Which Came First: God’s Holy Spirit or Your Works?
John 14:23 “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”
On January 19, 2017, an image on the front page of the LDS website caught my attention. For whatever reasons, they’ve been carrying not a few stories as of late, with a corresponding image that looks odd, for the lack of a better word. The images seem like they’re trying to create an ethereal portrayal of Jesus, and or God. This time around, it was Jesus.
The article that went along with the image on the left is our focus today. We’re pulled a few of the comments from Mr. Kim Clark’s General Conference speech to compare them with the Bible, and ask a question or two. Here we go! To read the article in full see Ensign, ‘Eyes to See and Ears to Hear,’ General Conference, October 2015.
The theme of Mr. Clark’s article was to remind people to act in obedience, resulting in the companionship of the Mormon Holy Ghost. That almost sounds biblical, but is it? Let’s look at the sequence of events from what it says in John’s gospel.
Jesus was preparing the disciples for His upcoming departure, but comforted them by teaching the Holy Spirit would be there to comfort them. They already knew God loved them (Proverbs 8:17), and here the Lord has reminded them He’ll do anything for them. Those that love the Lord have His words on their heart continually, and go out of their way to be in obedience to Him. It’s the natural inclination to be in obedience to the Lord, because it’s the least we can do after all He’s done for us. His Spirit compels us to live a life of holiness.
John 14:14-18 “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
Sadly, Mr. Clark’s admonition has it all backwards. It’s not the first reaction of natural man to be in obedience to God because we all know, the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked as it says in Jeremiah 17:9.
Mr. Clark also made the following claim –
‘Simple obedience brings the Spirit into our hearts. … we reach out to others, lifting their burdens and inviting them to come unto Christ.’
We know this man’s statement is wrong based on our bible verse above, but also remember what it says in Romans 10:9-10; “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation”
Never forget beloved, He saved us because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19. Believing in Jesus is of course the same as a confession. There is no work on our part with simply believing in the Lord, yet Mr. Clark went on teaching otherwise.
‘Brothers and sisters, I know that if we will do these things, the Holy Ghost will come! We will grow spiritually and gain experience with the Holy Ghost, and He will be our companion.
We will see the power of God resting upon His prophet and all the leaders of His true and living Church, and we will know with a surety that this is God’s holy work.
I know that if we receive Him into our lives and live the plain and simple truths of His gospel, we will enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We will have the precious gift of eyes to see and ears to hear.’
Firstly, the Bible does not say that if a person has the ‘Holy Ghost’, they’ll know the Church is true, or the power of God is resting upon the prophet, or leaders of the Church. Secondly, Joe Smith’s ‘revelation’ in Doctrine and Covenants 130:23 refutes what this man has said. According to Smith, the Holy Ghost can descend upon someone and not stick around. This too, is a direct contradiction to what Jesus told us in the Bible.
Be sure to ask your Mormon friends and relatives what they think about this man’s speech, and most importantly, don’t forget to pray for them!
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