We continue our comments on the manuscript sent to us by a Mormon called Stephen.(*) Click here to see the other articles in this series. You can also go to the Mormonism page to find all the articles that are in this refutation of Stephen’s document.
Before we move on to the next chapter, I would like to solidify Biblical doctrine on premortal existence and post-mortal existence.
Oh no… he’s passing to the next chapter without explaining to us why he thinks we can’t save ourselves and why we need Christ to save us… I told you: he’s confused and he doesn’t really care about the truth.
And he now wants to solidify his sandy doctrine of premortal existence… We have seen how this is a silly doctrine that contradicts God’s Word.
We will look at a doctrine not shared by LDSs with practically any other established Christian religion of our day—namely, life before birth. (The only exception I know, Pastor Arnold Murray, a televangelist out of Arkansas, espouses this doctrine. However, he has a small, relatively new following.)
Yes, indeed, Mormons are not Christians.
We will look at the doctrine of what awaits the dead prior to the Resurrection.
We have seen how Lazarus was with Abraham, while the rich man was being tortured in the flames of Hades.
This is necessary, as many ECs believe good Christians go immediately to Heaven.
Only the righteous go immediately to Heaven; it’s not enough to be a good Christian.
As already discussed, we claim Paradise is a temporary abode for those righteous who await the Resurrection until they are granted entrance into the presence of God.
Paradise IS the third Heaven about which we are talking when we say that the righteous go to Heaven when they die. Read with me: “I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago, (whether in [the] body I know not, or out of the body I know not, God knows;) such [a one] caught up to [the] third heaven. And I know such a man, (whether in [the] body or out of the body I know not, God knows;) that he was caught up into paradise“ (2 Corinthians 12:2-4) These verses clearly say that the third Heaven IS Paradise.
The doctrine of a premortal life where every person born on this planet lived in the presence of God as His literal spirit offspring is not new.
Yes, Satan always had his followers… Even from the first day, Satan wanted to convince Eve that humans can be like God…
In fact, not only did the Former-day Saints know it, but so did the Jews prior to the formation of the sect of the Sadducees—who believe neither in spirits nor in a corporeal resurrection.
Who are Former-day Saints? I don’t know of any saint who ever believed in your silly doctrine. And who are those Jews? Those who believed in false gods as the Bible describes them?…
Referring back to the Lord’s declaration to Jeremiah about being known before he was born, I have been told the verb “to know” could mean the Lord—Who is all knowing—knew what Jeremiah would be.
This is wrong. We have seen in a previous study what this means. It is about a predetermined relationship.
As already discussed, this mistake can only be made in English as we use the same word “know” to describe two different verbs. There is “to know,” as in having knowledge of something, and there is “to know,” as in having some degree of relationship, ranging from a casual acquaintance to the physical consummation of marriage. Remember how Adam knew his wife, Eve? In any other language, and it can be verified in a Spanish or Italian version of the Bible, the verb used in this verse is “to know” (“conocer” in Spanish and “conoscere” in Italian) as in the Lord had a relationship with Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet of God, a true prophet. But he was a man, no less mortal than you or me. And he lived before he was born.
Yes, BEFORE Jeremiah existed, God predetermined a relationship with him. No, Jeremiah did not live before he was born, because he didn’t exist then.
We have seen all this in details in a previous article.
We have already discussed the verses in Job 38 where the Lord asked Job to recount his recollection—or understanding—of where he was before the foundation of this world.
Where did God ask Job such a thing?? Can you quote this? We have seen how God told Job that he should be humble as he did not even exist when God created all things. So Job had to rely on God’s Sovereignty even when he didn’t understand why he was suffering, because God who created all things without him is always in control.
Let us see again what Solomon had to say on the subject. He began by advising us to remember our Creator in the days of our youth. He described, in a poetic way, life in this uncertain world. Then he summed it up with the common eventuality of us all. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7) Again, I am certain ECs will agree how something cannot return to a place where it has never been.
Something may return to someone who MADE it from nothing. As we have seen, God made our spirits from NOTHING on the sixth day of creation, so our spirits return to Him who GAVE them. The verse in Ecclesiastes doesn’t say that the spirit returns to God because it was with Him before, but because He GAVE it to man when He created him. We have seen all this in details before.
Paul taught the saints at Colossae, the Savior was “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” (Col.1:15) “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten (or ‘firstborn’ in the NIV) into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” (Hebrews 1:6)
In the Bible, Firstborn also means Preeminent and Heir and Chief or Head, because the firstborn son in a family was the heir and the preeminent. Yes, Christ is the Preeminent and the Heir and the Head in God’s creation, because all were created BY Him and FOR Him. The Bible says that God is the First and the Last. What does this mean? This means that He is the First of His Creation and the Last of His Creation; all things come from Him and go to Him; He is the Source and the Goal. As Christ is God the Son, so He also is called the First and the Last. Yes, Christ is the First of His Creation, the Firstborn, the Head, the Heir of all things, because He is God the Son.
We know He was the “Onlybegotten” in the flesh, having literal paternal parentage from our Father in Heaven for His body.
We have seen that the Father does not have a body. And the Bible never says that Christ is the Only-Begotten in the flesh; this is a Mormon invention.
From Romans 8:29, we know He was “the firstborn among many brethren”
Yes, Romans 8:29 has a context, and that context is about those who are born of God, i.e. those who are adopted to be children of God and brethren of Christ. They are NOT brethren by nature, but by adoption. They are being sanctified in order to be conformed to the image of the Son who is the ONLY-Begotten Son by Nature, so that He may be the Head among many brethren by adoption. Firstborn means the Head, the Chief. The Bible clearly says that Christ is the Head of the Church.
From Romans 8:29, we know He was “the firstborn among many brethren” in Pre-Existence.
No, Romans 8:29 says He WILL be the Firstborn (the Head) among many adopted brethren as these become conformed to His image: “Because whom he has foreknown, he has also predestinated [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, so that he should be [the] firstborn among many brethren.” (Romans 8:29) As you see, this is not about pre-existence, but about what will happen as we become conformed to His image.
How confused you are, Stephen! Won’t you wake up?!
But, for Him to be “the firstborn of every creature” means Jesus is everyone’s Elder Brother in the spirit, the Eldest Son of “the Father of our spirits.” (Heb. 12:9)
We have seen that Jesus is the ONLY-BEGOTTEN Son of God, He is the ONLY Son of God by Nature. And we have seen how He is the Head or the Firstborn of His creation, as He is the First and the Last. And we have seen that we did not exist before our creation. And we have seen what that passage from Hebrews 12:9 means: God is our spiritual Father, the Father of those who are spirits as Jesus said.
Even with all the Biblical evidence, we should consider how the doctrine of premortality stands to reason.
We have seen how you have zero biblical evidence for your satanic doctrine, and we have seen how it contradicts reason: as God created the spirit of man on the sixth day of creation, then how could that spirit exist BEFORE it came to existence? This is clearly foolish.
If you deny our existence prior to conception, you must deny our need to exist at all.
Oh really? Why? What’s the relevance?…
Again, that would mean God created us on a whim, to satisfy His need.
No, God created us for His Glory, and that’s not a need. God created us because of His pure love, because existing for His Glory is the greatest purpose that could ever exist! But as we have seen, Mormons have no idea about what the Glory of God is…
As Stephen has no idea about what the Glory of God means and what it means that He created us for His Glory, and as he confuses this with the false idea that God created us for a need in Him, so I am sure he is now wondering how my stress on this idea of his ignorance about God’s Glory could be a strong argument against his silly argument, so let me give him here a little explanation, actually a little introduction to the topic of our creation for God’s Glory.
God did not love us for something good in us, but because of who He is: God is love. It is by love that He created us to share with him the glorious life of holiness; we are created in God’s image, to be the image of who He is, to be the glorious evidence of His Holiness. Although Mormons call themselves “Saints”, but they have no idea about who a saint is and how it is so glorious to be holy as our Father in Heaven is Holy. It is really a glorious purpose that God created us to be holy like Him, and to live forever with Him, in His Presence, but Mormons do not have any idea about what this holiness or this glory means. As we have been justified by faith alone (a doctrine that Mormons deny), so we have peace with God, and thus we have the hope of this glory, i.e. the hope of being eternally holy with God and to live forever with Him in Heaven, sharing in Christ’s glory: “Therefore having been justified on the principle of faith, we have peace towards God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom we have also access by faith into this favour in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2) This is the truth that we will be in a filial relationship with Him for all eternity in Christ Jesus. Even here, as we are His children in Christ, so we tell of His Glory by being holy ourselves: “But ye [are] a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a people for a possession, that ye might set forth the excellencies of him who has called you out of darkness to his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). THIS is what it means to have been created to God’s Glory: that we be holy as He is Holy, so that we might shine His Glory (excellencies) and partake in this divine Nature (i.e. the holiness of Jesus Christ): “through which he has given to us the greatest and precious promises, that through these ye may become partakers of [the] divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4) So the Glory of God shines as we partake of this holiness by being holy ourselves. But Mormons have no idea about what this holiness is. The Lord Jesus talked about this when He said that He gave us the glory that God has given Him: “And the glory which thou hast given me I have given them, that they may be one, as we are one” (John 17:22) The Lord Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit by whom we are sanctified (have become holy), for He sanctified Himself for us so that we may be sanctified in Him: “and I sanctify myself for them, that they also may be sanctified by truth.” (John 17:19) Of course, Stephen has no idea what all this is about and how being created for God’s Glory can be a so glorious purpose, but we have explained all this in our article Is the Church one in purpose or in substance? We have also explained many things about this glorious holiness in Christ in articles such as: A true Christian is a saint — Perfection in Christ; Blameless in Christ… not legalists… and The relation between justification and sanctification.
Indeed, we live forever to God’s Glory as we are holy in Christ. Is holiness in Christ a so unimportant purpose for Stephen?… This is not surprising…
Paul taught the Athenians how God does not need “any thing” from us. (See Acts 17:24,25.)
Yes, God does not need anything from us. His Glory was not less before we were created.
Do you worship a needy, whimsical God who lacks fulfillment?
No. But you worship a false god who did not create from nothing. You worship an impotent god. By the way, to see how your false god contradicts science and logic, you can read the following article: What is the evidence for God’s existence?
“[W]hen Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What say we then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.” (Rom. 9:10-14) Upon conception, God already hated Esau! Esau had done neither good nor evil on this earth, yet God did not approve of him and told his future mother he would be a servant to his brother, losing his birthright. Could God make that kind of judgment against Esau based solely on what He knew Esau would do in the future? Of course not.
The Bible never says that God hated Esau before he was born. That was written by the prophet Malachi long centuries after Jacob and Esau were dead… Let’s read it together IN CONTEXT:
“The burden of the word of Jehovah to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith Jehovah; but ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith Jehovah, and I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau; and made his mountains a desolation, and [gave] his inheritance to the jackals of the wilderness.” (Malachi 1:1-3)
Malachi lived long centuries AFTER Jacob and Esau were dead. As you see, God is talking about His covenantal love to ISRAEL, and not to that one man called Jacob. As we have seen before, God has chosen one line, the line of the seed, Jesus Christ. This is why He chose the nation of Israel, i.e. Jacob. Here and in that passage that Stephen quoted from Romans, the topic is not about just one man called Jacob and another called Esau, but about the nation of Jacob and the nation of Esau. As you see, God addresses Israel a long time after the death of Jacob and Esau, and tells them: “I have loved you”. This is the covenantal love for the holy seed. As you see, the same passage talks about the mountains of Esau, and then continues to talk in verse 4 about Edom, i.e. the nation of Esau. We have seen how God knew ONLY Israel from among all nations… And Stephen still couldn’t explain this to us, because he doesn’t know what it means…
God’s Election is according to His own Purpose, and not according to anything we may have done. And you can’t say “of course not” about what God could have done, because you don’t have the right to decide what God should have done; He is Sovereign. We have seen how Mormons have no idea about the Sovereignty of God…
In Romans 9, the objection of the unbeliever Jews was that God has rejected them who are the elect according to the promises given to the fathers, and has chosen people who were not elect according to those promises. They think this is not fair! But Paul answers this objection by explaining that God is not bound by the unbelief of a section of those who were the elect according to the promises (the sons of Israel), and He is free to choose and save anyone He wants and to harden anyone He wants, even if this latter belongs to the chosen people (a Jew) or to the Church (a Christian by name). Whoever does not have faith in Christ, God will harden him as he hardens his heart. Not all Israel is the true Israel, but only those who have faith in Christ. If someone from the chosen people hardens his heart, God is not responsible of his sins just for the fact that He has promised his people to save them; He is not bound by the reaction of the ones who are chosen, because He is Sovereign in His Salvation. Even if you are from a Christian Church and you reject Christ, you also will be removed from the olive tree: “do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either.” (Romans 11:18-21). So Salvation is not by the works or the merits of those who work or run, but it is solely by the Grace and Mercy of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. There is no way to be saved unless by the Grace of God who saves only those who have Christ by faith (i.e. are elect according to His eternal purpose in Jesus Christ).
If you noticed, the error of Stephen was that he dismissed the context of Romans 9. Who doesn’t know that Romans 9, 10 and 11 are about the question of the Jews who have been rejected (and only the remnant was saved…)? This is not about two persons called Jacob and Esau, and this is not about emotional love towards Jacob and emotional hatred towards Esau. In this passage “loved” means “chosen for a covenantal relationship”, and “hated” means “rejected as to that covenantal relationship”. God did not choose the children of Jacob because of any good deed that Jacob had done, because He had already chosen sovereignly that holy seed before even Jacob and Esau were born. Edom was not rejected because their head Esau had done anything bad, but because before Esau was born God had already sovereignly chosen the holy seed, as we have seen.
God is Just. However, the Lord already knew Esau—as He knew Jeremiah—and knew what kind of man Esau already was—based on his personality—before he was born.
But the passage that you quoted above says BEFORE Jacob and Esau had done anything, God had chosen Jacob. Where did you read that God knew Esau?? The Bible clearly says that God only knew Israel from all nations, as we have seen. I don’t know how you study the Bible in this confused way… How could God know Esau when Esau was not chosen by Him in His predetermined choice of a relationship??
We are judged by our unrepentant past actions or works, whether good or evil. (See Rev. 20:12,13.)
Of course! As your name is not written in the book of life, so you will be judged (condemned) according to your works which are bad. Without perfect righteousness you will NOT enter the Kingdom of God.
Nowhere in Scripture does it say we will be judged by what God predicts we would have done prior to being given the chance to fall.
Who said that God would judge us like this? Is this a dream? Or another strawman argument of yours?…
This is why most Christians agree babies who die in infancy are automatically worthy of Celestial glory.
No, babies are not worthy of eternal life; they are saved by Christ. They don’t deserve Heaven, just as all humans do not deserve Heaven. To read more about this topic, go to our article: Where do babies go when they die?
Paul obviously anticipated the reaction the Roman saints might have had about God prejudging Esau unrighteously, to which he responded, “God forbid,” which in the original Greek means, “Let it not be.”
Yes, and the passage has a continuation, no? Let’s continue reading that same passage: “according as it is written, I have loved Jacob, and I have hated Esau. What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? Far be the thought. For he says to Moses, I will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy, and I will feel compassion for whom I will feel compassion. So then [it is] not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shews mercy. For the scripture says to Pharaoh, For this very thing I have raised thee up from amongst [men], that I might thus shew in thee my power, and so that my name should be declared in all the earth. So then, to whom he will he shews mercy, and whom he will he hardens. Thou wilt say to me then, Why does he yet find fault? for who resists his purpose? Aye, but thou, O man, who art thou that answerest again to God? Shall the thing formed say to him that has formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Or has not the potter authority over the clay, out of the same lump to make one vessel to honour, and another to dishonour? And if God, minded to shew his wrath and to make his power known, endured with much long-suffering vessels of wrath fitted for destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory upon vessels of mercy, which he had before prepared for glory, us, whom he has also called, not only from amongst [the] Jews, but also from amongst [the] nations?” (Romans 9:13-24)
So God is Sovereign in His Election, and no nation has the right to ask Him why He has only chosen the holy seed.
By the way, the Bible says that God has chosen us in Christ BEFORE the foundation of the world… So in brief, this practically shows Stephen is making the following silly argument, and maybe he doesn’t even notice it: Stephen believes Esau had sinned before the six days of creation, although God said at the end of His work of creation that ALL what He had created was VERY good… Stephen thinks God may have said about His creation that it is very good, although there was rebellion among his creatures… Yes, that’s how foolish Stephen’s arguments are, and that’s how much he contradicts the Word of God… Why is this the practical conclusion from Stephen’s argument? Because he linked the hatred of God towards Esau (Edom) to Election! Well, Election happened BEFORE the foundation of the world, as the Bible clearly says: “according as he has chosen us in him before [the] world’s foundation, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love” (Ephesians 1:4).
Another point of reason on this passage is this: Since EC doctrine has God hating Esau before He had brought Esau into any type of existence—spiritual or corporeal, that would mean God created Esau out of His hate for something that did not exist.
We have seen that this is not about any hatred towards a man called Esau. Stephen is hallucinating, because he has not studied this passage in the light of Scripture, but in the darkness of his doctrines.
How can you hate something that does not exist before you create it and then you go ahead and create it anyway, knowing you do not have to create this thing you already hate before it exists? Does this make any sense? Who would do that? I cannot see the God I love being self-serving at all, let alone that self-serving.
God does not hate anyone before creating him. You have misunderstood that passage, as we have seen. Peter explained your misery and the misery of people like you: “according as our beloved brother Paul also has written to you according to the wisdom given to him, as also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; among which some things are hard to be understood, which the untaught and ill-established wrest, as also the other scriptures, to their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)
And that kind of “creation” would have entered this world already disapproved of God.
This is irrelevant to reality. God loves all men, as John 3:16 says clearly. As for the holy seed, He has made it clear, even from the days of Adam and Eve, that He has chosen the holy seed and has rejected the other nations. Only those who are elect in Christ Jesus will be saved; the rest are reprobates, because without Christ no one can be saved.
Since God would have all men return to Him—see 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9, this makes no sense to me.
Of course a false interpretation makes no sense. That’s why you can’t understand the Scripture, because you interpret it in a wrong way.
The bumper sticker Biblical verse adorning more vehicles in the USA than any other, John 3:16, reads, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Again, I could not worship a whimsical or self-serving God. And my God is neither.
Yes, God loved the whole world. And no, your god did not love all men like the God of the Bible. Your god is not Sovereign in his love, as we have seen in details.
Grace be with you!
Disciple of Jesus Christ