Romans 14

Romans 14: Every Knee Shall Bow to Christ

                Paul explains that we need to avoid conflicts and unrighteous judgment among each other. He explains that; “For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Romans 14: 8-9) So, no matter what, we are the Lord’s. There is no point to argue and fight amongst each other, for when the time comes we will ALL be called back to God to be judged.

Paul urges the Saints to avoid judging one another, and in today’s modern world we can learn by this as well. Paul wrote; “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:10-11) Lets think about this, why judge someone? Jesus made it clear when he said; “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1) It is not our place to judge ANYONE! Judgment is left to God.

Paul reminds us that in the end we will only have ourselves to prove before God at Judgment Day. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:12-13)

The Kingdom of God embraces righteousness, peace and joy. We need to have faith and sin not.

Advertisements

Acts 3

Acts 3: The Restoration of All Things

                Peter and John go up into the Temple together to pray, and on their way in they find a man at the gate of the Temple, which was called Beautiful, and the man was asking for money as he was lame (unable to walk) and Peter and John looked at him and said; “…Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise and walk.” (Acts 3:6) Immediately the man received strength in his feet and ankle bones and walked! The man leaped for joy as he accompanied Peter and John into the temple, many people saw this and wondered in amazement! When Peter saw that everyone was so amazed by this miracle he said; “…Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? Or why look so earnestly on us as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our Fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea. The faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3: 12-16)

                Peter asked the people of Israel a very simple question; why did they marvel at the sight of this miracle? After all many had seen Jesus perform these very miracles, yet they wondered how it was possible. Peter chastises them for having killed the Son of God, because in their ignorance they did exactly as their rulers and ancestors before them… they rejected the prophets sent by God and now they had rejected the Son of God, whom was sent by God the Father.

Peter offers the Israelites a way to redeem themselves; Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the time of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom heaven must receive until the times of restitution [in other words, RESTORATION] of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.” (Acts 3:19-23)

                Peter speaks about the Last Days and references that there will be a RESTORATION of ALL THINGS. What are “ALL THINGS”? When Jesus Christ was on the Earth He established His church, but we all know the Head of the Church [Jesus Christ] was killed and His Apostles were shortly thereafter also persecuted and killed [Peter himself being crucified], and with time the Authority that Jesus Christ had bestowed upon them (see Matthew 10:1; “…he gave them power…”) Jesus even told His Apostles that before the Restoration would happen, Elias would have to come; “…Jesus answered them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.” (Matthew 17:11) and we know that Elias will come as a precursor to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Lord Himself said; “…I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:5-6)

                Just so there is no confusion; Elias is the Greek form of the name Elijah in Hebrew, therefore they are the same person being referred to by the Lord. Before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ a “RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS” needs to happen, and the very start of that Restoration would bring Elijah to restore the kings on man to seal families for eternity. This power was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith who was working as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Through Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ Restored His church on the Earth today… The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This
Restoration has already occurred.

Matthew 10

Matthew 10:

12 Apostles – Authority from Jesus Christ 

Jesus calls Twelve Apostles; Simon, Peter, Andrew, James, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, James, Simon, Judas Iscariot. He “…gave them power…” (Matthew 10:1), or in other words Jesus gave the twelve Apostles “Authority” to act in His name. Therefore YOU need Authority to be an Apostle of the Lord.

“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:5-6)

Jesus commanded the twelve to go among the lost sheep that they might be brought back into the fold. Jesus commanded them to; “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

Jesus also reminds them that they have no need for money, for they would be provided for in the service of the Lord. He tells them to “…enquire who in it [the city] is worthy…” (Matthew 10:11) and that any house which rejects them to “…shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14), essentially leaving behind no blessing on the house.

Jesus reminds the Apostles, that as missionaries they need to move forth as sheep amongst wolves, wise as a serpent, and harmless as a dove. Missionaries need to always be cautious and wise, yet caring and harmless. Jesus tells them that many will reject them, and if that be the case to not worry about what to respond with, “…for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.” (Matthew 10:19) Sadly, those who follow Jesus and His gospel will be persecuted, Jesus said; “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 10:22)

We are reminded of the importance of REVELATION, when Jesus said; “…for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hi, that shall not be known.” (Matthew 10:26) Everything that we don’t understand will someday come to light and we will understand. Revelation is not dead, and the prophets continue to give us revelation in these Latter-days!

Jesus tells His Apostles that no one should love anyone or anything more than God, for “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 10:39)

Daniel 1-2

Daniel 1-2

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

There is a lot I have learned from these two chapters. First is the character of Daniel, who refused the kings meat and wine. Can you imagine doing that? Having the audacity to challenge the king? Daniel was brave and because he was brave he earned the trust of the king! We learn that by not taking the kings meat and wine that Daniel and those who participated in eating grains and water were better off. Why is that? God has a commandment on our health, for our own benefit. He knows what our bodies need to survive. This is one of the earlier examples of the Lord telling his people about eating healthy.

In the LDS Church we have a strict commandment on what we can and cannot consume. This commandment was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in February of 1833, which is known as the “Word of Wisdom” and is the 89th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants (a canonized book of LDS Scripture); “…strong drinks are not for the belly, but for the washing of your bodies…. Tobaccos is not for our bod, neither for your belly, and is not good for man, but is an herb for bruises and all sick cattle, to be used with judgment and skill…. Hot drinks are not for the body or belly… all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature and use of man. Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving. Yea flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly… all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience… shall receive health in their navel and marrow in their bones… shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint…” (Doctrine and Covenants 89: 7-12, 18, 20)

                Besides eating healthy and learning of the brave nature of Daniel, we learn about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the interpretation of that dream. Why is this dream important? Because the last kingdom, the one that shall never be destroyed… is now! That kingdom is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ that is on the earth now!

In Doctrine and Covenants we also read what Joseph F Smith wrote about all of the prophets of ancient times and the events leading to the latter days; “Noah, who gave warning of the flood… Isaiah who declared by prophecy that the Redeemer was anointed to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound…Ezekiel, who was shown in vision the great valley of dry bones, which were to be clothed upon with flesh, to come forth again in the resurrection of the dead, living souls; Daniel who foresaw and foretold of God in the latter days, never again to be destroyed nor given to other people… The Prophet Joseph Smith… Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and other choice spirits who were reserved to come forth in the fullness of times to take part in laying the foundations of the great latter-day work, Including the building of the temples…” (Doctrine and Covenants 138: 41-44, 53-54)

latter-day-saints-temple-building-projects-8

Chapter 1: Daniel

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, who was the king of Judah, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to siege Jerusalem. While in Jerusalem, certain Hebrew including Daniel are trained in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. These children are “…skillful in all wisdom… cunning in knowledge, and understanding science…” (Daniel 1:4) The children are all given meat and wine, but David did not want the kings meat or wine; “…Daniel proposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the kings meat, nor with the wine which he drank…” (Daniel 1:8)

yhst-134523174946412_2271_24511889

                Daniel then goes to Melzar (who was basically over the children) and asks him to only feed the children “pulse” which are foods made of seeds and grains. Daniel says; “…I beseech thee, ten days; let them give us pulse to eat and water to drink. Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee… at the end of the ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did ear the portion of the kings meat.” (Daniel 12-13, 15)

                Daniel and the fourt other children with him are given “…knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.” (Daniel 1:17). These gifts came from God.

Chapter 2: Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream

Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that troubles his spirit, so he calls all the magicians, astrologers and sorcerers to help interpret his dream. When the “wise” men come before Nebuchadnezzar they tell him that they can interpret the dream, if Nebuchadnezzar will explain his dream to them. Well Nebuchadnezzar explains that he can no longer remember the dream and that anyone who is unable to tell of the dream and its interpretation will be destroyed!

The wise men all tell Nebuchadnezzar that this task is impossible and only the gods would be able to tell of his dream. This angers Nebuchadnezzar and he commands that all the wise men through the land be killed, this of course would include Daniel and his peers to be killed.

Daniel goes to Arioch (the kings captain) and ask for a little of King Nebuchadnezzars time to interpret his dream. Before going to the king, Daniel stops off at his house and explains to his companions that they need to ask God for help to be saved from death. With their prayers the secret of Nebuchadnezzars dream is revealed to Daniel. Daniel praises the Lord; “…Blessed be the name of God forever and ever: for wisdom and might are his… he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings and sitteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: (Daniel 2:20-21).

Daniel goes before the king and explains that only God in heaven can reveal his dream and for that purpose Daniel was sent before Nebuchadnezzar, to explain his dream:

“Thou , O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the ion, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” (Daniel 2:31-35)

Daniel then goes on to explain the interpretation of the dream:

Nebuchadnezzar is the golden head, and the other parts of the image’s body are subsequent kingdoms (Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman). When the fourth kingdom, represented by the feet, is destroyed all other kingdoms will be destroyed along with it. The iron and clay of the feet indicates that the kingdom is partly strong, and partly weak. The fourth kingdom will be divided into ten smaller kingdoms, each represented by a toe. Daniel explains that the kingdoms reprented as “half iron and half clay” will be kingdoms whoe mingle the seed of men to the point where they don’t mix, like Iron and Clay do not mix. At that time God will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed (represented by the stone).

                “…in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break into pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)

Upon hearing Daniels interpretation, Nebuchadnezzar fell down and worshiped Daniel and gave him whatsoever he wanted. Daniel is appointed as ruler over all the province of Babylon and sets Shadrach, Meschach and Abed-nego over the affairs of Babylon.

 

Ezekiel 19-20

Ezekiel 19-20

Chapter 19: Ezekiel laments for Israel

Jerusalem is compared to a lioness – the first of her young is Jehoahaz, removed from power by the king of Egypt; the second is Jehoiakim, brought in chains to Babylon. The Jewish nation is a vine that flourished, but was plucked up in fury and planted in the wilderness, in dry and thirsty ground. Ezekiel laments for Israel, because their fruitfulness is gone.

Chapter 20: Failing to keep the commandments

The Elders of Israel come to ask Ezekiel’s counsel. God commands Ezekiel to speak of them and their rebellion and idolatry, in Egypt, and in the wilderness and in Canaan. Ezekiel tells them of the importance of the Sabbath Day, he tells them that the Lord said; “…hallow my sabbaths; and they hall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” (Ezekiel 20:20). This shows us that by going to church and keeping the Sabbath day holy, we are showing God that we know he is there and likewise the Lord will return that favor and help us in our lives. What does it mean to keep the Sabbath day holy? Well for starters church is very important, along with: reading scriptures, participating in family activities that are wholesome and refraining from doing work on that day. This also means that you shouldn’t make someone else have to work. Therefore, refraining from shopping is very important. However, Ezekiel reminds them that if they turn their faces towards the Lord, that they will be restored.  Jerusalem is represented as a forest doomed to be destroyed by fire.

Jeremiah 17-18

Jeremiah 17-18

Chapter 17: Keep the Sabbath Day

Judah is fatally inclined to idolatry. The happiness of the man that trusts in the Lord is contrasted with the man that trusted in man.

“…Cursed be the man that trusteth in man… and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5) God alone knows the deceit and wretchedness of the heart of man. A comparison is made between a bird’s hatching the eggs of another species, which will soon forsake her, and the vanity of them is ill-acquired riches. Jeremiah talks of his sincerity, and prays that the evil intended him by his enemies may revert on their own heads. “Let them be confounded that persecute me…” (Jeremiah 17:18)

God will always fight our battles for us, if we follow His commandments. Therefore if someone is persecuting you, for what you believe… the Lord will protect you, by confounding them!

Jeremiah tells us that the people “…say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? Let it come now.” (Jeremiah 17:15) Those who believe in the Word of God and know when something is from God, because they can feel His spirit, will know and accept the Book of Mormon as Word of God. The “Word” of God is not limited to the “Bible”, the Bible is indeed part of the Word of God, but is not His complete record or Word.

“…hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein.” (Jeremiah 17:24)

In Jeremiah 17:22-27 we read about the importance of the keeping the Sabbath Day holy. The Lord speaks to us through the writings of Jeremiah saying that we must not do any work on the Sabbath Day. This means that we should not be working to make money or make others work. We can however serve or do things that relax us and put us closer to God.

Chapter 18: Repent and God will Repent

The house of Israel is like clay in the hands of a potter. The inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem are invited to repent; their refusal is as unnatural as someone preferring the snowy Lebanon or barren rock to a fruitful plain, or other waters to the cool stream of the fountain. Those who continue to do in evil in the sight of the Lord will be punished, and those who repent will have the anger and wrath of God withheld from them. A conspiracy is formed against Jeremiah, who appeals to God, and curses his enemies. The Jews will be scattered.

Isaiah 1-2

Isaiah 1-2

Chapter 1: Zion and the Restoration

This is the vision of Isaiah and what saw through what I see as the Lord’s eyes; “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward.” (Isaiah 1:4) God is no doubt, upset and very angry with what He sees. The Lord compares Israel to Sodom and Gomorrah for its apostasy and evil.

The Lord speaks about the prayer of the hypocrite; “And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Isaiah 1:15) But there is a remedy to this sin and evil… “Wash you, make you clean… Learn to do well… reason together… though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as now; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)

If we repent, the Lord will forgive us! But we must be willing to make changes and make ourselves clean from those sins. If are willing, we will “…eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured…” (Isaiah 1:19-20)

Chapter 2: Temples in the Last Days

Isaiah sees a vision of the latter days…

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

                Essentially Isaiah sees a vision of the last days, where God’s church would be restored and the Temples would be built and shortly following that the Second Coming of Jesus would happen, where there would be 1,000 years of peace in the World.

The most interesting part of this, to me, is the following: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it…” (Isaiah 2:2) The reason this is so fascinating to me, is because the “tops of mountains” is a translation of a meaning of the word “Ute” which was the Indian Tribe of Utah, where the state was named and one of the most famous Temples in the world… the Salt Lake Temple has visitors from ALL around the world flock there on a daily basis. Isaiah was speaking of the Latter-day Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the last days, the proud and the wicked will be brought low and the judgment will occur for everyone during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.