2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1: Prophecy comes by the Power of the Holy Ghost

                Peter writes a general letter to the members of the Church of Christ, he reminds them of why they were baptized and why they are followers of Jesus Christ. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, he explains, we; “…are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust… giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance [abstinence/restraint]; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity…” (2 Peter 1:4-7)

Peter is telling every follower of Jesus Christ that the purpose for following Him is to partake in the divine nature of God Himself. We are His offspring, and by accepting His promise we were sent to earth to prove ourselves and to overcome the lusts of the world to eventually be perfected and return to live with Him. For if we overcome the world we will be given knowledge, faith, patience and the ability to love with the ultimate goal of becoming like unto our Father in Heaven. We are literally partakers in this Great Plan of Salvation! When our trial on this earth is over we will; “…be ministered unto… the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:11) For this purpose, Peter explains that he will not be negligent in stirring up those who have forgotten unto remembrance of their duty in this life. Remember, we are saved only after all we can do. For example, the gift of salvation has been given to everyone, however if we chose to do evil in this world we cannot return to our Heavenly Father. Therefore Salvation requires us to put forth an effort to follow Jesus Christ in all that He would do.

Peter goes on to explain that as followers of Jesus Christ (especially those who heard the voice of God on the holy mount) have a knowledge that; “…no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:20-21) In other words, we can interpret the scriptures as much as we want, but without Holy Men of God, that is, Apostles and Prophets we cannot know the true meaning and interpretation of all things. However, God as He did in old times, still calls AUTHORIZED Apostles and Prophets to serve as His mount piece, even in these modern days.

The message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is that exact message; God Lives! Jesus Christ is our Redeemer, and Savior. Because of the Love that God and His Son have for us, we have been given a mouth piece in these latter days. The Prophecies and Revelations of the Bible exist today, with Revelations that pertain specifically to the changing times.

Hebrews 3

Hebrews 3: Christ an Apostle

                Paul explains that Jesus Christ was an “…Apostle and High Priest…” (Hebrews 3:1) Paul explains that while Moses was also an Apostle and High Priest, who was worthy, Jesus Christ; “…was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.” (Hebrews 3:3) Essentially, Jesus Christ built the house under the direction of His Father, God the Eternal Father. Moses was only counted as a servant in that house.

Paul invites the Hebrews to; “Harden not your hearts…” (Hebrews 3:8) He warns that many do not know God’s way, and because of that they “…err in their heart…” (Hebrews 3:10) Paul also warns that sin can harden your heart and deceive you.

2 Corinthians 11

2 Corinthians 11: Satan sends forth False Prophets

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians with his concern that just as Eve was beguiled by the Devil in the Garden of Eden, so will the Members be fooled into believing a different Gospel than the one he preaches.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have no preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4) In other words, if someone preaches a different gospel than what is the truth, you should not listen to them! Paul goes on to explain that the Gospel has no price, and asks the Corinthians if he has done something wrong by offering them the Gospel free of charge; “Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” (2 Corinthians 111:7) It seems that the Corinthians were confused as to how the gospel could be free, and were somehow offended that they were not being taken advantage of. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is FREE, and no one preaching the gospel should be paid for doing so! That means that ministers, reverends, fathers, pastors, etc. should not be paid!

Paul explains that many will come and deceive them, Paul describes such people as; “…false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ… for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Paul knows that the Corinthians are being fooled and because of this, Paul decides to “…glory after the flesh…for ye suffer fools gladly…” (2 Corinthians 11:18-19) Because the Corinthians are not so accepting of his speaking without having divulged into his credentials and boast of himself… Paul caters to them and boasts of himself;

“(I speak as a fool) … Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” (2 Corinthians 11:23; 25-26) Essentially Paul is saying that he has no need to boast of his credentials, as to why they should listen to him. He should have no need to explain all of his acts, but he does so anyways. Why? Because they wouldn’t listen to him if he didn’t.

2 Corinthians 10

2 Corinthians 10: All thought of Obedience

                Paul addresses the Corinthians who believe that “…his letters…are weighty and powerful; but his speech contemptible [lacking authority or unimpressive]” (2 Corinthians 10:10) Essentially the Corinthians were telling Paul that while his letters to them were mean, his personal interactions with them were weak and unimpressive in person.

Paul asks; “Do ye look on things after the outward appearance? …For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given to us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed; That I may not seem as if I would terrify you by letters.” (2 Corinthians 10:7-9) Paul, speaking as an Apostle explains that his reason for a harsh letter was never to terrify them, but rather to edify and build them. He could also be powerful in his speech in person, but it is not his desire to be harsh.

1 Corinthians 9

1 Corinthians 9: Preaching without Cost

                “Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are not ye my work in the Lord?” (1 Corinthians 9:1) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is a Special Witness of Christ, why? Because he has seen Jesus Christ. Those who believe in Jesus Christ are His disciples, because they are disciplined to follow His commandments. However, those who are Apostles are called of God and given Authority to act in His name. They are also known as the Twelve Apostles (see Matthew 10) Paul also explains that Apostles are FREE, meaning they don’t make money from their work.

Paul explains that as an Apostle he needs to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ; “…the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel, should live the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:14) For this reason, those who are called to the Apostleship in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are called to that position for life. Usually these men are retired and financially stable on their own accord as to not charge for their work as Apostles. The Church also, DOES NOT support the Apostles financially, nor does the church support any of the leaders financially throughout the church. Why? Because the Gospel of Jesus Christ should be taught free of charge. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all those who work as leaders, teachers and ministers are called voluntarily. Most have full time jobs and families while they serve in these holy callings.

The main teachers throughout the church are the Full-time Missionaries who are called throughout the world. These men and women serve 1 ½ to 2 years and support their missions personally, or through friends and family. They serve these full-time positions to focus solely on their mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are free from the day-to-day distractions of the modern world, so that they may be more effective teachers and servants of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul humbly explains his mission as an Apostle; “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! For if I do this thing willingly, I have reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me. What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain more.” (1 Corinthians 9:16-19) Paul tells the Corinthians that he is a servant of the Lord and servant unto all men without reward. He preaches the gospel willingly and because he does this, the only reward he receives is a warm feeling of joy and happiness for following the commandments of the Lord and bringing more souls unto Him.

Paul makes the Corinthians think when he says; “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” (1Corinthians 9:24) What is the prize? It is Eternal Life, it is Salvation, it is joy and happiness that only the Lord can give us. It is important to note that it is not bad to want something so great. It is only bad when we do it against our will, we should have a desire to obtain it for the right reasons.

Romans 1

Romans 1: The Power of the Gospel unto the Salvation of God’s Children

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ and called as an Apostle and being separated unto the Gospel of God; writes to the Romans. Paul testifies of Jesus Christ, being the Son of God and that through the faith on His name [Jesus Christ] the Saints can overcome. Paul explains that he is in debt with not only God, but the Greeks, Barbarians and the Romans themselves. Paul explains that he is “…not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Paul explains his desires to come to Rome. He exhorts the Saints in Rome to live their lives by Faith. He reminds them to not boast in their abilities, for their fathers of old; “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22) They became fools, by changing the glory of God. They turned the simple truths of God into something more corrupt, like men. Because of this corruption, God sent sufferings to all men who despised His name.

Paul warns of those who change the natural order of the role of men and women (homosexuality). He warns of those who participate in “…all unrighteousness, fornication [Sex outside of Marriage], wickedness, covetousness [eagerness to possess something, not belonging to yourself], maliciousness [the need to see others suffer]… envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity [wishing evil to others]; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…” (Romans 1:29-30)

Acts 9

Acts 9: Saul is converted

                Saul went to the High Priest to seek letters in the synagogues to find men or women with whom he could bound and bring back to Jerusalem to persecute. While on his journey, Saul passes near Damascus when “…suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: …saying Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutes… And he trembling and stonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” (Acts 9:3-6)

Those who were with Saul at this time, stood speechless; “…hearing a voice, but seeing no man.” (Acts 9:7) When Saul arose from the ground, he was blinded and could not see any man, so they had to guide him by his hand into the city. Upon arriving in the city, Saul spent three days without sight and did not eat or drink.

In Damascus there was a man named Ananias, who was a disciple of the Lord, the Lord came to him in a vision and told him to “…Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold her prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.” (Acts 9:11-12) Ananias must have been confused as to why the Lord would want him to help heal a man who had been terrorizing and persecuting those who followed Him. Ananias asks; “…Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priest to bind all that call on his name.” (Acts 9:13-14) Besides being confused, Ananias was most likely terrified to go and ask to see a man who had persecuted so many of the members of the Church. Nevertheless, the Lord said unto him; “…Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)

                Ananias did as he was commanded and went to the house were Saul was, and upon entering, he put his hands on him and blessed him that he would receive his sight. Immediately Saul’s sight returned and he was baptized and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Saul also ate and received strength, to begin his calling. Once his strength had returned, Saul went throughout the Synagogues preaching of Christ, after many days of preaching the Jews sought council “…to kill him.” (Acts 9:23)

                In order to avoid being killed, Saul hides in a basket and is transported over the walls of Damascus to meet with the Apostles in Jerusalem. Upon arriving in Jerusalem, the Christians who meet him are at first weary of him, because of his past. Very few believed that he had actually been converted. However, Barnabas took him to meet the Apostles. Saul goes and preaches among the Grecians, but they too seek to destroy his life. So, Saul continues his journey into Caesarea and Tarsus where the churches in Judea, Galilee and Samaria prosper!

Meanwhile, Peter is in Lydda, where he heals a bedridden man named Eneas, who had been sick for eight years with Palsy. Because of this miracle, all in Lydda believe on the Lord. Because of this great miracle people came from nearby Joppa to find Peter and have him come and heal a woman, who turns out to be dead. Peter raises the woman [Dorcas] from the dead and the news spreads throughout Joppa and many believe on the Lord. Peter finds rest in the house of Simon, who was a Tanner [someone who worked with dead Animals], this was actually against the Jewish Law, to spend time with someone who worked routinely with dead animals.