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Everything posted by InCognitus

  1. This is a good description of one of them: "And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold." (1 Kings 6:17–22) Do you think that temple sent a negative message to the impoverished people of that community?
  2. I was still able to view it on my phone, but the count column seemed to land in a gray area of the screen (literally)
  3. Did anyone else notice how many times "temples" and temple covenants were discussed in this General Conference? I did a count of the word "Temple" Tuesday evening when the conference transcripts came online (not counting "Temple" in the talk title), and this is what I came up with: Session Speaker Title Temple Sat AM Jeffrey R. Holland Motions of a Hidden Fire 1 J. Anette Dennis Put Ye On the Lord Jesus Christ 8 Alexander Dushku Pillars and Rays Ulisses Soares Covenant Confidence through Jesus Christ 27 Jack N. Gerard Integrity: A Christlike Attribute Henry B. Eyring All Will Be Well Because of Temple Covenants 29 Sat PM David A. Bednar “Be Still, and Know That I Am God” 3 Massimo De Feo Rise! He Calleth Thee Brent H. Nielson A Record of What I Have Both Seen and Heard 6 Jose L. Alonso Jesus Christ at the Center of Our Lives Gerrit W. Gong All Things for Our Good 11 Michael T. Nelson In Support of the Rising Generation Quentin L. Cook Be One with Christ 1 Sat PM2 Shayne M. Bowen Miracles, Angels, and Priesthood Power 3 Steven R. Bangerter Foreordained to Serve Andrea Muñoz Spannaus Faithful to the End Matthew L. Carpenter Fruit That Remains 3 Dieter F. Uchtdorf A Higher Joy Sun AM Ronald A. Rasband Words Matter 4 Susan H. Porter Pray, He Is There 1 Dale G. Renlund The Powerful, Virtuous Cycle of the Doctrine of Christ 1 Paul B. Pieper Trust in the Lord Patrick Kearon God’s Intent Is to Bring You Home 1 Brian K. Taylor Swallowed Up in the Joy of Christ Dallin H. Oaks Covenants and Responsibilities 17 Sun PM D. Todd Christofferson The Testimony of Jesus 2 Taylor G. Godoy Call, Don’t Fall 5 Gary E. Stevenson Bridging the Two Great Commandments 1 Mathias Held Opposition in All Things Neil L. Andersen Temples, Houses of the Lord Dotting the Earth 28 Mark L. Pace It Is Wisdom in the Lord That We Should Have the Book of Mormon Russell M. Nelson Rejoice in the Gift of Priesthood Keys 27 Total Mention of the word "Temple" 179 Out of 32 talks, 20 of them talked about the temple one or more times. And the word "temple" was mentioned 179 times in all of General Conference. Edit: Sorry about the formatting for those who try to view this on a smart phone, I tried to skinny it up, and it didn't work out too well.
  4. Of course it comes down to whether or not it is God's will or not, but in the situation with the seven sons of Sceva, it's obviously more than just that, because the demons didn't recognize their authority at all (i.e. "And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?") It's as if the demons were saying, "who are you to command me? You have no authority over me." (Even though they were commanded in the name of Jesus). Given that the context of Mark 16:17 shows that those words were spoken to the eleven apostles (see verse 14), I don't see how you can make that assumption. That's pure speculation. Don't try to twist my words. Paul going to see Peter obviously meant something to Paul in trying to prove his authority to the Galatians, or otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned it in his defense regarding the validity of his apostleship, Oh really? Can you show me where the text says that Paul was ordained by Christ on the road to Damascus? None of this answers the question. If the authority to do these things is simply assumed by a believer because they believe in Christ, why then were they ordained and set apart to do those very things they were called to do? And where did the people who ordain them get their authority to call them and ordain them? But then why would Paul find it important to say he went to Peter to tell him of his experience, when Paul was trying to establish his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ to the saints at Galatia? How would conversing with Peter help his case? It doesn't hurt anything, and I'm not mistaken. It helps me to know where you're coming from.
  5. Both of those are often taken out of context to try to assert that all of Brigham Young's talks in the Journal of Discourses are as good as scripture. The context is important. For example, the first one from Journal of Discourses, Vol.13, p.95, Brigham Young, January 2, 1870: "Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints. I will try; I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains." Did Brigham Young do that? The second quote also includes the same form of correction and approval process.
  6. It seems Paul had a similar experience: "At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me." (Acts 26:13)
  7. Or Bethlehem of Galilee, that's another theory (but just a theory). I guess that's another good reason to have the Book of Mormon account.
  8. You can always just show him the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. Alma 7:10 is on page 240 in the middle of the page: https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/246 Or you can go even further and show him the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It's on page 186 of this online version, and you'll need to type 186 into the page indicator at the top left corner of the viewer in order to access that page (the page numbers aren't included in the link): https://bookofmormon.online/fax/printer This was always one of my favorite criticisms against the Book of Mormon since it actually boomerangs back and helps demonstrate that the Book of Mormon comes from an ancient setting. For example, this page from the book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, by Robert H. Eisenman and Michael Wise, ( https://archive.org/details/TheDeadSeaScrollsUncoveredEisenmanWise1992/page/n55/mode/2up ) shows the following translation: Translation: "Column 1 Fragment 1(1)... Jeremiah the Prophet before the Lord (2)[... wh]o were taken captive from the land of Jerusalem, and they went..." And the commentary about this fragment is interesting, it states: "Another interesting reference is to 'the land of Jerusalem' in Line 2 of Fragment 1. This greatly enhances the sense of historicity of the whole, since Judah or 'Yehud' (the name of the area on coins from the Persian period) by this time consisted of little more than Jerusalem and its immediate environs." Here's another web page from the same book: https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/scrolls_deadsea/uncovered/uncovered02.htm#9. Pseudo-Jeremiah Then there's the "Bethlehem Bulla", an inscribed seal that was found in an archaeological dig on the eastern slope of the city of Jerusalem a little over a decade ago linking Bethlehem to Jerusalem, and is apparently the first Hebrew epigraphical find to mention Bethlehem as a place name. The bulla is dated within the eighth-seventh centuries BCE. See: Reich, Ronny. “A Fiscal Bulla from the City of David, Jerusalem.” Israel Exploration Journal 62, no. 2 (2012): 200–205. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43855625. You can search for "Bethlehem Bulla" and find several popular news articles on the find, such as this one: https://phys.org/news/2012-05-ancient-bethlehem-unearthed-jerusalem.html A couple of excerpts from the above article: "The tiny clay seal's existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem, archaeologists said." And, "The stamp, also known as 'fiscal bulla,' was likely used to seal an administrative tax document, sent from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish power at the time."
  9. I realize you “believe” this, but scripture doesn’t directly support that view. As for other Christian groups claiming they can do this, see the following web links: Pro: https://heavens-beauty.com/?page_id=2435 https://www.cornerstonemountainassembly.com/ministries/intercessory-prayer-friday-7-00-pm/pages/have-mercy-on-me-o-lord https://jesuschristislordmdc.net/a_prayer_against_demons_of_incest__rape_and_petefilia__10_25_12 Con: https://www.equip.org/articles/matthew-1818-binding-satan-prayer/ https://thewartburgwatch.com/2010/04/09/a-“bind”-a-day-keeps-satan-away/ https://theharborchurch.net/binding-and-rebuking-satan https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA150/does-the-bible-teach-that-christians-can-bind-satan-and-demons https://www.brazospointe.com/pickspointe/2019/5/9/can-we-rebuke-or-bind-satan As for whether one can simply call upon the name of Jesus and cast out devils, that certainly didn’t work for the seven sons of Sceva: Acts 19:13-16, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13–16) Obviously this ability doesn’t apply for all believers, or there wouldn’t be Christians dying from snake bites like the Wikipedia article showed. There must be something more to it than simply believing you can do it. The text doesn't say if establishing authority was the reason he went. I didn’t say the text said that Paul went to Peter to establish authority. I said that the Galatian church was obviously questioning Paul’s authority, and in his letter to the Galatians Paul included his visit to Peter in his defense as part of the way that he was establishing his authority. Paul going to see Peter obviously meant something to Paul in that regard, or else why mention it in his defense against their distrust of his authority? Obviously, Ananias knew that Jesus had “chosen” Paul for that purpose, but being chosen is just the first step, because Paul hadn’t been ordained and given authority yet: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16) There’s a big difference between people preaching boldly about their experience with coming to Christ and being specifically commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel. Otherwise, why was Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas specifically called and set apart for that purpose in Acts 6:5-6? And why were Paul and Barnabas set apart for that purpose in Acts 13:1-3? Why was that even necessary if, as you believe, he already had that “authority”? This has nothing to do with Paul’s defense of his authority to the people at Galatia. Obviously Paul had his reasons for mentioning that he went to see Peter, and it had something to do with him establishing the fact that he was a true apostle of Jesus Christ. Asking questions that you have discussed in prior threads (using the same language) is just one of the tells. But asking the same question over and over in the same thread after it has already been answered in the same thread is a greater tell. For example, you asked: And I answered: Then you asked the very same question again (ignoring my prior answer): That’s a typical behavior of theplains, and one of the many reasons I know you are the same person (and there are other reasons).
  10. There’s nothing wrong with bringing up previous topics that you and I have talked about as long as you have something new to add to the discussion. But repeating the same questions over and over and over again without even acknowledging or engaging in the arguments made from the prior discussions is pointless. When that happens, I’ll just refer back to my prior answers in every case. But everything you say above goes against your prior argument. If God is gathering Israel, his people, “unto the place that I [the LORD] have chosen to set my name there”, then that could be anywhere. The true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1). But for the scattered tribes of the house of Israel, in order for them to become true believers they must be taught the gospel and come unto Christ, and in doing so they come to a knowledge of who they are, as one of the tribes of Israel. And this is how Israel is gathered prior to returning to the lands of their inheritance. These are clearly distinct and separate steps. Of course you didn’t engage my response at all, and you just repeated what you said before. Nobody has said the two writing tables do not represent the two nations. I simply said that such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations. They also represent the testimony of the two nations. The Jews at the time of Christ also "knew" that God is God, but they rejected Jesus as their Messiah because they refused to accept the full scope of the works of God. Are you saying that the coming forth of additional scripture witnessing to the reality of God would not change your view of God’s involvement with the house of Israel in various lands throughout the world? Do you think it would change your view of how you interpret the Bible? The context of the verse I quoted from 2 Nephi 29:8 also makes this point: “Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.” (2 Nephi 29:8–9) You keep switching around the verses and ignoring the context. Don’t take verses out of context. In my prior post I was responding to the question you asked about verse 12. You asked: The “he” in verse 12 is not the same as the “root” you are asking about (regarding Joseph Smith) in verse 10. And Doctrine and Covenants 113:5-6 only addresses the question of the identity of the “root of Jesse” in verse 10, not the rest of it. The same with the church manual article that I linked and you posted above. Look at the context of Isaiah 11:10-12: “10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he [the Lord] shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:10–12) So who is “he” in verse 12? The same as I said last time: It is Christ [the Lord] doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ. This is also what the church teaches on this matter. For example, see the Institute Old Testament Student Manual, section (13-61) Isaiah 11:10, 12. “An Ensign of the People”: “Following the raising of this ensign, the Lord sent forth his elders clothed with the priesthood and with power and authority, among the nations of the earth, bearing witness unto all peoples of the restoration of his Church, and calling upon the children of men to repent and receive the gospel; for now it was being preached in all the world as a witness before the end should come, that is, the end of the reign of wickedness and the establishment of the millennial reign of peace. The elders went forth as they were commanded, and are still preaching the gospel and gathering out from the nations the seed of Israel unto whom the promise was made.” As I said before, the verse I quoted already answers that question: “And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abraham 2:10) I didn’t say it did. But it does prove that the firstborn was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke their covenant on Mount Sinai (something that you previously stated was “peculiar to the LDS faith”). As I keep saying, the promise of the priesthood to Ephraim is because of the right they have as the seed of Abraham (as do others of the seed of Abraham), and not necessarily because they are the firstborn. I believe the Bible. Don’t you? So, I’ll ask you these questions: Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a greater blessing from Moses more than 400 years after Joseph (Ephraim) was blessed by his father Jacob in Deuteronomy 33:13-17? Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough) in Joshuah 17:14-18)? Why will the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as described in Ezekiel 47:13? Why did this happen? Where does the quote say that the priesthood was denied to anyone who is not the firstborn? That it was the firstborn who was to serve as a priest in the temple is not the same thing as saying the priesthood was denied to anyone else. See the questions I asked you above. You should address your comments above to the Jewish people instead of me because I wasn’t the one making those claims. I only quoted what the Jewish sources said of their tradition. When you ask them please let me know what they say. This is interesting. Earlier in the thread you were denying that the “priesthood was a birthright blessing to the first born” and were claiming that the right of the firstborn only pertained to the “immediate family” and not an entire tribe, and now you are completely flipflopping on both of those claims and alleging that Levi became the firstborn. I’m not taking you seriously on this comment. Verse 40 answers the question of the “chosen seed”, as it says the priesthood “rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:40) The same promises were given to Abraham later on. It has to do with the children of the covenant. The sons mentioned in those verses were the high priests and patriarchs of their families. Awesome. I was wondering when you were going to get around to posting this part of your tribe of Ephraim webpage. As you say there, “Far from Ephraim receiving a greater blessing, Judah has. It has in the past, and it will again in the future.” But that’s just plain wrong. Because again, you forget the context and ignore the rest of the Bible. Most of the verses in your list come from the period of history shortly after the northern tribes separated from Judah, and during the period just before the northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria. Hosea was written during this period (0755 to 722 BC). But later on, Judah falls into the same degree of condemnation prior to and during the period they are taken captive into Babylon, and even more so at the time of Christ. As Jeremiah says: “Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it…. Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.” (Jeremiah 7:29–30, 34) And: “Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.” (Jeremiah 13:9–11) But God never forgets the promises he made to his people, for God is faithful. Look at what he says to them later on (at roughly 520 BC) through the prophet Zechariah, where he prophesies of a future time: “And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 10:6–12) They were of the seed of Abraham (either naturally or adopted in), i.e. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29), and “for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed” (Abraham 2:10) They were of the house of Israel from among all the tribes. The New Testament never says Christ is the one and only High Priest, it simply says Christ is the great High Priest. As for the Bible and Book of Mormon containing those ordinances, some of them are found there. But neither the Bible or Book of Mormon claim to contain every single instruction that God gave to mankind (in fact the Bible specifically says it does not contain all those things). It obviously did prior to the time before Israel broke their covenant with God on Mount Sinai. But not after that time. We did discuss this, and you said Jeremiah 31:9 is referring to Ephraim as the representative of all ten tribes, where Ephraim’s tribe was predominant. I don’t disagree with that, since Ephraim is the tribe that is the representative of all the ten tribes, and Ephraim (as a tribe and people) is still the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel). You never really came up with a good reason why the Lord refers to Ephraim as his “firstborn” in this verse. The only option that makes sense is that Ephraim as a tribe is the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel). As these two Bible commentaries say: “Ephraim is my firstborn] see 1 Ch5:1. God will not forget the house of Joseph the head of northern Israel.” (The One Volume Bible Commentary, Edited by The Rev. J.R. Dummelow, M.A., Queens' College Cambridge, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1936, p. 473) “Ephraim is my first-born - Ephraim, being the most considerable, is often put for the whole of the ten tribes.” (Adam Clarke Commentary). Some of the land inheritance blessings (or lack thereof) are found in Jacob’s blessing to a few of his sons in Genesis 49 (v. 7 - Simeon and Levi shall have no land inheritance – they will be scattered among Israel, v13 – Zebulan shall dwell at the haven of the sea and his border shall be unto Zidon, v22-26 – Joseph’s inheritance to all the world). And you seem to forget about Moses blessing each of the tribes over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33, where at least one of the land inheritance promises were repeated (Zebulan still has a blessing related to the seas, v19). As for whether this “curse” was passed to their descendants, it did in the sense that they had no land inheritance and they were scattered among the other tribes. As it says on the “Got Questions” website: “Jacob’s pronouncement, ‘I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel’ certainly came true. The tribe of Levi was scattered through Israel. But they became, by God’s grace and through their loyalty to God (Exodus 32:26–29), the priestly tribe and residents of the cities of refuge. They never possessed their own designated region, as the other tribes did, but Levi’s priestly office was certainly a privileged one.” (Got Questions - What can we learn from the tribe of Levi / the Levites?) Those are truly great blessings since David and Christ would come through the lineage of Judah. But Joseph, as a tribe, was blessed in everything he did and in his posterity and received a worldwide land inheritance and had the blessing of the firstborn. It seems they, as a people, had a greater blessing. "And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:22–23) Or, it could just mean they were actually priests. Rashi’s commentary on Exodus 19:22: "וגם הכהנים AND THE PRIESTS ALSO — the first born sons also, through whom the sacrificial service was carried out (Zevachim 115b)” 2 Nephi 3:23-24 doesn’t say Joseph is from the tribe of Manasseh. We’ve already had the discussion about how you are misconstruing those verses, and I already explained why your view is wrong. See my posts on August 9, 2023 and August 25, 2023. And your definition of speculation is inaccurate. According to your definition, it is speculation for the original twelve apostles to say that they saw the resurrected Jesus. Even though the apostles wrote about what they say, we don't have Jesus in front of us to examine, so that's just "speculation". (Right?) But actual speculation would be like the web link you posted about the twelve apostles being called from each of the tribes of Israel (there’s absolutely no support for any of it). But it is not speculation when there is evidence for something, like when Joseph Smith (and others) actually saw the content of the 116 page manuscript and reported that it said Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim. They saw it. See my responses to our prior discussion on this topic from June 23 2023, June 29 2023, June 30 2023, July 4 2023, July 6 2023, July 16 2023, July 18 2023, and July 24 2023. This has been thoroughly covered. Come up with something new. If the Catholics have that authority, then there is no need for Protestantism at all. And if the Catholics don’t have the authority, then neither do the Protestants (or where would they get it?). Certainly, the authority doesn’t come simply by believing one has it or simply by calling on the name of Jesus, because that didn’t work for the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-16.
  11. I was wondering the same thing, but this has to be based on those who are surveyed and self identify as Latter-day Saints, answering the question about how often they attend church (i.e. "How often do you usually attend church, synagogue, mosque or temple -- every week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom or never?") It can't really come from church membership statistics, because as your source says, "The LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) does not officially release statistics on church activity". I think the results would be quite different if the survey also asked, "Are you currently on the membership records of any church, synagogue, mosque or temple"?
  12. A bishop is given priesthood keys as part of his calling. Those keys are bestowed upon him by those in authority to do so, as directed by the one who holds all the keys (the prophet). Then why did you bring it up? And why do some Christian groups assume they can do this today? In the context of that verse it also says "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them" (Mark 16:18). One of those specific things happened to the apostle Paul (Acts 28:3-6). I've heard of snake handling Christians too (and some of them aren't very good at it because some have died: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_handling_in_Christianity). Do you think all of those things apply to all believers, or does this mean that when special circumstances arise (like with the apostle Paul) they will be protected? If the latter, then certainly it isn't expected that ALL believers would be casting out devils, and this certainly wouldn't be proof that anyone could do it. But you do see that Paul had a good reason for mentioning that he went to "see Peter". It was to establish his authority as an apostle. Now you really sound like theplains (and the other users associated with him), because he likes to ask the same questions, and over and over again, even after they have already been answered. I answered this in my last response. "The text doesn't provide that information".
  13. I can see that as an object lesson for the resurrection, and it's better than what came to my mind first (which was this verse, "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." (2 Nephi 28:21)) So where did he get the duck? Did he carry one around with him and use it as a door approach? (That sounds like one of those jokes... "A Rabbi, a priest, two Mormon missionaries, and a duck walk into a bar...", or is that a rabbit instead of a duck?)
  14. The right way to do it: The wrong way to do it: Not sure how useful it is unless you are a duck farmer like the guy in the first video.
  15. Jesus was teaching them how to do things so they could minister in the church after his departure. That's not an example of binding and loosing. The context of Matthew 18:18 is for how to handle trespasses and church members who don't abide by the order of the church. There is no place in the Bible where we have any examples of a person "binding" or "loosing" a demon with that language. Even so, how exactly would the statement, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" pertain to a demon? Would demons be "bound in heaven"? I've heard of other Christian groups taking this phrase out of context and using it for other purposes. It seems to be a popular thing to do these days. As for women casting out demons, do you have a verse in the Bible showing where a woman did this? The text doesn't provide that information. The text doesn't provide that information. But what is more important is why Paul would include this information in his epistle to the Galatians. Paul seems to be on the defensive in Galatians chapter 1, and he is explaining his authority. Regarding these verses (Galatians 1:10-20), the Jerome Biblical Commentary explains: “The Judaizers had apparently accused Paul of having derived his message not from Christ, but from other preachers, and of having watered it down for the Gentiles by eliminating the obligation of circumcision. His reply is to reaffirm the divine origin of his apostolic commission and to explain his relations with the mother church of Jerusalem.” (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy, 1968, p. 2:238) Apparently Paul going to Peter was important to him explaining his understanding of the gospel (which he received "by the revelation of Jesus Christ") and his authority as an apostle.
  16. Actually, the "keys" are to authorize and "direct" the binding and loosing, which may be done by others. "What Are Priesthood Keys?;The keys of the priesthood are the rights of presidency, or the power God gives to man to govern and direct the kingdom of God on the earth (see Matthew 16:15–19). Priesthood keys are necessary to direct the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the ordinances of salvation and exaltation." So the disciples being told to bind and loose in Matthew 18 doesn't prove they hold the keys for doing so, it just means they were directed and authorized to do so under the direction of someone who holds the keys. By the same token, I don't see Paul or Peter elevated above each other or any other disciple or apostle. Then why did Paul report to Peter? Paul makes it very clear he is talking about the very same event as Acts chapter 9 in Galatians 1:14-20, as he describes his vision (verse 16) and explains what he did immediately following. Barnabas wasn't made an apostle until the same time as Paul when they were ordained and set apart together (Acts 13:1-3). And neither one of them is ever referred to as an apostle until Acts 14:14. Furthermore, Paul says in Galatians 1:19 that "other of the apostles saw [he] none, save James the Lord's brother". So if you are saying Barnabas was also an apostle that he saw, then Paul is not telling the whole truth (and Paul says "I lie not" - verse 20). So no, Barnabas couldn't have been included as an apostle in Acts 9. Galatians 1:14-20 isn't just a "visit" to Peter. Paul specifically says, "I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter". In other words, that was the determined purpose of his visit. Paul was reporting to Peter.
  17. The earliest Christians weren't as all over the place as those that came later, but I agree with your point (they weren't completely uniform in their teachings). And this was really my point about saying that Christians of today might cut us a little slack if they actually studied the teachings of that time, and also because it certainly wasn't the same "Orthodoxy" and beliefs about God at that time as they might understand under the term "historic Christianity" today. I agree completely. Regarding the Godhead, the earliest Christians taught that Jesus was the "second God" and "another God subject to the Maker of all things", for example. That doesn't sit well with their modern ideas about "historic Christianity". But all of this really underscores the problem in defining "historical Christianity". And what does a person mean when they say "Mormonism" is different than "historical Christianity"? "Historical Christianity" is all over the board. I really don't think the church is trying to be considered a "valid Christian denomination" as much as they are just trying to be understood for what we actually believe and teach. We believe in Jesus Christ and salvation through him. If someone doesn't classify us as "Christian", then it projects a perception that we don't believe in Jesus Christ and salvation through him. That is the underlying problem in the "Christian" comparison, in my opinion, and the message the church is trying to address.
  18. I think very few Christians today really know what was taught in the earliest "historic Christianity" and even what might have been considered "Orthodox Christianity" in the first three centuries A.D.. Most people today think only in terms of how it all turned out after the Protestant Reformation, and that is their "historic Christianity". I really wish more people would study what was taught in the writings of the earliest Christians. I think they would cut us some slack if they did.
  19. I hope those criticizing him will take the time to try to understand what he's saying. If not, I suspect this will make the criticism worse for him (i.e. "he's being deceived by those crafty Mormons").
  20. Except the context shows that Jesus was talking directly to Peter for receiving the "keys": "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matthew 16:18–19) Then in the next verse he switches his speaking to all the disciples: "Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ." (Matthew 16:20) And Peter, holding the keys, could direct all the apostles in doing the binding and loosing. I don't see anything in Galatians 2:8 that would indicate that Paul did not regard Peter as his leader. Apparently "the apostles" in Acts 9:27 refers to Peter and James only. Because Paul explicitly says that he didn't see any of the other apostles at that time except Peter and James, and he specifically went "to see Peter": Galatians 1:14–20: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. 20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not.
  21. I think it's partially explained in Doctrine and Covenants 27, which is a revelation given to Joseph Smith in August 1830. The section talks about the "keys" that were given, and in verses 12-14 it says: "And also with Peter, and James, and John, whom I have sent unto you, by whom I have ordained you and confirmed you to be apostles, and especial witnesses of my name, and bear the keys of your ministry and of the same things which I revealed unto them; Unto whom I have committed the keys of my kingdom, and a dispensation of the gospel for the last times; and for the fulness of times, in the which I will gather together in one all things, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; And also with all those whom my Father hath given me out of the world." (Doctrine and Covenants 27:12–14) As for how that is similar to Peter, James, and John in their day, I'll quote part of a discussion I had on this message board with marineland, back on July 4, 2021: "It’s evident from scripture that Peter was called as the chief apostle. It was to him that Jesus gave the “keys of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 16:18-19), and Peter is the one who received the vision of taking the gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10, Acts 15:7), and Paul reported to Peter after his vision (Gal 1:18). "And it is also evident from scripture that Peter, James, and John had a special function in the New Testament church, similar to how we understand the First Presidency of the church today. Peter, James, and John were singled out for many special privileges and blessings, such as witnessing the raising of the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mark 5:37), witnessing the appearance of Moses and Elijah at the mount of transfiguration (Matt 17:1-9), and of the suffering of Christ in Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-33)."
  22. Temple workers are generally asked to pick a shift that works for their schedule, so I'm assuming that your friend must have picked Saturday for their assigned shift. Also, I know of an active and faithful couple in my ward that declined the invitation to serve as temple ordinance workers because of the time commitment, so there's nothing wrong with that option. And if the individuals involved feel overworked in the church because of other callings they have in addition to being a temple worker, they can point out this portion of section 25.5.1 of the General Handbook to their leaders, which says: "Members who are called or assigned as temple workers normally commit to a regular time to serve in the temple each week. Leaders should avoid issuing additional callings that would interfere with members’ ability to serve in the temple." My wife and I are currently serving in the temple. We moved to Utah a little less than two years ago, and there are a lot of temples in our area. We will soon be switching to a new temple, and we were given the opportunity to decline to work in the new temple if we didn't want to do it anymore. When we were first asked to serve in the temple I felt overwhelmed because I have a busy and chaotic work schedule, and it was hard for me to pick a shift that would fit my schedule (I sometimes work in the evenings). But I can honestly say after the several months of serving in the temple that I look forward every week to the time I spend there. It is a treasure to me. I block out that time and set it aside and forget about my busy work life for the time that I'm there, and I feel I have been blessed in other aspects of my life in ways that I couldn't imagine. I wouldn't trade that time for anything. You should ask your friend how she feels about working in the temple on top of everything else she's doing. She may not perceive it the same way that you are seeing it.
  23. I was asking you for examples from the Bible where your terminology distinctions are used in describing a gathering as “spiritual” in nature as opposed to a physical gathering. None of the verses you listed use your terminology distinction, and all you have done is imposed your interpretation upon the text (you handpicked verses based on your presupposed view). None of the verses you listed for “spiritual” gathering describe the gathering as only spiritual in nature, for example. And its interesting that you choose Nehemiah 1:8-9 as an example of a “physical” gathering, for it says: “But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.” (Nehemiah 1:9) This type of “physical gathering” would work for wherever in the world the Lord chooses to “set [his] name there”. Anciently it may have been the tabernacle of the congregation set up in Shiloh (Joshua 18:1), or in the temple of Jerusalem, or anywhere the Lord chooses to establish a house for the gathering of his people (Deut 12:5, 21, Deut 14:23-25, 1 Kings 8:43). And this fits perfectly with the type of assembly and gathering that precedes the return of the tribes of Israel to their own lands of inheritance, since going to a place where the Lord chooses to “set [his] name there” is one way for them to recognize their identity as God’s people. Otherwise, how can Israel be gathered if they don’t even know who they are? You mean, besides the LDS teaching and the Bible teaching that the two writing tablets represent the two nations, do I see other interpretations as possible? I suppose most might have an incomplete idea about what the writing on the two tablets symbolizes, and they may not recognize the writing tablets as a testimony of the two nations for which they represent. But that would only be because they are not aware of the additional records. The Book of Mormon puts it this way: “Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.” (2 Nephi 29:8) Don’t be silly. Ezekiel 37:15-28 doesn’t say that David rules over the two writing tablets, you are leaving out several verses of context. The two writing tablets coming together in the hand of the prophet (representing the two nations and their records coming together) is the signal that begins the gathering of the people of the two nations (like the ensign being set up to signal the gathering as described in Isaiah 11:10). For immediately after the two tablets coming together, God says, “I am gathering up the Israelites from their places of exile among the nations; I will assemble them from every quarter and restore them to their own soil. I will make them one single nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel, and they shall have one king; they shall no longer be two nations or divided into two kingdoms...." (Ezekiel 37:21-22) Who is the "he" in verse 12? You keep asking the same questions over and over again. I answered this question in my post on February 3. It is Christ doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ. As I said last time, those verses you quoted above are not a description of the rod, that’s a description of the stem of Jesse, who is Christ. Are you going to ignore my response again next time and ask the same questions over and over? By seed of Abraham, do you mean the literal seed or people whose blood changes into the blood of Abraham when acted upon by the Holy Ghost? The verse I quoted last time answers this quite clearly: “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee above measure, and make thy name great among all nations, and thou shalt be a blessing unto thy seed after thee, that in their hands they shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations; And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father”. (Abraham 2:9–10) Do you believe all the sons in Ephraim's family held the rights of the first born? The Bible states that the tribe of Ephraim held the rights of the firstborn among all the house of Israel. It’s the reason that Joseph (Ephraim) is given a greater blessing when Moses blessed them 400 years later (Deuteronomy 33:13-17), and why they were given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough, Joshuah 17:14-18), and the reason they will be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as in Ezekiel 47:13. The idea that priesthood is the birthright blessing for the first born or all the worthy sons of Ephraim and his descendants is peculiar to the LDS faith. It has no foundation in the Old and New Testaments. I believe you are misconstruing things again. First of all, the firstborn son was given a right to the priesthood in ancient Bible history prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them on Mount Sinai. This isn’t explicitly taught in the Bible, but it is part of Jewish tradition that this was so. This is evident from the Mishnah Zevachim 14:4, as quoted below: “Until the Tabernacle was established, private altars were permitted and the sacrificial service was performed by the firstborn. And from the time that the Tabernacle was established, private altars were prohibited and the sacrificial service was performed by the priests. Offerings of the most sacred order were then eaten within the curtains surrounding the courtyard of the Tabernacle in the wilderness and offerings of lesser sanctity were eaten throughout the camp of Israel.” The same idea is confirmed by the Jerusalem Talmud, Meghillah 1:11, as quoted below: “HALAKHAH: [‘The only difference between a public altar and a private altar, etc.’] Rebbi Joḥanan spent three years that he did not visit the house of assembly because of pain. At the end Rebbi Eleazar saw in his dream: Tomorrow Sinai will come down and bring a new insight. He came and said before them, from where is this truth verified that divine service is by firstborns? [Mishnah Zevaḥim 14:4: Before the Tabernacle was erected private altars were permitted and the service was in the hands of the firstborn.] From this verse [Num. 3:13, The reference is to the later part of the verse, I sanctified for Me every firstborn in Israel], for Mine is every firstborn; on the day when I smote every firstborn in the Land of Egypt, etc. And it is written [Ex. 12:12. The firstborn were sanctified to God because the gods of Egypt were destroyed.], and on all gods of Egypt I shall pass judgment, etc. Before that what were they doing? Rebecca took the desirable garments of her older son Esaw, which were with her in the house [Gen. 27:15.]. What are ‘the desirable’? That he was acting as High Priest. Rebbi Levi said, the Eternal broke the staff of the evildoers [Is. 14:5.], these are the firstborn who were the first to sacrifice to the Calf [Num. rabba 4(5)].." And what I quoted above is summarized nicely in the Wikipedia article on the Firstborn: “Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants of Aaron. However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn in a Third Temple when Messiah comes”. Even in the article you linked at the bottom of your post (From the JTS site), it says: “It is true that the other books of Moses treat the status of the first male child less cavalierly. According to Exodus and Numbers, he belongs to God, as do the first fruits of one’s field or flock or herd, and must be redeemed (Exodus 13:1, 22:28, 34:20; Numbers 18:12-18). For a brief time before the calamity of the Golden Calf, all firstborn sons were consecrated to serve in the Tabernacle (Numbers 8:16-19). And Deuteronomy (21:15-17) stipulates that the firstborn son was to receive double the inheritance of his male siblings. But with the eventual loss of political sovereignty and the destruction of the Temple, what remained prominent and widely practiced was the redemption of the first born male of a Jewish mother on the thirty-first day after birth, if neither of his parents were a Kohen or Levi.” So it would be wrong to say this idea has no foundation at all, and hopefully you see that there is Messianic typology in the concept of the firstborn being the high priest and offering sacrifices for the family. And everything said above goes nicely with what is taught by revelation in Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-52. But I think the real reason that Ephraim is the first to hold the priesthood in the latter-days has more to do with Ephraim's birthright blessing from Moses, saying that Ephraim would be the primary means of gathering Israel by pushing together the people to the ends of the earth (Deut 33:17). It’s not that Ephraim holds the priesthood by birthright, but that Ephraim was the first to be gathered and recognized in the latter days, and thus received the restored priesthood first. And Ephraim has a right to the priesthood, not because Ephraim has the right of the first born, but because Ephraim is among the promised seed of Abraham as noted in Abraham 2:9. We’ve already had this discussion, and I already explained how Peter (in 2 Peter 2:5-10) was quoting from Exodus 19:5-6 when he said “ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation”. If Exodus 19:5-6 wasn’t talking about an assumed priesthood of all believers (both men and women) then neither was Peter, because Peter was applying the same rights to the priesthood to New Testament Christian saints as was had in ancient Israel prior to the implementation of the Levitical priesthood and the law of Moses. See my responses to our prior discussion on this topic (all in 2023) from June 23, June 29, June 30, July 4, July 6, July 16, July 18, and July 24. See the article in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, PRIESTHOOD IN BIBLICAL TIMES. It explains the patriarchal order of the priesthood as it operated prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them at Mount Sinai, and how it was changed after the covenant was broken. Regarding the change, it says: “AARON AND THE LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD. With Moses, a new social and religious order with special priesthood offices was established among the Israelites. The priesthood emphasis shifted from Patriarchs presiding over extended families to a designated tribe of Levitical priesthood holders, who served Israel for centuries.” (see Encyclopedia of Mormonism, p. 1139) Also, prior to Israel breaking their covenant on Sinai and before the Levitical priesthood was instituted, other worthy males were ordained as priests (Exodus 19:22, 23-24) and they made offerings and sacrifices (Exodus 18:10-12, 24:5). For the New Testament order of the priesthood, the same article continues: So the functions of the priesthood in the restored church are closer to how they were implemented in New Testament times than during the patriarchal order of the priesthood prior to the law of Moses. Knowing the proper context is the key to understanding that section. "And the children of Joseph said, The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both they who are of Bethshean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel" (Joshua 17:16). "And Joshua spake unto the house of Joseph, even to Ephraim and to Manasseh, saying, Thou art a great people, and hast great power: thou shalt not have one lot only: But the mountain shall be thine; for it is a wood, and thou shalt cut it down: and the outgoings of it shall be thine: for thou shalt drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they be strong" (Joshua 17:17-18). Joshua spoke to both Ephraim and Manasseh and gave them the solution for their dilemma. Where would their lot be? The mountain. Which area? Israel. Joshua is not speaking of a time centuries or millennia in the future. Yes, knowing the proper context of my comment (as well as that Bible verse) is important to understanding what I said. Remember, you were claiming that Joseph (and Ephraim) had birthright promises for Jacob’s “immediate family” only. But I showed from the Bible that those birthright promises were to the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) as the firstborn of all the tribes of Israel, and those promises extend to future times. Deuteronomy 33:13-17, Joshua 17:14-18, and Ezekiel 47:13 demonstrate this. The blessings of Moses to the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) in Deuteronomy were over 400 years in the future to when Joseph was first blessed by Jacob with the birthright in Genesis 48-49, and the verses in Joshua were more than 40 years in the future from Moses, and the events of Ezekiel 47 are still future to our time. You forget that when Jacob blessed his sons in Genesis 49, Levi (along with Simeon) was cursed instead of being blessed, and was destined to have no land inheritance: “Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.” (Genesis 49:7). And this was truly the case for them. But as I mentioned in my post on February 25, Levi repented and had shown promise by the time of the blessing from Moses over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33:8-11, and the tribe was blessed by Moses with priestly duties. While their duties in the priesthood are notable, I’m not sure they compare to Joseph being blessed in everything he does and with a great posterity and worldwide land inheritance, or Judah’s scepter promises. If it wasn’t the Melchizedek priesthood, then what priesthood was held by Jethro (the father-in-law of Moses) that allowed him to offer sacrifices to the Lord? (See Exodus 2:16, 3:1, 18:10-12, 17-20). Or what priesthood was held by the elders of Israel (as they are identified as “priests”) in Exodus 19:22-24 and Exodus 24:5, before the Levitical priesthood was introduced? And to what priesthood did Moses ordain Joshua, “the son of Nun” in Deuteronomy 34:9? (This couldn’t have been an ordination to the Levitical Priesthood, because Joshua was of the tribe of Ephraim - see Numbers 13:8). I was just throwing a hypothetical. Since it was said about Ephraim that many nations would come from him, it is conceivable that, with migration, his clans would have claim to inheritance over many parts of the world, maybe even the entire world; to the exclusion of others. So, since his tribe would have the claim of inheritance over many parts of the world, you can’t really rule out lands in the Americas for his inheritance. It’s not speculation. There are multiple accounts from those who knew Joseph Smith (they either heard Joseph state this, or from some other means) indicating that Ishmael’s lineage is from Ephraim (and even Zoram's), and the information about his lineage was recorded in the lost 116 manuscript pages of the Book of Mormon. (The sources are from Franklin D. Richards, Orson Pratt, Erastus Snow, and Charles B. Thompson. See Don Bradley, The Lost 116 Pages – Reconstructing the Book of Mormon’s Missing Stories, Greg Kofford Books, 2019, pp. 157-160 ). The meek will inherit all of America; no mention of tribes and no exclusion of the Gentiles. Do you think the verses in Psalm 37:9-11, 18-22, and verse 34 are excluding the tribes of Israel? And given that those who come to Christ become the seed of Abraham, do you think it matters if the Gentiles are included in this promise or not? I’m glad you agree, so you can see then that Jesus was obviously not talking about the Gentiles when he said, “other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd” (John 10:16), since the Gentiles never heard his voice and Jesus never went to them directly (he sent his apostles later). Yes, we discussed it previously but you didn't identify the person. "And again Isaiah says, "The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope". Who is he that will arise to rule the Gentiles? In whom would the Gentiles hope? You are ignoring my last response and repeating the same question over again. I gave my response of who the person is in Isaiah 11:10 in my post on December 15, 2023, and in my last post I explained why the language of Romans 15:12 is a different translation of Isaiah 11:10 than what is given in the Hebrew text. If you want to ask further questions on this, at least engage with what I have said on this already. As I explained before (and above), the Bible doesn’t actually teach the concept of an assumed royal priesthood of all believers (men and women). And clearly this was a Protestant invention because the concept didn’t exist at all prior to the Protestant reformation. The New Testament does indicate that the priesthood is available to saints in Christ’s church in the same way it was available to the men of Israel prior to their breaking God’s covenant on Mount Sinai, but nowhere is it said (in the Old or New Testaments) that this priesthood authority is assumed by a believer simply by believing in Christ. In New Testament Christianity elders (and other offices of the priesthood) were called and ordained as directed by the leaders of the church, and not by simply believing they have the authority. Apparently you missed the part in the last article you linked about the priesthood pertaining to the firstborn (I quoted it earlier in my post).
  24. I wonder if any of the people who responded to the survey said they had "never been a member of the Mormon church" because there is really no such thing as "the Mormon church"?
  25. I wanted to add one more thing related to what you say above. In Genesis 48:20, just as Jacob was beginning his blessing to Ephraim and Manasseh, it says the following: "And he [Jacob] blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh." The Jewish commentary on this verse has this to say: "By thee shall Israel bless. To this day, every pious Jewish father on Sabbath eve places his hands on the head of his son, and blesses him in the words: 'God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh' (Authorised Prayer Book, p. 122). Ephraim and Manasseh would not barter away their 'Jewishness' for the most exalted social position, or the most enviable political career, in the Egyptian state. They voluntarily gave up their place in the higher Egyptian aristocracy, and openly identified themselves with their 'alien' kinsmen, the despised shepherd-immigrants. Every Jewish parent may well pray that his children show the same loyalty to their father and their father's God as did Ephraim and Manasseh." (Hertz, J. H. (Ed.) (1960). The Pentateuch and Haftorahs (2nd ed.). London: Soncino Press, p. 182, bold emphasis mine) Surely this shows the significance of these two in their place in Israel. Below is a page from the Jewish Prayer Book from this site, showing the blessing:
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