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Mormon Doctrine of Deity:

Irrefutable (and Unrefuted) Proof the Mormons are Right About the Nature of God and Christ

By Bob Vukich (rvukich@hotmail.com)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches God and Christ are separate and distinct beings, along with the Holy Spirit, who are nevertheless one in PURPOSE, and therefore often spoken of as One God.

There are a series of verses in the New Testament which directly prove this to be true. There is no way an honest, direct reading of the following verses can logically mean there is only one god in essence, who is nevertheless manifested in the 3 persons within that essence, namely the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

That is the generic definition of the doctrine of the Trinity, the result of 3rd and 4th Century AD religious and philosophical debate within Christianity. With a slight doctrinal difference of whether the Holy Spirit emanates from the Father alone or the Father and Son, this is the defined concept of the Christian godhead for virtually all Christian denominations, protestant, Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.

Here are the verses:

But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. "Look," he said, "I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"

Acts 7:55-56

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19

But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God." Luke 22:69

Being therefore exalted at F14 the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you both see and hear. Acts 2:33 F 14 or "by"

Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Romans 8:34

So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Col. 3:1

He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Hebrews 1:3

You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions." Hebrews 1:9

But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, "he sat down at the right hand of God," Hebrews 10:12

looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

[Jesus Christ], who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him. 1 Peter 3:22

 

Evidence for the Trinity

There is only one passage in the entire New Testament which clearly supports the Doctrine of the Trinity. It is 1 John 5:7-8. It reads:

7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (King James Version)

This is pretty compelling stuff. It should be. It was forged and put into the Bible to specifically support the Trinity. It is totally spurious. Here is how the NIV translates these verses, after the discovery of the fraud was made:

7For there are three that testify: 8the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. [footnote ‘a’ describes the false text, then comments: "(not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century)"]

A detailed description of how this fraud took place can be found at http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=1186 or perhaps the most respected NT Textual scholar of our age, and not a Mormon, Bruce Metzer in "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration"(3rd Enlarged Edition, Oxford Press, 1992), pages 62, 101-102, 291.

The other Biblical text is Matthew 28:19, which reads:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Trinitarians will point out it says "name", not "names". While that is true, it is hard to get too excited about this passage as proof. First, Matthew is not a very grammatically consistent work in Greek. Indeed, it is generally supposed to have been written in Hebrew, and translated into the Greek by an unknown person. Asking the question, how many names of the Father should one be baptized in illustrates the point. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are all singular in their being. Likewise, they are being used as a statement of authority, not unlike saying "Stop in the Name of the Law!" There are actually many laws, of course, but it is proper to use a singular ‘name’.

Since the passage is at best a neutral endorsement of Trinitarianism or an LDS perspective, let’s see what we can decide from clear statements of the Nature of God provided so far.

God is separate in his being from Jesus Christ.

In Acts 7:55-56, Luke specifically chooses to note that Christ is standing to the right hand side of God in presenting Stephen’s statements. It is a specific, theological choice. We know this because Luke uses the name/title Father of God nearly 2 dozen times, including 3 times in Acts.

In Acts 7, Luke uses the name God 11 times, and calls God "the most High" once (vs. 48), then 3 times uses "God" directly in describing Christ standing to God’s right side. He calls Christ "the Just One", not God.

God has a physical location.

Christ is standing next to God. That cannot happen unless there is a location where God ‘is’.

God looks like something.

This may sound funny, but it is sometimes stated by Trinitarians that God is a Spirit which is invisible (based on mis-readings of John 4:24 and the word "invisible", Col 1:15-16; 1 Tim 1:17; Heb 11:27). The correct translation of John 4:24 is that God is Spirit, not "a" Spirit. It is an attribute, just as "God is Love" (1Jn 4:8) and "God is Light" (1Jn 1:5). Notice too, it is John making these "God is x" type of statements. The issue of invisibility is simply that God is not seen. It is not that there is nothing of God to see, since we have the explicit statement in Philippians 2:6 saying Christ appeared in Heaven identical in his visible form as God. Here is the passage:

6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Here is what conservative Trinatarian A.T. Robertson wrote of this passage in his book, Word Pictures of the New Testament:

Being (uparcwn). Rather, "existing," present active participle of uparcw. In the form of God (en morph qeou). Morph means the essential attributes as shown in the form. In his preincarnate state Christ possessed the attributes of God and so appeared to those in heaven who saw him.

Apparently in Heaven, where God and Christ are, God is not invisible, since there would be no way to tell that Christ had the same APPEARANCE as God if God is invisible.

We also have a very interesting event recorded at the end of the Book of Revelation. In Rev. 22:8-9 we have John confused by seeing the angel delivering the message. He goes to worship the angel, thinking it is God.

8. And I John saw these things, and heard [them]. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. 9 Then saith he unto me, See [thou do it] not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

What does this angel look like? A man, John’s "fellowservant". In any event, we know spirits look like men because in Luke 24:37-39, the Apostles see the resurrected Christ, and think he is a spirit. But Christ tells them spirits lack flesh and bones like he has. The conclusion is obvious spirits have the form of a man.

Trinitarian Response to these Irrefutable Facts: Silence.

These facts have been presented in email, bulletin board and street conversations to literally uncounted anti-Mormons and their supporters. I have never had any response beyond this:

"...here is what we must conclude from these verses: God and Christ are separate and distinct beings." That inference falsely assumes a being cannot have more than one manifestation, or that that multiple persons can be in one being and separately appear. (Aaron Shafovaloff responding to a discussion of this subject at www.Promormon.blogspot.com dated Oct.14, 2004 under "If you pass along a lie…")

The author responded as follows:

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

I assume nothing. I am reading what he said. He said he saw God, and Christ standing to the right of God. He did not go into a philosophical treatise about the obvious impossibility of God having a physical location, which Rob denies in his highly flawed expose'. If you are saying he could have seen lots of appearances of God, that is fine, as an opinion. But it is not Biblical. He says Christ is standing next to God. Since this is how it is repeatedly described more than a dozen times in the New Testament, I am inclined to agree with the Bible. Nowhere does God discuss having a physical, locational manifestation in multiple places, so what you are suggesting is just new doctrine and an unBiblical one at that. I doubt I can convince you of that, but I think someone reading the Bible sans a pre-imposed theology would find my perspective more consistent with scripture. Thanks for the comment though, and if you have some support for your perspective out of scripture, I would think it would be helpful to this discussion.

There has never been a response since.

Attempts to Avoid the Argument

There is an anti-Mormon webpage which has tried to create a "strawman" argument about this passage. By using a mistranslation, they then assert the passage actually is a problem for Mormons as well by writing:

"Finally, why did Luke state that Jesus was "standing on the right hand of God" (King James Version, which is what LDS use)? LDS want to interpret this literally, but only to a point. They too must treat this figuratively in some sense otherwise Jesus would actually be standing on the Father's right hand, and then we'd wonder if Jesus left stretch marks on the Father's hand by doing this." (http://www.mormoninfo.org/index.php?id=109)

It is difficult to conceive of a less sincere and less accurate discussion of the LDS position. Who are these Mormons concerned about this being God’s hand getting stretched? Which Mormon author has cautioned his LDS readers to be careful not to interpret the scripture too literally? None of course. When the King James Bible was written, it was a perfectly valid and correct use of the English language to note someone is "on" their right hand, to indicate they are directionally to someone’s right side. This is still acceptable, though less common today. We say "a village is on the sea", not meaning it is magically floating, but it is adjacent to the sea (http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=on see under 1. c under the definition of "on" as a preposition.)

The underlying Greek text in Acts 7:55-56 is unequivocal in the meaning being "to the right side". The Greek word here, which the author of the website knows because he and I have discussed this in the past, is dexion, and means in context "right", as in direction. To the right side. The word for hand, which Luke uses in Luke 6:6 with the word dexion, is Xeir or Cheir. Verses 55-56 are not even remotely speaking of an anatomical right hand. He does not mean right hand. It is the King James English meaning of 'to the right hand side'. He means "at the right hand" or "right side", which is how nearly every translation since the KJV does it (see NIV, NRSV, RSV, CEV, Darby, REB, ESV, NCV, TEV, etc.)

Luke uses the preposition
ek, translated "to", which in Greek grammar answers the question "where is something?" (BDAG, page 296, #2). In this case, where is Christ? To the right, directionally, of God. This is no different than those who continue to insist 1 John 5:7-8 as found in the KJV is accurate, when it clearly is not.

That is the story. It is every bit as ignored as John 1:1-2. No question that the Word and God are two distinct Gods. No Trinitarian doctrine to be found there. The Word is with God, and the Word has itself the Nature of God. To make it clear there are two Gods spoken of, John then reiterates "The Same was in the beginning with God" In John 1:18 he re-clarifies this by saying: "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him." (NASB)

The Mormon concept of deity is correct. As the early Christian Irenaeus noted when discussing the idea of men becoming like God, it is through God’s grace and love that man, created as we are, can go from being mortal to immortal and have an uncreated nature (Iren. IV, 38:4) There is no question early Christians and Jews believed our ultimate destiny was to become like God.

Did God know of other Gods? Isaiah 44:8 says "no", but then God Himself calls others "gods" in a real, delegated sense: AND the LORD said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. Ex.7:1. See also Ex. 4:16.

So like Elijah of old, I laugh at the modern priests of Baal, and challenge you to answer. Maybe your god is schizo, and answering himself. Try to get him to speak up, because the silence is deafening. The Mormons are right.

 
     
All material developed and placed on this page and associated subsections is copyrighted by Robert B. Vukich. Reasonable efforts will be made to properly attribute copyright ownership for material reviewed or quoted on these pages.