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Mormonism is the Wrong Way to God
But before the Earth crashes and burns the Builder and Designer of this hijacked planet Jesus Christ has Himself gotten onboard, overpowered and defeated the hijacker (Old-Devil Bin-Lucifer) and all his cohorts (the demon fallen angels) and now stands at a special escape doorway. Calling out to everyone onboard Jesus Christ offers endless safety, complete freedom, and total deliverance to any who will come through His door.
Please stand with me as I read our text in John 14:1-6.
And that is where we turn this morning in John 14, as we come to perhaps the most crucial of all Christ’s declarations. Jesus is absolutely affirming the exclusiveness of salvation. Jesus says He ALONE is the Way, the Truth, and the LIFE! When Jesus said I AM THE WAY, TRUTH & LIFE (14:6) – Jesus told us He is all I need to ENTER god’s way OF SALVATION, but apart from Him is only endless lost ness.
Jesus said I am the way, I have settled the issue of your eternal home.
I am making it, your very own room, and the minute that it is ready I am coming to get you!
Believers are TRUSTING THE WAY OF JESUS, BELIEVING THE TRUTH OF JESUS, AND LIVING THE LIFE OF JESUS.
This is the sixth “I AM” statement of Jesus in John (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25). In response to Thomas’ query (v. 4), Jesus declared that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God (1:14) and the life of God (1:4; 3:15; 11:25). In this verse, the exclusiveness of Jesus as the only approach to the Father is emphatic. Only one way, not many ways, exist to God, i.e., Jesus Christ (10:7–9; cf. Matt. 7:13, 14; Luke 13:24; Acts 4:12).77
To do that, John said to test for two things: confession of the divine Lord (1 John 4:2–3) and commitment to the divine Word (vv. 4–6). If you study the cults, you’ll detect a pattern. Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and the like attack the person of Christ and then postulate a substitute or addition to the Bible, such as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, The Book of Mormon, or The Pearl of Great Price. True believers won’t believe such lies. They have a resident truth teacher in the person of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). 78
This morning we are going to examine these precious words following the three-part outline that Jesus gave.
o TRUSTING THE WAY OF JESUS, that means the RIGHT WAY OF SALVATION.
o BELIEVING THE TRUTH OF JESUS, that means the PRESENT ETERNAL SECURITY OF SALVATION.
o LIVING THE LIFE OF JESUS, that means the GLORIOUS POSSESSION OF ETERNAL LIFE.
So we begin this morning with the first of these truths TRUSTING THE WAY OF JESUS, which means THE RIGHT WAY OF SALVATION.
Well, not much has changed. In Jesus day there were false teachers, false gospels, and right and wrong ways. The contrast of truth and error remains, so the confusion over who Jesus Christ truly was and is remains:
– to some He was a great teacher (Eastern religions)
– to some He was one of the prophets (Islam)
– to some He was an angel brother of Satan (Mormonism)
– to some He was a lesser created God (Russellism of Jehovah’s Witnesses) – to some He was a misguided man (liberalism)
– to some He didn’t finish our atonement; we have to offer Him over and over (Romanism)
The reason the major cults are cults is because they have defective doctrines of Christ. The Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, etc., say, like the Gnostics, that they believe in Christ—but what kind of Christ? Certainly not the Christ of the Scriptures. This is also true of virulent forms of legalism and some of the extreme forms of the “prosperity gospel” which eat away at the fringes of evangelicalism. The safeguard against this is a perpetual bowing before Christ Jesus, the Lord, in line with our initial awareness that we are Christ’s and our sins are forgiven.79
Mormonism: Wrong Way Number One
Never mind that Mormonism has an ascending hierarchy of numerous gods who are physical men, each a former sinner, each redeemed by one of many Jesuses on different earths, and that “salvation” involves secret rituals which exalt Mormons to become gods ruling over their own earths, each with another Adam and Eve, another Satan and fall, another Jesus to die, etc. Mormons seem to be good family people with conservative values. And they talk about God, Christ, salvation, resurrection, eternal life but why pretend they mean what Christians mean?
There are increasing movements in general Christianity to embrace the Mormons as fellow Christians. In fact the leaders of BYU recently spent entire day discussing theology with John Mac Arthur. They sat in a room and told Dr. MacArthur81 they believe in salvation by grace and salvation through faith and salvation in Christ. Here was his reply at the end of the day and in a gracious way.
Are Mormons Christians? NO
“I spent, recently, a full day with the two leaders of the Mormon theology, The Chairman of the Theology Department of BYU and the Associate Chairman. The two Mormon gatekeepers of theology. The Mormon Church has seven presidents that are actually like seven apostles. They make all the doctrinal decisions if it’s not in the Doctrine of Covenants, the Book of Mormon. And they came to spend a day with me under the authority and commission of the seven presidents of the Mormon Church to talk theology. We sat in the room and they told me they believe in salvation by grace and salvation through faith and salvation in Christ. And they wanted to affirm the things we have in common. Now there are some people who would say, “Wow! It must a revival in the Mormon Church.” But when we got done with hours and hours of discussion, very gracious men. And very compelled, in fact, they’d been reading through, they’d read through all four volumes of my commentary on Matthew and they were going through both volumes on Romans and they’d read the Gospel According to
Jesus’ Faithworks, the Sufficiency of Christ. All these books I’ve written and they were drawn to me because they never really understood the Bible like that. And they came because they wanted to know me personally and ask questions. And they said, “We want to affirm salvation by grace alone. We want to affirm salvation by faith. We want to affirm salvation is in Christ.”
So after six hours of discussion with these men I said, “I want to ask you three questions,” at the end of the day and in a gracious way.
- I said, “Tell me about your God.” And they gave me a God who didn’t have three persons. They’re Unitarian, so I said, “Well, whatever it is we want to talk about regarding grace, faith and Christ, let’s just get it straight, we have a different God.”
- And I said, “Tell me your Christology.” And they said, “Jesus is created by God. He’s a high order of created beings.” I said, “Now let’s make this clear, we have a different Christ. And if anybody comes and preaches a different Christ he’s cursed.”
- Then I said, “If I wanted to get to the highest heaven, what would I need to do?”
They said you would need to join the Mormon Church, you would need to evidence certain obediences, and you would need to be baptized with a certain kind of spirit-endowed baptism in the system.
I said, “Then let me get this clear, we have a different God, a different Christ, and a different Gospel. Apart from those, we agree.”
Winsome TV ads invite people to learn the teachings of Christ from the Mormons, who call themselves the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. But is Mormonism really Christian?
Examine with me the following ways Mormonism has perverted true Christian teaching, and see for yourself if Mormonism is really Christian.
The Grave Errors of Mormon Doctrines
Mormonism teaches the preexistence of human spirits. This is a key doctrine of Mormonism, but it is nowhere taught in Scripture. All people as spirits in the pre- mortal world took part in the creation of the earth. What does Scripture say of this? First of all, the biblical account of creation very clearly has the first human soul being created after the rest of creation was complete. The Bible says, “The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). Not until God was finished with creation did Adam become a living soul. There is no room for any sort of preexistence in the biblical account.
Mormonism teaches multiple gods. This is perfectly in accord with Mormon doctrine but plainly at odds with Scripture, which from cover to cover teaches the unity of the divine Godhead (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:6; 1 Tim. 2:5; Jas. 2:19). Jesus Himself said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). Granted, the Trinity is a difficult concept to explain or understand, but Scripture clearly affirms, and every major branch of Christianity has agreed for nearly two thousand years, that while God the Father and Jesus Christ are distinct Persons, they are not separate beings, or separate gods. This is the clear teaching of Scripture: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4).
Mormonism teaches the deification of the human soul. This is in harmony with the Mormon notion that all believers are progressing toward godhood. Scripture does teach that in heaven we will be like Christ in holiness, but not that we will share the incommunicable attributes of God, such as His omnipotence and omniscience. Even in the glory of heaven, we will remain God’s creatures. We will not attain a divinity of our own, or even share His deity. “I am the Lord,” He says. “That is my name: and my glory will I not give to another” (Isa. 42:8).
Mormonism teaches Eve’s act was noble. Mormons are taught that Eve’s eating of the forbidden fruit was a noble act. A common Mormon view is that Eve willfully partook of the fruit as a sort of selfless sacrifice, so that she would be able to bear children and thus progress toward the state of divinity. Thus her disobedience becomes a positive act. The Book of Mormon says, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” Scripture, however, teaches plainly that Satan deceived Eve and that the Fall was wholly an act of sin (1 Tim. 2:14; 2 Cor. 11:3).
Mormonism teaches the possibility of salvation after death. Mormonism is well known for the practice of baptizing people for the dead. Mormons believe that people who die without having heard the Mormon gospel will have an opportunity to hear and believe even after they die. Since baptism is viewed as essential to their salvation, the dead are baptized “by proxy”—that is, living Mormons stand in for the souls of people whom they know have died without being baptized in the Mormon church. But Scripture says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Scripture repeatedly teaches that the judgment of the wicked is based on works they do while on earth (Rom. 2:5–6; 2 Cor. 11:15).
Hughes, R. Kent, Preaching the Word: Colossians and Philemon—The Supremacy of Christ, (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books) 1997.
Dave Hunt, Berean Call, May 2000.
Transcribed from a sermon preached at Tulsa Bible Church in March, 2000.
Adapted from John F. MacArthur, The Glory of Heaven: The Truth About Heaven, Angels and Eternal Life, (Wheaton, IL: Goodnews/Crossway Books) 1997.
Drawn from © 1995, Ralph F. Wilson, P.O. Box 308, Rocklin, CA 95677. Used by permission. Available on the internet at http://www.garlic.com/rfwilson/archives.htm
There are other Mormon distortions of Christianity, including baptism by proxy, “deacons” who are children, “elders” who are teenagers, a denial of the Trinity, a teaching that Satan was the physical brother of Jesus, salvation by works, other distortions of
Mormon sources–the early authoritative prophets of the church–so you can understand the foundational principles of Mormonism as stated by Mormons. Consider the following six beliefs, which are directly contrary to what the Bible teaches: God has a physical body. While the Bible indicates that God is Spirit and is invisible, Mormons contend, “The Father has a body of flesh and bone as tangible as man’s.”Early Mormon James Talmage states, “To deny the materiality of God’s person is to deny God.”In fact, Mormon prophet Brigham Young said that Adam is our God. To make God a physical human complicates the concept of Deity with sex.
GOD IN HIS PHYSICAL BODY HAD SEX WITH THE VIRGIN MARY TO BEGET JESUS. BRIGHAM YOUNG DECLARED, “HE [CHRIST] WAS NOT BEGOTTEN BY THE HOLY GHOST … JESUS OUR ELDER BROTHER WAS BEGOTTEN IN THE FLESH BY THE SAME CHARACTER WHO WAS IN THE GARDEN OF EDEN, WHO IS OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN.” THE BIBLE CLEARLY STATES THAT MARY WAS A VIRGIN, AND THAT JESUS WAS CONCEIVED SUPERNATURALLY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOT THROUGH SEXUAL INTERCOURSE.EVEN THE BOOK OF MORMON AFFIRMS THIS.
God the Father was once just a man himself who evolved and progressed into a God. Lorenzo Snow, former President of the Mormon Church, stated this flagrant heresy in memorable form, still quoted by Mormons: “As man is, God once was, as God is, man may become.” Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, in a sermon given two months before his death, said, “…He was once a man like us, yea, that God Himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ did.” Now consider the implications of this:
Jesus and His work, and the fiction that Jesus physically appeared to a group of Indians on the North American continent. We have chosen not to deal with them here. You may be surprised that I quote the Book of Mormon against Mormon doctrine. In fact, the Book of Mormon does not support any of the distinctive Mormon doctrines about God. Mormonism changed dramatically from 1830 when the Book of Mormon was published to 1844 when Joseph Smith died.
Doctrine and Covenants, Sec. 130:22, James E. Talmage in The Articles of Faith, p. 48., He said, “When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize the world… He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do” (Brigham Young in The Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 50, April 9, 1852). This doctrine is also found in a sermon by Brigham Young, delivered June 8, 1873, and recorded in the Deseret News, June 18, 1873, p. 308., Journal of Discourses 1:51, April 9, 1852 and 4:218. Here is this Adam-God teaching again., Luke 1:35; Matthew 1:18-20., Alma 7:10., Millennial Star, vol. 54. Mormon writer Milton R. Hunter summarizes this: “Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the eternal father was once a mortal man who passed through the school of earth-life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became God–an exalted being, through obedience to the same eternal gospel truth that we are given opportunity today to obey.” (In The Gospel Through the Ages, chapter 16, pp. 104f), Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (second edition; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1959) 6:305, April 7, 1844.
God Himself must have had a father. Smith asked provocatively: “If Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a father also?” This meant that God must have changed and evolved. Orson Hyde, early Mormon leader, wrote, “Remember that God our Heavenly Father was perhaps once a child and mortal like we are, 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.” The Bible and, interestingly enough, even the Book of Mormon, strongly deny this. By no stretch of the imagination is this what true Christianity teaches.
Smith continues, “I despise the idea of being cared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.” (Joseph Smith, History, 6:473-476, June 16, 1844). Mormon author Duane Crowther explains it so we make no mistake. “Joseph Smith explained that the Eternal Father of this earth passed through a mortal probation on another earth just as Jesus Christ did here” (Duane S. Crowther, Life Everlasting [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1967], p. 365)., Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 1:123. According to modern teaching, even God the Father’s godhood depends upon its recognition by others. Witness the writing of Brigham Young University Professor W. Cleon Skousen: “…The universe is filled with vast numbers of intelligences…. Elohim is God simply because all of these intelligences honor and sustain Him as such…. The Father is actually dependent upon their sustaining influence or honor to accomplish His purposes. God’s ‘power’ is derived from the honor and support of the intelligences over whom He rules…. The present exalted position of our Heavenly Father was gradually built up. His glory and power is something which He slowly acquired.” (W. Cleon Skousen, The First 2,000 Years [Bookcraft Publishers, 1976, p. 335])., “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8) “I the Lord do not change …” (Malachi 3:6) “… From everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Psalm 90:2)., The Book of Mormon teaches: “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing? And now if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles” (Mormon 9:9-10) “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity” (Moroni 8:18).
There are many different Gods. Does this sound like Christianity? It is basic to Mormonism. Joseph Smith taught, “In the beginning the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.” Apostle Orson Pratt wrote, “In heaven where our spirits were born, there are many gods, each of whom has his own wife or wives which were given to him previous to his redemption while yet in his mortal state.” The Bible consistently teaches only one unique God So does the Book of Mormon.
If Mormon males are good enough in this life they can become Gods themselves, and populate new worlds with their own offspring. Mormons believe, as part of their core teaching, that, just as God the Father and Jesus are to this world, they can become like God and Jesus to the worlds they create. Brigham Young taught, “In the resurrection, men who have been faithful and diligent in all things in the flesh … and [are] worthy to be crowned Gods, even the sons of God, will be ordained to organize matter,” that is, to be creators in their own right. Rather than just being able to produce physical children, now they can produce spirit-children. Orson Pratt wrote, “Who will be the subjects in the kingdom which they will rule…? Their own children, their own posterity will be the citizens of their kingdoms; in other words, the patriarchal order will prevail there to the endless ages of eternity, and the children of each patriarch will be his while eternal ages roll on.” Mormons ignore Jesus’ teaching concerning marriage in heaven: “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.”
Joseph Smith, The Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6.
Orson Pratt in The Seer, Vol. 1, p. 37.
See, for example: Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Kings 8:60; John 17:3; 1 Timothy 2:5; James 2:19.
2 Nephi 31:21b;26:12; 11:7; Mosiah 15:2-5; 16:15; Alma 11: 26-29; 38-39; 3 Nephi 11:27b, 36. As you can see, the Book of Mormon also teaches the doctrine of the Trinity (2 Nephi 31:21b; 3 Nephi 11:27b).
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 15:137, August 24, 1872.
orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 15:319, January 19, 1873. Modern Mormon theologian Duane Crowther explains, “Gods rule over their own progeny, and there is no exaltation without the ability to bring forth spirit children…. Those who gain the celestial kingdom but do not fulfill these obligations are limited to the role of servants, ministering to their exalted brethren.” (in Life Everlasting, p. 341)
In spite of the Book of Mormon’s prohibition, Joseph Smith declared plural wives to be God’s plan. Strangely, the Book of Mormon condemns polygamy: “This people begin to wax in iniquity; they understand not the scriptures, for they seek to excuse themselves in committing whoredoms …. Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”The New Testament forbade multiple wives, too.108 But on July 12, 1843, Joseph Smith claimed to receive a new revelation that men were to have many wives and concubines, and declared it “a new and everlasting covenant.” Those who rejected it were to be damned. It appears that his first wife opposed the new wives her husband was bringing into his home. So he received a revelation specifically for her: “And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given to my servant Joseph … But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord.” It must have been hard to have a husband who lusted after other women, and claimed to be God’s spokesman. Mormon leaders developed large families: Brigham Young had 17 wives and 56 children, and Young’s adopted son, John D. Lee, had 19 wives and 64 children. Mormons also claim Jesus had two wives, Mary and Martha, and had children by them. Of course the Bible says no such thing. The Mormons traveled to Utah to avoid U.S. law which forbade polygamy, but gradually, enforced by the presence of federal troops, a federal governor was appointed and polygamy was declared to be a criminal offense in 1871. In 1890, Mormon President Wilfrid Woodruff officially abolished polygamy as the practice of the Mormon Church, no matter what Joseph Smith had said about this being an “eternal covenant.” As late as 1906 his successor, President James Fielding Smith, was convicted of practicing polygamy.These are the founders. These are the prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints. Now you tell me. Is Mormonism true Christianity?
Jesus is the One and ONLY WAY to GOD!