Sunday, August 23, 2009

Denying the Body of Christ

In Daniel 7, Daniel is shown 4 beasts or earthly kingdoms. Daniel is told the first kingdom represents Babylon, the second represents Persia, and the 3rd with 4 heads represents Greece. [Greece has 4 heads because the kingdom was divided into 4 after the death of Alexander the Great]. The 4th Kingdom was said to have been as big and terrible as all the other 3 kingdoms combined and it had 10 horns and a little horn. This greatest of kingdoms is the Roman Empire. The 10 horns are 10 emperors to Vespasian. The little horn is Vespasian's son General Titus who was responsible for destroying the temple at Jerusalem, crucifying thousands of Jews on the walls of Jerusalem, and fed Christians to the lions at the Roman Colosseum.

Daniel was told that this great 4th Beast or the Roman Empire would persecute the saints, make war with them, overcome them, prevail against them, and kill them. Daniel is also told in Dan 7 that the kingdom would "seek to change the times and the laws." We see the fulfillment of this attempt to change the doctrines and laws of Christ's gospel with the creation of the Roman Catholic Church and its many creeds.

John in Revelation is also shown this same prophetic vision. John describes the same Beast or kingdom but describes his beast with 7 heads and 10 horns and a little horn. When we remember that Daniel said the 4th Beast was a terrible as all the previous 3 Beasts, we realize that if we add up all the heads of all the Beasts, we get 7 heads. So, it is clear that the 4th Beast of Daniel and the Beast of John the Revalator are the same. Again, John tells us that this Beast would be given power to persecute, overcome, and prevail against the Saints of God.

Rev. 11: 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

Rev. 13: 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.


Next John in Revelations tells us that the Beast is given a mouth to blaspheme God. This mouth is the "antichrist." Many Evangelicals are looking for a particular person to fulfill this role. Whether this prophecy is fulfilled by a particular person in the future, I cannot say. We will just have to wait and see on that. But what we do know from the Bible is that scripture has multiple fulfillment and John clearly says the spirit and doctrine of the antichrist was already in the world and in the church. What is the doctrine of the antichrist? John describes it for us.

1 Jn. 4: 3 (2 Jn. 1: 7) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

John comments that the doctrine of the antichrist would have to do with denying that Jesus Christ physically resurrected and redeemed His physical body. The Gnostics and other heresies of the day rejected that Jesus Christ was actually physically resurrected. Now, I don't know any self-proclaimed Christian today who denies the physical resurrection of Christ. So, why then would John the Revelator bother warning us about the doctrine of the antichrist if it wasn't to be an issue?

Well, the issue begs the question; why did the Gnostics not accept the physical resurrection of Christ? The reason was, that for the Gnostics spirit was all good and the body and anything material was all bad. Therefore, they rejected the idea that Christ retook His physical form because in there mind, if Christ had redeemed His physical body, that meant that physicality was not inherrantly evil. And that would mean that if physicality was not all bad and could be sanctified, then God the Father, who encompasses all that is good, must also have an aspect of glorified physicality and personify the perfect unification of the spirit and the physical.

So, while no one today denies the physical resurrection of Christ, We have many Christians who are led to deny the physicality of God the Father. And not only this, but many Christians today who are are errently taught that God the Father is all Spirit and has no physicality, apply this paradigm to their misunderstanding of other doctrines. This rejection of the physical leads many to also deny any physicality to Christs church, Christ's temple, Chrsit's priesthood, and Christ's ordinances.

Rev. 13: 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

Here we have John specifically explaining the doctrine of the antichrist or the mouth of the Beast. John says that the mouth would blaspheme against God the Father, and His name which refers to Jesus Christ who is called The Name or The Word. But then John goes on to explain that the doctrine of the antichrist would also blaspheme God's tabernacle. God's tabernacle is Christ's body. And we know that Christ equated several things as His body including His temple (kill this body and I will raise it up again) and also the organization of His church.

Many Evangelicals think of the Old Testament as 100% physical and the New Testament as 100% spiritual. They look at the Temple of God along with many other aspects of Christianity as only spiritual realities. For instance, Evangelicals look at the Church and Kingdom of God not with any Earthly organization, but only as a "body of believers" and they interpret baptism as only needing to be spiritually born again while denying the need for the actual physical act of being submerged in water in the name of Christ. The same goes for the priesthood. To an Evangelical, there is no actual authority of God given to man. Instead, there is only a "priesthood of all believers."

On the other hand, the truth of God and the Bible is not to teach that physical is all bad and spirit is all good, but that God is the perfect unification of the physical and the spiritual. It is LDS doctrine that God and all truth has both tangible physical as well as spiritual realities. Therefore, God's temple is both a sacred structure that God commands His people to build in His name, as well as representing our individual souls. Similarly, The LDS Church believes that Christ's church is both physical and spiritual reality manifest by both a body of believers but also a church organization with prophets, apostles, bishops, teachers etc. And LDS believe that a man can only enter into the kingdom of God if he is reborn of both the water and the spirit. This means that in addition to being spiritually born of God, a man must also receive the ordinance of water baptism by one who holds the proper God-given priesthood authority to administer this ordinance. Additionally, LDS believe that a man can only truely worship God if he does so in spirit and in truth, or in other words, in word and in deed.

John gives us another warning about the Beast in Revelation. John tells us that that Beast would make an image or images of itself. That is, the Beast would make many copies of itself. And then John warned us that all those who were guilty of worshiping the Beast, worshiping its copies, or receiving its mark, would be in danger of damnation. Today we see many offshoots of the Roman Catholic Church with the many Christian denominations and non-denominations. But all these heads are sill branches off the same corrupt tree and have their doctrines based upon the the doctrines of men mingled with scripture and not based upon direct revelation and the priesthood authority of God.

Rev. 19: 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of efire burning with brimstone.

Rev. 20: 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.


We are in the Last Days, some of these prophecies have yet to be fulfilled, but many prophecies have multiple fulfillment in the scriptures. God said many people would be deceived. Can you tell yourself that you are not blaspheming the body of Christ, and worshiping the Beast, its image, or have received its mark?

Understanding the heresy of the antichrist not only helps us understand the nature of God, it also helps us know how to approach all truth. Unfortunately, some Evangelicals falsely claiming that the LDS testimony is based solely on feeling only and that we deny reason and logic. However, our scriptures prove that this is not true and demonstrate instead that truth is manifest and revealed by God by a unification of purified reason and feeling through the sanctified heart and mind. Accordingly, LDS rely on the unification of reason and feeling, body and spirit, heart and mind, grace and works just as the New Testament teaches. LDS do not base truth on feeling or reason alone. Instead, the LDS witness and testimony of truth is based on a harmonizing of both body and spirit, reason and feeling, grace and works through the power of the Holy Ghost.

D&C 8:2 Yea, behold, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.
D&C 68: 1 My servant, Orson Hyde, was called by his ordination to proclaim the everlasting gospel, by the Spirit of the living God, from people to people, and from land to land, in the congregations of the wicked, in their synagogues, reasoning with and expounding all scriptures unto them.
D&C 133: 57 And for this cause, that men might be made partakers of the glories which were to be revealed, the Lord sent forth the fulness of his gospel, his everlasting covenant, reasoning in plainness and simplicity

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I have to say Thank you for sharing your doctrinal insights. I have been lurking around here every so often and feel like I have learned quite a bit from your writings.

As a medical student I am sure your busy, but if you ever need get time I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on D&C 132:26. I have been studying that particular section and can't quite grasp what the verse is saying. Good luck with your studies

BRoz said...

D&C 132: 26 Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood, yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, and shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.

This is saying that those who receive the second anointing or second sealing in the temple, if they sin and commit adultery and blaspheme and do every sin except for murdur, they will be given over to Satan and endure Eternal Punishment in hell until they are resurrected. They are promised that they will still be resurrected and they havent been disqualified from their blessings, but they will pay for their disobedience big time.

This is not a licence to sin. It says these will still be resurrected in the first resurrection, but that doesnt mean it will be early in the Milennium before they are delivered from spirit prison and a temporary outerdarkness. And while the righteous enjoy spirit paradise awaiting their resurrection, these people who sin against the greater light will suffer severely for their sins. The Suffering Christ says "How exquisite you know not, how hard to bear you know not"