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Splinter Group Bickertonites Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2020 6:44 pm

Splinter Group Bickertonites Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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September 25, 2020 6:44 pm

This is a 3-part series featuring our final splinter group, the Church of Jesus Christ, also known as the Bickertonites. To read more about this group, visit https://www.mrm.org/church-of-christ-bickertonite

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Viewpoint is the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from viewpoint one more minute sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism. The church of Jesus Christ record tonight's who are they and what do they believe welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM the church of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as the Bickerton night movement not to be confused with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City as we were mentioning in yesterday show when we first introduce this group goes back to the time of Sidney Rigdon, Sidney Rigdon was really the right hand man of Joseph Smith, the founder of the whole movement but after Joseph Smith was killed there was a power struggle between Rigdon and Brigham Young. Brigham Young won the day. Rigdon kind of goes off into obscurity, but he stops in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and starts a new church. It was known as the church of Christ, known also as the Rigdon night movement. Later another man by the name of William Bickerton would be associated with Sidney Rigdon Rigdon's church ends in 1847. Bickerton becomes a member of the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and he attends a congregation in Elizabeth Pennsylvania. But as we also mentioned yesterday in 1852. Brigham Young sent representatives back east and told Bickerton that he had to teach plural marriage. Bickerton refused to do that he did not believe in the doctrine of plural marriage, so he disassociates himself with the LDS church. Later he would start his own organization. This would be in July 1862, and so this is how the name Bickerton gets associated with this group that were going to look at some of the teachings of this group, but where are most of the members located because this again is ace is a smaller group but it's not the smallest. This one is the second largest splinter group of those that are part of the restoration movement 27,000 members is what I was able to find out, and of the 27,000 fewer than 3000 live in North America, the rest live in foreign countries, mainly in Africa where they first started a church in 1954 Nigeria they have nine different African nations. We also have Asia including the Philippines and India Central America very big for them because they believe that the ancestors of the Lamanites from the book of Mormon were located and they first started in Mexico in 1959. Also Europe. In fact, many of the leaders of the church have Italian surnames.

That's interesting because Italy is a big deal 1947's when it started and then south America now in the United States. Again, not very big.

2700 members, most of them are going to be where this church was founded in Pennsylvania 12 congregations.

We also have Florida, Ohio, New Jersey. They actually have six congregations on the West Coast in California, three in Arizona and two in New Mexico, so we have them spread all over the United States, but they are very small churches. Most of the congregations are going to have fewer than 50 members and in fact I could find none that had more than 125 members and they call their church a branch of the church says it's supposed to bring the restored gospel to the Native Americans of the house of Israel. They call these people. The tribe of Joseph which is one of the 12 tribes of Israel scattered. They said throughout the Americas and so they have a special emphasis on missionary programs that are directed to native Americans and they also say besides the Native Americans that Hispanics from Mexico, Central and South America are also possible descendents of the Lamanites.

What does the DNA evidence prove that's an interesting question because DNA evidence has not been kind to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints want to give you an example in the introduction to the book of Mormon in the second paragraph. It used to say that the Lamanites were the principal ancestors of the American Indians DNA evidence to support that. So they had to change this and they took the word principal out the word. Now it only says that the Lamanites are among the ancestors of the American Indians in my opinion. Both statements are still false, but that's what the statement says today. As far as the Native Americans they have had congregations in the Apache and Navajo tribes in New Mexico and Arizona. In fact they they establish this in Arizona 1961 I had a chance to talk to the widow of the missionary who started that movement in 1961, and had a very cordial conversation.

She probably was in her 80s and I just called to see if I could talk to semi from that church and the only people who belong to the church were members of the Apache tribe and also New Mexico was in 1971. So if you're thinking about this church, they're very big on planting any new churches which I did not see they were doing the last 30 years.

But when they do plant they wanting to be near a Native American tribal location because they believe that these people are Lamanites who need the gospel. The purpose of this church according to their website and this is one of the splinter groups that does in fact have its own website so you can find a lot of information on this organization but it says the purpose of the church is to fulfill the plan of God by bringing salvation through Christ to all people.

Again, you have to ask yourself salvation through Christ all people hot. What does that entail and many times when you look at some of these groups, they don't give you a lot of those details that are necessary to really know where the church stands on this position when it says also on the website that the church of Jesus Christ will teach the gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things, commanded by Jesus Christ that vessels very similar to what the LDS church headquartered in Salt Lake City has to say and then they say that they are to draw Israel to Christ through an effort focused on the Native Americans of North and South America. So they do hold the position that was very much prominent in the LDS church that Israel can be represented through the American Indians because they can trace they believe their ancestry back to Israel. Even though the DNA does not support that the Native Americans are from what they call the tribe of Joseph so this is why they make the Native Americans a focal point of their missionary work. Before we look at some of the doctrines of this organization or there was an interesting little controversy when Russell and Nelson became the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in early 2018. Later that year Russell M. Nelson came out with this decision to no longer have members referred to themselves as Mormons and to no longer ever refer to the church as the Mormon church. They even changed their website address from LDS.org is you can't use LDS either and Mormon.org and Mormon.org to church of Jesus Christ.org. Now here's where the controversy lies the church of Jesus Christ.org that website address belong to this group.

The Bickerton Knights and not just the church of Jesus Christ.org but they also owned the church of Jesus Christ.com I'm sure they were offered a lot of money by the Latter Day Saints church to buy that website domain and they don't have a real friendly relationship with the LDS church so they did not sell it to them. I mean, let's just be honest though, I'm sure that the great majority of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints still go to their website by typing in the shorter version. LDS.org and that we know redirects to church of Jesus Christ.org, which is the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I've often wondered, does that make Jesus mad when they do that because remember, Russell Nelson said that you actually upset Jesus when you don't use the proper name of the church. And Satan gets a victory when you do that it's it's it's kind of an interesting idea that they even think about that with their tech department did they say okay what are we to use for a website LDS.org is much simpler to remember church of Jesus Christ.org is going to take a little bit more memory and it's laborious, which is our complaint will refer to it on the first time as the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but we will not in our writing refer to it that way all the time because it's 47 keystrokes is just too laborious to to write out every single time now when it comes to the doctrines of this group. The definitely do not believe in the Trinity. Their website says we believe in God: father, Jesus Christ-his son, and the Holy Spirit. But they don't believe in the Trinity, so I have to ask the question, does this mean are the modal lists.

While this is in this by the way, is the first of 12 articles of faith in morning continue to talk about this tomorrow because I think these 12 articles of faith tell us as much as we need to know about this group but they believe their monotheistic and yet they believe that God the father and Jesus are two separate personages well so does the LDS church believe this and quote on quote they are one in spirit purpose in accord. So right there that's telling you that they're not holding to a Trinitarian view of God, but moralistic. I think you're right is probably more closely aligned with what they're teaching. If they don't believe that Jesus is God and only God the father is God that would make them Unitarian if they do not believe that Jesus is God, then only God the father is God so they could say that their monotheistic, but they certainly as they say are not going to claim to be Trinitarian. It also alright so they don't believe that the three are one in essence I remember they do not hold to all of the things that the LDS church teaches. For instance, the LDS church is that God has a body of flesh and bones. They say no, God is a personage of glory. He does not have this body of flesh and bones as far as Jesus they think he's the image of the father. They believe that he was with the father from the beginning and born of the Virgin Mary conceived of the Holy Ghost which is not something the LDS church would say that he became man established the church then suffered and died for sins, rose 3 days after his death resides at the right hand of God and will return in a second coming, but they don't hold that he is God in the flesh as evangelical Christians believe it was also interesting is on their website. They claim that the Holy Spirit is the mind of the father and of the son will that comes right out of lecture for half of the lectures on Faith which is was canonized by the LDS church in 1921, but this was back when the church, the LDS church taught that there are only two personages in the Godhead. The father and the son in that same lecture lecture for it reads this way and he being the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth, and having overcome receive the fullness of the glory of the father possessing the same mind with the father which mind is the Holy Spirit. It sounds as if this article from the 12 articles of faith came right out of lecture fifth of the lectures on faith that was once a part of the Mormon canon. Thank you for listening you would like more information we guarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is as with most Christian organizations is a research ministry depends on the generous financial support of friends like you. If you like what we do and how we do it, would you consider helping a more immediate financial obligations really go to my website MRM.org the right you'll see in click there and follow the instructions.

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