Prophets or Propheteers?

“Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”1

A few years ago Ralph Blodgett, who has researched psychic predictions for several years, found that in a given year, out of 250 specific predictions by thirty of the nation’s leading psychics, less than three percent could be listed as “reasonably fulfilled.”

Blodgett said, “I used to think psychics had to be led either by God or the devil. Now I’m convinced that they are being led most of the time by no one at all.”

In Old Testament times it was an extremely serious offense to be a false prophet. As God’s Word says, “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded him to say, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, must be put to death.”2 Tough words to be sure.

And in the New Testament we are warned not to believe every spirit but to put them to the test to make sure their word is from God.

I believe some people do have a gift of knowledge, but I certainly don’t. So how do I know if God is “speaking” to or leading me? Sometimes it comes from his Word, the Bible; sometimes through circumstances; and at other times through an inner conviction. To know whether it is from God or from myself all three of the above need to be in harmony. And if anything is out of harmony with God’s Word, I can be certain it is not from God. Furthermore, when I sense God is leading me, I like to put whatever it is to the test to make sure it is of God and not of me.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please give me the ability to discern your guidance and to recognize when a message or leading is from you, and also when it is not from you. And help me to discern that which is spoken by a false prophet. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

1. 1 John 4:1 (NIV).
2. Deuteronomy 18:20 (NIV).

 

Comment at: http://www.actsweb.org/daily.php?id=717

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Joseph Smith, Mormons and the Godhead

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How do Mormons and Christians compare when it comes to an understanding of God? We both use the term “Godhead” but don’t necessarily use it in the same way.

Historical Christianity has understood the Godhead as a Trinity, one God in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

What did Joseph Smith, Jr. teach? This is from his Lectures on Faith:

Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?

A. Two: the Father and the Son.

Q. How do you prove that there are two personages in the Godhead?

A. By the Scriptures: Genesis 1:27 (Inspired Version); “And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so.” …. (Lecture Five)

It should be clarified that the “Inspired Version,” also known as the Joseph Smith Translation, it is not really a Bible translation, not even like the Jehovah’s Witnesses’s New World Translation. The JST is more of a midrash, that is a paraphrase and interpretation and it is not based on translating Hebrew and Greek. Interestingly, the official translation of the Bible for Mormons is the King James Version and not the Joseph Smith Translation.

This is what Genesis 1:26-27 says in a recognized translation, “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the [a]sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

Aside from differences in how the Father and Son relate to each other, Joseph Smith taught that only the Father and the Son were a part of the Godhead. However, in the same lecture, Smith claims that the mind that is shared by the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit. He then says:

Q. Do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit constitute the Godhead?

A. They do.

This seeming contradiction is because Smith saw the Godhead as comprising two persons (Father and Son) and their shared mind (Holy Spirit). This is far from historical Christianity that claims that Father, Son and Spirit are all person and comprise the same God.

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