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Splinter Group Church of Christ Elijah Message Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2020 2:25 pm

Splinter Group Church of Christ Elijah Message Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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September 5, 2020 2:25 pm

This week during our series on splinter groups we will take a closer look at Church of Christ Elijah Message, a church that believes John the Baptist regularly communicates the word of God to one of the church’s apostles. It’s an interesting look at a religion that claims it is the one way to God.

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Point is teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism.

I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM last week we began a series looking at some of the smaller splinter groups as we call them of the restoration movement when we use the phrase restoration movement were basically referring to groups that have formed over the years that go back not necessarily to the time of Joseph Smith but certainly do believe that Joseph Smith is the founder of their organization.

Most of these groups feel that they are the only true church on earth but however there are some that do not hold to that position. One of them would be the community of Christ, which was formally known as the reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Eric I think it would help to explain why are we going to spend time looking at some of the groups that are clearly much smaller than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City and probably more visual to those of us who live in Utah and even the western United States. But why are we looking at some of the smaller groups even though they may have a connection to Joseph Smith thing are not necessarily connected to each other, especially since most of our listeners probably will never come in contact with someone from these groups. I came up with the idea of this earlier this year when I was thinking about ways that we can respond to latter-day St. arguments in one of the arguments that we hear often times when they find out that we call ourselves Christian is they want to know what kind of Christian you are you a Baptist or your Presbyterian and the it the insinuation is that, well, there are so many different groups out there.

There can only be one true church that's presupposition that a latter-day St. will take and so oftentimes Christians are going to be left with. Well I go to the Baptist church. Okay, so you're that kind of a Christian different from this other denomination, and I think that when we get asked that question by studying these other groups and you can go to our website MRM.org/splinter groups with a hyphen between splinter and groups.

There are seven different groups that I spent a lot of time researching, I actually ended up calling some of the apostles of these groups and I did. I did a lot of in-depth research to be able to find out what exactly they believe, so that perhaps we could use this information when somebody says what denomination do you belong to, we can ask the question will what part of the restoration. Do you belong to. All you belong to the largest one but you know that there are perhaps as many as 200 different groups out there have been there have been as many as 200 groups that have claimed to be the one true church that you have to get baptized in their church that you have to follow their ordinances, etc. and so by understanding perhaps a minor group. It's not very big. The church of Christ with the Eliza message ran talk about today, but by understanding some of these these facts, you can say what about this church, here's what they believe and a lot of latter-day Saints may have never thought about the idea that their church is not the only one supposedly following Joseph Smith several years ago I had a written correspondence with a man by the name of Stephen L.

Shields, Stephen Shields had written a book called divergent paths of the restoration that I found very helpful. Back then, I have the most recent addition that I think has been printed. This one was printed in 1990.

It's the paperback edition.

But Steven L Shields list hundreds that will heal us well over 100 around 200 if I'm not mistaken of different groups that claim to be related or at least can trace themselves back to the teachings of Joseph Smith. So you're absolutely correct when a latter-day St. ask a Bible believing Christian. What denomination do you belong to, as if all the denominations are nothing but one big spiritual free-for-all which is not true. There certainly are some differences among us. But when it comes to the primary important teachings of the faith. We are in agreement.

Secondary issues are just that they are secondary issues. They are not what we would say are salvific issues.

Are you baptized in water or you sprinkle when is Jesus coming back pre-mid post. Those are not salvific issues, so there is room for disagreement in those areas. But when it comes to the primary issues who Jesus is the Godhead. For instance, the how a person is saved.

Those are issues of primary importance which I think even a latter-day say if they were to suspend a little bit of time would find that we agree on those areas. We do agree in those areas.

One of the things I used to enjoy doing when we went to the Mormon miracle pageant in Mantell Utah in June would be to witness to the Mormonism when they would ask that kind of a question which denomination I would like to pull other people together from different churches from all over the United States and asked them what churches they went to go to Calvary Chapel. Oh I go to the Presbyterian Church and so we would do that and I say okay guys what you guys believe about God. What you believe about Jesus what you believe about salvation by grace and we can all agree on those what you called essential issues in the peripheral issues we might have some disagreements but we were on the same page. We were on the same team witnessing out there exactly when we speak of the only true church. I I have to confess I believe there is only one true church, but that church is composed of forgiven individuals.

The only way you get into that only true church is if you are forgiven of your sins.

If you are forgiven you are a part of Christ's church. I do not see the church as a mere building or organization. The church is composed of individuals who have been saved, forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. That is, the church will let's look at this organization and again we call them splinter group and this group finds that offensive because they do believe they are the only true church on the face of the earth very similar to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but there known as the church of Christ with the Elijah message, let's stick Eric with the summary that you have on your art in your article that is on our website MRM.org. What do you say in that summary and then let me just explain those seven different groups that we each have different articles for for them and so we have MRM.org/Church of Christ Elijah with hyphens between those or you can go to the splinter group article and get and go to that link there, but this is what I write it. Beginning in the summary. One of the three largest non-polygamist splinter groups and Mormonism the church of Christ with the Eliza message was founded in 1930 by Otto fitting after he broke off from the Church of Christ Temple lot in 1929 and we had a chance to talk about that group last week. The religion places great emphasis on eschatology eschatology is referring to end times teaching and claims that the tribulation has already begun with the second coming. A millennium set to come very soon. The main Scriptures are the King James version of the Bible, the record of the neophytes which is the 1836 edition of the book of Mormon to stop either because I'm holding in my hand a copy of the record of the neophytes. This is the addition that is put out by the Church of Christ with the Elijah message. They say it's a 1936 edition inside the book itself doesn't say that, but they say that it's the original edition published in Palmyra, New York in 1830.

They call it the restored Palmyra addition, the first printing was in 1957, 1970. They went through a second printing of this book, but one that I happen to hold here is 1957 edition that's one of the first printing, but it is the book of Mormon. We looked in. They are still they still follow the chapter in verse breakdown that Mormon apostle Orson Pratt gave the book of Mormon in the late 1870s up until that time it was just like one big long novel that was not broken down according to any particular chapter or verse that didn't happen until late 1870s and Orson Pratt was responsible for that.

But we've noticed and comparing them that they've stuck pretty well to that pattern. So if you looked up a verse in the modern LDS book of Mormon.

It would probably it would be the same chapter and verse in the record of the neophytes, although it will not have the revisions that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has made to their addition of the book of Mormon. You see, the LDS church has been making corrections to the most correct book on earth for years and years and years, but a lot of these other groups have not followed that pattern naturally. They're not going to make a correction quote."

I should probably say alteration just because the LDS church decides to make an alteration so you will see some differences in the wording. Even though the chapters themselves in the verses were are going to be the same so we have the King James version of the Bible, we have the record of the neophytes which is the book of Mormon. But what's most interesting about this group and will have a chance to talk about later this week is a series of quote unquote messages that have been delivered personally by John the Baptist as the church leaders believe in continuing revelation for today. The church is led by a group of men called apostles today.

Apostle Norman Lyles from Grand Junction, Colorado appears to be the church's main leader as he claims to have met several times with John the Baptist. Beginning in 2018.

It's interesting why would it be John the Baptist. I'm just kind of curious about that, why not someone like Peter, James and John, because you think Peter James and John, giving the Melchizedek priesthood to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdrey would be much higher in the food chain if you will. While they explained that they go back to Malachi, and they believe that the prophecy there which Christians believe that Eliza was really John the Baptist but John the Baptist during the lifetime of Jesus. Not that he would return again, but they believe that it had not been fulfilled that John the Baptist did not fulfill his mission and so therefore he is the I guess you would say the messenger between Jesus himself and the leaders of this church and we should make it clear when Jesus refers to John the Baptist in connection with Elijah. He's not talking about a reincarnation of the Elijah, please don't. Don't misunderstand that, but he is the one that Jesus was referring to. Okay the week explained that clear enough I think so. You sure go ahead like a couple of things that are in our chart and we can start here with the date of the founding officially the leaders claim the church was founded in 1829 when Joseph Smith received the priesthood and then he restored the authority of the church and then realistically the founding of this church took place. A century later, in 1930 and tomorrow we can talk about this with Otto fitting who founded this church in 1930, but they do believe that the priesthood was restore but they don't believe John the Baptist came, nor did Peter James and John. They do not believe in the distinctions of the priesthood of the Veronica Melchizedek. They just believe that he did restore priesthood authority and and that was done in 1829.

Know this group was organized on April 8, 1931, April 8, not April 6 because April 6 is a big deal to a lot of Latter Day Saints and especially on the centennial of the foundation of the church. The church was founded eight April 6, 1830 so I don't have any answers to that question now about how many members are there today.

I did a lot of research and I'm estimating about 12,500 fewer than 2011, the United States, however I did talk to one of the apostles and he claims in Africa alone.

They have 75,000 but I have no way to support that number and I would imagine that one of the reasons why they grow in countries like Africa is because of the lack of information to the people there and it makes it much more difficult for a person to discern whether or not these groups really have the biblical authority that you would think they should have and they don't know much about them because it's just not that information out there for them tomorrow were going to continue looking at this group the Church of Christ with the Elijah message. Thank you for listening you would like more information and research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter research join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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