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Witnessing to Mormons, Part II

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Witnessing to Mormons, Part II
One of the Mormons teachings states that "A general falling away from the truth occurred after the death of Christ’s Apostles. This is called the Apostasy.

When Jesus Christ lived on the earth, He established His Church. After His Ascension into heaven, His Apostles carried on His work under His direction, through revelation and with His priesthood authority.

After the Apostles and many righteous Church members were killed and other members departed from the truth, the Lord took the priesthood authority and His Church from the earth. Without God’s priesthood authority, the Church no longer functioned as Christ had established it. The ordinances were changed and many plain and simple truths were lost. While many good people and some truth remained, the original Church was lost.

The Apostles prophesied of the falling away or Apostasy. One example is Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (2 Thessalonians 2:1–3). THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE

THESSALONIANS

CHAPTER 2

Apostasy is to precede the Second Coming—Gospel prepares men for eternal glory

1 NOW we beseech you, brethren, by• the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;



Biblical Response



The restitution of all things, Acts 3:19. This verse is speaking of the return of Christ to the earth to establish his earthly kingdom. If this is the restitution the LDS church is speaking of, it happens after Christ returns to the earth, not before!



The Apostasy: False doctrines began to be preached in Jesus name almost from the beginning of the Church age. Many of the New Testament books were written to counter these false doctrines. Jesus himself said that false teachers and false doctrines would arise. In the parable of the weeds (Matthew 13:24-43), good seed is sown in a field. While everyone is sleeping, his enemy comes in and sows weeds among the wheat. The wheat and the weeds spring up together. Because it is impossible for men to tell the difference, Jesus tells them to let both grow together until the harvest. The harvesters will be able to tell the difference and will collect the weeds and burn them. Then they will gather the wheat and bring it into his barn. Jesus then explains the parable. Jesus is the one who sows the good seed. (37) the field is the world and the good seed are the sons of the kingdom. The enemy is the devil and the weeds are the sons of the evil one. The harvest is the end of the age and the harvesters are angels.



If the Mormon paradigm were true, The parable should go something like this. Jesus sows the good seed, then the evil one sows the weeds. Both grow up together, but soon the weeds choke the life out of the wheat until there is no wheat left. After a long time Jesus returns and sows more good seed, this time in a field without any weeds.



In Matthew Chapter 16:17-19 Jesus tells Peter that upon his confession of faith, that Jesus is the messiah, the son of the living God, he would build his church and the gates of Hades itself would not be able to destroy it.



In Matthew Chapter 24 Jesus, pointing to the temple said, “Do you see all these things? I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down. “ Jesus’ disciples thinking that he must be taling about the end of the age, asked him “When will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age.” His answer was that many would come in his name claiming that they were the messiah and would gain many followers. Many would turn away from the faith, but he who stands firm till the end would be saved. Unlike the Mormon teaching that the apostasy is total and the true church vanishes from the earth, Jesus taught that while some would turn away from the truth others would not and would remain true to his gospel to the end.



There is absolutely no teaching by Jesus or any of his disciples that if enough false doctrine where introduced into the church he would have to reappear and present a new revelation of himself and start a new church. In fact, Jesus said just the opposite, he said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it”. (Matthew 16:18)



Neither is there a teaching that apostasy would overwhelm the church. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-14, Paul says that before Jesus returns there would be a falling away from the truth. The man of sin would be revealed and that he would deceive all those “who are perishing” He is not able to deceive true believers, only those who appear to be believers, but who have not believed the truth.(Verse 10) He makes a clear distinction between this group who fall away and those who would not fall away in verses 13-14, “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.



The Bible clearly teaches that there is no other gospel but that which was given by Jesus to his disciples (and to Paul for three years in Arabia) and that is recorded in the pages of the New Testament scriptures. Paul in writing to the Galatians told them, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-which is really no gospel at all. 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.” (Galatians 1:6-8)



I Tim 4:1-2 states, “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.



Note that this verse states that “Some” shall depart, not all will depart!



Jude 3 states, “Dear Friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Once, Greek, hapax, one (or a single) time. This faith, this message we believe in was delivered one time and has been believed on and spread throughout the earth ever since.



Revelation 14:6 states, “Then I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, having the eternal gospel to announce to the inhabitants of the earth--to every nation, tribe, language, and people. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the eternal Gospel!





The God of the Bible, the God we serve is the “unchanging GOD”. His plans and purpose for his church are the same today as they were when the church began on the day of Pentecost. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)



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Re: Witnessing to Mormons, Part II In reply to
Amen, "The blood of Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness"
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Re: [Aquila] Witnessing to Mormons, Part II In reply to
I did a search after another post earlier today, looking to see what else might have been discussed bout Mormon beliefs of an almost 2000 year apostasy of the original Church.

I found this excellent post! I am bumping it up to be seen again.

Jim
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Be fishers of men
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Re: [Aquila] Witnessing to Mormons, Part II In reply to
 I see you disagree there would be the apostasy that was prophesized in the New Testament. Is not the Bible true? Certainly, some people would retain their faith as the church is corrupted. It is happening today. But in truth, the apostasy occurred. Jesus organized the church with prophets and apostles. Where are they? Jesus taught humility and serving others. The church, after a few years, took all that people had, persecuted them, waged wars with an army, sold forgiveness, and pocketed the loot and lived in luxury, amid poverty. The ordinances were changed and lost. For example, baptism by immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, was changed to sprinkling babies who had never sinned. That, alone , is blasphemy. The Corinthians were baptizing proxies for the dead. What happened to those ordinances?

The church is the headquarters of the authority of God on the earth. That is the priesthood, which was given to the original apostles, and what they bound on earth was bound in heaven. That is sealing authority. Almost no church claims the authority to seal individuals together, as man and wife, or as families. When people are married, they are wed "til death do us part". That means we are married for this life only. Almost everyone alive assumes they will be with their family forever. That is not true, according to the "unchanged Church". The reformers, like Calvin, were Catholic priests, and they saw that the church was broken and did not follow the teachings of Jesus. They broke from the church and lost what priesthood that they had. They formed new churches, based on what they thought was right, but they were churches of men. There was no authority from God there. He had not organized them. God is a God of order. No one can just say, I am acting for God. For those who believe the Bible, in Hebrews 5:4 it says, "And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron". In verse 6, it states, "As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec". Moses ordained Aaron and set him apart by the laying on of hands. The priesthood is conferred by one who has authority, and permission, to do that. That did not exist in the reformation, and all protestant churches are just churches of men. None of them claims this required bestowal of authority. Actually, a number of the reformers stated that they were awaiting angels to restore the authority.

You do not hear about the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec, now, do you? It exists in the true church. It was bestowed by resurrected Peter, James, and John,in 1829, and was again upon the earth. The Aaronic, or Livitical, Priesthood, mentioned above, was also bestowed that year, by resurrected John the Baptist. The restored church, with authority from God, was established in 1830. It is available to all men and women, but it is a church of covenants, to obey God's laws. It baptizes people over the age of accountability, 8 years, by immersion, by one with authority and permission, after repentance. It asks for tithes, in accordance with Bible teaching, and in deed, the church is operated solely on the tithes of its members. It erects a new building every day that is paid for. And according to the Bible, it baptizes proxies for their ancestral dead, provides the deceased with their endowment of knowledge, and seals them together forever as families, back to Adam and Eve. For the sealing power was bestowed in 1836 by Elijah, the prophet, who was taken from the earth without tasting death. This is the Elijah for whom a place is set at the passover meal, awaiting his return. Thus we see the family organization of God's Kingdom operated on the earth. That is why we call God, Father.

I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, that all these things are true. Amen
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Re: [fbfgc] Witnessing to Mormons, Part II In reply to
fbfgc: Hi. Greetings: You wrote:

I see you disagree there would be the apostasy that was prophesized in the New Testament. Is not the Bible true? Certainly, some people would retain their faith as the church is corrupted. It is happening today. But in truth, the apostasy occurred. Jesus organized the church with prophets and apostles. Where are they? Jesus taught humility and serving others. The church, after a few years, took all that people had, persecuted them, waged wars with an army, sold forgiveness, and pocketed the loot and lived in luxury, amid poverty. The ordinances were changed and lost. For example, baptism by immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, was changed to sprinkling babies who had never sinned. That, alone , is blasphemy. The Corinthians were baptizing proxies for the dead. What happened to those ordinances?

There is so much here that needs opening up and answering. It may take some time.

‘you disagree there would be the apostasy that was prophesized in the New Testament’. But in truth, the apostasy occurred.

That is not actually the point. The point at issue is that the CJC of LDS claims that the ‘apostacy’ was total and the church on earth ceased to exist for close on 2000 years, (contrary to scriptural predictions made by Jesus Christ himself concerning the future of the church).

The true church has always consisted of ‘disciples of Jesus Christ’. As long as there were and are any ‘disciples’ of His on earth, the church on earth remained and remains in existence.

Jesus organized the church with prophets and apostles. Where are they?

The Apostles were all commissioned personally by Christ. Even in the case of St Paul. The church has never recognised as ‘Apostles’ anyone other than those originally commissioned by Jesus Christ.

Prophesy in new testament terms is ‘imperfect’, i.e. at least potentially capable of misinterpretation or even possibly misleading. Therefore we are required by Apostolic advice in scripture to ‘test the spirits’ of prophets, by subjecting their pronouncements to scriptural analysis. Prophesy is a gift of the Spirit available to whomever in the church God endows it. Discernment is a skill developed by those of experience.

Jesus taught humility and serving others. (I don’t disagree with that!).

The church, after a few years, took all that people had, persecuted them, waged wars with an army, sold forgiveness, and pocketed the loot and lived in luxury, amid poverty.

What makes you so sure that was ‘the church’? Since when did ‘disciples of Christ’ behave in such a way? It is more than likely that the people that that organisation were persecuting were ‘the church’. Christ is more likely to support the cause of the persecuted than side with the oppressor.

The ordinances were changed and lost. What ‘Ordinances’? The ten commandments? (They were not lost!). The teachings of Jesus Christ, as laid out in the Gospels and Epistles? (They were not lost!). What then was lost? What rules, other than the ones I have mentioned are binding upon a disciple of Jesus Christ? Certainly not the many rules and regulations imposed by the Church of Latter Day Saints upon its followers.

For example, baptism by immersion, for the forgiveness of sins, was changed to sprinkling babies who had never sinned. That, alone , is blasphemy.

You have chosen a very poor example to illustrate your point. At the outset, New Testament baptism was predominantly ‘Adult’ and by ‘Immersion’, simply because it was adults who originally heard the gospel message and responded appropriately to the call for repentance. However the early church was almost exclusively Hebrew and they were accustomed to having their children included in the ‘Old Covenant’ through the sacrament of circumcision. Like it or not that was the ordinance of God and it even applied to Jesus Christ himself, who was circumcised according to the Law. Hebrews were told on Apostolic authority that the ‘New Covenant’ was ‘A Better Covenant’ than the ‘Old’. How then could it be possible that ‘children’, even ‘infants’ should be ‘excluded’ from ‘A Better Covenant’, and it still be thought ‘Better’ than the 'Old' which had included them?

The answer is that the New Covenant of baptism is open also to female as well as male children or adults and is based upon the Grace of God, (as demonstrated in the life, death and teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, not on the works of man).

Baptism, is referred to in the New Testament more often in terms of ‘cleansing from sin’, (ablution), than in terms of ‘dying to sin’ . Both metaphors are equally valid. Baptism is referred to in New Testament theology as being ‘equivalent to circumcision’, even as having ‘replaced’ circumcision as a sign and seal of the covenant, for those who are ‘in Christ’. Our Children are not ‘ours’, they belong to God. As redeemed sinners we have been bought with a price, with all that we have, including our infant children. Failure to recognize that fact has resulted in the children of some 'believers' being imagined to be, excluded from the covenant, alienated from God’s grace under the New Testament Dispensation and cast out of the church of Jesus Christ, (until they are old enough to repent and believe). I think that is the deplorable situation in the Church of Latter Day Saints, is it not?

THAT is a damnable blasphemy against their God, who has declared them ‘HOLY’ because of their parentage, according to the words of scripture written with Apostolic Authority.

It baptizes people over the age of accountability, 8 years, by immersion, by one with authority and permission, after repentance.

No one has been granted authority by God to declare any other human being 'regenerate'. Only God has the right and power to regenerate a human being and restore them to spiritual union with himself through the power of the Holy Spirit and faith in the redeeming sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God's only Son. It is an entirely intimate experience wrought by him alone but often through the preaching of the Gospel by one of his faithful servants, in the power of The Holy Spirit. (Though it often results from loving and caring instruction by believing parents, in accordance with the promise by God that their children's children will continue to remain in God's Covenant to every generation that continues to love and heed God's ways). Regeneration is not something that can be conferred upon a person merely because they reach a statutory age and wish to obediently conform to the traditions and practices of the religious community in which they were brought up. We all must be born of water and the Holy Spirit. Man can observe the former as a matter of obedience to God but only God can confer the latter, entirely as an act of undeserved Grace.

The Corinthians were baptizing proxies for the dead. This was permitted for the same reason that the baptism of infants was acceptable when a family came under the terms of The New Covenant. Deceased family members, who had hoped for the advent of The Messiah, were included in the promises of reunion and resurrection by family members being baptised ‘on their behalf’. This practice lapsed over the course of time, as the family unit became less important and individual salvation became the more important principle. Basically if one is acceptable, (for the reasons quoted), then so should be the other, but it seems that the CJC of LDS inconsistently and confusingly labels one a blasphemy and the other as almost requisite.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Mar 13, 2015, 4:12 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] Witnessing to Mormons, Part II In reply to
Chris, feel free to separate issues into separate Debates. I'm sure they would be easier to discuss that way. But your discretion. :)
Blessings ~ Sarah