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Deceived

by Jim Rowe

Earlier this week I stumbled upon an article titled "A Brief History of the Church of Christ" that looked interesting. Since I had been compiling an overview of the history of the Churches of Christ and Christian Churches, I thought that this might show some information that was missed in my research on the subject. (Oh, what a mistake!)

            The first paragraph shown below seemed to be what I would have expected from a Church of Christ writer. The general references to noted Scriptures  is certainly in harmony with that used by a person familiar with this group. (The first section of the article is shown below in red.)

     The First Section:   THE ORIGINAL CHURCH

The Church of Christ traces its history back to the original organization that was established by Jesus Christ in the first century AD. That original Church had Jesus Christ as its head and twelve Apostles that had the oversight of the Church organization on the earth. The ancient New Testament Church taught the pure, simple gospel of Christ. This included faith in Christ as our Savior, repentance from sins, baptism by immersion, laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost, for the healing of the sick, for the blessing of children, and for ordination to the ministry, resurrection of the dead and an eternal judgment according to our works in this life (Hebrews 6:1-2). The ministry in the ancient New Testament Church was called by Divine revelation (Hebrews 5:4) and was not paid a salary by the church, but labored in various trades to support themselves (Acts 20:33-35). The original Church grew and continued under the authority of the ministry and the doctrines taught originally by Jesus Christ. There was to be only twelve Apostles at any given time in history, therefore as the original Apostles died, others were called by God to serve as Apostles in their place (Acts 13:1-3, 14:14).

            Continuing into the second paragraph (shown below), the description continued to match wording and details that I would have expected. Such terms as “original church of Christ” and “restoration” seemed to fit with my own understanding of such history. (This section is shown below in red)

      The Second Section:  A FALLING AWAY / APOSTASY

Unfortunately, over time ideas and doctrines were introduced into the Church by men instead of relying upon the established doctrine of Jesus Christ. These included the consolidation of authority into one man (the bishop) and alternative modes of baptism. These and other doctrines continued and grew until there was a complete falling away or apostasy from the pure gospel of Christ (see 2nd Thess. 2:1-4). The apostasy was complete in 570 AD when the Lombard invaders destroyed the last vestige of the Roman Empire and allowed the rise of the power of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. The result was the removal by God of the authority of the priesthood and the world entered into a period that is called the “Dark Ages”, spiritually if not physically.
     During this long period there was not found upon the earth a church which stood in the true order and power of the original church of Christ (Amos 8:11-12). While there were good people in every church, they did not convert those churches into churches of Christ any more than a few flakes of gold in a mountain would convert it into a mountain of gold. There were efforts to reform the church with some degree of success, but none of these restored the original doctrines and organization of the New Testament Church. What was required was a complete restoration of these things along with the authority of the priesthood.

            However, when coming to the third section, it became obvious that the article was “not” what I expected and “not” a history of the Church of Christ as I knew it. This “was not” a history of the Church of Christ, but that of another group. I do not dispute that Joseph Smith received a revelation by an angel, but “not from God”. Such a revelation was surely a counterfeit from an angel of Satan. (remember, he is the great deceiver) (This section is shown below in red.)

 

That brings us to

The Third Section:  HOW DID THE RESTORATION COME ABOUT?

This “restoration” occurred in 1829-1830. This time was the fulfillment of the 1260 yrs of apostasy prophesied by John (Rev 12:6, 14 and 13:5, note: in prophetic terms, days are given for years, i.e. 1260 days = 1260 years) and Daniel (Daniel 7:25). It was also the time when the image spoken of in Daniel chapter 2 stood in its’ completeness, with all the nations represented in existence at the same time. An angel sent from God revealed to Joseph Smith, Jr. the location of an ancient record which contained the history of God’s working with the inhabitants of the American continent, and he was given the ability to translate that record. This record became known as the Book of Mormon. While translating the record, the holy priesthood was imparted by an angel upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. The Church of Christ was organized according to a commandment from God on April 6, 1830. Thus the restoration of the Church was accompanied by the miraculous appearing of angels, the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon as an added witness to the truth of the Gospel, and the restoration on earth of the authority of the priesthood in the human ministers of Jesus Christ.

            I will not include the remainder of this article since it was an attempt to convey the “church of Christ of Latter-day Saints” as a group that was ordained by God when an examination of their beliefs will reveal that they are completely foreign to those taught in God's Word, the Bible.

            The portions of the article shown above are included only to demonstrate the deception that is often used by Satan to lead us astray. While such articles may appear on the surface to be built upon the teachings of the Bible, we absolutely must recognize that God's Word needs no further revelation such as the Book of Mormon or similar supplement.

     May we all be kept from such deceptions,

 

J.W. Rowe   2023




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2 Corinthians 12:10