What is the truth?
by Matt Slick
Truth is not a feeling. Truth is not an idea. The truth is found in the Bible. The cults are wrong because they do not have the truth. That is, they have a false understanding of God the Father, of God the Son, of the Holy Spirit, and the work of Christ on the Cross. Because they are in error in these things, they are in error concerning the doctrine of salvation.
Sincerity and good works do not bridge the gap of sin between God and man. Only the blood of Jesus can cleanse a person (Heb. 9:22; John 14:6). Sincerity and good works are merely the reliance upon what is in the individual to merit favor with God. Sincerity is a form of pride when it is appealed to as a justification for being accepted by God: "But God, look at my heart. See how sincere I was? I deserve to be in heaven."
No. If sincerity and good works were good enough to satisfy God, then He wouldn't have given us the Bible to correct our sincerely wrong ideas, and He wouldn't have sent His Son to do what our good works cannot.
Truth is what God says is true.
Only One God
True Christian doctrine is that there is only one God who has ever existed anywhere, anyplace, anytime. There is no God formed before God; there will be no God formed after God (Isaiah 43:10). God doesn't even know of any other Gods (Isaiah 44:8). There is only one God in existence in the entire universe. Just one. This is called monotheism.
The god of earth is only one of many, many gods (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 163). This is called polytheism. However, they worship only one of the many gods, the one called Elohim. This is called monolatry.
Elohim (as the Mormons like to call the Father) used to be a man on another planet (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Elohim became a God and came to this world with his goddess wife (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443). Mormons have the potential of becoming gods of their own worlds (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354).
This contradicts the teachings of scripture. Mormons are polytheists. Christianity is monotheistic. Mormonism is very wrong.
- Jehovah's Witnesses:
They believe in only one God (Make Sure of All Things, p 188). They call God "Jehovah." In this, the J.W.'s are correct. There is only one God.
God is a Trinity of persons: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is not the same person as the Son. The Son is not the same person as the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not the same person as the Father. They all are eternal, divine, and omniscient.
Objections to the Trinity are that it is not logical. Logic should not rule scripture. If it is from God, there will be things in it that are difficult to understand. Additionally, the fingerprints of God are seen all over creation. In Romans 1:20 it says that the invisible attributes of God are clearly seen in creation. Creation is made up of a trinity of trinities: time, space, and matter. Time is past, present, and future. Each "part" is different, yet they are all of the same nature: time. Space is height, width, and depth. Each "part" is different, yet they are all of the same nature: space. Matter is solid, liquid, and gas. Each "part" is different, yet they are all of the same nature: matter.
The Trinity is an office held by three separate gods: a god called the father, a god called the son, and a god called the holy spirit. They error in assuming that a "person" must be in a fleshly form (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22)--something like flesh and blood.
This contradicts the orthodox view of the Trinity as well as teaching that there is more than one God (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8).
- Jehovah's Witnesses:
They deny the Trinity (Let God be True, p. 100-101; Make Sure of All Things, p.386). They say there is only one person in the Godhead: the Father. They are in error by denying the true doctrine of the Trinity.
Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. Jesus is both God and man. He is fully God and fully man (Col. 2:9). He was in the form of God, emptied Himself, and became a man (Phil. 2:5-8). As the God man, He is the mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). Jesus was not created (John 1:1-3) but is the creator of all things (Col. 1:16-17).
Jesus, the devil, and all of us are literal spirit children born in a pre-existence, the literal offspring of God the Father and his goddess wife (Mormon Doctrine p. 516; Journal of Discourse, Vol. 4, p. 218).
- Jehovah's Witnesses:
Jesus is Michael the Archangel who became a man, died on a stake--not a cross--rose in a spirit body, and returned to heaven to be an angel again (The Watchtower, May 15, 1963, p. 307; The New World, 284).
The problem here is that Jesus (Michael) would be a created thing. This is why the J.W. Bible adds the words "other" four times in Col. 1:16-17. The word "other" is not in the original text of the Bible.
Salvation, or the forgiveness of sins, is something that is given to you by God. It is a free gift (Rom. 6:23). The sinner is made righteous in God's eyes solely by the faith that the believer has in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Justification, or being declared righteous, is accomplished by faith (Rom. 5:1). Our works play no part in salvation. If our works could play any part at all, then Jesus died needlessly (Gal. 2:21).
The doctrine of the forgiveness of sins in Mormonism is that you are saved by grace after all you can do (Article 8 of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 92). They add to the finished work of Christ on the cross and say that Jesus made it possible for us to be forgiven. Our works must be mixed with the finished work of Christ, and then our forgiveness of sins is merited before God.
This error is that works play a part in our salvation, our forgiveness of sins. They do not. In Galatians chapters 3 and 5, Paul addressed the issue and condemned the thought of keeping even one part of the Law in order to be righteous with God. Salvation is a free gift paid for by the blood of Christ.
- Jehovah's Witnesses:
Forgiveness of sins is by good works and cooperation with God (Studies in the Scriptures, Vol. 1, pp. 150, 152). They maintain that the sacrifice of Jesus (really Michael the archangel) opened the door that Adam closed. In other words, because of Jesus' sacrifice, you are able to cooperate with God and earn salvation.
The error here is the same as that in Mormonism listed above. Works do not play a part in our salvation. They come after we are saved, not before, and not in cooperation with anything. To add to the work of Christ is to say that what Jesus did on the cross isn't enough. This is an insult to God.
The truth is important not because it is simply true. It is important because truth is what defines whom and what we believe. Is Jesus the brother of the devil as in Mormonism? Is he an angel who became a man? Or, is He the creator of the universe, second person of the Trinity? Only one is right.
Faith is vital. But faith placed in something false is the same as having no faith at all. Faith is only as good as the object in which it is placed. That is why it is important to have the true Jesus--the one of the Bible and not the one of Mormonism and nor the one of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Eternity is a long time to be wrong--especially about Jesus.
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