2 Nephi 26

2 Nephi 26: The Abominable Church

                Nephi explains that after the death of Jesus Christ in the Old World, that He would come and visit His “…other sheep… which are not of this fold…” (John 10:16) Christ is referring to the other sheep, as those who are in ancient America. Nephi explains; “…after Christ shall have risen from the dead he shall show himself unto you, my children, and my beloved brethren…” (2 Nephi 26:1)

                Nephi explains that in the day of His birth, they shall be shown signs in the heavens; “…there shall be signs given unto my people of his birth, and also of his death and resurrection; and great and terrible shall that day be unto the wicked, for they shall perish; and they perish because they cast out the prophets, and the saints, and stone them, and slay them; wherefore the cry of the blood of the saints shall ascend up to God from the ground against them.” (2 Nephi 26:3) Here Nephi exclaims the joy to his people that they will know of His birth and His death, and those who go against God shall have His vengeance against them!

Nephi encourages his people;  “…behold, the righteous that hearken unto the words of the prophets, and destroy them not, but look forward unto Christ with steadfastness for the signs which are given, notwithstanding all persecution—behold, they are they which shall not perish.” (2 Nephi 26:8) Nephi warned his people that it would not be easy, but that they would be blessed for keeping their beliefs!

Nephi teaches a very important doctrine about the Holy Ghost, which is that the Holy Ghost; “…will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction…” (2 Nephi 26:11)

                Nephi warns of churches that will be built up in the Last Days for Money and Power… He also warns of Secret Societies, Secret Works and Combinations! Organizations such as; Skull and Bones, Bohemian Grove, The Illuminati, Bilderberg Group, etc.

“…the Gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled, because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor. And there are many churches built up which cause envyings, and strifes, and malice. And there are also secret combinations, even as in times of old, according to the combinations of the devil, for he is the founder of all these things; yea, the founder of murder, and works of darkness; yea, and he leadeth them by the neck with a flaxen cord, until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever.” (2 Nephi 26: 20-22)

Nephi explains that God does not work in secret combinations, nor for power or money. He does what is best for His children and the World.

Nephi reminds us of a commandment unto all men;

“…the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.” (2 Nephi 26:30)

Nephi ends by explaining that God invites all to receive of His goodness and grace!

Moses 1

Moses 1: Worlds Without Number, created by Jesus Christ

                God reveals himself to Moses; “And he [Moses] saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses…” (Moses 1:2) The Lord also spoke with Moses and said; “…Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, and Endless is my name; for I am without beginning of days or end of years… And, behold, thou art my son: wherefore look, and I will show thee the workmanship of mine hands; but not all, for my works are without end, and also my word, for they never cease. Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth.” (Moses 1:3-5) We know that Moses spoke with God ‘face to face’ (See Exodus 33-34) And others have seen and spoken with God face to face as well (see: Acts 25; Psalms 17-18; Deuteronomy 5-6; Genesis 31-33; Revelations). What is neat about the Book of Moses is we learn more about what the conversations were about. God explains to Moses that His works are without end and no man shall behold or understand His works, without having His glory. No man can have His glory or even a piece large enough to behold all of His works and remain alive on the earth. So even though Moses is seeing God face to face, he is not seeing everything about God, while still in the flesh.

God tells Moses that He has a work for him to accomplish while he is still on the earth, and Moses; “…looked and behold the world upon which he was created; and Moses beheld the world and the ends thereof, and all the children of men which are, and which were created… And the presence of God withdrew from Moses… [and] he fell unto the earth…” (Moses 1:8-9) Here Moses saw the creation of the world, and all of the worlds that God had created, and all of God’s children past, present and future. The vision then fell from Moses and he was left unto himself.

“And it came to pass that it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence… I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.” (Moses 1:10-11) Here we learn that Moses in his natural state would not be able to behold the glory of God and see him face to face if it were not for God transfiguring him, so he could behold the face of God in Moses’ spiritual form.

After re-gaining his strength, Moses was visited by Satan who came tempting him, saying: “…Moses, son of man, worship me.” (Moses 1:12) and Moses responded that he would not worship him and asked why he should worship him, because he had no glory. Moses exclaimed; “…I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?” (Moses 1:14) Here we learn that God cannot be seen with the natural eye, but Satan can be seen with the natural eye. Satan tempts Moses again and Moses responded that he would not worship him, for God told Moses that he was like unto His Only Begotten Son.  Satan was angry with this and; “…cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.” (Moses 1:19) Because of the anger of Satan, Moses began to fear, because he saw; “…the bitterness of hell…” (Moses 1:20), but Moses called upon God and God gave him strength, with this strength Satan began to tremble and eventually depart from Moses.

Moses gave thanks and glory to God and God responded; “…Blessed art thou, Moses, for I, the Almighty, have chosen thee, and thou shalt be made stronger than many waters; for they shall obey thy command as if thou wert God.” (Moses 1:25) Here we learn that God gave Moses power over the waters, and blessed him for being faithful. God explains that Moses will lead and; “…deliver my people from bondage, even Israel my chosen.” (Moses 1:26) While Moses was still speaking to God, he beheld all of the particles of the earth and all of the souls of the earth, through the discerning power of the Spirit of God. Moses also beheld; “…many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.” (Moses 1:29) Here we learn what the Bible has already taught us, that God created many worlds. However, in this verse we learn that many of those worlds are also called “earth” and have people living on them. Moses was so confused when he saw this that he asked God what the purpose of these worlds were, and God responded; “…For mine own purpose have I made these things… And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten” (Moses 1:31) God’s response to Moses was simple, I created worlds without number for my own purpose. Interestingly, we also learn that God was like an Architect, and the Son (Jesus Christ) was the builder.

God goes on to explain to Moses that; “…the first man of all men I called Adam, which is many.” (Moses 1:34) Here we learn that Adam, is a title and NOT a name. But God explains that; “…only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many world that have passed away by the word of my power, And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.” (Moses 1:35) God created many worlds, and was only going to tell Moses of this earth. But many have already passed away, and many still exist.

Moses, perplexed by this asks God; “…tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens…And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many… And as one earth shall pass away, and the heaven thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.” (Moses 1:36-38) Here we learn that even after one earth is destroyed, another will come forth. This process repeats, for there is no end to His works.

“For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39) Here we learn that God works, He does not just sit on His throne and do nothing. In fact He is Eternally working! All so that He can bring to pass our immortality and eternal life!

                “And in a day when the children of men shall esteem my words as naught and take many of them from the book which thou [Moses] shall write, behold I will raise up another like unto thee; and they shall be had again among the children of men – among as many as shall believe.” (Moses 1:41) Because many wicked man took precious parts away from the Bible it was necessary for God to raise another prophet like Moses in the Last Days to bring forth the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that had been lost. This prophet was Joseph Smith and through him, God was able to restore His Church.

Revelation 13

Revelation 13: The Devil has NO Power

                John sees a monster rise up out of the sea; “…having seven heads and ten horns… and the dragon gave him his power… and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly would was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast, And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast?…” (Revelation 13:1-4)

Many people marveled at the dragons “power” and even began to worship the dragon, mocking God by exclaiming that no one else had more power. John explains that the beast was even given power; “…to make war with the saints, and to overcome them… And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb…” (Revelation 13:7-8) Essentially, if you are not following Christ, you could be vulnerable to fall under the power of Satan. Many will be deceived because of the ‘miracles’ that the beast will perform. The number of the beast is 666.

2 Timothy 1

2 Timothy 1: Christ Brings Eternal Life

                Paul writes to Timothy and tells him that “…God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) Essentially we need to know that as sons and daughters of God we have the power to overcome fear and to be filled with a sound mind of love.

                Paul tells Timothy and all followers to “Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…Who hath saved us…” (2 Timothy 1:8-9) Because Jesus Christ died for our sins, we need to never deny Him. We should believe in Him as our one and only Savior!

1 Thessalonians 1

1 Thessalonians 1: The Gospel = Word and Power

                Paul addresses the Thessalonians and explains that he came unto them in word and power;

                “For our gospel, came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

                This chapter, although short, is very powerful. Paul explains that he is not just a minister of word, but actually has POWER from God. This power or “Authority” is necessary in the ordinances of the gospel and is needed for the TRUE Church of Jesus Christ.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the power of the Priesthood and its restoration began on May 15, 1829 when the resurrected John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon them.

1 Corinthians 4

1 Corinthians 4: Power and Not Word

                Paul explains that as a disciple of Christ, and even more importantly as an Apostle of the Lord we are servants of God. We must be found faithful and judge not those around us. Paul explains that we “…labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it.” (1 Corinthians 4:12)

                Paul explains that the “…kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” (1 Corinthians 4:20) This means that Authority to Minister in Christ’s Church is important.

Acts 19

Acts 19: The Gift of the Holy Ghost

                While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the upper coasts of Epheus where he found certain Disciples of Christ who had not yet received the Holy Ghost;

“He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as head whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto the, Unto what then where ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came upon them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:2-6)

                When Paul had asked them if they had received the Holy Ghost, they knew nothing of it. These people thought they had received a valid baptism with the proper authority. However, Paul, an Apostle of the Lord told them that they had been baptized without the actual Authority. So when the people heard and understood this, they were RE-BAPTIZED, because a baptism without the proper Authority is just getting wet, and serves no purpose. Paul then gave them the power and gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands, by the proper Authority. Thus, it is important to have proper Authority to get a proper baptism. This Authority was lost some time after Paul was an Apostle, but has been restored in these Latter-days.

While in Ephesus Paul has a mixed response, but performs miraculous healings. The seven sons of Sceva, Jewish exorcists, try to exorcise by the name of the Lord Jesus. However, the evil spirits do not recognize them or their proper Authority and are beaten by the evil spirits. Many in Ephesus renounce occult objects. Demetrius, a maker of idols, opposes Paul because his business has suffered. A riot starts, which is finally calmed by a city clerk.

Acts 6

Acts 6: The Apostles Chose 7 Others

                The number of disciples of the Lord (followers of Christ) multiplied and as the Church grew, some complained that the distributions [the money and goods] were not being handled properly. So Peter and John ask the disciples to give them some names of good men, honest men who they could call and appoint over that duty, so that they might go on teaching about Jesus Christ and Administering in His Church.

                Peter and John call; Stephen, Phillip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas to have the delegation of duties regarding the distribution of the wealth of the Church. These men were set before the Apostles “…and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.” (Acts 6:6) Here we see that the Power and Authority was given to these men in the same manner that Peter and John had received their Authority from Jesus Christ, meaning that the Authority must come in this manner.

                From this point on… the Church grew and multiplied in Jerusalem. Stephen did man miracles and even preached the Gospel. However, a group called the ‘Libertines’ [Freed-Men] sought to destroy Stephen, because they believe he spoke blasphemies against Moses and against God, because they did not believe in Jesus Christ. The group “…set up false witnesses. Which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:” (Acts 6:13) The council that was over seeing this “trial” could only see Stephen as an angel. Essentially the council could not see the evil that he supposedly had in him. 

Acts 4

Acts 4: Peter and John are Arrested

                As Peter and John were teaching the people from the previous chapter, the Sadducees came upon them and laid their hands on them, arresting them. The next day they were put before a tribunal court with Annas, the high priest, Caiaphas, John and Alexander and many other leaders to question Peter and John, they asked; “…By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” (Acts 4:7)

Peter, being filled with the Holy Ghost, responded; “…Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole, Be it known to you all, and to all people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Acts 3:8-10) Peter made it very clear that the power or authority, by which they used to heal the man, was from Jesus Christ.

Peter continues; “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

                Peter lays it down as clear as can be; Peter did not heal the man with his own power. No, he healed the man through the power that Jesus Christ had given him. Jesus Christ is the head of the Church and only through Him can someone be saved! The counsel marveled at the boldness presented by Peter and John, because they could see that both of them were very humble men that were “…unlearned and ignorant…” (Acts 4:13), yet they marveled that they could indeed speak with such boldness and authority. They wondered what they should do, even asking themselves; “…What shall we do to these men? For that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them…” (Acts 4:16)

                The counsel was concerned because some of the people who had seen the miracle believed on Jesus Christ, so instead the counsel threatens Peter and John to no longer talk; “…let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name.” (Acts 4:17) But Peter quickly responds in a way that only an Apostle of the Lord would respond; “…Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20) After hearing these words and threatening them further the counsel had no choice to let them go, for they had no case and they feared a backlash from the believers.

After being released, Peter and John offer a prayer to God and ask Him to “…Grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.” (Acts 4:29) After finishing their prayer the ground shook beneath them and the people there were touched by the Holy Ghost and were assembled as one heart and soul. The people departed of their worldly goods and set them at the feet of the Apostles to help those in need.

Acts 2

Acts 2: The Gift of Tongues

                On the day of the Pentecost many people gathered together in one place. During this meeting “…there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2:2-3) So, we are told that the Holy Ghost came down and put on them the ability to speak in tongues. So what exactly does it mean to speak in tongues? We continue to read; “…they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) Some believe today that speaking in tongues means that the Spirit of God comes down and causes you to lose control of your physical body and spew nonsense that only the Spirit can understand. Is this speaking in “tongues”? No. We continue to read; “…every man heard them speak in his own language.” (Acts 2:6) So what does it mean to speak in tongues? To literally speak in other languages, for example in Spanish you would say “lenguas” for languages, but “lenguas” also translates as “tongues”.

However, some gathered believe that those speaking in tongues are only drunk, why? Because they don’t believe that God can give someone the power to communicate in other languages. I personally can say that the Gift of Tongues is real, I served as a Missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and found that I could learn Spanish a lot faster than if I were to try on my own. The Prophet Joel spoke to the unbelievers; “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17) Joel brought up a good point, God has the power to do anything, including giving the Gift of Tongues or causing someone to have a vision. Joel prophesies of the coming doom in the last days and encourages those that are gathered (and more importantly those living in the Last Days) to “…that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21) Does this mean that to be saved, all we have to do is accept Christ in our lives? No. If we go back and read in Matthew, Jesus taught; “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) So, accepting Christ in our lives is only the first step, Salvation was never easy… but yet again it wasn’t easy for Christ to die for all of our Sins, the least we can do is follow His commandments.

Joel explains that Jesus was take and tried by wicked men to be beaten, and die on the Cross with no crime. The Apostles that Jesus had called recount what Joel had prophesied in days of old. The Apostles continue to teach those gathered about Jesus and their message “…pricked in their heart…” (Acts 2:37) so much so, that they turned to Peter and asked how they might return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and he responded to those gathered; “…Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

The people did as the Apostles had directed them and many were baptized and did receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, by the Authority given to the Apostles. Many departed of their belongings and gave to those in need and “Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)