Saturday, November 27, 2010

Did Joseph Smith Claim To Do a Greater Work Than Jesus?

The quote below is from a Mormon Facebook page attempting to justify Josephs claim of boasting about doing better work than Jesus.

The detractors are referring to a statement Joseph Smith delivered in Nauvoo, Illinois, in May, 1844, shortly before his death. It is true that he was boasting, having patterned his address after a talk by Paul recorded in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. In that sermon, Paul the Apostle was doing some boasting of his own to the Gentiles. Joseph Smith picked up on Paul's theme when he said, "I have more to boast of than any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such work as I." (History of the Church, Vol.6, pp. 408-09). While we aren't sure this is a completely accurate quote, let us assume that it is. Detractors read into this statement that the Prophet was saying he did a greater work than Jesus Christ. Considering the entire text and the circumstance of the time, he seems to be saying only that he was able to keep the Church together better than others did, including Jesus Christ. Surely Joseph Smith would be the first to agree that keeping a church together is not a greater or a more significant work than what was done by Jesus. There is nothing as significant as being the God of Israel, taking upon oneself the sins of the world, dying for all mankind that they might live, nor being resurrected. Surely, everlasting life is the greatest gift anyone could give. Nevertheless, the Lord himself said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father" (John 14:12). To what greater work could the Savior be referring? Perhaps the Lord means a larger work, but certainly not more significant. For example, John the Baptist presumably baptized more people than Jesus, Paul may have converted more as a missionary, Moses led more Israelites out of bondage, Noah built a bigger ship, and Joseph Smith kept the Church together longer. The point should be clear: if greater means quantity, there are many who fulfilled the Savior's promise that his followers would do "greater works," and this includes Joseph Smith. (Stephen R. Gibson)

Let's take a look at this statement and try and figure the logic behind their thinking.

It is true that he was boasting, having patterned his address after a talk by Paul recorded in 2 Corinthians chapter 11. In that sermon, Paul the Apostle was doing some boasting of his own to the Gentiles.

Well since he doesn't list the verses that could mean he doesn't know or he wants you to think he does. So lets look at 2 Corinthians chapter 11.

2 Corinthians 11
Paul and the False Apostles
1 I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.

5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!

12 And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about. 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
Paul Boasts About His Sufferings
16 I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting. 17 In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool. 18 Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast. 19 You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise! 20 In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face. 21 To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that!

Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I. 23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. 27 I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?

30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me. 33 But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.

Please oh please tell me how this is boasting? To me it sounds like Paul is making it very clear that everyone knows his past and that all the focus is put on the REAL Jesus Christ and not a false gospel. Now lets take a look at something that LDS apologist can't stand to do and look at things in CONTEXT.

Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on the top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. You know my daily walk and conversation. I am in the bosom of a virtuous and good people. How I do love to hear the wolves howl! When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.

Now I will be the first to admit that I am not the smartest person out there but It would appear that Joseph is making it very clear where he wants all the attention to be (on himself). Now at this point he goes into John 14:12. Now I find this funny that an LDS apologist will try and use this chapter to justify their cause because it is talking about how Jesus and God are one in the same. Let's look at the entire section which this is taken out of which starts in verse 5.

Jesus the Way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Now if you noticed the LDS apologist is claiming our salvation that Jesus gave us on the cross is a work performed by Jesus (implying that Jesus needed to perform works for his salvation/exhalation) and that we can do something better than the salvation for all mankind. So what works could Jesus be referring to? Again I admit that I am not the smartest one out there but maybe, just maybe it could be the works done by us through the Holy Spirit as a result of the faith we have by not having seen Jesus in person. He ends his statement by saying that Joseph kept his church together longer. Well first off I encourage you to look up how many offshoots there are of the Mormon church for one. Second the church that Jesus set up isn't a building, it's believers. And if it wasn't still together than the gates of hell would of had to of prevailed against it as Jesus said it wouldn't (Mathew 16:18), which would make Jesus a liar and a false prophet which the LDS agree that he isn't.

I ask that if you are listening to someone such as this trying to pull scripture to justify their cause you take what they give you and look at it with what we like to call the 20/20 rule. This means you look up to 20 verses before and 20 verses after. You can make the Bible say almost anything you want by taking verses out of context. I pray this helps you better understand the verses that God gives us and to also know Joseph was extremely self centered to the point he would write down prophecies of himself to make him appear legit to his followers. Jesus loves you as you are and you will not get there by following the teachings of Joseph and his band of merry men.

Your Brother in Christ,
J.R. Merilatt
Ephesians 2 Ministry

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is up with Greg West?

It would appear that over the last few months Greg has become obsessed with our ministry and mainly me. The exact reason is unknown however I would bet that he is somehow intimidated by me. Ephesians 2 Ministry is here to assist those looking for answers and care for those who choose to leave. So why the fascination? He is now blogging about me to the point that he is claiming I along with several other people of which are also involved in this type of ministry are being hateful. I at no point have stated anything against him in anger or hate. The fact that we stand up against the LDS empire seems to be raising his anger level to the point it would appear he is on PMS.

If/when you come across him or his colleagues please be aware that they will automatically place you in a hate group for not aligning yourself with their beliefs and/or standing up against them. Greg will go as far as tracking down your IP address and show people your homes as if the amount of income you make has an impact on your favor with God. I only bring this to your attention to warn you.

I will state this so that Greg will know. Ephesians 2 Ministry will not be going anywhere as long as I have breath in my lungs. I also know that others are more than willing to carry on once it's gone. If Greg West wants to continue promoting our site by all means please do so. Those LDS who refuse to see the truth will never be impacted by our ministry. On the flip side those Christians who come across our ministry will see Greg for who he is and will be more than happy to support us. Those truly seeking will see that we are not, and never have been hateful. I on the other hand will not sit back and allow him and his group to distort the truth unchallenged. That my friends is what they claim to be hate speech. I will never sugar coat anything. If these apologist act like a fool, I will call them on it. Plain and simple. I am more than willing to share the truth in love to those asking honest questions. The select few that are only out to keep a soul from knowing who God truly is will see the same side of me that Jesus gave the Pharisees.

I pray that Greg comes to realize that he is doing himself more harm than good. He along with his few select followers will continue their efforts against us and we will continue to stand on the word of God. I did not choose this type of ministry, He selected me for it. And because of that I pray He continues to give me the strength to carry on. I will be the first to admit that I am the worst sinner there is. It is only because of his grace of which I do not deserve that I reach out to the LDS and JW's.

Thank you for your time and God bless.

Your brother in Christ,
John Merilatt
Ephesians 2 Ministry

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Article #5

LDS Article of faith Number 5:

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

This is all about Authority, the LDS church teaches that all other Christian churches are in a state of Apostasy and are lacking the fullness of God  because we do not have Priesthood Authority. 

So preaching the gospel, baptism and any other church function is invalid elsewhere, this means when someone joins the Mormon church from another Christian background they must be baptized into that church.

What I would like to do in this post is deal with this issue of Priesthood Authority. 

Quoted below is a section from “Our heritage, A Brief history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”

Restoration of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods
When the angel Moroni first met with Joseph Smith on the
Hill Cumorah in September 1823, he gave important instructions
about the restoration of priesthood authority to the earth,
including the following declaration: “When [the gold plates] are
interpreted the Lord will give the holy priesthood to some, and they
shall begin to proclaim this gospel and baptize by water, and after

that they shall have power to give the Holy Ghost by the laying
on of their hands.”10
In the spring of 1829, Joseph participated in the partial fulfillment
of the angel’s words. As he and Oliver Cowdery were
translating the Book of Mormon, they found mention of baptism
for the remission of sins. On 15 May they sought further knowledge
on the subject from the Lord in prayer. While offering up
their petition on the banks of the Susquehanna River, the two
men were visited by a heavenly messenger. He identified himself
as John the Baptist (pictured) of New Testament times. Laying his hands on
the heads of Joseph and Oliver, he said, “Upon you my fellow
servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron,
which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the
gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the
remission of sins” (D&C 13:1).
After this ordination, Joseph and Oliver baptized one another
as commanded by John the Baptist and ordained each other to
the Aaronic Priesthood. John told them that “this Aaronic Priesthood
had not the power of laying on hands for the gift of the
Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter.”
He also said that “he acted under the direction of Peter, James and
John, who held the keys of the Priesthood of Melchizedek, which
Priesthood, he said, would in due time be conferred on us”
(JS—H 1:70, 72; see also 1:68–72).

The Prophet said of this experience: “Immediately on our
coming up out of the water after we had been baptized, we
experienced great and glorious blessings from our Heavenly
Father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery, than the Holy
Ghost fell upon him, and he stood up and prophesied many
things which should shortly come to pass. And again, so soon as I
had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when,
standing up, I prophesied concerning the rise of this Church, and
many other things connected with the Church, and this generation
of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost,
and rejoiced in the God of our salvation” (JS—H 1:73).

Later, Peter, James, and John appeared to Joseph and Oliver
and conferred upon them the Melchizedek Priesthood. They also
bestowed the keys of God’s kingdom upon them (see D&C
27:12–13; 128:20). The Melchizedek Priesthood is the highest
authority given to men on earth. With this authority, the Prophet
Joseph Smith was able to organize the Church of Jesus Christ in
this dispensation and begin to establish the various priesthood
quorums as they are known in the Church today.

So in the Mormon Church we see two levels of Presthood Authority the Aaronic and the melchizedek Priesthood. Both are offices only held by men in the Church.

Aaronic priesthood holders ages 12–18 prepare, bless, and administer the sacrament, collect fast offerings, assist in home teaching, and occasionally perform baptisms.(
The Melchizedek priesthood being the higher of the two relates more to eternal things such as Baptism for the dead as well as having the authority to perform healings and receive revelation for their own family. Fathers will often give a priesthood blessing to their family when an important situation arises.
The important thing to take from this is the Mormon Church teaches this authority is essential to following God in this life and the next and that all other churches do not have this due to the Apostasy.
Both of these Priesthoods do exist in the bible however seem to hold a very different role to what the Mormon Church Teaches.

The Aaronic Priesthood or the Levitical Priesthood was held by Aaron the brother of Moses (Exodus 6:20). The priesthood was used in these times and was for Aaron and His sons.

Exodus 28:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.

There is no indication in the bible that this priesthood was ever meant for gentiles and no indication that this Authority lived on after the sons of Aaron.
The Melchizedek Priesthood comes from a relatively unknown character in the Old testament.

Genesis 14:18-20 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

However this priesthood is never seen in the bible as something which is passed on to worthy males, there is only one other person in the bible shown as receiving this priesthood and that person is the Savior Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 5:5-6 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

Many LDS members may not have realised this but the book of Hebrews clearly teaches why the Priestood of Melchizedek is not available to anyone else ever again.
In the Old Testament times there was always one high priest functioning at a time, who once a year went into Gods presence in the temple, this role was only passed on when that High priest died and then another took over. This is the case with the Melchizedek priesthood today.

Hebrews 7:17-28 Shows this.
17For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
18For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
20And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
21(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
22By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
24But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

In v17 we see Jesus has this priesthood, in v23 we see that these priests existed until death thats why we needed more than one in the past, however v24 shows that Jesus holds this priesthood permanently as He is alive, in v27 we see that He has paid the ultimate sacrifice by sacrificing Himself for us, so unlike the old priests He does not need to offer sacrifices daily. and v18 shows we no longer have weak human high priests but we have Jesus who is the perfect high priest forever.
Mormons will still ask so where is your authority to baptize? Well this is an authority all believers have by being in Christ, think of the great commission.

Matthew 28:16-20
16Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus says all authority has been given to me therefore GO!!
Where does our authority come from? It comes from being in Christ, He is our Prophet, He is our Priest, He is our King.
Our forgiveness, leadership, love, and authority does not come from a human man it comes from Christ, the only time Priesthood is talked about for believers in the New Testament is for ALL believers.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

If you are born again, in love with Christ and have assurance that He alone is your source of salvation then you have all of the spiritual authority that you could ever need.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An Encounter with Greg West

Over the last few days I have been having a online conversation with an LDS apologist by the name of Greg West. He's trying to group anyone who stands against the church with truth in a group who commits arson, or any act of violence against the church or any member there of. Somehow he has become obsessed with me and Ephesians 2 Ministry, to the point that he is blogging saying that I have some sort of personal vendetta against him or Mormons in general.

He sees us at a threat to to him when all we do is provide biblical truth to his LDS beliefs. He is going to any length possible to include posting pictures of ministries houses as if we are somehow it this type of ministry to make money. It's not only his theology that is twisted but he can't even get my name right. In the post he mixes up prominent ministry leaders such as Ed Decker and Bill McKeever and calls them Ed McKeever.

Please be careful if you run across him for he may make it a personal goal to do a character assassination. He is an Anti-Christian who's only goal is to defend the LDS church at all cost to include defamation of character. May God bless you all and keep you safe.