12:3; 17:1-21; 18:17,18; 22:16-18) The Covenant would be fulfilled in, by and through the Jewish Messiah, Who would emerge from the line of Abraham's son Isaac and Isaac's son Jacob ('Israel' - Genesis 32:28; 35:10), and King David. (Acts 13:22,23) The Messiah, would be born of a Jewish Virgin and fulfil all of the prophecies regarding Himself as spoken by the Prophets. (Luke 4:16-21; 24:44 -49) The Messiah, in Whom "dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9) is Saviour, (1 John 4:14) and the One by Whom God's Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is to be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17; Luke 24:44 ) "In Him all the tribes of the earth will be blessed..." (Psalm 71:17) "as there is no other Name given under heaven by whom men can be saved." (Acts 4:12) Henceforth, the 'religion' of the Messiah is to be preached to 'all the nations'. (Luke 16:16; Matthew 28:19,20)
So, it is true, the salvation of man rests with the Jewish Messiah. His, is 'the true religion'. Sadly, the Jews still do not recognise Him. They still await His coming. (See Article 23 - St. Paul, Faith & the True Children of Abraham) Together with the Muslims they still do not understand God's Plan and how it is working in their very midst, and is continuing to be fulfilled through the Church given its Authority by the Messiah Himself, to teach all the nations in His Name until the end of time. (Matthew 28:19,20 & Acts 1:8. Jewish non-belief: See 2 Corinthians 3:12-16)
To His Apostles He said, "All authority is Mine in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18) I give to you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven, what you bind on earth is to be considered bound in heaven and what you loose on earth is to be considered loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19) Whose sins you forgive, are forgiven; and whose sins you retain shall be retained. (John 20:21-23) Go, and teach all the nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19,20; Article 20 - Understanding the Holy Trinity) The gates of hell shall never prevail against you because I will be with you all days until the end of the world." (Matthew 16:18; 28:20)
Only one Church can demonstrate it is the one upon which the Messiah conferred His Own authority and commissioned to teach and act and forgive sins in His Name; and that is the Catholic (Universal) Church which is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church which has consciously and constantly exercised its authority (as given 'above' by the Messiah) since it was empowered to act by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost day, which was fifty days after the Messiah's Resurrection from the dead, (Acts 2:1-47; John 14:26; 15:26; 16:7,13) and ten days after the Messiah's Ascension to Heaven before His disciples' very eyes. (Acts 1:8-11)
"The Law and the Prophets were until John. (John the Baptist - precursor of the Messiah - Luke 1:57-80; 7:18-35; Mark 1:1-14; Matthew 3:1-17; 14:1-12; John 1:6-8; 3:23-36) Since that time the Kingdom of God is preached......." (Luke 16:16; See Article 11 - The Kingdom of the Messiah)
God's Plan has been to fulfil His Covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through His Messiah and to continue His Blessing of all the nations until the end of time through His Church which is filled with the Messiah's Holy Spirit. ("I will be with you always..." Matthew 28:20.) Truly, through His Church, God is gathering Abraham's children from among all the nations in numbers "as the stars of heaven and the sands of the seashore". (Genesis 22:16-18)
"The heavens shall confess thy wonders, O Lord: and thy Truth in the Church of the saints."
(Psalm 88:6 in Douay Bible)
* It must also be remembered the Messiah said: "Other sheep I have, not of this fold. These also, I must bring." (John. 10:16) "No one can come to the Father except by Me." (John 14:6 & Article 20 - Understanding the Holy Trinity) And His Apostle St John said: "For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son; (Article 20 - Understanding the Holy Trinity) so that whosoever believes in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting. For God sent His Son into the world, not to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by Him." (John 3:15-16; 17:3.)
* All which is outlined above, is further substantiated in the Articles which follow...