2020 IMPORTANT GOSPEL MESSAGES
We have been told: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15) Knowledge and righteousness are two sides of the same coin. Righteousness is only found through knowledge and works. This begins with a correct understanding of God and Jesus. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Jesus, John 17:3) It is essential to open our minds like little children, pray to the God of Abraham, and seek spiritual truth with all our hearts. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Jesus, Matt. 11:27)
The King James Bible will be the primary source of information supported by historical evidence. Jesus advised us: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) History attests that the kingdom was lost in the early fourth century with Constantine. Jesus declared: “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 3:5) History proves baptism was also lost with Constantine.
Each week the old message will be deleted and a new message provided. Since eternal life begins with a correct understanding of God, let us begin there.
THIS WEEKS MESSAGE (Jan. 24, 2020)
WAS THE LAW OF GOD NAILED TO THE CROSS?
Our salvation depends on learning the truth about this vital question. There is a principle about truth that we must understand. Spiritual truth–like God–is absolute and never changes. When there are two opposing principles, both can be wrong; but only one can be right. One might say that 2 +2 = 5 and another that 2 + 2 = 6. Both are wrong. The truth is that 2 + 2 = 4. It has always been that way and will remain that way forever.
The pursuance of truth requires us to seek truth with all our hearts with open our minds like little children. This is one reason Jesus said: “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 19:4) They do not have preconceived opinions and are eager to learn. has no fear of investigation. Unless we appreciate that we could be wrong, we have no claim to being right. The plan that God prepared for our salvation existed in eternity and was the same with Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the Apostles after the crucifixion. The Bible, recognized historians, and church leaders will be used as our guide in resolving this question. If you have questions, write me at the email address at the end.
There have been two sets of laws given to man. The first is a SPIRITUAL LAW that existed with God in eternity before this creation and will last forever. Like God, it is eternal and cannot change. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) If His laws were to change, God would be capricious, could not be trusted, and we could have no faith in Him.
A second temporary, TEMPORAL LAW, was given through Moses when Israel rebelled against God and turned to idolatry in the wilderness. They violated the commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex. 20:3) A severe penalty was immediately imposed on them. They were subjected to a new temporal law that was given as a taskmaster that was to last until Jesus began His ministry.
Jesus explained the difference between these two laws. “Think not that I am come to destroy the [original spiritual] law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil [end the added temporal law of Moses]. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle SHALL IN NO WISE PASS FROM THE LAW, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:17, 18) Nowhere did Jesus teach this law was to end. He only taught the temporary, temporal law ended with Him.
The law on marriage is spiritual law that existed before Adam walked on the earth. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” (Gen. 1:28) When Eve was presented to Adam, he repeated this law. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh [through their children].” (Gen. 2:24) Jesus repeated this same law. “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matt. 19:5)
Using marriage as an example, Jesus gave us a comparison between these two laws. “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.” (Matt. 5:31, 32) Marriage under the original spiritual law of God is forever. Adam and Eve had to be married forever because at that time they were immortal. There is no divorce in the spiritual law. Divorce was temporally permitted only under the added temporal law that ended with Him. It was forbidden under the original spiritual law. That is why Jesus condemned divorce.
The story of creation in Gen. 1 to Gen. 2:5, is the account of the spiritual creation. “4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field BEFORE IT GREW: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.” (Gen. 2)
We lived together as spirits at that time–and until born in the flesh. During this spiritual estate, Satan rebelled against God and violated the law: “Thou shalt not take the name [authority] of the LORD thy God in vain.” (Ex. 20:7) To act in the name of anybody is to act by his authority. What would happen to us should we, let’s say, tried to act in the name of a governor without receiving such commission? God also has a prison called the spirits in prison (1 Pet. 3:19). Satan violated this law when he tried to stand at the head of this creation in Jesus place (Isa. 14). About a third of the host of heaven followed him; and all were cast down never to have physical bodies for eternity.
The idea that God is just as pleased with evil [violation of the law] as He is with good [obedience] should be repugnant to all. If the law was done away, so was salvation; which is also a law of God. If man is under no obligation to live by the law, he can lie, steal, and murder and still be just as acceptable to God. Why is it then that John noted after Jesus’ crucifixion that “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15) In the book of Revelation we are told: “He that overcometh [through faith and obedience] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:7, 8)
At death: “the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Eccl. 12:7) After the resurrection, we must all stand before the judgement bar of God and be accountable for our works in the flesh. If the law has been done away, this would not be necessary. “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.” (Rev. 20:12)
The whole Bible teaches the necessity of keeping the law of God. Whether we look at the Old Testament or the new, the command to keep the law is always the same. “Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD.” (Lev. 22:31) “He that overcometh [through faith and obedience] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” (Rev. 21:7, 8)
“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Rev. 22:14, 15)
Do you believe evil will receive the same reward as obedience? Are we not to follow Jesus in our works? “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:6) How did Jesus walk? “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2:22) “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4) “He that doeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning.” (1 John 3:8) These are the words of the Apostles after Jesus’ crucifixion.
Of great importance to us is the LAW ON SALVATION. If the law has been done away, so has salvation. The GOSPEL is the eternal law of God on salvation. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [gentile].” (Rom.1:16)
Adam lived 930 years after the fall to know the father of Noah. Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and the Apostles all preached the same and obeyed the same law of the gospel. Abraham obeyed the gospel: “preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Gal. 3:8) Does it not follow that Adam and Noah did the same? Moses obeyed the gospel. “And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.” (1 Cor. 10:2) Jesus and the Apostles preached and obeyed the gospel. “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!” (1 Cor. 9:16)
Before Jesus could begin His mission on earth, He had to obey the gospel. He went to John the Baptist because John was a Priest of the Levitical Priesthood and held authority from God to baptize with water. He was then baptized with the Spirit by God. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water : and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matt. 3:16, 17)
There are no gentiles in the kingdom because God made a covenant with Abraham that all members of the kingdom (believers) must be of his seed. “And he received the sign of circumcision [of the heart], a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised [in the flesh]: that he might be the FATHER OF ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE, though they be not circumcised [in the flesh]; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.” (Rom. 4:11)
God prepared a plan for gentiles to be adopted as the seed of Abraham. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ… And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:27, 29) Jesus and the Apostles, after the crucifixion, understood that none can be saved without a proper baptism. “Jesus answered, 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 3:5) “Then Peter said unto them [gentiles], 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.” (Acts 2:38)
WHAT IS THE GOSPEL? It is God’s plan for the salvation of man. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [gentiles].” (Rom. 1:16) No gentiles entered the kingdom until after Jesus’ crucifixion. THERE WAS NO CHANGE!
The gospel is in two parts: the WORD and POWER. “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thess. 1:5) The WORD of the gospel is simply what is required by the gospel. Jesus and the Apostles left no doubt that faith, repentance, and baptism of water and the Spirit are essential parts of the gospel.
“Without FAITH it is impossible to please him.” (Heb. 11:6) Jesus told us: “… except ye REPENT, ye shall all likewise perish.”? (Luke 13:3) He also taught: “Except a man be born of water and the Spirit [BAPTIZED], he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”? (John 3:5) After His resurrection, Jesus told the Apostles: “He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved [in the future, if obedient]; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16)
The Apostles after Jesus taught the same. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” (Acts 3:19) “Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the BAPTISM OF REPENTANCE, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:4-6)
On the Day of Pentecost—long after the crucifixion—Peter told the gentiles. “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. For the PROMISE is unto you, and to your children, and to ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38, 39)
God provides BLESSINGS for obedience to the law and CURSES for those who fail. Obedience brings salvation, refusal brings a terrible curse. The Apostle Paul after the crucifixion of Jesus wrote that Jesus will return “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be PUNISHED WITH EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thess. 1:8, 9)
WHAT IS THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL? Faith is the first principle; but it is only available through ministers of God that have been duly called of God and ordained by one holding authority from God. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:14-17)
Jesus had to obey the gospel before beginning His mission on earth. That required baptism. He went to John the Baptist because John was a Priest of the Levitical Priesthood and held authority from God to baptize with water but not of the Spirit. John told us that Jesus would hold the higher priesthood; which would authorize Him to baptize with the Spirit. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Matt. 3:11) After John baptized Him with water, God baptized Him with the Spirit. “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Jesus was still not authorized by God to preach the gospel. After baptism, He went into the wilderness for forty days. “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” (Matt. 4:11) What did they minister? JESUS WAS ORDAINED under the hands of God as a Prophet like Moses to the higher Melchisedec Priesthood—the original priesthood. No one on earth held that priesthood. “And no man taketh this honour [of the priesthood] unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by revelation from God]. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5:4-6) “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” (Acts 3:22)
“From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)
Jesus—holding the highest office in this priesthood–called and ordained the Twelve. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” (Mark 3:14) Then He called and ordained all of the other officers of this priesthood because none can be saved without one of these officers. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [high priests and elders] and teachers; FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: TILL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:11-13) Has anyone in your church been called by revelation from God–like Jesus and all others in the Bible? Does anyone in your church hold one of the offices? The Apostle Paul reminded his son: “Neglect not the gift [of the priesthood] that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (1 Tim. 4:14)
WHAT HAPPENED TO THESE OFFICES? In 325 A.D., the unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor Constantine stood as absolute head of the Christian church without any authority from God. “Immediately upon coming to power as the sole ruler of the empire, but only then, Constantine asserted the right to exercise absolute authority over the entire Church. He did this despite the fact that he was not baptized, and, as was not unusual, would not be until shortly before he died.” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 188) The stream cannot rise higher than the fountain.
From that time on, not one person was called of God or held the Melchisedec Priesthood. Roman Emperors stood at the head of both church and state from 325 to 568–until the Lombard Invasion. There were also so-called Bishops that stood at the head of districts. They were usually the eldest members and were simply voted into office by the voice of man. The voice of man is not the voice of God. “But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.” (Luke 23:21)
BAPTISM OF WATER and the Spirit ended with Constantine. Immersion is the only form of baptism in the Bible. Jesus—our example–was baptized by immersion. Baptism of water was changed by Constantine to just pouring or sprinkling a little water on the candidate. In the “Life of Jesus,” Marcello Craveri wrote “Then some theologians [sixteenth century] condemned the prevailing practice in the West–justified though it was by considerations of climate–of baptizing not by immersion but by infusion (pouring a little water on a candidate) or by aspersion (sprinkling him).” This led to organizing the Ana-Baptists in the sixteenth century who recognized that no one had been baptized for many centuries.
BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIIT was completely lost with Constantine; as no one held divine authority to administer it. God made this a law to provide by true beliers with an assurance—Faith—they were following the will of God. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (Jesus, John 16:13)
Members of the Kingdom of God are promised gifts of the Holy Ghost. “Then 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. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2: 38, 39)
The Apostle Paul advised the Corinthians: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts.” (1 Cor. 14:1) He went on to say, “1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led… 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit… 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of WISDOM; to another the word of KNOWLEDGE by the same Spirit; 9 To another FAITH by the same Spirit; to another the GIFTS OF HEALING by the same Spirit; 10 To another the WORKING OF MIRACLES; to another PROPHECY; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to EVERY MAN severally as he will.” (1 Cor. 12)
All gifts of the Spirit require personal revelation; which ceased with Constantine. John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, wrote about the loss of these gifts. “The real cause of it was that the love of many, almost all Christians, so-called, was waxed cold. The Christians had no more of the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when He came to examine His Church, could hardly find faith upon earth. This was the real cause why the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were no longer to be found in the Christian church–because the Christians were turned heathens again, and only had a dead form left.” (John Wesley’s Works, Vol. 7, 89; 26-27)
In 570, the Bishop of Rome claimed to stand at the head. He was the first true pope. “The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God. The pope alone is called most holy, divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and King of Kings. The pope is of so great dignity and power, and he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God. The pope is as God on earth.” (Guiness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 25, 26)
THE GOSPEL WAS COMPETELY LOST! Luther—a friend of kings and princes—was first to successfully rebel against the pope; but he was cut-off the Catholic Church. He could not make any claim to authority from God—as all had been lost for many centuries. Luther, Calvin, and others of the Protestant Reformation were forced to invent a new gospel–where authority was not required. This should be a warning sign to all. We know from the Bible that divine authority is necessary and that there is only one gospel. Making any alterations is forbidden and causes a complete loss of salvation. Paul told us: “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8)
This new gospel embraced the doctrine of salvation by faith alone. “Sola fide (Latin: by faith alone), also known as justification by faith alone, is a Christian theological doctrine commonly held to distinguish many Protestant churches from the Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox Churches and Oriental Orthodox Churches.” (Wikipedia)
The Bible does not support this doctrine. We have already seen that faith and valid baptism comes only through ministers of God with a legitimate claim to the Melchisedec Priesthood. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Rom. 10:14, 15) All of the ministers with and after Jesus also held the Melchisedec Priesthood. The lowest office is that of elder. “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 14:23)
The CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS LOST. The Apostle John advised us that the Church of Christ, all authority from God, and every member (saints) were to be LOST for 1,260 years. “6 And the woman [CHURCH of Christ] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days…14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [1,260 years], from the face of the serpent.” (Rev. 12)
ALL PRIESTHOOD OF GOD WAS LOST. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [priesthood of God], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12:17) Remember, revelation is essential to the true PRIESTHOOD. “And I fell at his [angels] feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10) Not one minister in the Catholic or Protestant churches have ever been called by revelation.
NOT ONE SAINT WAS LEFT. The term “saint” is used in the Bible for believers. “5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years]. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 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.” (Rev. 13)
“O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the GENTILES shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” (Jer. 16:19, 20)
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and SHALL NOT FIND.” (Amos 8:11, 12)
Paul wrote: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Jesus] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostacy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess. 2:3, 4)
Who was this “man of sin” who even claimed to be God on earth? He was a Bishop of Rome in 570 A.D.—the first true pope. “The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God. The pope alone is called most holy, divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and King of Kings. The pope is of so great dignity and power, and he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God. The pope is as God on earth.” (Guiness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 25, 26)
John also noted that authority from God would be RESTORED afterwards. “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.” (Rev. 14:6)
Discovering the RESTORATION OF DIVINE AUTHORITY and the gospel begins with adding the 570 when this first pope stood as God on earth with the 1,260 when there was no authority. The result is 1830. Then, we have to search for a man claiming divine authority through angelic administration. The only man who claimed a RESTORATION of divine authority was Joseph Smith. He claimed direct communication with God and Jesus, a calling of God, and an ordination to the Prophetic Office under the hands of angels. He organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. He also restored the other offices of the Melchisedec Priesthood. If his claim was false, there is still no divine authority on the earth and salvation is lost.
The Bible tells us of TWO PROPHETS AND TWO WORKS in the latter/last days. This is in accordance with the Apostle John’s prophecy of the restoration of the gospel and authority of God. “19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [Book of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim [Joseph Smith], and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [Book of the Law translated by James J. Strang], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)
The Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. It is another testimony of the truth of Jesus Christ; and provides a history of ancient inhabitants of this continent who were of the House of Israel and of Jesus’ works among them. Knowledge of this advanced civilization was not known when this book was published in 1830. New DNA evidence shows this white skinned people did exist during the exact time line from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. Their last prophet buried their records shortly before they were destroyed because of their iniquities. Joseph Smith was led by this prophet to where these records had been buried.
The Book of the Law of the Lord was among these books and was later translated by his lawful successor, James J. Strang. It is the most sacred book of scripture; as it was written by the finger of God. Moses made copies for the Priests to teach the people. “And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.” (Deut. 31:9) It was first printed in 1850, and an expanded edition in 1856. I reprinted this most important book of scripture in 2000. It is the only place where the original Ten Commandments can be found. You can study it at mormonbeliefs.com.
Joseph Smith was murdered on June 20, 1844. He had received four revelations predicting this and wrote James J. Strang in Burlington, Wisconsin ten days before his martyrdom advising him of his coming death and appointed him as his legal successor in accordance with the law of God. The same hour he died, James, 400 miles away, claimed to have been ordained like him under the hands of angels; although the first official news did not come until July 9th with the Letter of Appointment.
James fulfilled all the duties of a Prophet like Joseph before him. Like Joseph, he sealed his testimony with his own blood. Gentiles once again murdered a Prophet of God. Since there were to be only two prophets given to gentiles in the last days, there was no successor.
During the administration of the Prophet James J. Strang, he ordained L. D. Hickey one of the Twelve Apostles to the gentiles of the last days. He ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained Samuel E. West an elder on July 8, 1956. Elders hold authority from God to administer all the saving ordinances of the gospel. I have ordained elders in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres. All have a legitimate claim to the Melchisedec Priesthood; as do those who they ordain.
Soon, Jesus will return and bring the most horrible destruction the earth has ever seen. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake [Israel] those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:21, 22) “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and FEW MEN LEFT.” (Isa. 24:5, 6)
GENTILES will have no hope of escape. “For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen [gentile]: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN.” (Obad. 15, 16) The only hope for gentiles will be to be adopted as the seed of Abraham and become members of the Kingdom of God through obedience to the gospel and a proper baptism.
ISRAEL will once again become the people of God. “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Jer. 32:37, 38)
Jesus advised us: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate [gospel and priesthood], and narrow is the way [laws of God], which leadeth unto life, and FEW THERE BE that find it.” (Jesus, Matt. 7) The gate is still open.
YOU CAN BE AMONG THOSE FEW, be adopted as the seed of Abraham and into the Kingdom of God, receive the Holy Ghost, and have hope of the first resurrection and inheriting the earth with God and Jesus.
Yours in the gospel, ministry, and love of God and Jesus,
Samuel E. West
DO YOU KNOW GOD?
This is the most important question you will ever answer in mortal life. Jesus advised us: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John, 17:3) Great blessings are awaiting those who know God and obey the gospel. “14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Rom. 8)
Failure will bring terrible punishment. Jesus will return “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and the glory of his power.” (2 Thess. 1:8, 9) There will soon be the most terrible and few men will be left. “21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Jesus, Matt. 24) “Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and FEW MEN LEFT.” (Isa. 24:6)
There is a grand difference between knowing OF God and KNOWING God. Every religion on earth knows of God. Only the progeny from Adam to Jesus through Abraham knew God. “And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Ex. 3:15)
By studying the Bible, we can come to a correct understanding of the attributes, character, and perfections of God; and a correct understanding of Jesus. WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE? We have only to look in the mirror. The glory of man has diminished considerably; but, his resemblance to God remains. In the beginning “26. God said, Let us [God and Jesus] make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1)
Abraham mistook God for a man and invited Him into his tent and dined with Him. “1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground… 4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree… 7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man, and he hasted to dress it. 8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree, and THEY DID EAT.”
Abraham’s son Isaac saw God. “3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and onto Jacob…” (Ex. 6) Abraham’s grandson Jacob knew God personally. After wrestling with Him, he told of seeing Him face to face. “24 And Jacob was left alone, and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day… 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed… 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen. 32)
Moses saw God face to face and knew Him as a familiar friend. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Ex. 33:11) Moses wanted more. He wanted to see God in all His glory. God can appear both as a man and in His glory; but, no man can look upon the face of God in all His glory and live. God told him “…Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me [in My glory], and live.” (Ex. 33) God advised him “… I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Ex. 33)
Not only did Moses see God; but also many others. “9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, AND SEVENTY OF THE ELDERS of Israel: 10 And THEY SAW THE GOD OF ISRAEL.” (Ex. 24)
When God appeared to Ezekiel and called him to the Prophetic Office, it was in the likeness of a man. He was surrounded by fire and a glorious radiance from His loins upwards and downwards (Ezek. 1:26, 27).
It essential to have a correct understanding of the CHARACTER OF GOD. God is the fountain of love. “He that loves not knows not God; for God is LOVE.” (Acts 10:34) He is a God of TRUTH. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent.” (Num. 23:19)
Moses gave us an account of some of His character traits. “The Lord executes judgment in righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, act unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.” (Exodus 34:6)
God is love, truth, is no respecter of persons, is merciful, slow to anger, long-suffering, of a forgiving disposition and does forgive iniquity, transgression, and sin to those earnestly seeking to live righteously. He is merciful and gracious and executes judgment in righteousness. This understanding of the Excellency in God renders faith true and strong.
“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children, to such as keep his covenant [to worship only God and obey His commandments], and to those that remember to do them.” (Psalm 103:17, 18) “God founded His kingdom in love, and made that the chief sanction of his law, but we are not allowed for one moment to imagine that he will not punish sin, or that he will look upon it with any degree of allowance.” (James J. Strang)
We must also understand the PERFECTIONS OF GOD. God is WITHOUT CHANGE. He has been and will remain the same from eternity to eternity. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17)
God alone has IMMORTALITY. Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses all died. Enoch and Elijah were taken into heaven; but, must return to sleep with their fathers. Jesus who was given all power on earth and in heaven died. God alone lives forever. Eternal ages and infinities are to Him like moments to us. “15 Which in his [Jesus] times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting.” (1 Tim. 6)
God alone hath OMNISCIENCE. God’s power is limited only by what’s possible. He cannot make evil good. He is all-knowing–aware of the past, present, and future. “9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isa. 46) He apprehends the motion of the atom which floats in the invisible element and the invisible element in the center of the star which the light of the sun has not reached since the earth was created. We have only discovered recently the greatest mass in the Universe is invisible to us. He never sleeps, His eye never closes, and there is no darkness before him.
God alone has OMNIPOTENCE. There are worlds without end. He is all-powerful with supreme power over the whole Universe. Jesus received His power and authority from Him and renders it to Him. His thought is faster than that of angels.
God alone is OMNIPRESENT. God alone is capable of being anywhere in the Universe at any time. Jesus is limited to the worlds in this creation. There is not a place where He is not present through His ministers.
God alone is ONE. He has no fellow. Jesus, who created the earth and redeemed it, possesses only a speck amid the stars that He made. The first and great commandment is to love him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. We are to adore him, serve him, obey him and have no other gods beside us. GOD ALONE has immortality, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, and is one.
We must also have a CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF JESUS. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (Jesus, John 17:3) The Bible makes it clear that God and Jesus are separate entities. Godlike time and space–has neither beginning nor end.
Jesus had a beginning. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root [organizer of the spirit of David] and the offspring of David [in the flesh], and the bright and morning star [first spirit organized for this creation].” (Rev. 22:16)
His spirit was organized by the Father for this creation, and through Him came to the rest of this creation. “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness [Jesus], the beginning of the creation of God.” (Rev. 3:14) “At the beginning [of this creation] was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [of this creation]. 2 The same was at the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1)
Jesus could only be the Messiah if He was born a man like Adam. “But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense of one [Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by ONE MAN, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Rom. 5:15) “17 Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered BEING TEMPTED, he is able to succor them that are tempted.” (Heb. 2) “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13)
Jesus also had to be of the correct lineage to be the Messiah. He had to be of the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and the house of David—according to the flesh. The Apostle Matthew gave this lineage at the beginning of the New Testament. “1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of ABRAHAM. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat JUDAS… 6. And Jesse begat DAVID the king… 16 And Jacob begat JOSEPH the husband of Mary.” (Matt. 1)
“41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The SON OF DAVID.” (Matt. 22) “3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David ACCORDING TO THE FLESH.” (Rom. 1) “Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2:17)
The seed of man is carried only in the male line. This is why all genealogy in the Bible is in the male line. Jesus is called the son of David 15 times in the New Testament; and the son of Man some 70 times.
When Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, they were immortal. God warned them: “16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2) When Adam ate of this forbidden fruit, blood began to course in his veins and he became mortal. This brought mortality upon all.
Satan won the battle by bringing mortality upon all, but he lost the war because now all of the spirits of man could now have physical bodies and through the redemption of Jesus have immortal physical bodies. “For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe.” (1Tim. 4:10) All men will receive an immortal physical body in either the first or second resurrection (a thousand years later).
Only a MAN [not God] could redeem mankind from the fall. “But not as the offense [which brought mortality upon man], so also is the free gift [of immortal physical bodies]. For if through the offense of one [man, Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by ONE MAN, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” (Rom. 5:15)
Satan’s power of death was the result of a man violating a law of natural consequence. The forbidden fruit caused blood to course in his veins and he became mortal. Jesus—by keeping a perfect law–deprived Satan of power of His death. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2:22)
This perfect life of Jesus required God to raise Him from the dead. “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, WHOM GOD RAISED from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10)
He was then given all power on earth and in heaven; including power over our resurrection. When He returns, those who know God, obey the gospel, and remain faithful and obedient to the laws of God will rise in the first resurrection when Jesus returns and inherit the earth with God and Jesus. All others who know not God and obey not the gospel will have to wait a thousand years and inherit a place distant from the earth.
WHAT HAPPENED TO A CORRECT KNOWLEDGE OF GOD? Christian churches all over the world teach that Jesus was an incarnation of God (the Trinity) and that Jesus was the offspring of a ghost (the Virgin Birth).
These doctrines are completely foreign to the Bible; except in one fraudulent entry in Matthew 1:18-25. By the beginning of the fourth century even Bishops began to teach a foreign god. Ambrose–a noted Bishop in the early fourth century–taught: “…when God is thought of, our thoughts should dwell on no material thing whatsoever.” (James Carrol, Constantine’s Sword, p. 200) Was Jesus a false prophet? He advised us: “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) If we cannot know God and Jesus, we cannot hope of salvation.
Gentiles began returning to their pagan roots even in the days of the Apostles. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” (2 Thess. 2:7) The beginning of the FOURTH CENTURY saw Christianity turned to paganism. In 325 A.D, the unbaptized pagan Roman Emperor Constantine organized his new Catholic Church. He was not a Christian nor was he baptized. He was a loyal follower of the sun god all his life. “As seen in Constantine’s originating piety, that supreme deity would have been associated with the sun, and pagans would have recognized, with reason, their own solar cult in such Christian practices as orienting churches to the east, worshipping of ‘sun day,’ and celebrating the birth of the deity at the winter solstice.” (Ibid., p. 183)
He called a great council of so-called Christian Bishops. “It took place in 325, only a year after Chrysopolis. In response to the emperor’s mandate, the bishops did, in fact, agree to a formulaic statement of belief, DEFINING especially, and in explicit terms, HOW JESUS IS GOD. Those who dissented were exiled by Constantine. (More than one bishop—and most famously Athanasius, banished later—would serve out his exile in Trier.)” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 189)
Where did this Trinity and its corollary Virgin Birth doctrine originate? Not in the Bible. They originated in Babylon—the first great civilization after the flood. Noah’s grandson Nimrod was King of Babylon. “So utterly idolatrous was the Babylonian recognition of the Divine Unity, that Jehovah, the Living God, severely condemned His own people forgiven any countenance to it: ‘They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens, after the rites of the ONLY ONE, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together.’ (Isaiah 66:17). In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day. In both cases such a comparison is most degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him who hath said, ‘To whom will ye liken God, and what likeness will ye compare unto Him?’” (The Two Babylons, Rev. Alexander Hislop, p. 16)
This idolatrous doctrine teaches that Jesus was actually God in the flesh. The Bible teaches us that God alone has immortality. Jesus died and was resurrected by God. God alone has immortality. One part of the Trinity states: “The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.” Was God incomprehensible when He walked with Adam in the garden? Was He incomprehensible when Abraham dined with Him? Was He incomprehensible when Jacob wrestled with Him? Was God incompressible when Moses saw Him face as a familiar friend?
Was Jesus incomprehensible? “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the EXPRESS IMAGE OF HIS PERSON, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, SAT DOWN ON THE RIGHT HAND of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:3) Did he sit down at His own right hand?
This pagan doctrine further states: “And in this Trinity, none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped.” Co-eternal? Jesus was the first spirit organized for this creation by God. “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness [Jesus], the beginning of the creation of God.” (Rev. 3:14) Co-equal? “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my, Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28) How was Jesus was raised from the dead? “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 4:10) These three one? “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted [by God], and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33)
How about the Virgin Birth doctrine? The doctrine of Demi-gods—gods born of gods through mortal women–was popular among pagan religions. It would have us believe that Jesus was God through an adulterous union of the Holy Ghost [not the Father] with a married woman. This would make God His own offspring. The fraudulent verses 18-25 of Matthew 1 states: “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was ESPOUSED to Joseph before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”
In the days of Jesus, an espousal or betrothal was a marriage without the celebration. Marriage was in three parts: the contract, consummation, and celebration. The marriage was consummated and they came together as soon as they were espoused/married. They were married before Jesus was conceived. This doctrine would have us believe that Jesus was the bastard son of the ghost—not even of God.
We learn from the Bible that when the gospel went to the gentiles they began returning to their pagan doctrines. “For the mystery of iniquity doth already work.” (2 Thess. 2:7) There was to be a great apostasy of the gentiles. “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Jesus] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.” (2 Thess. 2:3)
The noted ecclesiastical historian Mosheim gave us century by century account of this apostasy. He wrote of the fourth century when Constantine adopted pagan doctrines as the foundation of his new church. “The rites and institutions, by which the Greeks, Romans, and other nations, had formerly testified their religious veneration for fictitious deities, were now adopted, with some slight alterations by Christian bishops, and employed in the service of the true God.” (Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, Century 4, Part 2, chap 4:1, 4)
The Church of England—the mother of Protestantism–admitted of this apostasy in the Homily Against Peril of Idolatry. “So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom– a horrible and most dreadful thing to think–have been at once drowned in abominable idolatry; of all other vices most detested of God, and most damnable to man; and that by the space of eight hundred years and more.”
The Bible tells us that authority from God and the gospel would be completely lost from the face of the earth. “11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8) Israel has always known God. This could only be after the Apostles of Jesus.
We are told gentiles would turn from God and worship pagan idols. “19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” (Jer. 16)
The Apostle John wrote that the Church of Christ with the correct knowledge of God and Jesus would be lost for 1,260 years. “6 And the woman [Church of Christ] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1260 years]… 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [1,260 years], from the face of the serpent.” (Rev. 12)
“5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies [pope], and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years]. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 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.” (Rev. 13)
These 1,260 years were to begin when a man who claimed to be a minister of God would stand as the head of the whole church as God. The Apostle Paul advised us: “3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Jesus] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thess. 2)
This was the Bishop of Rome in 570 A.D. After the Lombard invasion, he was the first bishop to claim to be the head over the whole church–the first pope. “The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God. The pope alone is called the holiest, divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and King of Kings. The pope is of so great dignity and power, and he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatever the pope does seem to proceed from the mouth of God. The pope is as God on earth.” (Guinness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 25, 26)
This began the 1,260 years when a correct knowledge of God was completely lost and not one person knew God and entered the Kingdom of God. John also saw the RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL when a correct knowledge of God would be restored. “6 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.” (Rev. 14) This was only possible through angelic administration; as John noted.
Now add the 570 when a correct knowledge of God was lost to the 1,260 and we have 1830. Then, we have to search for a man claimed who claimed communication with God. The only man who claimed this RESTORATION was Joseph Smith. He claimed direct communication with God and Jesus, a calling of God, and ordination under the hands of angels as a Prophet of God. He organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. It was later renamed the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (no affiliation with the church in Utah).
A correct knowledge of God and Jesus was once again on the earth as John prophesied. “The Father and the Son are persons of Tabernacle [spirits and physical bodies]; and the Holy Ghost a spirit, besides the sons of God: for the scriptures say: ‘Ye are Gods.’” (Official church journal Times and Seasons, Vol. 3, p. 926, Edited by Joseph Smith)
Joseph was murdered with the help of the government on June 27, 1844. He previously received four revelations that in the event of his impending death that he would appoint another. God knew the gentiles would reject the gospel and that he would be killed. Just over a week before his death, he wrote James J. Strang in Burlington, Wisconsin, appointing him as a successor in accordance with this law.
The same hour that Joseph was martyred, James J. Strang claimed to have been ordained to the same Prophetic Office as Joseph under the hands of angels (although he was 400 miles away). The first confirmation of his death came with the Letter of Appointment delivered by regular mail on June 8th. It is in Yale University Library. Its authenticity has been proven beyond a doubt.
James continued to provide a correct understanding of God and Jesus, teaching the same as Joseph. Gentiles continued to reject the gospel and–again with the help of the government–James was shot and died on July 9, 1856. A correct knowledge of God and Jesus continued through ministers holding authority from God through James.
THERE IS STILL HOPE.
During the administration of James J. Strang, he ordained L. D. Hickey one of the Twelve Apostles to the gentiles of the last days. Apostle Hickey later ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained Samuel E. West an elder on July 8, 1956. A small remnant of God’s priesthood remains.
“8 And thou, O tower of the flock [James J. Strang], the stronghold of the daughter of Zion [church in Zion/America], unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? Has thy counselor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labor to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to [spiritual] Babylon; THERE SHALT THOU BE DELIVERED; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” (Micah 4)
Time is getting short. “The gospel must first be published among all nations.” (Jesus, Mark 13:10) And so it has (mormonbeliefs.com). Another warning: the gospel has rolled along in the Eastern Hemisphere where it was never preached to provide the last opportunity. Samuel E. West ordained Stephen Munyora an elder in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2005. Many branches of the kingdom were organized in Kenya with a few others in Ghana, Uganda, and Tanzania. This year the gospel has moved forward with new branches of the kingdom in Uganda, has accepted in Ethiopia, Eretria, South Korea, Russia, Namibia, Eswatini, and Madagascar. Others are waiting for an elder in Serbia and Ukraine.
The GATE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS OPEN. “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Jesus, Matt. 7)
YOU CAN BE ONE OF THOSE FEW, be adopted as the seed of Abraham and a member of the Kingdom of God, have hope of the first resurrection, and inheriting the earth with God and Jesus. “He that overcometh [through the kingdom] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and HE SHALL BE MY SON.” (Rev. 21:7)
Samuel E. West
Senior elder in Zion