Mormon Fundamentalism

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My guest was Brian C. Hales, author of Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism. We discussed this timely, diverse and little known topic. The question is often asked, Who are Mormon fundamentalists and what do they believe. The answer is far more complex than most would think. Hales has brought together a significant body of material to address this question. Many personalities and events have lead to the great diversity which exists among the many factions included by this broad term, "Mormon fundamentalism." We discussed many points of interest and importance in understanding the history and beliefs of this category within the Mormon tradition.

 

The beginnings of the Mormon fundamentalist movement.

Is "fundamentalist" an appropriate term for the, so-called Mormon fundamentalists?

The 1890 Woodruff Manifesto

Authority issue, if one man holds the keys, as taught by Joseph Smith, who now holds those keys?

Lorin Wooley claimed that a priesthood organization exists outside of the LDS Church with superior authority.

Authorship of the Manifesto.

Interpretations of the Manifesto: was it a revelation, the result of a revelation or a trick by Wilford Woodruff to deceive the U.S. Government.

Issue of cohabitation after the 1890 Manifesto.

Problems with the claims that the keys had been passed to Lorin Wooley and others in an 1886.

Callers and Email:

Art Bulla called to declare his claim that he is the only one who can authorize plural marriages; that he is the one mighty and strong and the Lord's anointed and those who do not accept this will be damned. He claimed that he was called to be an apostle in a stake meeting in North Carolina in 1976. He claimed that no LDS President since Wilford Woodruff has been the Lord's anointed; that the keys were somewhere out in the wilderness from 1890 to 1978; and that he (Art) appointed someone to give him the keys and the Lord's anointing.

Splintering among the fundamentalist groups due to divergent claims of authority.

There are many independent fundamentalists who do not belong to any of the several fundamentalist groups. They make many divergent claims.

A disciple of Art Bulla called to support him. He claimed that the LDS Church fell into apostasy in 1978, but would not confirm nor deny whether David O. McKay was a true prophet, the Lord's anointed, holding the highest priesthood keys.

A caller asked why anyone would be interested in all of this history of polygamy.

A caller asked questions regarding the united order and law of consecration. Brian Hales' sister, a former fundamentalist, sent an email briefly mentioning her experience and point of view.

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/ Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/ Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog This is the 14 October 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

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  • Nate

    Whilst the issue of who wrote the Manifesto is less important than why the Manifesto was written and what its intention was, I think there may be some credibility to the idea that Penrose was involved in the writing of the Manifesto, for the following reasons -

    The dates and locations and people involved in Thomas Rosser’s recollection are confirmed by the Millennial Star - Volume 70, page 348.

    Apostle Matthias Cowley testified that Penrose told him the very same thing - “Brother Penrose told me once in the city of Mexico, that he had written the Manifesto, and it was gotten up so that it did not mean anything and President [Joseph F.] Smith had told me the same.” (Matthias F. Cowley, Minutes of the Quorum of the Twelve, 10 May 1911. Cowley’s honesty was never questioned in his disfellowshipment trial.)

    Ada L. Shepherd made a statement before William J. Barette, Notary Public, Salt Lake County, 7 December 1912, which stated she had heard Charles W. Penrose say it was he who wrote the Manifesto. (A World-Wide Survey of Present Day Mormonism…, 3 July 1913. Admittedly this is not a pro-Mormon source, yet it is doubtful she knew either Cowley or Rosser.)

    The Editorial for the Deseret News in which the Manifesto first appeared admitted that the Manifesto had been condensed, and only “poorly” expressed “the sentiments of the writer.” Charles W. Penrose was the editor of that newspaper. (Deseret News, 25th September 1890.)

    In 1935 Joseph Musser also claimed that Penrose had taken part in writing the Manifesto, and that he had learnt this from his father, A. Milton Musser, who was assistant Church historian. (Joseph W. Musser, Truth 1:2:8, July 1935)

    I believe that these points show that the idea that Penrose helped write the Manifesto (or at least claimed to) is a credible one.

    Nov 16, 2007 at 3:22 pm
  • kitty

    will never accept POLIGAMY

    Dec 1, 2007 at 8:32 pm
  • Jonathan CHM

    How could a non-Christian be born again?

    Should a person use only one verse to conclude messages that God intends for us? Let’s meditate Matthew 5:9 as follows: Matthew 5:9, “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. As the word, peacemakers, is mentioned in Matthew 5:9 with the phrase, the children of God, a false message could come about that as long as a person, whether he is a believer or not, declares peace in this world, he or she could be considered as a child of God or a Christian. Thus, using a verse to conclude God’s message is erroneous.

    Examples to prove that not all the people, that proclaim to believe in Jesus, will automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit: 1) Acts 19:1-2, “And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” The phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:1-2 implies that not all the people, that believe in Jesus, would automatically be granted with the Holy Spirit or else it would not justifiable for Acts 19:1-2 to enquire whether these people had received the Holy Spirit at the time of their believes with the assumption that the Holy Spirit would automatically be granted at the time when they began to believe. 2) Acts 8:14-17, “…Samaria HAD RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD,….when they were come down, PRAYED FOR THEM, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.). Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.” As the phrase, received the word of God, is mentioned in Acts 8:14-17 with the phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, it implies that believing in Jesus does not imply a person would receive the Holy Spirit automatically unless requesting it. 3) Matthew 7:21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” The phrase, every one that saith unto me Lord Lord, in Matthew 7:21 refers undoubtedly to those people that believe in Jesus since they call Jesus to be their Lord. Would these believers be accepted by the Lord? No, they will not be accepted by the Lord since Matthew 7:23, “(mentions that) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” As these people, that call Jesus as Lord, could be rejected by Him in the last days, it implies that not all, that believe in Jesus to be their Lord, are Christians. Is it irrational to use Matthew 7:21-23 to jump into conclusion that Christians would lose salvation since 1 Corinth 3:12 opposes it? The following is the extract: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. IF ANY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.” As proved above that Matthew 7:21 should not be applicable to backsliders since Christians would never lose their salvation, the only possible reason to think of and that is those people that are mentioned in Matthew 7:21 that proclaim Jesus to be Lord are not Christians at all. The same is supported in Luke 13:24-25 that many believe in Jesus and yet not many are saved. The following is the extract: Luke 13:24-25, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate: FOR MANY, I say unto you, WILL SEEK TO ENTER IN, AND SHALL NOT BE ABLE. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT WHENCE YE ARE:” The same is mentioned in Matthew 22:14, “(that) For many are called, but few [are] chosen.” Some Christians might use the two criminals that hung on the cross as an excuse for not requesting the receipt of the Holy Spirit. They have to bear in mind that Jesus had not resurrected yet at that time and the criminals did confess that they were sinners too. Besides, one of the criminals did not reject when Jesus called him to follow Him to be with Him in the paradise. Do you find this to be his acceptance of Jesus for his confession when he agreed to be with the Lord to be in the paradise without opposing Him?

    Should a Christian declare that faith alone could save a person without accompanying with any action? James 2:21-24, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. YE SEE THEN HOW THAT BY WORKS A MAN IS JUSTIFIED, AND NOT BY FAITH ONLY.” The same is mentioned in James 2:18-19, “(that) Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: SHEW ME THY FAITH WITHOUT THY WORKS, AND I WILL SHEW THEE MY FAITH BY WORKS. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

    Should a non-Christian repent for their sins or should he or she declare to believe in Jesus and yet worship Buddha simultaneously? John the Baptist went before Jesus to declare repentance and this shows that repentance is significant for Christianity’s conversion. James 1:21, “(even mentions that) Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” As the phrase, lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, is mentioned in James 1:21 prior to the phrase, receive…the engrafted word, it implies the significance of repentance prior to receiving Jesus as his or her Personal Saviour.

    Why should a non-Christian confess sin? 1 John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” As the phrase, we say that we have no sin, is mentioned in 1 John 1:8 with the phrase, the truth is not in us, it implies that non-Christians would not have God’s truth with them if they declare that they are not sinners. As God’s truth is not with non-Christians if they do not confess that they are sinners before God, there is a query whether God would dwell within their bodies at the absence of biblical truth in them. Thus, it is a must for non-Christians to declare before God to be sinners to seek His forgiveness. The absolute promise of God for those who confess their sins before Him and that is: 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

    Repentance and confession are significant to non-Christians for their receipts of the Holy Spirit since John 9:31, “(mentions that)…God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” The phrase, God heareth not sinners, in John 9:31 implies God’s rejection of those non-Christians that insist not to repent and continuing in worshipping Buddha and the insisting that they are not sinners before God. These people would have their prayers to be in vain even if they declare to believe Jesus Christ and Buddha at the same time. The phrase, God heareth not sinners, in John 9:31 implies purity is significant for non-Christians’ conversions and prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit and that is why it demands non-Christians to repent and to confess their sins before God to have their sins to be cleansed for purity. Thus, it is significant for all the people that declare to believe in Jesus Christ to have their sins to confess before God especially Psalms 5:4, “(mentions that) For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” Psalms 5:4 seems to highlight to us that God would not dwell among non-Christians if sins are with them. For this reason, it is advisable for all the people that declare to believe in Jesus Christ to confess their sins before God so as to have their sins to be cleansed with purity for God’s dwelling.

    Did the Gospel highlight to us to request for the Holy Spirit? The following are the extracted verses to prove that Jesus and even His disciples did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit: 1) John 4:10, “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; THOU WOULDEST HAVE ASKED OF HIM, and he would have given thee living water.” The phrase, have asked of him, in John 4:10 has stressed the significance of the request for the Holy Spirit. 2) John 6:32-34, “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. THEN SAID THEY UNTO HIM, LORD EVERMORE GIVE US THIS BREAD.” The phrase, Then said they unto him Lord evermore give us this bread, in John 6:34 is another proof that Jesus’ disciples did request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. However, their requests could only be fulfilled until after Jesus’ resurrection in the Calvary. 3) Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” From the above extracts, these give an absolute certainty that a person could receive the Holy Spirit through requesting for the receipt of it. Bear in mind that Romans 8:9, “(mentions that)…if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” As the phrase, any man have not the Spirit of Christ, is mentioned in Romans 8:9 with the phrase, he is none of his, it implies that those people, that do not have the Holy Spirit/Jesus Christ with them, are not considered to be Christians at all. Assurance from God that we will receive the Holy Spirit when we ask from Him: Luke 11:10, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” The same is supported in Mark 11:24, “(that) Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].”

    Romans 10:9, “(mentions) That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” This verse implies that our faith should be grounded upon the resurrection of Jesus. Muslims too believe in Jesus, but they reject the resurrection of Jesus. However, Romans 10:9 demands not only to confess Jesus but also to believe He has been resurrected.

    Sinner’s prayer has met the requisition of the confession since it demands non-Christians to confess themselves before God of their believes in the name of Lord Jesus Christ. It demands also the non-Christians to acknowledge the resurrection of Jesus and that meets the requirement of Romans 10:9. Not only that, it requires non-Christians to confess their sins before God for purification and also to express their needs for Jesus Christ to be their Personal Saviour. One should bear in mind that God will deny those people that believe in Jesus and yet refuse to proclaim the name of Jesus. The following are the extracts: 1) Luke 9:26, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels.” 2) Luke 12:8-9, “Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.” 3) Matthew 10:32, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”

    There should not be any worry if a person does not have confidence whether he has received the Holy Spirit before, he should not hesitate but to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since spiritual baptism only takes effect once. Once a person has received the Holy Spirit, he would not receive any more in the future since Ephesians 4:5, “(mentions that) One Lord, one faith, one baptism”. The phrase, one baptism, in Ephesians 4:5 implies one spiritual baptism instead of more than once.

    Now, let’s meditate Matthew 5:9 again: Matthew 5:9, “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. As we know once a person receives Jesus Christ to be His Personal Saviour, his spiritual fruits will grow and these include peace in God and that is why Jesus mentions Matthew 5:9 to be appropriate since Christians would have their spiritual fruits to grow and these include peace, one of the spiritual fruits (John 15:5).

    Thus, not all the people are Christians, only those that have the Spirit of Christ, are Christians.

    Jul 2, 2010 at 11:20 pm
  • Jonathan CHM

    Does Acts 19:1-9 (Christians in Ephesus) give a strong proof that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit?

    Let’s meditate Acts 19:1-9:

    Acts 19:1-9, “…at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 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.”

    The phrase, finding certain disciples, in Acts 19:1 does not give any strong proof whether these disciples were Jesus’ disciples or John at the time of their dialogue. There were a number of possibilities that can be viewed for the phrase, certain disciples, as mentioned in Acts 19:1: a) it could be that there were Jesus’ disciples and they did not know about the existence of the Holy Spirit and yet they did receive water baptism from John; b) it could be that there were John’s disciples and yet lately believed and followed Jesus; c) it could be that there were John’s disciples and had not believed in Jesus and yet lately followed Jesus: d) it could be that there were neither Jesus’ nor John’s disciples, yet had just converted to disciples not long ago; or etc. In view of the above possibilities, it is hard to jump into the conclusion using Acts 19:1 that these disciples were John’s disciples.

    Whether these people were John’s disciples or not, were not significant. The main thing that needs to be highlighted is that these people should not be questioned, Acts 19:2, “..Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” This is by virtue of if these were John’s disciples and they had believed in Jesus, the Holy Spirit would have come immediately upon them at the time of their believes even though they only received John’s baptism and they did not know the Holy Spirit, with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. The reason is simply the knowledge that they acquired (whether they knew the Holy Spirit or whether they received only John’s baptism0 would not affect their salvation with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit. As the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, is mentioned in Acts 19:2, it gives an uncertainty that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    Some might argue that certain parts of the book of Acts were transitional period for the receiving of the Holy Spirit. However, the transitional period should have been ended at the time of Pentecost since John 16:7 mentions the receipt of the Holy Spirit was after the resurrection of Jesus.

    Those people that insist not to request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit while they are on earth with the assumption that believing attracts immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, would regret eternally what if they have discovered their past knowledge was wrong and that Jesus would speak to them that He does not know Him at end time as mentioned in Matthew 7:23.

    Disciples in current context. Acts 11:26, “(mentions that)…the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” As the phrase, the disciples, is mentioned in Acts 11:26 with the word, Christians, it implies that the word, disciple, and the word, Christian, can be interchangeable.

    Aug 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm
  • Jonathan CHM

    SINNER’S PRAYER (CONTINUED)

    THE DEFINITION OF THE WORD, BELIEVE, IN THE BIBLE

    The word, believe, in Strong’s Concordance in its original form is as follows: πιστεύω. The transliteration of the word, believe, in the Strong ’s Concordance is pisteuō. The following are the translations of the word, believe, as spelt out in the Strong’s Concordance:

    1) to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in a) of the thing believed 1) to credit, have confidence b) in a moral or religious reference 1) used in the NT of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul 2) to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith 3) mere acknowledgment of some fact or event: intellectual faith 2) to entrust a thing to one, i.e. his fidelity a) to be intrusted with a thing

    From the meaning of the word, believe, in the Strong Concordance, it is obvious that the word, believe, in its original word does not include repentance; justification; the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit; and etc.

    THE REASONS THAT EPHESIANS 1:13-14, JOHN 3:16 AND ACTS 16:30-31 DO NOT PROVIDE ANY STRONG PROVES THAT BELIEVING IS SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IMMEDIATELY:

    Let’s meditate Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31 as follows:

    Ephesian 1:13-14, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

    John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

    Acts 16:30-31, “And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

    From the extracts, it is obvious that none of the verses above mention that a non-Christian needs to repent from sin in order to be saved except that he must believe. The meaning of the word, believe, in its original Greek/Hebrews word as mentioned early, does not give any implication that this word has to be dealt with repentance.

    It is erroneous to use Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31 to support that salvation could come about merely by believing without repentance since Psalm 5:4, “(mentions that) For thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee.” As the phrase, not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee, is mentioned in Psalm 5:4, it implies total rejection from God for those people, that are without repentant hearts, continue in sinning, such as, worshipping idols and etc.

    Despite the absence of repentance in Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31, repentance of sin, such as, continuing in worshipping idols, has to be exercised in order to be born again. Otherwise, it would turn up to be that a non-Christian could continue in sin, such as, keep on worshipping idols and believe in Jesus at the same time, yet they could be saved on the condition that the concept of believing could be sealed with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true. The teaching would turn up to be absurd without any justification due to salvation could be brought out simply by believing at the absence of repentance and that the non-Christian could believe in Jesus as well as worshipping idols at the same time without any repentant heart.

    The support, that believing has to be followed with repentance, implies that believing is not sealed with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit since there is something (and that is repentance) to do prior to a non-Christian to be born again. The reason is simply that a non-Christian, that believes, would not receive the Holy Spirit if he does not repent.

    It is irrational to use simply Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 and Acts 16:30-31 to conclude God’s message intend for us. Matthew 5:9 is an excellent extract to prove the risk of misinterpretation of the Scripture by means of a single extract: Matthew 5:9, “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”. As the word, peacemakers, is mentioned in Matthew 5:9 with the phrase, the children of God, a false message could come about that as long as a person, whether he is a believer or not, declares peace in this world, he could be considered as a child of God or Christian. Thus, using a verse to conclude God’s message is erroneous.

    As repentance is a must in order to be born again and yet it is not stated in Ephesians 1:13-14, John 3:16 as well as Acts 16:30-31, there should not be any unjustifiable ground to think that requesting for the receipt of the Holy Spirit should not be exercised just because it is not stated.

    COULD MATTHEW 7:21-23 BE APPLICABLE TO PROFESSING CHRISTIANS?

    Let’s meditate Matthew 7:21-23 below prior to our tackling to this question:

    Matthew 7:21-23, “Not every one that SAITH UNTO ME, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    The phrase, saith unto me Lord, in Matthew 7:21 implies that these people certainly believe in Jesus or else there should not be any reason for them to call Jesus as Lord. The word, never, in Matthew 7:23 implies that the Lord did not and do not and will not recognize them. For instance, if these people are professing Christians, Jesus should mention that He does not and will not recognize them since He surely knew them at the time of their conversion to Christianity initially. Jesus certainly knows His sheep for their callings at the time of their conversion to Christianity since John 10:27-28, “(mention that) My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” As the word, never, is used in Matthew 7:23 instead of the phrase, does not and will not, it implies that He did not recognize them at anytime of their life span. This rejects the possibility that these people could have been born again in the past since, if that should be so, at least, Jesus should have recognized them in the past instead of mentioning, He never. As Jesus did not recognize them in the past, how could there be any possibility of them to have turning point to be born again? However, if Matthew 7:21 has been treated as there are for non-Christians, the whole sentences would turn up to be justifiable since Jesus did not and do not and will not recognize them due to there are not God’s people. In order to be Christians, Jesus Christ has to come into their lives to dominate in their lives and that is why sinner’s prayer has to be stressed.

    It is irrational to use Matthew 7:21-23 to conclude that Christians would lose salvation since 1 Corinth 3:12 opposes it? The following is the extract: 1 Corinthians 3:12-15, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. IF ANY MAN’S WORK SHALL BE BURNED, HE SHALL SUFFER LOSS: BUT HE HIMSELF SHALL BE SAVED; yet so as by fire.”

    As proved that Mathew 7:21-23 should be applicable to non-Christians. Despite they were non-Christians, yet they believe in Jesus since they call Jesus as Lord as mentioned in Matthew 7:21. What if those people strongly believe that believing is sealed with the Holy Spirit and they fail to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet in reality, the Holy Spirit would not be with them, they would regret eternally for their actions in not asking for the receipt of the Holy Spirit while they are on earth since Jesus would tell them that He never knows them as mentioned in Matthew 7:23.

    DO THE VERSES IN ACTS 19:1-6 GIVE A STRONG PROOF THAT BELIEVING IS SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IMMEDIATELY?

    There is no justifiable ground for one to assume that Acts 19:1-6 could support that believing is sealed with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit for the following reasons:

    a} The phrase, Have ye received the Holy Spirit since ye believed, in Acts 19:2 was the spoken words from Paul and this verse should not have any doctrinal error especially 2 Timothy 3:16, “(mentions that) All Scripture (is) given by inspiration of God, all (is) profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”

    b} The subsequent verses of Acts 19:2 do substantiate the query about the uncertainty of the existence of the Holy Spirit among those people that declare to believe. The following is the elaboration:

    Those people did not receive the Holy Spirit when they heard the words of God as mentioned in Acts 19:5. They only received the Holy Spirit after Paul had laid his hands upon them in Acts 19:6. Bear in mind there is an obvious gap between the word, heard, in Acts 19:5 and the phrase, the Holy Ghost came on them, in Acts 9:6 in which they believed and yet the Holy Spirit was not with them.

    The following are the extracts for Acts 19:5-6:

    Acts 19:5-6, “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.”

    Unless they had received the Holy Spirit in Acts 19:5 at the time of their believes, it is rational to support that believing is sealed by the Holy Spirit. However, they received the Holy Spirit after Paul had laid his hand on them. It implies that believing is not sealed with the Holy Spirit immediately.

    As there is an uncertainty that believing could be sealed with the Holy Spirit immediately, those people, that proclaim to believe in Jesus, have to be accompanied with sinner’s prayer in order to be born again.

    Sep 12, 2010 at 7:24 pm
  • Jonathan CHM

    let’s examine the book of Acts cautiously below for the reply that some commentators have brought out to do away sinner’s prayer with the excuse that it is not mentioned in the Bible:

    1) Acts 6:6-7, “Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

    As the phrase, the disciples multiplied…greatly, is mentioned in Acts 6:7, it implies the great number of non-Christians were converted to Christianity. Nothing is mentioned in Acts 6:6-7 or elsewhere that these people did repent from sinning prior to their conversion. One must not be quick in jumping into the conclusion by using this event to support that non-Christians need not to repent in order to be born again or else he/she is simply adding words of assumption in which it is not stated in Acts 6;6-7. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 6:6-7 that they did repent from sin, there are two possibilities with regard to their conversion. First assumption is that they might have repented from sinning and yet it was not mentioned in Acts 6:6-7. Another alternative possibility is that they did not repent from sinning, such as, continuing in worshipping idols; creating havoc in the society; and etc. As repentance has to be sought prior to the conversion to Christianity, they must have repented from sin prior to receiving the Holy Spirit. Thus, the absence of the word, repentance, in Acts 6:6-7 does not imply that they did not repent from sins prior to receiving the Holy Spirit.

    The same is for the request of Jesus to come into their lives. Neither Acts 6:6-7 have mentioned that these people did receive the Holy Spirit nor these verses have mentioned clearly that they did or did not request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of the words whether they did or did not request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit does not imply that they did not request Jesus to come into their lives. The insisting that they did not ask Jesus to come into their lives even though it is not mentioned at all, has indeed added words of assumption in which it is not even stated in Acts 6:6-7. What if these people did ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet it is not stated in Acts 6:6-7, the discouraging among non-Christians to pray for the receipt of the Holy Spirit would simply cause them not to be born again.

    The same is for other factors, such as, confession of sins; acknowledge Jesus to die on the cross, are not even spelt out in the event of Acts 6:6-7. The absence of these factors does not imply that they did not do it.

    In conclusion for Acts 6:6-7, despite the phrase, sinner’s prayer, is not mentioned in the book of Acts and yet the elements of the sinner’s prayer can be found here and there in the Bible. Even in the book of Acts, certain part of the event does mention part of it. However, the absence of the elements that should exercise prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit in Acts 6:6-7, does not imply that they did not exercise it.

    2) Acts 8:34-38, “And the eunuch answered Philips, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other men? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same Scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; What doeth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot the stand still: and they went down into water, both Philip and the eunuch: and be baptized him.”

    Meditate the verses above and you would discover nothing is mentioned in the paragraph above that the eunuch had repented from sin prior to his baptism. As nothing is mentioned that he did repent from sin, this event should not be used to conclude that non-Christians could sin continually without repentant heart in order to be saved.

    Nothing is mentioned that the eunuch did receive the Holy Spirit except the word, baptism, does not imply that it is not significant to receive the Holy Spirit. As nothing is mentioned in Acts 9:38 that he did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, be baptized, the eunuch most likely should have received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38 in which the phrase, be baptized, is mentioned. Thus, despite he confessed Jesus is the Son of God in Acts 8:37, yet he only received the Holy Spirit after his baptism in Acts 8:37. It is obvious that there is a gap (between the time that he confessed Jesus to be the Son of God in Acts 8:37 and the time that he received the Holy Spirit in Acts 8:38) in which the Holy Spirit is not with him. It gives us the implication that confession that Jesus is the Son of God might not be accompanied with immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    The above explanation proves that the absence of the elements of sinner’s prayer in the book of Acts, does not imply the people in the past did not exercise them. What if they did repent from sins; confessed sins before God for the forgiveness of sins; acknowledged Jesus has been resurrected; and praying for the receipt of the Holy Spirit and yet they are not mentioned clearly in the book of Acts, or what if these should be the plan of God for salvation, the intention to do away sinner’s prayer could cause many to fall and not to be born again.

    3) Acts 10:44-48, “While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed him to tarry certain days.”

    The phrase, they of the circumcision which believed, in Acts 10:45 undoubtedly refers to the Jews since they were circumcised. The phrase, the Holy Ghost fell on them which heard the word, in Acts 10:44 refers to the Gentiles that received the Holy Spirit and yet the word, heard, is mentioned instead of the word, believed. Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:44 that they believed in Jesus except that they heard the word. The absence of the word, believed, in Acts 10:44 does not imply that the Gentiles did not believe in Jesus prior to the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

    Nothing is mentioned in Acts 10:44-48 that the Gentiles did repent from sin, does not imply that Gentiles could continue in sinning without repentant heart prior to the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The phrase, as the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost, is mentioned in Acts 10:45 prior to the phrase, And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord, it implies that the receipt of the Holy Spirit could be before the baptism was performed.

    The following are the extracts from other events in the book of Acts in which the word, repentance, is not mentioned and yet those non-Christians should have repented from sin:

    Acts 8:12-17, “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself beloved also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and…who, they received the Holy Spirit…Then laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”

    Acts 11:14-15, “Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.”

    Acts 11:24, “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”

    Acts 16:31-33, “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and his, straightway.” Again nothing is mentioned that these people did repent from sin and not even mentioning they did receive the Holy Spirit except the phrase, be baptized.

    Some might argue that Acts 2:38 did mention the word, repent, to support that the Book of Acts encourages repentance. My query is why the word, repent, is not mentioned repeatedly in most of the events of the Book of Acts except Acts 2:38. As it is only mentioned in Acts 2:38 instead of in other events of the Book of Acts, it implies that the absence of the word, repent, in other parts of the Book of Acts, does not imply that non-Christians did not exercise it. The same is for the request of the receipt of the Holy Spirit. The absence of the phrase, to ask Jesus into our heart, in the book of Acts, does not imply that they did not exercise it.

    From the above extracts and explanations, it could easily arrive at the conclusion that it is not justifiable to conclude that repentance is not necessary for the conversion of non-Christians just simply due to the absence of it in the book of Acts. The same is that it is irrational to oppose people to ask Jesus to come into their heart just because it is not stated in the Book of Acts. Similarly, no conclusion should be drawn out that confession of sins for non-Christians to God should be done away just simply with the excuse that it is not stated in the book of Acts.

    Some commentators might suggest that believing leads to immediate forgiveness of sins and the receipt of the Holy Spirit. Discuss.

    My personal conviction is that believing does not lead to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit and sins’ cleansing. Non-Christians that believe in Jesus have to be humble themselves before God to confess their sins before God to seek His forgiveness and the request for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    For instance, if the doctrine, believing leads of immediate forgiveness of sins, is true, 1 John 1:9 would turn up to be in error for the following reasons:

    a) Non-Christians needs not to confess their sins before God since God do not forgive their sins and their sins could not be forgiven unless they believe in Jesus instead of through confession of sins to God provided that the doctrine, believing leads to sins’ cleansing, is true.

    b) Christians do not need to confess sins before God due to their believes have granted them the forgiveness of sins and there is no need for them to confess their sins to God provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, is true.

    The above shows that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, has contradicted the fundamental truth in 1 John 1:9. As 1 John 1:9 contains any error, the doctrine, that believing leads to immediate sins’ cleansing, should be rejected and that there is a need to confess sins before God for sins’ cleansing. Thus, there is a need for non-Christians to confess their sins before God to seek His forgiveness and that is why sinner’s prayer must not be done away.

    For instance, if the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 would turn up to be in error for the following reasons:

    a) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the disciples should not ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit before the Pentecost since the Holy Spirit would not descend upon them prior to the day that Jesus was glorified as mentioned in John 16:7. As the Holy Spirit would not descend upon the disciples prior to the Pentecost, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 should not be asked. This is by virtue of the Holy Spirit would descend automatically upon the disciples upon the day of Pentecost and that there is no need for them to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit provided believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    b) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2, should not be asked even after the day of Pentecost. This is by virtue of the Holy Spirit would descend automatically upon the disciples after their believing in Jesus provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

    c) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2 should not be asked among non-Christians. This is by virtue of non-Christians in this modern society need not to ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since God come to them at the time of their belief provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

    d) If the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true, the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed, in Acts 19:2, should not be asked among Christians. This is by virtue of Christians in this modern society should not ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit since their believing in Jesus has led to the immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit provided that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, is true.

    As the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, has led to the contradiction of the phrase, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2, it implies that this doctrine should be rejected and that the doctrine, believing leads to immediate receipt of the Holy Spirit, should not be established.

    Some commentators might oppose sinner’s prayer with the excuse that the Scripture does not demand people to ask Jesus into their heart. Discuss.

    The most obvious verses to show that the Bible does contain verses pertaining to asking Jesus into our heart:

    Acts 8:15, “they were come down prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit…” The phrase, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, in Acts 8:15 implies that the people did ask Jesus into their heart.

    Luke 11:13, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” The phrase, [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him, in Luke 11:13 implies Jesus even mentioned the asking of the Holy Spirit into our heart.

    The less obvious verses that give the hint in the Bible pertaining to asking Jesus into our heart:

    John 4:10, “ Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” The phrase, living water, in John 4:15 should refer undoubtedly to eternal life. As the phrase, If thou knewest the gift of God…thou wouldest have asked of him, is mentioned in Acts 4:10 with the phrase, living water, it implies the asking of Jesus to receive the gift of God, that is the Holy Spirit, that leads to living water and that is eternal life. The word, asked, is mentioned in this verse.

    John 6:32-34, “ Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.” The phrase, the true bread, in John 6:32 should refer to Jesus. As the phrase, Then said they unto him…give us this bread, is mentioned in Acts 6:34 with the phrase, true bread, in John 6:32, it implies that the disciples did ask for the receipt of the Holy Spirit.

    Acts 19:2, “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.” The phrase, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, in Acts 19:2 implies the possibility of the absence of the Holy Spirit among the people that believe in Jesus. Or else, there should not be any reason for Acts 19:2 to raise a query that, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed? Instead, the verse should mention that the Holy Ghost is in you since ye believed. As the phrase, Have ye receive the Holy Ghost since ye believed?, is mentioned in Acts 19:2, non-Christians have to express to God for their desire to allow Jesus to come into their heart to be their Lord and Personal Saviour.

    Apr 15, 2011 at 7:40 pm

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