Who is the Jesus of the Mormons?
One of our guest speakers was Eric Barger, the founder and director of Take a Stand! Ministries headquartered in the Dallas area. Eric is an authority on the cults, the New Age, and rock music today. From his past as a former drug addict and rock n' roll musician who was deeply involved in the New Age movement, Eric has emerged since he gave his life to Jesus Christ to become one of today's greatest defenders of Christianity in America.
Eric's topic at our conference was "The Truth of Jesus' Divinity" (watch). He did a remarkable job explaining that Jesus Christ is truly God in the flesh as the Bible teaches.
The Mormon Jesus Is Man
Because Mormonism is so big in our cities and in our communities here in America, I want to talk about the Mormon Jesus. This may be the single most confusing version of Jesus that you and I will be faced with and have to make a delineation concerning.
Joseph Smith once said, "God himself was once as we are now, an exalted man." The second part of his declaration was, "We will become as God is now, a God." That is called the Law of Eternal Progression. That is the capstone of Mormonism, the idea that man becomes God and that God started out as a man. Joseph Smith said in his book The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, "You have got to learn how to be gods yourself and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you."
Brigham Young, the second prophet of the Mormon Church, said, "When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." Mormonism teaches that God as Elohim physically had sex and impregnated Mary. Mormons claim that God himself has a body because the Scriptures speak of the lips, and hand, and eyes, and ears of God.
You know now this is the infinite God of the universe trying to speak to us with our little pea brains about who He is. He is trying to communicate to us in such a way that we will understand. And so, He uses the same kinds of things that we would understand: eyes, lips, hands and feet. John 4 Jesus says, "God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
I love it when Mormon missionaries come to my door. I usually get into this conversation with them. I ask, "Do you really believe that God was a man like me, and you will become a god like him?" They always reply, "Yes." These are usually 19 and 20 year old kids that have elder buttons on, claiming to be elders in the Mormon Church. They are on their two year mandatory mission out there preaching, because they believe if they don't go out and witness they won't get into the place in Heaven that they want to get into. They might not make it at all unless they're true to all the works of Mormonism, because they get on a treadmill of works.
I go on talking with these Mormon missionaries, asking, "Do you really believe that God has all these things: eyes, and ears, and so on?" They reply, "Oh, yes, it says in the Scripture the eyes of the Lord run to and fro beholding the evil and the good." And I say, "Yes, it does say that, but does that mean that He's actually got an eye looking? No, He knows everything, and you know He understands. He is the omniscient one. He is the omnipresent one. He understands those things. He lives in a different dimension." They'll again reply, "Oh, no, we are sure that God has a physical body." And I'll say, "Okay, turn with me to Psalm 91." And they will be looking through their Bible, and I'll say, "Just read it out loud."
I watched a poor kid just melt on my front porch a couple years ago when I had him look up Psalm 91. You know, though, I never want to get a cultist to the place that I am grinding him into the dirt. I want to leave their humanity intact. I let them know that I understand they are searching for God, too, but if they've got the wrong Jesus, oh, how wrong and how terrible it will be! And so, I care enough about them to tell them the truth.
Well, I had this young man open his Bible to Psalm 91 which reads, "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge." I asked to see their wings, these Mormon missionaries. They got the picture. They got the picture right away. You know that might be an avenue for you to be able to witness to those kids when they come to your door next time. Write that one down.
The Mormon Jesus is a spirit brother of Lucifer, I didn't say that, they said it. In Milton R. Hunter's book, he is one of the greatest Mormon authorities on Mormonism throughout time, it says, "The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind." Evidently, there was a council of the gods and Lucifer wanted to be the savior of the earth, and they picked Jesus instead, and so Lucifer rebelled and he was cast out. That is the story about Lucifer and Jesus being spirit brothers.
The now deceased ex-president of the Mormon church, Gordon B. Hinckley, agrees with me that Mormonism has a different Jesus. Isn't that interesting? Speaking to a gathering of 6,600 Mormon missionaries in Paris, the L.D.S. Church News Archives reported on Saturday, June 20, 1998, that Hinckley does not believe in the traditional biblical Christ. The report said in bearing the testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke concerning those outside the Mormon church who say Later Day Saints do not believe the traditional Christ, he agreed. "No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak." It goes on to say in the report that he believes that the Mormon Church has revealed Jesus in a way to the world that no one has ever seen before, and they are the only true Church for this dispensation in time.
In the next segment of Eric Barger's sermon on "The Truth of Jesus' Divinity," we'll examine who the Bible says Jesus is as Creator.