Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Beast Shall Devour the Harlot

Rev 17: 16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh and burn her with fire.

I was listening to an Evangelical preacher on TV the other day talk about His love for FOX News and the alliance of Christian Evangelicals and FOX against the formation of a "one world government" which he and other Christians understood the Bible prophesies about. This isn't the first time I have heard Evangelicals on TV talk about this. Jack VanImpe and Pat Robertson on the 700 club has been talking about this since I can remember.

My late maternal grandfather served our country in the navy during WWII as a sub spotter on a destroyer in the Pacific. He was a hardworking, honest, man of few words. And those few words usually involved some sort of humor. On one occasion near the end of his life, he made a brief comment to me about his concern for the creation of a one-world government and about his concern that certain ultra-elites were organizing things in this nation and around the world which threatened the freedoms that so many had fought and sacrificed for.

Rumors of some sort of one-world government have been around since the days of Woodrow Wilson who regretted establishing the Federal Reserve and putting monetary policy and credit into the hands of a select few unelected individuals. Since then we have seen an ever increasing number of the masses enslaved to both debt and socialism. And most recently, these social elites are attempting to control and tax the nations of the world under the false pretense of anthropogenic global climate change. While credit should be extended to 3rd world countries to allow them to industrialize and prosper, outside companies and banks fear investing because of the risk of regulation and taxation of these industries. Instead of allowing the poor nations to learn to fish, climate treaties are seeking to just throw them an occasional fish from the basket of the richer nations.

Now, I really didn't buy into the conspiracy theory of a one-world government either until I read the biography of Edwin Teller, the inventor of the Hydrogen Bomb. In that book there are several instances where the nuclear scientists need to convince the President to support nuclear research and the nuclear and hydrogen bombs. To help sway the President, these scientists on one occasion obtained a personal letter from Einstein himself. However, what Teller describes is that the letters by prominent scientists did very little to convince the President. What made all the difference was not Einstein's letter, but encouragement by the investment bankers.

The Beast in Revelations and Daniel represents a government or empire. In fact, these passages apply to the time of Christ and the Last Days at the same time. During the time of Christ, the Beast with the 7 heads and 10 horns is the Roman Empire and Emperor Titus who destroys the temple, crucifies Jews, and feeds Christian martyrs to the lions. In the Last Days, I am less certain of the specifics, but there is one very fascinating point that John makes about the relationship between the Beast and the Harlot in Revelations.

While the Beast represents corrupt government, John uses the symbol of the Harlot or Whore to represent false religion and likens the true Christian Church to a Virgin or virtuous woman dressed in white clothing. While, no single religion can be singled out exactly John begins by saying earlier in Revelations that the Beast and the Harlot were in bed together. Then in Revelations 17, John tells us that the Beast will become angry with the Harlot and devour and destroy her. So, the same false religious institutions which brought the Beast into power, those leaders will then turn against those religions and destroy them.

Up to this point, I had thought of ends times prophecies as describing the rise of false governments, false economic systems, false religion all focused on persecuting the true believers. Until now, I had never realized that John in Revelations makes it clear that all these false institutions would start fighting each other. According to Rev 17, the Beast will fight against and destroy the Harlot. So, according to the Apostle John in Revelation, the future, false one-world government will persecute, devour, and destroy the false religions, Christian or otherwise, who helped it rise to power.

Signs of the fulfillment of this prophecy can already be seen as Evangelical Christian-supported FOX news leads the opposition against socialism and liberalism in America and world-wide. I love FOX NEWS and their cause in support of conservative values. And I am sad that John foretells that the Beast may prevail initially. But this only serves God's higher purposes of having the wicked destroy the wicked. But while false religion will be burned with fire, John promises that Jesus Christ, His Church and His people will prevail because they are called, chosen, and faithful.

Rev 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Spiritually Begotten or Made?

The Nicene Creed says that Jesus Christ was "begotten and not made." Many Evangelical Christians on CARM have told me that this spiritual begetting does not apply to man. Man is, according to their interpretation of the Bible, a created being "made" no different than a "dung beetle" and not spiritually begotten like Christ who the Bible names "The Firstborn of many brethren" and the "Firstborn of every creature."

LDS understand that the Bible does talk about being adopted a son of God upon being born again, accepting Christ. However, we believe this adoption is referring to Christ becoming the Father of our eternal life. The God referred to here is God the Son and not God the Father. LDS would differentiate this from our understanding of the Bible that all men regardless of belief are spiritually begotten of God the Father who is named "The Father of Spirits". (Acts 17: 28-29, Heb. 12: 9. Eph 3:14-15, Heb. 2: 11, Ps. 82: 6, Col. 1: 15, Rom. 8: 29)

"The Value of Believing in Free Will" by Kathleen Vohs and Jonathan Schooler, Psychological Science, 2008:53

In the following study, Vohs and Schooler demonstrate that belief affects moral behavior. In this study the researchers had college students read some information about genetics. Half the students had the following quote placed within the material by Nobel Laurette Francis Crick "We are nothing but a pack of neurons." The other half read the same information without this quote. The researchers then had the students take a math quiz where it was possible to cheat. The results of the study were that the students who were exposed to the deterministic statement were much more likely to cheat than the others who were not.

So, my question, is how is evangelical doctrine that men are made a created like "dung beetles" or Calvanist doctrine that our fate is already predetermined or predestined before we were born any better than evolutionists who say man is "evolved from pond scum" or "just a pack of neurons"? The Book of Mormon foretells and explains this false doctrine with the following prophecy:

2 Nephi 28: 7-8 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us. And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Aaronic and Melchisedek Priesthoods

LDS are aware that the Aaronic Priesthood is the right of the descendent's of Aaron. Since we don't know specifically who they are yet (Cohen-modal haplotype, patriarchal blessing, genealogy), the priesthood operates within the LDS church until it can be returned to the rightful holders. Not every Jew with the last name of Cohen is "Kohenim" and very few of these are LDS.

While Blood sacrifice is no longer necessary as part of the Aaronic priesthood, sacrifice itself is still a indespensible and integral part of the Aaronic Priesthood and the higher priesthood. Paul says that only the "commandments" of this "unprofitable" and "changeable" yet "preparatory" and "everlasting" priesthood and covenant were disannuled. Therefore the requirements of blood sacrifice had an end and was replaced by water baptism and the Lord's Supper which serve the same purpose to 1. remind us of our sinfulness, 2. remind us of our need for a Savior 3. Bring us to Christ for justification

The Melchisedek priesthood is to draw us near to the Father by Sanctification. Sanctification or Perfection or the Son preparing us to return into the presence of the Father is the purpose of the LDS New Testament Temple and its sanctifying ordinances and covenants (gifts of grace). Many Evangelical churches do a great job preaching our sin nature, grace, justification, and bringing people to Jesus Christ the Son, but these churches neglect the doctrine of empowered sanctification; that Christ would prepare us to come unto, see, and enjoy fellowship with the Father. Many Evangelical churches still preach a corrected OT message but neglect the NT purpose.

Heb 7:11-19 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. . . .For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

People forget that God invited all the Elders of Israel up into the Mountain with Moses. God wanted a sanctified and perfected kingdom of priests, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a peculiar people. But the people feared God and told Moses "You go and speak for us, lest we die." While Moses was away, the people said that Moses delayed his coming, and gave all their filthy lucre (mammon) to Aaron to fashion a golden calf (false religion). Then the voice of God came to Moses and told him to hasten his returning because the people were defiling themselves. (Notice this is an allegory of the Second Coming and the Antichrist). Moses found the people in sin and the people lost the rights to the higher Melchisedek/Abrahamic Covenant. Instead they were given a preparatory covenant. The purpose of the Aaronic/Levitical Priesthood and its associated requirements/commandments (Law of Moses) was to make the people ashamed, remind them of their continual sinfulness, continual need for forgiveness and a Savior/Messiah, and to point them to Jesus Christ. While the preparatory priesthood prepared Israel to receive the Son, the Aaronic priesthood did not sanctify or prefect and therefore did not prepare Israel to progress from the Son to the Father.

This preparatory and changeable covenant and priesthood of Aaron still operates in the Kingdom, remember that only the commandments were disannuled; but the higher Melchisedek Priesthood and its associated ordinances, temple, and covenants promise sanctification through the blood of Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Gal. 3: 17 And this I say, that the covenant (higher Abrahamic/Melchisedek), that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law (preparatory Aaronic/Levitical), which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.