Monday, June 15, 2009

Allegory of the Apostasy

Many Christians insist that Jesus Christ clearly foretold that His church would never fall into apostasy. However, there are many scriptures which predict a great falling away before the Second Coming of Christ (2 Thes. 2: 3).

Amos foretold of a great spiritual famine in the land of hearing the word of the Lord and a person would search and not find it (Amos 8: 11). When has a person searched from the truth of God and not been able to find it? This is what happened during the Dark Ages.

Isaiah foretold of a marvelous work and a wonder in the last days which would be accompanied by a sealed book which would be revealed by someone who is unlearned. The result being that those who erred in spirit who learn correct doctrine (Isaiah 29).

John spoke of the dragon making war with the woman (church) who brought forth a child who was caught up to heaven (Christ). The dragon was wroth with the woman and made war against her and sent out a flood against her (persecution and apostasy). But God said the church would go into the wilderness for 3 1/2 years (time times and half a time) which refers to the length of time of Elijah's famine. Except this time it is referring to a spiritual famine. Then John says the Earth would help the women. How could the Earth assist the Church of Christ? It would help her through the coming forth of the Book of Mormon which came from out of the Earth. (Rev 12)

Jesus said His church built upon the rock would never fail (Matt. 16: 18). Jesus didn't guarantee that man would always remain built upon His rock. Wicked men rejected the keys and authority of Peter and the Apostles and the right to direct and continued revelation from God to lead His church.

Jesus said the fruit (converts) of the Apostles would remain faithful (John 15: 16). Jesus did not guarantee that the fruit (converts) of the fruit (converts) would remain. That is because there began to be wicked men who took over the church who Christ hadn't chosen and who Christ hadn't ordained.

Jesus said that he would be with his church to the end of the world (Matt. 28: 20). Jesus didn't guarantee that the people would remain with Him. Wicked men entered into the church and began teaching that water baptism was no longer necessary and stopped baptizing by immersion in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

John and Daniel both say the Beast (apostasy) would make war against the saints, wear them out, prevail against them, overcome them, and kill them. (Rev. 11: 7, Dan 7:21) and Daniel says the Beast would change the times and laws of the gospel of Christ (Dan 7:25).

Acts 19:13-15 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

This is a great allegory of the importance of priesthood authority and a foreshadowing of the coming Apostasy and the falling away. Now if confessing the name of Christ is all that is required to receive the gift of the priesthood of all believers, then why couldn't these Jews cast out the evil spirits? Why did the evil spirit say he recognized the authority of Jesus and Paul but not those who were using the name of the Lord Jesus. The reason why they failed is because they did not have the gift of the priesthood keys and authority which Paul says it given by prophecy and by the laying on of hands (1 Tim. 4: 14).

Consequently this evil spirit overcame these individuals and they fled out of the house (heaven) naked (unworthy) and wounded (sinful). And this is that same spirit that has overcome many professing Christians who have not received the proper baptism by the proper priesthood authority restored to the Earth by Jesus Christ together with a restoration of His word, His temple, and His Church.

Mark 9:38-39 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.

Num. 11: 25-29 And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!

Here are two examples of God saying that the authorized servants of God should never forbid others not authorized to prophesy or cast out spirits in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And there are these and other examples which demonstrate that those not authorized with God's priesthood keys and authority have been successful and effective in casting out evil spirits, prophesying, and receiving other gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Matt. 17: 21 gives us an example of the Apostles themselves trying unsuccessfully to cast out an evil spirit. The Apostles asked Christ why they were unsuccessful and Christ responded, "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting." What Christ was teaching was that the Apostles needed to empower their priesthood authority by inviting a greater portion of the Holy Spirit through prayer and fasting. So, knowing this, does this mean that authority isn't necessary at all? It seems authority meant nothing when it comes to gifts of the spirit.

The truth of what is being taught here is that miracles are a product of faith. Miracles and the gifts of the Spirit can be enjoyed by anyone at any time according to their faith and the will of God. The purpose is that these gifts are how the Father draws men to Christ. Remember that the scriptures say no man commeth unto Christ except the Father draws him. This is how and why Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before being water baptized (Acts 10: 47). Again, the gifts of God are how God draws us to His Son Jesus Christ, and after we have come unto Christ, Christ will empower us to receive the sanctifying works of His church by the proper priesthood authority to prepare us to come unto the Father.

John 6: 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

So, if a person can receive the Holy Ghost and enjoy spiritual gifts without priesthood authority, does that mean that that person has been prepared to enter into the kingdom of God? No, it doesn't. Because Jesus Christ in the following scripture is abundantly clear about the importance of priesthood authority. Here is the scripture in Matt. 27: 21-23 which is discussing how to discern true prophets with God's authority.

Matt. 27: 21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Here Christ is talking about a group of people who claim to know Jesus. These call out to Christ and call him their Lord even by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12: 3). But Christ says that although they think they know Him, He does not know them. Christ has said that only those who do the will of the Father will enter the Kingdom. Knowing this, these unfortunate souls argue their case by listing their works. Pay careful attention to what two works are lists. This cannot be a simple coincidence. These rejected souls say, "Have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils?" These were the very two gifts of the spirit that Christ and Moses said no man should forbid another from doing. But apparently, just because a person has been in the business of prophesying and casting out spirits doesn't mean that they meet God's requirement to "do the will of the Father." So what then is lacking? How does a person "do the will of the Father" above and beyond prophesying and casing out devils.

To do the will of the Father, a person must do these good works after receiving the priesthood authority by prophecy and by the laying on of hands (1 Tim. 4: 14). The priesthood is God's authority to act in His name. Therefore, only after a person is properly authorized and empowered by the Holy Spirit, are they truly considered to be doing the will of the Father. Every member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is prepared, and invited to receive or claim this priesthood authority which was restored to Earth by the resurrected Peter, James and John to the prophet Joseph Smith. And by God's priesthood authority and by God's Spirit we are blessed to know God and His Son Jesus Christ, and Christ has promised that in that day of judgement He will confess to the Father and to the angels that He knows us (Luke 12: 8, Rev. 3: 5).

Matt. 22: 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
John 15: 16, 19 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

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