FAQ Subject: Your ridiculous and blasphemous prayer
Why is it that those who know the least about Freemasonry are the ones who have the most to say? What they say is invariably negative.
We are not an evil organization. We are not a secret organization. Rather, we do as much good as possible and we are an organization with secrets. Those secrets enable one Mason to recognize another “…in darkness as well as at noon day.”Freemasonry spends, on average, just under $3,000,000 (three million dollars) every single day of the year–all 365 of them–on charitable works. You really ought to get your facts straight and do a bit of research before you go running off at the mouth about as fine an organization as Freemasonry.
I expect a response that will call me naive, stupid and/or evil myself. Fine. Whatever makes you happy is fine with me. I know the truth.
Barry D. Waldman
Despite your irrational claim that we are ignorant, might I ask what is specifically erroneous in what we have written? Those who know the least about Freemasonry are actually its members – everyone else can see it for what it is. Their own leaders admit as much in various writings.
I do wonder if you know what “evil” means. In fact you don’t seem to understand what “secret society” means either! As for blasphemous, that requires a belief that a deity has been insulted. The pagan Masonic deity isn’t happy with our prayer guidelines, but the One True Holy Creator God is very happy with it. Since that is Who I want to please, your description is in error. That’s probably why so many Christian churches and ministries all around the world are now using the prayer. It has been used to liberate tens of thousands of people from Masonic curses.
We have provided sources for most, if not all, the material. Please show anything which has been slanted or copied inaccurately.
We have copied quotes from documentation published by many Christian denominations, which universally reject Freemasonry. They have a right to highlight the pagan elements of Freemasonry and its rejection of Biblical Christianity. In taking the stand they have, these Christian denominations are simply defending the truth of the Bible and its teachings for Christians. Pagans can believe and practice what they like, but they shouldn’t pretend to be “Christians”.
For your information, many former Freemasons have confirmed the accuracy of our material – some of them up to the 33rd degree. My eldest brother was “Worshipful Master” of his lodge, before he became a Christian. Now he is a Baptist pastor and explains why he was so deceived to belong to the Masonic lodge. He checked my book for errors before it was published and made only just one small change.
There are plenty of good people doing good things in every religion, including the Masonic religion – that isn’t the point of anything we have written.
Personally I don’t know you, so I am not calling you naive, stupid or evil. There does seem a strong likelihood you may be deceived – that is the nature of the hoodwink. Deceived people don’t know they are deceived people.
I’ll ask again, in case you missed it – please provide factual information to back your claim we have our facts wrong. I have repeatedly made this offer/request to some of the most senior Freemasons in the world. I’ll be most interested in what you provide to challenge the accuracy of our material. Most of the senior Freemasons who have answered (instead of making irrational statements) have confirmed that our facts are correct, but they disagree with the conclusions. If our facts are right, then our conclusions are right also.
Real truth must be based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, since He is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”.
May the God who created you give you insight into the real truth of His Son, Jesus Christ, one day.
Subject: What are curses & iniquities?
We need to begin by looking at the meaning of the terms we will use. According to Strongs Concordance, the term “curse” (H2764) means a net, a doomed object, a dedicated thing which should be utterly destroyed. It is mentioned 173 times in the Bible. A curse could also be described as “words empowered by an evil spirit.”
The late Dr. Derek Prince likens a curse to a dam which holds back the waters of blessing – all you get is a trickle of blessings plus a lot of problems.
The key word: Frustration! Do you start much, but complete little? Does life feel like you are trying to run through treacle? Do you exert much effort for little reward or progress? If so, these are significant hints you may have a generational curse. What do you have to lose by dealing with it?
The term “iniquities” (H205) is mentioned some 334 times in the Scriptures, and it means to pant or exert oneself in vain. It also means trouble, wickedness, vanity, to make crooked. Iniquity is Generational sin being outworked.
I have heard some Christians say that God is a God of love and mercy, and He wouldn’t curse anyone! Such a view conveniently overlooks the holiness, righteousness and justice of God, as well it shows a seriously myopic view of Scripture. The plagues of Egypt were a curse on that nation because of the stubborn rebellion of the Pharaoh.
Where do curses come from?
* God – (see Gen. 12:3; Deut. 27& 28)
* Men representing God – (see Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:34; 2 Sam. 1:21; Mark 11:14)
* Relational Authority – (see Gen. 31:32) This includes parents, spouses, teachers and pastors.
* Self Imposed Curses – (see Gen. 28:12-17; Matt. 27:24-25)
* Those who practice witchcraft – (see Numbers 23-25)
A real witch knows better than to attempt to curse a real Christian. Check these out: “a curse without cause shall not alight,” (Proverbs 26:2); and “No weapon formed against you (the Christian Believer) shall prosper,” (Isaiah 54:17); and whoever curse God’s chosen – “cursed be him who curses thee,” (Genesis 12:3). Consequently a curse sent against a Christian who is truly walking with God will act like a boomerang, returning to afflict the originator and leaving the Christian untouched.
Symptoms of Curses
Dr. Derek Prince has identified the following key symptoms which he summarised from the 28th Chapter of Deuteronomy.
1. Mental and emotional disorders
2. Repeated or chronic sickness (often hereditary)
3. Barrenness, miscarriage and female reproductive problems
4. Breakdowns of marriage and family alienation
5. Continuing financial insufficiency (regardless of income level)
6. Being “accident-prone”
7. History of suicides and unnatural or untimely deaths.
(From “Blessings or Curses – You can choose” by late Dr. Derek Prince).
Another way to describe iniquity is: “An inherited weakness, bent or leaning towards repeating a certain sin from family activities; or the fruit of inherited sin outworking in your life”.
We all have some attributes we inherit from our parents, including facial features, hair or lack of it, colour of hair or eyes, or mannerisms. Some will also look like an aunt or uncle or some other relative including grandparents. There can also be negative health issues including heart disease, eyesight degeneration and other family illnesses. Medical doctors frequently ask about family illnesses for this reason.
An Example of Generational Iniquity
An obvious example from Scripture would include David’s immorality with Bathsheeba, with the resulting murder of her first husband, and the birth and death of their baby conceived in iniquity. Later one of David’s sons, Amnon, raped his step-sister Tamar. Amnon was then killed by the step-sister’s brother, Absolom, (See 2 Samuel 13). It was this same Absolom who tried to usurp David’s throne later on. This is sin repeated by the subsequent generation.
In John 9:1-10 Jesus ministered to a man born blind, and His Disciples assumed that if the man hadn’t sinned, then his parents must have caused this condition. That would clearly indicate an understanding of this issue of iniquity in the culture. In that particular case, Jesus stated there was another reason for the man’s condition not related to our subject.
Most people I have met want to be blessed by God. There are conditions for the blessings of God.
1. Listen to God’s voice.
2. Do what He says.
This is covered in the following Scripture:
1) “If you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe all His commandments 2) all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God”. (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
The conditions for enduring curses from God are also clear cut:
1. Don’t listen to God’s voice
2. Don’t do what He says
45) “All these curses shall come upon you and pursue you and overtake you, till you are destroyed, because you did not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statues which He commanded you. 46) They shall be upon you as a sign and a wonder, and upon your descendants forever.” (Deuteronomy 28:45-46)
Some say a Christian cannot have a curse – it was all dealt with at Calvary. That is true: as the following Scriptures indicate:
“The wicked one cannot touch us.” (1 John 5:18)
“a curse without cause cannot alight.” (Proverbs 26:2)
I would wonder if there is anyone without a just cause for a curse, because none of us are perfect.
I believe we need to understand that just as Jesus died for our sins, so he made provision for our salvation. But yet, not all are saved because they have not appropriated the requirements of salvation.
It is widely understood amongst evangelical Christians that to be “saved”, a person must repent of their sins, and must put their faith or trust in what Jesus did for us at Calvary. So Jesus made available the provision of salvation, but we must appropriate it in order to receive it. Then we must live out our faith.
Is everyone then “saved?” – NO!
God’s holiness requires repentance for our sins and the penalty paid. Jesus has paid it for those who accept Him. Those who reject Him are clearly in jeopardy, according to many Scriptures.
In the same way, the breaking of curses was also made available to us by what Jesus did on the cross. The provision is there, but we need to appropriate the provision for ourselves. Jesus dealt with our curses – right? As it states in:
“cursed is he who hangs on a tree.” (Galatians 3:13)
So, if you are totally perfect, and so were your parents, grandparents and great grandparents were too, you shouldn’t experiencethe frustrations the rest of us have.
The breaking of Curses and Iniquities are not salvation issues – they are “quality of life” issues.
Many Christians have problems and frustrations. Let us check out two versions of a well-known Scripture:
“Behold! I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil.” (Deuteronomy 30:15)
“Today I offer you life and prosperity or death and destruction.” (Deuteronomy 30:15 GW)
God is clearly giving us a choice with significant consequences. As many of us have heard from pulpits over the years, we don’t break God’s word – it breaks us when we disobey Him.
Who would want death and destruction? Surely those in their right mind would want God to bless us with life, prosperity and other good things.
While God gives us free will and choices, there are consequences to those choices. If we want God’s best and blessing, then we must take some action as the following Scripture shows.
“You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.” (Proverbs 28:13) GNB
Subject: Do Christian do Exorcism?
The deliverance ministry is sometimes called “exorcism”, although that is an occultic ritual found in many ancient magical texts, and adopted erroneously by the Roman Catholic Church and some others.
“The only ‘exorcists’ in the Bible tried to use the name of Jesus in a magical way without being truly saved. Thus they had no authority. They got the tar beaten out of them by a demon-possessed man (see Acts 19:13-19)” (“Blood on the Doorposts” by William and Sharon Schnoebelen, Chick Publications, p 332)
Exorcism involves suppressing the symptoms caused by one demon by putting a stronger demon to control the weaker one. That isn’t freedom, and it certainly is not Biblical. Genuine Christians do not do “exorcisms” for this reason.
Can We Do Ministry without Repentance?
This is pointless, according to Jesus. In Matthew 12:43-45, Jesus speaks about an unclean spirit which had left a person, but not finding a better place to dwell (having a legal right to re-enter the person) the unclean or demonic spirit returns and brings seven worse spirits, compounding the problems of that person.
“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.” When it arrives it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go and live there. And the final condition of the man is worse than the first” (Matthew 12:43-45)
If a person won’t renounce a legal ground for oppression, then the ministry is over until they do, as we don’t want them seven times worse. It is a failure of those leading such ministry that can put people into mental hospitals with severe depression, suicide attempts and the like. It is time for much better balance of teaching and ministry in this area. I have seen some horrific ministry done in the name of Jesus by people way out of their depth, and far beyond their ability to achieve freedom for the person requiring ministry. Sometimes is comes from ignorance of their authority in Christ; and other times it is guesswork and presumption without wisdom or true knowledge of Godly authority.
We should discourage people from seeking deliverance from an evil spirit until they are willing to renounce the sin which gives it legal ground to be there. I don’t want that person needing freedom from several more spirits because we didn’t get it right the first time.
Subject: Do Christians ever need deliverance from demons?
Dr. Derek Prince states, “At one time an official publication of a major denomination classified Don Basham and me as heretics because we were casting demons out of Christians. “What are we supposed to do?” I asked Don. “Leave the demons in them?” The charge against us was based, of course, on the assumption that Christians could never have demons that would need to be cast out. (Later this charge was apparently forgotten, because churches belonging to that denomination have since invited me to minister deliverance.)
In more than thirty years, I have never heard or read a reasoned, scriptural presentation of the doctrinal position that Christians can never need deliverance from demons. Those who believe this, …seem to consider it so obvious that it needs no support from Scripture. But the implications of such a position can be, to say the least, surprising.” (“They Shall Expel Demons” by Dr. Derek Prince p 142)
Regarding the Demonic realm, please consider the following: James 4:7 instructs us to submit to God (first), then to resist the devil, and only then he will flee. This doesn’t mean you will have a personal encounter with Satan himself, but one of his delegated underlings. If you aren’t submitted to God the rest won’t happen, and in all probability you will get attacked.
Subject: Talking with Demons
This vexed issue keeps raising its head from time to time. This testimony from a pastor involved in the Deliverance ministry has very pertinent points worth sharing.
Don Rogers Testimony
“When I first began to minister to the demonized over 30 years ago, all I knew to do for the people I was ministering to was to pray for their bondage to be broken. At the time this was a new type of ministry for me and I had no training to equip me for it. There was very little literature available and what was available was not always good.
As I relied on prayer, the cases usually took a long time before we got breakthroughs. During this time I was asking God for wisdom and guidance, so that I could be more effective in serving Him. As time went on, I learned that some in deliverance were interrogating demons to provide the information needed to deal with them effectively. I remember that Jesus had asked the Gadarene demoniac his name and he said it was “Legion.”
So for a few years I began to interrogate demons. As I did so, their manifestations became more prominent. Often they would come to the surface and I could see their individual characters in the eyes and facial expressions of the victims. They were often vehement, spewing forth intimidating and profane language directed against me and my family. There was also considerable violent behaviour. During this time, there was something very unsettling in my spirit about what was happening. God had given me grace not to yield to fear, but still I believed that something was wrong. I knew that demons were liars by nature and that they served the father of lies (John 8:44). Even though I was growing in my understanding as to how to exercise Christ’s authority against them, I knew in my heart often the best I was going to get out of them were “half-truths” which are more misleading than overt lies. I also began to realize that when Jesus asked for the Gadarene demoniac’s name, it was for our benefit in understanding the magnitude of some demonizations. Jesus did not have to ask for his name in order to deal with him. The Holy Spirit guided Him in all things.
I began to ask God a lot of questions. I wanted to know how to be a better servant. I desire to be more effective against the enemy, not giving him even an inch. I was concerned about how other deliverance ministries seemed to be focused on demonic manifestations and seemed to relish in them in order to receive peoples’ validation concerning what they were doing.
My background was formed in conservative evangelicalism. I was taught that many of the sign gifts were not for today. I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was really being taught was that God had changed! There was a strong appreciation to rely upon the word of God, but often man’s theology got in the way. I began to see a number of people to whom I was ministering have their spiritual gifts released and made operational. Many would even assist in their own deliverance, telling me what the enemy was doing to resist me. The sessions became more powerful in the Lord than ever before. I went back to the word of God with new insights and came to the realization that what I had been taught was in error. So, I asked a couple of very gifted people, who apparently were called to ministry, to assist me. Immediately, the effectiveness of the ministry was raised. Over the years, in my association with gifted people, my own gifts have come to the forefront and been enhanced as well.
When spiritual gifts began to be used in our ministry, I ceased to interrogate demons any longer. When I took this step of faith, the Lord began to show me why He had directed me in this matter. Unknowingly, when I had relied upon interrogation of the enemy, I was giving the enemy more power to resist me. By commanding them to communicate with me, I was giving them control of parts of the victims’ brains, especially the speech centre. I was giving the enemy the opportunity to demonstrate his vileness and provided him with the opportunity to deceive and resist.
I believe in a confrontational ministry, but only to the point that I confront them in the power of the Lord. I made a covenant with the Lord. I told Him that I wanted to be the best that I could be in serving Him and bringing credibility to this type of ministry. I did not believe that continuous and regular demonic manifestations during ministry was honouring to Him or to a ministry that serves Him. I asked Him to shut down this type of activity or enable us to do so. I desired that this ministry have the witness of the Holy Spirit behind it, not the witness of demons and their activity. I didn’t need the approval of people, only the Lord.
Immediately, the spiritual atmosphere of our ministry changed. It was transformed into a very calm and gentle ministry, but very powerful. Any demonic manifestations were quickly shut down. Demons were immediately silenced. Not only were deliverances enhanced, they were done more quickly and healing of the demonic destruction became more prominent. Needless to say, as soon as we started to rely completely on the Holy Spirit, the enemy counterattacked with vengeance. My own church asked me to leave, because I was using spiritual gifts in my ministry. Other churches and Christian friends began to slander me and blackball me and treat me like a heretic. When I visited church elder boards to explain the biblical basis for our change of ministry, they did not want to examine the Bible with me, because I was already in conflict with their theology. What does a person do when there is an unjustified, widespread activity to discredit them? Letters were being sent to other churches to inform them of the error in which I had become involved. There is only one thing you can do; trust the Lord. I said to the Lord, that He knew my heart. I was relying upon Him to be my protector. There was no other means that I could protect myself, without relying upon the flesh. So, I trust in Him to take me through the fire and today our ministry is widely respected. We are even in a referral network of Christian psychologists and psychiatrists. Isn’t our God great!!
I mentioned that healing became more prominent in our ministry. I came to realize that deliverance and healing were inseparable. God wants to heal and restore what the enemy has sought to destroy. I count it a privilege to see God do miracles constantly before my eyes. Often God starts working upon the individual even before I start to minister. When people enter our ministry office, they sense the presence of the Lord. Many have seen, with their spiritual gifts, the two angels that God has assigned to me as I lay hands on the victims and minister deliverance and healing. Sometimes I sense their presence, but I have never seen them. They are there to assist me and to provide protection. I often call upon God to send in angels to assist me when I run into stiff resistance. They not only serve God’s people, but they are harvesters of that which is evil. Upon occasion there has been a visible manifestation of the tug of war between these two forces.
I find that God is using our ministry to give people breakthroughs and an opportunity for a new start in life. Much of what is accomplished happens after they leave us. God is not interested in glorifying us. He wants to strengthen and enhance their intimacy with Him. They should not continue to depend upon us. In the weeks that follow, new freedoms are introduced into their lives as they are ready to receive them. They are accountable to be obedient to what God shows them and asks of them. We challenge them to fortify their minds with the word of God, especially His promises. We have stacks of letters recounting the dramatic changes that take place in the 4 – 6 weeks that follow. Healing continues and sometimes a measure of deliverance continues.
Our ministry is not meant to be a magic wand that relieves people of their problems, so that they can go back and lead their lives as usual. As we initially screen the people that come to us, their motivation for seeking help is an important consideration. God has called us to challenge them to become disciples of the Lord, to be accountable for their lives before Him. There can be no compromise with the world or with the enemy. No one can serve two masters. They have to be honest with themselves, with others and with the Lord. Those who have been set free will remain free as long as they trust and obey the Lord. If they choose to consistently yield to the enemy or the world and rebel against God, they will in all likelihood go back into bondage. The choice is theirs.” (by Don Rogers, Spiritual Warfare Ministries, 1998, source unknown)
I also came across the following statement provided by a friend after he had been searching the Internet for material on this subject.
“A Word of Warning to Deliverance Ministries
We often wondered why many deliverance ministries’ ministers oftentimes seem to have such personal and/or health problems; yet, they are doing the work of Jesus Christ.
The answer may lie in the fact that most, if not all, feel they have to speak to the demons they are exorcising – find out their name, what they do, how they inhabited or find their victims – how did the possession come about?
For instance, in the Catholic Church, one of the rituals is to force the demon to give his name and how did he come to choose this particular person.
Priests performing an exorcism ritual are often attacked by the victim’s residing demon or demons when they begin to converse with them. The demons can cause heart attacks, strokes, or other health problems then or later, when confrontation is made verbally. It is an awesome thing.
In fact, Father John O’Connor (not Cardinal John O’Connor) said that because the energy loss from a true exorcist is so great, a Catholic exorcist lives only about 15 years after he is deeply involved in this. However, there are exceptions and no one really knows why some live much longer.
He further says the hatred from the demon(s) is so horrendous that it literally drains the priests doing the exorcism.
Furthermore, many priests tend to believe the demons when they are being confronted verbally. The accusations and accounts the demoniac gives about the possession, about the personal life of the individual possessed, and about the individuals doing or assisting in the exorcism are more often than not taken as truth by the small group assisting or performing the ritual.
Some facts may be true, to rivet the individuals in the small room where the exorcism is being performed. Then, may follow total falsehoods. This is reason for extreme caution.
In our research and studies, we have found one definitive and one very strong reason why one in the deliverance ministry should not permit the demon to speak. (Emphasis added.)
Faculty of Paris Theologians
“In the year 1610 a committee of learned theologians had discussed the admissibility of diabolic evidence and issued the following authoritative decision:
We, the undersigned Doctors of the Faculty of Paris, touching certain questions which have been proposed to us, are of the opinion that one must never admit to the accusation of demons, still less must one exploit exorcisms for the purpose of discovering a man’s faults or for determining if he is a magician.
“and we are further of the opinion that, even if the said exorcisms should have been applied in the presence of the Holy Sacrament, with the devil forced to swear an oath (which is a ceremony we do not at all approve), one must not for all that give any credit to his words, the devil being always a liar and the ‘Father of Lies.’
Furthermore, the devil is man’s sworn enemy, and is therefore ready to endure all the torments of exorcism for the sake of doing harm to a single soul. If the devil’s evidence were admitted, the most virtuous people would be in the greatest danger; for it is precisely against these Satan rages most violently.
Wherefore St. Thomas (Book 22, Question 9, Article 22) maintains with the authority of St. Chrysostom, Daemoni, Etiam Vera Dicenti, Non Est Credendum. [The devil must not be believed, even when he tells the truth].
We must follow the example of Christ, who imposed silence on the demons even when they spoke truth, by calling him the Son of God.
Being in the presence of demons is horrendous, such that one must also take caution to have eaten enough complete protein for several days to several weeks prior to the encounter.
This demonic presence literally drains the biochemistry and regenerative powers of the deliverance minister. This is why, we believe, so many Catholic priests and Protestant deliverance ministers complain about the tremendous exhaustion after a deliverance.” (Source: www.tex-is.net/users/csbrocato/deliver/html.)
Some who support this dangerous practise of interviewing demons quote Mark 5 where Jesus had a “conversation” with Legion, the spiritual strongman controlling the demoniac of the Gaderenes. I note, however, the demons spoke first: Jesus didn’t initiate this conversation, but he finished it fairly quickly. Dr. John Sandford has an interesting insight into Mark 5 and Legion. John said that Jesus was testing (for our benefit) whether the man was in control, or if the demons had total control. When the control was claimed by the demons’ spokesman, “Legion,” Jesus exercised faith for their eviction and the man’s deliverance since he couldn’t do that for himself.
Let me summarise the issue of conversations or interviews with demons. Demons cannot be relied on to tell the whole truth – they are ‘evil’ spirits after all, and under the control of Satan whom Jesus declared to be the Father of Lies. It seems to me, and I have asked many Christian leaders who are involved in the Deliverance ministry, that information from a demon is questionable, a poor substitute when compared with information from the Holy Spirit (which Jesus declared is the “Spirit of Truth” – John 14:17; 16:13). On my reading of the Scriptures, interviewing demons is called “Mediumship” and invokes the curse of God. On the above basis, speaking with demons (other than evicting them) is both sinful and unnecessary.
Subject: FAMILIAR SPIRITS
When the Mormon missionaries call, they often attempt to give people a copy of the Book of Mormon. Ask them if they believe there is a Familiar Spirit with the book. If they are honest (and informed) they should answer “Yes.” (A Marvellous Work and a Wonder” pps 67-68) Since this is true, you have every right to decline to have it in your home, on the basis of the following Scriptures;
“Give no regard to mediums and familiar spirits, do not seek after them to be defiled by them: I am the LORD your God,” (Leviticus 19:31).
“…the person who turns after mediums and familiar spirits, to prostitute himself with them, I will set My face against that person and cut him off from his people,” (Leviticus 20:6).
“A man or a woman who is a medium, or who has familiar spirits, shall surely be put to death..,” (Leviticus 20:27). (See also Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Isaiah 29:4 and Galatians 6:19-21.)
There are fifteen Old Testament references to familiar spirits, and all of them refer to mediums involved in witchcraft. If the Mormon Church believes that every Book of Mormon has its own familiar spirit, they are choosing to identify with witchcraft. A medium is someone on friendly terms with a familiar spirit or demon. The primary purpose of the familiar spirit which accompanies the Book of Mormon is to deceive you. No person who is genuinely seeking the God of the Bible would willingly invite a deceiving demon into their home. (This matter is dealt with in greater detail in my book, “Unmasking Mormonism: Who are the Latter-day Saints?”)
Subject: THE PRIESTHOODS
Joseph Smith (the founder of the Latter-day Saints) claimed to restore the original doctrines of the Christian church, including the priesthoods of Aaron and Melchizedek. Membership of these priesthoods is claimed as the God-given authority to do every important function in the Mormon Church. So where do these priesthoods come from? On May 15, 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery baptised and ordained each other into the Aaronic Priesthood, claiming that John the Baptist had visited them under the instructions of the Apostles, Peter, James and John. Sometime in the following six weeks, these three Apostles are alleged to have visited Smith and conferred on him the Melchizedek Priesthood.
Mormon theology teaches that every person must be baptised by someone with authority to baptise, in other words someone who has themselves already received a proper authentic baptism. Otherwise the baptism is invalid. Since Joseph Smith Jnr. had not himself been baptised when he received the Aaronic Priesthood, (“Pearl of Great Price”, Joseph Smith History, 1:68-73) by what authority did he baptise Cowdery on May 15, 1829? Cowdery was then improperly baptised, so he also lacked the authority to baptise Smith later the same day. Mormons cannot ignore the staggering consequences of this. By the official declarations of the Mormon Church leadership, because neither Cowdery nor Smith were authentically baptised in the first place, not a single Mormon since 1829 has yet received an authentic baptism: all are invalid by their Church’s declarations. Because Mormons claim that baptism is necessary for salvation, their salvation is also invalid. Because of this terrible oversight by their leadership back to 1829, no Mormon can be assured of anything – their baptism, their salvation, or anything else. The LDS Aaronic Priesthood has three degrees, Deacon, Teacher and Priest. The LDS Melchizedek Priesthood has five degrees, Elder, Seventies, High Priest, Patriarch and Apostle. Let us investigate these further.
The Bible is clear that to belong to the priestly order of Aaron requires one to be born into the Tribe of Levi. Number 3:10 limits the Aaronic Priesthood to Aaron, his sons, and their direct descendents. Numbers 18:7 goes further and states that anyone other than Levites who came near the sanctuary were to be put to death. So every member of the “Aaronic Priesthood” is claiming to be a Levite by physical birth and inheritance. But there is a problem. When Jerusalem was sacked by the Romans in 70AD, all the lineage records were destroyed. No one has been able to prove his tribal lineage since then, including Joseph Smith. Tribal lineage and ancestry have always been important to Israelite/Jewish people. Mormons have picked up on this practice, somewhat imperfectly. The Mormon Book of Abraham claims that Egyptians were cursed and couldn’t hold any priesthoods. (“Book of Abraham” 1:21,22,27) Joseph Smith claims his family lineage is from the tribe of Ephraim, (“Doctrines & Salvation” 3:247) and that Book of Mormon people were from the tribe of Manasseh. (“Book of Mormon: Alma 10:3) Both Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of Joseph (son of Jacob) and Asenath. Since Asenath was an Egyptian (Genesis 41:45, 50), Ephraim and Manasseh were both half-caste Egyptians, and so were disqualified from any priesthood. If Joseph Smith’s family line were truly from Ephraim, he could never validly hold any priesthood office.
The original Aaronic/Levitical Priesthood were divinely commanded to perform ceremonial washing, slaying of bullocks for sacrifice, the sprinkling of their blood for atonement, then burning the sacrifice, followed by seven days separation from other people and activities. If the Mormon Aaronic Priesthood is truly ‘restored’ where have these functions gone? Are those Mormons who think they are members of the Aaronic priesthood still sacrificing animals to God? If it were so important, why is the Aaronic priesthood not even mentioned in the Book of Mormon? There are two other important considerations; Jesus Himself could not belong to the Aaronic Priesthood since He came from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. Also Jesus Christ abolished the Aaronic Priesthood with His sacrificial death at Calvary, since He was the perfect and acceptable sacrifice to God the Father, (see Hebrews 7:11-19; & 8:6-13.)
The Mormon “Melchizedek Priesthood” is also interesting. The Book of Mormon only records this order once, and states it belongs only to Melchizedek. If the Book of Mormon is the “Fullness of the Gospel,” then what use are priesthoods it doesn’t teach? The LDS Melchizedek Priesthood claims the authority to preach the Gospel, to baptise and to offer sacraments. There is no basis in either the Bible or the Book of Mormon for these activities. Hebrews 7:24 states that this order is the peculiar, exclusive and permanent possession of Jesus Christ. The Greek word used is “aparabatos,” which means “untransferable,” and literally means “without successors.” Jesus would not and could not share or transfer this order to anyone else. Since Jesus Christ is the exclusive owner and member of this priesthood, (especially since New Testament times) what actually has been restored? The meaning is obvious! Any person who claims to belong to the Melchizedek Priesthood is actually claiming to be Jesus Christ. (This also applies to the 19th Degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry.) If that is you, then please provide your credentials to be Israel’s Messiah and the Saviour of the world. I also wish to see the nail prints in your wrists from the crucifixion. If you can’t then I recommend quick repentance for such blasphemy.
The Mormon Church claim that Peter, James and John ordained Joseph Smith into this priestly order. Since it was never theirs to give, this too is invalid. Hebrews 7:1-3, and 26-27 record the qualifications for the Melchizedek Priesthood. Who is “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens?” Only Jesus Christ! None of us can ever possess this priesthood, or the authority claimed for it by the Mormon Church.
Mormons have a High Priestly order, but the only mention of High Priests in the New Testament involved the persecution of Jesus and the Christians. In a nutshell, the Mormon priesthoods are worthless as far as God is concerned, and are quite misleading to those in them.
In 1832 Smith claimed to have a revelation which stated that a man could only see God if he had received the Mormon priesthoods. If this were true, how can Smith claim he saw God in 1820, since the priesthoods weren’t invented by Smith until May 15, 1829? (“Kingdom of the Cults” by Dr. Walter Martin, page 198) Also, why do Mormons use their priesthoods to communicate with the spirits of the dead when God specifically forbade such practices in Deut. 18:10-14 and Galatians 5:20? Both LDS Priesthood Orders remain invalid!
THE BIBLICAL PRIESTHOOD OF BELIEVERS
There is a genuine Biblical priesthood for Christians and according to 1 Peter 2:9-10 and Revelation 1:6, it is the priesthood of all believers in Jesus Christ. However by following the teaching of Joseph Smith the Mormons are actually left without a true Biblical priesthood. By denying the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ at Calvary, they prevent themselves from sharing in the priesthood of all believers. Christians have a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, and His name is Jesus Christ. God promises that those who believe in Him, “…to them He gave the right to become children of God…” (John 1:12). The Bible allows women and children to belong to the priesthood of all believers, but the Mormon church forbids this. All other priesthoods were cancelled at Calvary, and God made sure by wiping them out when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.
Subject: What is THE NAME OF GOD?
Joseph Rutherford (second President of the organisation we know today as “Jehovah’s Witnesses) was the first to teach that God’s only true and correct name is “Jehovah.” The only problem is that the name Jehovah doesn’t occur in the original Hebrew or Greek Bible, because the word for “God” is “ADONAI” which translates to “LORD.” The Hebrews would never speak His name, for it was too holy to be uttered. When they wrote it down they used “YHWH.” (Hebrew language has no vowels.) Nowadays this name is written as “YAHWEH,” (pronounced Yarway). When Moses asked God who He was, God answered, “I AM who I AM… This is My name forever,” (Exodus 3:14-15). Since then, further names of God have been used which reflect His character.
In 1270 AD, a Catholic monk named Raymundus Martini decided to add the vowels from Adonai to the latinised YHWH (JHVH), and so invented the name “JEHOVAH.”14 Although this name has been moderately popular ever since, the fact remains that it still isn’t in the Bible, (apart from some editions of the King James Bible where it was inserted in place of Adonai), nor is it the name God gave of Himself. Jehovah is not the exclusive name of God, as Rutherford falsely claimed, and many Watchtower leadership and members are still claiming.
Six Signs of a Spiritually Dead Church By: Bill Easum
For much of the past three decades, denominational officials have been promoting seminars and programs aimed at revitalizing the church. I know because I have been the speaker or consultant to many of these groups. For many of these leaders, their goal was to breathe new life into churches experiencing declining memberships and lack of commitment. Yet after years of trying to revitalize these churches, the vast majority of them are still declining. What gives?
Reformation, renewal, and revitalization assume some preexisting foundation of faith from which to raise up a new church. But what if that assumption isn’t correct? What if the assumption is part of our problem? What if being a member of a church for 40 years doesn’t automatically guarantee any spiritual depth? What if holding every office in the church doesn’t automatically mean someone is a disciple of Jesus Christ? Do we dare look deep enough into our souls to find answers to these questions?
Based on the conversations and actions of the thousands of Protestant leaders with whom I worked over the years, I have concluded that most of them are spiritually dead and their institutions have ceased being the church. They have the form but not the substance of what it means to be the church. Let me define what I mean by spiritually dead churches. If your church spends most of its energy on itself and its members, it’s spiritually dead.
Such churches are living corpses. They are physically alive; some may even be growing; but they are spiritually dead to the mission of the New Testament church-to make disciples of Jesus Christ. They’ve turned inward and exist solely for themselves. They look for ways to serve themselves, and the kingdom be damned.
They’re like baby birds sitting in the nest with their mouths open waiting for momma bird (pastor) to feed them with no concept that Jesus intends them to feed others. Oh, they might collect money to send away to some distant mission field, but they’re all thumbs when it comes to sharing the good news with their neighbor or community. What growth they might experience is not of their doing-it just happens because of the population growth around them.
Here are eight death clues. Spiritually dead churches:
1. Have lost their sense of mission to those who have not heard about Jesus Christ and do not pant after the Great Commission;
2. Exist primarily to provide fellowship for the “members of the club;”
3. Expect their pastors to focus primarily on ministering to the members’ personal spiritual needs;
4. Design ministry to meet the needs of their members;
5. Have no idea about the needs of the “stranger outside the gates;”
6. Are focused more on the past than the future;
7. Often experience major forms of conflict;
8. And watch the bottom line of the financial statement more than the number of confessions of faith.
Bringing life back
The starting point for unfreezing a stuck organizational system is the development of a solid community of faith that includes spiritual leaders, the absence of major conflict, trust, and a desire to connect with the unchurched world.
True spiritual maturity is approached when people turn their attention to those outside the church and seek ways to spread the good news rather than exercise their entitlements as members. Unfortunately, too many pastors assume their church has spiritual leaders and skip right over this starting point. It has become apparent to me that most church leaders do not understand that the decline of their church is due to the lack of spiritual depth on the part of their leadership.
So, now, I want to go deeper on the spiritual issue. It’s not just that our churches are stuck; they are spiritually bankrupt!
I know. These churches are filled mostly with good Christian people, but there’s no discernable spiritual power, just good Christian people-and we all know what Jesus said about being good. (Mark 10:18)
So it’s obvious. Isn’t it? The only solution for spiritually dead congregations is resurrection. You can’t revitalize something that is dead. They must be brought to life again! And that is resurrection.
Revitalization is a waste of time. You can’t breathe life into a corpse. Only God can do that, and that is resurrection.
My experience has taught me the resurrection of a church happens in three stages.
It begins with a new pastor. Either the pastor experiences a personal resurrection or the church actually gets a new pastor.
Next is the resurrection of the leaders of the church either by transformation or replacement.
Finally, the church itself is resurrected and turned around through some tactical change. Then, if resurrection happens, our behavior changes:
1. The church turns outward in its focus.
2. Jesus, not the institution, will become the object of our affection.
3. The Great Commission will become our mandate, and we will measure everything we do by how many new converts we make rather than whether we have a black bottom line.
4. Membership in the Kingdom will replace membership in the church.
5. Pastors will cease being chaplains of pastoral care and will become modern-day apostles of Jesus Christ.
6. And those who try to control the church with an iron fist or intimidate the church at every turn of the road will be shown the door.
The primary reason society is shunning the institutional church is because for the most part it is spiritually dead. Spiritually alive churches, no matter what their form or where they are planted, always grow. That is the nature of the beast. That is the kind of church God honors. That is what the church was put on earth to do-spread the good news. When a church faithfully does that, it grows. Period.
(Adapted from “A Second Resurrection” by Bill Easum from Abingdon Press is the Vice-President of Easum, Bandy & Associates and is one of the most highly respected church consultants and Christian futurists in North America. Bill has been a pioneer in the church growth movement, with 35 years of pastoral ministry in four churches and two denominations. Bill is a graduate of Baylor University, B.A., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, M.D., and Perkins School of Theology, S.T.M. He is the author of twelve books, the most recent, “A Second Resurrection.”)