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Category Archives: False Prophet

AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT

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Alma 12:27 “… it was appointed unto men that they must die; and after death, they must come to judgment, even that same judgment of which we have spoken, which is the end.”

This seems to be a clear reference to Heb 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

The problem with this is that this verse from the Book of Mormon actually supports an incorrect, though very common, misinterpretation of Heb 9:27.

Most of the time when people quote Heb 9:27, that is all they quote – that one verse. And they do just as is done in the Book of Mormon, they leave out the “as” and simply make it a declarative statement; “IT IS appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” That certainly does make it sound like men die and after their death they face judgment. And it is exactly how most Christians use this verse and seems to be exactly how it was being used in the Book of Mormon. But if we take the time to read the whole passage and put verse 27 back into its proper context, we can see that this is not what this passage is talking about at all.

This passage is talking about the death of one man, Christ, and the judgment (upon all men) that follows HIS DEATH. Let’s take a look:

Heb 9:23-28 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For CHRIST is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that HE should OFFER HIMSELF often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must HE often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but NOW ONCE in the end of the world HATH HE APPEARED to put away sin by the sacrifice OF HIMSELF. And (((AS IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN))) ONCE TO DIE, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT: So CHRIST WAS ONCE OFFERED to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him SHALL HE APPEAR THE SECOND TIME without sin UNTO SALVATION.

Yes, it is appointed unto all men that they shall die. But this passage is not talking about the deaths of all men, it is talking about the death of Christ and that which followed His death, which is judgment.

This world is judged by the cross of Christ, by His death. For He came into the world, coming unto His own, and the world received Him not.

Joh 1:10-11 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and THE WORLD KNEW HIM NOT. He came unto his own, and HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT.

Jesus himself told them:

Joh 12:30-31 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. NOW IS THE JUDGMENT OF THIS WORLD: NOW SHALL THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD BE CAST OUT.

And when did He say this? Wasn’t it right before he went to the cross?

And what was to followed His death?

Joh 16:5-11 But NOW I GO MY WAY TO HIM THAT SENT ME; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR YOU THAT I GO AWAY: FOR IF I GO NOT AWAY, THE COMFORTER WILL NOT COME UNTO YOU; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And WHEN HE IS COME, HE WILL REPROVE THE WORLD OF SIN, and OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and OF JUDGMENT: Of sin, BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE NOT ON ME; Of righteousness, BECAUSE I GO TO MY FATHER, AND YE SEE ME NO MORE; Of judgment, BECAUSE THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD IS JUDGED.

Jesus said:

Joh 9:39 And Jesus said, FOR JUDGMENT I AM COME INTO THIS WORLD, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

Jesus even told them that the time of harvest had come!

Joh 4:34-38 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and TO FINISH HIS WORK. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? BEHOLD, I SAY UNTO YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, AND LOOK ON THE FIELDS; for THEY ARE WHITE ALREADY TO HARVEST. And HE THAT REAPETH RECEIVETH WAGES, AND GATHERETH FRUIT UNTO LIFE ETERNAL: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, ONE SOWETH, AND ANOTHER REAPETH. I SENT YOU TO REAP that whereon ye bestowed NO LABOUR: OTHER MEN LABOURED, and YE ARE ENTERING INTO THEIR LABOURS.

Surely the “other men” who had already been laboring in the field were the Prophets who sowed the seed, which is the word of God! (Luke 8:11) And now the Apostles would be sent to reap, to harvest the field!!

Have you ever notices that Jesus said that THE REAPERS “are” THE ANGELS?

Mat 13:37-43 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; The enemy that sowed them is the devil; THE HARVEST IS THE END OF THE WORLD; AND THE REAPERS ARE THE ANGELS. As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. THE SON OF MAN SHALL SEND FORTH HIS ANGELS, AND THEY SHALL GATHER OUT OF HIS KINGDOM ALL THINGS THAT OFFEND, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. THEN SHALL THE RIGHTEOUSNESS SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN IN THE KINGDOM OF THEIR FATHER. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Did you notice that this all happens “at the end of the world”? Let’s go back to verse 26 of Heb 9:

Heb 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: BUT NOW ONCE IN THE END OF THE WORLD HATH HE APPEARED TO PUT AWAY SIN BY THE SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF.

And Jesus told His disciples: “I SENT YOU TO REAP!”

Do you have the ears to hear?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ in this world. They claim to be led by modern-day Prophets and Apostles, who are the ones chosen by God to lead His Church. But do they teach these things?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims that the Book of Mormon is “another testament of Jesus Christ,” that it “contains the fullness of the gospel.” Does it contain these things?

Of the Book Mormon, Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, 4:461.)

The LDS Church confirms: ““The most correct of any book on earth” was a bold statement to make in Joseph Smith’s day, let alone in our day of sophisticated publication. The statement is still applicable, for the Lord has never rescinded it nor cast doubt upon it.”

Though the LDS may believe it, this bold declaration is as false as it is bold. Presented here is just one of the many flaws the book contains, proving to all who are capable of discerning the truth that the Book of Mormon is not the word of God, but the words of a man (or men) who were not as acquainted with God or His Word as they pretended.

May the Lord open the eyes and the ears of those who believe the false doctrines of the LDS Church, so they can come to the Truth and see who Jesus Christ really is.

 

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Wake Up!

Wake-Up-Ready-to-Face-Your-DayI wrote this earlier, in a state of frustration, over a conversation I was having with an active Mormon. I wasn’t really sure I was going to share it. But then, without even looking for it, I happened across a particular series of blogs about how the LDS Church prepares its members for Atheism. And it struck me that I had just said, myself, that Mormons use the same tactics that Atheist do to discredit the Bible and promote Joseph Smith.

So I am going to share what I wrote and then provide a link to that series of articles.

WAKE UP!

Unbelievable!! Context just doesn’t matter to the LDS; it can be completely ignored, if it doesn’t agree with something Joseph Smith said, even when that something else wasn’t available to those who would have been reading the Book of Mormon at the time it was actually written. Not only that it’s also OK for Joseph Smith to come behind the inspired writers of the Old and New Testaments and completely change their words. Not only changing them, but making them say the complete opposite of what they wrote.

However, this should not be seen as correction but clarification, they say. And just because the words were changed to say exactly the opposite of what they previously said doesn’t mean that what was originally written was wrong. Somehow, making someone say the exact opposite of what they actually did say doesn’t change the meaning or the context of their words.

How is this supported, you might ask; it’s supported by their ability to cherry-pick other “contradictions” in the Bible – also regardless of context, which are not contradictions at all, when that context is taken into account. All to support this one man’s claims about himself!! All is spite of what the Bible says about those who bear witness of themselves!

I used to think that many Evangelicals were way too harsh in their characterization of the LDS as cult members. But isn’t this exactly the kind of mindset that leads people to follow people like Jim Jones, David Koresh, L. Ron Hubbard, even Adolph Hitler and the like? Once their views are accepted as “inspired,” they can do no wrong. They can add to, take away from, or even change the inspired word of God. And they do so by preying upon the same things Atheists do – issues with translations or interpretation, etc. And they prey upon the egos of men by instilling in their minds this sort of us vs them mentality; we are special, we are chosen, we are the elect of God!! Come be a part of us or remain on the outside, where there is no power or authority given to you by God. Indeed, you need us for that!!

These kinds of people cannot be convinced of the faults of their leaders, apart from some sort of intervention. May the Lord provide that intervention by shining the Light of Truth in these places of darkness!!

When has God ever had men prophesy concerning themselves? Never! Not even Jesus could be His own witness. That was the whole purpose of the Law and the Prophets! And to take it even further and have a man go back and rewrite the Bible to insert prophesies of himself into the historical record, after the fact, to make it appear as if they were prophesied about all along?? I’m sorry, it may seem harsh, but I do not see how anyone in their right mind could embrace such shenanigans as the work of God.

What are you thinking? WAKE UP!

Here are the links:

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 1)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members for Atheism (Part 2)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 3)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 4)

How the LDS Church Prepares Its Members For Atheism (Part 5)

 

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible – How inspired is it?

Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible – How inspired is it?

I am not familiar with the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible. I don’t really know how many Mormons are, to be honest. We never used it when I was attending church and, according to this article that I was reading today, “A Greater Portrayal of the Master”, from March of 1983, it hadn’t gotten as much attention from members as, maybe, it should. I don’t know if that is still the case today, however. But after reading this article, I have an even harder time understanding how anyone sees this man as a prophet or these corrections to the Bible as inspired by God.

(1) The first example offered was clarification on Mat 2:2-6 where Bethlehem is referred to as “not the least among the princes of Juda”. Joseph’s correction to say that “it is not Bethlehem, but Jesus who is the prince.”

I find this unbelievable!! The word in this verse translated “prince” is “hēgemōn” and it means “a leader”. It is derived from the same words (“hēgeomai”) translated “Governor” later in the same verse (which, also mean to lead or command). And the point is that Bethlehem is not the least among the cities in the land of Judah (though she may very well have been seen as such!), for out of her was going to come Him who would lead/rule/govern the nation of Israel. It is about the one who is the greatest coming out of one who might seem to be the least among the nations of Israel. That is what is being contrasted! His greatness to her (seeming) insignificance.

(2) The second example offered is where Joseph Smith added to verses to Matthew to fill in the missing gap between Jesus’ childhood and the time in which John the Baptist began his ministry.

I’m not sure why anyone would feel the need to fill in that gap. These types of sudden transitions are not unusual in the bible. In fact, very little is written here about the time between Jesus’ birth and the time they left Egypt. And who has ever read these passages and thought the John the Baptist began preaching when he and Jesus were just children? No one!! It’s clear that there is a gap. The point is simply that Jesus was in Galilee at the time that John began his ministry. There are no additional clarifications required to understand that there are years not accounted for and for which we know very little to nothing. I believe that’s by design.

(3) The third example offered was about Jesus’ conversation with the teachers in the temple at the age of 12. Joseph seemed to believe that some might have gotten the impression , from the KJV, that Jesus was just sitting and listening and not speaking – asking and answering questions. The argument is: “This clarification is necessary in order to make the event newsworthy. There is nothing essentially divine for a twelve-year-old boy to listen to his elders.”

Since when it is “necessary” to state the obvious? It’s quite obvious from the text that we have that Jesus was not just sitting in the background listening. The text says that he was asking questions (so obviously a conversation was taking place) and those who were listening were “astonished at his understanding and answers”. Would even a single person read this passage and walk away believing that Jesus “was only sitting with the learned doctors,” rather than speaking with them?

(4) The forth example offered was that which took place at Jesus baptism. The claim, concerning Mt 3:16-17, is: “As here reported, it was Jesus only who saw the Holy Ghost and heard the Father’s voice.” The JST, apparently, supplements this passage by making it clear that: “And John saw,…”

Maybe Joseph Smith believed the “him” and the “he” in the verse refers to Jesus, instead of John. But those who do not make that mistake know that it is John to whom the heavens were opened and to whom the sign was given. It was the very sign that John said, elsewhere, he was told would let him know who the Messiah was.

Joh 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

So let’s read the verse again, with a proper understanding:

Mat 3:15-17 And Jesus answering said unto him [JOHN], Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he [JOHN] suffered him [JESUS]. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him [JOHN], and he [JOHN] saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him [JESUS]: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

It is NOT being reported that “it was Jesus only who saw the Holy Ghost and heard the Father’s voice”; that’s Joseph Smith’s erroneous/false interpretation of the passage. Who believes that Matthew is claiming that Jesus is the only who saw and heard these things when it was not Jesus who needed to see or hear them?

(5) The firth example offered changes Jesus being tempted by the devil in the wilderness for 40 days to Jesus communing with God for 40 days in the wilderness. After which he was tempted by the devil.

Wow!! I don’t even know what to say here, except that Joseph Smith obviously did not understand how Jesus’ 40 DAYS in the wilderness correlated to Israel’s 40-YEAR journey through the wilderness. In those YEARS Israel was TRIED/TESTED. And in those DAYS so was Jesus. Israel FAILED! Jesus did not! And to claim that Jesus went into the wilderness to commune with God completely disregards the fact that Jesus was fulfilling the type established by Israel’s journey through the wildness (just as He did their going into and being called out of Egypt, earlier in His life).

(6) The sixth example offered was Joseph’s correction to what Jesus said to his mother at the marriage that took place in Cana. Apparently Jesus’ words to his mother seemed “a little brusque,” so Joseph changed them to: “…, Woman what wilt thou have me to do for thee? that will I do; …” (JST, John 2:4.)

This is not the only place that Jesus addressed his mother as “Woman,” and there is significance to that – none that Joseph Smith seems to have been familiar with, however. I wonder if Joseph also thought it “a little brusque” for Jesus to ask “Who is my mother? Or my brethren?” when he was told his mother and his brothers were seeking him?

(7) The seventh example offered was about Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath. Apparently, Joseph Smith believed that the point was: “since he made the Sabbath, he is the Lord of it.”

It seems to me that Joseph Smith’s translation completely missed the point. The point was that not even David sinned by eating on the Sabbath (nor those who were with him)! It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath!

(8) The eighth example offered was about new wine in old bottles. I’m not even sure I understand this one. Joseph Smith adds baptism to a conversation about fasting.

First of all, why in the world would the Pharisees jump from “Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy disciples fast not?” to “Why will ye not receive us with our baptism?” Secondly, isn’t it perfectly clear that Jesus is not talking about the same type of fasting/food that the Pharisees are? And what does being dunked in water have to do with wine and wine skins?

(9) The ninth example offered is where Joseph Smith corrects John in order to make it clear that Jesus did perform baptism.

Yes, in chapter 3, it sounds as if John is saying that Jesus did baptize. But John clarifies, just a few verses down, at the beginning of chapter 4, that it was not Jesus doing the baptizing but his disciples. So it’s not like we have one person saying that Jesus was baptizing and another person saying that he was not. We have the same person saying that Jesus and his disciples stayed there and were baptizing, but that it was not Jesus himself, but the disciples (and John the Baptist), who were doing the baptizing. To have Jesus baptizing men in water is to completely miss the point that Jesus is the one who (coming after John and “John’s baptism” – in water, unto repentance) baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and fire!

(10) The tenth example offered was one of Jesus reading the thought of his disciples in Mat 19:26.

Do I really need to point out that Jesus was not reading their thoughts? The passage clearly states that the disciples SAID: “Who then can be saved?” When it says: Jesus “beheld them”, it is simply saying that Jesus “looked at them”. The Greek word “emblepō” means “to look on”. The CLV translation renders the verse: “Now, looking at them, Jesus said to them, “With men this is impossible, yet with God all is possible.”” Another literal translation (Rotherham) says: “And, looking intently, Jesus said unto them—With men, this is, impossible, but, with God, all things are possible.”

(11) The eleventh example offered was about Jesus entering into a house to try and get away from the crowd, but he couldn’t get away from them. Apparently, Joseph Smith thought it inappropriate or impossible for Jesus not to be able to hide himself if he really wanted to, so he changed the verse to say that Jesus chose not to remain hidden because of his compassion for the people.

I don’t even understand the point of this clarification. Is the point that Jesus would never seek seclusion? That if he really wanted to hide that no one would be able to find him?

(12) The twelfth example offered was when the children were coming to Jesus and the disciples turned them away, but Jesus told them to suffer the little children. The claim is that Jesus preached the salvation of all children without the need for repentance and the disciple knew this truth. So they were not turning away the children because they did not want them to bother Jesus or because they thought he was too busy for them or even because they themselves were annoyed by them but because they knew this, saying: “There is no need, for Jesus hath said, Such shall be saved.” (JST, Matt. 19:13.)

I don’t believe the disciples understood any such thing. I believe Jesus used this opportunity to teach them that we must all “become as little children” if we are to enter into the kingdom of God. And do we not “become as little children” when we are “born again”? (Concerning which, Jesus said: “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” – John 3:7)

(13) The thirteenth example offered was Jesus’ words on the cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Joseph Smith’s clarification is to add the words: “(Meaning the soldiers who crucified him).” (JST, Luke 23:35.)

Wow! And this might be the biggest wow of all!! This is a prophet of God?? I don’t know if I can even express just how far away from the truth this is!! But it clearly shows, to me, that Joseph Smith was not inspired by God to make this claim. It’s absolutely false! Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, for the sins of every man!! It was every man’s sin that put him on that cross and He was asking God to forgive ALL MEN! And anyone who understands even a little bit about OT typology should be able to see and understand that these words are given in answer to God’s question TO CAIN in Genesis, when God asked Cain (who is the figure of the first/natural/carnal man – our “old man”): “WHAT HAST THOU DONE?” (after killing Abel, who was a figure of Christ). Cain gives no answer! But Jesus, acting as mediator between God and men “intercedes” on Cain’s – (mankind’s) behalf, saying; “Father forgiven them, for THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO!” And I believe Paul understood this. As I believe that this is why Paul wrote: “And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb 12:24). Notice that he speaks of Jesus as a mediator here. What did the blood of Abel speak? We aren’t told, but we are told: “…the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Maybe it said something like this: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” (Rev 6:10)

(14) The fourteenth example has to do with the difference between the way Jesus’ robe is described in the various gospels. Matthew says it was scarlet. Mark and John say purple. Luke just says “gorgeous”. Apparently, Joseph Smith thought it important that we know for certain that the robe was purple.

Not sure I see the huge distinction between purple and scarlet. But it might be worth noting that the four gospels each present a very different aspect of who Jesus is, so these differences in description may very well be significant to those differences. This might not be something that we want to correct and make agree, but something that we need to understand better, as it relates to the lion, the ox, the man and the eagle. It may also be worth noting that the words used in Mark and John or Latin in origin. And the word translated “gorgeous” in Luke means “radiant”. It’s derived from the word “lampas” which means “a lamp”. Maybe there is more that we need to understand about this robe than just it’s “color”, huh?

(15) The last example offered is about the number of angels at the tomb after Jesus’ resurrection – one or two? The claim is that Luke and John say two, while Mathew and Mark indicate there was “but one”.

I’d just like to point out that mentioning only one in no way says or proves that there was only one. And the text does not say that there was “only one”. Besides that, there are other differences. In John, Mary Magdalene seems to go to the tomb alone to find it empty. And she doesn’t see anyone until she is left alone again after she has already gone to tell the disciples that the tomb is empty and they go to the tomb to verify her story. The other accounts tell the story differently and the differences go beyond just the number of angels present.

And very uninspired JST of the Bible is another place where Mormon Doctrine falls apart.

 

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