Examining the Claims of Mormonism


Click on the following link to hear an audio teaching by Mark Da Vee on the subject of Mormonism.


Click on the following link to get outline notes on the teaching on Mormonism.

Examining the Claims of Mormonism slide copy

Click on the following slides for the teaching on Mormonism. (Not every slide referenced in the teaching is included here to save space. Only the most relevant slides are included).

#1 Father and Jesus#2 Lehi Comes to America

#5 The test of a prophet

#8 You shall become gods

#9 No Gods but Me

#11 Mormon Mesoamerican map#12 Nephite metallurgy#13 Bible vs. Book of Mormon

Evidence for the Resurrection of Christ


Click on the following link for an audio teaching on Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ taught by Mark Da Vee on a Wednesday night service at Calvary Monterey.
Evidence for the Resurrection

Click on the following two links for outline notes for the teaching on the resurrection and references for the teaching.
Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

References for Resurrection Teaching

Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain… Zechariah 10:1a


In its context, the prophet Zechariah in this passage is exhorting the people of Judah to turn from their idolatrous practice of attributing the blessing of rain to the false god Baal, and return to asking the Lord (YHWH), the true giver of rain, to give them the rain they needed for their sustenance.

What strikes me about this passage is that the prophet Zechariah is exhorting the people of Judah to ask God for something that they would probably be getting anyway: rain in the time of the spring rain.
Have you ever thought something like, “Why do I need to ask God for this? Doesn’t He know my needs? Doesn’t He already know my wishes and desires? Doesn’t He want to bless me? Why do I need to go through the process of asking Him for things He already knows that I want, and things which He probably already wants to give me?” Why ask God for rain when He is going to give the rain anyway? Why does God want us to pray to Him?

I believe there are at least three reasons why God wants us to spend time with Him in prayer, and ask Him for things He already knows about. The reasons can be categorized under the headings of Transformation, Fragrance, and Love.

God is taking us through a process to transform us to be like Him. When we spend time with God in prayer, we are transformed, re-created so to speak, into His image. The more “face time” we spend with God in prayer, the more we are transformed. We get a glimpse of this truth when we read the account of the disciples experience with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Luke’s account tells us, “And while He (Jesus) was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming.” (Luke 9:29). I realize that Jesus did not need to be changed; He was and is already the perfect reflection of who God the Father is. But I believe that when Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and directed His attention from this world to His heavenly Father, He began to reflect the glory of the Father as He came into His presence; and this was what was being revealed to His disciples.*

Moses face was changed after spending 40 days and nights in the presence of God on Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24:12-18, 34:29-35). And the Apostle Paul relates this experience that Moses had to our experience as we come into the presence of the Lord:

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit”. 2 Cor. 3:18

The Apostle Paul also writes to the Colossians that they are to “put on” the new self, “who is being renewed (lit. renovated) to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him…”
Col. 3:10 NASB

When the human race fell in Adam’s transgression, the image of God in us was tarnished/distorted. When we are born again by faith, and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, God begins that work of renovation in us–like renovating a building–removing what is old and rotted, and replacing it with the new. We are being re-created in His image to be more like Him. Spending time with Him in prayer acts as a catalyst to move this process along. He doesn’t need us to pray, it’s the other way around. He wants to bless us, and cause us to reflect to the world around us what He is like! The was Adam’s original purpose: to be a reflection of the invisible God to the physical world. Adam failed in this, but Jesus, who is called “the last Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45) succeeded.

“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God…” (2 Cor. 2:15a)
When we come to God the Father in prayer, He “smells” the fragrant aroma of His Son on us. We manifest “the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him” (2 Cor. 2:14). In other words, when we come to God through His Son, it brings pleasure to Him. God enjoys the pleasure of our company. We are His treasure, His inheritance. We are the reason He sent His Son to die on the cross. He loves it when we come to Him in prayer!

Our Heavenly Father wants the best for us. He wants to transform us; He wants to spend time with us. He wants to include us in accomplishing His will “on earth as it is in heaven”. He wants to reward us for being involved in accomplishing His will on earth by building His church and reaching out to a lost world. He lets us pray to Him to accomplish these things; He lets us in on what He is doing; and He rewards us for playing a part in accomplishing His will.

Ask the Lord for rain in the season of spring rain. Don’t do it out of duty or obligation; do it to bring pleasure to Him.

*I recognize that there are other equally valid ways of interpreting this passage: namely that Jesus was simply unveiling His glory to His disciples at this event. I believe that these views are not mutually exclusive.

In Search of Stability


…show me Your way, Lord, and lead me on a level path.

Ps. 27:11b (HCSB) Davidic Psalm

When I think of a level path, I think of a path that is easy to maintain one’s balance on. The opposite of a level path would be one that is on an incline; like walking on a path along the side of a steep mountain, constantly trying to keep balance and fighting the forces of gravity trying to pull you off the path. I think David was asking God show him how He (God) would have him to live his life, and for God to bring calm and balance into his life.

If you are like me, you may find that you are prone to an imbalanced life. Let me give you a few examples to illustrate what I mean by an imbalanced life. Someone wrongs you, and you have the desire, the fantasy, of not only paying them back for what they have done, but paying them back double or triple the retribution they actually deserve. Someone criticizes your appearance, so you become obsessed with their comments, replaying them in your mind for the rest of the day. Someone criticizes your work performance, and you feel like giving up altogether because after all, no one is recognizing all your hard work.

We can become imbalanced when it comes to spiritual things as well. Here is one way it can happen. We typically resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit leading us to repentance at first. When we cease resisting and come to faith in Christ, we experience spiritual regeneration, through which we are given the desire to please God. We experience spiritual success by casting off some of the old sinful habits we had before our conversion. But we can fall into the trap of gradually setting the spiritual bar of performance higher and higher for ourselves until all the joy of our conversion is gone. The Lord wants simple faith and obedience from us. No more, and no less. It’s easy for us to go beyond the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus (2 Cor. 11:3). Peter illustrated this when Jesus was washing the disciples feet at the last supper. At first Peter did not want the Lord to wash His feet at all, then he wanted Jesus to wash not only his feet, but also his hands and his head. Jesus told him “just the feet, Peter” (my paraphrase). Our responsibility is to find out what the Lord wants from us and then do it; not go beyond it, or add anything to it.

Peter and David were men of extremes. They had great highs and great lows. They were men of passion and had a great desire to know and follow the Lord. Yet left to themselves, they were men prone to imbalance. Church history gives us many examples of men who were passionate for God, yet took that passion to unhealthy levels through severe asceticism, often ruining their own health by long periods of fasting, sleep deprivation, and isolation. We also see many examples of imbalance today in various Christian ministries that seem to only emphasize one aspect of Christian living. Some can’t seem to stop talking about money. Some only talk about believers having a positive image of themselves. Some only talk about Israel, only prophecy, only speaking in tongues, only the Holy Spirit, and on and on. All of these things are important, but over emphasizing one aspect of Christian living is to walk on an uneven path.

What does a balanced life look like?

First let me say that a balanced life comes about through the influence of the Holy Spirit, who guides us primarily through the written word of God. Following Jesus and His teaching, which comes down to us through the gospels and the epistles of the New Testament, lead us to that balanced life that David prayed for. It is a life long process; it does not happen overnight. Here are some of the indicators to give us an idea of what a balanced spiritual life looks like:

1. Our relationship with God becomes the most important relationship in our life. You might call this the first step towards internal balance.
2. Our Bible becomes the most important possession we have. We experience a spiritual hunger for reading the word of God. We seek to get to know God through reading and studying His word.
3. The importance of our relationships with other people rises to a new level. We don’t mislead or lie to others. We honor our commitments to others. We don’t take advantage of others. We strive not to hurt others by what we say.
4. The importance of our relationships and responsibilities to family members rises to a new level. We work to provide for our families. We seek to make amends in relationships we may have damaged in the past.
5. Our responsibilities in the workplace take on new importance as we reflect Christ to those around us. We bring discredit to His name when we behave poorly in the workplace.
6. We pay our bills on time and manage our financial responsibilities.
7. We take care of our bodies as they are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
8. We realize the importance of belonging to a local church. At church we grow in knowledge of the faith; we build relationships with other believers, giving and receiving encouragement from other members of the body of Christ.

God has given us a sense of what is good and right. The real danger we face is that we are prone to look the other way when the Holy Spirit shows us areas of our lives He wants to change; areas that are either sinful, or “out of balance”.

Pause to reflect: Is my relationship with God the most important relationship in my life? Do I sense that God is leading me to a level path? If not, what barriers are preventing this from happening?

Lord, by Your grace, strengthen our desire for You! Change us to love what You love, and hate what You hate. Lead us and guide us into Your way, and lead us on a level path, that our lives might reflect what it means to follow You.

We are a spectacle for Christ

How great is Your goodness that You have stored up for those who fear you,

and accomplished in the sight of everyone for those who take refuge in You.

Ps. 31:19 HCSB (Davidic Psalm)

The Lord Jesus promised His disciples that they would be like a lighted candle put on display for everyone to see (Matt. 5:15-16). He desires to be glorified in our lives often through the difficulties we face in life. It can seem at times like we are on display–our weaknesses showing–to those around us. Yet it is precisely during these times that God wants to be glorified in our lives “in the sight of everyone”. God knows our “failing point”; that point when our faith begins to fail and we sink into self-pity and depression or give in to temptation. But it is at this point that God extends His grace to us if we will receive it. John the Baptist reached this point when he was thrown into prison. He sent messengers to Jesus to ask Him if He really was the Messiah, or should they look for someone else (Matt. 11:1-15). Peter reached his failing point when he began to sink after walking on water towards Jesus (Matt. 14:22-23). And another time when he denied that he knew the Lord three times (Matt. 26:69-75). Yet what was the Lord’s response in these instances? Jesus turned and praised John to the crowd rather than rebuke him for his doubt. Jesus reached out and caught Peter as he was sinking. And Jesus prayed for Peter knowing that he would deny Him, and restored Peter afterwards (Luke 22:31-32).

Proverbs 3:34b states, “…He gives grace to the afflicted” (NASB).

He knows what we are going through. He knows our failing point. He gives grace to the afflicted. It’s when we reach that failing point and need help outside of ourselves that God is most ready to answer our cry for help and be glorified in our lives for all to see. There is nowhere we can fall that He cannot catch us!

Lord, when we fail, help us to see Your grace towards us. There is no one like You, Lord! No god ever invented in the mind of man comes anywhere near Your goodness! May You reign in our hearts forever! Amen.