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WHICH HOLY BOOK IS THE WORD OF GOD
HOW TO PROVE WHICH PLAN OF SALVATION IS TRUE
We have seen some bewildering ideas about salvation. Then there are differing ideas about God Himself and His nature. Islam believes in only one God. So does Sikhism. Krishna of Hinduism claims he is the supreme God, but the Ramayana of the Hindus does not acknowledge that. It claims that Rama is a god, and that there are many other levels of gods and demi-gods. The Germans also believe in many levels of divine beings.
Christianity claims that there is one Triune God (also known as the Trinity) who exists as three coequal personages: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. God’s Church on the other hand believes that there is one supreme God known as God the Father, the original source of all life, and that Jesus Christ is also God. But the Church of God does not believe that the Holy Spirit is a person but is the spirit essence or energy of God. Judaism also believes in one God though they use the same Old Testament as does Christianity to formulate their beliefs which shows the existence of at least two Beings called Lord.
Who is correct in their beliefs? How can we prove what is the truth? Is there any evidence available to decide which belief is the truth, and which idea of salvation is true?
Consider the various ideas of salvation of different religions. Catholics and Protestants believe that those Christians who qualify for salvation go to heaven. Those who don’t go to hell! Is there any proof for any of these beliefs? How do we know with absolute certainty whether a loved one who died is in heaven or burning in hell? Without proof, these are mere beliefs of men.
Is there any proof that the paradise promised to males in Islam exists? No one has ever provided any proof. Without proof it is a mere claim in the Koran. A man claims that the Koran was revealed to him. How do we know whether it is revelation from the true God or is the lies of another ‘god’?
Who has seen an immortal soul, or seen the immortal soul transmigrate into another creature on the death of a human being as claimed by Hinduism and Sikhism? Without proof it is mere conjecture, a mere belief without any evidence. It is faith without any basis. Without proof these are mere philosophies of men. Since the immortal soul is supposed to be invisible, and we cannot experience it with any of our physical senses, this belief is unprovable for human beings. We have to accept it on faith. It could very well be a lie, because we cannot prove it to be the truth.
We have seen that ideas of salvation offered to Jews in Judaism are inconsistent with all the Old Testament scriptures. Many passages have not been explained and Jews still debate them. Also, Judaism offers salvation only to the Jews. Why would God choose just one people as His favorite chosen people and treat the vast majority of others as less favored people? Many of these things remain unexplained in Judaism.
Can God’s Church prove that its belief about salvation offered to Christianity is true? Can it prove its views about what God is? It proves its views on the basis of the Bible. But why should anyone believe the Bible above any of holy books of other religions?
Since all these ideas on salvation differ from one another, only one can be true, if at all. All others have to be mere philosophies of men at best, or the deliberate diabolical lies of another god or gods competing against the true God. How do we prove what is the truth?
These days it has become fashionable for all religions to claim that their holy book is the direct revelation of God through the founder of their religion. However, these religions do not provide evidence that their scriptures have been backed by the authority of a Supreme Being who has total control over the affairs of men.
Any writer of a so-called holy book can lie or be deceived into lying by the spirit world; unless he can provide evidence that his religion’s holy book is backed by the power and authority of the only true God. We are not saying that the writers of the scriptures are lying deliberately. We do not doubt their sincerity. They may have very sincerely believed that what they wrote was revealed to them by a superior non-human power. They believed that words and thoughts were put into their minds by a higher power, or in the case of Mohammad, he heard a spirit being, claiming to be the archangel Gabriel, who spoke to him as a representative of the one great Allah. The presence of an angel can be absolutely overwhelming for a human being. A person can be easily misled to believe that communication from such beings is from God Himself. So, when the founders of the religions claim that the words that they wrote in their scriptures were revealed to them, they may have been absolutely sincere, but could be wrong.
However, if Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Jews, Christians, ancestor worshippers and those of other faiths cannot prove that their holy books are backed by the authority of Almighty God, then why should we believe him when he says he is the creator of the universe? Anybody can lie, including great spirits, and claim that he has created everything. Why should we believe such a liar if he cannot demonstrate that he is the Almighty God?
There is also no reason to believe that the salvation offered by these religions has any truth to it. Without proof ideas of salvation offered by different religions are likely to be mere figments of the imagination of the founders of the religions, or even worse, inspired by one or more lying spirits or gods. Without proof, we would be asked to accept these offers of salvation on blind faith.
How do we Prove which Holy Book is Inspired by God
The holy books of all the religions that we have now are complete. Nothing is being added to them. All the ideas of all the religions based on the existence of God are based on the understanding and interpretation of the holy books. Therefore, it is important for us to obtain our ideas about each religion from its holy book.
Since all our ideas about each religion must come from its holy book, the great question before us is: How do we prove which holy book is inspired by the supreme Creator God and is the true word of God?
The only real acceptable criterion must be a demonstration of the power of Almighty God in the pages of the holy book. This means that in the pages of the holy book God must have told us that He would do numerous great things (not just one, two or three events because they can come true by mere coincidence) well in advance and brought them to pass exactly as foretold. Instruction on how to live our lives cannot provide us the irrefutable proof we need. Such instructions differ in each of the holy books, with some commonalities. We are not always able to evaluate the long-term result of following the instructions because of the short span covered in them except the Bible, and certainly not on how they affect salvation. But if we can prove that the entire holy book of a religion is backed by the power of God, then we can obey all the instructions in that holy book with confidence as well as accept the promises of salvation it offers.
Caution about Imperfect Human Beings
Since we are trying to prove which holy book is inspired by the supreme God, we must be cautious about two great issues that can prejudice us while seeking the truth. The first issue is the conduct of the professing adherents to the religion.
It is generally true that you can know a religion by the fruits it produces, or the conduct of the average adherent to the religion. But the truth is that all claiming adherence to a particular religion are not devout believers and practitioners of the religion. Most of humanity claims to profess a religion, but have never even read their religion’s entire scriptures, leave alone understanding them. The average person’s understanding of his religion comes by hearsay, by whatever little he or she has learnt from the family or preachers. They are busy with the cares of this world and have little time to practice their religion devoutly. Thus, one will not find the true fruits of the religion by evaluating the conduct of the average adherent.
The non-Christian world evaluates Christianity from the conduct of the average Christian in America, the British Commonwealth nations, France and the Benelux and Scandinavian countries. But homosexuality, sexual immorality of every kind, drug abuse and other sins run rampant in these nations. The non-Christian world believes that is what the Bible teaches. Hence, they reject Christianity as a false religion. But that is a wrong premise for rejecting the religion.
In reality such practices are condemned in the Bible in the harshest possible terms and the death penalty prescribed for such sins. Just as an example, here is God’s condemnation of the sin of homosexuality in the Bible.
Actual command against homosexuality and the penalty for this violation of the law is described in Leviticus 20:13 (NIV): “13 " 'If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
God warns America, British Commonwealth nations and the Jews through Isaiah the prophet in Isaiah 3:8-9 (NIV): “8 Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the LORD, defying his glorious presence. 9 The look on their faces testifies against them; they parade their sin like Sodom; they do not hide it. Woe to them! They have brought disaster upon themselves.”
God is prophesying here that America, British Commonwealth nations and the Jewish state of Israel are going to bring ruin on themselves for the sin of homosexuality in addition to their other sins. God is actually going to punish them for violating the laws that true Christianity requires them to obey.
You can clearly see that the fault is not with the religion but with those who profess to follow it but are not devout adherents. Therefore, be careful not to reject the true religion by merely looking at the average adherent to the religion. The right way to judge the religion is by evaluating the conduct of its devout followers. But even that criterion is not perfect because even devout followers can sin and fall short. The Bible in fact says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Second issue is the different interpretations of the scriptures. Each religion has many different sects and denominations because of different interpretations of the scriptures of the religion. Christianity alone by some counts has 30,000 – 40,000 different denominations, with about 2,000 being major ones. All have different interpretations of the Bible. They believe in and adhere to their own interpretation of the Bible.
Then all tenets of the religion are usually not derived from the scriptures. They have added many other things, such as thoughts and philosophies of the great past leaders of the religion to their religious practices from outside the Bible. Various preachers have added their own ideas, philosophies and traditions to what the scriptures say and gained a following for themselves, thus creating a new sect or denomination in the religion, or a new religion altogether. And the biggest denomination, Catholicism maintains that the Bible is not the sole authority to be relied on for obtaining salvation, but the teachings and traditions of their Church in addition to the Bible have greater weight. Obviously, such tenets not derived from the scriptures do not have God’s authority behind them, if we have proved the holy book of the religion to be inspired by God.
Let’s now begin evaluating various religions according to the criterion we have established to determine which is the one and only true religion, if one exists.
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