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Does the Old Testament profecy of the Great Apostasy?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/5/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 851 times Debate No: 93368
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What is the apostasy? Was there even an apostasy? In this debate, my opponent and I will explain to you, the viewer, what the apostasy was and if it even happened or not. For this debate, we will be using the King James version of the Old Testament to show if it prophecies that there was or wasn't an apostasy.
This debate will be split into 5 different rounds.
Round 1: Opening Statements.
Round 2-3: Rebuttals.
Round 4: Cross examination.
Round 5: Closing Statements.
I, the affirmative side of this argument, will be representing the views of the church of Jesus Chris of later day saints, or Mormons as you may know us. I will explain to you what the apostasy is and how the Old Testament testifies of it.
So what was the apostasy? Well an apostasy is when a individual or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. God shows his love for us by calling prophets. These prophets are given the priesthood, or the power and authority given to man to act in God's name. Prophets learn the gospel of Jesus Christ by revelation. They then teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the multitudes and testify of Him. But, whenever people choose to disregard, disobey, or distort any gospel principle or ordinance, whenever they reject the Lord's prophets, or whenever they fail to endure in faith, they distance themselves from God and begin to live in spiritual darkness. Eventually this leads to apostasy. When widespread apostasy occurs, God withdraws his priesthood authority to teach and administer the ordinances of the gospel. General apostasy has occurred many times throughout the history of the world, including in the Old Testament. There are many instances of God speaking to prophets in the Old Testament, and it also tells of many instances of apostasy. God has shown His love for His children by calling another prophet and giving him priesthood authority to restore and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ anew. Prophets act kind of like house keepers of Gods house here on earth. Such periods of time headed by prophetic responsibility are called dispensations.
In the Old testament, God revealed the gospel of Jesus Christ to Adam and gave him priesthood authority. Adam was the first prophet on the earth so this was Adam's dispensation on the earth. By revelation, Adam learned many things about the gospel, but you can ask me about these many truths that he learned through revelation. Adam was followed by other prophets, but over time the posterity of Adam rejected the gospel and fell into apostasy, choosing to be unrighteous.
There then began the pattern of prophetic dispensations that makes up much of the recorded history of the Old Testament. God revealed His gospel through direct communications to many prophets during apostasies. Prophets like Noah, Abraham, and Moses. Each of these prophets received priesthood authority and eternal truths from God. Unfortunately, in each dispensation people eventually used their agency (or freedom of choice) to choose to reject the gospel and then fell into apostasy. If you don't fully understand prophets, priesthood authority, dispensations, or anything that doesn't make sense in this debate please ask me in the comments below.
But the main apostasy that we are going to talk about and find out if it is prophesied in the Old Testament is the Great Apostasy. So you can understand the Great Apostasy, I will explain it to you know. Then, after that, I will show you how the Old Testament prophecies of this Great Apostasy.
The Great Apostasy occurred after the savior Jesus Christ came to the earth and established his church. During his earthly ministry, He taught, healed the sick, suffered for our sins in the atonement, and established his church by calling 12 apostles. Christ gave them priesthood authority. He organized his church by fulfilling prophecies and completing the atonement. Before the Savior's death and Resurrection, he gave His apostles authority to teach His gospel, preform the ordinances of salvation, and establish and take care of His church in the world.
But like the cycle of apostasy went in the Old Testament, Apostasy soon fell over the earth again. After the death of Jesus Christ, wicked people persecuted the apostles and church members and killed many of them in horrible ways. With the death of the apostles, the priesthood keys and priesthood authority given by Jesus Christ were taken away from the earth. The apostles had kept the doctrines of the gospel pure and maintained the order and standard of worthiness for church members. But without the apostles, over time the doctrines were corrupted, and unauthorized changes were made in church organization and priesthood ordinances, such as baptism and conferring the gift of the Holy Ghost.
This lead to the Great apostasy. Without revelation and priesthood authority, people relied on things like human wisdom to interpret the scriptures and the principle and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. False ideas were taught as truth. Much of the knowledge of the true character and nature of God the father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost was lost. This apostasy eventually led to the emergence of many churches because of the confusion of now false church doctrine. After centuries of spiritual darkness, many truth seeking men and woman noticed this change in doctrine and of the gospel. They tried to reform their own churches into the way they think the gospel was before.
But the church did not need a reformation, it needed a restoration.
Because our Heavenly Father loves us, He called another prophet to restore the gospel in this dispensation. Just like in the Old Testament, God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet in this dispensation and to bring back the fullness of the gospel that was taught by Jesus Christ in times of old. He was given priesthood authority to restore the church and teach the gospel. Smith was also given direction to find and translate the Book of Mormon. This book helped clarify and restore the original teachings and doctrines of Jesus Christ and his gospel. If you have any questions about this, ask me in the comments.
I believe that the Old Testament prophecies of this great apostasy. I will give 3 scriptures that I believe show and prophecy that there will be (and was) a great apostasy.
Scripture 1: Amos 8:11. This scripture reads,"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord." This explains the great apostasy perfectly. Without the apostles during the apostasy, there was no revelation for the church. So God could not speak to His children. Scriptures were not available to the public, only church officials. Gospel doctrines were changed and corrupted. Therefore, no one could hear the words of God.
Scripture 2: Isaiah 29: 13. This scripture reads,"Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:" This scripture explains the apostasy also. Even without the gospel, people still had Jesus Christ's teachings with them (although most of it was corrupted). They could talk about these teachings, but they would harden their hearts towards the fullness of the gospel. The only way they could learn about God was through the teachings of men without the proper priesthood authority. Therefore, this lead to confusion and apostasy.
Scripture 3: Isaiah 24: 5. This scripture reads,"The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant." Even before the death of the apostles, many conflicts concerning doctrine arose. The Roman Empire, which at first had persecuted he Christians, later adopted Christianity. Important religious questions were settled by councils. The simple doctrines and ordinances taught by Jesus Christ were debated and changed to conform to worldly philosophies. They changed scriptures, created creeds, and did other things that confused gospel doctrine. Because of pride, some aspired to positions of influence. People accepted these false ideas and gave honor to false teachers who taught pleasing doctrines rather than divine truth. This also led to confusion and apostasy.
This is how the Old Testament prophecies the Great Apostasy.
Thank you for your time. Please ponder and pray about these words. If you have any questions, ask me.

The "True to the faith" handbook


The Great Apostasy is an especially interesting topic and I am very grateful and honored to be offered the position of the negative in this debate.As a Catholic, I do not hold to the Great Apostasy but instead I believe Jesus Christ when he promised to build his church on his apostle Simon Jonna (Matt 16:18). He changed his name to Cephus (Petros in the Greek, or Peter in our tongue), literally meaning rock and this happened while in Caesarea Philippi. Jesus said that the Gates of hell (Sheol or Hades) will not prevail against his church.

Just with the opening statement, I can see there are many conflicting doctrines that make our respective faiths, LDS and Catholic, incompatible, but this debate is designed to shed light on one question, “Does the Old Testament Prophesy a Great Apostasy?” The burden of proof is wholly on the affirmative and I will not be making any attempt to find prophesy which says a Great Apostasy would not occur. To do so would be like trying to find a place in a microwave instruction manual that says the device will not blast freeze your food. The burden of proof would be on the person who would make such an accusation about the microwave in the first place. Therefore, it is the affirmative’s job to present the evidence, and my job to put the evidence to scrutiny and see if it holds water. My opponent has already put forward three verses that I will address in the briefest way here and leave the larger part for the rebuttal periods. For now, I will put forward reasons why I believe the Old Testament fails to demonstrate a Great Apostasy Prophesy at all.

Post-Messianic Great Apostasy is not mentioned in the Old Testament.

Though my opponent has given three verses to make his case, all three run on the supposition that the context of said verses somehow relate directly to future global events rather than, or including, the people the prophets are speaking to, namely the Jews. This means that at the very most, the verses given are implicit evidence of the case the affirmative is trying to make. Are we really supposed to believe that when Amos delivers a message of explicit judgement from God to Israel for their sins of Idolatry, and it really implies that this punishment is going to happen after the Messiah comes? This is where the affirmative must fill in the blank or risk doing violence to the text. For instance, do we know when Amos’ prophesy was supposed to come to fruition? If Amos means that ordinances would be changed, what were they and how did they change? More importantly, how are all those statements shoehorned into a single verse? This sounds more like historical assumption and generalities rather than historical fact. If my opponent’s case is true, there would be specific New Testament or extra-biblical evidence, like historical records, that would back up these claims and build a case for them. I look forward to digging deeper into these verses.

“Prophetic Hope” or “Prophetic Disappointment”

The Great Apostasy idea downplays the role of the Messiah in the Old Testament. Let us suppose for a moment that there was a clear and undeniable prophesy of a Great Apostasy after the time of the Messiah. This would mean the Jewish people were privy to the knowledge that God's Kingdom would be established by the Messiah, and also that it would fail. Every time I’ve read a Messianic prophesy in scripture, the prophets speak of the Messiah with hope, but there would be no hope if the anointed one of God wouldn’t be able to keep his Church together. Contrast this with the successful Old Testament Prophets. For example, Noah and his family ferried over the flood, Moses and the fleeing slave nation escaped the Egyptian army, and Elijah, the one prophet of the living God, defeats the 450 priests of Baal. I could go on but here is the point: these prophets are not the Messiah who can perform a miracle on his own authority, and all of them succeeded in preventing a Great Apostasy in the Old Testament. Yet, for some reason, God leaves his faithful ones to fend for themselves and allows death to destroy what Jesus came to establish leading to an almost immediate Great Apostasy?

Ironically, according the LDS Church, Jesus is a two-time loser as he also establishes a Church in the Americas (to mirror the one in Palestine) which was destroyed by the apostate Lamanites. There is something very anti-climactic here and if I were a person living in the time of the Old Testament, all I would see in the Messiah is the next milestone before the prophet I really want arrives: the one who is going to restore the Church. But that is not the case. Even modern Jews wait in hope and faith for the coming Messiah. “With the coming of the Messiah will be the physical ingathering of Judah from the four corners of the earth (Isa. 11:12, 27:12-13); That ingathering will include the righteous souls who died in previous years (Isa. 26:19); Also with coming of the Messiah will be the reestablishment of the Holy Temple (Micah 4:1); In addition the Messianic age will be one of world-wide peace (Isa. 2:4, 11:6, Micah 4:3); and, finally, In the Messianic age the entire world will believe in G-d (Isa. 11:9, 40:5; Zephaniah 3:9).” [1] Please notice that a Great Apostasy or the Messiah failing in any way is not on the list of Biblical expectations.

The Prophesy of Daniel Ch 2.

Not only is the idea of a Great Apostasy Prophesy idea very depressing, but it flies in the face of Daniel 2:31-45. A brief summary of the point is that during the rule of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon was plagued by a dream and was looking for the interpretation and God, though Daniel, delivered. The answer was that Nebuchadnezzar is king of one of four kingdoms to rule over the Jews. He is even called king of kings, another name for the Messiah as if to say, “What you have our Messiah will have.” Including the Babylonian empire (587-539 B.C.), there are three other historically verified kingdoms that ruled over Israel and Judah. They are the Medo-Persian Empire (539-331 B.C.), the Greek empire (331-168 B.C.), and the Roman Empire (63 B.C.-A.D. 70). [2]

As Daniel predicts, it is during the reign of the fourth kingdom that God’s Messianic Kingdom will come. The “stone” that “was cut out of the mountain without hands” would strike the fourth kingdom. And as verse 44 says clearly, “ …in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” And as Daniel concludes, "the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” This is a strong Old Testament case for the Catholic Church as the Kingdom established by Christ backed by historical record.

This interpretation is not my own, though it is largely self-explanatory from the scripture given, we are fortunate enough to have several early Christian writers who explored this subject matter. Hippolytus of Rome writes, “The golden head of the image and the lioness denoted the Babylonians; the shoulders and arms of silver, and the bear, represented the Persians and Medes; the belly and thighs of brass, and the leopard, meant the Greeks, who held the sovereignty from Alexander's time; the legs of iron, and the beast dreadful and terrible, expressed the Romans.” This coming to us as near to Christ as 150 years. [3]

The Jewish Flavius Josephus wrote, “The head of gold denotes thee, and the kings of Babylon that have been before thee; but the two hands and arms signify this, that your government shall be dissolved by two kings; but another king that shall come from the west, armed with brass, shall destroy that government; and another government, that shall be like unto iron, shall put an end to the power of the former, and shall have dominion over all the earth, on account of the nature of iron, which is stronger than that of gold, of silver, and of brass." Daniel did also declare the meaning of the stone to the king but I do not think proper to relate it, since I have only undertaken to describe things past or things present, but not things that are future… In the very same manner Daniel also wrote concerning the Roman government, and that our country should be made desolate by them. All these things did this man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him,” [4] Josephus is writing about Daniel but notice how he deliberately leaves out the meaning of the stone. This is most likely because he is a Roman citizen and historian and did not want to offend those he sided with the notion of a heavenly kingdom destroying and consuming Rome would not have looked good. “The Antiquities of the Jews” was written between 93 and 94 AD, now mere decades from Christ and written before the death of the Apostle John. [5]

These three appeals adequately demonstrate the lack of possibility of prophesy of a Great Apostasy in the Old Testament. As mentioned, it is not my duty to find prophesy that an event won’t occur as omission of prophesy is not prophesy at all. However the Old Testament scripture is very telling about God. He is faithful to His creation even though his creation may not be entirely faithful to Him and He has a perfect plan to bring us home. Did that plan involve a Great Apostasy? If it was prophesied in the Old Testament, it must have been. There is a problem with that line of reason and it is that God is not unjust (Job 34:12), God does not lie (Num. 23:19), God does not abandon his people (Psalm 94:14), and therefore, I do not believe in a Great Apostasy prophesied.






Debate Round No. 1


Before I start, I would like to say that I will try not to be aggressive in attacking this case. Religion and belief is something that I believe should never be diminished, only added on too. So as I rebut this case, I'll try to respect religion and your beliefs and keep it more on a teaching level, instead of an argument.
Let me start by defining some words so that they can be understood.
Agency: Agency is a gift from God that gives us the ability to choose and act for ourselves. Without it, we would not be able to learn or progress or follow the savior.
Ordinances: An ordinance is a sacred, formal act performed by the authority of the priesthood. These ordinances include baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, Marriage, and many more.
Priesthood: The priesthood is the eternal power and authority of God.
Reject: Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one's taste
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matt 16:18. The gospel of Jesus Christ was not built upon Peter, but upon Jesus Christ himself. There is some subtle wordplay upon "Peter" in this scripture. In Greek, petros means small rock or pebble. But "rock" in Greek is petra, which translates back into the English word "Bedrock". Bedrock is a foundation. "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 3:11. Therefore, Christ is the foundation and leader of His church. So He didn't build his church on Peter, but on Himself. But "pebble" in Greek can also be translated and interpreted as a "seer stone" or just "seer". So when Jesus changed Simons name to Cephus, He made him a seer, or a Prophet, like the Prophets of old. Christ gave Peter Priesthood authority to teach and to preform ordinances and left him in charge of His church here on earth after He left. Yes, the Gates of hell cannot prevail against His church, but the people can still reject it with their agency. The Gospel of Jesus Christ never was destroyed, it was just rejected.
Post-Messianic Great Apostasy is not mentioned in the Old Testament.
Amos is prophesying the apostasy of Israel. He is receiving revelation that if the people of Israel continue to disobey the commandments of God that they will certainly fall into apostasy. Amos first prophesied the Babylonian captivity of Israel because of their rejection of the gospel. Then he prophesied that if they continue to reject the gospel after the Babylonian captivity, then there shall be a "famine of hearing the words of the Lord." or an apostasy.
Do we know when Amos" prophesy was supposed to come to fruition? Well, Prophesies never really include specific dates, prophesies are promises and/or warnings. The prophets wouldn't say "Okay everyone, you better get ready for the 4 o'clock apostasy today." They would warn you that if you continued to reject the gospel, you'll fall into a state of apostasy. They won't know exactly what time that will be, they just want to give you a chance to return to the Lord before you continue on your way to apostasy.
If Amos means that ordinances would be changed, what were they and how did they change? Amos didn't say that, Isaiah did (Ish 24: 5). One example of an ordinance that was changed was baptism. I don't want to assume how Catholics preform baptism, but I think they sprinkle holy water or something to that effect, I'll ask my opponent to correct me if I'm wrong. But baptism must be done with proper priesthood authority and by immersion of water. In the New Testament, baptism was taught that one would get lowered and engulfed in a body of water and be brought back up out of the water. This was all done in the name of Jesus Christ. This is how Jesus Christ was baptized. But after the Apostles died, This ordinance was changed to how the Catholics believe it to be today. God does not lie (Num. 23:19) so this proves that during the Great Apostasy, the ordinance of baptism was changed, like Isaiah prophesied.
It is not an historical assumption that the apostles died.
Like I said, the prophets couldn't predict the exact date of the apostasy. They could only give a warning. Not a 50,000 page historical book that gives a step by step layout on how the apostasy is going to happen. That never happened over anything in the bible, why would the apostasy be different?
"Prophetic Hope" or "Prophetic Disappointment"
The main goal of the Old Testament is to prophecy of Jesus Christ and to teach of his atonement. Not to bring people down because of a warning of an apostasy. The prophets teach of the many great things about the gospel, but when the people start to reject the commandments of the Lord and his gospel, then the prophets warn them about what could happen. The Old Testament ultimately teaches us to come unto the savior and to never stray away from His gospel. Not that He can't keep his church together. Jesus has always kept his gospel together, He just withdraws it when His people rejects it. The Jews were already in a state of apostasy, that's why they didn't recognize Jesus Christ as the prophesied Messiah. I wouldn't have mattered if they knew there was going to be a Great Apostasy or not, they have already rejected it to be true.
Noah and Moses both came during a time that their people were in a state of apostasy. They all taught about the gospel, not about how it was in shambles but how it could give us hope.
God didn't leave his faithful ones to fend for themselves, He would never do that. But God can't do anything when His "faithful ones" reject him, because he respects our gift of agency. He can't force us to live the gospel.
Do not say that Jesus Christ was a two time loser. How could you believe in such a thing? The LDS church in no way believes in or teaches that Christ is a loser and failed to establish his church. Jesus did not fail in any way. He successfully established His church and gospel here on the earth. But, sadly, the people still reject it. That's why God send prophets in dispensations to teach the gospel so that we are able to have a chance to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even in heaven, those who didn't get to accept the gospel here on earth will still get a chance. I don't see in any way that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy ghost failed to establish the gospel here on earth and that they are not keeping it from anybody. It is acceptable to everyone.
I believe that the gathering of Israel and the reestablishment of the holy temple with happen and that everyone will live in peace after the Resurrection. It is going to happen in this final dispensation of the gospel.
I do believe in Daniel's prophesy. But I believe that it didn't happen when Christ first came to the earth. I believe that it "shall be in the latter days." (Dan. 2:28) or today in this final dispensation. That great statue that represented all of those kingdoms are a representation that those kingdoms won't even compare to the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the church of Jesus Christ and his gospel. That Kingdom of God wasn't he Catholic church. The Church of Jesus Christ is "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;" (Ephesians 2:19). The catholic church isn't built upon apostles and prophets, but a pope. Therefore, Daniel does not prophesy of the Catholic church, But the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints here in the latter days. So that does not affect the warning of a Great Apostasy.
God loves his people, and he has a plan of salvation for all of us. He is faithful to us, that's why he sent prophets, to teach us his plan and gospel so that we might accept is and return to live with him. That's why he sent the prophet Joseph Smith in these latter days. Due to agency, people still have the power to reject that. But just because there was a Great Apostasy it doesn't mean that God doesn't love us. It doesn't mean that he doesn't have a plan for us. That's why he sent Joseph Smith to restore the Gospel, because He loves us.
God does not abandon his people (Psalm 94:14), but his people can abandon him.

I'll review my own case now.
God loves us, so He sends Prophets to the earth to teach us about the gospel of His son, Jesus Christ. We have agency, or the freedom of choice, to choose if we want to accept that gospel or reject it. It has been rejected many times in the history of the world. Rejecting it leads to apostasy. Apostasy is when a individual or groups of people turn away from the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But because God loves us, He sent prophets, apostles, and even His son to teach and establish Christ's gospel here on earth. Although it was great, people eventually rejected it and this led to the Great Apostasy. But because God still loves us, He sent the prophet Joseph Smith to restore the gospel here on earth for it's last dispensation before Jesus Christ comes to the earth again.
Scripture 1: Amos 8:11. This is a warning from the prophet Amos that if the house of Israel will continue to reject the gospel, it will lead to apostasy, and eventually the Great Apostasy, or a famine of hearing the Lords words.
Scripture 2: Isaiah 29:13. In a state of apostasy, the early Christians will draw near God with their lips, but will have removed their hearts from God.
Scripture 2: Isaiah 24:5. In that state of the Great Apostasy, the early christian church will break and change the ordinances of the church, such as baptism and marriage.
I would like to thank you for your time and I would like to ask you to open your hearts toward this discussion. Pray and ponder these words, so that you may know the truth through the Holy Ghost. Thank you and I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

The "True to the faith" handbook.


I would like to mention that my opening statement was to show why I do not believe the Old Testament prophesies a Great Apostasy. I also do not believe that Jesus is a two time loser. He is my Lord and Savior and, as mentioned before, I believe that Jesus was successful in establishing his Church that he would be with till the end of the world which is in contrast to the LDS position. I would kindly ask the affirmative to reread my opening statement in context and not focus on a single line. My statement was not ad hominem but ad absurdum as in I believe it absurd that Jesus would establish two churches and both would fail. However, this is not a debate on Church History or which church is the true church but to see if the Old Testament Prophesies the Great Apostasy and I am ready for my rebuttal.

Amos 8:11: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”

The affirmative attempts to excise a single verse to establish that the prophet Amos is speaking not only of Israel but that, “if the people of Israel continue to disobey the commandments of God that they will certainly fall into apostasy.” There is no such, implicit or explicit, verse in the whole of Amos. There is also a distinction that I am not 100% sure my opponent is trying to make. Which is that Amos is only addressing Israel and not at all saying that God will be silent to all His people.

Amos is a shepherd that hails from Judah, the Southern Kingdom who was chosen by God to send his Judgement to Israel. We know that God’s judgement will not reach Judah when we read v12. Amos says that Israel will seek God’s word but will not find it. Amos relays God’s perfect foreknowledge that, “they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east” Sea to sea would be between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. The directions North and East are also given but one direction is distinctly left out, the South where Judah is located. As the Hebrew scholar, Shalom M. Paul writes in his commentary on Amos, “the southern prophet most surely believes that there in Judah, at least, one can surely find the words of the Lord” [1]So one must ask, if this famine does not affect the entire people of God in the Old Testament, why should it affect the entire world after the Christ leaves his Church and ascends into heaven?

Further, not only is speaking judgment to Israel but he tells them when this prophesy is coming to fruition. Where the Affirmative is correct, he didn’t tell them it would happen at 4 o’clock, he did give them signs to look for. And we find it in v13-14. “In that day (The day that there will be this famine of the word of God) shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.”

Dan, Beersheba and Samaria are the three places most relevant to the Northern Kingdom’s sin of Idolatry. The Prophesy indicates that when there is the famine, those that committed idolatry, will fall and never rise up. But the judgment does not end there, it continues to the next chapter but I will express Amos 9:8, “Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.” Here God has his eyes on the sinful kingdom (Singular) and it will be destroyed save that some of the house of Jacob will not be destroyed. This Prophesy does come to fruition in 722 B.C. when God allows Assyria to conquer the Northern Kingdom. [2] So where then are the signs for the other famine some 800 years after Amos? How could prophesy have such pinpoint precision on Israel and say nothing to a much larger Judgement?

There is no Great Apostasy prophesy in Amos 8:11 and LDS scholar Duane Crowther agrees, “While it is a very suitable description of the lack of revelation which occurred during that period [After Christ’s coming], there is little basis for the assertion that Amos was intentionally speaking of that era, rather than of the time of the fall of Israel, in his prophecy. It is suggested that the prophecy be cited only when comparing the apostate condition of Israel following Amos’ day with the apostasy which followed the New Testament period … The author merely questions the wisdom of some L.D.S. expositors of the scriptures who have, in his view, forced the interpretation of this passage with gross disregard for context and the true intention of the prophet Amos.”[3] Crowther can clearly see there is nothing in the context beyond ancient Israel.

Isaiah 29: 13. “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:”

In my opening statement, I said that if there was evidence for the Great Apostasy assertions, we would find it in the New Testament or Extra-Biblically. I have provided contrary evidence to the claim for Amos but now I need look no further than the New Testament for a refutation and I will do it with my opponent’s LDS website on the scripture and study tab. [4]

The Affirmative would have us believe that Isaiah is referring to a Christian apostasy. However, to judge context we must identify who Isaiah is speaking too. Explicitly, God sends word of judgement to Israel that involves a multitude of nations coming to fight against Israel (Is. 29:8).

Following the footnotes associated with the verse on the site Matt. 15:7-9 which indicates “This People” referred to by Isaiah are identified as the Pharisees and not disciples or future Christians when the Savior quotes, “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” [5] Isaiah’s prophesy was fulfilled in the time of Christ specifically identified within his own source and yet he uses it to prophesy the Great Apostasy? The affirmative cannot eat his cake and have it too. Either he should believe Jesus and agree with Him or not believe Jesus and demonstrate how he is wrong and not talking about the Pharisees but actually the early Christians.

Isaiah 24:5: “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.”

My opponent once again is having a hard time figuring out who transgressed against the laws, changed ordinances, and broke covenants. I will first point out the obvious. There is no reference to marriage being change in the book of Isaiah. Not even a mention of ordinances that will be changed that are similar to them. Only that God likens his relationship with his people like a man loves his wife.(Is 62:5) And no mention of changing Baptism either. Though he does mention the baptism by fire and the Holy Spirit. (Is. 4:4)

First, let’s look at the verse. A careful examination shows us that the actions occur(ed) in the past as the actions are all past tense. So the obvious answer is that it is God’s chosen people who have already done this, not Christians that will do it. Moreover, the laws they have broken are many, but I think Isaiah is referring specifically to the spilling of innocent blood which curses the land by defiling it. This defilement can only be cleansed, in the Old Testament, is by the blood of those who spill it. God, rather poetically though Isaiah, identifies this in the Isaiah 1:15 by saying that He will not hear their prayers because they have blood on their hands. In addition to this in verses 21-23, we find that the righteous have become murderous, diluted and dishonest people with rebellious leaders who don’t bother to take care of the poorest of the poor, the widows and orphans. Yet the affirmative would like to confuse these people with the early Christians who were righteous till death, divided resources to provide for everyone, and take care of the poorest of the poor.

Now I am not 100% sure where the affirmative is getting those definitions. From his own source, Merriam-Webster, an ordinance means: a law or regulation made by a city or town government. [6] Given the evidence, I’m sure that law was something like, “Thou shalt not kill.” (Ex. 20:13) though Isaiah does not say what it may have been changed too but it has nothing to do with marriage or baptism.

So we have the laws transgressed, the ordinance that was changed so I’m sure you are wondering what the covenant is? According to Isaiah it is the “everlasting covenant”. This is given in Gen.17 when God promised to make this “everlasting covenant” with Abram. The term “everlasting covenant” is used three times in the chapter. First with Abram (v.7), next when all men had to be circumcised to enter the “everlasting covenant” (v.12), and one more time to extend the “everlasting covenant” to Abram’s son Isaac. (v.19) As part of the “everlasting covenant”, the land of Canaan would become the “everlasting Possession” of those that have this “everlasting covenant” with God.

God’s people, in Isaiah’s time, transgressed against the laws and changed the ordinances (Merriam-Webster version) by slaying the innocent and committing murder which defiled the land which broke the “everlasting covenant”.

Nothing that the affirmative has offered to indicate a Prophesy of a Great Apostasy in the Old Testament.

Thank you.

[1] Shalom M. Paul, Amos: A Commentary on the Book of Amos


[3] Duane S. Crowther, Prophets and Prophecies of the Old Testament


[5] ibid, footnotes


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Posted by WalkingTarget 2 years ago
For those interested,

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Posted by WalkingTarget 2 years ago
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