2 Nephi 18

2 Nephi 18: Seek the Lord

Isaiah has a son, whom the Lord tells him to name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means ‘speed to the spoil, hurry to the plunder’. Before the children can call his mother and father, the riches of Damascus and Israel will be taken away by Assyria. However, the Assyrian army, compared to water, will overflow its banks and flood Judah with violence and destruction. Judah can prepare for the invasion by fearing God rather than Assyria. When people say to seek the occult, rather than the word of God you shall know that they have no light in them (see: 2 Nephi 18:19-20)

Revelation 22

Revelation 22: Christ shall Come

                John saw; “…a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God… and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits… the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse…And they [the followers of Christ] shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” (Revelation 22:1-4) Here we see that old things are once again done away. Curses will go away from the earth and out of the throne of God will the nations of the world be healed. Those who follow God will have His name on their foreheads (this might not mean literally). Those who follow God will have no need for light, because they will carry His light with them always. God told John; “Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” (Revelation 22:7) We need to be prepared always, for we do not know when the Second Coming will occur and therefore might not have time to repent tomorrow.

John explains of the consequences of those who change or add to HIS BOOK [i.e. The Book of Revelations]; “…I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life…” (Revelation 22:18-19) John explains of the consequences of adding, changing or taking away from the Book of Revelations and not from the Bible as a whole.

The Book of Revelations, The New Testament and the Bible as a whole end;

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Revelation 22:21)

2 Corinthians 11

2 Corinthians 11: Satan sends forth False Prophets

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians with his concern that just as Eve was beguiled by the Devil in the Garden of Eden, so will the Members be fooled into believing a different Gospel than the one he preaches.

“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have no preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” (2 Corinthians 11:4) In other words, if someone preaches a different gospel than what is the truth, you should not listen to them! Paul goes on to explain that the Gospel has no price, and asks the Corinthians if he has done something wrong by offering them the Gospel free of charge; “Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?” (2 Corinthians 111:7) It seems that the Corinthians were confused as to how the gospel could be free, and were somehow offended that they were not being taken advantage of. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is FREE, and no one preaching the gospel should be paid for doing so! That means that ministers, reverends, fathers, pastors, etc. should not be paid!

Paul explains that many will come and deceive them, Paul describes such people as; “…false prophets, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ… for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-14)

Paul knows that the Corinthians are being fooled and because of this, Paul decides to “…glory after the flesh…for ye suffer fools gladly…” (2 Corinthians 11:18-19) Because the Corinthians are not so accepting of his speaking without having divulged into his credentials and boast of himself… Paul caters to them and boasts of himself;

“(I speak as a fool) … Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren.” (2 Corinthians 11:23; 25-26) Essentially Paul is saying that he has no need to boast of his credentials, as to why they should listen to him. He should have no need to explain all of his acts, but he does so anyways. Why? Because they wouldn’t listen to him if he didn’t.

2 Corinthians 6

2 Corinthians 6: Today is the day to Repent!

Paul opens this letter by explaining that we as believers in Jesus Christ should not take His grace in vain. Essentially, Jesus died for our sins and made it possible for us to return and live with our Heavenly Father; we should not abuse this grace. We need to be actively engaged in doing good. We need to work hard through our afflictions and trials and learn from them! Paul delivers a wonderfully written piece that we can all live by day to day:

“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;  As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.” (2 Corinthians 6:1-10)

Paul then reminds the believers in Christ, to be around people that share their beliefs. Light and darkness should not coincide, righteousness cannot fellowship with unrighteousness.

“Be ye no unequally yoked [attached, coupled] with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Essentially, Paul is telling us that we need to choose our friends and our spouse carefully that we might; “…come out from among them, and be ye separate…” (2 Corinthians 6:17) Separate from the world, but still living in the world. We should never cave into the temptations of the world, just because it is being “accepted”. If we do these things, Paul promises that God; “…will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

 

Romans 2

Romans 2: Judged by our Works

                “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” (Romans 2:1)

Essentially we learn that those who judge others are themselves condemned. Why? Because those who judge others are usually just as guilty of another sin, if not the exact same sin! God demands humble repentance before Him. Those who judge others will not escape their own punishment from God. If we follow the commandments of God, we will not face the tribulation and anguish of God’s judgment.

“For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.” (Romans 1:12) This means that those who did not have God’s commandments and through ignorance sinned, they will not be held accountable. However, those who sinned and knew the commandments of God will be judged according to their knowledge of those things. However, “…their conscience also bearing witness…” (Romans 1:15); essentially God gave us all the Holy Ghost to be able to tell right from wrong… if our conscience told us it was bad and we did it anyways, God will use that in His judgment against us. The Gentiles may by nature act according to the law, being a law unto themselves. Jews boast of the law, but the law condemns them. Circumcision of the heart and of the Spirit is more important than circumcision in the flesh. This means that Faith, without works is dead. If we only profess to Love Jesus Christ, but do not follow His commandments, then we will be judged by our works as well as our faith.

Isaiah 49-50

Isaiah 49-50

Chapter 49: Messiah = Light unto the Gentiles

The servant speaks in his own voice – he has been called from the womb. His mouth has been made like a sharp sword. He will be a light to the gentiles. He will release prisoners, and those in darkness. The Lord cannot forget Israel, as a nurse cannot forget her nursing child. The Lord will protect Israel from her enemies, who will be humbled and defeated.

Chapter 50: Isaiah shall have a tongue of power

Israel has brought its misfortunes on itself. The servant is obedient, and has been given a wise tongue. “… the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word…” (Isaiah 50:4)

”I gave my back to those smitters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair…” (Isaiah 50:6) He has faith that the Lord will justify him, however, and that his adversaries will grow old like a garment, and be eaten up by moths. People will be kindled by fire from his hand.

Psalms 43-44

Psalms 43-44

Chapter 43: Light and Truth

David asks God to judge him and plead his case to an ungodly nation, he further asks “…send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me…” (Psalms 43:3)

                This light and truth can be found many places, one place in which it can be found is through His spirit (the Holy Ghost), through His teachings (the scriptures), through His teachers (apostles, prophets, and other church leaders), His children (those around you; friends and family can convey His light and truth), prayer (direct communication to His light and truth through Him).

Chapter 44: Sheep for the Slaughter

To the chief Musician, for the sons of Korah, Maschill.

                David opens with a conversation with God; he tells the Lord about the great miracles He performed helping the “fathers of old” and how they got the land without their own sword, but only the sword of the Lord and His mighty power. David tells the Lord that he “…will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.” (Psalms 44:6) This is always a good reminder, we can have weapons to protect ourselves, but we should never completely trust in them to save us. David had a bow, and he used it. But he said that he would not put his ONLY trust in his bow, but the Lord. David said “In God we boat all the day long and praise thy name forever.” (Psalms 44:8). Instead of boasting of money, power or fame… we should only boast in the Lord!
David then goes on to reveal something interesting; “If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; Shall not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart. Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Psalms 44:20-22)

                Essentially this tells us that if we have different desires (other than what the Lord would have for us), God will know! God knows our desires, whether they be good or bad. It says that if we seek out other gods, those gods could come in the form of power or money. It is just important that we remember to keep the Lord our number one priority.