Perhaps one of the most poignant bible stories for illustrating the need for personal revelation and the fact that God DOES allow prophets to lead people astray in order to test them, is found in 1 Kings 13.
The story line is so remarkable that I am not going to tell it in detail, you simply need to read it yourself. To summarize however, in my own words with perhaps the taking of a little literary license, a man of God who had received direct revelation from God had been commanded to NOT do something while on a journey.
He was then approached by another true prophet during his journey and told that he should in fact do it.
When the first prophet declared that the Lord had commanded him not to do it, the second prophet assured him that the Lord had changed his mind and told him that an angel of the Lord had thus appeared and rescinded the commandment of the Lord.
At this, the first prophet accepted the invitation to do what the Lord had commanded him to NOT do.
As a result, the Lord had a lion destroy the first prophet from off the face of the earth for disobedience and for putting his trust in the arm of flesh and in the appearance of an angel, over the word of God.
So much for God never allowing prophets to lead anyone astray.
So much for angels appearing to revoke a previous commandment of God.
So much for the God that has been created by Modern Mormonism and his teachings, neither of which can be found in the holy and infallible word of God.
[editorial note: See the comments for observations by NEPT. I forgot to follow my own rules and consult the JST version of 1 Kings 13 first. It provides greater clarity to the point of the storyline]
BTW in case you think the above story is an anomaly, read the 35th chapter of Jeremiah. It also teaches that God will use true prophets to tempt and test people into disobeying commandments from God to see if they will righteously obey a true commandment that was previously given by the Lord or if they can be seduced by a true prophet into deviating from the established commandment.
[editorial note: here is a recent response I gave to someone who was shilling me about this topic]
I personally believe you have put a curse upon your own head by accepting the doctrine you just espoused.
Your remarks are interesting because I just completed a small section about the arm of flesh. Although it mainly addresses the topic of science and the learning of man, it also pertaining to the false doctrine you have just taught espousing prophet-worship.
I think I will share it in this reply area for people to compare your doctrine with what the holy and infallible word of God has to say on the topic..
“#12 Belief in God’s words is the only parameter upon which salvation is based
Putting trust in Science results in a Cursing
Contextual declaration #12 provides the extremely limited parameters that God has established for discerning truth and becoming saved. Please notice how the following passage only allows personal belief in God’s word to access the Holy Spirit and get an individual through the gate of spiritual rebirth into the kingdom.
Notice that the testimony of others plays an important role, but it can only serve to direct others to the word of God. Ultimately, the purpose of testimony is to point people to the word of God or to condemn those who don’t have faith in the word of God.
Even the testimony of righteous men cannot save another person, it will either direct them to God’s word that will be accepted on faith, or it will ultimately condemn those that don’t exercise faith in God’s word.
“Whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of the water and of the Spirit… and the testimony of three witnesses will I send forth of my word… and their testimony shall also go forth unto the condemnation of this generation if they harden their hearts against me.”
This startling declaration limits the parameters of salvation to belief on the word of God, and not on the word of man. The eternal law in this contextual declaration would be followed up and amplified in section one where it would be declared that eventually the ordained servants of God (weak things of the earth) would return to the earth to break down the evil structure of the great and abominable church which indoctrinates the world to accept the counsel of other human beings.
The ominous warning is to not trust in human counsel and human learning and wisdom.
“And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets— The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world; That faith also might increase in the earth..”
The term “arm of flesh” in the above declaration is a critical one and well worth pondering because the Lord has revealed that everyone who puts their trust in the learning and wisdom of other human beings categorically has a curse placed upon them:
“O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” (2 Nephi 4:34)
You cannot be any clearer than the great prophet Nephi was being. He reiterates this curse again later in the book of 2nd Nephi;
“Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.” 2nd Nephi 28:31
Nephi is actually quoting and paraphrasing an Old Testament prophecy of Jeremiah who foretold that latter day Israel would be cursed by the Lord in the latter days because they put their trust in man instead of God.
In the last days Israel would have their temporal substance and treasures taken as a spoil and be forced to serve their enemies in a land they were previously unaware of. Because of putting their trust in man, Israel would be led into a desert place… even a “salt land” which, at the time, was not currently being “inhabited” by others.
Those that trusted in the counsel of Brigham Young were indeed led to a land of salt where they embraced the insidious doctrine of blindly following the arm of flesh;
“Follow the brethren, God will never allow them to lead you astray”.
Jeremiah’s prophecy speaks of a blessing and a curing. Those who trust in man are cursed. Those who trust in God will be blessed-
“O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever.
Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” Jeremiah 17:3-7
Jeremiahs prophecy was essentially reiterating the prophecy of Moses in Deuteronomy 28-32 where the latter day cursing of Israel was foretold yet the promise that the elect would eventually repent and be gathered from the four corners of the earth after the apostasy of latter day Israel.
The inspired version of the Bible condenses this principle of not putting one’s faith in the teachings of another man;
“And again, if thy foot offend thee, cut it off; for he that is thy standard, by whom thou walkest, if he become a transgressor, he shall be cut off. It is better for thee, to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell; into the fire that never shall be quenched. Therefore, let every man stand or fall, by himself, and not for another; or not trusting another.” JST Mark 9:40-48.
The doctrine of not putting trust in the arm of flesh is quite broad. It refers to blindly putting trust in human priesthood leaders instead of the word of God.
It also refers to putting trust in the theories of man and the teachings of modern day science and the associated counsel of man.
Anytime one justifies or discredits faith in God’s word based on science and the learning of man, they are categorically cursed.
This means that the only way to determine if the Book of Mormon is a literal historical document that was inspired by God is to read and believe it. PERIOD.
If you accept or reject the validity of the Book of Mormon based on archeological evidence or DNA evidence or carbon dating or any other evidence based on the learning and wisdom of man, you are cursed.. even if the particular secular evidence you are using should appear to support the truth.
Even well meaning LDS apologists who try to use science to defend the faith are categorically cursed for doing so, because God’s parameters for salvation do not allow science or the learning and counsel of man to be considered. It is strictly an individual’s belief in the word of God.”
Biblical Christianity is a faith based religion that empowers the believer with personal revelation…. it is not a science based religion.
It is also NOT a “follow the brethren”, arm of flesh based religion
The act of blindly following the brethren, even if they are correct, without personal revelation confirming what they are saying, will damn a person and put a curse upon their head.
This means that if a person proclaiming to be a prophet decides to take funds from investments off of tithing money and use them to build a billion dollar mall with them instead of feeding the poor, it is not a matter of blindly believing that the “prophet” received a revelation to do so, it is also a matter of receiving you own personal revelation that such an act is acceptable and approved of God.”
Here is a true key that will never rust…
Whenever a leader of the church teaches something that sounds kind of funky, or any new doctrine for that matter, check to see if it conforms or conflicts with the word of God.
If it conflicts, discard it.
If it conforms, be sure you understand the context of what is being said, for instance, was the person saying it is a sin to lose confidence in the inspired statements of inspired leaders or was he saying it was a sin to lose confidence in all statements of all LDS leaders, including the uninspired statements and false doctrines that they teach.
You have been taught the false doctrine that the teachings of living LDS prophets take precedence over the teachings of dead New Testament and Book of Mormon Prophets.
Here is the true doctrine as articulated by President Joseph Fielding Smith
“ It makes no difference what is written or what anyone has said, if what has been said is in conflict with what the Lord has revealed, we can set it aside.
My words, and the teachings of any other member of the Church, high or low, if they do not square with the revelations, we need not accept them.
Let us have this matter clear.
We have accepted the four standard works as the measuring yardsticks, or balances, by which we measure every man’s doctrine.”
(Joseph Fielding Smith Doctrines of Salvation, 3:203).”
“ets evaluate what you are saying and see if it is scripturally sound
“We don’t worship prophets. We do, however, respect their chosen status as one of the Lord’s “servants” and therefore place our confidence in their counsel.”
This statement is NOT supported by the word of God. It sounds like something you dug out of a priesthood or SS manual… In fact, it contradicts the word of God.
You are misrepresenting the meaning of section 1:38. It is totally glorifying God and his infallible word. It is not glorifying mortals who are sustained as prophets nor is it glorifying mortals who sometimes have the spirit of prophecy fall upon them as being infallibly inspired all of the time.
Those passages that you quoted are simply saying that any time God speaks to us directly or through his servants, His true words will not fail and should be obeyed. HOWEVER, his statement only applies to the inspired words that come through his prophets NOT the uninspired words that come through his prophets. You have been taught a sanitized and inaccurate definition of what a prophet is.
You will no doubt recall the time that Joseph received a revelation to send Oliver and others on a journey to sell the copyright of the Book of Mormon. When they returned frustrated and confused as to why their journey was a failure and did not bring the results Joseph had uttered, Joseph simply shrugged and said something to the effect of ” Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil.”
We are NOT commanded to categorically have confidence in the counsel of people in leadership positions based solely on their priesthood position. First of all, being a “prophet” is a spiritual gift. God can place the gift of prophecy upon anyone at any time. Even wicked people can be endowed with prophetic knowledge, not just the president of the church.
Some callings, such as that of the President of the church, or the President of the High Priesthood (which are not necessarily synonymous) require the spiritual gift of prophecy to do a good job in their leadership position, however, the fact that the church sustains someone in presiding over them does not determine whether they have the gift of prophecy or not, nor does it prevent them from giving uninspired and erroneous counsel.
The presidents of the current, corporate latter day Saint church have not given valid, “thus sayeth the Lord” prophecies, in the sense that Isaiah and Jeremiah and Joseph Smith did, during your life time.
Even if you persist in believing that the current president of the church is filled with the spirit of prophecy even though he never prophesies, your statement above would still be incorrect because, as Joseph smith said, those with the gift of prophecy don’t always speak prophetically and can error.
Therefore, as JFS said in the passage I previously provided to you, regardless of a person’s priesthood position and regardless of the respect that one would want to give any brother in Christ, we should NEVER categorically have confidence in the advice a person gives just because of their position. Their counsel must be weighed in the balance against the sustained word of God in the four standard works and against the Holy Ghost.
This is why the Lord said in section one: “that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—”
You will notice that the Lord did not qualify that statement to say that a human being with priesthood position is an exception to the rule.
Every human being is capable of giving erroneous human counsel and God forbids ANYONE including leaders of the church from giving uninspired counsel to other people.
The only way you can possibly avoid following bad human counsel coming from the president of the church or any other priesthood leader is by doing what the scriptures have instructed us to do.
If you will do a keyword search using the term “deceived”, you will find the two inspired passages the tell you how you can avoid being deceived… they have to do with treasuring up the word of God and taking the Holy Ghost as your guide… NOTHING is said about blindly following the counsel of a person because of their holy calling.
“Those critical of the teachings and leaders of the Church are looking through a logical eye rather than our divinely appointed Constant Companion to discern truth. ”
That statement is categorically false and unsupported by scripture.
It presumes that leaders of the church can never error and therefore any criticism is sin.
The truth is that the Lord has warned us that in the last days there would be “false prophets” that we are to beware of.
How can you ever protect yourself from a false prophet entering into the church if you belief in the Catholic doctrine if infallibility?
You have been raised to think that the “law of common consent” is in existence for the sole purpose of verifying your worthiness and loyalty by always sustaining everything that your priesthood leaders say.
If you will go back into the scriptures and the early history, you will find out that it was originally given as a checks and balances, which gives members of the church the right and obligation to challenge any doctrine or decisions being made by priesthood leaders that are deemed to be uninspired.
Are you forgetting that the Lord expressly gave a protocol in church administration for excommunicating the president of the church? That protocol is there for a reason.
If the false doctrine you are teaching was true, it would be impossible to ever excommunicate a fallen prophet and the inspired protocol would prove God to be illogical and in error.
I appreciate your passion, but you are exemplifying zeal without knowledge. You are the result of indoctrination from an apostate church.
“For it shall come to pass that the inhabitants of Zion shall judge all things pertaining to Zion. And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known. And even the bishop, who is a judge, and his counselors, if they are not faithful in their stewardships shall be condemned, and others shall be planted in their stead.” D&C 64:38-40”