|Trinity Vs. the Godhead|
Exaltation & Eternal
Book of Mormon Condemns
|Points of Interest|
Joseph Smith false
|Finding a Church|
Should You believe
in the Trinity?
The purpose of this page is to gather my thoughts and organize my notes regarding LDS Doctrine, and apparent contradictions with the Book of Mormon. Many mainstream Christians that I have shared this information with are very surprised to learn that the LDS Doctrines actually contradict the book of Mormon, so I have taken some time to organize and post this information on this web page. I will begin each topic by establishing a basic understanding of the doctrine in question by using quotes from LDS canonized literature as well as other books published by leaders in the church. I will then compare that information with different passages from the Book of Mormon. Many of the quotes found below have been taken directly from official church literature that was posted on either www.lds.org, or www.mormon.org. I have done my due diligence to confirm that I am establishing a fair and accurate portrayal of LDS Doctrine.
One thing that I have not spent a lot of time doing with this website is finding Bible scriptures that may speak against these doctrines. There are a few reasons for this. The first reason for this is that there are a lot of websites that have already done an excellent job of taking a biblical look at these doctrines. The other main reason that I focus more on LDS literature and the Book of Mormon is that typically Mormons simply do not believe that the Bible is 100% accurate, or trustworthy. Therefore, if they come across a passage that contradicts their beliefs, they can simply say it is not translated correctly, or it was manipulated somehow in the past. They cannot say this about the Book of Mormon, or their other scriptures. These LDS scriptures are more or less considered perfectly translated, by their founder Joseph Smith. So a passage in the Book of Mormon that contradicts LDS Doctrine will carry much more weight than a biblical passage that says the same thing.
On a personal note, I have done the best that I can to present a non-bias, as well as an objective view of facts on the LDS religion. This page will not be a place to "bad talk" Mormons, because I have a lot of respect for the LDS community. If you have any further input, comments, or questions please feel free to e-mail me.
|What does LDS canonized literature say about the nature of God?|
The LDS church's official doctrine on the God head states that three separate gods govern this planet. These gods are separate in body, but are one in purpose. The church does not accept the mainstream Christian belief of the Trinity which states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit three separate persons, but all three are different manifestations of the one being that we call God. Joseph Smith said in the book Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 370 "The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost... constitute three distinct personages and three Gods." on page 372, he says, "Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God anyhow - three in one, and one in three! LDS Apostle, Bruce R McConkie says in his book Mormon Doctrine, p. 576-577, "Three separate personages - Father, Son and Holy Ghost comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone that a plurality of Gods exist. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only gods we worship."
For more information on the Godhead, visit Teachings of the Godhead or LDS Doctrines these are official LDS sites, and I am positive they will confirm the accuracy of the above information. Although I personally firmly believe that the Bible does not teach the Godhead doctrine, I also have found that the Book of Mormon also appears to teach against the Godhead doctrine.
Alma 11:38-39 says "Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? (39) And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last". Jesus being called the very eternal Father seems to me to give him the title of Heavenly Father, a title that is not shared with Jesus in the Godhead doctrine sited above.
Alma 11:44 goes on to say, "Christ the Son, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit which is one Eternal God". I find the word “is” here interesting. The word is implies that there is a singular subject being spoken of, in this case Christ the Son, The Father, and the Holy Spirit are collectively referred to as an “is”, singular, not an “are” or a plural reference alluding to a oneness of nature, not just purpose.
Alma 11:28-29 "Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he (Amulek) answered, No. This appears to be in clear contradiction to McConkie’s quote above. The question from Zeezrom isn’t asking if there is more than one God that should be worshiped, but I guess you can make the case that it is implied.
2 Nephi 31:21 says, "behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God without end, Amen." Again “is” implies that the three constitute a singular being, called God.
Mosiah 15:1-5 says, "I would that ye understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. (2) And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son. (3) The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and the Son. (4) And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. (5) And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God". All I can say is wow, how can this not be testifying to a Trinitarian doctrine, and how can it not be in direct contradiction to the Godhead doctrine?
Ether 3:14 says, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son."
Ether 4:12 says, "and he that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father".
These verses from the Book of Mormon clearly teach a Trinitarian concept, and that there are not three separate Gods governing this planet, but one God through the three persons of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In the instances when the verse will say "they are one God", I have found that a common rebuttal to this is that someone will say that the meaning of the verse is "one Godhead". If "head" is inserted, the meaning of the verse is changed to say something that it originally didn't.
My conclusion here is that if I were to become LDS, I would either have to reject the Book of Mormon’s teaching of a Trinitarian concept, or reject the prophet's teachings on the Godhead because the teachings are mutually exclusive. In other words, they are direct contradictions of each other, and both cannot be accurate. If I were to become LDS, which doctrine of God should I believe? They are both LDS canonized literature, but they are incompatible beliefs. Only one can be eternally true.
|Eternal Progression - God is a glorified man|
One of the most common objections of the LDS faith by mainstream Christianity is the belief that God used to be mortal man, and man can become a God.
What does LDS canonized literature say about Eternal Progression, and Personal Exaltation?The LDS church teaches that God was once a mortal man just like those of us on earth. And just as God did, we are able to exalt ourselves to becoming a god in heaven Joseph Smith Said in Teachings of The Prophet Joseph Smith P. 345 "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!... We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so you may see."
Orson Pratt in The Seer says, "The Gods who dwell in the Heaven from which our spirits came, are beings who have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this Earth were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a fallen state... they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods".
The logical next step to the idea that God was once a man is that God has a father, or at the very least, God used to have a father while he was still in his pre-exalted state. To expand on this thought, Bruce R. McConkie in his book Mormon Doctrine p. 577 says, "...there is an infinite number of holy personages drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation, and are thus gods... If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that he had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a Father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son?
Personal Exaltation – Man may become a God.
James E. Talmage's book A Study of the Articles of Faith on page 430 he writes, "We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists of eternal advancement - a being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow ... the Church proclaims the eternal truth: 'As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.'"
2 Nephi 27:23 says, "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of Miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever".
2 Nephi 29:9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today and forever".
Alma 11:39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last".
Alma 11:44 says, "Christ the Son, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit which is one Eternal God".
Alma 18:28 "Believest thou that this Great Spirit who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth"
2 Nephi 26:12 says, "It must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God". This passage gives some pretty strong language that the gentiles should not just hear or understand, but that they should be convinced. Why should they be convinced of something that was misleading or untrue?
Mormon 9:9-10 says, "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is not variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whome there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles". The Book of Mormon teaches that God is a God of Miracles from 2 Nephi 27:23 above. Here we learn that there is no variableness or shadow of changing. This seems to be focusing on the mind of God rather than his person. Someone might be able to make the argument that when these verses say that God is the same, and he does not change it means that God doesn’t trade places with others. This verse seems to focus more on Gods mind and thoughts rather than his person.
Mosiah 3:5 says, For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven..." Omnipotent means all knowing. How can someone that is all knowing learn? This passage also says that the Lord was and is from all eternity. I find this very interesting considering the Prophet Joseph Smith’s quote from above “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity” Why would Joseph Smith say it was an imagined doctrine since it is a word for word reference from right here in the Book of Mormon?
Mosiah 15:4 says, And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
Moroni 8:18 says, "For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" Again this is a direct reference from Joseph Smith’s quote claiming that this is an imagined doctrine.
All these verses from LDS scripture make it clear that God is Eternal and unchanging from the beginning to the end. How can these verses be true if God is an exalted man? These verses also make it clear that God doesn't have a father because God created all things under heaven and under earth. However, LDS church doctrine teaches otherwise, and an incompatibility is found with the prophets words, and the writings in the Book of Mormon. I’m not trying to be sarcastic here, but it seems to me that these passages would be more accurate if they said very much the opposite of how they currently read. Mormon 9:9-10 would be more accurate if it read, "For do we not know that God is not the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is indeed variableness and shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth not vary, and in whome there is not shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles". Clearly this is not the message that is being portrayed in the original passage. If I were to become LDS, I would either have to reject the Book of Mormon’s teaching on God, or reject the prophet's teachings on God because both of them can't be true; again I find that they are mutually exclusive.
|Does the Book of Mormon call the LDS doctrines of salvation evil?|
When I have had LDS missionaries visit with me in my house, they gave me a basic reading assignment. This reading assignment included among other things the introduction to the Book of Mormon written by Joseph Smith, and 3rd. Nephi chapter 11. In the 2nd half of this chapter, I found that there is a section in where Jesus testifies of his doctrine in the Book of Mormon. Let’s take a look at what this passage says.
3 Nephi 11 starting with verse 31 "Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine. 32 And this is my doctrine... the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me. 33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God. 34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned. 35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father... 39 ...and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them."
In review, the Book of Mormon establishes Jesus' doctrine with three points; repentance, belief, and baptism. Everyone who does this is saved, it is also says that they will "inherit the kingdom of God." The words “Inheriting the Kingdom of God” is as close as a description of exaltation, or to reach the highest degree of salvation that you will find in The Book of Mormon, therefore, it’s not a stretch to say that this is a promise of exaltation and a “ticket” if you will into the Celestial Kingdom. Those who don't do these three things will be dammed. It goes on to say in verse 40, that if anyone adds or takes away from this doctrine, the new doctrine, is evil; and the individual that added or took away from this doctrine will literally go to Hell. To me, this passage, and the doctrine listed here is simple, strait forward, and clearly stated.
I personally, have (point 1) repented of my sins. I (point 2) believe in Christ that he died the death that I deserved, and was a sacrifice of atonement for me and then he rose again on the 3rd day. I have (point 3) been baptized in water by submersion in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit as an outward sign of my inward convictions and as a testimony of my above stated beliefs. So my personal testimony as stated above goes above and beyond the requirements according to Christ's doctrine here in 3rd Nephi, I should be saved, and even inherit the kingdom of God. Needless to say, most Latter-day Saints will disagree with me for various reasons. This causes me to speculate that this doctrine of Salvation that Jesus made so clear here in 3 Nephi 11 has somehow been changed.
www.lds.org says that “In order to be exalted we first must place our faith in Jesus Christ and then endure in that faith to the end of our lives. Our faith in him must be such that we repent of our sins and obey his commandments. He commands us all to receive certain ordinances:
1.We must be baptized and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.
2.We must receive the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.
3.We must receive the temple endowment.
4.We must be married for time and eternity."
I can see the belief, I see Baptism, and repentance of sins. The passage in 3rd Nephi 11 didn’t say anything about the Temple endowment, and eternal marriages. Where do these fit into Jesus’ doctrine of Salvation? Actually, before you can be let into the Temple, LDS priesthood leaders ask you a series of questions to determine whether or not you are worthy to receive the "further light and knowledge" promised through the temple ceremonies. Some of the further light and knowledge are secret words or signs, and hand shakes. All of this is required to reach God in the life hereafter. This all seem to be an addition to the doctrine of 3 Nephi 11 The problem with this of course is that Jesus shut the door on adding to things needed for salvation as being "evil doctrine", and "not built on my rock".
So where did this added doctrine come from? mormons.org tells us this: "There are various levels of salvation because there are various levels of belief and works among people (D&C 76:99-101). The Prophet Joseph Smith observed, 'If God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body the term 'Heaven' as intended for the Saints' eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one'" (TPJS, pp. 10-11).
Again I run into the same problem that if I were to become LDS, how would I settle the fact that Joseph Smith added to the doctrine of salvation after Jesus said that doing so would be evil? Who would I put my trust in, Joseph Smith, or The Book of Mormon? If I can’t trust one because of the words of the other, how can I put my trust in either?
|Is Joseph Smith a true Prophet of God?|
Before we examine two of Joseph Smith's prophecies, We need a test for separating the true prophets from the bad. This is the Biblical test for a prophet: When a prophecy is given in the name of the Lord concerning future events, those events must come to pass. If they do not come to pass, then the prophet that gives the prophetic word, is a false prophet. Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says, "But the prophet, which shall speak a word in my name [emphasis mine], which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?' When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord [emphasis mine], if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: Thou shalt not be afraid of him." (Afraid can also translated as follow.) So there are a series of questions you can ask yourself when testing a prophetic word concerning future events. 1.) Was a prophecy given in the name of the Lord? 2.) Did the prophecy come to pass in the time frame prophesied. Knowing this, lets take a look at two prophecies made by Joseph Smith.
Verily thus saith the Lord: It is wisdom in my servant David W. Patten, that he settle up all his business as soon as he possibly can, and make a disposition of his merchandise, that he may perform a mission unto me (God) next spring, in company with others, even twelve including himself, to testify of my name (God) and bear glad tidings unto all the world.
Joseph Smith prophesied in the name of the Lord that David Patton will serve a mission in the Spring of 1838. However, in October 1838, 6 months after the prophecy, it is recorded in the book History of the Church; "In the pursuit, one of the mob fled from behind a tree, wheeled, and shot Captain Patten, who instantly fell, mortally wounded, having received a large ball in his bowels... Brother David Patton was a very worthy man, beloved by all good men who knew him. He was one of the Twelve Apostles, and died as he had lived, a man of God, and strong in the faith".
Joseph Smith prophesied in the name of the Lord that David should serve a mission, unto all the world and it didn't come to pass because of David's death. Some in the church would say that he served his mission in the after life, but the prophecy specifies that it will be served in this world. "to testify of my name and bear glad tidings unto all the world." This prophecy did not come to pass.
I wrote an LDS official that we will call Bob, and brought this prophecy to his attention. The following are copies of the letters that were exchanged between me, and him...
In Doctrine and Covenants Section 84, Joseph Smith in September of 1832 prophesied that a "temple shall be reared in this generation" in Jackson County Missouri. Joseph goes on to proclaim "this generation shall not all pass away until a house shall be built unto the Lord" This day, 12/10/97; 165 years after Josephs revelation, no temple is erected in Jackson County Missouri, nor has there ever been a Latter Day Saint temple erected there. Knowing that no one from that generation is still alive in the church, Joseph Smith's prophecy did not, and can no longer come to pass. Why is a false prophecy included in LDS canonized scripture?
In search of Truth, Jerry Meyer
Your question has a number of sides with a couple of them facing south. It is a good question without the twist. Many probably wonder why the Latter-day-Saints were required to build a temple in Missouri without being able to comply with this revelation given in section 84:4. The answer to this query was given in the year 1841 by revelation to Joseph Smith and recorded as section 124 verse 49. We have copied it in total for your connivance. Simply put, when the Lord gives a commandment, as he did to the Israelites and others, and through no fault of their own they are unable to comply. He will lay the consequences at the feet of the enemy and rescind his requirement of the just. Relating to verse 5, using the parental sense of the word Generation and not the figurative sense there were at least four temples reared during Brigham Young’s life time. Who of course was a contemporary with Joseph Smith. Verse 3 will yet to come to pass. Jerry be careful with labeling any man before you know the facts.
D&C 124:49 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.
Thank you for responding to my question, however, the answer I received troubles me more than it comforts me. My First concern is: I don’t see a direct correlation between D&C 124:49 and D&C 84. Is the purpose of D&C 124:49 to be in response of D&C 84's un-fulfillment? D&C 84 is clearly a prophecy, Joseph Smith knew it was a prophecy as well as the other leaders in the church. D&C 124:49 speaks of a commandment, however, God did not command there be a temple built in Jackson County in D&C 84. It was a prophecy through Joseph Smith. D&C 84 is very clear on that. That is why the passage begins with "A revelation of Jesus Christ unto his servant Joseph Smith... Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church" and again in verse 4 "Verily this is the word of the Lord", it is a prophecy, not a commandment.
My second point of concern is in D&C 124:49 when it is stated "and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work". If this passage is directed to D&C 84, it tells me that God’s enemies are stronger than He is because it was *prophesied* that it *will* happen in *this* generation living in 1832. 2Peter 1:20-21 says "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had it’s origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." In other words, God *promised* the CJCLDS that a temple *will* be built in *this generation* Orson Pratt agrees, and sums it up nicely in Journal of Discourses Vol. 13 page 362 "God Promised in the year 1832 that we should before the generation then living had passed away, return and build up the City of Zion in Jackson County; that we should return and build up the temple of the Most High where we formerly laid the corner stone... We believe in these promises as much as we believe in any promise ever uttered by the mouth of Jehovah. The Latter-day Saints just as much expect to receive a fulfillment of that promise during the generation that was in existence in 1832 as they expect that the sun will rise and set to-morrow. Why? Because God cannot lie. He will fulfill all His promises. He has spoken , it must come to pass. This is our faith." Looking back to D&C 124:49, Are Gods enemies really going to hinder Him from His work? I certainly don’t believe that God’s enemies are stronger than He is. God’s enemies are subject to the will of the Father, even today just as it is shown in the book of Job 1:6-12, 2:1-7; and again in Luke 22:31-32.
In your response to my question you said: Jerry be careful with labeling any man before you know the facts. In response to this, I ask you: How many false prophecies is a prophet allowed before he is labeled a false prophet?
In search of Truth, Jerry
Do you have trouble with the fact that Moses came down off the mountain with a higher law, and when he saw the wickedness of the people, disappeared and came back with a Bober law? DId God make a mistake? Was the devil stronger than God because his people, the HOuse of Israel, were so wicked? Is it really God's fault, or does it somehow show the weakness of God and his prophet Moses that the first idea did not come to pass? 40 years in the wilderness as a result.
inserted: This is from LDS scripture, not the Bible.
Do you have a problem with Jesus eventually fulfilling the law of Moses? Did God make a mistake? Was Moses wrong to have taught the law in the first place? Does God change His mind? Why the new gospel? God truly can change things.
inserted: This was Gods plan from the beginning.
Can you accept the fact that Jesus did not go unto the Gentiles to preach His message, but Peter was commanded to do so later through his dream? Did God change His mind or make a mistake? Things can change.
When Adam and Eve were given commandments in the garden by God to take good care of it, and to eat of every tree except one, they partook of the wrong tree and were cast out. Now God commanded them to do different things like offer sacrifice, etc. DId God make a mistake or change His mind? How come they now had to offer sacrifice? Why and when did that start?
inserted: What is the point of a sin offering when there is no sin? besides, this is a good example of a commandment, not a prophecy
When can God make a slight change in the plan according to you? Is it ok if it is recorded in the Bible? Is that the criteria? Or is the real criteria that there is no such criteria, and that we need to always follow the Spirit rather than a rigid set of presumed rules?
This was the very thing that got the Scribes and Pharisees into trouble in the first place. They were rigid in their beliefs, and made no room for the possibility that Jesus was bringing them something greater. They made no room for the possibility of change.
Was Jesus also a false prophet because he was unable to get the majority to do the right thing? Was Satan stronger than Jesus because the enemies "killed" the Savior? was Jesus a false messiah because he was not temporally victorious in the short run? Of course not.
If you would look at the big picture, there WILL eventually be that temple built in Jackson County, but the Lord altered the time-table by revelation. Things can change, as I have shown you.
Let us suppose for a moment that God did change his mind. By revelation, for reasons known only by God, he decided to alter the time table, and change the original time frame of the prophecy. In September of 1832, the original prophecy is recorded. In January of 1841, God revoked the time period of the original prophecy for a time that is better suit for His glory. Apparently in 1870 God changed his mind a third time, this time to go back to the original time frame previously set. Orson Pratt in 1870 states recorded in Journal of Discourses Vol. 13 page 362: "God Promised in the year 1832 that we should before the generation then living had passed away, return and build up the City of Zion in Jackson County; that we should return and build up the temple of the Most High where we formerly laid the corner stone... We believe in these promises as much as we believe in any promise ever uttered by the mouth of Jehovah. The Latter-day Saints just as much expect to receive a fulfillment of that promise during the generation that was in existence in 1832 as they expect that the sun will rise and set to-morrow. Why? Because God cannot lie. He will fulfill all His promises. He has spoken , it must come to pass. This is our faith." J of D Vol. 14 p.275 recorded in 1971, and J of C Vol. 17 p. 111 recorded in 1874. What D&C 124:49 did to erase the allotted time frame of the prophecy in D&C 84 Orsen Pratt undid in his teachings recorded in the Journal of Discourses. Now you have a choice, either Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is a false prophet, or Orson Pratt, an apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is a false teacher. Either you keep in line of the most current teaching of your authorities, or you discount your authorities teaching, as a false teaching, and discount your authorities as false teachers.
Some day a temple may be built in Jackson County, but God knows all things. Moroni 7:22 says, "For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting" In other words, God knows all time, from the beginning to the end, from everlasting to everlasting. If God knew the enemy was going to Hinder the building of the temple why would God put a time line on it’s completion? Until it would be built by the end of the appointed time. God is not a liar, and God will not promise a building to you before a set time, knowing full well that the building will not arrive until after the promised time. God did not have a revelation, and decide to postpone the fulfillment of the prophecy. Isaiah 40:13 "Who has understood the mind of the Lord, or instructed him as a counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?" The answer, of course, is no one but the Lord himself, he is all knowing, and all powerful.
In search of Truth, Jerry
What is a "generation" and who says that Orson Pratt understood its meaning? He was obviously zealous to build the temple. Generation, as the Lord spoke the word (not Orson), could mean a dispensation of time, even these last days. Orson was not speaking scripture for us, but he was speaking his personal understanding of it. It was not an official position for the Church. He undoes nothing pertaining to the scriptures in so speaking his personal beliefs concerning them. This is my choice. Orson Pratt had it wrong. But you place yourself in his shoes. Imagine that you lived in a time when you were persecuted, driven, murdered, and you have lost your home three, four and five times, and even after fleeing to Utah for refuge, the US still coming against you. Would you not think that the end was near? I would, and so they did. But they were wrong if they thought that. Blame them if you will. But I wouldn’t. A generation of time can be an exercise in semantics. The only way we can know for sure what the LOrd meant when He used the word in the scripture, is by the Holy Ghost.
That is the chain of letters, between me and Bob. I didn't write him back, because I figured by this time, he was more than tired of hearing from me. But more questions did come to mind after reading this. One question is; if only Orsen Pratt had this miss interpretation of a generation, then why was he allowed to continue preaching on it without being rebuked. He gave three discourses in four years on this topic, and every time specified generation as meaning: the people that lived during the time when the prophecy was given. I would hope, and think that the First Presidency would step in and correct him. However, that never happened, and it leads to the question... is that because they all believed the same thing? I have two more quotes from church leaders that I would like to share with you. The first is found in the book: Doctrine And Covenants Commentary Containing Revelations Given to Joseph Smith Jr., the Prophet With an Introduction and Historical and Exegetical Notes by Hyrum M. Smith of the Council of the Twelve Apostles and Janne M. Sjodahl. The commentary on D&C 84:5 says this, "This generation shall not all pass away, etc.] This is a promise that some living at the time when it was made, in 1832, would still be on Earth in the flesh... A generation does not all pass away in one hundred years, and every generation has a few who live over a hundred years." This was printed by The Deseret News Press; Salt Lake City, Utah in 1923; 91 years after the original prophecy. The church has since changed this passage in this book. If you would like to read what it says, you can read it here.
The second quote is found in Answers to Gospel Questions, page 112. "We read in another revelation given to the Church in January 1841, where the Lord absolves the members of the Church from the obligation of building the temple, in the following words:"... D&C 124:49-54 ... "This should be a sufficient answer to the question. The Lord accepted at the hands of the members of the Church their efforts and absolved them."
In order to cover up the false prophecy, it seems Latter Day Saints need to take there own scripture out of context, change entire sections of books, and change the meanings of words in order to justify their interpretation. What I fail to understand is how a prophecy was turned into a commandment. God did not command them to build a temple, it was prophesied that a temple would be built. Why also were so many so mistaken about the meaning of the word "generation" until 150 years after the prophecy was given.
Finally, some Latter-day Saints say that if what I say above is true, then Jonah must have been a false prophet too. But Jonah never prophesied in the name of the Lord like Joseph Smith did in the above examples. None the less, he was a prophet, and he was delivering a message from God. He served a warning to the Ninevites that God was not going to put up with their wickedness any longer. I am glad that I serve a God whose grace
|Since the LDS Church isn't True, what is?|
It was suggested to me that I put some information here to help someone
who is coming out of the LDS church find a new church home. Until today, I
have had three main reasons for not recommending a particular church.
First, I don't believe salvation is found in any one church, or denomination. It is only through believing in your heart, and accepting God's grace through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross that we are saved. That being said I believe that the very basics of LDS doctrine teach basic salvation, but the deeper you get into the doctrine, the further it will take you from the True and Living God. God alone will judge a man for what they believe, and whether or not they are saved.
Second, different personalities will fit into different churches. Different churches have much different flavors, for example, I would not recommend that someone who was comfortable with a Lutheran service visit a Vineyard renewal meeting. They would likely be scared half to death, and if someone used to Vineyard, or a very charismatic service was to visit the Lutheran church, they would probably be board, if not frustrated with the service not knowing what or when to speak as the rest of the congregation reads a portion of the service.
The final reason I haven't recommend a particular church is because there is no perfect church. As the saying goes; if you find the perfect church, don't join because you will ruin it. Even a church with the best intentions that strives to model itself on the Bible, and the early church will have faults because the leaders are only human, and they like everyone else will fall short of perfection.
Keeping all of this in mind, Here is what I
recommend avoiding when looking for a church
1. Avoid a church that says "We are the only True Church, and you cannot be saved outside of this organization". Why? Jesus said I am the way the Truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by me. There is but one mediator between yourself and God, and a church organization is not that mediator. It is Jesus alone.
2. Avoid a church that is very legalistic. What I mean by legalistic is a church that says "if you break these rules, your salvation is on the line". Things like the day you worship (Only on Saturday, or Sunday), what you can and cannot wear to church (hats shorts etc), what you eat or drink (must be vegetarian, or no pork), your amount of good works (as a requirement for salvation). Obviously there are things we as Christians should not practice, 1 Cor 6:9-10, and Romans 1 are a couple of places that list out these things. It's the gray areas that will show a churches true colors. For example, I personally think smoking cigarettes is a filthy habit, I don't smoke, and would recommend that someone quit if they smoke cigarettes. But if someone does smoke, does that act put their salvation on the line? This is something that is between them and God. I believe it is wise not to smoke, your the body is the temple of God, and smoking does damage the body, but will their salvation be revoked for it? The bible says nothing of the sort. Why? Paul in much of the new testament comes against the legalist. After reading through Romans for example, one should have a pretty good idea of what to look for here. Chapter 2 for example teaches that it is the goodness of God, not the law or a list of rules, that leads men to repentance. Along with this the other end of the spectrum is also something to be wary of. A church that says it doesn't matter how we behave because God will just forgive us is not a good place to draw closer to the Lord.
What to look for in a new church:
Find a bible believing and bible teaching church that takes a simple, and literal interpretation of the bible where Jesus is the focus. Why? The bible is the love letter that God has given to us, his children. It was meant to be understood by unlearned and and ignorant men (just like me). If you need a masters degree to understand salvation, or if you need to attain certain goals or levels before you are truly saved, then that church probably doesn't take a simple and literal interpretation of the bible. That being said, God is infinite, and if he is simple enough for my small brain to understand, then he isn't big enough to be worshiped. We will not fully comprehend every aspect of the Lord, or every doctrine, because the bible has a depth that we have not yet even began to find the bottom of, but if the bible is taken at it's word, it can be easily understood. I personally believe the best church that you can find yourself in is one that simply teaches through the bible verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and always keeps Jesus as the focus. Hebrews 10:7 Jesus says "Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me". I find that churches have a tendency to teach on certain topics in proportions not found in scripture, for example, tithing although I believe it is important, has a tendency to be taught much more often than the subject comes up in scripture. Some churches lean to heavily on grace, and some too heavily on judgment, going through the bible in my opinion provides the perfect God given balance on teaching.
In my personal experience, I have found that Calvary Chapel (what I currently attend) is very good about this, but so are many community churches. Here is a link to a community church in the Portland area that I used to attend before moving 7 or so years ago. Athey Creek Christian Fellowship has bible studies online that you can download to your mp3 player for free. They start with John back in 1998, they then taught through the entire new testament, then the old testament, and they just started as of March 2008 back in the gospel of Matthew. If you happen to be from the Portland area, I would highly recommend giving this church a try especially someone that is used to, or comfortable with an LDS service. The one big difference to expect is the casual dress code, the pastor wears shorts even when it snows. Casual in dress, but not in faith is kind of their motto.
Wherever you go, try to approve the things that are excellent, and don't try to pick apart everything that is taught to try to find fault. This is somewhat of a challenge for me as I am very analytical in nature.
Many churches have different personalities, so find a bible teaching church that fits yours.
|SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT|
|An answer to “Should you Believe in the Trinity” By Watch Tower Publications|
This simple webpage is the result of a co-worker giving me the pamphlet
titled “Should you Believe in the Trinity” By Watch Tower Publications. This
will not be a point by point rebuttal, but rather a few things that I found
interesting from a fundamentalist/mainstream Christian perspective, and some
major biblical issues towards the end. I will comment on a few things and
at the end we will have a bit of a Bible study, and go over some passages
that the pamphlet does not take into consideration. Form these scriptures I
will form some thoughts on all of this. I am no Bible scholar, and I have
not had any formal education on Greek or Hebrew, but through the internet,
we can all enjoy using a number of online resources. Just for references
sake, and if anyone is interested, here are a few that I use regularly:
http://net.bible.org/ Side by side translations of some of the most commonly used translations such as New International Version, King James, New King James, and New American Standard.
http://www.eliyah.com/lexicon.html Strong’s concordance
Athey Creek Fellowship. Through the Bible teachings from my old pastor. This is a great resource because Pastor Brett teaches right through the bible, so if you wanted to hear a teaching on just about any passage in the bible you can find it here.
To start, I wanted to preface this with my own personal thoughts on the original doctrine of the Trinity, and my philosophy on reading the Bible as a whole. The doctrine of the Trinity is man’s attempt at putting into words a concept that is taught in the Bible. Here are my foundational beliefs that I would like to establish when it comes to studying and interpreting the Bible. I believe that the Bible is the wholly, Holy inspired word of God and it is without error, or contradiction in any meaningful or foundational passage. So the bible from beginning to end and everything in the middle is literally Gods word for us, and it will not contradict itself. Any apparent direct contradiction needs to be reconciled somehow; 1st by scripture as I believe the best commentary on the bible is the bible itself. 2nd if scripture does not provide a clear resolution to the conflict, then prayer to God for wisdom as James 1:5 directs us to do, and I believe that God can answer those questions. I do not believe that changing, the text to conform to pre-established doctrine is ever acceptable. One of my favorite quotes is ‘do you judge the bible, or does the bible judge you’ is appropriate in this instance. Therefore, doctrine should always be subject to the text of the bible. I don’t pretend to have all doctrine down pat, or all of life’s questions figured out. I think a good text to underscore this thought is Romans 2:17-24. It’s this attitude that Paul is speaking of here where you are convinced you are a guide for the blind, and have the embodiment of Knowledge and truth. I never want have that prideful attitude. We should always be teachable. There are many things that the bible is very clear on, the Ten Commandments, or that we cannot have salvation apart from Jesus Christ for example. But there are still many great mysteries, and I think the greatest bible scholars have yet to even scratch the surfaces of the many many great truths tucked away inside scripture. That is not to say that any crazy idea goes of course, but it’s one of our duties as believers, and bible students to test the teachings that we receive against what is written in the Bible to see if they are true. This is my attempt at doing just that, so lets get started.
Not a God of Confusion Pgs 4-5.
The basic premise of this portion of the pamphlet is that we cannot fully understand the doctrine of the trinity, therefore it is not only mysterious, it’s outright confusing, and God is not a God of confusion. 1 Cor 14:33 that says our God is not a God of Confusion is then used as a supporting biblical text, but I disagree on the interpretation and use of the passage, and find the conclusion in the pamphlet to be out of context. 1 Cor 14:33 is in the context of orderly worship services, and in my very loose paraphrase, your worship services should not turn into a Holy Ghost riot. Even so, the word is probably better translated as disorder considering the context as well as other passages using the same word: Luke 21:9 is translated as “commotions”, 2 Cor 6:5 – “Tumults”; 2 Cor 12:20 – “Tumults”. Webster’s defines Tumult as: Disorderly agitation or milling about of a crowd usually with uproar and confusion of voices. This seems to be a very accurate description considering the context of 1 Cor 14:33, as well as some of the worship services I have seen in the last few years.
Finally the idea that we as humans should be able to fully understand the nature of God, is a pretty bold suggestion. Are we able to understand the mind of God? Know his thoughts, or the depths of his greatness? It’s not a case of confusion, but rather our puny brains trying to come to terms with something as complicated and amazing as the creator of the universe. The Trinity is not so much a confusing thing but rather a concept that is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. See Job 11:7, Psalm 139:6, and Isaiah 55:8 for some supporting scriptures.
Testimony of the Hebrew & Greek Scriptures Pg 6
The quotes from these two sections are all pretty much the same thing. Both sections open with a quote from The Encyclopedia of Religion. I don’t know what this is, who wrote it, or for what purpose or agenda. It sounds to me like a secular publication of some kind, and I don’t give much of an ear to a secular interpretation of Holy Scripture. Their quotes both start with “Theologians today” without any kind of qualifying reference. That may be simply because it’s a quote from a different publication, but it seems a lot like the theologians that you find on OPB, and CNN that are from the Jesus seminar. That group doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God. As to most of the other quotes, they say there is no “explicit” doctrine or teaching of the Trinity without any explanation as to what teachings might point a theologian, or a bible scholar to come to the conclusion of a Trinitarian concept. I would guess that the quotes taken from these publications would go on to lay these out. The final conclusion is that since the Bible does not have a word for word teaching of the doctrine of the Trinity, it must be heretical. I disagree with the conclusion as I imagine most Jehovah’s Witnesses do as well since this logic is not applied to other doctrines. I don’t intend to get into these subjects, but for example, there is no biblical teaching that Jesus was nailed to anything other than a Roman cross when he was killed. Although the pamphlet doesn’t mention this, I have heard that Jehovah’s witnesses believe that Jesus was actually Michael the archangel before being born on earth, but there is no biblical teaching that I am aware of that supports this belief, let alone an “explicit” teaching in scripture. But this isn’t about Michael, it’s about Jesus, and his relationship to Almighty God, so I will keep the focus there.
The next big sections of the pamphlet cover early teachings, Ante-Nicene teachings, and pagan teachings. These really don’t interest me, and I don’t have much to comment on other than "What does the Bible teach"? That’s the only thing that matters in my opinion, so I won’t bother commenting on this portion of the pamphlet other than saying I find it interesting that Satan is the great copy cat, and loves to create forgeries of God and faith.
Pg. 13 Deut 6:4 is mentioned, so I wanted to break it down in the
original language and take a look.
KJV (parenthesis’ mine) - Hear O Israel The LORD(Jehovah) our God(Elohiym) is one LORD(Jehovah). Elohiym pronounced “El-o-heem” is a plural word for “God”. El is God, and adding ohiym makes “El” (God) plural. Elohiym is used all through the Old Testament when speaking of God including Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God(“Gods” -Elohiym) created the heavens and the Earth. Elohiym is used over 2600 times in the bible and, as the pamphlet mentions later on, it speaks of the True God as well as other false gods. Although I agree that this is not an “explicit teaching” of the Trinity, it supports the concept of God having a plural quality of some kind right from the beginning (GEN 1:1). I disagree with the conclusion in the pamphlet that anyone who implies Elohiym is a reference to the trinity is polytheistic for two main reasons. Elohiym is in fact a plural word as the pamphlet recognizes, and is used as a description of the True and Living God. Elohiym implies some kind of plural qualities and greatness to God. The pamphlet also mentions at the end of page 13 that Elohiym is also used to describe a single false God Baal. When Baal is called Elohiym, it is by Elijah who is mocking the prophets of Baal, and cannot be used as an example of when Elohiym is used as a specific title for a false god. To me, the concept of Elohiym being a plural word for God is defined in Deut 6:4 as being plural but singular in Jehovah.
My God, My God pg. 18
When Jesus Cried out My God, My God, why have thou forsaken me, it was a fulfillment of prophecy from Psalm 22. It was meant to bring this psalm to remembrance to show the prophecy in scripture. This Psalm is one of the most incredible descriptions of what Jesus was going through when he had the sins of the world poured on him on the cross. But there will be more on a separation of Jesus and Almighty God later in this study.
Trinity proof texts. Pgs 23-28
Unfortunately, the “proof texts” that the pamphlet brings up hardly scratch the surface of bible passages that point to a divine relationship between Jesus and Almighty God. It seems to me that they chose passages that can easily be interpreted in a number of different ways. I consider most of the texts chosen by the pamphlet to be supporting texts of the Trinity rather than foundational texts. There are two however that are at least in part very important to the understanding of Jesus’ nature. I will also bring in some more foundational texts as well, and this is where I will finish commenting on much of the pamphlet, and begin a study of scripture.
The first is John 1:1
This portion of the pamphlet goes to great lengths to prove that “theos”, the Greek word for “elohiym”, or “god(s)” should be translated as either a god, or Almighty God based on whether or not a definitive article “ton” is used before the word theos. Just to clarify, the pamphlet is establishing a rule that states when the definitive article (“ton” translated as “the”) is used in conjunction with theos, that is speaking of God Almighty “The God”, but if the definitive article is not used in conjunction with theos, then the correct translation is “a god”. Therefore, according to the pamphlet, John 1:1 should read “The word was a god”. To support this claim they reference Mark 6:49 which doesn’t use a definitive article at all, and uses a different word, “phantasma”, not “theos”, only a single time. I didn’t think that was a very good comparison, so I used the net bible website referenced above to quickly find another verse that uses the same definitive article “ton” in reference to the Greek word “theos” that is also used multiple times in a single verse. I found that Luke 20:37 is a much better reference to test the rule established by the pamphlet. Luke 20:37 states (NIV) “But in the account of the bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’”. As you can see, it is structured very similar to John 1:1 in that theos is stated multiple times in the sentence, and only the first instance of theos (The God of Abraham) is preceded by the definitive article “ton”. Translating this verse using the rule established by the pamphlet regarding John 1:1, this is what the text would read: “for he calls the Lord the (almighty) God of Abraham, and a god of Isaac, and a god of Jacob. Clearly this is not the case in this passage, as all three instances of theos are speaking of the same God. So it seems to me that either the definitive article rule that the pamphlet uses for John 1:1 is either simply incorrect, or is used only when it directly contradicts pre-established doctrine. Either way, I need to reject the rule because it’s not consistent in the scripture, and goes against the foundational beliefs I established at the beginning of this letter. Therefore, the proper reading of John 1:1 should read as: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was (Almighty)God. The other thing about this passage is that it goes on to be even more clarifying. Verse 14 says (NIV) - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Verse 18 repeats this title (One and Only) given to Jesus in verse 14, but calls him God. “No-one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.” This is not the only instance of this, Jesus is also called God in John 20:28, Romans 9:5, Hebrews 1:8, and 1 John 5:20. Lets take a look at a few of these. John 20:28 Thomas calls “My Lord and my God”. What is Jesus’ response? Does he correct Thomas, and tell him that there is only one God, and I am not he? No instead he commends him and gives out a blessing for those who believe the same thing who have not seen Jesus. Even the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus and calls him God. Isaiah9:6 reads (NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. How can a child be born to us that is called Mighty God and Everlasting Father? Also Isaiah 7:14 prophecies that Jesus will be called Emanuel which means “God with us” this title is given directly to Jesus in Matt 1:23. In my opinion both through prophecy, and even the early church teachings say that Jesus in indeed Almighty God. So how can we reconcile the teaching that Jesus is both called God, yet at the Fathers side? (John 1:18) The Trinitarian argument is that they are both God, yet distinct persons, Father and Son… I don’t know if that’s 100% accurate, but it’s beginning to create a consistency where we have apparent contradictions in scripture.
Not only did the disciples and the early church call Jesus God, they also worshiped him. None of the proof texts offered in the pamphlet brings up any of these verses. Jesus is worshiped in Luke 24:52 when he ascended.
Matt 2:11, the Magi came and found Jesus and worshiped him.
Matt 14:33 after Jesus and Peter walked on the water they climbed back into the boat, and says “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, Truly you are the Son of God”. There was no rebuke for their worshiping Jesus.
Matt 28:9: Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
Matt 28:17-18 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” This time there was no rebuke for this worship, but rather for those who doubted. Jesus came to them and told them that he has all authority in heaven and earth.
These 4 references from Matthew are all the same word for worship. This word is also used a number of times in Revelation where the elders all bow down and worship God seated on his throne. Here are the references Rev 5:14, 7:11, 11:16, and 19:4.
One can even say when Mary poured out the costly perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair was a beautiful act and illustration of worship although it is not specifically called that in John 12. But to me one of the most powerful verses in which Jesus is worshiped is Hebrews 1:6 And again when God brings his firstborn into the world he says, Let all Gods angels worship him. The words “let all” is actually translated from the same word that is translated as worship, and the word used for worship is a command, or a direct order (as if in the military) to worship Jesus. So my own translation of this verse would read something like this “Worship God’s angels, I command you to worship him (Jesus)”. Vs. 8 is also pretty interesting in that God calls the Son “O God”.
Jesus is called God, he is worshiped, what other qualities does he share
with Almighty God? Jesus speaks of himself as the First and the Last, Alpha
There are two points in Revelation that I believe are very clear that Jesus refers to himself as the First and the Last, or Alpha and Omega. Rev 1:12-20 is an encounter that John has with Jesus. Verse 17 he says “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last”. The reason I believe that it is absolutely Jesus here is that the very next verse 18 he says “I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever!” This is a clear reference to his death and resurrection. Again in Revelation chapter 22 vs. 12-17 is all one continuous speaker. I also think this is the same speaker that we had in chapter 1. Verse 13 says “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” It’s interesting to me that the speaker here uses the same “First and Last” statement that Jesus used in Chapter 3 along with Beginning and the End, and Alpha and Omega as well. Verse 16, the speaker identifies himself “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony...”
On a side note, I also find this statement by Jesus very interesting considering the opening verses of this book. Rev 1:1 – The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies of everything he saw... Who sent the angel to John? Rev 1:1 says it was God, Rev 22:16 says it was Jesus. How can we reconcile this apparent contradiction? I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that Jesus is the physical representation of Almighty God himself, and that leads us into Paul’s teaching in Colossians.
Jesus is spoken of as Devine in Col 1:19, and again in Col 2:9
Starting with Col 2:9, this is very clear: For in Christ all the fullness of Deity (nature of God) lives in bodily form.
Col 1:15 Paul says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. It appears to me that God simply created himself a body (Jesus) to inhabit. As vs. 19 says God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him. So it’s clear to me that from these passages alone that Jesus is fully God. The other interesting thing from this passage is verse 16 where we learn that Jesus created all things in heaven or on earth. All things were created by him and for him. John 1:3 says something very similar “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” You said that you believe God created Jesus first, then Jesus created everything else in the universe. This begs two quick questions. First, when was Jesus created? John 1:1 says it was in the beginning. So I read this as Jesus was already there when time began, it was in the beginning, not at the beginning. This is also supported in 2 Tim 1:9 that speaks of Jesus’ existence before time began. So I hesitate to accept the idea that Jesus is nothing more than a created being. The 2nd question is can one create oneself? Col 1:16 says that Jesus created all things… all things were created by him. John 1:3 also says Through him all things were made, and there is nothing that he didn’t make. (my paraphrase). These statements would include his own person. If Jesus is a created being, then how could he have created himself? That would contradict these two passages as well as simple logic. That is also why you see the word [other] in brackets in the NWT that is published by Watch Tower, but the word “other” is not found in the original text. Again adding the word “other” breaks a rule that I established at the beginning of this letter in changing scripture to fit pre-established doctrine. But I guess if you are God you can create yourself a dwelling place, or a body to live in. But the very interesting thing about these passages is if you compare them to Isaiah 44:24, we find that Jehovah created all things “This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD who has made all things who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself”. Where LORD is in all caps, that is the proper name for God, or “Jehovah”. These passages apparently directly contradict each other. How can Jesus be the creator of the heavens and the Earth as both John 1, and Col 1 state, but then Jehovah say that he did it all alone by himself in Isaiah 44? I think there is a big clue here where the LORD calls himself our Redeemer. It was Jesus that redeemed us, and paid the price that we owed for our sin. The only answer I can come up with, the only thing that makes sense to me is that Jesus is the physical incarnation of Almighty God himself just as taught in Colossians 1:15-19, and chapter 2 vs. 9.
Although most of my focus has been on the person and nature of Jesus, it seems to me that scripture is very clear that the nature of Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Almighty God are very much intertwined. Is this absolute evidence that the Trinity as originally defined in the Athanasian Creed absolutely correct? I still maintain that the doctrine of the Trinity is mans attempt to put into words a theme that is taught throughout the Bible from the beginning Gen 1:1 to the end Rev 22:16, and many points in between. It may, or may not be a perfect definition of the relationship between God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but I am compelled by the evidence found in scripture to believe it to be a very close.
So what about verses like Mark 13:32 where Jesus doesn’t know when he will return, but only the Father who is in Heaven? Why would Jesus being God himself say that only the Father in Heaven knows this information? Shouldn’t Jesus know this if he was in fact God? How do we reconcile that with the rest of the passages that I have referenced in this letter, or the rest of the bible? I think that this does in fact show a clear separation between God the Father and Jesus that is evident throughout the gospels, not only in this verse but in others as well. He didn’t lie, in fact, he is unable to tell a lie, so Jesus in fact didn’t know the time or day at least while he was still in his earthly body. Is it possible that when Jesus came to earth, he willingly chose to forget certain things while in his human body? God certainly has the amazing ability to forget our sins that have been forgiven. Could he have separated himself from knowledge that he didn’t want us to have like the timing of his second coming? He certainly wanted us to live like it could be at any moment. If we knew it would be a couple of thousand years, apathy would most certainly have set in, and that would have killed the early church movement. So it makes sense to me that he wouldn’t want that knowledge to be reveled. What is my final conclusion? From these scriptures I know that Jesus is God. Do I have all of the finer details figured out? No, will I go on praying to, studying, and worshiping Jesus and God as the bible teaches us to do. I rest on Romans 10:11-13 that says Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame… for Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
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