Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recognizing Counterfeits Week 2: The Biblical Gospel and false gospels

These are the notes from the 3 week counterfeit series, I taught on Wed night. Some of it may not make complete sense because they're But most of the information is pretty good; I hope.

Theme Verse: "In order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.” ~2 Corinthians 2:11

How do we identify counterfeits? We Identify something false by putting it next to the truth. CS Lewis said, we know a crooked line by a straight line.

Thus, as is pertains to God. What is Truth according to the Bible.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the Truth, and the life. ~John 14:6

Sanctify them by the truth; your word is Truth. ~John 17:17

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is Truth. ~Psalm 119:142

God warns many times in Scripture:

Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. ~ Acts 20:30

The greatest threats and harm to the Christian Gospel have never been from without, but from within as the Bible and History both attest too.

After Reading Paul letter to Galatians one can see the problems of what happens when a false gospel sneaks into the community. In Gal 1:6-12. Paul lays certain contrasts and facts about both kinds of Gospels:

Characteristics of a False Gospel

1.Confusion and Perversion
2.They will be accursed or condemned
3.Tries to please or win the approval of men
4.Preached to others
5.Man-made: received by teaching from man

Characteristics of the Gospel

1.Calling to Grace in Christ

2.Of God, and pleasing to him

3.Servant of Christ

4.Preached to others

5.Received by Revelation from Christ

Quick Bios of some of the Counterfeits we'll be looking at:

Jehovah's Witnesses (or Watch Tower)- Founded in 1879 by C.T. Russell for the original purposes of preparing people for the coming of Christ, the Kingdom and end of the world.

Mormonism (or Latter Day Saints)- Founded in the 1830s by Joseph Smith and later Brigham Young, for the purpose of revealing the existence of an ancient record containing the fullness of the Gospel of Christ that had been written on 2 gold tablets and revealed to Smith by the “angel” Moroni.

Christian Science (Church of Christ, Science)- Founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879 for the purposes of providing healing, without medicine, by using Jesus’ teaching, prayer, and faith.

Who is Jesus Christ?

Biblical Gospel:

Jesus is the King, Lord, and Messiah (Christ). He is the First and the Last. He is the Only Begotten Son of God, the Radiance of God’s Glory, the Exact Representation of His Being, the Image of the Invisible God, the Word, and the Word was God. The Word became Flesh and dwelt among us. From the patriarchs is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised Amen.

(John 3:16, Rev 22:13, 1 Tim 6:15, Heb 1:3, Col 1:15, John 1:1,15, Rom 9:5)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Jesus was the 1st creation, Before and After the 1st Coming he was Michael the Archangel. He was sinless and virgin born, but human only, became Christ at his Baptism. (

Mormonism: Jesus is the son of God, but Jesus was the firstborn spirit child of many other spirit children. Lucifer was also as a son. Both contended for the privilege of taking a body of flesh in order to become the redeemer. (Doctrine &Covenant 93:21, Book Moses 4:1-4)

Christ was begotten by an immortal father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal father." (Mormon Doctrine p.547)

Christian Science: Jesus was the promised Messiah, however Jesus only “embodied the divinity of God but that he himself was not Deity” (

The Issues of Sin and Evil in the World

Biblical Gospel:

God said, "Cursed is the ground because of you [Adam]. Creation groans because its subjected to the bondage of decay and sin. Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin. One day, Jesus will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

(Gen 3:17, Rom 8:20-22, Rom 5:12, Rev 21:4)

Jehovah's Witnesses: The disobedience of the first couple caused death to enter the world, and as a result, all human beings get sick, age, and die. This is against God's plan, which was to make the entire Earth a paradise. ("What is God's Purpose for the Earth?”

Mormonism: Adam/Eve became mortal—just as we are—subject to sin, disease, all types of suffering, and ultimately death. But it wasn’t all bad because they could now feel great joy. “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.” If they hadn’t eaten the fruit, Mankind never would have been born or the world populated. ( and 2 Nephi 2:25)

Christian Science: Baker said “Evil has no reality. It is neither person, place, or thing, but simply a belief, an illusion of the material sense.” (pg. 71, Science and Health with Keys to the Scriptures)

State of Humanity

Biblical Gospel:

Jesus said, “out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.” There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. Evil desires give birth to sin, sin when matured gives birth to death. The wages of sin is death. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

(Mark 7:20-23, Rom 3:10,James 1:15, Rom 6:23; 3:23)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Do not emphasize the spiritual consequences of Adam's sin on humanity nor they teach that human free will has been damaged. Rather, they expect members to strive to do God's will and remain pure in his eyes. (“God’s Servants must be Clean.”

Mormonism: Adam’s sin had no impact on man’s ability to choose, people have complete free will to choose good or evil, to follow God or not. Children are incapable of sinning until the age of 8, when they become accountable. ( and "Core Beliefs and Doctrines."

Christian Science: Man is sick, sinful, and dying and in need of divine healing. This sin-sickness, however, is in the mind, and not material. Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual. (S&H 468,

Crucified, Dead, Raised, and Ascension

Biblical Gospel:

They put Jesus to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. He didn’t let his Holy One see decay. God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen by…us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. When God raised Jesus from the dead, he seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.

(Acts 2:30; Acts 10:30, Eph 1:21)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Jesus was crucified on a stake, not a cross. While dead God destroyed his physical body. When he returned to heaven, he didn’t receive all power and authority until 1914. ("Who is Jesus Christ?“

Mormonism: Jesus died on a cross and rose 3 days later, ascended to heaven, but later returned to earth, this time coming to the Americas to preach the Gospel to the Indians, who were decedents of the Israelites. ("Who is Jesus Christ?" Book of Mormon).

Christian Science: acknowledge that the crucifixion of Jesus and his resurrection served to uplift faith to understand eternal Life, even the allness of Soul, Spirit, and the nothingness of matter. (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures p. 496)

Salvation: The Atonement of Sin

Biblical Gospel:

You have been set free from sin, because he knew no sin became sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He reconciled all things to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. This Priest offered for all time one sacrifice for sins. “It is Finished!” Now we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works. The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Rom 6:18, 2 Cor 5:21, Col 1:20, Heb 10:12, John 19:30, Rom 5:1, Eph 2:8, Rom 6:23b)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Christ's death covers the sin of Adam. But eternal life comes not simply from faith in Jesus but from "learning about Jehovah and obeying his requirements," proving oneself to be God's loyal subject, and listening to the Kingdom message and acting on it. (

Mormonism: Jesus paid for sins on the cross, but some sins were not atoned for, and can only be atoned for by your own blood only (Journal of Discourses: Vol 4. p.53)

"One of the most pernicious doctrines ever advocated by man, is the doctrine of 'justification by faith alone(Joseph F. Smith, pg. 192 of The Restoration of All Things)

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan...that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.“ (Spencer W. Kimball, pg 206, Faith and Works).

Christian Science: Salvation is achieved through progressive spiritual understanding. A person is not saved from hell – but from his or her belief in materiality; sin, sickness and death are destroyed(Science and Health, 593:20-22.)

Afterlife: (Judgment/Heaven/Hell)

Biblical Gospel:

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. They will have to give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's only begotten Son. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

(Heb 4:13, 1 Peter 4:5, John 3:18, Dan 12:3)

Jehovah's Witnesses: Dead are raised and judged, with one last chance to gain eternal life. There is no Hell, the wicked are annihilated. 144,000 of JW will rule in Heaven with Jesus, and the other righteous will go to a restored paradise (Eden) on Earth. ("Beliefs: God, Man, and the Future” Watchtower, July 15, 2002.)

Mormonism: Final Judgment all stand before God, Jesus, and Joseph Smith to give an account. Unrighteous who were previously in hell, get 1 last chance to repent, or face eternal damnation. Righteous go to Heaven and those took part in a special sealing ritual on earth get be come to gods too. ("What is heaven like?“"Death is another beginning”."What does the Church teach about hell?"

Christian Science: There is No Final Judgment. Heaven and Hell are a state of mind. Each must choose their own path. (

My Personal Conclusions:

The Jw are nothing but False Prophets and have Failed Predictions: Examples:

1874- Coming of Christ

1878- Resurrection of Dead

1881- Time of the Gentiles was fulfilled

1914- Armageddon

1918- Christendom would be destroyed

1925- Est. of the Kingdom

1975- End of the World

Joseph Smith, Young, and other founders were either deceived spiritually or were just complete fakes who wanted to satisfy their sexual lusts; or both.

Smith: “. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet . . . " (History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409).

Young: “And he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p. 312).

Christian Science is a "Doctrine of Demons” posing as New Age Gnosticism using Christian Themes

Threefold nature of God, defining it as a trinity of "Life, Truth, and Love," or "God the Father-Mother, Christ the spiritual idea of sonship, and divine Science or the Holy Comforter" (Science and Health 331:26-332:3).
Creation is entirely spiritual and perfect and matter does not exist. Sin, sickness and death also do not exist; we only think they do. (Science and Health, 472:27-29).

You can watch the video I gave while giving this particular talk:

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