Who or what is God?

Picture of a raindrop hitting water

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.






God



What or who is God?



If we are going to worship God, or deny God, we should know what or who we are choosing to worship or deny the existence of. One can read many descriptions of God from a variety of sources. Some of those sources say that God is an alien. Some say He is everything, and others say He is nothing more than a fable or an illusion. Some say God is each individual person. Still others say that God is an omnipresent, all powerful, all knowing, expression of love.

A rational thinker would conclude that, if there is a God, and that God wants us to worship Him, then that God would make Himself readily known to all who seek Him. A real, true, living God would provide answers to questions like:

Where did we come from?
Why we humans exist?
What is expected of us?
What should God's role in our life be?
Should we worship Him, and if so, how?

A real God would leave evidence that He is God. He would be able to predict the future, explain death, and tell us what, if anything, exists after death. If there is a God and that God is worthy of worship, then that God must be greater than man. That God must be ethical. That God must be able to account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything. That God must be able to preserve His words and directives without contradiction for all mankind.

There is only one place to start in a quest to find God for the atheist, the agnostic, and the born again believer. Everyone must go to the source. Each individual must see what God claims to be. One cannot objectively deny the existence of God if he or she does not even know what God claims to be. On the other hand, we would be foolish and reckless to worship God if we do not know what God claims to be. This quest for who God is will look at the major religions of the world and ask these questions of each of them:

Who is God?
Is he greater than man?
Can he account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?
Does he explain where we came from?
Does he explain why we humans exist?
Does he explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?
Does he explain what is expected of us?
Is he ethical?
Does he explain what his role in our life should be?
Has he left evidence that he is God?
Is he able to predict the future?
Has he been able to preserve his words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?
Has he made himself readily known to all who seek him?
Should we worship him, and if so, how?


Hinduism


drawing of visnuHinduism is considered by some in the modern world to be the oldest religion, so a quest for God would be incomplete without taking a look at this religion. The first thing one learns when studying Hinduism is that it is certainly not the oldest religion. Hinduism was born out of Brahmanism. That is not to say that Brahmanism is the oldest religion, but simply that Brahmanism is older than Hinduism. Therefore, Hinduism is not the oldest religion. Brahmanism was brought to India by Aryan pastoral nomads who are said to have invaded India from the northern steppes and took control of the area around 1500 B.C.. The Aryans were tall, light skinned, warriors. The Indian natives were dark skinned. The caste system, now in place, was born out of this takeover of India. The word "caste" is derived from the Sanskrit word "Varna" which means "Color." The division in the caste system was originally very much divided along the lines of skin color. The Aryans made up the top three classes in the caste system which are still in effect today. These three classes are the:

1. Brahmins - Priest, educators, and scholars who have the most rights and privileges.
2. Kshatriyas - Warrior and governing class.
3. Vaisyas - Commoners such as merchants, farmers, and businessmen.

Originally, only the males from these top three classes were called the "twice born." They underwent an initiation ritual when they embarked upon a formal education at which time they were given a "sacred thread." The sacred thread symbolized the teacher, called a guru, drawing or leading them toward "self." Today, the sacred thread ceremony is open to anyone, at any age, when they begin to be "reborn" intellectually under the care of a guru. The next class in the caste system is called the Sudras which were originally the darker skinned natives of India. The Sudras are officially the lowest division of the caste system. They perform menial labor that the higher divisions of the caste system do not want to perform. There is another lower social class that is technically not even considered part of the caste system. These people are called the "untouchables" or "pariahs". The word pariah comes from a Sanskrit word meaning "outcast." These people take on the worst of jobs such as cleaning sewers and burying the dead. The caste system is an integral part of Hinduism.

Hinduism is a polytheistic (has many gods) religion. The main god in Hinduism is called Brahman according to some sources and Krishna according to other sources. Brahman is said to be the "great world soul." Some say he is indescribable. Others say he is everything. They say he is every raindrop, every tree, and every mountain. He is said to be one god in many forms. In Hinduism, the atman is the individual soul. It is said to be a piece of Brahman which inhabits each person. One can visualize this concept in this manner: if Brahman is a camp fire, then each of the sparks coming off of the fire is an atman. Reincarnation, the belief that one is reborn into another life form when one dies, is at the heart of Hinduism. In Hinduism, everyone must do one's duty to the best of one's ability according to one's caste. This is called dharma, which must not be confused with karma. Karma is good or bad deeds. Everyone is believed to store up good or bad karma depending on the good or bad deeds that one does. The karma that one builds up in this life is said to determine one's ranking in the caste system in one's next life. The goal for everyone, according to Hinduism, is to break the cycle and exit the wheel of life. This concept is called Moksha which is the merging of one's atman with Brahman, thereby, entering an endless restful sleep. The sacred scriptures in Hinduism are called the Vedas which are hymns of praise to gods. The oldest Veda is called the Rig—Veda which contains over one thousand hymns of praise to different gods. The Upanishads are commentaries on the Vedas made by holy men. One of the key text in Hinduism is called the Bhagavad Gita (song of the lord).

The Bhagavad Gita is the source for much of the information in this article. There are several English translations of this book which vary wildly in content. In order to avoid confusion, a single version is quoted and referenced here. In this most famous of Hindu texts, a warrior named Arjuna is being counseled on the battlefield by his charioteer who is a god named Krishna. According to the story, Krishna had given the two opposing forces in the battle a choice between his army and himself. The opposing forces made their choices. Krishna is then said to have given his army to the opponents of Arjuna, and himself as an adviser to Arjuna. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna was engaged in a moral dilemma because he did not want to kill his friends and family in the battle. His god, Krishna tells Arjuna that he will be committing a sin if he fails to perform his dharma (duty) according to his Kshatriyas caste. In this case, Arjuna's duty was to kill his opponents who were made up people he knew very well including his friends and members of his family such as cousins.

"If, however, you do not perform your religious duty of fighting, then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a fighter."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 2.33. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Krishna continues by telling Arjuna that he will only be killing the physical body and not the atman.

"...you are mourning for what is not worthy of grief. Those who are wise lament neither for the living nor for the dead. Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you, nor all these kings; nor in the future shall any of us cease to be. As the embodied soul continuously passes, in this body, from boyhood to youth to old age, the soul similarly passes into another body at death. A sober person is not bewildered by such a change."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 2.11-13. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Krishna says that the atman will be reincarnated into another life form. Then Arjuna's god attempts to shame him into fighting by appealing to his pride.

"People will always speak of your infamy, and for a respectable person, dishonor is worse than death. The great generals who have highly esteemed your name and fame will think that you have left the battlefield out of fear only, and thus they will consider you insignificant. Your enemies will describe you in many unkind words and scorn your ability. What could be more painful for you? O son of Kuntī, either you will be killed on the battlefield and attain the heavenly planets, or you will conquer and enjoy the earthly kingdom. Therefore, get up with determination and fight."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 2.34-37. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Krishna tells Arjuna to fight for the sake of fighting with little care for success or failure.

"Perform your duty equipoised, O Arjuna, abandoning all attachment to success or failure. Such equanimity is called yoga."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 2.48. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Krishna continues in his efforts to manipulate Arjuna by telling him that the outcome of the battle has already been decided by him (Krishna).

"...Time I am, the great destroyer of the worlds, and I have come here to destroy all people. With the exception of you [the Pādavas], all the soldiers here on both sides will be slain. Therefore get up. Prepare to fight and win glory. Conquer your enemies and enjoy a flourishing kingdom. They are already put to death by My [sic] arrangement, and you, O Savyasācī, can be but an instrument in the fight. Drona, Bhīsma, Jayadratha, Karna and the other great warriors have already been destroyed by Me [sic]. Therefore, kill them and do not be disturbed. Simply fight, and you will vanquish your enemies in battle."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 11.32-34. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Finally, Krishna tells Arjuna that he has no choice in the matter. Krishna says that all living entities are "seated as on a machine" and he (Krishna) controls them. Therefore, Arjuna will fight either willingly or by being "falsely directed."

"If you do not act according to My [sic] direction and do not fight, then you will be falsely directed. By your nature, you will have to be engaged in warfare. Under illusion you are now declining to act according to My [sic] direction. But, compelled by the work born of your own nature, you will act all the same, O son of Kuntī. The Supreme Lord [sic] is situated in everyone's heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 18.59-61. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Who is Krishna?

In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims to be literally everything including a false ego.

"Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence and false ego — all together these eight constitute My [sic] separated material energies. Besides these, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is another, superior energy of Mine, which comprises the living entities who are exploiting the resources of this material, inferior nature. All created beings have their source in these two natures. Of all that is material and all that is spiritual in this world, know for certain that I am both the origin and the dissolution. O conqueror of wealth, there is no truth superior to Me [sic]. Everything rests upon Me [sic], as pearls are strung on a thread. O son of Kuntī, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man. I am the original fragrance of the earth, and I am the heat in fire. I am the life of all that lives, and I am the penances of all ascetics. O son of Prthā, know that I am the original seed of all existences, the intelligence of the intelligent, and the prowess of all powerful men. I am the strength of the strong, devoid of passion and desire. I am sex life which is not contrary to religious principles, O lord of the Bhāratas [Arjuna]. Know that all states of being — be they of goodness, passion or ignorance — are manifested by My [sic] energy. I am, in one sense, everything, but I am independent. I am not under the modes of material nature, for they, on the contrary, are within Me [sic]."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 7.4-12. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


In addition to being everything, Krishna claims to be all-knowing in verse 7.26. In Chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna list some more of the things which he claims to be including the syllable om. The om is the Sanskrit mantra which is verbalized during yoga in order to achieve a greater level of concentration enabling one to connect to Krishna or Brahman.

"But it is I who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering. I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om. I am also the Rg, the Sāma and the Yajur Vedas. I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge, and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed. O Arjuna, I give heat, and I withhold and send forth the rain. I am immortality, and I am also death personified. Both spirit and matter are in Me [sic]."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 9.16-19. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


In that verse Krishna even declared himself to be death. In Chapter 10 of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna recites a long list of his identities which include Uccaihśravā - a seven headed horse produced by the churning of the ocean for nectar (10:27), surabhi - a winged bovine goddess with a white female human head and breast (10:28), and a humanoid bird called Garuda (10:30). He says that he is also the "Supersoul" (10:20), the letter a (10.33), and fame, fortune, fine speech, memory, intelligence, steadfastness and patience (10.34). The impression one gets when reading the Bhagavad Gita is that Krishna claims to be everything and everyone that has ever existed or will exist.

According to the words of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna reveals his true self to Arjuna at one point. The following quote reveals what Arjuna says that he saw.

"O mighty-armed one, all the planets with their demigods are disturbed at seeing Your [sic] great form, with its many faces, eyes, arms, thighs, legs, and bellies and Your [sic] many terrible teeth; and as they are disturbed, so am I. O Lord [sic] of lords, O refuge of the worlds, please be gracious to me. I cannot keep my balance seeing thus Your [sic] blazing deathlike faces and awful teeth. In all directions I am bewildered. All the sons of Dhrtarāstra, along with their allied kings, and Bhīsma, Drona, Karna — and our chief soldiers also — are rushing into Your [sic] fearful mouths. And some I see trapped with heads smashed between Your [sic] teeth."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 11.23-27. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


The Bhagavad Gita supports the idea of many gods.

"In the beginning of creation, the Lord [sic] of all creatures sent forth generations of men and demigods, along with sacrifices for Visnu, and blessed them by saying, 'Be thou happy by this yajña [sacrifice] because its performance will bestow upon you everything desirable for living happily and achieving liberation.' The demigods, being pleased by sacrifices, will also please you, and thus, by cooperation between men and demigods, prosperity will reign for all. In charge of the various necessities of life, the demigods, being satisfied by the performance of yajña [sacrifice], will supply all necessities to you. But he who enjoys such gifts without offering them to the demigods in return is certainly a thief."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 3.10-12. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Krishna is sometimes said to have been the ninth avatar (incarnation) of the god named Visnu mentioned in the above quote. However, this belief is not unanimous among Hindus. According to the Bhagavad Gita, the sun and the moon are both gods.

"8.4: O best of the embodied beings, the physical nature, which is constantly changing, is called adhibhūta [the material manifestation]. The universal form of the Lord [sic], which includes all the demigods, like those of the sun and moon, is called adhidaiva. And I, the Supreme Lord [sic], represented as the Supersoul [sic] in the heart of every embodied being, am called adhiyajña [the Lord of sacrifice]."
Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


At one point in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that he taught yoga to the sun.

"...I instructed this imperishable science of yoga to the sun-god, Vivasvān, and Vivasvān instructed it to Manu, the father of mankind, and Manu in turn instructed it to Iksvāku."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 4.1. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


How are the Hindu gods worshiped or served?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, one worships Krishna in a variety of ways such as studying the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita, drinking soma juice, seeking the heavenly planets, and performing yoga.

"9.20: Those who study the Vedas and drink the soma juice, seeking the heavenly planets, worship Me [sic] indirectly. Purified of sinful reactions, they take birth on the pious, heavenly planet of Indra, where they enjoy godly delights.

18.70: And I declare that he who studies this sacred conversation of ours worships Me [sic] by his intelligence.

6.28: Thus the self-controlled yogī, constantly engaged in yoga practice, becomes free from all material contamination and achieves the highest stage of perfect happiness in transcendental loving service to the Lord [sic]."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Furthermore, Krishna states that he is the receiver of all worship because everyone who worships any deity is actually worshiping him.

"Those who are devotees of other gods and who worship them with faith actually worship only Me [sic], O son of Kuntī, but they do so in a wrong way. I am the only enjoyer and master of all sacrifices. Therefore, those who do not recognize My [sic] true transcendental nature fall down. Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me [sic] will live with Me [sic]."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 9.23-25. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Throughout the Bhagavad Gita one learns the principles of Hinduism. Several methods or paths to enlightenment are mentioned such as yoga, meditation, works, sacrifice, and the cultivation of knowledge.

"My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me [sic] without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me [sic]. If you cannot practice the regulations of bhakti-yoga, then just try to work for Me [sic], because by working for Me [sic] you will come to the perfect stage. If, however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of Me [sic], then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self-situated. If you cannot take to this practice, then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge. Better than knowledge, however, is meditation, and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action, for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 12.9-12. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Yoga is an integral part of the worship and service to Hindu gods. This fundamental principle is constantly and continually reinforced throughout the Bhagavad Gita. Yoga is a means of linking one's self with the gods of Hinduism including Krishna.

"What is called renunciation you should know to be the same as yoga, or linking oneself with the Supreme [sic], O son of Pāndu, for one can never become a yogī unless he renounces the desire for sense gratification."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 6.2. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


According to the opinion of Krishna as expressed in the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga is one of the highest forms of worship and provides for the most intimate connection to the Hindu gods.

"A yogī is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogī. And of all yogīs, the one with great faith who always abides in Me [sic], thinks of Me [sic] within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me [sic]— he is the most intimately united with Me [sic] in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My [sic] opinion."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 6.46-47. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Performing yoga is also seen as a way of washing away sin from one's soul.

"And when the yogī engages himself with sincere endeavor in making further progress, being washed of all contaminations, then ultimately, achieving perfection after many, many births of practice, he attains the supreme goal."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 6.45. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


According to the Bhagavad Gita, another means of releasing one's self from sin is to eat foods which have been offered in sacrifice. Those who eat for enjoyment are said to eat sin (Bhagavad Gita 3.13). Salvation in Hinduism is determined by one's thoughts at the moment of death.

"Whatever state of being one remembers when he quits his body, O son of Kuntī, that state he will attain without fail. Therefore, Arjuna, you should always think of Me [sic] in the form of Krsna and at the same time carry out your prescribed duty of fighting. With your activities dedicated to Me [sic] and your mind and intelligence fixed on Me [sic], you will attain Me [sic] without doubt."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 8.6-7. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Studying the Vedas, uttering the om syllable, and remaining celibate are also important to the salvation of Hindus according to the Bhagavad Gita

"Persons who are learned in the Vedas, who utter omkāra and who are great sages in the renounced order enter into Brahman. Desiring such perfection, one practices celibacy. I shall now briefly explain to you this process by which one may attain salvation. The yogic situation is that of detachment from all sensual engagements. Closing all the doors of the senses and fixing the mind on the heart and the life air at the top of the head, one establishes himself in yoga. After being situated in this yoga practice and vibrating the sacred syllable om, the supreme combination of letters, if one thinks of the Supreme Personality of Godhead [sic] and quits his body, he will certainly reach the spiritual planets. For one who always remembers Me [sic] without deviation, I am easy to obtain, O son of Prthā, because of his constant engagement in devotional service. After attaining Me [sic], the great souls, who are yogīs in devotion, never return to this temporary world, which is full of miseries, because they have attained the highest perfection. From the highest planet in the material world down to the lowest, all are places of misery wherein repeated birth and death take place. But one who attains to My [sic] abode, O son of Kuntī, never takes birth again."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 8.11-16. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


As eluded to in that last quote, reincarnation is also a fundamental aspect of Hinduism. The actions in which one is engaged in at death determines one's status in the next life according to the Bhagavad Gita. Accordingly, a person can be reincarnated as an animal or be destined to live on different planets.

"14.15: When one dies in the mode of passion, he takes birth among those engaged in fruitive activities; and when one dies in the mode of ignorance, he takes birth in the animal kingdom.

14.18: Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


According to the Bhagavad Gita, everything in the human experience such as actions, knowledge, determination, happiness etc... is evaluated and determined to fall into one of three categories. These three categories are goodness, passion and ignorance. Ignorance is the lowest category. If one feels any emotion, either good or bad, or if one feels pain, this is judged as passion and is something that needs to be overcome. According to the Bhagavad Gita, goodness is when one is disconnected from feeling and simply does one's duty without regard for any consequences, and also without regard for how well or poorly one does one's duty.

"3.35: It is far better to discharge one's prescribed duties, even though faultily, than another's duties perfectly. Destruction in the course of performing one's own duty is better than engaging in another's duties, for to follow another's path is dangerous."
Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


The greatest achievement in Hinduism is said to be gained through knowledge.

"4.38: In this world, there is nothing so sublime and pure as transcendental knowledge. Such knowledge is the mature fruit of all mysticism. And one who has become accomplished in the practice of devotional service enjoys this knowledge within himself in due course of time.

14.11: The manifestations of the mode of goodness can be experienced when all the gates of the body are illuminated by knowledge."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


The enemy of the Hindu is said to be lust, pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance.

"3.39: Thus the wise living entity's pure consciousness becomes covered by his eternal enemy in the form of lust, which is never satisfied and which burns like fire.

16.4: Pride, arrogance, conceit, anger, harshness and ignorance — these qualities belong to those of demoniac nature, O son of Prthā"

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


In the Bhagavad Gita, self-control, humility, nonviolence, simplicity, and living alone are encouraged. Family life is discouraged as shown in the highlighted text below.

"Humility; pridelessness; nonviolence; tolerance; simplicity; approaching a bona fide spiritual master; cleanliness; steadiness; self-control; renunciation of the objects of sense gratification; absence of false ego; the perception of the evil of birth, death, old age and disease; detachment; freedom from entanglement with children, wife, home and the rest; even-mindedness amid pleasant and unpleasant events; constant and unalloyed devotion to Me [sic]; aspiring to live in a solitary place; detachment from the general mass of people; accepting the importance of self-realization; and philosophical search for the Absolute Truth — all these I declare to be knowledge, and besides this whatever there may be is ignorance."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 13.8-12. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


These words reflect the general theme that runs throughout the Bhagavad Gita which is self-control. The emphasis in Hinduism is placed upon one's self. However, People are not responsible for their actions and may be considered saintly even if they commit the most abominable act.

"9.29: I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me [sic] in devotion is a friend, is in Me [sic], and I am also a friend to him. 9.30: Even if one commits the most abominable action, if he is engaged in devotional service he is to be considered saintly because he is properly situated in his determination. 9.31: He quickly becomes righteous and attains lasting peace. O son of Kuntī, declare it boldly that My [sic] devotee never perishes.

18.17: One who is not motivated by false ego, whose intelligence is not entangled, though he kills men in this world, does not kill. Nor is he bound by his actions."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


The idea that one must be self-disciplined, but is not accountable for one's actions may appear to be conflicting ideologies.


Contradicting and Nonsensical Text

In reading the Bhagavad Gita, one will find numerous contradictions. For instance, Brahman is called the "indestructible, transcendental living entity" in verse 8.3, but in verse 13.13, Krishna declares himself to be greater than Brahman.

"8.3: ...The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and his eternal nature is called adhyātma, the self. Action pertaining to the development of the material bodies of the living entities is called karma, or fruitive activities.

13.13: I shall now explain the knowable, knowing which you will taste the eternal. Brahman, the spirit, beginningless and subordinate to Me [sic], lies beyond the cause and effect of this material world."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


When explaining how he could teach the sun god yoga when the sun god was the elder, Krishna states that he had been born many times, but in the next line, he states that he is unborn.

"4.5: The Personality of Godhead [sic] said: Many, many births both you and I have passed. I can remember all of them, but you cannot, O subduer of the enemy! 4.6: Although I am unborn and My [sic] transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord [sic] of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My [sic] original transcendental form."
Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


In reading the Bhagavad Gita, one will also encounter numerous examples of nonsensical doublespeak disguised as words of wisdom. These words of the Bhagavad Gita encourage a sense of confusion. Here are some examples:

"4.18: One who sees inaction in action, and action in inaction, is intelligent among men, and he is in the transcendental position, although engaged in all sorts of activities.

9.4: By Me [sic], in My [sic] unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me [sic], but I am not in them. 9.5: And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me [sic]. Behold My [sic] mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities and although I am everywhere, I am not a part of this cosmic manifestation, for My [sic] Self [sic] is the very source of creation. 9.6: Understand that as the mighty wind, blowing everywhere, rests always in the sky, all created beings rest in Me [sic]."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Besides being nonsensical, verses 9.4-6 appear to contradict each other. The reader is told in these verses that: all beings are in him, everything that is created does not rest in him, and all created beings do rest in him. The Bhagavad Gita contains many statements that defy all logic and understanding and also flatly contradicts written history. Krishna claims to return every thousand years to destroy everything and start anew.

"4.6: Although I am unborn and My [sic] transcendental body never deteriorates, and although I am the Lord [sic] of all living entities, I still appear in every millennium in My [sic] original transcendental form. 4.7: Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion — at that time I descend Myself [sic]. 4.8: To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself [sic] appear, millennium after millennium.

9.7: O son of Kuntī, at the end of the millennium all material manifestations enter into My [sic] nature, and at the beginning of another millennium, by My [sic] potency, I create them again.

9.10: This material nature, which is one of My [sic] energies, is working under My [sic] direction, O son of Kuntī, producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated again and again."

Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims that there are various inhabited planets.

"The seven great sages and before them the four other great sages and the Manus [progenitors of mankind] come from Me [sic], born from My [sic] mind, and all the living beings populating the various planets descend from them."
Source: Bhagavad Gita 10.6. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


Conclusion on Hinduism


Who is the god of Hinduism?

There are numerous gods in Hinduism.


Are they greater than man?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims to be everything that ever was or will be.


Can he account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?

No. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims that everyone's atman has always existed and will always exist. He does claim to destroy and rebuild the world every millennium.


Does he explain where we came from?

No. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims that everyone's atman has always existed and will always exist.


Does he explain why we humans exist?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, we exist to gain knowledge and modify our behavior in order to exit the wheel of life. In other words, we exist in the hopes that one day we can stop existing.


Does he explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that everyone is reincarnated at death.


Does he explain what is expected of us?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, there are numerous things expected of everyone such as doing ones duty, performing yoga, drinking a specific juice, eating foods that have been sacrificed etc...


Is he ethical?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is not ethical in his advice to and treatment of Arjuna, his treatment of the army he supplied to the opponents of Arjuna, or the opponents of Arjuna.


Does he explain what his role in our life should be?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna can provide armies for humans to use in battle and can communicate and reveal himself to humans. One comes away with the impression that Krishna is a counselor to humans.


Has he left evidence that he is God?

No. There are no key events, historical records, or archaeological findings to support the notion that Krishna ever existed.


Is he able to predict the future?

According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna claims to control everything, but there is no evidence to support this claim.


Has he been able to preserve his words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?

No. There are numerous contradictions in the Bhagavad Gita.


Has he made himself readily known to all who seek him?

No. Knowledge of the gods of Hinduism are largely limited to those who practice the religion. Hinduism can only truly be practiced in India because of the caste system which is a fundamental part of the religion.


Should we worship Hindu gods, and if so, how?

No. Hinduism is really a mixture of different religious traditions melded together. Hinduism can only truly be practiced in India because of the caste system which is a fundamental part of the religion. According to the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna supports the caste system. He states that everyone within the caste system deserves their position because of their actions in a previous life.

"18.41: Brāhmanas, ksatriyas, vaiśyas and śūdras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy."
Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


However, as shown in verse 4.5 above, people cannot remember what they did in their previous life to deserve their position in this caste system. Therefore, they can neither know how to preserve their current status or improve upon it. Is this the action of a just God? The Bhagavad Gita makes clear that segregation along the lines of race and gender are acceptable. In verse 9.29, Krishna states that he is impartial and in the following verse refers to women and the members of two of the lower classes in the caste system as being of "lower birth."

"9.32: O son of Prthā, those who take shelter in Me [sic], though they be of lower birth — women, vaiśyas [merchants] and śūdras [workers] — can attain the supreme destination."
Source: Bhagavad Gita The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.


The Bhagavad Gita appears to be full of contradictions. Furthermore the god represented in the pages of the Bhagavad Gita appears to be immoral. The entire premise of the book is based upon the god Krishna manipulating Arjuna into killing his friends and family. In Hinduism, there are also no real central characters or key events which can be verified in independent historical documents or through archeology. There is no evidence of the powers of any of the gods associated with Hinduism. In fact, if one starts searching for the name of the Hindu god(s), one will quickly realize that there are no Hindu gods that are accepted universally throughout Hinduism. What or who a person of Hindu faith says God is, depends greatly upon which person of Hindu faith one talks to. Most Hindus appear to acknowledge one main deity called Brahman or Krishna. However, Hindu beliefs vary wildly. Some Hindus claim to be monotheistic, while others openly admit to being polytheistic. Creation is another topic of contention among Hindus of different sects. However, one common theme does appear to be that most Hindus believe that everything was created by sound. Finally, many of the claims within the pages of the Bhagavad Gita defy explanation and rational thought. Therefore, since there is not even a hint of supporting evidence to uphold the foundations of Hinduism, this writer is of the opinion that the gods of the Hindu faith are nothing more than trinkets made by the hands of men. They have no power and are unworthy of worship or further consideration.



Buddhism


image of buddhaA man named Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), who lived for roughly eighty years beginning in about 560 B.C., founded an ideology based upon a reformed view of Hinduism and Brahmanism. Siddhartha Gautama was born into a wealthy family and lived a sheltered life. He married and had one son. According to Buddhist tradition, he encountered a sick person, an old person, a holy man, and a funeral procession for the first time on a trip to his local village. Siddhartha left his wife and child and followed the holy man into a life of asceticism where he wasted away eating only a single grain of rice per day. After several years of asceticism, he was only emancipated and had not found the secret of life. He then sat under a Bodhi tree for forty nine days and is said to have become enlightened. Buddha then began preaching a middle path void of the extremes of poverty and wealth. His first sermon is often called the "Four Noble Truths." These "truths" are:
1. Life is suffering.
2. Desire causes suffering.
3. Renounce desires.
4. Eightfold path or middle path. This is a way of living that emphasizes wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental development.

Buddhist believe that if they follow the eightfold path in a series of intellectual steps that they will achieve wisdom called Bodhi and then enter a state of nirvana. Nirvana is said to be the ultimate transcendence from the illusion of the material world. Buddhist are believed to be released from the "wheel of life" by achieving the state of nirvana.

Buddha never claimed to be a god and forbid his followers from worshiping him. He left instructions that his body should be cremated in an effort to prevent people from worshiping him. Today, people do worship Buddha and Buddhism has become a religion rather than a philosophy in many cases. Buddhist temples are called Stupas and frequently contain relics of Buddha in the form of nail clippings and hair.


Conclusion on Buddhism


Who is God?

There is no God in Buddhism. Buddha himself claimed that he was not God and took steps to prevent people from worshiping him.


Is he greater than man?

No. Buddha was just a man by his own account.


Can he account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?

Some Buddhist believe in creation, others are evolutionist. Buddha concluded that this was one of the 14 unanswerable questions and that speculation on the topic was counterproductive.


Does he explain where we came from?

Buddha concluded that this was one of the 14 unanswerable questions and that speculation on the topic was counterproductive.


Does he explain why we humans exist?

According to Buddhist thought, we exist in order to achieve nirvana and end our suffering.


Does he explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?

Conflict exists among different Buddhist sects concerning what happens when one dies. According to some Buddhist teachings, there are different types of death but in general everyone is continually reborn until one enters a state of nirvana.


Does he explain what is expected of us?

According to Buddhism, one's main goal should be building good karma and striving for nirvana.


Is he ethical?

One would find Buddha's actions towards his wife and child to be unethical.


Does he explain what his role in our life should be?

Buddha did not claim to be a god and thus cannot have any mutual interaction with those living today.


Has he left evidence that he is God?

No, he did not claim to be God.


Is he able to predict the future?

No, he did not claim to have this power.


Has he been able to preserve his words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?

No. There are numerous texts within Buddhism, but few are considered authentic and authoritative.


Has he made himself readily known to all who seek him?

No. He never claimed to be God, so one cannot seek him.


Should we worship him, and if so, how?

No. Some Buddhist believe that Buddha was a human who attained a higher level. Others view Buddha as a higher being sent as a teacher. Some teach that Buddha is superior to and teaches the gods. Fundamentally, Buddhism is simply a form of Hinduism without the many gods. Buddhist largely either worship themselves in the form of philosophy or they worship Buddha. Buddha himself declared that he was not a god. Therefore, my opinion is that one will not find God in Buddhism.



Jainism


the jain flagThe credit for the founding of Jainism is often attributed to a man named Mahavira who lived during the 6th century B.C.. Mahavira is said to be the twenty fourth Tirthankara which is a Sanskrit word meaning "Ford-maker." A Tirthanhara is said to be a savior who has succeeded in exiting the "wheel of life" and who has made a path for others to follow. According to Jainism, all of nature is alive, and one must be extremely careful to not harm anything. Some Jains wear a mask to prevent the inhalation of insects which would cause harm to the insects. Ahimsa (non-violence) is an important tenet of Hinduism and Buddhism, but is more strictly adhered to in Jainism. The ideology of Jainism prevents members from being farmers as this occupation would involve the killing of plants. Jains are typically vegetarian and are typically businessmen and bankers. Jains sometimes subscribe to an extreme form of asceticism. Mahavira starved himself to death as have many of his followers throughout the centuries.


Conclusion on Jainism


Who is God?

According to Jainism, there are an innumerable amount of gods whose ranks are ever increasing.


Is he greater than man?

According to Jainism, the numerous gods or saviors are simply people who have achieved nirvana.


Can he account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?

According to Jainism, the universe has always existed.


Does he explain where we came from?

No. According to Jainism, people have always existed.


Does he explain why we humans exist?

Jains believe that they exist to become gods, but they get no help from any god.


Does he explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?

Jains believe in a rebirth similar to Buddhist.


Does he explain what is expected of us?

Jain deities do not interact with humans.


Is he ethical?

Since Jain deities do not interfere in the lives of humans, they are neither ethical, nor unethical.


Does he explain what his role in our life should be?

There is no role for Jain deities in human lives.


Has he left evidence that he is God?

No.


Is he able to predict the future?

No.


Has he been able to preserve his words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?

There is no central God in Jainism to attempt this. There are numerous texts compiled by numerous followers of Jainism.


Has he made himself readily known to all who seek him?

Jain gods are not available to humans.


Should we worship him, and if so, how?

No. Like Buddhism, Jainism is also a reformed version of Hinduism. As such, my belief is that one will not find God in Jain philosophy.



Confucianism


statue of confuciusConfucianism was founded by a Chinese philosopher named Confucius who lived at about the same time as Plato. Confucius spent much of his time in study. His center of attention was with daily life, and he was not concerned with God. He believed that everyone should study historical documents and thereby learn how to act. According to Confucian thought, one can better themselves and society by studying and attaining the next level called Junzi. Junzi literally means "lord's son" but is often said to mean a gentleman or superior person. The main text in Confucianism is called the Analects. The Analects is a collection of sayings attributed to Confucius, but not written by him. Many of the sayings in the Analects may or may not have actually been the words of Confucius. People who claim many different religious affiliations practice Confucianism. According to some translations, there are references to a god in the Analects. However, much is left to interpretation, and these references are sufficiently vague to allow even devout atheists to embrace Confucianism. Three core Confucian values are:
1. Ren - Being deeply concerned about the welfare of others.
2. Li - A prescription for how to behave such as being respectful of others, having good manners, and proper etiquette.
3. Filial Piety - A family value where children have a reverential respect for their parents even if the parent is wrong.


Conclusion on Confucianism


Who is God?

There is no God in Confucianism.


Is he greater than man?

There is no God in Confucianism.


Can he account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?

There is no God in Confucianism. According to Confucianism, the interaction between yin and yang generated by the great ultimate called Tao is the cause for everything that exists.


Does he explain where we came from?

There is no God in Confucianism. According to Confucianism, the interaction between yin and yang generated by the great ultimate called Tao is the cause for everything that exists.


Does he explain why we humans exist?

There is no God in Confucianism. However, according to Confucianism, everybody exists to discover their true self.


Does he explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?

Confucius thought that what happens after death is beyond comprehension.


Does he explain what is expected of us?

There is no God in Confucianism. However, Confucius generally taught that one should do unto others as one would have done to them.


Is he ethical?

There is no God to be ethical or unethical in Confucianism.


Does he explain what his role in our life should be?

There is no God in Confucianism to be a part of anyone's life.


Has he left evidence that he is God?

No.


Is he able to predict the future?

No.


Has he been able to preserve his words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?

No.


Has he made himself readily known to all who seek him?

No.


Should we worship him, and if so, how?

No. Confucian philosophy contains some admirable tenets which a person searching for God may find helpful. However, Confucianism largely remains a philosophy with no God. A popular saying which is attributed to Confucius is: "respect ghosts and gods but stay away from them". If one is searching for God, Confucianism is not the means by which one should look.



Daoism


yin yangDaoism or Taoism is primarily an Asian religion founded by Lao Tzu which emphasizes living in harmony with the Dao or way of nature. Lao Tzu is also regarded by some as one of a number of deities within Daoism. However, Daoism is fundamentally a pantheistic religion. Pantheism is the belief that everything (the universe, nature etc...) encompasses or makes up divinity. This duality in how Daoism is practiced by different sects demonstrates a certain level of confusion and uncertainty surrounding this religion.

Daoism is sometimes described as the opposite of Confucianism, and by some accounts, Lao Tzu actually met with Confucius. Daoism stresses simplicity, spontaneity, living a natural life in harmony with nature, not being ambitious, retreating to small villages, and not really doing anything. The term wu wei is a fundamental concept in Daoism which means non action or non-doing.


Conclusion on Daoism


Who is God?

Generally there is no god in Daoism. References are often made to the Tao similar to the Tao in Confucianism which guides everything in a non-personal way.


Is he greater than man?

Generally there is no god in Daoism.


Can he account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?

There is no God to explain anything in Daoism. However, the Tao is said to have given birth to one. One gave birth to two. Two gave birth to three, and three gave birth to all things


Does he explain where we came from?

There is no God to explain anything in Daoism. However, the Tao is said to have given birth to one. One gave birth to two. Two gave birth to three, and three gave birth to all things.


Does he explain why we humans exist?

There is no God to explain anything in Daoism. However, Daoist thought is that each person exists to discover their self.


Does he explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?

There is no God to explain anything in Daoism. However, Daoist tend to believe that upon death a person who has followed "the way" will enjoy a more important ancestral position in an afterlife. Daoist believe they become the Tao upon death.


Does he explain what is expected of us?

There is no God to explain anything in Daoism. There is no obligation to God in Daoism.


Is he ethical?

There is no God to be ethical or unethical in Daoism.


Does he explain what his role in our life should be?

There is no God to explain anything in Daoism. The Tao is thought to guide everything in a non-personal way within Daoism.


Has he left evidence that he is God?

No.


Is he able to predict the future?

No.


Has he been able to preserve his words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?

No.


Has he made himself readily known to all who seek him?

No.


Should we worship him, and if so, how?

No. There is much uncertainty surrounding Daoism from an outsider's point of view. Various dates have been ascribed to the life of Lao Tzu and some sources claim that he never existed at all. Some claim that his writings are actually a compilation of texts written by many different authors. On the question of finding God, the followers of Daoism claim different gods. Some followers claim a pantheistic point of view while others claim a number of anthropomorphic (having human characteristics) gods which leaves the person searching for the one true God with only one option; look elsewhere.



Judaism, Christianity, and Islam


Traditionally, mainstream Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all claim to worship the same God. The merging of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam occurs at Abraham (Ibrahim). Muslims who claim descent from Ibrahim and who claim to worship the God of Ibrahim must worship the God described in the Tanakh. This is the God that Ibrahim (Abraham) worshiped. Therefore, the description of the God in the Tanakh must equally apply to the God upon which Islam was originally founded. The Old Testament of the Christian King James Bible and the Tanakh of the Jewish texts are almost identical. With all of that in mind, and for the purposes of this article, the God of the Tanakh or Old Testament will be examined here.

So far, none of the gods of the religions examined here have met all of the criteria established in the first section of this writing detailing what a God should be capable of. In fact, they have met very few, if any, of those criteria. In short, they all fail miserably as gods. However, there is a God who claims to meet all of those criteria and more. There is a God who claims to have created the heavens, the earth, and man. There is a God who claims to be superior to man. That God provides evidence of His existence and He has preserved His word without contradiction. This quest for the knowledge of who God is will continue by taking a closer look at that God. That God is called by different names but is the foundation for the three major religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. That God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


Who is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is all powerful.

"Isa 44:24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He is caring, and concerned about humans.

"Exo 3:7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; Exo 3:8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Exo 3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them. Exo 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt.

Isa 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He makes covenants with people, He is merciful, and He is trustworthy to uphold His end of the covenant.

"Lev 26:43 The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. Lev 26:44 And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. Lev 26:45 But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.

Jos 23:14 And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He is the God of action.

"Gen 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

Exo 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He is the only God.

"Isa 43:9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, It is truth. Isa 43:10 Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. Isa 43:11 I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour. Isa 43:12 I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, that I am God. Isa 43:13 Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

Isa 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He is the God of the people.

"Exo 29:45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. Exo 29:46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the LORD their God.

Lev 18:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, I am the LORD your God.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He wants what is best for people.

"Lev 11:45 For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He does not force Himself on anyone.

"Psa 81:10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. Psa 81:11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. Psa 81:12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. Psa 81:13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways! Psa 81:14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against their adversaries."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He is unchanging.

"Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Is He greater than man?

Yes.

"Isa 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. Isa 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Can He account for the creation of not only mankind, but the universe, the world, everything?

Yes.

"Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Gen 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. Gen 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. Gen 1:7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. Gen 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. Gen 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, Gen 1:18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Gen 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. Gen 1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. Gen 1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. Gen 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


According to these verses, God spoke everything into existence. Everything was created by words. Notice that the Hindus also believe that everything was created by sound. This appears remarkable considering how different these religions are.



Does He explain where we came from?

Yes.

"Gen 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Does He explain why we humans exist?

Yes. The Bible states that we were created for His pleasure, for His glory, to praise Him, and to tend the garden. There is also much symbolism in the idea of tending the garden because plants symbolize people in the Bible. Therefore, tending the garden is symbolic of people tending to, or caring for, each other.

"Gen 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Isa 43:7 Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.

Isa 43:21 This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.
"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Does He explain death and tell us what, if anything, exists after death?

Yes. The Bible states that when people die, the flesh goes back into the ground through decomposition and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

"Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The Bible states that everyone will die.

"Ecc 9:2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. Ecc 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The Bible states that the dead know nothing and are in no way able to interact with anything on earth.

"Ecc 9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Ecc 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


However, death is not the end of us according to the Bible. There is something more in the form of a resurrection of everyone who has ever lived.

"Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The Bible states that there is a judgment.

"Isa 28:5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, Isa 28:6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The Bible states that, after the judgment, God will grant salvation to the people who have demonstrated the characteristics embodied within His commandments and statutes. In love, He rewards the obedient child with salvation. Perhaps this can more accurately be seen as the ultimate reason for our being.

"Psa 149:4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Does He explain what is expected of us?

Yes. The Bible states that whatever we do in this world is judged by God. He tells us to be righteous, and to live joyfully with our spouse, and that whatever we find to do, we should do it to the best of our ability.

"Ecc 9:4 For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

Ecc 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Ecc 9:8 Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment. Ecc 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. Ecc 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest."

Source: King James Bible Old Testament


He tells us how to be righteous.

"Ecc 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Lev 18:4 Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Lev 18:5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.

Isa 48:17 Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go."

Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Is He ethical?

Yes. The laws of many nations all over the world reflect the ten commandments of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The following verses also demonstrate His ethics.

"Lev 19:10 And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. Lev 19:11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another. Lev 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Lev 19:13 Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbour, neither rob him: the wages of him that is hired shall not abide with thee all night until the morning. Lev 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD. Lev 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. Lev 19:16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD. Lev 19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

Lev 19:34 But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Lev 19:35 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure. Lev 19:36 Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Lev 25:17 Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the LORD your God."

Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Does He explain what His role in our life should be?

Yes. God states that He should be our God. He wants to protect us and defend us and provide for us.

"Exo 6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

Lev 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

Isa 31:4 For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof. Isa 31:5 As birds flying, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it."

Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Has He left evidence that He is God?

Yes. First, one can climb the highest mountain, or walk the lowest valley, or visit any corner of the earth and one will find evidence of the great flood described in Genesis six through eight. The vast majority of fossils around the world were created during the great flood. Second, the Bible has always been well ahead of science. For instance the Bible states that the earth is round, and that the universe is being stretched out, but scientists and theologians alike have been debating different theories about the shape of the earth and the nature of the universe until very recently.

"Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


Thirdly, the historical accuracy of the Bible has been proven time after time. Places like Ur (mentioned in Gen 11:28, Gen 11:31, Gen 15:7, and Neh 9:7) and Nineveh (mentioned in Gen 10:11 and sixteen other verses) were thought to be fables until Archaeologist discovered them. The Hittite empire (mentioned in Exo 23:28 and twenty four other verses) was also mistakenly believed to be a myth until archaeologists also discovered evidence that verified the empire had once existed. In fact, the accuracy of the Bible has proven to be so reliable, that numerous archaeological discoveries have been made using the information contained in the Bible as a map. Finally, the creation of heaven and earth is a powerful testimony that He exists. While anyone, can claim to have created everything, anyone cannot fulfill all of the other requirements established in the first section of this writing detailing what a God must be. Therefore, since the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob does fulfill all of the other requirements, then the natural world all around us becomes irrefutable evidence that He is God.


Is He able to predict the future?

Yes. The Bible states that God knew the ending from the very beginning.

"Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Isa 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The fact that God is indeed able to foretell the future can be verified independently on numerous fronts. This article will focus on one instance. The book of Isaiah, which is contained in the Tanakh or Old Testament, was written between 740-680 B.C.. In Isaiah 44:28 - 45:4, God declares that He will enable a man named Cyrus to cause Jerusalem to be rebuilt and the foundation of the temple at Jerusalem to be laid.

"Isa 44:28 That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. Isa 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; Isa 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: Isa 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


Here is a little historical background to set the scene for the above prophecy. Solomon had built the first temple in Jerusalem. This temple was destroyed by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon in 586 B.C., and many of the Jews were sent into what is called the Babylonian captivity or Babylonian exile.

Cyrus the Great was born between 590 and 580 B.C..

"Cyrus II, byname Cyrus The Great (born 590–580 bc, Media, or Persis [now in Iran]—died c. 529, Asia),"
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/148758/Cyrus-II


As already stated, the book of Isaiah was written between 740 and 680 B.C.. The Encyclopedia Britannica states that Cyrus the Great was born between 590 and 580 B.C.. One can take even the most skeptical view and use the latest date for the writing of Isaiah and the earliest birth year for Cyrus and still come up with a difference of ninety years.

  680 B.C.
- 590 B.C.
  90 years.

This means that God not only foretold the events of Cyrus' life, but that He even referred to Cyrus by name at least ninety years before Cyrus was born.

Cyrus became a Persian ruler. The name Cyrus was not a common name in that part of the world. In fact, there was something very unique about the name Cyrus in that part of the world at that time.

"The meaning of his name is in dispute, for it is not known whether it was a personal name or a throne name given to him when he became a ruler. It is noteworthy that after the Achaemenian empire the name does not appear again in sources relating to Iran, which may indicate some special sense of the name."
Source: Encyclopedia Britannica http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/148758/Cyrus-II


Cyrus founded the Persian empire and began his rule around 550 B.C..

"Cyrus the Great (reigned 550-530 B.C.) was the founder of the Persian Empire."
Source: Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 8 Jun. 2015 http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Cyrus_the_Great.aspx


Cyrus freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity in 536 B.C. and aided them in their return to Israel.

"Cyrus II, the Great, of Persia (-553 to -529) conquers Lydia, the Medes, and Babylonia, transforming Persia into vast empire; in 536 he frees Jews from Babylonian Captivity and aids their return to Israel."
Source: The Timetables of History 3rd ed. p.10 -600 to -501


This means that at least 144 years after Isaiah, under inspiration of God, penned the words "even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built;" the prophesy was fulfilled.

  680 B.C. Latest date attached to the writing of Isaiah
- 536 B.C. Date Cyrus freed the Jews from Babylonian captivity
  144 years.

The book of Isaiah states that the foundation of the second temple at Jerusalem would be laid because of Cyrus' freeing the Jews from Babylonian captivity. This is indeed what happened.

"The original Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C.E. by the Babylonians and was rebuilt in stages after the Jews returned from exile. This, the Second Temple, served as the religious center of Jewish life in the post-exilic period."
Source: New World Encyclopedia http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Temple_of_Jerusalem


This is only one minor example of God foretelling events well before the events actually occurred. As shown here, numerous sources can be used to verify that God is able to foretell events and that He can actually control world changing events to bring about His predictions. Many of these sources are even hostile towards the word of God. However, the events foretold in the Bible are so monumental that they cannot be ignored even by the skeptics.


Has He been able to preserve His words and directives without contradiction for all mankind?

Yes. The Bible states that the words of the LORD are pure and without fault.

"Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The Bible holds the record for being the best-selling book of non-fiction in the world with the Guinness Book of World Records.

"Although it is impossible to obtain exact figures, there is little doubt that the Bible is the worlds best-selling and most widely distributed book."
Source: Guinness Book of World Records http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction June 8, 2015


The words of God in the form of the Bible have been preserved better than any other book in the history of the world with more than 5 billion copies sold.


Has He made Himself readily known to all who seek him?

Yes. Besides being the best-selling book of all time, the Bible is also the most widely distributed book of all time. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, at least one of the books of the Bible has been translated into 2123 different languages.

"...the whole Bible had been translated into 349 languages; 2123 languages have at least one book of the Bible in that language."
Source: Guinness Book of World Records http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction June 8, 2015


The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the God of all people on earth, if they choose to follow Him. Everyone is welcome by God to worship Him regardless of race or social position. There is no social division that can separate one from God.

"Exo 12:49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you"
Source: King James Bible Old Testament



Should we worship Him, and if so, how?

Yes. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the only God to meet all of the requirements as set forth in the first section of this writing detailing what a God must be. The evidence is very clear. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is God. He is not just another God. He is the only God. Therefore He is certainly worthy of our praise and worship. The Bible states that we should praise Him.

"Psa 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created."
Source: King James Bible Old Testament


The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has been established as the one true God. The Bible states that we are to worship Him. However, there are three different main religions that claim to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Each of these three main religions worship God in different ways. Furthermore, there are numerous divisions within each of these main three religions, and each of these divisions also worship God in different ways. The next article in this series will look at some of the differences between these three religions and determine which religion one should follow.