Ravi Zacharias Speaks at the Mormon Tabernacle

June 22, 2016

(Ravi starts speaking just after minute 42.)
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I posted the video above with my comments (below) in June of 2016. It is now May of 2020 and Ravi passed away yesterday.  I was encouraged by a relative to attempt to contact Ravi regarding my original post here. I know that Ravi was a very busy man but I agreed and emailed his ministry a couple of times to try and get Ravi’s thoughts on the post I had written. I knew that the size of Ravi’s ministry meant that someone else would probably write me back with a response that had been given to others about this particular incident. I didn’t get a reply. So, I leave this post up with the understanding that many consider Ravi the reason for their strong Christian faith. At the same time I must admit that I am still confused about this event. I’m sure that Ravi probably knew at least as much about Mormon theology and history as I do. Many books have been written on the subject and many have left the Mormon church because of these books. If you are curious about why I am critical of Ravi’s appearance at the Mormon Tabernacle, this short article will give you a good start:  Mormons Are Not Christians Because the Mormon Jesus Is Not the Christian Christ.  From there you can find the truth if you seek it.  There are thousands of books and articles about the issue.

-cr
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This is a telling video. I have heard about Mr. Zacharias but I’ve not followed his life and ministry very closely.

I decided to watch this video pretending to be a good Mormon and found that Mr. Zacharias did a very good job.

He speaks of morality. At about 1:17:50 minutes he says:

“One can lead millions into untold evil. The reason they are able to do it is most people cannot think for themselves anymore.”

“The lost art of rational thinking….”

About 1:29:45, Mr. Zacharias gets a nice round of applause.

After watching this video, I came to these conclusions:

This sounded like any Mormon speaker on any Sunday although it was more polished than most.

It seemed that morality was a theme. This holds well with Mormon teachings. Mr. Zacharias asks them to read the Gospel of John. It is one of the Gospels out of four books Mormons believe to be God’s word. Besides the Bible, there is the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. When ones says: “The Word of God” in Mormon terms it can be from any of these four documents.

This speech is an emotional one. What is our purpose in life? It is to have communion with God and then our relationship with God is like a marriage.

These are Biblical themes but a very good Mormon would be comfortable with these themes as well.

There is no full Gospel message. John Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress, is a great book and Mr. Zacharias mentions it at the end of his message. Mr. Bunyan was a Christian. He had never heard of Joseph Smith as he lived in a different time and in a different country. If he had heard Mr. Smith’s philosophy, I’m sure Mr. Bunyan would have considered Joseph Smith to be a false prophet. After studying Mormonism on and off over many years, I have come to the same conclusion that I think John Bunyan would have.

It is near the end where Mr. Zacharias gets close to the cross but it is not a clear message.

I agree to some degree with a statement of Ravi Zacharias. He says: “We’ve lost it today” when speaking about our worship life and about man’s communion with God.

The same statement could be made in many times in history and in front of many types of audiences.

Ravi speaks of the “absoluteness of God’s Word” towards the end and seems to be getting close to the Gospel. Sadly, he never gets there, as expected, in front of an audience that believes in a different Jesus.

How do I know this? Well, I have studied Mormonism at length in the past. I have viewed documents taken from early sources that are in serious error. Current Mormon doctrine is not Christian in spite of what anyone states. If I need to go more in detail than the following quote, only let me know and there is an abundance of evidence. Here are some concerning words of Joseph Smith, the first Mormon:

“A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (SOURCE)

It is hubris to think that one has done anything better than Jesus.

I remember this usual statement of the Mormon church that started with its founder. My source for this is a Mormon one:

“A revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1831, soon after the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke of those who had been given “power to lay the foundation of this church.” The Lord then referred to the Church as “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased” (D&C 1:30)”
(SOURCE)

If Mr. Zacharias wants to join Mormons to those who believe the Bible is the only inspired world, he has to struggle uphill against this statement.

Ravi sounded like a good Mormon, I will say that. But if he claims to be a Christian, how can he not take the road that Pilgrim took? In Pilgrim’s Progress there are many false ways. Here, Mr. Zacharias is surrounded by falseness and he has an opportunity, just like Christian does in The “Pilgrim’s Progress.” Christian succeeds where Mr. Zacharias fails. Christian makes it to the “Celestial City” in The Pilgrim’s Progress. Mr. Zacharias speaks of the “Celestial kingdom” and never gets to the Gospel message. The term “Celestial kingdom” is found in many places in Mormon literature. In the Pilgrim’s progress, the term “Celestial City” is used in every version I have. HERE IS WHAT THE MORMONS BELIEVE ABOUT THE THREE “KINGDOMS OF GLORY.”

I have taken Mr. Ravi Zacharias’ words to heart: “most people cannot think for themselves anymore.” Mr. Zacharias is a literate man as this video shows. My question is: “How can a Christian associate with those who think they will be gods someday?” YOU SHOULD READ THIS VIEW OF MORMON HISTORY AND WHEN YOU GET TO “Human nature was at its core divine.” YOU WILL BE ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH.

To speak to those who believe in serious doctrinal error and not use the opportunity to preach the Gospel makes one appear guilty by association. I certainly hope this is the last time Mr. Zacharias speaks at the “Temple.” He must know of the major differences. He is an intelligent man.

In fact, I actually have a copy of THIS BOOK CALLED: “THE KINGDOM OF THE CULTS” with Ravi Zacharias’ name on the front. One of the chapters in this book is dedicated to the Mormon church and it isn’t friendly. I’m sure the Mormons know of this also, so why are they so friendly to Ravi when they were never very friendly to Walter Martin, a man who exposed Mormonism and other groups as cults? It is very strange.

Here is the end of the Pilgrim’s Progress without the final poem, if you would like to read it.

CR

The Pilgrim's Progress (Penguin Classics) by Bunyan, John (2008) Paperback by John Bunyan (Author) Photo at Amazon books

The Pilgrim’s Progress (Penguin Classics) by Bunyan, John (2008) Paperback Paperback
by John Bunyan (Author)
Photo at Amazon books

“Now I saw in my dream, that these two men went in at the gate; and lo, as they entered, they were transfigured; and they had raiment put on that shone like gold. There were also those that met them with harps and crowns, and gave them to them; the harps to praise withal, and the crowns in token of honour. Then I heard in my dream, that all the bells in the City rang again for joy; and that it was said unto them, “Enter ye into the joy of your Lord.” I also heard the men themselves, that they sang with a loud voice, saying, “Blessing, honour, glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever and ever”.

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:13, 14

Now, just as the gates were opened to let in the men, I looked in after them: and behold, the City shone like the sun: the streets also were paved with gold; and in them walked many men, with crowns on their heads, palms in their hands, and golden harps to sing praises withal.

There were also of them that had wings; and they answered one another without intermission, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord!” And after that they shut up the gates, which when I had seen, I wished myself among them.

IGNORANCE COMES TO HIS END
Now, while I was gazing upon all these things, I turned my head to look back, and saw IGNORANCE come up to the river side; but he soon got over, and that without half the difficulty which the other two men met with. For it happened that there was then in that place one VAIN-HOPE, a ferryman, that with his boat helped him over: so he, as the other I saw, did ascend the hill to come up to the gate; only he came alone, neither did any man meet him with the least encouragement. When he was come up to the gate, he looked upon the writing that was above, and then began to knock, supposing that entrance should have been quickly administered to him; but he was asked by the men that looked over the top of the gate, “Whence came you? and what would you have?” He answered, “I have ate and drank in the presence of the King, and he has taught in our streets.” Then they asked him for his certificate, that they might go in and show it to the King. So he fumbled in his bosom for one, and found none. Then said they, “Have you none?” But the man answered never a word. So they told the King; but he would not come down to see him, but commanded the two Shining Ones that conducted CHRISTIAN and HOPEFUL to the City, to go out, and take IGNORANCE, and bind him hand and foot, and have him away. Then they took him up, and carried him through the air to the door that I saw in the side of the hill, and put him in there. Then I saw that there was a way to hell, even from the gates of heaven, as well as from the city of Destruction . So I awoke, and behold it was a dream! (SOURCE)


FALSE PROPHETS

June 29, 2013
Photo from Ask A Christian Live

Photo from Ask A Christian Live

17 “For a command came to me by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water there; do not return by going the way which you came.’ 18 He said to him, ‘I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord…'”

As I was reading a passage from God’s Holy Word, the verses above leapt off of the page.  How many say they speak “by the word of the Lord,” or say that an angel spoke something of importance to them.

Muhammad is the most followed false prophet in our day.  You will find this statement backed up HERE.

Mohammed Receiving Revelation from the Angel Gabriel Photo From Wikipedia Commons

Mohammed Receiving Revelation from the Angel Gabriel
Photo From Wikimedia Commons

“The above pic shows Mohammed receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. Miniature illustration on vellum from the book Jami’ al-Tawarikh (literally ‘Compendium of Chronicles’ but often referred to as The Universal History or History of the World), by Rashid al-Din, published in Tabriz, Persia, 1307 A.D. Now in the collection of the Edinburgh University Library, Scotland.” (Wikimedia Commons)

“When Islam’s defenders challenge Christianity and other faiths, their dialogue is based upon their assumption that Muhammad was the ‘Seal of the Prophets.’ According to them, this would give him the authority to supersede and refute the teachings in the Bible with his writings in the Koran.” (1)

I hope you get a chance to read the article at footnote 1 below.  It quotes Islāmic texts (including the Koran), and clearly identifies Muhammad as a false prophet.  I love my Muslim friends, but the truth must be told.

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, is another. Joseph Smith said . . .

(Regarding Joseph Smith’s alleged first vision where celestial personages appeared to him.) . . .) “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right — and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong, and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight: that those professors were all corrupt . . .” (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 1, p. 5-6).

“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 270.)

(In questions directed to Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism. . .) First — “Do you believe the Bible?” If we do, we are the only people under heaven that do, for there are none of the religious sects of the day that do.” Third — “Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?” Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness.” (Teachings, page 119.) (1)

Joseph Smith's First Vision Photo at frommormonismtochristianity.weebly.com

Joseph Smith’s First Vision
Photo at frommormonismtochristianity.weebly.com

In one of Joseph Smith’s stories, it was the angel moroni. (Click on the picture above to see how the story changed over time.)

In Muhammad’s story, it is the angel Gabriel: (3)

HERE is an interesting list of modern-day false prophets and teachers.

(There are quotes for the NLT in a few of these sites.  It is not my favorite translation because of its treatment of John 6:37.  I find its treatment unbalanced compared to the KJV or the NASB.  Check it out if you wish.  The NLT is not a bad translation for a new believer who hasn’t dealt with the free will/predestination issue.

Since I’m a rabbit trail guy, I’ll quote the verses now.

John 6:37

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

John 6:37

King James Version (KJV)

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

John 6:37

New Living Translation (NLT)

37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.

There is a subtle difference in the NLT translation.)

Let me get back on track…

Photo by skenmy

Photo by skenmy

Another modern-day false prophet was L. Ron Hubbard.

He is the founder of scientology and as THIS ARTICLE states:

“The Scripture warns that ‘many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.’ L. Ron Hubbard was such a false prophet. And the Godless ‘religion’ he created truly has deceived many.”

The article linked to above also states:

“The creepy part of Scientology is its teaching that we are all, everyone, descendants of Thetans brought to Earth 75 million years ago by Xenu, the tyrant ruler of the ‘Galactic Confederacy.’”

THE ARTICLE also mentions celebrities who believe the lies, and shows Mr. Hubbard’s hand-written description of Xenu.

THIS POST lists a number of modern-day false prophets.  Some would disagree with one or more of the editor’s choices, but the majority listed leave no question.

Photo at nowtheendbegins.com

Photo at nowtheendbegins.com

HAROLD CAMPING is one of many found at this site.

BENNY HINN is another.

JIM JONES was another who is not listed anywhere I looked.  He is mentioned at Manny’s blog named “Cracked Pot.”  My friend’s blog may be seen by going to my BLOGROLL.  Manny also shared THIS LINK about the man who ” in 1965, Jones claimed that the world would be engulfed in a nuclear war on July 15, 1967, that would then create a new socialist Eden on earth.”  Manny has also put up a post with A LINK to a slide show about this false prophet.

And here’s the scripture that started this little study:

1 Kings 13: 11-30

11 Now an old prophet was living in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the deeds which the man of God had done that day in Bethel; the words which he had spoken to the king, these also they related to their father. 12 Their father said to them, “Which way did he go?” Now his sons had seen the way which the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13 Then he said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him and he rode away on it. 14 So he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak; and he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?” And he said, “I am.” 15 Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.” 16 He said, “I cannot return with you, nor go with you, nor will I eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 For a command came to me by the word of the Lord, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water there; do not return by going the way which you came.’” 18 He said to him, “I also am a prophet like you, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.’” But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house and drank water. 20 Now it came about, as they were sitting down at the table, that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back; 21 and he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have disobeyed the command of the Lord, and have not observed the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have returned and eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which He said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water”; your body shall not come to the grave of your fathers.’” 23 It came about after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 Now when he had gone, a lion met him on the way and killed him, and his body was thrown on the road, with the donkey standing beside it; the lion also was standing beside the body. 25 And behold, men passed by and saw the body thrown on the road, and the lion standing beside the body; so they came and told it in the city where the old prophet lived. 26 Now when the prophet who brought him back from the way heard it, he said, “It is the man of God, who disobeyed the command of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke to him.” 27 Then he spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” And they saddled it. 28 He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey. 29 So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. 30 He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!”

False prophets are nothing new.  As this Biblical narrative describes the deception of a “prophet” and its consequences, we must ask God for discernment regarding those who claim special revelation from God.

I found a few verses about false prophets HERE.

They are:

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

Luke 6:26 KJV


“For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Mark 13:22 KJV


“For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.”

Matthew 24:24 KJV


“Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.”

Matthew 24:11 KJV


“[ You Will Know Them by Their Fruits ] “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.”

Matthew 7:15 KJV


“Her prophets plastered them with untempered mortar, seeing false visions, and divining lies for them, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD,’ when the LORD had not spoken.”

Ezekiel 22:28 KJV


“Your prophets have seen for you False and deceptive visions; They have not uncovered your iniquity, To bring back your captives, But have envisioned for you false prophecies and delusions.”

Lamentations 2:14 KJV


“[ False Prophets and Empty Oracles ] My heart within me is broken Because of the prophets; All my bones shake. I am like a drunken man, And like a man whom wine has overcome, Because of the LORD, And because of His holy words.”

Jeremiah 23:9 KJV


“And the LORD said to me, “The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.”

Jeremiah 14:14 KJV


“The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power; And My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end?”

Jeremiah 5:31 KJV


Photo by Mr Thinktank

Photo by Mr Thinktank

Don’t be fooled.

Chris Reimers

(The photo above is not indicative of my view of Ford automobiles.)

(1) http://carm.org/does-mormonism-attack-other-religions

(2)http://www.kingmessiahproject.com/is_muhammad_false_prophet.html

(3)http://www.mormonwiki.com/Angels


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