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Mormonism and
“That’s Just His Opinion”

 

© Spotlight Ministries, Vincent McCann, 2004
http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk

Often, when Mormons are presented with statements from their leaders that could cause some difficulty for them, many will respond by saying something like “Oh, that’s just his opinion. Its not the official view of the Mormon Church.” Often, when Mormons talk about official doctrines of the Church they usually mean the Standard Works: The Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrines and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.

Although many Mormons do not view other LDS writings as official Scripture (for example, The Seer or The Journal of Discourses), it should be remembered that many of these writings consist of the words of very prominent leaders in the Mormon Church. As such individuals commanded great respect they were certainly influential over the rank and file. Their statements must have carried some weight. Mormon leaders in prominent positions, like Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, and Bruce R. McConkie, influenced those who looked to them for leadership. The words of these early LDS leaders did not just go out into a vacuum, they went the hearts and minds of the Mormon people and were incorporated into their beliefs.

It would also seem that many Mormon leaders have tended to view their words as carrying a great deal of weight. For example, regarding the sermons of Brigham Young in the Journal of Discourses it is interesting to look at some of Young’s words himself as to how he viewed what was contained in the Discourses:

 

“I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them to the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office…I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve.” (Journal of Discourses, vol.13.p.95. Also see vol.13.p.264).

Even though it is fashionable for today’s Mormons to say that they will not accept statements which are not officially classed as revelation, or Scripture, I came across the following quote of a BYU professor which I thought was interesting regarding this very issue:

 

“…While certain doctrines are enunciated in the standard works and some doctrinal issues have been addressed in formal pronouncements by the First Presidency, there is nothing in Mormonism comparable to the Westminster Confession of Faith of the Augsberg Confession. Few of the truly distinctive doctrines of Mormonism are discussed in official sources. It is mainly by unofficial means — Sunday School lessons, seminary, institute, and BYU religion classes, sacrament meeting talks and books by Church officials and others who ultimately speak only for themselves — that the theology is passed from one generation to the next. Indeed it would seem that a significant part of Mormon theology exists primarily in the minds of the members… the absence of a formal creed means that each generation must produce a new set of gospel expositors to restate and reinterpret the doctrines of Mormonism.” (Peter Crawley, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1982).

Related to the above observations from the BYU professor, it can be pointed out that there are some doctrines of Mormonism that are simply not found in the official Standard Works. The LDS doctrine of their being a “Mother in Heaven” is one example. Nowhere is this doctrine found in any of the official Standard Works of the Church. However, such a doctrine is vital in the Mormon concept of eternal progression. If God was not married to His wife in Mormonism then He could never have become God in the first place.

Some Mormons will object that unless a statement by an LDS Church leader opens with the statement “Thus saith the Lord”, then it can be set aside as the mere opinion of the speaker. However, not everyone would agree with this. In 1980 prominent Mormon leaders gave a speech which contained the following words:

 

“SIXTH: The Prophet Does Not Have to Say “Thus Saith the Lord” to Give Us Scripture. Sometimes there are those who haggle over words. They might say the prophet gave us counsel but that we are not obligated to follow it unless he says it is a commandment. But the Lord says of the Prophet, “Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you.” (D&C 21:4.) And speaking of taking counsel from the Prophet, in D&C 108:1, the Lord states: “Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed.” Said Brigham Young, “I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture.” (JD 13:95.)” (Following the Brethren, Speeches By Mormon Apostles Ezra Taft Benson and Bruce R. McConkie, March 1980. Full speech online at the following link: Following the Brethren).

Furthermore, the popular, and widely distributed, LDS Church manual Gospel Principles clearly states that the inspired words of the living prophet are supposed to be accepted as scripture by Latter-day Saints. (Gospel Principles, p. 55).

Another objection that some members of the Mormon Church may bring against the words of past LDS leaders is that it was all in the past and that the Church has moved on since then. But the problem with this view is that the entire existence of the Mormon Church is based on the historical events that it appeared in in the early 19th century. Also, modern officially endorsed Mormon publications such as the books in the series entitled: Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, contain prolific quotes from early Mormon publications. So past LDS leaders are still influencing modern Mormons even though the quotes that are given are given selectively.

The conclusion of all this is that it is too easy for Mormons to brush aside something uncomfortable that they might hear from a Mormon leader as “just his opinion”, but the truth is that the words of these leaders do carry great weight and influence over the rank and file. In addition to this, as the quotations in this brief article demonstrate, there are Mormon leaders who feel that writings and speeches by Mormon leaders are authoritative even though they may not be contained in the Standard Works.

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LDS Leaders Define Their Concept of
JESUS CHRIST
By Sandra Tanner

Often Mormons will say that they believe in the same Jesus as standard Christianity. However, their leaders’ definition is very different. The current president of the Mormon Church, Gordon B. Hinckley, made a very telling comment about Jesus Christ in a talk in Geneva, Switzerland, June 6, 1998. The Deseret News reported:

In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints “do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times.

He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.” (Deseret News, Church News section, Salt Lake City, Utah, week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7)

Mormonism teaches that somewhere in eternity past God and his wife first existed as mortals on a different earth, overseen by their Heavenly Father and Mother.

This mortal couple died, received resurrected bodies, and eventually achieved godhood. They then procreated the millions of spirit children that would be sent to this earth as mortals. Thus God is part of an eternal chain of gods procreating spirit children for different worlds. Joseph Smith preached:

God himself, was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!…it is necessary we should understand the character and being of God and how He came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 305)

The Mormon Church teaches that men, gods, angels and devils are all the same species. Thus both Jesus and Lucifer are literally our elder brothers. As men are viewed as being the same species as God and Jesus they have the same potential to achieve godhood. Brigham Young preached:

We have a Father; He is in heaven; …He says that we are His children. … we actually believe that God the Father is our heavenly Father, that we are His children; and we believe that Jesus Christ is our elder brother—that he is actually the Son of our Father and that he is the Savior of the world, and was appointed to this before the foundations of this earth were laid. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, pp. 235-256, February 20, 1870)

On another occasion Brigham Young declared:

He [Jehovah] was the Son of our Heavenly Father, as we are the sons of our earthly fathers. God is the Father of our spirits, which are clothed upon by fleshly bodies, begotten for us by our earthly fathers. Jesus is our elder brother spirit clothed upon with an earthly body begotten by the Father of our spirits. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 2, September 28, 1862)

Past LDS Pres. Joseph F. Smith wrote:

Among the spirit children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ to whom all others are juniors …. There is no impropriety, therefore, in speaking of Jesus Christ as the elder brother of the rest of humankind…. Let it not be forgotten, however, that He is essentially greater than any and all others by reason (1) of His seniority as the oldest or firstborn; (2) of His unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and of an immortal, or resurrected and glorified, Father; (3) of His selection and foreordination as the one and only Redeemer and Savior of the race; and (4) of His transcendent sinlessness. (Improvement Era, vol. 19, pp. 941-942, June 30, 1916)

On February 8, 1857 Brigham Young explained how God came to be God and fathered Jesus:

Now to the facts in the case; all the difference between Jesus Christ and any other man that ever lived on the earth, from the days of Adam until now, is simply this, the Father, after He had once been in the flesh, and lived as we live, obtained His exaltation, attained to thrones, gained the ascendancy over principalities and powers, and had the knowledge and power to create—to bring forth and organize the elements upon natural principles. This He did after His ascension, or His glory, or His eternity, and was actually classed with the Gods, with the beings who create, with those who have kept the celestial law while in the flesh, and again obtained their bodies. Then He was prepared to commence the work of creation, as the Scriptures teach. It is all here in the Bible; I am not telling you a word but what is contained in that book.

Things were first created spiritually; the Father actually begat the spirits, and they were brought forth and lived with Him. Then He commenced the work of creating earthly tabernacles, precisely as He had been created in this flesh himself, by partaking of the course material that was organized and composed this earth, until His system was charged with it, consequently the tabernacles of His children were organized from the coarse materials of this earth.

When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit [Mary] with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it. The Saviour was begotten by the Father of His spirit, by the same Being who is the Father of our spirits, and that is all the organic difference between Jesus Christ and you and me. And a difference there is between our Father and us consists in that He has gained His exaltation, and has obtained eternal lives. The principle of eternal lives is an eternal existence, eternal duration, eternal exaltation. Endless are His kingdoms, endless His thrones and His dominions, and endless are His posterity; they never will cease to multiply from this time henceforth and forever. (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, pp. 217-218)

Apostle George Q. Cannon preached that Christ, Satan and all the mortals born on this earth are actually brothers and sisters from a pre-earth life:

We are here to be tested and tried. There is a war between Satan and God. We are brethren and sisters of Satan as well as of Jesus. It may be startling doctrine to many to say this; but Satan is our brother. Jesus is our brother. We are the children of God. God begot us in the spirit in the eternal worlds. This fight that I speak of arose, as we are told, over the question as to how man should work out his earthly probation in a tabernacle of flesh and bones and obtain redemption. Satan differed from God, and he rebelled. We are told in the scriptures that he drew after him one third of the family of God. They thought his plan better than that of the Savior Jesus Christ. From that time until the present he has been struggling to destroy the plans of Jehovah, and to seduce the children of men—his brothers and sisters—from their allegiance to God. (Apostle George Q. Cannon, March 11th, 1894, Collected Discourses, compiled by Brian Stuy, vol. 4, p. 23,)

JESUS ACHIEVED GODHOOD

Speaking in 1949, LDS leader Milton R. Hunter, of the First Council of the Seventy, stated:

You and I were sons and daughters of our Eternal Parents in the spirit world. In fact, all the people in this world were of that family, and Jesus Christ was the Firstborn.

During his pre-mortal life Jesus Christ rose to the status of Godhood. At that time he was foreordained to be the Savior of this world. Father Abraham was privileged to see in vision the grand council in heaven that was held prior to the peopling of this earth, and he saw, as the Lord showed him, “many of the noble and great ones.” (LDS Conference Report, October 1949, p. 69)

Apostle James E. Talmage taught:

Through the sure word of revealed truth we learn of the actual relationship between God and man, and that this is the literal relationship of parent to child. The spirits of men are the offspring of Deity, born in the antemortal world and endowed with the Divine birthright of eternal development and progression, in which course of advancement the life on earth is but a stage. … To become perfect as God is perfect is to attain the state, power, dignity, and authority of godship. Plainly there is a way provided by which the child of God may follow the footsteps of the Father, and in time—sometime in the distant eternities—be as that Divine Father is. Even as Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh, endured the experiences of mortality, passed the portals of death and became a resurrected Being, so the Father before Him had trodden the same path of progression from manhood to Godhood, and today sits enthroned in the heavens by right of achievement. He is the Eternal Father and with Him, crowned with glory and majesty, is the eternal Mother. They twain are the parents of the spirit-children for whose schooling in the lessons of mortality this earth was framed. … Eternal exaltation is the assured attainment of those who obey in its fulness the whole law of the Gospel of Christ; theirs it is to become like unto their Celestial Parents.

“Then shall they be Gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be Gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:20). (The Essential James E. Talmage, edited by James P. Harris, pp. 132-133)

LITERAL SON OF GOD

While Mormon leaders assert that they believe in the virgin birth they have changed the definition. The LDS Church teaches that God the Father has a physical, tangible, resurrected body and that God literally sired Jesus in the same physical sense that any other man begets a child. Consequently “the virgin birth” is redefined to mean Mary had intercourse with a god, not a mortal, in order to literally conceive the baby Jesus. In a 1916 doctrinal statement by the LDS First Presidency we read:

1. “Father” as Literal Parent … God the Eternal Father, whom we designate by the exalted name-title “Elohim,” is the literal Parent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race. Elohim is the Father in every sense in which Jesus Christ is so designated, and distinctively He is the Father of spirits. … Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is to say, Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh, and which body died on the cross and was afterward taken up by the process of resurrection, and is now the immortalized tabernacle of the eternal spirit of our Lord and Savior. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 4, pp. 1670-1671)

In a Christmas message to the general membership, the LDS First Presidency wrote:

A CHRISTMAS GREETING
FROM THE FIRST PRESIDENCY

The Latter-day Saints unite with the people of every creed and tongue and race in the general commemoration of the day observed throughout Christendom as the anniversary of the God-Man’s earthly birth. … We bow to Him as the veritable Son of the living God in the fullest sense of the hallowed term. As Mary was His saintly mother, so the Mighty God was His everlasting and literal Father. He was “the only begotten” of Deity, in the flesh, to die that man may live. This we once more affirm and declare as a glorious truth and a fundamental of “Mormon” faith. (Messages of the First Presidency, Vol. 4, pp. 318-319)

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie explained:

God the Father is a perfected, glorified, holy Man, an immortal Personage. And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events, for he is the Son of God, and that designation means what it says. (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 742)

Apostle McConkie explained that there was nothing figurative about Mary’s conception:

And so it is with the Eternal Father and the mortal birth of the Eternal Son. The Father is a Father is a Father; he is not a spirit essence or nothingness to which the name Father is figuratively applied. And the Son is a Son is a Son; he is not some transient emanation from a divine essence, but a literal, living offspring of an actual Father. … There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lord’s coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. (The Promised Messiah, pp. 468-469)

In the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, under the heading JESUS CHRIST we read:

He was able to accomplish his unique ministry—a ministry of reconciliation and salvation—because of who and what he was. President Ezra Taft Benson stated, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was fathered by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!” … From Mary, a mortal woman, Jesus inherited mortality, including the capacity to die. From his exalted Father he inherited immortality, the capacity to live forever. (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, pp.724-725)

On another page of the same volume we read: The fact of Jesus’ being the literal Son of God in the flesh is crucial to the ATONEMENT,…

For Latter-day Saints, the paternity of Jesus is not obscure. He was the literal, biological son of an immortal, tangible Father and Mary, a mortal woman (see Virgin Birth). Jesus is the only person born who deserves the title “the Only Begotten Son of God” … He was not the son of the Holy Ghost; it was only through the Holy Ghost that the power of the Highest overshadowed Mary (Luke 1:35; 1 Ne. 11:19). (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, p. 729)

Joseph Fielding Smith wrote:

Throughout the scriptures he is spoken of as the Son of God. The story of his birth is plain and free from mystery, insofar as the fact is made that he is in very deed the Son of God. We are emphatically informed that he was begotten by the Father. He recognized God as his Father. He referred to himself as being the Son of God. This is not a mystery. … It is true of Jesus Christ, as it is of any other son, he was begotten in the image of his Father and in his case his Father is the Eternal God, and the scriptures inform us that Jesus was the express image of his Father. (The Restoration of All Things, p. 61)

Apostle McConkie declared that Jesus was begotten in the normal way:

And so, in the final analysis it is the faithful saints, those who have testimonies of the truth and divinity of this great latter-day work, who declare our Lord’s generation to the world. Their testimony is that Mary’s son is God’s Son; that he was conceived and begotten in the normal way; that he took upon himself mortality by the natural birth processes; that he inherited the power of mortality from his mother and the power of immortality from his Father—in consequence of all of which he was able to work out the infinite and eternal atonement. (The Promised Messiah, Bruce McConkie, pp. 472-473)

Apostle James E. Talmage wrote:

That Child to be born of Mary was begotten of Elohim, the Eternal Father, not in violation of natural law but in accordance with a higher manifestation thereof; and, the offspring from that association of supreme sanctity, celestial Sireship, and pure though mortal maternity, was of right to be called the “Son of the Highest.” In His nature would be combined the powers of Godhood with the capacity and possibilities of mortality; and this through the ordinary operation of the fundamental law of heredity, declared of God, demonstrated by science, and admitted by philosophy, that living beings shall propagate—after their kind. The Child Jesus was to inherit the physical, mental, and Spiritual traits, tendencies, and powers that characterized His parents—one immortal and glorified—God, the other human—woman. (Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage, p. 81)

Jesus According to the Bible

The Bible declares that Jesus is fully God, not a subordinate deity. He eternally exists as God and is our creator.

John 1:1-4, 14
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

John 8:58
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him [Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

For more on the Biblical view of God and Jesus read the books The Forgotten Trinity, by James White, The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism and The New Mormon Challenge.

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/ldsleadersconceptofjesus.htm

 

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more about “Mormons Preach A Different Jesus Christ.“, posted with vodpod

 

 

Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own Worlds
Procreating Endless Numbers of Children
(Quotes from LDS Leaders)
By Sandra Tanner

The LDS scriptures declare that the ultimate goal of a Mormon is to become a god and procreate for all eternity.

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The Doctrine & Covenants states:

19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, …Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; …and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, …and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory.

22 For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-22)

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Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p.69 – p.70:

THE STRAITNESS OF THE WAY. Mortality is the testing or proving ground for exaltation to find out who among the children of God are worthy to become Gods themselves, and the Lord has informed us that “few there be that find it.”

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Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, p.97 – p.98:

ALL EXALTED MEN BECOME GODS. To believe that Adam is a god should not be strange to any person who accepts the Bible. When Jesus was accused of blasphemy because he claimed to be the Son of God, he answered the Jews: “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?”

Joseph Smith taught a plurality of gods, and that man by obeying the commandments of God and keeping the whole law will eventually reach the power and exaltation by which he also will become a god.

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Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.9:

What is eternal life? It is to have “a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” No one receives eternal life except those who receive the exaltation. Eternal life is the greatest gift of God; immortality is not.

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Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.39:

SONS OF GOD BECOME GODS. If the faithful, who keep the commandments of the Father, are his sons, then they are heirs of the kingdom and shall receive of the fulness of the Father’s glory, even until they become like the Father. And how can they be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect if they are not like him? . . . And if they receive his fulness and his glory, and if “all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs,” how can they receive these blessings and not become gods? They cannot.

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Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.44:

Parents will have eternal claim upon their posterity and will have the gift of eternal increase, if they obtain the exaltation. This is the crowning glory in the kingdom of God, and they will have no end. When the Lord says they will have no end, he means that all who attain to this glory will have the blessing of the continuation of the “seeds” forever. Those who fail to obtain this blessing come to the “deaths,” which means that they will have no increase, forever. All who obtain this exaltation will have the privilege of completing the full measure of their existence, and they will have a posterity that will be as innumerable as the stars of heaven.

If you want salvation in the fullest, that is exaltation in the kingdom of God, so that you may become his sons and his daughters, you have got to go into the temple of the Lord and receive these holy ordinances which belong to that house, which cannot be had elsewhere.

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Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.48:

The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fulness of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring. We will have an endless eternity for this.

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B. H. Roberts, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, p.276-284, quotes approvingly Orson Pratt’s view of heaven:

‘We would find, were we to carry this subject from world to world, from our world to another, even to the endless ages of eternity, that there never was a time but what there was a Father and Son. In other words when you entertain that which is endless, you exclude the idea of first being, a first world; the moment you admit of a first, you limit the idea of endless. * * *

‘Says one, “this is incomprehensible.” It may be so in some respects. We can admit, though, that duration is endless, for it is impossible for man to conceive of a limit to it. If duration is endless there can never be a first minute, a first hour, or first period; endless duration in the past is made up of a continuation of endless successive moments—it had no beginning. Precisely so with regard to this endless succession of personages; there never will be a time when fathers, and sons, and worlds will not exist; neither was there ever a period through all the past ages of duration, but what there was a world, and a Father and Son, a redemption and exaltation to the fullness and power of the Godhead.

. . .

‘How very plain it is when we once learn about our future heaven. We do not have to pray, according to the Methodists, for the Lord to take us to a land beyond time and space, the Saints, secure abode. How inconsistent to look for a heaven beyond space! The heaven of the Saints is something we can look forward to in the confident hope of realizing our inheritances and enjoying them forever, when the earth becomes sanctified and made new. And there, as here, we will spread forth, and multiply our children. How long? For eternity. What, resurrected Saints have children? Yes, the same as our God, who is the Father of our spirits; so you, if you are faithful to the end, will become fathers to your sons and daughters, who will be as innumerable as the sands upon the sea shore; they will be your children, and you will be their heavenly fathers, the same as our heavenly Father is Father to us, and they will belong to your kingdoms through all the vast ages of eternity, the same as we will belong to our father’s kingdom.’

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Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol.2:

GODHOOD

Logically and naturally, the ultimate desire of a loving Supreme Being is to help his children enjoy all that he enjoys. For Latter-day Saints, the term “godhood” denotes the attainment of such a state—one of having all divine attributes and doing as God does and being as God is. Such a state is to be enjoyed by all exalted, embodied, intelligent beings (see Deification; Eternal Progression; Exaltation; God; Perfection). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all resurrected and perfected mortals become gods (cf. Gen. 3:22; Matt. 5:48). They will dwell again with God the Father, and live and act like him in endless worlds of happiness, power, love, glory, and knowledge; above all, they will have the power of procreating endless lives. Latter-day Saints believe that Jesus Christ attained godhood (see Christology) and that he marked the path and led the way for others likewise to become exalted divine beings by following him (cf. John 14:3).

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Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p.708:

Of those who enter the Lord’s order of matrimony and who keep their covenants …, the Lord says: “They shall pass by the angels, and the gods, …to their exaltation and glory in all things, …which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” That is to say, eternal life consists of two things: (1) the continuation of the family unit in eternity, which means a continuation of the seeds or the everlasting begetting of children; and (2) the receipt of the fulness of the glory of the Father, which is all power in heaven and on earth.’

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Milton R. Hunter, Pearl of Great Price Commentary, p.144-145:

Later the Prophet Joseph explained what the revelation [D&C 132] meant by the statement, “which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.” He pointed out that the Gods were to be parents of spirit-children just as our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother were the parents of the people of this earth. Following are the words of the Prophet:

Except a man and his wife enter into an everlasting covenant and be married for eternity, …they will cease to increase when they die; that is, they will not have any children after the resurrection. But those who are married by the power and authority of the Priesthood in this life, and continue without committing the sin against the Holy Ghost, will continue to increase and have children in the celestial glory.

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Milton R. Hunter, LDS Conference Report, April 1949, p.71:

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that this continuation of “the seeds” forever and ever, meant the power of procreation; in other words, the power to beget spirit children on the same principle as we were born to our Heavenly Parents, God the Eternal Father and our Eternal Mother. Therefore, a man cannot receive the highest exaltation without a woman, his wife, nor can a woman be exalted without her husband. That is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of salvation.

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Journal of Discourses, Vol.2, p.85 – p.86, Orson Hyde, October 6, 1854:

When the servants of God and their wives go to heaven there is an eternal union, and they will multiply and replenish the world to which they are going.

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Journal of Discourses, Vol.22, p.125, George Q. Cannon, October 31, 1880:

Every man and every woman who prays unto the Father, who is in the habit of doing so, expresses that desire in his or her prayer–that we may be counted worthy to receive celestial glory and exaltation in the presence of God and the Lamb. … When we talk about celestial glory, we talk of the condition of endless increase; if we obtain celestial glory in the fullest sense of the word, then we have wives and children in eternity, we have the power of endless lives granted unto us, the power of propagation that will endure through all eternity, all being fathers and mothers in eternity; fathers of fathers, and mothers of mothers, kings and queens, priests and priestesses, and shall I say more? Yes, all becoming gods.

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Also see Joseph Smith’s:

King Follet Sermon
Plurality of Gods Sermon

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Does The Bible Teach Multiple Gods, Eternal Marriage, and endless children? NO!

There is only one God, who has eternally existed:

Isaiah 43:10-11: “I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, and the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.”

Isaiah 44:6: “Thus saith the LORD…I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.”

Isaiah 45:22: …and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me….I am God, and there is none else.”

Isa 42:8: “I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.”

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The Bible never equates Eternal Life with marriage and parenthood. It is promised to ALL who have come to Christ for salvation.

I John 5:12: “He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”

Luke 20: 35-36: “But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”

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We are not children of God by procreation but by spiritual adoption.

John 1:12: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

Galatians 3:26: “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/mormonshopetobecomegods.htm

 

ABOUT THE VIDEO BELOW

Mormon says, “If God was a sinner, then great”

A Mormon named Stephen at Temple Square in Salt Lake City fleshes out Mormonism’s traditional understanding of the Lorenzo Snow couplet.

 

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DEBATE Van Hale and Dr. Walter martin. Two defenders, debating the question. Is Mormonism Christianity? These videos and about 10 others are on the H2bac.info Mormon video vodpod at http://h2bacinfomormonvideo.vodpod.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disappointment of B. H. Roberts

Brigham H. Roberts is revered in Mormon history as one of the Mormon Church’s greatest theologians and historians. His six-volume Comprehensive History of the Church is still one of the most respected works of Mormon history. Roberts was a General Authority, member of the Mormon Church’s First Council of the Seventy, a group which is second only to the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. In 1898 he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives, although he was never seated because he was a polygamist.

As a young missionary in Tennessee, Roberts began to formulate his defense of the Book of Mormon. Upon one occasion he debated a Campbellite minister on the authority of the Book of Mormon. That debate was the beginning of his reputation within the Mormon Church as a leading defender of the Book of Mormon. In time he became recognized as the expert Book of Mormon apologist. In 1909 he published his chief defense of the Book of Mormon, entitled, New Witnesses for God.

The Doubts Begin

In 1921 an event occurred which forever changed Roberts’ life. A young Mormon from Salina, Utah, William Riter, wrote to Apostle James E. Talmage with five questions challenging the Book of Mormon. Riter had been asked the questions by a man from Washington, D.C. who was investigating the claims of Mormonism. Talmage was too busy to answer the questions, so he sent the letter on to Roberts. This was the beginning of an investigation which would trouble Roberts until his death in 1933. The study deeply challenged his faith in the Book of Mormon and ultimately changed his opinion of its divine origin.

Roberts’ personal struggle with his waning confidence in the Book of Mormon is recorded in three documents he produced in the last years of his life. None of these works was published during his lifetime, but they are now available. A comprehensive study of these documents was published in 1985 as Studies of the Book of Mormon by the University of Illinois. This book is edited by two Mormon scholars: Brigham D. Madsen edited the manuscript and Sterling M. McMurrin wrote an introductory essay.

Roberts studied the questions for four months without replying to William Riter. Riter finally wrote to him, asking if he had completed his response. On Dec. 28, 1921, Roberts wrote back saying he was studying the problems, had not yet reached a conclusion and would soon respond. The next day Roberts wrote an open letter to President Heber J. Grant, to Grant’s counselors, to the Twelve Apostles and to the First Council of Seventy, requesting an emergency meeting with all of them to discuss the matter.

Roberts told the General Authorities:

“I found the difficulties (raised by the five questions) more serious than I thought…it is a matter that will concern the faith of the Youth of the Church now (and) also in the future.”

President Grant responded immediately to Roberts’ request for an emergency meeting of the Church’s top leadership. Within a week the brethren assembled for an intense two-day conference at which Roberts delivered a 141 page report entitled, “Book of Mormon Difficulties, a Study.” Roberts appealed to the collective wisdom of the brethren and said he was seeking the inspiration of the Lord in order to answer the questions.

Disappointed

It is fair to say the General Authorities “stonewalled” Roberts at the meeting. After two days, he came away disappointed and discouraged. In a letter to President Grant four days after the meeting he said:

“I was greatly disappointed over the net results of the discussion…There was so much said that was utterly irrelevant, and so little said…that was helpful.”

Roberts continued to discuss the matter through letters with President Grant and continued for some months to meet with a committee formed out of the larger group comprised of one of Grant’s counselors, Talmage, and Apostle John Widsoe. But, Roberts never was satisfied with the response of the brethren.

As his investigation continued, he became more and more disillusioned with the Book of Mormon; and he always resented the response he received at the two-day seminar. Two months before his death he told a friend, Wesley P. Lloyd, former dean of the graduate school of BYU, that the defense the brethren made for the Book of Mormon might “satisfy people who didn’t think, but (it was) a very inadequate answer for a thinking man.” He said Apostle Richard R. Lyman did not take the matter seriously and the others, “merely one by one stood up and bore testimony to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. George Albert Smith-in tears-testified that his faith in the Book of Mormon had not been shaken by the questions.”
Roberts told Lloyd “in a Church which claims continuous revelation, a crisis had arisen where revelation was necessary.”

Concerning the Five Questions

THE FIVE QUESTIONS ROBERTS COULDN’T ANSWER

The five questions the Mormon General Authorities could not answer:

1. Linguistics: Riter asked-if the American Indians were all descendants of Lehi-why there was such diversity in the languages of the American Indians and why there was no indication of Hebrew in any of the Indian languages?

2. The Book of Mormon says that Lehi found horses when he arrived in America. The horse described in the Book of Mormon (as well as many other domestic animals) did not exist in the New World before the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.

3. Nephi is stated to have had a “bow of steel.” Jews did not know steel at that time. And there was no iron smelted on this continent until after the Spaniard conquest.

4. The Book of Mormon frequently mentions “swords and scimiters (scimitars).” Scimitars are unknown until the rise of the Moslem faith (after 600 A.D.).

5. The Book of Mormon says the Nephites possessed silk. Silk did not exist in America in pre-Columbian times.

 

Of the five questions, Roberts was most concerned about the linguistic problem. (See accompanying sidebar “The Five Questions.”) However, he also discovered new problems. He told Lloyd he saw literary problems in the Book of Mormon as well as geographic problems. Where, he asked, were the Mayan cliffs and high mountain peaks in the Book of Mormon? The geography of the Book of Mormon, Roberts said, looked suspiciously like the geography of the New England where Joseph Smith was raised!

Joseph Smith Did Not Get The Book of Mormon From God!

Roberts eventually concluded that Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon himself-that he did not translate it from gold plates. Smith produced it, Roberts said, by drawing upon his own natural talent and materials like Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews (published near Joseph’s home a few years before the translation of the Book of Mormon).

Roberts’ Reaction

Roberts became convinced that View of the Hebrews was “the ground plan” for the Book of Mormon. Roberts, the man who had started his missionary career defending the Book of Mormon and became its staunchest apologist, had to admit the evidence proved Joseph Smith was a plagiarist.

One must empathize with the elderly Roberts as he came to realize he had spent a lifetime defending something which he now knew was a fraud. It is heartbreaking. It is perhaps, this fraudulent perpetration of the Book of Mormon that is the most heartbreaking aspect of Mormonism. Millions of Mormons base their faith in Mormonism upon this book which is no more than the invention of Joseph Smith. Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt correctly identified the essential question concerning the Book of Mormon when he declared:

“If true, (the Book of Mormon) is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who sincerely receive it as the Word of God, and will suppose themselves built upon the rock of truth, until they are plunged, with their families, into hopeless despair.”

What was the final resolution for Brigham H. Roberts? No one can say for sure. However, I am afraid for him. I fear that this giant intellectual, who could stand against the president of the Church and call the Apostles to task, committed intellectual suicide. In a conversation with Wesley Lloyd, just two months before his death, Roberts showed him what he called “a revolutionary article on the origin of the Book of Mormon.” In Lloyd’s opinion, Roberts’ work was, “far too strong for the average Church member.”

What Lloyd saw was “A Book of Mormon Study,” a 300-page document in which Roberts sets forth his reasons for concluding that the Book of Mormon was not of divine origin. In the document, Roberts investigated the documents (including View of the Hebrews) which Joseph Smith could have consulted in writing the Book of Mormon. He investigated “the imaginative mind of Joseph Smith.” He quotes Joseph’s mother who recalled how Joseph would give “amusing recitals” in which he would describe, “the ancient inhabitants of this continent, their dress, mode of traveling, and the animals upon which they rode; their cities, their buildings, with every particular; their mode of warfare; and also their religious worship.” All this, Roberts acknowledged, “took place before the young prophet had received the plates of the Book of Mormon.” Roberts suggests that Smith became caught up in spiritual “excesses” out of which he imagined prophecies and manifestations:

“His revelations become merely human productions. . .Morbid imagination, morbid expression of emotions [were] likely to find their way into the knowledge of Joseph Smith and influence his conceptions of spiritual things.”

The Gold Plates Didn’t Exist

Roberts, according to Lloyd, concluded that Smith’s visions were “psychological” and that the gold plates, “were not objective”-that is, they didn’t really exist! They existed only on a “spiritual”, or subjective plane.

Conclusion

Evidence indicates that B. H. Roberts was so steeped in the deception of Mormonism that he was unable to escape its spiritual hold. In his last conversation with Lloyd, with only two months of life before him, Roberts indicated that he had not yet given up on Joseph Smith. He said that although the Book of Mormon was of obvious human origin, perhaps the Church was still true. Perhaps he could yet establish the divinity of Joseph’s call. If the Book of Mormon failed him, perhaps he could find divinity in the Mormon Church’s secondary book of scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants!

http://www.bibletopics.com/biblestudy/138.htm#5questions

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THIS VIDEO SHOWS THE BOOK OF MORMON TO BE FALSE

 

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The video below is a short video testimony of Watchman Fellowship’s James K. Walker. James is a former fourth-generation Mormon. Visit us online at http://www.watchman.org for great resources on sharing the Real Jesus with Mormons and others deceived by cults and false teachers.

Basics of Mormonism: Falling Upward Timothy Oliver

In his book, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, (NWAF) one of Mormonism’s foremost modern apostles, Bruce R. McConkie, expends three chapters explaining the meaning of the Mormon church’s second Article of Faith: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” This Mormon Article of Faith presupposes sin and the fall of Adam. To properly understand it, or the third Article which follows it, requires an understanding of the Mormon concept of Adam’s fall. Says McConkie, “It is not possible to believe in Christ and his atoning sacrifice, in the true and full sense required to gain salvation, without at the same time believing and accepting the true doctrine of the fall” (NWAF, p. 82). 

Humanity’s Pre-Mortal Existence

To understand the Mormon concept of the Fall, however, requires still prior understanding of the Mormon concepts of a pre-mortal existence, and the purpose of this earth life. Mormonism teaches that mankind is of the same species as God. Our origin is supposed to have been as procreated children of God, born as spirits in some other realm. In this spirit world existence we progressed as far as was possible. But to become truly like our Heavenly Father we needed to obtain physical bodies. We also needed to learn the difference between good and evil, truth and error, and to love and choose the former over the latter. Since our Heavenly Father has progressed so far that He cannot allow evil into His presence, it was necessary for us to leave Him for some place where we could encounter and overcome evil ourselves. 

 

Earth Life A Test

So, this world was prepared as a school, where we have been sent to obtain physical bodies and to learn the lessons of mortality. In his book, The Miracle of Forgiveness, (MF), Mormon church President and Prophet Spencer W. Kimball described our mission for this life. “We would be expected to gain knowledge, educate ourselves, train ourselves. We were to control our urges and desires, master and control our passions, and overcome our weaknesses, small and large. We were to eliminate sins of omission and of commission, and to follow the laws and commandments given us by our Father” (p. 5; emphasis added).

This is in accord with Mormon scripture in the Pearl of Great Price, (PGP). While laying their plans for our earth life, the Gods are supposed to have said, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;” (PGP, Abraham 3:25; emphasis added).

 

Conflicting Commandments

Of course for this whole plan to work, physical bodies had to be prepared in which Heavenly Father’s spirit children could dwell. Thus, the first commandment on record is the commandment to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Mormonism teaches this was a greater and more important commandment than the commandment not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Talmage, Articles of Faith, pp. 64-5).

 
In fact, according to Mormon doctrine, the two commandments stood in opposition to each other (McConkie, NWAF, p. 91). Notwithstanding the great importance of procreation to the purpose of earth life, when God made Adam and Eve, He supposedly made them in a condition where they could not procreate. “There was as yet neither procreation nor death. These would enter the scheme of things only after the fall” (Ibid., p. 84). Adam and Eve had to break the lesser commandment, and incur the Fall, in order to fulfill the greater commandment (Ibid., p. 91). 

According to Mormon scripture, Eve is supposed to have exclaimed, “Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient” (PGP, Moses 5:11). 

The Book of Mormon (BM) says the same: “…if Adam had not transgressed…. they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin….Adam fell that men might be;” (BM, 2 Nephi 2:22-23).

 

A Fall in the Right Direction?

From the foregoing one can see how important it was for man to “fall” – why, in Mormonism, “the Fall” is seen as a good thing, a great blessing. This has led some Mormon leaders to say things which may sound a little odd or even bizarre to Christians familiar with the Bible. 

For example: Under the heading, “‘TRANSGRESSION’ NOT ‘SIN’ OF ADAM,” Mormon apostle and prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr. wrote, “I never speak of the part Eve took in this fall as a sin, nor do I accuse Adam of a sin” (Doctrines of Salvation, (DS), vol. 1, p. 114). Again, “This was a transgression of the law, but not a sin in the strict sense, for it was something that Adam and Eve had to do!” (Ibid., p. 115). “The ‘fall’ of Adam and Eve was not a sin but an essential act upon which mortality depends” (Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, vol. 5, p. 15). 

Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “We do not know how the fall was accomplished…” (NWAF, p. 85; emphasis added). He goes so far as to cast the Fall in terms of obedience rather than transgression: “After they had thus complied with whatever the law was that brought mortality into being,…” and “He [Adam] chose the Lord’s way;” (Ibid., pp. 86, 91; emphasis added). Assistant to the Twelve Apostles Sterling W. Sill spoke of Adam’s fall: “Adam fell, but he fell in the right direction. He fell toward the goal…. Adam fell, but he fell upward” (Deseret News, Church Section, 31 July 1965, p. 7). 

Since the mortal condition was essential to the Mormon plan of salvation, the act which introduced mortality of necessity becomes a great blessing. “We can hardly look upon anything resulting in such benefits as being a sin, in the sense in which we consider sin” (Smith, DS, vol. 1, p. 115). “Properly understood, it becomes apparent that the fall of Adam is one of the greatest blessings ever given of God to mankind” (McConkie, NWAF, p. 87).

Mormonism says we will not be punished for Adam’s transgression because all mankind will be redeemed from the effects of the “Fall.” That is, the consequences of Adam’s action – physical, or temporal death, and spiritual death – are both overcome through the Atonement of Christ (Ensign, January, 1990, pp. 25-6). “Temporal death is the natural death; it occurs when body and spirit separate, thus leaving the body to return to the dust whence it came. Spiritual death is to be cast out of the presence of the Lord and to die as pertaining to the things of righteousness” (McConkie, NWAF, pp. 86-7). Since it was not our fault that either of these were introduced, they will both be removed by God’s free grace. All mankind will be resurrected with immortal physical bodies, and all will be brought back into the presence of God, for judgment (BM, 2 Nephi 2:10). Those who are subsequently cast out are ejected for their own unrepented sin (BM, 2 Nephi 9:38, 45-6).

 

Questions for Mormons

With all the above as background, it is easy to see why Mormonism’s second Article of Faith says mankind will not be punished for Adam’s transgression. One wonders, in fact, why Adam was ever punished for it himself – why he and his descendants were ever placed under a curse in the first place.

If death is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23), and Adam’s and Eve’s action was not actually sin, then why did it introduce death into the world (Romans 5:12)? Indeed, how did it introduce sin into the world (Romans 5:12)? Just how and why were the “wonderful blessing” of mortality and a sinful world introduced, if it was not actually sin they committed? 

And if this was such a blessing, then when they heard God walking in the Garden, why did they not go running to Him clapping their hands, breathless with excitement over fulfilling His plan, acquiring new knowledge, and initiating mortality? “Oh, Father! We have complied with Your greater commandment and are ready for procreation. Now the rest of Your children, our brothers and sisters, will have opportunity to enjoy the same wonderful benefits as us!” 

Why, instead, did they suddenly feel guilty and afraid, and try to hide from God? Previous to that time they had no more idea of guilt than they did of right and wrong, so it could not have been a false, self-imposed guilt. It had to have been consciousness of the actual guilt of doing wrong. If their action was not sin, how did they acquire their sudden awareness of right and wrong (Genesis 3:7, 22)? Why did they seek to put blame on others and excuse themselves for their action if it was no sin? 

In another vein, if the original (non)-sin of Adam and Eve brought both physical and spiritual death, why is it that our own sins, if unrepented of, incur only spiritual and not also physical death for eternity? Adam knew no evil prior to sinning, knew no real difference between right and wrong. But of all men after Adam, the Book of Mormon says they “are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil” (2 Nephi 2:5). On the principle of “where much is given, much is required” (Luke 12:47-8), our personal sins being committed with a knowledge of right and wrong would seem to be more serious than Adam’s first transgression. Yet they incur a lesser penalty in eternity than Adam’s (non)-sin. Why? 

Last, but not least, remember that Adam and Eve were to eliminate sins of omission as well as commission (MF, p. 5). If the two commandments, one to multiply and fill the earth, and the other not to eat of the forbidden fruit, were in opposition so that they could not both be obeyed at the same time, and if the former was a greater commandment than the latter, then why were they not counted transgressors before eating the forbidden fruit, for failing to multiply? Why did that not incur the Fall? Indeed, why were they counted transgressors for breaking the lesser of the two commandments when, up to that time, they were failing to live up to the greater of the two, and had not even taken the first, most elemental step toward compliance? 

As noted earlier, Mr. McConkie wrote, “It is not possible to believe in Christ and his atoning sacrifice, in the true and full sense required to gain salvation, without at the same time believing and accepting the true doctrine of the fall” (NWAF, p. 82). If that is the case, Mormonism certainly owes the world coherent answers to these questions raised by its doctrines. Without such answers, their doctrine of the “fall” is, quite simply, utterly unbelievable. 

Individual Mormons ought to be held accountable to their Church’s doctrine, by constantly encountering such questions, lovingly but relentlessly posed by their Christian friends. Christians should let their Mormon friends know that if they expect to carry their “gospel” to us in a believable way so we can “gain salvation,” then they must answer these questions. Christians should express profound surprise, even shock, to their Mormon friends, that they would believe in such things, or in a church – or in a spirit which teaches such things. Such a spirit cannot be the Holy Spirit. Such a church cannot be the Church of Jesus Christ. 

http://www.watchman.org/lds/falling.htm

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http://www.cultnews.net/

Appeals court rules that Mormon Church is outside of the Protestant Christian faith . . . . .

In a remarkable decision an appellate court ruled that the Mormon Church is outside of the Protestant faith. The decision came in a divorce decree contempt case by the Arkansas Court of Appeals on October 8. According to an October 9 Arkansas Democrat Gazette piece,

“Joel Mark Rownak and Lisa Monette Rownak agreed in their 2005 divorce to raise their children ‘in the Protestant faith.’ The decree bars them from promoting another religion without the other’s consent. In May 2007, Benton County Circuit Judge John R. Scott found Joel Rownak in contempt of that decree based on evidence that Rownak had ‘candidly acknowledged’ promoting the Mormon faith to his sons.”

Interestingly, Mr. Rownak, who is a Mormon testified that the Mormon faith is outside of the Protestant faith. The court, based on Mr. Rownak’s testimony and “evidence” of that effect from the [Mormon] church’s Web site” ruled that the Mormon faith was indeed outside of the Protestant faith and therefore found Mr. Rownak in contempt of the divorce decree.

The significance of this ruling of course is that both an active Mormon (Mr. Rownak) and an appellate court both agree that Mormonism is not a Protestant church. The other significant aspect of this ruling is that the court has made a ruling on a theological matter. While the ruling was technically on a divorce decree contempt case, the grounds for the decision were theological.

http://wfiprestoncondra.blogspot.com/2008/10/appeals-court-rules-that-mormon-church.html

HERE IS THE October 9 Arkansas Democrat Gazette piece

BENTON COUNTY : Court rules against dad in faith case BY CHARLIE FRAGO

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2008 http://www.nwanews.com/adg/News/239705/

 

A Benton County father found in contempt for violating a custody agreement that barred him from promoting Mormonism to his two sons lost his appeal at the Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday.

Joel Mark Rownak and Lisa Monette Rownak agreed in their 2005 divorce to raise their children “in the Protestant faith.” The decree bars them from promoting another religion without the other’s consent.

In May 2007, Benton County Circuit Judge John R. Scott found Joel Rownak in contempt of that decree based on evidence that Rownak had “candidly acknowledged” promoting the Mormon faith to his sons.

Rownak led his sons in Scripture reading and daily prayer, involved one son in Boy Scouts at a local Mormon church and had one son baptized at the church, according to an opinion written by Judge Sam Bird and agreed to by Judges John Robbins and Robert J. Gladwin.

Rownak argued the contempt finding violated his First Amendment rights, particularly the establishment clause that prohibits the state from discriminating against religion.

Bird wrote that the decree was a valid contract between parties and didn’t violate Rownak’s constitutional rights. He noted that Joel Rownak had requested the language to be included in the decree.

Joel Rownak testified that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints wasn’t a Protestant faith, and the court also considered evidence to that effect from the church’s Web site.

Lisa Rownak had objected to her ex-husband’s promoting Mormonism to their children.

In light of this evidence, Scott was correct in finding Joel Rownak in contempt of the divorce decree, Bird wrote.

At the appeals court, the case is CA 08-193, Joel Mark Rownak v. Lisa Monette Rownak.

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Question: “What is the Restoration movement?”

Answer: The Restoration Movement, part of the broader movement called “restorationism,” began in the early 19th Century when a conglomeration of members from different Christian groups and denominations decided they had gotten away from the basics of Christianity. Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, and others abandoned their formal denominations with hopes of establishing a church based solely on the Christianity taught in the New Testament. With their belief in Jesus as the only model and the Bible as the only sacred book, they endeavored to re-establish Christ’s church as it had been during Jesus’ time. Because the different organized denominations had constructed rules and practices that did not come explicitly from the Bible, those with new ideas felt the divisions must be dissolved. Their goal was for everyone to abandon their dividing religions and become united as one church under God’s rule alone.

Among the most influential leaders of this movement were Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone. Although the fundamental views remained, in 1906 this group split. The followers of Campbell and Stone divided into two sects, called the Church of Christ (Non-Instrumental) and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Over time many additional schisms have formed from these core groups as well. Currently there are three major and several minor groups who trace their roots back to the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement: the Christian Churches/Disciples of Christ, Churches of Christ, Independent Christian Churches, Churches of Christ in Australia, Associated Churches of Christ (New Zealand), United Reformed Church (UK), and others.

Among the key principles of the Restoration Movement are:

~Recognition of the New Testament pattern of the church. Overall, the people of this movement try to pattern their practices and rituals as closely as possible to those of the New Testament. Of particular importance to them is the weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper, although there is nothing in Scripture to indicate this was a weekly function. In fact, Acts 2:46 indicates it might have been a daily ritual: “And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (emphasis added). In addition, Acts 2:44-45 states of the New Testament church that they also “sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” This is not a practice of the New Testament church that those in the Restoration Movement have felt led to adopt.

~Names, creeds, and ecclesiastical traditions divide believers from one another; therefore these things are renounced, doing away with creeds and human authority. While the desire for there to be nothing dividing believers is a noble one, there is no evidence that attending a Baptist or Presbyterian church divides its members from those of other churches any more than attending a Disciples of Christ church divides its members from those of other church within the Restoration Movement. The spirit of unity or disunity is a heart issue, not a matter of church affiliation. Although a key principle of the Restoration Movement is concern for Christian unity, the history of the movement is itself riddled with numerous splits, re-splits and schisms.

~Names of human origin divide, therefore they name only the name of Christ. They decry the use of denominational names, claiming to be “Christians only,” believing this approach to be the only true scriptural one. The adherents to the Restoration Movement are careful to have no other name but Christ in their church titles, believing this to be the true to the New Testament. They deny, for instance, that the name “Presbyterians” has any biblical validity, even though the name is derived from the Greek word for elder, presbytos. Thus, the name reflects its method of governance, completely in accordance with New Testament church structure. Using the name of Christ in a church title may or may not be an indication of a church’s doctrinal stand. As with any group or organization claiming to represent Christ and His church, what they believe, and how it lines up with the Bible, is of paramount importance.

When examining the Restoration Movement, of particular concern is their doctrine of salvation. According to a Christian Restoration Association publication, “What You Must Do to Become a Christian” involves four things: You must believe, repent of sin, confess Christ, and be baptized for the remission of sins. One must admit his or her sinfulness and need for forgiveness, then repent and accept Jesus as Lord of his or her life. One must then be baptized by full body immersion for the remission of sins. At this point, it is believed that one begins a new life, and is reborn. This directly contradicts the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone, without the added condition of works (Ephesians 2:8-9). Baptism is not a requirement for salvation, but is rather evidence of it. The new believer is baptized in obedience to God’s command to do so, not as a prerequisite for salvation.

Equally disturbing is the Restoration Movement belief that in order to remain a Christian, one must do four things, again according to the Christian Reformation Association: Pray, study the Bible, worship and remain faithful. If these are requirements to maintain salvation, it stands to reason according to this line of thinking, that anyone who does not continue in these four disciplines is in danger of losing his/her salvation. The Bible, however, is clear that the true believer cannot lose his/her salvation because we are saved by God (Romans 8:30), sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14),and kept by God until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). Just as once we are born, we cannot be made unborn, we have been made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), and we cannot be made old again by any means.

On the positive side, the Restoration Movement has maintained belief in the deity of Christ, unlike the rest of those in the restorationist movement. Great care must be taken, however, to avoid the exclusivist mindset which says “we alone have the right way.” Such thinking leads to pride, the ultimate cause of disunity in the church, the very thing those in the Movement seek to rectify.

http://www.gotquestions.org/Restoration-movement.html 

 

Question: “What is Restorationism?”

Answer: Restorationism refers to a group of unaffiliated 19th century movements from within Christianity based upon the premise that the true faith and practice of the church had been lost due to apostasy and that the church needed to be restored to its New Testament model. Restorationist organizations include Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Seventh-day Adventists, as well as the adherents to the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement, which consists today in three main groups: Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ), Churches of Christ, and Independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ.

While all these groups teach widely divergent theologies, they have in common the notion that true Christianity had died out many years ago and it needed to be restored to its original New Testament form. Some of these groups believe they alone are the embodiment of true Christianity, some going so far as to teach that all other groups, including mainline Protestant denominations, are not really Christians at all, having lost their way over the centuries to complete apostasy. They are convinced that the drift from Christian principles is so extreme as to render the church irredeemable and therefore it must be completely rebuilt. Denying that past historical patterns have any validity at all, they are free to embrace what they understand to be pure biblical truth as revealed to the Apostles.

Certainly there have been abuses and misuses of the Word of God down through the years by churches claiming to speak for Christ. One has only to look at the Roman Catholic doctrines of purgatory, prayer to Mary, and the veneration of saints—all of which are completely unscriptural—to agree that in some cases at least, church tradition has superseded the Bible as authority. However, in the spirit of throwing the baby out with the bath water, some of the restorationists have also jettisoned such biblical doctrines as the Trinity, hell, and salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Of course parts of the church have apostatized, but there has always been a remnant of the faithful preserved by God for His purposes.

At least two disastrous consequences can be expected to result from a zealous embrace of restorationist philosophy. First, it easily leads to a spirit exclusivism and arrogance, not to mention error. The natural outcome of believing one’s own group has the corner on the truth is the despising of all others who claim the name of Christ, seeing them as apostates, or worse, tools of the devil. No spirit of Christian unity can survive such a mindset. One has only to look at the diverse beliefs that exist among the restorationists themselves, and the resulting animosity that accompanies them, to see the inevitable result of adopting such a belief system. Exclusivism leads to pride, a sin especially abhorred by God (Proverbs 16:5; James 4:6). In addition, exclusivism can provoke delusions of grandeur in its leaders, making possible all manner of erroneous interpretations, not to mention rewriting, of Scripture designed to fit it to the paradigm of the group, without regard for clear and concise biblical scholarship and exegesis.

The second, and far more destructive, result of restorationist philosophy is that it denies God’s ability, or willingness, to preserve the faith “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), rejects His sovereignty over His people, and disavows His plan to bring to pass His will without fail, despite attempts by Satan and his minions to derail it. God did not send His Son to die on the cross for the sins of His people only to allow those same people to lapse into apostasy and languish there for 1800 years. Such a notion is not only absurd, but it defines God as a ruthless and capricious entity, not the loving and merciful Father God we know Him to be. Those who believe God abandoned mankind for centuries because of their unbelief and sin need only to read Romans 3, which makes it clear that even though men are unfaithful, this does not nullify God’s faithfulness. The Holy Spirit is, and always has been, active in the world “convict[ing] the world concerning sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment” (John 16:8), drawing God’s people from every race, tribe, nation and language to the Savior. In every era, the redeemed of God have responded to His Spirit because that is God’s plan, and it will continue unabated to the day of Christ’s return. Until then, we have the assurance of Jesus Himself that He will be with us “always, even until the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20).

http://www.gotquestions.org/restorationism.html 

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WHY DO WE OPPOSE MORMONISM?

One of the most frequent questions we are asked is, “Why do you do this? Why do you oppose Mormonism? Why do you have this your anti-Mormon web page? Why do you hate Mormons?”

Truth Can Hurt, Even When Given In Love, As Softly As Possible

We know that the truth can hurt and be upsetting, even when given as softly as possible. But it is our Christian duty, in love, to share with you what we know. If your house was on fire wouldn’t you want us pounding at the door. The articles on our web page are like this, to alert you to what the Mormon church is not likely to tell you at their open houses, pageants or when their missionaries come to your home. Some might say we share information like this because we hate Mormons. This is not correct. While we strongly believe that Mormons have every right to their beliefs, we are concerned that people are making decisions about it without all the necessary information. As Christians there are many teachings of this church, such as family, moral values and hard work, we can applaud. We have nothing but warm regard for most of the Mormon people; they make good neighbors, citizens, friends and co-workers. But it is as if their house (any yours) were on fire and we must warn them and you. In reality it is worst than if your house is on fire. Where you will spend eternity is at stake.

We Do Support The Right Of Mormons To Have Their Own Beliefs

We do support the right of Mormons (and non- Mormons) to have their own belief system. But we do take issue with any organization that claims to be:

(1) the only true church, when it isn’t;
(2) a Christian organization, when it isn’t;
(3) and it attacks my Christian beliefs.

If a person’s beliefs are strong and meaningful enough, he or she would want to share them with others. (I am sure this is why many Mormon missionaries serve.) Couple this with God’s commandments that we should tell others (Matthew 28:19,20; 1 Peter 3:15) and we have an indisputable injunction to do this. Also in 2 Timothy 4:2-3 and Hebrews 5:14, we are told to “preach the Word”, to reprove and rebuke, and discern good from evil.

Mormonisn Has Attacked My Beliefs

The Mormon church in one of its scriptures claims to be the only true church on the face of the whole earth (Doctrine & Covenants 1:30). Mormonism from the alleged first vision to the present time has attacked the doctrines of classical Christianity. The Pearl of Great Price, under Joseph Smith – History 1:19, says all other churches are wrong and professors of the creeds are corrupt.

I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong…all their creeds were an abomination in his sight, that those professors were all corrupt… (There is more on this under “Joseph Smith’s First Vision.” article D-5 of the web page)

I am offended by this statement. I don’t believe Jesus Christ said this. The Book of Mormon says in 1 Nephi 13:26-28, that the Bible has many “plain and precious” parts taken out of it. 1 Nephi 14:10 condemns all churches as being of the devil. It says:

Behold, there are save two churches only, the one is the church of the Lamb of God and the other is the church of the devil… (1 Nephi 14:10)

I am offended by this statement. The Mormon Church claims to be the “church of the Lamb of God” and the only one led by God. The Mormon monthly magazine, Ensign, December 1984, pages 8-9, in an article “The Early Signs of the Apostasy” by Kent P. Jackson, says, starting in the second paragraph:

…the church of the Savior and his Apostles…came to an end within a century after its formation. The doctrines which its inspired leaders taught were corrupted and changed by others…none of the Christian systems that existed after those developments, though they did some good things, enjoyed divine endorsement as the Lord’s own church…To say that Satan sits in the place of god in Christianity … is not to say that all that is in it is satanic.

Page 9 of the same article, says that Satan sits at the head of the Christian churches:

But God is not at its head, making that church – following the appearance in it of Satan – no longer the church of God. To say that Satan sits in the place of God in Christianity after the time of the apostles is not to say that all that is in it is Satanic.

Many Parts Of Mormon Doctrine Are Not Christian

While there are some teachings of the Mormon church I can embrace, too many parts of Mormon doctrine are not Christian. The Mormon God the Father, who has a body of flesh and bones, is only one of a countless number of gods who was once a man, died and was resurrected. He had a mother and father and grandparents ad infinitum. He is married and procreates all the spirits of the people who have been and will be born on this earth. The Mormon Jesus was not always God, but was the first-born spirit offspring of God, and the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. He is the spirit brother of Lucifer. Mormonism once taught that Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, became pregnant with Jesus by her Heavenly Father, the Mormon God, in the same literal way a husband and wife procreate children. In the same way we were conceived by our parents. Many Mormons don’t want to believe this doctrine, so we urge all to see the Family Home Evening manual, copyrighted 1972, pages 125, 126, lesson 27 “Whom Say Ye That I Am?” Other references are found in Gospel Principes, Chapter 2, first two paragraphs and all of chapter 47 (1997 edtion). This last reference can be found on a Mormon web page at http://www.lds.org/library/gos_pri/gos_pri.html There is more on these teachings of the Mormons church, with references, in article B-2.

Unique Mormon Doctrine Not Openly Taught

I believe the Mormon church’s teaching program is not open and honest (there is more on this under “What The Mormons Don’t Say” article B-8). If the Mormon missionaries clearly taught the doctrines outlined above and they were easily available at open houses and pageants, people like myself would not need to have a web pages. But then very few people would join the Mormon Church. LDS say they do not teach the “deep doctrine” because people need “milk” first. Would you accept as legal tender a $20 bill that had a picture of Mickey Mouse on it? Of course not. Counterfeiters make their bills to look like the real thing. So do counterfeit religions.

In Summary

So “Why do we speak against Mormonism?” We do it because we must defend our beliefs from the attacks of the Mormon Church and tell people, as commanded by God, about the biblical Jesus Christ and his gospel. See article B-2 for a side by side comparison of what the Mormon church teaches compared to what the Bible says.

Jude 1:3 tells me to “…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

John Farkas Berean Christian Ministries, P.O. Box 1091, Webster, N.Y. 14580

http://www.bcmmin.org/whydoit.html

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Grace and Works by Craig Branch

A common question is “what makes a group a cult?” Of course one must consider deceptive, destructive practices and other deviations from orthodoxy, but the fundamental and fatal departure defining a cult is to err on the Person and work of Christ.

Paul defined it best when he warned about false teachers coming with “a different Jesus” and “another gospel” (II Corin. 11:3-4, 13-15; Gal. 1:6-9).

Peter defined “damnable heresies” as “denying the Lord that bought them,” which is denying the Person and work of Christ (II Peter 2:1-3).

How do most cults distort the gospel? They add works or obedience to commandments (law) as the prerequisite for justification or salvation.

The Bible is clear that eternal life is a pure gift, by grace, and man’s works or obedience cannot in any way satisfy God’s righteousness.

Grace plus works for salvation is like trying to mix oil and water; “and if, by grace, then it is no more of works, otherwise grace is no more grace,” (Romans 11:6).

“By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight,” (Romans 3:20).

In the epistle which directly responds to this issue, Paul clearly explains, “Even we have believed in Jesus Christ that we might be justified by the faith of Christ and not by the works of the law, for by works of the law shall no flesh be justified,” (Galatians 2:16; see also Ephesians 2:4-9; Titus 3:5-7).

God’s law, a reflection of His justice and righteousness, requires perfect obedience. One sin, whether by commission or omission, whether done with or without knowledge, separates man from God eternally (Romans 3:23; 6:23; Matthew 5:48; James 2:10; Galatians 3:10).

That is why Christ obeyed the law perfectly, meeting the requirement – so that His perfect record could be imputed to us when we trust only in Him – faith in Christ (I Corinthians 1:30; II Corinthians 5:21; Romans 10:1-4; 4:4-6).

How do the cults pervert the gospel? How do they fatally mix works with grace and in fact end up rejecting Christ? Most of them deny the full deity and humanity of Christ always resulting in a deficient “different gospel.”

For instance, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught that there are four basic requirements needed to gain eternal life (Watchtower, February 15, 1983, pp.12-13).

The first is to be “taking in knowledge” which means that you must be participating in their “Bible studies” (actually Watchtower publication studies).

The second requirement is “to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible.”

The third is to “be associated with God’s channel, his organization” which in fact means that theirs, “the one true church,” is actually the co-savior.

The fourth is to “support his government by loyally advocating his kingdom rule to others.” This means one must go door to door witnessing and without ever balking or questioning a Watchtower edict.

Another blatant example is found in the Mormon basic textbook Gospel Principles.

The Mormon leaders state that the final judgment will be on the basis of works according to “those things which the Lord has commanded us to keep,” (pp. 283-284).

Then all will “be assigned to the kingdom we have earned” (p. 285; emphasis mine).

The Mormon leaders go on to teach that for eternal life one must be “obedient to all the commandments of the Lord,” (p. 290, emphasis mine).

They then list 22 of those requirements which include celestial marriage, total repentance of all wrong doings, speaking the truth always, baptisms for the dead, full tithe paying, and “keeping all the Lord’s commandments until the end of this life on earth,” (pp.291-292, emphasis mine).

Herbert W. Armstrong founder of the Worldwide Church of God claimed to be God’s apostle and like most cults claimed to restore the true Christian church.

He wrote in his major doctrinal work, Mystery of the Ages that in order to achieve salvation and progress to Godhood is to “do his commandments,” (p. 191).

Armstrong goes on to state that the “one test commandment is the fourth-keeping God’s Sabbath” which of course he insists must be Saturday.

He also reveals the “necessity of observing his annual Sabbaths and festivals,” (p. l9l).

He mocks those of “traditional Christianity” who claim that they are “already saved” by “receiving Christ,” (p. l97).

He teaches that one must grow in grace. . . must overcome, must develop in spiritual character during this life in order to be born into the “Kingdom of God,” (p. 2l6).

The many new age groups teach the law of Karma on the endless wheel of reincarnation which is based on good deeds.

Christians must help cult members see that they must consider what the Bible says on the subject and not the cult literature. Help the cult member understand God’s requirement of perfection and their total inability to ever measure up to God’s righteous requirement.

Works are a result of being saved, never a cause. Point them to Christ alone who is the only One who can reconcile man to God, totally, by His doing.

Ed. Note: It recently has been brought to the attention of the WFI offices that Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages has been withdrawn from publication.

The Worldwide Church of God headquarter’s staff states that the book has doctrinal problems.

This admission seems interesting in light of the fact that this book was the crowning achievement of Armstrong’s life.

However, despite the fact that this book has been questioned by the WWCOG, the same doctrines quoted in Craig Branch’s article are reiterated in the WWCOG publication The Good News (Jan/Feb 1990, pp. 6-8).

Apparently the doctrinal problems contained in Armstrong’s Mystery of the Ages do not include the “salvation by works” doctrine.)

http://www.watchman.org/cults/gracewks.htm

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The Jesus of the Cults and religions, Another Jesus by LetUsReason.org

Today’s new spirituality does include Jesus, but he is not the Jesus of Scripture. He is another Jesus who is appreciated by mystics and Gnostics alike. He is accepted by the other religions as a great teacher, an enlightened spiritual master, but not the Son of God, God in the flesh, the only Savior from our sins, and only way to the Father. He needs to be something other than the bibles Jesus to be accepted by the masses.

The primary guru of the New Age Movement, Dr. Carl Gustav Jung, taught that the “Christ archetype” could be activated and encountered via active imagination or visualization. People today choose Jesus to be their spirit-guide. As they visualize him, he speaks to them and gives them wisdom and guidance. They claim, “I follow the words of Jesus.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses also have another Jesus, one who is an angel who became a man

The Mormons Jesus is similar in that he is also an angel. A Spirit child of Elohim who is in the class of Spirit. He is the Spirit brother of the Lucifer who became the Devil. That we all were the same in spirit in our preexistence on earth before we embodied. Mormonism (Joseph Smith): “Christ is the firstborn spirit Son in the eternal family, and while yet in pre-existence he advanced and progressed and became like the Father in power and intelligence; that is, he became a God.”“

It has become increasingly important to see that those who claim to be Christian or represent God are presenting to their followers another Jesus. These are only a few references as a guideline of what the Bible teaches.

What the Scripture (the bible) says He will be- “And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isa. 9:6). Jer.23:5-6: “.. I will raise to David a branch of righteousness; … His name by which He will be called THE LORD (Yahweh) OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Isa.63:8 God speaking, “so He became their Savior.”

What did Jesus say of himself-John 8:23 And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I AM from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.” “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM”( John 8:58). Jn.5:18, “He said God was his Father, making himself equal with God. “And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” John 20:28. John 10:14-16: “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep”, David said in Ps.23 The Lord (God/ Yahweh) is my shepherd. Later in jn.10 Jesus states of His sheep “they follow Me and I give them eternal life.”

What did the disciples teach that he said- ”and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us. John 1:2-3 He was in the beginning with God 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

1 Pt.1:1 “ our God and savior Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:13 Jesus is called “our great God and Savior.” Col 1:16-17: “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.”1 Tim.3:16 “God was manifested in the flesh.”

No other person has been opinionated by the religious community, not Buddha, nor Mohammed nor Krishna. Why the various opinions? It’s a life or death matter when it comes to the one called the Son of God. Everyone will need to make a decision on who he is. Unfortunately many deny what He said and the apostles taught of Him.

A.R.E Association for Research and Enlightenment (Edgar Cayce): “He is an ensample [example] for man, and only as a man, for He lived only as a man, He died as man.”( Association for Research and Enlightenment Edgar Cayce, reading no. 900-10 from Circulating file: Jesus the Pattern and You, p. 53.) Edgar Cayce-”Q. `When did the knowledge come to Jesus that he was to be the savior of the world? “A. `When he fell in Eden… In Adam, he brought sin,’“ (Psychic Healing, p. 75).

The Bahai Faith (The Bab; Baha’u’llah): “Jesus was not the only-begotten Son of God come down from Heaven, crucified and resurrected, nor the unique Saviour. Firuz Kazemzeden World Order summer 1978 p.39 the national spiritual assembly of the bahai’s of the United states) Was Christ within god, or God within Christ ? No in the name of God. “ (Abdul Baha Questions p. 97) Many Christians are surprised to find that a new messenger from God has already come, saying that he is the return of Christ.” (The Return of Christ p. 4 1978 Bahai publishing trust)

Islam- Sura 43:59 “Jesus was no more than a mortal whom Allah favored and made an example to the Israelites. They are unbelievers who say God is Messiah, Mary’s son.” Surat al Nisa 4:157-158 “And because of their saying: we slew the messiah Jesus son of Mary. Allahs messenger-they slew him not nor crucified- Sura 43:59

Church Universal and Triumphant-Mark and Elizabeth Prophet “The Christ Self, then, has communication with the Father who in both Principle and Person is the Presence of God, the 1 AM THAT 1 AM, or the 1 AM Presence.” (Mysteries of the Holy Grail Arch angel Gabriel p.217) the Prophets explain, “Jesus was both the actual and symbolical representative of this Christ Self. Jesus was the example. the one who self-realized the Christ Mind and was at one with It at all times. Jesus himself was not the only begotten Son of the Father. The Christ of him was and is the only begotten Son of the Father “ (The Lost Teachings of Jesus p. 241).

Eckankar (Paul Twitchell): “do not put Him [Jesus] in a special category, for all saviours and prophets who came to earth to help mankind did their part arid passed on to the glory of the heavenly kingdom ..

The Foundation of Human understanding The Foundation of Human understanding (Roy Masters): -you must not have any concepts of what Christ is like or God is like. it all must be an inward revelation process-” (Roy Masters (tape), -The Mystery of Golgotha.

The Gurdjieff Foundation (Gurdfieff): -[In a conversation] … Gurdjieff said: ‘I hate your Jesus, poor Jewish boy’-the emphasis being on’ your.’“’ (C S. Nott Teachings of Gurdjieff. A Pupil’s Journal 1978, p. 103

Course in miracles- (Helen Schucman) “Jesus is a man, who is like all other men, and the Christ idea, which all men possess and must eventually demonstrated. He becomes the pattern for all of us. Jesus the man was used by the Christ to demonstrate the illusion of the world.”…Jesus became what all of you must be. …Is he the Christ? O yes, along with you. …Is he God’s only Helper? No, indeed. For Christ takes many forms with different names…” (pp. 83-84).”The Son of God … is not Jesus but our combined Christ consciousness. . .”The name Jesus refers to one who was a man but who saw the face of Christ in all his brothers…. So he became identified with Christ, a man no longer at one with God.”

The Masons- Manly Hall who started the Masons refers to Jesus as “The Solar Diety’ Jesus of Nazareth had attained a level of consciousness, of perfection, that has been called by various names: cosmic consciousness, soul regeneration, philosophic initiation, spiritual illumination, Brahmic Splendor, Christ-consciousness. (Lynn F Perkins, The Meaning of Masonry, CSA Press, 1971, 53)

Gurus

Agne Yoga Fellowship Agne Yoga Fellowship (Swami Kriyananda): ‘What is Christ? St. Simeon the new theologian wrote, ‘I move my hand, and Christ moves, who is my hand.” Swami Kriyananda, Eastern Thoughts, Western Thoughts (Nevada City, CA: Ananda Publications, 1975), pp. 67-68.

Self-Realization Fellowship Self-Realization Fellowship (Paramahansa Yogananda): “in Christian Scriptures it [Christ] is called the ‘only begotten son’. . .. It is the universal consciousness, oneness with God, manifested by Jesus, Krishna, and other avatars.” Paramahansa Yogananda, Man’s Eternal Quest (Los Angeles, CA- Self Realization Fellowship, 1975), pp. 470-71; cf., Self Realization (Los Angeles, CA-Self Realization Fellowship), Winter 1979, pp, 340,

Sri Chinmoy Centers (Sri Chinmoy): “To say that Christ is the Savior and the only way to salvation is a mistake. … He laughs when His followers say He is the only savior.- Sri Chininoy, A Hundred Years from Now (Jamaica, NY. Agni press, 1974), pp, 39-43.

YoganandaYogananda “man reincarnates on earth until he has consciously regained his status as a son of God.”

The Divine Life Society Integral Yoga Institute (Sivananda/ Satchidananda): “Remember that Christ is not a person, It’s an experience-Christhood. Like Nirvana or Buddha. It’s an experience.. . “ (Satchinananda speaks p.47-48 June 17, 1975)

Sri Yukteswar said: Theologians have interpreted Christ’s words in such passages as “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn. 14:6). Jesus meant, never that he was the sole Son of God, but that no man can attain the unqualified Absolute, the transcendent Father beyond creation, until he has first manifested the ‘Son’ or activating Christ Consciousness within creation. Jesus, who had achieved entire onenness with that Christ consciousness, identified himself with it inasmuch as his own ego had long since been dissolved.’ (Paramahansa Yogananda Autobiography of a Yogi Self Realization fellowship p.178)

3 HO Sikhism 3 HO Sikhism (Yogi Bhajan): Jesus was a man of God only who had to become qualified for hiknow if Joseph was his father and his mother created “her son to really be a Christ,” but not a savior. Heads of Truth, Winter, March 1978, p. 20; Spring 1975, p. 13; Spring 1978, pp. 32, 39, Beds of Truth no. 31, p. 15.)

Vedanta: Swami Probhavananda alleges we “cannot accept Christ as the only Son of God, Those who insist on regarding the life and teachings of Jesus as unique are bound to have great difficulty in understanding them.” Swami Prabhavananda, The Sermon on the Mount According to Vedanta 1963, p. 47.

Sai Baba Society (Sathya Sai Baba): “The inner mystery of the incarnation [is] God incarnating in all. All are One; the One is All.

Anthroposophy (Rudolph Steiner): “[Jesus] … must be designated in the truest sense of the word as a ‘mere man’.. ( Rudolf Steiner, From Jesus to Christ 1973, pp. 51-52.

Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism Diasaku Ikeda): “The doctrines of the divinity and the resurrection Of Christ are outside the province of rational thought …. Christians are schizophrenic.” Noah S. Brannen, Soka Gakkai, Japan’s Militant Buddhists (Richmond, VA: John Knox Press, 1968), pp. 98-99.

The Masonic Lodge: A former Mason reports ‘Freemasonry carefully excludes’ the Lord Jesus Christ from the lodge and chapter, repudiates His mediatorship, rejects His atonement, denies and disowns His Gospel, frowns upon His religion and His church, ignores the Holy Spirit…” Edmond Ronayne, The Masters Carpet (Ezra Cook Company of Chicago, 1879), p. 87.) “Christ, teaching the Religion of Love, was crucified, that it might become a Religion of Hate;” (Morals and Dogma P.294) “But the Chief of the Empire of Darkness caused Him to be crucified by the Jews. Still He suffered in appearance only…” (ibid. p. 567, p. 1)

Those who claim Christianity

Iglesia Ni Cristo (Felix Manalo) “If there is any verse which people claim proves the alleged deity of Christ, this verse has been wrongly interpreted by the people.” (Pasugo 1984 May/june p.14) “Col.1:15 states very clearly, Christ is ‘the firstborn of every creature,’ and is therefore not the creator.”(Pasugo Jan/.Feb 1980 p.37) “The scriptures do not teach that Christ is the creator of all things.” (PASUGO, March/April 1982, p. 26.)”We now affirm that Jn.1:1 does not call Jesus Christ God…’It does not teach the doctrine of the Trinity.” (God’s message July/Sept 1995 p.14)

Jehovah’s Witnesses- Charles Taze Russell- “There is Scriptural evidence for concluding that Michael was the name of Jesus Christ before he left heaven and after his return.” (WT 5/15/1969, p. 307) …”Michael the great prince is none other than Jesus Christ himself.” (WT 12/15/1984 p29) Michael the archangel is no other than the only begotten son of God, now Jesus Christ..”(New Heavens and New Earth pg.30-31)- Charles Taze Russell-”There is Scriptural evidence for concluding that Michael was the name of Jesus Christ before he left heaven and after his return.” (WT 5/15/1969, p. 307) …”Michael the great prince is none other than Jesus Christ himself.” (WT 12/15/1984 p29) Michael the archangel is no other than the only begotten son of God, now Jesus Christ.”(New Heavens and New Earth pg.30-31)

The Moonies- “He can by no means be God Himself.”—Divine Principle, pp. 210-211

Christian Science Christian Science (Mary Baker Eddy): “Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus Himself declared, but is the Son of God.” (Science and Health Key to the Scriptures p.361). Jesus is the name of the man who, more than all other men, has presented Christ, the true idea of God. . . . Jesus is the human man, and Christ is the divine idea; hence the duality of Jesus the Christ. (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health and Key to the Scriptures The First Church of Christ Scientist 1934, p. 361.) “ he was the first human to understand the Divine Mind.” “ Jesus means “the highest human corporeal concept of the divine idea. . .” (ibid. p. 589).

Christian Spiritual Alliance The Christian Spiritual Alliance (Roy Eugene Davis): “Jesus was not the only begotten.” (Roy Eugene Davis, the Hidden teachings of Jesus Revealed 1968, p. 9, emphasis added.

Christadelphians (John Thomas). “Jesus Christ did not exist as a person from eternity as one of the triune Godhead…. He did not actually come into being until He was begotten of the Holy Spirit and born in Bethlehem” (Christadelphian messenger no.46 the word made flesh p.3)

Oneness Pentecostals “The Son of God existed from all eternity only as a plan in the mind of God.” (The Oneness of God, D. Bernard p.295) “the role of the son is temporary and not eternal” (p.105, 108)”“The Son of God refers to the humanity of Jesus.” (Oneness of God, p.98)

Way International Paul Wierwille taught “We, as well as Jesus Christ, were with God in His foreknowledge, but not in existence, before the world began. Neither did Jesus Christ” (Jesus Christ Is Not God pp. 31-32). that Jesus did not exist except in the mind of God before conception in Mary’s womb, and “Jesus Christ the Son of God, was made by God” (Ibid, pp. 103-04).

Unity School of Christianity (Charles Fillmore), “Most of our religious beliefs are based on the [erroneous] idea that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.” Unity (periodical), October, 1976, pp. 59-60.)

Unitarian Universalism: Unitarian Universalist minister Waldemar Argow states: “They [Unitarian/Universalists] do not regard him as a supernatural creature, the literal son of God who was miraculously sent to earth as part of an involved plan for the salvation of human souls.’, (Waldemar Argow, Unitarian Universalism-Some Questions Answered (pamphlet) (Boston, MA. Unitarian Universalism Assoc., nd.), p. 6.)

Mormonism- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints- “..That Lucifer, the son of the morning, is our elder brother and the brother of Jesus Christ.” (Apostle B. McConkie Mormon doctrine p.163-164) “…Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven,” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, pp. 50-51). Jesus got married at Cana and had many wives Martha, Mary and others he also had many children,” (J & D vol.1 345-346 vol.2 79-82 vol.4:259-260 the seer p.172)

The Unification Church (Sun Myung Moon): “It is a great error to think Jesus was God Himself. Jesus is no different from other men.”( Young Oon Kin, Divine Principle and its Application (HSA-UWC, 1968), p. 75.) “We must understand that this (John 8.58) also does not signify that Jesus was God Himself .Jesus on earth was a man no different from us except for the fact that He was born without original sin.” (Divine Principle p. 212).

Word faith movement

John Avanzini “Jesus had a nice house, a big house.” (Believer’s Voice of Victory, (TBN) 1/20/91) “Jesus was handling big money.” (Praise the Lord (TBN), 9/15/88)

Kenneth Copeland “The image being that he was a copy, looked just like, if you stood Adam upside God they look just exactly alike….” (The Authority of the Believer IV, Tape #01-0304) “Jesus has a beginning and an end.” (What Happened From the Cross to the Throne, Tape #00-0303) God is a “spirit-being with a body, complete with eyes, and eyelids, ears, nostrils, a mouth, hands and fingers, and feet.” (Kenneth Copeland ministry letter, 21 July 1977.) “Satan conquered Jesus on the Cross and took His spirit to the dark regions of hell” (Kenneth Copeland, Holy Bible: Kenneth Copeland Reference Edition (Kenneth Copeland, Fort Worth: Kenneth Copeland Ministries, 1991), 129.)

Benny Hinn ‘“What was the appearance of God the Father? Like that of a man…God has the likeness of fingers and hands and a face.” (Good Morning Holy Spirit, (Benny Hinn, Word, 1991) p. 82) “Have you been begotten? So was He. Don’t let anyone deceive you. Jesus was reborn. “ (Benny Hinn, Our Position ‘In Christ,’ Part 1 1991), videotape #TV-254. “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost – three separate individuals, one in essence, one in work – and, may I add, each one of them possesses His own spirit-body. “ (“Praise the Lord”, 10/23/92)

Hagin speaking of Jesus “his spirit and inner man went to hell in my place. Can’t you see that? PHYSICAL DEATH WOULDN’T REMOVE YOUR SINS. He tasted death for every man. He’s talking about spiritual death.” (how Jesus obtained his name tape # 44HO1 side 1)

New Age writers-

Lola Davis the New Age “Christ” resides on a different plane of consciousness from that which we experience. There he directs the Masters, “a group of advanced souls, most of them discarnate … known variously as the White Brotherhood, The Great White Lodge, the Masters of Wisdom, the Hierarchy, and the Angels around the Throne.” (Lola Davis toward a world religion for a new age p.186)

Matthew Fox- The Cosmic Christ is the divine pattern that connects in the person of Jesus Christ (but by no means is limited to that person). (The Coming of the Cosmic Christ p.135) Divinity is found in all creatures. The divine name from Exod. 3:14, “1 Am who I Am,” is appropriated by Jesus who shows us how to embrace our own divinity. The Cosmic Christ is the “I am” in every creature. (P154)

Babara Marx Hubbard- “Who is this child? This child is the Christ-child within who has emerged victorious, fully born, incarnated as every member of the human race who evolves.” “This UNITY OF THE ELECT is the key to the transformation from Adam to Christ, from Homo sapiens to HOMO UNIVERSALIS, from creature to co-creator, from self-centered to whole centered beings.”

David and Naomi Rice…. The Christ is within each and everyone of God’s creatures. …. . .the Christ is the spark of pure energy of God that has always existed within the individual manifestation of God in in many forms, but has been forgotten. (Messiah and the 2nd coming John David and Naomi Rice 1982 Coptic press Wyoming MI)

David Spangler stated: Christ is the same force as Lucifer…… Lucifer works within each of us to bring us to wholeness, and as we move into a New Age … each of us in some way is brought to that point which I term the Luciferic Initiation … for it is an invitation into the New Age. (David Spangler reflections on the Christ p.44-45)

Tara Center- THE CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD. A great World Teacher for people of every religion and no religion. A practical man with solutions to our problems. He loves ALL humanity… Christ is here, my friends. Your Brother walks among you. (Tara Center, full-page ad in USA Today, January 12, 1987) stated: Christ is the same force as Lucifer…… Lucifer works within each of us to bring us to wholeness, and as we move into a New Age … each of us in some way is brought to that point which I term the Luciferic Initiation … for it is an invitation into the New Age.(David Spangler reflections on the Christ p.44-45)

Tara Center- THE CHRIST IS IN THE WORLD. A great World Teacher for people of every religion and no religion. A practical man with solutions to our problems. He loves ALL humanity… Christ is here, my friends. Your Brother walks among you. (Tara Center, full-page ad in USA Today, January 12, 1987) Benjamen Creme’s opinion, -given to him by his master, Lord Maitreya, you and I are not God and Jesus did not claim to be God.”The Christ is the Master ‘Of all the Masters , but He is not God, and never claimed to be God”

Rosicrucianism (AMORO (H. Spencer Lewis): “Nowhere in the teachings and practices of Jesus can we find the least intimation that His great system was intended to bring salvation to the physical body of man. Even the salvation of the soul was not taught by Jesus, and all references in the Christian Bible to the salvation of the soul constitute a misinterpretation, a misunderstanding, of the secret (Rosicrucianism] principle that Jesus taught.( K Spencer Lewis, The secret Doctrine of Jesus (San Jose, CA– Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC), pp. 186-87,189-91.The Son is the highest initiate of the Sun”( The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception). “The Christ spirit which entered the body of Jesus when Jesus Himself vacated it, was a ray from the cosmic Christ. We may follow Jesus back in His previous incarnations and can trace his growth to the present day.” (The Rosicrucian Philosophy p. 181)

Science of Mind (Ernest Holmes): “Jesus is the name of a man. Christ means the Universal Principle of Divine Sonship.'(N. Kasturt Sathya Sai Speaks, vol. 8, Ist ed. 1975, p.144.)

Scientology (L. Ron Hubbard): “Neither Lord Buddha nor Jesus Christ were OTs [that is, Operation Thetans, enlightened beings] according to the evidence. They were just a shade above clear [that is, relatively low on the Scientology scale of spiritual advancement.” (Ability magazine no. 81 [c. 1959 p. 31.)

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin- If a Christ is to be completely acceptable as an object of worship, he must be presented as the saviour of the Idea and reality of evolution. (P. 78) I believe that the Messiah whom we await, whom we all without any doubt await the universal Christ; that is to say, the Christ of evolution. (P. 96)Christianity and Evolution by

Theosophy (Helena. P Blavatsky): “Nowhere throughout the New Testament is Jesus found calling himself God, or anything higher than ‘a son of God,’ the son of a ‘Father,’ common to all.” Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. The Secret Doctrine (India: Theosophical Publishing House 1971), vol. 5, p. 369n.

Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi): “[When] Christ said, Be still and know that I am God.'[He also meant) ‘Be still and know that you are God.”’ And, “I don’t think Christ ever suffered [on the cross]…. Those who count upon the suffering, it is a wrong interpretation of the life of Christ and the message of Christ. It is wrong.”105

Lucis Trust (Alice Bailey): -The Incarnation, which is for popular Christianity synonymous with the historical birth and earthly life of Christ, is for the mystic not only this but also a Perpetual cosmic and personal process.- (Alice Bailey, From Bethlehem to Calvary Lucis Trust, 1976, P. 7

Matthew Fox- The Cosmic Christ is the divine pattern that connects in the person of Jesus Christ (but by no means is limited to that person). (The Coming of the Cosmic Christ p.135) Divinity is found in all creatures. The divine name from Exod. 3:14, “1 Am who I Am, “is appropriated by Jesus who shows us how to embrace our own divinity. The Cosmic Christ is the “I am” in every creature. (P154)

Urantia book- Jesus Christ is not identified as being uniquely God the Son, second Person of the Holy Trinity. Instead he is Michael, one of many God the Sons. The Michael of Nebadon is the `only-begotten Son’ personalizing this 611,121st universal concept of divinity and infinity,” P. 53 In other words, Jesus (Michael) is the Son of the Son of God and the Father in the sense that when these two beings had a simultaneous original thought for the 611,121st time, Jesus (Michael) was begotten. (p.366).

http://www.letusreason.org/Cult13.htm

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I posted this article in a MSN group that I visit. The “Church of Christ” is not the “one true church”! It is a Cult. By Damon WhitsellI was asked this question,,, “Why does the CoC rate the label “cult” over “heretical”?”, then the questionnaire ask a series of questions voicing his concerns about me referring to the “Church of Christ” as a cult.

What follows is my response.

I would be happy to help out. You said,

QUESTION: “Usually these revelations are presented as truth by a leader who is proclaimed to be a prophet of some kind and whose teachings and writings are considered to be an addition to Scripture and of equal or near equal authority.”

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Responce: The COC claims that all individual congregations are autonomous but in reality they have many “Scholars” that write manuals for them. That is why no matter where you go you here the same arguments and rhetoric from the majority of them. They do not have any extra biblical books such as the Mormons book of Mormon, Doctrine and covenants and the Pearl of great price. They do not have a “prophetical figure“ dispensing “new revelation from God”. But these manuals by COC scholars are considered a “New way” of understanding biblical truth.

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QUESTION: Usually said groups practice one form or another of shunning.

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Responce: The COC is authoritarian in that they claim to be the “only true Christ of Jesus” and only they have the way of salvation. The claim is made that the NT church of Jesus and the apostles ceased to exist and had to be “restored”. They are a part of the restoration movement. You can read more HERE. http://www.how2becomeachristian.info/restorationism.htm

If your not of the COC your shunned as not a real Christian. If you are COC and leave to go to another denomination you are shunned as having left the one true church and forfeited your salvation. This is demonstrated in Sissy’s thread The Church and the doctrine of Christ and many other threads and a considerable number of her post in other thread topics. Can we count the number of threads that have been hijacked by Sissy and her claim to be sinless and her claims that we too must be sinless to be saved?

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QUESTION: Usually said groups reject that salvation is possible by any other means than a strict embracing and adherence of/to their extra-biblical doctrines.

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Responce: This is the case with the COC. Their doctrine of baptismal regeneration (salvation by baptism as opposed to Grace) is thoroughly non-biblical. And so is their claim to be the “one true” or restored church. Their denial of the divinity of the Holy Spirit rejects the biblical triune nature of God. I am glad you asked the next question.

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QUESTION: Usually said groups are legalistic and have strict codes of compliance.

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Responce; 2 COC members here have started at least a dozen threads promoting their doctrine of sinless perfection. According to them your not saved unless you sinless. The sinless perfection (or entire sanctification) is not exclusive to the COC. Many Christian pseudo-cults employ and advocate it. At the same time not many COC churches and believers adhere to it. But they do employ an overbearing attitude and practice of legalism. The practice of legalism is employed in all Christian cults. See my article CULT UNITY ? By Damon Whitsell

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Cult apologetics pioneer Walter Martin defined a cult as follows,, In his 1955 book The Rise of the Cults: An Introductory Guide to the Non-Christian Cults, Martin gave the following definition of a cult: “By cultism we mean the adherence to doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to orthodox Christianity and which yet claim the distinction of either tracing their origin to orthodox sources or of being in essential harmony with those sources. Cultism, in short, is any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.”

These “essential Christian doctrines” are alomost universally agreed among cult apologetics ministries to be 1. the Trinity 2. the full deity and humanity of Christ 3. the spiritual lostness (need for salvation) of the human race 4. the substitution atonement and bodily resurrection of Christ 5. salvation by faith alone in Christ alone

Link here— >>>>Watchman Fellowship’s 2001 Index of Cults and Religions (which list well over a hundred cult entries) states that a cult is Cult= “By its primary dictionary definition, the term cult just means a system of religious beliefs or rituals. It is based on a farming term in Latin meaning cultivation. Sociologists and anthropologists sometimes use the term cult to describe religious structure or belief patterns with meanings (usually non-pejorative) unique to their disciplines. In modern usage, the term cult is often used by the general public to describe any religious group they view as strange or dangerous. Thus, cult can describe religious leaders or organizations that employ abusive, manipulative, or illegal control over their followers’ lives. In addition to these usages, Christians generally have a doctrinal component to their use of the word. Cult in this sense, is a counterfeit or serious deviation from the doctrines of classical Christianity. Watchman Fellowship usually uses the term cult with a Christian or doctrinal definition in mind. In most cases the group claims to be Christian, but because of their aberrant beliefs on central doctrines of the faith (God, Jesus, and salvation), the organization is not considered by Watchman Fellowship to be part of orthodox, biblical Christianity. Research material and Profile are available.”
This is their entry for the COC.

“Churches of Christ: The independent Churches of Christ movement was one of several associations and denominations that developed from Alexander Campbell, Walter Scott and Barton W. Stone’s restoration movement of the early 19th century, which was designed to promote unity among Protestants. Many (but not all) Churches of Christ today, however, differ from traditional Protestant doctrine in two key areas. Many maintain that water baptism and/or other commandments (rather than salvation by grace through faith alone) are a requirement for salvation (see Baptismal regeneration, Salvation by works). Some also believe that today’s Churches of Christ are the only true churches on earth and that they can literally trace their history to the first century church in Jerusalem. “

Not all COC congregations and COC members are aberrant or heretical to the point of apostasy that they are labeled a cult or cult members. From my reading of (“members who have left the COC”) these figures are stated between 20% and 70%.

From my article,,, Unity Within Diversity UNITY IN ESSENTIALS link HERE

UNITY WITHIN DIVERSITY

A few months ago I was engaged in debates at factnet ( a cult watch ministry ) with followers of Arnold Murray and the Shepard’s Chapel. They can be called a Christian cult because they do not hold to essential doctrine. They cannot be called a denomination or a true church. They have nothing in common with others that call themselves Christian except for the name Christian. They hold an unorthodox view concerning the nature of God, man, sin and salvation. From non essentials such as the heresy of pre-existence to the heresy of anglo-Isrealism, to the essentials of God, man and salvation by grace not works or genetics, they are unorthodox to the core. They are not unified within diversity as real Christians are. They are isolated and don’t have unity with those who hold to essential doctrines. Let me explain what I mean by unity with in diversity.

My phone book list about 20 different local Christian churches. Among them are denominations and non denoms and Christian cults. I can go to most of those churches and have much unity in beliefs with them, especially concerning Jesus. In essentials unity, in non essentials liberty and in all things love. Some I could not attend at all because they are diametrically opposed to essential orthodox Christian beliefs, but we must remember that they are cults by virtue of their unorthodox teachings.

Christians churches and denominations enjoy a shared unity within diversity about beliefs concerning God, man, sin and salvation amongst all non cult denominations and non denominational churches. But a follower of Arnold Murray and the Shepard’s chapel cannot enjoy that same unity with other local churches. To fellowship they have to travel to Arkansas or do their fellowshipping online with other Shepard Chapelers. They are isolated, exclusive and authoritarianistic because of their beliefs.

There are beliefs that are essential to orthodox Christianity. There are beliefs that are important but not essential. And there are beliefs that have no relevance at all concerning orthodoxy such as eschatology. Because most of these churches hold to essential doctrines they could be called essentially Christian but some would have to be called Christian cults because they are not Christian by virtue of the essence of their beliefs about Jesus Christ yet still apply the term Christian to themselves.

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A Mormon Apologist by the name of CC submitted a response to ALL 17 of the claims in this post 17 Little Known Facts About the Mormons

What follows is PART 2 Facts 10-17

1. the 17 facts as stated by Challengemin.org
2. CC’s comments. (You can see CC’s original comments for verification on the above post comments section)
3. my (Damon’s) counter comments.
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FACT #10 Mormon leaders demand total obedience regardless whether they are right or wrong.
The ward teacher’s message for June, 1945, stated:
“When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan it is God’s plan.” (Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354)
Herber C. Kimball, First Councilor to Brigham Young, clarifies further:
“But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 32)
The Bible warns us in I John 4:l:
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
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CC: “The following quote is a very controversial quote in Mormon circles: “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan it is God’s plan.” (Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354)

Visit any Mormon blogs and you’ll see for yourself that we do plenty of thinking for ourselves. If I remember correctly, that quote was an opinion piece and I don’t even know who wrote it, but it doesn’t accurately portray the truth. It makes it sound like we just blindly follow our leaders. It also contradicts what our leaders are always teaching us—that we should gain a testimony of whether what they teach is true or not. Ultimately our “prophets and apostles” teach that we should obey God because of our love for Him. Just as Jesus said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments”.”
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DAMON: Controversial? It should be a source for revolution and mass exodus from the LDS church in my opinion. It is a strange dilemma that CC proposes, God has appointed “prophets and apostles” in the lds church,,,, but what they say really has no authority, Mormons only follow God. BUT if the Prophets and apostles speak, WHO ARE THEY SPEAKING FOR??? God or the church?
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FACT #ll. Mormon leaders have consistently attacked the Biblical doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace through Faith alone.
In Apostle James Talmage’s book, The Articles of Faith, twice he refers to justification by Faith alone as a “pernicious doctrine,” and further declares:
“The Sectarian Dogma of Justification by Faith alone has exercised an influence for evil.” (pp. 107, 480)
The Bible responds:
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5: 1)
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CC: “I’m not sure at all why this “fact” is still being brought up by Mormon critics. Anyone who reads the text of the Book of Mormon themselves can see how compatible it is with the Bible and that no matter what works we manage to do, they do not save us. We are ultimately saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I’ve written on this topic multiple times on my own blog because people who I tried to explain this to didn’t believe me. And I’m just not buying this fact one bit.

Mormon leaders have never attacked Biblical doctrine, since we believe every single verse in the Bible. However, they may have disagreed with the erroneous belief that we are saved without any effort or commitment on our part. We believe that we actually have to respond appropriately to Christ’s grace so that we can be saved, and that we respond appropriately by having faith in Christ, repenting of our sins throughout our life, entering into a covenant with Him by baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, which purifies and sanctifies us and changes our nature.”
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DAMON: CC says “Anyone who reads the text of the Book of Mormon themselves can see how compatible it is with the Bible” I AGREE. The Book of Mormon teaches against Mormon doctrine and agrees with some Christian doctrine. But on the issue of salvation it say “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. After all we can do” 2 Nephi
25:23
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FACT #12. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie has warned his people against a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.
McConkie made these shocking statements at a speech given at BYU:
“… gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous. . . . Now, I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. . . .But you have been warned, and you have heard the true doctrine taught.” (Church News, week ending March 20, 1982, p. 5)
In opposition to this, Jesus gives us a personal invitation:
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
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CC: “That’s actually taken out of context. In that particular speech Elder McConkie was warning against emphasizing a special relationship with one particular member of the Godhead while neglecting the other two. Apparently there were some BYU students who were teaching that those with a special or advanced relationship with Jesus can pray directly to Him, but Jesus commanded that we pray directly to our Father, and His Father, but in the name of Jesus Christ.”
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DAMON: I am surprised that we did not hear the “well McConkie was kind of a loose cannon and his words are not our cannon” argument again. McConkie said much more about the subject of having a relationship with Jesus.

While it is true that Jesus instructed us to pray to the Father, Stephen recognized that praying to His Savior was right and the early Church were known as those who “called upon the name of the Lord” (Acts 9:14; 21; 22:16; 2 Cor. 1:2). 3 Nephi 19:17-26 records an incident where Christ is being freely prayed to: “And behold they [Christ’s disciples] began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling Him their Lord and their God” (v. 18).
Verse 24 states that the disciples “…did still continue, without ceasing to pray to him…”
Verse 25 says that “…Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him…” The final result of the disciples prayer is recorded in verse 26: “And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray.”
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FACT #13. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, boasted of doing a greater “work” than the Lord Jesus.
Joseph Smith made this incredible boast:
“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. . . . Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor JESUS ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of JESUS ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 408, 409)
No true Prophet of God ever spoke such words as these.
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CC: “The quote in which Joseph Smith seems to boast is an interesting one. To understand the issues, we must remember:

1. It is not based on Joseph’s own writing; it is an account written after his death
2. Joseph was using a scriptural passage by Paul, and applying it to his own situation–the idea of “boasting” was Paul’s, not Joseph’s.

What was Joseph’s intent, and why did he use this approach? As it turns out, he was drawing from the Bible and applying its lessons to his own situation.

In the original context, Joseph was facing intense persecution by many people, including some he had previously considered to be his friends. The statement about “boasting” was supposedly made about a month before he was killed. He made it after reading 2 Corinthians 11 to the congregation. Note the following statement by Paul, in this scripture:

“Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, that I also may boast a little. That which I am speaking, I am not speaking it as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting. Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also. For you, being so wise, bear the foolish gladly.” (2 Cor. 11:16-19, NASB)

Paul then launches into a literary tirade where he claims many things to make himself look the fool, to contrast himself with those who the Corinthians were listening to for their words of salvation, instead of to him. His words were meant to compare and contrast what the Saints at Corinth were doing against what he was offering.

In short, Joseph is using the scripture in Paul as a counter-argument (or a rhetorical device)–he is responding to his critics, and demonstrating that (as with Paul) true messengers from God are often persecuted by those who should listen, while the false and apostate are praised.
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DAMON: WOW, it is amazing how some people will stretch things to justify them.

CC SAID “To understand the issues, we must remember: 1. It is not based on Joseph’s own writing; it is an account written after his death 2 Joseph was using a scriptural passage by Paul, and applying it to his own situation–the idea of “boasting” was Paul’s, not Joseph’s.”

We’ll look at # 2 first. Paul did not say he was greater than Jesus, Joseph Smith did. There is no context that can justify his heretical statement.

It is foolish to say that Joseph was AS CC SAID: “using the scripture in Paul as a counter-argument (or a rhetorical device)–he is responding to his critics, and demonstrating that (as with Paul) true messengers from God are often persecuted by those who should listen, while the false and apostate are praised.”

The issue is not persecution but Joes arrogance. Regardless of Joe’s or Paul’s persecution, Jesus is the name that is above every name.

Paul said Gal 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

Joseph Smith said “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. . . . Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor JESUS ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of JESUS ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.”

CC’s #1 claim that “1. It is not based on Joseph’s own writing; it is an account written after his death “ is a joke. If the account is written after Joseph Smiths death, then just who is speaking for Joe, wasn’t he dead already? Does the Mormon Church write in it’s leaders words after they are dead?
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FACT #14. In 1835 Joseph Smith prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord.
At a meeting called by Joseph Smith he instructed the Latter-day Saints that it was “the will of God” to go forth and “prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh-even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.” (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182) Eight years later he reinforced this by stating:
“I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written – the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till 1 am eighty-five years old.” (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 336)
These are obvious False Prophesies which would make Joseph Smith a False Prophet.
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CC: Nobody is sure if Joseph actually said this particular quote, because there is no other evidence that he did. But even if he did, it still does not qualify as a prophecy. There’s a big difference between the word “should” and “would”, as there is between “perhaps” and “will”.

Joseph’s belief was not that the Lord would come by the time of his 85th birthday, but rather that the Lord would not come before that time, which of course was a correct prophecy.

The Savior while here on earth told us that no one on earth knows when the Lord will return: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matt. 24:36). Because we do not know, we need to constantly be ready for his return, for “in such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh” (Matt. 24:44). Joseph was very familiar with the Bible.

However, Joseph Smith did make several interesting statements about seeing the Savior. One of them is a favorite of our detractors. They have misquoted it, misreported it, misinterpreted it and misexplained it. Most often they simply do not complete the quote, making it appear that the prophet said something he didn’t.

The passage in question is found in Section 130 of the Doctrine and Covenants. It is reported in abbreviated form, and Joseph acknowledged as he recorded it that he didn’t understand the meaning or intent of the revelation. Joseph Smith recorded:

“I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.” (D&C 130:14-15).

Many of our detractors end the quote at this point, and then they assume that the statement is a prophecy that the Savior would come in the year 1890 or 1891, since the prophet Joseph was born in 1805. However, if the reader will continue further in that passage, he will see that Joseph Smith himself stated:

“I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face” (D & C 130:16).

We only learn what the prophet did prophesy by reading verse 17: “I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.” Without a doubt, that prophecy came true. The Lord did not return to the earth for His Second Coming before that time.
Joseph made reference to the incident on at least two other occasions, and indicated that his belief was not that the Lord would come by the time of his 85th birthday, but rather that the Lord would not come before that time, which of course was a correct prophecy. And Joseph felt very strongly that he wouldn’t live that long, and that his life would be taken, which, of course, it was.
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DAMON: CC SAID “Nobody is sure if Joseph actually said this particular quote, because there is no other evidence that he did”

What does CCC mean. the fact that it is in the official Mormon book THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, proves he said it. And the Mormon church calls it history. In reality Joseph Smith made many false prophecies. But we will get to some of those after we look at his claim that AS CC SAiD “Joseph’s belief was not that the Lord would come by the time of his 85th birthday, but rather that the Lord would not come before that time, which of course was a correct prophecy.”
Look at Smiths own words in “I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following: Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.” (D&C 130:14-15).

When Smith said “if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man” he was prophesying a positive, that if Joseph Smith had lived to be 85 he would see the face of the son of man. Meaning that Jesus would return by the time Joe turned 85. This phrase disproves CC’s assertion that Joe was prophesying a negative, that Jesus would NOT return before Joseph was 85.

Lets look a few other False prophecies of Joseph Smith. Here is one to show that Joseph Smith indeed taught that Jesus would come in his generation,,,

“President Smith then stated that the meeting had been called, because God had commanded it; and it was made known to him by vision and by the Holy Spirit. He then gave a relation of some of the circumstances attending us while journeying to Zion–our trials, sufferings; and said God had not designed all this for nothing, but He had it in remembrance yet; and it was the will of God that those who went to Zion, with a determination to lay down their lives, if necessary, should be ordained to the ministry, and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh–even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.” (History of the Church, Vol. 2:189)

Here is one that shows The temple would be rebuilt in Missouri in Josephs day,,

“Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion,i which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. 4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. 5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house… 31 Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed.” (Doctrines and Covenants 84:2-5,31.)

AND MY FAVORITE,,,,,

“I prophecy in the name of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the Saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children, and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished (History of the Church, Vol. 5, page 394).”
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FACT #15. Mormons are taught to “shake hands” with a messenger to determine if he is from God or if he is the devil.
The following information is found in Mormon scripture:
“When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. . . . If it were the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.” (Doctrine and Covenants 129:4, 5,
Rather than trusting in “feelings” the Bible commands us to:
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (I Thessalonians 5:21)
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CC: “ This seems kind of amusing, if not somewhat hypocritical, that critics will claim to be experts on what Mormons are taught and believe. I feel safe in saying that I am the world’s authority on what I personally believe and what I have been taught as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The scripture referred to in the Doctrine and Covenants speaks for itself. We also believe the quoted Bible scripture as well. Perhaps this “fact” is brought up, like so many others, for some “shock value”?”
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DAMON: Yes it is amusing and shocking that people would follow a religion that says such things in their inspired writings.
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FACT #16. Brigham Young claimed that those who leave the Mormon Church would turn “wrinkled” and “black.”
The following curse was pronounced by Brigham Young:
“. . .but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 332)
There have been tens of thousands of people leave the Mormon Church – Where are the “black and wrinkled” ones?
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CC: “I have tried and tried and have not been able to locate this particular quote by Brigham Young, but I can comment on Brigham Young’s homilies in “Journal of Discourses”. He said a lot of things that are useful and sound, but he also said a few things that would raise eyebrows of a modern reader. Even prophets are products of their times, and Brigham Young was certainly no exception. Naturally, he was not perfect. Only Christ lived a life of perfection.
Brigham Young, like the majority of American Christians of the time, even seemed to believe in racial inequality. That is to be understood. Latter-day Saints do not expect their leaders to be infallible. Moreover, “Journal of Discourses” is not official doctrine of the LDS church. It’s a collection of sermons and homilies from and for a very different time period than today.”
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DAMON: CC said “I have tried and tried and have not been able to locate this particular quote by Brigham Young” the quote showed it’s source (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 332)

BUT what else does the Mormon church say about those that leave? Mormonism claims to be the one true restored church and it’s leaders have openly bashed Christianity until the last 20 yrs. See what Mormons teach about the Mormon Church, Christianity and by default, those who leave the Mormon church.

So Joel Osteen says Mormons are Christians, But what do Mormons say about Christianity?

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FACT #17. Joseph Smith taught the moon was inhabited by people who dressed like Quakers and lived to be about 1000 years old.
In the Mormon publication, The Young Woman’s Journal, pp. 263 & 264, O.B. Huntington gives this interesting information:
“As far back as 1837, I know that he [Joseph Smith] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do – that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years. He [Smith] described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.”
Now that man has walked on the Moon, there can be no doubt that there aren’t any 6 foot tall Quakers roaming its surface.
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CC: “It’s almost laughable isn’t it? I actually think Joseph intended it to be that way.
Critics claim that Joseph Smith taught that the moon was inhabited, and that this is proof he was a false prophet. They’ll also fail to tell you about all of his real and fulfilled prophecies too.

Nevertheless, the source for this particular claim is not Joseph Smith himself; the first mention comes in 1881 in Oliver B. Huntington’s journal, who claimed that he had the information from Philo Dibble. So, we have a late, third-hand account of something Joseph is supposed to have said. Hyrum Smith and Brigham Young apparently both expressed their view that the moon was inhabited, but we allow all men to have their own views/opinions. To say that if they were truly “prophets” they should have known better than the science of the day would also condemn many prophets in the Bible too.

Prominent scientists of Joseph Smith’s day had published their views of the possibility of people living on the moon. I’m not trying to beg the question; only wanting to keep this brief and in my “own words”. But I could provide references if desired. Suffice it to say that LDS doctrine was not provincial, since it provided for “worlds without number” (Moses 1:33) created by Christ. These worlds held those who would require the gospel, since by Christ “the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” (D&C 76:24).

As always, prophets and believers are products of their time. Biblical authors, for example, clearly accepted a geocentric (earth centered) cosmos, with a flat earth and heavens supported by four pillars. Like the authors of the Bible, modern prophets are generally beholden to their era’s scientific concepts. I personally think that if Joseph Smith actually said something about the appearance of people on the moon, he was doing it in jest; making a wise-crack about the common speculation. He often used humor to make a point. And Brigham Young was known to often use hyperbole.”
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DAMON: CC SAID “I personally think that if Joseph Smith actually said something about the appearance of people on the moon, he was doing it in jest; making a wise-crack about the common speculation. He often used humor to make a point. And Brigham Young was known to often use hyperbole”

I personally find this laughable that a Mormon would go to such lengths to cover for their founder. This is not a joke or hyperbolic poetry or anything, it is a Mormon who knew Joseph and he says “I know that he [Joseph Smith] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth”

That was not Joseph or Bingham and the man was hardly kidding or speaking in hyperbolic or humorous fashion.

CC says that prophets are a product of their times (and their then current scientific knowledge), that is just false. Prophets are a product of God. CC goes on to give this patently false example that even bible prophets are products of their own times when he says “Biblical authors, for example, clearly accepted a geocentric (earth centered) cosmos, with a flat earth and heavens supported by four pillars”

The bible does not teach a flat earth. The Bible teaches that the earth is basically a sphere in shape. Isa 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.

The Biblical term “Four corners” does not infer the flatness of the earth, but it is an idiom that means ALL. When it says the four corners of the earth, it means ALL of the earth. And although the bible does use the analogy of the earth sitting on pillars to denote Gods’ power and sovereignty over it, the bible clearly says. Job 26:7 He stretches out the north over empty space; He hangs the earth on nothing.

Therefore I conclude that CC’s assertion that “It’s almost laughable isn’t it? I actually think Joseph intended it to be that way” is a joke. NO, to think that Joseph Smith was not a prophet of God and would be so influenced by his contemporary science that he would say such a things is very very alarming. But to have a Mormon say their prophet and all prophets are a product of their times and and then say He was joking,,, don’t ya get get it. Joseph Smith was just joking,,,, is downright disturbing.
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MY PERSONAL CONCERNS are for the Mormon people who believe in an organization and prophet that has so many problems and pesky little things they always have to answer for like the 17 facts listed in this by Challangemin.org

We see that CC admits that Mormonism is different and that even Christian terms mean different things to Mormons and Christians. It is only rational to discern from this alone, that Mormonism is not Christian, but it does try to be a redefined Christianity and claims to be Gods restored truth and Church.

But we have seen CC say in his defense of Mormonism that Mormons both believe “EVERY WORD” in the bible and then turn right around and say , “as far as it is translated correctly.”
This is the kind of disregard for logic and the law of non contradiction that Mormons have to make to believe in Mormonism.

SO DO YOU THINK MORMONISM IS CHRISTIAN???

Here is more Mormon post on this blog.

DNA proves the Book of Mormon to be fals

So Joel Osteen says Mormons are Christia

17 Little Known Facts About the Mormons

Are Mormon and Christian beliefs the sam

A logical proof that Mormonism is false!

The Mormon Testimony: does your bossom b

The Heresy of Restorationsim by Damon Wh

(Mormonism and ) ANOTHER JESUS? By Ed De

LDS: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-da

Is Mormonism Christian ?

Mormon Dilemmas by Damon Whitsell

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A Mormon Apologist by the name of CC submitted a response to ALL 17 of the claims in this post 17 Little Known Facts About the Mormons

What follows is,,,

1. the 17 facts as stated by Challengemin.org

2. CC’s comments. (You see CC’s original comments for verification on the above post comments section)

3. my (Damon’s) counter comments.

FACT #1 The Mormon Church teaches ALL other Churches are WRONG; ALL their creeds are an ABOMINATION in the sight of God; and ALL their teachers are corrupt.

One of the Mormon Books of Scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, says this about non-LDS churches:

“… they were ALL WRONG; and the Personage who addressed me said that ALL their creeds were an ABOMINATION in his sight; that those professors were ALL CORRUPT;…” (Joseph Smith 2:19).

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CC: “The truth about this “fact” is that The LDS Church teaches that all churches have some truth, just not the fullness of the truth. This particular quote refers to the creeds of the churches that we believe are wrong, but not that all the individual Christians who follow them are wrong in their sincere desire to follow Christ the best they know how.”

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DAMON: Mormonism is built on the First visions of Joseph Smith. And while there are 3 contradictory accounts of this First vision, they all agree in making the false assertion that Christianity is apostate and an abomination to God. Mormonism has this in common with all church’s (Christian cults) that started from Campbell’s Restoration Movement.

This post shows what Mormon leaders have always said, and still do say about Christianity.

So Joel Osteen says Mormons are Christians, But what do Mormons say about Christianity?

This post will teach those that are nor familiar with the restoration movement and restorationism, that the claim that Christianity had become apostate and needed to be totally restored, is common to ALL CULTS. The Church of Jesus Christ of later day saints is just a part o the heretical Restoration Movement. Mormonism claims to be Christianity RESTORED. Here is a relevant article for that

The Heresy of Restorationsim by Damon Whitsell

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FACT #2. Mormonism teaches there is no salvation outside the Mormon Church and no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this statement:

“If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670)

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches salvation is in Jesus alone:

“Neither is there salvation in any other [Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

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CC: “There are many possible interpretations of what salvation means. I fear we may be using the same word and meaning something entirely different. We do, after all, have different theological vocabularies. In this case you fail to adjust your understanding to how Mormons can understand salvation. Bruce R. McConkie’s book “Mormon Doctrine” isn’t actually official Mormon doctrine; only his personal opinions and interpretations of which he wasn’t always right and sometimes he was verged on being polemical.

However, the Book of Mormon, which is indisputable official LDS doctrine is very clear that there is no salvation save it be through Jesus Christ. “There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah” (2 Nephi 2:8)

However, Latter-day Saints believe in a further goal beyond salvation, which is exaltation. This is most likely what McConkie was referring to when he used the term exaltation.

You also need to remember that there is not a single verse of the Bible which Mormons do not agree with. The Bible is officially part of our cannon. So Mormons agree that “Neither is there salvation in any other [Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)”

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DAMON: I have to agree with some of what CC said here.

CC said “ There are many possible interpretations of what salvation means. I fear we may be using the same word and meaning something entirely different. We do, after all, have different theological vocabularies”.

IT IS TRUE,,, ALL cults redefine Christian terms.

CC said “You also need to remember that there is not a single verse of the Bible which Mormons do not agree with. The Bible is officially part of our cannon.”

This is just not true, according to the 8th article of the Mormon faith which states “ We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” http://www.religionfacts.com/mormonism/beliefs/13_articles.htm

As to CC’s assertions that McConkie was referring to exaltation and not salvation, In One sense, exaltation is salvation in Mormonism. But in another sense, Mormonism teaches a universal salvation and “general resurrection”. All men will be saved,,, BUT only good temple Mormon men will be exalted to godhood.

There are more quotes showing that the LDS teach that one must accept Joseph Smith to be saved. Look at Joseph Smiths own words,,, “I have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from him, but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (“History of the Church”, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409, 1884).

Isn’t this an exceedingly prideful statement?

“No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial Kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph. . . .” “He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling as God does in heaven.” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, 289

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FACT #3. Mormons are taught to doubt the reliability of the Bible and their leaders have consistently attacked its accuracy.

Joseph Smith claimed:

” … it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.10)

The Bible answers this attack:

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

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CC: “This is actually quite misleading. We believe that the Bible was inerrant as it was originally written by the inspired prophets and apostles, and that it is the word of God, as long as it is translated correctly. We understand the word “translate” more loosely to mean “transmit” or “interpret”. So we actually love the Bible as God’s Word and use it often, but we believe that it must be interpreted correctly. We do believe that there were parts of the gospel which were “plain and precious” that are not now found in the Bible as we know it. More than likely these truths were on completely different books which were lost and therefore didn’t make it into our current cannon. But informed Mormons will tell you that the Bible is very much as close to being accurate in the condition it now is.”

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DAMON: CC said “We believe that the Bible was inerrant as it was originally written by the inspired prophets and apostles, and that it is the word of God, as long as it is translated correctly. “

EARLIER CC said “You also need to remember that there is not a single verse of the Bible which Mormons do not agree with”

SO WHICH IS IT??? To seal the fact in the readers minds that Mormons do not believe the Bible, why did Joseph Smith rewrite the bible as this wikipedia articles shows?

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST), also called the Inspired Version of the Bible (I.V.), is a version of the Bible dictated by Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Smith considered this work to be “a branch of his calling” as a prophet. The work is the King James Version of the Bible (KJV) with some significant additions, clarifications, and revisions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Smith_Translation

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FACT #4. A basic tenant in Mormonism today is that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan.

Milton R. Hunter explains it like this:

“The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer,… this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” (The Gospel Through The Ages, p.15)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that Lucifer attempted to become the Savior: in fact, Jesus created all the angels including Lucifer, so they can’t be brothers. Colossians 1:16 indicates that Jesus created “all things,” whether “in heaven,” or “in earth, visible or invisible.”

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CC: Again, this is a misleading statement to make. Nor is it a fundamental tenant of Mormon belief. But I admit Mormons have an entirely different framework into which we fit the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve learned a lot from my blogging interactions with people not of our faith, as well as the book “How Wide The Divide?” by Craig Blomberg (an Evangelical scholar) and Stephen Robinson (a Mormon scholar). The biggest thing I realized, and it’s simply huge, is that LDS are unique in their understanding that we are literally God’s offspring, of the same essence or species of God. For Evangelical Christians, that’s only figurative, as they believe we are a different essence entirely than God, who “chose at some point to make creatures distinct from himself–human beings–with the capacity to have a personal relationship with him” (Blomberg).

Stephen Robinson writes: “The real sticking point is not what the LDS think of Christ and his gospel, but rather the different ontological frame or view of the nature of the universe into which Mormons fit the gospel. For Latter-day Saints also believe in the LITERAL fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of humanity. We believe that God and humans are the same species of being and that all men and women were his spiritual offspring in a premortal existence. The main purpose of the gospel of Christ is therefore not so much to get us to heaven as it is to get us HOME.”

So there you have it. We all were a part of the family of God in the premortal existence long before God presented his plan for us to come to earth. This family included Lucifer, before he rebelled and was cast out and became the devil.

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DAMON: CC says “But I admit Mormons have an entirely different framework into which we fit the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’ve learned a lot from my blogging interactions with people not of our faith, as well as the book “How Wide The Divide?” by Craig Blomberg (an Evangelical scholar) and Stephen Robinson (a Mormon scholar). The biggest thing I realized, and it’s simply huge, is that LDS are unique in their understanding that we are literally God’s offspring, of the same essence or species of God. “

AND HOW CAN CC STILL CLAIM TO BE CHRISTIAN when he acknowledges such a broad difference between Mormonism and mainline Christianity?

CC said “The main purpose of the gospel of Christ is therefore not so much to get us to heaven as it is to get us HOME.”

The Gospel is clearly stated in the bible, 1Co 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures

AND WHY DID JESUS DIE FOR OUR SINS. Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Salvation is about being rescued from the wages of our sin. IT IS NOT about exaltation AND salvation is not universal as taught in the Mormons general resurrection.

The bible teaches there is one God.

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 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

Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.
 
 
 

 

The book of Mormon teaches there is only one God Mosiah 15:1,5; 2 Nephi 31:21The Book of Mormon Now Zeezrom said: “Is there more than one God?” And he answered, “No.Alma 11:28-29

 

Yet CC and many other Mormons dishonor God and show irreverence toward him by trying to become a God themselves.

Satan tried to become his own God and it cost him. What did it cost him. He got kicked out of heaven and had a place celled hell created for him and those that follow him. Satan tempted Adam and Eve by saying “you shall not die, but God knows that your eyes will be opened and you will be as like God”

A study of the occult will show that Genesis 3: 22 is their “secret doctrine”. Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever:

 

Mormonism is occultic through and through. Google “Occult secret doctrine” and you will see that the teaching that men are gods or can become Gods is the biggest teaching in occultism, and look at the new ager’s and their “Christ consciousness” Do you remember Shirley McClain and her prancing on the beach saying I am God, I am God, I am God,,, in her New Age Special on ABC?

 

What is the difference? It is easy to see that Satan is the source of the teaching that men can become gods.

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FACT #5. Mormonism continues to teach that God the Father is a glorified, resurrected Man, and men and women may become Gods and Goddesses.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this claim:

“God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man!” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 643)

Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, taught:

” …you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…the same as all Gods have done before you,…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346)

The Lord Himself answers this teaching by pronouncing:

“… I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

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CC: This is closely related to that quote by Stephen Robinson. Since we believe we are literally God’s children, we believe we will grow up to become like Him, similar to how children grow up to be like their parents. Obviously we have a different understanding of the nature of God than Trinitarians. But we believe our understanding is biblical. We believe in God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy Ghost. We also believe the biblical statements that all three are three and also one. But we reject any post-biblical creeds or councils or statements that attempted to reconcile those two truths.

Therefore, you won’t hear LDS speak much of the Trinity, but of the Godhead. We believe each person of the Godhead is his own being, but that they are one God, or Godhead, as they are one in purpose and intent and glory.

We also hold that it is possible that the Father once had a mortal experience as did the Son, but Jesus was no mere man while he dwelt on earth. He was fully divine and God himself in human form. We’re different in that we are very much mortal, but Christ shows us to way back to the Father. Through Christ’s atonement we believe we can literally be made one again (“at-one-ment”) with the Father as well as the Son. This is the kind of oneness Christ prayed for in his intercessory prayer in John 17.

If we can become “joint heirs” with Them and “one” with Them, than a case can be made that we could also be called gods since we belong to the family of God. But the biggest mistake that critics of the LDS church make is in taking that too far and saying that we believe that we can one day replace God as the supreme ruler of the universe and become objects of worship ourselves. In reality, the goal is to become like them, in attributes and so forth, but we will always reverence and worship the true and eternal God, or Godhead, for eternity.

One helpful clarification about the idea that we can become like God was given by the Church in response to an interview by Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317272,00.html

“We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being ‘joint heirs with Christ’ reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.”

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DAMON: CC said “If we can become “joint heirs” with Them and “one” with Them, than a case can be made that we could also be called gods since we belong to the family of God”

I just got though listening to Joyce Meyers say about the same thing. She deduced that because humans have humans, Gods must have Gods. But Neither Joyce, the other word faith movement teachers, or Mormons fail to realize is that humans do not create, they merely procreate. God creates. But then again Mormonism claims that God is an exalted man so in reality God does not create anything, Then you run into the question of where did man come from. And how can God exist in a infinite regression of causes. Mormonism teaches exaltation. So regardless of the Mormon rhetoric that they only claim and worship one God, they believe in an infinite number of God’s and say men can become Gods.

This post deals with the IMPOSSIBILITY THAT GOD IS AN EXALTED MAN. A logical proof that Mormonism is false!

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FACT #6. Mormons consider Polygamy a righteous principle which will be practiced in heaven.

Although there is nothing in the Bible that will support this thinking, current Mormon Scripture has this to say:

“. . .if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery . . . . And if he have TEN VIRGINS given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:61, 62)

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Cc: Actually this is quite a debate in Mormonism since we generally don’t like the idea of polygamy, and gave it up in 1890. Yet it is true that we allow that those who were authorized to practice polygamy while on earth will continue to have their families in tact in the hereafter. But nothing is taught about the rest of us “normal” couples having to live polygamy in the hereafter. We won’t be forced to do anything that wouldn’t allow us to have the promised “fullness of joy”. I’d like to note here that monogamy has always been the rule and Polygamy has only been the exception, not only among the 19th century LDS, but even when God commanded Abraham in the Old Testament to have multiple wives.

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DAMON: Actually there is quite a split in Mormonism about Polygamy. While the larger portion of the LDS movement no longer practices polygamy, it is a source of contention and many of the 100 + church splits within Mormonism has been over polygamy since it is taught that in order to enter the highest heaven that those who enter must be living in polygamy.

When CC says “Actually this is quite a debate in Mormonism since we generally don’t like the idea of polygamy, and gave it up in 1890”,,,,,, it must be realized that this only happened with the threat of the United States Army invading Utah and claming war against the Mormon Church.

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FACT #7. Mormons today believe God the Father is married and past leaders have taught both God the Father and Jesus Christ are polygamists.

Apostle Orson Pratt makes these unbelievable statements:

“. . .the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a Polygamist,. . . the Messiah chose to take upon himself his seed; and by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of Wives under the Christian dispensation,. . .God the Father had a plurality of wives,. . . the Son followed the example of his Father,. . . both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time;. . .” (The Seer, p. 172)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that God the Father and Jesus Christ are married or polygamists.

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CC: “We don’t talk much about it, but since we believe that we are literally children of a Heavenly Father, that it would follow that He is not a single parent, and therefore that we have a Heavenly Mother. But we know absolutely nothing about her, as nothing as been revealed about her. Likewise, there is no revelation about God or Jesus being polygamists, so any past leaders teaching about that was based solely on personal opinion and speculation and is certainly not representative of the general church membership and is not official Mormon doctrine.

Orson Pratt was known to make some pretty outrageous statements in the 19th century which conflicted even with the views of some of the other church leaders of the time. He was constantly needing to be reigned in, especially with his personal views about the above.”

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DAMON: It cannot be denied that Orson Pratt, taught that God the Father and Jesus was polygamist. He was an Apostle of the Mormon church. He was not just a leader. Pratt should have been more that “reigned in” by other Mormon leaders. If the other Mormon leaders did not agree with Pratt, he should have been removed.

CC says “we believe that we are literally children of a Heavenly Father, that it would follow that He is not a single parent, and therefore that we have a Heavenly Mother. But we know absolutely nothing about her, as nothing as been revealed about her”

It is a logical requirement for Mormons to teach about a Mother God, which the bible says nothing about. This is because of their doctrine of exaltation. Men and women can become gods in Mormonism. And their teaching on pre-existence, that we all pre-existed on a planet called KOLAB with our heavenly father Elohim and His wife, our heavenly mother an exalted woman..

But the teaching that there is a female God or a mother God is purely occultic as shown in witchcraft by their Great Mother Goddess, Mother Nature or Mother Gia. The Egyptian Mother Goddess ISIS is a good example. Occult writer Sylvia Browne wrote a whole book entitled “Mother God”

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FACT #8. The majority of the activity in the Mormon Temples is work done in behalf of the DEAD.

Joseph Smith offers this explanation:

“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our DEAD.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 356)

Although many Mormons are attempting to save their dead relatives, the Bible indicates:

“None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psalms 49:7)

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CC: “This is a true statement. We believe that baptism is essential to forming a saving covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, as well as signify that our old life is buried and that we are born again as sons and daughters of Christ. Naturally we believe that many of God’s children have died without having had a proper baptism, let alone any baptism. Therefore, temple work is dedicated to doing vicarious ordinances for those who have passed on. In the Spirit World those people will have the chance to accept or reject that baptism, as well as other ordinances, for themselves. We believe this shows both the justice and mercy of God.”

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DAMON: The bible says Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

There is no SECOND CHANCE. Most importantly,,, REGULAR BAPTIMS DOE NOT SAVE, much less proxy baptism for the dead. It is common among the cults to teach baptismal regeneration. Here a couple of post from this blog on baptism.

WATER BAPTISM: A PAGAN AND JEWISH RITE,BUT NOT CHRISTIAN by James Moon

Water salvation/baptismal regeneration reduced to absurdity BY Damon Whitsell

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FACT #9. To the Mormon, the ultimate test that Mormonism is true is an “inner feeling.”

Mormons often refer to this feeling as a “burning in the bosom.” They believe their scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8) gives the best test for determining truth. This test reads:

” . . .study it out in your mind; then you must ask me [the Lord] if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall FEEL that it is right.”

The Bible, on the other hand, tells us:

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)

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CC: “We believe that God answers prayers. (See James 1:5). We believe that he speaks to us through His Spirit, which testifies of truth both in our minds and in our hearts. We believe that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. We have faith, and sometimes that faith can grow into certain knowledge. Similar to how we first have faith, before planting a seed, that it will grow. Then if we nourish the seed and it actually begins to grow, then we know was a good seed. And before long, if you haven’t given up on the seed because of unbelief, you’ll be able to taste the fruit for yourself and know if the fruit is bad or good. I planted that seed of faith long ago, and it has grown into a marvelous tree which bears delicious fruit, therefore, I know that the seed of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is a good seed and bears good fruit. But I also acknowledge that you and your faith can bear good fruit as well. I think the Holy Spirit testifies of all truth according to our individual understanding.”

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DAMON: CC said “I know that the seed of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ is a good seed and bears good fruit. But I also acknowledge that you and your faith can bear good fruit as well”

CC acknowledges here that HIS GOSEPL and MY GOSPEL are different. Of course his is the true and restored one. But lets examine that and realize what he means. Mormonism and all Restoration movement CULTS say they are the “restored church and gospel”. So they say,,, Christianity became apostate and non existent and the real gospel and church had to be resorted. So on one hand CC wants to claim to be that restored Church and gospel, but then wants to say that Christianity has good fruits. But it cannot be. God only has one Gospel. Either the gospel of Mormonism or the gospel of mainline Christianity is false and one has bad fruits and is not from God. . They cannot both be true.

Christianity says there is one true God and that God became a man to die for the sins of the world. Mormonism says that men are not helpless but have within themselves the ability to become a god. You judge for yourself which one is from God and which one is NOT from God.

Mormons testify that Mormonism is true based on a Burning in the Bosom. CC’s attempt to change the subject does not change the fact that feelings are deceptive.

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FACTS # 11-17 and my Personal concerns about Mormonism WILL BE ADDRESSED IN PART 2 OF THIS POST.
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

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If all Mormons are Christians, then all Christians are Mormon

Mormons claim to be Christian yet deny the essentials of Christianity; namely, that there is one God, that forgiveness of sins is by grace alone, that there is a trinity, that Jesus is God, etc.

 
Mormonism teaches that there are many many gods but that Mormons should serve and worship only one of them, the one of this world. It teaches that forgiveness of sins is not by grace alone. It denies the Trinity doctrine which says there is one God in three persons and instead says that there are three separate gods. It does not proclaim that Jesus is God, but that Jesus is “a” god…. etc. Additionally, Mormons have secret temple rituals, even though the rituals have been done away with with the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem.

 
Now, Mormons deny these basic Christian doctrines, yet they want to be called Christian because they say they believe in the same Jesus of the Bible, among other things. But when they speak of Jesus, they mean that Jesus is the brother of Satan, and you and I. They teach that we have all been born from god and his goddess wife who both have physical bodies of flesh and bones.

 
None of this is in the Bible and none of this is believed by Christians. But that has not stopped them from wanting to be called Christian.

 
So, since the Mormons deny basic Christian doctrine and claim to be Christian, then I can deny basic Mormon doctrine and be a Mormon. For example, I deny the following Mormon doctrines.

 

I deny that there are many many gods (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, page 163).

 
I deny that the trinity is three separate gods (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith page 370).

 
I deny that god is a man from another planet (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, page 3).

 
I deny that there is a goddess mother (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, page 443).

 
I deny that god is married to his goddess wife (Mormon Doctrine p. 516.).

 
I deny that god and his goddess wife have bodies of flesh and bones (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22; Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 3.)

 
I deny that we were all born in the pre-existence (Journal of Discourse, Vol. 4, page 218; Articles of Faith, page 174).

 
I deny that Satan is my spirit brother (Mormon Doctrine, page 163).

 
I deny that I need a temple (Articles of Faith, page 138).

 
I deny that I have the potential of becoming a god (Articles of Faith, page 424).

 
I deny that the book of Mormon is more correct than the Bible (History of the Church, 4:461).

 
I deny that good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, pages 81, 92).

 
I deny that my own blood must atone for any of my sins ((Journal of Discourses, Vol. 3, page 247; see also, Vol. 4, pp. 53-54, 219-220).

 
Therefore, since the Mormons deny basic Christian doctrines and call them selves Christian, is it okay for me to deny basic Mormon doctrines and call myself a Mormon?

http://www.carm.org/lds/ldschristian.htm

 

PART TWO OF THIS VIDEO IS HERE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Ipeeqr5qoI&feature=related

 

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WE’RE CHRISTIANS TOO by LetUsReason.org

The state of Utah is known to be a majority of Mormons, where around 70% of the population and 95% of the legislature claims to be LDS. (Las Vegas Review Journal, 3/6/88, p. 6c).

The Mormon state is not without their problems. The suicide rate of the elderly (age 75+) for the nation is 19.2 per 100,000. For Utah it is 57 per 100,000, surpassed only by Nevada. (Deseret News, 12/29-30/86, p.2B).

70% of Salt Lake County’s high school seniors and 35% of the 5th and 6th graders used alcohol. 4% of the 5th and 6th graders have used heroin and cocaine. (The Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 21, 1990, p.B9). “Utahns… lead the nation in the use of prescription drugs…,” (Salt Lake Tribune April 1, 1989 p. E3). The American Medical Association reported in 1986 that Utah ranked 3rd in the nation in the use of Amphetamines and jumped to 2nd in 1988. (Salt Lake Tribune, 8/31/89, p.B1).

“Sexual harassment in Utah is high for its population when compared to other states.” (Vernal Express, Nov. 13, 1991) Rape increased 30% between 1989 and 1990, the 3rd highest increase in the nation (The Washington Post, March 22, 1991, p. A3). Utah’s prisons rank fourth in the nation in prison population increase. (Provo Herald, May 24, 1990).”…the increase in premarital sex has been greater among Mormon women than any other religious group.” (Provo Hearld, 8/9/91, p.B3)

“Statewide, 4,218 children were born out of wedlock for a rate of 117 per thousand live births. 50% of all Utah births are to teenage girls. 7 out of 10 of these are illegitimate.” (Dallas Morning News, 7/26/83; Salt Lake Tribune, 11/20/81, p.B9; Ogden Standard Examiner, 12/15/79). In 1978, 70% of Utah’s teenage brides were pregnant at their weddings. (Sonia From Housewife to Heretic, Johnson, Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1981).

Consequently it has been reported “Salt Lake County’s divorce rate is almost 50 percent higher than the national average.” (Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 11, 1990 p.1-E). The increase in martial instability among Mormons is higher than for most other religious groups. (Dialogue, Fall 1992, p. 26-27, a LDS pub.). “Utah’s divorce rate is 5.4 per 1,000 persons, compared to 4.8 nationally.” (Latter Day Sentinel, 3/5/88, p.24).

The Utah murder rate for children is 5 times higher than the national average. (The Denver Post, Empire Magazine, 11/21/82, p.30). “The State Division of Family Services reported a 343 percent increase in child sexual abuse referrals from 1982 through 1987,”(KSL Radio, Salt Lake City, May 18, 1989, p.1 transcript).
Granted there are many problems with all religions. As people we are not exempt. but for a state that is almost completely Mormon this is not advantageous for those who claim to have wonderful family values. It appears it is not working for them. But his does not stop them from having an enormous missionary effort that comes to your door and mine presenting the clean wonderful life of Mormons.

They currently have about 58,000 missionaries going to peoples doors in 110 nations teaching in 69 languages. There are currently 53,000 LDS members in the Hawaiian Islands that is 1/10 The the adult population of this Island alone. Although there might be as much as 5% that are inactive never leaving the church officially. This is something they ask people to do even if they disagree giving them time to reconsider and of course keep them in their membership books.

Their growth has continued steadily upward here in the US, and experiencing phenomenal growth in 3rd world and non English speaking countries. In the Philippines membership has gone from 43,000 to 280,000 in Mexico 248,000 to 670,000 in Brazil it went from 99,000 to 400,000. (Elkinton manager of management information center, Beehive newspaper, may 1993 p.3)

Despite all that is on paper , reality is not as wonderful as in print. In 1988, they had a missionary force of 36,123, the church registering 256,515 convert baptisms. But 10 years later, in 1998, with a missionary force of 57,853 it only baptised 299,134 converts. Which is an increase of only 16 percent in the number of converts in the face of its missionary force boasting a sizeable 60-percent growth.

Their estimates are 12 million members by the year 2,000, 35 million by 2020, and 157 million by middle of the next cent. (the beehive). I would think they could reach these numbers by their own family’s alone. Remember it is requirement to have as many children as possible for the celestial kingdom.

Someone joins this church every minute and 55 seconds. Who sat down to calculate those figures ? (Larry Elkinton Beehive Newspaper, may 1993) But the truth is they have trouble keeping the converts. While the church releases impressive growth statistics, they are misleading. Yet even if they are half of what they say it is one too many.

Although efforts from the true historic Church of Jesus have stepped up. there is more information now than there has ever been on what Mormonism really teaches and practices. They still are converting mass numbers, and they coming from the Christian denominations.

Believe it or not half the new converts are from Christian denominations 100,000 from Baptists each year, next in line are Catholic’s, then Presbyterians, very few Jewish people enter for good reason. The pluralistic teaching of God. The Church’s major audience is not to unbelievers but among Christian believers. They come to remove the ungrounded, those who are nominal or new.

Maybe you have noticed their change of advertisements on TV, Instead of putting the book of Mormon next to the bible as another testament, they now just advertise the Bible so they can come to your house as being representatives of Christianity. Recently the LDS Church has carried its bait and switch campaign to new heights. The New television ads offer listeners a free copy of a King James Bible. This too will be hand-delivered simply by calling a toll-free number.

When the missionaries come to your door they don’t tell people about their real view of the bible that its corrupted.

What they also don’t tell people is what the Mormon leaders and the Mormon Scriptures actually say? And for good reason, most who read the bible would throw them right out. You see they want to be accepted today as Christians without adhering to any Christian doctrine. Instead they want to replace it all with new revelation from their modern prophets.

In its general public statements about the Bible today The Mormon Church cites its own Articles of Faith, found in its Scripture, the Pearl of Great Price. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly;… (Articles of Faith, #8) When it comes down to it, the bible is never translated right. If there is a choice between what their book says and Gods Holy word, there’s not much guesswork which will be chosen.

The Mormons most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations. (Church News, June 20, 1992, page 3, a letter from the First Presidency (Presidents Benson, Hinckley, and Monson) dated May 22, 1992, to all members of the Church)

So instead of using the Bible to appraise Mormonism they reverse this and use Mormonism (the book of Mormon) to judge the Bible. When speaking honestly, Mormon leaders view the Book of Mormon as more reliable than the Bible because of its inferiority.

” Unlike the Bible, which passed through generations of copyists, translators, and corrupt religionists who tampered with the text, the Book of Mormon came from writer to reader in just one inspired step of translation. (“The Keystone of Our Religion”, Ensign, by President Ezra Taft Benson, January 1992, page 5).

I [Joseph Smith] believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.327) Mr. Smith wrote his own translation to correct the errors, not by looking at the manuscripts, but by his own subjective leading which he thought was God.

The Book of Mormon itself claims important parts of the Bible have been removed such as the gospel. That it was needed to restore the full and true gospel.

…It was after a conference in Amherst, Ohio, February 16, 1832, that Joseph said it was apparent to him, “from sundry revelations which had been received, “that “many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Preface to D&C 76.)

But if the book of Mormon is the fullness of the gospel as claimed then why are there so many other essential doctrines for salvation found outside it , in their other books?

God

“…orthodox Christian views of God are Pagan rather than Christian.” (Mormon Doctrine of Deity by B.H. Roberts, p.116)

“…the God whom the ‘Christians’ worship is a being of their own creation…” (Apostle Charles W. Penrose, JD 23:243)

How anyone can say these things and publish them with a straight face is beyond me. The pagan concept is multiple Gods exactly what they believe, also they have in their writings that Adam was God and god was once a man who progressed to be god and that is the God they worship, that is worshipping a god of their own creation , god made in the image of man, a creature who is not god at all.

When a Mormon speaks about the Gospel it is not the Christian Gospel but the restored one of J. Smith, you can join the Mormon church and not believe Jesus is the Son of God but you cannot join unless you accept J. Smith as a prophet of God. “If we ask who will stand at the head of the resurrection in this last dispensation, the answer is-Joseph Smith, junior, the prophet of God. He is the man who will be resurrected and receive the keys of the resurrection, and he will seal this authority upon others, they will hunt up their friends and resurrect them.” (Discourses of Brigham young p.116)

[Joseph Smith speaking] I have more to boast of than any man ever had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. (HOTC, vol.6, p.78. Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 6, Page 408-409) Not true many have ran away just not the whole church, yet.

“If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation, There is no salvation outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”(Bruce R.McConkie Mormon doctrine p.670)

Bible teaches there is no salvation outside the person and work of Jesus Christ. Its not membership in the Church that saves.

“If we get our salvation, we shall have to pass by him, if we enter our glory, it will be through the authority he has received. We cannot get around him” (Pres. George Q. Cannon 1988 melchezedik guide p.142)

I have read the Bible a number of times and have not found Mr. Smiths name in it. Can you help me find it? What makes him more important than all the apostles, sounds like the sainthood or the primacy of Peter in the Catholic church.

“….and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is anti Christ.” (J & D vol.9 p.312) Here they change the Bibles words and definition of 1 Jn.4:1, this is blatant and intentional.

God so loved, that he made provision for a 2nd chance and all will receive that opportunity.

Elder and apostle of The Church Bruce R. McConkie, called the doctrine of salvation by grace without works, “the second greatest heresy” of Christianity during Brigham Young University’s opening devotional Tuesday. The first great heresy, he said, pertains to the nature of God, the doctrine of the trinity” (Staff Report, The Herald, Provo Utah, 1/12/1984)

The nature of god in Christianity and the persons involved also have to do with salvation.

For Salvation, the Mormon church has always upheld mans own obedience merits him right standing with God, whoever that god is, I still haven’t figured out which one (since Brigham young said it was Adam). The Gospel of Mormonism is “faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands, morality, loyalty, tithing, word of wisdom, duty, celestial marriage (Articles of faith).

They try to sound Christian to replace what has been here for 2,000 years they consistently attack Christianity but are repulsed when we defend ourselves by showing them their own quotes. “What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing…Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.” (John Taylor, JD 13:225)

Or when we are called by them”…the great apostate church as the anti-christ…This great antichrist…is the church of the devil.” (Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine p.40)

“After the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized, there were only two churches upon the earth. They were known respectively as the Church of the Lamb of God and Babylon. The various organizations which are called churches throughout Christendom, though differing in their creeds and organizations, have one common origin. They belong to Babylon.” (George Q. Cannon, Gospel Truth, p.324)

Despite this accusing of Gods church they want to be called Christian. to do this they have made some changes. They have changed the church’s logo featuring “JESUS CHRIST” in large, uppercase type, and the rest of the movement’s naive in smaller type.( designed in 1995 by a secular marketing firm.)

James Talmage, who many considered Mormonism’s greatest theologian, explained Jesus’ atoning work on the cross. Talmage wrote, “We believe that through the sufferings, death and atonement of Jesus Christ all mankind, without one exception, are to be completely and fully redeemed… [of] Adam’s transgression…” (Articles of Faith, p. 477).

Thus, the atonement and death of Jesus on the cross actually only forgives mankind of Adam’s original sin (which they do not believe in). How then is man forgiven of his own personal sin? In the Improvement Era, an official periodical of the LDS Church, Joseph Fielding Smith, tenth prophet, explained the solution. “Our Eternal Father would have every soul saved if that were feasible. Salvation, however, is based on merit and obedience to divine law and therefore is only obtained through compliance with divine commandments” (Nov. 1965, p. 962).

“Men have work to do if they would obtain salvation” (Doctrines of salvation vol.3 p.91)

“Individual (salvation) that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” (Doctrines of salvation vol.1 p.134)

The forsaking of sin must be a permanent one. True repentance does NOT permit making the same mistake again (Spencer W. Kimball, Repentance Brings Forgiveness, Page 7)

“We also have to forsake the sin and never to repeat it not even in our minds, in order to remain forgiven we must never commit the sin again (Mormon Missionary Discussion F, Uniform systems for teaching families p.35-36)

11 Nephi 25:23 says that in order to be saved you must do all that you can do. Are you doing all that you can do? Have you repeated your sin? The idea of perfection in this life has been proposed by numerous people over the centuries, and while our weakness is not a legitimate excuse for practicing sin in reality no one has the ability not even monks to rid themselves of sin or not repeat it. Doctrines like this operate from pride. As soon as one thinks they have become humble walking in perfect obedience they have pride which is the basis of operation from almost all sins especially false doctrine.

Joseph Fielding Smith Under the sub-heading “Misinterpretation of Texts,” Smith discussed Ephesians 2:8-10 in this way: “There are various opinions concerning the virtue and requirements of salvation. Misinterpretation of Paul’s words has led to much confusion and rejection of the full gospel plan.

“Failure to comprehend the two-fold purpose of the atonement has caused many to believe that all that is essential for salvation is to confess the name of Jesus Christ.” “Those who teach the doctrine of `faith alone’ are searching for an `easy road to heaven.’ … Someone has referred to them as Bible Christians – their religion is in the Bible and not very much in themselves,” (Religious Truths Defined, 1961 ed., p. 267).

Smith is correct. As Biblical Christians we do put our faith in the teachings of the Bible and not in our own works. But it was not an easy road, because Christ had to suffer through his life and especially on the cross to obtain it for us. They practice a cross-less Christianity. And we are to walk in his footsteps by denying self. Mormonism operates on the very opposite basis that all is done so one can obtain the right to be a god on their own planet just as all other gods before them. So they are striving for an illusive butterfly. You can say their prophets over promises and their religion falls way short of its delivery.

What can one say to a Mormon who comes to their door without it taking hours having only one chance to challenge them.

When I’m in a discussion I have them commit to saying they are a Christian. Then I pose a question to them in this manner.

What if I said I was a Mormon and that I can join any church that teaches the Bible. I also don’t believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, or that their are modern day prophets and apostles. I don’t believe Jesus is an angel in the Spirit family of the Devil, nor that God gives new revelation adding to scripture nor that I can progress to be god of my own world by following the ordinances of the Mormon church with its priesthood.

They would answer, then you are not a Mormon.

I would then ask why not? Their reply would be- because you do not believe what Mormons believe, our priesthood our prophet, you don’t believe in eternal progression, or new revelation in scripture!

My reply would then be, This is exactly why you are not a Christian. You don’t believe in one God, the finished revelation written by the true prophets, that Jesus is the one true God and that man is a sinner, in need of redemption and we can never to progress to be God!

We do want Mormons to be included in Christianity but they need to come the same way we all did by a new spiritual birth, not by the laws and ordinances of the church. One is born into the kingdom (Jn.1:12) not by working they’re way.

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The connection between the theology of the Mormon Church and the Word of Faith Movement is obvious to anyone who has studied them both. This short article will show just a few similarities between the two.

THE WORD OF FAITH…and the Planet of God:

Kenneth Copeland tells us, “You don’t think God created man in His image and created the earth in some other image, huh? There’s nothing under the whole sun that’s new-This is a copy of home-a copy of the mother planet. Where God lives, He made a little one just like it and put us on it.” 1

“Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.” 2

THE MORMON CHURCH…and the Planet of God:

God is supposed to have lived on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob. According to Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, “Kolob means ‘the first creation.’ It is the name of the planet ‘nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.’ …One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth.” 3

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THE WORD OF FAITH…and the Adam-God Doctrine:

Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Copeland’s wife, stated, “When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He transmitted His very self into him. God imparted the same spiritual substance of which He is made into Adam’s being.” 4

Kenneth Copeland gives his opinion, “…Adam is as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus, when He came into the earth. And I want you to know something; Adam in the garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh.” 5

THE MORMON CHURCH…and the Adam-God Doctrine:

Brigham Young, 2nd President of the Mormon Church tells us, “When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken–He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.” 6

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THE WORD OF FAITH…and the Deity of Man:

Kenneth Copeland states, “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” 7

According to Kenneth Hagin, “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.” 8

Earl Paulk in his book Satan Unmasked explains, “Adam and Eve were placed in the world as the seed and expression of God. Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, so God has little gods; we have trouble comprehending this truth. Until we comprehend that we are little gods, we cannot manifest the kingdom of God.” 9

According to Benny Hinn, “When I stand in Christ–I am one with Him; united to Him; one in spirit with Him. I am not part of Him, I am Him! The Word has become flesh in me!…When my hand touches someone, it’s the hand of Jesus touching somebody.” 10

THE MORMON CHURCH…and the Deity of Man:

Apostle Bruce McConkie states, “That exaltation which the saints of all ages have so devoutly sought is godhood itself.” 11

While the Mormons actively strive for godhood, it appears that the Word of Faith Movement leaders think they have already arrived! It is ironic that the same Christians who consider Mormonism as a blasphemous cult will drive 2,000 miles in a hot bus and fall all over themselves to get close to the likes of Benny Hinn! Both cults should be treated like horseshoes straight from the blacksmith’s fire. They should be examined closely and compared to Scripture, but they should be considered too hot to touch!

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REFERENCES:
(1) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Copeland video, Following the Faith of Abraham)
(2) Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, 1997, p. 379
(3) Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 428
(4) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Gloria Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory, June 1986, p. 10)
(5) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Copeland video, Following the Faith of Abraham)
(6) Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 50
(7) Watchman Expositor, (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Copeland video, The Force of Love)
(8) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Hagin, Word of Faith, December 1980, p. 14)
(9) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Earl Paulk, Satan Unmasked, p. 97)
(10) G. Richard Fisher/M. Kurt Goedelman, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, 1997, p. 13 (from Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ, six-tape audiocassette series, part 1, tape #A031190-1)
(11) Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 321

[Copyright 2001 by Sword of the Spirit Apologetics. This data file is the sole property of Sword of the Spirit Apologetics and may not be altered, edited, or changed in any way. It may not be used without permission of Sword of the Spirit Apologetics for any purpose of resale, with the exception of a few brief quotations not to exceed more than 300 words. Reproduction of this file as “freeware” circulation in its entirety must contain this copyright notice. Brief quotations for reviews or scholarly works should include source credit: Sword of the Spirit Apologetics, P. O. Box 40452, Grand Junction, CO 81504]

http://www.luciferlink.org/wmconnect.htm

THIS POST FROM THIS BLOG HAS AUDIO CLIPS OF MANY OF THE WORD FAITH MOVEMENT TEACHERS OWN WORDS  Word Faith Movement heresies on GOD, in

THIS IS A VERY INTERESTING MORMON VIDEO, I WOULD HAVE TO SAY ALL CHRISTIANS SHOULD SEE THIS.

Here is some of the content by Robert Millet, a Professor of Ancient Scripture, BYU

“NEVER GIVE MEAT, WHEN MILK WILL DO”

Robert Millet, famed LDS author and Brigham Young University (BYU) professor instructs young men preparing for their Mormon mission. He tells them not to worry when asked difficult or controversial questions because as members of the LDS Church they already know far more about God than anyone else they will encounter. Millet shows an arrogance that pervades the Mormon culture, but is rarely captured on film because of the closed nature of the religion.

His instructions to Mormon missionaries include:
1. Mormons do not need to provide a straight answer to every question
2. When possible avoid certain subect areas that Christians will find objectionable.
3. When asked a difficult question by a non-Mormon, don’t answer that question, instead
answer the question that person “should have asked.”

Find out more about Robert Millet and his published works at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University (BYU).

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THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MORMANISM

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MORMANISM

 

The following FACTS represent teachings that are either openly taught in theMormon Church today, or that have been taught by the highest authorities of the Mormon Church. All quotes given are from official LDS publications or the Bible.

FACT #1 The Mormon Church teaches ALL other Churches are WRONG; ALL their creeds are an ABOMINATION in the sight of God; and ALL their teachers are corrupt.

One of the Mormon Books of Scripture, The Pearl of Great Price, says this about non-LDS churches:

    “… they were ALL WRONG; and the Personage who addressed me said that ALL their creeds were an ABOMINATION in his sight; that those professors were ALL CORRUPT;…” (Joseph Smith 2:19).

FACT #2. Mormonism teaches there is no salvation outside the Mormon Church and no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this statement:

    “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670)

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches salvation is in Jesus alone:

    “Neither is there salvation in any other [Jesus]: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

FACT #3. Mormons are taught to doubt the reliability of the Bible and their leaders have consistently attacked its accuracy.

Joseph Smith claimed:

    ” … it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.10)

The Bible answers this attack:

    “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

FACT #4. A basic tenant in Mormonism today is that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan.

Milton R. Hunter explains it like this:

    “The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer,… this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind.” (The Gospel Through The Ages, p.15)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that Lucifer attempted to become the Savior: in fact, Jesus created all the angels including Lucifer, so they can’t be brothers. Colossians 1:16 indicates that Jesus created “all things,” whether “in heaven,” or “in earth, visible or invisible.”

FACT #5. Mormonism continues to teach that God the Father is a glorified, resurrected Man, and men and women may become Gods and Goddesses.

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie makes this claim:

    “God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man!” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 643)

Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, taught:

    ” …you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…the same as all Gods have done before you,…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346)

The Lord Himself answers this teaching by pronouncing:

    “… I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 44:6)

FACT #6. Mormons consider Polygamy a righteous principle which will be practiced in heaven.

Although there is nothing in the Bible that will support this thinking, current Mormon Scripture has this to say:

    “. . .if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery . . . . And if he have TEN VIRGINS given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:61, 62)

FACT #7. Mormons today believe God the Father is married and past leaders have taught both God the Father and Jesus Christ are polygamists.

Apostle Orson Pratt makes these unbelievable statements:

    “. . .the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a Polygamist,. . . the Messiah chose to take upon himself his seed; and by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of Wives under the Christian dispensation,. . .God the Father had a plurality of wives,. . . the Son followed the example of his Father,. . . both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time;. . .” (The Seer, p. 172)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that God the Father and Jesus Christ are married or polygamists.

FACT #8. The majority of the activity in the Mormon Temples is work done in behalf of the DEAD.

Joseph Smith offers this explanation:

    “The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our DEAD.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 356)

Although many Mormons are attempting to save their dead relatives, the Bible indicates:

    “None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psalms 49:7)

FACT #9. To the Mormon, the ultimate test that Mormonism is true is an “inner feeling.”

Mormons often refer to this feeling as a “burning in the bosom.” They believe their scripture (Doctrine and Covenants 9:8) gives the best test for determining truth. This test reads:

    ” . . .study it out in your mind; then you must ask me [the Lord] if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall FEEL that it is right.”

The Bible, on the other hand, tells us:

    “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (II Timothy 2:15)

FACT #10 Mormon leaders demand total obedience regardless whether they are right or wrong.

The ward teacher’s message for June, 1945, stated:

“When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan it is God’s plan.” (Improvement Era, June 1945, p. 354)

Herber C. Kimball, First Councilor to Brigham Young, clarifies further:

    “But if you are told by your leader to do a thing, do it. None of your business whether it is right or wrong.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 32)

The Bible warns us in I John 4:l:

    “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”

FACT #ll. Mormon leaders have consistently attacked the Biblical doctrine of Salvation by God’s Grace through Faith alone.

In Apostle James Talmage’s book, The Articles of Faith, twice he refers to justification by Faith alone as a “pernicious doctrine,” and further declares:

    “The Sectarian Dogma of Justification by Faith alone has exercised an influence for evil.” (pp. 107, 480)

The Bible responds:

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5: 1)

-Page Top-

FACT #12. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie has warned his people against a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.

McConkie made these shocking statements at a speech given at BYU:

    “… gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ that is both improper and perilous. . . . Now, I know that some may be offended at the counsel that they should not strive for a special and personal relationship with Christ. . . .But you have been warned, and you have heard the true doctrine taught.” (Church News, week ending March 20, 1982, p. 5)

In opposition to this, Jesus gives us a personal invitation:

    “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

FACT #13. Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, boasted of doing a greater “work” than the Lord Jesus.

Joseph Smith made this incredible boast:

    “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. . . . Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor JESUS ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of JESUS ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, vol. 6, pp. 408, 409)

No true Prophet of God ever spoke such words as these.

FACT #14. In 1835 Joseph Smith prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord.

At a meeting called by Joseph Smith he instructed the Latter-day Saints that it was “the will of God” to go forth and “prune the vineyard for the last time, or the coming of the Lord, which was nigh-even fifty-six years should wind up the scene.” (History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182) Eight years later he reinforced this by stating:

    “I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written – the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till 1 am eighty-five years old.” (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 336)

These are obvious False Prophesies which would make Joseph Smith a False Prophet.

FACT #15. Mormons are taught to “shake hands” with a messenger to determine if he is from God or if he is the devil.

The following information is found in Mormon scripture:

    “When a messenger comes saying he has a message from God, offer him your hand and request him to shake hands with you. If he be an angel he will do so, and you will feel his hand. . . . If it were the devil as an angel of light, when you ask him to shake hands he will offer you his hand, and you will not feel anything; you may therefore detect him.” (Doctrine and Covenants 129:4, 5, 8)

Rather than trusting in “feelings” the Bible commands us to:

    “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (I Thessalonians 5:21)

FACT #16. Brigham Young claimed that those who leave the Mormon Church would turn “wrinkled” and “black.”

The following curse was pronounced by Brigham Young:

    “. . .but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 332)

There have been tens of thousands of people leave the Mormon Church – Where are the “black and wrinkled” ones?

FACT #17. Joseph Smith taught the moon was inhabited by people who dressed like Quakers and lived to be about 1000 years old.

In the Mormon publication, The Young Woman’s Journal, pp. 263 & 264, O.B. Huntington gives this interesting information:

    “As far back as 1837, I know that he [Joseph Smith] said the moon was inhabited by men and women the same as this earth, and that they lived to a greater age than we do – that they live generally to near the age of 1000 years. He [Smith] described the men as averaging near six feet in height, and dressing quite uniformly in something near the Quaker style.”

Now that man has walked on the Moon, there can be no doubt that there aren’t any 6 foot tall Quakers roaming its surface.

CONCLUSION

If all the FACTS are examined, Mormonism can not be considered a Christian denomination or a divinely led institution. Although Mormons are being deceived by their leaders, why not be concerned enough to share the truth in love? Jesus Himself said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

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Did The Early Church Believe In the LDS Doctrine of God?  by James White

Modern LDS apologists like to cite passages from early patristic sources, asserting that the early fathers taught that men could become gods. Is this true? Did the early Church teach the Mormon doctrine of God? Did they believe that men could become gods like God, and that God Himself was once a man?There are a number of passages in the early fathers that speak of men being “deified.” But what do these passages actually mean? Dr. G.L. Prestige commented: 

All such expressions of the deification of man are, it must be remembered, purely relative. They express the fact that man has a nature essentially spiritual, and to that extent resembling the being of God; further, that he is able to attain a real union with God, by virtue of an affinity proceeding both from nature and from grace. Man, the Fathers might have said, is a supernatural animal. In some sense his destiny is to be absorbed into God. But they would all have repudiated with indignation any suggestion that the union of men to God added anything to the godhead. They explained the lower in terms of the higher, but did not obliterate the distinction between them. Not only is God self dependent. [sic] He has also all those positive qualities which man does not possess, the attribution of which is made by adding the negative prefix to the common attributes of humanity. In addition, in so far as humanity possesses broken lights of God, they are as far as possible from reaching the measure and perfection with which they are associated in the godhead. Real power and freedom, fullness of light, ideal and archetypal spirit, are found in Him alone. The gulf is never bridged between Creator and creature. Though in Christ human nature has been raised to the throne of God, by virtue of His divine character, yet mankind in general can only aspire to the sort of divinity which lies open to its capacity through the union with the divine humanity. Eternal life is the life of God. Men may come to share its manifestations and activities, but only by grace, never of right. Man remains a created being: God alone is agenetos [i.e., uncreated] (Prestige, pp. 74-75).

Note well what Prestige says. He asserts that the early Fathers did *not* “obliterate the distinction” between God and man (Mormonism most definitely does, teaching that God was once a man who has progressed to godhood). Prestige says that “real power and freedom” are found in God *alone*, not in the creature man. And, in as clear a denial of the concept that is presented by Mormonism (and that Evenson is attempting to substantiate) that one could find, Prestige says, “The gulf is never bridged between Creator and creature.” He closes by saying, “Man remains a created being: God alone is agenetos.” Clearly, Prestige is saying that the early Fathers did *not* teach that men could become gods *in the sense that Mormonism would like us to believe.*

Some leading ideas about the nature of God may be illustrated in a few quotations from early writers. Tatian writes (ad Gr. 4.1,2), “Our God does not have his constitution in time. He alone is without beginning; He Himself constitutes the source (“arce”) of the universe. God is spirit. He does not extend through matter, but is the author of material spirits and of the figures (“schemata”) in matter. He is invisible and in- tangible” (Prestige, p. 3).

Note that Prestige is giving what he views as *representational* views of the early Fathers. And what do we find? Do we find Mormon doctrine here? Hardly! Note the many things that are *directly* contradictory to LDS teaching. First, God is eternal, that is, he does “not have his constitution in time.” The LDS God has progressed to his current position–obviously, then, he undergoes a progression of time. Tatian states that God is without beginning; yet Mormonism speaks of God’s once having been a man, so, obviously, he had to enter into the condition of a god at some point in time. Tatian says God is spirit. Mormonism says He is flesh. Tatian says that God is the “author” of “material spirits and of the figures in matter.” Joseph Smith taught that “God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 354). Tatian says that God is invisible and intangible; Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 says just the opposite. We continue with Prestige:

Athenagoras (*suppl.* 10.1) expresses allegiance to “one God, the uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, incomprehensible, uncontainable, comprehended only by mind and reason, clothed in light and beauty and spirit and power indescribable, by whom the totality has come to be.”…But, in brief, this statement implies that God is transcendent and everlasting; free alike from limitations of time or space and from subjection to sense or affections; and possessed of supreme supernatural power and glory. Theophilus speaks similarly (ad Aut. 1.3) of the abstract qualities of the deity. “The form of God is ineffable…in glory He is uncontainable, in greatness incomprehensible, in height inconceivable, in might incomparable, in wisdom without peer, in goodness inimitable, in well-doing indescribable…He is without beginning because He is uncreated, and He is unchangeable because He is immortal.” And again, (ib. 2.3), “it belongs to God, the highest and almighty and the truly God, not only to be everywhere, but also to overlook all things and to hear all things, and yet, nevertheless, not to be contained in space” (Prestige, p. 3).

We again note the completely different view of God presented here than that of Mormonism. The God of the early Fathers is uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, incomprehensible, and uncontainable. The God of Mormonism entered into godhood at a particular point, he has not eternally been God, He is not invisible (in the sense the Fathers meant the term), he is certainly not impassible, incomprehensible, or uncontainable; many LDS *mock* these very aspects of the Christian doctrine of God.

But Prestige did not stop there. He continued on:

His absolute independence is a corollary to His absolute goodness and wisdom, as well as to His absolute capacity to create. Thus the emphasis…on God being uncreated (agennetos) implies that He is the sole originator of all things that are, the source and ground of existence ; and the conception is taken as a positive criterion of deity. The insistence that God is uncontained spatially (acoretos) conveys a very necessary warning against Stoic pantheism. Though the created universe contributes an implicit revelation of God through His works, it is by no means a complete or perfect revelation of His being; He is infinitely greater than His creation. Thus Justin claims (dial. 127.2) that God is uncontained either in one place or in the whole universe, since He existed before the universe came into being (Prestige, pp. 4-5). That all of this is directly contradictory to the LDS doctrine of a finite, limited God who has a physical body of flesh and bone (D&C 130:22) and who was once a man is too obvious to require further comment. The early Fathers did *not* believe in the God of Mormonism in any way, shape, or form.

One of the greatest patristic scholars, J. N. D. Kelly, has written,

The classical creeds of Christendom opened with a declaration of belief in one God, maker of heaven and earth. The mono- theistic idea, grounded in the religion of Israel, loomed large in the minds of the earliest fathers; though not re flective theologians, they were fully conscious that it marked the dividing line between the Church and paganism. According to Hermas, the first commandment is to `believe that God is one, Who created and established all things, bringing them into existence out of non-existence’. It was He Who `by His invisible and mighty power and great wisdom created the universe, and by His glorious purpose clothed His creation with comeliness, and by His strong word fixed the heavens and founded the earth above the waters’. For Clement God is `the Father and creator of the entire cosmos’ and for `Barnabas’ and the “Didache” `our maker’. His omnipotence and universal sovereignty were acknowledged, for He was `the Lord almighty’, `the Lord Who governs the whole universe’, and `the master of all things’. The reader should notice that at this period the title `almighty’ connoted God’s all-pervading control and sovereignty over reality, just as `Father’ referred primarily to His role as creator and author of all things (J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, p. 83).

But, so that no one thinks that we are simply citing authors who agree with us, below you will find a number of citations from early Christian sources on this very issue. The combined testimony of these Fathers is inarguable:

Ignatius to the Magnesians, (A.D. 110), 8:1

For that reason they were persecuted, inspired as they were by His grace to convince the disobedient that there is one God, who manifested Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ, who is His Word proceeding from silence, and who was in all respects pleasing to Him that sent Him.

Aristides of Athens, Apology (A.D. 140), 1

I call the One who constructed all things and maintains them God: He that is without beginning and eternal, immortal and lacking nothing, and who is above all passion and failings such as anger and forgetfulness and ignorance and the rest.

Aristides of Athens, Apology (A.D. 140), 4

Let us proceed, then, O King, to the elements themselves, so that we may demonstrate concerning them that they are not gods, but corruptible and changeable things, produced out of the non-existent by Him that is truly God, who is incorruptible and unchangeable and invisible, but who sees all things and changes them and alters them as He wills.

Justin, Dialogue with Trypho the Jew (A.D. 155), 5

For whatever things exist after God or will at anytime exist, have a corruptible nature, and are such as may be blotted out and no longer exist. God alone is unbegotten and incorruptible, which is why He is God. Everything else after Him is produced and corruptible.

Tatian, Address to the Greeks (A.D. 165), 4

Our God has no introduction in time. He alone is without beginning, and is Himself the beginning of all things. God is a spirit, not attending upon matter, but the Maker of material spirits and of the appearances which are in matter. He is invisible and untouchable, being Himself the Father of both sensible and invisible things. This we know by the evidence of what He has created; and we perceive His invisible power by His works.

Ibid., 5

Matter is not without a beginning, like God; nor is it of equal power with God, through being without a beginning. It is begotten, and not produced by any other begotten beings; but is brought into existence by Him alone who is the Creator of all things.

Athenagoras, Supplication for the Christians, (A.D. 177), 4

Is it not unreasonable to apply the name of atheist to us, who distinguish God from matter and teach that matter is one thing and God another, and that there is a great difference between them, the Deity being unbegotten and eternal, able to be known by reason and understanding alone, while matter is produced and perishable?

Athenagoras, Supplication for the Christians (A.D. 177), 10

I have sufficiently demonstrated that we are not atheists, since we acknowledge one God, unbegotten, eternal, invisible, incapable of being acted upon, incomprehensible, unbounded….

Irenaeus Against Heresies, (A.D. 190) 1:10:1

For the Church, although dispersed throughout the whole world even to the ends of the earth, has received from the Apostles and from their disciples the faith in one God, Father almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them….

Ibid., 1:22:1

We hold, however, the rule of truth, according to which there is one almighty God, who formed all things through His Word, and fashioned and made all things which exist out of that which did not exist….

Ibid., 2:1:1

Nor is He moved by anyone; rather, freely and by His Word He made all things. For He alone is God, He alone is Lord, He alone is Creator, He alone is Father, He alone contains all and commands all to exist.

Ibid., 2:11:1

It is easy to demonstrate from the very words of the Lord that He acknowledges one Father, Creator of the world and Fashioner of man, who was proclaimed by the Law and by the Prophets; and that He knows no other, this being God over all.

Ibid., 2:30:9

Of His own accord and by His own power He made all things and arranged and perfected them; and His will is the substance of all things. He alone, then, is found to be God; He alone is omnipotent, who made all things; He alone is Father, who founded and formed all things, visible and invisible, sensible and insensate, heavenly and earthly, by the Word of His Power.

Ibid., 2:34:2

…let them learn that to be without beginning and without end, to be truly and always the same, and to remain ever without change, belongs to God alone, who is Lord of all. All things, however, which are from Him, all that have been made and which will be made, receive each their own beginning of existence; and inasmuch as they are not unbegotten, in this way they are inferior to Him who made them. They perdure, however, and continue through a length of ages, according to the will of God their Maker; for indeed, He makes them to be in the beginning, and afterwards gives them continuance.

Tertullian, Apology (A.D. 197) 17:1

The object of our worship is the One God, who, by the Word of His command, by the Reason of His plan, and by the strength of His Power, has brought forth from nothing for the glory of His majesty this whole construction of elements, bodies and spirits; whence also the Greeks have bestowed upon the world the name KOSMOS. He is invisible, and yet He may be seen. He is intangible, and yet His presence is apparent through His grace. He is immeasurable, and yet He is measured by the human senses. He is, therefore, as real as He is great. In regard to other things, that which is able to be seen, to be touched, or to be measured is less than the eyes by which it is seen, than the hands by which it is touched, and the senses by which it is discovered. But what is truly infinite is known only to itself. Thus it is that the measure of God is taken, although He is really immeasurable. Thus it is that the force of His greatness makes Him known to men, although He is yet unknown. And this is the crowning guilt of men, that they do not want to know Him of whom they cannot be ignorant.

Tertullian, Apology (A.D. 197), 21:13

So also, that which proceeds from God is God and Son of God, and both are one. Likewise, as He is Spirit from Spirit, and God from God, He is made a second by count and in numerical sequence, but not in actual condition; for He comes forth from the source but does not separate therefrom.

Tertullian, The Demurrer Against the Heretics, 13:1

There is only one God, and none other besides Him: the Creator of the world who brought forth all things out of nothing through His Word….

Tertullian Against Hermogenes, 4:3

Whatever special property God has, it must necessarily be unique, so that it can belong to Him who is One. But what can be unique and singular except that to which nothing can be equated? What can be principal, if not that which is above all, if not that which is before all and from which all things are? It is by being the sole possessor of these qualities that He is God; and by being sole possessor, that He is One.

Tertullian Against Marcion, 1:3:1

Christian truth, however, has distinctly declared, “If God be not one, He does not exist”; for we more properly believe that that which is not what it must be does not exist at all. So that you may know, however, that God must be one, ask what God is, and you will find that such is the case. In so far as a human being is able to formulate a definition of God, I formulate such a definition as the conscience of every man may acknowledge; God is the Great Supreme Being existing in eternity, unbegotten, uncreated, without beginning, and without end.

Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, 10:32

The one God, the first and only, both Creator and Lord of all things, had nothing coeval with Himself, neither infinite chaos, nor immeasurable water, nor solid earth, nor dense air, nor hot fire, nor gentle breeze, nor the azure roof of the great heavens. No, he was one, to Himself alone; and when He so willed, He created those things which before had no existence other than in his willing to make them and inasmuch as he had knowledge of what would be: for he has also foreknowledge. He first created, however, the diverse elements of the things which would come into existence, fire and air, water and earth, from which various elements he then made his own creation.

Origen, De Principiis, 1, Preface, 4

First, that there is one God who created and arranged all things, and who, when nothing existed, called all things into existence;

Origen, De Principiis (A.D. 220), 1:1:6

Since our mind is in itself unable to behold God Himself as He is, it knows the Father of the universe from the beauty of His works and from the elegance of His creatures. God, therefore, is not to be thought of as being either a body or as existing in a body, but as a simple intellectual Being, admitting within Himself no addition of any kind. Thus, He cannot be believed to have within Himself something greater and something lesser. Rather, He is in every part “monas” and, so to speak, “henas.” He is the mind and source from which every intellectual being or mind takes its beginning.

Origen, Ad Celsus, 1:23

How much more effective it is–and how better than all those invented explanations! –that when we are convinced by what we see in the excellent orderliness of the world, we then worship its Maker as the one Author of one effect, which, since it is entirely in harmony with itself, cannot, therefore, have been the work of many makers.

Novatian, The Trinity, (A.D. 235) 31

God the Father, founder and creator of all things, who alone knows no beginning, who is invisible, immeasurable, immortal, and eternal, is one God. Neither His greatness nor His majesty nor His power can possibly be–I should not say exceeded, for they cannot even be equaled.

Cyril, Catechetical Lectures, (A.D. 350), 6:11

Whence came the polytheistic error of the Greeks? God has no body: whence, then, the adulteries alleged among those whom the Greeks call gods?

Hilary, Commentaries on the Psalms, on Psalm 129, 3

First it must be remembered that God is incorporeal. He does not consist of certain parts and distinct members, making up one body. For we read in the Gospel that god is spirit: invisible, therefore, and an eternal nature, immeasurable and self-sufficient. It is also written that a spirit does not have flesh and bones. For of these the members of a body consist, and of these the substance of God has no need. God, however, who is everywhere and in all things, is all-hearing, all-seeing, all- doing, and all-assisting.

Didymus, The Holy Spirit (A.D. 375), 35

God is simple and of an incomposite and spiritual nature, having neither ears nor organs of speech. A solitary essence and illimitable, He is composed of no members and parts.

Ephiphanius, Against All Heresies, 70:5

Reject also the opinion of those who say the body is in the image of God. For how were it possible for the visible to be close to the invisible? How the corporeal to the incorporeal? How the tangible to the illimitable?

Chrysostom, Against the Anomoians, 4:3

For God is simple and non-composite and without shape….When, therefore, you hear that “no one has ever seen God,” consider it the same as hearing that no one can know God in an utterly perfect manner, as to His essence.

Cyril, Commentary on Psalm 11, 3

When the divine Scripture presents sayings about God and remarks on corporeal parts, do not let the mind of those hearing it harbor thoughts of tangible things, but from those tangible things as if from things said figuratively let it ascend to the beauty of things intellectual, and rather than figures and quantity and circumscription and shapes and everything else that pertains to bodies, let it think on God, although He is above all understanding. We were speaking of Him in a human way; for there was no other way in which we could think about the things that are above us.

Lactantius, The Divine Institutions, (A.D. 300), 2:8:8

But God Himself makes His own material, because He is able. To be able is a quality of God; and, were He not able, neither would He be God. Man makes things out of what already exists, because he is weak as a consequence of being mortal; and because of his weakness, he is of limited and moderate power. God, however, makes things from what does not exist, because He is strong on account of His eternity; and because of His strength, His power is immeasurable, having neither end nor limitation, like the life itself of the Maker.

Cyril, Catechetical Lectures, (A.D. 350), 4:4-5

First let there be laid as a foundation in your soul the doctrine concerning God: that there is one God alone, unbegotten, without beginning, unchangeable and immovable; neither begotten of another nor having another to succeed to His life; who neither began to live in time nor will ever cease to be; and that He is good and just….The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is not circumscribed in any place, nor is He less than the heavens….He knows beforehand the things that shall be, and is mightier than all. He knows all, and does as He will. He is not subject to the consequences of events, neither to astrological geniture, nor to chance, nor to fate. He is in all things perfect, and possesses equally every absolute of virtue, neither diminishing nor decreasing, but remains ever the same and unchanging.

Hilary, The Trinity, (A.D. 356), 2:6

The Father is He to whom all that exists owes its origin. He is in Christ; and through Christ He is the source of all things. Moreover, His existence is existence in itself, and He does not derive His existence from anywhere else. Rather, from Himself and in Himself He possesses the actuality of His being. He is infinite because He Himself is not contained in something else, and all else is within Him. He is always beyond location, because He is not contained; always before the ages, because time comes from Him….God, however, is present everywhere; and everywhere He is totally present. Thus, He transcends the realm of understanding. Outside of Him there is nothing, and it is eternally His characteristic that He shall always exist. This is the truth of the mystery of God, of the impenetrable nature which this name Father expresses. God is invisible, unutterable, and infinite.

Gregory of Nazianus, Second Oration on Easter (A.D. 383), 45:3

God always way, and is, and will be: or better, He always is. Was and will be are portions of time as we reckon it, and are of a changing nature. He, however, is ever existing; and that is how He names Himself in treating with Moses on the mountain. He gathers in Himself the whole of being, because He has neither beginning nor will He have an end. He is like some great sea of Being, limitless and unbounded, transcending every conception of time and nature.

Gregory of Nyssa, Against Eunomius, (A.D. 383), Jaeger, 2:163

We judge it proper, therefore, to believe that that alone is truly divine whose existence is found to be eternal and infinite, and in whom all that is contemplated is ever the same, neither increasing nor diminishing.

Augustine, Sermons, (A.D. 391-430), 7:7

Being is a name of unchangeableness. For everything that is changed ceases to be what it was and begins to be what it was not. Being is. True being, pure being, genuine being is had only by Him who does not change.

Augustine, The True Religion, 25:46

The first decision to be made is whether we should prefer to believe those who call us to the worship of many gods, or those who call us to the one God. Who can doubt that it is preferable to follow those who call us to one, especially when those worshipers of many agree that this one God is the ruler of all others? And certainly, rank begins at one. Those, therefore, are to be followed first who say that there is only one supreme God, the true God, who alone is to be worshipped. If truth does not shine forth from them, then a change is to be made.

John of Damascus, The Source of Knowledge, 3:1:5

The Divinity is perfect and without defect in His goodness, in His wisdom, in His power, without beginning, without end, eternal, infinite, and to put it simply, perfect in every respect. If we were to speak of many gods it would be necessary to recognize a difference among the many. But if there is no difference among them, there is but one and not many. And if there were a difference among them, where then were their perfection?

Ibid., 3:1:8

[We believe] in one Father, the beginning and cause of all things, begotten of no one, but uncaused and unbegotten, alone subsisting; Creator of all things, but Father by nature of One only, His Only- begotten Son and our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ…There never was a time when the Father was and the Son was not; but always Father, always Son, who is begotten of Him; for one cannot be called father apart from a son.

Ibid., 3:1:9

It seems that the most authoritative of all the names spoken of God is “WHO IS,” as He did Himself say on the mountain in answer to Moses….For, since He holds all existence in Himself, He is like a sea of being, boundless and infinite. 

http://vintage.aomin.org/ONEGOD.

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for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

1Co 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!

“But sanctify the Lord in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15)

There is no “surefire method” of leading Mormons to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Since most Mormons have been in their church for years, it’s highly improbable you will convince any Mormon to embrace Christianity in one session. One major problem is the language barrier. The Mormon uses Christian terminology, but with a vastly different significance; therefore, an understanding of basic Mormon doctrine is essential for real communication.

Because of the complex nature of the Mormon faith, this tract is very limited on the information given. It is intended only as a starting point for the concerned Christian who asks, “Where do I start?” and “What do I say?”

A FEW BASICS

  • Love them enough to tell them the truth. Attack Mormonism, not the Mormon.
  • Be prepared. There is no substitute for being well versed in both the Bible and basic Mormonism.
  • Take control of the conversation. Put the Mormon on the defense by asking pertinent questions.
  • Discuss the “real issues.” i.e. God, Jesus Christ, Salvation and Sin.
  • Don’t get sidetracked! Stay on one subject until you have reached a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Quote only from the King James Version of the Bible or Mormon publications. This is the only version they accept.
  • Share the need for a personal relationship with the Jesus of the Bible. Proclaim Jesus, not a church.
  • Offer him literature. Tell him all the quotes are from Mormon leaders or the Bible.
  • Pray for the Mormon. Never cease to pray for him. God is able to save the most hardened Mormon.

The following is a brief examination of the Mormon doctrine of God compared with the Holy Bible:

THE GOD OF MORMONISM

    “In spite of the opposition of the sects, in the face of direct charges of blasphemy, the Church proclaims the eternal truth: ‘AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS: AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BE.” (Apostle James Talmage, The Articles of Faith, p. 430)“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man,.,. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345)“God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected Man! (Apostle Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1979 edition, p. 643)

    “… you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you,…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 346

    “If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds.” (Apostle Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 345)

THE GOD OF THE BIBLE

    “…the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” (Deuteronomy 4:39)“… for I am God, and not man;…” (Hosea 11:9)“For I am the LORD, I change not;…” (Malachi 3:6)

    “Therefore thou art great, O LORD God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee…’ (II Samuel 7:22)

    “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.” (Psalms 86:10)

    “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:…” (Isaiah 45:5)

The following dialogue is a hypothetical witnessing encounter between a Christian and a Mormon missionary. Missionaries always come in pairs, but usually only one will be the spokesman. This same discussion could be applied to a Mormon friend, neighbor, or relative.

MISSIONARIES AT YOUR DOOR

    Missionaries: (Knock, Knock) Hello, we represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We would like to tell you about a wonderful program for families called “Family Home Evening.” May we come in for a few minutes?Christian: Just a minute, let me get my Bible. (Christian leaves the door and returns with a Bible.) Perhaps you could answer a question for me – Is Mormonism based on the Bible?Missionary: Oh yes! The Bible is one of our standard works. (The other three are: The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.)

    Christian: I understand Mormonism teaches, “AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS, AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BECOME.” Is this true?

    Missionary: Yes, we teach that.

    Christian: In other words, God wasn’t always God, there was a time when he was just a man, and he progressed to become God. Is this true?

    Missionary: (Reluctantly) Yes, this is Mormon doctrine.

    Christian: (Handing his Bible to the missionary) Would you please read Psalms 90 verse 2 and tell me how this verse fits Mormon doctrine?

    Missionary: “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Well . . . Uh . . .I’m not sure.

    Christian: According to this verse, how long will God be God?

    Missionary: To everlasting.

    Christian: According to this verse, how long has God been God?

    Missionary: Uh.. Well… it says from everlasting.

    Christian: You mentioned earlier that Mormonism was based on the Bible. Doesn’t this verse refute the teaching of the Mormon Church that God wasn’t always God and was at one time just a man?

    Missionary: Uh…Uh… What about the two sticks in Ezekiel?

    Christian: That’s a very good question. After we discuss this most important teaching about God, let’s look at the two sticks mentioned in Ezekiel. Let’s reconsider the statement, “AS MAN IS, GOD ONCE WAS; AS GOD IS, MAN MAY BECOME.” Doesn’t this indicate that there were gods before our God, there will be gods after our God, and in fact, there are many gods?

    Missionary: Yes.

    Christian: Would you please read Isaiah 43:10 for me and explain how Mormon doctrine deals with this verse?

    Missionary: “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.” I don’t know. I’ve never seen that verse before.

    Christian: Would you read and explain Isaiah 44:6 then?

    Missionary: “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.” This probably means there is no other God that pertains to this world.

    Christian: But it doesn’t say that, does it?

    Missionary: Well, no.

    Christian: Tell me – Does your God know everything?

    Missionary: Certainly! He’s all knowing.

    Christian: Would he know if other gods exist?

    Missionary: Of course.

    Christian: Read Isaiah 44:8 and see what God says about other gods.

    Missionary: “… Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Well. . Uh… The Bible has been copied and recopied so many times, it’s just not trustworthy, besides, we only accept the Bible as far as it’s translated correctly. (8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church.)

    Christian: Perhaps you could tell me where is it incorrectly translated and give me your documentation.

    Missionary: I don’t know. I haven’t been told.

    Christian: What about your prophet? Certainly he could give you a correct translation.

    Missionary: We!!… I TESTIFY TO YOU. I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS THE WORD OF GOD, I KNOW JOSEPH SMITH WAS A PROPHET OF GOD, I KNOW…

    Christian: (Interrupts testimony) Wait a minute! How do you know these things are true?

    Missionary: Because I?ve prayed about it and the Holy Ghost has revealed to me these things are true.

    Christian: Do you know that nowhere in the Bible are we told to pray for an “inner feeling” to know if a prophet is a true prophet, or if a book is from God, or if a teaching is true? The Bible says in I John 4:1 – “… believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” Deuteronomy 13:1-5 gives a test for a true prophet. It says if a prophet tells us to go after a different God than the God of the Bible, that’s a FALSE PROPHET! According to the Biblical test, Mormon doctrine and Joseph Smith FAIL THE TEST!

    Missionary: Thank you for your time. We had better go now.

    Christian: Before you go, I would like to tell you what Jesus Christ has done in my life. I have received his free gift of eternal life, based on the finished work at the cross. According to Ephesians 2:8,9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” I base my eternal destiny on the trustworthy word of God, the Bible. Also, I would like to give you these two tracts. You may think they are anti-Mormon, but the only quotes in them are statements from your own prophets and apostles, or the Bible. If you think they are in error, please come back and show me EXACTLY what is in error. I love both of you, and want you to know my Jesus.

    Missionary: Thank you. Good-bye.

GOD PROMISES

    “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit …. (Hebrews 4:12)“Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.” (Proverbs 30:5)
For questions or comments you can contact us
by e-mail at challenge.min@cox.net or write:
http://www.challengemin.org/witness.html

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Mormonism teaches:
– God used to be a man on another planet and Mormon members
may become gods of their own worlds.
1
– There are many gods.
2
– The Trinity is three separate Gods.
3
– Entrance into celestial heaven is by the consent of God and the
Mormon prophet Joseph Smith.
4
– God has a body of flesh and bones.
5
– God is married and produces spirit babies by having physical
relations with his goddess wife.
6
– Jesus, Satan, and all of us are spirit brothers and sisters
procreated in a pre-existent spirit life.
7
– God had relations with Mary to make Jesus’ body.
8
– You must shed your own blood for the forgiveness of some sins.
9
– Good works are necessary for the forgiveness of sins.10
Be careful. Rarely will they mention these ‘higher’ doctrines. Therefore, you really don’t know what they are teaching until long after you have joined. Be warned.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach:
– Their church organization is the prophet of God.11
– Jesus returned invisibly in 1914.
12
– Blood transfusions are sinful.
13
– The Holy Spirit is God’s impersonal active force.
14
– Only their church members will be saved.
15
– Jesus was an angel who became a man.
16
– Jesus did not rise from the dead physically.
17
– There is no Trinity.
18
– Good works are necessary for the forgiveness of sins.19

Be careful. Jehovah’s Witnesses will want to begin a home ‘Bible study’ with you. What they really want is for you to join their religion.

These groups are non-Christian cults because they deny the true biblical doctrines of Jesus and salvation. First, Mormonism says Jesus is the brother of the Devil.7 J.W.’s teach that he is an angel who became a man.16 These teachings are not biblical.

Second, both these cults erroneously say that in order to be saved you must cooperate with God by doing good works. The Bible says that salvation is a free gift from God.21 The Bible condemns the addition of our works to the finished sacrifice of Jesus.22 Galatians 2:21 says that if salvation comes by works (“if righteousness comes through the Law”), then Jesus died needlessly. Salvation comes by God’s grace through faith alone, not by our works21 which are impure.29 Simply put, they each preach a false message of salvation.

The Bible teaches: there is only one God;23 God is spirit;24 Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses from all sin;25 Jesus is the only way to God;26 all who receive Jesus as Savior will be saved;27 and Jesus is God in flesh 20 who rose from the dead in the same body He died in.28

These are some of the things the Christian church has always believed. These two cults distort them and thus lead many into eternal damnation. Why? Because…

Only the Jesus of the Bible saves, not the brother of Satan (Mormonism), not an angel made into a man (Jehovah’s Witnesses). Faith works only when you trust someone who is true.

The Mormons and J.W.’s are good people and we love them; but, they are misled.30 They do not know that the true gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus for our sins and that we receive His forgiveness by faith alone (faith in the true Jesus). Satan has blinded them.30 Jesus said that if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.31 That is why this Christian ministry is exposing these cults, so you won’t be deceived.

If you want to be assured of the forgiveness of your sins and have peace with God, then you must realize that you have sinned against God,32 and are separated from Him.33 Then, ask Jesus into your life; ask Him to forgive you of your sins, and save you. He will.27 He is Savior and Lord and He is as close as the call of your heart. Then read your Bible and go to church. At least now you know which two not to join. Eternity is a long time to be wrong.

_______________________________

DOCUMENTATION FROM MORMON WRITINGS

1)Mormon Doctrine by Bruce McConkie, p. 321. 2)Ibid., p. 163. 3)Ibid., p. 319. 4)Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, P.289. 5)Doctrine and Covenants 130:22. 6)McConkie, p. 516. 7)Ibid., pp. 192;589. 8)Ibid., pp.741-742; The Seer, p. 158. 9)Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph Smith, Vol. I p. 135. 10)Articles of Faith, p. 79.

DOCUMENTATION FROM J. W. WRITINGS

11)The Watchtower, April 1, 1972, pp.197, 200. 12)You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, 1982, p. 147. 13)Reasoning from the Scriptures, pp 70-76. 14)Holy Spirit, 1976, p. 11. 15)Ibid., Feb. 15, 1979, p. 30. 16)Aid to Bible Understanding, p. 1152; New Heavens and New Earth, p. 30. 17)You Can Live Forever…pp. 143, 144, 172. 18)Let God be True, p. 101. 19)Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. I pp. 150,152.

DOCUMENTATION FROM THE BIBLE (GOD)

20)John 1:1,14, 8:58, 10:30; Col. 2:9. 21)Rom. 6:23;3:28;4:5. Eph. 2:8-9. 22)Gal. 3:1-2;5:1-4. 23)Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8. 24)John 4:24. 25)1 John 1:7,2:2. 26)John 14:6. 27)John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10. 28)Luke 24:39; John 2:19-21. 29)Isaiah 64:6 30)2 Cor. 4:3-4. 31)Luke 6:39. 32)Rom. 3:23, 5:12. 33)Isaiah 59:2.

This tract is free to reprint and distribute. www.carm.org

***However, if you want to bring Mormons to your door to witness to them, THE VIDEO ABOVE shows you how to get them to knock on your door. Just order a free bible***
 
 
 

 

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This chapter from this book is really important to Christians who ask “did the apostles and their direct successors practice baptismal regeneration?”. It is not the best read,,, as it is mostly Quotes from pre-Niceian Church Fathers. BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL INFO. There will be more articles coming about the history of baptism, it’s pagan origins and the history of that damnable herasy creeping into the Christian church, thus danming billions of souls as some have claimed., by making salvation,,grace+ water baptism.

6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

 

WATER BAPTISM:

A PAGAN AND JEWISH RITE,

BUT NOT CHRISTIAN

PROVEN BY SCRIPTURE AND HISTORY

CONFIRMED BY THE LIVES OF SAINTS

WHO WERE NEVER BAPTIZED WITH WATER 

JAMES H. MOON FALLSINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA Copyrighted, 1902

  

 

 

 

 

WATER BAPTISM AFTER THE APOSTLES’ TIME

By collateral evidence we are led to suppose that several of the apostles were martyred under the Roman Emperor, Nero, about A.D. 64.

The Jews rebelled against the Romans, A.D. 66. At the approach of war, Christians of Jerusalem and Judea removed to Pela, beyond the Jordan.[200] Eusebius says they fled in obedience to a Divine
revelation.[201] These were all Jews, and in their new homes were called Nazarenes or Ebonites.[202]

Jerusalem and the temple were utterly destroyed and the Jews massacred by the Romans, A.D. 70.[203]

Dean Stanley says: “The fall of Jerusalem was the fall of the Jewish world; it was a reason for the close of the apostolic age; a death-blow of the influence of Jewish nationality for a long time to come.”[204]

After the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem, Gentile Antioch appears to have become the seat of church authority.

John was probably the only apostle then living and he, it is thought, was in a distant country.

At Antioch and other places Gentile Christians evidently soon gained the ascendency and discouraged, even Jews from circumcision and other offensive Jewish customs, while water baptism and other usages not repulsive to Gentiles were generally continued and in time modified to
suit taste and convenience.

The early Christians were not united in making these changes; they caused continued discord and division among them as is manifest throughout the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius.

The Nazarenes, Ebonites and some others adhered to circumcision and the customs of Moses as the elders at Jerusalem had insisted that Paul should do and as in the “Hermit Church” of Abyssinia they still continue to do.[205][206]

We find these Nazarenes and Ebonites soon classified as heretics after the Gentiles preponderated.

Water baptism seems not to have been insisted upon at first but in the second century greater importance appears to have been attached to it.[207] Many, however, claimed that only baptism of the Holy Spirit and purity of the heart were necessary because none of the apostles but Paul were baptized with water, and Christ said: “John indeed baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit;”[208] and again, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Justin Martyr[209] said: “What is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and the body alone. Baptize the soul from wrath, envy, &c., and lo! the whole body is clean.” And again: “What need have I of that other baptism who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

While many such expressions occur in the writings of the “Fathers,” there are many more which support sacramentalism. Their testimonies are conflicting.

About the beginning of the third century we find water baptism first called a sacrament by Tertulian and about the same time he complains that many tried to destroy it. Plainly, as water baptism was exalted, opposition increased.[210]

The sect called Ascoondrutes rejected all symbols and sacraments on the principle that incorporeal things cannot be communicated by things corporeal nor divine mysteries by things visible.[211]

Schaff says[212]: Many Jews and Gentiles were baptized only with water; not with Holy Spirit and fire of the Gospel, and smuggled their old religious notions and practices into the church.

The Roman Emperor, Constantine, professedly became a Christian, while he virtually remained a heathen; A.D. 312.[213]

Christians were few in number before Constantine, but now pagans flocked to the church and sat in its councils.

“Constantine married the Christian church to the heathen world.” He virtually united church and state. He convened the council of Nice and they formed a creed A.D. 325.

Many protested against this council and its decisions but the mass supported the Emperor and the creed.

Among obscure dissenters whom the ruling church called heretics may we expect thereafter to find the nearest approach to Christianity as Jesus taught it upon the Mount and elsewhere.

Mosheim says: No sooner had Constantine abolished the superstition of his ancestors than magnificent churches were erected for the Christians, which were richly adorned with pictures and images and bore striking resemblances to the Pagan temples both within and without.[214]

The simplicity of the Gospel was clouded by the prodigious number of rites and ceremonies which the bishops invented to embellish it.[215]

They imagined the Pagans would receive Christianity with more facility when they saw the rites and ceremonies to which they were accustomed adopted in the church. So the religion of the Christians was made to conform very nearly to that of the Pagans in external appearance.[216]

The vice and insolent tyranny of many of the priesthood soon became notorious.[217]

Neander says: Such individuals of the laity as were distinguished by their piety from the great mass of nominal Christians and from the worldly minded of the clergy often suffered persecution from the
latter.[218]

The name of Andeus stand prominent among the many dissenters who protested against the corruptions of the ruling church at this time.[219]

Isolated companies of devout Christians under various names rejected the Sacraments. They were called Lampetians, Adelphians, Estatians, Marcionites, Euchites, Massalians and Enthusiasts.[220]

Mosheim says: Enthusiasts who discarded the Sacraments and were rather wrong headed than vicious lived among the Greeks and Assyrians for many ages. They were known by the general and invidious name of Massalians or Euchites. A foot-note says: This sect arose under the Emperor
Constantius about the year 361.[221]

We have numerous accounts of Christians who were prominent in the dominant church of the fourth century who deferred water baptism to middle life or old age and many were never so baptized altho’ born of Christian parents.[222]

About A.D. 660 another Constantine came forward as a reform preacher under inspiration said to have been received in reading the New Testament, particularly the writings of St. Paul.[223]

His followers were sometimes called Macedonians but were generally known as Paulicians altho’ they preferred to be called Christians.

It appears that these Paulicians existed centuries before under the other names given them by their enemies and that the drooping sect was revived by the powerful preaching of Constantine.

Neander says[224] the Paulicians wholy rejected the outward observance of the Sacraments and maintained that by multiplication of external rites and ceremonies in the dominant church the true life of religion had declined. That it was not Christ’s intention to institute water baptism as a perpetual ordinance and that by baptism he meant only baptism of the Holy Spirit and that he communicates himself by the living waters for the thorough cleansing of the whole human nature; that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ consists in coming into vital union with him.

In the ninth century one hundred thousand Paulicians were martyred at once in Armenia, accused of heresy and denying the Sacraments.[225]

For the same offence untold numbers were put to death during previous and subsequent centuries and in widely distant countries.[226]

Their enemies represent that these Paulicians were loving, spiritual and peaceful, and diligent in reading and circulating the Scriptures, but they were heretics and not worthy to live.

Were not these dissenting martyrs a remnant or seed of the living church and their baptized enemies the real heretics?

The history of these inhuman persecutions reveals a sad condition of the dominant church and its ruling clergy of the ninth century.

Some Ecclesiastics who presided over a flourishing theological institution at Orleans, claimed to have been awakened by the writings of
St. Augustine and St. Paul, particularly the later. Many of the nobility and others of eminent piety and benevolence became their adherents.[227]

They rejected external worship, rites and ceremonies and placed religion in the internal contemplation of God and the elevation of the soul.

They rejected water baptism and held to a baptism of the Spirit, also to a Spiritual Eucharist by which all who had received spiritual baptism would be refreshed and find their spiritual needs completely satisfied.

Thirteen leaders of this sect were burned A.D. 1022. When urged to recant they replied, “We have a higher law, one written by the Holy Spirit in the inner man.”

Mosheim says they soared above the comprehension of the age in which they lived.

A few years later a similar sect was discovered in the districts of Arras and Liege. They held individual holiness and practical piety to be necessary and that outward baptism and outward Sacrament were
nothing. This they affirmed was the doctrine of Christ and his apostles.[228]

About A.D. 1046 a sect was suppressed at Turin which was favored by the nobility and widely diffused among the clergy and laity. They claimed to have one priest without the tonsure. He daily visited their brethren scattered throughout the world and when God bestowed him on them they
received from him with great devotion forgiveness of sin. They acknowledged no other priest and no other sacrament but his absolution.[229]

Who–we ask–is this priest without the tonsure, who daily visits the world-wide brethern?

Is it not Jesus who was made a priest, “not after the law of a carnal commandment, but by the power of an endless life?”[230]

A sect called Bogomiles, who rejected outward baptism and acknowledged only spiritual communion, was discovered in Constantinople, many of them in the families connected with the court. Their leader was burned A.D. 1119, others were imprisoned, yet they spread secretly over the Greek empire.[231]

Mosheim says: The Eastern churches continued to be infested with such fanatics in the twelfth century, and the Latin sects were still more numerous than the Greeks.[232]

The Catherists were a numerous faction in Bulgaria and spread almost all over Europe under various names who all agreed in rejecting baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

“Brethern and sisters of the free Spirit” took their denomination from the words of St. Paul (Rom. 8, 2-14). They were called Begards, Beghines, Turpines, etc. They rejected baptism and the Supper as no
longer useful to them and held to inward and spiritual worship. They spread rapidly in Italy, France and Germany. They were mostly poor people and lived upon alms while upon their missionary Journeys. Great numbers of plain, pious people, rich and poor, embraced their teaching
and forsook the dominant church.[233]

The Inquisition checked their career with its usual record of cruelty and blood, yet they continued to feed the fires of persecution for more than two centuries, until near the time of the reformation.

In the south of France dissenters called Albigenses became more numerous than the dominant church. They were condemned by four councils, but still continued to increase until about A.D. 1215, when they were exterminated by a long and horrible war and the Inquisition.[234]

These Albigenses were distinguished generally by their strict and blameless lives, by their abhorrence of oaths, war and punishment by death, and for their hospitality and beneficence. They accepted baptism spiritually and rejected the sacraments.

Can we believe that the church which led to the extermination of these Albigenses, the Paulicians, and many others, was ever established by that loving Saviour who spent his life in doing good to the souls and bodies of men?

Does it not answer more nearly the description given of Mystery Babylon who was drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus? Who would not gladly forget a succession which claims to run back through such a church as this?[235]

In some parts of France dissenters similar to the Albigenses were called Bulgarians, in Italy they were called Paterens and in Germany were called Catherists, and in derision were called “Good Men.” How is it that these dissenters, by the testimony of their enemies, appear to have lived better and holier lives without the sacraments than their persecutors did with them?

What is the testimony of observation in our day?[236] Are those beatitudes which Jesus pronounced upon the Mount better observed by those who have seven sacraments than they are by Protestants who have only two? And, are they better observed under two sacraments than they are by the Quakers, and some other Christians who have none? If this is the case, it is strong support to the belief that Christ ordained the sacraments. But if the reverse is found to be the existing condition, then a suspicion may arise that these sacraments are not divine, but are human impositions and that they divert from the Divine. Therefore, may it be that some of our best Christians get along quite as well or
better without them.

Neither the word sacrament nor any synonym thereof occurs in the New Testament, nor in the writings of the “Fathers,” until the third century. There were no sacraments then as there are now, therefore no necessity for such a name.

Sacrament was a Pagan name for a military oath and was ruled into its present position by apostate Christians.

The apostles and first Christians evidently continued to eat the Passover Supper, because their fathers had done so for ages in memory of Israel passing over the Red Sea out of Egypt, and not from any command of Christ. Otherwise they would with still more persistence have continued to wash each other’s feet, which Jesus commanded with language and actions far more solemn, impressive and imperative.[237]

The Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius inform us that water baptism was a prolific cause of bitter discord and division among the early Christians. It still sorrowfully distracts the loving children of our
one Father and impedes the spread of his kingdom in the earth.

These lamentable conditions must inevitably continue until such shadows are dissolved by divine brightness in that day which we rejoice to believe is now dawning.

FOOTNOTES:

http://www.archive.org/stream/waterbaptism17222gut/17222.txt

RELEVANT POST. Water salvation/baptismal regeneration r  The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

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Happy Labor Day to you.,

Things went slow for a couple of weeks at How2BecomeAChristiani.nfo

The ministry has went from 1 website, 3 blogs and a forum…. to 3webistes, 5 blogs, 5 video VodPods, a BLOGTALKRADIO (BTR) account, Myspace page, and a forum

How2BecomeAchristian.info. Will be doing two radio shows at BTR by Jan1-09. Damon has about 12 months internet radio experience, both running a network and hosting at Revereradio.net so the shows will be of good quality and will be entitled “How2BecomeAChristian.info RADIO” and “Occult Agenda EXPOSURE RADIO”.You can leant about BTR at any of the sites as they all have WHAT IS BTR? and BTR Help/FAQ links. Each Radio Show will have a BLOG and Information portal website to support it. A site was created to be the main site, from which will be easy access to all the related sites, therefore a couple of domain names will be changing. One new domain was bought and two more will be purchased soon.

With these new sites, the whole ministry model has changed, and it was time for one ministry name and site to be the main one. Therefore, the name “How2BecomeAChristian.info (with a numeral two) ministries” was chosen (for radio recognition purposes) and the main site domain will be How2BecomeAChristian.info

Traffic has slowed at the site where that domain is now but the main blog received 1200+views in 3 weeks. It took 2 months to get 100 at the first site. Blogs are keyword tag capable, the site is not.

Here are some stats from the other sites.

Last 30 days FIRST SITE

Visitors 278 −8%
Actions 2,228 −5%
Average actions/visit 8.0 +3%
Total time spent 2d 11h −18%
Average time/visit 12m 49.3s −11%

 

The new sites have no stats yet. A most pleasant surprise has been the VODPODS. With 6600+ video views. And the widgets at widget box.com are being down loaded and installed somewhere. And the main blog has had around 30 RSS feed subscriptions.

I pray that Jesus will use this ministry to touch as many people as He sees fit for his glory and Honor.

HERE ARE SOME NEW PAGES MAIN SITE PSEUDO/CHRIST. CULTS H2bac.info RADIO Occult Agenda Exposure Occult EXPOSURE BLOG Occult EXPOSURE RADIO Damon’s Writings MSN Discussions

Even with the addition of these new pages, there are less links in the link bar. This was achieved by consolidating and applying hierarchies in the site construction. So while there is less links to chose from, those links lead to much more content that has been added in the last week and a half.

Thanks for everything,

Ministry Manager,  Damon Whitsell

How2BecomeAChristian.info  (with a numeral 2)  Ministries.

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NOTICE: This post is rather long, But this chapter in the book is the most important. It is worth the time to read. This copyrighted material is posted for research and teaching purposes provided under “fair use” laws.

The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

Handbook of Today’s Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart

The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

For the last two thousand years, the Christian Church has held certain beliefs to be vital to one’s faith. While there is some doctrinal disagreement within the three branches of Christendom -Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant- there is a general agreement among them as to the essentials of the faith. Whatever disagreement the church may have among its branches, it is insignificant compared to the heretical non-Christian beliefs of the cults. We offer this section as a yardstick to compare the errant beliefs of the cults.

The Doctrine of Authority

When it comes to the matter of final authority there is agreement among the major branches of Christianity with regard to the divine inspiration of the Old and New Testaments. However, the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox branches of the church go somewhat beyond the Bible as to their source of authority.

Roman Catholic The historic Roman Catholic Church accepts the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments as the inspired Word of God. They also accept the Apocrypha as being inspired of God. Further, they consider church tradition just as authoritative as the Scriptures. (In a previous work, we have dealt with reasons why we do not accept the Apocrypha as sacred Scripture Answers, Here’s Life Publishers, 1980, pp. 36-38.)

Eastern Orthodox The historic Eastern Orthodox church also accepts the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments as God’s inspired revelation. To this they add their church tradition as equally authoritative.

Protestant The historic Protestant church holds that Scripture alone is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. The Lutheran formula of Concord put it this way: “We believe, confess, and teach that the only rule and norm, according to which all dogmas and doctrines ought to be esteemed and judged, is no other whatever than the prophetic and apostolic writings both of the Old and of the New Testaments.”

Scripture itself testifies that it is complete in what it reveals and the standard and final authority on all matters of doctrine, faith and practice. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB).

“But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will. But men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:20, 21 NASB).

“You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2 NASB).

“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18, 19 NASB).

The Doctrine of God

The Doctrine of God is the same in all three branches of Christianity The Westminster Shorter Catechism (Question 6) reads, “There are three persons in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory”.

The Athanasian Creed elaborates on the doctrine of the ‘Trinity:
… we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance [Essence]. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate … The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal. And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal… So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God … the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

In a previous work, Answers to Tough Questions, (Here’s Life Publishers, 1980), we explained in a simple way the biblical doctrine of the Unity. We are reprinting it here as an attempt to clarify what Orthodox Christianity believes regarding the nature of God.

One of the most misunderstood ideas in the Bible concerns the teaching about the Trinity. Although Christians say that they believe in one God, they are constantly accused of polytheism (worshipping at least three gods).

The Scriptures do not teach that there are three Gods; neither do they teach that God wears three different masks while acting out the drama of history. What the Bible does teach is stated in the doctrine of the Trinity as: there is one God who has revealed Himself in three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and these three persons are the one God.

Although this is difficult to comprehend, it is nevertheless what the Bible tells us, and is the closest the finite mind can come to explaining the infinite mystery of the infinite God, when considering the biblical statements about God’s being.

The Bible teaches that there is one God and only one God: “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!” (Deuteronomy 6:4 NASB). “There is one God” (1 Timothy 2:5 KJV). “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me'” (Isaiah 44:6 NASB).

However, even though God is one in His essential being or nature, He is also three persons. “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26 KJV). “God said, Behold, the man has become like one of us” (Genesis 3:22 RSV).

God’s plural personality is alluded to here, for He could not be talking to angels in these instances, because angels could not and did not help God create. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ, not the angels, created all things (John 13; Colossians 1:15; Hebrews 1:2).

In addition to speaking of God as one, and alluding to a plurality of God’s being, the Scriptures are quite specific as to naming God in terms of three persons. There is a person whom the Bible calls the Father, and the Father is designated as God the Father (Galatians 1:1).

The Bible talks about a person named Jesus, or the Son, or the Word, also called God. “The Word was God”. (John 1: 1 KJV). Jesus was “also calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18 NASB).

There is a third person mentioned in the Scriptures called the Holy Spirit, and this person – different from the Father and the Son – is also called God (“Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? … You have not lied to men, but to God,” Acts 5:3,4 RSV).

The facts of the biblical teaching are these: There is one God. This one God has a plural personality. This one God is called the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, all distinct personalities, all designated God. We are therefore led to the conclusion that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one God, the doctrine of the Trinity.

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery offers this analogy to help us understand this doctrine better:

“The doctrine of the Trinity is not ‘irrational’; what is irrational is to suppress the biblical evidence for Trinity in favor of unity, or the evidence for unity in favor of Trinity.
“Our data must take precedence over our models or, stating it better, our models must sensitively reflect the full range of data.

“A close analogy to the theologian’s procedure here lies in the work of the theoretical physicist: Subatomic light entities are found, on examination, to possess wave properties (W), particle properties (P), and quantum properties (h).

“Though these characteristics are in many respects incompatible (particles don’t diffract, while waves do, etc.), physicists ‘explain’ or ‘model’ an electron as PWh. They have to do this in order to give proper weight to all the relevant data.

“Likewise the theologian who speaks of God as ‘three in one.’ Neither the scientist nor the theologian expects you to get a ‘picture’ by way of his model; the purpose of the model is to help you take into account all of the facts, instead of perverting reality through super-imposing an apparent ‘consistency’ on it.

“The choice is clear: either the Trinity or a ‘God’ who is only a pale imitation of the Lord of biblical and confessional Christianity” (How Do We Know There is a God, pp. 14, 15).

The Person of Jesus Christ

Two thousand years ago, Jesus asked His disciples the ultimate question: “Who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15). Central to the Christian faith is the identity of its founder, Jesus Christ, and it is of monumental importance to have a proper view of who He is.

Jesus Was Human

The Christian Church has always affirmed that, although He was supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit, God in human flesh, Jesus Christ was also fully man. The teaching of the Scriptures is clear with regard to His humanity.

 He grew intellectually and physically.
“Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52 KJV).
 He desired food.
“And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry” (Matthew 4:2 NASB).
 He became tired.
“. . . Jesus therefore, being wearied from his journey…” (John 4:6
NASB).
 He needed sleep.
“And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep” (Matthew 8:24 NASB).
 He cried.
“Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
 He died.
“. . . but coming to Jesus, when they saw He was already dead, they did not break His legs.” (John 11:33 NASB).
Therefore, it is made plain by Scripture that Jesus was genuinely human. He possessed all the attributes of humanity.

Jesus Was God

Jesus of Nazareth was a man but He was more than just a man. He was God in human flesh. While the Scriptures clearly teach He was a man, they likewise make it clear that he was God.

Jesus Made Divine Claims

There are many references by Jesus and His disciples concerning who He was.

 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
 “Jesus said to him,. . He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
 “For this cause therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (John 5:18 NASB).
 “Looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our Great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13 NASB).
 “From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He” (John 13:19 NASB).

Jesus Exercised Divine Works

Jesus’ friends and enemies were constantly amazed at the works He performed. In John 10, Jesus claims, “I and the Father are one! ” Then when the Jews again attempted to stone Him, “Jesus answered them, ‘I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning Me?’ The Jews answered Him, ‘For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy; and because You, being a man, make Yourself out to be God… (John 10: 30-33 NASB).

Some of the works attributed to Christ as well as to God are:

1. Christ created all things (John 1:3, Colossians 1:6, Hebrews 1:10).
2. Christ upholds all things (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3).
3. Christ directs and guides the course of history (I Corinthians 10:1-11).
4. Christ forgives sin (Mark 2:5-12, Colossians 3:13).
5. Christ bestows eternal life (John 10:28, 1 John 5:10).
6. Christ will raise the dead at the resurrection (John 11:25, John 5:21, 28, 29).
7. Christ will be the judge of all men in final judgment (John 5:22, 27, Matthew 25:31-46, 2 Corinthians 5:10).

One of these works drew an especially strong reaction from Jesus’ critics, the religious leaders. This is number four: Christ forgives sin. Mark 2:5-12 reads:

“And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, ‘My son, your sins are forgiven'”.

But there were some of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone?’

And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His spirit that they were reasoning that way within themselves, said to them, ‘Why are you reasoning about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven;” or to say, “Arise, and take up your pallet and walk”? But in order that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins! He said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home’.

And he rose and immediately took up the pallet and went out in the sight of all; so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.”‘

Now, it’s true that I can forgive the sins you commit against me, but that doesn’t prove I’m God. So why does the fact that Christ forgives sin help prove He’s God? Only God can forgive sins committed against Himself. Yet Christ claimed to forgive sins committed against God. Thus by forgiving the paralytic his sins, Jesus makes one of His boldest claims to deity.

There are many other references to Jesus making divine claims which establish without a doubt that He believed Himself to be God.

Jesus Possessed Divine Attributes

By Demonstration

Jesus not only claimed to be God; He also demonstrated that He had the ability to do things that only God could do.

 Jesus exercised authority over nature.

“And on that day, when evening had come, He said to them, ‘Let us go over to the other side’ And leaving the multitude, they took Him along with them, just as He was, in the boat; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. And He Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’
And being aroused, He rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still’, And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, ‘Why are you so timid? How is it that you have no faith?’
And they became very much afraid and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?… (Mark 4:35-41 NASB).

 Jesus reported events which occurred when He was far away from the scene.

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, ‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. ” Nathanael said to Him, ‘How do You know me?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’ Nathanael answered Him, ‘Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel! Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these”‘ (John 1: 47-50).

 Jesus knew the very thoughts of people. “But He knew what they were thinking..” (Luke 6:8 NASB).

 Jesus had authority over life and death.

“And it came about soon afterwards, that He went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large multitude.
Now as He approached the gate of the city, behold a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was widow; and a sizable crowd from the city was with her.

And when the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’
And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, ‘Young man, I say to you, arise!’ And the dead man sat up, and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.And fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, A great prophet has arisen among us’ and, ‘God has visited His people”‘.And this report concerning Him went out all over Judea, and in all the surrounding district” (Luke 7: 11-17 NASB).

By Association

Not only did Christ demonstrate the ability to do the things only God could do, but the attributes which were attributed to God were also attributed to Jesus Christ. These attributes are found both in the Old Testament prophecies attributed to the Messiah, the Christ, and in the New Testament as direct references to Jesus. Old Testament prophecies which refer to Jesus Christ and His attributes can be examined in Chapter 9, in Evidence That Demands a Verdict. Here the direct New Testament references will be considered.

The customary division of the attributes of God into metaphysical and moral is assumed here.
As regards metaphysical attributes we may affirm firstly that God is self-existent; secondly that He is immense (or infinite). In regard to immensity or infinity He is eternal, unchangeable, omnipresent, omnipotent, perfect, incomprehensible, omniscient.

As regards moral attributes God is holy, true, loving, righteous, faithful and merciful. In these respects man differs from the ideal of manhood in the sense that He is the Author of these qualities. They are un-derived in Him. It will not be deemed necessary here to go beyond mere proof that all these attributes of God existed in Him. If the metaphysical attributes of God exist in Christ, then the moral attributes are un-derived and infinite in degree. Emphasis therefore will be laid on the metaphysical attributes.

Jesus’ several statements of His oneness with the Father bear upon this subject, especially John 16:15, ‘All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine. ” This is a marvelous claim. This explains why in the previous verse

(John 16:14) He could say that the work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ: “He shall glorify me for he shall take of mine and shall declare it unto you.” Beyond Christ there is nothing to know about the character of God (John 14:9).
Christ possesses the metaphysical attributes of God. These attributes involve what might be called the essence of God. (The following is not an exhaustive list.)

1. Self-existence.
Christ has the quality that He is not dependent on anyone oranything for His existence, and all other life is dependent onHim. John 1:4 reads, “In Him was life.” Jesus states in John 14:6, “I am the life. ” He does not say “I have” but “I am.” There is nolife from amoeba to archangel apart from Christ. These versesmust be explained against the background of the name Jehovah (Yahweh) as explained in Exodus 3:13-15 and 6:2-9 (also see Col-ossians 1:15-23).

2. Eternal
When used of created things this adjective means without end. As used of God, of course, it means without beginning or end. Some clear evidence is found in 1 John 5:11, 20 -!And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
“And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.”
Also see John 8:35, 1 John 1:2, Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 8:6.

3. All-knowing.
This attribute, also known as omniscience, is the quality of having all knowledge. Biblical evidence for omniscience attributed to Christ is found in three areas.
First is the opinion of the disciples. “Now we know that You know all things, and have no need for anyone to question You; by this we believe that You came from God” (John 16:30 NASB). Also compare John 21:17.

Second, the testimony of Scripture. “But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him” (John 6:64 NASB). Also see John 2:23-25.

Third, from examples in Scripture. “But Jesus, aware of their reasonings, answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?” (Luke 5:22 NASB) Also see John 4:16-19, John 21:6 and Matthew 17:24-27.

Often people refer to Matthew 24:36 as an exception, to illustrate that Christ was not all-knowing. However, many scholars, including Augustine, understand the word “know” here to mean “to make known or declare.” This is a proper meaning of the text. Thus Jesus is stating that it is not among his instructions from the Father to make this known at this time (Shedd, Dogmatic Theology 11, 276).

4. All-powerful.
This means God can do anything not forbidden by His divine nature. For example, God cannot sin, for He is holy and righteous. Allowing for this exception, God can do anything (Mark 10:27). Another name for this attribute is omnipotence.

Christ claimed equality with God in this area. “Jesus therefore answered and was saying to them, “truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner”‘ (John 5:19 NASB).

Jesus is called the Almighty. “I am the Alpha and the Omega;’ says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8 NASB). Compare this with Revelation 1:17, 18; 22:12, 13 and Isaiah 41:4.

5. Present everywhere.
This is commonly called omnipresence. This means God is everywhere, there is no place where He is not present. What is important here is to note this does not mean God is everything. Rather, He is everywhere. God is separate from His creation. “. . teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NASV).

 Christ possesses the moral attributes of God. These are attributes which deal with the character of God. Again, this list is not complete.

1. Holy.
This means that God is pure, He cannot sin, and is unspoiled by evil or sin either by act or nature. Christ also possesses this attribute. “And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God… (Luke 1:35 NASV).

2. Truth.
Truth is the quality of being consistent with your words and actions and having those words and actions correspond to the real world. Thus it means you never lie. Christ’s claims were strong here. He not only claimed to know the truth, He claimed He was the truth. The truth can never lie.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me”‘ (John 14:6 NASV). ‘And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this. . (Revelation 3:7 NASV).

3. Love.
This means that love, unconditional in its nature, is an attribute of God. Here again bold statements are made with regard to Christ’s love. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NASV).

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34,35 NASV).

4. Righteous.
God is a righteous or just God. Righteousness means a standard. God’s standard of love, justice, holiness is what He expects of us. Only God’s righteous standard is acceptable to Him. If God is righteous and God can only accept righteous people before Him, yet He alone can be perfectly righteous, but Christ was accepted as our righteousness, as a perfect substitute …
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him” (Romans 5:9 NASV).

“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

“So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men; even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
“For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

“And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:1 7-21 NASV).
“My little children, I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1 NASV).

“. . in the future there is laid up for me the crown i of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8 NASV).-Then Christ’s righteous sacrifice demonstrates His deity by His acceptance by God.

Now, concerning the moral attributes, some say, “I love unconditionally” or “I tell the truth, but that doesn’t make me God.” So why does it make Christ God? This question is answered by understanding two concepts, one having to do with God’s nature, the other with our nature. God’s attributes are qualities that are all true of God and do not exist in isolation. In other words God’s justice exists with God’s love. One does not exclude the other. Thus, the attributes which represent the character of God are affected by those qualities which are true of His essence. So if God is love and God is infinite (another attribute not touched on here) then God’s love is infinite. This is in contrast to man. Man may love, but his love is not infinite. Second, man’s basic nature is sinful and has the tendency to continue to sin. Thus although man may act righteously at times, on his own, or may love unconditionally, ultimately he is bounded by and infected with his sin nature which results in disobedience to God’s standard.

Jesus Received Worship as God

Jesus allowed Himself to be worshipped, something that is reserved for God alone.

• “You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him, and swear by His name” (Deuteronomy 6:13 NASB).
• “Then Jesus said to Him, ‘Begone, Satan for it is written, you shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only”‘ (Matthew 4:10 NASB).
• “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the East, and have come to worship Him … And they came into the house and saw the child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshipped Him!’ (Matthew 2:2,11 NASB).
• “And behold, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him” (Matthew 28:9)
• “And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him” (Matthew 28:17)
• “And he said, ‘Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him” (John 9:38).

James Bjornstad, director of the Institute for Contemporary Christianity, makes an important observation:

To worship any other God, whether angel, man or manmade image is idolatry. In Colossians 2 we are warned, “Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in… the worship of the angels” (Colossians 2:18).

We are not to worship angels and this is consistently demonstrated throughout the Bible. In Revelation 19:10 an angel (see 18:1) refuses worship from John. In Revelation 22:8,9, an angel refuses John’s worship a second time, saying, “Do not do that … worship God.”

Furthermore, Romans 1 explains that fools “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man” (Romans 1:23). Obviously, we are not to worship man either. This, too, is consistently demonstrated throughout the Bible. In Acts 10:25,26, Peter refuses worship from Cornelius. In Acts 14:11-15, Paul and Barnabas refuse worship at Lystra.

From this evidence we can conclude that neither angels nor men are to be worshiped. Yet Jesus is worshiped, as we shall see, because He is God. He is not an angel or mere man. He is God, and God alone is to be worshiped. (James Bjornstad, Counterfeits At Your Door, d/L Publications, 1979, pp. 21, 22.)

Jesus Is God Yahweh

Attributes ascribed to Yahweh in the Old Testament are also used in reference to Jesus in the New Testament, demonstrating that Jesus is Yahweh.
“THERE IS ONE GOD” 1 Corinthians 8:6

 
The teaching on the person of Jesus Christ from the Scripture is very clear. He was fully God and at the same time fully man. Any deviation from this position is not only unscriptural, it is also heretical. Those who attempt to make Jesus something less than God cannot go to the Bible for their justification. Therefore, if one takes the Bible seriously, one must conclude that Jesus of Nazareth was God in human flesh.
For further material and sources see More Than a Carpenter, chapter 1 and Evidence That Demands a Verdict, chapter 6.

The Doctrine of the Church

The Westminster Confession of Faith contains a statement about the church that is accepted by all branches of Christendom.

The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole umber of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the head thereof, and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of Him that filleth all in all. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those, throughout the world, that profess the true religion, and of their children, and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.

The true church is made up of all those individuals who have put their trust in Christ as their Savior. It is not merely the attending of church or having a name on the membership list that makes on a member of Christ’s true church. Only the transforming work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the repentant sinner qualifies one for membership in the true body of Christ.

The Atonement

Within all branches of Christianity there is agreement that the deity of Christ was a perfect satisfaction to God as just and substitutionary punishment for the sins of the world:

Therefore as in Adam we had fallen under sin, the curse, and death, so we are delivered from sin, the curse, and death in Jesus Christ. His voluntary suffering and death on the cross for us, being of infinite value and merit, as the death of one sinless, God and man in one person, is both a perfect satisfaction to the justice of God, which had condemned us for sin to death, and a fund of infinite merit, which has obtained him the right, without prejudice to justice, to give us sinners pardon of our sins, and grace to have victory over sin and death (The longer catechism of the Eastern Orthodox Church, answer to question 208).

Doctrine of Salvation

The doctrine of salvation is linked with the atoning death of Christ on the cross. While all major branches of Christianity agree that Christ’s death was satisfactory to God as a sacrifice for the world’s sins, there is a disagreement on how that sacrifice is appropriated. We believe the Bible teaches that salvation is by grace, a free gift of God to all those who believe in Christ. Those who receive Christ by faith have their sins forgiven and become children of God, a new creation in Christ Jesus:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9 NASB).
“He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5 NASB).

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12 NASB).
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7 NASB).
“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB).

Since salvation is a free gift from God, no one can add anything to the completed work of Christ to receive it. It is received by faith and faith alone.

The Doctrine of Man

The Doctrine of Man is succinctly expressed in the Westminster Shorter Catechism, that “God created man, male and female, after his own im-age, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the creatures.” Francis Schaeffer, contemporary Christian philosopher, elaborates on what it means for modern man to be created in the image of God:

What is it that differentiates Adam and Eve from the rest of creation? We find the answer in Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image “. What differentiates Adam and Eve from the rest of creation is that they were created in the image of God. For twentieth-century man this phrase, the image of God, is as important as anything in Scripture, because men today can no longer answer this crucial question, “Who am I?” In his own naturalistic theories, with the uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system, with an evolutionary concept of a mechanical, chance parade from the atom to man, man has lost his unique identity. As he looks out upon the world, as he faces the machine, he cannot tell himself from what he faces. He cannot distinguish himself from other things.

Quite in contrast, a Christian does not have this problem. He knows who he is. If anything is a gift of God, this is it – knowing who you are. As a Christian, I know my differentiation. I can look at the most complicated machine that men have made so far or ever will make and realize that, though the machine may do some things that I cannot do, I am different from it. If I see a machine that is stronger than I am, it doesn’t matter. If it can lift a house, I am not disturbed. If it can run faster than I can, its speed doesn’t threaten me. If I am faced with a giant computer which can never be beaten when it plays checkers -even when I realize that never in history will I or any man be able to beat it-I am not crushed. Others may be overwhelmed intellectually and psychologically by the fact that a man can make a machine that can beat him at his own games, but not the Christian” (Francis Schaeffer, Genesis in Space and Time, InterVarsity Press, 1972, pp. 46-47).

The Deity of the Holy Spirit

Central to the Christian faith is the teaching that the Holy Spirit is personal and is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity. The doctrine that the Holy Spirit is a person is clearly taught in Scripture. Notice the following examples of personal attributes displayed by the Holy Spirit. He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30), resisted (Acts 7:51) and lied to (Acts 5:3). Moreover, the Holy Spirit can speak (Acts 21:11), think (Acts 15:28) and teach (Luke 12:12). Thus, the Holy Spirit is personal.

Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is spoken of in the Bible as a divine person. The Holy Spirit has the attributes of God, for He is all-powerful (Luke 1:35-37), eternal (Hebrews 9:14), and all-knowing (1 Corinthians 2:10,11). The Scriptures teach that lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God (Acts 5:3,4).

The Holy Spirit also was involved in divine works, including creation (Genesis 1:2, job 33:4), the new birth (John 3:5), the resurrection of Christ (Romans 8:11) and the inspiration of the Bible (2 Peter 1:20,21). Finally, to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is an unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31,32). The conclusion is that the Holy Spirit is God, the third person of the Holy Trinity.

Conclusion

As Bible-believing Christians, we know that God is personal, eternal and triune. However, the cults each deny one or more of the essential Bible doctrines we have discussed. Beware of any group or individual that changes essential doctrines. The Bible’s teachings cannot be exploited at the whim of any group or individual. It contains “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3) and one who changes its divine pronouncements acts like those condemned in 2 Peter 3:16: “The untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

http://www.greatcom.org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/01chap03/default.htm

 

 

 

 

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A CULT?

WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A CULT?

 

Handbook of Today’s Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart.

The Characteristics of Cults

 

 

Extensive travel throughout the United States and abroad, has made us aware of certain features that characterize the cults. These include:

New Truth

 

Many cults promote the false idea that God has revealed something special to them. This is usually truth that has never before been reveal­ed and supersedes and contradicts all previous revelations. Sun Myung Moon’s claim is that the mission of Christ was left unfinished and the world is now ready for the completion of Christ’s work on earth.

The Unification Church teaches that the Rev. Moon is bringing truth previously unrevealed. Moon has said, “We are the only people who tru­ly understand the heart of Jesus, the anguish of Jesus, and the hope of Jesus” (Rev. Moon, The Way of the World, Holy Spirit Ass’n for the Unification of World Christianity, Vol. VIII, No. 4, April, 1976).

The Mormon Church teaches that Christianity was in apostasy for some 18 centuries until God revealed new “truth” to Joseph Smith, Jr., restoring the true gospel that had been lost. Today the Mormon church has its living prophets who receive divine revelation from God, continual­ly bringing new “truth” to the world.

These and other cults justify their existence by claiming they have something more than just the Bible and its “inadequate message.”

The cults have no objective, independent way to test their teachings and practices. It’s almost as though they feel just a firm assertion of their own exclusivity is sufficient proof of their anointing by God. However, as members of the universal Christian church, we can and should test all of our teachings and practices objectively and independently by God’s

Some cults make no claim to new truth or extra-biblical revelation, but believe they alone have the key to interpreting the mysteries in the Bible. The Scriptures are their only acknowledged source of authority, but they are interpreted unreasonably and in a way different from that of orthodox Christianity.

They testify that the historic beliefs and inter­pretations of Scripture are based upon a misunderstanding of the Bible or were pagan in origin. An example of this is found in the writings of Herbert W. Armstrong: … I found that the popular church teachings and practices were not based on the Bible. They had originated… in paganism. The amazing, unbelievable TRUTH was, the sources of these popular beliefs and practices of professing Christianity was quite largely, paganism and human reasoning and custom, not the Bible! (Herbert W. Armstrong, The Autobiography of Herbert W Arm­strong, Pasadena: Ambassador College Press, 1967, p. 298, 294).The Bible is then reinterpreted, usually out of context, to justify the peculiar doctrines of the cult. Without an objective and reasonable way to understand what the Bible teaches, the cult member is at the mercy of the theological whims of the cult leader.

A Non-biblical Source

of Authority

Some cults have sacred writings or a source of authority that supersedes the Bible. The Mormon Church says, “We believe the Bible to be the Word of God in so far as it is translated correctly. . .” (Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Article 8). Although this sounds like the Mormons trust the Bible, they, in fact, believe it has been changed and corrupted. Listen to what the Mormon apostle Talmage has said:

There will be, there can be no absolutely reliable translation of these or other Scriptures unless it is effected through the gift of translation, as one of the endowments of the Holy Ghost … Let the Bible then be read reverently and with prayerful care, the reader ever seeking the light of the Spirit that he may discern between the truth and the errors of men (James E. Talmage, The Ar­ticles of Faith, Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1968, p. 237).

 

Such a statement opens the door for their additional sacred books, i.e., The Book of Mormon, The Pearl of Great Price and Doctrines and Covenants, as greater authoritative sources. Thus, the Bible is not truly their final source of authority.

In Christian Science, the Bible is characterized as being mistaken and corrupt and inferior to the writings of Mary Baker Eddy.

The Unification Church believes the Bible to be incomplete, while Rev. Moon’s Divine Principle is the true authoritative source.

Other groups such as The Way International and the Worldwide Church of God claim the Bible to be their final authority when in actuality their authority is the Bible as interpreted by the cult leader. Regardless of whether the Bible is superseded by other works or reinterpreted by a cult leader, a sure mark of a cult is that the final authority on spiritual mat­ters rests on something other than the plain teaching of Holy Scripture.

Another Jesus

 

One characteristic that is found in all cults is false teaching about the person of Jesus Christ in the light of historical biblical Christianity. The Apostle Paul warned about following after “another Jesus” (2 Corinthians 11:4) who is not the same Jesus who is revealed in Scripture. The “Jesus” of the cults is always someone less than the Bible’s eternal God who became flesh, lived here on earth, and died for our sins.

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was God in human flesh, second person of the Holy Trinity, who lived a sinless life on earth and died as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Three days after His crucifixion, Jesus rose bodily from the dead. Fifty days afterward He ascended into heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on behalf of believers. He will, one day, return bodily to planet earth and judge the living and the dead while setting up His eternal Kingdom.

The Jesus of the cults is not the Jesus of the Bible.

 

 

According to the theology of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jesus did not ex­ist as God from all eternity but was rather the first creation of Jehovah God. Before coming to earth, He was Michael the Archangel, the head of all the angels. He is not God.

The Mormon Church does not accept the unique deity of Jesus Christ. He is, to them, one of many gods, the “firstborn spirit child,” spiritually conceived by a sexual union between the heavenly Father and a heaven­ly mother. He was also the spirit-brother of Lucifer in His preexistent state. His incarnation was accomplished by the physical union of the heavenly Father and the human Mary.

No matter what the particular beliefs of any cult may be, the one com­mon denominator they all possess is a denial of the biblical teaching on the deity of Jesus Christ.

Rejection of Orthodox Christianity

 

Characteristic of many cultic groups is a frontal attack on orthodox Christianity They argue that the church has departed from the true faith. Helena P. Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy, had this to say of orthodox Christianity:

The name has been used in a manner so intolerant and dogmatic, especially in our day, that Christianity is now the religion of arrogance, par excellence, a stepping stone for ambition, a sinecure for wealth, shame, and power; a con­venient screen for hypocrisy (H. P. Blavatsky, Studies in Occultism, Theosophical University Press, n.d., p. 138).

 

Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder of Mormonism, said he was given this assessment of the Christian Church when he inquired of the Lord as to which church to join:

… I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong;

and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomina­tion in His sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that “they draw near to Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me, they teach for doc­trines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof” (Joseph Smith, Jr., The Pearl of Great Price, 2:18-19).

DoubleTalk

 

A feature of some cultic groups is that they say one thing publicly but internally believe something totally different. Many organizations call themselves Christians when in fact they deny the fundamentals of the faith.

The Mormon Church is an example of this kind of double-talk. The first article of faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints reads, “We believe … in His Son, Jesus Christ.” This gives the impres­sion Mormons are Christians since they believe in Jesus Christ. However, when we understand the semantics of what they mean by Jesus Christ, we discover they are far removed from orthodox Christianity. Never­theless, the impression the Mormon Church gives from their advertis­ing is that they are another denomination or sect of Christianity. One, therefore, must be on the alert for organizations that advertise themselves as “Christians” but whose internal teachings disagree with Scripture.

Nonbiblical Teaching on the Nature of God (Trinity)

 

Another characteristic of all non-Christian cults is either an inadequate view or outright denial of the Holy Trinity. The biblical doctrine of the Trinity, one God in three Persons, is usually attacked as being pagan or satanic in origin.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are an example of this. They say, “There is no authority in the Word of God for the doctrine of the trinity of the Godhead” (Charles Russell, Studies in the Scriptures, V, Brooklyn: In­ternational Bible Students, 1912, p. 54). “The plain truth is that this is another of Satan’s attempts to keep the God fearing person from learn­ing the truth of Jehovah and His Son Christ Jesus” (Let God Be True, Brooklyn: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1946, p. 93).

The Way International takes a similar position.,” Long before the foun­ding of Christianity, the idea of a triune god or a god in three-persons was a common belief in ancient religions. Although many of these religions had many minor deities, they distinctly acknowledged that there was one supreme god who consisted of three persons or essences. The Babylonians used an equilateral triangle to represent this three-in-one god, now the symbol of the modern three in one believers” (Jesus Christ Is Not God, Victor Paul Wierville, New Knoxville, Ohio: American Chris­tian Press, 1975, p. 11).

Cults, therefore, are marked by their deviation on the doctrine of the Trinity and the nature of God.

Changing Theology

 

Cult doctrines are continually in a state of flux and have no sure foun­dation on which to anchor their hope. Adherents of a particular cult will learn a doctrine only to find that doctrine later changed or contradicted by further revelation. Most cults will deny this, with the possible excep­tion of the Unification Church. Recently they admitted their theology was in a state of flux.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, used to believe vaccinations were sinful. Anyone who allowed himself to be vaccinated would lose his good standing in the organization. Today this is no longer taught.

 

Christianity Today,

in an article interviewing William Cetnar (a former high official in the Jehovah’s Witnesses), says:

The controversial ban on receiving blood transfusions will probably be lifted after Franz’s death, [Frederick Franz, 87, is the president of the Jehovah’s Witnesses] Cetnar thinks.

A new date for the end of the world (JWs have previously predicted Christ’s return seven times) is likely to be announced, possibly 1988.

By sheer mathematical necessity, some change will have to be made in the JW doctrine that Christ will return before an elect 144,000 Witnesses have died. The 144,000 places were filled by those living in 1914 and few remain alive today. But Christ is supposed to return before the entire generation has died (Christianity Today, Nov. 20, 1981, p. 70).

 

The Mormon Church is equally guilty of changing doctrine. The most famous is its belief and practice, later prohibited, of polygamy.

Strong Leadership

 

Cults are usually characterized by central leader figures who consider themselves messengers of God with unique access to the Almighty. Since the leader has such a special relationship with God, he can dictate the theology and behavior of the cult. Consequently, he exercises enormous influence over the group. This is true, for example, in the Unification Church, The Way International and the Worldwide Church of God.

This strong leadership leads the cult follower into total dependence upon the cult for belief, behavior and lifestyle. When this falls into the hands of a particularly corrupt leader, the results can be tragic, as with Jim Jones and the People’s Temple tragedy. The more dramatic the claims of a cult leader, the more the possibility of a tragic conclusion.

Salvation by Works

 

One teaching that is totally absent from all the cults is the gospel of the grace of God. No one is taught in the cults that he can be saved from eternal damnation by simply placing his faith in Jesus Christ. It is always belief in Jesus Christ and “do this” or “follow that.” All cults attach something to the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith. It might be baptism, obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, or something else, but it is never taught that faith in Christ alone will save anyone.

Herbert W. Armstrong, founder and leader of the Worldwide Church of God, exemplifies this:

Salvation, then, is a process! But how the God of this world would blind your eyes to that! He tries to deceive you into thinking all there is to it is just “accepting Christ” with “no works” and prestochango, you are pronounced “saved.” But the Bible reveals that none is yet saved (Herbert W. Armstrong, Why Were You Born? p.11).

False Prophecy

 

Another feature of the cults is they often promulgate false prophecy. Cult leaders, who believe they have been divinely called by God, have made bold predictions of future events, supposedly revealed by the inspiration of God. Unfortunately, for the cult leaders, these predictions of future events do not come to pass. The one who prophesied is exposed as a false prophet.

Writing in 1967, Herbert W. Armstrong, (leader of the Worldwide Church of God), said, “Now other prophecies reveal we are to soon have (probably in about four years) such drought and famine, that disease epidemics will follow, taking millions of lives… Well, we have been get­ting foretastes of them! That condition is coming! And I do not mean in 400 years nor in 40 years but in the very next four or five! ” (Herbert W. Armstrong, The United States and British Commonwealth in Proph­ecy. Pasadena: Ambassador College Press, 1967, p. 184).

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a well established record of making false prophecies. This pattern was established by their founder and first presi­dent, Charles T. Russell, who conclusively prophesied the end of the world for 1914. judge for yourself (I John 4:1).

The Founder Speaks

1. “ALL PRESENT GOVERNMENTS WILL BE OVERTHROWN AND DISSOLVED” IN 1914- The Time Is At Hand, pp. 98-99 (1889)

2.1914 “THE FARTHEST LIMIT OF THE RULE OF IMPERFECT

MAN.” The Time Is At Hand, p. 77 (1906 ed) *

3. “THE RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF ISRAEL IN THE LAND OF

PALESTINE Thy Kingdom Come, p. 244, EARTHLY JERUSALEM TO BE RESTORED TO DIVINE FAVOR. -The Time Is At Hand, p.77

4. “THE FULL ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN THE EARTH AT A.D. 1914.” Thy Kingdom Come, p. 126 (1891) * “ON THE RUINS OF PRESENT INSTITUTIONS.”- The Time Is At Hand, p. 77 (1912 ed)*

5. CHRIST WAS SPIRITUALLY PRESENT IN 1874. -Thy Kingdom127-129, “AND WILL BE PRESENT AS EARTH’S NEW RULER” IN 1914;– The Time Is At Hand, p. 77

Come, pp.

6. “BEFORE THE END OF A.D. 1914, THE LAST MEMBER OF THE ‘BODY OF CHRIST’ WILL BE GLORIFIED WITH THE HEAD.” The Time Is At Hand, p. 77, (1906 ed)*

*The Watchtower Society in later editions made changes in what Russell stated here in an attempt to cover up his erroneous predictions.

Conclusion:

 

 

While not every group that possesses these characteristics can be label­ed a cult, beware of a group that embraces some of these features. The sure mark of a cult is what it does with the person of Jesus Christ. All cults ultimately deny the fact that Jesus Christ is God the Son, second Person of the Holy Trinity, and mankind’s only hope.

http://www.greatcom.org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/01chap02/default.htm

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WHAT IS A CULT?

WHAT IS A CULT?

Handbook of Today’s Religions by Josh McDowell and Don Stewart.

What is a Cult?
 

 

 A cult is a perversion, a distortion of biblical Christianity and/or a rejection of the historic teachings of the Christian church. The Apostle Paul warned there would be false Christs and a false gospel that would attempt to deceive the true church and the world.

For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. . . for such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ and no wonder for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds (2 Corinthians 11: 13-15 NASB).

Walter Martin gives us a good definition of a cult when he says:

A cult, then, is a group of people polarized around someone’s interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ (Walter Martin, The Rise of the Cults, p. 12).

Why Do Cults Prosper?

 

We live in a day in which the cults show rapid growth. For example:
The Mormon Church has grown from 30 members in 1830 to more than 4,000,000 as of April, 1978, and its growth rate is a religious phenomenon. In 1900 the church numbered 268,331; in 1910, 393,437; in 1920, 526,032; in 1930, 672,488; in 1940,862,664; in 1950,1,111,314; in 1960,1,693,180; in 1962, 1,965,786; in 1964, over 2,000,000 members, and in 1976 their projection for the year 2000 was for more than 8,000,000 members (Walter Martin, The Maze of Mormonism, p. 16).

 

 

We believe there are several basic reasons people join cults and why they prosper.

The Cults Provide Answers
 

 

A major reason the cults are flourishing is that in an unsure world they provide authoritative answers to man’s basic questions: Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?Max Gunther, the writer, describes the plight of a young woman, common to many in our generation. “I thought I wanted to become a nurse but I wasn’t sure. I thought Christianity meant a lot to me but I wasn’t sure of that either. I guess I was kind of desperately looking for somebody who had firm yes-and-no answers, somebody who was sure about things and could make me sure” (Today’s Health, February, 1976, p. 16).

Unfortunately, this young lady eventually joined a cult which willingly supplied her with answers. She put it this way, “I kept going back and asking them questions and they always knew the answers –I mean, really knew them.” Thus the cults offer certainty and easy answers to those who are unsatisfied with the present state of their lives.
The Cults Meet Human Needs

Cults also flourish because they appeal to man’s basic human need. All of us need to be loved, to feel needed, to sense our lives have direc­tion and meaning. Individuals who experience an identity crisis or have emotional problems are particularly susceptible to cults. During such difficult moments, many cults give the unsuspecting a feeling of accept­ance and direction.

Furthermore, within all of us there is a basic desire to know and serve God. The cults take advantage of this and offer ready-made, but ultimately unsatisfying, solutions. Most cults tell their followers what to believe, how to behave and what to think, and emphasize dependence upon the group or leader for their emotional stability. The Passantinos give an example of this:

A person does not usually join a cult because he has done an exhaustive analysis of world religions and has decided that a particular cult presents the best theology available. Instead, a person usually joins a cult because he has prob­lems that he is having trouble solving, and the cult promises to solve these problems. Often these problems are emotional.

We talked to a young man who had just left the army, hadn’t been discharged a week, and had already joined the Children of God (the Family of Love) and had given them 100 dollars. He said that he was lonely, wanted to serve God, and didn’t know where to go or what to do. The Family of Love seized on his loneliness, smothered him with love and attention, and almost secured his permanent allegiance.

Fortunately his mother called us and we talked to him, and within an hour he saw how wrong the cult was and decided not to join. We urged him to join a good small Bible study and to become involved in a strong church. Without a good Christian foundation and close relationships with other Christians, he would still be a candidate for the cults (Robert and Gretchen Passantino, Answers to the Cultist at Your Door, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1981, pp. 22, 23).

The Cults Make a Favorable ImpressionThe cults prosper because Christians have sometimes failed to be a vital influence in the world. Pierre Berton astutely noted:

 

The virus that has been weakening the church for more than a generation is not the virus of anti-religious passion but the very lack of it …. The Church to its opponents has become as a straw man, scarcely worth a bullet …. Most ministers are scarcely distinguishable by their words, opinions, actions, or way of life from the nominal Christians and non-Christians who form the whole of the community (Pierre Berton, The Comfortable Pew, Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1965, pp. 15-16).
 

 

If the church fails to carefully and seriously provide spiritual warmth and a true exposition of the Word of God, those with spiritual needs will find other avenues of fulfillment. Many cults prey on ignorance, and try to impress the uninformed with pseudo-scholarship.

An example is The Way International’s leader, Victor Paul Wierwille, who quotes profusely from Hebrew and Greek sources in an attempt to give the impression of scholarship.

Representatives of Jehovah’s Witnesses who go door to door give a similar impression of great learning. To combat this, the believer must know what he believes and why he believes it and thus be able to expose the cult’s teachings.

Many people involved in the cults were raised in Christian churches but were untaught in basic Christian doctrine, making them prey for the cultists. Chris Elkins, a former Unification Church “Moonie” member, points this out:

In most cults, a majority of the members left a mainline, denominational church. Perhaps in the church’s attempt to explain why its members are leav­ing and joining cults, brainwashing is seen as an easy out.

My contention is that brainwashing is really not the issue. In most cases we would be hard-pressed to isolate any element in the methodology of a cult that is not present in some form in mainstream churches. For Christians, the main issue with cults should of us accepted Christ at an early age. We had a child’s understanding of Jesus, the Bible and salvation.

That is okay for children and new Christians. But many of us older Chris­tians are still babies spiritually. We have not learned to feed ourselves, much less anyone else (Christian Life, August 1980).

http://www.greatcom.org/resources/handbook_of_todays_religions/01chap01/default.htm

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A logical proof that Mormonism is false  by CARM

Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another world and that he became a god (this is called exaltation) and came to this world with his goddess wife. He was able to become a god because he followed the laws and ordinances of the god he served on another world. That god in turn was exalted by his god, who was exalted by his god, ad infinitum. In other words, there is a progression of gods being formed as far back as you look in time.
Truth does not contradict itself. If I gave two statements about a subject and the two statements contradicted each other, then you would know something was wrong. The law of non contradiction states that something cannot be both true and false in the same sense at the same time. In other words, truth does not contradict itself. This is basic logic. That which is true is internally consistent and contains no logical impossibilities. If something does contain a logical impossibility, then it cannot be true.
Mormonism teaches an infinite regression of causes. This means that it teaches that each god was made a god by a previous god. This means that as far back as you look in time, this process has always been occurring. This means that from an infinity of time in the past, the Mormon plan of exaltation (become gods) has been in effect. The only problem is that this is logically impossible. Since it is logically impossible, this means that Mormonism is false. Let’s look closer.

There cannot be an infinite regression of causes. It is logically impossible. Why? Because you can not cross an infinity.
In other words, in order for us to get to the present state of this god on this planet, there would have had to be an infinite number of exaltations in the past. But, this cannot be because in order to get to the present, you would have to transverse an infinity of exaltations and that is impossible since you cannot transverse an infinity — if you could cross (transverse) an infinity of time, then it isn’t infinite. Therefore, the Mormon system of infinite regressions of exaltations to godhood is impossible and Mormonism is proven false. Simple.

However, Mormons will not give in to a logical proof since their testimonies are not based on facts, but on what they claim is a testimony of the Holy Spirit. Of course, all cult groups have testimonies that their church is true (proving that testimonies are contradictory and untrustworthy as a means to determining truth).

 

Nevertheless, they are taught to “feel” theological truth, not think it through.
How then do they respond to this logical proof that Mormonism is false? Normally they say that it is a mystery. Mysteries are fine, but they cannot suffice as an explanation if they contradict logic. In other words, if a principle is blatantly illogically, it cannot be true. Did you get that? It cannot be true. Saying it is a mystery means nothing if the proclamation of that mystery violates the laws of logic. Mormonism is proven false.

What is the truth?

Check out the following verses. 
“For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed,”(Mal. 3:6).

“Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God,”

 

(Psalm 90:2). http://www.carm.org/lds/infinity.htm

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What is sad is that this simple logical proof, and it is a proof that Mormonism is false, will mean basically nothing to those whose spiritual eyes have been blinded by the god of this world. (2 Cor. 4:3-4).

(Mormonism and ) ANOTHER JESUS? By Ed Decker

From the library of SaintsAlive.com:

The Christ of Mormonism is not the same Christ of the Bible. 2 Cor.11:3-5 tells us that there will be those who would teach a different Christ. Paul says of them, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ”. There is a Biblical warning about those who would bring the doctrine of another Jesus and a simple test. Do the Mormons and their Jesus pass that test? No.

The Mormons have a difficult time understanding what actually happened at Calvary. In their pamphlet, WHAT THE MORMONS THINK OF CHRIST, we see the problem. In the section, The Blood of Christ (page 22 in the 1976 edition), we read:

“Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one’s salvation. For instance, many believe or pretend to believe that if we confess Christ with our lips and avow that we accept him as our personal savior, we are thereby saved. They say that his blood, without any other act than mere belief, makes us clean.

“What is the true doctrine of the blood of Christ? Salvation comes because of the atonement, and the atonement was wrought through the shedding of the blood of Christ. In Gethsemane Christ sweat great drops of blood from every pore when he conditionally took upon himself the sins of the world, and then the shedding of his blood was completed upon the cross.”

This is not the Biblical account of the Atonement! Jesus went to Gethsemane to pray and prepare. The Atonement was the Cross! The garden was the sanctification of the sin offering (Leviticus 4:3-5) to be given ONCE – for all – at the cross.

The LDS Church teaches in its Articles of Faith, Article 3, “We believe that through the atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel (The MORMON gospel)”. These Mormon laws and ordinances have been placed there, in the way of the Cross, blocking the LDS people from it and its cleansing power!

The Bible clearly teaches another Christ; and another gospel… In Col. 2:13-15 Paul writes: “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

The Mormon Jesus has been stripped of his unique Deity and his sacrifice on the cross has been robbed of its power. Theirs is a tragically bloodless Christ, whose death only brought us immortality, NOT eternal life. Their Jesus forces us under laws, ordinances and an all-too-human priesthood. This is not the “Good News” of the Bible:

How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance…Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others.

For then must He often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.” (Hebrews 9:14-15, 25-26)
Hebrews 10:28 states: “He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith He was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

In the early LDS church, there was a more orthodox Christ preached. But, when Joseph began to teach the strange doctrines of this different Christ, one without the redemptive powers, the church could no longer deal with the reality of the blood of Calvary and its full redemptive work. That was when the church removed the red wine from the communion table and went to water. This act literally washed away the reality of the blood from its basically Christian converts. The same holds true today. The cross and the blood have become strangers to the saints.

(c) copyright 2005, Ed Decker, all rights reserved
http://www.saintsalive.com/mormonism/anotherjesus.2.htm

 

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