Revelation 3

Revelation 3: He that Overcometh… Will be written into the Book of Life

                We learn that Jesus Christ will come “…as a thief… thou shalt not know what hour I shall come upon thee.” (Revelations 3:3) Because we do not know when Jesus Christ will come for the second time, John encourages us to overcome the world by following the commandments and being clothes with white raiment, for those who are faithful and pure in the Second Coming have been given a promise by the Lord; “…I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Revelations 3:5) In other words if we follow Jesus Christ and His commandments, He will be our Redeemer and will confess of our good works before God the Father.

Further promises are made about those who follow the commandments and not the ways of the world; “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God… and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God; and I will write upon him my new name.” (Revelations 3:12) We learn that we will have a spot in the Kingdom and Temple of God and that we will also receive a new name.

Often times we ask ourselves; Where is God? Why is He permitting bad things to happen? But the truth is that God is always there, we just have to seek Him out!

“…I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him [eat dinner], and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelations 3:20-21) If we open the door to Jesus Christ, we can feel His presence. If we are diligent until the end, we too can sit with Jesus Christ in His Kingdom.

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1 Corinthians 3

1 Corinthians 3: Temple of God

                Paul speaks to the Corinthians and explains that he could not speak the full word to them because he fed them with “…milk, and not with meat…” (1 Corinthians 3:2) Why did Paul say this? It is simple as a baby can only handle milk without choking or dying… so it is with those who are babies spiritually. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not learned to its fullest overnight, it takes time and patience to fully understand and appreciate the plan that God has for us in this life. Just with any learning, we must first start off with the basics, in this case milk. The once we are accustomed to the milk we can get to harder foods (deeper knowledge and understanding) until we can handle the chewy stuff, the meat (the deepest doctrine).

Paul goes on to say that WE WILL be JUDGED for our WORKS; “…the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is…” (1 Corinthians 3:13) He goes on to say that if your works are good you will “…receive a reward.” (1 Corinthians 3:14) and if you do badly you will “…suffer a loss…” (1 Corinthians 3:15) Therefore we should work diligently to do good in this life.

Paul ends by not only reminding us that we know NOTHING in the eyes of God; “…the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.” (1 Corinthians 3:19) But Paul also reminds us that our body is a Temple; “Know ye knot that ye are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy…” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

Acts 24

Acts 24: Paul is accused and bound

Ananias the high priest and an orator named Tertullus make accusations toward Paul. Paul is accused of profaning the temple and sedition. Paul declares that there are no witnesses or evidences to support their claims or accusations during his visits to the temple. Felix (the governor of Judea) defers a decision, later taking his Jewish wife Drusilla to hear Paul speak of Christ. Felix hoped that Paul would bribe him to be released.

John 2

John 2: Water into Wine

                There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there, Jesus and His Apostles were also there. Some of the guests complain that there is no wine to drink and Mary tells them that they don’t have any more wine. Jesus tells His mother that He is still there and can help out. So, Mary tells the servants to follow any direction given by Jesus.

Jesus commands that all the water pots to be filled with water (all six at the party), and Jesus converted them into wine! But no ordinary wine, Good wine! From this miracle, which is explained as one of His first, the apostles believed on Him. Jesus leaves the party and heads to Capernaum where He goes to the Temple to find money changers…

Jesus was VERY displeased to find that His Father’s house had been turned into a den of thieves; He “…overthrew the tables; And said unto them… make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.” (John 2:15-16) Those gathered ask Him what sign He would give that they might believe Him and He said; “…Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) The Jews were skeptical and said; “…Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?” (John 2:20) But, Jesus did not speak of the Temple they were standing in, but His own Temple, His body.

Jesus continued throughout the land and performed many miracles, but did not entrust Himself to many people, for “…he knew what was in man.” (John 2:25) In other words, Jesus was careful, because he knew that man could attempt to deceive Him, before His work was over.

Mark 11

Mark 11: Jesus in the Temple – Money Changers

                Jesus and His Apostles ride into Jerusalem through to the Mount of Olives, where He commands two of His Apostles to go to a village near them, where they would find a colt tied to a doorway. So the Apostles leave and find a colt tied to a doorway, exactly as Jesus had told them. Some of those who were standing near the colt asked the Apostles what they were doing, the Apostles told them it was for the Lord, and the men told them to continue.

After returning to Jesus, Jesus hops onto the Colt and they ride into Jerusalem, all while people are shouting “…Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Mark 11:9) Jesus spends sometime in Jerusalem before it got dark and after “…he had looked round about upon all things…” (Mark 11:11) From here Jesus goes to Bethany, where He gets hungry and finds a fig tree. However, upon reaching the tree it was found that the tree was not producing fruit, only leaves.  Jesus answered upon the tree and said; “…No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever…” (Mark 11:14)

Jesus left the curse on the tree and departed with His Apostles into Jerusalem. When they arrived in Jerusalem, Jesus found that the temple had turned into a market place; Jesus began to “…cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple. And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? But ye have made it a den of thieves.” (Mark 11:17)

                Jesus was mad, because they were turning His house into a house of market. The scribes were of course angry by this display from Jesus, so they sought to destroy Him. As Jesus and His Apostles departed, and passed by the same fig tree, Peter reminds them; “…Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.” (Mark 11:21) Jesus then tells them that with Faith, even mountains can be made to move. He continues; “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall receive them.” (Mark 11:24) Jesus also instructs them that they should forgive always, especially when they pray. For if man forgive men, then the Lord will also forgive that man.

The scribes catch up to Jesus and ask Him by what Authority He is able to do such great miracles, and Jesus responds; “… I will also ask of you one question, and answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. The Baptism of Job, was it from heaven, or of men? Answer me.” (Mark 11:29-30) The scribes were afraid to ask, because they reasoned with themselves; “…If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then did ye not believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; they feared the people: for all men counted John, that he was a prophet indeed.” (Mark 11:31-32) After thinking over the question Jesus had proposed they respond; “…We cannot tell. And Jesus answering unto them, Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:33)

Matthew 21

Matthew 21:

Cleaning the Temple

                  Jesus commands two of His Apostles to go to a village, where they would find an ass and a colt tied. He commanded them to loose both of them and bring them back to Him. Jesus tells that that if anyone tries to stop them from taking the ass and the colt, that they are to say that it is for the Lord. This would fulfill a prophecy that a “…King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:5) Jesus then got on the ass and rode into Jerusalem and everyone on the way asked who this man was; “…This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” (Matthew 21:11) Upon arriving at Jerusalem, Jesus went into the temple and “…overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but ye have made it into a den of thieves.” (Matthew 21:12-13) This shows that Jesus did not want moneychangers in the house of His father. This is important because it shows that churches should not be built for gain. If they are built for gain, then they become dens of thieves and are not houses of prayer. This is also interesting to see that Jesus does in fact have human characteristics and can be angered or upset.

While in the temple, after over turning tables, Jesus healed many people. After healing, Jesus left to Bethany, where he lodged. The next morning Jesus was hungered and went out to a fig tree, where the branches yielded no fruit, so Jesus essentially cursed the tree so it would never grow anything again, after it had withered the Apostles were shocked of His power. Jesus reminds them that with faith, they can move mountains. He also explains that “…all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21:22)

                  Jesus returns to the temple and while their, some of the chief priests ask Jesus by what Authority does He perform His miracles. Jesus asks them; “…I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John whence was it? From heaven or of men?” (Matthew 21:24-25) The chief priests are a little baffled, because if they say from heaven, then Jesus would ask them why they didn’t believe in His authority. But if they say by men, then they would fear the people, because the people believed that John was a prophet. So they answered Jesus by telling Him that they could not tell. So Jesus responds; “…Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.” (Matthew 21:27) This shows that Authority is important to have, Jesus had the proper authority from His Father, but He had nothing to prove and did not have to tell those questioning Him, by where He received His Authority.

Jesus then explains the Parable of the Wicked Husbandmen:

There was a man who planted a vineyard and dug a wine press around it, and built a tower. This man left his home and went into the far country. When the fruit became ready for harvest he sent some servants to the husbandmen (who were taking care of the house) so that they could harvest the fields. The husbandmen took the servants, beat one, killed another and stoned the last one. So the man of the field sent more servants and the husbandmen did likewise to these new servants.

Finally the man sent his son, whom he thought wouldn’t be killed by the husbandmen. When the son arrived the husbandmen said among themselves; “…This is the heir; come let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.” (Matthew 21:38) The man who owns the farm is represented of as God the Father, who sent servants (Prophets) to collect the harvest in the land (the earth), but the husbandmen (the people of the world) rejected the servants and killed them. So finally God the Father sent His Son, whom the people also rejected and killed

Jesus asks those gathered; when the man of the field (the Lord of the field) comes back, what do you think he will do to the husbandmen? “…He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits of the season.” (Matthew 21:41)

                  Jesus is the stone that the builders rejected, but He has become the head of the corner. Jesus tells them; “…The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Matthew 21:43-44)

                  Jesus was explaining that because of His own rejection, that one day the Gospel would be restored and given to a new people. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in the early 1800’s in the newly formed United States of America. This church, the church Jesus Christ himself restored is the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’. This had to be done, because as Isaiah pointed out; “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isaiah 24:5) The gospel of Jesus Christ over the years was changed and distorted, thus the need for a Restoration and Another Testament of Jesus Christ; The Book of Mormon (which was written in Ancient America at the same time the Bible was being written in the old world.)

Malachi 3-4

Malachi 3-4

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

These last two chapters of Malachi and the ending to the Old Testament have a great deal of importance. First we learn that God does not change; He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He will never change, period. Secondly we learn that God has a marvelous plan for us all, he sent a messenger before the coming of His son Jesus Christ to die for all our sins, so that we could return to live with our Heavenly Father [God] again. God reminds us of the importance of paying a full and HONEST tithe and offering. This of course means 10% of our gain, whether we work for it or it be given to us, it is a gain.

In the last part of Malachi chapter 3 verses 16, we learn of the importance of RECORDS! It states that a book of remembrance was kept by the Lord. I can only imagine that this book contains a record of our deeds, good and bad in this life. The Doctrine and Covenants [A canonized LDS Book of Scripture] digs deeper into the meaning of Malachi 3:16

“…Let us therefore, as a church and a people, and as Latter-day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness; and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation.” (Doctrine and Covenants 128:24)

What exactly are the records of our dead? It is GENEOLOGY! It is FAMILY TREES! But on a personal level it is a journal or journals. I think the Lord has made it clear that we need to keep a written journal of our life. When we come before the Lord in that Day of Judgment we can present him with our written journal of our life. However, while we are still here on the earth we can keep a record of our life to hand down to our family to keep as part of the genealogical records.

Finally in the last two verses of the Old Testament we learn of Elijah and how he will come in the “…great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…” (Malachi 4:5-6) In a vision by Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery on April 3, 1836 in the Kirtland Temple, Elijah CAME! Elijah restored the sealing power and gave Joseph Smith the keys of the final dispensation. With these keys the hearts of the fathers and children can be sealed together. Families can now be brought together forever through the sealing powers of the Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 3: Tithes and Offerings/ Book of Remembrance

“Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1) The messenger spoken of in this opening verse of chapter three is John the Baptist. “For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.” (Matthew 11:10)

The Lord will sit as a judge and a “…refiner and purifier of silver…” (Malachi 3:3) and with this the Lord will purify the sons of Levi. The Lord tells them “…Return unto me, and I will return unto you…” (Malachi 3:7)

We are commanded to pay tithes and offerings and the Lord rebukes his people by asking them; “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me, But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3:8-10) God has been robbed by the withholding of tithes and offerings. He makes it very clear that we are to pay our tithes and offerings! In the LDS church we pay 10% of our gain to the church as tithes and then once a month we fast for 24 hours, and the money saved from not having those meals is donated to the church in the form of “offerings”. These offerings, which often times are more generous than just 3 meals are used to help members and non-members in everyday need of food, clothing and shelter.

The Lord tells us with surety; “…I am the Lord, I change not…” (Malachi 3:6) The simple fact is that the Lord is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He does not change. Therefore it is important to pay a full tithe and offerings. We learn that those who follow the Lord and fear him will be written into a book of remembrance. “…a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” (Malachi 3:16)

Chapter 4: The Last Days… Elijah Shall Come (and HE DID)

“…the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and that day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1)

Here the Lord is talking about the end of the world, the time right before the Second Coming of His Son, Jesus Christ. “…the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings… And ye shall tread down the wicked…” (Malachi 4:2-3) The world will be filled with wickedness, but God the Father will send his Son (Jesus Christ) to crush the wicked and save the righteous. God even gave us a sign of the times when He said; “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5-6)

What did the Lord mean when He said that Elijah “…shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers…”? (Malachi 4:6)

On April 3, 1836 in Kirtland, Ohio the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery went into the Kirtland Temple to pray, upon finishing their prayer they arose to a vision. In this vision they described; “The veil was take from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit…” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:1-2) and the Lord said unto them “…I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here… Yea the hearts of thousand and tens of thousands shall greatly rejoice in the consequence of the blessing which shall be poured out…” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:7&9)

After that the vision closed, and another vision came forth, this time Moses appeared before them and committed unto them “…the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north.” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:11)

Again this vision closed, and another vision came forth, this time is was Elijah. Elijah stood before Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and said: “Behold the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi – testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come – To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse – Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.” (Doctrine and Covenants 110:14-16)

095-095-elijah-appearing-in-the-kirtland-temple-med

The KEYS of the FINAL DISPENSATION (A dispensation is a time when God has an authorized prophet on the earth) were given to Joseph Smith as a Prophet in these Last Days by the Prophet Elijah! The Old Testament told us that Elijah would come again, and he did! How glorious is that? The words of the prophet Malachi are fulfilled! With the keys of the final dispensation the hearts of the fathers and children can be sealed together through the temple. Families can be together forever with this sealing power that was given to Joseph Smith by Elijah and passed down all the way to the current Prophet of God’s Restored Church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elijah came…