Before there was a letter to a Mormon, there was this letter from a Mormon. Debbie, a reader, sent it:
You have been sending me articles for a while now. The last one I read was ‘How the Lord Exposed Billy Graham Part 1 of 2′. As I read your article I got to the part where you wrote … I quote “They speak of his great sincerity, and of his having won millions to Christ. Many are sincere. Mormons, JW’s, Catholics, Muslims (to the point of blowing themselves up), Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Communists, Satan worshippers, and many others are sincere.”
Well I am a “Mormon” or as I would rather be called a Latter-day Saint. I am a convert of 30 years to this church (The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints, please note that our church not only holds the name of Jesus Christ as head of our church but our church also bears his name) and it saved my life and is the best thing that ever happened to me. I take exception to people who try to claim that although sincere somehow my faith is not connected to God. I will tell you that because of being blessed by God to be a part of this great institution my husband and I and our children are the first in generations in my family to keep our family intact and unified, a principle to which we gained strength to endure because of our FAITH. Our children are now getting married having families of their own with God the Father and Jesus Christ as the center of their beliefs and their home. Our son served a mission in Taiwan to help bring those people to a knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the great sacrifice he made in order so that the children of men might return to God and be saved in the Kingdom of heaven. He and other young people between the ages of 19 and 25+ selflessly give up their own personal desires (dating, schooling etc.) and pay for their mission themselves from money that they have saved to spread the word of God to those who are in spiritual darkness. You tell me how many other organizations have youth so willing to give their all at a time when youth are more noted for their self-centeredness. Our daughter who is only 24 years old is at this moment serving the Lord in the Philippines in harsh and dirty and disease infected areas to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The “Mormons” were commissioned by President Bush in the United States when Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida to give blood and help with relief because they were the only large organization of people who could be trusted to have un-tainted blood because of their health code and the blood supply was so desperately needed that there was not the time nor the facilities during the emergency to test every vial of donated blood for contamination, the government needed to be able to trust the blood to be clean. Also last year when Florida again was beaten and battered by record hurricanes they ran an article in their newspapers giving thanks to the two main organizations that gave incredible relief quickly and thoroughly … The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Mormons. What does this tell you …. they are both the same organization, they also have given SELFLESS AND CHRIST-LIKE relief all over the world in every disaster there ever has been in recent history. And we don’t seek pomp recognition for it we do it “in secret so that the Lord can reward us … St. Matt 6:1-4”
We have just been through terrible flooding in our area of Okotoks, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, High River, and other Southern Alberta towns and who were the first to volunteer their help to sand bag, make retaining walls and do what ever other relief they could in the area but the MORMONS. You maybe should go back and read the New Testament where God tells us how to tell the difference between someone who is of God or of Satan. I will only quote those who emanate God’s spirit “St. Matt. 7:16-20… 16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. … 17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; … 18) A good tree CANNOT bring forth evil fruit, … 20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” Any one who is of God will try to the best of their ability to shine forth his example be they Mormon, JEW, Pentecostal, Muslim. I don’t care what their belief as long as they are good people with humble hearts because God will bring them to the knowledge of Jesus Christ in HIS own due time. It is the people who deny God’s existence and seek to destroy the faith of others in him that is dangerous. Or rulers of governments that try to suppress our rights to teach family values or even pray in our schools and teach of the bible in our schools, just as was done in Daniel’s time. If you want to try to promote unity with yourselves in combating Satan then you should stop shooting yourself in your self-righteous foot and realize that our different faiths that are doing the best that they can to follow God to the best of their understanding and UNITE together to fight the tyrants that are seeking to take away our rights to follow God and Jesus Christ and live by the WORD OF GOD. For instance stop the government from allowing “SAME SEX MARRIAGE” to become Federally acceptable because the next step of the government will be to try to FORCE those religious groups who believe it is an abominable practice before GOD, to have to marry them on the premise that anything less is considered discrimination by the government and punishable by the law. And where is GOD’S law accepted. No Where.
I am willing to work with you on FIGHTING for the “RIGHTS of GOD”, but if you continue to berate organizations who are trying to fight for the right of people to serve God, then you need not send me anymore emails. Billie Graham may not believe exactly how you believe and interpret the scriptures exactly how you interpret them, but he has done much good and raised his voice against governments, organizations and anyone else, who would take away the freedoms from the people to search out, and serve ….. God!
You mentioned that Billie Graham did not believe in the ministering of Angels, and the gift of tongues, etc. Well if you believe in those things then may I urge you to look a little closer at the Latter-day Saints. This church came into being because the heavens were opened and the ministering of Angels once again is upon the earth. And you talk of the gift of tongues, well I have two children who are evidence of it. They both learned the languages fluently of the people they taught, and my children are no different than most people their age, but they would bear testimony to you that they were able to learn the languages they learned at the speed they learned them because the Holy Spirit of the Lord rested upon them and helped them so that they could teach the pure in heart who were ready to learn of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on all God’s children behalf.
May we be united to fight those who are really fulfilling prophesy of the Anti-Christ. Debbie
A preliminary note from Victor:
I have not forgotten you. You are on my desktop. We have been very busy, but I intend to reply to your letter when able.
By the way, the intention of the mention of Mormons among others was not to say that they are deceived, but to point out that all those in the list think others to be deceived, yet all believing contrarily to each other and thinking the rest to be deceived. Read again and you will find that there is nothing there to say that Mormons are deceived, not that I would not say so.
Victor’s reply to Debbie’s letter:
Greetings in the Lord Jesus Christ, Whom I serve, Debbie,
As I said earlier in my note to you, I was not saying in The Issues of Life that Mormons are deceived, but I will say it now. I will go through your letter and point out your error, not according to my opinion or judgment, but according to the Lord Jesus Christ, with Whom I am identified, by His grace, and according to His Holy Word as bestowed on mankind through the Jews.
Mormons are very zealous to bear witness. That is primarily why you wrote, but also because you wished to defend the Mormon religion and to proclaim your righteousness. Mormons are quite zealous in their works in the Name of God, but as Paul the apostle testified of the Jews, so I say of you:
“For I bear record to them that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Romans 10:2).
You say that the Name of Jesus Christ is held as the head of your church. You ought to say that He, and not His Name, is the Head of the Church. If you were a genuine member of His spiritual Body, as described in Scripture, you would not phrase your words as you do.
The fact that your church bears the Name of Jesus Christ is not evidence of godliness at all, but rather evidence of having a form of godliness, yet denying the power thereof. The true Church would not formally use His Name; there would be no need for it, none whatsoever. Do you not understand? No, you do not, and so I write.
I can understand that becoming a part of what you call an institution has helped you. That is reasonably possible, and I do not doubt your word. Many people have been helped in many institutions – all sorts of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples, as well as social and political bodies. Hardened criminals, for instance, have found solace in many Christian churches, their lives dramatically turned around. Even in non-Christian religions, such as the Muslim religion, many will testify that had it not been for their new belief systems and fellowship with others of like belief, they would be long dead. Those becoming Buddhists have benefited, as have others.
However, the Church of God, Debbie, is not an institution. Churches formed by men are institutions, but the Church of God, the Body of Christ, is a Living Organism, a spiritual reality, the Body of God Himself, born of His Spirit, washed in His blood, with members transformed not externally, but from within, and led by the Spirit. Many in men’s institutions have undergone remarkable changes, yet they are still the same within. Those in Christ are new creatures, beyond themselves. That is what I am, and that is what you are not. Forgive me for being blunt, though I speak in kindness.
You express concern about churches being forced by law to marry homosexuals and lesbians. Institutions may be forced to do so, simply because they are registered with the government. The true Church of God is not dependent upon the government or seeking its favor in any way to maintain any kind of status or privilege. As a minister of God, while not registered formally by men, I am under no obligation to any government or special interest groups. My Church does not have to marry anyone, laws or no laws. That is the wonderful freedom ordained of God for those who do His will. Jesus said of us:
“The Spirit breathes where He desires, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes, and where He goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8).
You propose that we “fight the tyrants that are seeking to take away our rights to follow God and Jesus Christ and live by the WORD OF GOD.” If you knew the gift of salvation that makes a new creature in Christ, you would not be able to say those things. As Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, ‘For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter.’ But in all these things we more than conquer through Him Who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
You speak of your family, your children, and their zeal and sacrifices, which I have already addressed, in part. Mormons are not alone in making these sacrifices. You could find testimonies of many evangelical people today, all over the world. Go on the net and you will find thousands of examples. The JW’s are very zealous too, thinking to proclaim Christ and His Kingdom. Again, Muslims are zealous, though not in Christ’s Name, yet they are prepared to die for their belief.
Of course, you point out that “good people with humble hearts” who are of “other faiths” (the plural term also exposing your shortfall of true faith) can also do good works in God’s sight. While I do not criticize or condemn good works (I applaud them), I do say to you that good works is not what it is all about, not at all. Cain and Abel both performed good works, side by side. Jacob and Esau both performed good works. (Esau obeyed his father and brought him savory meat.) Isaac and Ishmael both buried their father, Abraham. Balaam brought sacrifices to God. All these things mean nothing. True faith in God, which produces works that can be judged not after the appearance, but only by the Spirit of God, is the one faith we need, the one that alone saves. While you speak of “faiths,” the Bible speaks of but “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). All others are vain works of men, which destroy:
“Concerning the works of men, by the Words of Your lips, I am kept from the paths of the destroyer” (Psalms 17:4).
You are in an institution that poses and names itself as the Church of God, which produces religious works of men in great abundance, and prospers and revels in it. However, the prosperity is of this world and is nothing to be prized before God. The Lord’s Kingdom is not of this world. He said so (John 18:36). Your works will be burned. As Paul said:
“If anyone’s work which he built remains, he shall receive a reward. If anyone’s work shall be burned up, he shall suffer loss. But he shall be saved, yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).
While President Bush trusts your fleshly blood, and you boast of your works, I am not at all impressed, because God has taught me His thoughts and ways. Our works do not necessarily impress Him, no matter how good they may seem. As Isaiah prophesied:
“But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).
You boast of your own righteousness and charity, Debbie. That is because you are ignorant of His righteousness. I grant you that many Mormons can be apparently clean-living, charitable, presentable, sociable, kind, patient, determined, self-controlled, community-minded, healthy, and more. However, I inform you of a higher life, a life that has those things if called for by God, but a life firmly established in perfect recognition that we, in and of ourselves, are nothing, and though we do this or that “good work,” we truly say, having done them, that we are altogether unworthy and unprofitable servants, that we have only done that which was our duty to do.
I am not hearing that from you, but quite otherwise. You are not the only Mormon from whom I have heard similar language and witnessed similar spirit and attitude. It is sincere, factually based, in terms of works, but it is self-righteous all the same. “Selfless and Christlike”? How can you say that? I say that such is quite presumptuous and boastful, not to mention erroneous, based on an altogether false concept of Jesus Christ. Mormons are very adamant in spirit that they are righteous. They erect fine buildings and have great temples of architecture. They dress well and work hard (I appreciate their work ethic for the most part), but they are of this world, earthly, proud of the things of the flesh, reveling in these things as though they are of God’s Kingdom or things of the Spirit of God. However, Mormons are mistaken, sadly, sorely mistaken. Do I despise them? No, but I do despise their pride in their good works, which you will one day know to be unacceptable to God.
You write, “I don’t care what their belief as long as they are good people with humble hearts because God will bring them to the knowledge of Jesus Christ in HIS own due time.”
I find that though Mormons are often quite knowledgeable about the Book of Mormon, they are quite ignorant of the Bible. Hear is Biblical testimony to contradict your words:
“But we are all as the unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as a menstruation cloth. And we all fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).
“Jehovah looked down from Heaven on the sons of men, to see if there were any who understood and sought God. All have gone aside, together they are filthy; there is none who does good, no, not one” (Psalms 14:2-3).
“As it is written: There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. They are all gone out of the way, they have together become unprofitable, there is none that does good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).
Continue that passage in Romans 3 and you will find a scathing indictment from God’s own mouth on the state of every human being that ever lived on the earth, save Jesus Christ. How can you say that anyone without Christ can be good or humble? Again, here is what the Bible says:
“He who believes on the Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides upon him” (John 3:36).
And none that come to, and believe on, the Son of God do so because they are good, but because they are not. As is recorded:
“When Jesus heard it, He said unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17).
You say you do not care what people believe, as long as they are good and humble. Even those who believe on Him are not to be commended as good or humble:
“And as He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, at the feast, many believed in His Name when they saw the miracles which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all and did not need that anyone should testify of man. For He knew what was in man” (John 2:23-25).
You see, Debbie, that is why your church is in great error. It teaches lies, though it teaches good principles and good works. It is a subtle deception, lulling people to assured spiritual slumber with “good things,” yet contradicting God and the cross of Christ all the way. As it says:
“And though I give out all my goods to feed the poor, and though I deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, I am profited nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3).
What is charity or love? It is the Spirit of God. It is the spirit and motivation that can only come of a new heart, from a new creature. Men can imitate great and wonderful works. Jesus said so, and condemns them:
“Many will say to Me in that day, Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name throw out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works? And then I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from Me, those working lawlessness!” (Matthew 7:22-23)
Lawlessness!? Good and wonderful works, in His Name, lawlessness?!? Yes, that is what Jesus says. Debbie, take heed. I speak the truth to you. I too trusted in my righteousness, my sacrifices, my good deeds, and God brought me to the place of recognizing Isaiah’s words, which I have quoted twice to you. They are God’s words, and you have yet to know their meaning, which means you have yet to experience the only righteousness whereby you can be accepted among the beloved in the Kingdom of God, that being Christ’s righteousness, through the cross applied to your life. Read, if you will, Our Testimonies.
You speak of family unity and values. I know that Mormons are big on family, but are you prepared to forsake family for the Lord? Was Jesus “big on family”? Read Matthew 10:34-39.
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after Me is not worthy of Me. He that finds his life shall lose it: and he that loses his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:34-39).
You say that the Bible instructs us on how to tell the difference between God and Satan. While that may be true, it is not the way you think. For example, when Jesus spoke of going up to Jerusalem and suffering to His death at the hands of men, Peter rebuked Him, trying to get Him out of “negative thinking.” He was trying to help Jesus, to encourage Him. I think that you, as a religious person, more particularly a Mormon, would call that “God.” Jesus called it “Satan.” Here is the record:
“From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him, saying, God be gracious to You, Lord! This shall never be to You. But He turned and said to Peter, Go, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you do not savor the things that are of God, but those that are of men” (Matthew 16:21-23).
So how does one tell the difference between God and Satan?
“It is the people who deny Gods existence and seek to destroy the faith of others in him that is dangerous.”
Is that true? Partially, but here is where you go wrong, as a Mormon. James said this:
“You believe that there is one God, you do well; even the demons believe and tremble” (James 2:19).
The Pharisees were zealous in proclaiming God and worship of Him. They prayed, tithed, fasted, gave alms, compassed land and sea to proselytize (as you do), and attended “church” regularly. They also kept the Sabbath, which you do not. They knew the Scriptures (in most cases, apparently better than you do), yet they were, in all their great works and “goodness” for God, in direct conflict with Him, so much so that when He appeared before them, with signs and wonders, they killed Him. Do not think that the Pharisees were a bunch of nasty, negative, miserable wretches. They did not appear that way. They were apparently nice, friendly, presentable, upstanding, hard working, sociable, clean living, considerate and charitable people…very much like Mormons, JWs and evangelicals. So, Debbie, how then does one truly tell “the difference between Satan and God”?
As to your suggestion that “all faiths should unite,” I say that such an idea is no different than the one they had when building the Tower of Babel. The ecumenical movement striving to unite all churches into one great church is not a move of God but of Satan, and you do not know the difference. God unites by the blood and the cross of Jesus Christ. You suppose to unite by good works. That will never do before God, and He will destroy your notions in flames, I can assure you. It is the righteousness of man that you promote, and not the righteousness of God. You are unsubscribing from The Issues of Life because we preach the cross while you believe in works. Our message will never do for you.
You speak of the “rights of God.” What are you talking about? God reigns supreme over His universe. All things are His. He does as He pleases, and nobody can resist His will. You presume to defend Him as though He were some wimpish, wistful, sad, underprivileged, disenfranchised person who needs help and protection. You are very ignorant of the Scriptures but very knowledgeable of your organization’s false teachings.
Billy Graham speaking up? Where have you been? A greater lie has never been told. If there is any characteristic that can ever be attributed to Billy Graham, it is…COMPROMISE. He has steered clear of anything controversial altogether. He has even said so. Spoken up? If Billy Graham has “spoken up” substantially on anything important, then cows fly and Osama Bin Laden is a saint, if not our Messiah. Nevertheless, many have spoken up on many issues but they have not laid down their lives, and the laying down of the life is what it is all about. Jesus Himself did not speak up on issues, though He did not avoid them either. He did not ask His disciples to “speak up on issues.” He asked them to lay down their lives and teach others to do the same. Those who lay down their lives for His sake suffer the contempt, rejection, and persecution of the world. Billy Graham is loved and admired by one and all, including Mormons. No wonder! You are all of the same spirit and mother. He has done much evil before God, and has aided and abetted many to follow his pernicious example, that being making a profession of faith in Christ yet living an antichrist life, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof.” He has deceived you because you have not known the Lord, not having repented of your sins. Man’s goodness is the greatest deception.
I share your concern about “same sex marriage,” though not in the same way. Billy Graham has chosen to be silent on this issue, as with many others. He has publicly declared so. You can be sure the homosexuals are grateful, can you not? So how can you credit him for speaking up?
While I also deplore “same sex marriage,” my concern is to do the will of God. God will take care of the world, homosexuality and all. What do you think AIDS is all about, if not God’s judgment on fornicators, adulterers and sodomites? I judge those within, and He judges those without. You are of the world and speak of the world. I am not of this world. All those that are His are in, but not of, this world. If the love of this world is in them, God rebukes, chastens, and corrects them.
Concerning the gifts of the Spirit, you are in error, and entirely ignorant of what the Bible speaks because you have never received the Spirit. I do not condemn or even criticize you for that. You simply are in the dark until the time. The things to which you refer are not what the Bible is talking about in 1 Corinthians 12 or Romans 12. I said nothing of ministering angels or that Billy Graham did not believe in them. He wrote a book on them, presumably believing.
You say that churches “are fighting for the right to serve God,” but I say to you that they are fighting for the freedom to worship God as did Cain, with works, without faith, for their own gain and glory, but not for God or for His glory. Billy Graham has been a magnificent contributor to that cause, I solemnly assure you, and his son follows in his footsteps. The same can be said for Mormons and many others. You want proof that the Mormon Church is false? You need to read The True Marks of a Cult. How can you escape the testimony of Scripture and the upholding of Jesus Christ as the Pure Standard and True Example against the works of men, which appear good and godly, but which are truly Satan’s works? How can you argue? I will tell you how. You prefer your own righteousness to the righteousness that can only come by the cross. Until that changes, you will not believe or understand a word I speak to you. Here is what John says about this:
“We are of God. He who knows God hears us. The one who is not of God does not hear us. From this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).
Jesus spoke these words:
“He who is of God hears God’s Words. Therefore you do not hear them because you are not of God” (John 8:47).
You must die, Debbie. There is no other way. Until then, as with your letter (a perfect example, at least a very good one), you will focus on, and boast in, your own righteousness, and not that of Jesus Christ. Hear me; I know whereof I speak. Mormons are great for walking in their own righteousness, which appears commendable to men, but read this:
“And He said to them, You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God” (Luke 16:15).
Indeed, Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits,” but what do those look like? You judge after the appearance, and expect me to do the same. If you had seen Cain offer up his sacrifice, to the Living God, you would have commended him or expected that he was deserving of commendation. You would have been wrong, of course, yet you do the same thing today as did Cain. You offer up sacrifices expecting God to receive you, and you oppose those who walk by faith, in this instant, us. Balak too thought to move God by sacrifice. It did not work.
Are we failing to unite in causes? Yes, we are, and, as true believers, we cannot unite with the world or its institutions in the name of faith or in the Name of Jesus Christ. We are here to do the will of God, not in our own righteousness, as you suggest, which is impossible, but in His righteousness through the cross and resurrection. When you are prepared to repent of yourself and turn to Him with all your heart, without seeking a “warm feeling” in your “heart” that is highly unscriptural and deceptive, He will meet with you and bring you unto the path of truth, a path of reality and not religion, a path of self-abhorrence and not a path of boastfulness and revelling in one’s own virtues and good works. Believe me; I know what I am talking about. I tell you that rather than gathering with Jesus, you are scattering abroad, though you think the opposite.
You sign off with the words, “May we be united to fight those who are really fulfilling prophesy of the Anti-Christ.” I tell you that the religious works are the works of the antiChrist. If you would stand with Christ and walk with God, you, along with all those who are religious, must deny yourselves and take up your cross. Then, by very nature, a new one, you will be fulfilling the words you wrote here at the last. Otherwise, you do the very opposite. For what I have said to you, I expect you will call me antiChrist. If such must be, let it be. He did say:
“It is enough for the disciple that he is like his Master, and the servant like his Lord. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of His household?” (Matthew 10:25)
One last matter: I purposely call you “Mormon” and not “Latter Day Saint” as you prefer, because only those doing the will of God, being born of Him, are saints, which you are not.
I presume you wish to unsubscribe then? I hope not, for your sake. I would also welcome any more discussion from you or anyone else you choose, perhaps your husband or elders. I will even talk to your prophet president if you wish, Lord willing.
Earnestly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints,