JPart one of this series pointed out that when the Assyrian is oppressing God’s people in the last days, the yoke and burden shall be taken away from off of God’s elect because of the ANOINTING.
That burden of yoke, affliction, and bondage, along with the intervention of the mystical anointing is mentioned in the dedicatory prayer contained in section 109.
32 Therefore we plead before thee for a full and complete deliverance from under this yoke;
33 Break it off, O Lord; break it off from the necks of thy servants, by thy power, that we may rise up in the midst of this generation and do thy work.
34 O Jehovah, have mercy upon this people, and as all men sin, forgive the transgressions of thy people, and let them be blotted out forever.
35 Let the anointing of thy ministers be sealed upon them with power from on high.
36 Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof.
37 And let thy house be filled, as with a rushing mighty wind, with thy glory.
That post demonstrated that the anointing that is to take place when the servants return to go forth in power is the same anointing that took place on the day of Pentecost during New Testament times.
Sometimes God’s servants go forth in mighty power after their anointing and sometimes they must be persecuted by the wicked after their anointing, it is all contextually dependent on the purposes of God, the calling the person has been given and the times they live in.
Moses had the same anointing and held the same power and authority as Enoch and Melchizedek and was just as righteous, but he was given a much different stewardship over a rebellious people.
In the previous post it was pointed out that the term anointing in those sections of scripture is synonymous with the word endowment and it has to do with being anointed or endowed with the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is also referred to as the Comforter which teaches all things.
Another term for the anointing or endowment that results in the gift of the Holy Ghost is the baptism of fire and the holy Ghost.
One of the great sections of scripture relating to the anointing is found in 1st John. Later in this series we will dissect that section for greater understanding about how the first anointing, which teaches all things, works.
In part one of this series I showed the following graphic depicting the fact that we have not fully entered into the strait gate until AFTER the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost has been received.
I realize that many members of the modern church probably cringe at this supposition because they have not experienced the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost as it is described in the scriptures and yet they feel certain they have entered into the strait gate because they are “active” in the church, pay a full tithe and have a temple recommend, etc.. The baptism of fire a foreign concept to them.
Nevertheless, they have been led to believe that they have the gift of the Holy Ghost and have entered into the strait gate and are on the narrow path.
Many LDS fringe groups also have a blind spot with regard to the significance of the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. Some believe they can receive the other Comforter of Christ who periodically visits to teach the mysteries BEFORE they even experience the first Comforter that comes by way of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
In hindsight, it occurs to me that I should have included the written word of God (scriptures) in all three phases. Interestingly, the written word of God plays an important role getting to phase one.
A person often gains faith and an increased visitation of the promptings that come in conjunction from the light of Christ and the intermittent promptings of the Holy Ghost by reading the scriptures. Then once they enter phase one they continue holding onto the written portion of the “iron rod” which helps direct them into phase two and into the strait gate. At that point they keep reading and pondering the written word of God while the Holy Ghost teaches them “all things” over the process of time.
Coincidentally, a few days after I posted my suppositions in part one of this post, showing where the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost falls into the chronology of the plan of salvation, a fellow spoke at the Snufferite Doctrine of Christ Conference and taught just the opposite of what I have just explained.
He claimed that only repentance and the baptism of water is required to enter into the strait gate. He deducted that the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost took place AFTER one enters into the strait gate.
His conflicting point of view is helpful to consider because it provides me the opportunity to further explain why I disagree with what is commonly taught and believed.
He implied that the doctrine of Christ that was being taught in the 31st chapter of 2nd Nephi, began in verse 17 and ended in verse 19.
One of the common mistakes that many people make when studying doctrine is in being to narrow and myopic in the source material we study. It is tempting to build an entire theology around a few short passages of scripture without consulting the larger context of the narrative and are therefore not properly interpreted.
Verse 17 was not beginning the topic of what the doctrine of Christ is, it was giving a very brief summary of it.
The verse begins by saying “Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter“
That should have been a hint that the topic of the strait gate had already been previously addressed in greater detail.
What had Nephi told them?
He had just prophesied about the future baptism of Christ wherein Christ would receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost after being baptized by water!
If we back up to verses one and two in that same chapter Nephi says:
1 And now I, Nephi, make an end of my prophesying unto you, my beloved brethren. And I cannot write but a few things, which I know must surely come to pass; neither can I write but a few of the words of my brother Jacob.
2 Wherefore, the things which I have written sufficeth me, save it be a few words which I must speak concerning the doctrine of Christ; wherefore, I shall speak unto you plainly, according to the plainness of my prophesying.
As you can see, verse one is where the topic of the doctrine of Christ begins in this chapter, not verse 17.
Nephi then teaches that Christ’s baptism of water AND His reception of the Holy Ghost is what represents the doctrine of Christ.
4 Wherefore, I would that ye should remember that I have spoken unto you concerning that prophet which the Lord showed unto me, that should baptize the Lamb of God, which should take away the sins of the world.
5 And now, if the Lamb of God, he being holy, should have need to be baptized by water, to fulfil all righteousness, O then, how much more need have we, being unholy, to be baptized, yea, even by water!
6 And now, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, wherein the Lamb of God did fulfil all righteousness in being baptized by water?
7 Know ye not that he was holy? But notwithstanding he being holy, he showeth unto the children of men that, according to the flesh he humbleth himself before the Father, and witnesseth unto the Father that he would be obedient unto him in keeping his commandments.
8 Wherefore, after he was baptized with water the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove.
9 And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them.
The straightness of the path and the narrowness of the gate that one must enter into is not limited to water baptism, it includes the reception of the Holy Ghost as demonstrated by the example set by the Lamb of God.
This is why the sign of the dove is so incredibly significant in the baptism of Christ narrative. A spiritual endowment was being bestowed by the Father in conjunction with the baptism of water.
The narrative leading up to the few short verses that this brother built an entire doctrine on, continues on for several verses reiterating the need to receive the Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost before one can enter into the strait gate-
10 And he said unto the children of men: Follow thou me. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, can we follow Jesus save we shall be willing to keep the commandments of the Father?
11 And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son.
12 And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do.
13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shall follow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting no hypocrisy and no deception before God, but with real intent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, by baptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
14 But, behold, my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me, saying: After ye have repented of your sins, and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me.
15 And I heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.
16 And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
Previous posts have documented the fact that Christ enjoyed the fulness of the glory of the Father in the preexistence when he created the earth and that as part of his condescension, he humbled himself and temporarily put off the fulness of his power.
“And Now oh Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” John 17:5
It appears that his reception of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost at his baptism represents a mystical mile post in regaining his pre-existent light, power, and glory during his earthly ministry. Furthermore, Christ is setting the example of what we need to do in order to put off the natural man and become a new creature of the Holy Ghost.
Those remarkable passages that prophesied of the future baptism of Christ by John the Baptist clarify that the sign of the dove that descended upon Jesus represented the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost!
The Book of Mormon clarifies and reiterates that the sign of the Dove literally represented the anointing which is also referred to as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost upon Christ!
Here is yet another witness from the Book of Mormon:
and ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob therefore ye are numbered among the people of the first covenant and if it so be that ye believe in Christ and are baptized first with water then with fire and with the Holy Ghost FOLLOWING THE EXAMPLE OF OUR SAVIOUR according to that which he hath commanded us it shall be well with you in the day of judgement Amen. Mormon 7:10
THERE IT IS AGAIN! THE CLAIM THAT CHRIST RECEIVED THE BAPTISM OF FIRE AND THE HOLY GHOST AT HIS WATER BAPTISM TO SET AN EXAMPLE OF THE PATTERN WE MUST FOLLOW
It was not just Christ’s baptism by water that was showing the WAY back to the Father, it was also his legal reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost as bestowed by the Father according to the plan of salvation.
While the New Testament does a good job of documenting Christ’s baptism and the descending of the “spirit” upon Christ like a dove, the Book of Mormon provides much greater clarity about what the sign of the dove signified.
John the Baptist does however provide a very important key-
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. John 1:32-34
Notice that God told Christ that the one who the Spirit descends upon and REMAINS upon, is the servant who would be the one who would go around baptizing with both water and the Holy Ghost.
That is the definition of the gift of the Holy Ghost, the fact that it abides continually.
The gospels of Luke and Mark inform us that the voice of the Father from heaven declared Christ to be his beloved son:
22 And the aHoly Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a bdove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:22
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:11
The physical effects of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost upon the Savior appear somewhat unremarkable to us because there was no sin that needed to be burned out of him in a sanctifying ordinance.
He had been sinless.
Nevertheless, he needed to set the example for all mankind and fulfill all righteousness according to the laws of God by receiving that which has been ordained of God as a required saving ordinance.
We are commonly taught about the importance of Christ’s water baptism but few people realize that the sign of the dove, or descending of the Spirit in the like a dove, represented the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
This remarkable narrative in the Book of Mormon sets the stage for the beginning of verse 17 that the presenter assumes to be the beginning of the doctrine of Christ narrative.
The assumed beginning point of the doctrine of Christ in the presentation is in all actuality, the summation of what had already been taught about the doctrine of Christ and how one enters into the way:
17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do;
What was it that was shown to Nephi that Christ did?
He recieved the baptism of water followed by the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter.
Now that we have the full context, it is obvious that the clumping together of the baptism of water and the Holy Ghost that the presenter takes issue with, is very appropriate and correct.
“when we clump together all these scriptures and think it being one- That’s a foolish mistake for people who are new to make in the scriptures.”
The above declaration sounds very logical unless you have read the entire chapter. However with the full context, it becomes obvious that there is a reason why the following summation is all clumped together. It is because everything listed therein is required to enter into the strait gate-
For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
In my opinion, the reason that there appears to be a grammatical distinction between the grouping of repentance and baptism of water, vs the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, is because repentance and baptism of water is determined by the recipient and performed by a facilitator. The sending of the Holy Ghost is determined by and performed by the Father who sends it.
The summary in those few verses that the presenter focuses on, notes that after the baptism of water and the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, the new convert has entered into the gate:
18 And then are ye in this strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life; yea, ye have entered in by the gate; ye have done according to the commandments of the Father and the Son; and ye have received the Holy Ghost, which witnesses of the Father and the Son, unto the fulfilling of the promise which he hath made, that if ye entered in by the way ye should receive.
What about after one enters into the strait and narrow gate?
If the presenter’s supposition that one enters the gate before the baptism of fire is correct, it would be time to get the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost once a person enters into the gate. However that is not what the narrative says because the convert already has the Holy Ghost before entering in.
After one has entered into the gate through the baptism of water and fire and the Holy Ghost, one must press onward with a perfect brightness of hope with a love of God and all men-
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, 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.
In my opinion, the next mistake the presenter makes is that he stops his study of the topic prematurely. The narrative about the doctrine of Christ continues into the next chapter.
The presenter makes the following declaration:
“..Ok, so we have identified three portions, the gate, the path and the way..”
The assumption that one first enters into the gate, then into the path, and eventually into the way may sound logical, but it does not square with what the continuing narrative states.
If the presenter would have continued reading the entire chapter and into the next chapter, he would have learned that the WAY is where you enter in. The “way” appears to be synonymous with the “strait gate“.
Because Christ is the WAY and belief in Christ is the beginning point.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
My contention is that instead of limiting his study of the Doctrine of Christ and the process of entering into the WAY to verses 17-19, the Snufferite presenter should have begun with verse one of Chapter 31 and read all the way through verse 6 of chapter 32 because those are the passages addressing the topic.
Furthermore, he should not have limited his study to those passages. He should have done a keyword search and evaluated every passage having to do with the topic. He should have looked to see if his interpretation of that section of scripture was consistent with all of the related scriptures.
Doing so would have led him to several other passages in the four standard works that confirm what we just read.
Jacob 6:8, 11
and deny the good word of Christ, and the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and quench the Holy Spirit, and make a mock of the great plan of redemption, which hath been laid for you… O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate
3 Nephi 27: 20, 33
..that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day…. Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it
1 Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning. [referring to Adams baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost]
2 Wherefore, although a man should be baptized [by water] an hundred times it availeth him nothing, for you cannot enter in at the strait gate by the law of Moses, neither by your dead works [water baptism without the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost].
3 For it is because of your dead works that I have caused this last covenant and this church to be built up unto me, even as in days of old.
4 Wherefore, enter ye in at the gate, as I have commanded, and seek not to counsel your God. Amen.
As you can see, other passages of scripture from different passages in the standard works confirm what we just reviewed.
Remarkably, that talk was followed by another presenter who makes the exact same mistake.
The next presenter also relies on just a few selected verses out of a much larger scriptural narrative to build his thesis. He begins his talk by saying
Do you know what Jesus referred to as His doctrine?
I used to be a teacher and now we are going to have a “Pop Quiz”.
If you know what Jesus referred to as being his doctrine, please recite it now in one sentence for 10 points. . . . Okay, time’s up. Please wait to score yourself because all ten points are given only if one certain phrase is included. Okay, if you didn’t get that, let’s try to fill in the blanks for 7 points:
And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and _______ ____ ____ _______ _______, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; — 3 Nephi 11:38-40
Most of you guessed something, but you wouldn’t have bet money on your answer, and wisely so.
You recognized repenting and being baptized, but then what? So here’s your last chance. For 3 points, select the answer by multiple choice.
A. receive the Holy Ghost
B. have charity towards all
C. become as a little child
D. endure to the end
The presenter then marginalized the importance of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost by declaring what he considers the correct answer to be.
The correct answer is C. (becoming as a little child)
Did you get any points?
Perhaps you are thinking that this was a frivolous test because you’ve never heard of that requirement before. Maybe it wasn’t important to know that little detail in an obviously trick question!
But wait, it is important. It is the part of the Christ’s doctrine and anything less than that is what He said “cometh of evil”.
This second presenter chose just three passages out of 3rd Nephi 11 to build the supposition he was building.
He leads his listeners to believe that the doctrine of Christ is contained in just three short verses. By doing so, he asserts that the necessary parts of the doctrine of Christ are-
b) be baptized with water
c) become as a little child
Remarkably, making his point, he inadvertently rejected the reception of the Holy Ghost as part of the doctrine of Christ.
He apparently interprets the scripture as saying that anything more or less than those three things with regard to the doctrine of Christ, “cometh of evil” and he rejects the reception of the Holy Ghost as being the correct answer in describing the doctrine of Christ.
Technically, if the answer can only be divined from the short verses he is limiting the definition to, then the answer he gives is correct. However, the narrative containing the doctrine of Christ is not limited to the few passages that he is focusing on. It begins with the condescension of Christ back at the beginning of the chapter with the Father bearing witness of the Son.
Then in verse 21 Christ gives Nephi power to baptize the others. Following that, a very specific protocol is given to perform baptisms.
Finally, beginning in verse 35, a few verses before the three verses that the presenter focuses on for his quiz, the Lord provides the foundation for understanding the verses that are being spotlighted by the presenter.
Let us read verses 33- 40 instead of just 37-40 and see if that changes the interpretive inflection and the correct answer to the quiz:
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them.
As you can see, the full narrative that defines the doctrine of Christ in that chapter actually emphasizes the importance receiving the Holy Ghost. If we consider the full discourse being given, the presenter failed his own test by dismissing and marginalizing the reception of the holy Ghost.
The more important answer if you read the whole narrative, is the reception of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, indeed, one could argue that one cannot fully become like a little child and maintain that status, without receiving the Holy Ghost.
I am not diminishing the importance of becoming as a little child, it is certainly very important.
The problem I have with the conclusion presented, is that he completely omits the the necessity and significance of the reception of the gift of the Holy Ghost in his definition of the doctrine of Christ by only focusing on a few scriptures.
He implies that anything more or less that repentance, water baptism and becoming like a little child, cometh of evil.
The larger context that he omits shows that the Gift of the Holy Ghost is an essential part of becoming a little child in Christ.
Becoming as a Little Child
Allow me to point out something very very significant in the narrative.
The Lord commands us to “become as a little child” two times in a row, but I do not think he is being repetitious . I think he is stating that one must become as a little child, twice!
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
In verse 37 Christ admonishes the Nephites to become as a little child BEFORE baptism.
In verse 38 Christ admonishes the Nephites to become as a little child AFTER baptism.
He may be informing us that we need to become as a little child two times during the process of conversion.
Since he had just explained the necessity of receiving the Holy Ghost at baptism, he is very probably referring to the full baptism of water, fire and the Holy Ghost when he uses the term baptism. Hence, he seems to suggest that we need to become as a little child before receiving the anointing of the Holy Ghost and once again AFTER receiving the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
The first time we humble ourselves and become a little child we do it as part of our agency as we exercise faith through the grace of God. The second time, we become as a little child after we are sanctified by the baptism of water and the Holy Ghost.
Is it a coincidence that both of these Snufferinte presenters seem to have a blind spot in declaring the importance and proper chronological placement of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in the plan of salvation?
I don’t think so.
Their spiritual mentor Denver Snuffer has the exact same blind spot.
One of the astounding things about Denver’s Snuffer’s book about the Second Comforter is that the “Baptism of Fire and the Holy Ghost” is virtually NEVER even mentioned and elaborated on in a serious way.
He never mentions receiving that spiritual endowment prior to getting his supposed second comforter experience.
In fact the phrase may only be used once or twice that I noticed. He only speaks briefly about the “Gift of the Holy Ghost” in the sterile and ambiguous way that the modern church teaches about it.
Even more astounding is how apparent it is in the narrative of his book, that Denver has never personally experienced the true Pentecostal endowment that is described in the scriptures.
He NEVER describes experiencing the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost which is evidenced by the spiritual outpouring of spiritual gifts such as prophesying, such as Joseph and Oliver did and speaking with the tongue of angels, etc., not does he state in the book that following a spiritual anointing the meaning behind many scriptures opened up to him.
It was not until after the book was written and his followers apparently begin asking questions about the baptism of fire that Denver back-pedals and addresses the topic in a blog almost as an after thought, and fails to give a date or specific event in which it took place.
I don’t think any documentation for actuation of the Gift of the Holy Ghost prior to the supposed reception of the “second comforter” according to Denver’s writings, can be found.
This is every odd if God commissioned him to write a “how to book” on the topic of second comforter. He basically regurgitates the sanitized version of what the corrupt modern church teaches about the gift of the Holy Ghost..
Denver’s approach to and understanding of the gift of the Holy Ghost and all other spiritual gifts is completely intellectual and left brain, almost like reading a legal brief which has been converted into layman’s terms.
In his blog he states that
If the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost is viewed as conferring revelation and opening the scriptures to your mind (as Joseph and Oliver recount in the JS-H), then I have received this endowment.
That is quite an unremarkable statement.
I have personally also had the scriptures opened to my mind as I know that several of my readers have. But I don’t make the claim that it is evidence that I have had the full baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost. The light of Christ and belief in the scriptures along with dedicated study and searching can produce those results.
God promises us that if we simply believe his word in scripture, we will be blessed with the manifestation of his spirit and be born again of water and the spirit.
16 And behold, whosoever believeth on my words, them will I visit with the manifestation of my Spirit; and they shall be born of me, even of water and of the Spirit—Doctrine and Covenants 5:16
That blessing was given when the fulness of the gospel was on the earth. We live during a time when the fulness is not on the earth. Nevertheless, I believe that spiritual enlightenment definitely accompanies the reading and believing of the scriptures.
The point Joseph and Oliver were making in their account of their baptism, is that because of and directly related to their baptism, they noticed a distinct increase in spiritual discernment and enlightenment. They had already been blessed with the manifestation of the spirit as a result of believing in the scriptures, but something even greater had taken place that was associated with their baptism of water.
It becomes apparent from reading Denver’s book that Denver does not understand what the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost really is from personal experience. He does not understand the effects it has on a converted sinner, or how it chronologically relates to the reception of the second Comforter.
Denver’s worldview of the gospel is seen and described in a very letter of the law, legalistic way leading up to what he assumes is the “Second Comforter”.
A huge mistake that he makes in his book about the Second comforter is that he assumes that ALL appearances from the Savior represent what the Second Comforter.
That is incorrect.
He does not realize that the Savior can visit and teach someone during or even prior to their travels in the strait gate and the narrow path, and BEFORE they have sufficiently proven themselves to God sufficiently enough to receive their calling and election.
Calling and Election is ALWAYS followed by the “other Comforter” experience, but NEVER preceded by it.
The “other Comforter” represents instruction on a much more profound level having to do with the mysteries.
Please understand that I am not speaking derogatorily about the two presenters as individuals. I’m sure they are fine people.
However they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of teaching doctrine in a Doctrine of Christ Conference that is under the guidance and direction of a person that claims to speak to and be instructed by Christ. That requires all of us who are taking our gospel study seriously to discern the correctness of the doctrine that they teach.
I don’t think it is a coincidence that the two presenters have the same blind spot as Denver with regard to the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
All three of them seem to dismiss and misunderstand the importance of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost and how it fits chronologically into the process of eventually receiving the second anointing.
I am suggesting that they have all contracted the same seducing spirit that has currently taken possession of the Snufferite movement.
Joseph Smith taught that all religious movements have their own very distinct false spirit that guides them.
It is evident from the Apostles’ writings, that many false spirits existed in their day, and had “gone forth into the world,” and that it needed intelligence which God alone could impart to detect false spirits, and to prove what spirits were of God. The world in general have been grossly ignorant in regard to this one thing, and why should they be otherwise—for “the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”
If we go among the pagans, they have their spirits; the Mohammedans, the Jews, the Christians, the Indians—all have their spirits, all have a supernatural agency, and all contend that their spirits are of God. Who shall solve the mystery? “Try the spirits,” says John, but who is to do it? The learned, the eloquent, the philosopher, the sage, the divine—all are ignorant.
While on my mission I noticed a very distinct and discernible spirit that each religious denomination had.
Within seconds of speaking with a person about religion I could tell if they were a Baptist, a Jehovah Witness, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, etc.
Not only did each religious sect have their own unique nomenclature, they also had a very distinct false spirit with a supernatural agency.
When I challenge the teachings of the Snufferites it is never a personal thing, I am challenging the false doctrine taught by the seducing false spirit and supernatural agency that has currently possessed them.
I believe those that are putting their trust in the baptism under the direction of a mortal man who is clearly stumbling along trying to figure things out for himself, are being cursed in their efforts while thinking they are being blessed.
34 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.
However a greater cursing awaits those that enter into the false new scripture covenant that is being offered.
It is because of my love for these three men and the others in the Snufferite movement who have been deceived by a lying spirit that I am laboring on these issues.
I keep dove tailing the events of this movement into my posts because it represents a monumental current event that has been prophesied about by Christ.
It is a sign of the times.
It is therefore a prophetic milestone marker indicating that the return of the Lord and his true servants back into the Lords vineyard is nigh at hand.
It is no coincidence that Christ declares that one must enter into the strait gate and then warns of false prophets who can be detected by their fruits.
What are their fruits?
Among other things, teaching false doctrine about how to enter into the way.
22 Repent, therefore, and enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat.
13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
23 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
24 And, again, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing; but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
25 Ye shall know them by their fruits;
How Did the Five Virgins Become WISE?
Picking up on the topic of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, I would now like to share some observations about the parable of the Ten Virgins.
According to the parable,
1- All ten of the virgins were part of the same fellowship as evidenced by the fact that they were traveling together to meet the bridegroom.
2- They all believed in Christ as evidenced by the fact that they had all been invited by the bridegroom to meet him and all were going forth with the express desire and anticipation of meeting him at the marriage.
3- The wise took additional oil in separate vessels in addition to the oil in their lamps, while the foolish took no extra oil in their lamps.
4- The invitation was quite specific, involving a specific appointed place and time.
5- At the appointed time and place, while the bridegroom tarried the virgins slumbered AND slept.
The slumbering and sleeping of the virgins begins to take place at or just before the appointed time of the meeting when the bridegroom tarried.
I would argue that the virgins first slumbered and then slept during the time when the meeting was to take place.
The meeting was probably going to take a process of time during which the giving of inheritances and stewardships and the establishment of Zion would take place.
I believe the two terms “slumbered” and “slept” are not prophetically synonymous. I believe that “slumber” possibly has referenced to having their eyes covered in apostasy in what the scriptures describe as being spiritually sleeping, blind and drunk.
Conversely, the term “sleep” very possibly means they died before entering into the marriage.
In other words, all of the virgins of that particular generation died off during the years when Zion would have been redeemed during the second watch. However scripture informs us that they will eventually be raised up before the bridegroom returns at the time that the “call” is made.
[All prophecies have a dual fulfillment. This prophetic parable applies to all of us in the broad sense of a shadow fulfillment. However I have also previously shown that the parable is literally applicable to the saints of the restoration during Joseph Smith’s Kirtland ministry see ]The Bridegroom Tarried …]
6- At the second appointed time in the 3rd watch, called “midnight” (or midpoint) a cry is made, “the bridegroom cometh“.
We know from modern revelation that the first laborers of the last kingdom will return with the voice of warning to make this preparatory cry.
Section 65 informs us that those who received the keys to the kingdom of God during Joseph’s ministry will be the ones to prepare the way of the Lord and make ready for the return of the bridegroom. The call will go forth from thence. The primary voice is sent down from heaven and will be “mighty and powerful“, “going forth to the ends of the earth“.
Compare that section with section one which says it will be Joseph and his brethren that send forth the final voice of warning. See also sections 88:92 and 133:10
7- AFTER awaking, (being raised up and returned to this stage of mortal probation) the wise virgins put the additional oil in their lamps and enter into the marriage to receive their inheritances during a time of worldwide commotion.
8 The foolish will awake without any oil in their lamps and their only option is to enter into the “buy and sell” system of the Beast. .
We learn from modern revelation that putting the oil in their lamps represented taking the Holy Ghost as their GUIDE. That is the receiving of the First Comforter which takes place through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
56 And at that day, when I shall come in my glory, shall the parable be fulfilled which I spake concerning the ten virgins.
57 For they that are wise and have received the truth, and have taken the Holy Spirit for their guide, and have not been deceived—verily I say unto you, they shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire, but shall abide the day. D&C 45:56-57
I now have a question to ask you.
If the wise virgins did not take the Holy Spirit as their guide by receiving the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost until after they fell asleep and awoke and put oil in their lamps, What was it that made them WISE before they received the baptism of fire and the holy Ghost?
Think about it.
What is it that differentiated the wise from the foolish before the wise finally receive the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost?
This is a very important question for each of us to answer because we are living during a the preparatory time. We need to be preparing ourselves for the great call to go forth at midnight.
I believe it has to do with the only major thing that Joseph Smith restored, that still remains with us.
I believe the answer to what will make us WISE prior to recieving the first anointing, is provided in the following passage
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee WISE unto salvation through FAITH which is in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15
It is the reading and believing of the holy scriptures that makes us wise and prepares us to take the Holy Spirit as our guide through the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost when the servants return to make strait the way of the Lord.
The difference between the wise and foolish virgins is that the wise put their trust and faith in the written word of God and learned how to study and search it while they were awaiting the spiritual anointing referred to as the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.
It is that anointing that provides ongoing personal revelation at a higher, more consistent level, yet only those that have the faith to search out and believe the unconditional promises and prophecies in the scriptures will have the extra oil when the time of Pentecost comes.
The foolish virgins do not have faith in the unconditional promises and prophesies of Christ and his servants. They look for human priesthood authority to guide them. They are duped by the false prophets that arise to deceive.
Joseph Smith restored the church and priesthood and many things during his short 15 year public ministry, however the true and living church fled back onto the wilderness and the fulness of the priesthood was taken away as documented in section 124. .
The one thing that remained with the church that Joseph Smith brought forth was the following scriptures.
- The Book of Mormon
- The Book of Commandments/Doctrine and Covenants
- The Inspired Version of the Bible
- Book of Abraham
Here is the Lord’s declaration and warning that the scriptures would be retained by the church after Joseph and his brethren would be taken from their midst.
3 Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from [Joseph, Sidney and Frederick while they are] in the world, neither in the world to come;
4 Nevertheless, through [them] shall the oracles [scriptures] be given to another, yea, even unto the church.
5 And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.
As you can see, it is taking the scriptures lightly that brings the saints under condemnation when the storms descend, the winds blow, and the rains descend and beat upon their house.
One of the gross misinterpretations of scripture that the Snufferite leader has made has to do with the following passages from section 84
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
He claims that the above passage is saying that the saints not only failed to “do” what he had told them to do, they also failed to “say” it. He claims that the scriptures and covenants given in the scriptures were corrupted and misunderstood when they were given.
That is not what the passage is saying.
The previous three verses declare very clearly what the condemnation consists of
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
The condemnation at that point in time was not from misunderstanding and corrupting the revelations and covenants that Joseph was given. It had nothing to do with writing down the Book of Mormon and the revelations Joseph received incorrectly.
The problem was caused by not believing what God was saying and by taking his commandments lightly. The corruption of the scriptures such as inserting section 132 an omitting Lectures on Faith took place much much later as a result of initially taking the revelations lightly.
Look up the word “lightly” in the 1828 Websters.
It has nothing to do with a misunderstanding or corruption of information. It has to do with not taking the information seriously.
Denver Snuffer simply does not believe God’s promise in D&C 1:37-39 that every promise and prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants will come true, including the unconditional promise given earlier in that revelation contained in verses 4 – 8.
The voice of warning will go forth among all people by Joseph Smith and his brethren who published the Book of Commandments and Doctrine and Covenants to the inhabitants of the world.
According to that promise, Joseph Smith and his brethren will go forth in power sealing up the unbelieving and rebellious until the day that the wrath of God is poured out upon the wicked.
That promise will be fulfilled as sure as there is a God in heaven.
Anyone who if found usurping Joseph Smith’s role and calling when he returns will surely fear and tremble when the justice of an almighty God falls upon them.
Those passages command the saints to believe what God had revealed through Joseph Smith. They testify that ALL of the promises and prophecies given in the D&C would be fulfilled.
The unconditional promises and prophecies of the Lord declare that Joseph Smith and the other first laborers of the last kingdom will be the ones to prepare the saints for the return of the bridegroom.
There is no need for Denver and his disciples to prepare anyone for the coming of the Lord or to create their own set of scriptures.
The saints of the restoration knew what commandments they had been given. They simply did not hearken to them. Those of us living during the generation of the Lord’s return also have access to the true revelations and have what we need to become WISE and to prepare ourselves to take the Holy Spirit as our guide when the servants return and offer the anointing.
I was going to review what 1st John has to say about the anointing that abides continually and the teaches all things, in this post, but alas, it will need to be in the next post.
[Suggested reading for those that think you can have the baptism of fire and know it not Baptized by fire and they knew it not]