The Doctrine of Christ- Part Two

In part one of this series we discussed how the Bible does not clearly clarify what the Doctrine of Christ is and therefore does not provide the required protocol for salvation with clarity because it has had many of the plain and precious parts of the gospel and many covenants taken out of it.  Perhaps one of the most significant and glaring omissions is the necessity of saving ordinances pertaining to the spiritual rebirth.

Although there is a passage in the New Testament implying the necessity of water baptism, there are other passages that omit the necessity of a physical baptism. Because of this, many Christian sects claim that baptism is not necessary for salvation and that grace through faith and confession with the mouth is all one needs to do to be saved.

Conversely, the Book of Mormon provides the clear protocol which contains the saving ordinances that enable the carnal man to become a “new creature of the Holy Ghost[1]. Upon this spiritual transformation the convert enters through the “strait gate” that leads into the “narrow path”.

Three of the most prominent chapters in the Book of Mormon that address the Doctrine of Christ[2], along with numerous other supporting passages provide the following protocol which must be acted upon by faith:

  • Repent
  • Witness to the Father that you are willing to take upon you the name of Christ
  • Baptism by water by complete emersion
  • Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost (Causing one to speak with the tongue of angels)
  • Endure to the end… Retain the remission of sins… retain the sanctified state… obey every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God

The Way

God’s prophets have informed us that the above protocol is how one enters the strait gate into the narrow way, or, in short, “the way” by which we are saved. There is no other name under heaven besides Jesus Christ by which we can become saved:

this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen…  For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do”[3]

In 2nd Nephi 31-32 Nephi, after declaring repentance, witnessing to the Father of the desire to take upon one’s self the baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end to be “the way”, Nephi informs his fellow Nephites that more “doctrine” would be given when Christ visits the Nephites “in the flesh”:

 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.”

The account of Christ’s visit to the Nephites in the flesh in 3rd Nephi informs us of two very important doctrines of Christ that are both essential to keep people in the narrow path. One is the Lords Supper, (Sacrament) which was discussed in part one of this series. It enables a person to endure to the end by always remembering Christ.

The Law of Consecration

Another doctrine introduced in 3rd Nephi is the law of having all temporal things in common. Although the Book of Mormon does not give details about how it is to be established and lived, it verifies, as does the New Testament, that it was one of the commandments of Christ that is lived by the true church of Christ.

I have repeatedly stated in past blogs that Joseph Smith was restoring New Testament Christianity and that the law of consecration is one of the evidences of the veracity of what Joseph Smith was doing. The fact that this gospel principle is not properly being adhered to according to the law and authority of God by any Christian churches including any of the factions of the LDS restoration, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, is just one more evidence that the entire Christian world is in a state of global apostasy.

The Book of Mormon reveals that the principal of having all things common is not to be attempted and cannot possibly be successful until AFTER the saints receive the spiritual rebirth. They must enter into the strait gate and become sanctified. The law of consecration cannot be lived by a people who have not become sanctified. Religious history verifies this.

The “Apostles Doctrine”

The New Testament concurs with the Book of Mormon that the doctrine of having all things in common is one of the many signatures of New Testament Christianity. In the Book of Acts we are informed that the New Testament Saints were filled with the Holy Ghost. This is no doubt what John the Baptist was referring to when he prophesied that one would come that would baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost.

The “Apostles Doctrine” in the New Testament Church of Christ includes repentance, Baptism in the name of Christ, the remission of sins, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, the spiritual rebirth, speaking with new tongues. As you can see, the same doctrine and plan of salvation existed in the New Testament church that is clearly described in the Book of Mormon. This entering into the strait gate was followed by weekly fellowship, breaking bread, and having all things in common:

 

1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 

 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 

 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 

 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance… 

 

 37 ¶Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? 

 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 

41 ¶Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 

 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 

 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. 

 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 

 45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. 

 46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, 

 47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

 

Interestingly, no Protestant or Catholic theologians have extracted the protocol for salvation out of the New Testament that is found documented in the Book of Mormon. Nevertheless, once the salvation protocol is revealed by the Book of Mormon, one can find all of the components taught or alluded to in the New Testament.

John the Baptist foretold the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost

Although few Christian Sects emphasize the baptism of “fire and the Holy Ghost” the New Testament clearly documents John the Baptist declaring that one would come that would “baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost” following the baptism of water, those terms are never seen again in the King James Bible.

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire..”[4]

Again, those terms in that context are never again used in the Bible. When did Christ Baptize someone with the Holy Ghost and with Fire? Some might argue that it was when Christ breathed on his apostles. Some might argue that he did it from heaven on the day of Pentecost. The New Testament informs us that Christ had his apostles do most of the baptizing.

Although a hand full of references are briefly given about the “Holy Ghost” and the “gift of the Holy Ghost” and the spiritual outpouring of power that took place on the day of Pentecost, Christians are left to argue over the context of these vague historical events and religious terms. Never is it clearly taught in the New Testament how Christ baptizes people with fire and the Holy Ghost nor is it even clearly documented that it is necessary to receive that endowment. This is one of the many reasons the Book of Mormon is essential in understanding the protocol of salvation.

“Law and Commandments of the Father”

3rd Nephi specifically reiterates the specific principles and ordinances of the gospel that Nephi covered in 2 Nephi 31 as being the “Doctrine of Christ” in two different places. Following that, when Christ visited the Nephites in the flesh, he gives additional doctrine to the Nephites as he gives them the Book of Mormon version of the Sermon on the Mount, containing the Beatitudes and the Lord’s prayer. By doing this, the Book of Mormon provides a powerful testimony of the veracity of Christ’s teachings in the New Testament.

After Christ reiterates the Doctrine of Christ and gives the sermon on the mount he then declares that the Law of Moses has been fulfilled in him and then gives them the “Law and Commandments of the Father”:

“And behold, I have given you the law and the commandments of my Father, that ye shall believe in me, and that ye shall repent of your sins, and come unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Behold, ye have the commandments before you, and the law is fulfilled.

Therefore come unto me and be ye saved; for verily I say unto you, that except ye shall keep my commandments, which I have commanded you at this time, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” [5]

Following that, Christ gives comparisons between what the ancient law dictated compared to what he was now commanding under the law and commandments of the Father. Among the many commandments given is something that temple going Mormons should take a sobering look at is:

“Neither shalt thou swear by thy head”[6]

The significance of the above commandment in conjunction with LDS temple worship doesn’t mean anything to the younger generation of LDS temple goers because many of the abominations in the original LDS temple endowment, including the act of swearing by one’s head, have been taken out in years past.

Shortly after they were removed, the brethren were quick to declare that new refinements and deletions to the endowments did not change the original intent and that the endowment still represents everything in the intent of the original endowment ceremony. Hence, everyone going through the ceremony is still swearing by their neck.

There have been many changes to the temple endowment over the years since Brigham Young introduced the first one with the infamous oath of vengeance in it. The most recent changes took place in 1990.

In part three we shall briefly discuss the most recent changes in the temple ceremony. We shall also address the role of modern revelation and how the Doctrine and Covenants reiterates the doctrine of Christ. We shall also note some significant differences between the role of the seed of Lehi vs the role of the gentiles.

 

[1] Mosiah 27:26, Gal 6:15, 2 Cor 5:17

[2] 2nd Nephi 31,

[3] 2nd Nephi 31:21,32:5

[4] See Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16

[5] 3 Nephi 12:19-20

[6] 3 Nephi 12:36 See also Hel 6 and Moses 5:31 about the secret signs and the great secret that one can murder in order to get gain. See also the following videos about the “dead sign” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRTbTDb2kWw and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GAUnnu2xEg

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