The Bible is emphatic that worship belongs only to One. In the
passage quoted above,
"Observe thou that which I
command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite,
and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the
Hivite, and the Jebusite. Take heed to thyself, lest thou make
a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest
it be for a snare in the midst of thee: But ye shall destroy
their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is
Jealous, is a jealous God: Lest thou make a covenant with the
inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and
do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his
sacrifice; And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and
their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go
a whoring after their gods. Thou shalt make thee no molten
gods." (Exodus 34:11-17).
Other passages reinforce the lesson:
"But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.
As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God."
"Take heed to yourselves, that
your heart be not deceived, and ye turn aside, and serve other
gods, and worship them; And then the LORD’S wrath be kindled
against you, and he shut up the heaven, that there be no rain,
and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest ye perish
quickly from off the good land which the LORD giveth you."
"And Joshua said unto the people,
Ye cannot serve the LORD: for he is an holy God; he is a jealous
God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. If
ye forsake the LORD, and serve strange gods, then he will turn
and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you
good. And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve
the LORD. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses
against yourselves that ye have chosen you the LORD, to serve
him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away,
said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your
heart unto the LORD God of Israel." (Joshua 24:19-23).
is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is
furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he
reserveth wrath for his enemies.
The LORD is
slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit
the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the
storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet." (Nahum 1:2-3).
Now consider how these injunctions operated in the case of the apostles.
After Christ's ascension, the went to the temple to pray: "Now
Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of
prayer, being the ninth hour." (Acts 3:1). To whom was the
temple at Jerusalem consecrated? Jehovah God. Healing a lame
man, they explained to the men of Israel gathered there, "The
God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our
fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and
denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to
let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired
a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of
life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are
witnesses." (Acts 3:13-15). Certainly they had not switched
their loyalties, they were continuing to serve the God of
Israel. In Mormon lingo, Jesus Christ is the God of Israel:
"Christ is the God of our Fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob. . . Christ is the God of Israel." (Bruce R. McConkie,
Mormon Doctrine, pp. 322-323). The Talmud accuses Jesus of enticement, of seeking to
induce Israel to serve other gods:
"AND A HERALD PRECEDES HIM etc. This implies, only
immediately before [the execution], but not previous thereto.
[In contradiction to this] it was taught: On the eve of the
Passover Yeshu was hanged. For forty days before the execution
took place, a herald went forth and cried, 'He is going forth to
be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to
apostacy. Any one who can say anything in his favour, let him
come forward and plead on his behalf.' But since nothing was
brought forward in his favour he was hanged on the eve of the
Passover! — Ulla retorted: 'Do you suppose that he was one for
whom a defence could be made? Was he not a Mesith
[enticer], concerning whom Scripture says, Neither shalt thou
spare, neither shalt thou conceal him? With Yeshu however it was
different, for he was connected with the government [or royalty,
(Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 43a).
This is the charge:
"If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter,
the wife of your bosom, or our friend who is as your own soul, secretly
entices you, saying, 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which you have not
known, neither you nor your fathers, of the gods of the people which are
all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth
to the other end of the earth, you shall not consent to him or listen to
him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him;
but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to
put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people." (Deuteronomy 13:6-9).
Presumably in the minds of His accusers, the enticement came when He commanded Israel to worship Him,
"That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.
He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath
sent him." (John 5:23). It is the oddity of Mormon theology that
when Jesus demanded worship, He was demanding worship as the God of
Israel; He was encouraging them to maintain the status quo. It was
when He told them to worship God the Father than He was introducing
a strange god not known to their fathers! The ancient heretic Marcion
also taught that when Jesus spoke of 'the Father' He was
revealing a hitherto unknown God. This doctrinal confusion
produces an impenetrable thicket wherein Latter Day Saints must wonder who
it is they serve and worship. Unlike the early apostles, who
worshipped in the temple and prayed to the God of Israel, modern-day
Mormons are careful to pray to 'Heavenly Father' exclusively. They
themselves do not think this is the same God but a different one: