Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1: Saints Foreordained/Restoration of the Gospel

                Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians, he starts by explaining that he is an Apostle of the Lord and explains that we are all God’s children, for God “…hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, what we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestined us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ… In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins…” (Ephesians 1:4-5, 7) We learn from Paul that we are not only children of God, but that Jesus Christ will adopt us and through His atoning sacrifice in the Garden of Gethsemane and His Crucifixion, we can be forgiven of our sins.

Paul goes on to explain that God will make known “…the mystery of his will…” (Ephesians 1:7) Essentially Paul is telling us that ONE DAY we will have answers to the questions of our soul, like: Where did we come from? Why are we here and where are we going after death? Paul explains that in the ‘dispensation of the fulness of times’ we will come to this knowledge;

“…the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Ephesians 1:10)

What is the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times?

                First, what is a ‘Dispensation’? Dispensations are periods of time in which the gospel of Jesus Christ is administered by Holy Prophets, who are ordained by God. Through these Prophets, God can speak to His children and administer the affairs of His kingdom on Earth. Dispensations begin with the calling of a prophet, by God. Dispensations end, when the people reject the prophets and kill them.

The Dispensation of the Fulness of Times began in 1820, when Joseph Smith had the First Vision. During this time God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ spoke to Joseph Smith and called him to be a prophet. Through Joseph Smith, the Church of Jesus Christ was restored back to the earth. In modern day scripture we read; “It is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:18).

                So we learn that through Joseph Smith, the Father and the Son ushered in the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times, where all dispensations from Adam to Present are linked together to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Paul ends his letter to the Saints in Ephesus, and prays that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ given them the “…spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; The eyes of your understanding being  enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” (Ephesians 1:17-18) Paul was urging them to open their minds and hearts to being filled with knowledge and enlightenment over the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asks the same thing, for people to open their hearts and understand that the Church, Jesus Christ personally established when He was on the earth… is now Restored with modern day Prophets and Apostles.

1 Corinthians 12

1 Corinthians 12: Organization of the Church

                Paul speaks about Spiritual Gifts, and explains that there are a variety of gifts that can be given, a variety of administrations and diversities… but only one Spirit. Paul explains that “…no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

Examining what Paul said; ‘…no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.’ This means that no one can claim to believe in Jesus Christ, without feeling the Holy Ghost testify of Him. Therefore we learn a very important principle; Spiritual knowledge can only be found through Spiritual means. Sure, someone can go and testify of Jesus Christ as being the Lord and someone listening to that knowledge can be converted. But, until the person being converted receives the knowledge Spiritually they cannot know and will not truly be converted. For this reason many do not believe in Jesus Christ, some even think believing in God is foolish. Why is this? Because they learn about God or Jesus through worldly knowledge and do not accept the knowledge that can only be gained spiritually.

Paul testifies that; “…by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or fee; and have been all made to drink into on Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13) This scripture is similar to one we read later when Paul addresses the Ephesians, which reads: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5)

                So the question that has caused contentions throughout the world for 1,000’s of years… who is right? Which of all the churches, sects, religions is correct? Paul teaches that the church he belongs to (the one Jesus Christ established) was the correct church and because of that we can only be baptized into one body (or church) and there is only One Lord, One Faith and One Baptism. He said this to both the Corinthians and the Ephesians to convert them to the true church, because they were joining false religions that taught in contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is where Paul teaches about the TRUE ORGANIZATION of the Church of Jesus Christ;

“And God hath some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps [administrative offices, programs and provisions in place to help the saints], governments, diversities of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:28)

Today, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) claims to be the TRUE church of Jesus Christ. LDS Doctrine believes that the Church Jesus Christ setup before He departed the world, slowly eroded until the last Apostle died and the power and Authority that He had given to them was no longer in the world. This period of time without the Authority (or priesthood) on the Earth was known as the Great Apostasy, which accounts partly for the time we know as the Dark Ages. After centuries of having no Authorized servant on the Earth, God decided to bring forth His church once more in the Last Days. God called a prophet and through that Prophet Jesus Christ restored His church on the earth. That church is known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that has the same organization Christ originally intended; Prophet, Apostles, Teachers, Evangelists and so forth.