Jacob 7

Jacob 7: Testimony of Christ

                There came a man among the Nephites by the name of Sherem, who “…began to preach among the people, and to declare unto them that there should be no Christ….” (Jacob 7:2), he did this with the purpose of overthrowing the doctrine of Christ and confusing the people. Sherem labored diligently that he might lead away many hearts. Indeed, Sherem was “…learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore he could use much flattery, and much power of speech….” (Jacob 7:4)

Sherem sought out Jacob to contend with him. He explained that no man could have a knowledge of Jesus Christ. Sherem was arguing with Jacob when “…the Lord God poured in his Spirit into my [Jacob] soul, insomuch that I did confound him in all his words.” (Jacob 7:9) Jacob asks Sherem if he would deny Christ and Sherem explained that he wouldn’t deny Christ, if there was a Christ. Jacob then asks Sherem if he believed in the scriptures, to which he responded yes. Jacob then explained that he “…did not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ…” (Jacob 7:11)

Often times this contentious manner exists among the world, even when the truth is right before their eyes. Jacob, being filled with the Spirit of God, was able to confound all of the teachings of Sherem. After this conversation Sherem asks Jacob to show him a sign, so that he might know that what he spoke was true. Jacob responds: “…What am I that I should tempt God to show unto thee a sign in the things which thou knowest to be true? Yet thou wilt deny is, because thou are of the devil….” (Jacob 7:14)

Immediately after speaking these words, the power of God came down upon Sherem, causing him to fall to the earth. Out of fear, Sherem called all those who he had preached to against Christ saying that he had been deceived by the Devil and that he feared he had committed “…the unpardonable sin, for I have lied unto God.” (Jacob 7:19) Immediately after Sherem had confessed that he was a liar, who was trying to deceive them, he died. The people of Nephi were overcome with the power of God and fell to the earth. Jacob was pleased with this, for the love of God was restored amongst the people; “…they searched the scriptures, and hearkened no more to the words of this wicked man.” (Jacob 7:23)

Jacob explains that he felt as if his death would soon come, he charged his son Enos with the preservation of the records.

Happy 2015 and Goodbye to 2014!

Happy New Year’s Eve to all my Followers!

I don’t know about all of you, but my 2014 has been one of the craziest of my entire life! I had promised at the first of the year to post daily to this blog, unfortunately later in the year I changed those postings to only twice a week. As many of you have noticed I have failed to deliver on daily and even twice weekly postings… often missing a post for days. While I love reading the scriptures and studying the Gospel of Jesus Christ… I have been preoccupied by other responsibilities, obligations and other unfortunate circumstances.

Besides being a full-time student, working full time, and keeping up with personal friendships/relationships. I am also a full-time caretaker for my mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s and to top it all off this year, back in May, I was rear-ended at a stoplight. Because of this accident I have spent the last six months going to weekly Physical Therapy, Chiropractic, Massage Therapist and Acupuncture treatments to get myself back to pre-accident condition (of which I am still struggling).

So, like I said… 2014 has been one of the craziest years of my entire life. I am hoping that 2015 comes with new challenges that will help me to learn even more about myself and those around me. It is amazing how challenges and trials in this life can help bring people knowledge, understanding and wisdom that can only be obtained through life’s own journey.

While I know 2015 will bring new challenges, I know that with patience, diligence and hard-work I can overcome any challenge placed before me. Unfortunately 2015 will be my last year in school before I graduate at the end of the year. Because of this my schedule will only get more crowded from appointments, deadlines, etc.

Starting in January I will only be posting once per week, on Sundays. This will ensure that I get at least one good post in per week for you all, this also means that I can, at a minimum study scriptures once per week! However, I will continue to squeeze in time for scripture study other days of the week. This means that I will occasionally post 2 or more times during the week, but this will be unscheduled. I will even try to throw in topics of interest, or topics of deep doctrine.

My plan is to finish reading and posting about The Book of Mormon, then move on to the Doctrine and Covenants. After this I will tackle other volumes of scriptures, including the Apocrypha and the Lost Books of the Bible and even topics of History that link to the scriptures!

I wish you all a Happy 2015 and hope it is a prosperous one!

  • Zach

New Postings

Hello Everyone!

I hope you are enjoying my posts as I divulge into my scripture studies! So far I have read the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Pearl of Great Price. Now I am reading the Book of Mormon and then after that I will continue on through the Doctrine and Covenants and then on to specific topics relating to the LDS Religion and Scriptures.

For the longest time I have been posting daily, however my busy schedule no longer allows me the time to work on a daily post. So, from here on out you will see new posts every Sunday and Wednesday. Hopefully, this will also allow me to spend a little more time on each post to ensure that all my thoughts are expressed.

I appreciate all your support and I hope that I can continue to give you an insight into the LDS Canon of Scriptures from the point of view of an ordinary member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!

Thanks,

– Zach

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1: Saints Foreordained/Restoration of the Gospel

                Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians, he starts by explaining that he is an Apostle of the Lord and explains that we are all God’s children, for God “…hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, what we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ… In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Ephesians 1:4-5, 7) We learn from Paul that we are not only children of God, but that Jesus Christ will adopt us and through His atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and His Crucifixion, we can be forgiven of our sins.

Paul goes on to explain that God will make known “…the mystery of his will…” (Ephesians 1:7) Essentially Paul is telling us that ONE DAY we will have answers to the questions of our soul, like: Where did we come from? Why are we here and where are we going after death? Paul explains that in the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ we will come to this knowledge;

“…the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Ephesians 1:10)

What is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times?

                First, what is a ‘Dispensation’? Dispensations are periods of time in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is administered by Holy Prophets, who are ordained by God. Through these Prophets, God can speak to His children and administer the affairs of His kingdom on Earth. Dispensations begin with the calling of a prophet, by God. Dispensations end, when the people reject the prophets and kill them.

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times began in 1820, when Joseph Smith had the First Vision. During this time God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. Through Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ was restored back to the earth. In modern day scripture we read; “It is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18).

                So we learn that through Joseph Smith, the Father and the Son ushered in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, where all dispensations from Adam to Present are linked together to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Paul ends his letter to the Saints in Ephesus, and prays that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ given them the “…spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; The eyes of your understanding being  enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-18) Paul was urging them to open their minds and hearts to being filled with knowledge and enlightenment over the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asks the same thing, for people to open their hearts and understand that the Church, Jesus Christ personally established when He was on the earth… is now Restored with modern day Prophets and Apostles.

John 17

John 17: The Great Intercessory Prayer

Jesus offers the Great Intercessory Prayer;

“Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou has given him power of all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:1-3) Jesus was sent on a divine mission from His Father to save all of God’s children, and that during this life we might learn and know of our Father in Heaven, this is what life is all about!

Jesus goes on; “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:4-5) In this address to Father, Jesus Christ explained that He was with God the Father before the world was, and that He had been given a task before that creation of the world, to be the savior of that world. Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten of the Father and He did complete the work the Father gave to Him.

Jesus continues; “…I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.” (John 17:9-11) Jesus prays for those who are following Him, but will not be able to leave the world as He is about to. We learn that everything the Father has, is shared with the Son. We are one as followers in Christ, as Jesus and His Father are one. Meaning, ONE in Purpose.

Jesus asks the Father to look out for those who are not of the world, for those who have given themselves over to following the Lord. Jesus continues to address the Father; “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of this world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14-16) Jesus knows that those who have followed His word, are not of the world. Jesus asks the Father to make living in the world easier, by removing the evil from them, but He specifically says not to remove them from the world. This means that even when the hardships of the world come forth, we must lift our head up and overcome the world, just as Jesus overcame the world.

The Bible: God’s Only Word?

                Jesus then says; “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) This is a famous scripture, and is used often to claim that there can only be the Bible and no more of God’s word. So the question is, does all the truth of God come from His words, and His words only? If we read further in the New Testament we read; “For the kingdom of God is not in the world, but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) Does this devalue the word of God? Absolutely not, the word of God is that, it comes from God! But without the proper power and authority from God, nothing besides knowledge can come from those words. In order to participate in all of God’s life saving ordinances, we must have the Power and Authority given to us. The word of God is also not in the confines of the Old and New Testament. If this were true, I can only imagine those of old, who only had the Old Testament and then found out that there was a New Testament. Well, we already know that outcome… the Scribes and Pharisees believed only in the Old Testament, and when a new Prophet came forth (who happened to be Jesus Christ) they did not believe on Him and instead murdered Him. Any Christian would say that of course the Old and New Testaments are the word of God. So the question is, can God call a new prophet and given them Another Testament? Yes, and it happened. The Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Having more than the Bible does not devalue it. In fact, having the Bible and the Book of Mormon only makes ones heart grow fonder of both.

Jesus continues His prayer and confirms once again that Jesus and His Father are one in purpose and not one in flesh or spirit; “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:20-21) We are one in purpose, just as the Son and Father are one in purpose. With that, we are all ONE in purpose, all of God’s children, Jesus Christ and the Father.

The Old Testament is DONE!

Hello everyone,

I would like to thank you for your constant support by reading “Zach’s Scripture Study”. On January 1, 2012 I started to read the Old Testament, while writing about what I read. This journey took me a total of 1 year and almost 11 months. So very close to 2 YEARS to complete the Old Testament. I was fairly consistent with reading 2 chapters per day, but of course missed a few days here and there.

This journey created “ZachScriptureStudy.com” and has created the start to my scripture commentary with a printed version of 471 pages of commentary and summary of the Old Testament and its 39 books!

 

The journey is NOT OVER! Starting tomorrow; Monday October 21, 2013 I will do the same thing with the New Testament. This time you can expect 1 chapter per day of summary, commentary and scripture links, all with an LDS look on the Bible. Scripture references and commentary on all books of the New Testament can be linked to any part of the LDS Cannon of scriptures. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and as always, comments and questions are encouraged and treated with seriousness.

Thanks again!

– Zach

What is the Bible?

What is the Bible?

What is the Bible? Where did it come from? Have you ever asked yourself these questions?

Today there are dozens of “versions” or “translations” of the Bible in English alone! Not including a translation in at least some small form in every language spoken on earth!  I use the King James Version of the Bible which was translated in 1611 and is probably one of the most common and most quoted “translations” of the Bible in the world.

Lets step back in time for a moment and learn some of the history of the Bible; I personally am always blown away with the extensive history of the Bible! Someone could easily spend their entire life studying the Bible and still not know the entire history. Let’s start by examining the word “Bible”, what does that mean? Bible comes from the Latin word; Biblia, which means “books” or a collections of books. So the Bible literally means a collection of Books or if we were to see “Holy Bible” we could translate that to the “Holy Books”.

So we know that the Bible is a collection of Books, but where did these books come from? We know that the first five books of the Bible, known as the “Pentateuch” were authored by Moses of Israel, but he most likely took existing records, collected, edited, wove and abridged the books into a complete narrative. It is believed that some 700 years after Moses, Ezra, and the scribe returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity to start the demanding task of collecting, sorting and editing existing records and biblical texts to form one collection. The Old Testament that we know today probably reached its current form sometime around the late first century A.D.

The New Testament was formed in a similar manner, but often not how people have perceived. The books and the order they are placed in the Bible does not coincide with the date they were written. Before they were even written down, the stories and teachings of Jesus were first circulated as an oral history, with the earliest writings appearing sometime around 50 A.D. We know that the “Gospels” (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) were actually written much later than other parts of the New Testament, even though they appear first in the New Testament. The earliest known circulation of the “Gospels” appeared in Egypt no later than 125 A.D.

The earliest known collection, where the Old and New Testaments were together, is known as the “Codex Vaticanus” which is housed in the Vatican Library, and dates back to the 14th century.

From here the Bible follows a remarkable story filled with drama, inspiration and intrigue. The man that is credited with the first complete Bible in English is John Wycliffe (1328-1384), who was a theology professor at Oxford. He pioneered church reform in both doctrine and practice, and because of that him and his followers were greatly persecuted by corrupt church officials. Wycliffe saw that the current church was corrupt and far removed from the pattern of order and structure described in the Bible. Wycliffe set out to make the Bible available to all for their own interpretation, in their own tongues, instead of listening to corrupt church officials.

A century passed after the death of John Wycliffe and the birth of the man, who the world would recognize as the “Father of the English Bible” was William Tyndale (1492-1536). By the time Tyndale had begun his translation of the Bible, Martin Luther had already made a new translation of the Bible into German and Johann Gutenberg had perfected the moveable-type printing press, resulting in the famous 42-line Vulgate Bible. This Bible was a two-volume masterpiece that was printed in 1455.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) is probably one of the most famous of the pioneers for the reformation of the Bible and the church, which at the time was corrupted. Luther insisted that the teachings of the church must be grounded in scripture. He produced his new translation, so that the common man could understand its concepts and principles, and so misunderstandings could be avoided.

Shortly before William Tyndale was persecuted to the point of being burned at the stake, he said; “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more of the scriptures than thou doest”. Tyndale’s work was not in vain, his work would later influence versions of the Bible, like the Geneva Bible of 1560, which was used by Shakespeare and brought over to America by the Pilgrims on the Mayflower.

In 1607, King James I of England appointed nearly 50 scholars, divided into six groups to research, organize, translate and bring to light a new translation of the Bible. The King James Version, which was published in 1611; “For without translation into the common tongue the unlearned are but like children at Jacob’s well… without a bucket or something to draw with”. Modern scholars have come to the conclusion, that almost 84% of the King James Bible was retained in the original texts of Tyndale’s work.

We must understand that as the world moves forward new versions or translations of the Bible are appearing every day. Reasons include; keeping up to pace with changes in language, facilitate ease of understanding and to go along with general understandings of words and doctrines of the modern world. But it must be understand that a “translation” is automatically a “interpretation”.

Because a translation is an “interpretation”, we must treat it as such! This does not mean that the Bible is not credible, it is very credible! I believe that the Bible is the word of God, but only when it is translated or interpreted as such! Meaning that we must read the Bible and understand its principles and doctrines with the spirit of God. We must read the scriptures with a prayer in our heart. We cannot simply read the Bible and take it for its literal “interpretation”, especially the interpretation of another.

Hello and Welcome!

Hello Everyone! I want to thank everyone who is following this blog; I started it on July 24, 2013 and already have 36 Followers! I thank you all for your patience as I transferred over my old Scripture posts from my old blog’s home at: “zachsscripturestudy.blogspot.com”. That process of moving over old blog posts has finished… only 406 Posts that cover Genesis through Jeremiah!

                So maybe you are asking, what is next? What can you expect from this blog? I encourage you to read my “About” page on this blog to learn more about what I will be writing about. For now I am going to be finishing the rest of the Old Testament and then most likely continue on to the New Testament. The only difference is that I will be posting 1-3 chapters worth per day, instead of the 1-3 Books that I have been doing.

                I encourage everyone to read this blog and any questions/comments can be answered by going to the Comments/Questions page. All legitimate/sincere questions will be answered. I hope you enjoy what you read! Thanks for the support!

–          Zach