Sunday, July 6, 2014

LDS Prophet vs New Testament Prophet

In Mormon (LDS) theology the top authority of their ecclesiastical structure has a Prophet, they claim
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are blessed to be led by living prophets—inspired men called to speak for the Lord, as did Moses, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Nephi, Mormon, and other prophets of the scriptures
We sustain the President of the Church as prophet, seer, and revelator—the only person on the earth who receives revelation to guide the entire
 The strange part of this claim is that Peter and Paul lived at the same time and furthermore they did not have an interest in calling themselves prophets, nor did other people in the New Testament seem to apply this title to them, yet St John does seem to be called a Prophet, but this seems to only be in relation to the book of Revelation, never did St John guide the whole church and have it all subject to him.  We also see there are FEMALE prophets like St Phillip's "four virgin daughters gifted with prophecy" in Acts 21:9. Judas and Silas are called "prophets":
Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, exhorted and strengthened the brothers with many words.--Acts 15:32
Yet, Judas and Silas were subject to others and are not mentioned as speaking in the Council, despite being called in Acts 15:22 "leaders among the brothers," in fact Silas was a sidekick to Paul in Acts 15:40 and followed him much of Acts.

Otherwise, the only other time we see a male prophet (if not multiple simultaneous ones) in the New Testament was a man that was a prophet to HELP the Apostles--he was not the church leader (as claims that was Peter and Paul) he was just given prophecies by God about events about to happen.
At that time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch, and one of them named Agabus stood up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine all over the world, and it happened under Claudius.--Acts 11:27-28
We had been there several days when a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. He came up to us, took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.”--Acts 21:10-11
We see a New Testament Prophet, just as St John, roles were not to be leaders of the Church-that was the role of the Apostles and presbyters. We see Acts 15 the Church Council was a gathering of Apostles and Presbyters--no prophet mentioned!
The apostles and the presbyters met together to see about this matter.--Acts 15:6
Agabus was still alive and already a prophet in Acts 11:27 and mentioned again in Acts 21:10--and we know he was both in Jerusalem and Antioch (Acts 11:27-28)--yet why is it the New Testament seems fit to cite what he says on the matter, why are his words not mentioned at the Jerusalem council of Acts 15?, why did not people in Antioch end all debate when Agabus come to them on the matter? Because he was not an apostle! An LDS missionary/elder insisted to me that Agabus must have had a leading role in the Church that is never mentioned, interestingly enough he admitted accepting Mormonism on other points was very difficult for him too! 

Let's see what has written about Agabus:

A story by a door-to-door missionary:
When I replied that everyone should be interested in a living prophet on the earth, she cried, “That’s not so! There are no prophets on the earth! Jesus Christ was the last prophet.”
         Then something strange happened. A question came to my mind: “What about Agabus?”
I immediately called out, “What about Agabus?” There was a long pause. Then the woman responded, “Who’s Agabus?”
“A prophet who lived after Christ and who prophesied of a famine that came to pass,” I said.
She asked me, “Where did you read that—in your Mormon Bible?”
“No,” I replied, “in the book of Acts, chapter 11, verse 28.”--What about Agabus?
Yes, what ABOUT Agabus--he does something Mormon prophets can't--predict things and have them actually 'come to pass!' also says in its manual on "The Life and the Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles",
(30-7) Acts 11:28. Who Was Agabus?
Little is known of Agabus other than that he possessed the gift of prophecy and was a noble Christian. By means of divine inspiration, he foretold a famine during the reign of the emperor Claudius, a fact which both the New Testament and Josephus confirm (Acts 11:28; Josephus, The Life and Works of Flavius Joseph, Antiquities of the Jews 20. 2. 5). Following Paul’s return from his third mission, Agabus also predicted Paul’s future imprisonment and bonds (Acts 21:10, 11).--Chapter 30: “God Is No Respecter of Persons”  
In this one they do not say he was a "prophet" but just had the "gift of prophecy." We look in the dictionary:

The Mormon manual called "New Testament Student Manual" 2014 says,
While Paul and his fellow laborers were staying at the home of Philip, “a certain prophet, named Agabus” visited them and prophesied that Paul would be bound if he continued on to Jerusalem (Acts 21:10). It is obvious that Agabus had the Spirit of the Lord with him, for Paul was later bound in Jerusalem (see Acts 21:33).-- "New Testament Student Manual" 2014. Chapter 34: Acts 21–28
This article written in 1962 refers to Agabus among other New Testament prophets who existed simultaneously but does not see an issue with the fact they were more about predictions than doctrine or new revelation, or they were mentioned after apostles, among other things. If the LDS is a reestablishment of the New Testament church then why didn't the New Testament church have a governing prophet like the Mormon do? Why were there multiple ones at once, but now only one at a time?

St Paul mentions the Apostles as being FIRST--before Prophets!
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.--1 Corinthians 12:27-28
Even, in other places we see the prophets were mentioned second to the apostles:
built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.--Ephesians 2:20
which was not made known to human beings in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit--Ephesians 3:5
And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers--Ephesians 4:11
Rejoice over her, heaven, you holy ones, apostles, and prophets.  For God has judged your case against her.--Revelation 18:20
 Finally, the book of Revelation, we are told the city is built on the 12 APOSTLES:
The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.--Revelation 21:14
If the Mormon religion is supposed to be a restoration of the New Testament church that Christ made, why is the concept of a governing prophet that leads the church and is assisted by 12 apostles the opposite of the New Testament church that is lead by 12 apostles and are assisted by multiple (simultaneous) prophets (some of which were female)? Sometimes, a Mormon may point to the fact Joseph Smith called all his "apostles" prophets too, but the fact still remains there was no mention of a top prophet in the new Testament that guided the Church. And if according to the Mormon claim the site makes that Paul was a prophet like Moses, Isaiah and their current "prophet" Monson--then why did St Paul have to be told by another prophet--Agabus that he was to be bound up.
...a prophet named Agabus.....came up to us, took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles."--Acts 21:10-11
The answer seems simple--though St Paul received a vision of Christ--he did not claim to be a prophet, nor do others seem to claim that for him either! St Paul was assisted by prophets!

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