2 Timothy 4

2 Timothy 4: Preach the Gospel

                Paul writes to Timothy and explains that he needs to “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove [to disapprove of someone], rebuke [criticize], exhort [urge] with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:1) Paul tells Timothy sharply that he must be quick to preach and if necessary tell someone he is teaching that they are wrong, criticize their thinking and urge them to change their thinking using sound doctrine. At first thought one might think Paul is encouraging Timothy to go around and bash others beliefs and force the teachings of Jesus Christ on others. HOWEVER, I believe that Paul wrote to Timothy in this way to encourage him to work hard to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because Paul explains; “…the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itchy ears; And they shall turn away from the truth, and shall be turned into fables [A story that teaches a lesson or a false account].” (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

What is Paul trying to say? He is telling Timothy to hurry and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because soon the people will not listen to the TRUE doctrine, because they will consume themselves in their own lusts and find teachers to tell them that what they are doing is ok.

In March of 1839, while in the jail at Liberty, Missouri; Joseph Smith received revelation which the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints know as the 123rd Section of the  Doctrine and Covenants, verses 12-13 read;

“For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it – Therefore, that we should waster and wear out our lives in bringing to light all the hidden things of darkness, wherein we know them; and they are truly manifest from heaven.” (Doctrine and Covenants 123: 12-13) For this reason Paul urged Timothy to work hard to convince his fellow brother and sister of the truth!

Paul explains that he “…is now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6-8)

1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy 4: Latter-day Apostasy – “Hold Fast”

                Paul opens his letter to Timothy describing the Apostasy that would take hold of the world in the last days; “…in latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

In the Last Days, the Devil will try to deceive many, and make many believe they are doing good. For those who are following God, Paul exhorts them to be an example for the other believers, and urges them to study the words of the scriptures and to have their own knowledge of them:

                “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands…” (1 Timothy 4:12-14)

                Paul ends his letter to Timothy, by urging him to take “heed” to himself and the doctrine of Christ.

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1: Teach ONLY the Doctrine

                Paul writes a letter to his son Timothy, and asks him to command that local church leaders in Ephesus and Macedonia (among others) to “…teach no other doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:3) During this time it was probably common practice for local leaders to stray slightly from the real doctrine and perhaps teach their own views, or tell stories that are more tradition than fact. Paul encourages his son to not “…give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith…” (1 Timothy 1:4) Essentially Paul is explaining that it is not important to know every detail about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because often times this intense studying of the gospel only leads to questions that may or may not edify someone in the faith of Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to explain that all we need to know/have (as followers of Christ) is charity and a pure heart. Paul explains that many, who desire to be teachers of the law (and gospel); teach things that are not necessarily correct or true. Because of this, they do not understand; “…what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1 Timothy 1:7)

                Paul teaches us that no one is perfect, and for this purpose; “…Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15) However, we need to strive to be perfect and strive to be like Jesus; “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” (1 Timothy 1:19) In other words, we are not perfect. However, we should strive to be perfect and hold our faith so that we aren’t led away by the devil.

Colossians 2

Colossians 2: Beware of Deceit

                Paul warns the Colossians in Colosse about men who will come to them and attempt to confuse them with ‘doctrine of men’;

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)

Paul explains that only through Christ can we be ‘complete’. Paul expounds on how baptism should be performed;

“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” (Colossians 2:12) Notice how he said ‘buried with him’, this means baptism by immersion. In our baptism is represents the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as we follow him as a new and clean person. We should leave our sins behind in the baptismal font.

John 7

John 7: The Father’s Doctrine

Jesus walked into Galilee, but His Apostles advised Him to carry out His ministry in Jerusalem during the Feast of the Tabernacles. Jesus tells His Apostles that they need to go up to the Feast, but for Him it is not His time yet.

During the feast, Jesus goes to the Temple to teach the Jews, and they marveled that Jesus could speak with so much wisdom, but Jesus reminded them; “…My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:16-17) Jesus goes on to explain that anyone who seeks after his own glory will not teach the truth, but he who comes seeking the glory of God will tell the truth. Jesus asks them; “Did Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?” (John 7:19) He continues to explain that Moses (through God) gave the law of circumcision, and on the Sabbath the Jews performed this ordinance. Jesus then asks them if they are still angry at Him for making someone whole on the Sabbath. He exclaims; “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)

Jesus continues His address in the Temple, some were saying that He was the Christ and others saying that if the Christ came, no one would know. Jesus tells them; “…ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.” (John 7:28-29) Some try to lay hands on him, seeking to kill him… but they did not, for His hour had not come yet.

Jesus offers everyone there living waters, if they are to follow Him. The people continued to persecute Jesus and desired for Him to be killed. Nicodemus, however asked the question; “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” (John 7:51) But the council that was gathered did not listen to him and chose to unlawfully persecute Jesus.

Isaiah 11-12

Isaiah 11-12

Chapter 11: The Lord Shall Raise an Ensign

A root shall come forth from the rod of Jesse, possessing the seven spirits of God:
He will judge the poor with equity, and slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.

“The wolf shall also dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion… together…” (Isaiah 11:6) The world will come together and fighting and war will be a thing of the past. The gentiles shall seek him. The Lord will gather together scattered Israel. Peace will reign, and neighboring nations be subdued.

In Doctrine and Covenant Section 113 we learn more about Isaiah chapter 11 and come to understand more of the meaning behind Isaiah’s words.

Answers to certain questions on the writings of Isaiah, given by Joseph Smith the Prophet, at or near Far West, Missouri, March 1838.

  • “Who is the Stem of Jesse spoken of in the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, and 5th verses of the 11th chapter of Isaiah?

                                Verily thus saith the Lord: It is Christ.” (D&C 113:1-2)

  • “What is the rod spoken of in the first verse of the 11th chapter of Isaiah, that should come of the Stem of Jesse?

Behold, thus saith the Lord: It is a servant in the hands of Christ, who is partly a descendant of Jesse as well as of Ephraim, or of the house of Joseph, on whom there is laid much power.” (D&C 113:3-4)

  • “What is the root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter?

 

Behold, thus saith the Lord, it is a descendant of Jesse, as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the priesthood, and the keys of the kingdom, for an ensign, and for the gathering of my people in the last days.” (D&C 113:5-6)

 

  • “ What is meant by the command in Isaiah, 52d chapter, 1st verse, which saith: Put on thy strength, O Zion—and what people had Isaiah reference to?

He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of priesthood to bring again Zion, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to that power which she had lost.” (D&C 113:7-8)

  • “What are we to understand by Zion loosing herself from the bands of her neck; 2d verse?

We are to understand that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that he will speak to them, or give them revelation. See the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses. The bands of her neck are the curses of God upon her, or the remnants of Israel in their scattered condition among the Gentiles.” (D&C 113:9-10)

Chapter 12: In the Last Days God will be among us

Praise will be offered to the Lord when his anger has passed away. The Lord is my strength and salvation! You will draw water from the well of salvation. Praise sung – great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!