06
Feb
12

Testimony of Jesus Christ

This coming Sunday, in Relief Society and priesthood quorum meetings, Mormons will pick up their study of the teachings of President George Albert Smith with chapter three.  (For the past three weeks they have been studying other material in these meetings.)  Chapter Three is entitled “Our Testimony of Jesus Christ” with the sub-title, “The restored gospel gives Latter-day Saints additional witnesses that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

The sub-title is instructive because it already indicates the main focus of Mormonism’s testimony about Jesus.  It places the highlight on his divinity – on the fact that he is the Son of God.  This emphasis carries through chapter three.  Repeatedly it underlines the fact of his divinity.

I think it is very important that both Mormons and Christians are aware of this emphasis.  Being sensitive to this emphasis can help both understand why many Christians say that the LDS don’t believe in Jesus.  (The chapter begins by acknowledging that fact.)  The problem is that what Christians mean when they say that they believe in Christ differs from what Mormons mean by that.

It is true that both describe Jesus as the Son of God.  But they don’t mean the same thing with that statement.  A key passage for Christians is John 5:23:  “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.”  These words of Jesus nicely summarize the biblical teaching that the Son is to receive the same honor as the Father receives. That is the force of the words “even as” in that passage.  It means “just as”.  The Son is to have equal honor with the Father.

This is something Mormonism doesn’t teach.  Admittedly, this is often not apparent.  But it is there.  I don’t know how many Mormons, over the years, have explained the Bible passages that talk about one God by saying that there is only one God for this world, namely, Heavenly Father.  Thus they do not see Jesus as the God of this world.  Otherwise, according to their interpretation and line of thinking, there would be two Gods over this world.

In this regard read carefully Mormonism’s first article of faith.  “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”  Who is called God in that sentence?  That it treats the Father and the Son differently is also brought out ever so subtly in how Mormonism describes worship.  Again read carefully this sentence from True to the Faith.  “As you reverently partake of the sacrament and attend the temple, you remember and worship your Heavenly Father and express your gratitude for His Son, Jesus Christ.” (p. 188)

Or how about prayer?  “Your Heavenly Father loves you and knows your needs, and He wants you to communicate with Him through prayer.  Pray to Him and no one else.” (True to the Faith, p.118)  “Prayer is a sincere, heartfelt talk with our Heavenly Father.  We should pray to God and to no one else.” (Gospel Principles, p. 35)  Over the years, Mormons have responded that they pray to the Father through Jesus, in his name. But that is different than praying to Jesus.  It is not giving Jesus equal honor.

In short, what Mormonism means when it calls Jesus the Son of God and what Christians mean when they call Jesus the Son of God are worlds apart.  Christians call Jesus God and not just the Son of God.  Christians worship Jesus as their God.  Christians pray to Jesus as their God.  Christians give Jesus equal honor with the Father.

Mormonism doesn’t.  Therefore we feel that it falls under the verdict of the second half of John 5:23.  After talking about giving the Son equal honor, Jesus said:  “He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.”

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58 Responses to “Testimony of Jesus Christ”


  1. 1 Martha Golden
    February 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Heartbreaking but so true. A Mormon recently explained to me, “heavenly father, jesus and the holy spirit are three seperate beings. One in purpose.”

    Very well written Pastor Cares.

  2. February 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Ever mindful of Jesus’ warning that there would be false prophets a plenty in the time near His return,
    ( last dispensation ? ) I meet every follower of prophets who come to my door with two questions. 1.
    who is Jesus Christ ? 2. what is necessary for me to receive eternal life ? I’ve asked this to Mormon
    Missionaries many times . I realized early on that these young men follow the direction of a prophet
    and apostles, apostles other than those recorded in the New Testament , but who also claim to be
    directed by Jesus . So I compare their preaching/teaching about Jesus , and I find similarities , I also
    find much differences, disturbing differences . Today we have the Bible as a guide to test the
    teachings of those who come to our door advertising their gospel , their Jesus . Today , with numerous
    prophets competing for our attention , we can open our Bible and evaluate their message . For me
    I have to stay with what Jesus’ apostles in the N.T. taught about their Savior . WW

  3. 3 shematwater
    February 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    MARK

    I don’t think you really understand us very well. I give you credit for trying, and I am grateful that you are at least honest in your approach and kind in your words. However, you do have errors.

    First of all, to Honor the Son even as we honor the Father does not mean doing everything equally to both. After all, I have equal honor for the president of the United States as I do for the Supreme Court justices, but I do not ask the court to send military assistance, nor do I ask the President to rule on the constitutionality of a law.
    We can honor the Son, just as we honor the Father and still only pray to the Father. The reason is that we honor the Son for who He is and what He has done. We also honor the Father for who He is and what He has done. Thus we have honored the Son even as we honor the Father.
    We do not, however, honor the Son as the Father or for what the Father has done, as this would dishonor the Father. We Honor the Son as the Son and Honor the Father as the Father. If we do not Honor the Son as the Son we do not Honor the Father.

    Second, speaking of one God, those who give the explanation you mention do not understand the truth. They, like you, are interpreting the word God as referring to an individual. The true doctrine of the church would interpret God to be a title. The leadership of the Church is the perfect model to teach this.
    There is the First Presidency. All three men are called President (President Monson, President Iring, and President Utchdorf). They each hold a different position, or calling (President, First Counselor, and Second Counselor). Together they form one body, the Presidency.
    The Godhead works in the same way. All three men are called God (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost). They each hold a different position or calling (God, Lord, and Spirit – Ephesians 4: 4-6). Together they form one body, the Godhead (more frequently called simply God).
    Just to give a few statements of LDS doctrine: The Father is the God of many worlds, and has created many Earths for his children to dwell on. Christ is the Great Jehovah, and thus he is the God of the Old Testament; it was Christ who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and later gave him the tablets of stone.

    Now, I agree that we differ on our understanding of what it means that Christ is the Son of God. But from what I can see the difference is this:
    We believe Jesus Christ is literally the Son of God, meaning that he is a separate and distinct person.
    You believe that Jesus is only figuratively the Son of God, because they are truly the same being and thus cannot be literally a son.

    With this difference it is easy to see why you do not understand what we believe. To you, to honor the Son even as the Father means that everything you honor the Father for you honor the Son for, as they are the same being. As such, for us to honor them in different was appears to you as if we are not honor the one like we honor the other.
    However, when you understand this difference in basic understanding you can see that we are not guilty of what you claim.

  4. February 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Shem, while you await Mark’s reply I’ll comment on some of the things you said . First off , I think the
    context of Jn 5 :23 , and what Mark was alluding to , is that Jesus deserves equal honor as the Father .
    That whatever praise , adoration, worship the Father is due is also due the Son , this is the Father’s
    will . Your analogy of the Pres. of the U.S. and the Supreme Court justices recognizes that
    although they have different functions , still we can communicate with each one individually , and this
    would apply to Jesus and the Father in a similar way . Jesus promised to be with His followers forever
    and is to this very hour . A personal relationship that begin with people 2000 years ago and which
    continues to this very hour—Matt 28:19 . Jesus’ role as our personal mediator plays an important part
    in this relationship. The early church was merely following an arrangement that Jehovah has always
    desired with those that worship Him—-Jer.29:12 with 1Cor.1:2 . The Christian life is more than just
    following Jesus’ example in how to live a lifestyle pleasing to the Father , it also involves a very real
    intimate communication with our Savior , a one on one relationship. Jesus is alive and His attention
    is on us , so our attention desires to be on Him which naturally leads to a gratitude that is rightfully
    expressed through our lifestyle and through our telling Him (prayer) how much we appreciate His
    love and grace towards us. If a person is persuaded by some prophet/apostle that to worship and
    pray to Jesus is not encouraged then they should dismiss these men as spiritual guides .
    The First Presidency like the Godhead ? I would agree that as you mentioned each of these hold a
    different position , but The Mormon Godhead consisting of three men ? ( a Father , a married Man,
    and two of His Sons each of whom was not always God ? ) No thanks. You did state that our
    understanding of some doctrines are different , I wish more people would see how huge of a difference
    it is . They could then make an informed decision on which God and which gospel to follow . WW

  5. 5 markcares
    February 8, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Shem:
    Wyomingwilly has said a lot of things that I would have said so I won’t repeat them.
    Just a couple of other things.
    1) We would not agree with how you characterize how we see Jesus. Christians, also, see him as a different person than the Father. The mystery is that there are three distinct persons (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) but only one essence, being. That is far beyond my understanding. In fact, if we think we understand God’s nature, that is proof that we don’t. We can’t understand it. I personally love that fact because it shows just how great a God I have. The last thing I would want is a God who is understandable to my feeble mind. That is not a very big God.
    2) Let me ask you a practical question. Would an elder who regularly prayed to Jesus directly in a sacrament meeting be called aside in the LDS Church and be told to pray only to the Father?

  6. 6 shematwater
    February 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    WILLY

    What you say doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why must we pray to Christ in order to have a relationship with him?

    I pray to the Father, but it is rarely the Father who actually replies. He hears, and He sends His spirit to answer my prayer. Most often it is Christ and the Holy Ghost with whom man has direct dealings, for it is to Christ that the Father has committed all judgment. The only time anyone will ever see the Father is if He is there to bare testimony of Christ.
    Christ himself taught that we are to pray only to the Father. Matthew 6: 6 “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
    Even in his model prayer Christ addresses the Father. Why should I address my prayers to Christ, when he has commanded us to pray to the Father?

    Other than this small point we are actually in agreement. We seek a personal relationship with Christ, and we believe in the ability to commune with him. But we still recognize the Father the head, and thus we pray to him and worship him as the head. We still honor Christ for what he has done, and who he is.

    One other point: I accept the LDS concept of the Godhead because that is what the Bible teaches. It is supported by other scripture and clarified to more detail, but the Bible is clear that the Godhead is three distinct beings, that the Father is the literal Father of Christ, and that Christ was not always the glorified person that he is. This is what the Bible teaches, so to reject it is to reject God.

    MARK

    John 17: 3
    “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”

    One cannot have Eternal Life if one cannot understand who God is. This is why I love the fact that God has revealed his nature to us so that we can know him and have eternal life. I do not claim that I understand all things concerning him. That kind of knowledge can only come through experience, and thus must wait until he makes me a partaker in his nature. Than I can truly know him.

    As to my understanding, I think it is clearer than you think, just said in different terms. However, I am willing to clarify a few things, if you are willing to answer a question.
    1. In what way is Christ the literal Son of the Father? In other words, can you describe the nature of that relationship and how it is that the one is born of the other when they are the same being.

    However, either way it is, the understanding that they are the same being or essence seems to be why you think giving honor to the Son means doing everything thing equally; while it is our understanding that he is a different being that gives us the understanding that to honor the Son is not to do all things equally, but to do what is fitting his position, while reserving what is fitting the Father’s position to the Father.

    As I said, I do not think your accusation that we do not Honor the Son even as the Father is not true, and that it is caused by applying the reasoning of your doctrine to our doctrine, which never really works.

    As to your question, I have never heard of this coming up, but I would think it likely that it would happen. We are to pray to the Father, for he is the supreme being, one to who even Christ gave devotion and worship. He is the Head of the Gods. Thus, to address our prayers, especially those given in the services of our worship of him, to another being, whoever it be, is to diminish our honor and respect for His position and authority.

    However, I would also point out that worshiping Christ is not a bad thing, when done in the proper manner and place. After all, while he lived in mortality Christ allowed several people to worship him (like the women who washed and anointed his feet). It is also true that in the Book of Mormon, while Christ was visiting, we read the people were actually praying to Christ himself, and not just to the Father, for which they were commended. But he also clarifies that this was because he was currently present with them (3 Nephi 19: 22).
    So, if Christ was with me at this moment I would not hesitate to worship him, and even pray to him if I was unable to speak directly with him in conversation. But as he is not here I worship only the Father, as Christ has commanded us to do.

  7. February 10, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Shem, What I said does make sense if you align yourself with those who followed Jesus as recorded
    in the N.T. But if prayer to Jesus and worship of Jesus is not a regular part of your Christian walk then
    I guess it would’nt make sense. In reading your comments I did’nt really get a clear answer to that .
    You asked the question: ” Why must we pray to Christ in order to have a relationship with Him ? ”
    Do you desire a relationship with your Heavenly Father ? Church curriculum counsels you that you
    should pray to Him in order to draw close to Him , this includes praising Him , thanking Him, telling
    Him you love Him etc. Same behavior is to be rendered to Jesus Christ. This is the Father’s will , it
    honors Him . AS we read thru the N.T. we see the apostles placing the focus on the name of Jesus
    that Judaism had placed on the name of Jehovah. The apostles point was that Jesus is entitled to the
    honors that are due God ( worship, prayer, adoration, faith etc ) . This was radical but the truth was
    embraced by many . You cited Matt. 6:6 . Yes this Jesus taught this , but don’t forget when this was
    said. Later in Matt. [ 12:28 ] Jesus said , ” Come unto Me ” , He was voicing the Father’s will , and in
    Jn 14:14 He was also addressing the Father’s arrangement whereby man could come unto God
    by establishing an intimate relationship with His Son [ Jn 14:6; 1Tim 2:5 ] . This relationship , with
    prayer playing a major part, was clearly developed after His resurrection with the ministry of the
    apostles . Fellowship with the Father and His Son was the essence of the Christian walk . You
    asked why you should address your prayers to Christ ? Now you know . You also said that ” we seek
    a personal relationship with Christ…” I hope that you are, but I’ve got to be honest here and say that
    I’ve found confusion over this issue from some of your church leaders , some say they worship Jesus ,
    some say that worship is to go only to one Being—-the Father , and prayer to Jesus seems to be
    frowned upon for the most part . This being the case I’m staying with Jesus’ apostles in the N.T.
    As for your reply about the Godhead . TheMormon concept of 3 Gods, one Married Man and two of His
    Sons , all of whom were not always God , that is definitely not taught in the Bible . But I do agree with you
    though that to reject the Bible’s description of our Creator , is to reject Him . WW

  8. 8 shematwater
    February 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    WILLY

    “The Mormon concept of 3 Gods, one Married Man and two of His Sons , all of whom were not always God , that is definitely not taught in the Bible.”

    This is in the Bible, but I have no desire to debate the issue.

    As to what you say, it still does not make a whole lot of sense. That does not mean that I do not understand it, it means that it is not logical.
    First, the Apostles gave Christ equal honor to Jehovah because he is Jehovah, the great God of the Old Testament. However, Jehovah is not the Father. The Father is Elohim, and never do the Apostles teach us to give the same honor to Christ as we do to Elohim.

    In Matthew 11: 28 (not 12, by the way) he does say to come unto him. But it is in verse 29 that he tells us how to come unto him.
    “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
    It is not through prayer that we come unto Christ, but by obedience and study. We learn of Him, and we obey His commandments, and in so doing we draw closer to Him and develop the relationship we both desire.

    As to John 14, you site both verse 6 and 14, but what are they really saying?
    6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the away, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
    14 “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

    This does not say to pray to Christ. It says to ask in His name, which is what we always do. We pray to the Father, in the name of the Son, trusting that the promise Christ has made will be kept. We pray in his name, and in this way we come to the Father by him, and are accepted of him and he gives what we ask (as long as it is right).
    However, if we were to pray to Christ we would not be praying in His name, but would be praying to him. A person cannot do something in another person’s name if they are doing it to that person. In other words, I cannot give you a gift and do it in your name. Neither can I pray to Christ and do it in his name.

    Now, 1 Timothy 2: 5 does speak to the relationship of man to the Father and the Son, but such does not require us to pray to Christ. Your assertion that prayer to Christ is vital is not supported in the Bible. Prayer is vital, but it is to be offered to the Father in the name of the Son, and in no other way. We pray to the Father to draw closer to Him, and we obey and learn of the Son to draw closer to Him. But, as Jesus teaches in John 14: 9 that to know one is to know the other; so by praying to the Father we grow closer to the Son, and in obeying and learning of the Son we grow closer to the Father.

  9. February 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Shem, It’s unfortunate that you fail to grasp the full truth of what a personal relationship with the Lord
    Jesus Christ consists of . I sometimes think that since Mormon males are constantly striving to amass
    vast quantities of knowledge which will serve them well when they become Almighty Gods and
    be worshiped as such one day , that they fail to see some simple truths in scriptures. This was a
    problem with some Jewish men as well—Jn 5:39. I fear that maybe you’re on that same road. I’ll try
    once more to share with you what this means as I reply to your comments. You said, ” …and never do
    the Apostles teach us to give the same honor to Christ as we do to Elohim ” . While there are different
    roles in the Godhead that the Father and Son occupy , when it comes to what Jesus was alluding to in
    Jn 5:23 and especially what the apostles taught in Acts-Rev , there is a clear picture that Jesus shares honors due God . He shares them because He is due them . That’s the apostles whole point, i.e. that
    the honor, glory, worship, prayer, praise, love, service that is proper to render to the Father is likewise
    properly due the Son . This brings the Father glory when we treat His Son this way —- Jn 14:23.
    What Jesus proclaimed in Jn.14:12-14 was the Father’s will and it commenced His arrangement for
    us in relation to His Son. Jesus said to petition Him and He will answer that communication , this
    was a vital part of the religious life of the early believers—- Psalms 105:1 with 1Cor.1:2 . You then
    said that in relation to praying to Jesus re: Jn 14:14 , that , ” ….if we were to pray to Christ we would not
    be praying in His name, but would be praying to Him… Neither can I pray to Christ and do it in His name.”
    While it’s not the normal way of petitioning someone, we need to be careful when we say it “cannot” be
    done—1Chron.16:8;Psalms54:1 . Early believers understood what “call upon His name ” meant in
    relation to Jesus . The inference of what Jn 14:12-14 is teaching us is that for those who follow
    Jesus in His New Covenant , that the person who does what we ask is the person whom we ask.
    But make no mistake , it is indeed proper to petition the Father in Jesus’ name ; what the N.T. does
    bring out is that believers can petition Jesus directly also , and that to do so is one privilege of being
    reconciled to God by the blood of Jesus. We have fellowship with the Father AND His Son , this is a
    fellowship which is fully personal and therefore admits of asking and receiving . . Draw closer
    to the Father? Yes. How ? One way is thru prayer . Draw closer to Jesus ? How ? one way is thru
    prayer. IF we appreciate what the Father has done for us , we tell Him , thank Him . Same to Jesus.
    We show our love for the Father by doing what pleases Him and ALSO by telling Him (prayer) . Not
    much different with my wife, I do what she deserves ( helping with the housework ) and I also do what
    is only proper— I verbally tell her I love her, I appreciate her role in my life. Same to the Father AND his
    Son. That’s the heart of the Christian life . Thanks.

  10. 10 shematwater
    February 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    WILLY

    I understand what you are saying, but it is still not logical. Of course this comes back to interpretation. You say the New Testament testifies to the need to pray to Christ, because we are to do everything to him that we do to the Father. I don’t see it.

    My point is that reading the very same verses you site I see your interpretation of them as being very illogical. You make assumptions that need not be made.
    For instance, you say that “that the person who does what we ask is the person whom we ask.”
    But this is not always the case. In truth, it is more frequently not the case.
    Consider: I want a house built. Who do I ask. Do I ask the workers who will actually perform the service; or do I ask the contractor who has authority over the workers?
    My best bet is to ask the Contractor, as he has the authority to make the workers do their jobs, or to prevent them from doing it. He may not actually do any of the work itself, but may have a foreman who oversees the actual labor, but it is still the Contractor that I go to.

    So, the verses you site do not necessitate the interpretation you have given, and in truth are more logically interpreted to mean that we do not ask Christ directly.

    It is things like this that make me say that your arguments are not logical. While I understand them they are not persuasive for these reasons.

  11. February 14, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Shem, It’s to bad you can’t grasp what the N.T. reveals about a personal relationship with Jesus. Your
    analogy was convienent but did’nt prove anything . If I want to build a house I ask someone who has
    personally built houses with his own two hands , this way he knows if it’s being done correctly or not .
    Jesus is Creator the Lord God Almighty the creator of heaven and earth as such He was worshipped
    and prayed to in the O.T. , and also when His identity was known by His followers in the N.T. He was
    accorded the same worship and honor . As I mentioned Jn.14:12-14 is a glimpse , an spark of the
    light that shone more brightly later on in His relationship towards us , an arrangement that the Father
    instigated . The promise Jesus makes here was startling , He will hear the petitions His followers
    make in His name , as will the Father , and whatever they pray in accordance with God’s will, He(Jesus)
    will do . The phrase “in His name ” or “to call on His name” has a direct correlation to believers in the
    O.T. towards Jehovah God — Psalms 105:1 ; 121:1 . The whole point , which you miss, is that those
    who believe in Jesus pray to the Father in Jesus name AND they can also appeal to Jesus Himself ,
    this relationship of Jesus with His followers brings the Father glory , it pleases Him —-Matt.11:27;
    Phil. 2:9-11. It’s a vital part of the benefits that come as a result of Jesus as our Mediator . What the
    Father spoke in Mark 9:7 was clear , we are to listen to His Son. But just as clear is the arrangement
    steming from this , namely that Jesus also desires to listen to us ! Acts -Rev sheds valuable light on
    this fact as the life of the early church was that they “called on the name ” of Jesus , they praised Him
    they glorified His name and they petitioned Him in prayer . Follow Paul’s experience in Acts 9:10-21 ;
    22:14-21. Those he persecuted were those who called on THIS name , i.e. Jesus ( 9:20-21), this is
    how believers fellowshiped with their risen/ ascended Lord —1Cor 1:2 . Consider also how Stephen
    prayed to Jesus in his hour of death, compare his behavior with how Jesus cried out to the Father in
    Lk.23:46. Paul himself appealed to Jesus to aid him in his suffering–2Cor 12:8,9. Bottom line here :
    Jesus as the Lord hears and answers prayers for salvation, for the safe keeping of one’s spirit at the
    moment of death, and for other deeds . He’s as much the object of religious faith , devotion , as God is .
    It is a natural desire for those who have been reconciled to the Father by the shed blood of Jesus to
    serve Him , love Him, worship Him, adore him, petition Him , honor Him JUST AS we would the Father.
    This is the Father’s arrangement , and it glorifies Him to have it so . Consider briefly the parity between
    Jesus and the Father : Father: Rom.11:36. Jesus: 2Tim 4:1,8,18 ; 2Pt.3:18. The Father AND the Son:
    Eph.6:23; 2Jn 1:3; Rom.1:7; 1Cor 1:3 ; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2 ; 2Thess 1:2 . etc. The prayer that the Father
    AND the Son grant peace, grace, blessings is evidence of the Father’s will for believers . The apostles
    experienced this fact : that Jesus Christ is considered a joint possessor and bestower of grace and
    blessings along with the Father. This is our experience today. Mormon apostles have heaped so
    many rules, laws , obligations , on their people that a full picture of who Jesus is and a right relationship
    with Him can be buried underneath all that religious activity designed to make them “worthy” . Here’s
    one thing that I know about worthiness : Jesus is worthy , worthy to be worshiped . So I’m following
    the apostles who taught that truth —- in the New Testament.

  12. 12 shematwater
    February 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    WILLY

    You are still not convincing, and your arguments still do not present the most logical interpretation.

    In John 14: 12-14 you have still not adequately explained the wording. Your interpretation of these verses is not logical.
    Of all the other verses that you site few actually mention praying to Christ. Those that do speak of praying to Christ when he is present (the verses of Every Knee shall bow are speaking about the Second Coming when he will be present). This I have stated is right. When Christ is actually physically present it is appropriate to pray to him and petition him directly. When he is not physically present it is not appropriate.

    However, I think the part that is most illogical is what seem to be your insistence that we cannot have a close relationship with Christ without praying to Him. The bible does not support this, and none of the verses you site even indicate this. Ever verse testifies that we draw closer to Christ by obeying Him, and he has commanded us to pray to the Father. Never do we read a command to pray to Him, and you attempts to make it seem as if we do make your arguments unpersuasive.

    Honestly, I don’t really care at this point what you believe. But don’t tell me that what I believe is not Biblical when I have read the bible more than once and know that it is there.

  13. February 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    Shem, you said, ” Honestly I don’t really care at this point what you believe.” Well, I do care what you
    believe because you are being short changed by following the wrong apostles. The apostles of Jesus ,
    the ones He directed to spread His gospel in the N.T. did teach that worship of Jesus was a normal
    expression of devotion to Him , and prayer is part of that worship. Once Jesus’ identity was discovered
    it was normal to worship Him . The great truth , the life blood , of believers in the Old Testament was
    to worship Jehovah God , the life blood in the N.T. was the same honor to Jesus , this was the Father’s
    will , it brought glory to Him . Phil.2:9-11 teaches this truth of the Father being glorified in our bowing
    before His Son, that was my point. I understand that the bowing in these particular verses is in the future .
    To say that it is only appropriate to pray to Jesus when He is physically present is to be misled .
    He desires to establish a fellowship with His followers that includes more than just their living the
    principles He taught , that’s only half of a relationship , and that falls short of what early believers
    experienced, and what we can experience today. Your Church manuals teach that a personal
    relationship with the Father is established by, and maintained thru, praying to Him , this is combined
    with living a lifestyle that pleases Him. The N.T. reveals the same arrangement with Jesus. You seem
    to be looking for the exact words , a command , by Jesus to pray to Him. This is puzzling because
    the Gospels don’t have the exact words of ” I am God” by Jesus either. But it should be evident in a
    reading of the N.T. that because of what Jesus did, and what was said of Him , that He was indeed
    God in human flesh, once His disciples put all the facts together they saw this great truth , and they
    rendered Him worship. Same scenario concerning praying to Him, as the information in my last 2
    posts has detailed. It is the Father’s will that we worship His Son . One of the benefits of Jesus’ role
    as mediator and Savior is that it is a personal experience for us, a real connection with our Lord .
    When something of this magnitude happens in our life it is only normal to show appreciation and
    devotion to Jesus by petitioning Him to tell Him so . To claim to have a close relationship with the Father
    because of , among other things, a devotion thru prayer is Biblical , and to petition the Father in Jesus’
    name is also. But believers also have the special blessing of petitioning the Son Himself , as both play
    a personal part in the life of believers . To miss this point is to miss out on a vital part in the life of one
    who seeks to follow Jesus . People can get encumbered with amassing great amounts of religious
    knowledge and be working hard to be “worthy ” before God in religious duties [ Jn.5:39] that this simple
    Truth with Jesus can be over-looked . WW

  14. 14 shematwater
    February 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    WILLY

    I did not mean that I do not care what you believe, but that for the purpose of this discussion it doesn’t matter a whole lot to me what your view is. As it is not the correct view the details of it are not that important for my purpose here.

    As I said, I understand what you are saying, but the bible itself persuades me you are wrong, and your arguments still are not logical enough to persuade me that I am in error.
    First, I am not looking for a direct command to pray to Christ. I am looking for an indication that praying to him is approved at a time when he is not present. You have failed to show this. Every verse you give either teaches deferment to the Father, and thus prayer to him, or prayer to Christ when Christ is present.
    This is my point with the Phil 2: 9-11. You claim these verses teach us to pray to Christ, but I only see them teaching that when he is present we are to acknowledge his power and authority, having nothing to do with when he is not present. Your understanding of this verse requires an acceptance of something this verse does not teach, and thus must be supported elsewhere in the scriptures. It is not supported in anything that I have read (including everything that you have sited).

    “But believers also have the special blessing of petitioning the Son Himself”

    This is the part that makes no sense, and what you have failed to truly support. It requires an unnecessary assumption in the meaning of the words of the prophets.
    My main point in all this is that you cannot truly use the Bible to say that we are wrong for not praying to Christ. You have nothing that gives direct support to that doctrine, but rely on assumptions about intended meaning. As such your argument means little. You can believe what you want, and I perfectly satisfied with that, if that is what you truly believe (even though I know your wrong). But don’t tell me what I believe is not in the Bible, because it is your doctrine that I do not find in the Bible.

    (PS Christ actually did come out and state directly that he was God, though he never claimed to be the Father. In John 8: 58 he states “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” This is a direct reference to Moses and the burning bush, and through this he told the Jews very directly that he was Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament, which is why they tried to stone him in verse 59.

  15. February 15, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Shem, The N.T. does advocate rendering prayer to Jesus Christ as a part the experience of the
    believers in the early Church . Jesus was not physically present with them from Acts-Rev but they
    devoted themselves to honoring Him as they did the Father. He was risen from the dead , the Head
    of His church , He promised to be with them forever and they could petition Him. Praise , honor,
    worship , prayer brought glory to their risen Lord , and thru this devotion it glorified the Father .
    Paul being a Jew worshiped the Lord God Jehovah as his fathers did, he worshiped and prayed in
    his religious devotion to Jehovah , and almost over-night his life was transformed by Jesus . His
    devotion to the Name of Jehovah now became centered on religious devotion to the Name of Jesus.
    He and the early church called on that name. This was prayer to Jesus , it was part of the worship
    rendered to Him—– Psalms 105:1 with 1Cor1:2; Isa.45:23 with Phil 2:9-11; Heb 1:6 . The apostles
    taught their people that this devotion to Jesus was the Father’s will for the Church , The Father delights
    when we treat His Son as He , the Father , is to be treated . Accordingly we see in the Epistles the
    Father and Son jointly form a single source of divine grace and peace and assistence : 2Jn.3; Rom 1:7
    Eph.1:3 ;6:23 . Your church manuals state that ” To Worship God is to give Him your love, reverence ,
    service and devotion…..Prayer is one way you can worship the Father. ” [ True to The Faith,p.188 ]
    I could’nt agree more; and it’s this love , reverence, service and devotion , and prayer to Jesus that
    is part of our worship of Him — and it’s all to the glory of the Father ! It’s unfortunate you can’t see that
    great truth. I surmise it’s largely due to the fact of the apostles you follow. May you start afresh and read
    of believers experiences with Jesus recorded in the N.T. . Jesus is worthy of our worship and this is
    greatly facilitated thru our prayers to Him.

  16. 16 shematwater
    February 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    WILLY

    I have read the New Testament more than once, and I have never read anything that you are advocating.

    You are again making assumptions in meaning that need not be made, and it is from these assumptions that your reasoning stems. As I do not accept the assumption I do not accept the reasoning.

    The basic assumption you make is that in order to “honour the Son, even as [we] honour the Father” means that we act in the same way towards the Son that we act towards the Father; or treat the Son as if he were the Father. This is an assumption that I do not agree with, and one that I do not think the Bible supports.

    I have explained the meaning that I see in the passage, and it is because I see this meaning that I reject your doctrine, as it contradicts it.

    “Jesus was not physically present with them from Acts-Rev but they devoted themselves to honoring Him as they did the Father.”

    I couldn’t agree more, but this does not mean they prayed to Jesus.
    Psalms 150: 1 and 1 Corinthians 1: 2 say to call on his name. We do this every time we pray, as we invoke his name so that he will put his seal of approval on our petitions to the Father.
    Isaiah 45: 23 and Philippians 2: 9-11 say that at the second coming everyone will confess that Jesus is the Christ and will worship as such. This we agree with completely, and when he comes we will all bow down before him.
    Hebrews 1: 6 says the angels will worship Jesus, which is true. But worshiping him does not mandate praying to him.

    You quote “True to the Faith” as saying “Prayer is one way you can worship the Father.” This is true. Prayer is a form of worship, but it is not the only form, and one can worship someone (or something) without praying to them. This is another assumption that you make that I disagree with.

    Quite honestly, the point of this entire thread seems to be that since we don’t pray directly to Jesus Christ we don’t really worship him. The idea is absurd, having no real reasoning behind it.

    Again, there is no time in the Bible where anyone prays to Jesus. They worship and revere him, but they pray to the Father. This is what Christ himself has commanded. To say otherwise is to make assumptions of meaning. This just brings us back to the fact that it is all a matter of interpretation, and it just so happens that your interpretation is not reasonable to me.

  17. February 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Shem, because you’ve read the N.T,more than once and have’nt seen some truths it reveals about
    Jesus is’nt enough to convince me. There have Jewish men who’ve memorized their entire
    scriptures and yet fail to see the full identity of Messiah revealed therein as being fullfilled
    in Jesus of Nazareth . As for my “making assumptions in meaning ” and therefore leading to wrong
    reasoning is concerned , my friend that’s all you’ve done yourself . I’m glad that we can disagree
    peacefully on this issue, but I hope one day you can come to see the experiences of those who
    followed Jesus in the N.T. to honor, praise , worship Him by living a lifestyle that that He
    approved of and also communicating with their risen and ascended Lord by way of prayer . You
    missed the point that your own Manual ” True to The Faith ” teaches . It stated that indeed prayer is
    “one way” to worship the Father . Obviously it is one form of worship, that’s why I referenced it !
    You then missed the point of this by saying that ” one can worship someone ( or something) without
    praying to them ” . It’s strange why you would say that , as we’re looking at prayer/worship of Jesus/
    Jehovah. What does scripture reveal about the Jews relationship with Jehovah ? Answer: they
    worshiped Him , they prayed to Him as a vital part of that worship. Psalms 116:17 = they called upon
    the name of the Lord, Gen. 4:26 = men called upon the name of the Lord . Footnote in the LDS ,KJV
    Bible here is ” prayer” , ” Jesus Christ ,Jehovah” . In the N.T. when Jesus’ followers recognized His
    identity as Jehovah they appropriately worshiped Him while with Him and because of the intimate
    relationship forged with Him as friend , Savior, Mediator , they naturally petitioned Him in Heaven .
    This religious lifestyle was the Father’s will , it brought Him glory . Believers in Jesus can enjoy a
    sweet fellowship with their personal Savior and His Father both — through prayer. Praying “in the name”
    of Jesus is more than verbally saying a word with 5 letters, it’s meaning involves the person of Jesus.
    Come unto the Father “through” Christ , for forgiveness, salvation, and in praise and worship involves
    communicating with Jesus Himself as the Father deals with us when we deal with His Son — Jn 6:44
    and 14:6 . There is an order in the Godhead with each member having a role towards us etc. When
    we see in the N.T. that prayer is rendered to God (the Father) in the name of Jesus , which it usually is,
    and then we notice the relationship that Jesus commenced with people while on the earth , that this
    continued after His ascension , we see that to honor the Father is brought to a full expression in our
    lives when we homage and honor the Son just as we should the Father . Worship Jesus without telling
    Him constantly of our appreciation for His love to us is to not experience a full relationship with Him ,
    the Manual ” True to The Faith ” correctly states this vital truth concerning a relationship with the Father.
    Common sense dictates the same behavior is appropriate towards the Son . After all , Jesus is
    worthy of such , because if ” the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord…” [ Alma 37:36] are
    towards the Father , it should also be towards the Son. To God be the Glory .
    That’s my testimony on this issue. I hope one day it will be yours as well . Thanks.

  18. 18 shematwater
    February 18, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    WILLY

    I appreciate your views, but let me say a few things.

    We, the LDS, call on the name of Jesus Christ every time we pray, for it is in His name that our prayers are made. It is not just “verbally saying a word with 5 letters,” but is our personal plea to Jesus Christ to seal our petition with His approval and personally deliver it to our Father. It most definitely involves Him, and I have never denied this.
    Common Sense dictates that we honor the Father for who He is, and that our behavior matches His person and authority. It also dictates that we do the same for the Son. As they are not the same person, nor do they have the same authority (for the Son does the will of the Father), common sense dictates that our behavior towards them will reflect this difference.

    Now, I caught your meaning when you referenced the “True to the Faith” manual. My point was that it failed to actually support what you were claiming, and so was misused. The manual states it is a proper form of worship of the Father, but makes no mention of it as a proper form for the Son. Yes, we are discussing prayer and how it relates to the worship of Jesus, which is why I stated that one can worship without praying, to show that prayer is not required for us to worship Jesus, though it is proper when worshiping the Father.

    Now, I notice that you reference the LDS footnotes to Genesis 4: 26, and I have to wonder if you read all the cross references. It does mention prayer, but in doing so it directs you to the Topical Guide for a more complete list of scriptures dealing with the subject. It is not saying that they were praying to Christ.
    Besides this reference a number of scriptures were give: Gen. 13:4; 1 Chr. 16:8; Ps. 116:17; 3 Ne. 4:30; Ether 4:15; Moro. 2:2; D&C 65:4.
    Now, in most of these it only mentions calling on the name of the Lord, but in Ether 4: 15, and Moroni 2: 2 it clarifies by stating “call on the Father in my name.” Thus, in Genesis 4: 26 men began to call on the name of the Lord in the same way that has been commanded throughout the history of the world, by praying to the Father in the name of the Son.
    I mention this merely because you seem to be trying to use LDS references to support your claims, and I am simply showing that they do not do so.

    Honestly, I don’t think either one of us will ever convince the other we are right. I am not trying to do so at this time. But I will try to convince you that I can worship Jesus Christ as my God and my Savior, and that I can have a deep personal relationship with him, and yet have my prayers always directed to the Father, in Christ’s name.

  19. February 19, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Shem, I’m afraid you have’nt fared any better at proving your point . You state that you pray in the name
    of Jesus and thus this involves Him in your worship of the Father. That’s great , but I still don’t hear you
    say that followers of Jesus can address Him directly in prayer , this is my whole point and the Bible
    supports this . You miss the point on authority . The N.T. is clear that the Father’s arrangement is to draw
    all men to Him through Jesus. Jesus has all authority to do what the Father would do , to forgive, to judge,
    to give Eternal life —Jn 10:28 , 5: 20-23 . That’s the whole point of Coming the Son , we come to Him and
    ask Him —- thru prayer , this behavior to the Son brings glory to the Father , it’s our religious devotion of
    prayer/worship . The Father acknowledges us when we treat His Son as He , the Father , deserves to be
    treated. You pray to the father as a part of your devotion to Him , you commune with Him to establish a
    personal relationship with Him , same towards the Son. One aspect of this relationship with both is
    verbally telling them of our appreciation for love and blessings to us ( they give us grace , peace ,
    love, fellowship , comfort/relief ) The Father and the Son jointly form a single source of Divine assistance.
    2Jn 3,; Eph.1:2,; phil 1:2; Eph 6:23 etc. Both are personally involved in the life of a believer through
    prayer and worship . This is the whole point of why I cited the manual “True to the Faith” . It admits to
    the correct scriptural truth of how we worship the Father , one way is thru prayer, it admits that a proper
    relationship with the Father consists of showing appreciation to Him and one way of expressing that is
    thru prayer. This being so obvious that I made the point that the same should logically be towards the
    Son. Listen to what is said on page 119 and see how naturally Jesus should have been included :
    ” As you make a habit of approaching God in prayer, you will come to know Him and draw even nearer
    to Him. Your desires will become more like His. You will be able to secure for yourself and for others
    blessings that He is ready to give if you will but ask in faith . ” This is what the Bible reveals about our
    experience also with Jesus ! Yet Mormon leaders are so blind as to say on page 118 about the Father :
    ” Pray to Him and no one else.” That may be their will but it’s not the Father’s concerning His Son as
    the whole the N.T. reveals . Concerning Gen 4:26 , to ” call upon the name of the Lord” means to pray
    to the Lord, as the footnote clearly states , and it also clearly states that the Lord here is Jehovah /Jesus.
    That is why in the O.T. when Jews “called upon the name of the Lord” ( Psalms 116:4,17; 105:1 ) it
    meant they prayed to Him . I did read the cross references and taken together they prove my point rather
    than yours, namely that prayer to Jehovah in the Bible and prayer to Father ( in the two BofM scriptures
    cited Ether 4:15; Moroni 2:2 ) “in my name ” perfectly reflect what the N.T. records about this issue:
    prayer to the Father in Jesus’ name is proper AND also prayer directly to Jesus can be proper . These two
    BofM verses do not as you said ” clarify ” Gen 4:26, and the others , they add to these verses , just
    what the N.T. reveals. If you were a Jew in the O.T. you would pray to Jehovah as part of your worship.
    When those Jews that followed Jesus discovered His true identity as Jehovah they continued the same type
    of devotion : Psalms 116:13 with Rom. 10:9-13 . Psalms 105;1 with 1Tim 1:12 ; Psalms 116:4 with
    2Cor 12:8-10 ; Zeph 3:9 / Psalms 116:17 with 1 Cor 1;2 ; Acts 9 :10-21 ( vr 21 “this ” name = Jesus ).
    A relationship with Jesus rightly involves a communication to Him as well as living for Him . Our thanks
    and appreciation to Him is verbal and the sweet fellowship therein is not only constantly a part of
    our lives but also a consistency of our worship . I hope one day Mormons can see this truth .
    Jesus is worthy to receive honor and praise and worship and prayer , it glorifies the Father to have it so.

  20. 20 shematwater
    February 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    WILLY

    You are still making your argument based on an assumption that is not reasonable.

    “This being so obvious that I made the point that the same should logically be towards the Son.”

    And this is the problem with your argument, for it is not logical. That is my point. It is not logical that our actions to the Father be towards the Son as well. There is so obviously a difference between them, one that Jesus Himself taught very strongly in his ministry, that to say our actions should be the same is completely illogical.

    Luke 18: 18
    “And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
    And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.”

    If Christ meant for us to give the same kind of devotion to him as we did to the Father he would not have corrected this man in this way, for it would have been proper to call him Good.

    Through his ministry Christ prays to the Father, and he teaches his followers to pray to the Father. Never once does he say to pray to him. He does say to ask in his name, and promises that if we do so he will do what we ask. You make the assumption that if he is going to do it than we are to pray to him. However, as he is one with the Father in mind and purpose, as well as all the attributes of perfection, he can make this promise because he knows that the Father will send him to do what we ask, not because we pray to him.

    As to your explanation of the footnotes in Genesis 4: 26, your statement that it supports your argument is again flawed. It only supports your argument if we accept your assumptions. However, the footnote was written and cross referenced by those who agree with the statement in the Manual of “True to the Faith.” It directs the reader to scripture that is only accepted by the LDS church, and thus by those who accept “True to the Faith.” As such, the intentions of the cross reference must be understood from this perspective. You claim these verse support what you say, but the very people that wrote them say you are wrong, that they do not support what you say.
    Thus your only point is that if you approach these verses from your perspective they can be seen to agree with it. Fine. But then you are approaching from the wrong perspective, and still from an illogical assumption.

    Of course, it seems that we are simply running around in circles. So, before we continue, I must ask one thing: Can you explain to me why it is more logical to say that “the same should logically be towards the Son” then to say that we should “Honor the Son as the Son and not as the Father.”
    This is really where the whole discussion hinges.

  21. February 21, 2012 at 5:29 am

    Shem, you are still making assumptions that are unreasonable also, and to be honest I can’t follow
    your logic either. You said : ” It is not logical that our actions to the Father be towards the Son
    as well.There is obviously a difference between them….” Actually, the same honor , praise, glory,
    worship , devotion that we render to the Father can be rendered to His Son as well , the Father is
    glorified by this , and as I have tried to point out , prayer facilitates this devotion . But it all
    starts with coming to His Son first , in fact the Father draws man to His Son , coming to the Son
    is to ask Him for help . The Bible calls this coming to the Father “through” the Son –Jn 14:6 . We
    can’t approach the Father without complying with this the Father’s arrangement . A personal
    connection with the Son as mediator , which is a one-on-one personal relationship with Him, allows
    the Father to then accept our devotion , our worship and praise . This all starts with coming to Jesus
    and is facilitated thru prayer to Him . We draw near to Him , then Father draws us near to Himself.
    You can’t get around Jesus . We fail to show appreciation to Jesus by not thanking Him directly
    for dying for us etc , then the Father won’t appreciate that behavior on our part . Our relationship with
    the Father is measured by how we treat His Son. When we pray “in His name” , or ” in my name ” it
    is to ask ( or do something etc ) and to do it in approval , in faithfulness to that very person.
    Thus Jesus is saying to us that whatever we ask , if we ask out of loyalty to Him first , He will do it
    and the Father will do it —-Jn14:23 ; 2Jn 3 ;2Thess2:16-17 . Your use of Luke 18:18 is of little use here
    as Jesus did not reveal the truth of even His Deity to every person He met in the Gospels . What about
    Gen. 4:26 ? As I said before the footnotes under this verse in the LDS KJV taken together are much
    closer to proving my point than yours . To ” call upon ” the name of Jehovah here and elsewhere means
    to pray to Jehovah. The other verses that state , ” call upon ” the Father in my name [ Ether 4:15 etc ]
    means prayer also . No problem here . Those Jews who recognized Jesus’ identity once prayed to
    Jehovah , now they prayed to Jesus because He is Jehovah — 1Cor 1:2 ; Acts 10:9-21 . The whole
    point with my using “True to The Faith ” was to show that despite it’s author’s attempt to obscure the
    truth of what a full relationship with Jesus entails , namely prayer is rightly rendered to Him, there was
    that truth about the Father mentioned therein. So if you worship the Father and prayer is a vital part of
    that , then if you worship Jesus prayer should also be a part of that worship as well, otherwise it is’nt
    fully worshiping Jesus . This Manual teaches that one way of showing appreciation to the Father is to
    thank Him through prayer, the same should be towards Jesus also. That was my point in using the
    Manual. But I certainly did’nt need it nor the footnotes in the LDS KJV to show me proper devotion to
    Jesus/Jehovah . If you’re looking for a verse in the N.T. that has Jesus carrying a sign that reads
    “You must pray to Me ” , you won’t find it . But if you read of what the scriptures say about His
    attributes , His love, His connection to His followers , you’ll discover that to those who met Him and
    allowed Him to change their lives that , worship, praise , honor, were a normal expression stemming from
    their hearts in gratitude and awe . Their relationship with the Father was enhanced and spiritually fullfilling
    when they pray to Jesus and that prayer reaches the Father . This is the Christian life : fellowship with
    the Father AND the Son —1 Cor 1:9 . That’s my testimony .

  22. 22 shematwater
    February 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    WILLY

    “A personal connection with the Son as mediator, which is a one-on-one personal relationship with Him, allows
    the Father to then accept our devotion, our worship and praise. This all starts with coming to Jesus”

    I couldn’t agree more with this. It is what you follow it with that makes no sense. I can have this relationship without praying to the Son, and in truth, I think this relationship is damaged by doing so. It shows a disrespect to the authority of the Father, which is what Jesus was teaching in Luke 18: 18. Don’t credit Him for who the Father is.

    “So if you worship the Father and prayer is a vital part of that , then if you worship Jesus prayer should also be a part of that worship as well, otherwise it isn’t fully worshiping Jesus.”

    And this is illogical. That is my point. Prayer is a vital part of worshiping the Father because he is the Father, he is the grand ruler of Heaven, and Jesus is under his authority. Jesus is not the Father, and thus prayer is not a vital part of worshiping him. This is what you seem to fail to understand.
    To you worship is worship, and if it does not entail everything it is not full worship. But this does not make sense, and it does not consider the object of worship. The acts of worship must change depending on what is being worshiped. This is why I say your arguments make no sense.

    Speaking of the footnote to Genesis 4: 26, you are still not seeing the point. You cannot interpret the words of another based on your doctrine. The men who wrote this footnote and cross referenced the scriptures would tell you that the meaning is exactly what I have said. They intended for us to get the understanding that calling on the name of the Lord was praying to the Father in his name. It doesn’t matter that you are able to make the verses fit your doctrine. Doing so is a misuse of the cross reference, as that is not the intention of it.

    Now, you never really answered my question: Why is your point more logical than mine?
    Why is praying to Christ a more logical understanding of the idea of calling on his name than simply invoking his name in our prayers to the Father?

    I will tell you my logic: Christ taught us to pray to the Father. Christ taught us to pray in his name. Christ never once told us to pray to him.
    Second, the verses you cite say that the people called on his name. They do not say they called on him, but on his name. Thus they speak to an invocation of his name and authority when they prayed, not to praying to him.
    As such, they were not praying to him, but were following the commands of Christ to pray to the Father in his name (or by invoking his name).

  23. February 21, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Shem, first you agreed with me where I said , ” A personal connection with the Son as mediator ,
    which is a one-on-one personal relationship allows the Father to then accept our devotion….” Then
    you immediately stated , ” I can have this relationship without praying to the Son…” A personal
    one-on-one relationship with another person without talking with them ? That’s your idea of a “personal
    one-on-one relationship” ? Sorry , but that does’nt add up . It falls short of a relationship with even family
    members , but more importantly , and Biblically it misses the mark on what God has arranged for us
    with His Son. But your faulty reasoning reached new heights when you said that praying to Jesus
    can damage your relationship with the Father because it shows disrespect to His authority !!! Wow .
    The N.T. is clear : Jesus is vested with the full power and authority of His Father — Matt 28:18-20. That
    is why the Father draws us to His Son so that we honor Jesus which will then honor His Father –Jn 5:23 .
    This arrangement is the Father’s will. You want your worship to be accepted by the Father, then worship
    Jesus, you want your praise to be accepted ,then praise Jesus, you want your prayers to be accepted then
    pray to Jesus and thank and glorify Him first , that’s how you gain access to the Father’s and touch
    His heart . The prayer, worship , praise , honor that we give to Jesus does not detract from that given the
    Father at all, it fulfills the Father’s arrangement for man , it brings glory to Him . Your question is :
    ” Why is praying to Christ a more logical understanding of the idea of calling on his name than simply
    invoking his name in our prayers to the Father ? ” The answer is not difficult : can we separate any
    connection to the person of Jesus with His name ? We can’t –Matt 18:20 . When we pray in His name
    we involve Him , His nature, His authority, His attributes . He is directly involved in our access to the
    Father. The Jews in the O.T. CALLED UPON the name of Jehovah , they prayed TO HIM . The Jewish
    believers (especially) the N.T. understood Jesus to be their Jehovah so they prayed TO HIM — 1Cor1:2 .
    Paul prayed to Jesus , as did Stephen —Acts 9:10-21 ; 7:59 ; 2Cor 12 :8-10 . Did this behavior disrespect
    the Father ? Of course not . It is part of His plan to reconcile man to Himself —-John 14:6 . Honestly
    Shem , you fail to grasp this truth about Jesus because you deem it ” not logical” , that’s unfortunate .
    In this way you remind me of some of the Jewish leaders , who even though they had acquired great knowledge , still could not “see” the simple truth about Jesus — John 5:39 . May one day you come to
    experience the incredible blessing of direct sweet communication to the Savior . It will truly fulfill and
    complete a relationship with the Father. That’s about all I have to share on this . Thanks . WW

  24. 24 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 4:07 am

    First off, Shem and Willy seem to be 2 manning this whole discussion.. This is a shame, because two (sounds like) men are always going to be hard headed towards the other. I first picked up these “blogs” earlier today and felt an extra mouth might be helpful. I started with the 2009 ones and then drastically skipped ahead, as it would take me weeks to catch up on all of the debates.

    For THIS article, Shem and Willy, you are both stating the exact same things, over and over. to quote… “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

    The 2 view points here are this:
    1. God = God + Jesus + Holy ghost
    2. God and also Jesus and also Holy Ghost.

    Now for Logic’s sake, only one of these can be right. i know the 2 of you are quite familiar with your biblical studies, and as such i only leave you with this question..

    Would you EVER call yourself your son?

    To me, either God is separate from Jesus, as my son is from me, or we have a schizophrenic God. This in no way is meant to belittle God, but to shed what should be common sense into this. I will admit that in no way do i understand the fullness of God. I have asked MANY questions over the years.. i think the first one that i ever asked was how could there be God before there was nothing. not before the universe, but before nothing… that alone tells me how little of God i understand, as I to this day cannot reconcile this thought logically.

    Now, if you WOULD call yourself your son, the honour is do equally to yourself, because it is only you that is being honoured in the first place.

    If you WOULD NOT call yourself your son, the honour is due to each respective of the thing which is to be honoured: God having created EVERYTHING and having sent Christ in the first place, and Christ saving us from eternal damnation because God allowed him to do so.

    My apologies on this next part if it is out of place, because i honestly dont remember how far back i read this. (If it is not relevant here, then please let it die)
    As to Christ and Satan being brothers, again, there are only two camps.

    1. Christ and Satan were created by the same being, and therefore are brothers
    2. Satan is a different God that created himself, which would mean they are not brothers.

    To me, if EVERYTHING is created of God, then the 1st is true. If Satan were a separate god, why would he even remotely worry about this earth or anything pertaining to it, and not just make his own?

  25. 25 shematwater
    February 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    JOSH

    Nice of you to join us.
    Honestly, I know that we have just been repeating ourselves, which I actually enjoy immensely. However, it is not insanity, as I am not really trying to persuade anyone, only get them to understand what I mean. I will admit I have not been as effective as I could be.

    Now, I actually opened my argument with the statement that the difference in perspective comes from our understanding of God. If you accept the first view you list you end up with Willy’s ideas. if you accept the second you end up with what I am saying.
    My whole point is that the first view makes no sense and thus the conclusions that are based on it make no sense.
    That was my original point, but I think I got a little too side tracked on the conclusions and missed the origin of them.

    Of course Mark did state that the first view is not their view, even though the second one isn’t either, which kind of confused me, and that may be why I left it alone.

    WILLY

    “can we separate any connection to the person of Jesus with His name?”

    We can separate direct connection. I am reminded of a radio commercial I heard a while ago. The talk show host advertised a product, and then directed the audience to the website to order. He concluded by saying “Enter my name when directed and you will save $20.” So, a person who orders from the site can use this man’s name to receive a discount.
    Calling on the name of Christ is the same basic idea. We pray to the Father, and we invoke Christ’s name when appropriate, and through this receive the promise.

    As to a relationship, what I have stated does not fall short in any way. I pray to the Father, but it is Christ that helps me and does those things that are needed for me. He speaks to me, tells me of his approval, warns me of his disapproval, teaches me all things. When I obey his commands he sends his spirit to be with me. When I am suffering it is Christ that comes to comfort. All these things build a relationship with him, one as deep and complete as anything you will ever experience. And yet, I have never prayed to him, but have always directed my prayers to the Father.

    Acts 9: 10-21 Not once does it say that Paul prayed to Christ. It says he prayed, yes, but does not state the object of his prayer. As such, it seems much more likely that he has praying to the Father, and that Christ was fulfilling his promise to answer such a prayer.

    Acts 7: 59 Notice that in verse 55 he sees Christ in vision. Now, I have always said that if Christ were present than prayers to him would be appropriate, and to see him in vision makes him present.

    2 Corinthians 12: 8-10 This is just another figure of speech, similar to calling on his name. We know that if we ask the Father in faith he will send, or allow, Christ to answer that prayer. Thus, to pray to the Father is asking for the Lord’s help.

  26. 26 David
    February 24, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Shem

    I want to go back to a reply you gave to Mark which I think is at the root of it all. These are only partial excerpts from your reply to Mark:

    ” . . . .while it is our understanding that he is a different being that gives us the understanding that to honor the Son is not to do all things equally, but to do what is fitting his position, while reserving what is fitting the Father’s position to the Father.”

    ” . . . We are to pray to the Father, for he is the supreme being, one to who even Christ gave devotion and worship. He is the Head of the Gods. Thus, to address our prayers, especially those given in the services of our worship of him, to another being, whoever it be, is to diminish our honor and respect for His position and authority.”

    “However, I would also point out that worshiping Christ is not a bad thing, when done in the proper manner and place.”

    Mark’s initial article already pointed out John 5:23. I’d like to point out what it says in Genesis and John. Notice especially that in the second line (Genesis 1:26) God refers to himself as US and that in John, Jesus (the maker of all things) is refered to as the WORD made flesh and that the WORD WAS GOD.

    1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1
    26And God said, Let us make man in our image, Genesis 1:26
    1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2The same was in the beginning with God. 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:1-3
    10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. John 1:10
    14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, John 1:14

    Mormonism alone pulls Jesus down from His place with the Father. Only Mormonism has you believing that you can treat Jesus as inferior to the Heavenly Father and that that is in some way honoring Jesus without contradicting John 5:23.

    Who are you, or the LDS church, to determine the “proper manner and place” to pray to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who made all things, who knew you before the creation of the world, who knows the number of hairs of your head, WHO SET THE TIME AND PLACE FOR YOUR VERY OWN EXISTENCE (Acts 17:26)?

    David

  27. 27 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    If he knew us before the creation of the world, that would in fact, very much point out a spiritual time before this world, which, unless i am mistaken, is not believed by those who are not LDS (there was a spiritual before physical debate in one of these blogs… but again, i am not going to go back to it… time consumption…) Secondly, LDS do believe that Christ created the world. Third, when have LDS ever said there is a proper manner and place, other than the quote above stating that CHRIST said to go into your closet in pray in secret????

    i was raised in a nondenominational church (Gateway in South Texas) and unless i am completely off my rocker, i was taught the second possibility I listed of God. We praised Both Jesus and God quite openly, and fervently. We prayed only to God through Christ (that i am aware of… there was some speaking in tongues, and I am not well versed in said language). On a personal note, while I was deployed to Iraq, i SPOKE to both God and Jesus on a daily basis. This was most definitely NOT prayer, it was dialogue. To have a personal relationship is not merely to pray. to have a personal relationship with one of my friends, am i limited ONLY to calling him? can i visit his house? can i facebook him? can i write him a letter? can i text him? YOU can NOT define MY personal relationship with God or Jesus, and by attempting to do so you show the ignorance you possess. My personal relationship is whatever WE decide it can be, not what you as a third party set out for it to be. YOU are trying to “determine the “proper manner and place” ” .

    David,

    Jesus submits to the will to the father, and therefore places himself below God. (If God chooses to elevate Jesus to his level, that is his and Christs matter, and not ours. God CAN also choose to elevate us just the same, though that is a personal choice between ourselves and God, and concerns not the imaginings of others) Why in the world would Jesus pray in the garden of Gethsemane (spelling?) to his FATHER if he WAS the father????? Why would he EVER pray to the father if he was himself the father? I know that personally, when i was young and stuck in a tree, i yelled to my father to come and get me, not to myself to help me get down. that would be ridiculous, and anyone looking at it from the outside would question my sanity, yet this is exactly what you are trying to say that Christ did. When Christ was baptized, and the heavens opened, did God say “this is my alter ego, in whom i am well pleased”? i believe he said “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” By our understanding of father and son, a personage can NEVER be both to himself. I cannot be my own father, and i cannot be my own son.

  28. 28 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Just to throw out there, some of this stuff is supposed to be so simple that it need not be so ridiculously detailed. If you are failing to realize SIMPLE, and what should be common sense, truths, how can you hope to understand the more complex truths?

  29. 29 shematwater
    February 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    DAVID

    “Only Mormonism has you believing that you can treat Jesus as inferior to the Heavenly Father”

    We do not treat Christ as inferior, only as subordinate, or under the authority of the Father. There is a very big difference here, and I think it is one that you and others fail to grasp.

    “Who are you, or the LDS church, to determine the “proper manner and place” to pray to Jesus Christ”

    Who are you to determine this? What is your authority? I find this a trifle arrogant. Me and Willy have been discussing what we believe the Bible tells us to do. I have presumed nothing, except maybe my right to read the Bible and follow what I believe it teaches. You, on the other hand, have presumed to judge my words (falsely I might add).

    JOSH

    I like your style.

  30. 30 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Just to correct before this gets jumped on: When i said “our understanding of father and son” i meant the human/english understanding. (to my knowledge, there is not a different understanding, but wanted to be completely clear)

  31. 31 David
    February 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Shem

    And I am telling you what the Bible says and responding to your own words.

    You seem to think that God must exist only in a way human reason can understand. He is not that limited:
    2.Psalm 145:3
    Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

    I think its a “trifle arrogant” to think it is up to you or the LDS church to claim to be able to determine the “proper manner and place” to pray to Jesus. I simply asked where you presume to get authority to dictate when and where to pray to Jesus.

    Tell me how I have falsley judged your words? How does it not treat Jesus inferior when you treat the Father as supreme?

    David

  32. 32 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I guess i am invisible here, but LDS do not EVER claim or appear to tell someone the proper manner and place to pray…. as i stated above…

  33. 33 David
    February 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Josh

    2.Ephesians 1:4
    For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
    Ephesians 1:3-5 (in Context) Ephesians 1 (Whole Chapter)

    David

  34. 34 David
    February 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Josh

    Shem said in a response to Mark

    “However, I would also point out that worshiping Christ is not a bad thing, when done in the proper manner and place.”

    David

  35. 35 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    I agree with Ephesians, but we also chose him, and to do so would mean that a pre-mortal existence is well within the teachings of the bible. (LDS teach this by the way..)

    on to the whole proper manner thing then…..

    as we have been discussing, you 2 seem to be debating whether it is proper “manners” to worship God and Jesus exactly the same. if you will read above, you will see the distinction i have made between the 2 trains of thought. either you believe that God and Jesus are separate, or the same being. while i stated my eternal knowledge of God is not complete, i gave reasons why i believe it impossible for them to be the same. The knowledge the Bible gives us is meant to expound upon our current common knowledge, to lead us to Christ, and ultimately back to God (since God is the creator of EVERYTHING). God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost may work together, but are NOT the same “person”. When Jesus promised the Holy Ghost as a comforter, why would he separate himself into 2 different pieces to communicate to us with? Either way you try and explain him separating himself, it doesnt look good for us….. Now, if they were already separate beings, with different purposes, things work out swimmingly. To worship each on a different level is completely within the correct workings of this relationship.

    As to the place issue:

    I would hope that you chose to worship any of the above in a place that is full of the spirit, or that invites the spirit of the Lord. That is to say, going and praying in a nude bar is probably not the best place. That does not mean that it can not be done, it means that it is not the best choice to be close to God. In the middle of a crack house is probably another place that is not the best to choose for a worship house… not exactly inviting to the spirit. You CAN worship anywhere you choose, but that does not make it the best place. King David danced through the streets naked, and it has been a while since i read it (so i could definitely be wrong) but i think he got into a bit of trouble with the Lord over this. (again, unless i am mistaken, which is possible) He chose were and how to worship, but this did not make it “right”

    To expound again, Christ chose the proper manner in which to be baptized. He did not pull some random person off the street and ask them to dunk him in water. He went to someone with proper authority to baptize him. John tried to say “no” and Jesus said suffer it to be so that i can straighten out this mess of sin y’all call earth.. (totally paraphrasing of course, but the message is there)

  36. February 24, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Shem, I see by your analogy that you still fail to grasp what to ” call upon ” the name of the Lord
    means. In the Old Covenant it was praying TO Jehovah Himself. The Jewish believers once they
    discovered Jesus’ identity followed that very behavior in their worship of Jesus . Your analogy
    is wholly deficient in portraying this true relationship with Jesus . Merely dropping this talk show
    host’s name as a way to get something is’nt much of a personal connection with him , it’s rather
    impersonal to large extent . You mention the things that Jesus does for you and then proceed to
    call that ” as deep and COMPLETE as anything you will ever experience. ” Complete ? This is
    a deep and complete relationship between two persons when one of them does’nt choose to directly
    communicate with the other ? As you testified : ” And yet I have NEVER prayed to Him ” .
    You also failed to grasp the truths of Acts 9: 10-21; 7:59; 2Cor 12:8-10. Where Paul once persecuting
    those who called on the name of Jesus , then met Jesus and the rest of his life he enjoyed a personal
    relationship with Him that involved calling upon Him , and receiving from Him — 2 Cor. 12:8-10. In Acts
    7 , Jesus allowed Stephen to see Him in Heaven , Stephen prayed to Jesus and he had a good reason
    for his behavior as the relationship that Jesus established with His followers while with on the earth was
    only briefly broken by Jesus’death . This relationship continued after His ascension and we see how
    believers in the risen Lord felt about this relationship — the freedom to directly petition their Lord. The
    point you try to make that since Jesus is physically present then communicating with Him is appropriate
    but when He’s not physically present then it is inappropriate , is silly. He stands ready to receive our
    praise and worship thru prayer even now . In a way it takes more faith to believe that He will hear us now
    then when He was physically present with His disciples , this relationship with Him certainly did’nt
    change since He is ever ready to hear from us , He ever liveth for that very personal reason —Heb 7:25.
    In closing let me remind you that we honor the Father by treating His Son as He , the Father, wishes to
    be treated . While there is an order in the Godhead of roles that each member plays in our lives, it needs
    to remembered that while we are directed in the N.T. to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name , the scriptures
    also portray the wonderful arrangement that the Father has willed concerning Jesus , this consists of a
    intimate relationship with His Son that can be facilitated thru communion directly with His Son . This
    only completes The Father’s relationship with us and Himself . They both receive our worship , praise
    and honor and they both respond . To say ” I have never prayed to Him” , is disheartening to hear .
    May the day be soon when that will change . That’s it for this thread for me. Take care. WW

  37. 37 David
    February 24, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Josh

    Who is God referring to then in Genesis when He says “Let US make man . . .” in Genesis.
    I am not discussing “manners” we were discussing having true faith in Jesus’ and truely honoring Jesus in the way Jesus said He is honored in John 5:23. Not believing Jesus has eternal consequences. It is not a minor matter.

    If you consider them seperate, it may appear to our feeble human minds to work “swimmingly” the problem is that is not what God says about Himself.

    Isaiah 43:
    10Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

    11I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour.

    Genesis 3:22
    And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US (emphasis added), to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: (NOTE again the word US)

    1 Corinthians 8:6
    But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. (referring to One God)

    We can’t understand it but, that doesn’t mean the Bible is not true. “25Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” I Corinthians 1:25. God can do the impossible. Mark 10:27, Matthew 19:26. Luke 1:37 – “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

    God is all powerful. There is nothing he can’t do and he never makes mistakes. His ways and His nature are beyond human comprehension.

    You also ask a rather strange question for an LDS member. ” why would he separate himself into 2 different pieces to communicate to us with? ” If this troubles you, why do you accept the notion that this “reformed” testimony to Joseph Smith had to be translated by some special spectacle (don’t know the name)? Why would it be written in a form of Egyptian language no egyptian ever heard of? I’m sure you have an answer, but it strikes me as odd that you raise this as a problem and the circumstances of the “reformed” gospel didn’t cause concern for you.

    The place discussion was simply about the fact that Jesius is ever bit as much God as Heavenly Father, is the Holy Spirit. Jesus should be given equal honor with the Father.

  38. 38 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I am glad to hear that you finally understand this “While there is an order in the Godhead of roles that each member plays in our lives”.. or that it at least looks like you understand this. in this writing, you are separating them into different members, which was the point of debate here, not whether shem ever spoke with Christ or not.

  39. 39 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    HE is saying US!!!! how are you missing this???? he is NOT SAYING let ME…

  40. 40 joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Isaiah 43:11 beside is also translate as without if i am not mistaken… so WITHOUT me there is no savior,
    1 Cor 8:6 even specifically spells out that there is ONE GOD and ONE JESUS, how are you missing this?

    The reformed gospel is to attempt to make things plain and simple, unfortunately, it has failed on you. To me, this is a travesty, and hopefully you will one day begin to understand these simple truths

  41. 41 David
    February 24, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    Josh

    This is one of those times where we are talking past each other because what you see as three seperate gods from LDS teaching I see as One God consisting of three in one (the Trinity). Lets back up for a second. If you look at the Genesis passages they speak of a singular God in some points and God as a plural “us’ at others. That is consistent with the three-in-one Trinity of the Bible (although the Word “Trinity” is not there, all three are referred to in different passages.) God says He is Ohe God and so He is. But you also see the three in individual capacities as well. e.g God sent His Son, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit”, Jesus giving the apostles the Holy Spirit, Jesus saying only the Father knows the day or hour of the final judgment, and many, many other examples. Yet God says there is One and in Genesis He says “let US make man. . .” “he has become like us” and iin John in references that WORD (the Spirit inspired Word) was God and the Word (God) became flesh. I know this get confusing but stick with me.

    When I see –

    1 Corinthians 8:6
    But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    The One God and One Lord Jesus doesn’t become two seperate beings or Gods. They are still One God, which is also consists of Jesus being the Son of God, that which the Father sent to be the only mediator to God (the Trinity, the One, the US of Creation). If I were to read this passage and see two Gods then I would not be believing what God says about Himself, which is also the God who said “Let US make man. . . and that he has become like US – THE Single GOD of creation.

    Don’t pull your hair out. We accept by faith that the God is how He has revealed Himself to us. Its OK that it is over our heads. I know you see three, but God, in no uncertain terms says He is One. And Yes there is ONe Father, One Son,and One Holy Spirit – which are ONE GOD. But don’t get lost in this discussion. This wasn’t about the Trinity, its about treating Jesus as the Father’s equal.

  42. 42 shematwater
    February 24, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    DAVID

    “And I am telling you what the Bible says and responding to your own words.”

    You are not telling me what the bible says, but what you believe, or interpret the Bible to say. Where is your authority to say what the Bible says? Where is your authority to dictate to me what the intended meaning of these men were?
    This is the arrogance I speak of.

    “Tell me how I have falsely judged your words?”

    You have judged my words are assuming the authority to dictate private matters of faith and worship. I have never done this, and yet you have accused me and the LDS church of doing so. This is a false accusation, made from the presumption of your personal judgment.

    (PS In Genesis we get a singular and a plural God for a very simple reason. When it is singular it is speaking of the Father, but when it is plural it is speaking of both the Father and the Son. Thus when it says “God said let us” what is meant is that “The Father said to the Son, let us”)

    JOSH

    I love your posts.

  43. 43 Joshtried
    February 24, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    You are esentially giving God a multiple personality. As to the “us” creating earth, there are ways u CAN understand this, but u are chosing not to. If you can not diferentiate between us (very clearly plural) & me (very clearly singular) then I can not help u understand my point. This is such a simple concept. Why can you not grasp it?

  44. 44 choosethechrist
    February 25, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Shem said: “You are not telling me what the bible says, but what you believe, or interpret the Bible to say. Where is your authority to say what the Bible says? Where is your authority to dictate to me what the intended meaning of these men were?”

    All who have put their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and it is by the authority of Jesus Christ through whom we dictate the intended meaning of God through the indwelling Holy Spirit who gives us an understanding of God’s Word (the Bible).

    I pray that the LDS people will come to understand the truth of God because their souls depend on it.

    This topic truly shows how small the LDS God who was once a mere man really is. The true God of the Bible is beyond human comprehension and all of the LDS logic and reasoning in the world will not and can not explain away what you all refuse to believe. God could care less about your “knowledge” or “logic”. Believe what He has told everyone about Himself in His Word or not. Your choice, your consequences.

  45. 45 joshtried
    February 25, 2012 at 3:45 am

    “All who have put their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation are indwelt by the Holy Spirit”

    This is just flat out wrong.

    And i very specifically quote acts 8:14-17 (NIV version)
    “14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. ”
    (KJ version)
    14Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John 15Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost 16(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
    17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.

    What this topic shows is the inability of people to READ what is CLEARLY written. I would be willing to bet that if i asked right now, that not many would correctly answer me how many of each animal Noah took with him on his ark, nor how many people (through God’s power) parted water, or even if God (Gasp) has ever repented.. at least not without going back and reading before posting here.

    As for Jesus being a mere man… NEVER has that been stated by us (though i have not read EVERY single post through this entire blog, so someone MAY have made that inaccurate comparison… somehow, i highly doubt that though). Jesus spoke with such authority that it often makes me sad of who i am, because he said that we are all capable of the same, yet we cannot even wrap our minds around this concept. Faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains, right? well, then admittedly, mine is not even that large. I will truthfully admit my shortcomings here each and every time i start to look at the fallacies of others, because i know for a fact that i am not perfect, and i never want to portray myself as such.

    I believe i have stated why i believe Jesus is separate from God. If we went back to the very first scriptures written, in languages you and i cannot read, we may be able to settle some of this once and for all. the problem is, you and i dont generally have access to this material.

    To go further with my previous examples:
    IF God = God + Jesus + Holy Ghost THEN one should ALSO worship the Holy Ghost, as it IS God… I heard no mention of praying to the Holy Ghost before, so i thought this might be something that helps further explain my viewpoint.
    Technically God = ALL of us, for if God ceased to exist, so would we. so Technically the above statement is correct… but only in this last way. And in this last way, I am also God, for if God were to die so would I.

  46. 46 markcares
    February 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    We do worship the Holy Ghost as God including praying to him. Here is one stanza of a hymn demonstrating that.
    Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord! May all your graces be out poured
    On each believer’s mind and heart; Your fervent love to them impart.
    Lord, by the brightness of your light In holy faith your church unite
    From every land and every tongue; This to your praise, O Lord, our God, be sung.

  47. February 25, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    Josh said: ““All who have put their faith in Jesus Christ for their salvation are indwelt by the Holy Spirit” This is just flat out wrong.”

    1 Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”

  48. February 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Shem

    Where is my authority? From Jesus Christ. Did I just make that up? No. Is that just my interrpretation? No. Its the TRUTH because it is what the Bible tells me. And No I didn’t earn that position, I received it because I have been made perfect in Christ right now through faith in His suffering and death on the cross given for the forgiveness of ALL of my sins by His grace.

    20Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. 21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. II Corinthians 5:20-21

    19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:18-20

    14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14

    16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:2 Timothy 3:16

    I fail to see why you take such offense that I quote scripture and simply respond to your own interpretations of scripture.

    I agree with Echos and Choosethechrist use of 1 Corinthians.

    David

  49. 49 Joshtried
    February 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Echo, there is a difference in having the Holy Ghost verify that Christ is our savior and having the Holy Ghost reside with us. To have the Holy Ghost “indwelt” is to dwell in, or reside, which can not be done until the laying on of hands.

    Mark, while I appreciate the reference, I believe my point was missed once again, so I shall ask it a different way.
    If all 3 are the same being, why would you worship them separately? When you meet someone new for the first time, do you introduce yourself to their right arm, and their left arm, and finally their face? If Christ is to sit AT the right hand, he cannot be the right hand, or any other part of the body… (I cannot make my left foot sit on my right side, &if I did I would either be sitting on myself or would eventually be in pain from the wierd position)

  50. 50 Joshtried
    February 25, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    And another for clarity…
    When Satan was tempting Jesus, IF it was God would Satan have not understood the futility of his tempting before ever starting?

    Christs purpose is to draw us unto God.
    The prophets of old (& present) draw us to Christs sacrifice that brings us to God.
    The prophets are no more Christ than Christ is God.

  51. 51 Joshtried
    February 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    Let me try it a different way..
    No unclean thing can be in the presence of God, correct? (i am not asking if any person is or is not clean, for only God possesses that judgement).
    IF Jesus were God, then we would not be able to be in Jesus’ presence either, for he would be God. I am thankful that Christ is my mediator to God, that through him I can be cleaned and eventually return unto the Father’s presence.

  52. February 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Josh said: “IF Jesus were God, then we would not be able to be in Jesus’ presence either, for he would be God. I am thankful that Christ is my mediator to God, that through him I can be cleaned and eventually return unto the Father’s presence.”

    Jesus is God…

    Mathew 1:23 “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” —which means, “God with us.”

    John 20:27-28 “Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

    John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word[Jesus] was God.”

    John 1:10 “He [Jesus] was in the world, and though the world was made through him [through Jesus] , the world did not recognize him. ”

  53. February 25, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The reason Mormons cannot say: “Jesus is Lord(Jesus is God)” is because they do not have the Holy Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 12:3 “no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.”

  54. 54 Joshtried
    February 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I leave this one blog with this, if you are unable to separate “us” & “I” & “me”, & are unable to separate Father from Son, then I cannot help in your understand. There is a new part of this blog, and I will concentrate any further efforts there. If you wish for any clarification on what I am saying now, all you need do is scroll up..
    “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

  55. February 25, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    The Father is not the Son.

  56. 56 choosethechrist
    February 27, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Echo you make a good point. In addition, I think another reason for why it is so hard for Mormons to accept the trinity is their lack of true Biblical understanding that also comes from the Holy Spirit. How could anyone who is indwelt with the Holy Spirit believe the Holy Word of God to be corrupt?

    There are way too many passages in the Bible that support the fact that Jesus is God even if our small human minds are not fully capable of understanding it. I can come up with a million reasons why Jesus can’t possibly be God like Josh has, but the bottom line is that I have to accept what God has to say about it and He says in His Holy Word (The Bible) that Jesus is God. Who am I to discount the Word of God?

    In order to save some time, here are links that show many verses that support the fact that Jesus is God:

    http://www.gotquestions.org/deity-of-Christ.html
    http://www.gotquestions.org/is-Jesus-God.html
    http://www.gotquestions.org/divinity-of-Christ.html

  57. 57 shematwater
    February 27, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    DAVID

    Your arrogance only shows clearer in your attempt to claim authority on the backs of the ancient apostles.
    You lecture me an where I get my authority, and then claim it yourself, with nothing but your claim to support it. Well, based on the claim you have given, and using the same criteria for support, I can say with just as much confidence that I have the same authority as you.
    In fact, I can state clearly that I have greater authority, for I am an ordained elder, confirmed to my priesthood by one who actually holds the authority to do so; just as all the ancient peoples were confirmed in the past. I do not claim this authority of myself, as you have done. But I have been called of God, in the same way as Aaron was called of God, which Paul tells us is the only legitimate way to be called: By a prophet of God having the authority.

    With this priesthood I can state for a fact that you are wrong; that your doctrine is false and does not come from God; that your interpretation of scripture is not based on the testimony of the Holy Spirit; and that clinging to such doctrines and ideas will only result in you failing to gain the full blessings that your Father wants to give you.

    ECHO

    I can say with more assurance that you that Jesus is Lord and that Jesus is God. I can say this for two reasons: I have the presence of the Holy Ghost with me, and you do not; and I actually have a correct understanding of who Jesus is, what He has done, and how it effects me.
    What I cannot say is the Jesus is the Father, or that Jesus and the Father are of the same essence, or are the same being. I cannot say this because it is a false doctrine, bread by the blindness of men and hardness of their hearts. I cannot say it because to do so would be to deny the truth that I know.

    I am with Josh on this. The subject is dead, and it is time to move on.

  58. February 27, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    Choose said: “How could anyone who is indwelt with the Holy Spirit believe the Holy Word of God to be corrupt?”

    That’s another good point Choose. Mormonism claims that there are many discrepancies in the Bible and that the Bible isn’t perfect.

    But I would say, a Church who claims that God’s word has many discrepancies hasn’t got the right doctrine. We can know our interpretation is correct when our interpretation leaves no discrepancies and when the Bible shines forth as perfect.

    Shem said: “I can say with more assurance that you that Jesus is Lord and that Jesus is God. I can say this for two reasons: I have the presence of the Holy Ghost with me, and you do not; and I actually have a correct understanding of who Jesus is, what He has done, and how it effects me.”

    Shem, we have the Holy Ghost living in us. Shem, we have witnessed how your holy ghost effects you and causes you to treat others and that is a sign that it is not the true Holy Ghost.


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