The other day I received a comment from an individual who attempted to present evidence that the Holy Spirit was validating what they were saying, and what their cult, Mormonism preached (see the comments section concerning the article: “Meek ~ The Great Example” – Link), when I clicked on their website, their profile stated (verbatim):
My Name is Brandon Lott I am a service missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, I hope thru my messages one might feel a warm peaceful feeling in the heart, this feeling is the Holy Ghost telling you the things you see in my messages are true, if you have any questions feel free to email me email@example.com i hope and pray my messages strike questions in your mind and help motivate others to study the LDS Church.
My reply to Brandon disputed his assertion that “a warm peaceful feeling in the heart is the Holy Spirit telling you the things you see in my messages are true.”
Unfortunately, cult members are not taught to give Biblical citations for comments such as these, basically; doing so would limit them from being able to distort the Word of God (though this point would be mute if they used their own distorted translation), so attempting to confront something that is presented as Biblical, when actually subjective, is difficult.
There are a few Scriptures which do speak about peace in the heart for Believers, such as:
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
However, this verse has nothing to do with the Holy Spirit validating anything, but deals with the fact that if a Believer keeps their mind stayed upon God and His Word, they will have an inward peace that is unlike the world’s understanding of the word.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)
This is Paul speaking to the church at Rome, communicating his desire that they would be filled with joy and peace by the Holy Spirit, abounding in hope – the hope of the resurrection. However, this passage wouldn’t fit Brandon’s context either.
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
This passage addresses the fact that it is the peace of God that should be maintained within the inner man of the Believer, and that Believers are part of the same body, the body of Christ. The issue at hand is the unity of the church in this passage.
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)
This passage speaks about the condition of the mind of the believer, wherein being spiritually minded produce life and peace. Again, this does not fit Brandon’s statement either.
After having looked up every passage in the Bible concerning the words: “peace” and “spirit;” I can find no justification whatsoever for Brandon’s assertion – his assertion that “a warm peaceful feeling in the heart is the Holy Spirit telling you the things you see in my messages are true.”
Now, why am I beating this horse to death, the answer is twofold.
1) It is important to note that anything we say concerning God, His purposes, and His Word needs to be validated based upon the Word of God, and not a conjecture, or supposition of our own.
– This should be an obvious point that needs no elaboration.
2) When dealing with false-believers, how should we address them? This we shall attempt address in the following.
How to Treat False-believers
If you looked up the comment and reply that were made concerning Brandon’s rather innocent appearing comment (see the comments section concerning the article: “Meek ~ The Great Example” – Link), you will see that I was very straightforward, not attempting to utilize a touchy-feely approach concerning the gospel. Cult members are taught to not specifically appear to be different from Christians, even though they are taught that the typical Christian is either doomed to hell, or a lesser type of salvation if at all.
Their Subterfuge – See It as It Is
They are taught subterfuge, hence they are tares which are taught to look like wheat (Matthew 13:25-30). Many times they will sound Christian in their conversation, yet marked by a form of vagueness; and lack of specificity, which a mature believer displays. They will use Christian words, yet they use them meaning something different from the standard understanding. Brandon spoke about following Jesus’ walk. He used the word “atone.” Even, spoke about the Trinity.
However, if you understand what Mormons teach and believe, you know that they don’t believe in the Trinity the same as you or I, and the way they use the word atonement is completely different. They always seem to glorify Jesus, and even speak about him being a son of God; yet what they truly believe is that he is not THE Son of God.
Their teaching is that Jesus was a created being, a half-brother of Lucifer, and that he became a God in the same sense that you or I will become one (if we are Mormons), there is nothing unique about Jesus except that he got to a place that we will someday come to (if we are Mormons), that is if we follow the teaching and dogma of the of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints.
Honest & Blunt
When I spoke to Brandon, some might say that I was rude. What I was, was blunt and frank. For those that have a hard time with this, let me ask you this question; “how do you deal with cancer” – “you cut it out.” Yet, cancer can only take your human life, false religions can aid in committing your eternal soul to hell.
I explained to him why I would not publish the links that he attempted to embed within his comment – you will notice that in his comment he did not identify himself as a Mormon, yet presented himself as a Christian would.
Correction Based Upon the Word of God
I then went on to correct his misunderstanding of the Biblical word “heart,” explaining the Biblical meaning of the word (such as: the Hebrew and Greek words for “heart” in the Bible do not equate the same as our English understanding of the emotions. The word “heart,” in the Greek and Hebrew dictionary [and told him to please look it up], means the inward man, who is made up of 3 components: 1) the mind, 2) the emotions, and 3) the will, where discretion takes place. Our mind is given the preeminence, with our emotions as a blessing based upon the response of what we deal with, rather happy or sad – love or hate. The point is, the seat of the will is discretion, where decisions are made, which are to be based upon our mind, which is to be according to God’s Word; never by our emotions, which have to do with our perception and the flesh – OUR FEELINGS. You cannot separate the flesh from our perception, and our emotions are based upon perception.), along with other biblical insights (such as: we are NOT to be guided by our emotions, which is to be guided by our human perception, our sight – “For we walk by faith, not by sight” ~ (2 Corinthians 5:72).
Confrontation, Not Hostility
I then confronted him concerning the falsehood of Mormonism, such as: their beliefs concerning Jesus as stated previously. I did apologize for sounding condescending, yet I did display an attitude of a confrontation, not hostility.
It is amazing how many Christians believe we have to be nice when dealing with such dangerous subjects as the eternity of the human soul. Many believers see Jesus as a touchy-feely pacifist, who is almost effeminate. They refuse to understand that Jesus came the first time as the “Lamb of God” to die for the sins of the world – this was His role, not a reflection of passivity – the second time He comes, He will be a man of war with blood up unto His bridle, killing millions and millions of unbelievers.
The type of deceptive behavior that false-believers display should never be answered with politeness or niceness – in fact show me one place that Jesus told us to deal with false religions by being polite or nice.
Let us examine the ultimate example of how to treat these types of people and situations – let us look to Jesus Himself.
Jesus’ Type of Confrontation
The following are examples of how Jesus addressed false teachers (any false-believer that attempts to teach their false belief is a false teacher).
Jesus metaphorically used animal names to describe the false teachers of His day by calling them snakes and “offspring of serpents,” ”wolves,” and unregenerate Gentiles “dogs” (Matt. 23:33; Matt. 7:15; 10:16; Luke 10:3; Matt. 7:6).
Jesus also called them “hypocrites,” “blind leaders od the blind,” “whited sepulchers,” “dead men’s bone,” of their father the Devil (Matt. 6:2, 5, 16; 23:13; Matt. 15:14; Matt. 23:27; John 8:44).
Jesus used a whip, and cleared the temple twice; once at the beginning of His ministry (John 2:13-17), then at the end of His ministry (Matthew 23:13-33).
Jesus constantly warned then: “Woe to you…” (Matthew 11:21; 23:13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29; Luke 6:24, 25, 26; 10:13; 11:42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 52). In their day this meant much more than it sounds to us – its like yelling: “watch out…”.
Final Thought – Warning
In Paul’s last letter he said to Timothy:
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.” (2 Timothy 3:1-8)
This seems to be an accurate description of our current culture. If one truly ponders the implications of each and every word that God specifically uses, therein is a picture that is so revolting and sickening; that it is a wonder that a Believer would ever leave his own house each day.
(SIDE NOTE: When will these “last days” happen, – well they have already started – they started with the ministry of Jesus Christ – “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds” ~ Hebrews 1:1-2; and as Peter said on the day of Pentecost concerning the Believer speaking in new tongues: “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…” ~ Acts 2:16-17)
However, this is just not a listing of qualities of un-regenerated man during the last days, there is more here than merely that.
There is the reference to Jannes and Jamres, that you will not find anywhere in the Bible, that is a key.
The Bible Scholar Warren W. Weisbe states concerning this passage:
“Read Exodus 7-9 for the record of the contest between Moses and the Egyptian magicians. Tradition says that the magicians were Jannes and Jambres, two men mentioned by Paul (2 Tim. 3:8). These men opposed Moses by imitating what he did. When Aaron’s rod turned into a serpent, the magicians cast down their rods and they turned into serpents. Moses turned the water into blood, and the magicians followed with the same miracle. When Moses brought up all the frogs, the magicians duplicated the miracle. But when it came to the miracle of the lice, the magicians could not imitate it (Exo. 8:16-19). Satan is an imitator; what God does, Satan counterfeits. The religious leaders in the last days will have a counterfeit faith, and their purpose is to promote a lie and resist the truth of God’s Word. They deny the authority of the Bible and substitute human wisdom and philosophy. In their attempt to be “modern,” they deny the reality of sin and people’s need for salvation. “Reprobate” is the word Paul used to describe them. This means “tested and found counterfeit.” Jannes and Jambres were finally exposed and made fools of by the judgments of God. This will also happen to the leaders of false religions in the last days. When God’s judgments fall, the true character of these counterfeits will be revealed to everyone.”
2 Timothy 3:1-8 is connotatively (in general) a description of unregenerate man; however denotatively (specifically) it is a description of false-believers.
Yet, it is the first of these 19 (underlined in blue) negative qualities which we as believers should be aware of when dealing with these false-believers, they are dangerous, and worse yet they are blind.
And as has wisely been stated, there is nothing so dangerous as a sincerely self-deceived man, especially if he is a worker of iniquity, a son of his father Satan.
Jesus describes them as wolves in sheep’s (sorry about typo) clothing – For more on this subject please see the article entitled: “Sheep and Wolves” – Link
The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”