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Archive for November, 2010

November 30 – Philippians 4:8; “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

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I had never heard this of this verse in the 30 years I was a Mormon.  It wasn’t until I had been saved when a dear Christian friend of mine showed me this verse and would remind me of it time and again during the first few years of my walk with the Lord.  I don’t know of any true Christian who gets inspiration from anyone other than the Lord Jesus.  The Mormon writings today are another example of what they really think of the body of Christ.

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“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world.”  Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts, 5: 218 – 219.

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November 29 – John 2:7-9; “Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.  When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom.”

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Here we have the first miracle of Jesus!  Isn’t it an amazing passage to think upon?  There are many subjects to study within this small passage of scripture.  From the meaning of the water in the waterpots; to the actual miracle itself and showing the servants that He had arrived!  Mary obviously knew and now the world was about to experience the miracle of how He could change their lives.  The LDS Church has tried to make this miracle into something it is not; degrading the Lord.

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“It will be borne in mind that once on a time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and on a careful reading of that transaction, it will be discovered that no less a person than Jesus Christ was married on that occasion. If he was never married, his intimacy with Mary and Martha, and the other Mary also whom Jesus loved, must have been highly unbecoming and improper to say the best of it….I will venture to say that if Jesus Christ were now to pass through the most pious countries in Christendom with a train of women…and unmarried, or even married, he would be mobbed, tarred, and feathered, and rode, not on an ass, but on a rail. What did the old Prophet mean when he said (speaking of Christ), “He shall see his seed, prolong his days, &c.” Did Jesus consider it necessary to fulfil every righteous command or requirement of his Father? He most certainly did…Was it God’s commandment to man, in the beginning, to multiply and replenish the earth? None can deny this, neither that it was a righteous command…Did Christ come to destroy the law or the Prophets, or to fulfil them? He came to fulfil. Did he multiply, and did he see his seed? Did he honour his Father’s law by complying with it, or did he not? Others may do as they like, but I will not charge our Saviour with neglect or transgression in this or any other duty.”  Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols, 4: 260.

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November 28 – Romans 8:15; “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

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Strong’s says this about the word adoption from Romans 8:15; “the placing as a son, that is, adoption (figuratively Christian sonship in respect to God):—”

 Adoption in Biblical times meant that when you adopted someone, by law, you could never disown them; whereas you could legally disown your own flesh and blood, this was not a possibility with adopted children.  What a relief this verse and others like it bring to us!  Knowing there is nothing we could do now or in the future, our placement is certain with Him!  Read today how complicated the Mormon Church has made it for their followers to understand such a simple truth as adoption.

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“By the law of adoption those who receive the gospel and obey its laws, no matter what their literal blood lineage may have been, are adopted into the lineage of Abraham. (Abra. 2: 9-11) “The effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile,” the Prophet says, “is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham.” Such a person has “a new creation by the Holy Ghost.” (Teachings, pp. 149-150.)…Indeed, the faithful are adopted to the family of Christ; they become “the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters”; they are “spiritually begotten,” for their “hearts are changed through faith on his name,” thus being “born of him,” becoming “his sons and his daughters.”  (Mosiah 5:7.)”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 23.

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November 27 – Jude 1:21; “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

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Today we’re looking at the word eternal to see what it means. The Greek word for eternal from this verse is; aioônios.  The transliteration for eternal from the Strong’s Concordance is:  “perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well):—eternal, for ever, everlasting, world (began).” 

So today ask your Mormon friend what his understanding is of this word when Milton Hunter and Joseph Smith says that God is eternal, yet he was once a man like us and then became a god himself.

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“God Himself was once as we are now…It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God, and to know that we may converse with Him as one man converses with another, 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.”

Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages, 105.

 The meaning of the word eternal from the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as found in the Gospel Link Dictionary; “Without beginning or end of existence.  The eternal God is thy refuge. Deuteronomy 33.”

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November 26 – Romans 14:17-20; “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.”

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Again, we need to make sure all things are looked at in context, therefore, we look at and read all historical and geographical materials we can, as well as using dictionaries and concordances.  This way we have assurance we’ve exhausted all venues.  A great example is Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance; here’s what it says about the word kingdom:  in the Greek, the word is basileia. 

The transliteration for this is:  properly royalty, that is, (abstractly) rule, or (concretely) a realm (literally or figuratively):—kingdom, + reign.” 

Nowhere does it say in the actual text (or the concordance) anything about an organization being the kingdom of God.  In fact, when we research these verses, along with reputable commentaries, they all say the kingdom is where the Christian is living a life acceptable to God, living righteously and not causing others to stumble. 

According to the Holman Bible Dictionary it means it is the rule or sovereignty of God.

 It is not a “geographical area, nor is it a political entity such as the nation of Israel…  The establishment of the kingdom is a work of God.  God will reign, and people can contribute nothing to that reigning of God.” – Holman Bible Dictionary.

 Since the kingdom of God is not the nation of Israel, that would also include the Mormon Church.  If it’s not a nationality, not an organization and not a political entity, where does that leave the people of Mormonism?  I always think of my mother when I see things like this. 

 They claim it is the duty of the Church to prepare man to live with God.  However, Jesus says otherwise.  Jesus told everyone they are welcome to enter the kingdom and to have the heart of a child.  (Mark 10:14)

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“The church is a kingdom; it is God’s kingdom. . .and as such is designed to prepare men for an inheritance… which is the celestial kingdom. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Eternal King; his representative on earth is the President of the church…Where there is no kingdom of God there is no salvation.” Without the church, man cannot be saved.  “Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels.” Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 271-72, 274.”  Bruce R. McConkie, New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 326- 337. The Church-Its Nature and Purpose

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November 24 – John 15:13-15; “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”

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Communication is the fundamental key when having a relationship with anyone, whether it is a friend, a spouse, your child, or your boss.  You can’t have a relationship without this key component.  The way we communicate with Jesus therefore, would be through prayer.  Sometimes this is one of the hardest things to understand coming out of Mormonism.  It’s really okay to communicate directly with Jesus!

Read here how the Church explains to their people the proper guidelines in having a relationship with Jesus.

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“I shall speak of our relationship with the Lord and of the true fellowship all Saints should have with the Father. I shall set forth what we must believe relative to the Father and the Son in order to gain eternal life… Another peril is that those so involved often begin to pray directly to Christ because of some special friendship they feel has been developed.  And you have never heard one of the First Presidency or the Twelve, who hold the keys of the kingdom, and who are appointed to see that we are not “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14)–you have never heard one of them advocate this excessive zeal that calls for gaining a so-called special and personal relationship with Christ.” – Speech given on, March 2, 1982 at BYU by Bruce R. McConkie – Quorum of the Twelve.

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November 23 – 2 Thessalonians 2:13; “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.”

Hebrews 13:12; “Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”

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In the Greek “sanctification” is hagiasmos.  It means the state of purification.  God, through the Holy Spirit, continues to sanctify us throughout our lives if we are willing to allow Him to refine us, but by no means are we able to do this on our own.  Today’s Mormon reference not just insinuates, but outright teaches a false gospel that the Christian is responsible for their own sanctification process.

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“Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The plan of salvation is the system and means provided whereby men may sanctify their souls and thereby become worthy of a celestial inheritance.”  Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 675.

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