The 17 Truths Found in Jesus Christ's Original Church

Written by Danny D. Bunn, B.A. (Born Again Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ)

This was the name of a card that I received when I went to a Mormon Ward to share the true Jesus of the Bible. So I did a study on these so-called 17 Truths. The bolded are their comments and the rest are my comments.

1. Christ organized the church. Ephesians 4:11-14
This is true, Christ did organize the church if we are talking about the true church. There are a lot of so called churches that he didn't organize.

2. The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ. Isaiah 43:6,7; Ephesians 5:23.
It is interesting to note here that Isaiah 43:6,7 was used and verse 7 says:"Even everyone that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him." By reading this, we agree that Jesus Christ did the creating, forming and making of mankind for his glory, and the LORD God (Jehovah Elohim) Almighty said that he would not give his glory to another (Isaiah 42:8). This bears witness with verses like John 1:3,10; Colossians 1:16,17. The other verse used was Ephesians 5:23 and the greek for 'church' is 'ekklesia' (a calling out), the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said,"I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,"(Matthew 16:18) which is further described as 'the church which is his body' in Ephesians 1:22,23. Also in reference in bearing the name of Jesus Christ: if you mean having the literal name Jesus Christ on the church building and not having the power, authority, character, and rank that's in the name; the Mormons even had quite a few problems with this because in the first five years they changed the name of the church twice and stayed with the third name. The first name was 'Church of Christ' (3 Nephi 26:21-27:12, 4 Nephi 1:1, also check D.& C. Sec. 20:1). The second name was 'Church of Latter-Day Saints' (History of the Church, Volume 2, pgs.62,63). And the third and last name, 'The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' (D.& C. Sec. 115:3).

3. The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets. Ephesians 2:19,20.
Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone and the foundation (I Corinthians 3:10,11). The apostles and prophets were built upon that foundation. The 'of' in Ephesians 2:20 is not subjective (consisting of the apostles and prophets) but objective (laid by the apostles and prophets).

4. The true church must have the same organization as Christ's church. Ephesians 4:11-14.
The true church does have the same organization as Christ's church which is comprised of all born- again believers whether in Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Nazarene, non-denominational, etc. Any Christian group is part of the true church. Apostles-ones sent forth (Christian missionaries), prophets-those preaching the divine counsels of grace already accomplished and the foretelling of the purposes of God in the future. And as far as prophecies go, Joseph Smith made a good false prophet, he missed 91% of the time. (Check Jeremiah 14:14; 23:11-14).

5. The true church must claim divine authority. Hebrews 5:4-10.
The Christians, the body of Christ on this planet (check I Corinthians 12:27) do have divine authority (Matthew 28:18). There is no need for an Old Testament priesthood (Hebrews 7:11-24). All born-again believers are kings and priests unto Him (Revelation 1:6, I Peter 2:9). All Christians are the New Testament priesthood.

6. The true church must have no paid ministry. Isaiah 45:13, I Peter 5:2, I Corinthians 9:16-18.
First, let's take Isaiah 45:13, God is speaking of Cyrus as a type of Christ. The Lord uses 'His anointed' in Isaiah 45:1 and 'My shepherd' in Isaiah 44:28 which are Messianic titles in which appellative (descriptive) names are applied to a Gentile. And so we see when Christ came in the flesh, he came to set the captives free and He didn't charge any money to do it. He didn't have a paid ministry in that sense. But remember, Jesus went about preaching and healing all the sick and doing all manner of good for three years. Also remember that He had a treasurer who was in charge of the money (Check John 12:6 & 13:29). Now let's go to I Peter 5:2, it let's us know that we are not to feed the flock of God for filthy lucre. In other words, a person is not to preach or teach the word for greedy gain. It should be because of their love for God, his love in them, and it was their calling. But it is a paid ministry as we shall see. The next scripture used was I Corinthians 9:16-18, but we need to go back to verse 7 to get it in context. Now, by reading this in context, we see that a preacher's life and job should be preaching the gospel. A good Old Testament example of this would be Numbers 18:21-28.

7. The true church must baptize by immersion. Matthew 3:13-16, Colossians 2:12, John 3:23.
I believe that immersion is the best way and God's way but nowhere in the word can I find where God says that you must immerse. Speaking of baptism, it is not needed for salvation. Baptism is a picture of what happened to us when we accepted Jesus Christ into our hearts as our Lord and Savior. Let's start with Colossians 2:12 and tie it with some more verses in God's word like I Peter 3:21. It starts out "The like figure" which makes it plain that it's a type or picture of something that has already happened. The ark on the flood waters is the type, our salvation in Christ (the true ark) is the antitype. The water simply cut off the righteous from the sin and sinner of that day. The ark alone saved. So baptism is for the saved, but itself cannot save, except as a picture (figure) of the saved candidate having been cut off from the sinner and their doom. Christ alone can save, and that because of His resurrection (see Romans 4:25). No external rite can save- 'not the putting away of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God.'(Check I Peter 3:21) By the consciousness of sin removed by Christ's blood (Hebrews 9:14). Now let's go to John 3:23. John the Baptist, the last of the Old Testament prophets (see Luke 16:16) was using types as every Old Testament prophet did before him. By the time that you get to John 3:30, John must have known that Jesus was issuing in the new covenant (testament) and God in human flesh was fixing to take the center stage of history. He wasn't going to baptize with water but with the Holy Ghost and fire (see Luke 3:16, John 1:33). Finally we come to Matthew 3:13-16 and if we go back to verse 11, it should help clear this one up too. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward change brought to pass by Christ and His shed blood. Even Paul said in I Corinthians 1:17-18, that he was not sent to baptize but to preach the Gospel (good news). (Also read I Corinthians 15:3,4).
In conclusion for point #7, I would like to share the three modes of water baptism and why they are used.
(1) Immersion-the general use of bapto' and baptizo in Greek was largely used to express 'to dip or to immerse'. Verses like Matthew 3:6, Mark 1:5, Acts 8:38 seem to point towards immersion. The New Testament teaches that believers are baptized into Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. This can be taken to express the true significance of baptism. Only immersion can properly and fully express what burial with Christ in His death means (Romans 6:3-5).

(2) Pouring- when water is poured upon the participant, it signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon believers. Verses like Matthew 3:11 and Acts 1:5.

(3) Sprinkling- John the Baptist, as the forerunner of Christ and last of the Old Testament prophets, had to follow exactly the instructions given to Moses in the law for sacrifices and cleansing. The Old Testament cleansing were by sprinkling. Sprinkling teaches the washing away of sins by the blood of Christ. (Check Leviticus 16:14-19, Numbers 8:7; Ezekiel 36:25-27).

8. The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Acts 8:6-17, Acts 19:1-6.
The book of Acts tells about the initial outpouring of the Holy Ghost (or Spirit) upon believers (Acts 8:16). They also needed to know about Him (the Holy Spirit) so they would be prepared for what was about to come to pass. Please explain Acts 10:43-48, they received the gift of the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands but through the hearing of faith. (Also see Galatians 3:2 and Romans 10:17).

9. The true church must practice divine healing. Mark 3:14-15.
The word 'must' on just about every one of these sentences on the card that came from a Mormon ward is what keeps trying to throw me off. First, God didn't say 'must', so the sentence should read: 'The true church should practice divine healing', which is true. Any member of the true church, which is His body on this earth, has the authority to practice it through Him who is in us (See John 14:12- 14).

10. The true church must teach that God and Jesus Christ are separate and distinct individuals. John 17:11, John 20:17-28. First, let's take John 17:11.
This verse is metaphorically speaking of union and accord; but even more than that, Christ as God is in us and we are in Him, so we are one with Him in a supernatural sense, too. We are one with the Father as Jesus the man is one with the Father but not as Christ our God is one with the Father. Remember, Jesus was a type of the first Adam; He was the last Adam (I Corinthians 15:44-58). Now, John 20:17-28, just because God chooses to make Himself known in certain ways doesn't mean that He is limited to those ways. I don't believe He's still a talking bush (see Exodus 3:2-5). Neither do I think He's limited to being in a pillar of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (see Exodus 13:21,22). He has made Himself known in the form of a man (see Genesis 32:24-30) and also angelic manifestations (see Judges 13:16-22). While we are checking on these, we need to check Deuteronomy 4:35, 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; and a few Book of Mormon references like 2 Nephi 31:21, Mosiah 7:27, Mosiah 13:34. (If he was already in the form of a man, why does he take the form of a man? See Philippians 2:7 in the Bible.) Finally check Mosiah 15:1- 5.

11. The true church must teach that God and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bone. Luke 24:36-39, Acts 1:9-11, Romans 6:9- 10.
I would like to start off with a few thoughts from the above #10 to answer this one. My question is this, when you say flesh and bone, are you talking about wood flesh and wood bone? (see Exodus 3:2-5); or bird flesh and bird bone? (see Mark 1:10, Luke 3:22); or maybe cloud flesh and cloud bone in the day and fire flesh and fire bone at night? (see Exodus 13:21,22). Remember, as said before, just because God chooses to make Himself known in certain ways doesn't mean that He is limited to those ways. The Bible says that God is a Spirit (John 4:24, II Corinthians 3:17) and He is everywhere (see I Kings 8:27, Jeremiah 23:24, Acts 17:24- 28); He is all-powerful (see Matthew 19:26, Revelation 19:6) and He is all-knowing (Daniel 2:20-23, Psalms 147:5). Now let's take the three scriptures used for #11. Luke 24:36-39 and Acts 1:9-11 are supposed to prove that Jesus Christ as God is held to the body that He created for Himself when He became a man then please explain John 14:23, John 1:12, Ephesians 3:17, Colossians 1:27. (If He is limited to that body of flesh and bone, how can He be in every Christian and we in Him)? Why was Romans 6:9,10 used?

12. The officers must be called by God. Hebrews 5:4, Exodus 28:1, Exodus 40:13-16.
Hebrews 5:4 is being taken out of context. The word makes it plain that there is no need for another priest to come after the order of Aaron but after the order of Melchizedek who was a type of Christ. He appeared in the Old Testament once as a picture of God when He came in human flesh. He is every Christian's high priest- we need no other. If Hebrews 5 doesn't explain it enough then Hebrews 7,8,9 should. Even if we did need a bunch of priests today, why aren't they offering up animal sacrifices for the sins of the people like they did in the Old Testament? (see Leviticus 1-9). Joseph Smith said that animal sacrifices were and will always be a part of the priesthood duties (see The Teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 172). The Levitical (Aaronic) priesthood served its purpose until Christ came (see Hebrews 7:11-27). The other two scriptures should be explained by now also.

13. The true church must claim revelation from God. Amos 3:7, Numbers 12:6.
If these scriptures were taken in context with the subject at hand, the Mormon Church wouldn't have near the problem it seems to have. Like Numbers 12:6- God is saying that He has made Himself known through visions or dreams, but if you keep going, He says that isn't Moses' case- He talked to him face to face in the similitude (fashioned out as a shape) of the Lord. And Amos 3:7 is speaking of Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist being the last (see Luke 16:16). By reading Hebrews 1:2,3; we see that God spoke in times past through the prophets but in these last days has spoken to us through His Son (see Matthew 11:25-30). Jesus was the ultimate in prophets. He was 'The Prophet' that all the other prophets spoke about who was to come (see Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22,23; 7:37). God is still making things known to His New Testament prophets and all His other children through His word or in line with His word, but the greatest mystery that He has made known to all His children is "Christ in us, the hope of glory" (see Colossians 1:27). The Almighty God lives inside us. Now, that's something to shout about.

14. The true church should be a missionary church. Matthew 28:19,20.
This is true.

15. The true church must be a restored church. Acts 3:19-20, Ephesians 1:10.
Since the Mormon church insists on using the word 'must' in most of these points, I'll use it this time. The sentence should read, the true church 'must' NOT be a restored church. The first verse used was Acts 3:19-20 which is speaking of when Jesus comes again to make all things new (see Acts 1:11, Revelation 21:1). Ephesians 1:10 is talking about the same thing when God brings everything to a climax- the finale of sin, disease, pain, sufferings, the end of all the evil and the bad. Now let's take some scriptures and show that the true church will not be a restored church: Isaiah 9:6,7; Daniel 2:44, 6:26; Luke 1:30-33; Matthew 16:15-18; I Corinthians 10:4; and check out Isaiah 8:20.

16. The true church must practice baptism for the dead. I Corinthians 15:16-29.
In this chapter, Paul is talking about the resurrection and in verse 29 when he says something about baptism for the dead, he uses 'they' and not 'we' to show that he doesn't do it. Also I would like to add, resurrection is not any form of salvation. There is a resurrection to life and a resurrection to damnation. And as one Christian brother says, "Woe unto those who call damnation, salvation." If any question on whether doing good or evil is the determining factor on where you are going, read Philippians 2:13; II Corinthians 5:17; I John 3:9; Ephesians 2:8,9; Titus 3:5; Matthew 7:21; John 6:28, 29, 40; Romans 3:20-23, 4:5-8; Galatians 3:24, to name a few.

17. By their fruits ye shall know them. Matthew 7:20, Hebrews 13:8.
If we take this scripture in context, let's start about Matthew 7:15,.. we see Jesus is speaking of false prophets and verse 22 makes it plain that doing good deeds won't be enough. Sure, good works are fantastic but we are not going to work our way to heaven. We work for hell (see Romans 6:23), not for heaven (Ephesians 2:8,9). When a person is born of God, he becomes a new creation (see II Corinthians 5:17). He doesn't want to do things against God or others. After a person is saved, God works in them to desire to do his will and gives them the strength to carry out that desire as they submit to im (see Philippians 2:13, James 4:7). The more they know the word, the stronger they get and the weaker the hold Satan, sin and all the other junk has on their life (see John 8:32-36).

This study, as mentioned at the beginning, is the result taken from a card received at a Mormon ward. Please read it carefully and prayerfully and test it with God's written word, the Bible, as I have done and see if it stands the test.


God's Inspired Word: The Holy Bible
Smith, Joseph: The Book of Mormon
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words
Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
History of the Church
Doctrine and Covenants

A Study by Danny D. Bunn