Acts 2

Acts 2: The Gift of Tongues

                On the day of the Pentecost many people gathered together in one place. During this meeting “…there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:2-3) So, we are told that the Holy Ghost came down and put on them the ability to speak in tongues. So what exactly does it mean to speak in tongues? We continue to read; “…they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Some believe today that speaking in tongues means that the Spirit of God comes down and causes you to lose control of your physical body and spew nonsense that only the Spirit can understand. Is this speaking in “tongues”? No. We continue to read; “…every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6) So what does it mean to speak in tongues? To literally speak in other languages, for example in Spanish you would say “lenguas” for languages, but “lenguas” also translates as “tongues”.

However, some gathered believe that those speaking in tongues are only drunk, why? Because they don’t believe that God can give someone the power to communicate in other languages. I personally can say that the Gift of Tongues is real, I served as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and found that I could learn Spanish a lot faster than if I were to try on my own. The Prophet Joel spoke to the unbelievers; “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17) Joel brought up a good point, God has the power to do anything, including giving the Gift of Tongues or causing someone to have a vision. Joel prophesies of the coming doom in the last days and encourages those that are gathered (and more importantly those living in the Last Days) to “…that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Does this mean that to be saved, all we have to do is accept Christ in our lives? No. If we go back and read in Matthew, Jesus taught; “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) So, accepting Christ in our lives is only the first step, Salvation was never easy… but yet again it wasn’t easy for Christ to die for all of our Sins, the least we can do is follow His commandments.

Joel explains that Jesus was take and tried by wicked men to be beaten, and die on the Cross with no crime. The Apostles that Jesus had called recount what Joel had prophesied in days of old. The Apostles continue to teach those gathered about Jesus and their message “…pricked in their heart…” (Acts 2:37) so much so, that they turned to Peter and asked how they might return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and he responded to those gathered; “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

The people did as the Apostles had directed them and many were baptized and did receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, by the Authority given to the Apostles. Many departed of their belongings and gave to those in need and “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

John 5

John 5: Salvation of the Dead

                After the feast of the Jews, Jesus left to Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, Jesus stopped at a ‘sheep market pool’, which was called Bethesda. This pool had many lined up to be healed, but only for a short period after the waters were troubled could anyone be healed. A certain man, who had an infirmity for 38 years couldn’t walk and it made it difficult for him to jump into the water. The man asks for Jesus to help him into the water; however Jesus decides to just heal the man.

Jesus said unto him; “…Rise, take up thy bed and walk.” (John 5:8) and immediately the man was cured and took his bed and ran off. Soon after, a Jew spotted the man carrying his bed and was told him; “…It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.” (John 5:10) The man responded that he was cured by a man, and that man told him to take his bed and walk.

The Jews find out that it was Jesus who had been healing people on the Sabbath day, and begin to persecute Him. But Jesus responds to them; “…My father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5:17) But this only angered the Jews more, because Jesus had said His Father, was God! Jesus tells them; “…The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” (John 5:19) Jesus goes on to explain that the Son does the will of the Father, but that the “…Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” (John 5:22) Everyone should honor both the Son [Jesus Christ] and the Father [God], for not honoring one, you dishonor the other. For God has given His Son power and authority (see John 5:27).

Jesus teaches about Baptisms for the dead; “…for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:28-29) In modern day LDS temples, baptisms for the dead are performed so that those who did not have a baptism by the proper authority in this life can be baptized by proxy. Meaning, someone else is baptized in place of the deceased. Because without baptism, no one can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Therefore it is necessary that someone acting on their behalf is baptized in the flesh so that they can receive the baptism and the saving ordinances that come with it, while still in the Spirit. Later in the New Testament Peter also teaches about this; “…for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.” (1 Peter 4:6)

Jesus explains that in the judgment day, He will be the one doing the judging; “…as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” (John 5:30)

                Jesus tells the Jews, that they received Moses and he came in the form of Moses. Jesus, being the Son of God comes in the form of the Son, and is rejected. Essentially Jesus is telling them; If you do not believe the Son, you do not believe in God. Moses wrote of Jesus, and rejects those who reject Jesus. Yet the Jews were so fond of Moses, yet not fond of Jesus.

Jesus ends with this wisdom; “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

Luke 3

Luke 3: Baptism of Jesus

                In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the word of the Lord came unto John in the wilderness. John departed from the wilderness and went to Jordan, where he preached “…baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;” (Luke 3:3) John cried out to the people and said; “…Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight…” (Luke 3:4) There came one man who wished to be baptized, yet John must have found him not worthy or lacking in repentance, because he tells the man; “…O generations of vipers…. Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance…” (Luke 3:8) John explains that everyone who does not bring forth the fruit of repentance will be like a bad tree, which will be cut down and tossed aside.

What are fruits worthy of Repentance?

In order to be baptized, one must first find Faith in Jesus Christ, Second Repent of those things not in alignment with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, meaning that you must follow ALL of God’s commandments. It is not just enough to believe in Jesus Christ, for if one truly believes in Him, and accepts Jesus as their personal Savior, then that same person will want to make their life like His, and follow in His footsteps. Third, that person can receive a baptism, for the remission of those sins. But that baptism needs to be done with the proper authority. Why do you think people came to John? It is because John had the Authority given to him. Finally after baptism you can receive the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, again by someone who has the Authority to do so.

Many people who have gathered to be baptized of John ask him, how they can be baptized for a remission of their own sins. John explains that they need to give freely of themselves and their time, talents and wealth.

“…He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none….” (Luke 3:11)

                “…Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:14)

The people were astonished by John’s words, but he reassured them that he was only a man; “…I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Luke 3:16)

                John then rebukes Herod for marrying Herodias, who was Phillips wife and for all the evils which Herod had done, including putting John into jail.

Jesus then comes to be baptized of John; “…the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-22) Jesus was about 30 years old when He was baptized.  Jesus was baptized at a later age to help us understand that baptism should be done at an age of accountability. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that age of accountability has been decided through revelation of being eight years old. Baptizing before that age is a mockery before God.

The Genealogy of Jesus Christ is given, however it differs from the genealogy given by Matthew, giving his actual lineage through Mary, instead of his legal lineage through Joseph.

Lineage of Jesus Christ:

  • Joseph was the son of Heli
    • Heli was the son of Matthat
      • Matthat was the son of Levi
        • Levi was the son of Melchi
          • Melchi was the son of Janna
            • Janna was the son of Joseph
  • Joseph was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Amos
      • Amos was the son of Naum
        • Naum was the son of Esli
          • Esli was the son of Nagge
            • Nagge was the son of Maath
  • Maath was the son of Mattathias
    • Mattathias was the son of Semei
      • Semei was the son of Joseph
        • Joseph was the son of Juda
          • Juda was the son of Joanna
            • Joanna was the son of Rhesa
  • Rhesa was the son of Zorobabel
    • Zorobabel was the son of Salathiel
      • Salathiel was the son of Neri
  • Neri was the son of Melchi
    • Melchi was the son of Addi
      • Addi was the son of Cosam
      • Cosam was the son of Elmodam
        • Elmodam was the son of Er
          • Er was the son of Jose
            • Jose was the son of Eliezer
              • Eliezer was the son of Jorim
                • Jorim was the son of Matthat
                • Matthat was the son of Levi
                  • Levi was the son of Simeon
                    • Simeon was the son of Juda
                      • Judas was the son of Joseph
                        • Joseph was the son of Jonan
                          • Jonan was the son of Eliamkim
  • Eliamkin was the son of Melea
    • Melea was the son of Menan
      • Menan was the son of Mattatha
        • Mattatha was the son of Nathan
          • Nathan was the son of David
            • David was the son of Jesse
  • Jesse was the son of Obed
    • Obed was the son of Booz
      • Booz was the son of Salmon
        • Salmon was the son of Naasson
          • Naasson was the son of Aminadab
            • Aminadab was the son of Aram
  • Aram was the son of Esrom
    • Esrom was the son of Phares
      • Phares was the son of Juda
        • Juda was the son of Jacob
          • Jacob was the son of Isaac
            • Isaac was the son of Abraham
  • Abraham was the son of Thara
    • Thara was the son of Nachor
      • Nachor was the son of Saruch
        • Saruch was the son of Ragau
          • Ragau was the son of Phalec
            • Phalec was the son of Heber
  • Heber was the son of Sala
    • Sala was the son of Cainan
      • Cainan was the son of Arphaxad
        • Arphaxad was the son of Sem
          • Sem was the son of Noe
            • Noe was the son of Lamech
  • Lamech was the son of Mathusala
    • Mathusala was the son of Enoch
      • Enoch was the son of Jared
        • Jared was the son of Maleleel
          • Maleleel was the son of Cainan
            • Cainan was the son of Enos
  • Enos was the sons of Seth
    • Seth was the son of Adam
      • Adam was the son of God.

Mark 6

Mark 6: Sending of the Twelve

                   Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and heal on the Sabbath Day, those who are in His presence ask themselves; “…From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought with his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses… and Simon?” (Mark 6:2-3) The people marveled at this man who was just a simple carpenter. We learn from this statement that Jesus actually had siblings! Meaning, Mary and Joseph had children together after Jesus was born. Making them at least His half-siblings. For further evidence of this please read: Jude 1:1

Jesus marveled at their unbelief, after all He had already performed countless miracles and yet the people still did not believe. Jesus leaves to call His Twelve Apostles:

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey… no scrip [bag/luggage], no bread [food], no money in their purse.” (Mark 6:7-8) Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out by two’s [pairs] to preach His gospel. He tells His Apostles that they should leave with no bag, food or money. This goes to show that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ should never be done for money or glory.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles; “…In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide [stay/remain] till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them… they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and were anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:10-13) These same exact things are done today in the LDS church; Missionaries are sent two by two to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. The LDS Church has a presence in every country that allows by law the preaching of religion. These full time missionaries for the church are currently at almost 90,000 strong, as of 2013. The missionaries are called “Elders” and do exactly what Jesus is instructing here, they preach repentance and heal the sick, among many other things, including service projects.

The fame of Jesus spread throughout the land, many questioned if this man was Elias or John the Baptist back from the dead. When King Herod heard of this fame of Jesus he wondered if this wasn’t the resurrected John the Baptist, who he had beheaded. King Herod had a quarrel with his brother, who was Phillip, because he had taken his wife, Herodias, to marry. John the Baptist instructed Herod that it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife, and King Herod feared John the Baptist, because he knew that he was a just and holy man. On King Herod’s birthday, he had a huge feast and the daughter of Herodias came in to please and dance with King Herod. To commemorate this occasion he told the young lady that she could have any wish, up to half of King Herod’s kingdom. Herodias’s daughter was already instructed by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. When King Herod heard of this he was saddened, but he wouldn’t go back on his word, so he commanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to Herodias.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles and many others who were gathered. While Jesus taught, He commanded His Apostles to bring the people something to eat. The Apostles instruct Jesus that there were five loves of bread and two fishes. Jesus blessed the food and commanded the Apostles to divide the food among the 5,000 gathered there. When everyone was done eating, and full, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments [leftovers]. Once Jesus was done teaching, He commanded His Apostles to leave by ship to Bethsaida. Jesus them departed His own way to go and pray in the mountain. Jesus meets up with them on the sea later, walking on water! When the Apostles see Him walking on the water, they become afraid and think it is a ghost, but Jesus comforts them: “…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) The Apostles were amazed at what they saw; “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark6:52) Even after seeing such an amazing miracle as feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, the Apostles are still amazed by the power Jesus has.

Jesus board the ship and departs to the land of Gennesaret, where he is met by a large number of people who all meet Him, to be healed of Him.

Mark 1

Mark 1: Jesus is Baptized

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God, Jesus tells us; “…I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare the way before me…” (Mark 1:2) Jesus is speaking of John the Baptist, who was truly sent before Jesus to prepare the way for Him. All of the land of Judea and Jerusalem came to hear the words of John the Baptist, who spoke of repentance and baptism for the remission of sins.

John was so important that even Jesus Christ came to be baptized of him; “…Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.” (Mark 1:9) We learn that after Jesus was baptized that He came “…straightway…up out of the water…” (Mark 1:10), which clearly points to Jesus being baptized by FULL IMMERSION and no other means. This is important for baptism, a repentant heart, a baptism by full immersion by someone who is AUTHORIZED to do the baptism, in other words has the power given to them. After His baptism, the heavens opened and the Holy Ghost, like a dove came down to give Him the Gift of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus is then pushed into the wilderness for 40 days, where He is tempted by Satan, but Jesus overcame Satan and angels administered unto Him. John continues to preach repentance to all those who will hear. Jesus goes to Galilee and finds Simon and Andrew by the shore; they were fishers who Jesus converted into fishers of men, meaning; that they would do the Lord’s work and fish for the men who would come unto Jesus. Jesus also finds James and John, who stop what they are doing and follow Jesus.

Jesus teaches His new disciples, and they “…were astonished at his doctrine; for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Mark 1:22) This is important to know, that Jesus HAS the AUTHORITY, the disciples recognized this AUTHORITY, because the Holy Ghost testified of that to them. In order to administer in the gospel, you MUST have proper PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY!

Jesus ends the chapter by casting out devils, healing the sick and cleansing a leper.

Matthew 3

Matthew 3:

Jesus is baptized 

                “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3:1-2)

John the Baptist was preaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the wilderness of Judea. John wore raiment of camel’s hair and a leather girdle. He was a simple man, who ate only locusts and honey. Everyone who came unto him for baptism was baptized. What is Baptism? Baptism is a practice of having your sins washed away and today symbolizes the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the death and rebirth of the sinner.

Something very important to understand is that you must bring forth “…fruits meet for repentance.” (Matthew 3:8), meaning that you MUST be repented of your sins, before baptism in order to be cleansed of those sins. If you commit sin, you must first stop committing that sin; second you must ask forgiveness of that sin and make reparations. For example, if you stole something, you must return it. If you hurt someone, you need to say sorry…. Etc. After that you must make a commitment with God to never commit that sin again. Then you can be baptized and have those sins washed away.

John tells those who he baptizes that he baptizes with water, but “…he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11) this ordinance is completed by the laying on of hands to give someone (after baptism) the gift of the Holy Ghost by the Authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood.

Jesus Christ himself comes down to John the Baptist to be baptized by him. “…John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him,  Suffer it to be so no: for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:14-17)

In verses 14-17 we learn a few things. First we learn that Jesus had no need to be baptized, but was baptized anyways to “fulfill all righteousness”, therefore setting an example for us ALL. Second we learn that Jesus was baptized by IMMERSION, because he went straight up from the water. Third we learn that Jesus Christ and God the Eternal Father are two SEPARATE and INDIVIDUAL beings. Because God called from the heavens and told the world that Jesus, was HIS beloved SON.

 

Ezekiel 17-18

Ezekiel 17-18

Chapter 17: Parable of Israel

Ezekiel shows in a parable of Israel, how Israel will be subject to Babylon.  It goes like this…

An eagle (Babylon) on the top branches of a cedar tree, takes it off. It also takes the seed of the land and plants it in a fruitful field. The seed becomes a vine. The vine bent to another eagle (Egypt), and is promptly destroyed by the first eagle. Changing his tone, the Lord says he will take the highest branch of the cedar tree and set it in the mountain of the height of Israel (Zion), where it shall prosper. This will happen in the last days from a goodly tree in the cedars of Lebanon.

Chapter 18: Punished for our own sins

The word of the Lord came unto Ezekiel and tells him that Men shall be punished for their own sins, sinners shall die, and the righteous shall save their souls. Anyone who sins and does not repent will not be saved.

The Lord says; “…all souls are mine… the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4-5)

One important thing to get out of this chapter is that you are only responsible for YOUR OWN SINS! “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son…” (Ezekiel 18:20)

For this reason I don’t understand some religious beliefs that claim an “original sin” and for this purpose needing a baptism for this original sin to be “cleansed”. First of all we are not responsible for others sins, and therefore the idea of an “original sin” is blaspheme. In the LDS church we believe: “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” (Articles of Faith, 2) Therefore if we are not to be punished for other’s sin, then why does a baby who has done nothing wrong in the world… therefore is innocent, need a baptism? Baptism is for people who can sin, and can understand they have sinned and are mentally able to repent of those sins. In the Book of Mormon it speaks of the horrible practice of infant baptism.

“Listen to the words of Christ, your Redeemer, your Lord and your God. Behold, I came into the world not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; the whole need no physician…  children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me… wherefore, my beloved son, I know that it is solemn mockery before God, that ye should baptize little children… this thing shall ye teach—repentance and baptism unto those who are accountable and capable of committing sin; yea, teach parents that they must repent and be baptized, and humble themselves as their little children, and they shall all be saved with their little children. And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! (Moroni 8: 8-12, Book of Mormon)

2 Kings 13-14

2 Kings 13-14

Chapter 13: Jehoahaz Reigns in Wickedness

In the 23rd year of Joash the son of Ahaziah king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, his reign lasted 17 years. While Jehoahaz reigned in did so in wickedness. Because of this wickedness, the Lord was angry and caused that all of Israel fell into the hands of Hazael the king of Syria. Jehoahaz  hearkened unto the Lord and because of this the Lord caused a savior to arise among the Israelites and lead them out from underneath the Syrians. Because of their past wickedness Jehoahaz was left with a very small army of men.

Jehoahaz dies and is buried with his fathers. Elisha falls sick and is on his death bed. Joash comes to visit him and cries over him. Elisha tells him to grab a bow and some arrows and point to the window and tells Joash to shoot out the window, and he does. Elisha tells him that the arrow he shot symbolizes the deliverance of the Lord and that he would have victory over the Syrians. So Elisha tells him to shoot into the ground some more… so Joash shoots three times and then stops, but before Elisha dies he tells him that he should have shot 6 or more times, because that is how many times he would have victory over the Syrians.

One of the more bizarre things of the Bible happens in verse 21, where they lower another dead man into Elisha’s tomb and when the man touches the bones of Elisha he revives and stands up! The verse does not give any more details, and the reader is left to wonder why Elisha’s bones would make some re-live? Maybe it is to honor this great prophet?

Hazael, the king of Syria oppresses Israel… but the Lord was gracious unto them because of the covenant that He had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and would not destroy them. Hazael the king of Syria died and his son, Ben-hadad reigned in his place.

Chapter 14: Jeroboam Reigns in Wickedness

In the second year of the reign of Joash, reined Amaziah in Judah. Amaziah was only 25 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for a total of 29 years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan.

Amaziah did what was right in the sight of the Lord. Once, however he came to power he slew the servants who had killed his father. But he did not kill the children of the murderers. The reason he did not do this, is because it was written in the “Book of the Law of Moses” that

“…The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (2 Kings 14:6)

There are a few things that I can say about this…

First; “The book of the Law of Moses” could very well be referring to one of the five books of Moses that we know of today as the first 5 books of the Bible. However, more likely than not this verse is referring to a book that we do not know about currently TODAY. The Bible is not complete, because there were at least 10 times as many books that should have or could have been part of the Bible and 10 times is a LOW number. We know that the Bible is not complete, because the Bible refers often to books that DO NOT EXIST today. So we must accept that the Bible (while very important book, and I personally believe to be the WORD of God) is not a complete WORD of God, but not doubt words from God.

Second; it mentions that we are not responsible for the sin of our parents. So if we are to assume that Adam and Eve are our first parents (which all human life according to the Bible stems from) then why would we be held accountable for their sin? What exactly am I talking about? I am talking about the “Original Sin”. I know that there might be other religions that believe in this, but I know for a fact that the Catholic Church does believe this. Now, I am not going to tell anyone how to worship… we are all free and we all were given agency to do as we please. I believe that everyone has a right to worship God in any way that they see fit. However, I do not understand why a baby (whose life has just begun) could possibly be a sinner!  This is why babies are baptized. But in my personal opinion it is a great abomination before the Lord. We are not responsible for our parent’s sins… so why are we being held accountable for something that Adam and Eve did? We must be baptized when we gain faith in Jesus Christ and want to change our lives to follow him… which means we have to repent of our sins. How can a baby possibly repent? A baby cannot. Therefore should not be baptized. This is a doctrine that is unique to the LDS church (the Mormons) that a person should not be baptized until the age of accountability (which we know, through modern revelation is 8 years old.)

Amaziah with his new found power as king goes and kills ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and took Sela and renamed is Joktheel. Amaziah with his cocky winning streak decided to send a letter to Jehoash the king of Israel and told him to battle against him. But Jehoash writes back and tells Amaziah to glory in his victory, but to stay home and not come up to battle against him, because he would essentially destroy him. But Amaziah does not listen and goes to battle anyways… and just like Jehoash said, Judah was defeated and the men ran back to their tents. As a result of their defeat the king of Israel takes Amaziah as prisoner and also takes all his gold and silver along with the gold and silver of the treasuries of God. He had lost not only personal belongings, but that which also belonged to the children of the Lord.

Jehoash dies and his sons Jeroboam reigns in his place. Amaziah lived for 15 more years after the death of Jehoash before he too passed away. The people arise and form a conspiracy against Jehoash and end up killing him and burying him in the City of David and put Azariah the son of Amaziah in charge.

Jeroboam the second, the son of Joash became king in Samaria and reigned for 41 years. But did so wickedly. Jeroboam recaptured many parts of Israel. He died and his son Zechariah reigned in his place.

 

Deuteronomy 23-24

Deuteronomy 23-24

Chapter 23: The Congregation

Moses speaks to the congregation and outlines who can and cannot enter into the congregation and more importantly the Tabernacle of Israel. This of course from previous chapters and books includes all unclean things, including those who disobey and do not follow the commandments of God.

Moses also outlines the laws of servants/slaves, usury and vows.

Moses states that if a slave comes into the midst of the children of Israel and the slave master comes to claim his slave/servant that the children of Israel can give refuge to the servant/slave that has escaped. (verse 15-16) and he states that they (the children of Israel) should not oppress the slave, or in other words the slave is now free among them.

Then in verses 19-20 Moses speaks about Usury, and that among strangers it is ok to have usury. Now I interpreted what Moses said, as the children of Israel were to not have interest rates, or very low interest rates among themselves on people who borrow money. But among outsiders whom were not part of the family that they would offer money to borrow at higher interest rates. Essentially helping out those who were family to you.

Chapter 24: Laws of Moses

Moses outlines the law of divorce, saying;

“When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house” (Deuteronomy 24:1)

                Essentially stating that only in unfaithfulness or any other sin against the holy matrimony shall divorce be permitted.

Moses also speaks to the congregation regarding newly-weds, stating;

“When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken” (Deuteronomy 24:5)

                If we took this literally, everyone who gets married would go on a 1 year honey moon, which I don’t think would be very practical. But we can take from this, that everyone who gets married should ensure that they start their marriage off strong and make sure that a huge focus is placed on each other and the development of that beautiful relationship. If this is done, we can see a higher percentage of happy marriages.

Moses then ends this chapter off, by stating that;

 “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin” (Deuteronomy 24:16)

                The second Article of Faith of the LDS church states; “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam’s transgression”

                Again we see a very clear principle in the Bible that is not followed by mainstream Christianity, for example many religions believe in the “original sin”, that we are “naturally sinful” because of the transgression of Adam and Eve, and that is why some religions (the Catholic church for example) baptize infants, because they are “born with sin”, this however, in my personally opinion is an abomination! Jesus himself said that

“…Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little once which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:3-6)

                Jesus spoke out about offending the children, because they were part of heaven, and we must become like a child to enter into the kingdom of heaven. If that is true, how can a baby, completely innocent and incapable of committing sin, needs to be baptized to be cleansed of sin?

The Book of Mormon has an entire chapter on the abomination of this practice. Moroni, who was ancient prophet who lived in the Americas spoke out about this;

“…little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell… For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism and the other must perish because he hath no baptism.” (Moroni 8:12-14), see also Moroni Chapter 8 in its entirety.

Numbers 19-20

Numbers 19-20

Chapter 19: Sprinkling Water = Clean Sin!

Directions are given on how to sacrifice a red heifer (red cow). In the ceremony, water is used as a purification of sin. Ceremonially people who are unclean are “sprinkled” with water to be clean.

I am guessing that this ceremony might have some aspects wrapped up into baptism, and quite possibly where the Catholics started sprinkling water in baptism, instead of by immersion.

Chapter 20: Water from a Rock

The congregation of Israel is wandering through the Desert of Zin, when they run out of water and start to murmur against Moses and Aaron. While there in Kadesh Miriam dies.

Moses and Aaron go to the tabernacle and pray to God. God tells Moses to gather the congregation and then smite a rock and they will have water. So Moses smacks a rock two time and water comes flowing out of it. (See Verses: 8-11).

Moses asks the king of Edom for permission to pass through his land and he refuses to give them permission. Aaron dies and Eleazar becomes the new high priest.