101 prophecies (Interpretation)

WhyProphets.com
1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101

Above: the river Jordan. See point 82 below.
The Gospel of John

Predictive prophecies are in red. Other prophecies (teachings) are in black.


80. There simply has to be just one church

John 1:1: Jesus and the Father are one in name. According to John 17:20-23, this is the same close unity that the followers of Jesus should have. They should be so united that it is very difficult to tell them apart. This was extremely important to Jesus - it is what he asked the Father in his great prayer in the garden of Gethsemane.

This is exactly how it is in the Mormon church. Wherever you go in the world, the churches look the same, have the same name, and teach exactly the same things. It is summed up in Ephesians 4:5 - "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism". Yet the traditional Christian churches are quite the opposite. One is Roman Catholic, another Anglican, another Baptist, another Presbyterian, another Pentecostal, and so on. They claim to all be part of the same church, but the Protestants do not accept the Catholics, the Evangelicals do not believe that the liberals are getting to heaven, and so on. You can tell which faction you have found by looking at any Sunday service: some use "high church" features like costly robes and stained glass, some reject these as idolatrous. Some have clapping, shouting and loud modern music, others would not dream of such things. Some have women priests. Others consider that to be in opposition to the Bible. The differences are not just superficial.

If the true church is united as Jesus said, which church is it? Actually the choice is pretty simple. Protestant churches do not claim that any one named church is "the only true church", so all Protestant churches are immediately disqualified.On this single point alone, we are only left with the Catholics, the Mormons, and very few others to choose from.

81. Yet another prophecy of Joseph Smith

John 1:21: "that prophet". The Jews evidently had prophecies of a prophet to come, apart from Christ, and apart from Elias (Christ, Elias, and "that prophet" are three distinct figures in prophecy - verse 25). He cannot have been any of the famous Old Testament prophets, or they would have used the name. What do we know about "that prophet"? The people confused him with John the Baptist, so presumably "that prophet" was expected to be some kind of forerunner. "The prophet" was expected in the future, just as the Christ was expected (though Christ is more important than any prophet).

Many people assume that "that prophet" referred to Christ, since Jesus once noted that Moses saw his day. Moses did indeed make a bold statement about a prophet being raised up, in Deuteronomy 18:15. But we must always look at scripture in context. In that chapter, Moses was talking in general terms only. He mentions "a prophet" who is raised up by God, and also "the prophet" who speaks falsely (Deuteronomy 8:18-20). Clearly these are general truths about any prophet. Jesus fulfilled the tests of a true prophet, just as Moses and Peter and Joseph Smith did. (Although there are always those who claim to follow God, the Dathans and Abirams, the Pharisees, and even some self-righteous people today who call themselves Christian, who will claim that true prophets are false prophets.)

So Moses was simply referring to the obvious fact that God uses prophets - a fact that most modern day churches seem to have forgotten.

It is possible that Christ was referring to that exact prophecy when he spoke about Moses' prophecy - after all, Moses said there would be true prophets, and Jesus, besides being the son of God, was also a messenger from God - a prophet. It is also possible of course that Jesus was referring to some other statement of Moses (now lost), or simply indicating that the entire Mosaic law was a schoolmaster to bring people to Christ, as Paul said. Either way, Moses confirmed that God uses prophets, and the Jews were looking forward to "that prophet", someone quite separate from the expected Messiah. Presumably than "that prophet" is another reference to the prophet mentioned earlier, whose name would be Joseph.

82. Baptism the right way, by the right authority, for the right reason, to be saved

John 3:3-5: baptism is essential.

I was once organizing a baptism in an area where the church had no font. So I asked the local Baptist minister if we could borrow their font, knowing that the Baptists baptize by immersion, and this particular church had recently been refitted in a beautiful way. I was surprised when the minister gave his reason for saying no - because we believe that baptism is essential to salvation, rather than just desirable.

I was surprised to find how few churches, like the Mormons, agree with the Bible on this point. Of course, the Baptists were partly right - baptism must be by total immersion. Baptism symbolises the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (see Romans 6:4). No wonder John the Baptist had to choose a part of the Jordan where there was "much water" (John 3:23).

83. Deep and controversial "Mormon" Doctrine - and it's already in the Bible!

John 5:19: "the son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the father do". Probably the most famous and controversial "Mormon" teaching is that "as man now is, God once was". Mormons are unique in teaching that Jesus lived as a man, and Jesus did nothing but what he saw his Father do before him. Yet here it is in the Bible! The Bible is a pro-Mormon book. Jesus made it as plain as could be in John 10:34-36: "Is it not written in your law, I said Ye are gods?"

Hidden teachings were discussed in relation to the last verses in Mark.

84. You lived with God before you were born

John 9:2: life before birth. The disciples asked Jesus if a man who had been blind from birth had sinned before that time. Clearly they understood that there is life before birth. Perhaps they remembered Jeremiah 1:5, where God says to Jeremiah "before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee". Or perhaps they remembered Job 38:7, where we are told that, when the earth was first formed, "all the sons of God shouted for joy". (The sons of God are the believers - see for example Hosea 1:10). See also Hebrews 12:9 (God is the father of our spirits).

Before we were born, the whole human race was one big family, living with God. Knowledge of life before birth has been lost by the traditional churches, but has been restored to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - the Mormons.

85. A prophecy of Jesus' visit to the Americas

John 10:16: "other sheep I have, which are not of this fold". Jesus was only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 15:24), so these "other sheep" must have been Israelites somewhere away from Palestine. The Book of Mormon records the fulfillment of this prophecy, when Jesus visited the Americas after his resurrection. Jesus' statement in John 10 was spoken at a time when, according to the established cycle of scripture reading, the synagogues were probably studying the prophecies of the re-uniting of lost tribes of Israel - prophecies fulfilled by the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. See the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, volume 3 number 2. It's available on-line through FARMS.

86. How to recognise the true church

John 13:35: "by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another". There is a tremendous feeling of fellowship in the Mormon church. Not only that, but Mormons "look after their own" more than anyone, with the greatest non-government welfare system in the world.


101 Bible prophecies: 1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101

 

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