Subscribe via RSS Feed

Test the spirits

Cartwright Meets “Joe” Smith

Cartwright tells about “Joe Smith” sharing with him his vision for the restoration of the church of the New Testament. According to Smith, during a time of revival in upper state NY he had prayed about which church was the right one. Smith said that during this time of prayer,

I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air.

According to Smith, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit appeared in this vision and told him not to join any of the churches, for none was the true church.

Cartwright says that Smith told him that, of all the churches then in existence, the Methodist church was the closest to the church of the New Testament, “But they had stopped short by not claiming the gift of tongues, of prophecy, and of miracles”. He went on to tell Cartwright,

If you will go with me to Nauvoo, I will show you many living witnesses that will testify that they were, by the saints, cured of blindness, lameness, deafness, dumbness, and all the diseases that human flesh is heir to. And I will show you that we have the gift of tongues, and can speak in unknown languages, and that the saints can drink any deadly poison and it will not hurt them.

Visions & Angelic Visitations

Joseph Smith and his early followers, not only claimed the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, they claimed to experience visions and angelic visitations on a regular basis. Those of the contemporary prophetic movement would have, if they had been there, designated Smith as a prophet or seer. On one occasion an angel named Moroni appeared to Smith and told him where to find the plates on which were inscribed the Book of Mormon, written in an ancient Egyptian text. Smith claimed that while he and an associate, Oliver Cowdery, were translating the book, John the Baptist as well as Peter, James, and John appeared to them and ordained them to the priesthood of Melchizedek. How impressive! Demons will always play on a person’s pride, telling them how important they will be if they accept this revelation.

Smith Proves to be Angry & Un-teachable

In his meeting with Smith, Cartwright began to question him about his doctrine. As he proceeded, it soon became obvious that Smith had left behind Biblical truth and was following sensational teachings based on prophecies, visions, and angelic visitations. As Cartwright continued pointing out his error, he said that Smith’s “wrath boiled over” and “he cursed me in the name of his God”. Smith angrily retorted, “I will show you sir, that I will raise up a government in these United States which will overturn the present government, and I will raise up a new religion that will overturn every other form of religion in this country.”

The Dedication of the First Mormon Temple

In 1831, based on a revelation from God, Smith and many of his followers migrated to Kirkland, Ohio. There they built and, in 1836, dedicated the first Mormon temple. According to one Mormon historian, there was a spiritual outpouring almost unmatched in ecclesiastical history. Smith himself wrote a detailed description. A noise was heard like the sound of a rushing mighty wind, which filled the Temple, and all the congregation simultaneously arose, being moved upon by an invisible power; many began to speak in tongues and prophesy; other saw glorious visions; and I beheld the Temple filled with angels, which fact I declared to the congregation. The people of the neighborhood came running (hearing an unusual sound within, and seeing a bright light like a pillar of fire resting on the Temple), and were astonished at what was taking place. This continued until the meeting closed at eleven p.m. (Ruth Tucker, Another Gospel, 61).

What Can We Learn From Mormonism?

Out of this movement that based its beliefs on prophecies, visions, and angelic visitations, has grown a cultic movement that today numbers millions of followers around the world. While many of their beliefs are obviously Christian in origin, they also hold to many beliefs that have no basis in Scripture and are at odds with Biblical Christianity. This happened because they exalted their experiences and writings, such as the Book of Mormon, to equal status with the Bible. Here are some suggestions that can help us avoid repeating the same mistakes as this movement.

Pin It
Page 2 of 3123

Tags: ,

Category: Ministry, Summer 2019

About the Author: Eddie L. Hyatt, D.Min. (Regent University), M.Div. and M.A. (Oral Roberts University), serves the body of Christ around the world by teaching with academic excellence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. He has authored several books, including 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity. His passion is to see authentic spiritual awakening transform the Church and impact the world in the Twenty-first century.

  • Connect with

    Subscribe via Twitter 1330 Followers   Subscribe via Facebook Fans
  • Recent Comments

  • Featured Authors

    Amos Yong is Professor of Theology & Mission and director of the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena. His graduate education includes degree...

    Jelle Creemers: Theological Dialogue with Classical Pentecostals

    Antipas L. Harris, D.Min. (Boston University), S.T.M. (Yale University Divinity School), M.Div. (Emory University), is the president-dean of Jakes Divinity School and associate pasto...

    King’s Dream of the Beloved Community

    Craig S. Keener, Ph.D. (Duke University), is F. M. and Ada Thompson Professor of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky. He is author of many books<...

    A Keener Understanding of the Bible: The Jewish Context for the Book of Revelation

    William L. De Arteaga, Ph.D., is known internationally as a Christian historian and expert on revivals and the rebirth and renewal of the Christian healing movement. His major w...

    Ryan Burge: Most Nones Still Keep the Faith