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2 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2012 - 1:18PM #1
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,240

Recently there has been a lot of noise over our practice of baptism for the dead so I thought I would address the issue.


It seems that some members have taken it upon themselves to baptize people they should not, Holocaust victims and famous people; just how many times does Elvis need baptizing anyway?


The Church has asked us over and over again not to! I remember when I taught genealogy classes 20 years ago the first thing on the list was ‘do the work for only your own direct family line’! But someone out there is not listening. Last week they read in church a letter from the First Presidency stating if anyone baptized unauthorized people they would lose their privilege of using the Church’s Family Search program forever and receive further Church discipline, kind of scary for a Mormon. So hopefully the practice will stop.


But I want to take a look at the sacred ordinance and hopefully explain the whys.


When Christ was upon the earth He went to John for baptism. At first John was surprised why should Jesus need baptism after all he was the Son of God and a perfect man.


John had taught of two baptisms


“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, …he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire” Matt 3


Jesus taught the very same principle;


“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3


So each person has to have both baptisms to enter into the kingdom of God.


Jesus answered John questioning with; “Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness”. Jesus went into the water and was baptized. As he came up out of the water John saw “…the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him”, he had both baptisms happen to him.


And the Father said; “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”


When the men of Jerusalem heard the Gospel on the day of Pentecost they were pricked in their hearts and their faith was born. They asked Peter what shall we do now and “Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”


There again are the two baptisms.


We have to look in two places to understand what happened to Paul. In Acts 22 Paul gives a account of his conversion to Christianity. He tells the people at Jerusalem of Ananias who blessed and healed him after his vision of Christ. Ananias said;


“And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”


Turning back to Acts 9 we have Luke’s rendition of what happen.


Ananias put his hands on him to give him a blessing of healing;


“Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.”


Once again there is mentioned the two baptism. They are also mentioned in Act 10: 47-48 & Acts 8. In another thread I will address the concept of receiving the Holy Ghost but here I want to focus on baptism.


For us who are sinners baptism is given to us as a gift and it is for the remission of sins. I want to put two passages together.


In Rev 1 John writes;


“Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and ….loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”


And Paul writes in Rom 6 “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”


There is some deep and spiritual connection between the sacrifice which Christ freely gave us and the ordinance of baptism. I do not profess to understand it but I do know and accepted on faith that as we enter the water and are immersed we are washed clean of all past sins. We come up out of the water with a newness of life.


In 1 Nephi 31 Nephi writes;


“And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water! …..And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the agate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.


And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?”


Baptism is absolutely essential for every person who has or will live on this earth, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without it.


But in the history of the world very very few have had the opportunity to hear the gospel and receive of this saving ordinance, does Christ then fail because most of the family of man must perish?


“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved”


Jesus said; “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”


Peter explained this in chapters 3&4 of 1 Peter; after Christ death and before his resurrection His spirit was in the spirit world.


“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah”


Those who had sinned before the flood had paid for their own sins and were now ready to be taught the gospel.


Jesus is to be the judge of both the quick or living and the dead.


“For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit”


We believe this great missionary work is still going on in the spirit world and each dispensation of mankind is being taught the gospel as they are ready to receive it.


Paul prophesied in Ephesians;


"…Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: ….. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named"




When Christ was on earth it was the meridian of time and Paul was looking forward to our time a time when there would be "restitution of all things" (Act 3:20) With the restoration of Gospel and the sealing power of the priesthood.


Malachi prophesied about the second coming or “the great and dreadful day..”


“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”


In Matt 16 Peter is promised “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”


In the next chapter Jesus is transfigured and Moses and Elijah appear with him. We believe it was at this point Peter was given this power to bind on earth so that it will be bound in heaven but with the death of Peter and the other Apostles this power and knowledge was lost.


In April of 1836 the gathering of the heavenly family and restitution of all things spoken of by Peter began. Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were in the Kirtland temple when a vision opened up to them.


“We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us… Yea, I will appear unto my servants, and speak unto them with mine own voice, if my people will keep my commandments, …. Yea the hearts of thousands and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in consequence of the blessings which shall be poured out…After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth..…After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said: Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—”


Thus we have the world’s largest genealogy organization and genealogy has become the largest hobby in the world in and out of the Church.


If you will click below you will find some pictures of temple baptismal fonts.


www.bing.com/images/search?q=Mormon+Bapt...


You’ll notice that surrounding the fonts there are 12 oxen which represent the 12 tribes of Israel. They are designed after the one in Solomon’s Temple and we feel we are gathering in the 12 tribes of Israel.


1Kings 7:23-25
“It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward”


President Joseph F. Smith in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 3 October 1918 received several vision of the spirit world, he wrote that when Christ went into the spirit world he was in paradise or the place where all the noble and great spirits resided after death, the bosom of Abraham as the Bible calls it. There he organized the great missionary work for the dead


“…He commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead. And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.


Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.


These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,


And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.


And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross….”



President Smith was quoting from a Messianic passage in Isa 61


“…the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn…”


The prison is this spirit prison and President Smith goes on to say he saw all of the different prophets like Isaiah there preaching the gospel to those who lived during their different dispensations. This prison or pit is also mentioned in Is 24:21-23


President Smith goes on;
“The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God, And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation.


Thus was the vision of the redemption of the dead revealed to me, and I bear record, and I know that this record is true, through the blessing of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even so. Amen.” D&C 138




There is only one place in the Bible where baptism of the dead is mentions, 1 Cor 15: 28-29. To understand what Paul is saying we have to understand the argument he is making.


Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel …. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
And that he was buried, and that he arose again the third day according to the scriptures:


He is arguing first for the gospel message of atonement and then a resurrection of the physical body.


…If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. ….


And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.


For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”


Adam brought both a spiritual death through sin and a physical death into the world. Christ through his atonement and resurrection healed both of those deaths.


“And when all things (sin and death) shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him (God the Father) that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.


Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?”


He’s saying why do they baptize for those who are sitting in the spirit world if there is no hope for them, why are they doing this? He seems to understand the purpose for these baptisms and is actually arguing for them.

There is evidence that these baptisms for the dead continued within the early beginnings of the Catholic Church up until Council of Carthage in 419 AD when in a state of apostasy the Catholic Church band them.


k. Canon xx.)


“It also seemed good that the Eucharist (sacrament) should not be given to the bodies of the dead. For it is written: Take, Eat, but the bodies of the dead can neither take nor eat. Nor let the ignorance of the presbyters baptize those who are dead.


The word ‘presbyters’ meant “administrative official of a local church”.


I don’t know what it means to give the sacrament to a dead body but I do know that even today Catholic Priest are called into give Last Rights to the dying and Catholics will offer prayers for those they feel are in purgatory or their version of the spirit prison.


It does appear that members of the presbyter were doing some form of baptism for the dead for 400 years after the death of Christ and even beyond that in some Gnostic groups.


As I understand it baptism is an earthly ordinance and must be done before a spirit can be resurrected, it makes the difference between a resurrection of life and one of damnation. Those who accept this vicarious baptism will be forgiven and receive their salvation. They will then be judged by their good works and receive their reward. Many may enter the Celestial Kingdom and the presences of the Father and the Son. Others will enter the Terrestrial Kingdom and enjoy the presence of Christ.


Those who choose of their own free will to reject this saving ordinance will remain in the spirit prison until after the Millennium. As long as they have not denied the Holy Spirit they will receive a resurrection of glory and enter the Telestial Kingdom but they will never enter the presence of the Father or even Christ again, this is damnation.


We feel that by the end of the Millennium each of the billions and billions of spirit children of God the Father will have this saving ordinance preformed and have the opportunity to accept or reject it, of their own free will.


In conclusion I want to say no one is force anyone into the Mormon Church in heaven, we feel salvation must be obtain through a free will choice. Repentances isn’t repentances if it is forced.


Please ask questions if you have any.

Wise men still seek him.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 11:35AM #2
Joe68
Posts: 289

First, to be honest, this LDS doctrine of “baptism for the dead” does not have anything to do with salvation since according to LDS doctrine salvation – i.e. making to heaven can be done without faith, Jesus Christ, the Gospel, or even obeying any of the commandments – apparently even baptism.  This has been outlined here starting around page 4


 


Baptism for the dead has to do with advancing to a higher Mormon heaven and higher within the highest Mormon heaven so that one may become a god.


 


Paul never teaches baptism for the dead. He merely mentions it as something that "they" do. They being another group not associated with the Apostles or the followers of Jesus.



As has been posted previously:


 The Bible never links priesthood with power in any way. Priests were invested with authority, to perform their assigned religious duties. In the case of the high priest, enter into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement). But priests had no special power that other people lacked, let alone the same power by which God created and sustains the world!


In fact, none of the apostles ever lays claim to be a priest.


The New Testament never mentions any Christian being ordained as a priest.


No New Testament text ever says or suggests that a man must hold a priesthood office in order to be authorized to baptize someone else.


Priests are conspicuously absent from Paul’s lists of offices or ministry functions in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11).


Paul never uses the terms priest, high priest, or priesthood in any of the thirteen epistles that bear his name.


And yet the LDS claim to have "restored the priesthood". How can you restore what was never there?


The only earthly priestly order that the New Testament ever acknowledges existing in the first century is the Aaronic or Levitical order that administered the sacrificial system in the Jerusalem temple. All references to priests in the four Gospels and Acts (over 120 such references) pertain to those Levitical priests.


The New Testament actually makes it clear that priesthood, in its literal sense of an earthly order of individuals authorized to perform special religious duties, has become obsolete. It is obsolete because of our new High priest, Jesus Christ. This is a major theme in the Book of Hebrews


Priests in the OT functioned as intermediaries but now that our only “priest” mediating between us and God is the divine Son of God himself, we have a kind of immediate spiritual access to God’s presence and mercy that the Israelite high priest symbolized. Hebrews expresses this very idea: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16KJV).


How is the Mormon Church able to get Jesus’ unique non-transferable priesthood? - If it is non-transferable then neither the LDS nor anyone else can obtain it.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 13, 2012 - 4:58PM #3
Ironhold
Posts: 11,523

That bit in Hebrews doesn't say a single thing about the priesthood being rendered obsolete.


You're doing what you accuse us of doing: reading into things.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 8:57AM #4
Joe68
Posts: 289

Apr 13, 2012 -- 4:58PM, Ironhold wrote:


That bit in Hebrews doesn't say a single thing about the priesthood being rendered obsolete.


You're doing what you accuse us of doing: reading into things.



Did you just read that one passage? Or did you just look for the word "obsolete"?


One needs to read the entire book to get the author's intent.


The writer of Hebrews continually makes mention of the superiority of Christ in both His personage and in His ministering work. In the writings of the Old Testament, one is to understand the rituals and ceremonies of Judaism symbolically pointed to the coming of Messiah. In other words, the rites of Judaism were but shadows of things to come. Hebrews tells us that Christ Jesus is better than anything mere religion has to offer. All the pomp and circumstance of religion pales in comparison to the person, work, and ministry of Christ Jesus. It is the superiority of our Lord Jesus, then, that remains the theme of this eloquently written letter.

Nowhere in the New Testament does the Old Testament come into focus more than in the Book of Hebrews, which has as its foundation the Levitical priesthood. The writer to the Hebrews constantly compares the inadequacies of the Old Testament sacrificial system (i.e. the priesthood) to the perfection and completion in Christ. Where the Old Covenant required continual sacrifices and a once-a-year atonement for sin offered by a human priest, the New Covenant provides a once-for-all sacrifice through Christ (Hebrews 10:10) and direct access to the throne of God for all who are in Him.What made Jesus better? Why was His ministry so different? In Hebrews, we find a number of answers to those questions. We find that Jesus was not merely another in succession of priests, but that His priesthood was unique. There had not been one like it before, and there will not be one like it again. His priesthood is the climax and culmination of priesthood before God.


Jesus' priesthood is superior due to a better calling. Other priests were chosen, but Jesus was called with an oath (Heb. 5:5; 7:21). God, who could swear by no greater than Himself, proclaimed Jesus to be a priest after the order of Melchizedek.


Jesus' priesthood is superior due to a better covenant (Heb. 7:22; 8:6; 9:15). God found fault with the old covenant in that it could not accomplish the salvation of Israel. So He made a new covenant, and Jesus is the mediator of that covenant (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5-6).


Jesus' priesthood is superior due to a better sacrifice (Heb. 9:11ff). Those who served in the Levitical priesthood offered sacrifices annually according to commandment. Those sacrifices did not serve to put away sin. Jesus, however, by one sacrifice, forever put away sin, and now sits at God the Father's right hand (Heb. 9:24ff; 10:12).


Jesus' priesthood is superior due to an indestructible life (Heb.7:16). Many men over several centuries served in the Levitical priesthood, yet none of them could continue because of death (Heb. 7:23-25). From Aaron onward, each died and was replaced by a successor. Jesus, on the other hand, continues without end, for He ever lives to pray for us. He does not need to make any more offering, for His one offering was for all time.


The LDS contend that the priesthood of Melchizedek can be occupied by mortal men. This notion presents a great misunderstanding of the nature of the office. In Hebrews, the salient point made concerning Jesus' priesthood in the order of Melchizedek was that it was on the power of an indestructible life (Heb. 7:16). The fact that men who occupied the Levitical priesthood could not continue because of death was noted as a short-coming. They could pray for Israel, but their prayers were cut short by death. Jesus, as noted above, lives forever to offer intercession for His own.


The inevitable result of the LDS teaching is that the person and work of Jesus Christ is minimized and given second place to the teaching that man himself will become a God. In Mormon doctrine, holding the Melchizedek priesthood is requisite to continuing in one's eternal progression. Without it, one will never achieve celestial exaltation say the LDS.


To abandon Christ's eternal priesthood, as the Momons do, for the temporal ministry of the sons of Aaron is an abandonment of the historic and Biblical Christian faith.




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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 12:16PM #5
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,240

Joe; First, to be honest, this LDS doctrine of “baptism for the dead” does not have anything to do with salvation since according to LDS doctrine salvation – i.e. making to heaven can be done without faith,


Our third & forth Article of Faith read;


3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.


4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…..


So in order to be saved one must first have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I hardly doubt that anyone would go into the waters of baptism if they didn’t first have at least a seed of faith.


May I stress once again with you the words “faith alone” appear together in only one place in the Bible, James 2:17


“ Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone”



Joe; Paul never teaches baptism for the dead. He merely mentions it as something that "they" do. They being another group not associated with the Apostles or the followers of Jesus.



How do you know this? How do you know they were not associated with the Apostles or followers of Jesus. Paul seems to know them and is using them to make his argument. Peter had the power to bind on earth that which is bound in heaven. What was he doing with that power? Why were they practicing this in the Catholic Church clear up until 400 ad? I feel that while Paul was out doing his missionary work Peter was in Jerusalem with Jewish members who knew their genealogy. They were the “they” doing this important work. But because most of those first Jewish Christians were the first to be martyred the practice was pretty much lost.


Joe; The New Testament never mentions any Christian being ordained as a priest…….


Rev 1;
And from Jesus Christ, ..Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.


1 Peter 2
“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. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:…as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God…”


Christ is the chief corner stone and they are lively stones with a priesthood and members of a “brotherhood.”


Joe; Priests are conspicuously absent from Paul’s lists of offices or ministry functions in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11).



"…and God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers.." 1 cor 12


"And he agave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" Eph 4


Each of those positions is an office within the brotherhood of the priesthood.


The office of Elder is not mention in those two passages either but it is in other places.


1 Tim 4
“Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.”


In the Greek presbytery reads Elders.


Acts 14:23
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.


Acts 20
For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus…And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them… Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.


There are two other offices mentioned in the New Testament


Philippians 1:1
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons..”


Titus was the first bishop of the church of Cretians.
Titus 1
“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God…”


5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee…


1 Timothy 3:10
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless


In Luke 1:10 it mentions the Lord appointing seventy and sending out them out to be missionaries. In Acts 6 seven men are chosen and ordained by the laying on of hands to fulfill a humanitarian need they had.


In today’s Church we have the Seven Presidents of the Seventy. There are seven quorums of seventy men which act as area advisors to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The quorums are not complete yet but they will be by the time the Savior is ready to return.


It Acts 6 it goes on to say; “…And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great number of the priest were obedient to the faith.”


The Priest who joined the church at that time were already Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood and were so by birthright. As we understand the priesthood today there is only one priesthood or power of God which is called the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is call such simply to honor the great priest who blessed Abraham. The Aaronic priesthood, named after Aaron, is just a lesser division within the priesthood. John the Baptist was a priest in the Aaronic priesthood. It could be at that time no new non Levite converts were given the title of priest with in the priesthood and that’s why it’s not mentioned much in the New Testament.


In Hebrews 5 the man writing is trying to explain that Christ did not call himself to be a Priest in the order/or society of Melchisedec priesthood holders. He was called of God as was Aaron. Christ himself said all power is given unto me. He didn’t just have it, it was given to him and in chapter 6 we are told he would be a high priest in the order of the Melchisedec forever.


In chapter 7 he explains that the Melchisedec priesthood  higher than the Aaronic for didn’t Abraham pay tithes to Melchisedec. A Levite priest was made so by birthright. His priesthood and authority ended upon death and was passed on to his son. But now there is a change in the law because there is a change in the Priesthood. Christ was not a Levite or a descendant of Aaron yet he was a Priest in the order of Melchisedec. And he was made so by oath or ordination and this power and authority would remain with him forever, he didn’t pass on to his sons upon his death.


He was trying to explain that a man no longer needed to be a Levite to obtain the priesthood but that this new higher priesthood was obtain by oath or ordination. It also remains with each man as they enter the spirit world. 




Joe; The Bible never links priesthood with power in any way.


Let’s go back to Acts 6 and the ordination of Stephen;
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people"



Matthew 10:1
1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.


Matthew 16
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.


James 5:14
Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick,


Act 8
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”



Now I’m going to turn to 2 Thessalonians 2 where Paul mentions the “falling away” or the apostasy. He is speaking of the second coming of Christ and says to the church members don’t worry about it. It’s not going to happen until there is this “falling away”.


I’m going to use Barclay’s rendition here because of his warning.


He uses the term “the Great Rebellion” and speaks of the man “..with God’s doom on him… who in his pride exalts himself …who …invades God’s temple …with the claim that he is God”


The Roman Emperor Titus was that man, he invaded God’s temple in 70 ad just as Jesus prophesied in Matt 24.


Barclay goes on;


“You know about the restraining power which at present holds things in check, so that the Wicked One will not burst upon the world until his proper time. For the power of the lawlessness is secretly at work even now, but it will remain secret only until the restraining power is removed from the scene. Then the Lawless One will openly emerge,… He will come equipped with all kinds of power and will produce miracles and wonders calculated to deceive. With all sin’s power to mislead, he will come to those who are doomed….”


The restraining power was the holy priesthood of God. Peter, Paul and most of the rest of the Apostles were dead by 70 ad John may have hung around a little longer. With their deaths the “restraining power” was gone and the Great Rebellion was well underway.



John says in his first epistle


“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us….1 John 2.


Paul also warned of this corruptions from the inside. Speaking to the Elders of the Church


“For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.” Acts 20


And in Rev 12 and 13 John talks of this same great rebellion which began in heaven and comes to earth with the fall of Satan and his angels. Satan has great wrath because he knows “he hath but a short time”


A woman or the Church would be persecuted and carried away into the wilderness “for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent”. Satan makes war with the remnant of her seed, or the little band of Christians who followed Christ. The beast with the number 666 was the Roman Empire and its Caesars who were considered gods.


John writes “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations”


“Overcome them” that means to destroy them. The Church which Christ had established with its Melchisedec priesthood power and authority was gone by 100ad.



And so you are left fluttering around with “another gospel” trying to explain away your lack of priesthood.


But there is hope for John didn’t end Revelations at chapter 13 but continued on with a prophecy ;


“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people”


What we are saying is that angel has flown and the everlasting gospel has returned to the earth.


Peter also spoke of this time;


“..the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you. Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”


Christ has come the times of restitution is here, the dispensation of the fulness of times and gather together in one all things has started (Eph. 1:10). The priesthood power is once again upon the earth.

Wise men still seek him.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 5:01PM #6
Ironhold
Posts: 11,523

Joe -


Mind actually quoting verses rather than just citing them?


I don't have a lot of time to be wading through massive posts right now.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 14, 2012 - 11:03PM #7
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,240

Apr 14, 2012 -- 5:01PM, Ironhold wrote:


Joe -


Mind actually quoting verses rather than just citing them?


I don't have a lot of time to be wading through massive posts right now.





Iron he doesn’t really have any verses to back himself up with. He wants there to be no Priesthood and no baptism so he ignores those passages. He makes things up like;


“There had not been one like it before, and there will not be one like it again. His priesthood is the climax and culmination of priesthood before God”


What of Melchizedek was he not part of the order?


The word ‘order’ in the Old Testament Hebrew means ‘a suit’ of things, a group of like things.


“The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” Ps 110:4


In the New Testament the writer of Hebrews quotes this same passage applying it to Christ and in the Greek ‘order’ means a fix succession. How do ya get a succession of one?


God the Father ordained Yahweh/Christ to the Melchizedek Priesthood. Jesus said,


“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matt 28


“God, …. Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;….and upholding all things by the word of his power”
Heb 1


The priesthood is the power of God, it is the power he uses to create. He gives mankind a very small portion of that power and organizes them into a brotherhood he calls priesthood. Jesus prayed that “they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” John 17. At some point as we grow in the gospel and as we become made more in his image he has promised; "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Rev 21. We will receive the fullness of his power being one with him.




Wise men still seek him.
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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 2:07PM #8
Joe68
Posts: 289

WWA, I am sure you are aware that there are different heavens in Mormon theology with different requirements. The celestial heaven has different levels within it as well. To enter the telestial heaven one does not need faith, repentance, baptism, the gospel, Jesus Christ. This has been outlined here around page 4.


So “baptism for the dead” is not about salvation but about the Mormons obtaining the celestial kingdom, advancing within it, and becoming a god as Joseph Smith taught.


You have raised this “the words “faith alone” appear together in only one place in the Bible” objection before. And I will respond in the same manner. If you truly believed that the number of times a phrase is used in the Bible can determine the validity or truthfulness of a doctrine you would not believe in celestial marriage since that phrase it is not found in the Bible. This seems to be the only thing you can say against sola fida. I started a discussion on whether sola fida or the LDS faith + works is the biblical model of salvation. It basically bogged down when the LDS could not address certain passages which state that explicitly works have nothing to do with salvation. If you wish to continue that discussion just go to that thread and address those passages. 


How do I know that Paul never teaches baptism for the dead? This is clear because Paul refers to those who practice “baptism for the dead as “they” never as “us” or “we”. Start from the beginning of this epistle and count how many times he says “we” or “us”.  When he gets to the passage in question he says “they”.


Yes Christians (men AND women) are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people” however they are not ordained as priests (i.e. to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority or to establish or order by appointment, decree, or law. Nowhere does Rev 1 or 1 Peter 2 say anything about any Christian being ordained as a priest.


In reply to my statement: Priests are conspicuously absent from Paul’s lists of offices or ministry functions in the church (1 Corinthians 12:28-29; Ephesians 4:11), you cite 1 Cor 12 and Eph 4 then say “each of those positions is an office within the brotherhood of the priesthood” but nowhere in the Bible is the concept of those postions being a part of any sort of preisthood enunciated.


None of the passages you cite (1 Tim 4, Acts 14:23, Acts 20, Philippians 1:1, Titus 1, 1 Timothy 3:10, Luke 1:10, Acts 6) even mention “priests”. None. Which pretty much proves my point that Priests are conspicuously absent from Paul’s lists of offices or ministry functions in the church


Jesus Christ will be a Melchisedek priest until his death. However since He will never die he is a Melchisedek priest forever. And since there is only one Melchisedek priest it will never be possessed by anyone else.


The Bible states in no uncertain terms that the priesthood of Melchizedek is "an unchangeable priesthood" (Hebrews 7:24). The truth is, the Bible speaks of only one priest called Melchizedek. No human, no matter how holy and righteous or how authoritative he may feel himself to be, can ever be considered a Melchizedek priest. Indeed, only one person can possibly fill that role and he is identified in the Book of Hebrews as being "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens" (Hebrews 7:26). He is also "without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually" (Hebrews 7:3). Melchizedek was "made like" a Son of God, though he was not a Son of God as was Christ. Christ only came in the order of Melchizedek (representing Melchizedek on earth while the priest remained in heaven). To be in the order of Melchizedek shows Christ representing the priest, but the priesthood itself does not pass to another person.


Now, it would be perfectly proper to pay tithe to that Melchizedek priest if one voluntarily decided to do so. Abraham did and he was honored for his faithfulness. Because of this, some Christian ministers have construed that the Book of Hebrews now authorizes the payment of tithe to Melchizedek. This is true! But a major problem arises. When anyone says that they themselves are a part of that Melchizedek priesthood troubles emerge. In no way is this true. This is because that priesthood "passes not from one to another" (Hebrews 7:24). To be in that "order" of the Melchizedek priesthood demands that one be perfect as was Jesus Christ. Being in that "order" of priesthood requires each person to be "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners"? How of those who claim to be a Melchizdek priest are holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners” and without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God"? None would be the correct answer.


There is no person who can honestly claim such honors. The apostle Paul made it abundantly clear that the Christian church today has only one priest [that is, one mediator] between all members of the church and the Father. That one mediator is Christ Jesus. Paul said: "There is one God and one mediator [one priest] between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Timothy 2:5). And that one priest is Christ acting in the capacity of a Melchizedek priest on behalf of Melchizedek who was then in heaven (and still is).


So the apostle Paul made the statement that there has now been a change in the law. No longer do Christians have to give heed to the Levitical priests and the tithing laws that were associated with them. Our priest is now Christ Jesus in his role as the one mediator [the one priest] who is now in heaven at the right hand of the Father. He is presently in the order of the Melchizedek priesthood. All our attention as Christians should no longer be to the Levites and their priesthood supported by the tithe of the Israelites. Our priesthood has been changed to the Melchizedek which has no earthly representatives. In short, Christ Jesus is our high priest (and the only one), and we do not need any other priests.


In reply to my statement:The Bible never links priesthood with power in any way. You cite Acts 6, MT 10:1, MT 16:19. James 5:14, and Acts 8. All of them speak of power directly or it is implied. However NONE of them, as I said, none of them links priesthood with power in any way.


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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 4:34PM #9
Ironhold
Posts: 11,523

Apr 17, 2012 -- 2:07PM, Joe68 wrote:


WWA, I am sure you are aware that there are different heavens in Mormon theology with different requirements. The celestial heaven has different levels within it as well. To enter the telestial heaven one does not need faith, repentance, baptism, the gospel, Jesus Christ. This has been outlined here around page 4.


So “baptism for the dead” is not about salvation but about the Mormons obtaining the celestial kingdom, advancing within it, and becoming a god as Joseph Smith taught.




Actually, no.


It's about what we told you it's about: people needing to be baptized in order to enter into Heaven.

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2 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2012 - 5:06PM #10
Joe68
Posts: 289

Apr 17, 2012 -- 4:34PM, Ironhold wrote:


Apr 17, 2012 -- 2:07PM, Joe68 wrote:


WWA, I am sure you are aware that there are different heavens in Mormon theology with different requirements. The celestial heaven has different levels within it as well. To enter the telestial heaven one does not need faith, repentance, baptism, the gospel, Jesus Christ. This has been outlined here around page 4.


So “baptism for the dead” is not about salvation but about the Mormons obtaining the celestial kingdom, advancing within it, and becoming a god as Joseph Smith taught.




Actually, no.


It's about what we told you it's about: people needing to be baptized in order to enter into Heaven.




Then you simply do not know Mormon doctrine. See the new thread to see the actual Mormon teachings that heaven can be obtained without faith, Jesus Christ, his gospel, or obeying any of the LDS ordinances.  


Btw, if you wish to discuss Mormon heaven let's do that on the new thread so as to not de-rail WWA's thread here.

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