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 (Feb. 27, 2020) What Happened to Gifts of the Holy Ghost?
LAST WEEKS MESSAGE (Jan. 24, 2020) Was the Law of God Nailed To The Cross?
WHAT HAPPENED TO GIFTS OF THE HOLY GHOST?
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