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)

Advertisements

Romans 10

Romans 10: Salvation and God’s Servants

                Paul explains that it is his “…heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” (Romans 10:1) Israel has gone about to seek and “…establish their own righteousness…” (Romans 10:3), by creating their own sense of what righteousness is, they “…have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3) This means that you could have every good intent to worship God and to follow His commandments, and still do it wrong. This doesn’t mean that their can’t be different ways to worship God, however there is only one authority to baptize and perform saving ordinances.

We read further that; “…if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9) So does this mean that we can just confess the name of Jesus Christ and accept Him in our hearts and be saved? No. Why? If we believe, but do not follow the commandments nor get baptized we are only saved from a Physical death, but not from a Spiritual death. While Peter was teaching when the group he was teaching said “…what shall we do? …Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized everyone 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 2:37-38) So, not only do we have to believe, but by believing means we have faith and by having faith means we follow in the footsteps of Jesus. So if we believe on Him, we will also put forth good works. Remember that Jesus said; “Not everyone 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 just by saying the name of Jesus is not enough, we must also do the will of the Father. What is the will? Its work, its following the commandments and doing good.

“…how shall they preach, except they be sent? …How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15) – Mormon missionaries are called to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the globe. They are called and sent by a modern day prophet to preach the glad tidings of good things!

John 21

John 21: Feed My Sheep

Peter, Thomas and Nathanael go fishing and while they are fishing in the sea of Tiberias, they see a man on the shore. The man calls out to them and asks; “…Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.” (John 21:5) So the man on the shore tells them to cast their net on the right hand side of the ship in order to get fish. So the Apostles do this and find that there are more fish caught in the net then possible to pull into the ship. This is when the Apostles knew that the man was in fact Jesus, and this was the third time He had shown Himself to the Apostles since His resurrection.

When the Apostles come back to land, they find on the shore a fire of coals with fish and bread. Jesus sits down with them to eat and asks each one of them; “…lovest thou me more than these?” (John 21:15,16,17) Jesus asks the question three separate times and each time the answer from the Apostles is the same; “…Lord; thou knowest that I love thee…” (John 21:15, 16, 17) and Jesus responds the same three times; “…Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15, 16, 17) Why does Jesus repeat this three times? Because it is important! Jesus want His Apostles and anyone who is following Him to feed His lambs, physically in the sense of helping one another and helping those less fortunate, but also in a Spiritual sense. If we have been given the opportunity to find Faith in Jesus Christ, we should share that with others and help others come to Him.

Jesus foretells the Martyrdom of Peter; “…thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake he [Jesus], signifying by what death he should glorify God….”  (John 21:18) So what death would Peter face? According to Christian tradition, Peter was crucified in Rome under the Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar. It is traditionally believed that Peter was crucified upside down at his own request, because he felt unworthy to die the same way Jesus did.

The chapter and the Gospel according to John ends with a Testimony that the things written are true and that many things did Jesus do, that are not recorded in this book or the Bible. “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” (John 21:25) We see that there are definitely more books than the Bible, to believe that the Bible is the only word of God would be to not believe on the Spirit of Revelation and the Power that God can give to man to enable him to speak with God, like prophets of old.

 

Mark 6

Mark 6: Sending of the Twelve

                   Jesus goes into the synagogue to teach and heal on the Sabbath Day, those who are in His presence ask themselves; “…From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought with his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses… and Simon?” (Mark 6:2-3) The people marveled at this man who was just a simple carpenter. We learn from this statement that Jesus actually had siblings! Meaning, Mary and Joseph had children together after Jesus was born. Making them at least His half-siblings. For further evidence of this please read: Jude 1:1

Jesus marveled at their unbelief, after all He had already performed countless miracles and yet the people still did not believe. Jesus leaves to call His Twelve Apostles:

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; and commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey… no scrip [bag/luggage], no bread [food], no money in their purse.” (Mark 6:7-8) Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out by two’s [pairs] to preach His gospel. He tells His Apostles that they should leave with no bag, food or money. This goes to show that preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ should never be done for money or glory.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles; “…In what place soever ye enter into a house, there abide [stay/remain] till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them… they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and were anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” (Mark 6:10-13) These same exact things are done today in the LDS church; Missionaries are sent two by two to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. The LDS Church has a presence in every country that allows by law the preaching of religion. These full time missionaries for the church are currently at almost 90,000 strong, as of 2013. The missionaries are called “Elders” and do exactly what Jesus is instructing here, they preach repentance and heal the sick, among many other things, including service projects.

The fame of Jesus spread throughout the land, many questioned if this man was Elias or John the Baptist back from the dead. When King Herod heard of this fame of Jesus he wondered if this wasn’t the resurrected John the Baptist, who he had beheaded. King Herod had a quarrel with his brother, who was Phillip, because he had taken his wife, Herodias, to marry. John the Baptist instructed Herod that it was unlawful for him to marry his brother’s wife, and King Herod feared John the Baptist, because he knew that he was a just and holy man. On King Herod’s birthday, he had a huge feast and the daughter of Herodias came in to please and dance with King Herod. To commemorate this occasion he told the young lady that she could have any wish, up to half of King Herod’s kingdom. Herodias’s daughter was already instructed by her mother to ask for the head of John the Baptist. When King Herod heard of this he was saddened, but he wouldn’t go back on his word, so he commanded that the head of John the Baptist be brought to Herodias.

Jesus continues to instruct the Apostles and many others who were gathered. While Jesus taught, He commanded His Apostles to bring the people something to eat. The Apostles instruct Jesus that there were five loves of bread and two fishes. Jesus blessed the food and commanded the Apostles to divide the food among the 5,000 gathered there. When everyone was done eating, and full, they gathered up twelve baskets of fragments [leftovers]. Once Jesus was done teaching, He commanded His Apostles to leave by ship to Bethsaida. Jesus them departed His own way to go and pray in the mountain. Jesus meets up with them on the sea later, walking on water! When the Apostles see Him walking on the water, they become afraid and think it is a ghost, but Jesus comforts them: “…Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.” (Mark 6:50) The Apostles were amazed at what they saw; “For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.” (Mark6:52) Even after seeing such an amazing miracle as feeding 5,000 men with 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, the Apostles are still amazed by the power Jesus has.

Jesus board the ship and departs to the land of Gennesaret, where he is met by a large number of people who all meet Him, to be healed of Him.