Revelation 2

Revelation 2: Overcome the World = Eternal Life

                John writes a specific letter to each one of the seven churches throughout Asia, in verse 2 he covers 4 of the church and he starts each one off with; “Unto the angel of the church of ______” (Revelation 2:1;8;;12;18) It is interesting to note that in the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible “angel” is changed to “servant”, which is probably more accurate considering John was writing to the leaders of each one of the branches of the churches throughout Asia.

This is the counsel that is given to these churches by John;

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:” (Revelation 2:2) John explains that sometimes leaders will fall away or will lie completely to say they are leaders. However only those authorized by God to teach, shall teach.

                “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” (Revelation 2:7) Those who overcome the temptations of the world will obtain the tree of life in the midst of the paradise of God. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

                “Fear none of these things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried ; and ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life…. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.” (Revelation 2:10-11) Often times we will be tried, but if we overcome we will receive the crown of Life and be able to return to live with our Heavenly Father and we will not be hurt by the second death (the spiritual death)

                “I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first” (Revelation 2:19) God knows us all, therefore it is important that we do good in the sight of others as well as when we are in private… for God knows.

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.

1 Peter 4

1 Peter 4: Gospel Preached unto the Dead

Peter writes that just as Christ had suffered for our sins in the flesh, we should do “…likewise  with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:1-2) If we cease from sin (or at least do our best) we can please God by doing His will.

Peter then goes on to ask an important question; “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead. For 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) Why is this important? Because it helps us to understand God’s Plan for us; Remember when Jesus Christ died on the cross and then rose 3 days later? Where did He go for those three days? Jesus Christ went to the Spirit World to teach those who were in ‘Spirit Prison’, who did not hear the word of God or have the opportunity in this life. The dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God;

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God… for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice.” (John 5:25;28)

Peter goes on to explain that we should have Charity; “…for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8) Peter is not saying to  go out an sin, but what he is saying is that if we DO sin, we can be forgiven of our sins easier if we are actively engaged in charity.

Peter encourages us to; “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” (1 Peter 4:9) He also advises that if we suffer in this life, we are suffering like Jesus did… which means that when Jesus Christ reveals His glory in the Second Coming, we will also have part of that glory and joy; “…rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” (1 Peter 4:13)

2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9: God loves the Giver

                Paul writes the Corinthians and essentially says; ‘I know you want to give, you boast about giving… so I am sending some people to collect for the Lord’ – So agents of the Church come and collect money from the Saints.

Now, Paul remind them that; “…He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) So we are taught that if we only give a little to the Church we are not going to be blessed as much as if we give a lot. So does that mean a rich person can get more blessings? NO! It means that you are giving a lot according to your means. For example: A poor person might give the church $10, but if that is 10% of their income (tithing=10%) then they have given according to the commandment, and will receive full blessings. What about the rich guy that gives $10 Million? If that is 10% of his income, then he also will receive full blessings.

Paul warns about those who give only for blessings, or give because they feel they are “forced”; “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth the cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) When we give, we need to give with a cheerful heart!

1 Corinthians 16

1 Corinthians 16: Stand Fast in Faith

Paul talks about having a weekly collection to help those in need. Paul also speaks to every one of the Corinthians and tells them that they need to “…stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

Paul counsels everyone to hold strong to their faith and be strong in all the trials. He invites everyone to have Charity in all their dealings.

1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13: Charity

                Paul speaks about Charity, and explains that he could have all the power in the world, he could have faith and help the poor… but if he has “…not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2) He explains that when he was a child he did childish things, but now as a man “…I put away childish things.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) He explains that now “…we see through a glass, darkly…” (1 Corinthians 13:12) Paul is most likely speaking about a spiritual veil that has been placed over our eyes so that we see the world without our prior knowledge of our pre-existence. In this manner we are here on earth to learn and to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father that we might return once more to live with Him.

Paul gives the best definition of Charity;

 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

We all need to follow the admonition of Paul, and never let Charity fail us.

1 Corinthians 8

1 Corinthians 8: Many God’s and Lord’s

                                Paul explains that knowledge is important, however we should not let knowledge go to our head. We should be humble and let Charity edify our knowledge. For “…if any many think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing…” (1 Corinthians 8:2) Those who believe that we as humans have all the knowledge are mistaken. This of course is NOT to discredit science, but we as humans need to understand that there is much more knowledge out there, that we have yet to learn. God of course is all knowing, and we being His offspring will also one day know everything.

Paul explains that there is ONE GOD, however there are multiples “gods” and “lords”; “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father…” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6) Paul explains that we are perfectly within our rights to eat meat that is offered unto an idol, for an idol is not a god or the God, it is made by man. Paul says that anything we do or do not eat will not affect our spirituality; “…for neither if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” (1 Corinthians 8:8)

Those with a strong conscience should respect those with a weak conscience and understand that judgment should be left unto God; “…take heed lest by any means this liberty [motivation to do good] of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.” (1 Corinthians 8:9)