What happened to prophets and apostles?

If you believe in the Bible, answer me this–where are the prophets and apostles? From Adam down to Jesus Christ there were prophets. It’s how we got the Old Testament. After Christ there were the apostles, and Peter was essentially a prophet as well. But somewhere in the hundred or so years after Christ the apostles disappeared. If God were a loving God, why would he give the ancient people prophets and apostles when hardly anyone lived on the earth, and today when there are billions of people on the earth provide no such direction? Sure, we have the Bible and the ancient people didn’t, but there’s a big difference between having a book with the words of ancient prophets and having a living prophet who talks directly to God about the issues facing people today. As great as the Bible is, there are a lot of questions people have that aren’t answered by the Bible, and a lot of people who read the Bible disagree on what the Bible means.

Can you give any logical reason why God wouldn’t have prophets and apostles on earth today vs. thousands of years ago? Does the Bible itself say there would be an end to prophets and apostles? If it does state or insinuate such a thing, doe it state that prophets and apostles would never return?

Parley P. Pratt, one of the first apostles in this dispensation, asked this question quite well, albeit rather verbosely. This is an excerpt from the outline from a presentation he gave in the 1830’s to a group of Christian “truth-seekers” in Toronto, Canada.

“Friends, I am aware that the subject now under consideration is one of the most vital importance to the Christian world, and, though it may seem to be new to most persons, it is familiar to me. I have traced it in all its bearings, weighed it in every possible light, and am prepared to impart to others that which, I trust, will satisfy and enlighten the inquiring mind.

“It appears from our text, as well as from the general tenor of the New Testament, that certain definite principles existed, which, acted upon and enjoyed, constituted the Christian Church, or body of Christ, viz:

“First. An inspired priesthood or apostleship, authorized to administer salvation in the name of Jesus.

“Second. Faith in their words and testimony, on the part of those who heard them.

“Third. Reformation of life.

“Fourth. Obedience to certain ordinances, as baptism and the laying on of hands in the name of Jesus Christ, in order to the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost.

“Fifth. The spiritual gifts imparted to the body thus organized, in order to its edification, growth and perfection.

“It may be presumed that every portion of the professed Christian Church, without any exception—I mean those who admit the Scriptures to be a record of things as they existed—will readily agree, that the five principles just named did exist, and did constitute the Christian Church or body of Christ. This, then constitutes the model or pattern of the object of our present search.

“We have only to compare modern presences with this ancient model, in order to judge of them at once. Either the same principles would be required to constitute the body of Christ in all succeeding ages, or else the New Testament must cease to be a standard, and be superseded by a dispensation of later origin; claiming power to nullify or make void the dispensation of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, and to introduce another order of things in its stead.

“This last alternative none are so bold as to claim. All agree that the gospel was a perfect system, an unchangeable and everlasting covenant, never to be changed or altered by the Lord, and only perverted or altered by man under a severe penalty—a dreadful anathema. In physical matters men are not easily deceived or duped; for instance, a man sees or hears an exact description of a human body as existing in the days of Socrates or Plato; it has head, eyes, ears, mouth, arms, hands, legs, feet, etc. Can an impostor impose upon that man in this age? Can he introduce a wild beast, a fowl, a serpent, a man dismembered of his head, eyes, ears, hands, or feet? Could he pass any of these upon his fellow men as constituting the human body; the model or pattern answering to the former description? No, he could not. He would be considered out of his senses, and would be laughed to scorn for attempting such a thing.

“Why, then, are we at a loss in judging of the various systems which, in modern times, claim to be the church of Christ? Why do we not compare them with the model, and reject or receive at once? Perhaps you will say that such a course leads to consequences and conclusions so awful, that it opens truths so unwelcome, that it is natural to shrink from the view; and, like the ostrich in the desert, when pursued too closely, hides the head and eyes in a false covering, while the body is exposed to certain destruction.

“Says one, ‘if the ancient model or pattern is the standard, then the veil of modern Christendom is thrown off, and the entire world unchristianized—for we nowhere find such a pattern.’ Well, admit then that there is no Christian church in existence among men, and that there has not been for many ages. What then? is it a truth? If so, truth will not harm anybody. If the whole world has been for ages wrapped in mystery and deception, is it not better to find it out now than to continue in ignorance until Jesus reveals it at the judgment day, and sinks us in a moment from the highest pinnacle of hope and expectation to despair, rendered a thousand-fold more painful by a sudden reverse?

“But suppose, on opening our eyes to this great discovery, we search and find our observations and conclusions warranted by the whole tenor of prophetic writ? Suppose Jesus Christ and his Apostles and prophets all agree in bearing testimony, and foretelling the very order of things which we find to exist; also, its final end or termination, and the restoration of his Church and the reign of his Saints? Would not our own observations of what actually exists, confirmed by the prophetic declarations of such a host of witnesses, all testifying that it would be so, be a double assurance that we had opened our eyes to a snare in time to escape, and cause, us to leap forward with a thrill of joy and faith to that which is to come?

“We could then exclaim, in viewing the trumpery, pomp, splendor and greatness of Catholicism, or the scarcely less false and glaring systems of absurdity and priestcraft under the name of Protestantism, in their various forms, O, thou mystery of iniquity! thou art at last revealed, thou who deceivest all nations with thy sorcery, and with whom the kings of the earth and the nobles and great men have committed fornication, and lived deliciously; thy covering is removed, and the people shall see thy nakedness and abhor thee; and many shall be ready when the proclamation is made, ‘Come out of her, my people.’

“But suppose, on the other hand, we shut our eyes to these truths, and hug to our bosoms those systems of falsehood and error, which claim to be of Christ, but are not? The result will be a continuance on our part to build up that which the Lord purposes in due time to tear down, and to oppose that which the Lord will send into the world to accomplish his purposes. We would in this case be his enemies, and be found fighting against him.

Comments

  1. Q. If you believe in the Bible, answer me this–where are the prophets and apostles?

    A. They exist today, but not in the manner that is commonly thought of. A prophet is a person that speaks for another. For exmple, Moses was God's prophet and Aaron was Moses's prophet. An apostle is one who is sent out. Not all prophets spoke of future events. While there were the 12 apostles (14 if you count Matthias and Paul) chosen by Jesus there were also others. Apostles today are commonly referred to as missionaries.

    Q.If God were a loving God, why would he give the ancient people prophets and apostles when hardly anyone lived on the earth, and today when there are billions of people on the earth provide no such direction?

    A. The above question is a supposition that we know the number of people on the earth prior to our common era. We have yet to discover how many people lived prior to the great flood. Also, not all of the societies afterwards had a census to number all men, women, and children. However, God had provided direction from the begining and will to the end of the age. One important factor of prophesy is the reason. Please refer to 1 Peter 1:10-13.

    Q. Can you give any logical reason why God wouldn’t have prophets and apostles on earth today vs. thousands of years ago?

    A. The logical reason for not having prophets (the ones who spoke of future events) and apotles (like the 12 chosen by Jesus) is because the Bible (a.k.a the mirror) was completed and, therefore, there was no need of those types of gifts. Please refer to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12. Besides, since John was the last apostle to die there was no other apostle to impart the gifts of the Holy Spirit onto others. Therefore, when the last of those who received the gift of prophecy by the laying on of hands fom the apostle died there was an end to prophecy.

    Q. Does the Bible itself say there would be an end to prophets and apostles?

    A. No, but it says there will be an end to the gifts that were apportioned to the Apostles and Prophets. Please refer to 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.

    A. Yes, when Jesus returns to judge the world. Please refer to Revelation 22:12.

    Q. If it does state or insinuate such a thing, does it state that prophets and apostles would never return?

    A. The only one that is mentioned on returning is the Christ. For all others, once you are dead that is it…game over. However, there is a warning to adding to God's word and taking away from his word. Please refer to Revelation 22:18-19 and Proverbs 30:5-6.

    P.S. When we look at the Bible many things are manifested to us. The Old Testament is the New Tetament concealed. The New testament is the Old Testament revealed. There is a relationship between the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles (14 tribes if you include Manasseh and Ephraim and 14 apostles if you include Matthias and Paul). There is a relationship between the Tabernacle and the church of Christ. The Bible is amazing!

    When we wish to answer where are he prophets and apostles we should be more more specific on which type.

    • The last time I spent any time on my blog here it took me several days to catch up on my day job. I thus find myself restricted to responding only where I can do so with brevity. Just a few things:

      "Apostles today are commonly referred to as missionaries." – Are you saying there is no difference between people sent out by any Christian denomination today as missionaries, and Peter, James, and John?

      In your second and third sets of answers you're effectively saying there is no need for prophets and apostles today, as there were in the Bible, because we have the Bible. Two questions come to mind; 1) isn't this more or less what the Jews said when Christ and the apostles started giving them new scripture? 2) if the Bible were enough, why is there so much disagreement and confusion amongst Christian today about very basic things, such as whether God and Christ are the same individual or not? Why would God allow so much confusion about Him and his plan for us?

      "For all others, once you are dead that is it…game over." – What about Matthew 17:3? What about Malachi 4:5?

      Regarding Revelation 22:18-19, this is referring to the book of Revelation itself, and not to the Bible, since; 1) the Bible did not exist when the book of Revelation was written, and 2) the book of Revelation was not the last book of the Bible to be written, it only happens to be placed at the end. As for Proverbs 30:5-6, if you take that scripture to mean what you imply it means, doesn't it invalidate the entire New Testament?

  2. Question: "If you believe in the Bible, answer me this–where are the prophets and apostles?"

    Answer: Mathew 21:11 "…“This is JESUS, the PROPHET from Nazareth in Galilee.”

    Question: "If God were a loving God, why would he give the ancient people prophets and apostles when hardly anyone lived on the earth, and today when there are billions of people on the earth provide no such direction?"

    Answer: John 7:38 "Whoever believes in me, AS THE SCRIPTURE HAS SAID, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Acts 17:11 "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and EXAMINED THE SCRIPTURES EVERY DAY TO SEE IF WHAT PAUL SAID WAS TRUE."

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 " ALL SCRIPTURE is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be THOUROUGHLY EQUIPPED for EVERY good work.

    Question: Can you give any logical reason why God wouldn’t have prophets and apostles on earth today vs. thousands of years ago?

    Answer: JOhn 20:31 "But these are WRITTEN that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name" Ephesians 3:8-10 " Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, WHICH FOR AGES PAST WAS KEPT HIDDEN in God, who created all things. His intent was THAT NOW, through the church, THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD SHOULD BE MADE KNOWN to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,"

    Question: Does the Bible itself say there would be an end to prophets and apostles?

    Answer: Hebrews 1:1-2 " IN THE PAST God spoke to our forefathers through the PROPHETS at many times and in various ways, BUT IN THESE LAST DAYS he has spoken to us by his Son"

  3. @Echo, those are some nice scriptures, but I'm not sure they contribute anything to this conversation…for example, in response to the question "Does the Bible itself say there would be an end to prophets and apostles?" you wrote "Hebrews 1:1-2 'IN THE PAST God spoke to our forefathers through the PROPHETS at many times and in various ways, BUT IN THESE LAST DAYS he has spoken to us by his Son'".

    Paul is saying that before Christ, God sent prophets to the people. But in "these last days", by which Paul was referring to his day, God had sent Jesus Christ. But we live neither in "the past" nor in "the last days" to which Paul referred, so this scripture doesn't address the topic at hand.

  4. Jesus is our permanent prophet because he still lives. All the prophets in the past lived for awhile and then died. Jesus is not dead, he has risen.

    "The last days" is referring to the period of time between Christ's ressurection up until he comes again to judge the living and the dead.

  5. If I can assume that you believe Jesus and God are of one mind, then Jesus was more or less just as alive before he was born as he was afterward. Or at least the source of the information that teaches us how to be saved was just as readily available. If we don't need prophets today because "Jesus lives" then why did we need prophets before Christ, since God lived then, and could have communicated to the people then just as Christ communicates with people today?

    What evidence do you have that "the last days" Paul mentioned refer to our days just as well as to Paul's days? I'm not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but I'd like to know from what source you draw such a conclusion.

  6. Question: " If we don’t need prophets today because “Jesus lives” then why did we need prophets before Christ, since God lived then, and could have communicated to the people then just as Christ communicates with people today?"

    Answer: Romans 16:25-27 " Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but NOW REVEALED AND MADE KNOWN and made known through the prophetic WRITINGS by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen."

    Question: "What evidence do you have that “the last days” Paul mentioned refer to our days just as well as to Paul’s days? I’m not saying I necessarily disagree with you, but I’d like to know from what source you draw such a conclusion."

    Answer: Micah 4:1 " In the last days the mountain of the LORD’s temple will be established

    as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it." John 6:39 "And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day." 2 Timothy 3:1-5 "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them."

  7. I'm not sure how that scripture from Romans answers my first question, perhaps you could explain in your own words?

    I'm also not sure how those other scriptures answer my second question. Yes, they all contain the words "the last days" but what does that have to do with what Paul said in Hebrews? Who's to say that when Paul says "these last days" he isn't just saying "these later days, that is, these days that came after the prophets" rather than talking about The Last Days?

  8. Read these Scriptures then go back and read them in full context. This should help answer your questions, Josh.

    Isaiah 2:2, Jeremiah 23:20, Jeremiah 49:39, Ezekiel 38:16, Hosea 3:5, , Acts 2:17, 2 Timothy 3:1, Hebrews 1:2, James 5:3, and 2 Peter 3:3

    Here's a seed for you: At a certain point it was no longer being written of last days coming, but that we are in the last days. This is similar to Jesus speaking of the coming Kingdom of God. After His sacrifice, burial, resurrection, and ascension, the Kingdom of God was no longer a future tense, but a present tense.

  9. Joshua, how do you think those scriptures answer your question? Give it some thought.

  10. Here is my understanding of these scriptures:

    Isaiah 2:2-3

    2. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

    3. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

    Verse 2 is a prophecy regarding the establishment of the LDS Church in Utah and the building of the temple in Salt Lake City.

    If I remember correctly, verse 3 expands on this and speaks of all those who come to the LDS temples to be taught in the ways of the God of Jacob and walk in his paths. The last line speaks of Zion, which will be established in North America, from which the world shall be governed in temporal matters, while Christ himself shall rule from Jerusalem in spiritual matters.

    —————

    Jeremiah 23:20

    20. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

    I'm not sure of the exact meaning of this scripture, but the context of the chapter is that Jeremiah is speaking of the remnants of Israel that will be gathered in the last days, that the Christ will reign in righteousness at the Second Coming, and that false prophets who teach lies will be cursed.

    I believe verse 20 is saying that Christ will not return until all his plans for what will happen prior to the Second Coming will have been fulfilled, and that when it's all said and done, those of us living in the latter days, that is, the days when this all happens, will see things clearly. That's my personal interpretation.

    —————–

    Jeremiah 49:39

    39. But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the Lord.

    Evidently a prophecy concerning the land or people of "Elam" and their being brought into captivity.

    —————-

    Ezekiel 38:16

    16. And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

    The context of the chapter is that the battle of Gog and Magog against Israel will usher in the Second Coming, that the Lord will come amid war and pestilence, and all men will shake at his presence.

    This specific verse is speaking of the enemies of Israel/Gog/the heathen who will be involved in a great war against Israel just prior to the Second Coming.

    ————–

    Hosea 3:5

    5. Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king; and shall fear the Lord and his goodness in the latter days.

    The context of the chapter is that Israel will seek the Lord, return to the Lord, and receive of his goodness in the latter days.

    ————-

    Acts 2:17

    17. And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

    This is actually Peter quoting the Old Testament prophet Joel. Joel was speaking of the restoration of the true gospel in the latter days and it spreading throughout the world, which prophecy is in the midst of being fulfilled via the LDS Church. The line "your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" may be a specific reference to Joseph Smith and his father.

    ————

    2 Timothy 3:1-5

    1. This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

    2. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

    3. Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

    4. Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

    5. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

    I wanted to include the first 5 verses here because I think verse 5 is of particular importance. Who can those who have "a form of godliness, but [deny] the power thereof" be but those who say they believe in Christ, but refuse to believe in the modern-day prophets He has sent to teach them?

    ————-

    Hebrews 1:2

    2. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

    We'll get to this below.

    ————

    James 5:3

    3. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

    Misery awaits the wanton rich is the theme of this scripture…although I'm not sure what the last line means. If it said "Ye have heaped curses together for the last days" or something like that it would make more sense to me.

    ————

    2 Peter 3:3

    3. Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

    Ok, see below.

    ————

    So, how do I think these scriptures answer my question? Not at all. I don't like to get too nitpicky about specific words when we don't know exactly what Paul wrote, only the transcribed and translated versions of what he wrote, but since this is all we've got let's assume the translation is correct. Note the difference between "the latter days", "the last days", and "these last days". Again, how do we know Paul wasn't referring to his own day, but not our days? I look at the above scriptures and I see that all of them are referring to our day, the latter days, the last days, etc., except for Hebrews 1:2, in which I believe Paul was referring to his day.

  11. Regarding the "Kingdom of God", the Kingdom of God is Christ's church, which yes, did come with him, and did not leave after him…that is, for a while. Mormons believe in what we call The Great Apostasy when Christ's church ceased to exist on the earth, and divine authority was lost.

    Paul referred to this in his letter to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3:

    1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

    2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

    3. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

    Paul was saying that the "day of Christ", that is, Christ's second coming, was not at hand, and that the members of the church in Thessalonia should ignore any rumors or teachings that said so. Paul taught that there would be a "falling away first". This happened as the apostles of Christ and other church leaders were killed off. The church ceased to exist, and what remained of Christianity was merely some writings and some followers who perhaps tried to live Christ's teachings as best they could given their limited resources and the persecutions they were enduring.

    By the time of the Council of Nicea in AD 325, the church of Christ was long gone, as was authority to baptize or administer any other ordinances such as the sacrament. This was the "falling away" Paul referred to. Because the church was gone and the authority to act in God's name, there had to be a restoration of God's church, which happened through Joseph Smith in the 1800s. Thus, the Kingdom of God was restored to the earth once again.

  12. If you read the whole Bible, it contradicts your beliefs. The bible states that there will be apostacy however the church will never cease to exist.

  13. Where does the Bible say the church will never cease to exist?

  14. The question is where does the Bible say the church will cease to exist? The scripture only says there will be a falling away,it doesn't say the church will cease to exist. When you add your own words and/or ideas to scripture that are not in scripture itself, naturally that's going to effect the way you interpret scripture and no doubt will result in an incorrect interpretation of scripture.

  15. Well, again, my intent on this website is not to prove that what I am saying is true, only to show that what I believe cannot be proven false, and therefore may be true.

    If it cannot be conclusively proven that the church Christ established did not cease to exist, then logically we must accept the idea that it could have ceased to exist, there being no proof to the contrary.

  16. Mathew 16:18 "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    2 Thes 2:3 "LET NO MAN DECIEVE YOU by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition"

    Psalm 45:17 "I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever."

    Ephesians 3:21 "to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

    Luke 1:32-34 " He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

  17. So, what are your interpretations of these scriptures? I don't see anything here that says "the church of Jesus Christ will never be taken from the earth."

  18. For example, Ephesians 3:21 I would interpret like this: God will get the glory in the church and in Jesus Christ throughout ***ALL*** generations. Meaning Not skipping a generation or more generations which would happen in an complete apostasy but it does mean that God will get the glory in ALL generations. That means EVERY generation. ALL means EVERY. This means the church will not cease to exist.

    Of course you don't have a single scripture that states that the church would cease to exist.

    Thank you for your time.

  19. Josh, rather than you try to interpret the word of God why not let the word of God interpret itself? Let me give an example.

    Q: What is the layout of the tabernacle recorded in the Biblical OT?
    A: It was built exactly as Moses was told to.
    a) there is an outer wall with only one entrance.
    b) after you enter the only way in there is the alter of sacrifice.
    c) after the alter of sacrifice is the laver.
    d) after the laver is the entrance to the holy place. (Only a Levite priest may enter)
    e) within the holy place is the showbread, lampstand, and altar of incense.
    f) then there is the veil.
    g) after the veil is the Holy of Holies.
    h) within the Holy of Holies is the Ark of the Covenant. (Only the High Priest may enter)
    i) the Ark of the Covenant has on it the Mercy Seat.
    j) within the Ark is the Law of Moses (the one God carved out), Aaron's budded rod, and a pot of manna.

    Q: What does this mean?
    A: The Kingdom of God and Heaven
    a) Outside the walls are the sinners.
    b) There is only one way to get to heaven. However, the path is narrow and only few find it.
    c) Only the sacrifice of a pure lamb needs to be made. That sacrifice was Jesus,the pure, unspotted lamb.
    d) before entering the Kingdom of God (aka the church) is by being washed. Therefore, one must be immersed for the forgiveness of sins and receive the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) before entering the Holy Place.
    e) the Holy place is the Church (aka the body of Christ, and Kingdom of God). Only a priest can enter here (when a person passes from sinner to saint they become a priest unto God).
    f) the show bread is the Passover Bread (communion bread)that a saint is to take in remembrance of the body that was broken (Christ), the alter of incense is prayer, the lampstand is the Bible.
    g) the veil (aka Abraham's bosom) that separated man from heaven no longer exists. It was torn by the Anointed's sacrifice. The waiting period no longer exists when one falls asleep in Christ.
    h) now the saint can see the Lord face to face. In the Holy of Holies (aka Heaven), the Lord sits on his throne (aka the Mercy seat or Judgement throne).
    i) The Law still stands; for His word remains (BTW, He was getting the message of the law of Liberty, or Agape, across to us). The budded staff is the priesthood (all saints are priests in Christ). These priests,like Aaron, were chosen by God to be a holy people unto Him. The manna is there too. For the Lord Jesus is the true Living Bread.

    This is only scratching the surface.

  20. The church of Jesus Christ is made up of those who are forgiven of their sins. These are the ones who have passed from sinner to saint. These are the ones who have been immersed for the forgiveness of sins and received the gift of the Holy Spirit, that is, Christ.

    At some point in time Jesus is coming back. When that happens all creation will be destroyed with intense heat.

    Those who are in Christ will be with the Lord for eternity. Those who did not know God or obey Him will be destined for the lake of fire and brimstone for eternity.

    So when Jesus comes He is taking His saints with Him. Therefore, the church will be taken from the earth.

  21. Iconoclast – "Josh, rather than you try to interpret the word of God why not let the word of God interpret itself?"

    There are two ways I can see for the Bible to interpret itself;

    1. Explicitly

    2. Contextually

    Explicit interpretation itself can happen in two ways. First, the person speaking or writing can explain what they mean. Second, someone else writing or speaking in the Bible can explain what someone else writing or speaking in the Bible meant. We see this happen multiple times when Christ explains scriptures to the Pharisees that they had misunderstood and were trying to use against him.

    Contextual interpretation would be that which we can assume we understand correctly, based on the context in which the words are used.

    The problem that arises is that both explicit interpretation and contextual interpretation are subject to personal, or subjective, interpretation. That is, even if we read a passage where Christ is explaining what another scripture means, we can disagree on what Christ means when he's explaining that scripture. And when it comes to contextual interpretation, it's even more difficult to come to agreement.

    Now, there are parts of the scripture where there is little room for doubt. When the Bible says "kill two goats" we could probably get representatives of every Christian faith imaginable and get them to all agree that what is really meant is that "two goats should be killed".

    But then you read something like 1 Cor 15:29 "Otherwise what are they to do, who have themselves baptized on account of the dead? If the dead are not really raised, why are they baptized on account of them?" and you get all sorts of different interpretations. Mormons say this is proof that baptism for the dead was an ordinance practiced by the church Christ established, and other Biblical scholars say it's not any such thing, and that Paul as actually ridiculing those who baptized for the dead. Both perspectives can find evidence to back up their claims, but the Bible does not interpret itself in this instance. Nowhere else in the Bible is the practice of baptism for the dead mentioned, but neither is it ruled out.

    Without a source of information external to the Bible, there are many parts of it that cannot be understood correctly, or at least we don't know if we're understanding them correctly or not. This is part of why modern-day prophets and apostles, of the same nature as those who lived anciently, are important. They can tell us what these words mean because they can go to God directly to get the answers, and because only they have authority to speak on behalf of God.

  22. When Paul refers to immersion for the dead it's better to search the Scriptures and see what is meant.

    But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (1 Cor. 15:13-18)

    Otherwise, what will those do who are Immersed for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they immersed for them? (1 Cor. 15:29)

    Why are we also in danger every hour? I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, LET US EAT AND DRINK, FOR TOMORROW WE DIE. (1 Cor. 15:30-32)

    In context, Paul was talking about those who suffer in preaching the Good News. He makes a point that if Christ did not rise from the dead then there is no resurrection. If there is no resurrection then those who undergo the immersion of suffering do so in vain.

    Consider the conversation Jesus had in Mark chapter 10. He speaks of the cup of suffering and the immersion of suffering. His message to the disciples is that they will follow His example.

    As an example, brethren, of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord (James 5:10)

    For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21)

    Then read Philippians chapter 3.

  23. You pretty much prove my point. You have one interpretation of that scripture, and we have another. Your interpretation seems clear to you, but my interpretation, which is completely different, is just as clear to me, even after taking into account the other scriptures you cite. Who's right and who's wrong? There is no way to tell without an external source of information, such as prophets. If the Bible were enough by itself then there would be no disagreement between us.

  24. Consider this:
    You stated "Now, there are parts of the scripture where there is little room for doubt. When the Bible says 'kill two goats' we could probably get representatives of every Christian faith imaginable and get them to all agree that what is really meant is that 'two goats should be killed'."

    In this you would have an argument. On one hand you'll have those who'll say is doesn't matter what type of goat. On the other, you'll have those that will argue it has to be unblemished and male.

    How do you know for certain? It's by searching the Scriptures. Not all of the answers are found in a single passage, but the answer is there.

    If one needs an external source in the immersion of suffering I mentioned earlier, then one can refer to the writings of the first century saints.

    • But in this case we've both searched the Bible and yet we still disagree. If searching the Bible provides all the answers how can this be?

  25. In the same way that when Jesus spoke in parables. There are those who want to put their own meaning into His words and others who let Him define His words. No matter what there will always be those who have ears but do not hear and those who have eyes but are blind. Yet, it is the Lord who opens the mind to understand the Scriptures. When it comes to God and His word, there are things we can know for certain.

  26. My fellow Christians, unfortunately you cannot use Bible verses on Mormons, they will never see them the way God intended. One has to have the Holy Spirit that comes from being born again to understand God's word. Mormons look at the Bible with a completely egocentric view, they search it only to find verses they can assign to themselves, or to the Mormon church, or to support what Mormons believe. That is why they actually think they find prophecy about themselves or America in it. They do not read it in context or understand it was written in regards to Israel and God's chosen people (Jews), not for America and about the Mormons. They have also been indoctrinated since birth on this belief and are taught to listen to what the leaders in the church say the Bible means and not rely on any other methods to know it's meanings. You cannot underestimate the control the leaders and the church have over their members. It literally takes an act of God to reach them! Being an ex-Mormon myself I understand a bit more how the verses and context get so twisted in their minds.

  27. Case in point: Joshua's interpretation on Isaiah 2:2-3 completely BLOWS MY MIND!! Look at his response to these verses:

    "Verse 2 is a prophecy regarding the establishment of the LDS Church in Utah and the building of the temple in Salt Lake City.

    If I remember correctly, verse 3 expands on this and speaks of all those who come to the LDS temples to be taught in the ways of the God of Jacob and walk in his paths. The last line speaks of Zion, which will be established in North America, from which the world shall be governed in temporal matters, while Christ himself shall rule from Jerusalem in spiritual matters."

    Can you believe this? Mormons actually think Isaiah is prophecying about North America and the Mormons! Isaiah was speaking to the Jews in Israel about Israel. How do I know this you ask?? READ VERSE 1 right before it:

    "THE WORD THAT ISAIAH THE SON OF AMOZ SAW CONCERNING JUDAH AND JERUSALEM."

    -Isaiah 2:1

    Joshua I cannot stop saying this to you: please read your Bible in it's context and stop cherry picking verses to fit into Mormonism before I die of laughter. Read and know your Bibles people lest false prophets deceive you! Of the Mormons I know who have come out of Mormonism, there was always 1 key factor in what led them out of the church…they started reading the Bible! Really reading it, in it's context. Especially the New Testament.

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