WHICH BOOK IS TRULY THE WORD OF GOD?
The wisest path in a man’s life is acknowledging the existence of the Creator God. This realization, however, will not lead to anything useful if it is not followed by finding His Word. Knowing that the Creator exists, but not finding His instructions and directions for life and the way to heaven, is an achievement without any conclusion.
Solomon said in Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” The statement is very true because we know that more than one book claims to be the Word of God, while their contents are directly opposite one to another. By applying just a little logic, a person can immediately conclude that the one Creator cannot give out many conflicting words. Logically, one of them is the Word of God. Because if none of them is the Word of God, then God has not spoken and cannot speak, which results in the conclusion that there is no God. On the other hand, if all of them are the Word of God, and they all contradict each other, such an option is impossible either. There is only one alternative left, that one of them is the Word of God.
Then how would a person determine that a book is the only Word of God? Quite simple and logical. First, if God, who is truth and righteousness, truly speaks, then His Word necessarily cannot have mistakes or errors. After reading many books that claim to be God’s Word, this writer has found that the Bible is the only book to fulfill this criteria. For example, there is another book besides the Bible that wrote about Abraham sacrificing his son. The Bible records that Abraham sacrificed Isaac, while the other book wrote that Abraham sacrificed Ishmael. If Abraham sacrificed Ishmael, then Ishmael was the promised son, and God would work in the context of Ishmael’s sons and offsprings. However, the fact is that God worked through Isaac, Isaac’s son, and Isaac’s grandsons, and the nation that came from Isaac. To be honest, this writer will rather believe the Bible. Forcing someone to believe what we believe, however, is a despicable act and a useless act at that. A wrong belief does not become true just because we have succeeded in forcing everyone to believe it. If someone has convinced us of an error and shown us the truth, then we better choose the side of truth.
Next, if God, who is most holy, do speak, then His Word necessarily is holy and teaches the highest moral standards. After comparing various books, this writer has found that the Bible teaches the highest moral standard. No other book teaches man to love his enemies, to love his neighbor like himself, and even to do unto other what we want others to do unto us. Some people criticizes the Bible for its record of various sins and atrocities. But we must learn to differentiate between what the Bible records and what it teaches. When the Bible records the greatness of David’s faith, the Bible also records the fatal mistake of David, who murdered and took another man’s wife. The Bible though, never teaches that a person may take another man’s wife, instead teaching that a man may only have one wife, and a woman may only have one husband. The Bible teaches this fact, and if we are not to be adulterous on earth, much more in heaven? Then, if there is record of a believer committing adultery, of if a Christian commits adultery, that proves that some Christians do not obey the Bible, not that the Bible teaches adultery.
The Bible is also a book that shows itself to be the word of an all-knowing God. No other book proves itself to come from omniscient God. To understand this we must know that the Bible is divided into two big sections, the Old Testament (OT), and the New Testament (NT). The Old Testament was written from 1500 BC until about 400 BC, while the New Testament was written from about 35 AD until 98 AD. So, the Old Testament books were already written 400 years before Jesus was born, while the New Testament books were written after Jesus returned to heaven.
Why is it called the Old Testament? Because it contains promises, or covenants, and because new covenants later would come. What covenant? The covenant from God to man that He will send a Savior to save man who has fallen into sin. So, since mankind fell into sin, man cannot approach the thrice-holy God or to enter holy heaven. To approach the most-holy God, man must be holy and totally sinless. This means that sin must be taken out of the picture. The difference between Christianity and all other religions is that the various religions teach that the solution so sin is through good works (alms, rituals, etc.), but the Bible clearly teaches that sin can only be annulled through punishment. Once again, sin is taken care of through punishment.
Because sin must be punished by the justice of God, God promised to send a Savior. The Savior will be a sinless person, born of a woman. If he is a sinful man, then he cannot be the savior of other sinful men, because he himself must receive punishment for his sins. Can an angel be sent to become the Savior to receive man’s punishments? Of course not!
God revealed His love, in that He Himself, emptied Himself, and by the Holy Spirit entered the womb of Mary, to be born as a sinless man, to bear the punishment for mankind’s sin. This is the way that God had chosen, that is in accord with all His characters. He is a Holy God, a Righteous God, and a Loving God. The way of salvation from God has to harmonize with His characters.
The amazing thing is that the Bible records that fulfillment of God’s promise (covenant) to send a Savior born of a woman. In short, the Savior cam from the seed of Abraham. That means it was impossible that the Savior was a Chinese or a Javanese, because Chinese and Javanese are not offsprings of Abraham. Furthermore, 2000 years before the Savior’s birth, it was prophesied that He will come from the line of Judah. About a thousand years before His birth, the prophet wrote that the Savior will come from the line of David. It becomes increasingly clear here that Abraham meant to sacrifice Isaac, not Ishmael, because the Savior or Messiah came not from the line of Ishmael, but from Isaac.
That there may not be any mistakes, the prophet Micah wrote about six hundred years before the birth of Jesus, that the Savior would be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:1). This means that a person born in Jakarta, even if he is a descendant of David, cannot be the Savior God meant. The prophet Isaiah wrote seven hundred years before Jesus was born that the Savior will be born of a virgin. The prophet Zechariah wrote four hundred years prior of Jesus that the Savior would enter Jerusalem riding a young donkey. Zechariah even wrote that He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver. Dr. Herbert Lockyer listed about three hundred (300) items about the Messiah or Savior that the Old Testament predicted or wrote about, hundreds or even thousands of years before His coming.
The Bible has proven itself to be the Word of the righteous God, the holy God, and the all-knowing God. At around the year 30 AD, when Jesus said that the Jerusalem temple will be destroyed, He was criticized. In the year 70 AD, however, about thirty years after that prophecy, the Holy Temple was destroyed by General Titus from Rome.
The Bible is the only written Word of God (written revelation), and it is fixed and definite. After the writing of the book of Revelation, God does not give more special revelation. If more new revelation were to be given, then the Bible will become only one of the Words of God. And, if the process of revelation was not stopped, then until now there will be no definite and fixed Word of God. However, we know that any new revelation and inspiration was stopped after the revelation at the island of Patmos around the end of the first century. Now the Holy Spirit works by enlightening, giving illumination, to truth-seekers who read the Bible. There is no more new prophecy, tongues, and various other forms of revelation from God. The Bible is the only guide from God, Creator of heaven and earth. Only through the Bible will man receive direction from the Creator.
Dear wise readers, to believe a book to be the Word of God, or not, is no small thing. It has to do with eternity in Heaven or in Hell. Let it not be that because of tradition, of being born in certain beliefs, a person follows blindly the wrong path. Instead, he or she must truly seek and study, give attention and meditate on this very important issue.***
Source: Dr. Suhento Liauw, Th.D, Road Map to Eternal City (English)