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The Voice of God?

“On the evening of the twenty-first of September 1823… I was thus in the act of calling upon God when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor… he called me by name and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from the presence of God to me, and his name was Moroni; that God had a work for me to do; and that my name should be had for good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues.”

—Testimony of Joseph Smith, Founder of the

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons)


“While I was walking, all of a sudden I heard a voice from the sky. I looked up and saw the same angel, who had visited me at the cave of Hira, sitting on a chair between the sky and the earth… and then Allah revealed the following holy verses of the Quran: “O you Muhammed…Arise and warn!”

Sahih Al-Bukhari, Book 1, chapter 4

"I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in My name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!'

How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.”

—Jeremiah 23:25-26


Sometimes we are puzzled because so many believe these absurd tales. A recent report from Salt Lake City said that Mormons now number over 17 million worldwide. That amount pales in comparison to Islam. Estimates vary, but the number of Muslims worldwide is about 2 billion. How can people believe something that has no proof, that contradicts itself, and that goes against plainly established truth?

On the other hand, we are not surprised. The Bible reminds us that this is the nature of our world. Masses of people in the Old Testament worshiped foolish imaginary gods. Even the Israelites who saw the miracles of the true God served these idols in the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah. In the so-called enlightened culture of the Greeks and Romans, many worshiped idols (Rom. 1:18-25). Why should we be shocked when people believe false prophets today? The world is no different because things really don't change (Ecc. 1:9-10).

Most people in the United Sates do not believe the claims of Joseph Smith and Muhammed. Mormons and Muslims are minority groups in America, especially in the Bible Belt. Those who are in other religions or have no religion would simply say that there is no basis for believing these religious leaders. However, many of the same people believe ideas that are just baseless.

How many go to a church where the preacher says that God speaks to him? How many believe the Holy Spirit guides the Catholic Church into infallible truth? How often do professed Christians really want to do or have something and then talk themselves into thinking the Lord told them He would give it to them?

When the Lord spoke to people in the Bible, He gave proof that He was speaking—miracles, fulfilled prophecies, and others signs. When the apostles went out to preach the Word of God, the Lord worked with them by “confirming the word through the accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20). Joseph Smith and Muhammed gave no such evidence, and neither do others who claim to be spokesmen for God today. Besides this, the Bible says that those miraculous activities ceased when it was completed as the final revelation of God (I Cor. 13:8-13). The Scriptures contain all the revelation we need from God (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:3). Instead of following their feelings or listening to a charismatic speaker, people need to turn more than ever to the proven, powerful, all-sufficient Word of God.

Kerry

West End church of Christ bulletin article for July 2, 2023

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