We continue our comments on the manuscript sent to us by a Mormon called Stephen.(*)
We had reached the chapter about Salvation. We have seen how God has clarified very well in His Word His Plan of Salvation. This Word of His Salvation has been presented to you in a previous chapter fully backed up by the Word of God. While in the documents of false religions (example: the document of Stephen that is in our hands right now), you can only find human speculation about what Salvation should mean, and nothing of what they speculate is backed up with the Word of God. We have seen this in our previous replies to this Mormon document, and we will continue to see it in this article. We have already fully answered in our previous articles all what Stephen says in this chapter about Salvation, and, as we had begun in our previous chapter, we will now continue to take each point and make a summarized comment about it.
Every person who has ever lived, is now living, or will yet live on this planet, lived in the presence of God as His literal spirit children before the foundation of this world. Our eternal soul—our intelligence—has always existed, hence the common Christian expression, eternal soul.
The simple question that destroys all these dreams of the Mormons is: DOES the Bible say all these superstitious things? The clear answer is: NO, the Bible does not teach any such wrong thing. The Bible never says that we are God’s natural spirit children who lived before our creation. And, as you see, Stephen does not quote any biblical passage to back up his dreams, because there is no such passage in the Bible. But the more interesting part is that the Bible not only has not mentioned any such thing, but it also clearly talks against this lie: The Bible teaches that we were created on the sixth day of creation (made from nothing), and we did not just receive a body for our souls. Before the universe was created, there was nothing that was made, because all what came to existence came through the Word (i.e. the Son) in the beginning of creation (cf. John 1:1-3). So no imaginary spirit sons existed before God created all things in those 6 days of creation. We were created (made from nothing), body and spiritual soul. Our bodies are made from the dust of the ground which is made from nothing (i.e. created), and our spiritual soul was directly made from nothing and was not taken from the ground. To read the more detailed explanation and biblical proof about this fact, you can go to our article In the beginning God created… Only God exists from eternity past, because that’s who God is (cf. Psalm 90:2; Psalm 93:2). We are not gods, because there is only ONE God, and no one else shares with Him the divine Nature (Read about this in our previous article The God of the Old Testament?). We are not God’s natural children, or else Jesus would not be called God’s ONLY-BEGOTTEN Son (in Greek: unique of His kind or nature — cf. John 1:18 and John 3:16). Only Jesus is God’s Son by Nature, as He is God the Son (We have seen this in full details in our previous studies in this series; you can also read The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God — Question and Answer). We are not God’s children by nature, but by creation. And the only way to be God’s spiritual children is through Jesus Christ and not in ourselves. This is what John clearly explains when he says: “but as many as received him, to them gave he [the] right to be children of God, to those that believe on his name; who have been born, not of blood, nor of flesh’s will, nor of man’s will, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
As for the expression “eternal soul”, it is not mentioned in this way in the Bible, but the Church means by it that the soul of man is never annihilated, but exists forever (just as the Bible teaches). Not only the children of God have an eternal soul, but also unbelievers. The souls of unbelievers will be tormented forever and ever in Hell in their risen bodies, so now they are called to repent and to believe in Christ to be saved from their sins and from that eternal death. This expression “eternal soul” has nothing to do with eternity past, just as the expression “eternal death” has nothing to do with the past. And it is not the work of cultists like Mormons to speculate about what we, the Church, mean with such expressions. They can very simply ask us what we mean by those expressions…
Eternal does not mean “from now on” after mortal birth; it means without beginning or end.
No, it means “which will exist forever”. The cultists have no right to speculate about what we, the Church, mean with such expressions. And indeed, our souls did not exist from eternity past, because we are creatures and not God, as we have seen above.
Stephen then says:
The Father provided spirit bodies to house our intelligence. We progressed to various levels of understanding and accomplishment in premortality. At some point, He offered a plan to give us a physical body—a temporary ‘tabernacle of clay’ fashioned after the glorified and perfected body He possessed.
Where are the biblical back ups to these dreams? There are no biblical proofs for all these illusions. Besides this, as we have seen above, the Bible clearly talks against all these pagan beliefs that make man a god!
As for the Father, He does NOT have a body, neither spiritual nor physical, for He is the Omnipresent Spirit (read John 4:21-24 — not in Jerusalem nor in any specific place; God is Omnipresent — see also Psalm 139). He is not limited in any place or in any bodily form. When He was giving His commandments to Moses, He said: “And take great heed to your souls (for ye saw no form on the day that Jehovah spoke to you in Horeb from the midst of the fire), lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the form of any figure, the pattern of male or female, the pattern of any beast that is on the earth, the pattern of any winged fowl that flieth in the heaven, the pattern of anything that creepeth on the ground, the pattern of any fish that is in the waters under the earth” (Deuteronomy 4:15-18). God has no form; man is not made in the form of an imaginary body that God would have had, but we have seen that we are made with a nature similar to God’s Nature (and yet not the same), having a free will and a wisdom and the possibility to communicate with God. We have read the details about this in a previous article from which I will now quote the concerned passage:
* God created man in His image, according to His likeness
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the heavens, and over the cattle, and over the whole earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth. And God created Man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
God created man in His image, i.e. having all the moral ability (including wisdom and purity) to communicate with Him. This doesn’t mean that God has a body like us (as Mormons speculate), because an image doesn’t need to be exactly like the reality in all aspects. Indeed, an image comes to present a reality in a concrete form. As we read in Genesis 1:26-27, God created man in His image, and this is directly related to the fact that he created them male and female, because in the holy institution of marriage God would give in a bodily form an image that concretely presents His Nature of love as a Spirit. Of course, the most perfect image of God in bodily form was in Christ in whom all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form (cf. Colossians 2:9). So the idea of God having a body is totally wrong, because Jesus made it clear that God should be worshiped in spirit and in truth, and not be limited in a physical place and with physical forms of worship, because He is Spirit and not physical (cf. John 4:21-24). If God had a body, He would not need to be incarnated (have a body and come in bodily form in Christ); He would just come in the body that He would already have.
Those who speculate about what being created in the image of God should mean will not be able to give you biblical references that can back up their views, but here are the biblical evidences that explain what I have written above. Indeed, when we read about the image to which we were restored, we understand what that image was about which Moses writes in Genesis 1:26-27 and which was corrupted by sin:
“and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him“ (Colossians 3:10)
So the image of God is about a true knowledge.
“and [your] having put on the new man, which according to God is created in truthful righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)
So the image of God is about truthful righteousness and holiness.
As we will see some paragraphs later, it is Jesus Christ who is the true image of God in whom we were restored to the true image of God, as He is given to us by God as Wisdom and Righteousness and holiness which are what the image of God is:
“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who has been made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and holiness, and redemption” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
So God created man in His image, with wisdom and purity and true knowledge (note that true knowledge doesn’t mean full knowledge of all things, but a true and right knowledge of the things that man knew and the ability to know more things in a true way). This image also means that man had a free will to make conscious choices. And as man was made in the image of God, so God placed all the physical creation that He had made under his dominion:
“When I see thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and stars, which thou hast established; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and splendour. Thou hast made him to rule over the works of thy hands; thou hast put everything under his feet“ (Psalm 8:3-6)
We see this truth in the ability of man to rule over animals and the resources of the universe by his wisdom and knowledge (science). But man corrupted this image by sin… And thus sin entered the creation (as the creation is subjected to man’s headship). Thus by sin the creation was corrupted and dead, man included (as the head). Thus man became the slave of sin, and Satan became the head or the god or the ruler of this sinful system called the world (2 Corinthians 4:4). All the abilities of wisdom and purity and true knowledge were corrupted in man, and thus he began to use his abilities against God and he began to make false conclusions from what he knew with science (an example of this is evolutionism which is not true science — not true knowledge — but which man thinks is the only true conclusion from the scientific data that he has, because his knowledge is now used to deny God the Creator). The whole creation became corrupted, and an evidence of this is in the violence that we see in the animal world and in the rebellion and ferocity of animals against man. This is described in the following passage of God’s Word:
“For the anxious looking out of the creature expects the revelation of the sons of God: for the creature has been made subject to vanity, not of its will, but by reason of him who has subjected [the same], in hope that the creature itself also shall be set free from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19-21)
Thus we see that all what Stephen says in this document is mere speculations based on the teachings of that human-made document called “Book of Mormon”, and all his doctrines are based on words of men and not on the Word of God that clearly opposes his views. Stephen builds all his teachings on that human word called “Book of Mormon”, and then he tries to twist God’s Word to make it agree with what that human document teaches. The Pharisees also used to make their own human doctrines and to teach them to people, and then they tried to justify those teachings by their own wrong interpretations of God’s Word. This is what Stephen is doing, as we have seen till now, and as we will continue to see…
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ