Jump to content

The Apostasy And Restoration


SeattleGhostWriter

Recommended Posts

Latter-day Saints believe that there was a universal apostasy of the Early Christian Faith. This occurred where the priesthood authority was removed from the earth. Because of the apostasy, there needed to be a restoration of the original priesthood authority. The question becomes - when did the apostasy actually occur?

Our critic's say there is no evidence of the apostasy and that Christianity continued without interruption. After much studying on the subject matter of Eschatology (as it relates to Preterism and the Destruction of Jerusalem), there is conclusive evidence that the Apostasy had come to fulfillment prior to the destruction of Jerusalem.

When we look at the events of the Roman-Jewish War, we note that the Jews came into the City around the time of the Passover. There was an estimate of 3 million souls within the city. Those who heeded the warnings of Christ fled from the city into the East (Pella) as recorded by Josephus, Tacitus, Eusibeus, and Clement. This mass exodus occurred around November 66 AD. Most of the apostles were already martyred (Paul having been martyred around 68 AD in Rome). This left the Apostle John left to live past the destruction of the Jerusalem and Temple, and the rise of the apostate Church.

To this extent, it is in my honest opinion, based on much research, that the Apostasy of the Early Jewish-Christian faith was not only a reality, but that it was predicted by Christ himself on the Olivet Discourse. While it is difficult dating the exact date of the Apostasy, I do believe that it occurred between the months of September and November of 66 AD and may have even went further into 67 AD. This is the time frame of when most of the Jewish Christians had fled into the wilderness, fulfilling Christ's statement that when they shall see the signs to flee into the plains of Judea.

Without the direction of the Apostles and the authority that the Apostles had (remember, Peter, James, and John received the keys of the Kingdom - Peter first receiving them when he confessed Christ the son of the Living God and then when the three of them were present at the mount of transfiguration). The only surviving apostle was John, who had been banished to the island of Patmos where he wrote Revelation. There is evidence that Revelation was written on the eve of destruction to the seven churches.

What is even more interesting is that Nephi records this event in the Book of Mormon. This is contained in how the Angel revealed to Nephi the meaning of the vision of tree of Life (See Nephi 11:32-35).

Understanding this, we also must understand that Christ proclaimed that the First will be last and the last will be first. This concerns the preaching of the Everlasting Gospel. The Jews had the first opportunity to receive the Everlasting Gospel. Many of them rejected it and therefore condemned Christ and those who Followed Christ. Because of the Apostasy, the everlasting Gospel was changed, having given rise to the great and abominable Church. While there were many who lived and were inspired by revelation of God, the darkness of spiritual apathy was prevalent, preventing a restoration to occur. It was not until the fleeing of the oppress to the land of promise, and the spiritual awakening that moved the early colonies and nineteenth century America to allow the restoration to become a reality. The Gospel was restored to preach to the Gentiles first and then to preach to the Jews.

Also, keep in mind that when Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD by Titus and the powerful Roman Army, the Jewish Age had come to an end as predicted on the Mount of Olives. The Jews were scattered abroad (many of them having heeded the signs of the times and fled into all the world). The Restoration of the Gospel, therefore, had to occur prior to the restoration of the Nation of Israel. Since Israel was restored as a Nation again in 1944 (This was 1,874 years after the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple thereof). The restoration occurred 1,764 years since the Jewish Christians fled into all the world. Notice that the Restoration of the Gospel and the Restoration of the Nation of Israel occurred 110-114 years apart.

Hence, there is sufficient evidence that the Apostasy not only occurred, but when it occurred and to what extent it occurred as prophetic fulfillment. Critic's who argue that there was not a universal apostasy is arguing against historical evidence.

Link to comment

So are you depending on the Preterist view of things being accurate?

I do not accept the full Preterist viewpoint one of the main proponents of Full Preterism (Todd Dennis) now adopts a position called Preterist Idealism:

This system was first developed by former Full Preterist Todd Dennis, and presented at the first annual “Carlsbad Eschatology Conference” in 2007 (hosted by Kurt Simmons); though it integrates elements from Preterism and other systems. Preterist Idealism teaches that the historical fulfillment of prophecy constitutes only the “shadows” of an eternal spiritual substance which believers obtain “in Christ.” New Testament typology is vertical rather than horizontal; and meant to point to the higher realties of the Christian life, rather than foreshadow things to come. Idealism relies heavily on the allegorical interpretation of prophetic texts. The system has a small number of adherents, most of them former Full Preterists.

I, personally, have adopted the partial-preterist viewpoint in that some of the prophecies that were given by Christ and the Apostles were directly fulfilled in the Destruction of Jerusalem. This, a person can't deny with the amount of evidence available. Specifically, the Olivet Discourse is a prophetic fulfillment in 70 AD. Others have yet to be fulfilled.

Link to comment

Shortly after the time of Jesus there were many diverse groups claiming to be Christian. Beliefs were quite varied. The Ebionites insisted on the necessity of following Jewish religious law and regarded Jesus as the Messiah but not as divine. They rejected Paul and his teachings. Some would say that Pauline Christianity, with its distinctive theology, was a separate sect. The Marcionites rejected all things Jewish, including the Jewish God. The wide range of Gnostic religions are particularly interesting with their numerous gods in the divine realm and their belief that some humans have a divine spark within them. None of these second century groups established itself as dominant in the religion of Christianity at that time.

The story of the apostasy from the LDS point of view is that the true knowledge and authority of the gospel died with the original twelve apostles (or very soon afterwards.) The curious thing about this story is that assumes that the apostate group that became the Catholics was more correct than the other Christian groups. This group eventually controlled what was to become scripture, ensuring that other sacred writings (that they didn’t agree with) would not be passed down.

In essence, Latter-day Saints claim that the New Testament contains the word of God but at the same time contend that the group that preserved these writings were apostate. In other words, they preserved only the writings that supported their beliefs but their beliefs were already apostate.

So in order for the LDS story of the apostasy to work, we must conclude that the proto-orthodox form of Christianity that became the Catholic Church was closer to the “truth” than any of the other forms of Christianity that existed in the second century. Otherwise, the writings retained by them would carry no more weight than any number of religious texts not canonized in anyone’s version of the Bible.

For example, we now have a gospel called the Secret Book of John, discovered, along with the Gospel of Thomas, in the Gnostic writings known as the Nag Hammadi library. Had the apostate Gnostics became the dominant form of Christianity then I posit that we would be studying their preserved writings as inspired texts rather than the writings of the apostate proto-orthodox group (that we cherish as our current Bible).

My personal view is that the writings attributed to Paul are at odds with the early church in Jerusalem. It seems to me that the group of followers who knew Jesus personally would have a better handle on His true doctrine. Yet it seems very important to the Catholic Church and its offspring and also the LDS church to share the opinion that Paul was inspired and his writings hence represent the word of God.

The LDS view thus is a very delicate balance between claiming complete apostasy by the second century and also claiming that the writings of one particular apostate group are inspired and more valid than the writings of all the other apostate groups at the time.

Link to comment
Also, keep in mind that when Jerusalem and the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD by Titus and the powerful Roman Army, the Jewish Age had come to an end as predicted on the Mount of Olives. The Jews were scattered abroad (many of them having heeded the signs of the times and fled into all the world). The Restoration of the Gospel, therefore, had to occur prior to the restoration of the Nation of Israel. Since Israel was restored as a Nation again in 1944 (This was 1,874 years after the Destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple thereof). The restoration occurred 1,764 years since the Jewish Christians fled into all the world. Notice that the Restoration of the Gospel and the Restoration of the Nation of Israel occurred 110-114 years apart.

A couple of inaccuracies. The State of Israel was established in 1948 and there was actually a very strong Jewish presence in Israel until the Crusades. Also, the Jewish diaspora after the destruction of the 2nd temple was mostly formed of groups who had left for economic reasons.

Link to comment

A couple of inaccuracies. The State of Israel was established in 1948 and there was actually a very strong Jewish presence in Israel until the Crusades. Also, the Jewish diaspora after the destruction of the 2nd temple was mostly formed of groups who had left for economic reasons.

Correction, many of the Jewish Christians, and even some Gentile Christians had fled into the wilderness. Josephus estimates that there were about 3 million Jews present in the walled City when Titus came and laid seige to Jerusalem. and its utter destruction. However, not only was the destruction brought about by external military might, there also was the destruction within and three Jewish factions were warring one with another as well. The Roman Jewish War was very deplorable and inhuman. Josephus recounts a mother who killed her infant just to have meat to eat.

Yes, many left because of economic reasons. Nero oppressed and created the Jewish people an impoverish people because of the taxations that existed at the time. There was a great famine in the land. Others saw the coming army of the Roman Empire and fled. Many of which fled to Pella.

The point here is that the Apostasy occurred prior to the destruction of the city and Temple of Jerusalem and the end of the Jewish Age. Even Christ himself knew that this would occur.

Link to comment

Correction, many of the Jewish Christians, and even some Gentile Christians had fled into the wilderness. Josephus estimates that there were about 3 million Jews present in the walled City when Titus came and laid seige to Jerusalem. and its utter destruction. However, not only was the destruction brought about by external military might, there also was the destruction within and three Jewish factions were warring one with another as well. The Roman Jewish War was very deplorable and inhuman. Josephus recounts a mother who killed her infant just to have meat to eat.

Yes, many left because of economic reasons. Nero oppressed and created the Jewish people an impoverish people because of the taxations that existed at the time. There was a great famine in the land. Others saw the coming army of the Roman Empire and fled. Many of which fled to Pella.

The point here is that the Apostasy occurred prior to the destruction of the city and Temple of Jerusalem and the end of the Jewish Age. Even Christ himself knew that this would occur.

What does the flight of Jewish Christians into the wilderness of Pella (only a few days from Jerusalem) have to do with latter formations of Jewish diaspora communities? Also, Josephus' numbers are exaggerated. Most Jews began leaving decades after the temple's destruction, more so after Bar-Kochba's revolt, but the vast dimensions of this phenomenon belong to later centuries and have to do with opportunities for commerce.

The Jewish Revolt's impact on the dispersion of the Jews is not quite as sizeable as you think.

Link to comment

Is there no promise, prophecy, or revelation (in canonical Mormon scripture) to the effect that there wouldn't be another Apostacy?

Nope. We're IT, baby.

Link to comment

What does the flight of Jewish Christians into the wilderness of Pella (only a few days from Jerusalem) have to do with latter formations of Jewish diaspora communities? Also, Josephus' numbers are exaggerated. Most Jews began leaving decades after the temple's destruction, more so after Bar-Kochba's revolt, but the vast dimensions of this phenomenon belong to later centuries and have to do with opportunities for commerce.

The Jewish Revolt's impact on the dispersion of the Jews is not quite as sizeable as you think.

The point is that the Apostasy occurred prior to the destruction of Jerusalem. While we do not know how many of the Jewish Christians fled, we do know that there were many who saw the signs and fled into the wilderness as Christ stated in the olivet discourses. Many of these people fled because they saw the signs.

Link to comment

Is there no promise, prophecy, or revelation (in canonical Mormon scripture) to the effect that there wouldn't be another Apostacy?

We are called the last dispensation (D&C 27:13, 112:30) or the dispensation of the fullness of time (D&C 124:41, 128:18). That is the prophecy, I believe... though there may be others. (Using the LDS.org scripture search comes up with alot for fullness of time).

But gaining a testimony of Pres. Monson being a true prophet isn't too hard... just listen to him with a bit of openness to his message (and his humor), and it'll come like cake. Delicious cake.

I find it interesting, because I can always find something the apostles or prophets say that relates to me and my past, my present, or my future in some way that causes me to reflect. Perhaps that's why I like Pres. Monson so much... he picks the right messages =). I am very very grateful for it =D. And it's saved me sometimes, when I was going down wrong paths.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...