Jesus the one prophet(way)
I try to understand the concept of more than one prophet known by the
same God (Jesus=Christianity, Mohammed=Islam, etc.) and in my own
mind, I can create a theory that makes sense. God wanted all to know
him and those who couldn't understand Jesus, got Mohammed, and so on
and so forth. But is there something in the Bible that predicts more
than one prophet? Where is there a reference to the idea that God may
have had this in mind all along to allow more than one prophet shine
in this world?
There is no reference at all in the Bible to more than one prophet, more
than one way, etc. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No
one comes to the Father except through me." Hard to interpret that as a
statement of relativism.
The Tanach (the Old Testament part of the Bible) speaks very clearly of the
history of Israel and God's dealing with the people of Israel. He
painstakingly promised via prophecy after prophecy that the Jewish Messiah
(Moshiach) would come. Jesus (or Yeshua) fulfilled those prophecies. Read
the 53rd chapter of Isaiah and let the Lord Himself reveal to you what it
means and to whom it refers.
The idea that Mohammed was the seal of the Prophets and belonged to the
historical line of Biblical prophets was Mohammed's own idea. The book that
was compiled of his teachings (or "recitations"), the Qur'an, is full of
historical inaccuracies and statements that are impossible to reconcile with
the very plain teachings of the Bible. True believers in Jesus and the
Biblical worldview understand that Islam represents a very serious
challenge; by this I mean that many will be fooled by its apparently
similarities to authentic belief in the God of Israel, God the Father (as
Jesus proclaimed). God is reachable no matter what any Muslim might tell
you. If the Bible is from God, then the Qur'an is not.
Partly, the argument for Islam relies on a worldview that sees religion as
being subjective and personal. Believers in Jesus (Lambert, me, and all the
other members of the team) are absolutely convinced that the Bible is
completely distinct from any kind of religious concept ever devised by
humankind. It has stood the test of centuries of historical criticism
(supposed errors, etc), unbelief, ridicule, and incredible
misrepresentation. It does not portray a religion at all. It speaks very
clearly of a relationship with the Living God, the Creator and Ruler of the
Universe. Read the Gospel of John and the words of Jesus Himself. He was
actually anti-religion, that is, any institutional belief system that
commands strict adherence and relies on the word of a man (or pope) or
special group of priests (humans). He spoke of the authority of the
scriptures (the Tanach) and our need to love God with all our hearts, minds,
The God of the Bible has a name, and it is not Allah. Islam claims to be
"monotheistic", and that the one god is the same for Jews, Christians, and
Muslims. However, it also says that the Jews and Christians have perverted
the truth, and that only the Qur'an is to be trusted. There is one God,
indeed. He created the heavens and the earth and revealed Himself to Israel
through her prophets and to the rest of the world through Jesus, His son
(which was plainly spoken of in the Tanach and expanded upon by all the
writers of the New Testament, specifically the letters or epistles). Jesus
warned that in the days prior to His return, that there would be false
prophets and false messiahs. He warned us not to be deceived. Our only
guaranteed source of truth is God's Word, the Bible. No mistakes, no false
history, just the truth about God, His creation, and us. Jesus' message is
light years from that of Mohammed and Islam.
I've tried to be brief, and as direct as possible. If you'd like to know
more, please e-mail back to the forum (address on the Cc line) or to me
personally. I won't try to convince you of anything, and you won't have to
join a club or send money...promise. I will, however, share with you how
God changed my heart, gave me life and love, and assures me of the promise
of eternal life. He is not hiding, never has, and never will. All you have
to do is sincerely seek His face.
Amazed by the eternal power of grace.
The Old Testament presents a major theme regarding the deliverer,
Messiah. Moses was a type of "deliverer". The prophets spoke of
this coming Messiah. The New Testament is the first hand account of
who He is, fulfilling all the prophetic announcements. John 1:1-14 is
clear that Jesus is God expressed in human form, creator of all
things. Jesus said there will many many false christs and false
prophets. Matt 24:23-24 Jesus is the one who died on the cross, rose
on the third day and ascended to heaven. He was crucified for one
reason, proclaiming Himself and God to be one of the same. The
international movement to have others share this platform is in the
name of "ecumenical" fairness, not to offend. The problem is that
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life and no one can come
to the Father except by Me." John 14:6
Critics dismiss the use of scripture, open to many interpretations,
allegories, etc. One must then decide what other source of
information is more credible. When Christ returns, no other name will
be sharing His role as Judge, King, Lord and Saviour. The battle we
are now entering might well be all about your question. Jerusalem is
now the center focus. Jesus is coming there and Satan is quite angry
about it. He knows his time is short. Rev. 12:12 Christians are now
dying by the thousands because of this very issue. Yes, this does
make it difficult if one is not sure about who Jesus really is.
Peter denied he knew Jesus until the resurrection.
I wish you well.
The Bible points to only one that we should look to. That is, Jesus, the
Messiah. Those before Him should look forward to Him and those after Him
should look back to Him. This is because life can be found in no one else
but Him. Jesus is not merely a prophet but God Himself come to dwell among
us and bring us back to Himself. The essence of Christianity is that Jesus
was crucified, died, and rose again from the dead. He did this so that He
could die in our place for the penalty that necessarily results from the sin
in each of our lives, which is death. And He rose from the dead so that we
too will have life. This is the essence of God's plan to reconcile us to
Himself. And this is really the whole of Christianity. It is not a matter
of doing good works to gain favor with God or doing the correct rituals or
listening to great teachers. It is establishing a one-to-one relationship
with God and you. Jesus made it clear that no one was His equal and that He
was the only way in which one can come into a relationship with God. Jesus
said: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father
but through Me." (John 14:6). See also John 10:1-21.
Below I have copied the January/February 2001 issue of "Reasoning From The
Scriptures Newsletter." It discusses how Christianity is really incompatible
with religions. I think you will find it instructive.
REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES NEWSLETTER
January-February 2001 Edition
Dr. Ron Rhodes, Editor
Web Address: www.ronrhodes.org
I don't think a week passes without me coming across a book, an
article, or a TV or radio show in which someone talks about how
all the religions of the world are essentially "one," and are
teaching the same basic truth. Not long ago I was perusing THE
AQUARIAN GOSPEL OF JESUS THE CHRIST, a favorite book among New
Agers, and according to this "gospel," Jesus Himself taught
that all the world religions worship the same God with
different names: "The nations of the earth see God from
different points of view, and so he does not seem the same to
everyone.... You Brahmans call him Parabrahm; in Egypt he is
Thoth; and Zeus is his name in Greece; Jehovah is his Hebrew
Masonic literature communicates this same basic idea. Masons
typically believe that Jews, Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and
those of other faiths are all worshipping the same "all-seeing"
God using different names. In fact, God is known as "the
nameless one of a hundred names." As Masonic leader Albert
Mackey put it, "God is equally present with the pious Hindu in
the temple, the Jew in the synagogue, the Mohammedan in the
mosque, and the Christian in the church."
Because this idea comes up so often today, I think it is
beneficial to consider how Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam
compare on some key doctrines. Such an endeavor proves quite
clearly that these religions set forth not just different Gods
but a different Jesus and a different gospel. These religions
are not truly "one" at all.
While the Christian Bible teaches the Trinity, the Muslim Koran
(Muslim Scripture) DENIES the Trinity and exalts Allah, and the
Hindu Vedas (Hindu Scriptures) espouse many gods. If one of
these concepts of God is correct, the others must necessarily
be incorrect. If Yahweh is the one true God, as the Bible
teaches (Exodus 3:14-15), then the gods of Islam and Hinduism
cannot be the true God. For illustration purposes, let us
consider the Hindu view of God. It will be readily apparent how
different it is from the Christian viewpoint.
Ancient Hindu religion was polytheistic in nature, meaning that
they believed in many gods. In fact, there was a heavy emphasis
on ritual offerings to various deities. Some of these gods were
viewed as personifications of natural forces, such as the storm,
the sun, the moon, and the fertility of the soil. Eventually,
certain of these gods became preeminent. These would include
Brahma, Visnu, and Siva.
The Upanishads (Hindu Scriptures) fundamentally teach that
behind the many gods of Hinduism stands the monistic ("all is
one") reality of Brahman. Everything in the universe is
viewed as ultimately divine. "Every aspect of the universe,
both animate and inanimate, shares the same essentially divine
nature. There is actually only one Self in the universe."
According to this school of thought, every person possesses an
individual soul known as ATMAN that is related to the universal
soul (BRAHMAN). Brahman is viewed as an impersonal, monistic
("all is one") force. The universe is viewed as extended from
the being of Brahman. Through seemingly endless deaths and
rebirths (that is, through reincarnation), human beings finally
come to realize that Atman IS Brahman. "Most adherents of
Hinduism believe that they are in their true selves extended
from and one with Brahman... Our essence is identical to that
of the essence of Brahman." "The living beings that inhabit
our world are really only expressions of the Brahman. They are
souls (Atman) that are a part of the great ocean of souls that
make up the Brahman." Because Hinduism is monistic,
distinctions are considered unreal. When we perceive
distinctions, it is nothing more than a mental illusion
(MAYA). "A person's individuality apart from the Brahman --
the world in which one lives, that which one sees, hears,
touches, and feels -- is all an illusion, a dream." As Mark
Albrecht put it, "Hinduism holds that the world is really
'Brahman in disguise' -- all matter, especially biological and
human life, is merely a temporary, illusory manifestation of
this universal spirit."
The big problem for human beings, according to Hinduism, is
that they are ignorant of their divine nature. People have
forgotten that they are extended from Brahman. "Humans have a
false knowledge (maya) when they believe that this life and our
separation from Brahman are real." They have mistakenly
attached themselves to the desires of their separate selves (or
The Upanishads teach that people's basic problem is ignorance
(AVIDYA) of their plight, and only when people realize this
ignorance through enlightenment and come to true knowledge will
they find release. When true knowledge of the illusion of
life is realized, one can be freed from the bondage of life and
achieve unity with the Brahman. "The Upanishads teach that all
men can achieve the divine state if they strive for it. The
individual personality is denied, being considered part of the
world of illusion, or maya, and deification involves the
shedding of maya, the merging and obliteration of the self in
the sea of the One Reality, God." As Walter Martin points
out, "As long as the individual appears to exist within maya,
he is subject to such laws [as the law of karma and
reincarnation]. When he awakens to the fact that all is one, he
is no longer bound to them and they cease to have any relative
In view of such facts, does it not seem patently obvious that
Christians and Hindus ARE NOT worshipping the same God? After
all, Christianity teaches that there is one personal
Creator-God, and that He is eternally distinct from His
creation (including human beings). God, who is infinite and
eternal, created all things out of absolute nothingness
(Genesis 1:1; Nehemiah 9:6; Psalm 33:9; 148:5; Hebrews 11:3).
Having existed in sovereign self-sufficiency for all eternity
past, the triune God sovereignly and eternally decided to
create that which was not Himself and yet which was utterly
dependent on Him for its continuing existence (Colossians
1:17). God is thus NOT one with the universe (see Isaiah
45:18). Nor is God "one" with humankind (see Numbers 23:19;
Ecclesiastes 5:2). Quiet clearly, the Christian and Hindu
concepts of God are light-years apart.
We might make this same point in regard to the God of Islam.
According to the Koran, Allah is the one true God. The term
"Allah" is probably derived from AL ILLAH, which means "the
god." Allah is an absolute unity; he can have no son and no
partner. To say God could have a son, Muslims say, is
blasphemous -- implying some kind of sexual generation. Allah
is not viewed as "the Father" (Surahs 19:88-92; 112:3). He is
viewed as utterly transcendent, and seems more characterized by
judgment, not grace; by power, not mercy (Surahs 6:142;
7:31). By contrast, the Christian view is that God is a
Trinity, that the first person of this Trinity is a "Father,"
that this Father has an eternal Son, that God is both
transcendent AND immanent, and that while God is characterized
by judgment and power, he is also characterized by grace and
mercy. If the Christian view of God is correct (as I believe it
is), then the Muslim view must necessarily be INcorrect, since
it irreconcilably contradicts the biblical view at many points.
Let us be clear: Scripture emphatically declares that there is
only one God. In Isaiah 44:8 God Himself asks, "Is there any
God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." In
Isaiah 43:10, God affirms: "Before me no god was formed, nor
will there be one after me." That there is only one God is the
consistent testimony of Scripture (John 5:44; 17:3; Romans
3:29-30; 16:27; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; Ephesians
4:6; 1 Thessalonians 1:9; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2:5; James 2:19; 1
John 5:20-21; Jude 25). This God is YAHWEH (Exodus 3:14-15),
not ALLAH and not the millions of gods of Hinduism.
A DIFFERENT JESUS
While Jesus is held in high regard in Hinduism, His teachings
are said to reflect Vedic philosophy. (In other words, Jesus'
teachings are said to reflect Hinduism.) It is suggested that
Christians have misunderstood the teachings of Jesus through
the centuries and that Hindu sages have a better grasp on
What is the correct teaching in regard to Christ? Hindus say
that among other things, Jesus is one of many holy men that
communicated spiritual truth. He certainly was not humankind's
only savior, nor was He uniquely the Son of God. Rather He was
a great master, in a league with other great masters. It is
believed that there were holy men who were actually greater than
Jesus. Prabhupada, who founded the Hare Krishna movement, is
said to be an example. Some have suggested that Jesus may have
been an avatar (an incarnation of a God), but He is
nevertheless lower than the great Brahman (the ultimate God
that permeates all reality).
Some Hindus have suggested that Jesus was not perfect. They do
respect Him and honor Him, but His imperfection is evident in
the anger He showed in driving moneychangers out of the temple
(Mark 11:15) and in causing the fig tree to wither (Matthew
21:19). Still, despite these imperfections, He was a great sage.
Hindus also often teach that Jesus did not suffer on the cross,
for he was a man who had attained enlightenment and was beyond
the possibility of physical pain. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi said,
"It's a pity that Christ is talked of in terms of
Quite obviously, the Hindu view of Christ differs with the
Bible at many points. First, it is abundantly clear that Jesus
not only suffered on the cross but the whole reason Jesus was
born as a human being was to go to the cross to suffer for the
sins of humankind (see Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 16:21; Luke 9:22;
Acts 1:3). Further, Hindus have wrongly attributed imperfection
to Jesus simply because He expressed righteous indignation
against that which was evil. Contrary to the claim that Jesus
was imperfect, the Scriptures indicate that indeed Jesus was
perfect, was "without sin" (Hebrews 4:15), and "had no sin" (2
Corinthians 5:21). He is said to be "holy, blameless, pure"
(Hebrews 7:26). He has been "made perfect forever" (Hebrews
7:28). You can't get more perfect than that. (One might note
that a failure to show righteous indignation against that which
is evil [such as the moneychangers in the temple] would
constitute a true imperfection.)
Islam, too, holds a diminished view of Jesus Christ. Muslims
believe that Jesus was one of the foremost prophets of God. He
was a sinless man who was a messenger of God -- bringing truth
for His age. But He was not the Son of God. He was not God in
human flesh. He is to be honored, but no more so than any other
prophet of Allah. He is a lesser prophet than Muhammad.
Jesus, according to Muslims, did not die on the cross, but
rather ascended directly into heaven. Judas was crucified in
His place. It would have been unthinkable, Muslims say, that
Allah would have allowed one of his prophets to be crucified.
Therefore, the crucifixion of Christ is viewed as a
We see, then, that Islam denies the very central teachings on
Jesus that are at the very heart of the Bible -- especially His
deity (John 1:1; 8:58; 10:30; 20:28; Philippians 2:5-7;
Colossians 2:9; Titus 2:13-14) and His salvific mission
involving His death on the cross for the sins of humankind
(Matthew 26:28; John 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:19).
A DIFFERENT GOSPEL
In Hinduism, the soul and salvation are interpreted in terms of
reincarnation and the law of karma. SAMSARA refers to the cycle
of death and rebirth in Hinduism. The fate of the soul in each
lifetime is said to be governed by the law of karma. If one
builds up good karma during one's life, one will allegedly be
born in the next life in a favorable state. If one builds up
bad karma during one's life, one will allegedly be born in the
next life in a less desirable state. This goes on life after
life after life.
The goal, in Hinduism, is to break free from the wheel of karma
and merge with the universal soul. This deliverance from samsara
leads to immortality. MOKSHA is the Hindu term used for the
liberation of the soul from the wheel of karma. This is
salvation in Hinduism. At this point, one becomes ONE with
Brahman (God or the universal soul which permeates all
In Islam, salvation is found in complete surrender to Allah.
This is in keeping with the meaning of ISLAM ("submission") and
MUSLIM ("one who submits"). Salvation, then, is based upon
works. Human effort is pivotal in the Islamic view of salvation.
In contrast to Islam and Hinduism, Christianity teaches that
the moment one trusts in Christ the Savior, one is born again
(John 3:5), declared righteous (Romans 3:24), reconciled to God
(2 Corinthians 5:19), forgiven (Hebrews 10:17), and adopted into
God's forever family (Romans 8:14-15). Salvation is a FREE GIFT
of God received by faith in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Acts
In view of facts such as those above, apologist Ravi Zacharius
makes the very important point that while some believe the
world religions are essentially the same and only superficially
different, the true reality is that these religions are
essentially different and are only superficially the same. In
their true essence, these religions are not "one" at all.
SHOULD WE JUST "LOVE ONE ANOTHER"?
Occasionally I come across the idea that all of us who hold to
different religious persuasions should just be loving to one
another, and not criticize what each other believes. Appeal is
sometimes made to Jesus Christ as being a loving and tolerant
person. We should follow His lead and be loving and tolerant of
all people, we are told.
It is true to say that Jesus was the most loving human being
that ever lived. It is also true that one of His primary
teachings is that we should love one another, and that we
should even love those who are our enemies. Yet, by this, was
Jesus saying that we should overlook religious differences? I
To begin, Jesus was the one who continually warned His
followers about the possibility of spiritual and religious
deception. He didn't say we should overlook religious
differences that conflict with His teachings. Indeed, He said
to BEWARE of them in order to AVOID them. For example:
* Jesus warned His followers: "Watch out for false prophets.
They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are
ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them"
* Jesus also warned His followers: "Watch out that no one
deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am
the Christ,' and will deceive many... Many false prophets will
appear and deceive many people" (Matthew 24:4,11).
Further, one must recognize that those that Christ criticized
most severely during His three-year ministry were the religious
leaders of Israel who were inflicting oppressive religious
beliefs on the common people. Though Jesus was the most loving
person who ever lived, He had some rather scathing words for
these false religious leaders. In Matthew 23 Jesus called them
"hypocrites" (verse 13), "blind guides" (verse 16), "blind
fools" (verse 17), "blind men" (verse 19), and "whitewashed
tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside
are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean" (verse
The point I am making is that being loving to one another does
not in any way mean we are simply to ignore or overlook false
religious teachings -- that is, teachings that go against the
Word of God. Indeed, TO NOT SHARE TRUTH with one who has been
led astray by false religious teachings is to be UNloving. If
we really care about Muslims, Hindus, and others who hold to
varying religious beliefs, we will share the good news of the
Christian Gospel with them, knowing that they will perish for
all eternity should they die without a relationship with the
true Jesus of which Scripture speaks (John 3:16-17).
 Levi, THE AQUARIAN GOSPEL OF JESUS THE CHRIST (London: L.
N. Fowler & Co., 1947), p. 56.
 Henry Wilson Coil, A COMPREHENSIVE VIEW OF FREEMASONRY
(Richmond: Macoy Publishing, 1973), p. 192.
 Albert Mackey, MACKEY'S REVISED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FREEMASONRY
(Richmond: Macoy, 1966), 1:409-10.
 Lewis M. Hopfe, RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD (New York: Macmillan
Publishing Company, 1991), 91.
 Hopfe, 98. See also John Ankerberg and John Weldon, THE
FACTS ON HINDUISM IN AMERICA (Eugene: Harvest House Publishers,
 Walter Martin, THE NEW CULTS (Ventura: Regal Books, 1980),
 J. Isamu Yamamoto, HINDUISM, TM & HARE KRISHNA (Grand
Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995), 11.
 Dean C. Halverson, "Hinduism," in THE COMPACT GUIDE TO
WORLD RELIGIONS (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1996),
 Hopfe, 99.
 Yamamoto, 11.
 Hopfe, 99.
 Mark Albrecht, "Hinduism," in EVANGELIZING THE CULTS, ed.
Ronald Enroth (Ann Arbor: Servant Publications, 1990), 22.
 Hopfe, 98.
 Hopfe, 98.
 Martin, 80.
 Martin, 86.
 For more on Islam, see Ron Rhodes, ISLAM: WHAT YOU NEED TO
KNOW (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 2000).
 Yamamoto, 32.
 See George A. Mather and Larry A. Nichols, DICTIONARY OF
CULTS, SECTS, RELIGIONS AND THE OCCULT (Grand Rapids: Zondervan
Publishing House, 1993), 119.
 Yogi, MEDITATIONS OF MAHARISHI MAHESH YOGI, 123-24; cited
in Yamamoto, 48.
 Josh McDowell, A READY DEFENSE (Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Publishers, 1993), 272. See also John B. Noss, MAN'S RELIGIONS
(New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1974), 104, 186.