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)

1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15: Baptisms for the Dead

                Paul preaches to the Corinthians and tells them that the Gospel he preached to them is the word of God and that Jesus Christ did in fact die for our sins; “…that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures; “(1 Corinthians 15:4) Paul explains that the evidence of Him is all around, for many saw His great works and miracles. Paul explains that all men will be resurrected, Paul explains that if there is no resurrection then Jesus Christ also did not rise on the third day; “…if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ is be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:13-14) Paul goes on to make a very bold statement; “For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:16)

Essentially we learn that if you believe that Christ rose on the third day, then you must also believe that all men will one day be resurrected. Paul goes on to explain the purpose of Jesus Christ and the Fall/Redemption of Mankind through Him;

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive… Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him…. Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:20-29)

So, Paul is telling us that through the Fall of Adam and Eve, death was brought into the world, but through Jesus Christ we can eventually overcome that death. The Corinthians participated in Baptisms for the Dead and because of this Paul was essentially asking them; ‘if you don’t believe in resurrection, why are you participating in the baptisms of the dead?’ – From this we learn that Baptisms for the Dead were performed in ancient times and that it was for the very purpose of those who did not get a baptism in this life. This practice of Vicarious Work is done today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Paul goes on to explain what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints already know as the Plan of Salvation. Paul describes the different bodies; “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory…” (1 Corinthians 15:40-41)

John 11

John 11: Lazarus

                In the town of Bethany there was a sick man by the name of Lazarus, who was the brother of Mary, the one who anointed the feet of Jesus. Upon hearing this news that He was sick, He stayed where He was for two days, then He told His Apostles that they should go down into Judea. But having been recently rejected from that are, the Apostles were confused as to why Jesus would want to go there again. Jesus teaches them; “…Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is not light with him.” (John 11:9-10) Essentially if we don’t have the light of God with us, we will always stumble among the world of darkness. We should always walk among others of good crowd, so that the light from all can shine together.

Jesus tells them that “…Our friend Lazarus sleepeth…I go, that I may awake him out of a sleep.” (John 11:11) Later Jesus told His Apostles, that Lazarus was indeed dead. When they arrived to meet Lazarus, they learn that four days had passed since he was laid to rest in his tomb. When Mary and Martha (Mary’s sister) find out that Jesus has come, Martha runs to meet Him, and says to Jesus; “…if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” (John 11:21) But she knew the power of God and the miracles that Jesus had performed and says; “…I know, that even not, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.” (John 11:22) Jesus reassures her; “…Thy brother shall rise again.” (John 11:23) Martha knew of the Resurrection and explains that she knows he would one day rise again, in the last day. Jesus then tells her; “…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth on my, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11:25) Jesus asks Martha if she believe this and she responds that she does. Jesus then calls for Mary and she came running out of the house, those who were gathered with her followed her, thinking she was going to the tomb of Lazarus.

When Mary met Jesus she fell at His feet and cried, those Jews who followed her out of the house also wept, even “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) The Jews and all those gathered said to “…Behold how he loved him!” (John 11:36) and those same people wondered if Jesus could perform such a great miracle of raising someone from the dead. Jesus asked to see where Lazarus was buried and before entering the tomb, lifted up His eyes and said; “…Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 11:41-42) This is very interesting, because the people believed in Jesus, they were given signs. Throughout the scriptures people have asked for signs to believe, but it doesn’t work that way. Signs follow those who believe, and that is evident here. You don’t have to KNOW, you just have to BELIEVE and by BELIEVING, God will give you signs and wonders, to make you KNOW!

Jesus then “…cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.” (John 11:43) At that very moment, Lazarus came forth, bound in his grave clothes. Jesus commanded that those around him go and loose him from those bands. Many of the Jews gathered did believe on Jesus.

Some of the Jews who did not believe went their ways to tell the Pharisees, and they held a council; “…What do we? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.” (John 11:47-48) The Chief Priest Caiaphas came to the conclusion that Jesus must die for the nation, so that only one many perish and not the entire nation. Jesus knew of their desires and fled from the Jews, no longer teaching among them. He and His Apostles continued to teach in a city called Ephraim. During this time, the Feast of the Passover was occurring, and the Jews waited for Jesus to show, so they could capture Him.

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)

Mark 5

Mark 5: Casting out Devils

                Jesus and His Apostles go into the country of Gardarenes where Jesus is immediately met by a met on the shore that had an evil spirit. The man was so possessed that he had to be placed in chains in a tomb, but no chains or any form of restraint would keep him locked up. We learn that the man was so tormented by this evil spirit that he cut “…himself with stones.” (Mark 5:5).

Jesus immediately blessed the man and cast the spirit out of him; we learn that the man’s name was ‘Legion’, and that there were many who were possessed.  Jesus casts all the evil spirits out, and allowed the evil spirits to enter into swine nearby. The evil spirits actually pleaded with Jesus to let them enter into the swine, which were 2,000 swine. Jesus knew that the evil spirits would never obtain bodies and therefore permitted them to enter into the swine. However, after being in a human host for so long, they soon realized that a pig’s body was not what they wanted and all of them (all 2,000) jumped off a cliff into the ocean, where they “…choked in the sea.” (Mark 5:13)

                Once the man Legion was free of his evil spirit, he asked to come on board with Jesus and follow him. Jesus however, told him to return to his friends and family and tell them the great this of the Lord. The man Legion followed this advice and returned to where he came, and published the great works of the Lord, and people did marvel.

Jesus returned to the ship and passed over to the other side, where He was met by Jairus, who was one of the rulers of the synagogue, who did ask for a blessing on his daughter. While Jesus was traveling to see the daughter, He was touched on the hem of His garment by an old lady. This lady had suffered a disease of the blood throughout her life and told herself; “…If I many touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.” (Mark 5:28), so she touched the garment of Jesus as He passed by her. Immediately after passing by, the woman felt that she was whole and that her disease was cured. Jesus stopped promptly, because He felt “…that virtue [power or strength] had gone out of him…” (Mark 5:30). The woman was now fearful and dropped at His feet and confessed to touching His garment. Jesus then told her that “…thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:34)

                When Jesus finally arrived at the synagogue to attend to the daughter of Jarius a man from the synagogue yells; “…Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master…” (Mark 5:35) This man thought that the daughter was dead and nothing could be done. It is interesting that people had heard of the miraculous powers of Jesus or witnessed them first hand, yet people still did not believe that He could bring someone back from the dead? Jesus responds to the man; “…Be not afraid, only believe.” (Mark 5:36)

Jesus then commands Peter, James, and John to follow Him into the house. The people in the house are very skeptical of Jesus, so Jesus asks them; “…Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.” (Mark 5:39) But, like most of His critics, He received laughing.

Jesus then sends everyone out, except the parents and His Apostles. He then took the daughter by the hand and said to her; “…Talitha cumi; which is… Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” (Mark 5:41) The damsel did arise, she being only 12 years old.