Saturday, November 24, 2007

Prophecies Are Alterable

Prophecy Is Not Predestination: Prophetic Outcomes May Be Changed excerpt from "Thus Saith the Lord" by Duane Crowther

Several misunderstandings have been observed which should be commented upon in this setting. One such misunderstanding is the erroneous belief that prophecy is a type of predestination, which inalterably fixes the course of future events. Prophecy is not predestination. It does not govern what will come to pass. The scriptures teach that when conditions pertinent to the prophesied situation change, the outcome of prophecy may also change. Revealed prophecy pre-states the manner God will later manifest His will. If God chooses to alter His intentions, He may reveal new prophecy to His spokesmen indicating different outcomes to earth events. An understanding of this principle is basic to man's understanding of many of the manifestations of God. Many examples of this principle from the scriptures can be cited. One instance is the extension of life granted to Hezekiah, a righteous king of Judah. At one time during his reign, the king became ill. The word of the Lord concerning his fate was revealed through the prophet Isaiah: In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came unto him, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live. 33 But Hezekiah was a righteous man who knew how to prevail with God. He pleaded with the Lord for the privilege of a longer sojourn upon the earth: Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed unto the Lord, And said, Remember now 0 Lord, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore."34 God heard Hezekiah's prayer and had compassion upon him. He changed his decision that Hezekiah was to die at that time, but He didn't just extend he king's life without revealing His new decision through His prophet: Then came the word of the Lord to Isaiah, saying, Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city. And this shall be a sign unto thee from the Lord, that the Lord will do this that he hath spoken; Behold, I will bring again the shadow of the degrees, which is gone down in the sun dial of Ahaz, ten degrees backward. So the sun returned ten degrees, by which degrees it was gone down."35 Another example of new, altered prophecy being revealed is the account of Ahab, a wicked king of Israel. Ahab caused Naboth to be slain in order to obtain a vineyard which Naboth owned. Because of the king's wickedness, the Lord sent Elijah to make this prophecy to Ahab: Thus saith the Lord, Has thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine. And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, 0 mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, .. .
... for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin. 36
Yet the scripture records the repentance of Ahab, which altered the condition upon which the prophecy was based. Because of Ahab's penitence, the will of the Lord changed. A new prophecy was revealed through Elijah, in which God's retribution was postponed: And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? Because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house."37 Another example of new prophecy being revealed because of changing conditions is found early in the history of the nation of Judah, when Rehoboam and his people were under attack by Shishak, king of Egypt. A prophetic warning was spoken against the princes of Judah by the prophet Shemaiah, who warned, "Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and therefore have I also left you in the hand of Shishak. "38 But then the condition changed. "The princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, The Lord is righteous."39 With their repentance, the Lord chose to lighten His judgment upon them. A new prophecy was revealed through His prophet: When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, 'saying, They have humbled themselves; therefore I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance; and my wrath shall not be poured out upon Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless they shall be his servants; that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.40 In yet another situation which exemplifies this principle of altered prophecy, a conditional warning was spoken by a man of God to King Amaziah during his rule in Jerusalem. The king was told that he would die in a contemplated battle against the Edomites if he used the 100,000 mercenaries he had hired from Israel: There came a man of God to him, saying, 0 king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the Lord is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim. But if thou wilt go, do it, be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down."41 Amaziah took heed to the prophecy and sent the mercenaries away. Consequently, in the battle his life was spared and he was able to conquer the Edomites (the children of Seir).42 Another example of a prophetic outcome being altered is found in the account of the prophet Jonah, who cried a warning of impending destruction against the people of the Assyrian city of Nineveh: The word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown."43 But the people of Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes,44 "and God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way;" and God repented of the evil that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not."45Because of all the tribulation Jonah had suffered before delivering his warning message, "it displeased Jonah exceedingly" that God changed His will, yet the prophet had no choice but to accept the new revelation that came to him .46 Twice God revealed to the prophet Amos judgments He had determined to bring against Israel, yet the pleadings of that prophet were sufficient to alter the conditions and prevent the curse from coming upon his people. Instead of the judgment, God revealed His promise not to send it: Thus hath the Lord God she wed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king's mowings. And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, 0 Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord. Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part. Then said I, 0 Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small. The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God."47 Similar examples are found in latter-day scripture. For instance, the Lord revealed His will that the saints should gather to Zion, the New Jerusalem, in numerous revelations through His prophets.48 Yet the saints were not willing to support the gathering process fully. Less than half the number specified by the Lord, for example, were willing to participate in Zion's Camp."49 Some members of the Church, within Zion's Camp and elsewhere, fell into transgression; others refused to contribute their funds for the upbuilding of Zion. The conditions changed. The Lord, altering His will because of the attitudes of the Church members, revealed a new policy through the prophet Joseph Smith: Verily I say unto you who have assembled yourselves together that you may learn my will concerning the redemption of mine afflicted people Behold, I say unto you, were it not for the transgressions of my people, speaking concerning the church and not individuals, they might have been redeemed even now. But behold, they have not learned to be obedient to the things which I required at their hands, but are full of all manner of evil, and do not impart of their substance, as becometh saints, to the poor and afflicted among them; And are not united according to the union required by the law of the celestial kingdom; And Zion cannot be built up unless it is by the principles of the law of the celestial kingdom; otherwise I cannot receive her unto myself. And my people must needs be chastened until they learn obedience, if it must needs be, by the things which they suffer. I speak not concerning those who are appointed to lead my people, who are the first elders of my church, for they are not all under this condemnation; But I speak concerning my churches abroad-there are many who will say: Where is their God? Behold, he will deliver them in time of trouble, otherwise we will not go up unto Zion, and will keep our moneys. Therefore, in consequence of the transgressions of my people, it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season for the redemption of Zion-" And still the saints wait, for the Lord desires that the Church as a people "may be prepared, and that my people may be taught more perfectly, and have experience, and know more perfectly concerning their duty, and the things which I require at their hands."51 When the Lord reveals through His prophets that which will come to pass, it is not absolute, it is not unalterable, it does not govern the future. If conditions change, God, in His justice and mercy, will alter the events He brings to pass. Man, in his wickedness, may forfeit promised blessings, but it is man upon whom the responsibility must rest. As the Master revealed, Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled? I command and men obey not; I revoke and they receive not the blessing. Then they say in their hearts: This is not the work of the Lord, for his promises are not fulfilled. But wo unto such, for their reward lurketh beneath, and not from above. S
His is the pledge that "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say: but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise."53 Thus a pattern is established. A prophecy may be given which foretells future events. It may reach far into the future and deal with events completely foreign to the era in which it was spoken, yet it will describe or imply a condition and foresee the results of that condition. However, if when the time of fulfillment draws near, those involved alter the condition through wickedness, repentance, or other pertinent action, God may exercise His power and change the outcome. If the outcome is to be different from that foretold by His prophets, He will reveal new prophecy to his servants which will set forth the altered course of events. Two further comments should be made in connection with this principle. First, there may be some instances where God has revealed to his prophets a change in His previously-prophesied program, yet the change has not been recorded or a knowledge of it made available to mankind. Such a situation, obviously, can be a cause for confusion and doubt. In instances of this kind, the saints are left with incomplete evidence, and it becomes impossible to fully understand the situation at hand unless further revelation is made known to them. However, it is fortunate that there have been few times in either scriptural history or the history of the Church where such a problem has occurred. Second, it should also be noted that scriptural evidence of prophecies being altered is very limited. The evidence indicates that prophetic alteration has taken place occasionally, but the weight of evidence clearly shows that such happenings are comparatively rare. There are but few times when the future course previously outlined by prophecy has been changed. Such instances are not indications of indecision on the part of God. Instead, they usually are examples of God's mercy and love, in situations where wicked men have repented or righteous men have sought special favors from Him. Footnotes: 32. For those who might desire further examples, a detailed analysis of the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament beginning with the examples, a detailed analysis of the prophecies recorded in the Old Testaqment beginning with the ear of the divided kingdoms is found in the author's book, Prophets and Prophecies of the Old Testament (Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers & Distributors). Chapter VI , "The Early Prophets and THeir Messages,"examines the messages of numerous prophets over a 200-year span. In it is repeatedly documented a series of insights concerning the nature of prophecy which is later summarized as follows:
A. God reveals the future to His prophets.
B. Prophecy is specific and accurate
C. Prophecy is literally fulfilled.
D. God warns His prophets of approaching challenges and dangers.
E. God directs people, through His prophets, as to how they should conduct
their lives.
F. God rules the destiny of nations.
G. God will not allow men to disturb His plans.
H. When situations change, the outcome of prophecy may change.
I. When God changes a prophetic outcome, He reveals the change to His prophet.
J. Man can avert or soften a prophecy of the Lord's punishment against him by truly repenting and
manifesting humility.
K. A prophet can forsee events hundreds of years into the future, and in differing national situations.
L. God often shows the truthfulness of a prophecy by giving a sign which receives immediate fulfillment.
M. A prophet can call upon the powers of God to smite and curse his enemies. N. A prophet can call
upon the powers of God to heal and remove curses. O. God demands that His prophets be treated with reverence and respect. P. God can use a man as a prophet even though the man is not free from sin. Q. God demands strict obedience from His prophets.
R. Man should test the prophets and their prophecies by the spirit of discernment.
S. Revelation serves for commendation as well as reproof.
T. Man's life is not predestined. Man himself determines his fate by establishing in the present a causeand-
effect relationship with the future. Prophecy merely pre-states what the ultimate effect of present actions will be. U. God often uses many prophets at the same time. V. A calling as a prophet did not necessarily require that the person with this calling stand at the head of the Church.
W.God gives His prophets control over nature to further His work.
X.God protects his prophets and supplies their needs.
Y.Prophets have the power to perform miracles.
Z.Some miracles are performed by the powers already vested in the prophet.
For other Miracles he must call upon God. AA. Miracles are often used to establish the divinity of Jehovah and the authority of His prophets. BB. On special occasions God gives His servants strength beyond the normal limits of endurance. CC. Many miracles are designed for the convenience of God's servants. DD. Some servants of God are transferred from this earth to another. They become translated beings. EE. Prophets have the power to discern the thoughts and deeds of others. FF. At times people perform specific actions to intentionally fulfill prophecies. GG. The Bible does not record the fulfillment of some prophecies. This does not, however, make them untrue. HH. At times prophets must suffer martyrdom for their testimony. II. Women can also speak the Lord's will, as prophetesses.
33. Is. 38:1. The full account is also given in II Ki. 20:1-11.
34. Is. 38:2-3.
35. Is. 38:4-8. Note that a sign was given with the prophecy. This is a common occurrence. While men
are expressly cautioned not to seek after signs (see, for example, D&C 46:9; 63:7-12; Mt. 12:38-39, etc.), signs are often given by the Lord in connection with prophecies. L, connection-with-Prophecies. (See Is. 38.7_8;--Jud. 6:17-21,-36-40., 1 Sam. 2:34;14:10; 1 Ki. 13:3-
5; Is. 37:30; 7:11-16; 19:19-20; 55:13; Jer. 44:29; Lk. 2:12, etc.)
36. I Ki. 21:9-22.
37. I Ki. 21:27-29. For the fulfillment of the prophecy on Ahab's wicked son,
Joram, see II Ki. 9:22-10:11. -
38. II Chron. 12:5_ ._
39. II Chron. 12:6.
40. II Chron. 12:7-8. Verses 9-12 tell the fulfillment of the latter prophecy.
41. II Chron. 25:7-8.
42. See II Chron. 25:9-12.
43. Jon. 3:1-4.
44. Jon. 3:5-9.
45. Jon. 3:10. In the Inspired Version, this verse reads, "And God saw their works that they-turned
from their evil way and repented; and.God turned away-the evil that he had said he would bring upon them."
46. See Jon 4-11.
47. Amos 7:1-6. See also Ex. 32:9-14; Gen. 18:20-33.
48. See, for example. D&C 45:64-66; 57:1-9; 66:11; etc.
49. The call was for 500 men; they eventually marched with 205. See D&C 103:30-36; HC 2:87-88;
also D&C 105:16-17.
50. D&C 105:1-9. 51. D&C 105:10.
52. D&CS8:3.143.
53. D&C 82:10. See also D&C 132:5; 130:20-21; 82:3.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Prophets Are Not Always Church Leaders

Prophets Are Not Always Church Leaders
excerpt from "Thus Saith the Lord" by Duane Crowther

One important theme which is repeatedly set forth in the scriptures is that the gift of prophecy is not related to Church position, but is rather a blessing received by many lay members of the Church. By the same token, whether .or not a person holds a high calling in the Church is in no way a valid test of the veracity of his prophecy.

Scriptural examples to demonstrate these points are many and varied. Typical is the account of prophecies made by other individuals to Eli, the priest, who lived in the final days of the judges of Israel. Eli was, presum­ably, the head of the Church for he was the priest and keeper of the taber­nacle and "had judged Israel forty years."9 His sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also priests, though they were wicked.'10 Eli held power and authority from God, and was able to grant blessings in the name of diety."11 Yet others prophesied to Eli, the Church leader.

An unidentified "man of God" came and rebuked Eli for failing to chastize his errant sons. He prophesied judgments upon the house of Eli, the death of both his sons, and that the Lord would raise up priests from another lineage to lead his people.12 The man of God's identity is unknown, but he did not stand as the leader of the Church, for that presumably was Eli's calling. A short time later, the Lord spoke to another individual, the young child Samuel, who repeated the prophecy he received to Eli:

Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken con­cerning his house; when I begin, I will also make an end.
For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever."13

In this instance, God used both an unidentified man and a small child as the spokesmen for prophecies which ultimately affected both a leader of the Church and the people at large. It should be noted that the Lord used the law of witnesses in this instance. Two separate individuals prophesied the same message to Eli.14

Later, while Samuel ruled as the head of the Church and as judge of Israel, a young man, Saul, was chosen to be a future king of Israel. As Saul journeyed with his servant,

A company of prophets met him, and the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
And it came to pass, when all that knew him before time saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?"15

In this instance Saul was able to prophesy, though he wasn't the leader of the Church.

Another prophetic incident of significance occurred during David's reign as king of Israel. After David's sin with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite, the Lord rebuked him through the prophet Nathan. Among other prophecies, Nathan warned David of the Lord's promise, "I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house. ..."16 A second witness also prophesied against David. The man was Shimei, a descendant of Saul. Shimei challenged David on the road, and prophesied that "the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son; and, behold thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man."17 Again the Lord supported his word according to the law of witnesses; again men who were not the leaders of the Church18 made prophecies of events which ultimately affected the entire nation.

An assumption frequently made is that the authors of the prophetic books of the Old Testament were the constituted authorities of the Church in their eras. This, however, was not always the case. Some of them were even considered rebels by the religious leaders of Israel in their days. Jeremiah was one such prophet who stood outside of the Church. The established Church, through its priests, even attempted to put Jeremiah to death. 19 Micah, Amos, Hosea and Zephaniah were also prophets who were critical of corruption within the Church.

These Old Testament prophets did not speak as representing the church, but as representing the Lord. Though the prophets may have held the higher priesthood authority,20 there is no Biblical indication that the general church membership of that time was aware of it.

Many times the Lord spoke through the prophets to rebuke the estab­lished church which was still conveying the Priesthood authority.21 They were regarded as spokesmen of God by the righteous, but as enemies and nuisances by the wicked priestly officials. Hireling prophets were engaged to counter their words. Many times the people of Israel were unable to discern which prophets were foretelling the truth."22
Jeremiah spoke in strong words against the corrupt church and its hireling prophets, giving this warning to the people:
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.23

Hosea also spoke out against the false prophets entrenched within the Church, saying,
The days of visitation are come, the days of recompence are come; Israel shall know it: the prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad, for the multitude of thine iniquity, and the great hatred.
The watchman of Ephraim was with my God: but the prophet is a snare of a fowler in all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.
They have deeply corrupted themselves, ... 24

Micah commented on the low caliber of the church officials in his day, and how they, though being evil, still insisted that God was with them:

The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? none evil can come upon us."25

And Zephaniah observed, concerning the church in Jerusalem, that
Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law."26

These passages are cited in this context only to show that in some periods of Old Testament history, the prophets we recognize and study today were not the church leaders, but instead were outspoken critics of corrupt practices and officials within the church."27

These prophets represented the avenue of communication with God, while the priests within the church represented the ritualistic elements of daily living to the people and continued the line of priesthood authority. The prophets were regarded with varying degrees of respect as the right­eousness of the church membership fluctuated.

The Book of Mormon also depicts some of the prophets as being individuals who were not church leaders. For instance, the following is recorded concerning Gidgiddoni, a Nephite general who utilized the gift of prophecy during the era when Nephi was the head of the Church:
Now it was the custom among all the Nephites to appoint for their chief captains, (save it were in their times of wickedness) some one that had the spirit of revelation and also prophecy; therefore, this Gidgiddoni was a great prophet among them, as also was the chief judge.
Now the people said unto Gidgiddoni: Pray unto the Lord, and let us go up upon the mountains and into the wilderness, that we may fall upon the robbers and destroy them in their own lands.
But Gidgiddoni saith unto them: The Lord forbid; for if we should go up against them the Lord would deliver us into their hands; therefore we will prepare ourselves in the center of our lands, and we will gather all our armies together, and we will not go against them, but we will wait till they shall come against us; therefore as the Lord liveth, if we do this he will deliver them into our hands.28

Many more examples could be cited from the scriptures to show that prophets, in ancient times, were not always Church leaders. These, presum­ably, are sufficient to make the point. Church position is not the test by which the validity of prophecy is measured.


8. One of the inevitable results of being an author of several books on LDS themes is that telephone calls are frequently received in which questions are asked on various doctrinal subjects. Those who call are often seeking insights to resolve questions that have arisen in various Church classes, or are attempting to resolve difficulties on doctrine which have arisen in their area. This author has used the utmost care to avoid any involvement in those doctrinal disagreements, all of which are beyond his area of jurisdiction and personal responsibility. Yet the frequency of calls on questions related to matters of revelation clearly indicates that many Church members have questions and misunderstandings in this area, and that counsel given by various individuals is sometimes in direct conflict with the scriptures.
9. I Sam. 5:18. The actual existence of the Church among the Old Testament Israelites must be acknowledged. They had a definite, clearly-defined form of worship which they had received by revelation through a prophet, religious law to which they rendered obedience and by which they were governed and judged, and a covenant relationship with their God, Jehovah. The Abrahamic covenant, under which the Church still functions today, promised that "they shall bear this ministry and priesthood" (Abra. 2:9), that those who received the Gospel would be adopted into their race and be accounted the seed of Abraham (Abra. 2:10), and that through the Israelite lineage all the families of the earth would receive "the blessings of the Gospel, which are the blessings of salvation, even of life eternal." (Abra. 2:11.)
10. They were "sons of Belial," or "worthless, lawless fellows." (I Sam. 2:12.) Among their sins was the committing of whoredoms with the harlots of Israel (I Sam. 2:22).
11. See I Sam. 1:17-20, in which Eli promised the barren mother of Samuel a son by the power of God.
12. I Sam. 2:27-36. Eli was a descendant of Ithamar, Aaron's youngest son. Years later, in fulfillment of this prophecy, the right to be high priest was taken from his line and restored to the line of Eleazar, the elder son of Aaron, through Zadok's appointment by King Solomon (I Ki. 2:35).
13. I Sam. 3:11-14. See verses 1-20.
14. See Jn. 8:17; Deut. 19:15; Mt. 18:16; II Cor. 13:1; D&C 6:28; D&C 128:3; Deut. 17:6; Num. 35:30; Heb. 10:28; I Tim. 5:19; D&C 42:80.
15. 1 Sam. 10:10-11.
16. II Sam. 12:11. See verses 1-14.
17. II Sam. 16:8. See verses 5-12.
18. Nathan was not the high priest; Zadok was the high priest. See II Sam. 8:15-17. Abiathar also served as high priest in the early days of David's reign, but he allied himself with rebels during the rebellion of Adonijah while Zadok remained faithful (I Ki. 1:7-8, 24-26).
In fulfillment of their prophecies, Absalom captured Jerusalem and David was an outcast for a short time until Absalom fell in battle (II Sam. 17, 18).
19. Jer.26:8-11.
20. Joseph Smith, on one occasion, is reported to have given this answer to the question, "Was the Priesthood of Melchizedek taken away when Moses died?":

All Priesthood is Melchizedek, but there are different portions or degrees of it. That portion which brought Moses to speak with God face to face was taken away; but that which brought the ministry of angels re­mained. All the prophets had the Melchizedek priesthood and were or­dained by God himself. (Smith, Joseph Fielding, comp., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Deseret News Press, 1938), pp. 180-181. No original source is given.)
21. Joseph Smith taught, for instance, that "the Levitical Priesthood is forever hereditary-fixed on the head of Aaron and his sons forever, and,was in active operation down to Zachariah the father of John." Smith, Teachings (Ibid., p. 319. Original source listed only as "MSS. Historian's Office.")
22. See, for instance, Jer. 28.
23. Jer.23:16.
24. Hos. 9:7-9.
25. Mi. 3:11.
26. Zeph.3:4.
27. Their messages concerning the danger of prophets leading people astray will be considered in detail later in this book. See chapter 9.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Evolution Contradicts the LAW

"Reclaiming Science from Darwinism" by Kenneth Poppe

Chapter 11

Trying to neutralize the laws
of thermodynamics

Allow me to back up in history a bit to look at objections levied by the first group of modern scientists to drastically doubt Darwinism. Physicists have long been aware of the laws of thermodynamics and how they prohibit the type of random improvement claimed everywhere in natural evolution. I guarantee you these laws must somehow be neutralized, or "self-made" cannot even get out of the cosmic gate.

Let me start by saying it is rather rare to hear the word law applied to a concept. If something is called a law, it had better prove inviolate, or someone is sure to proclaim an exception. How many laws can you name? The law of gravity, of course. How about the law of supply and demand? I've heard of something called the law of diminishing returns, and then there's the infamous Murphy's law. Any more come to mind? I know there should be a longer list, but offhand, I can't think of another.

In science, laws seem the most difficult to come by. The reason is that in science, a law must hold true in all times, conditions, and locations, and must be validated by any independent investigator with no exceptions. I' would call that very stringent. Even the concept of atoms is still referred to in textbooks as the "atomic theory," despite the fact that the periodic table of elements graces the walls of almost every science classroom. Though all chemistry seems to operate on rock-solid principles, perhaps in its caution science will wait to grant atoms "law" status until we can examine an individual particle held in our hand.

I would say the best-known scientific law is the law of gravity. As long as you stay on our planet, Isaac Newton showed that what goes up must eventually come down, leading to the various laws of motion.

Moreover, Earth's gravity behaves predictably and reliably anywhere on the planet at all times. But are there any other scientific laws unerringly backed by science and never disproved by experiments, laws that are so dependable that science stands on them without even a modicum of caution? If you know your physics, you already have an answer.

The laws of thermodynamics are most assuredly written in stone, so to say. This set of laws explains relationships between matter and energy for which no exceptions are found anywhere in the universe. The first law, also called the law of conservation of matter and energy, basically says that the sum total of both matter and energy in the universe is always constant. In shirtsleeve English, this means that since the event that brought the universe into existence, no new matter has been generated from any other source. It also means you can't make any more new atoms, and you can never lose the old ones. True, new stars appear to be forming, but the atoms in the stellar gas clouds that condense and ignite have also been in the universe since its origin, and the rise in energy is balanced by the loss of mass.

Here is a simple example. The two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom in a particular water molecule of H2O may travel the world over by condensation, precipitation, and evaporation, but it is the same three atoms. (I heard it once said that as many as four of the water molecules in each of our bodies once traveled through the body of a dinosaur.)

It is true that the water molecule may be fractured and the hydrogen and oxygen atoms become integrated into sugars, proteins, and so on, but the existence of these three atoms still coincides with the point of origin of all other particles. Furthermore, they can never pass out of existence unless a nuclear reaction changes them to energy, and then the sum total of matter lost and energy gained still remains unchanged. The first law can be summed up in three words-"creation has ceased"-and this no reputable physicist denies.

Entropy .

The second law of thermodynamics is an extension of the first. It says that since its origin, the universe has been in the process of winding down to complete silence. The pathway to its death could be explained in many ways-going from ordered to random, action to stillness, diverse to uniform, dynamic to inert, or organized to chaos. Again, in shirtsleeve English this means that energy expenditures in any closed system (closed meaning a system with no additional matter or energy input) will eventually leave it powerless, and it must wear out and die. The entire concept is captured by the single term entropy, and the degree to which a system has lost entropic energy is measured by the change symbol A (Greek letter delta).

This one-way path toward complete confoundedness is also called the law of universal decay, and is frequently compared to a newly wound spring as in an old-styled watch. When the watch is fully wound (or a reaction starts, or a star ignites), the first tick of time signifies the beginning of the descent from maximum order, and the last tick means the system is now fully disordered, silent and inert, never to be started again without an outside influence. Our sun is another example of entropy. At some past point in time it ignited and began to burn its fuel. At some future point (one estimate is 500 million years), the fuel will be expended, the sun will explode or wink out, and entropy with respect to the sun will have reached a maximum state-zero activity. Whether it is watches, chemical reactions, or stars, all these one-way paths to silence are irreversible.

I have found a perfect analogy to explain the second law to my students. I tell them to imagine their bedroom freshly and fully cleaned. There it is-bed made, all clothes put away, and everything in its place. All is dusted, vacuumed, and spotless. Then from that point, the entropy process seems unstoppable as disorganization slowly creeps in. A smudge here, a shoe left there, and so on. If an object were never put away, clothes never laundered, a bed never made, or a surface never dusted, eventually the result would be the room's return to the accustomed total teenage chaos. As any parent knows, this is an unstoppable process unless one intervenes.

Losses Everywhere

Important corollaries to the second law abound. One is that every time you change states of energy, there is a net loss. In my environmental science class I often use this explanation for how the sun is the ultimate source for all our energy needs, and how we work hard to use its energy as efficiently as possible. Consider the case of hydroelectric power that likely supplies some of the energy needs in your house. Water vapor in the clouds has to lose energy to condense and get back into the river. It then loses more kinetic energy as it flows downstream to 'the dam. The water expends additional energy as it drives the turbine to produce electricity, and returns downstream where it eventually reaches the ocean where it is finally at rest. Meanwhile, the electricity that reaches your house may power a TV that gives off the last remaining power in the form of heat and light.

Now we could use the sun's energy to directly power our TV, but the size of the required solar panel makes that impractical. So instead we have to deal with the pathway by trying to cut down the energy loss at each step (more reliable turbines, more energy efficient TVs, and so on). At any rate, the final result is the same. All this radiant energy from cooling water, hot turbines, and warm TVs drifts off into the cold of space, obviously not returning to the sun. Of course, as the sun continues to churn out more energy, the water cycle continues to renew itself and our TV keeps working. And yet remember-the sun is on its own pathway to death, so the water cycle is destined to cease if time continues that far.

Another second law corollary is that heat always flows to cold. This means energy leaves a system that is more dynamic and travels to one that is less dynamic. For this reason we heat our cars in winter as the warmth escapes through the exterior and into the colder air. However, we air-condition them in summer as the heat from the summer day keeps working its way into the cab through the car's insulation.

This is also the reason animals in the food chain or web must con tinue to eat. Without the intake of additional calories in food, the body begins to run out of fuel and will cease to live. So tertiary consumers

like the owl eat secondary consumers like the shrew, but about 90 percent of the intake of shrew biomass is lost through the owl's waste products and energy expenditures, and only about 10 percent is used to support cellular components in the owl's body. At the same time, secondary consumers eat primary consumers-such as shrews eating grasshoppers-also with a 90 percent net biomass loss; and primary consumers eat primary producers-grasshoppers eating grass-at about the same rate of loss.

At that point, scavengers and decomposers consume dead bodies and release nutrients and gases back into the system to recycle the process. But since all food chains are anchored by primary producers like photosynthetic plants, and plants need that dying sun for energy, life on Earth is also on a one-way ticket, where the energy supply at all levels is destined to be exhausted-eventual silence being guaranteed.

One final corollary to the second law is, when chemicals interact, you end with less energy than was initially present, either in the molecular bonds or in the catalyst driving the reaction. If a chemical reaction is exothermic (giving off heat)-like burning wood, for example-the energy escaping is obvious, and the amount of energy potential left in the ashes is certainly lower than originally in the wood. If the reaction is endothermic (absorbing energy)-like your freezer making ice, for example-the outside power source recycling the refrigerant is doing more work than the refrigerant did to make the ice.

And of course the freezer's power source can be traced back to the electricity running the compressor, electricity that cannot be provided indefinitely. That is because hydro, solar, wind, wave, fossil fuel, and even geothermal generating systems are all linked to that entropic sun as the power source. Returning to chemicals, once the reaction is over (like the concoction quits fizzing), and the products are generated in full, nothing can ever restart unless something outside the system reenergizes it.

Applications and Analogies

So what is the overall application of the second law to the origins debate? It is as simple as it is powerful. The second law absolutely negates any type of random improvement-the backbone of Darwinistic thinking. For example, it prohibits a series of interacting chemicals from becoming more complex, like amino acids developing into proteins, without outside assistance. In fact, the law says the reverse tendency is true. If complex chemicals could somehow be intentionally made to exist, there is no way to keep them from reverting to simpler forms without intentional assistance.

The truth is, if inorganic chemistry ever naturally evolved into increasingly complex organic chemistry, then evolved into a living cell, and finally into a complex life-form, then the second law governing all reality would have been set aside, violated, and would be no law at all. Since physics says entropy never works in reverse, I would agree with many who say the debate over Darwinism and Design is immediately settled because advancing life is an impossibility. Disorder never goes to order ... unless, of course, intelligence is lending a hand. Have you ever heard the phrase "there's no free lunch" applied to the false expectation of getting something for nothing? In this case the phrase is a perfect description because life just can't organize of its own accord.

Time Enough to Monkey Around?

Perhaps an automobile analogy would help. What happens if you put this year's brand-new model in the manufacturing parking lot and wait upon the second law of thermodynamics to do its thing?

After one year, probably no observable changes. The second year, maybe a slight bit of fading paint. Five years? Cracking upholstery. Twenty-five years? Flat tires. A hundred years? Detaching parts. A thousand years? A growing pile of parts. Ten thousand years? You can't tell what model it was. A hundred thousand years? You can't even tell the pile of rubble was once was a car. A million years? Remember the song "Dust in the Wind"? Now if you were to return and find next year's model after the passage of any of those time frames, wouldn't that be quite a surprise?

But in all sincerity, this is not a fair analogy. Evolution is said to have a change mechanism (random mutations) and a driving force (natural selection) to retain positive changes for eventual improvement. Fine. Wheel the car onto the manufacturing floor to protect it from the

elements and add a random change mechanism for mutation in the form of our old friends, once again-a band of free-roaming chimpanzees.

Then give the chimps a copious supply of all the metals, fiberglass, wires, glass, and other necessary components-as well as the tools, computers, drafting boards, and art supplies humans would need for next year's model. And to be sure to create a closed system-supply the chimps with ongoing habitat maintenance such as places to raise young, unlimited food, and waste removal. Then lock the doors. Oh, yes-to add the factor of natural selection, provide the manufacturing floor with a team of ever-watchful engineers who will rescue any improved components, correctly typed instructions, or perfectly pressed quarter panels and set them aside for later assembly when the chimps feel inclined.

Now, how many millions of years before the chimps have an improved model ready to hit the streets? Is 4.6 billion years, the supposed age of the Earth, enough? How about 13.7 billion years, the supposed age of the universe? If you are calling "foul" in this scenario, then explain how the analogy is not being true to the theory of evolution. You have a change agent, a selection method, and huge quantities of time. If nothing is missing, you must say there is at least a slight chance the chimps could build that car. (And maybe even place a Darwin fish on the rear bumper!)

Random Rubble

I have actually heard people try to defend scenarios that possibly reverse the second law, like the chimp/new car example. Now I don't want to seem rude, but their rambling "what ifs" sound like they have been inhaling the wrong kind of secondhand smoke. I maintain that if the above scenario, or any others like it, were tried for an unlimited number of years in an unlimited number of settings, your chances of getting that new car are zero, zilch, nada. It's the law, you know. The second law says that without outside help (in this case, intelligence), there can never be advancement-ever-only degradation.

I've seen it firsthand. I once drove through an animal theme park in Europe that had a separate section with free-roaming monkeys. As soon as I made it through the screened gate, two or three landed on my car and began to pull at the windshield wipers, radio antenna-whatever seemed loose. On the car in front of me I saw one monkey pulling off a long strip of rubber window molding. And the ground was littered with broken mirrors, strips of chrome, you name it. (One monkey even reached through the window and slapped me when I rolled it down and tried to shoo him off the hood!) No, monkeys do not improve cars.

One team of researchers sought to bring this analogy into reality. They actually placed a group of primates in a room with functional computers to see if they could ever accidentally create something on the various monitors. The best result ever achieved was that one chimp depressed one key for several seconds and typed long strings of the same letter before losing interest. But the experiment was stopped after equipment was destroyed and keyboards became nonfunctional when covered in excrement.

So my apologies, but at any location at any given time, your manufacturing floor will look like the bottom of a giant chimp cage desperately in need of a new liner. And going back to your new car on that floor, you can be sure that the chimps will beat it to rubble quite a bit faster than did the elements in the parking lot.

Printing and Pennies

If you are still not convinced, imagine a series of violent lightning strikes hitting an old-style printing business, as mentioned in chapter 6. Some say it could produce a dictionary as bindings, glue, paper, ink, and letter type are flying through the air. Okay, I can envision an A covered in splashing ink smacking a blank sheet and leaving an impression. I can even imagine another A hitting right beside the first letter a split-second later. Then an R followed by a D and a V and another A and an R and finally a K. There-AARDVARK-the first complete word in the dictionary, and we're on our way.

But if this doesn't exceed the universal probability boundary from chapter 7, nothing will. No, even the "chimp-made car" scenario sounds like a better bet because a dictionary, like a single cell or 30,000,000 life-forms on Earth, has more variables to account for than a car. Finally consider that both car and dictionary analogies represent just the assemblage of finished components. There has been no mention of the complexity involved in accidentally producing metal or paper-or amino acids-from their raw sources. (No doubt about it-whether it's biochemicals, books, or Buicks, any imagined probabilities are in actuality impossibilities.)

Perhaps the complexities of building cars and assembling dictionaries is too removed from everyday life. I suggest doing a simple hands-on experiment to test the second law of thermodynamics. Place 100 pennies on a tray, all showing heads. (Of course the first law of thermodynamics says that all the copper atoms in the pennies came into being by a one-time process.) The array of 100 heads would represent minimum entropy and complete order. Now give the tray a slight flip.

The winding down process has begun-a few tails represent a slight loss of order. Flip the tray again, and more tails appear. Now, depending on how aggressively you flip the tray, it may take as few as seven flips, certainly no more than ten, to achieve total randomness or maximum entropy, where the original set of 100 heads is completely unrecognizable. From here, more flips only give a different arrangement to the disorder.

At this point, it would be proper to note that occasionally a flip might produce a small cluster of pennies all showing heads. In fact, this not just likely, it is certain. However, this is no closer to ensuring a return to 100 heads than the few amino acids produced in the Miller-Urey experiment are sure to become a protein. those clusters of pennies will disappear, or at best appear elsewhere, with subsequent shuffles. This would be the same result as Dawkins's weasel scenario (chapter 9) if he had not smuggled a good bit of intelligence into the computer program.

In the same manner, any amino acids in Miller's flask, or in the ancient ocean, will be fractured by the same reconfiguring forces long before they can even reach the polypeptide stage. Remember my analogy back in chapter 8, where you throw all the Scrabble letters on the table at once? Assuming they all land face-up and properly orientedundoubtedly a huge assumption-might you find a few simple words? Of course. But if you keep kicking the table, will the words begin to get more sophisticated and then arrange themselves into sentences? Then, assuming unlimited letters, will sentences become paragraphs and finally a book? Consult the second law.

It is an unfair question, but I'll ask it anyway. Now that your pennies are in a random jumble of maximum entropy, how many flips of the tray will it take to return to the 100 heads? Give it a try. Any progress? Probabilities say that you have one chance of success only if you give the tray a fair flip 2100 times. That is about 1021, or one thousand million million million flips. To get a sense of that number, imagine flipping the tray once per second for 32 trillion years, waiting for a chance for success. Such is the challenge of nullifying the second law for just one "small" event.

And yet the pennies dilemma is child's play compared to the odds of constructing that previously mentioned medium-sized human protein (1 in 10360) out of the approximately 100,000 proteins needed in our bodies, not to mention additional proteins for an estimated 30 million species worldwide. Again, the universe itself isn't big enough to contain such probabilities.

Therefore, allow me to suggest an easier way to restore your pennies. Use the same way the cars, the castles, the jetliners, the houses, and the dictionaries-and the proteins for the chimps, aardvarks, and humans-were made in the first place. Apply intelligence and intent. For the pennies, physically turn them all back to heads. For the rest, seek to understand the Designer who is superior to the laws of thermodynamics and responsible for their existence.

In summary, physics says that complete order always goes to complete disorder. And examples can be found everywhere, from deep space to your own bedroom. (Christian theology is like-minded, saying that man began in perfection only to fall into imperfection-and examples can be found in every civilization and every individual.) In contrast, Darwinists say molecules kept improving into cells, but they have no verifiable mechanisms to back that claim. Then they say cells evolved

into today's modern species, but have woefully insufficient fossilized examples to provide as proof. (Just how woeful will be shown in part five.) Doesn't anyone have respect for "the law" anymore?

Moving on, Darwinists say it wasn't a big explosion at a printing press that outsmarted the law-it was a bigger explosion in outer space that supposedly blew the universe into existence. Let's take a look at the big bang.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, November 12, 2007

Refuting the Big Bang Theory

"Reclaiming Science From Darwinism" by Kenneth Poppe

Chapter 12

A place in space for everything, and
everything in space in its place

One interesting application of the second law of thermodynamics that has most certainly occurred in a closed system is the settling of the cosmos. According to theory, the big bang of some 17.6 billion years ago started it all from a pinpoint explosion of unimaginable force, which first blew atoms into existence, and then blew clusters of matter out into the void of space. This started the expansion of celestial objects one from another that continues to this day. (To get a quick sense of this expansion, get a balloon and with a pen draw a few galaxies and solar systems on the skin. Then blow the balloon up, and as you do, you will see the "universe" expanding.)

Following that immense explosion, particle clouds with sufficient mass began drawing together by increasing gravity and ignited to become stars. Meanwhile, smaller clusters with insufficient mass began losing their heat, cooled, and became planets. (The molten inner core of our Earth is often cited as evidence that our planet was a once hot and violent place that has now been in the cooling process for billions of years.) Besides stars and planets, other big bang curiosities have randomly appeared over time, such as quasars, black holes, comets, moons, and asteroids-all in their respective and expanding locations.

It follows that if the big bang is a totally random process, then the resulting layout of the universe has to be completely accidental as well. If intelligence has nothing to do with physics, how could cosmology be anything but unplanned and therefore unintelligent? Of course this randomness has to apply to our own little corner of the galaxy as well. And yet anything less than "impossible" is too benign a term for the fact that our Earth exists as it is, and that I am here to write this, or

you to read it.

An Explosion of Good Fortune

Many astronomers and physicists who have studied the big bang event, people of faith or not, have marveled that it happened at all. Hugh Ross is among those who have seriously studied the origin and settling of the universe. In his books, such as Big Bang, Refined by Fire, Ross gives many factors of physics so finely tuned that it shows the tenuously balanced structure of our universe. On one such list, Ross includes over two dozen "either/or" factors (either it worked or it didn't), such that if any single one were out of balance, the "bang" would have been a nonevent.

Without getting too technical, here is a sampling of the "luck" to which we owe our existence:

If the electromagnetic forces present at the big bang were either a bit stronger or a bit weaker, any elements with more atomic mass than boron (periodic table element #5) could not have been formed. This means 96 percent of the elements, starting with the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen in our bodies, would not exist.

If the ratio of the mass of the electron to the proton or neutron were out of balance, either too high or too low, no atoms of any kind would have ever assembled, and obviously no molecular bonding or chemical reactions would have taken, place either.

If the ratio of the number of available protons to electrons was off, either too many of one or too few, electromagnetism

would have nullified gravity, and no objects in space would ever have formed.

And once you add to the list the perfect speed of light, the exact subatomic decay rates, the correct distance between stars, and even the proper total mass requirements of the entire universe itself. .. well, you get the idea.

Here is an analogy that seems to help bring home the idea of the fantastic nature of the big bang. Who can argue that the flying of the Space Shuttle is a delicate undertaking? Any little prelaunch factor out of place scraps the countdown, and once in flight, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known worldwide as NASA, keeps track of a myriad of transmissions, any one of which could indicate impending disaster. It's true-the shuttle is a flying bomb with seven souls aboard riding on a razor-thin edge of safety. Physicists know that the big bang is similarly fine-tuned, miraculously having managed to avoid either fizzling to a stop or incinerating itself.

"Lucky" Breaks

However, the above list pales in comparison to factors that were necessary to form our own little solar system with our own little planet and its multitude of life-forms. This time Ross has identified 68 separate "either/or" factors, many of which are more easily understood than those governing the universe as a whole. Here are a few phenomena that could lead to either the prevention or extermination of all planetary life. These factors, some simple and some technical, are some of the blessings we take for granted every day.

It's a good thing that through random thermodynamic settling, the Milky Way galaxy attained the right size, shape, and distance from other galaxies. Otherwise, stars like our sun would never have been formed, or would have been incorporated into a different cosmic mass.

It's a good thing our sun is in a single-star configuration. Approximately 70 percent of all stars are binary, trinary, or complex systems that revolve around each other. This causes intense gravitational forces that

make stable planetary bodies of any kind nearly impossible. Fortunately, our sun is one of the remaining 30 percent of "lucky" stars that exists as a single body. It is also the right size, age, location, and strength for our solar system-or else planetary orbits would be unstable, heavier elements drawn to Earth from space could have easily been over- or undersupplied, or luminosity could have been too bright or too weak to power photosynthesis. Even the gravitational forces of the other planets are necessary for Earth's stability. For example, the mass and location of Jupiter is especially fine-tuned to balance the orbits of the four inner with the four outer planets.

It's a good thing our planet revolves about the sun in a relatively circular orbit instead of an exaggerated egg-shaped one like most of the other planets. If Earth's path were too elliptical, the temperature extremes at perihelion (closest point to the sun) and aphelion (farthest point from the sun) would make it difficult, if not impossible, for life to have the necessary flexibility to survive.

The variation in orbital extremes of Earth is only about 1.7 percent from the mean, making its path around the sun a near-perfect circle. Compare that to Mars, everyone's favorite planet for extraterrestrial life, with a 9 percent variation (which is close to the average of all nine planets at 8 percent). Because of Mars' orbital elongation variation over five times as great as Earth's, NASA will have to be very careful as they develop the landing date for a manned Mars mission.

Think about it. Because of the alternating extreme closeness and remoteness to the sun in the orbital path of Mars, an astronaut in a space suit or space station would only have windows of nominal temperatures between hot and cold cycles. It should be obvious most types of Earth life would not survive if our planet were unlucky enough to have such an elongated orbit. And these extremes on Mars are exacerbated because of its slow revolution rate, making the annual trip around the sun in 687 Earth days instead of 365. By comparison, our Earth is "lucky" enough to have a near circular orbit and an optimum rate of revolution that avoid such extremes.

It's a good thing the Earth is tilted at precisely 23.45 degrees on its axis, which gives us the perfect balance of true seasons from the Equator to the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and on to the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Imagine if Earth had no appreciable tilt at all, like Mercury at .01 degrees. We would not just lose the refreshing rotation of seasons, but hosts of species would not exist whose life cycles follow the changing climates as you go toward either pole.

What if the Earth were tilted, like Pluto, at 32 degrees past perpendicular, pointing its northern and southern poles almost directly at the sun in their respective summer and winter seasons? If Earth were laid this far over on its side, the annual melting and refreezing of both polar ice caps would play unbelievable havoc with habitats by the wildly fluctuating temperature ranges. And then imagine what would happen to levels of water in the oceans, precipitation rates, and plant and animal life cycles. The violence of seasonal extremes might even negate the possibility of complex terrestrial food webs.

Then there is one other possibility that Earth was "lucky" enough to avoid. It is the "barrel roll" of Uranus spinning on an axis parallel to its orbital plane, rather than perpendicular like the rest of the planets. What difficulties this would present to life here at home can hardly be imagined.

Finally, it's a good thing our Earth is the right size and shape, rotates at the right speed, and is the right distance from the sun. If any of these were out of proportion, a whole host of problems loom. Our atmosphere could be too suffocating or too thin, our day-to-night temperatures could be too hot or too cold, our gravity too intense or too insufficient, our wind velocities too severe or too inadequate, or our air components too heavy on some gases or too light on others.

Also, consider that Mercury completes less than one revolution around the sun for every two rotations on its axis, making one of its "days" equal to less than half of its "year." There is no reason Earth couldn't be like Mercury (though it would be disastrous to life), but instead we properly make 1/365 of our annual journey in close to 24 hours. Overall, you could say we were very "lucky" that the interplay of forces from universe to galaxy to solar system to planet were perfectly fine-tuned. To quote the late Jackie Gleason, "How sweet it is!"

Physics Did It?

Call it a case of "a place for everything in space, and everything in space in its place." I'm impressed. But I know others are not. They say with the possibility of a nearly inexhaustible supply of potential planets in the universe, physics was bound to give us one body with this combination of distance, size, orientation, and motion factors. And in the same manner, life was able to adapt accordingly and settle into this cozy "third rock from the sun." Perhaps, but if so, there are still a host of other "lucky" parameters right here on Earth that still must be perfect. While these did not necessarily govern the physics of planetary origin, they still could severely limit or deny life.

For example, earthquake activity must be within tolerable limits. Imagine if we had the seismology of other planets. Remember how the world properly agonized over the December 26, 2004, tsunami in the Indian Ocean that instantly wiped out over 200,000 lives? There is no reason why such geologic events couldn't be commonplace on Earth. Yet as devastating as it was, the tidal wave did not affect animal and plant life to a disastrous extent, only human life because of the way we live.

Just as earthquake activity typical of other planets could be knocking down our cities as fast as we build them, there is no reason why violent storms could not also make our planet a scene of constant destruction. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September of 2005 were disasters to Louisiana, Texas, and other parts of the Gulf Coast, and yet the bulk of our country experienced no change at all. However, if Earth had the same ongoing storm as on Jupiter-the red "eye" shown on almost every photograph-we would have a continuous cataclysm cutting a lethal swath across our planet. Instead, we sit rather comfortably here at home. Lucky for us.

Next, consider that Earth's water-to-landmass ratio must not be out of bounds. With the near-complete lack of moisture available on other planets, if anything, shouldn't we be one-quarter water and threequarters land on the planet's surface instead of the reverse? In fact, we should be nearly, if not completely, bone-dry.

And this list goes on. The minerals in the soil must be optimal for all sorts of biological and commercial reasons, the Moon's tidal effects

must not be extreme, ocean salinity and ion concentrations must not be unduly toxic, and ... well, isn't that enough to make the point? Also consider that with respect to tolerance levels, any one of these factors, like those that doomed two Space Shuttle flights, could be so prohibitive to life that the rest become a moot point.

So let's apply a bit of math. If you visit the lottery Web site for multistate Powerball, you will find all the probabilities of winning those multimillions that are sure to bestow peace and happiness. Here, the odds of winning the elusive jackpot are listed as "1 in 146,170,692." You could read this as "one winner for approximately every 150 million tickets sold"-which places you in the ritzy neighborhood of 108 individual purchases to provide hope for success.

By comparison, if we give all 68 of those planetary criteria previously mentioned a 50/50 chance of being in a range tolerable to life-a winor-no-win ticket-and multiply all the 1-out-of-2 odds together, you get a figure upward of 1022. Once again, going back to the strength of exponential numbers, our odds of getting a suitable planet Earth are (22 - 8 = 14): 14 increases of 900 percent beyond what it takes to win a Powerball jackpot. (No wonder they call the lottery a tax on people who aren't good at math.) And then after this, we must face the even more prohibitive odds of getting life to self-organize.

With this lottery example in mind, perhaps now the contrasts in the vocabulary I've been using will make more sense. In case the words went by too fast, let me repeat them. On the random side we have words like unstable, excessive, insufficient, intense, inadequate, difficult, extreme, fluctuating, exacerbating, severe, unbalanced, nonexistent, fragile, erratic, freezing, boiling, prohibitive, noxious, toxic-and, as a fitting end-impossible. And I dare say that if you set foot on any planet outside Earth, one, if not most-if not all-of these factors would negate the possibility of life.

On the other hand, we describe our planetary conditions with words like proper, balanced, refreshing, optimal, flexible, correct, exact, complementary, proportional, and-as another fitting end perfect. As we stand here on Earth, we easily see how all these supposedly fortuitous accidents allow the miracle of life. In the end, how many times can the word perfect be repeated (perfect this, perfect that, perfect everywhere you turn) until your faith in luck runs out and you admit that Someone was tinkering with physics?

Nothing to Shrug Off

As lengthy as the list of fine-tuned factors is, evolutionists shrug them off with the same comment almost every time. Like I earlier said, they would say that instead of a Designer adapting Earth to accommodate life, life adapted to the pre-existing conditions it found on our planet. For example, if Earth had a stronger gravitational pull, our creatures would have developed lighter bodies and stronger legs and wings. Or if Earth's air were one-fourth nitrogen and three-fourths oxygen instead of the reverse, animal lungs would be restructured, plant photosynthesis would follow different pathways, and so on. In fact, they say, our present gravity may actually be deadly, and our air toxic, to life evolving under conditions on another planet.

However, such people seldom realize the depth of this assumption. The fine-tuned features in the majority of these factors are not a matter of alterations but eradication-not just conditions to adjust to but conditions that bring death under any circumstance. First of all, many of the factors from the physics of the universe could completely negate the possibility of carbon-based chemistry, and other conditions on Earth would instantly be lethal to any type of life based on the carbon platform. (The song "Nothing from Nothing Leaves Nothing" comes to mind.) Remember that we are not just talking about whether gravity and air are optimal, but whether we even have a planet, a sun, a solar system, or a universe.

The skeptics also need to realize that some of these factors are more complicated than at first glance. Okay, so the Earth accidentally stopped closer to the sun. Just imagine that birds evolved with Space Shuttle-like heat tiles on their underbellies so they also could fly in the hot sun. If the Earth stopped farther away? Imagine birds with feathers a foot thick.

Yet in what possible location would you place the Earth and still have a water cycle? How far from its present location can you move the planet before precipitation, condensation, and evaporation collapse? (Ask the life that supposedly used to live on Mars.) The amazing water molecule is so essential to organisms that it is everybody's favorite indicator of possible extraterrestrial life. But how could water complete its inter- or intra-cellular travel if it were continually evaporated or frozen? By one estimate, if the Earth's orbit averaged a half of a percent closer or farther from the sun, we would have permanent vapor or permanent

ice. No water cycle, no fluid homeostasis for cellular activities-no life of any kind.

In my opinion, you have to accept Design, even if only by default. But I go even farther and say some "interesting touches" were added. I say there are some amazing displays of technical science included just

at the Artist's prerogative. I call it His "personal signature" on a fine piece of creative work. For example, we get to see only one side of the Moon because its rotation rate. on its axis and its revolution rate around

A Touch of Art

If the Moon's strange synchronous movement does not impress you, here is one you can't chalk up to anything like tidal pull. Who would not admit that solar eclipses are cool? Be in the right place on Earth at the right time and the disc of the Moon interposes itself to be perfectly congruent with the disc of the sun-a total solar eclipse. The alignment is so exact that the massive corona of the sun makes a beautiful halo, and the central darkness gives scientists the best chance to study the effect.

But isn't the perfect overlay a bit odd considering the chance sizes and distances of the two "unrelated" celestial objects? Yet the dazzling display is only possible because of the unbelievable equal ratios of diameters and distances. The Moon has a diameter of 3476 kilometers (2160 miles) and has a distance from Earth of 384,467 kilometers (239,000 miles), for a decimal ratio of .009. By comparison, the diameter of the sun is 1,390,000 kilometers (865,000 miles) at a distance from Earth of 149,600,000 kilometers (93,000,000 miles), a decimal ratio of, you guessed it, .009! In simpler terms, while the sun is about 400 times bigger than the Moon, it is about 400 times farther away-hence the stunning effect of the total solar eclipse, something that to me looks very "planned."

the Earth are exactly the same, a precise 27.3217 Earth days for both. (Check it out by going around your family globe with a ball on a stick. If you walk just as fast as you turn the ball, the "Earth" sees only one side of your "Moon.") Now it is true that tidal pull from a larger object on a smaller object begins to mitigate orbits over time, but no such preciseness exists anywhere else in a solar system filled with planets. Call it a bit of curious mystery thrown in just for fun.

A touch of art also extends to a last point. Any map of the Milky Way galaxy will show our sun and solar system to be about three-fourths of the way to the outer edge from the center of the flat spiral disc.

From a scientific standpoint, this is a stroke of "luck" that provides the perfect location for our "evolving" life-forms. If our solar system

were at the outer tips of the galactic arms, the rotational speed of the "crack the whip" effect would cause a rapid expansion of our planetary orbits, making for rapidly fluctuating conditions on Earth to which life could not adjust. If our sun were toward the center of the Milky Way, the intense gravitational attractions and the constant radiation of supernovae from so many stars in proximity would again make our Earth unlivable.

But the fact is, our sun lies not only at the proper centricity, it also lies in the open area between two spiral arms at the proper co-rotational radius where our speed remains relatively constant and our solar system will not be swept into either adjacent arm. Once again, we should celebrate our good fortune. Yet the artistic piece is that if our solar system could somehow survive in the galactic center or within one of the arms of densely packed stars, the cosmic clutter would prevent us from even looking out into deep space to see those distant wonders. It is as interesting as it is ironic. Darwinists use the very beauty afforded to us as we look into the heavens as justification to reduce our existence to "luck."

Tough Customers

As I said earlier, astronomers and physicists have always had a harder time buying into the random-chance scenario. Knowing what they know, they have not made the best Darwinists because of the weak philosophic argument that everything just fell into place without intelligence. Consider the well-known quote from Wernher von Braun, an astrophysicist of no small repute:

I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science. And to show it doesn't take a "rocket scientist" to have the same opinion, hear the words of astronomer Alan Sandage:

I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but it is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing. Or how about Princeton physics professor Freeman Dyson, who said, "As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together for our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming."*

Here is a man of longstanding reputation who has earned 21 honorary degrees by applying his knowledge of physics in almost every other scientific discipline, such as astronomy. He has also won the prestigious Templeton Award, given to individuals whose achievements in one professional field have simultaneously advanced the humanitarian benefits of religion. Therefore, I would say Dyson's use of the word almost in the quote above is a shot aimed at the Darwinists with whom he has debated all his life.

To sum it up, it may take faith to "move" mountains. But so many giants of science believe it takes much more faith to "make" mountains through natural processes.As Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, says, "Well, alrighty then." Let's assume we lucked out and got a universe and a suitable planet-perhaps several of them-ready for life. Having won the lottery for life here, many are convinced it has happened elsewhere, and have devoted their lives to prove it. Let's look at the ongoing search for life beyond our planetary home to see what the experts can now saith certainty.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Testimony of a True Prophet's%20Page.html

The Gospel is the most important thing in my life. It gives us the meaning and purpose of life. Meeting Art Bulla was an incredible experience because for the first time I met a true prophet of God. Since being baptized back on March 2002 and ordained into the Church of Jesus Christ I have had the Holy Ghost continually striving with me so my faith is unshakable. While the rest of apostate Christendom is lost in false doctrines, I am satisfied knowing that I am in the one true church. Over a 30 year period, Art has received volumes of revelations called the Revelations of Jesus Christ. They can be downloaded for free at
( or the book can be purchased at ( First on how I discovered Art.

I first learned about Art Bulla from my brother, Jong in July 2000 when he returned home from Tennessee to where I was living with our family in Gardena, CA. While he living in TN, he learned about the Mormon Church from an old lady, a member, who had sold him the land he was living on. (I noticed Jong started studying Christianity in late 1998. He seemed particularly interested in where the apostolic authority for baptism described in the Book of Acts had gone.) He was baptized into the Church but started to notice inconsistencies between the modern Church under the Presidencies of Spencer W. Kimball up till Gordon B. Hinckley and the early Church established by Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and John Taylor. In early 2000 he read a post written by Art on a Mormon newsgroup. His testimony can be read : ('spage.html). So when he returned home, he discussed with me Mormonism. I was a bit overwhelmed at first and did not believe. However, over time I thought about it and progressed in knowledge, reading Art's website and finally a couple years later was baptized into the Church on March 2, 2002. But first a little background on me on how I first discovered Jesus. Around the time I dropped out of college at UC Riverside due to lack of interest in early 1999 and moved to Lomita,CA just south of Torrance and started to work at AT&T Worldnet with Jong commuting to Burbank, I started to desire to believe in God. I started to build a faith that God is existed and that the Bible was his revealed word. Why did I believe ? It just seemed true to me I thought. I mean for 2000 years people have accepted Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of God. Millions of people accepted Christianity, how could the Bible be wrong I thought. That and the Gospel had an appeal to my soul because it had a certain purity about it, a certain ring of divinity and truth about it. But could I say for 100% certainty that Jesus is real ? No, I could not. I mean it sounded like it could be true but I never saw Jesus myself although historically I knew he existed. So for several months that year I thought about it and had a more or less blind faith in it. The scriptures say we need a testimony by the Holy Spirit in order to know for certainty if the Gospel is real.

26 Even so, come unto me and learn of my ways, and I will give unto you, even as many as shall come, that peace which surpasseth understanding, and if ye shall inquire of me concerning these things, will I the Lord manifest by the influence and power of the Holy Ghost that these things are verily true and are of me, saith the Lord.
Revelations of Jesus Christ sec. 6:26

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves--It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
(Alma 32:27-28)

So around the middle of October '99 around the time I quit working at AT&T, one morning I believe around 6:30 in my room at the Lomita apartment I shared with my family, I got on my hands and knees on the floor facing the window that overlooked the street on Narbonne Ave. I still remember it like it was yesterday I started by praying, "Father in Heaven, I pray in the name of Jesus that you will forgive me for my sins..." and right after those exact words suddenly the words started to pour out of my mouth uncontrollably at the same time I could feel the Spirit physically flowing through my body like a jet of water! So then I knew that the Gospel is real! That Jesus did really exist and He truly was the Only Begotten Son of God. I now had a testimony which I wonder if so many so called Christians have the same witness. I also had a couple more memorable experiences after that within around a 3 day period where I was just completely engulfed by the Spirit almost to the point where I don't think I could be impressed anymore if an angel had appeared in front of me or so it felt that ways anyways. No man could shake me from testimony, no one, no Darwinist scientist or anyone. However, following those experiences, I never felt the Spirit again. It stopped communicating with me. It was like a water hose was shut off. The problem was I didn't know the scriptures better or I would have known the answer. You see, you can have all the signs and wonders you want, dreams, visions, angels, the Holy Spirit, all of that will not save your soul. You need to be baptized by a legal administrator just like Paul was baptized by Ananias after seeing Jesus in a vision on the road to Damascus to persecute the Saints (Acts 9:1-18).

19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
(James 2:19)

Here is what the scriptures say in order to be saved:
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

(Mark 16:16)
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
( John 3:5)

37 Now when they heard [this], they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men [and] brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
(Acts 2:37-38)

So in order to be saved you MUST be baptized. So if you agree with scriptures above, the questions that remains to be asked is which Church is authorized to perform baptism. With so many different Christian sects, the Catholics and Protestants which is the true Church. How can so many different churches with different doctrines, various interpretations of the scriptured co-exist ? Would God allow such chaos to exist ? Did not Paul write in Ephesians 4:5 there is "one faith, one baptism" ? Aren't we to come to the "unity of the faith" ?

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

(Ephesians 4:11-13)

The Prophet Joseph Smith the founder of the Mormon Church when a boy of 14 years old in 1819 was living with his family on a farm in Palymra, New York. At the time there was a great deal of religious excitement in the United States with all the different denominations competing with one another to claim themselves as the correct Church. His family had joined the Methodists but he still was unsure so he prayed to God and this is his personal account of what happened:

(Joseph Smith-History 1:14-21):
14 So, in accordance with this, my determination to ask of God, I retired to the woods to make the attempt. It was on the morning of a beautiful, clear day, early in the spring of eighteen hundred and twenty. It was the first time in my life that I had made such an attempt, for amidst all my anxieties I had never as yet made the attempt to pray vocally.
15 After I had retired to the place where I had previously designed to go, having looked around me, and finding myself alone, I kneeled down and began to offer up the desires of my heart to God. I had scarcely done so, when immediately I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me, and had such an astonishing influence over me as to bind my tongue so that I could not speak. Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.
16 But, exerting all my powers to call upon God to deliver me out of the power of this enemy which had seized upon me, and at the very moment when I was ready to sink into despair and abandon myself to destruction--not to an imaginary ruin, but to the power of some actual being from the unseen world, who had such marvelous power as I had never before felt in any being--just at this moment of great alarm, I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
17 It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other--This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!
18 My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)--and which I should join.
19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof."
20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time. When I came to myself again, I found myself lying on my back, looking up into heaven. When the light had departed, I had no strength; but soon recovering in some degree, I went home. And as I leaned up to the fireplace, mother inquired what the matter was. I replied, "Never mind, all is well--I am well enough off." I then said to my mother, "I have learned for myself that Presbyterianism is not true." It seems as though the adversary was aware, at a very early period of my life, that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me, almost in my infancy?
21 Some few days after I had this vision, I happened to be in company with one of the Methodist preachers, who was very active in the before mentioned religious excitement; and, conversing with him on the subject of religion, I took occasion to give him an account of the vision which I had had. I was greatly surprised at his behavior; he treated my communication not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil, that there were no such things as visions or revelations in these days; that all such things had ceased with the apostles, and that there would never be any more of them.

I learned that the Mormon Church was the restored Church of Jesus Christ but they had apostatized and the keys belonged in the hands of Art, a former Apostle of the Church. On April 7th, I was ordained a Seventy Apostle. After I was ordained a 70 Apostle, I was given a command by Art by revelation of the Lord that I should move down to San Diego with Jong who was already living here so that the brethren could be living more closer together. So after having found a job, I moved down here to San Diego to live with my brother in late May. On May 23rd, I was ordained in the Quorum of Twelve.

Who is Art Bulla ? The following is the account of his first vision.

While journeying on foot about 10:00 P.M. in the east, being inducted into the armed forces the next day, being on the way to the bus station to travel to the armed forces induction station in Raleigh, N.C, I received the following vision, while on the road on foot at night:
"December 29, 1969, while enwrapted in a heavenly vision, It seemed that I, Art Bulla, was removed out of my body, or whether in the body or out of it I could not tell, and I beheld his face, and He spake unto me face to face as one man speaks unto another for forty-five minutes or an hour, and whether in the body or out of it, I could not tell, for I beheld his glory, which surpasses all understanding, and spake while in the vision, in a much better tongue than any spoken by man at this time, which I supposed to be the Adamic Tongue, my understanding being quickened by such might and intelligence and power that it is beyond the mind of man unaided by the Spirit of Revelation which dwells yet within me, to comprehend, and indeed no words can convey, for it seemed that I was transfigured before Him of whom I speak, my God in whom I bear record as others have before me, that He lives, for I too have seen Him. And tongue cannot express his matchless might, glory, power and intelligence, and I shall forever adore his glory, for having once beheld his face and felt of his love and might and power and beheld things which I cannot convey, for there is no language, I must, I MUST obtain his presence, and I shall not be content with anything else, this world or its allurements. And having been ordained unto the Holy Order of God which is after the Order of Melchizedec, even the Holy Apostleship, the keys of which I hold, I bear record of my Father, for I have seen Him and conversed with him, and I testify that He shall return in this the Latter Day as soon as my people are straightened from this crooked and perverse generation which shall be destroyed by the might of his power, and that they be gathered out according to the Revelations which are being given unto me, almost daily at this time, which is one of the darkest periods and most wicked because of unbelief in the history of the earth, that Zion may descend and that the heavens and the earth mingle and become One, as prayed by the Only Begotten, even my brother Jesus of Nazereth. Yea, my Father, I pray that thy will be done and thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Even so. Amen."
In July of 1971 Art was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, TX studying to become an advance medical lab technician ( medical technologist). His wife Cathy introduced him to the Book of Mormon and as he read the first paragraph of Nephi, he had a powerful testimony by the Holy Spirit. Soon afterwards, he was baptized into the Mormon Church. In 1974, he was ordained a Seventy Apostle by Rex D. Pinegar ( A few months after the Church under President Spencer W. Kimball reversed the ban on giving blacks the Priesthood on June 9, 1978, Art received his first two written revelations from the Lord one of which rebuked the Mormons for giving the negro the Priesthood. He showed them to his home teacher Randy Olsen who attacked him and broke his nose. The Stake wanted Art to apologize and summoned him to appear at Stake High Council Court but he would not apologize and was excommunicated. Due to the Church apostatizing by giving the negro the Priesthood despite Brigham Young's prophecy warning them of the grave consequences, the keys of the Priesthood was taken from the Church. (More on Art's background can be read on "A Tale to Tell" at )
"Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on the earth. We will summons the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, the Bishopric, and all the Elders of Israel, suppose we summons them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings that God has given to us. on that very day and hour we should do so, the Priesthood is taken from THIS CHURCH AND KINGDOM and god leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain, the Church must go to destruction. We should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the Priesthood until that curse be removed."
Brigham Young Addresses, Ms D, 1234, Box 48, Folder 3, dated Feb. 5, 1852, located in the LDS Historical Dept. SLC, UT.

The Lord has wrested the keys of the Priesthood from the Church and given it to Art who as a Seventy has the requiste Priesthood authority required to be the Lord's Anointed. Jesus Himself was an Apostle.

“The Seventies are Apostles; and they stand next in authority to the Twelve...If through the providence of God the First Presidency and the Twelve were taken away, then it would be the duty of the Seventies to preach the Gospel, build up the Church , and ordain every officer requisite in order to establish the Church, and ordain High Priests, Bishops, High Counselors, Patriarchs, and set in order the whole church in all the world. This is according to the revelations given to us...I suppose I ordained hundreds of Seventies in early days. Brother Joseph Smith has come to us many times, saying, ‘Brethren, you are going to ordain Seventies. Do not forget to confer the high priesthood (Melchizedec priesthood) upon them. Ordain each of them to the High Priesthood, and to be one of the Seventy Apostles.’ This was my language in the ordination of the Seventies, and that is the way I ordain them now. Brigham Young, Des. News, June 6, 1877, p. 274.

Despite the false beliefs of the Mormons, the Priesthood is not limited to the Church but stands apart from the Church.

Read :
A cogent, analytical, and historically accurate as well as correct analysis of the relationship of the political Kingdom of God to the Church and the Priesthood by Hyrum Andrus, Professor Emiritus, Brigham Young University.
“I will say to you with regard to the kingdom of God on the earth, Here is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints., organized with its rules, regulations and degrees, with the quorums of the holy Priesthood, from the First Presidency to the teachers and deacons; here we are, an organization. God called upon Joseph, he called upon Oliver Cowdery, then others were called through Joseph, the Church was organized, he with his two counselors comprised the First Presidency. In a few years the Quorum of the Twelve was organized, the High Council was organized, the High Priests' quorum was organized, the Seventies' quorums were organized, and the Priests' quorum, the Teachers' quorum and the Deacons'. This is what we are in the habit of calling the kingdom of God. But there are further organizations. The Prophet gave a full and complete organization to this kingdom the Spring before he was killed. This kingdom is the kingdom that Daniel spoke of, which was to be set up in the last days; it is the kingdom that is not to be given to another people; it is the kingdom that is to be held by the servants of God, to rule the nations of the earth, to send forth those laws and ordinances that shall be suitable and that shall apply themselves to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; that will apply themselves to the mother Church."
For an illustrated diagram of the structure of the Kingdom of God see:
The fact is even before the Church was organized on April 6, 1830, almost a year before on May 1829, the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored when Peter, James, and John returned and laid hands on Joseph Smith. This in itself proves that the Priesthood and the Church are separate. Joseph Smith ordained as Apostles Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris even before the existence of the Church.
"God chooses prophets, you (the Church) do not do this." Brigham Young

Brigham Young; Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 1:, p.133
"Perhaps it may make some of you stumble, were I to ask you a question-Does a man's being a Prophet in this Church prove that he shall be the President of it? I answer, no! A man may be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, and it may have nothing to do with his being the President of the Church. Suffice it to say, that Joseph was the President of the Church, as long as he lived: the people chose to have it so. He always filled that responsible station, by the voice of the people. Can you find any revelation appointing him the President of the Church? The keys of the Priesthood were committed to Joseph, to build up the Kingdom of God on the earth, and were not to be taken from him in time or in eternity; but when he was called to preside over the Church, it was by the voice of the people; though he held the keys of the Priesthood, independent of their voice."

In fact, Joseph Smith wanted his brother Hyrum to be the President of the Church in order to alleviate some of the pressure of leading the people but the people wanted Joseph as President.

In the Book of Mormon, Mosiah was the Lord's Anointed and Alma was the President of the Church.

8 Now king Mosiah had given Alma the authority over the church.
(Mosiah 26:8)

1 AND now it came to pass that the persecutions which were inflicted on the church by the unbelievers became so great that the church began to murmur, and complain to their leaders concerning the matter; and they did complain to Alma. And Alma laid the case before their king, Mosiah. And Mosiah consulted with his priests.
(Mosiah 27:1)
''An assumption frequently made is that the authors of the prophetic books of the Old Testament were the constituted authorities of the Church in their eras. This, however, was not always the case. Some of them were even considered rebels by the religious leaders of Israel in their days. Jeremiah was one such prophet who stood outside of the Church. The established Church, through its Priests, even attempted to put Jeremiah to death. Micah, Amos, Hosea, and Zephaniah were also prophets who were critical of corruption within the Church.
"These Old Testament prophets did not speak as representing the Church, but as representing the Lord. Though the prophets may have held the higher Priesthood authority, there is no Biblical indication that the general Church membership of that time was aware of it." Thus Saith the Lord; Duane S. Crowther, p. 148.
8 Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.
9 Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the LORD's house.
11 Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears.
(Old Testament | Jeremiah 26:8 - 11)
4 Her prophets are light and treacherous persons: her priests have polluted the sanctuary, they have done violence to the law.
(Old Testament | Zephaniah 3:4)
11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.
(Old Testament | Micah 3:11)

The scriptures clearly prophesize about an individual who the Lord would send in the latter days, during a new dispensation of the Gospel, to gather Zion. The whole point of the Gospel is to build up the Kingdom of God (diagrammed on the link on earth. That was the whole goal of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the early Mormons.(Unfortunately, they gave up polygamy because of persecution from the US government, received the last "Thus saith the Lord" revelation in 1889 written by President Wilford Woodruff right before the Manifesto of 1890, and assimilated themself with the rest of the Gentile United States.) They no longer believe in the literal gathering of Zion or the political Kingdom of God safe in their belief that attending Church on Sundays is all that is necessary.

The Kingdom of God is a real literal government and is spiritualized away by Christians as some place in space or a figurative reference. The Lord's prayer says,"Our Father in Heaven, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...". Jesus said in 3 Nephi 13:33, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Jesus was trying to gather the Jews but they rebelled against him and hung Him on a cross between two common thieves. And where is the Kingdom of God ? It is where there is a legal administrator receiving direct revelation from God.

"Whenever men can find out the will of God and find an administrator legally authorized from God, there is the kingdom of God; but where these are not, the kingdom of God is not. All the ordinances, systems, and administrations on the earth are of no use to the children of men, unless they are ordained and authorized of God; for nothing will save a man but a legal administrator; for none others will be acknowledged either by God or angels."

(Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected and arranged by Joseph Fielding Smith, p.274)

Ogden Kraut's "The Gathering of Israel":

The doctrine of the gathering of the people of God, including Israel, is one so clearly predicted by the inspired writers, that it seems almost superfluous to refer to the numerous passages relating to it. (Orson Pratt's Works, p. 9)

Every true prophet has advocated this principle; and usually the only people who were saved from various calamities were those who gathered out from the rest of the world. It is an evidence of inspired leaders, i.e.:

* Enoch gathered a few faithful to his city so they could be righteous enough to be saved and translated.
* Noah could only gather a few faithful from his own family, but they were saved from the flood.
* Abraham gathered a few righteous souls out of Sodom and Gomorrah.
* Lehi had to gather his family away from the wicked to save them from destruction in Jerusalem.
* Moses sought to gather Israel to save them; when they were scattered, they were cursed.
* Jesus sought to gather Israel again, but they disobeyed His command.
* The Prophet Joseph Smith gathered Saints to Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois.
* Brigham Young gathered the Saints to the Salt Lake Valley.

The Prophet Joseph explained how gathering is for the salvation of Israel in all ages.

All that the prophets that have written, from the days of righteous Abel, down to the last man that has left any testimony on record for our consideration, in speaking of the salvation of Israel in the last days, goes directly to show that it consists in the work of the gathering. (TPJS, p. 83)

God has called His people to gather out of the wickedness and corruptions of Babylon, just as He would call a righteous soul from out of a den of thieves, a saloon, or a diseased area. God seeks to have His people gather to one place and form a community and society of their own. It was a doctrine taught by Jesus and His disciples at Jerusalem. He declared:

He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

(Luke 2:24)

24 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.

(Ezekiel 36:24)

The spirit and power of gathering filled the souls of all the prophets of God. It seems that those prophets who were the most spiritual felt that power the most.

The Importance of Gathering in This Dispensation

One of the basic tenets of the restored Gospel was to be gathered together. It was even specifically mentioned in the Articles of Faith:

We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion will be built upon this the America continent. . . . (Article 10)

[100] But to have a gathering, there must first have been a scattering-which condition does not come from God:

You have heard brother Brigham preach it here time and time again, and other men, that a scattering spirit was not the spirit of God; and I know it is not. (Heber C. Kimball, JD 4:362)


Before discussing the prophesized Prophet who will gather Israel, it is necessary first to discuss some historical information. After King Solomon died, Israel was divided into the nations, the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom was comprised of Ephraim and eight other tribes and the Southern was made up of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi. However, Ephraim, the Northern Kingdom was invaded by Assyria around 750 BC and taken captive, scattered through Europe, completely losing their identity. Judah, the Southern Kingdom experienced the same situation when they were attacked by Babylon around 600 BC and taken into bondage in Babylon for 70 years. Unlike their brethren Ephraim a few thousand Jews (short for Judah) returned and restored their nation. Jesus was sent to the Jews as their Messiah and is the Only Begotten. However, the Lord did not forget Ephraim, regathering them on the New World of North America and establishing the United States of America. The prominent role of Judah and Ephraim is clearly delineated in the scriptures.

1 NOW the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he [was] the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright.

2 For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him [came] the chief ruler; but the birthright [was] Joseph's:)

(1 Chronichles 5:1-2)

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which [is] in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, [even] with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

(Ezekiel 37:19)

13 The envy of Ephraim also shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

(2 Nephi 21:13)

34 Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessing upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows.

(D&C 133:34)

The Gospel was restored on the United States through Mormonism when the Melchizedek Priesthood was restored in May 1829 through Joseph Smith. Unfortunately, Zion wasn't redeemed in his time or Brigham Young's time. Joseph Smith said, "the redemption of Zion has been left to other hands, and to other times. But that its redemption will come no one doubts who believes in the firm decrees of God." The Mormons gave up polygamy, did away with the Seventies (ordaining them High Priests a lower Priesthood office which is contradictory since the superior cannot be ordained by the inferior), gave up the literal gathering of Israel, and the stake in the heart was giving negroes the Priesthood. Third President John Taylor gave limited authority to Lorin Woolley to seal plural marriages but to not hold any meetings until the One Mighty and Strong was to arrive. And who is the One Mighty and Strong ? He is Prophet prophesized by Joseph Smith to come in the last days:

7 And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth, to set in order the house of God, and to arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God;

(D&C 85:7)

Isaiah saw a vision of the last days when the One Mighty and Strong would arrive :

1 WOE to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!

2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand (referring to the keys of the Priesthood).

3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:

4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up.

5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,

(Old Testament | Isaiah 28:1 - 5)

(The Lord revealed to Art that he was the One Mighty and Strong in 1980 in Greensboro, NC and at the time had been receiving revelations for a year. He had prayed to find out his calling from God. He knew by earliler revelation that he was an Apostle and that he held the keys and he wanted to know what title he held. So around May, 1983 it was snow from winter time all the way till May. Art remembered thinking that it was very late for it to snow. Around May the temperature spiked up and it became hot all at once turning from winter to summer all in one day and all the snow pack melted at once and flooded the valley. It was a river down State St. in SLC in fulfillment of Isiaiah 28 the advent of the One Mighty and Strong. It happened the very day that Art had published the first type written revelations Revelations of Jesus Christ and hand carried them to those who wanted it including Sam Weller's Zion's Book Store, the Church Historical Department and Jim Wardel's Barber Shop purchased the revelations as well.

Brigham Young was revealed that the One Mighty and Strong would come in a day of apostasy:

"Brethren, this Church will be led onto the very brink of hell by the leaders of this people, then God will raise up the one `Mighty and Strong' (spoken of in the 85th Section of the Doctrine & Covenants) to save and redeem this Church." Brigham Young (Attested to by Joshua Jones who made a minute of it at that time and now has it in his diary.)

This is confirmed in Journal of Joseph W. Musser: September 28, 1938. ... Brother Peay also told of hearing Joshua Jones of Provo tell of hearing Brigham Young say, "The time will come when this people are led onto the very brink of apostacy." Jones made an entry of it in his Journal. The speech was made in the Old Bowery at Provo. Learned through Lorin C. Woolley, that his father, John W. Woolley, attended the above meeting, and upon arriving home at Centerville he told Lorin and his mother of the incident. He related it thusly: "President Young, being filled with the Holy Ghost, said, `The time will come when this people will be led onto the very brink of hell by their leaders, then the one mighty and strong will come to set the house of God in order.'"

The Lord has revealed to Art that the One Mighty and Strong is the same individual as the Root of Jesse:

6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
(verses 6-9 refer to the Millineum when Jesus returns in power and glory and the trumpet of angels and there will be absolute peace)

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

(Old Testament | Isaiah 11:10)

5 What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

6 Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.

(D&C 113:5-6)


15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;

16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.

17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched–out arm.

18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.

(Doctrine and Covenants | Section 103:15 - 18)

The Lord has sent another Messiah, this time to Ephraim ! There is only one Only Begotten Son who is Jesus Christ. Messiah means "Lord's Anointed". The One Mighty and Strong is none other than Messiah to Ephraim. John the Baptist ordained Joseph Smith and Olivery Cowdery the Aaronic Priesthood (precursor to the restorel of the Melchizedek Priesthood) on May 15, 1829 near Harmony, Pennsylvania.

1 UPON you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah I confer the Priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.

(D&C 13:1)

Notice that John the Baptist said, "in the name of Messiah" not "the Messiah". If Jesus was the only Messiah, he undoubtedly would have said "the Messiah". I've noticed there are other scriptural passages where the same unmistakable wording is used:

19 And it came to pass that the Jews did mock him because of the things which he testified of them; for he truly testified of their wickedness and their abominations; and he testified that the things which he saw and heard, and also the things which he read in the book, manifested plainly of the coming of a Messiah, and also the redemption of the world.

(1 Nephi 1:19)

4 Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews--even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world.

(1 Nephi 10:4)

Again, I testify that the Holy Spirit which continually strives with me that Art is the One Mighty and Strong, the Messiah to the Gentiles (non Jews).

Again I repeat:

10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

(Old Testament | Isaiah 11:10)

17 And those who receive even my servants in the flesh receive me, saith the Lord, for he is that One prophesied that he should come unto thee, O Israel, and all power is his in me, for are we not sons of God, saith the Lord?
18 And these things are to them who are full of humility and the devil taketh advantage of the humble that they, even they are they not afraid of being humble before me because of the trickery of the devil?
19 But ye must judge, saith the Lord, and by what judgment ye judge, that shall ye receive.
20 Even so, I am Jesus of Nazereth who was slain for the sins of the world and came unto mine own and mine own received me not.
(Revelations of Jesus Christ 25:16 - 20)
Account of a Miracle
I'd like to also share with you a miracle that happened one night when I pulled into the parking lot of a Starbucks Coffee Shop close to where I live. I made the mistake of driving too far into the parking space and driving my car over the concrete block so that these two metal poles sticking out from the top of the block caught my car somewhere underneath my car. I tried to reverse my car and stepping on the gas but it remained stuck. I then put the car in neutral and tried pushing the car from the front but it wouldn't budge. I tried both thing again but with no success.
So I was left with the option of walking back home and walking back with a jack or asking help from a friendly passerby. I decided to give prayer a shot. I prayed according to section 67 of Revelations of Jesus Christ:
1 Thus saith the Father, from henceforth and forever I give unto you a New Covenant, and a new name, that by it ye shall gain communion with the general assembly and Church of the Firstborn and the fullness of the Father, which is exaltation in my presence; Sons of God, not begotten by man, nor the will of man, without father, mother, beginning of days nor end of years, abiding a Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedec.
2 And by it, saith the Father, even this new name, that of Art Bulla, who is that One Mighty and Strong, ye shall command and the angels shall respond to thy defense, the heavens shall shut themselves that it shall not rain, the earth shall move in thy defense, the mighty waters shall be dried up that ye walk over, the sick shall be healed instantly, saith the Father, and this because ye use the name of my well-beloved, my second born among all my children, even my servant who is that One who should come unto thee as anciently, O Zion."
After having prayed in the name of the One Mighty and Strong, Art Bulla that my car would be freed from its attachment, I put the car in neutral and pushed the car from the front. What do you know, the car started to roll back a bit as the concrete block rising off the ground. With every push, the car would react in that manner. The whole time I was thinking to myself how incredible and marvelous the whole experience was. I could not push it hard enough for it to be freed though so finally, I stepped behind the wheel of my car, put my car in reverse, stepped on the gas and in a few moments the car pulled itself free.
I hope you will pray about these things to receive a testimony for yourself like I have.James 1:5 says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."

Labels: , , , ,