Sunday, December 4, 2016

Taking God Seriously, Romans 3:4


 With all of the recent talk about multi-faith, interfaith, inter-denominational mergers and alliances, all roads lead to heaven, ecumenism, etc., are we taking God seriously?  Was what Jesus did at the cross not as necessary in order for people to be saved from judgment?  In the end, will God wink at the ignorance and rebellion of man and let everyone into heaven anyway?  Can we just disregard what He says in Scripture? 

Romans 3:4, “So that You may be proved right when You speak and prevail when You judge.”

The other day my wife and I read Hosea chapter 13.  The first and second half of the chapter talks of the judgment of God.  In the middle of the chapter, in verse 14, we read, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death.  Where, O death, are your plagues?  Where, O grave, is your destruction?”

When we read about God’s judgment and then His compassion and grace and then His judgment again, atheists call this “schizophrenia.”  What they do not understand is that God is wholly just and wholly love at the same time.  What we see in Hosea chapter 13 is that there would come a time when the perfect justice of God and the perfect love of God would meet.

Isaiah 53:10-11, “For it was the Lord’s will to crush Him (Jesus) and cause Him to suffer, and though the Lord makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in His hand.  After the suffering of His soul, He will see the light of life and be satisfied; by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.”

Jesus would be crushed and would suffer as a guilt offering for the sins of man.  After the suffering of His soul He would be resurrected, see His offspring and be satisfied.  At the cross the justice of God would be satisfied when Jesus stood in the gap and bore the brunt of God’s wrath that we deserved.  He would pay the penalty for our sins and take them out of the way.  Then the love of God could be poured out on all of those who would by faith accept what Jesus did for them.

Romans 3:21-28, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified (declared righteous) freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God  presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His  justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the One who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

“Where then is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified (declared righteous) by faith apart from observing the law.”

Sin was serious enough in God’s sight that it would bring justice and wrath.  To us.  Jesus stood in the gap and bore that sin in His body on the cross and bore the brunt of that wrath on our behalf.  And having paid the penalty for our sin, He took it out of the way.  Do you want this to be applied to your life?  Do you want your sins paid for and for God to justify you or declare you righteous?  We already see in the last half of the passage above that this does not happen by your observing the law.  It happens by faith alone.  God will credit righteousness to you.

Romans 4:23-25, “The words ‘it was credited to him (Abraham)’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”

Ask God to apply what Jesus did at the cross to your life, and He will do it.  Romans 10:13, “For everyone who calls on  the name of the Lord will be saved.”

So what happens to a person after they have asked God to apply this to their lives?  Since the justice of God is satisfied through what Jesus did at the cross, His wrath is no longer directed at you.  1 Thessalonians 5:9-10, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.”

Now God is able to pour out His love on you.  1 John 3:1, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  And that is what we are!”

That is the Gospel, my friends.  The Good News.  You and I can’t work our way to heaven.  And God does not require that.  In fact, He rejects our efforts.  Romans 3:20, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”  Jesus did for you what you could not and cannot do for yourself.  Romans 11:6. “And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” God’s justice and love will meet you at the cross.

This now, brings me to my first point.  What about multi-faith?  What about interfaith?  Does God look away when someone tries to enter into heaven another way than the One who is the way?  Does God wink at this?  If someone falsely tells you another way and preaches a false gospel, will God overlook it?  Will he let it go, or will God judge the false teacher of prophet?  Will God judge those who have followed the false prophet or teacher, or will He overlook it?

Jeremiah 14:14-16, ‘Then the LORD said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in My name.  I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them.  They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.  Therefore, this is what the LORD says about the prophets who are prophesying in My name:  I did not send them, yet they are saying, “No sword or famine will touch this land.”  Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.  And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword.  There will be no one to bury them or their wives, their sons or their daughters.  I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”

False prophets and followers alike will receive what they deserve.  From the hand of God.  They told you to take a different road, and you followed them.  You did not think God needed to be taken seriously.  You thought God would wink at your following a false prophet, a counterfeit Christ, doctrines of demons and a false gospel.  You will have forfeited the grace that could have been yours.  You will have encouraged your loved ones to follow the same path you were on.  And you will have caused them to also forfeit the grace that could have been theirs.

Hebrews 12:15, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God…”

Let me take this time to focus on a people group that chooses to disregard the truth and perpetuate a counterfeit Christ (a brother of Lucifer and a polygamist), a false prophet (no fulfilled prophecies and did not preach of a righteousness that originates with God), doctrines of demons (God is a polygamist and had relations with Mary to produce Jesus), and a false gospel (Jesus died to ensure everyone a resurrection so that we can work our way to heaven).

Mormonism.

I was raised 4th generation Mormon.  My great grandfather moved west with Brigham Young.  In December of 1981 I learned about the grace of God through Jesus Christ and asked Him to apply what Jesus did to my life.  He justified me at that moment and I became a born again believer.  I now have the assurance of eternal life.  A couple of months later God brought me to the understanding that Mormonism had lied to me.  So, I rejected and renounced Mormonism.

Some have said that I now have bitterness and resentment towards Mormonism.  That is not true.  But I have anger towards Mormonism.  They have led countless people to forfeit the grace that could have been theirs.  God does not wink at sin.  God does not wink at ignorance.  Those who have died having forfeited this grace are now in Hades waiting until sentencing at the White Throne Judgment, where they will be sent to Gehenna (the Lake of Fire). 

And of those countless people are my great grandfather, my great grandmother, my grandfather, my grandmother, uncles and aunts, cousins.  And I have loved ones alive today that are forfeiting the grace that could be theirs.  And not taking God seriously, they are also leading their loved ones to forfeit the grace that could be theirs.  Unless they repent and come to Christ on His terms, they will be like the rich man Jesus told us about in Luke 16:19-31.  They will end up in Hades.  After they have discovered there will never be any relief for their torment, they will hope someone will tell their loved ones of this place so they will not end up there.

Will this be the sum of your life?  Tormented in your own torment and tormented that your loved ones ended up there?  Forever tormented.  Forever forgotten. 

It does not have to end that way.  Take God seriously.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Different Jesus


2 Corinthians 11:4

“For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

When we want to consider whether or not Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, was truly a prophet of God and therefore what he said and what Mormonism teaches is true or false, God gives us the means to determine this.  And as I have pointed out in a previous post, Joseph Smith fails the test of a prophet that was sent by God.

As I sought to publish that previous post around the internet, I ran into a defender of Mormonism who claimed that Joseph Smith did say that Jesus came in the flesh, therefore he was a prophet of God (though he had failed the other tests):

2 John 1:7, “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist.”

Well, he had me there.  For a time.  Then it occurred to me that when Joseph Smith taught about Jesus, and when Mormonism teaches about Jesus, they aren’t talking about the same Jesus  the Bible teaches us about. 

The Jesus that Joseph Smith saw (if indeed he saw him), and that Mormonism teaches, is an imposter, a different Jesus than the Biblical Jesus.  Through the remainder of this post I will compare Mormonism’s Jesus with the Biblical Jesus.  In reading the quotes about Mormonism’s Jesus compared with the Biblical Jesus, you will see that the Biblical Jesus is real and Mormonism’s Jesus is different and an imposter.

First, I’ll give you a quick summary of Mormonism’s Jesus and then a quick summary of the Biblical Jesus.  I’ll then follow that with quotes from Mormonism concerning their Jesus and quotes from the Bible concerning the Biblical Jesus.  To make this easier to read, the summary of Mormonism’s Jesus and their quotes on Jesus will be in blue, the summary of the Biblical Jesus and quotes from the Bible about the Biblical Jesus will be in red, and my words will be in black.

Mormonism’s Jesus was born as a spirit to God the Father and one of His wives and is the brother of Lucifer.  He worked His way to godhood.  He was and is a polygamist.  He is not able to keep His word and the darkness has the ability to overcome Him.  His blood may not atone for all of your sins.  His offer of salvation to you depends on your good works, and after all you can do, he may not be able to keep his promise.

The Biblical Jesus is God.  Everlasting.  The same yesterday, today and forever.  He was and is without sin.  Do you understand why Jesus was able to rise from the dead?  It was by the Spirit of Holiness.  Romans 1:4, “…and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin (Romans 5:12).  Death could not hold Jesus because Jesus is without sin.  He went to the cross to pay the penalty for your sin and take it out of the way and offers to credit your account with His righteousness so that death will not be able to keep you down either.  By asking the Jesus of Scripture to apply what He did to you, you will receive the gift of eternal life.  The guarantee of eternal life.  Ephesians 1:13-14, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”  Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.  He is able to and does keep His Word.

Mormonism’s Jesus wasn’t always God:

The first spirit to be born in heaven was Jesus (Mormon Doctrine, p. 129).

•Milton R. Hunter: "Jesus became a God and reached His great state of understanding through consistent effort and continuous obedience to all the Gospel truths and universal laws" (The Gospel Through the Ages, p.51).

The Jesus of Mormonism had a beginning in heaven and progressed to become a God.

The Biblical Jesus has always been God:

John 1:1, 14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Isaiah 9:6

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

 and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

 Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

 Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The Biblical Jesus is God, is the same yesterday, today and forever, and everlasting.  Therefore the Biblical Jesus has no beginning and has always been God.

Mormonism’s Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer:

Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).

The Biblical Jesus created all things, including Lucifer:

Colossians 1:16-17, “For by Him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.”

John 1:3, “Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.”

Mormonism’s Jesus was contaminated with a fallen nature and he was influenced by it:

“But while he was tabernacling in the flesh, he was more or less contaminated with fallen nature. While he was here, in a body that his mother Mary bore him, he was more or less connected with and influenced by this nature that we have received. According to the flesh, he was the seed of Adam and Eve, and suffered the weaknesses and temptations of his fellow mortals”( Journal of Discourses 6:95-96).

The Biblical Jesus is holy and without sin:

2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.”

Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet he did not sin.”

Colossians 2:9, "For in Him dwells all the fullness of deity in bodily form."

The Biblical Jesus is God.  He had no sin, was not influenced by sin and is the righteous who died for the unrighteous.  Jesus, who is the same yesterday and today and forever, being deity, did not become contaminated with a fallen nature and therefore become different.

How did the birth of Mormonism’s Jesus come about?

"The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood--was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

“... I believe the Father came down from heaven, as the apostles said he did, and begat the Saviour of the world; for he is the ONLY-begotten of the Father, which could not be if the Father did not actually beget him in person.... I believe the Father came down in His tabernacle and begat Jesus Christ.”

- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 238

“Christ Not Begotten of Holy Ghost... Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!”

- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, v. 1, p. 12, 1954

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that some Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost.”

- Prophet Ezra Taft Benson, The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 7

Mormonism’s Jesus was the result of God the Father having relations with Mary.  Mormonism’s Jesus was not begotten of the Holy Spirit.

Is this true of the Biblical Jesus?

Matthew 1:20, ‘But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.”’

Luke 1:35, “The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.”

The Biblical Jesus was begotten of the Holy Spirit.

Mormonism’s Jesus is not able to cleanse from all sin:

Jesus' sacrifice was not able to cleanse us from all our sins, (murder and repeated adultery are exceptions), (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, 1856, p. 247).

Brigham Young said: "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 can never remit...there are sins that can be atoned for by an offering on the altar...and there are sins that the blood of a lamb...cannot remit, but they must be atoned for by the blood of the man" (Journal of Discourses, vol.4, p.53-54, also published in Deseret News, p.235, 1856).

•Bruce McConkie explains: "But under certain circumstances there are some serious sins for which the cleansing of Christ does not operate, and the law of God is that men must then have their own blood shed to atone for their sins" (Mormon Doctrine, p.92).

•McConkie continues: "Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much that is believed and taught on this subject, however, is such utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one's salvation. Many go so far, for instance, as to pretend, at least, to believe that if we confess Christ with our lips and avow that we accept Him as our personal Savior, we are thereby saved. His blood, without other act than mere belief, they say, makes us clean" (What the Mormons Think of Christ, p.22).

But what about the Biblical Jesus:

1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

The Bible, unlike Mormonism’s teachings, tell us that the blood of Jesus purifies a person of ALL sin, and if we confess our sins God will purify us from ALL unrighteousness.

In Mormonism, you have to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet of God in order to be saved (even though Joseph Smith fails the Biblical tests to be considered a prophet of God).  This teaching, of course, usurps the authority of Christ.

There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 188).

No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are"

(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 289)

But what does the Bible say?

Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."

1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,”

There is only one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.  Mormonism’s Jesus takes a back seat to Joseph Smith.

Mormonism’s Jesus was crucified because of his belief in the plurality of wives:

Orson Pratt (LDS apostle) stated: "the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a polygamist...marrying many honorable wives himself…God the Father had a plurality of wives…the Son followed the example of his Father…both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time" (The Seer, p.172, 1853).

•Jedediah M. Grant (second counselor to Brigham Young) stated: "the burst of public sentiment in anathemas upon Christ and his disciples, causing his crucifixion, was evidently based on polygamy…a belief of a plurality of wives caused the persecution of Jesus and his followers" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p.346).

The Biblical Jesus was crucified to pay the penalty for our sin:

Isaiah 53:5-6, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.”

1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”

The Biblical Jesus did not go to the cross as a result of polygamy or polygamous beliefs.  He went to the cross to bear your sin, to lay down His life as a ransom for you.

At the following link we can see that Mormonism teaches that the true church of Jesus was lost from the earth and that  Joseph Smith is greater than Mormonism’s Jesus:


People changed his teachings so that the true Church was lost.”

From these scriptures, we can learn that Jesus restored the true Church through Joseph Smith.”

 

"Jesus made his appearance on the earth in the meridian of time, and he established his kingdom on the earth. But to fulfill ancient prophecies the Lord suffered that kingdom to be uprooted; in other words, the kingdoms of this world made war against the kingdom of God, established eighteen centuries ago, and they prevailed against it, and the kingdom ceased to exist. The great beast that John saw made war with it and prevailed against it, and human institutions, without prophets or inspired men, usurped the place of the ancient kingdom of God."

LDS Apostle Orson Pratt Journal of Discourses 13:125

Really?  The kingdoms of this world made war against the Kingdom of God and prevailed against it?  Impossible.  Unless you’re thinking of a different Jesus.  John 1:5, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  The darkness can never prevail against the light.

“I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet"

(Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 408-409)

Such boastful words!

But the Biblical Jesus holds all things together by the power of His Word.  And the Spirit of Christ tells us that the church would continue throughout all generations.

Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Hebrews 1:3, “The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

The Biblical Jesus holds all things together by the power of His Word and has made sure the church was never lost from the earth.

Mormonism’s Jesus takes a back seat to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young:

"What the world calls 'Mormonism' will rule every nation. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young will be the head. God has decreed it, and his own right arm will accomplish it."

LDS Apostle Orson Hyde  Journal of Discourses 7:53

But the Jesus of the Bible is the head over all things:

Colossians 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.”

Ephesians 1:22, “And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,”

Ephesians 5:23, “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”

Colossians 2:10, “…and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;”

And if you still have questions as to whether or not Mormonism follows a different Jesus than the Jesus of the Scriptures, read on:

“As a church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say” (Gordon Hinckley, “We look to Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 2002, p. 90).

“It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Bernard P. Brockbank, “The Living Christ,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1977, p. 26).

"In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints 'do not believe in the traditional Christ.' 'No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.'" (LDS Church News Week ending June 20, 1998, p. 7)

2 Corinthians 11:4, “For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.”

Is that you?  Do you put up with an imposter, a different Jesus?  This Jesus of Mormonism is not the Scriptural Jesus. 

John 16:7-9, “But I tell you the truth:  It is for your good that I am going away.  Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.  When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:  In regard to sin, because men do not believe in me…”

If you have followed the Mormon Jesus, then you have not been believing in the Biblical Jesus, the true Jesus.  Considering the evidence, it’s time for you to reject Mormonism’s false Jesus and embrace the Biblical Jesus.  It’s time to stop following this “different Jesus” and to follow the Biblical Jesus, the Jesus who is able to save you from judgment. 

Go to the following link and learn how much Jesus did for you and His desire to save you from the coming wrath of God and how quickly He will give you the gift of eternal life, if only you’ll ask.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet


We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet

 

  1. We thank thee, O God, for a prophet
    To guide us in these latter days.
    We thank thee for sending the gospel
    To lighten our minds with its rays.
    We thank thee for every blessing
    Bestowed by thy bounteous hand.
    We feel it a pleasure to serve thee
    And love to obey thy command.
  2. When dark clouds of trouble hang o'er us
    And threaten our peace to destroy,
    There is hope smiling brightly before us,
    And we know that deliv'rance is nigh.
    We doubt not the Lord nor his goodness.
    We've proved him in days that are past.
    The wicked who fight against Zion
    Will surely be smitten at last.
  3. We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.
    We'll praise him by day and by night,
    Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
    And bask in its life-giving light.
    Thus on to eternal perfection
    The honest and faithful will go,
    While they who reject this glad message
    Shall never such happiness know.

Yesterday I was watching the 185th General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).  This was one of the songs they sang, a praise to Mormonism’s prophet Joseph Smith.  But is he a prophet that was sent from God?  From the beginning of Scripture to the end of Scripture we find there are many prophets, and many more to come.  But we read that there are prophets who are sent from God, and there are prophets that are not sent by God (false prophets).  And we are told by Jesus and His disciples that in the last days there would be many false prophets:

Matthew 7:15, “"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.”

Matthew 24:11, “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.  In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”

So we find in the Scriptures that destruction is waiting for false prophets.  What is waiting for those who follow them?

Jeremiah 14:14-16, Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds.  Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine.  And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”

Those who follow the teachings of false prophets are not safe from the wrath of God.  Nor are their families.  So innocently following a false prophet, though with good intentions, will not deliver a person or their family from the wrath of God that is coming.

I know that Mormons are taught to follow the Mormon church, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith by receiving a “burning in their bosom.”  But that is not the criteria God gave us to test whether a prophet is sent by God or not.  He has given us two ways to test a prophet, and He expects us to use them.  To not use them and to follow a person blindly can lead to a person’s certain destruction.

I remember a number of years ago, when I was a teenager, I was hitchhiking on L Street in Omaha, Nebraska.  A police officer pulled over and was giving me a ticket for this.  I said there were no signs saying I couldn’t hitchhike.  He pointed out a bank on the street corner.  He said, “Do you see a sign saying not to rob me?”  I said no.  He said ignorance of the law is no excuse.

As we see in Jeremiah above, following a false prophet in ignorance is no excuse.  Destruction will still come.

So, let’s start with the first test God gave to us to determine whether or not Joseph Smith is a prophet sent by God:

Deuteronomy 18:22, “If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.”

Joseph Smith gave prophecies.  Did they come true?  Go to the following link and read Joseph Smith’s false prophecies:


And what about Joseph Smith’s revelation to go and sell the copyright to the Book of Mormon in Canada?

Brother Hyrum said it had been suggested to him that some of the brethren might go to Toronto, Canada, and sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon for considerable money: and he persuaded Joseph to inquire of the Lord about it. Joseph concluded to do so. He had not yet given up the stone. Joseph looked into the hat in which he placed the stone, and received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon. Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery went to Toronto on this mission, but they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money. Joseph was at my father's house when they returned. I was there also, and am an eye witness to these facts. Jacob Whitmer and John Whitmer were also present when Hiram Page and Oliver Cowdery returned from Canada. Well, we were all in great trouble; and we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation from the Lord for some brethren to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right, and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: 'Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of men: and some revelations are of the devil.' So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man. When a man enquires of the Lord concerning a matter, if he is deceived by his own carnal desires, and is in error, he will receive an answer according to his erring heart, but it will not be a revelation from the Lord. This was a lesson for our benefit and we should have profited by it in future more than we did (An Address to All Believers in Christ, 31).

And what about the Kirtland Bank failure?

Warren Parrish, who had been an officer in the bank and had apostatized from the Church, made this statement: "I have listened to him [i.e. Smith] with feelings of no ordinary kind, when he declared that the AUDIBLE VOICE OF GOD, INSTRUCTED HIM TO ESTABLISH A BANKING-ANTI BANKING INSTITUTION, who like Aaron's rod SHALL SWALLOW UP ALL OTHER BANKS (the Bank of Monroe excepted,) and grow and flourish and spread from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and survive when all others should be laid in ruins." (Painesville Republican, February 22, 1838, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 297)

 

 Wilford Woodruff, who remained true to the Church and became the fourth President, confirmed the fact that Joseph Smith claimed to have a revelation concerning the bank. Under the date of January 6, 1837, he recorded the following in his journal: "I also herd [sic] President Joseph Smith, jr., declare in the presence of F. Williams, D. Whitmer, S. Smith, W. Parrish, and others in the Deposit office that HE HAD RECEIVED THAT MORNING THE WORD OF THE LORD UPON THE SUBJECT OF THE KIRTLAND SAFETY SOCIETY. He was alone in a room by himself and he had not only [heard] the voice of the Spirit upon the Subject but even an AUDIBLE VOICE. He did not tell us at that time what the Lord said upon the subject but remarked that if we would give heed to the commandments the Lord had given this morning all would be well." ("Wilford Woodruff's Journal," January 6, 1837, as quoted in Conflict at Kirtland, page 296)

The Kirtland Bank was created in the State of Ohio by Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon. Joseph was the Cashier and Sidney was the President. Unable to obtain a Banking Charter, Joseph and Sidney created an "Anti-Bank" Bank. Depositors were lured in because Joseph Smith told his followers that as a Prophet of God, the Bank would never fail.

 

 Joseph Smith's delusions left them empty-handed and the bank declared bankruptcy. Many faithful Mormons lost their life savings and investments - and their faith. Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon fled Kirtland under the cover of darkness in January of 1838 to escape bank depositors who were given worthless bank notes in exchange for gold and silver deposits.

So Joseph Smith has failed the first test God has given us to give to a person claiming to be a prophet sent by God.

What about the second test?

Deuteronomy 13:1-5, “If a prophet or someone who has dreams arises among you and proclaims a sign or wonder to you,   and that sign or wonder he has promised you comes about, but he says, ‘Let us follow other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us worship them,’   do not listen to that prophet’s words or to that dreamer. For the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul.   You must follow the Lord your God and fear Him. You must keep His commands and listen to His voice; you must worship Him and remain faithful to Him.  That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he has urged rebellion against the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the place of slavery, to turn you from the way the Lord your God has commanded you to walk. You must purge the evil from you.”

The second test is if a prophet prophecies something that comes to pass, does that prophet lead people away from the truth to follow other gods?  Read the following link to see how Mormon teachings and doctrine are contrary to the truth of God’s Word:


Joseph Smith was a prophet, but a false prophet.  The tests God has given us to use prove this.  And God expects you to use these tests and is holding you accountable for this.  Remember the verse in Jeremiah: “And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”

Joseph Smith preached a gospel other than the one Paul the Apostle preached.  Galatians 1:8, “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.”  Unless Joseph Smith repented from what he preached, he is eternally condemned.  If the modern prophets of Mormonism don’t repent of preaching this different gospel, they will be eternally condemned.  Unless those who follow Mormonism’s different gospel repent, they will be eternally condemned.  God says He will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.

What is this calamity?  Death.  The second death.  Revelation 20:13-15, “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.  And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”

Most people misunderstand what death means.  The death of a marriage means two people split.  They move on, but their marriage is dead.  When a person dies they don’t cease to exist.  Their body is laid in the ground, and they move on into eternity.  The second death mentioned in Revelation doesn’t mean a person is annihilated.  It means a person exists in eternity apart from the life of God, an object of God’s wrath, under eternal condemnation and punishment.

How does a person escape this?  Through the real Gospel, the Good News.  The bad news is that we are sinners and the wages of sin is death.  Seperated from the life of God for all of eternity.  The Good News is that Jesus paid the penalty on the cross for our sins.  The penalty that a holy and just God demands.  Jesus took them out of the way so they would no longer be counted against us.  “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”  Jesus, the perfect Son of God, then offers to credit to our account His righteousness, “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”  So Jesus went to the cross and took out of the way what separated you from your God and offers to credit His righteousness to your account and reconcile you to God, none of this your own doing, none of this depending on your works.  It’s grace.  “And if by grace then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

So stop following and singing praises to a false prophet, ask Jesus to apply what He did at the cross to you…and He will, “For everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

And you will have a sure hope and a future.

But if you continue to follow false prophets: “And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Progressive Revelation (or making the God of the Bible out to be a liar)


Recently I read a Mormon article about “progressive revelation.”  Throughout the day I kept thinking about this and then it occurred to me that Mormonism’s progressive revelation is not what it appears to be.  In reality, it makes the God of the Bible out to be a liar.  But Numbers 23:19a tells us, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind.”

Progressive revelation can be likened to a rose.  First you see the bud, and as time goes on and it begins to open up, you begin to see the beauty that was hidden inside.  It was always there,  but you couldn’t see it.

Following is a Scripture that tells us of the progressive revelation of God.  Romans 16:25-27, “Now to Him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him—to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ!  Amen.”

We can see from these verses that the Gospel was contained in the prophetic writings but only revealed to us or opened up to us when God gave the command.  I want to come back to this passage at the end of this post.

Now Mormonism’s progressive revelation does not reveal something more to us that is already contained in the Scriptures.  Mormonism’s progressive revelation in reality contradicts what we read in God’s Word and makes the God of the Bible out to be a liar.

Let’s say I were to meet with you for a cup of coffee and some conversation.  During the course of our conversation I relate to you that I have never had a drink in my life.  Two weeks later we meet again for coffee.  At that point I tell you I used to be an alcoholic.  What I have just relayed to you makes my first statement to you a lie.  That’s not progressive revelation.

But this is what Mormonism makes God out to be, a liar.  What God has revealed to us in Scripture, they change completely.  This is not progressive revelation.  Following are some examples:

  1.  Isaiah 43:10, “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He.  Before Me no God was formed, nor will there be one after me.”
     
    So we see from this verse that God clearly says He alone is God and will always be the only God.
     
    Joseph Fielding Smith said, "Our father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father" (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:47).
     
    And Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet  said, “It is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, ...and that He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did; ...you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another,... from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings. and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power" (History of the Church, Vol. 6, Ch. 14, p. 305-6).
     
    So we see that the God of the Bible said there are no gods before Him and there will be no gods after Him.  But Mormonism by its teachings makes the God of the Bible out to be a liar by their teachings that there are gods before God and that we can become gods.  This is not progressive revelation.
     
  2.  Here’s what the God of the Bible tells us of how Jesus came to this earth. 
     
    Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.”
     
    Matthew 1:20-23, But after he (Joseph) had considered this, and angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call Him Immanuel”—which means “God with us.”
     
    The God of the Bible clearly tells us that Jesus would be born of  a virgin and that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Spirit.  But following is what Mormonism teaches about how Jesus came to this earth:
     
    Brigham Young taught: "The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood---was begotten of his Father as we were of our fathers" (Journal of Discourses vol.8, p.115); and "when the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness [flesh and blood]. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses, vol.1, p.50).
     
    Bruce McConkie (LDS apostle) states: "Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" (Mormon Doctrine, p. 547, 1979).
     
    Carfred Broderick (Mormon author) writes: "God is a procreating personage of flesh and bone...latter-day prophets have made it clear that despite what it says in Matthew 1:20, the Holy Ghost was not the father of Jesus...The Savior was fathered by a personage of flesh and bone" (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn, 1967, p.100-101).
     
    The God of the Bible tells us that what was conceived in Mary was of the Holy Spirit and that Mary was a virgin.  Mormonism teaches God lied when He told us these things.  That Mary conceived Jesus by having relations with God the Father and that what was conceived in her was not of the Holy Spirit.  This is not progressive revelation.  This makes the God of the Bible out to be a liar.
     
  3.  Colossians 1:16-17, “For by Him (Jesus) all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.  He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
     
    God tells us in this verse that Jesus created all things and is before all things.  Yet Mormonism teaches that Jesus and Lucifer, a fallen angel, are brothers:
     
    Milton R. Hunter (one of the LDS General Authorities) explains "The appointment of Jesus to be Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer…this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind" (The Gospel Through the Ages, p.15, 1945).
     
    "And Satan came among them, saying: I am also a son of God" (Pearl of Great Price, Moses 5:17).
     
    The God of the Bible tells us that Jesus created all things (which would include Lucifer).  But Mormonism would teach us that the God of the Bible lied to us and that in reality Lucifer is Jesus’ brother.
     
  4.  Isaiah 43:11, “I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from Me there is no savior.”
     
    John 14:6,  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
     
    Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."
     
    Pretty clear.  The God of the Bible tells us there is NO savior apart from Him.
     
    But Mormonism tells us this:
     
    Brigham Young taught: "Sin is upon every earth that ever was created ... Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 14, p.71).
     
    Bringham Young said, "From the day that the priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up things of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are -- I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent" (Journal of Discourses 7:238).
     
    The God of the Bible tells us He is the only Savior and that the only Name given by which a person can be saved is the Name of Jesus.  Yet Mormonism would make God out to be a liar by saying there are many saviors and for this world you must be saved by the certificate of Joseph Smith.
     
    There are many more instances where Mormon teachings are proven to not be progressive revelation, but in reality makes the God of the Scriptures out to be a liar.  It’s important to know the difference.  I would like to quote the verse I quoted earlier in this post:  Romans 16:25-27, “Now to Him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey Him—to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ!  Amen.”
     
  5.  I would like to make one more point.  God has revealed His gospel to us through the prophetic writings (the Bible).  The Gospel means “Good News.”  Mormonism would teach that the God of the Bible lied when He said salvation from judgment was by grace alone through faith by saying that salvation from judgment is by works.  Read the following link and see whom you will believe:  The God of the Bible, or Mormonism that makes the God of the Bible look like a liar: