Jan 14, 2015
“Bible Overview Series” Pt. 4
""Bible Overview Series" Pt. 4". Released: 2015.
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  • Jan 14, 2015“Bible Overview Series” Pt. 4
    Jan 14, 2015
    “Bible Overview Series” Pt. 4
    ""Bible Overview Series" Pt. 4". Released: 2015.
  • Dec 24, 2014“Jesus, Savior to All!”
    Dec 24, 2014
    “Jesus, Savior to All!”
    Christmas Eve. Service 
  • Dec 17, 2014“Bible Overview Series” Pt. 3
    Dec 17, 2014
    “Bible Overview Series” Pt. 3
    ""Bible Overview Series" Pt. 3". Released: 2014.
  • Dec 10, 2014“Bible Overview Series” Pt. 2
    Dec 10, 2014
    “Bible Overview Series” Pt. 2
    ""Bible Overview Series" Pt. 2". Released: 2014.
  • Dec 3, 2014“Bible Overview Series” Pt. 1
    Dec 3, 2014
    “Bible Overview Series” Pt. 1
  • Nov 19, 2014“Understanding Mormonism” Pt. 3
    Nov 19, 2014
    “Understanding Mormonism” Pt. 3
    "Understanding Mormonism" Pt. 3 Released: 2014.
     
    “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”

     

    2 Timothy 2:15

    Understanding Mormonism  Week 3

            As we conclude this study it is my desire that you are encouraged and challenged; encouraged by the truth of the gospel and challenged to speak the truth in love with whomever God would connect you with. We read in Acts 17 of how Paul went to Athens and “his spirit was provoked within him…” when he saw how the city was given over to false religion. He then chose to engage with the Athenians and declare the clear simple truth of the gospel. May God provoke our heart in the same manner that we would be His messengers in our homes, schools, workplace and community.

    “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come they will not endure sound doctrine…  but you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
    2 Timothy 4:2,3,5

     
    LDS teachings states that the church was totally apostate and God had to restore the church through Joseph Smith. Therefore only those who are a part of the fully restored church (LDS) can spend eternity in the very presence of God. All other churches, all non LDS, are apostate (having only pieces of truth and not the full gospel) and are in rebellion to God.

    Before we look at the doctrine and teaching of the LDS in regards to who can be saved we must remember that although we may use the same words, the meaning is often quite a bit different as seen in our last study.
    For this study here are a couple of examples of the definition dilemma. 

    LDS beliefs are:

     
    1.   Salvation: Granted to all through the work of Jesus. Not based on individual belief, it is a ‘general’ gift to everyone. Jesus opened the door for the process of salvation to take place. LDS hold that everyone will be resurrected and then judged to determine which of the 3 levels of heaven they will go to.
    2.   Eternal life (exaltation): Highest level of heaven (Celestial Kingdom) which can only be attained by believing Joseph Smith and adhering to LDS teaching.

     

    Bible teaches:

    1.   Salvation: All have sinned and the penalty (wages) of sin is death. (Romans 6:23). Whoever believes in Jesus will not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
    2.   Eternal life: Perpetual life; without end. When Jesus spoke of the gift of eternal life He spoke of being in God’s presence without end. (John 3;16, 36, 6:40, 20:31)
    3.   Heaven: The Bible shows there is everlasting life in His presence (heaven; Revelation 21:1-4) or there is life eternally separated from Him (hell; John 3:36).

     

    Let’s compare LDS teaching to what the Bible says concerning-

     
    How can man be saved?

    LDS-

    To have “eternal life” you must

    a.   By “obeying the laws and ordinances…” speaking of LDS requirements. (Articles of Faith, 3)
     
    b.   By trusting in Jesus as they describe Him and obeying the teachings of the LDS church leadership. (The LDS church believe that they are the only church with the fullness of the gospel and therefore the only church with authority.)

     

              a.   Obey the plan you received in your “pre-mortal” existence.

              b.   Obey the ordinances given by LDS leadership
     
              c.   “Endure to the end”   “Enduring to the end, or remaining faithful to the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout life, is a fundamental requirement for salvation in the kingdom of God. This belief distinguishes Latter-Day Saints from many other Christian denominations, which teach that salvation is given to all who simply believe and confess that Jesus is the Christ. Latter-day Saints believe that to be saved a person must have faith in Jesus Christ, demonstrate repentance of sins, submit to baptism by immersion, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying-on of the hands by those holding the true priesthood authority, and then remain faithful to all covenants, continue in righteousness, and endure faithfully to the end of mortal life”  Pg. 456,457 Vol. 2, Encyclopedia of Mormonism;  The history, scripture, doctrine, and procedure of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.  Brigham Young University

     

    Bible-

    a.   By believing/trusting that Jesus is God and Savior to all who shall call upon Him. No additional ‘work’ is needed for salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
     

     

    Who can be saved?

    LDS-

    Only those in the LDS church:

    A.   Those who follow Joseph Smith

     

              a.   “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation” (Mormon Doctrine, pg 670)

              b.   “no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith…” (Brigham Young J.o.D. vol.7, pg 289)
     
              c.   “No salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth…No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.1, pg 190

     

     
    B.   Those who obey the teachings of the LDS church:

              a.   “The President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints holds the keys of salvation for all men now living because he is the only one by whose authorization the sealing power of the priesthood can be used to seal men up to salvation and exaltation in the kingdom of God” (Mormon Doctrine pg.411)

    Bible-
    a.   “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved”  Romans 10:13

    b.   “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16

    c.   “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” Acts 4:12

    d.   “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” 1Timothy 2:5

     
    How do we reach our LDS friends, families and neighbors? Consider the following elements for effective witness:
     
     

    Respect- Jesus faced opposition from many different areas; religious, social, political, even resistance among His disciples (John 6:60-71). Consistently He spoke the truth without mocking or deriding the individual and He respected them enough to address difficult issues.

    Sincerity- (Freedom from hypocrisy, disguise or false pretense). Effective witness requires a consistent, hypocrisy free witness. Share the gospel because you care for and love the people who are lost! Check your heart, if you are out to prove them wrong you will probably just argue.

    Truth- Jesus said the “truth shall make you free… therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”
    Don’t be drawn off track, stick with the important issues such as we have reviewed;  Who God is, Who Jesus is, How can I be saved, Who can be saved. 

     
    The definition dilemma- Realize that in conversation you may be using the same words but they have different meanings. Ask questions, speak clearly, and define what you mean. Familiarize yourself with their definitions as much as possible.

     
     

    Calvary Chapel Mountain Home     |     350 N Main St.     |     (208)-580-0662     |     office@ccmountainhome.com

  • Nov 12, 2014“Understanding Mormonism” Pt. 2
    Nov 12, 2014
    “Understanding Mormonism” Pt. 2
    "Understanding Mormonism" Pt. 2. Released: 2014.
     
    “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15

     

     

    Understanding Mormonism  Week 2

    Last week we addressed the importance of following Jesus’ example when declaring the gospel. Our desire for discussion, our interest for interaction must be motivated by His love working within us. When His love is present, when we are aligned with His word, His grace will be evident. 

    Our commission is to “Go therefore and make disciples…”(Matt. 28:19) which covers our city, country, continent and beyond. Beginning in our city, pray for opportunity to reach those who do not know Jesus. Pray for words to share, for boldness to speak and to have His unpretentious love for the people He connects you with;

    “And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
    -Philippians 1:9-11

    In order to be His hand extended we must align with His heart which is reflected in Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”  Jesus approached the religious ‘lost’ with compassion, mercy and truth.  May He guide us also as we take His truth into our world.

    Last week we looked at who God is and this week we will identify some of the critical differences between Biblical truth and LDS beliefs concerning Jesus:

     

    Who is Jesus?

    2 Corinthians 11:3, 4 and Galatians 1:6-9 speak of those who will come and preach another gospel and “preach another Jesus…”   As we will see from the facts below, the LDS teach and speak of another Jesus:

     

    “The traditional Christ of whom they [evangelical Christians] speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages. Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p. 7

     

    LDS teaching about Jesus:

    a.  Jesus is a man who has, through obedience to the Father’s plan, risen to be a god.

            a. “Jesus became a God and reached His great state of understanding through consistent effort and continuous obedience to all the Gospel truths and universal laws.” Milton Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages, pg.51.  Also read ‘Teachings of the prophet Joseph Smith’ by Joseph Fielding Smith, pg. 373.

     
    b. Jesus is a spirit brother to Lucifer.

     

            a.  “The appointment of Jesus to be Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of Mankind. Milton Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages, 1945, pg.15 Additional: Pg. 379, ‘devils’, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, BYU.

     
    c. Jesus in His pre-mortal existence was the mightiest of all spirit children. He presented a plan of salvation for earth which the Father accepted. Lucifer also presented a plan and it was rejected and he then came to earth.

     

             a. “The firstborn of God volunteered to implement the plan of salvation. Lucifer, who was also a son of the Father came forward with a counterproposal” Pg. 1124, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, BYU.

     
    d. Jesus was not born of a virgin but was born through the same natural action as any man. (The Father had relations w/Mary when she was betrothed to Joseph)

     

            a. “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” Journal of Discourses, Vol.1,pg 50, additionally Vol.8, pg. 115

     
    e. Jesus’ shed blood was not enough to save some.

     

            a. “Joseph Smith taught that there were certain sins so grievous that man may commit, that they will place the transgressors beyond the power of the atonement of Christ. If these offenses are committed, then the blood of Christ will not cleanse them from their sins even though they repent. Therefore their only hope is to have their own blood shed to atone, as far as possible, in their behalf. This is scriptural doctrine, and is taught in all the standard works of the Church” Doctrines of Salvation by Joseph F. Smith, vol. 1, Pg. 135.

    What the Bible teaches-

    a. Jesus is God and came as a man to save people from their sins. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” John 1:1,14.
    “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” Matthew 1:21

     

            a. Additional reference: Colossians 1:16, 1John 5:20, 1 Timothy 3:16, Revelation 19:13

    b. Jesus is Creator, Lucifer/Satan is a created being, not a “spirit-brother”.  “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16
     

     

    c. Jesus is God. His existence prior to His incarnation was as God, not learning and progressing to be God. John 1:1, Colossians 1:16,
    “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

     
    d. Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary, and conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. “…Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 1:20 also see
    Luke 1:26-35.
     
    e. Jesus blood is sufficient and adequate for all who will believe (trust) in Him. “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” Romans 10:13, “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” Acts 2:21, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”  1 John 1:9
     

     

    How do we reach our LDS friends, families, those in our area of impact?  Consider the following elements for effective witness:

    The definition dilemma- Realize that in conversation you may be using the same words but they have different meanings. Ask questions, speak clearly, and define what you mean. Familiarize yourself with their definitions as much as possible. 
     

    Respect- Jesus faced opposition from many different areas; religious, social, political, even resistance among His disciples (John 6:60-71). Consistently He spoke the truth without mocking or deriding the individual and He respected them enough to address difficult issues.

    Sincerity-(Freedom from hypocrisy, disguise or false pretense). Effective witness requires a consistent, hypocrisy free witness. Share the gospel because you care for and love the people who are lost! Check your heart, if you are out to prove them wrong you will probably just argue. 

    Truth- Jesus said the “truth shall make you free… therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

    Don’t be drawn off track, stick with the important issues such as we have reviewed;  Who God is, Who Jesus is, How can I be saved, Who can be saved.  Next week we will look at “salvation” and the differences between what the Bible teaches compared to what LDS beliefs teach.
     

    Calvary Chapel Mountain Home   |   350 N Main St.   |   (208)-580-0662   |   office@ccmountainhome.com

  • Nov 5, 2014“Understanding Mormonism” Pt. 1
    Nov 5, 2014
    “Understanding Mormonism” Pt. 1
    "Understanding Mormonism Pt. 1". Released: 2014.
     
     
    “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Timothy 2:15

     

    "Understanding Mormonism" Week 1 Notes

    As we begin this study it is helpful to understand the background to religion. Religion being man’s efforts to relate to God through beliefs, cultural systems and world view.

    The Bible first introduces us to religion in Genesis 4:1-9 and the story of Cain and Abel.

    1. V4-Notice that the Lord respected Abel and his offering. Abel had acted out of obedience and humility concerning what God had instructed him. God gazed or looked upon (received) Abel’s offering

    2. V5- The Lord did not look upon, receive, Cain’s offering. Cain was offering what he believed he could offer rather than responding to God’s word through obedience and humility.
     
    In regards to confusion concerning the Word of God let’s not forget the influence of Satan. The devil’s desire is to mislead us, confuse us, and direct us toward human efforts. He wants us to move away from God rather than obey God. A technique frequently used is to get you to doubt the Word of God.

     

    1. Genesis 3:1-5 We see the demonic technique of casting doubt on the Word of God.
    2. Matthew 4:1-11 Here the devil tries to manipulate the Word of God and tempt Jesus into sin.
    Religious efforts always speak of God but the emphasis is upon what man can or must do in order to be right with God.

    Let’s now look at how Jesus dealt with the religiously charged people of His day. How did Jesus handle those who misrepresented God and misinterpreted His Word? To do this let’s consider two types of religious people:

    I.          The contentious(or self-righteous):  Luke 5:17-26 

                   a.   Power is there to heal (v17) and yet they would not look and see who Jesus was. 

                   b.   Jesus is aware of their animosity yet engages with them. 

                   c.   He knew most would not listen to Him, yet He spoke respectfully and directly. 

                   d.   In spite of criticism Jesus stayed true to His purpose:  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. Luke 19:10

                                        i.          Purpose- Seek and save

                                        ii.         Desire- People would be rescued, saved from eternal separation

                                        iii.       Delivery- Talked to them not at them. Many Jews, even some of the Sanhedrin were saved.

                    e.With those who were contentious He engaged, planted thoughts, revealed truth but did not get drawn into debate! (additionally: Matt.    12:2,15:2,Mark 2:6-8, 3:1-6, Lk 5:30, 13:10-17)

    II.         The confused: John 4:19-26- Jesus speaks to the woman and she brings up a “religious” question. 

                   a.   John 4:4-42 She was confused and He brought truth and hope.

    With the contentious or the confused notice how Jesus engaged with them:

    1. Respect- Jesus’ respected the religious of His day; their customs in the Synagogue, their position within society. He did not ‘regard’ or hold their opinion up but He respected them as people.  This is not easy to do but it is essential if you are to have a healthy dialogue.

                   i. Does not mean condone (overlook) or compromise. 
                   ii. Know when to listen and when to speak Jesus often asked questions when speaking to religious people. 
                   iii. True respect will lovingly address differences.

                        1. It’s not a debate! Jesus was not out to win a doctrinal debate, He was out to reveal the truth so that the truth would set them free.(John 8:32)
                        2. PRAY- For God to direct your thoughts and the conversation so you can maintain respect and begin to address critical differences.

                               a. Recognize His timing and His work in your heart and the person you are speaking with. (check your motives)

     
    2. Refute- to prove to be false. Using the Bible as the final authority and common ground one can examine the teachings and doctrines of the LDS and see how they compare.

     

                   i. Common ground- KJV Bible. This is accepted as scripture with the LDS although it is not considered to be ‘final authority’.
                   ii. LDS teaching and beliefs should not contradict what is clearly stated in the Bible
                   iii. Avoid secondary topics, stick with important issues: 

                               a.Who God is?
                               b. Who Jesus is?
                               c.How can a person be saved? Who can be saved? (What does it mean to be saved?)

    3. Reveal- When falsehood is shown it is important to identify truth. You do not want to leave them in a cloud of uncertainty or confusion.

     

                   i. Show them what the Bible says; turn to chapter and verse and have them do the same.
                   ii. Ask them to read the verse.
                   iii. Avoid ‘secondary’ issues, and ‘diversionary’ questions. You will often have missionaries ‘answer a question with a question’. This enables them to redirect the conversation and bring up a more comfortable topic or text.
     

     
    Relevant topics; Discuss the critical differences:

     

    1. Who is God?

                   a. BIBLE-Monotheism- 

                             i. Deut. 4:35- It was shown to you so that you might know that Jehovah is God, and no one else beside Him.
                             ii. Isaiah 44:6 So says Jehovah, the King of Israel, and His redeemer Jehovah of Hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides Me there is no God…  
                             iii. 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

     
                    b. LDS-Polytheism (henotheistic- A form of polytheism that stresses worship of a central deity)

     

                             i. “Father, Son, and Holy Ghost- comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exist. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods.”  Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, pgs 576-577

     
                     c. BIBLE- God is eternal; always has been always will be the same-

     

                             i. Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Consider also; Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:9, Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 40:28

                     d. LDS- God is an exalted man:

     

                             i. “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!...”  Teachings of the Prophet Joesph Smith by Joseph Fielding Smith, pgs 345-346

                             ii. “As man is God once was, as God is man may be.” Lorenzo Snow, 5th president of the LDS organization
                             iii. LDS teach that through eternal progression God went from a spirit being to a man to a God. Furthermore they teach that man can progress just as God has. Clearly this is a different God than the God of   the Bible and a false teaching concerning the nature of God and the potential of mankind. God did not progress from a man and man will never progress to be a God! 
     
                      e. Bible- God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)
                       f. LDS- “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s..” Doctrine and Covenants 130:22

     

                               i. Within the belief that the Father has flesh and bones the LDS also believe that the Father had sexual relations with Mary and Jesus was conceived. Denying the clear teaching of the Bible (Matthew 1:20, Luke 1:31,35) the LDS believe, “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” Journal of Discourses, Vol.1 pg.50, Brigham Young. Brigham Young repeated this belief in greater detail and his discourse is recorded in vol.8, pg.115.

    Perhaps the most disturbing assertion came from one of the original LDS apostles, Orson Pratt, when he said the following, “Therefore, the Father and Mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the Father;… Inasmuch as God was the first husband to her, it may be that He only gave her to be the wife of Joseph while in this mortal state, and that He intended after the resurrection to again take her as one of his own wives to raise up immortal spirits in eternity.” Seer, 1853, pg 158
     

     

    This is not an ‘exhaustive’ list rather just a scratching of the surface to reveal what is underneath. It is easily seen that the God of the LDS is not the God of the Bible!

    Next week we will look at the differences between Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of the LDS.  Our goal in all of this is to live out what Jesus said concerning truth; “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31, 32

     

    Calvary Chapel Mountain Home   |  350 N Main St.  |   (208)-580-0662   |  office@ccmountainhome.com  

  • Oct 22, 2014“God’s Design and Desire for His Church” Pt. 4
    Oct 22, 2014
    “God’s Design and Desire for His Church” Pt. 4
    ""God's Design and Desire for His Church" Pt. 4". Released: 2014.
  • Oct 15, 2014“God’s Design and Desire for His Church” Pt. 3
    Oct 15, 2014
    “God’s Design and Desire for His Church” Pt. 3
    ""God's Design and Desire for His Church" Pt. 3". Released: 2014.