English – Spanish
Lights Out on “Light of the World”
When God sends His servants, Christ’s authority is represented and glorified. When men come by their own initiative in the Name of God, Christ is misrepresented and degraded. They may say some similar things, but it is another spirit by which they speak and not by the Spirit of God. The children of truth will hear and see the difference.
This is the story of our encounter with the “Light of the World” church.
At the end of December 2016, Dennison Rivera met two Hispanic preachers, Hermes and Lucio, at his place of work in Helena MT. They came to Helena from Houston to open a new branch of their church, “Luz del Mundo,” or, “Light of the World.” According to what we were told and what is published on their website, their church founded in 1926 in Mexico is one of the largest denominations in that country (behind the Catholic Church), and now has churches in over 50 countries.
Is “Light of the World” a work of God or of men? This church bills itself as the restoration of original Christianity. From one of their websites (http://lldmsabv.org/doctrine):
“The Church of the Living God Pillar & Ground of the Truth, The Light of the World, is the Restoration of the original Christian church, with the objective of announcing the good news of Salvation to the whole world. It was established by Jesus Christ, our foundation & founder, conserving, in unalterable faith to God, Government, Gospel, Doctrine, Sacred Occupations, as well as the celestial promises established & given by Jesus Christ our Savior.”
This claim is either true or it’s not – there’s no in-between. We will show that the “Light of the World” is altogether a work of men, the paths of the destroyer, based on what we saw and heard when meeting the ministers, Hermes and Lucio, and in our follow-up meeting with the missionaries who arrived in Helena a few weeks later to begin planting their church.
Before meeting with the ministers (Hermes and Lucio), Dennison gave them our website along with the writing, The Church, to inform them upfront that the Word of God we preach comes directly against what we saw on their websites (here’s another one in English – http://lldmaustin.org/).
They weren’t deterred in the least, however. I believe they were hoping to convert Dennison, a fellow Hispanic, to their cause. They didn’t know that I would be there when they came over, but this didn’t seem to dim their enthusiasm or friendliness. They were confident in their mission, presenting their case with eagerness. Likewise, we were eager to share with them.
Some of the things we learned about their church and doctrine during our visit:
They believe that the revelation of Christ only comes through their chosen Apostle, who brings salvation to those who follow what he allegedly receives from God.
They don’t believe Jesus Christ is Almighty God. They simply say He is the Son, an undefined subordinate “God” of some sort (they also say they don’t believe in “the Trinity”).
One can only be saved by joining their Church.
No one is truly saved until Jesus’ second coming.
The upshot of these beliefs is that they haven’t experienced salvation, though they believe they’re first in line (and maybe the only ones in line) to receive the full benefits of salvation when their alleged “second coming” occurs.
Little do they and so many others know that the second coming is the Seal of God on the saints’ forehead here in this world and life, the Capstone of Salvation, which makes one the True Believer in Christ. It is God’s Arrival and Establishment of the Lord Jesus Christ in the heart by sanctification.
We testified to these men of our personal conversion experiences, how the Lord brought us to repentance from sin and empowered us to live without sin. They didn’t have similar experiences to share and couldn’t comprehend how one could live without sin, though they said they couldn’t dismiss what we told them the Lord had done for us.
The obvious question then was: How could we be saved from our sins by Jesus Christ, yet need their apostle and church for our salvation? Wouldn’t it be the opposite – wouldn’t they need us and the Lord, seeing how they confess to sinning daily whereas we have been freed from sin? We brought these Scriptures to their attention:
“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not continue to sin, but the one born of God guards himself, and the evil one does not touch him” (1 John 5:18 MKJV).
“Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9 MKJV).
At this point, I told them plainly that their church was no different than the Catholic Church. Light of the World has its own version of a “pope,” who claims special unction to administer salvation under his and his organization’s auspices. They, like the Catholic Church, also perform rites of daily prayer, water baptism, and “the Lord’s supper,” which they treat as proof that they’re the Lord’s Church.
At the end of our meeting, I said we could readily show them 10 points where they deviated from the Scriptures and doctrine of Christ (not that we hadn’t already shown them several), supported by the writings on our site they had ignored.
They thanked us for having them over and told us they would like to send their missionaries to see us when they came to Helena. We agreed, considering it another opportunity to shed light on darkness (ironic, given their name).
Dennison was contacted a couple weeks later by the missionaries who were sent to set up shop in Helena. Before they came over, Dennison gave them our website, pointing them to several writings such as The Church, The True Marks of a Cult, Diabolical Doctrines, and Our Testimonies. It was evident their pastors hadn’t told these men anything about what we believed or had spoken at our first meeting, such as they were no different than the Catholic Church. That was okay – we would tell them ourselves, plus more.
Three men, one with a teenaged son (Eder, Eder Jr., Fidel, and Mizael), came to visit us on January 21, 2017. This time Ronnie Tanner, our brother in the Lord, was there.
After being introduced, we shared our testimonies. Once again, it was clear that while Ronnie, Dennison, and I had received repentance and deliverance from sin, none of the Light of the World people had experienced these things. They had religion, but not the reality of the Lord’s presence and work. Except for Mizael, they were all born into their church, just like Catholics and the multitudes in the many Protestant sects and other religions. (With Mizael, his mother joined the Light of the World when he was a young teenager, so earthly family again was the influence.)
Either way, it’s of no account to God. Membership in His Church and Kingdom doesn’t work that way. People aren’t physically born into the Kingdom of God. They must be born again through Christ:
“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13 KJV).
And when born of God, His Kingdom isn’t off somewhere in the future as these men (and so many others preach), but has arrived in spiritual reality, here and now!
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, so that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:3 MKJV).
This happened at Pentecost for the first disciples and continues to happen wherever and whenever the Lord’s followers receive His Spirit.
“Jesus answered and said to him, If a man loves Me, he will keep My Word. And My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23 MKJV).
Mizael told us he was the analytical type and asked many questions after his mother joined the Light of the World. Since the answers he received were logical and lined up with the Scriptures (as he saw it), he became convinced.
Is this how one is converted to Christ? Is this how Saul of Tarsus was converted (Acts 9), or Cornelius and the Gentiles when Peter preached to them and the Holy Spirit fell on them (Acts 10), or the 3,000 souls who were added to the church when they heard Peter preach at Pentecost (Acts 2)? Upon hearing they were guilty of crucifying the Lord, they were cut to the heart and asked only one question: “What must we do?”
Conversion isn’t a matter of being convinced – it is a matter of being convicted. It’s not a matter of what the potential convert does but of what The Converter, the Holy Spirit of God does. Mizael’s was a conversion of flesh and the carnal mind, not a matter of genuine spiritual faith and a circumcised heart.
“Light of the World” has anti-Biblical beliefs, though presented with the utmost sincerity as the logical truth of God. We encountered their deviant beliefs once again during this meeting with the new missionaries.
They believe the Word of God comes only through an apostle, and more particularly their Apostle (with a capital “A,” since he is the only apostle/godly authority they acknowledge in the world today).
Yet in Acts we hear this about Philip the evangelist:
“Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them” (Acts 8:5 KJV).
“Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John” (Acts 8:14 KJV).
So we see that Philip, who wasn’t an apostle, preached the Word of God.
We also see in Acts that Ananias, a disciple of Christ and not an apostle, was sent to Saul of Tarsus to lay hands on him for receiving sight and the Holy Spirit:
“And Ananias went and entered into the house. And putting his hands on him, he said, Brother Saul, the Lord, Jesus, Who appeared to you in the way in which you came, has sent me to you that you might see and be filled with the Holy Spirit. And instantly scales as it were fell from his eyes, and he instantly saw again” (Acts 9:17-18 MKJV).
The Word of God isn’t restricted to apostles as these renegades claim. The Word of the Lord goes forth from all of His people who live by His Spirit:
“For from you the Word of the Lord sounded out, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to speak anything” (1 Thessalonians 1:8 MKJV).
Contrary to the Scriptures, these men make their apostle preeminent over all others, just like the Catholic Church does with its Pope or Islam with Muhammad. How tyrannical are the religious who serve themselves rather than the Truth! It is anti-Christ, serving the usurper Satan in darkness while keeping others from receiving Christ and the wondrous liberation from the bondage of sin.
Here’s another Christ-denying doctrine: I asked Eder the elder who his apostle says Jesus Christ is. He answered, “the Son of God,” about which I pressed him further – “Is He God?” After some hesitation, he finally admitted, “No, Jesus is not God.”
If Jesus isn’t God Almighty or an angel (Hebrews 1 – see below), then He was just a man, no matter how great a man. But the Son of God IS God, appearing to men as their Lord and Savior, just as He declared:
Matthew 22:41-45 MKJV
(41) While the Pharisees were gathered, Jesus asked them,
(42) saying, What do you think of Christ? Whose son is He? They say to Him, David’s.
(43) He said to them, How then does David by the Spirit call Him Lord, saying,
(44) “the LORD said to my Lord, Sit on My right until I make Your enemies Your footstool for Your feet?”
(45) If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his son?
“I, I am the LORD, and besides Me there is no Savior” (Isaiah 43:11 ESV).
“Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides Me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides Me” (Isaiah 45:21 ESV).
Hebrews 1:1-12 ESV
(1) Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
(2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son [no mere prophet or man], Whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world [Jesus Christ is our Creator].
(3) He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power [because He is God]. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high [a symbolic arrangement to show how God overcame sin, death, and hell in man],
(4) having become as much superior to angels as the Name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
(5) For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You”? Or again, “I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a son”?
(6) And again, when He brings the Firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all God’s angels worship Him.”
(7) Of the angels He says, “He makes his angels winds, and His ministers a flame of fire.”
(8) But of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your Kingdom. [He is God]
(9) You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions.” [Jesus, the Son of Man, the Christ]
(10) And, “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of Your hands; [Again, our Creator]
(11) they will perish, but You remain; they will all wear out like a garment,
(12) like a robe You will roll them up, like a garment they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end.” [“For I, the LORD, change not” Malachi 3:6.]
Unless you believe that Jesus Christ is God, you will die in your sins:
“Jesus answered, You belong to this world here below, but I come from above. You are from this world, but I am not from this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. And you will die in your sins if you do not believe that ‘I Am Who I Am’” (John 8:23-24 GNB).
So it’s natural that when the Light of the World organization doesn’t know Jesus Christ as God, they also wouldn’t believe they can be freed from sin in this life. Only by faith in the Living Lord can one be made alive to God and freed from sin.
We asked them directly if they were free from sin. None claimed to be; on the contrary, they told us they believed one couldn’t be entirely free of sin in this life. “No one is perfect,” they said, disobeying and contradicting the Lord’s commandment:
“Therefore be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 MKJV).
I told them they weren’t free from sin because they didn’t know the Lord their God and didn’t have Him, the Light of Men. They were deaf, blind, and stupid in their sin: “Ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the Truth (Jesus Christ).” Even if they could claim the level of sinlessness of Saul of Tarsus (which they didn’t), who said that with regards to the Law he was blameless (Philippians 3), they would still be sinning in their self-righteousness, giving an appearance of holiness that masks their inner corruption:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity” (Matthew 23:27-28 WEB).
And because the religious are self-righteous, they believe others will go into “eternal torment” whereas they will be spared in the end, because of their doctrine and works. So these men believe. They can’t comprehend that God will save all men by His grace – the only way anyone is saved. God’s work through Christ nullifies their religion with all its elaborate works and justification. As Jesus said to the religious of His day: “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of God before you” (Matthew 21:31 ESV).
Hearing their beloved false doctrines refuted, along with their presumptuous standing with the Lord, these false Christians looked to fault us rather than repent of their sin and error. They picked on something Dennison shared when he told of how the Lord began to deliver him from his sin.
Dennison had related how he had been living with a woman and her daughter from another man. There was neither a formal marriage nor a marriage in the Lord, wherein man and woman are brought together by Him. Dennison described their union as one of lust and convenience.
Dennison had further related how the Lord brought an end to the fornication, above and beyond his will or ability to do so.
Eder, the group leader, disregarded these facts and stated that according to the Word of God, one may not separate from his wife. Therefore, he concluded, Dennison was still in sin because he left his wife. Eder said this despite it being made plain that this woman was not Dennison’s wife.
Dennison tried to explain further to Eder how he was wrong with more details and we gave them Scriptures about fleeing fornication. I told them there was even Biblical cause for dissolving marriages (though Dennison wasn’t married) that weren’t brought together by God and were thus considered fornication:
“And I say to you, Whoever shall put away his wife, except for fornication, and shall marry another, commits adultery…” (Matthew 19:9 MKJV).
“And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, You have sinned, and have taken strange women to increase the sin of Israel. And now confess to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do His pleasure. And separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the strange women. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As you have said, so we must do” (Ezra 10:10-12 MKJV).
It seems their definition of marriage was sexual intercourse or cohabiting, or both. They apparently didn’t believe that marriage was much more, yet they defended fornication as though it constituted inviolable marriage before God. Remarkable!
The “Light of the World” adherents shut their ears to what we were trying to tell them and even doubled down making more ludicrous charges. We had enough; I told them we were done talking. We summarized by telling them they were spreading a false gospel and were in enmity with the truth.
Upon leaving, Eder told Dennison not to be upset. I told them we weren’t here to shake hands and have peace with them but to kill them. Ronnie told them Jesus said He came to bring a sword, not peace. So it was and is. Those for the truth have peace with God, but those for lies come under His sword, the Word of God. These people had come to Helena to set up another spiritual whorehouse and we, speaking the Truth, are their deadly enemies.
A practical point on the modus operandi of this cult, which demonstrates their whoredom and enmity with God as they seek to ingratiate themselves with men rather than identify with the Truth: The day we met they told Dennison their wives were attending the “Woman’s March on Montana,” to “show support for the ladies.”
Now, this was a protest march against the new President, Donald Trump. The protesters, by and large, were marching in support of abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, and Islam. In these things, the marchers openly displayed hostility and scorn towards those opposed to these abominations that are unequivocally condemned by the Word of God.
Consider how wicked these “Light of the World” people are that they proudly proclaim to come in the Name of the Lord with the most direct and recent revelation of His will while showing support for an ungodly rabble spurning His Laws. If this is not the grossest example of treachery, what is?
Here are ten deviations from the faith and Gospel of Christ by the self-proclaimed “Light of the World” (with writings from our site providing Scriptures illuminating their error):
- Jesus is not God. ~ Jesus Christ Is God
- Formal and ritualistic daily prayer ~ Prayer
- Salvation through their Church ~ The Church / How One Is Saved
- Sacred Temple ~ The Third Temple – Physical or Spiritual?
- Men aren’t saved until the physical return of Christ ~ Diabolical Doctrine: The Second Coming (Christ Is Returning in a Physical Body)
- Eternal Hell ~ The True, Scriptural Meanings of Forever, Everlasting, and Hell/Are Eternal Hell and God’s Love Compatible?/ Diabolical Doctrine – Never-ending Torment/ The State and Fate of Hell
- Lord’s Supper – a sacrament of their church ~ Diabolical Doctrine: The “Lord’s Supper”
- Water Baptism – another sacrament of their church ~ Water Baptism
- Bible worship – Members believe the Bible, as interpreted by their Apostle, is the only source of Christian doctrine. ~ Bible Worship Used by Men to Cover Evil/In Defense of Extra-Biblical Inspiration of God
- Freewill ~ Free Will