The more I research, study and compare Christianity with Mormonism the more convinced I become that the paramount difference between these two faiths surrounds their teaching on the nature of Jesus Christ. Who is this Jesus? Is He God Himself or is He the first born spirit son of God the Father? Has Jesus always existed as God or is He a being formed from eternal matter who then grew to become a God?
It is interesting to look at the New Testament to see what claims Jesus made about Himself. Looking at these claims and then comparing them to what the Old Testament teaches about God helps us to see just who Jesus declared Himself to be. Here are a few examples:
1. In John 10:11 Jesus teaches that He is “the good shepherd”. Yet, in Psalms 23:1 God teaches us that “the Lord is [our] shepherd”. Jesus was telling us that He is “the Lord” or Yahweh.
2. In Revelations 1:17 we are taught that Jesus is “the first and the last”. Yet, in Isaiah 44:6 we are taught that the Lord Almighty is the first and the last and apart from Him there is no God. Jesus was telling us that He is the Lord Almighty and apart from Him there is no God.
3. In Matthew 25:1 Jesus gives the parable of the brides and bridegroom. He teaches that He is the bridegroom and we (His church) are His bride. Yet in Isaiah 62:5 God tells us that He is our bridegroom. Another claim by Christ to be God.
4. In John 8:12 Jesus taught “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Yet in Psalms 27:1 the Psalmist taught “The Lord is my light”. Jesus claims again to be Yahweh/God.
5. In John 8:56-59 Jesus declared Himself to be “I Am” when he said “before Abraham was born, I Am.” When He declared this the Jews tried to stone Him because they knew exactly what He was saying. In Exodus 3:12-14 God tells Moses His name… “I AM WHO I AM”. In John Jesus was declaring Himself to be God and that is why the Jews tried to stone Him.
6. In John 17:5 Jesus asks God the Father for the Glory that was His before the world began… God’s glory. In addition, numerous times throughout the New Testament Jesus accepts worship from those around Him… thereby accepting the glory that is rightfully God’s. Yet in Isaiah 42:8 God tells us that He “will not give [His] glory to another”. How could Jesus receive glory that God Himself tells us He will not give to another unless Jesus Himself was God?
It is fairly obvious from these comparisons that Jesus was telling us exactly who He is. He made specific references to the Old Testament claims about God and applied those claims directly to Himself. This is, after all, why He was crucified.
At this point a Mormon may say “Well, that is fine with me because I believe Jesus was the God of the Old Testament. That is what the LDS Church teaches after all.” Unfortunately, this line of reasoning creates a problem for Mormons. As I pointed out in the YHWH and Mormonism post God tells us on several occasions in the Old Testament that “He is God, there is no God before Him and there will be no God after Him.” If Jesus is the God of the Old Testament and Jesus is the spirit born son of God the Father than there was a God prior to Jesus… Elohim/The Father. This directly contradicts what God says about Himself.
All praise be to my God, Savior, High Priest and Lord Jesus Christ!