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Have you ever heard that phrase “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” before?

If You have,,, it is most likely that you heard it from a cult member or cult group. ALL cults say they are the “one true Church” (referred to as OTC hereafter). All cults have 3 things in common. 1. The all have distorted teachings about God, specifically Jesus and the Trinity. 2. They all employ a teaching and culture of legalism. And while they may give lip service to “salvation by grace”, they apply a system of salvation by works. 3. They all claim to be “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” !

This idea of the OTC among cults is expressed in many ways, some of them very ambiguously and not always clearly understood by the folks that hear the assertions. The claim to be the OTC by cults, and the many different ways that say or imply it,, is generally called Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism being defined as “Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom” (1).

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Twisting 1 Corinthians 15:29 – Mormonism’s Baptism for the Dead  by James K. Walker

A unique teaching of Mormonism is the practice of baptizing on behalf of the dead. This is a very important belief of Mormons today. Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie taught: “…the Lord has ordained baptism for the dead as the means whereby all his worthy children of all ages can become heirs of salvation in his kingdom,” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 73).

In every active Mormon Temple proxy baptisms for the dead take place in which living Mormons temporarily assume the names of dead people to perform baptisms on their behalf. Mormon leaders teach that this activity was practiced by the first century Christian churches and quote 1 Corinthians 15:29 as proof (Ibid).

1 Corinthians 15:29
“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?”

Historically, this passage has been the source of much speculation and some confusion. One second century sect, the Cataphrygians (Montanists), seem to have developed the practice of baptizing actual corpses based on a misunderstanding of this verse (see Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter A. Elwell, p. 119).

In order to understand this or any other Biblical passage, it is important to examine the context to understand what is being talked about.

The entire fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians deals with the resurrection. False teachers had infiltrated the church at Corinth, teaching “that there is no resurrection of the dead,” (vs. 13).

Paul had stated that the heart of the gospel was Christ’s resurrection (vs. 1-14). Christ died on the cross for man’s sins, was buried, and that he rose again the third day.

To be saved one must turn from their sins and trust in, or “keep in memory” Christ’s work on their behalf. Christ’s historical death, burial and resurrection is the gospel.

But there were cultic leaders at Corinth that believed and taught that there was no resurrection. The whole chapter is devoted to reasons why this is a false teaching.

Reason #1: There were eye witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (15:5-7);

Reason #2: If there is no resurrection, Christ has not risen (15:13, 16);

Reason #3: If there is no resurrection, Paul’s preaching is in vain (15:14);

Reason #4: If there is no resurrection, their faith was in vain (15:14);

Reason #5: If there is no resurrection, Paul and the other apostles were false witnesses (15:15);

Reason #6: If there is no resurrection, the Corinthian Christians were still lost in their sins (15:17);

Reason #7: If there is no resurrection, all who have died trusting Christ have perished (15:18).

In verses 20-28, Paul explains that Christ has been raised. He is the “firstfruits” of all that will be raised and that all “enemies” including death have been subjected and conquered by Christ.

Then in verse 29, Paul points out a further reason that the resurrection is real. He says: “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” The apostle is pointing out an inconsistency in the practice of these false teachers. Apparently, they did not believe that the dead would rise (15:12), but they practiced proxy baptism for the dead. If the dead do not rise, why did they baptize them after death? It was a contradiction.

By carefully noticing the pronouns, one can see who was actually practicing baptism for the dead. Paul says, “…what shall they do which are baptized for the dead… why are they then baptized for the dead?” Paul did not say, “Why are you (Corinthian Christians) then baptized for the dead?” He did not say, “Why are we (the followers of Christ) then baptized for the dead?” He did not say, “Why then am I (Paul himself) then baptized for the dead?” He was asking, in effect, why these false teachers, who did not even believe in the resurrection, would want to baptize for the dead if the dead do not rise at all.

As pointed out in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, edited by Colin Brown: “The practice (baptism for the dead) could hardly be reconciled with the Pauline proclamation, and was cited by Paul as part of the polemic: people who deny the resurrection for the dead ought not to get baptized for the dead!” (Vol. 1, p. 147).

Baptism for the Dead and the Book of Mormon
A further problem arises with the doctrine of baptism for the dead when the Book of Mormon is examined.

The Doctrine and Covenants teaches that the Book of Mormon contains: “…the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also,” (Section 20:9) It also teaches that “…this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel (is) namely the baptism for the dead,” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:17).

Although baptism for the dead is “the most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel,” and the Book of Mormon contains the “fullness of the gospel,” baptism for the dead cannot be found in the Book of Mormon.

Another problem with baptism for the dead teaching is that the theology taught in the Book of Mormon does not allow for this doctrine. In Alma 34:34, 35, the Book of Mormon teaches that:

“Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis (death), that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

“For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked,” (emphasis mine).

Finally, a vital companion doctrine to baptism for the dead is the practice of genealogy, or tracing one’s “roots” to determine the names of dead relatives. This is practiced in Mormonism so that those dead ancestors can have temple works performed by proxy (see Mormon Doctrine, p. 308).

The Bible soundly condemns the practice of genealogy for religious purposes (1 Timothy 1:4 and Titus 3:9). The Bible teaches that there are no opportunities for salvation after death. Any doctrine that teaches otherwise is both false and dangerous. As Hebrews 9:27 proclaims: “…it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

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

 

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How Does the Mormon Church Really View other Churches?

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

Many Mormons often give the initial impression that Christian churches are viewed with a certain level of favouritism by the Mormon faith. Zealous young Mormon missionaries, when encountering potential proselytites into the Church, will often side step what Mormonism really thinks of other churches by saying something like: “there is truth in all religions”. However, the truth is that Mormonism views other churches as false religions void of all authority. In fairness to individual Mormons, it must be said that some do not really realise the extent to which the Mormon Church disagrees with Christian denominations, or, at the very least, not really thought through the implications of what they do know. The quotes in this article are all from Mormon sources.

The first reference is very important as it is from the Book of Mormon itself:

“Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the Church of the Lamb of God [i.e.. the Mormon Church] and the other is the church of the devil [i.e.. the Christian Church]; wherefore whosoever belongeth not to the church of the lamb of God belongeth to that great church; which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.” (The Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).
The following source is also very important as it is a key belief of the Mormon Church and is one of the first things that the Mormon missionaries will teach prospective converts. In the first vision, when Joseph Smith went out into the woods to pray to ask God which Christian denomination he should join, he explains that God allegedly commanded him:

“…I must join none of them [Christian Churches], for they were all wrong…that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).
The popular Mormon book A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, by LeGrand Richards contains many derogatory remarks against the churches and their beliefs. Some of these are found in chapter 4 headed: “False Doctrines and Universal Apostasy”. Excerpts from this chapter follow below:

“Erroneous Teachings of Christian Churches…One erroneous teaching of many Christian churches is: By faith alone we are saved. This false doctrine would relieve man of the responsibility of his acts…” (p. 24).

“Again, there is the erroneous doctrine of predestination…In his effort to destroy truth, Satan could hardly have hoped to deceive men more effectively and completely than to take from them, through the teaching of such doctrines, a consciousness of their own responsibilities.” (p. 25).

“There is a also the false teaching of one heaven and one hell…” (p. 25).
In chapter 2 of the same book, the God of the Christian Church is mocked under the heading “The Strange Gods of Christendom”. Page 13 likens the Christian God to the pagan ‘gods’ (plural!) that Moses and the Israelites met in the desert:

“These are but typical examples of the gods worshipped by Christian churches in the nineteenth century. Here are gods that Moses told the Israelites they would encounter as they scattered among the nations – gods “which neither see, not hear, not eat, or smell.” (p. 13).
Other similar quotes from Mormon sources follow below:

“…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, Journal of Discourses 23:243).

“The Christian world, so called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171).

“The Christian world, I discovered, was like the captain and crew of a vessel on the ocean without a compass, and tossed to and fro whithersoever the wind listed to blow them. When the light came to me, I saw that all the so-called Christian world was grovelling in darkness.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:73).

“What! Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute best.” (John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“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, Journal of Discourses 13:225).

“Believers in the doctrines of modern Christendom will reap damnation to their souls (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.177).

“…brother Joseph B. Nobles once told a Methodist priest, after hearing him describe his god, that the god they worshiped was the “Mormon’s” Devil-a being without a body, whereas our God has a body, parts and passions.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:331).

“The Roman Catholic, Greek, and Protestant church, is the great corrupt, ecclesiastical power, represented by great Babylon….” (Orson Pratt, Orson Pratt, Writings of an Apostle, “Divine Authenticity,” no.6, p.84).

“…all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religions of the day with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the devil and his angels.” (The Elders Journal, Joseph Smith Jr., editor, vol.1, no.4, p.60).

“…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives baptism or the Lord’s supper from their hands will highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt people.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255).

“Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the “whore of Babylon” whom the lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornication’s and wickedness.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p.255).

“Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176).
The Only True Church?


The next few quotes demonstrate how the Mormon Church sees itself as the “only true Church”, with membership being essential to salvation. By implication, in the eyes of Mormonism, all other churches must therefore be false:

“We must come unto Christ by being baptized into his Church. Only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can we find all the truths that will help us return to our Father in Heaven. Only in the true Church of Christ can we find the authority to perform the necessary gospel ordinances.” (The Restoration: Study Guide, p. 5).

“And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foudation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth…” (Doctrines and Covenants 1:30)

“There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 670).

“The Lord provided that salvation should come through his gospel, functioning through his church…But is there such a church?…Is there such a church upon the earth? Until 1830 there was not. It had been lost through the falling away we have described in this pamphlet. In 1830 the Almighty restored his church to earth again.” (Which Church is Right?, p. 17).

“This is the only true church …This is not a church. This is the Church of Jesus Christ. There are churches of men all over the land and they have great cathedrals, synagogues, and other houses of worship running into the hundreds of millions of dollars. They are churches of men. They teach the doctrines of men, combined with the philosophies and ethics and other ideas and ideals that men have partly developed and partly found in sacred places and interpreted for themselves” (Spencer W. Kimball, Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.421)

 
Attack on the Bible

 
Another way that the Mormon Churchs seeks to undermine the beliefs of Christianity is to attempt to take away its authority by spreading doubt about the Bible, the source of doctrine for the Church:

“The Bible of the Old World has come to us from the manuscripts of antiquity – manuscripts which passed through the hands of uninspired men who changed many parts to suit their own doctrinal ideas. Deletions were common, and, as it now stands, many plain and precious portions and many covenants of the Lord have been lost. As a consequence, those who rely upon it alone stumble and are confused…” (Bruce R. McConkie, “Come: Hear the Voice of the Lord,” The Ensign, December 1985, p 55).

“What shall we say then, concerning the Bible’s being a sufficient guide? Can we rely upon it in its present known corrupted state, as being a faithful record of God’s word? We all know that but a few of the inspired writings have descended to our times,… What few have come down to our day have been mutilated, changed, and corrupted, in such a shameful manner that no two manuscripts agree….Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, in his right mind, could, for one moment , suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the whole Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 47).

“The Church [the LDS Church] reveres and respects the Bible, but recognises that it is not a complete nor entirely accurate record…” (Holy Bible, King James Version. Located at the back of the LDS KJV of the Bible, p. 624).

“the various versions of the Bible do not accurately record or perfectly preserve the words, thoughts, and interests of the original inspired authors.” (B.R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p.383.).

“The gathering together of the few scattered manuscripts which compose what is now termed the Bible, was the work of uninspired man…Among the vast number of professedly inspired manuscripts, scattered through the world, man, poor, weak, ignorant man, assumed the authority to select a few, which, according to his frail judgment, he believed or conjectured were of God, but the balance not agreeing, perhaps, with his peculiar notions of divine inspiration, were rejected as spurious. The few, selected from the abundance, were finally arranged into one volume, divided into chapter and verse, and named the Bible.” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p. 3).

“Through the Prophet Joseph Smith,…we learn that the Bible does not contain all that God revealed anciently, nor did it arrive in our day without inaccuracies.” (Kent P. Jackson, Ensign, 2/95, p. 63).

“…the Book of Mormon remains secure, unchanged and unchangeable, …But with the Bible it was not and is not so….it was once in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an abominable organization, founded by the devil himself, likened prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion. In these hands it ceased to be the book it once was.” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Joseph Smith Translation, pp. 12, 13).

http://www.spotlightministries.org.uk/morm&churches.htm

 

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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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Have you ever heard that phrase “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” before?

If You have,,, it is most likely that you heard it from a cult member or cult group. ALL cults say they are the “one true Church” (referred to as OTC hereafter). All cults have 3 things in common. 1. The all have distorted teachings about God, specifically Jesus and the Trinity. 2. They all employ a teaching and culture of legalism. And while they may give lip service to “salvation by grace”, they apply a system of salvation by works. 3. They all claim to be “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” !

This idea of the OTC among cults is expressed in many ways, some of them very ambiguously and not always clearly understood by the folks that hear the assertions. The claim to be the OTC by cults, and the many different ways that say or imply it,, is generally called Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism being defined as “Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom” (1).

Lets understand how Cults practice authoritarianism by looking at the teachings of their leaders or books. We will see that indeed cults are sectarian and authoritarian in belief and practice,,, claiming that “only they have the ONE TRUE way” and that only through their group, church, or fellowship can anyone be saved. They say only they have authority and salvation is exclusive to, and dependant upon their teachings and membership in their group. They keep their members in bondage by saying that members that leave the OTC, will lose their salvation by doing so.

We will hear it in their own words and then I will share a comment from a friend, that sums up the topic of “The ONE TRUE CHURCH” very well. We’ll look at 3 or 4 of the more well known cults. Lets look at a couple of Mormon quotes first.

Mormons

Joseph Smith claimed that he had seen both God the Father and Jesus Christ and asked these personages which church he should join. He claimed he was told to 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” (Joseph Smith History 1:19).

“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; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10).

Notice that the Book of Mormon here is saying that the Christian church is “the whore of all the earth”, “the church of the devil” and “the mother of abominations”.

The Mormon scripture Doctrine and Covenants says the Mormon church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Later day saints is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased ….” (1:30)

Clearly Mormonism’s claim has always been that it is the OTC and all others are false and of Satan. For more anti-Christian quotes from Mormon leaders all the way up to the present leadership, see this post on this blog. LINK HERE

Church of Christ

For the Church of Christ, we will refer to section of an article at faithfacts.org @ http://www.faithfacts.org/world-religions-and-theology/church-of-christ#truechurch

The section is appropriately titled,,,,

TRUE CHURCH.

Walter Scott in the preface of his book, The Gospel Restored, said: “In 1827 the True Gospel was restored. For distinction’s sake it was styled the Ancient Gospel.” In a more recent Church of Christ tract, the writer says: “She [the church] was HIDDEN for 1260 years, that she might be protected from the power of the Popes.” Is it true that some within the CC still teach that the true church was really completely hidden for some 1260 years, so hidden in fact that Alexander Campbell had to find a Baptist preacher to baptize him?

Apparently not all CC people have this understanding of the 1260 year church gap. Some only say that the true church existed during those 1260 years, although believers had to worship in secret lest they be persecuted by the apostate Catholic church. But if you do hold to the gap view, what is the meaning of Mat 28:20 (“And lo, I am with you all the days, even unto the end of the age.”)? And Ephesians 3:21 (“Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”) If the church was in apostasy for centuries, why does Jesus say, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it”?

Is it correct that sometimes the CC considers Christians who “do not walk with you,” as Ketcherside claims (www.freedomsring.org/heritage/chap22.html) to be “hobbyists, or dishonest, or insincere, or sectarians, or unworthy of notice?” Did Jesus die for a particular party within Christendom? Do you know precisely where God would draw the line to eliminate certain people from being considered Christians? How would you define “sect?” Would you define it differently than Cecil Hook (http://www.freedomsring.org/ftc/chap24.html)?

Hasn’t the church always been in need of reform and restoration—even from the beginning, as evidenced by Paul’ letters to his churches? If a man loses his leg, doesn’t he still have the essential nature of a man? If the church loses some correct practices, doesn’t it still have the essential nature of a church (www.freedomsring.org/fic/chap19.html)? The concept of the restoration of the true church is a view that the CC holds in common with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. If the church only existed in “seed” (meaning the Word) as you say during this church gap period, where in the “seed” does it prophecy that Alexander Campbell and his followers would restore the church? Or where in the “seed” does it authorize anyone to restore the church?

Is it fair to accuse other Christians groups of being started by men, when history clearly shows that the Church of Christ was started by men—Thomas and Alexander Campbell on May 4, 1811?

How does the Bible differentiate between joining a local congregation and joining the universal church of Christ (http://www.freedomsring.org/ftc/chap22.html)

Jehovah Witness’s

“It should be expected that the Lord would have a means of communication to his people on the earth, and he has clearly shown that the magazine called The Watchtower is used for that purpose.” (1939 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, p. 85.)

“Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect.” The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591.

“We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his word and channel of communication.” The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, p. 591.

Only this organization functions for Jehovah’s purpose and to his praise. To it alone God’s Sacred Word, the Bible, is not a sealed book. The Watchtower; July 1, 1973, pp. 402.

“We all need help to understand the Bible, and we cannot find the Scriptural guidance we need outside the ‘faithful and discreet slave’ organization.” (The Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1981.)

“Thus the Bible is an organizational book and belongs to the Christian congregation as an organization, not to individuals, regardless of how sincerely they may believe that they can interpret the Bible.” The Watchtower, Oct. 1, 1967. p. 587.

Just like the Mormons, the COC and all of the Christian Cults of the restoration movement started by Alexander Campbell, the JW’s also claim to be the ONE TRUE CHURCH.

Lets look at one more cult and then I will give you my friends wise summary of all of this.. This next cult is thought by some well respected Christians to not be a cult,, but it is in both doctrine and it’s authoritarianism and claim to be the OTC.

Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)

For the SDA we will refer to a section of an article by McGregor ministries @ http://www.macgregorministries.org/seventh_day_adventists/sda_facts.html

What facts won’t they tell you?

They won’t tell you that they consider themselves to be the only, true, remnant Church. Their prophetess, Ellen G. White, whom they revere and believe without question has told them that
“…Satan has taken full possession of the Churches”. (Spiritual Gifts V.l,p.189-90)
They also believe our prayers are an “abomination” to God. (Spiritual Gifts, V1 p.190).

That is what they think of you and your church, even if they won’t say it out loud in public, or to your face.

They revere their founding prophetess, Ellen G. White, and made this statement in their “Ministry” Magazine of Oct. 1981 and have never retracted it:

“We believe the revelation and inspiration of both the Bible and Ellen White’s writings to be of equal quality. The superintendence of the Holy Spirit was just as careful and thorough in one case as in the other”.

They won’t tell you too much about Ellen G. White at their public seminars, but their goal is to bring the person attending to the point of conversion and baptism.
Their 2000 baptismal certificate poses questions to which the candidate must answer “yes”. Question 8 says,

“Do you accept the biblical teaching of spiritual gifts and believe that the gift of prophecy is one of the identifying marks of the remnant church”.

If the candidate says “yes” and is baptised, they soon learn that the “gift of prophecy” is Ellen G. White’s writings. Point 13 has them accepting that the SDA Church is the remnant church of Bible Prophecy. They have been baptized into an exclusive group, but they don’t know how exclusive it is, yet!

No doubt they will be urged to avail themselves of a “Clear Word Bible”. This publication of theirs has inserted the words and doctrines of Ellen G. White right into the Bible text, insuring that the person studying it will have the mind of Ellen G. White.

Slowly, but surely, the new SDA will come to believe these extra-biblical doctrines that set the SDA church apart from Evangelical Christianity.
Summary conclusion My friend Katherine wrote the following about “the True Church” and she did such a good job I asked her if I could include her words here in this article. Katherine says,,,

The One True Church is easy…..there will be many that are members of the One True Church….they will come from all over the World…..God knows each and everyone of them because He is the only one that knows their heart………
They come from every denomination….from every walk of life….they are rich and poor…lame and weak but very rarely strong except that because of Jesus they have become stronger and richer than they ever imagined…beyond what they could ever conceive….this is the reason they continue to want to tell others about the Love Christ has for them….so they can know also.. God wants none to perish but many will, simply because of PRIDE……

Any denomination that has rules and regulations that do not match up with the Word of GOD…..is not TRUTH….and just about every denomination has one rule that does not match with the Word……some have so many they have become cultist….. now if this rule is a rule that is a salvation rule or says that if you do not do so and so..you are not saved or if you do not belong to this denom or that denom you are not saved….well they do not match up to the Word Of GOD……the Bible is Black and White…..it is man that blurs the Word …..If you truly love one another, understanding will fall into place….God is Love….If you Love…..you will know GOD…….it seems that pride is always out front……and this is sad…….

There are two types of churches……

Church…a building with a name and lots of different people attend……saved and unsaved….

Church…..the only members of the body of Christ….they come from everywhere….and some don’t even attend a church building…….real simple

Some of my other wirings that are related to this subject are,,

1, The Heresy of Restorationsim 2. CULT UNITY 3. 34,000 differing denominations or Unity Within Diversity UNITY IN ESSENTIALS

FAIR USE notice: The material from other ministries in this article was used for research and educational purposes.
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