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The connection between the theology of the Mormon Church and the Word of Faith Movement is obvious to anyone who has studied them both. This short article will show just a few similarities between the two.

THE WORD OF FAITH…and the Planet of God:

Kenneth Copeland tells us, “You don’t think God created man in His image and created the earth in some other image, huh? There’s nothing under the whole sun that’s new-This is a copy of home-a copy of the mother planet. Where God lives, He made a little one just like it and put us on it.” 1

“Heaven has a north and a south and an east and a west. Consequently, it must be a planet.” 2

THE MORMON CHURCH…and the Planet of God:

God is supposed to have lived on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob. According to Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, “Kolob means ‘the first creation.’ It is the name of the planet ‘nearest to the celestial, or the residence of God.’ …One day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth.” 3

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THE WORD OF FAITH…and the Adam-God Doctrine:

Gloria Copeland, Kenneth Copeland’s wife, stated, “When God breathed the breath of life into Adam, He transmitted His very self into him. God imparted the same spiritual substance of which He is made into Adam’s being.” 4

Kenneth Copeland gives his opinion, “…Adam is as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus, when He came into the earth. And I want you to know something; Adam in the garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh.” 5

THE MORMON CHURCH…and the Adam-God Doctrine:

Brigham Young, 2nd President of the Mormon Church tells us, “When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days! About whom holy men have written and spoken–He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.” 6

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THE WORD OF FAITH…and the Deity of Man:

Kenneth Copeland states, “You don’t have a god in you, you are one.” 7

According to Kenneth Hagin, “You are as much the incarnation of God as Jesus Christ was. Every man who has been born again is an incarnation and Christianity is a miracle. The believer is as much an incarnation as was Jesus of Nazareth.” 8

Earl Paulk in his book Satan Unmasked explains, “Adam and Eve were placed in the world as the seed and expression of God. Just as dogs have puppies and cats have kittens, so God has little gods; we have trouble comprehending this truth. Until we comprehend that we are little gods, we cannot manifest the kingdom of God.” 9

According to Benny Hinn, “When I stand in Christ–I am one with Him; united to Him; one in spirit with Him. I am not part of Him, I am Him! The Word has become flesh in me!…When my hand touches someone, it’s the hand of Jesus touching somebody.” 10

THE MORMON CHURCH…and the Deity of Man:

Apostle Bruce McConkie states, “That exaltation which the saints of all ages have so devoutly sought is godhood itself.” 11

While the Mormons actively strive for godhood, it appears that the Word of Faith Movement leaders think they have already arrived! It is ironic that the same Christians who consider Mormonism as a blasphemous cult will drive 2,000 miles in a hot bus and fall all over themselves to get close to the likes of Benny Hinn! Both cults should be treated like horseshoes straight from the blacksmith’s fire. They should be examined closely and compared to Scripture, but they should be considered too hot to touch!

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REFERENCES:
(1) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Copeland video, Following the Faith of Abraham)
(2) Hank Hanegraaff, Christianity in Crisis, 1997, p. 379
(3) Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 428
(4) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Gloria Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory, June 1986, p. 10)
(5) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Copeland video, Following the Faith of Abraham)
(6) Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 1, p. 50
(7) Watchman Expositor, (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Copeland video, The Force of Love)
(8) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Kenneth Hagin, Word of Faith, December 1980, p. 14)
(9) Watchman Expositor (www.watchman.org), Word Faith Theology and Mormonism (from Earl Paulk, Satan Unmasked, p. 97)
(10) G. Richard Fisher/M. Kurt Goedelman, The Confusing World of Benny Hinn, 1997, p. 13 (from Benny Hinn, Our Position in Christ, six-tape audiocassette series, part 1, tape #A031190-1)
(11) Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, p. 321

[Copyright 2001 by Sword of the Spirit Apologetics. This data file is the sole property of Sword of the Spirit Apologetics and may not be altered, edited, or changed in any way. It may not be used without permission of Sword of the Spirit Apologetics for any purpose of resale, with the exception of a few brief quotations not to exceed more than 300 words. Reproduction of this file as “freeware” circulation in its entirety must contain this copyright notice. Brief quotations for reviews or scholarly works should include source credit: Sword of the Spirit Apologetics, P. O. Box 40452, Grand Junction, CO 81504]

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THIS POST FROM THIS BLOG HAS AUDIO CLIPS OF MANY OF THE WORD FAITH MOVEMENT TEACHERS OWN WORDS  Word Faith Movement heresies on GOD, in

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Word Faith Movement heresies on GOD, in their own words (audio clips)

Scripture tells us that in the later days people will turn from truth to myths, and follow things doctrines taught by demons. Clearly word faith teachers have said things that where spawned in hell.

The audio in this post comes from http://biblefacts.org/cult/clips.html

The Word faith Movement started out but denying God is sovereign in healing only whom he wills. See James 4:14-16 If you were not healed you were lacking in faith or did not have the right formula. This lead to the prosperity gospel. With the right formula you can be guaranteed health & wealth. This lead to commanding God to do these things, instead of asking.

Then faith was redefined as no longer trusting in God, but it was a magic force you could tap into. (We no longer need God, we do it ourselves.) This lead to the teaching that through this power of faith we can become little gods. This lead to the heresy that Jesus was transformed in to a demon possessed mortal in hell so we can be transformed into Gods on earth. Finally this broke out into numerous myths and false teachings.

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes? <-link

 

 

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WORD FAITH PREACHERS ON THE NATURE OF GOD,, IN THEIR OWN WORDS ON AUDIO. Click the button to hear the audio clips from the top word faith teachers about the following subjects.

 Jesus may not be God:

Christians evolve into gods:

God the Father is a Man:

God the Father is from another planet:

Redefining the Trinity:

Denying the Trinity

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THE AUDIO CAN BE TURNED ON OR OFF ABOVE features the song GET IT GET IT. YOU CAN GET THE SLIDESHOW FOR YOUR FREE USE AT THIS LINK

Walter Martin (1988) 

“If you have your Bible, if you have your Bible I’d like you to turn with me to Acts chapter 20. I’d like to read a few verses from this passage which I believe are very apropos today.

Talking to the elders in the church of Ephesus as he is preparing to go to Jerusalem where he will be bound by the Jews, and later to die. The apostle writes these words or speaks these words and Luke records them. I take you to record this day v.26, Acts 20:26. That is a direct quote from Ezek. 34 where the scripture says if you do not warn the wicked man of his wicked and he dies in his sin, I will hold you accountable for it. So we are suppose to warn the wicked of the wickedness they perform and also of the judgment of God upon them. If we don’t we become accessories after the fact of their sins. So, Ezek. 34 is what Paul is definitely referring to. I want you to know I am free from the blood of all mankind because I am giving you the whole counsel take heed there unto yourselves and all the flock unto which the Holy Spirit has made you rulers. The Greek word episcopos- a ruler to fend or tend therefore the church of God which he has purchased with his own blood. “For I know this after I leave you savage wolves shall enter in among you and will not spare the flock.” No mercy and notice this from your own selves men shall arise speaking contrary things to draw away disciples after themselves.

Therefore watch and remember, for a period of three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day to the point of tears.” Now there is a twofold warning to the Christian Church. Now we are speaking this morning on the warnings of God, the warnings of God. This passage tells you that after the apostles would leave the Church there would be savage wolves, they are characterized as wolves. Ravenous wolves who will enter in and they will not spare the flock. Which means they will attack the flock from without, they will penetrate the sheepfold, and they will chew up the sheep. Now that’s as clear as crystal right here. I know this after I leave, this is going to happen. We have those savage wolves today. We have theologians in theological Seminaries and departments of religions of schools who literally chew up the flock. They chew up the people who are studying for the ministry and then they spit them out into our pulpits where they can chew us up. These are the savage wolves who come in not sparing the flock. Apostate’s in positions of authority in the Christian Church. Apostates who abdicate the ordination of homosexuals, forbidden and cursed of God. Apostate’s who deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Apostates who will ordain you if you deny the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the bodily resurrection, and the 2nd coming. Apostate’s who denominate our denominational structures and our educational institutions. Apostates who have come in and are chewing up the Church. That is very clearly stated here that we are to lookout for these people. Paul said I warned you day and night for three years to the point of tears. Very important.

Now there is a 2nd part of this that is seldom preached on because when you preach on it people get upset in my ministry what else is new. It’s a occupational hazard because you have to tell them the whole counsel of God. Notice Paul’s emphasis here, “I have not avoided declaring unto you verse 27 “all or the whole counsel of God.” The whole counsel of God is to warn against the savage wolves, cultists occultists, non Christian religionists, atheistic and skeptical philosophers, psychologists whatever they may be, who have attacked the church from without and some have penetrated and chewed up the church. Now there’s a 2nd warning from God, this warning is one the Church has paid very little attention to and because we have paid so little attention to it, it has thrived and become lethal. Why? Because what’s close to you that you don’t see, it does you far more harm than something you can get in perspective and easily identify. So let’s take a good look at what he saying here. From your own selves v.30 you ought to mark Church itself, men
will arise. It does not say possibly, could, he said will arise. They will speak contrary the meaning of the word in the Greek, King James says perversion, the word in the Greek is contrary. They will speak contrary things for the purpose of drawing disciples after them selves. So the warning of God is against people in the church in positions of leadership and respect. Who will draw disciples surrounding themselves, whose allegiance is not to Christ, but to that person. And they will draw the disciples after themselves from within the church so that there is no accountability for what they say. Now this isn’t my message this is the Pauline counsel to the Church at Ephesus. Warnings from the Holy Spirit. Look out for the wolves and lookout for the divisive schismatic leaders who will split and fragment and divide the church by attracting disciples to follow them.

Now the Scripture has many statements about false teachings and false prophets. Mt.7 gives one of the most frightening passages in all divine revelation it says and this is the lord Jesus speaking on the subject ( — dressed as sheep but inwardly or spiritually you are dealing with savage wolves, you will know them by what they produce). Now Jesus has said something else that the Church has forgotten today. Jesus said in my name or if you want the actual meaning of the Greek text, by my authority- name means authority. When you say “stop in the name of the Law” to criminal fleeing, you are saying stop by the authority of what? The law. The law says you can’t do that. Stop! When a King pronounces judgment in Old Testament times and recent times until kings went out of fashion. In the world a ruler person would say open the door in the name of the king….Alright once you get that concept in you mind Jesus said there will come men who will speak claiming there authority is from me. Now get that in your head carefully. There will come men who will speak in my name. That is, I am supposedly saying this to you, that is a very important phrase. There going to come and say I’m speaking to you in Jesus in my name they will work miracles in my name they will cast out devils… they will prophesy and preach. But when I meet them I will say leave me I never knew you workers of iniquity. Why? Because they use his authority and his name, because the power was in Jesus name, or Jesus’ authority not in them. And God honored the name of his Son. And they took that as a means of teaching there own false doctrines and false prophecies and because of that they corrupted the faith of the church. But inwardly, spiritually, they really roooaaar! And if you don’t know fleece from fur your dinner, dumb dum. And the only way you can know fleece from fur is to know how to test them. You don’t test them by Walter Martin, or by Norman Geisler, as good as the apologist and defenders of Christianity might be and as much as you trust them. You don’t test them by other people, you test them by Scripture. Then if your fidelity is the Scripture, and your allegiance is the Scripture, you reject them! But says Paul in the last days, men are going to be drawn away by false teachers and prophets in the church speaking in the name of Jesus. And your not going to test them your going to go along with them. And there gonna fragment and divide the Church because you wont’ test them.

Well it’s about time that we test them. Kenneth Copeland delivered the following prophecy during a three day victory campaign held in Dallas Texas. It is reproduced in the Voice of Victory 20th anniversary of his ministry. Found on page 9, his prophecy came from Jesus Christ. Copeland says, He quotes Jesus as saying. “You remember in my word I said to my disciples this kind comes not out by prayer and fasting.” He’s talking now about the power of prayer. He goes on “Don’t be disturbed (this is Jesus) when people accuse you of being God. The more you get to be like me God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah.” That is a lying spirit. Look at me read my lips. “That is a lying spirit.” That is not the Holy Spirit. Now for ten years I have warned and I’m tape and in print on this. That we were heading into the kingdom of the cults with the faith teachers. You are no longer heading there baby, you are there! Just so you are not mistaken let me give it to you again. Jesus speaking- “The more you get to be like me (Jesus) the more there going to think that way of you. They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah.” That’s what your doing.” Now this was on TBN, this on Christian Television and radio stations. This is tolerated by the Christian Church, particularly the charismatic wing because they will not obey the Lord Jesus Christ and they will not obey; what the Scripture says. They are taken by people and ministries. And by large crowds and jet airplanes and by affluence as supposedly the seal of success. If your big and your powerful and your rich and people come to hear you, automatically it must be from God. No! Automatically it isn’t from God. You’re supposed to test what the person says by Scripture. And if you don’t test it by Scripture you can be taking in spiritual arsenic or cyanide and it can ruin your Christian life and take your eyes off Christ. The Scripture says it will overturn the faith in the Church.

…Charismatic differences. This is far beyond doctrinal disputes, he speaks it in the name of Jesus. He’s a liar, and the truth is not in him. Isa. 8:20 “If they do not speak according to this word they have, what? NO light in them,” in fact the Hebrew says there is no dawn. What deceives people about these false prophets is that out one side of their mouth the preach the gospel and out of the other side of their mouth they deny him who is the core of the gospel. And if you don’t put the two sides together you think your hearing Christianity. But your not!. The false prophets know that to get crowds they have to preach Christianity, the false prophets know that in order to have financial support they have got to get the church to contribute to them. So they will sound like the Church and they will prophesy in Jesus name, they will heal in Jesus name they will work miracles in Jesus name and then at the proper they will deny him. How do you know he’s a false prophet. It’s easy, he said so. I wonder if people who read this THOUGHT! THOUGHT! They crucified me for claiming I was God, but I didn’t claim I was God. He didn’t? That’s strange language, John chapter 8, “your father Abraham rejoiced to se my day coming he saw it and he was glad. But they said your not even 50 years old yet. You saw Abraham?” Jesus said, “before Abraham came into existence I AM.” And they reach for stones to kill him. who’d they think he was? Obviously God. John Chpt.10 “for thy Good works we stone thee not but for blasphemy. That you being a man make yourself out to be”, Who? GOD! Now we are dealing here with the doctrine of antichrist. And its not coming from an apostate professor of a theological seminary its not coming from a Jehovah’s Witness that knocks on your door. It’s not coming from the Mormon missionary that peddles up. Its coming from Kenneth Copeland on your television set on your radio and in print and if you resist the false doctrines of antichrist elsewhere, why will you not resist here? The answer is very simple because people hear the gospel being preached and they automatically assume that the person preaching is a true prophet of God. No Jesus said, the false prophets can do it. They only way you can find out is test them. I’m not avoided declaring to you the whole counsel of God for the space of ten years. I have told you day and night to the point of rage.

Now it’s come full circle there it is. Quote on TBN, “Dogs beget dogs cats beget cats, and God beget Gods, you are little Gods.” Close quote. That’s Kenneth Copeland on your television set. You are Gods! No your not, your sinners saved by grace. And he’s not a God, he’s a sinner professing to be a Christian, and denying in prophesy in the name of Jesus what Jesus said. That’s a false prophet, I don’t care how you spell it, if you say but look at the healings, look at the meetings, look at the miracles. READ Matthew Chapter 7, use your brains. Jesus said that’s exactly what’s going to happen, there going to preach and prophesy in my name. They do! In my name there gonna work miracles, they do. In my name they cast out devils, they do! And then they deny Him. Jesus said look out for them, because there here! And they are here now. They are on our Television sets our radios and print. Now the question is, will you tolerate it? We should be bombarding TBN and every Christian channel that produces and distributes this stuff. And we should be telling them we will not support the doctrine of the Anti-Christ. You may not do this with my money, and furthermore I’m not going to send any money. And then in addition to that I’m going to actively discourage everybody I know from sending you any money. And when you hold financial support they listen, but not until. So I’m suggesting over the Bible Answer Man program that we start holding support to people and ministries that do this. And I’m going to get a lot of flak, your going to hear a lot of people coming after me, and I want you to know, I could care less. This is the TRUTH, what I’m telling you is the truth and if it is a voice crying in the wilderness it’s the truth.(clapping). And the Holy Spirit will see to it that they will listen. Because I am a prophetic voice in this and have been for decade, of course I don’t for a moment believe I am a prophet, anymore than I believe I am an apostle. I’m a teacher, but you can speak with a prophetic voice, you can exercise apostolic office in given situations.

Believe me were in trouble, and if we don’t something about really quickly your going to be in more trouble than you know what to do with. Because people are keep accepting these as Christian representatives. What were getting is the doctrine of anti- Christ. If you deny that you don’t know your Bible. Jesus says through Copeland “I never claimed to be God.” That is not the Jesus of the Bible, you want me to tell you who it is, turn in your Bible to 2 Cor.11, I will tell you who it is. V.3 “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, … a different spirit … a different gospel” ….Then he goes on to say that there are false apostles, deceitful workman who transform themselves on the outside to look like the ministers of Christ but inwardly you are dealing with the imitation of Satan. I don’t bring judgment or play God, that is not my role or yours. But if Jesus Christ said it and the New Testament teaches it and it is Biblical theology and we reiterate what the text says we are not playing God, we are being faithful to what God said. Is Kenneth Copeland a Christian? If he is a Christian, let him repent! Let him apologize to the Church! Let him forsake these false doctrines. He is not a God, he lies when he says anyone in the Church is a God. He lies when he says Jesus Christ gave him this prophesy, this did not come from the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul calls Jesus our great God and savior Titus 2:13. Acts chapter 20 which I just read says, God purchased the Church with his own blood. Well who died on the cross? God in human flesh and purchased the Church with his own blood. The whole New Testament declares they deity of Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the word and the word with God and the word was God.” And Kenneth Copeland knows it as well as I do! But he’s denying it, when you take your eyes off Scripture as the criterion for authority and you place it on experience and on people, and on revelations, and on messages that allegedly come from God, you are a set up for deception, you’re made for it. Because you don’t have any way to check it. But you must check it. The title of his article is “Take time to pray.” That’s the title “Take time to pray.” No take time to obey, take time to obey Christ and to obey him is to proclaim him Lord of all. I am the alpha and omega the beginning and the end the first and the last the Almighty Rev. 1:7-8. Who is He? “He is coming with Clouds and every eye shall see him and he is the almighty.” Well that’s what Christ said about himself. Thomas said my Lord and my Jehovah. And worships him and Jesus said because you have seen me you believe Blessed is they that have not seen and believe. Kenneth Copeland quoted every one of these verses and then in a prophesy, originating with Jesus Christ, he can deny the identity of Jesus Christ. You are now dealing with false prophets. I don’t presume to judge the eternal destiny of men that is not our task but I will tell you one thing Biblically speaking If you say you are Christ’s property then you have Christ’s spirit. Romans 8:9. And whoever does not have Christ’s spirit is not Christ’s property. Christ’s spirit does not deny Jesus Christ. Christ’s spirit exalts him. This is a denial of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is Jesus speaking “I never said I was God, never claimed to be God.” No that’s a lie, “let God be true and every man a liar.” I want a repudiation of this. And a removal of these men from the Trinity broadcasting Network Station until they apologize to the Christian Church and repent of this evil. And if they won’t, then it must be the task of the Christian Church to oppose them vigorously, publicly. And tell it to the whole Church. And read this until people can’t stand to hear it anymore. Until they will act on it. Don’t you dare talk about fidelity to Jesus Christ, and love to Jesus Christ and allegiance to Jesus Christ and sit by while men deny him! Your gonna be consistent than be consistent in obedience.

You may sit here and say “You sound very angry!” I am, I may be one of God’s last angry men, but I’m angry for the right reason. I’m in the presence of the doctrines of the anti-Christ and I plan to be angry that way the rest of my life. And if you don’t hear me angry about those kind of doctrines please come and tell me as quickly as possible, because I have defected from the ministry. So I’m going to ask you to covenant with me in prayer that God will bring Kenneth Copeland to repentance for this blasphemy and there may be a open apology and repudiation of it in the Christian Church. And then until this is done we will remain constant in prayer and we will not support what we know to be evil doctrine. If we do that God will bless us and honor us, if we don’t do it were gonna reap an awful harvest.

This morning was a very difficult message to preach, the warnings of God. Because whenever you talk this way you bound to be misinterpreted and people are bound to think somehow or another you’ve got some ax to grind and your after somebody’s neck. I’m not but if I sit still in the presence of the doctrine of antichrist I’m an accessory to those doctrines and I fall under the condemnation of Acts chpt.20. If you go further into revelation chpt.2 later on, you will find that the Holy Spirit commends the Church in Ephesus, above all the seven Churches because they tested these people, just as Paul told them to and they found out they were liars. And the Spirit says, good job, you did what you were suppose to do and he commends the Ephesians for it. May God make us faithful in the tradition of the Ephesians. The lord Jesus Christ paid the price for all sin on the cross. The Lord Jesus Christ rose victoriously from the dead for our redemption we are saved by his life. The Lord Jesus Christ has given us spirit so we can walk with him, he has also given us his spirit so we might discern evil, as well as good.”

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How the Health and Wealth Gospel Twists Scripture by Watchman.org

Most Christians have heard some of the following: “You can have what you say,” “The reason you haven’t been healed is that you don’t have enough faith,” “We can write our own ticket with God if we decide what we want, believe that it’s ours, and confess it,” “He wants you rich and healthy,” “What is the desire of your heart? Name it , claim it by faith, and it is yours! Your heavenly Father has promised it. It’s right there in the Bible.”

Such statements reflect the models which set forth a theology of the spoken word (rhematology) or of thought-actualization, commonly known as “positive confession”, which stresses the inherent power of words and thoughts.

Some who teach this system argue that just as God, by His faith, spoke (or conceived of the creation in His mind) and matter came into existence (Genesis 1, Psalm 33:6, Hebrews 11:3, 2 Peter 3:5), so the Christian can speak (or conceive of things in his mind) and actually bring them into existence by faith.

Many of those in the Word-Faith movement, such as Charles Capps and Jerry Savelle, teach that God had faith in His faith. They use Scripture texts such as Mark 11:22 and Hebrews 11:3, translating them as “have the faith of God”. However, renowned Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, in his books A Short Grammar of the Greek Testament (pp. 227-228) and A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (p. 500), very adequately shows that the phrase is not to be translated in the subjective genitive (meaning that the noun is the subject of the action – or that God is the subject of faith) such as “have the faith of God”, but is to be translated in the objective genitive (meaning that the noun is the object of the action – that God is the object of faith). He goes on to insist that translating in the subjective genitive is preposterous. He says “it is not the faith that God has, but the faith of which God is the object”.

 

The Gospel of Health

“I am fully convinced – I would die saying it is so – that it is the plan of Our Father God, in His great love and in His great mercy, that no believer should ever be sick; that every believer should live his full life span down here on this earth; and that every believer should finally just fall asleep in Jesus” (Kenneth E. Hagin, Seven Things You Should Know about Divine Healing, p. 21).

 

The above statement and others like it have caused much confusion in the body of Christ and led many to be presumptuous in the area of divine healing. There are some things that are true about healing to which most Christians would readily admit. First of all, people who are morally conscientious and who recognize that the physical body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16) may generally have better health because they take care of their bodies. Secondly, the healing of human life is part of the redemptive work of God. The Bible does teach healing. It was part of Jesus’ and the apostles’ ministries. There were gifts of healing in the church’s charismata, and in James 5:14-15, Christians are specifically encouraged to pray for the sick with the promise of answered prayer.

Of course, one reason believers pray for the sick to be healed is their conviction that the body, though still subject to decay and death in the present age, is destined for resurrection (1 Corinthians 6:13-14), and when God does heal someone it is a sign of the future Age already at work in the present.

However, where most Christians depart from the “faith movement” on healing is their understanding of the most pivotal text of Isaiah 53, which those in the faith movement almost always twist to justify their view of “blanket” coverage for the physical healing of every Christian who has enough faith.

A clearer understanding of this important passage can be gleaned throurgh a deeper evaluation of its underlying Hebrew text. What does the text Isaiah 53:5 mean when it says, “and by His stripes we are healed”? The Faith Movement interprets it to mean primarily the physical, while the majority of Christian scholarship has always interpreted it to mean primarily spiritual. For example, Gordon D. Fee, Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is quoted in the SCP Newsletter, Spring 1985, concerning this text, as saying, “It is also questionable whether the Bible teaches that healing is provided for in the atonement. Scores of texts explicitly tell us our sin has been overcome through Christ’s death and resurrection, but no text explicitly says the same about healing, not even Isaiah and its New Testament citations.

“Matthew (8:17) clearly saw Isaiah as referring to physical healing, but as a part of the Messiah’s ministry, not the atonement. Peter (2:24) saw the healing in Isaiah 53 as metaphysical, referring to our sin sickness, and this is the primary sense Isaiah himself gives the passage.

“Yet, since physical disease was clearly recognized to be a consequence of the Fall, one may argue that healing also finds its focal point in the atonement. But saying that does not imply all faithful Christians should experience perfect health. Even historic Pentecostalism, which believes healing was provided for in the atonement, does not hold that view. The position paper on divine healing adopted by the General Presbytery of the Assemblies of God (1974) makes it clear that healing is “provided for” because the “atonement brought release from the consequences of sin.” Nonetheless, since we have not yet received the “redemption of our bodies”, suffering and death are still our lot until the resurrection”.

An incorrect Bible hermeneutic (rules for Bible interpretation) combined with a desire for complete perfection have led many in the faith camp to deny the reality of sickness and disease.

For example, Kenneth Hagin, in The Name of Jesus, says, “In teaching on divine healing and health, I have often said, `I haven’t had a headache in so-many years.’ (At this writing it has been 45 years.) I guess the devil got tired of hearing me say it. Just a few months ago, as I left the office building and started home, suddenly my head started hurting. Someone might say, `Well, you had a headache.’ No, I didn’t have one! I don’t have headaches. I haven’t had a headache since August 1934.

“Forty-five years have come and gone, and I haven’t had a headache. Not one. The last headache I can actually remember having was in August 1933. I haven’t had a headache, and I’m not expecting to have one. But if I had a headache, I wouldn’t tell anybody. And if somebody asked me how I was feeling, I would say, “I’m fine, thank you.” (p. 44, parenthesis in original).

It is obvious from the above statements that Hagin doesn’t consider having a headache to be real. That’s because to him and other Faith movement teachers, symptoms are not real indications of sickness or disease, but distractions by the devil tempting him or her into making a negative confession.

 

The Gospel of Wealth

“It’s a matter of your faith. You got one-dollar faith, and you ask for a ten thousand-dollar item, it ain’t gonna work. It won’t work. Jesus said, “According to your faith”, not “according to His will, if He can work it into His busy schedule.” He said, “according to your faith be it unto you.” Now I may want a Rolls Royce and don’t have but bicycle faith. Guess what I’m gonna get? A bicycle” (Frederick K.C. Price, “Praise the Lord” broadcast on TBN, 21 September 1990, taken from Documentation for Christianity in Crisis by Hank Hanegraaff). The cardinal fault with the prosperity gospel is one central tenet: God wills the financial prosperity of every Christian, therefore, for a believer to live in poverty is living outside God’s intended will. Normally tucked away somewhere is another affirmation: Since we are God’s children, we should always go first class, we should have the biggest and the best. Only this brings glory to God!

 

No matter how much one tries to clothe the above affirmations in Biblical garb, it is simply not Biblical. Again, poor scripture interpretation is employed by the faith movement.

To substantiate their teachings, proponents of the prosperity gospel distort the meaning of certain Bible passages. One such passage, frequently quoted is 3 John 2. John began his letter with a friendly greeting, expressing his desire that Gaius “may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers”.

Kenneth Copeland explains this verse on page 51 of his book, The Laws of Prosperity, says, “You must realize that it is God’s will for you to prosper. This is available to you, and frankly, it would be stupid of you not to partake of it”.

This verse, however, according to James Bjornstad in his article, “What’s Behind the Prosperity Gospel?”, published by Moody Monthly in the 1986 issue, “is nothing more than John’s personal wish for Gaius. We should not take it as an universal promise or guarantee of health and wealth”.

The Greek word translated “prosper” in the KJV means “to go well with someone”. This wish for “things to go well” and for “good health” was the standard form of greeting in personal letter of antiquity, just as a friend today might say, “I hope this letter finds you all well”.

Another popular text for the word-faith teachers, with regard to prosperity, is John 10:10. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with material abundance. According to Gordon Fee in the same Moody Monthly issue, the “abundant life” Jesus talked about here is the same “life” or “eternal life” in John’s gospel and is the equivalent of the “kingdom of God”. Fee goes on to say, “It literally means the “life of the Age to come”. It is the life that God has in and of Himself; and it is His gift to believers in the present age. The Greek word perrison, translated “more abundantly” in the KJV, means simply that believers are to enjoy this gift of life “to the full” (NIV).

Material abundance is not implied either in “life” or “to the full”. Such an idea is totally foreign to the context of John 10 as well as to the whole teaching of Jesus” (Ibid.).

Many in the word-faith movement treat God as if He is a God simply there only to cater to our every wish as we ask it and that His entire purpose in heaven is simply to do our bidding. Kenneth Hagin has even written a little booklet entitled, “How to write your own ticket with God“. This is the same presupposition that Charles Fillmore of Unity School of Christianity had with regard to prosperity. H. Terris Newman, writing in Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 1990, p. 45, records Fillmore’s rendition of Psalm 23: “The Lord is may banker; my credit is good. He maketh me to lie down in the consciousness of omnipresent abundance; He giveth me the key to His strong box; He restoreth my faith in His riches; He guideth me in the paths of prosperity for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk in the very shadow of debt, I shall fear no evil, for Thou art with me; Thou preparest a way for me in the presence of the collector; Thou fillest my wallet with plenty; my measure runneth over. Surely goodness and plenty will follow me all the days of my life, And I shall do business in the name of the Lord forever.”

One can not help but see that attitudes like the above are discouraged in scripture when it says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10).

In contrast to word-faith theology, sound biblical theology teaches that God does not have to do anything. God, the Creator of all things, is sovereign in all things, not the creature. God is not obligated to heal or prosper anyone, yet He graciously does, and neither is deserved. Someone has said: “healing is not a divine obligation, it is a divine gift”. The receiver of the gift can make no demands. God can be trusted to do all things well.

Perhaps the root error of the gospel of health and wealth is that it seeks to apply a theology of future glory to the believer in the here and now. But the Lord Jesus taught a theology for here and now that both sustains believers in hard times and holds out hope for tomorrow.

Christians should not claim now what God in His grace has promised only for the future.

http://www.watchman.org/reltop/health$.htm

THERE IS A LARGE QUANTITY OF WORD FAITH MOVEMENT ARCTILCES HERE With articles on it’s deifferent preachers and leaders. From deceptioninthechurch.com

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This chapter from this book is really important to Christians who ask “did the apostles and their direct successors practice baptismal regeneration?”. It is not the best read,,, as it is mostly Quotes from pre-Niceian Church Fathers. BUT IT IS VERY IMPORTANT HISTORICAL INFO. There will be more articles coming about the history of baptism, it’s pagan origins and the history of that damnable herasy creeping into the Christian church, thus danming billions of souls as some have claimed., by making salvation,,grace+ water baptism.

6  I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

 

WATER BAPTISM:

A PAGAN AND JEWISH RITE,

BUT NOT CHRISTIAN

PROVEN BY SCRIPTURE AND HISTORY

CONFIRMED BY THE LIVES OF SAINTS

WHO WERE NEVER BAPTIZED WITH WATER 

JAMES H. MOON FALLSINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA Copyrighted, 1902

  

 

 

 

 

WATER BAPTISM AFTER THE APOSTLES’ TIME

By collateral evidence we are led to suppose that several of the apostles were martyred under the Roman Emperor, Nero, about A.D. 64.

The Jews rebelled against the Romans, A.D. 66. At the approach of war, Christians of Jerusalem and Judea removed to Pela, beyond the Jordan.[200] Eusebius says they fled in obedience to a Divine
revelation.[201] These were all Jews, and in their new homes were called Nazarenes or Ebonites.[202]

Jerusalem and the temple were utterly destroyed and the Jews massacred by the Romans, A.D. 70.[203]

Dean Stanley says: “The fall of Jerusalem was the fall of the Jewish world; it was a reason for the close of the apostolic age; a death-blow of the influence of Jewish nationality for a long time to come.”[204]

After the destruction of Jewish Jerusalem, Gentile Antioch appears to have become the seat of church authority.

John was probably the only apostle then living and he, it is thought, was in a distant country.

At Antioch and other places Gentile Christians evidently soon gained the ascendency and discouraged, even Jews from circumcision and other offensive Jewish customs, while water baptism and other usages not repulsive to Gentiles were generally continued and in time modified to
suit taste and convenience.

The early Christians were not united in making these changes; they caused continued discord and division among them as is manifest throughout the writings of the Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius.

The Nazarenes, Ebonites and some others adhered to circumcision and the customs of Moses as the elders at Jerusalem had insisted that Paul should do and as in the “Hermit Church” of Abyssinia they still continue to do.[205][206]

We find these Nazarenes and Ebonites soon classified as heretics after the Gentiles preponderated.

Water baptism seems not to have been insisted upon at first but in the second century greater importance appears to have been attached to it.[207] Many, however, claimed that only baptism of the Holy Spirit and purity of the heart were necessary because none of the apostles but Paul were baptized with water, and Christ said: “John indeed baptized with water but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit;”[208] and again, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.”

Justin Martyr[209] said: “What is the use of that baptism which cleanses the flesh and the body alone. Baptize the soul from wrath, envy, &c., and lo! the whole body is clean.” And again: “What need have I of that other baptism who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

While many such expressions occur in the writings of the “Fathers,” there are many more which support sacramentalism. Their testimonies are conflicting.

About the beginning of the third century we find water baptism first called a sacrament by Tertulian and about the same time he complains that many tried to destroy it. Plainly, as water baptism was exalted, opposition increased.[210]

The sect called Ascoondrutes rejected all symbols and sacraments on the principle that incorporeal things cannot be communicated by things corporeal nor divine mysteries by things visible.[211]

Schaff says[212]: Many Jews and Gentiles were baptized only with water; not with Holy Spirit and fire of the Gospel, and smuggled their old religious notions and practices into the church.

The Roman Emperor, Constantine, professedly became a Christian, while he virtually remained a heathen; A.D. 312.[213]

Christians were few in number before Constantine, but now pagans flocked to the church and sat in its councils.

“Constantine married the Christian church to the heathen world.” He virtually united church and state. He convened the council of Nice and they formed a creed A.D. 325.

Many protested against this council and its decisions but the mass supported the Emperor and the creed.

Among obscure dissenters whom the ruling church called heretics may we expect thereafter to find the nearest approach to Christianity as Jesus taught it upon the Mount and elsewhere.

Mosheim says: No sooner had Constantine abolished the superstition of his ancestors than magnificent churches were erected for the Christians, which were richly adorned with pictures and images and bore striking resemblances to the Pagan temples both within and without.[214]

The simplicity of the Gospel was clouded by the prodigious number of rites and ceremonies which the bishops invented to embellish it.[215]

They imagined the Pagans would receive Christianity with more facility when they saw the rites and ceremonies to which they were accustomed adopted in the church. So the religion of the Christians was made to conform very nearly to that of the Pagans in external appearance.[216]

The vice and insolent tyranny of many of the priesthood soon became notorious.[217]

Neander says: Such individuals of the laity as were distinguished by their piety from the great mass of nominal Christians and from the worldly minded of the clergy often suffered persecution from the
latter.[218]

The name of Andeus stand prominent among the many dissenters who protested against the corruptions of the ruling church at this time.[219]

Isolated companies of devout Christians under various names rejected the Sacraments. They were called Lampetians, Adelphians, Estatians, Marcionites, Euchites, Massalians and Enthusiasts.[220]

Mosheim says: Enthusiasts who discarded the Sacraments and were rather wrong headed than vicious lived among the Greeks and Assyrians for many ages. They were known by the general and invidious name of Massalians or Euchites. A foot-note says: This sect arose under the Emperor
Constantius about the year 361.[221]

We have numerous accounts of Christians who were prominent in the dominant church of the fourth century who deferred water baptism to middle life or old age and many were never so baptized altho’ born of Christian parents.[222]

About A.D. 660 another Constantine came forward as a reform preacher under inspiration said to have been received in reading the New Testament, particularly the writings of St. Paul.[223]

His followers were sometimes called Macedonians but were generally known as Paulicians altho’ they preferred to be called Christians.

It appears that these Paulicians existed centuries before under the other names given them by their enemies and that the drooping sect was revived by the powerful preaching of Constantine.

Neander says[224] the Paulicians wholy rejected the outward observance of the Sacraments and maintained that by multiplication of external rites and ceremonies in the dominant church the true life of religion had declined. That it was not Christ’s intention to institute water baptism as a perpetual ordinance and that by baptism he meant only baptism of the Holy Spirit and that he communicates himself by the living waters for the thorough cleansing of the whole human nature; that eating the flesh and drinking the blood of Christ consists in coming into vital union with him.

In the ninth century one hundred thousand Paulicians were martyred at once in Armenia, accused of heresy and denying the Sacraments.[225]

For the same offence untold numbers were put to death during previous and subsequent centuries and in widely distant countries.[226]

Their enemies represent that these Paulicians were loving, spiritual and peaceful, and diligent in reading and circulating the Scriptures, but they were heretics and not worthy to live.

Were not these dissenting martyrs a remnant or seed of the living church and their baptized enemies the real heretics?

The history of these inhuman persecutions reveals a sad condition of the dominant church and its ruling clergy of the ninth century.

Some Ecclesiastics who presided over a flourishing theological institution at Orleans, claimed to have been awakened by the writings of
St. Augustine and St. Paul, particularly the later. Many of the nobility and others of eminent piety and benevolence became their adherents.[227]

They rejected external worship, rites and ceremonies and placed religion in the internal contemplation of God and the elevation of the soul.

They rejected water baptism and held to a baptism of the Spirit, also to a Spiritual Eucharist by which all who had received spiritual baptism would be refreshed and find their spiritual needs completely satisfied.

Thirteen leaders of this sect were burned A.D. 1022. When urged to recant they replied, “We have a higher law, one written by the Holy Spirit in the inner man.”

Mosheim says they soared above the comprehension of the age in which they lived.

A few years later a similar sect was discovered in the districts of Arras and Liege. They held individual holiness and practical piety to be necessary and that outward baptism and outward Sacrament were
nothing. This they affirmed was the doctrine of Christ and his apostles.[228]

About A.D. 1046 a sect was suppressed at Turin which was favored by the nobility and widely diffused among the clergy and laity. They claimed to have one priest without the tonsure. He daily visited their brethren scattered throughout the world and when God bestowed him on them they
received from him with great devotion forgiveness of sin. They acknowledged no other priest and no other sacrament but his absolution.[229]

Who–we ask–is this priest without the tonsure, who daily visits the world-wide brethern?

Is it not Jesus who was made a priest, “not after the law of a carnal commandment, but by the power of an endless life?”[230]

A sect called Bogomiles, who rejected outward baptism and acknowledged only spiritual communion, was discovered in Constantinople, many of them in the families connected with the court. Their leader was burned A.D. 1119, others were imprisoned, yet they spread secretly over the Greek empire.[231]

Mosheim says: The Eastern churches continued to be infested with such fanatics in the twelfth century, and the Latin sects were still more numerous than the Greeks.[232]

The Catherists were a numerous faction in Bulgaria and spread almost all over Europe under various names who all agreed in rejecting baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

“Brethern and sisters of the free Spirit” took their denomination from the words of St. Paul (Rom. 8, 2-14). They were called Begards, Beghines, Turpines, etc. They rejected baptism and the Supper as no
longer useful to them and held to inward and spiritual worship. They spread rapidly in Italy, France and Germany. They were mostly poor people and lived upon alms while upon their missionary Journeys. Great numbers of plain, pious people, rich and poor, embraced their teaching
and forsook the dominant church.[233]

The Inquisition checked their career with its usual record of cruelty and blood, yet they continued to feed the fires of persecution for more than two centuries, until near the time of the reformation.

In the south of France dissenters called Albigenses became more numerous than the dominant church. They were condemned by four councils, but still continued to increase until about A.D. 1215, when they were exterminated by a long and horrible war and the Inquisition.[234]

These Albigenses were distinguished generally by their strict and blameless lives, by their abhorrence of oaths, war and punishment by death, and for their hospitality and beneficence. They accepted baptism spiritually and rejected the sacraments.

Can we believe that the church which led to the extermination of these Albigenses, the Paulicians, and many others, was ever established by that loving Saviour who spent his life in doing good to the souls and bodies of men?

Does it not answer more nearly the description given of Mystery Babylon who was drunk with the blood of the saints and martyrs of Jesus? Who would not gladly forget a succession which claims to run back through such a church as this?[235]

In some parts of France dissenters similar to the Albigenses were called Bulgarians, in Italy they were called Paterens and in Germany were called Catherists, and in derision were called “Good Men.” How is it that these dissenters, by the testimony of their enemies, appear to have lived better and holier lives without the sacraments than their persecutors did with them?

What is the testimony of observation in our day?[236] Are those beatitudes which Jesus pronounced upon the Mount better observed by those who have seven sacraments than they are by Protestants who have only two? And, are they better observed under two sacraments than they are by the Quakers, and some other Christians who have none? If this is the case, it is strong support to the belief that Christ ordained the sacraments. But if the reverse is found to be the existing condition, then a suspicion may arise that these sacraments are not divine, but are human impositions and that they divert from the Divine. Therefore, may it be that some of our best Christians get along quite as well or
better without them.

Neither the word sacrament nor any synonym thereof occurs in the New Testament, nor in the writings of the “Fathers,” until the third century. There were no sacraments then as there are now, therefore no necessity for such a name.

Sacrament was a Pagan name for a military oath and was ruled into its present position by apostate Christians.

The apostles and first Christians evidently continued to eat the Passover Supper, because their fathers had done so for ages in memory of Israel passing over the Red Sea out of Egypt, and not from any command of Christ. Otherwise they would with still more persistence have continued to wash each other’s feet, which Jesus commanded with language and actions far more solemn, impressive and imperative.[237]

The Ante-Nicene Fathers and Eusebius inform us that water baptism was a prolific cause of bitter discord and division among the early Christians. It still sorrowfully distracts the loving children of our
one Father and impedes the spread of his kingdom in the earth.

These lamentable conditions must inevitably continue until such shadows are dissolved by divine brightness in that day which we rejoice to believe is now dawning.

FOOTNOTES:

http://www.archive.org/stream/waterbaptism17222gut/17222.txt

RELEVANT POST. Water salvation/baptismal regeneration r  The Beliefs of Orthodox Christianity

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DNA and the Book of Mormon By Bill McKeever

http://www.mrm.org/topics/book-mormon/dna-and-book-mormon-record

 

One of the fundamental tenets taught to Mormon children and new converts is that the Book of Mormon is an account of real people and real events. Mormon leaders, apologists, and scholars have been adamant in declaring the Book of Mormon to be actual history. Dr. Robert Millet, the well-respected professor at Brigham Young University, stated, “The historicity of the Book of Mormon record is crucial. We cannot exercise faith in that which is untrue, nor can ‘doctrinal fiction’ have normative value in our lives…Only scripture-­writings and events and descriptions from real people at a real point in time, people who were moved upon and directed by divine powers­-can serve as a revelatory channel, enabling us to hear and feel the word of God” (“The Book of Mormon, Historicity, and Faith,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Vol. 2, number 2, p.1).

One of the claims made in the Book of Mormon is that it records the story of a Hebrew man named Lehi who sees in a vision the destruction of Jerusalem around 600 B.C. He then flees with his family to escape the impending onslaught of Babylonian conquerors and eventually sails to the Western hemisphere. Following the death of Lehi, circumstances led to the colonizers splitting into primarily two groups, known as Nephites and Lamanites. As the story goes, the exploits of the Nephites and Lamanites were recorded on gold plates that were ultimately buried in the ground and found by Joseph Smith several centuries later.

The Hebrew Connection

 

 

The introduction to the Book of Mormon states that the book is “holy scripture comparable to the Bible” and that it is a “record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas.” It goes on to claim that the Lamanites “are the principle ancestors of the American Indians.” Mormon apologists have been quick to point out that the introduction makes no claim for infallibility. While that is true, we know of no General Authority who claims that the introduction teaches error.

However, the title page to the narrative states that the Book of Mormon is “an abridgment of the Record of the People of Nephi, and also of the Lamanite– written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the House of Israel.” In an article written for the Mormon periodical Times and Seasons in 1842, Joseph Smith made it a point to mention “that the title page of the Book of Mormon is a literal translation, taken from the very last leaf, on the left hand side of the collection or book of plates, which contained the record which has been translated; the language of the whole running the same as all Hebrew writing in general; and that, said title page is not by any means a modern composition either of mine or of any other man’s who has lived or does live in this generation” (3:943.)

We are told in the Book of Mormon that Nephi was “the son of Lehi, who came out of the land of Jerusalem, who was a descendant of Manasseh” (Alma 10:3).

Nephi, one of the primary characters in the Book of Mormon narrative, made it clear that the people mentioned in the Book of Mormon “are descendants of the Jews” (2 Nephi 30:4).

Speaking in the Salt Lake Tabernacle in 1881 Wilford Woodruff, who later became Mormonism’s fourth president), stated, “The Lamanites, now a down-trodden people, are a remnant of the house of Israel. The curse of God has followed them as it has done the Jews, though the Jews have not been darkened in their skin as have the Lamanites” (Journal of Discourses 22:173).

Mormon Apostle James Talmage noted that, “The Nephites suffered extinction about 400 A.D., but the Lamanites lived on in their degraded course, and are today extant upon the land as the American Indians” (Jesus the Christ, 23rd ed., p.49).

Tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote in his book Doctrines of Salvation that this connection is also noted in Doctrine and Covenants 3:264: “Not only in the Book of Mormon are the descendants of Lehi called Jews, but also in the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 19, this is found: ‘Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and, look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.'”

The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, under the subtitle “Native Americans,” states that “the Book of Mormon tells that a small band of Israelites under Lehi migrated from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B.C. Upon Lehi’s death his family divided into two opposing factions, one under Lehi’s oldest son, Laman (see Lamanites), and the other under a younger son, Nephi” (3:981).

The Controversy

 

 

In the fall 1997 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, LDS author Brigham Madsen discussed the difficulty that many Latter-day Saints are having with accepting the Book of Mormon as an historical document (Reflections on LDS Disbelief in the Book of Mormon as History). Many who have closely examined the contents of the book in light of scholarship have come to realize that it cannot possibly be true history. Madsen raised an interesting challenge in his article when he refers to the history and origins of the American Indian. He wrote, “…perhaps it can be anticipated that before long some scholar will examine the DNA of early inhabitants of eastern Siberia and the DNA of early American Indians for confirmation of their relationship. All that would be left would be for an interested Mormon to compare the two findings to the DNA of Israelites who lived about 600 B.C.E.” (p. 91). It appears that the day of DNA confirmation has arrived.

The book American Apocrypha (Signature, 2002) contains an essay titled Lamanite, Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics. The essay’s author, Thomas W. Murphy, is both a member of the Mormon Church and an anthropologist who offers information that conflict with traditional assumptions regarding the heritage of the Indians. He notes, “So far, DNA research has lent no support to the traditional Mormon beliefs about the origins of Native Americans. Instead, genetic data have confirmed that migrations from Asia are the primary source of American Indian origins” (pp. 47-48). He goes on to say, “While DNA shows that ultimately all human populations are closely related, to date no intimate genetic link has been found between ancient Israelites and indigenous Americans, much less within the time frame suggested in the Book of Mormon” (p.48).

Murphy cites the works of several experts in the field of anthropology and genetics, including that of Michael Crawford, a biological anthropologist at the University of Kansas who said, “I don’t think there is one iota of evidence that suggests a lost tribe from Israel made it all the way to the New World. It is a great story, slain by ugly fact.” Murphy says that Crawford’s “work shows that Amerisraelite Lamanites could not possibly have been the ‘principle ancestors of the American Indians,’ as claimed in the current introduction to the Book of Mormon” (p.53). He also mentions Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes and Russian geneticist Miroslav Derenko “who have substantiated Crawford’s conclusion through agreement that ‘the Indian gene pool is Siberian, not Middle Eastern'” (p.53).

In his essay, Murphy responds to some of the claims made by LDS apologetic groups such as the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR). On page 62 he says, “FARMS has played a role in offering revisionist interpretations that seek to reconcile faith with science. But the DNA research may make this effort more difficult as the views of intellectuals and those of traditional Mormons continue to diverge.”

In response to an inquiry made to FARMS in 1997, I received the following from Dr. John Tvedtnes: “The most recent mitochondrial DNA study demonstrated that there were three known separate migrations to the New World, one certainly connected to Siberian peoples, the other thought to be Asian. Among Amerindians, samples were taken in Canada, the United States, and Peru. None were taken in Mesoamerica, where most LDS scholars believe the story of the Book of Mormon took place” (e-mail received 11/14/97).

Statements such as this would make it appear that there was still hope that research done in Mesoamerica (which includes countries like Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador) would offer the elusive connection. However, such research has been performed and no link has been established. Murphy states on page 62, “While FARMS researchers are careful to note the importance of cultural influences on the construction of categories, they express confidence in an Israelite genetic presence in Central America and perhaps as far away as Arizona to the north and Colombia to the south. As we have seen, genetic studies of indigenous peoples throughout North, Central, and South America have failed to link Native Americans from these locations to ancient Hebrews.”

In 1997 I wrote to Scott Woodward, the renowned molecular biologist at Brigham Young University, to ask if any DNA studies had been done at BYU. He wrote me the following: “We have an active research project addressing some of these questions but most of the data is still too preliminary to make any hard conclusions. Most of all the evidence to date would point to Asian populations as the source of at least the great majority of contemporary Native American gene pool.” In the same post, Dr. Woodward also stated that he believed “that the Americas were moderately populated at the time of arrival of the Lehi group, the Jaredites and any other group that may have come from the Middle East” (e-mail received 11/14/97).

According to Murphy’s essay, it appears that Woodward is still not at all optimistic that a link will be found. Although Murphy notes how Woodward “believes that the presence or absence of genetic linkages to the Near East in the Americas is neither proof nor disproof of the Book of Mormon” (p. 66), on page 65 he says, “it would not surprise Woodward if geneticists ultimately failed to find any traces of mtDNA [mitochondrial DNA] from Lehi’s party, Jaredites, or Mulekites.”

While speaking on this subject at the 2002 Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, Murphy cited others who have come to conclusions similar to his. For instance, Dr. David Glenn Smith, a molecular anthropologist from the University of California Davis, said, “Genetic research, particularly that using mitochondrial and Y chromosome markers, provide quite emphatic refutation of any such relationship between Jews and Native Americans.”

Murphy closed his remarks by asking, “Now what do we as Mormons do? We’ve got a problem. Our beliefs are not validated by the science.” Murphy believes that Mormons have a moral and ethical responsibility to relegate this notion as a “mistake of men.”

William S. Bradshaw, a molecular biologist teaching at BYU, responded to Murphy’s Sunstone talk. Bradshaw opened his response by saying, “Let me repose a question that Tom has put to us. Is there scientific evidence based in molecular biology to substantiate the statement in the introduction to the Book of Mormon that Lamanites are the principle ancestors of American Indians? The answer is no.” He admitted that he could not discount the conclusions made by Murphy, but he urged the crowd to be cautious of those conclusions. If true, however, he felt that this mistake of man was no more than “the mistake of overreaching. The mistake of saying we know more than we know.” He also urged listeners not to make judgments “about mistakes that were held by people decades ago without trying to understand the context in which they made those statements.”

Mormonism’s Defenders Respond

 

 

As expected, many in the LDS apologetic community have vilified Murphy for his public statements. Allen Wyatt, a Mormon apologist working with the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), made no pretense in accusing Murphy of behaving like an “apostate” despite the fact that his church has declined to charge Murphy with apostasy for his public statements http://www.fairlds.org/apol/antis/200207.html). Some at least, have chosen to refrain from the typical ad hominem argument so prevalent in Mormon apologetics and have at least attempted to offer some sort of an explanation.

Mormon apologists don’t seem to deny that current genetic evidence shows no connection between Lamanites and Hebrews. In a December 8, 2002 article in the LA Times, Dr. Daniel Peterson, a BYU professor and researcher at FARMS, was quoted as saying, “The idea that America may have been overwhelmingly peopled by folks from northeastern Asia is perfectly compatible” with Mormon doctrine, said Daniel Peterson, a lifelong Mormon and professor of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young. Genetic evidence that some Native American ancestors came from the Middle East could easily be lost over thousands of years, he said.”

In their essay titled, “Who are the Children of Lehi,” Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens wrote, “As biologists we accept the published data dealing with Native American origins and view those data as reasonably representing American-Asian connections” (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, vol.12, number 1, 2003, p.38). On page 41 of the same essay they state, “The data accumulated to date indicate that 99.6 percent of Native American genetic markers studied so far exhibit Siberian connections.” On page 42 they say, “There has been little if any evidence seriously considered by the mainstream scientific community that would indicate a Middle East origin, or any other source of origin, for the majority of contemporary Native Americans.” Like many Mormons, they dismiss the conclusion that a lack of a DNA link between Indians and Hebrews discredits Joseph Smith’s claim as prophet.

Like Peterson, Meldrum and Stephens hold to the theory that the genetic gene pool was diluted through intermarriage with other people groups. “We propose that Book of Mormon is the account of a small group of people who lived on the American continent, interacting to some degree with the indigenous population but relatively isolated from the general historical events occurring elsewhere in the Americas” (Ibid., p.44).

Such conclusions are only speculative since there is no hard evidence to support the notion that the Lehi colonizers lived simultaneously with other non-Semitic cultures. Nothing in the Book of Mormon clearly suggests this. To say the genetic link could have been lost gives the impression that the offspring of those in the Lehi party remained relatively small.

“Other Nations”?

 

 

First, let’s examine the claim that the offspring of the Lehi party intermarried with another culture. In 2 Nephi 1:6 Lehi prophesies “that there shall none come into this land save they shall be brought by the hand of the Lord.” He goes on to state in verses 8-9, “And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance.”

We learn from this that no other nation had knowledge of this land at the time of the arrival of Lehi’s party, thus excluding the notion that other cultures shared the same area. We also learn that such an arrangement would continue as long as those who were brought out of Jerusalem continued to keep God’s commandments. However, should the people “dwindle in unbelief,” God would bring “other nations unto them and he will give unto them power, and he will take away from them the lands of their possessions, and he will cause them to be scattered and smitten” (vv. 10,11). As to when exactly such an incursion would take place is not specified in the prophecy.

Acknowledging this prediction, retired BYU anthropologist John Sorenson asks how long it could have been before other nations would have come and intermingled with the Nephites and Lamanites. He notes on page seven of his article “When Lehi’s Party Arrived in the Land, Did They Find Others There?” that the Lamanites “dwindled in unbelief within a few years.” Dr. Sorenson asks, “How then could Lehi’s prophecy about ‘other nations’ being brought in have been kept long in abeyance after that?” He then notes, “The early Nephites generally did the same thing within a few centuries.”

While I agree that both the Nephites and Lamanites had their times of unbelief, the Book of Mormon fails to mentions other nations who came in to “take away from them the lands of their possessions,” especially those whose genetic makeup would take us to Asia. This can only be argued from silence.

J. Reuben Clark, writing for the LDS magazine Improvement Era, stated, “The Lord took every precaution to see that nothing might interfere with this posterity of Joseph in working out their God-given destiny and the destiny of America. He provided, and so told Lehi at the very beginning of his settlement, that: . . it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations ; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. (2 Nephi 1:8.) The Lord so kept the land for a thousand years after Lehi landed. He so kept it in His wisdom for another thousand years after the Nephites were destroyed, perhaps to give the Lamanitish branch another chance” (“Prophecies, Penalties, and Blessings,” Improvement Era, 1940, Vol. xliii. July, 1940. No. 7). Several LDS leaders have stated that this was fulfilled when the Gentiles came to America.

The Book of Mormon does mention other groups of people, but in most cases it appears that these are merely sub-groups that can be traced back to Lehi or other Jewish groups whose DNA should lead us back to Israel. For example, Omni 1:15 in the Book of Mormon tells of a group of people who lived in Zarahemla who “came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.” Mulek, supposedly the only son of Zedekiah who was not killed when Jerusalem fell, led the people of Zarahemla. According to Mosiah 25:3, these people, known by Mormons as “Mulekites,” outnumbered the Nephites, but together the Nephites and Mulekites were only half as numerous as the Lamanites.

Dr. Sorenson is among some Mormons who offer the possibility that a remnant of Jeredites intermarried with the colonizers. In an article posted on the Mormon website Meridian Magazine, Geoffrey Biddulph writes, “Chances are extremely high that at least some, and perhaps a majority, of modern-day Native Americans are descended from the Jaredites, and would have Asian blood. And of course Brother Murphy’s writings and public comments virtually ignore the Jaredites”

(http://www.meridianmagazine.com/ideas/030128anti.html). Biddulph’s use of the phrase “extremely high” and “perhaps a majority” must be taken as nothing more than hyperbole. There is no way such a comment can be proven.

According to the Book of Mormon the Jaredites came to the western hemisphere around the time God confounded the languages at the Tower of Babel. Even if this theory is correct, we probably have more reason to believe that a genetic link would take us back to the Middle East, not Asia or Siberia, given the fact that the Tower of Babel was believed to have been built somewhere in Babylonia. Hebrews, like Babylonians, both fall within the category of Semitic people. According to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the record of the Jaredites “hints at an epic genre rooted in the Ancient Near East” (2:717).

The Jaredite theory poses another problem if we are to believe the Book of Mormon record for what it actually says. According to the fifteenth chapter of Ether, King Coriantumr gathers “all of the people upon all of the face of the land, who had not been slain (except the prophet Ether) for a final battle against the army of Shiz, which also consisted of “men, women, and children being armed with weapons of war” (15:15). Such was the slaughter that in both armies all had fallen by the sword except the two leaders (15:23-29). Shiz is beheaded and Coriantumr, weakened from battle, is later “discovered by the people of Zarahemla; and he dwelt with them for the space of nine moons” (Omni 1:21).

Mormon Seventy B.H. Roberts felt that the Jaredite race came to be extinct. “In their last great war, which resulted in the extinction of the race, to the last man, it is stated that ‘two millions of mighty men had been slain; and also their wives and their children.'” Roberts believed that Coriantumr was the “last Survivor” (Studies in the Book of Mormon, p. 164, emphasis mine) However, Roberts was aware of the argument that quite possibly some Jaredite survivors married into Mulek’s colony but noted that such a theory is “merely a matter of conjecture” (New Witnesses for God 3:137).

Even if we gave this theory the benefit of the doubt, the fact that Mormon leaders and scholars have described the demise of the Jaredites with words like complete annihilation (Ludlow), exterminated (Hunter), wiped out (Nibley), extinction (Roberts), etc., tends to tell us that if there were any Jaredite survivors at all, they would indeed be a very small number. If Mormons wish to cling to the idea that genetic evidence was somehow lost, it would seem more probable that Jaredite genes would be the ones in short supply, not Nephite or Lamanite genes.

Sorenson offers this suggestion, “And if the Lord somehow did not at those times bring in ‘other nations,’ then surely he would have done so after Cumorah, 1100 years prior to Columbus” (Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, v.1, Fall 1992). This seems to be the theory held by Seventy Milton R. Hunter. “Following the close of Nephite recorded history, Mongolians, Vikings, and perhaps small groups of wanderers from other lands, came to the Americas and intermarried—to a greater or less extent—with the descendants of Book of Mormon peoples. Their posterity constituted the numerous aboriginal tribes found in the New World by the Europeans” (Archaeology and the Book of Mormon p.15).

If this prophecy came to fruition after the battle of Hill Cumorah, the time frame involved becomes much shorter, making a diluted gene pool less likely.

Lost Genetic Evidence?

 

 

Next, let us examine the claim that the genetic gene pool was somehow diluted to the point where we should not expect to find a Hebrew link.

The Book of Mormon gives the impression that the Nephites and Lamanite populations were anything but small. Helaman 3:8 in the Book of Mormon states, “And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea west to the sea east.” In commenting on this passage, the Book of Mormon Student Manual, published by the LDS Church, notes, “No one knows the details of Book of Mormon geography. But the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed some information that suggests that at some time in their history the spread of the Nephites unto the ‘land northward’ included what we know today as North America” (1979 edition, p.354). This coincides with Doctrine and Covenants 54:8, which states that the borders of the Lamanites extended to the “land of Missouri.”

Mormon 1:7 adds, “The whole face of the land had become covered with buildings, and the people were as numerous almost, as it were the sand of the sea.” A footnote at the bottom of the page dates this passage at around A.D. 322.

Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt believed that the Lamanites “gathered by the millions” at the battle of Hill Cumorah! (Journal of Discourses 17:31.) Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie agreed with this assessment when he wrote, “Neither the Nephites nor the Jaredites repented when rivers of blood flowed on their battlefields and millions of their number were slain by the sword” (The Millennial Messiah, p. 386 –387, emphasis mine).

It could be argued that the battle at Hill Cumorah severely diminished the population of remaining Lamanites. However, this does not seem to be the position of some LDS leaders. For instance, tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith let it be known that the Lamanite influence was not restricted to North America. “The history of this American continent also gives evidence that the Lamanites have risen up in their anger and vexed the Gentiles. This warfare may not be over. It has been the fault of people in the United States to think that this prophetic saying has reference to the Indians in the United States, but we must remember that there are millions of the ‘remnant’ in Mexico, Central and South America” (Church History and Modern Revelation 2:127, emphasis mine).

Speaking in conference in October 1921, Elder Andrew Jenson, a member of the staff of the LDS Church’s Historian’s Office, stated, “We, therefore cast a glance southward into old Mexico and through the great countries beyond — down through Central America and South America, where there are millions and millions of Lamanites, direct descendants of Father Lehi.” (Conference Report, October 1921, p.120, emphasis mine).

On page 601 of The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth Mormon prophet stated, “About twenty-five centuries ago, a hardy group left the comforts of a great city, crossed a desert, braved an ocean, and came to the shores of this, their promised land. There were two large families, those of Lehi and Ishmael, who in not many centuries numbered hundreds of millions of people on these two American continents” (emphasis mine).

Probably the most damning quote that undermines this notion that the Lamanite genetic link could have been lost to the point of nonexistence is found on page 596 of the same book. Kimball wrote, “Lamanites share a royal heritage. I should like to address my remarks to you, our kinsmen of the isles of the sea and the Americas. Millions of you have blood relatively unmixed with gentile nations” (emphasis mine).

The obvious question is, “How do you lose the genetic link of millions of people who allegedly have not mixed their blood with another culture?” Notice also that Kimball refers to the “kinsmen of the isles of the sea.” Many are unaware that according to the teachings of LDS leaders, the Lamanites were not restricted to merely the western hemisphere. In a message given in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on February 11, 1872, Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt proclaimed, “Here let me say again, according to the Book of Mormon, many of those great islands that are found in the Indian Ocean, also in the great Pacific Sea, have been planted with colonies of Israelites. Do they not resemble each other? Go to the Sandwich Islands, to the South Sea Islands, to Japan–go to the various islands of the Pacific Ocean, and you find a general resemblance in the characters and countenances of the people. Who are they? According to the Book of Mormon, Israelites were scattered forth from time to time, and colonies planted on these islands of the ocean” (Journal of Discourses 14:333).

“What would Lehi’s DNA look like?”

 

 

Clinging to the presupposition that the Lamanitish gene pool was diluted, some Mormon apologists have insisted that it would be next to impossible to know exactly what Lehi’s DNA would look like. Perhaps that answers lies with Mormon President Gordon Hinckley.

On more than one occasion, President Hinckley has mentioned the Hebrew/Lamanite connection in dedicatory prayers given at Mormon temples. For instance, in his prayer at the dedication of the Mexico City temple in December 1983, he stated, “Bless Thy Saints in this great land and those from other lands who will use this Temple. Most have in their veins the blood of Father Lehi” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?mexico_city&chronological)

In December of the following year, he gave a dedicatory prayer at the Guatemala City, Guatemala temple where he stated, “Thou Kind and Gracious Father, our hearts swell with gratitude for Thy remembrance of the sons and daughters of Lehi… We thank Thee O God, for lifting the scales of darkness which for generations clouded the vision of the descendants of Lehi” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?guatemala_city&chronological)

In his March 6, 1999 dedicatory prayer given at the Colonia Juaréz Chihuahua Temple, Hinckley he said, “Bless Thy Saints that they may continue to live here without molestation. May they live in peace and security. May they be prospered as they cultivate their farms and pursue their vocations. May the sons and daughters of father Lehi grow in strength and in fulfillment of the ancient promises made concerning them.” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?colonia_juarez&alphabetical).

In August 1999, Hinckley made a similar statement as he was in Guayaquil, Ecuador to dedicate another new LDS temple. “It has been a very interesting thing to see the descendants of father Lehi in the congregation that have gathered in the temple…So very many of these people have the blood of Lehi in their veins, and it is just an intriguing thing to see their tremendous response and their tremendous interest” (Salt Lake Tribune 11/30/2000).

When James Faust, Gordon Hinckley’s second counselor, gave the dedicatory prayer for the Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico temple on March 12, 2000, he stated, “We invoke Thy blessings upon this nation of Mexico where so many of the sons and daughters of Father Lehi dwell.” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?tuxtla_gutierrez&chronological)

Thomas Monson, Gordon Hinckley’s first counselor, made the same connection when he prayed at the dedication of the Villahermosa, Mexico temple on May 21, 2000: “May Thy eternal purposes concerning the sons and daughters of Lehi be realized in this sacred house. May every blessing of the eternal gospel be poured out upon them, and may the suffering of the centuries be softened through the beneficence of Thy loving care.” (http://www.ldschurchtemples.com/cgi-bin/prayers.cgi?villahermosa&chronological)

Suffice it to say that plenty of sources can be cited to demonstrate that Mormon leaders have taught and believed that not only are Lamanites related to “Father Lehi,” but they can apparently be identified.

Conclusion

 

 

Once again Mormons are placed between a rock and a hard place. They can choose between the spin coming out of Provo or continue to believe that their leaders are incapable of leading them astray. Choosing the former will certainly help them retain their faith in the Book of Mormon; however, in taking this direction, consistency would demand that their divinely appointed prophets and apostles were misleading members when they said that millions of direct descendants of Lehi are now living.

For further study, we suggest the video DNA vs. The Book of Mormon by Living Hope Ministries. This is available through Mormonism Research Ministry. To watch the video online please see http://www.mormonchallenge.com/dna/dna.htm.

To order the book American Apocrypha, containing Thomas Murphy’s entire essay, please see: http://www.mrm.org/bookstore/books_on_mormonism/

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The Church of Christ is a false church. They require good works for salvation. The Church of Christ is just as dangerous as Catholicism, Jehovah’s Witness, or the Mormons, because they claim to be “Christian”; BUT they are not! Whereas religions like Islam and Black Muslim openly deny the Christian faith; the Church of Christ claims to be Christian, and so Satan uses them to seduce people into Hellfire.

The following doctrinal statement is taken directly from the Church of Christ website:

How does one become a member of the church of Christ?

In the salvation of man’s soul there are 2 necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is the big part, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift if God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation.

Though God’s part is the big part, man’s part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man’s part can clearly set forth in the following steps:

Hear the Gospel. “How shall they call on him whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).

Believe. “And without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Repent of past sins. “The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent” (Acts 17:30).

Confess Jesus as Lord. “Behold here is water; What doth hinder me to be baptized ? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” (Acts 8:36-37).

Be baptized for the remission of sins. “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

Live a Christian life. “Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

SOURCE: Who are the churches of Christ?

There is much heresy in the preceding statement.

First, salvation is of God alone, and not men. This is plainly stated in John1:12-13, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” Man has no part in God’s salvation.

In Philippians 2:12 the Apostle Paul states, “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Carefully notice that the Bible says “work out YOUR OWN salvation”; it does not say anything about God’s salvation. When God saves a man, it is then up to that man whether or not he is going to obey God or not. God saves us by faith, but then it is up to us to allow the Lord to live the Christian life through us. This has nothing to do with salvation. So many heretics today are trying to add holy living to faith for salvation. No sir! As we see in 1st Corinthians 5:5, some believers live in unrepentant sin; yet, they are still saved. How can this be? It’s because eternal life is a “free gift” (Romans 5:15) not conditioned upon our lifestyle. I don’t know why so many people can’t seem to grasp the concept of a GIFT.

The only part that man has in God’s salvation is to BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). In Psalm 51:12, after David had sinned horribly, we find David asking God for forgiveness… “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” David knew that salvation was of God alone… THY SALVATION!

Second, there is NOT one Scripture in the entire Bible that tells us to “repent FROM sin” to be saved. You can’t find it. The word repent in the Greek simply means “to change one’s mind.” So a person need only repent OF their sins to be sins; and NOT FROM their sins. A lost sinner only needs to realize their GUILT of sin, and condemnation under the Law of God, and their justly deserved penalty of Hellfire to be saved. The change should come LATER, after a person is saved and the Holy Spirit convicts them (2nd Corinthians 5:17).

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Are some Christians practicing Witches Unaware? Prosperity Gospel to blame for economic woes?

 

 

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Repentance in the Bible is always towards God… “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” According to Granville Sharp’s Rule of Greek Exegesis these events are one and the same, i.e., repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. To place your faith in the Lord to forgive your sins is repentance. You have realized your guilt of sin, and have TURNED to the Lord for salvation. This is the simplicity of God’s salvation (2nd Corinthians 11:3).

Third, confessing Jesus as Lord is very different than confessing that He is the Son of God. Yes, we must recognize Jesus as the Son of God to be saved; BUT, we certainly do not need to make Him the Lord (Master) of our life to be saved. This truth is evidenced by the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Paul calls them “brethren,” and yet they haven’t presented their bodies as a living sacrifice for the Lord yet. That is to say, they haven’t surrender their lives to God yet in Christian living. The Bible is filled with examples of Christian who ran from God, such as Jonah, Samson, Lot, and many others. Making Jesus the Lord of one’s life has nothing to do with being saved. Again, God’s salvation is a free gift, paid for by Jesus’ precious literal blood.

Fourth, Baptismal Regeneration is a lie of the Devil. The very notion that a person is required to be water baptized to go to Heaven is absurd. The Apostle John tells us in 1st John 5:13 that he wrote his Epistle “so that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life”; YET, he never mentions baptism even once in the Epistles of 1st, 2nd, or 3rd John. The Apostle Paul plainly stated that Christ did NOT send him to baptize; but rather, to preach the Gospel (1st Corinthians 1:17). No one in the Old Testament was water baptized; yet we read in Genesis 15:6 that Abraham believed God and it was COUNTED unto him for righteousness. You see friend, you need HIS Righteousness to go to Heaven.

Fifth, living a Christian life is not a prerequisite for being saved. If it were, then God would be a liar and eternal life certainly not a “free gift” as Romans 5:15 calls it. To say that a lost sinner must persevere in holy living to be saved is to spit upon the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to insult God, and to negate Christ’s work of redemption. Let me quote to you Romans 4:5, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” Salvation is so simple. God simply asks us to believe on Jesus, i.e., He that justifieth the ungodly. Our faith by itself is counted for (or is equivalent to) a life of righteousness. This is because Jesus imputes (or places) HIS righteousness upon our eternal record the very moment that we place our sole faith in Him. The Word of God is clear… TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT.

Conclusion

Where does the Church of Christ come up with all their heresies? They surely didn’t find them in the Bible. God said what He meant, and meant what He said. Jesus said in John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” There is NO controversy if you believe the Bible. The Church of Christ is straight from the pits of Hell. I plead with you not to become a victim of their damnable religion.

The Word of God teaches that eternal life is a FREE GIFT (Romans 5:15; 6:23). If you keep that in mind at all times, then you’ll see right through the lying words of such false prophets as Church of Christ ministers. Eternal life is a “gift” that cannot be earned, merited, or deserved. We all deserve to burn in Hellfire for our sins; but God in His wondrous love sent Jesus Christ into the world, to pay for our sins with His own literal precious blood (1st Peter 1:18,19).

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.” —2nd Thessalonians 1:8

Ye Must Be Born Again!

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You WILL need to visit the site to make the answers pop up. But all CoC members should take this test.

Legalism Questionnaire http://ex-churchofchrist.com/legalismCoC.htm

LEE-gull-izm: noun, 1) something pertaining to obeying law, 2) becoming overly concerned with legal details and losing the intent of the law, 3) straining gnats out of one’s coffee and swallowing huge hump-backed animals.

Hold your cursor over the answer you choose:

1. The “new covenant” is a phrase in the New Testament that is used to refer to
a. the new regulations in the New Testament about the work, worship and organization of the local congregation.
b. baptism and the plan of salvation
c. a new relationship with God based on forgiveness

2. The “gospel of Christ” is a phrase in the New Testament that is used to refer to
a. the new regulations in the New Testament about the work, worship and organization of the local congregation.
b. baptism and the plan of salvation
c. a new relationship with God based on forgiveness

3. The “law of liberty” and the “law of Christ” are phrases in the New Testament that are used to refer to
a. the new regulations in the New Testament about the work, worship and organization of the local congregation.
b. baptism and the plan of salvation
c. a new relationship with God based on forgiveness

4. James (in chapter 2) teaches that faith without works is dead. What kind of works is James talking about?
a. The work, worship and organization of the local congregation
b. All works commanded by God
c. mercy towards poor people

5. The story of Uzzah being struck dead for touching the ark of the covenant teaches
a. unauthorized worship is displeasing to God
b. God keeps his promises
c. God appreciates spontaneous worship

6. The story of Nadab and Abihu being struck dead for bringing strange fire before the Lord teaches
a. unauthorized worship is displeasing to God
b. God proved His acceptance of the sacrifice (Nadab and Abihu did not wait for God’s acceptance)
c. God is displeased by substituting one’s own works for God’s works.

7. Concerning going to church
a. There are many scriptures that teach attending church is one of the most important acts of worship and obedience in a Christian’s life.
b. There are many scriptures that teach one must attend church every Sunday.
c. There are two scriptures that tell us to assemble with other Christians with the purpose of encouraging one another.

8. Jesus viewed God the Father as
a. Someone who threw a big party with music and dancing
b. Someone who was bad-tempered and hard to get to know
c. Someone who only talked to church hierarchy

9. Peter viewed baptism as
a. for the remission of sins
b. to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit
c. Both “a” and “b”

10. Concerning instrumental music
a. God accepted instrumental music in the Old Testament
b. David encouraged instrumental music in some of the same Psalms that are referred to in the New Testament
c. There is instrumental music in heaven
d. Jesus compared the church to a banquet with music and dancing
e. there is no condemnation of instrumental music in the New Testament
f. There is no condemnation of spontaneous unauthorized worship anywhere in the Bible
g. The apostle Paul unreservedly encouraged Christians to sing the Psalms
h. all of the above
i. There is no approval of instrumental music by God in the Bible
j. There is no approval of instrumental music in worship in the New Testament

Your Score:
9 to 10 incorrect answers: you probably found this questionnaire irritating.

9 to10 correct answers: you feel (would have felt) very uncomfortable in the strict Churches of Christ, and you got a big kick out of this questionnaire. If you attended hardline Churches of Christ in the past, you may have needed quite a bit of alka-seltzer to digest those mandatory camels.

Any scores in between and you may not feel comfortable anywhere.

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