A Cross or Torture Stake: Evaluating the Watchtower’s Claims

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There is perhaps no other Christian symbol that is despised by Jehovah’s Witnesses as the Cross. This is reflective of their contempt for the Christian Church, which they derogatorily term as “apostate Christendom.”

This piece intends to demonstrate that the very belief of Watchtower Society regarding the cross of Christ actually exposes it as an organization that every truth-seeking individual must reject.

An Innovative Idea

At its inception in 1884 and for more than half a century, the Watchtower Society held the cross in high esteem. Many of their publications during these early years contained references – some with vivid illustrations – of Christ’s death upon a cross.

For example, the Society’s early symbol, a cross and crown, was featured on the cover of each edition of The Watchtower magazine.

Their founder, Charles Taze Russell’s pyramid monument at his gravesite in Pittsburgh’s Rosemont United Cemetery, also bears this cross and crown image.

In 1921, the second president of the Watchtower Society, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, wrote:

The cross of Christ is the greatest pivotal truth to the divine arrangement, from which radiate the hopes of men” (The Harp of God, p. 141).

An illustration from a book titled Life, written by Rutherford in 1929 clearly showed Jesus carrying the cross on the way to Golgotha (page 198).

But in 1931 things began to change. First, the cross and crown image was dropped from their magazine. Then in 1936, Rutherford released a book, Riches, where he declared that: 

“Jesus was crucified, not on a cross of wood … Jesus was crucified by nailing his body to a tree” (p. 27).

Since then, the current JW position was affirmed: “We know that Jesus was nailed to a torture stake” (The Watchtower, January 15, 1966, p. 63).

The Watchtower Society illustrates this torture stake as a single standing pole without a horizontal cross beam, with one nail piercing both of Jesus’ hands – which were placed above His head.

All the artistic renditions in Watchtower publications present this, yet we are told:

“In one instance, he invited Thomas to inspect the wounds inflicted in his hands by means of the nails [John 20:19-29]” (The Watchtower, January 15, 1966, p. 63).

Now this is a contradiction. If Jesus died on a torture stake, it would require just a single nail piercing both hands, yet this Watchtower article is telling us about “wounds inflicted in his hands by means of the NAILS.”

Is it one nail or two?

Granted, The Watchtower says “the depictions of Jesus’ death in our publications … are merely reasonable artistic renderings of the scene…” (August 15, 1987, p. 29).

If this is true, then their depiction of Jesus’ death should not contradict the Bible, logic, archaeology and history. But this is not the case as I will show.

Biblical evidence

First, the Bible clearly states that Jesus’ hands were nailed with two nails. It quotes the words of Thomas who was an eyewitness to the crucifixion:

Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails...” (John 20:25).

The nails mentioned here were for His hands, not feet.

Notice that he used the plural form of the word ‘‘nail,’’ while ‘‘print’’ is singular, indicating a separate nail punctured each hand leaving a single mark in each hand.

Second, in Matthew’s account, we read:

‘‘They put up above His head the
charge against Him, which read,
‘This is Jesus the King of the Jews’’’
(Matthew 27:37).

Notice the description provided in God’s inspired Word. Matthew reported that the proclamation of Pontius Pilate was ‘‘set up over his head.’’

If Christ had been impaled as the Watchtower describes, the text would have read: ‘‘set up over (or above) his hands.’’

Evidently, Jesus died on a cross. His hands were stretched out and the sign was placed above His head.

Third, the very words of Jesus Himself prophesying the Apostle Peter’s martyrdom refutes the claim of Jehovah’s Witnesses:

‘‘Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go. Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God” (John 21:18-19).

Notice again the wording of Scripture as Jesus declared that Peter’s hands would be stretched out, not raised over his head. Peter’s crucifixion is attested to by church history.

Jehovah’s Witnesses can’t have it both ways. They must either accept the inspired Biblical record or cleave to the uninspired Watchtower Society.

Semantic Acrobatics

JWs argue that the Greek words translated as ‘cross,’ stauros, means an upright stake or pole and not a timber joined into a cross.

Indeed, during the BC era, the term stauros strictly meant a pole or stake, but when the Romans adopted Greek language and customs, stauros came to be used to refer to both poles and crosses.

Gerhard Kittel’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (vol. VII, p. 572) gives three meanings for stauros. Only one of them matches the Watchtower’s; the others present other distinct meanings:

‘‘The στανρoς [stauros] is an instrument of torture for serious offenses, … In shape we find three basic forms. The cross was a vertical pointed stake [Skolops] … or it consisted of an upright with a cross beam above it [T, crux commissa] … or it consisted of two intersecting beams of equal length [† crux immissa].”

Another Greek scholar, Joseph Thayer, agrees with the dual meaning of stauros:

‘‘An upright stake, esp. a pointed one, … a cross; a. the well-known instrument of most cruel and ignominious punishment, borrowed by the Greeks and Romans from the Phoenicians…” (Joseph H. Thayer, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 586).

The Watchtower Society dogmatically assert that the word xy’lon used in Acts 5:30, Galatians 3:13 and 1 Peter 2:24 means ‘timber,’ not a cross.

Actually, the Greek word is xulon and it carries more definitions than “the Society” tells its readers.

Greek scholar W. E. Vine translates xulon as ‘‘wood, a piece of wood, anything made of wood’’ and gives its application as ‘‘of the Cross, the tree being the stau-ros’, the upright pole or stake to which the Romans nailed those who were thus to be executed’’ (The Expanded Vine’s Expository Dictionary of N.T. Words, p. 1165).

Kittel gives one of its renderings as ‘‘Cross. A distinctive NT use of ξùλον [xulon] is in the sense ‘cross’ (Theological Dictionary, Vol. 5 p. 39).

Strong’s Concordance defines xulon as anything made from wood, be it a stake, cross or a tree. It doesn’t have a fixed usage. In Matthew 26:47, the word is used for wooden instruments and in Acts 16:24 for clubs or stocks.

In non-Biblical texts, like Antiquities of the Jews for instance, Josephus used it to refer to “gallows” (Book II), and Polybius used it for “a cudgel” (Histories, Book VI).

An online Greek lexicon work defines xulon (tree) as “a beam from which anyone is suspended, a gibbet, a cross, a log or timber, a cudgel or a staff.”

In English language, the term “tree” has a variety of uses which includes a cross, therefore, its Biblical use is completely justified.

The Watchtower is being deceptive by providing a single definition for a word with different meanings.

Misquoting Sources

In Watchtower publications, quotes from the Catholic Encyclopedia, Critical Lexicon and Concordance or Greek scholars are often presented to convince the reader that stauros rigidly means torture stake.

But these quotes usually lack complete references or page numbers so you can’t double-check them. The reason is: Watchtower writers quote their sources out of context as if the authors agree with their views. (See some documented examples here and here)

Two examples will suffice.

(1) They cite the work of a Roman Catholic scholar, Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), De Cruce Liber Primus.

The illustration in it depicts a man being impaled on an upright stake and based upon the drawing, readers are told: ‘‘This is the manner in which Jesus was impaled.’’

But when one consults this Latin work (which is difficult to find), the dishonesty of the Watchtower Society becomes evident.

The work includes several wood-cut illustrations portraying impalement or crucifixion. Most of these illustrations depict a man on the cross, not torture stake.

And Lipsius never suggested that Jesus was impaled on a cross, but instead argued for a ‘‘cross’’ with such statements as, ‘‘the cross was inserted and the other crosswise bar is joined and inserted with the upright plank, and thus it cuts [divides] itself.” (Justus Lipsius, De Cruce Liber Primus, Ch. IX, pg. 24. Translated from Latin by Marie Tseng, University of Southern California).

(2) They also quote from the Imperial Bible Dictionary (1874, vol. 1, p. 376):

“The Greek word for cross, properly signified a stake, an upright pole … Even amongst the Romans the crux (from which our cross is derived) appears to have been originally an upright pole, and always remained the more prominent part. But from the time it began to used as an instrument of punishment, a transverse piece of wood was commonly added. .. about the period of the Gospel age, crucifixion was commonly accomplished by suspending the criminal on a cross piece of wood.”

The part appearing in bold was conveniently omitted by Watchtower leaders for obvious reasons: it damages their argument. So, they dishonestly cite it as if the author agreed with their theory. This is a common tactic in JW publications.

Archaeological evidence

False beliefs do not usually survive the light of scientific inquiry. The archaeological evidence favouring a cross as a means of execution at the time of Jesus is much more convincing than the alternative theory.

In his book, Evangelism in the Early Church, Michael Green states:

‘‘Some experts doubt whether the cross became a Christian symbol so early, but the recent discoveries of the cross, the fish, the star and the plough, all well known from the second century, on ossuaries of the Judaeo-Christian community in Judea put the possibility beyond reasonable cavil’’ (pp. 214-215).

In the 1945 discoveries at Talpioth, eleven ossuaries were found and reported to be from Christian grave sites in Bethany. These burial boxes too were engraved with crosses and their burial date was estimated at 42-43 A.D. – slightly more than a decade after our Lord’s death and resurrection (Jack Finegan, The Archeology of the New Testament, pp. 238-240).

Even non-Christians indicate that archaeology favours the cross above a torture stake. In 1971, it was reported that:

“Israeli archaeologists announced that they had identified the remains of the unfortunate young man and found clear evidence of his grisly execution. The Israelis scholars who studied the find for more than two years before making their announcement, were understandably cautious. What they uncovered and authenticated is the first firm physical evidence of an actual crucifixion in the ancient Mediterranean world” (Time Magazine, 1971, p. 64).

Early Church History

From the works of early church writers, one can infer that it was common knowledge that Jesus died on a cross.

In 100 AD, the writer of The Epistle of Barnabas (12:2) says:

“The Spirit saith to the heart of Moses, that he should make a type of the cross and of Him that was to suffer, that unless, saith he, they shall set their hope on Him, war shall be waged against them for ever” (J.B. Lightfoot and J.R. Harmer, eds. The Apostolic Fathers, p. 278).

Justin Martyr (160 AD) described the cross beam used to crucify Jesus and wrote that, “He will come again in glory after His crucifixion was symbolized by the tree” (Dialogue with Trypho, p. 40).

Ignatius of Antioch, an early church leader, in his Epistle to the Trallians (11:1-2), speaks of the ungodly and says:

‘‘These men are not the Father’s planting; for if they had been, they would have been seen to be branches of the Cross, and their fruit imperishable — the Cross whereby He through His passion inviteth us, being His members.”

Tertullian also said that Christians used the Greek letter tau or T as a sign of the cross after the manner of Jesus’ death (Ad nationes 1:11).

Interestingly, The Watchtower (November 15, 1993, p. 9) quotes Tacitus, a historian saying that the early Christians were “nailed up to crosses” after the manner of Christ.

An ancient drawing (dating back to the third century) called Alexamanos graffito shows a Roman soldier worshipping a man with a donkey head being crucified. The caption on it reads:

“Alexamanos worships [his] God”.

It was probably intended to mock Christians who worshipped a victim of crucifixion.

Early church scholar, Tertullian, made allusion to these mockeries of the Christian faith by unbelievers: “Some among you have dreamed that our god is an ass’s head – an absurdity which Cornelius Tacitus first suggested” (Ad nationes 1.11).

On a final note, true believers do not venerate or pray to a cross as Jehovah’s Witnesses are made to believe. The true Christian focus is not on the cross as a piece of wood, but on what Jesus accomplished on it (Col. 2:14-15)

However, when Biblical, historical, archaeological and logical evidence are integrated, it’s safe to conclude that Jehovah’s Witnesses are in plain error on this one. Their organization has revealed itself as one of the “enemies of the cross of Christ” (Phil. 3:18).

From the Shack to the Dungeon

When The Shack was published by William Paul Young in 2007, it struck a chord in the hearts of many Christians. By the following year, it had gained an unexpected meteoric rise as a cultural phenomenon. This past year, it was adapted into a movie, to bring its message to a universal audience.

The book was summarily about Mackenzie Philips, a father, who after his daughter’s abduction and gruesome murder, spirals into a deep depression that causes him to question his innermost beliefs. He became unwilling to trust the God he knew before who appeared to have abandoned him in the time of need.

After receiving a mysterious letter from “Papa” (his wife’s pet name for God), inviting him for a meet up at a shack in the woods where Missy was abducted, he meets four characters:

  • God (“Papa”) who is a matronly African American woman who cooks and dispenses words of wisdom and hugs.
  • Jesus, a clumsy Jewish young man who loves gardening.
  • The Holy Spirit, who is a Japanese girl named Sarayu (a Sanskrit word meaning “wind” and also the name of a Hindu river).
  • Sophia, a not-too-veiled reference to the Greek goddess of wisdom before whom Mack stood to be judged about his life.

While at the shack, Mack learns some truths. His “Jesus” is quoted saying:

God, who is the ground of all being, dwells in, around, and through all things…” (The Shack, Windblown Media, 2007, p. 112).

Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims … I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into my sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters” (p. 182).

The first quote from this false Jesus teaches panentheism while the second espouses flagrant universalism. This is not a mere work of fiction; it’s an agenda-driven book.

The Shack carries a message that is in tune with the worship of the “divine feminine” and it appeals to many hurting people who want God in their own form.

In the movie, “Papa” tells Mack that he had to appear as a woman to him because he couldn’t yet handle a male figure. Notably, some years later, the novel’s author, Paul Young admitted that the story is related to his past. Missy represented his innocence that died at childhood and Mack represents him as an adult, trying to deal with that childhood pain.

Young said he was raised by an unloving, distant father and was sexually molested by several older boys in boarding school as well as several men while in Papua New Guinea where his father worked as a missionary. He felt let down by conventional Christianity and the God of the Bible, so he embraced another God – a diluted version of God; a feminized god.

During a lecture held in June 2010 at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon, Young told his audience that “the God of evangelical Christianity is a monster.” He was referring to the evangelical belief that God is a God of judgement and will judge the unbelieving.

So what we have here is a man who has rejected the God of the Bible for a false God that might heal the pain of his fans but will certainly damn their souls.

Moulding God into our image and likeness to better comfort us is the very definition of idolatry. Like A. W. Tozer said, “The idolater simply imagines things about God and then acts as if they were true.”

God is who He is; His nature and character will not change to make us feel better. “I the Lord do not change…” (Mal. 3:6). He is I AM THAT I AM (Ex. 3:14). He will not appear as Pan, Sango, Astarte or something He is not to appeal to the felt needs of the heathen. Truth takes precedence over true healing.

Jesus didn’t appear to the woman at the well in a woman’s form because she has had problems with several men. He didn’t appear to the adulterous woman as a female because she had been betrayed and maltreated by religious men. He didn’t appear to the woman with the alabaster box as a female because she had been abused by men.

In this fallen world, we will always experience pain and losses – much of which we will have no understanding of or explanations for – but instead of converting God into a spiritual drug to deal with our pain and losses, we can simply walk through them with faith in God. We “trust in the LORD with all [our] heart and lean not on our own understanding” (Prov. 3:5).

The Shack, however, presents to its readers a spiritual panacea deity, one stripped of justice, immutability and holiness. It offers many a trinitarian idolatrous hybrid god that represents whatever will make them feel better about their horrible tragedies. It’s the same concept underlying the visualization and guided imagery utilized by the Inner Healing movement.

If for example, you were sexually abused when you were young; instead of leading you to the cross where Jesus took away our pain, shame and guilt, they will tell you to imagine yourself going back to your childhood and visualizing Jesus coming to you to comfort you and take your pain away. And of course, after some time, this false Jesus takes on a life of its own.

William Young’s next book, Eve, re-told the story of Adam and Eve. It turned up the heat with the proverbial frog in the kettle. It was a book laden with Kabbalistic, occultic and Gnostic themes that would be readily embraced by the Contemplative/New Age movement.

In Young’s non-fiction book, Lies We Believe about God, his Universalist beliefs were clearer: “Every human being you meet … is a child of God” (p. 206). Death doesn’t result in final judgement but simply introduces “a restorative process intended to free us to run into the arms of Love” (p. 187). Therefore, hell isn’t a separation from God, but simply the pain of resisting salvation we have and can’t escape.” (p. 137)

In the light of the Bible, universalism (“all paths lead to God”) is a lie of the devil (John 3:18; 10:7; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 6:23 etc.). It is the philosophy of the last days that the final antichrist will use to build his one-world religion.

Recently, Eternity News published an article about Young sharing content of an interview that it conducted with the writer as it discussed his part in the new documentary “The Heart of Man” and some of his beliefs:

I think that Jesus is both our salvation and rightful judge, but that judgment is intended for our good, not our harm.” He continues, “I think there is an ongoing relational confrontation between the One who knows you best and loves you best. Potentially forever and, potentially, you could say ‘no’ forever. How someone could do that I don’t know, but definitely that tension is held in Scripture for sure.”

There are a number of lies here. Hebrews 9:27 says it is destined for man to die once and after that face judgement. This judgement is not “an education day” as Jehovah’s Witnesses and other false religionists like William Young teach. There is no other chance for those who have died without repentance.

The Bible also tells us that both heaven and hell are eternal destinations (e.g Matthew 25:46); once you are there, you are there. “For if the words spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Heb. 2: 2-3).

Our realization of what awaits the unsaved is the reason “we try to persuade men” to receive Christ. There is no salvation, pardon or cleansing after death. Thus, “now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 5:11; 6:2).

Young has no problem disseminating his poisonous heresies because he has already introduced a false god; he is merely building on the foundations of that warped theology.

When people reject God as He is revealed in the Bible, the next logical step is to reject what He has also said about how to be saved and that implies a rejection of what He has said about eternity.

Through his books, he has succeeded in presenting a dark occult goddess, Sophia, to a generation that is all too keen to worship God as a female figure and is willing to sacrifice truth for whatever resonates with their inner cravings.

The most devastating loss that can ever befall one is to die in a deception. There’s no remedy forever. I pray that William Young and his millions of benighted fans will become truly saved and come to the knowledge of the truth before it’s too late.

The “Jesus” of the Latter Day Saints

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Many people think the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is just another “Christian denomination” because they teach about Christ and the Bible. On their website, they state:

“We believe Jesus is the Son of God, the Begotten Son in the flesh … We accept the prophetic declarations in the Old Testament that refers directly and powerfully to the coming of the Messiah, the Savior of all humankind. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the fulfillment of those prophecies.”

Hardly would a Christian disagree with the above (though as we proceed, you will understand what is packed beneath the first line).

Most pseudo-Christian religions gain converts by first teaching what most Christians will readily agree with. Their heresies are usually introduced little by little until the convert is so indoctrinated that he is ready to defend these lies.

But a major way to identify a cult is to check their Christology. Once it is defective, what they have is a false gospel and behind it is a false spirit.

In previous articles, I have shown how Roman Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventists fail this major litmus test, here, I will be examining Mormonism.

My quotes will be mainly from their scripture, the book of Mormon, as well as teachings of their prophets (both early and modern) which are equally authoritative.

Joseph Smith says “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the mind of God … the Word of God and the power of God unto salvation” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:4).

1. Quasi-Sabellianism

“Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth…” (Alma 11:38-39).

“…Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son.” (Ether 3:14)

The Christological heresy espoused here was known in the early church as modalism or sabellianism. It taught that God was one God who variously manifested Himself in three modes of existence, as the Father, later as the Son and then the Holy Spirit.

It totally did away with the distinction of persons within the Godhead. This was the initial Christological error Joseph Smith held to.

The Bible however, distinguishes between the Father and the Son (Mt. 5:16; 11:25; Jn. 10:29; 20:17 etc) and between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:16; 16:5-15; Jn. 7:39, Acts 8:5-25 etc).

This is where the Mormon misconception of the Christian Trinity stems from.

2. Pre-mortal Godhood

“[A]ll men lived in a premortal estate before they were born into this world; all were born in the premortal existence as the spirit children of the Father. Christ was the firstborn spirit child … Christ, the Word, the Firstborn, had, of course, attained unto the status of Godhood while yet in premortal existence” (What Mormons Think of Christ, 1976, p. 25).

Christ was not created and didn’t have to attain the status of Godhood. He is and has always been God. He is eternal, “the first and the last” just as the Father is (Rev. 1:17-18; Is. 48:12).

The creation of man by God negates pre-mortal existence. Mormon theology seems to be closer to Greek paganism than to the Bible.

3. A Firstborn of gods

In modern times he has said: ‘I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn. And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same and are the church of the Firstborn. Ye were also in the beginning with the Father” (Doctrines and Covenants 93:21-23).

This is a gross misunderstanding of the Biblical concept of Jesus as the firstborn.

Colossians 1:15-19 is offered as proof but this actually presents Jesus as the Creator. The Greek word for “firstborn” is prototokos which means “preeminence” and “eternal preexistence.”

Also, humans do not share in God’s glory nor become gods at any time (Isa. 42:8). Such a teaching is a lie of the serpent.

4. Lucifer’s brother

And the Lord God, spake unto Moses saying: “That Satan, whom thou has commanded … came before me, saying – Behold, here I am, send me. I will be honor. But behold, my Beloved Son which was my beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me – Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.” (Pearl of Great Price, Moses, 4:1-2)

Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer were among the spirit children born by God, but Lucifer rebelled when God accepted Jesus’ salvation plan and rejected his.

However, the Bible says of Christ: “For by him all things were created” (Col. 1:16). Lucifer was one of the angels created by Christ and is not on equal footing with Him let alone be His “spirit brother” as LDS teach.

Jesus Christ, who is the exact image of the Father, has received an excellent name above angels.

5. The Polygamist Christ

“Jesus Christ was married at Cana at Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children.” (Journal of Discourses 2:210)

The Scriptures says that He, the Lord, came walking in the Temple, with His train; I do not know who they were unless His wives and children.” (J of D, 13:309)

The plan of God has been that the Saviour should become man, not to have physical children, but to produce godly seeds – sons of God – on earth by new birth and sanctification (Heb. 2:10-12).

But the Christ of Mormonism couldn’t even be Lord unless he was married! That’s not the Jesus of the Bible but an attempt to tailor Jesus in the image of Joseph Smith who was a polygamist.

Jesus is spiritually married to His church – His people. “I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him” (2 Cor. 11:2).

He illustrated this with a parable in Matthew 25:1-10 and there is the “wedding Supper of the Lamb” at His second coming (Rev. 19:6).

6. Atonement in Gethsemane

And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it to be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people” (Mosiah 3:7)

“[Jesus] took his apostles into a garden called Gethsemane where he subsequently began to pray, and being in great agony he bled at every pore. Thus did he assume the burden of men’s sins” (The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, 1979, 170-76).

In other words, the Mormon Jesus paid the price for the sins of mankind by suffering at the garden of Gethsemane and not by His death at the cross. This is a defective view of the atonement that ignores and rejects several plain passages of Scripture.

One, the wages of sin is death, not “great agony” or “anguish” (Ezk. 18:20; Rom. 3:23).

Two, one of the Messianic prophecies is that Christ will be “pierced” hands and feet (Ps. 22:16) and “cut off from the land of the living” (Is. 53:8). The events culminating in Christ’s crucifixion are fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

Note this carefully the next time a LDS claims they “believe that Jesus of Nazareth … is the fulfillment of those prophecies.” By denying His sacrifice at the cross, they have embraced a false gospel.

Christ was made sin for us and bore it in His body on the cross and died there (2 Cor. 5:21; 1Pet. 2:24). Just as the spotless lamb was killed during the Jewish Passover, He is the Lamb of God who took away the sins of the world (Jn. 1:30).

Through His death on the cross, redemption – purchase from the marketplace of sin and death – was made possible (1 Cor. 6:20). Through it, reconciliation and propitiation for man’s sins was achieved.

Without the cross of Christ there is no redemption, no forgiveness and no salvation. Consequently, Mormonism is a doomed ship taking millions to a Christless eternity.

7. A Rejection of the Blood of Jesus

It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it [the blood of Christ] can never remit.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:54)

“…We may talk of men being redeemed by the efficacy of his [Christ’s] blood, but the truth is that that blood has no efficacy to wash away our sins. That must depend upon our own action” (Apostle Amasa Lyman, J of D 7:299).

This is simply the next logical step from a defective atonement.

If “the blood of Jesus…purifies us from all sin” and Jesus has “provided purification for sins,” there is no reason to claim that we can somehow add to its efficacy (1 Jn. 1:7; Heb. 1:3).

There is no amount of human action that can purge man from his sins. Conclusively, the “Jesus” of the LDS is not the Jesus revealed in the Bible.