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Exposing False Teaching: Jehovah Witness & The Deity of Christ

 

The purpose of this document is to provide a clear and succinct resource for Christians who encounter false teaching.  This particular document focuses on one major false teaching propogated by the Jehovah Witness sect.  Bear in mind that like most sects, there are a plethora of incorrect teachings, and false prophecies, however, the Jehovah Witnesses' denial of Christ’s divinity is perhaps the most central. One central false teaching from the Jehovah Witness sect is their denial of Christ’s deity—that is, that Jesus was fully God.  Jehovah Witnesses believe, “Jesus was only a perfect man, not God in flesh,” Reasoning from the Scriptures, 1985, pp. 306.  Before and after Jesus’ incarnation they believe that Jesus was (and now is) the archangel Michael, “Jesus was Michael the archangel who became a man, The Watchtower, May 15, 1963, p. 307; The New World, 284.  The divinity of Christ is a central Christian doctrine firmly grounded in the Bible.  Below are a list of Scriptures that clearly demonstrate the divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth.  Jehovah Witnesses, support their false view of Christ, in part, on their false translation of Scripture: The New World Translation (NWT).  The New World Translation was translated by 5 Jehovah Witness men in 1950  (Information supplied by former Governing Body Official, Raymond Franz-Crisis of Conscience).  The seven translations of Scripture we have chosen for comparison are recognized to be the most accurate in the English language.  Together they represent more than 400 Bible scholars from a wide variety of denominations and countries. One can easily see how the NWT “translators” have purposefully distorted Scripture in order to support their heretical view of Christ’s nature. 

 

(All underlined words or phrases below  are  for emphasis only)

 

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division

of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

VERSE

NASB, ESV, NIV, RSV, HCSB, KJV, NKJV

(representing over 400 translators from different Christian denominations)

New World Translation (NWT) (Jehovah Witness Bible)  (representing 5 JW translators)

Commentary

Matthew 28:17 (also 28:9, Philip. 2:9-10, Heb. 1:6, Rev.5:14)

And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted

and when they saw him they did obeisance, but some doubted

Worship is reserved for God alone. (Ex. 20:5, Acts 14:15, 20:26, Rev. 19:10)  In many places Jesus is worshiped by both angels and mankind. All references to the worship of Jesus have been systematically deleted or obscured in the NWT.

John 1:1;14a

(see also Isaiah 45:21)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us

 

In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god.

Since in verse 1 “the Word was God” and in verse 14 “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” it is clear the Jesus is God.  The NWT state Jesus was “a god.”  Ps. 96:5 states, “For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.”  Or “Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me” (Isaiah 45:21)

John 8:58

Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.”

Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to YOU, Before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”

Jesus’ statement was a clear reference to his identification as God. In Exodus 3:14 God identified himself to Moses as, “I am”, God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.   The NWT uses “I have been”-clearly intended to obscure the divinity of Jesus-clearly a false tranlsation of the Greek “ego eimi”-I AM.

John 14:11 (also 10:38)

“I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”

“I am in union with the Father and the Father is in union with me.”

A verse that underscores the unity of the Godhead, and the divinity of Christ.  The NWT inserts the word “union” which is not in any Greek manuscripts. 

John 20:28

Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!"

In answer Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!”

This is a rare gem found in the NWT: a clear declaration of Christ’s deity that has not been edited away.

1 Corinthians 10:4 (Isaiah 44:8)

For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.

For they used to drink from the spiritual rock-mass that followed them, and that rock-mass meant the Christ.

In the Old Testament the LORD (Yahweh) is often referred to as the “Rock.”  (Dt. 32:4, 2 Sam. 22:3, Ps. 89:26, Is. 44:8)  Who followed Moses and the Israelites in the wilderness?-None other than God.  The NWT attempts to mislead the implication with “rock-mass” when the word in Greek is “petras”  simply means “rock.”  Also the Greek states that “the Rock was Christ”  There is no Greek word for “meant” here. Another clear false insertion to obscure the meaning of the text.

Colossians 1:16

See. John 1:3, Isaiah 44:24

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.

because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him.

Who created all things?  “Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb:
"I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,” (Isaiah 44:24)  Since the LORD (Yahweh) alone created all things Colossians 1:16 clearly demonstrates the deity of Christ.  That is why the NWT places the word “other” in the text.  The word “other” is found in no Greek manuscripts. 

Colossians 1:19

For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell

because [God] saw good for all fullness to dwell in him

All translations make it clear the fullness of God was pleased to dwell in Christ.  I’m not sure we understand the meaning of the NWT.

Colossians 2:9

“in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”

“it is in him that all the fullness of the divine quality dwells bodily.”

The Greek “theotetos” means Deity or Divinity not “divine quality.”  Again, because of their denial of the divinity of Christ, the translators have systematically attempted to blur practically all references to Christ’s divine nature.

Hebrews 1:3

He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

He is the reflection of [his] glory and the exact representation of his very being, and he sustains all things by the word of his power;

In this example Christ is the exact imprint (or duplicate) of the nature/essence (hypostaseos) of God.  A clear attestation to the deity of Jesus.

Hebrews 1:8

“But about the Son he says, ‘Your throne O God will last forever.’”

“with reference to the Son: ‘ God is your throne forever and ever.”

God speaks about the Son identifying him as “God.”  (Not so in the NWT)

Hebrews 1:6

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

“Let all God angels do obeisance to him.”

As we have seen before the NWT never ascribe worship to Jesus, knowing that if that be so he can be neither man nor angel, but indeed Almighty God! (Isaiah 9:6)

2 Peter 1:1

(same issue found in Titus 2:13)

 To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ

to those who have obtained a faith, held in equal privilege with ours, by the righteousness of our God and [the] Savior Jesus Christ

The definite article “the” may seem like a detail, but notice how that insertion in the NWT changes the meaning of the text.  It clearly attempts to dull the implication the unity between Jesus and God.  “The” is not found in any Greek manuscripts.

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

For there has been a child born to us, there has been a son given to us; and the princely rule will come to be upon his shoulder. And his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace

A Messianic prophecy regarding Jesus of Nazareth. Notice one of his names is “Mighty God.”

 

Further support for the divinity of Christ are the attributes that Jesus shares with God the Father.  Below are a few examples.

 

The Attributes of Jesus

Creator:

Scripture unambiguously teaches that “God” created all things.  In fact, in Isaiah 44:24, the Bible says the LORD (Yahweh) alone created the heavens and earth.  In Colossians 1:16 Scripture teaches Jesus created all things.  This is an unmistakable declaration of the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth.

1.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1)

2.  Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, who formed you from the womb:"I am the LORD, who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself,” (Isaiah 44:24)

3.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)

Worship

Jesus received worship from both angels and mankind.  (Matthew 28:9, 17, Philippians 2:10, Hebrews 1:6, Revelation 5) Worship is reserved exclusively for God (not to either mankind or angels). (Exodus 20:5, Acts 14:15, 20:26, Revelation 19:10)

Authority to Forgive Sins

Scripture teaches that God alone has the authority to forgive sin. (Isaiah 43:25, Psalm 32:5, Psalm 130)  This same attribute is a part of Jesus’ ministry.

"And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

(Mark 2:5-7)           

OmnipresenceFor where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:20) One of the attributes of God is omnipresence: that  is being at all places at all times.  In the above verse Jesus told his disciples that he wherever 2 or 3 are gathered in his name he would be present.  This is impossible for an angel or man to accomplish.

 

Inherent Authority-to declare the Words of God  In the Old Testament the prophets always prefaced their prophetic statements with, “thus saith the LORD.”  They did this to demonstrate the source and hence authority of the words. When Jesus utters the words of God he makes no such preface, but rather says, “I say”. (not as the prophets, “thus saith the LORD.”  (Matt. 5:22, 28, 32, 34, 39, 44)

 

The Titles of the Father and the Son.

Another convincing piece of evidence for the deity of Christ are the “titles” that are bestowed on both the Father and the Son.  Here are a few examples.

 

First and the Last

Father:  Thus says the LORD (Yahweh), the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts: "I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” (Isaiah 44:6)  Clearly, the title, “I am the first and the last” in this verse is in reference to the LORD (Yahweh).  See also Isaiah 41:4, 44:12.

Son:  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, "Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.  (Revelation 1:17-18) 

Son:  And to the angel of the church in Smyrna write: 'The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life. (Revelation 2:8) These  last 2 references are clearly referring to Jesus.  Therefore the  same title “I am the first and the last” is bestowed on both the Father and the Son.

 

Alpha & Omega

Closely related to First and Last is the title Alpha and Omega.  Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and Omega the last, hence the relationship to First and Last.  There are 3 references to the title Alpha and Omega in the book of Revelation:

Father:  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)

Father:  And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. (Revelation 21:8)

Son:  "Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Revelation 22:16)

The first 2 references are clearly referring to “God.”  The 3rd reference is definitely referring to the Son, since he is the one “coming soon.” (see 1:7, 22:16, 20)  Therefore the title Alpha and Omega is applied to both the Father and the Son interchangeably. 

 

King of Kings and Lord of lords

Father:  “which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen”  (1 Timothy 6:15-16, see also Deuteronomy 10:17, Psalm 136:3)  All references to the Father.

Son: They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful. (Revelation 17:14) 

Son: “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Revelation 19:16)  A clear reference to Jesus.  Another title that is used for both God the Father and God the Son.

 

Jehovah Witness Arguments:

 

Colossians 1:15 is a key Scripture Jehovah’s Witnesses us to substantiate their belief, that Jesus is a created being: “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” Colossians 1:15

Does “firstborn” mean “first created” as Jehovah Witnesses teach, “Thus he is shown to be a created being, part of the creation produced by God” (Reasoning from Scriptures, 1989, 409)?

  • First: Jesus was not the “first created” since Colossians 1:16 states he created all things.  If he himself were created he couldn’t have created all things. (that is why the NWT inserts the word “other.”)
  • Second: In fact Scripture teaches that Jesus created all angels, and all worship him. (Hebrews 1:6) (JW believe Jesus is the archangel Michael.)
  • Third:  In Scripture the word “firstborn” carries the meaning “supreme” or “preeminent,” not first created. The firstborn son usually had this special status.  In Col. 1:15, “firstborn of all creation” means he is supreme over creation since all things were created by him (1:16).  Jesus is supreme over creation because he is its author and creator.  (see also John 1:3)
  • Fourth: “Firstborn” is also used in relation to Christ’s preeminence or supremacy over death since he was the first to conquer death by his resurrection from the dead. (Col. 1:18, Rev. 1:5) 
  • Fifth: “Firstborn” doesn’t necessarily mean “first.”  King David is referred to in Scripture (Psalm 89:27) as the “firstborn,” though he had 7 older brothers!  David was not “first-created;” David was preeminent.  In fact Scripture teaches David was “firstborn” over all the kings of the earth. (Psalm 89:27)  Clearly he was preeminent over all kings, not the first-created king.
  • Sixth: Israel is the LORD's "firstborn son" (Exodus 4:22).  Israel was by no means the "first created" people of God.  There are many nations that precede Israel.  Similarly in Jeremiah 31:9 the LORD says, "Ephraim is my firstborn son."  Ephraim was not the LORD's "first created" son.  He was one of Joseph's sons and became the name of the northern kindom.
  • Therefore it is abundantly clear that in Scripture firstborn does not mean first created.  This is a clear misunderstanding.

 

 

John 14:28

“You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)

  • First, in the gospel of John, Scripture clearly presents Jesus as God.  (John 1:1,3,14, 8:58, 10:30, 14:11, 20:28)
  • Second, Christ voluntarily “humbled himself” (Philippians 2:8).  Christ’s humility is misunderstood for difference in ontology (essence/nature)This is a common mistake in Jehovah Witness interpretation.
  • Third: It is possible (for example) for an earthly father and son to be of the same essence or nature (human) but have different roles or positions.

 

Implications for the Atonement

  • First, Jehovah Witnesses believe that while on earth Jesus was a perfect man.  Before and after his earthly existence he was (and is) the archangel Michael. 
  • No human could have bore the sins of the world in his body.  Only God could bear the weight and terror of sin.
  • No human could have bore the wrath of God for all sin.  Not only did Jesus bear our sin, but he also bore the punishment due sin, therefore appeasing the wrath of Almighty God.
  • No mere human could have been an adequate mediator between God and Man, unless he was both fully God and fully man. (1 Timothy 2:5)
  • In Cur Deus Homo, Why God became a man, St. Anselm (1033-1109) states in regards to the Atonement that, “For God will not do it, because he has no debt to pay; and man will not do it, because he cannot. Therefore, in order that the God-man may perform this, it is necessary that the same being should perfect God and perfect man, in order to make this atonement.” (Chapter VII) Thus only God could take away man's sins and only man needed them to be taken away.

 

Conclusion: The Scripture teaches that Jesus was both fully man and fully God.  The few examples that we have outlined above make this fact abundantly clear.  It is equally clear that the New World Translation has deliberately attempted to bury this cardinal Christian doctrine.

In depth Links

 

                                                


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History of the English Bible.

Sky Cline
CEO of evangelicalbible.com
BA College of William & Mary
Graduate. Duke University

SBC Pastor

info@evangelicalbible.com

 

 

Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS)/Mormon Church

and the Nature of God

 

Mormon doctrine is extensive and multifaceted.  There are a multitude of teachings that extend far beyond the realm of Christian orthodoxy.  We have decided to expose perhaps its most central and basic theological false teaching: the nature of God.  As in all of our apologetic resources, our goal is clarity and brevity.

 

Our quotations regarding LDS doctrine are taken from its founder Joseph Smith, his successor Brigham Young, and other LDS “apostles” and “elders.”  Please bear in mind that these citations are exclusively from the LDS leadership.

 

The founder of the LDS Church was Joseph Smith, who allegedly received revelation from God the Father and God the Son in upstate New York in 1820.  He would later be visited by the angel Moroni who explained to Smith his purpose in translating the “golden plates,” later to become the “Book of Mormon.”  Smith was the prophet chosen by God to restore the church which had become apostate since the apostolic age.  In our discussion of the Jehovah Witness sect, distortions in translation were central to false doctrine.  In the Mormon religion, extra biblical information is central to its false teaching.  Joseph Smith introduced new “Scripture,” (the book of Mormon) which undergirds his church’s new doctrines.  Our purpose isn’t to question whether Smith had supernatural encounters.  Our purpose, as indeed mandated by Scripture, is to test the teaching by the authority of God’s Word, the Bible.  Since, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (II Timothy 3:16) it follows that what a man states is only valid to the extent that it is supported by what God has said in His Word, the Bible.  If man contradicts God’s Word, the Bible, then we may conclude the man (not God) to be false.

 

As you will see below, Joseph Smith and the Mormon church understand the very nature of God in a radically different way than biblical Christianity. 

 

  • First, the Mormon church believes that God has a body of flesh and bones.  This body of flesh is subject to limitations.
  • Second, the Mormon church is polytheistic, that is it believes in a multitude of "gods."  The LDS church believes that all good Mormons (men) have the potential to be gods.  In fact, the LDS church believes our God, was once a man and attained “godhood.”  In this way he is our model of “divine exaltation.”
  • Third, the Mormon church teaches that man can himself attain “godhood.”  A good Mormon can, in the future, be a god (like the god of the earth) and have his own planet to rule.
  • Finally, this polytheistic theology is clearly and plainly not Christian.  It is a new non Christian religion that does not have true salvation as its end.

 Below are some central teachings of the LDS church which explain their understanding of the nature of God.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division

of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

LDS/Mormon Teaching

Christian Biblical Teaching

Commentary

God has a physical body.

God is Spirit.

 

“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of spirit.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)

 

 

“God is Spirit.” (John 4:24)

“See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." (Luke 24:39)

“Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”  (Matthew 16:16-17)

“which he will display at the proper time--he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (I Timothy 6:15-16)

“But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live."  (Exodus 33:20)

 

It is abundantly clear from Scripture that God the Father does not have a human body of flesh and bones. 

 

This teaching in itself is sufficient to discredit any theology based on Scripture.

 

God is NOT omnipresent

God is omnipresent,

 

“If God possesses a form, that form is of necessity of definite proportions, and therefore of limited extension and space.  It is impossible for Him to occupy at one time more than one space of such limits.”  (James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 43)

“Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

A basic Christian doctrine is that God is omnipresent.  God is in all places at all times.  Mormon theology teaches that God’s presence is limited.  Since Mormon theology teaches that there are a multitude of gods, it would be difficult for all gods to be omnipresent.

Man can become a God.

Man can NOT become a God.

 

“The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming like himself.  We are created to become gods like unto your father in heaven.” (Brigham Young, Journal of discourses, volume 10, p. 223)

 

“As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.” (Prophet Lorenzo Snow, The Articles of Faith, p. 430)

 

“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!...

(Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-46)

 

“God the Father is “glorified, exalted, immortal, resurrected man.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1979 edition, p. 643 quoting “Apostle Bruce R. McConkie)

 

“Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point where He now is.” (Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 1:123)

 

"Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts:
"I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god." (Isaiah 44:6)

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5-the serpent tempting Eve)

 

“for I am God and not a man.”  (Hosea 11:9)

 

“Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”  (Matthew 25:34, 46)

 

“And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" (Revelation 5:13)

The heart of Mormon theology has its origin in the 3rd chapter of the Bible.  In fact, it was one of the 1st temptations that mankind was faced with. 

Satan deceived man by casting doubt on the goodness of God.  The essence of the lie was that obedience to God would restrict man’s happiness.   In fact, the deceiver was so bold as to state that disobedience to God would lead to fulfillment, and a status equal to God himself.  “you will be like God..” (Genesis 3:5)

 

The cornerstone of Mormon theology is the resurfacing of one of Satan’s first lies: the ability to be like God. 

 

Mormon theology thus teaches a form of spiritual metamorphosis from manhood to godhood.  The Bible teaches that after this life man will either live in heaven for eternity (forever) or reside in hell-fire for eternity (forever).  There is no 3rd category of human transmutation to attain divinity.

God is not eternal.

God is eternal.

 

“for I am going to tell you how God came to be God.  We have all 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…He was once like us; yea, that God himself, the father of us all, dwelt on earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.”  (Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-46)

 

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2)

 

“Behold, God is great, and we know him not; the number of his years is unsearchable.” (Job 36:26)

 

Another key attribute of God is that He is eternal.  God has no beginning nor does He have end.  Since Mormons teach that gods were once men, they necessarily have a beginning.  The God of the Bible was not a man, indeed He created man and created all things.

There are gods (Polytheism)

There is one God (Monotheism)

 

“Here, then is eternal life-to know the only wise and true God; and you have to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you…To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God.”  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith pp. 346-47)

 

“And then the Lord said: Let us go down.  And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.” (Abraham 4:1)

“Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.”  (Isaiah 43:10)

 

“I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 45:5) (see also Isaiah 44:6, 45:14, 45:21, 45:22, 46:5, 46:9)

 

“Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one.” (Galatians 3:20)

 

 

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

 

Therefore, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that "an idol has no real existence," and that "there is no God but one." For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth--as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"-- yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1 Corinthians 8:4-6)

Not only does the Bible clearly teach that mankind can not become a god, it also teaches that there is only one God.  Mormonism teaches polytheism: that there are a multitude of gods and that a good Mormon (male) may himself be exalted to such a divine status.

 

One of the cardinal doctrines of the Judeo-Christian heritage is monotheism-the belief in one God, not a pantheon of gods.   Monotheism distinguished Judaism from the pagan nations in which she encountered.

 

Remember, Mormonism teaches that our God (Elohim) was once a man-he then reached an exalted status and became the god of this planet.

 

 

 

 

Joseph Smith's Prophecies:  (All quotations taken from LDS documents)

Joseph Smith (1805-1844) was the founder of the LDS (Mormon) church.  He claimed to be a prophet of God.  Joseph Smith allegedly received the Book of Mormon through the angel Moroni with the new information on which the LDS church is established.  Therefore it may be useful to have a look at some of Smith's prophecies to see if they were true. To a great extent Mormonism hangs on the veracity of Smith's claims.  Scripture gives a clear test for the truthfulness of a prophet of God:

"20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or  who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

Here are a few of Joseph's Smith's prophecies:

1.  The Return of Jesus in 1891.

"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. . . . it was the will of God that they should be ordained to the ministry and go forth to prune the vineyard for the last time, for 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) [1835, and 56 years was completed in 1891]

2. The new Temple and new Jerusalem to be built in Independence Missouri in Smith's generation. (Covenant 84:3-5) Smith made this prophecy in 1832. 

"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. 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.)

 

3.  All nations would be involved in the American Civil war of 1861-1865.

"... concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls. And the time will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning at this place. For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations."(The Doctrine and Covenants, Covenant 87:1-3)

4.  Return of Elijah

Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery claimed that Elijah returned and gave them priesthood keys in 1836. Elijah was allegedly one of several heavenly messengers sent to the Kirtland Temple. (The Doctrine and Covenants, Covenant 110:13-15)

5.  U.S. Gov't to be "Overthrown and Wasted" in "a few years." (1843)

I prophesy in the name of the Lord of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the saints in the state of Missouri and punish 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, thereby perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair fame of this great republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame. (Smith 1902 5:394)

6.  The Earth shall Shake and Reel as a Drunken Man (1832) 

"...not many days hence the earth shall tremble and reel as a drunken man; and the sun shall hide his face...and the moon shall be bathed in blood; and the stars shall become exceedingly angry, and shall cast themselves down as a fig that falleth from a fig tree." (The Doctrine and Covenants 88.87, 1832)

Since this prophecy took place over 60,000 days ago it is false.

Most LDS missionaries I  have encountered do not dispute the truthfulness of Smith's errors in prophecy (when confronted with them), only they state something similiar to this, "Yes, Smith made some mistakes, but..."  LDS doctrine hangs on Smith's new "revelations."  The factual evidence is clear: Many prophecies Joseph Smith made were false.  What implications does this have for Smith's visions which make up the foundation of the LDS church?

For an exhaustive list of false prophecies visit: Saints Alive, Carm or Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

Jewish Apologetics:  Is Jesus (Y'shua) the Messiah foretold in the Law and Prophets?

 

 

Introduction: Genesis 12:1-3

 

"Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  (Genesis 12:1-3)

“and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Which descendant of Abram (later Abraham) fulfills this prophecy?  Many descendants of Abraham played crucial roles in the Lord’s sovereign plan for history.  Moses is a central figure in the Scripture.  It was through this descendant of Levi that the Law was given.  The Ten Commandments were fundamental to the formation of western civilization and its legal code.  David, the son of Jesse is another central character in Scripture.  It was through David that the LORD made an eternal covenant with Israel.  It was through King David and later Solomon that Israel gained geopolitical significance in the turbulent region of the Middle East.  We could mention other central figures such as Joseph, Samuel, Isaiah, Ezra or Daniel, all of whom were critical players in Bible history.  As crucial as all of these men of God were, none fulfill the clear and unequivocal prophecy of Genesis 12:3, since the prophecy states that through Abraham “all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Moses and Daniel would be obscure footnotes in world history today were it not for the Galilean Hebrew Jesus (Y’shua).  This is, of course, an historical fact.  Only because of Jesus, do the nations of the world know about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  There is only one possible person (Jew or Gentile) through whom all the families of the world have been blessed: Jesus of Nazareth.

It is also noteworthy that God’s covenant promises to Abraham (father of a multitude) include his offspring as well as the “nations.”  “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.”  (Genesis 17:4, 18:18)  This same promise, which included the “nations,” was repeated to both Isaac and Jacob. (Genesis 22:18, 28:14).

 

Isaiah 52:13-53:12  Introduction: 

Isaiah 52:13-53:12 is perhaps the clearest Messianic prophecy found in the Tanakh (Old Testament).  More Jewish people have recognized Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah through this passage than any other.  When this passage is studied diligently, it unambiguously portrays the future Messiah to be Jesus of Nazareth.  What’s more, it reveals this Messiah to be an individual who would make atonement for sinful mankind.  Jesus of Nazareth’s central mission was to bear the sin of mankind (both Jew and Gentile).  This historical fact fulfills the prophetic intent of the entire Tanakh, namely that God would restore what had been shattered through Adam and his subsequent offspring.

 

History of Jewish Interpretation

 

Jews and Christians have traditionally dated Isaiah’s prophecy to about 700 BC.  Until the 11th Century AD the passage in question (Isaiah 52:13-53:12) had been interpreted as referring to an individual and not the nation of Israel as a whole.  In fact, there is not one single authoritative Jewish commentary which understands this passage as referring to the nation of Israel.  This includes the Babylonian Talmud, Palestinian Talmud, the Targums or Midrashim.  Prominent Rabbi Moshe Alshech stated in the 16th Century that, “Our rabbis with one voice accept and affirm the opinion that the prophet is speaking of the Messiah, and we shall ourselves also adhere to the same view.”  It is true that in the last thousand years many Jewish rabbis including the prominent Rashi and Ibn Ezra have viewed this passage as referring to the nation as a whole, however this has been by no means a “consensus view” as seen in the comments of Moshe Alshech.  In sum, Isaiah 52:13-53:12 was interpreted as speaking of an individual (and most often as the Messiah) until the 11th Century AD.  Every authoritative Jewish commentary, without exception, argues for this interpretation.  During the last thousand years many Jewish religious leaders have adopted the “national” view of this passage; nevertheless other Jewish scholars continue to hold to the “individual” and “Messianic” view of the passage. 

 

Passage Analysis

We have chosen this passage because it is perhaps the clearest portrayal of Jesus in the Tanakh.  First, we will demonstrate from the internal evidence of the passage that it does indeed refer to an individual.  Second, we will explain why it refers specifically to Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah foretold in the Tanakh.

In this passage the person (or nation) in question would be both righteous (52:13, 53:9, 11) and afflicted (rejected and punished). (52:14, 53:3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11).  If this passage referred to the nation of Israel as a whole, it would violate one of the clearest principles found in the Torah: namely that if Israel as a nation was righteous, she would be rewarded. If on the other hand, Israel was unrighteous, she would be cursed.  In this passage the person (or nation) in question is both righteous and afflicted.  How could this possibly refer to the nation of Israel?  It would defy the basic principle of reward for obedience and punishment for disobedience found in the Torah (see Leviticus 26 & Deuteronomy 28).   There were times in Israel’s history when the nation as a whole rejected the covenant, but nevertheless righteous individuals remained within the community.  These righteous individuals were afflicted because they represented Truth in an age of depravity.  The Tanakh is replete with such righteous individuals (and remnants).  Elijah the Tishbite was afflicted for his righteous stance against the corrupting rule of Ahab, Jezebel, the false prophets of Asherah, Baal and the northern kingdom in general. (1 Kings 18-19) Likewise the prophet Jeremiah was chastised and became a pariah because of his near solitary agreement with the Lord in an age where Israel as a nation was disobedient and sinful.  Israel’s disobedience would finally result in her exile to Babylon.  (Other examples of righteous affliction include: Moses, Joshua and Caleb, and the prophet Micaiah (1 Kings 22)) This history is consistent with the indisputable logic of “blessings and curses” theology found in the Torah.  Therefore in Isaiah 53, it would be inconceivable for the nation to suffer affliction as a result of her (Israel’s) righteousness.  However, it would be entirely consistent for a righteous individual to suffer in the midst of an unrighteous nation.

 

The righteous person (or nation) in question offers himself vicariously (as a substitute) for the sins of the people.  This is the central teaching of this passage, “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”  The obvious question is whether Israel (or any nation) has ever been  both righteous and a suitable sin offering for the people?  Second, which people have “been accounted righteous,” (54:11) and “healed,” (54:5) by Israel’s affliction and chastisement?  In other words, which people have had their sins removed as a result of Israel’s affliction?

 

Next, the author of this passage, the prophet Isaiah, spoke of the “servant” as being crushed for “our iniquities,” (53:5) and “stricken for the transgression of my people?”  Who were Isaiah’s people? They were the people of Israel.  If the subject of this passage was the nation of Israel as a whole, how could the nation be afflicted for the nation.  Clearly, the internal logic of the passage becomes irrational if the subject is the nation of Israel as a whole.

 

The second and final part of this analysis is why this passage must refer to Jesus of Nazareth, (circa 4BC-29 AD).  Jesus is an historical fact, attested to by the most prominent contemporary Jewish (Josephus) and Roman (Tacitus) historians.  Jesus’ influence on the “nations” is an indisputable fact of history.  This fact is all the more remarkable when one considers that the people of Judea in the first century had virtually no geopolitical influence.  Judea was a Roman province, governed by both a Roman governor and Jewish vassal kings.  After the Bar Kochba revolt of 135 AD, Judea ceased to exist and Jews were expelled from the province.  Furthermore, Jesus and his disciples were “common” men within their society.  Jesus was a carpenter (or stonemason) while his followers were fishermen, tax collector and a religious zealot. 

 

Jesus’ Central Purpose--Substitutionary Atonement. 

 

Even a cursory reading of the New Testament (representing the life, work and teaching of Jesus) makes clear that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was to fulfill God’s central plan to make atonement for the sins of the world.  “The saying is trustworthy and worthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15) “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.  By his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)  The sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus was prefigured by the Passover-Pesach (Exodus 13) as well as the entire sacrificial/tabernacle system outlined in the Torah.  (Exodus 25-49 & Leviticus 16)  The vicarious sacrifice of the Messiah restores a broken relationship between God and man.   The Lord told Abraham that, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” (Genesis 12:3)  Jesus was the fulfillment of that promise.  It is through his life, death and resurrection that all nations have been blessed.  It is through his sacrifice that all nations can be restored to God through the removal and purification of all sins.  Isaiah 52:13-53:12 has been fulfilled in the Messiah Jesus.  When one reads this passage, it is evident that the “servant’s” primary purpose is to provide atonement for the sins of others.  Historically, there is no other candidate other than the Messiah Jesus, who “bore the sin of many,” “was crushed for our iniquities,” upon whom was placed, “the chastisement that brought us peace” and was also “the righteous one.”  Below we have provided a table that helps demonstrate how Isaiah 53 is fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth.

 

Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
he shall be high and lifted up,
and shall be exalted.

According to Jeremiah the Messiah would “deal wisely.” (23:5)

Many Scriptures in the New Testament (NT) state that the Messiah would be “exalted” to the right hand of the father. (Acts 2:33) 

The Messiah Jesus was also “lifted up” upon the cross where he was crucified.

As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of the children of mankind— As many were astonished at you—
his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—

The NT states that Jesus was “scourged” (Matthew 27:26) This was a severe Roman punishment where the victim was lashed with a whip embedded with metal and bone.  Evidently the scourge, along with the crucifixion penalty left Jesus in an unrecognizable physical state.

 

 

so shall he sprinkle many nations;

On the day of atonement the High Priest would take some of the blood of the goat and “sprinkle” it upon the mercy seat.  This was performed in order to make atonement for the sins of Israel. (Leviticus 16:15-16)  Whereas blood was “sprinkled” on the mercy seat for the sins of Israel, the servant’s blood would be sprinkled for the “nations” as well.

Who has believed what he has heard from us? 
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

Jesus, though from the tribe of Judah was not a member of the nobility.  He was a carpenter- a common trade.  He was certainly not a person who was expected to be of any geopolitical consequence.  The same can be said of the 12 Apostles.

He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Jesus was not ultimately accepted by the religious establishment in which he lived and was raised.  Early in his ministry, he told his followers that he would suffer rejection from the religious leaders. (Mark 8:31)  This was a difficult concept for his disciples who were excited to be a part of a “popular” and potentially “powerful” movement.

Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.

When Jesus suffered humiliation and death, he was thought to have been suffering at the hands of God for his own iniquity.  Paradoxically his suffering was for the sins of the world.

But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.

This verse summarizes the heart of the Messiah Jesus’ purpose: substitutionary atonement. He took upon himself our sin and the corresponding punishment due that sin.  The result is that we do not have to be punished for our sins since the Messiah has taken them in his body.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

This is another verse underlying the fact that atonement was the focus of Jesus’ mission.  It also reminds us that all mankind is in need of Jesus, since “all have gone astray.”

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.

During his trial before the Sanhedrin, Jesus did not offer any defense in his favor.  (Mark 14:61)  Similarly before the Roman prefect Pilate, “Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.” (Mark 15:5)

By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?

Jesus was condemned unjustly by the religious leaders and the Roman authorities. Few people of Jesus’ generation understood that his death was the means by which mankind could receive reconciliation with God through the forgiveness of sins.  Most people believed he died as a result of his own sin.

And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Jesus was crucified along with 2 other criminals.  (Luke 23:32).  At the same time Jesus was buried in the tomb of rich man named Joseph of Arimathea. (Matthew 27:57-60)  Jesus’ death was certainly one reserved for the vilest criminals.

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief; 
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

It is true that Jesus’ death sentence was a result of envy and betrayal.  At the same time, it was a part of God’s sovereign plan to bring reconciliation to mankind.  Therefore Messiah Jesus’ death was entirely a product of the gracious will of God.

Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

“he shall see.” or “he shall see light.”  A reference to the resurrection of the Messiah.

Another description of the atoning power of the cross.  Not only does the Messiah’s death take away sins, but it also delivers righteousness.

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Ultimately, the Messiah’s death would achieve the purpose for which it was intended: reconciliation between God and mankind.  This reconciliation came despite the fact the Messiah was identified as a “transgressor” instead of “Savior.”

 

From an historical standpoint the Tabernacle/Temple/Sacrificial system was in place for approximately 1500 years. Jesus of Nazareth prophesied that the temple would be destroyed. (Matthew 24:2).  40 years later the temple was destroyed by the Roman General Titus (70 AD); it has hitherto never been rebuilt.  More importantly, Jesus stated that his body (death and resurrection) would replace the temple as the place where mankind would tabernacle with God. (John 2:18-22) 

For more information on why Jesus is the Messiah: the best series available: Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus. Much of the factual information for this essay was provided by this invaluable resource authored by Michael Brown.

Historical Timeline

Moses Tabernacle 1444 BC--Solomon’s Temple 966 BC--Temple destroyed 586 BC--Zerubbabel 515 BC--Jesus crucified 33 AD--Temple destroyed 70 AD--Temple Never Rebuilt 1,937 years later.

 

Jesus said that his body would replace the Temple as the meeting place of God and mankind (John 1:19-22)  Is it merely a coincidence that Jesus' crucifixion coincided with the destruction of the Temple? This is particulary incredible when one realizes that the sacrificial system had been in place, in one form or another, for approximately 1500 years. Since the temple’s destruction in 70 AD there has been no Temple.  Jesus said “something greater than the temple is here.” (Matthew 12:6)

To discuss the merits of Yeshua as the Messiah foretold in the Bible please visit our facebook forum.

                                                                                                                  

Sky Cline
CEO of evangelicalbible.com
BA College of William & Mary
Graduate. Duke University

SBC Pastor

info@evangelicalbible.com

Is Christianity an “Exclusive” Religion?

 

A few days ago my wife and I spoke with a Buddhist man who said that Christianity was a bigoted, intolerant religion.  His rationale for making such a statement was grounded in the fact that Buddhism had a canopy which embraced all religious truth equally.  Christianity was ‘bigoted’ because it did not place equal value on each spiritual or philosophical assertion even if the competing claims were mutually exclusive.   The technical word for this view is ‘religious pluralism.’  In other words, to assert one belief system to be true and another false constituted intolerance.  This conception of intolerance has become widely accepted in western culture. 

 

One of the goals of the English Grammar curriculum that I teach is to have students identify different verb tenses.  In the course of identifying verb tenses, there are correct and incorrect answers. 

 

Here follows a brief example:

 

“I went to France last year.” 

 

This is a ‘simple past’ verb tense which denotes a completed action in the past.  If a student would have identified this sentence with the ‘future’ the answer would have been incorrect, and could have conceivably caused confusion in a practical situation.  Thus far I have not been labeled intolerant for correcting English grammar problems.  The answer to “I went to France last year” can not be both ‘simple past’ and ‘future’ at the same time.  It has to be one or the other.  We are not prejudiced in stating that is one or the other.

 

Christianity like English grammar makes specific truth claims.  When a truth claim is made it is necessarily ‘exclusive,’ but not ‘bigoted’ or ‘prejudiced.’  Exclusivity in this context simply means that not all possibilities can be correct at the same time.

 

First: Christian truths are made for all people, of all nations, of every culture and for all time.  Christianity speaks to the ‘world’ and not a specific people group or nation.  In this sense Christianity is radically inclusive.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {John 3:16}

 

“Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” {Colossians 3:11}

 

Second:  Jesus of Nazareth’s truth claims necessarily exclude other claims. 

 

 

“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” {Acts 4:12}

 

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”  {Romans 3:23-24}

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  {John 14:6} 

 

If no one can come to the Father except through the Messiah Jesus, then other religious systems necessarily fall short.  For a non Christian, the authenticity of Christ’s claims are a legitimate issue, however, any attempt to reconcile them with other truth claims is dishonest and logically impossible.  The truth claims of Christianity can not be reconciled with other religions or philosophies which do not place Jesus of Nazareth, and specifically his life, death and resurrection as the chief cornerstone of their belief system.  Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism, to name a few world religions, all provide competing truth statements regarding people and God and the relationship between the two.  Christianity claims that Jesus of Nazareth is the exclusive bridge to God: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” {1 Timothy 2:5}

 

In sum, just as “I went to France last year” can not be both ‘simple past’ and ‘future’ at the same time, neither can the truth statements of Christianity be reconciled with those of other religious or philosophical systems.  Christianity and its founder claimed to embody Truth and Truth is necessarily exclusive.  While Christian Truth is exclusive, it is not bigoted nor it is it prejudiced.

 
To discuss any of these topics you can visit us on our facebook forum.

In depth links

carm.org (in depth articles on many modern sects)

alpha & omega ministries (in depth articles)

North American Mission Board (SBC)

Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus (Dr. Michael Brown)

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Sky Cline
CEO of evangelicalbible.com
BA College of William & Mary
Graduate. Duke University

SBC Pastor

info@evangelicalbible.com

"For you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation."

(Revelation 5:9)

 
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