Category Archives: Prophecy

LDS Prophets Teach Merely Theories?

One of the key claims of the LDS (Mormon) church is their insistence that they still today have living prophets. Most Mormons will tell you what a benefit it is to have a living prophet today. For example, in an article entitled Why Do We Need Prophets?, LDS President Dieter F. Uchtdorf writes:

Heavenly Father reveals this wisdom to His children on earth through His servants the prophets (see Amos 3:7)… Prophets are inspired teachers and are always special witnesses of Jesus Christ (see D&C 107:23). Prophets speak not only to the people of their time, but they also speak to people throughout all time. Their voices echo through the centuries as a testament of God’s will to His children…God’s priceless instructions to humankind are found in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. In addition, the Lord speaks to us through His servants, as He will again at the upcoming general conference.

The LDS church wants us to believe that these modern prophets are receiving inspired wisdom from God and that these prophetic messages speak to people through the centuries. They want you to believe that the messages from the modern prophets are on par with the Bible. But I think you can see from the writings and constantly changing doctrines of the LDS church that these prophets do not provide benefit. Their words, even within the LDS church, do not stand the test of time, and therefore they are not from God.

A great example of this can be seen in a recent LDS article about Race and the Priesthood which rejects prophetic teachings from one of the earliest and most well-known of these prophets, Brigham Young. This article discusses the well-known issue of the LDS church’s exclusion of blacks from the priesthood and temple ceremonies:

From the mid-1800s until 1978—the Church did not ordain men of black African descent to its priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple endowment or sealing ordinances.

Their embarrassment over this issue is understandable. Their desire to move away from that stance could even be considered commendable. But, there is one huge, glaring problem. Brigham Young, the living prophet of the LDS church, first instituted these policies:

In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood.

And the problem did not stop with the prophet Brigham Young, but continued for about 150 years:

Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple.

Remember that these “Church presidents” are the living prophets of the church. These are not mere men speaking their personal opinions. They are, supposedly, speaking for God and they are speaking about absolutely central topics of their faith! Prophet after prophet after prophet consistently upheld these teachings about blacks. Remember, they want you to believe that these LDS prophets are “inspired teachers,” and that these “prophets speak not only to the people of their time, but they also speak to people throughout all time”?

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse.

Brigham_YoungTheories??? Brigham Young’s prophetic teaching about blacks, the curse and the priesthood were not merely theories delivered in some obscure location. They were delivered by the prophet of the church in the tabernacle in Salt Lake City. His words are recorded in the Journal of Discourses. As were many of the similar teachings on blacks from the prophets who followed. You cannot have it both ways and being logically consistent. You cannot have the priesthood given prophetic messages one day and the next day call them merely theories.

So, in the final analysis, what is the LDS priesthood good for? If these are merely theories, the answer is absolutely nothing! This perhaps sounds harsh, but remember that the LDS church is making these strong claims for its prophets.

In case you are interested and still reading, here is a snippet from a speech by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 9, 1859, reported by G. D. Watt on pages 282-291 of the 7th volume of the Journal of Discourses. I have highlighted some text on blacks, the curse, and the priesthood.

You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion. (emphasis added)

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Filed under False Religions, Prophecy

Sarah Young is a False Prophet

Jesus_CallingSince tomorrow marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season, I thought it would be a good idea to remind everyone to avoid the Jesus Calling series of books by Sarah Young. These books are unfortunately massive best-sellers. If you go into a Christian book store (whether a physical building or online), you will find the Jesus Calling books prominently displayed. Do not be fooled into buying them. Sarah Young is a false prophet and a false teacher! The words she records as being directly from the mouth of Jesus are, at best, figments of her own imagination or, at worst, demonic. If you want some more information on Sarah Young and the Jesus Calling book, here is a link to my detailed review.

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Strange Fire Conference

I would like to encourage every Christian to spend some time and listen to the audio series recorded at the recent Strange Fire Conference. I have been absolutely blown away by what I have heard and learned from the great teachers that presented at the conference. No matter where you currently stand on the debate about the apostolic revelatory sign gifts of prophecy, speaking in tongues and the healing, I would strongly encourage to listen to the whole series:

  • If you do not know anything about this issue, you will learn so much and be better equipped to recognize error. This is a hugely important issue that Christians should desire to be informed about.
  • If you know something about this issue and consider yourself to be cautiously open to the Charismatic gifts, you will have to force think long and hard about what you are really being open to.
  • If you are already a Cessationist who believes these revelatory gifts have ceased, you will be strengthened in your understanding of the issue and encouraged to stand firm in your beliefs.
  • If you are already a Charismatic, I hope you will listen not just to reconsider your position, but to ask yourself what you are doing to police the rampant excesses and lies that regularly accompany the Charismatic movement.

There is nothing I will write that would be a better use of your time than listening to those conference messages. You will hear two moving lectures by Conrad Mbewe of the destruction these teachings have wrought in Africa. I know that I have heard often of the rapid growth of Christianity in Africa. I was saddened to learn from Conrad’s lectures of what this “Christianity” really looks like. There are talks from Joni Eareckson Tada and Justin Peters – two individuals who understand first-hand the heart wrenching damage caused by presenting false hopes of healing. And so much more. Please find some time to listen to these messages.

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Filed under False Religions, False Teachers, Prophecy, Spiritual Gifts

Knowing your Bible could save you millions of dollars

That’s right. Knowing your Bible could save you millions of dollars. A trial started in Florida last week in which a supposed psychic is being sued for being a fraud. Allegedly, this psychic has defrauded one wealthy author of $20M. The article states:

“Rose Mark…represented herself as a psychic and clairvoyant, gifted by God to communicate with spirit guides to assist her clients through personal difficulties.” Her services included “Tarot card readings, palm readings, astrology readings, numerology readings, and spiritual readings for her clients.”

Million_Dollar_billIf that author had simply read her Bible, she would have realized that God could not have given these gifts:

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).

Tarot card readings, astrology, fortune-telling and contacting the dead are all an abomination in the sight of God. They cannot be gifts from God. The article goes on to say:

The client “would need to make ‘sacrifices’, usually consisting of large amounts of money (but also at times including jewelry, gold coins and other property) because ‘money was the root of all evil’,” the indictment states.

This covers what is likely the most-often misquoted passage of the Bible. The Bible actually says:

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils (1 Timothy 6:10).

Money is not inherently evil. Cash, stocks, bonds, houses, jewelry, cars, etc. are just things. They are not inherently good or evil. It is our excessive love of money that is at the root of all kinds of evil.

So, read, study and know your Bibles! It may save you:

dr_evil

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Filed under Prophecy, Scripture, Uncategorized

False prophets – 2 Peter 2:1-3

I spent a couple of days traveling for work this week which included several hours watching TV in the hotel. Since I do have cable or satellite TV at home, there are quite a few more programs to choose from than typical. As I scanned through the channels periodically, it was amazing to see the vast number of “Christian” TV shows. For all but one of those I shows I happened upon, there was a common thread—each of the televangelists believed in receiving direct, extra-Biblical revelation from God and in the false prosperity gospel. Here is the list of the various false teachers/prophets I hit upon:

We should not be surprised that these false teachers that promise us health and wealth are the ones that get most of the TV time and the money. The Bible clearly warns us that this will be the case:

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. (2 Peter 2:1-3a).

If that passage of 2 Peter chapter 2 stopped there, it would be really depressing. Thankfully, we are encouraged by knowing that God is aware of these false teachers and their judgment is coming.

Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep (2 Peter 2:1-3b).

And, praise God for the Living Waters team and their faithful ministry to God, his Word, and the true Gospel. In my channel flipping, it only took about 20 seconds to realize their TV program was different from all the others because I heard the gospel immediately.

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Impressions are impressions

So the problem with impressions is not that they are subjective. The problem is in assuming they are from the Lord. Here’s my profound wisdom on the matter: Impressions are impressions. They are not in a special category. Don’t confuse impressions, hunches, and subjective feelings with certain words from the Lord. If a thought or impulse pops into your head, even if it happens while reading Scripture, don’t assume it is a voice from heaven (Kevin DeYoung, Just Do Something, loc. 911).

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You are not Elijah (and neither am I) – 1 Kings 19:11-13

As Christians, we should always desire to use the same measures when examining teachings from inside our own denominations as we do from others outside. Today, I want to review part of a recent article from a magazine published by the denomination of which I am a member. The article, unfortunately, promoted extra-Biblical revelation and undermined the sufficiency of Scripture.

The beginning of the article was encouraging to me when it stated “God has always wanted us to know him. He reveals himself through his Word.” If the article had stopped there, everything would have been fine. Unfortunately, that same article later undermined the sufficiency of God’s Holy Word by claiming that God speaks new revelation to us outside of his Word through “a still small voice.” Here is an excerpt from the article in which we see the non-Biblical teaching:

God has also changed how I understand prayer, teaching me that I need to be a better listener. He tells us to pray, for everything, and to not be anxious, and like any father, he loves when we run to him for help. Sometimes I empty my heart and mind of my concerns, but then I run off before he can speak. I am learning to intentionally listen, for there are times his Spirit answers in a still small voice. There are times when he prompts me to act, or to speak, or to be silent, in order to see his answer. I just have to stop and pay attention. (Time Together, Faith & Fellowship, July 2013).

The idea of God speaking to us through “a still small voice” has become a common misconception in recent years and is contrary to the teachings of Scripture. The false teaching of the “still small voice” comes to us from a misapplication of a passage from 1 Kings 19:11-13:

And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:11-13, King James Version).

This passage is a description of the life of the prophet Elijah. It is not prescriptive of how God will talk with us today. A couple of verses prior to this, an angel brought food to Elijah that sustained him for a 40-day journey. Yet, no one claims this passage about angels bring us super-food is prescriptive for how God will work in our lives today. Likewise, we cannot use this passage of the still small voice as a prescription for how God will work today. Furthermore, the voice Elijah heard was quiet, but it was still audible. It was not a voice that Elijah was hearing inside himself.

So, the idea that God will speak to us through a still small voice is not Biblical and has not been a part of Christian beliefs through the centuries. Only in very recent times has this idea crept into our churches. It has, unfortunately, become all too common and popular recently as evidenced by best-selling heretical books like “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young. We cannot trust our feelings, our inner voices, or our heart because:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9).

We must always remember that God continues to speak to us through his Word and only through his Word. It is by study of his Word that we know God and know how we are protected from our own sinful thoughts and the feelings of our hearts:

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

The Bible does not teach us that God will speak to us through our prayers if we “intentionally listen.” The Bible does not teach that I need to “empty my heart and mind of my concerns” to hear God speak. Rather, the Bible teaches us that Scripture is sufficient to prepare us for every good work and therefore we do not need any additional revelation from God:

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We Christians need to be vigilant in defending both the authority and the sufficiency of Scripture within this fallen world. We cannot be promoting the false doctrine of extra-Biblical revelation. And, we must judge the error within our own walls with the same measures we use to judge errors on the outside.

 

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