John 4

John 4: Men Worship the Father

                Jesus goes to Galilee, and on His journey He passed through Samaria, in a small city near Samaria named Sychar. This was also near a parcel of land that Joseph received from his father. In this area was Jacob’s well and sitting near the well was a Samarian woman…

Jesus: “…Give me to drink.” (John 4:7)

Samaritan woman: “… How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” (John 4:9)

Jesus: “…If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith unto thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked him, and he would have given thee living water.” (John 4:10)

Samaritan woman: “…Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?” (John 4:11)

Jesus: “Art thou greater than our father Jacob…? …Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:12-14)

Samaritan woman: “…Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not…” (John 4:15)

Jesus then asks the woman to go and comeback with her husband, the woman tells Jesus that she doesn’t have a husband and Jesus points out that she has actually had five husbands and the man she is currently with was not her husband. The woman perceives Jesus to be a prophet.

Jesus goes on to explain that man must worship the Father, because the people now do not know what the worship; “Ye worship ye know not what…” (John 4:22) But Jesus goes on to explain that the true worshippers shall come and worship the “…Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23)

Jesus goes on to explain; “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24) But is God a Spirit? No. God has a body of flesh and bones, because we were created in His image; “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) God is like us, because we are His children. The only difference is that He is God and has a PERFECT BODY, a GLORIFIED BODY of FLESH AND BONES.

In the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible it clears up what centuries of corruption and error on the part of historians and translators of the Bible had made; “For unto such hat God promised his Spirit. And they, who worship him, must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24; Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible)

So instead of saying ‘God is a Spirit’, it was actually meant to read ‘God has promised us His Spirit’. It is easy to see how over thousands of years, the Bible could have been changed by corrupt men or by simple error when translating or making hand written copies of the Bible.

The Samaritan woman then said to Jesus:  “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.” (John 4:25) Jesus responds to her: “… I that speak unto thee am he.” (John 4:26)

The Apostles came to Jesus and marveled that He would speak to such a woman, the woman left her waterpot and went her way into the city to tell them of her experience. Soon, she brought a multitude of people who desired to know if Jesus was truly the Christ. Shortly before the group of people came to Jesus, His Apostles desired that He would eat, but Jesus refused and said; “

…I have meat to eat that ye know not of…My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:32,34)

Jesus then looks at the Apostles and tells them; “…behold…Lift us your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that repeat may rejoice together” (John 4:35-36)

Many of the Samaritans that had gathered believed on the words of Jesus, and the people sought that Jesus could stay with them a while, and Jesus stayed for two days. After the two days had come to an end, Jesus departed for Galilee. When He arrived, the Galilaeans received Him, because they had seen and heard of all the miracles He performed in Jerusalem. Jesus went to Cana of Galilee, where He made the water into wine and was able to heal the son of a noble man in Capernaum, who was sick.

Jesus taught that some people; “…Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” (John 4:48)

Amos 7-9

Amos 7-9

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

Today, we see wars and hear of rumors of wars just as the Bible predicted. However we see so many people turn away from the scriptures and turn to other methods of finding truth, wisdom and knowledge. I have spoken to many people throughout my life in school, work, strangers in the store, etc. A majority of the people I have spoken to, regarding religious or spiritual matters are looking for the truth, but have expressed to me that they know not where to find the truth.

I can’t count the times that I have heard something to the effect as; “I just hate religions, because they all fight. I just believe in God and that is all that is needed”. God never intended for people to fight over His gospel, I am sure He knew it would happen, but it is NOT His desire for it to happen. With the dozens, maybe even hundreds of religions out there it is no wonder people wander “… to and fro…” (Amos 8:12) There is a spiritual famine today, which was caused by an Apostasy, where people turned away from the Lord.

The Lord, however, has promised to RESTORE His church and His people. This Restoration occurred in 1820, when young Joseph Smith was praying about which church to join, God and His son Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him, that none of the churches were correct. He was guided through the Lord to restore GOD’s Church on the earth. From then on, we have had modern day prophets who lead and guide the Lord’s church in Modern days. The fruit and evidence of this Restoration is the Book of Mormon, which would come forth at a time of great ‘Spiritual Famine’.

Let me be clear that the Book of Mormon, does NOT discredit or disregard the Bible in anyway, instead it acts as a companion to the Bible. We have the Old and New Testaments written in the ‘Old World’ (Middle East) and we now have Another Testament of Jesus Christ (The Book of Mormon) which was written in ancient times in the ‘New World’ (the Americas).

The Book of Mormon explains and builds upon what we already know of the Bible and goes into more detail about;

• The purpose of mortal life and death (See 2 Ne. 2:212 Ne. 33:9Alma 12:24Alma 34:32Alma 42:4)

• The certainty of life after death (See 2 Ne. 9:3–7Mosiah 16:83 Ne. 11)

• What happens when the spirit leaves the body (See Alma 34:34Alma 40:11–14, 21)

• The description of the Resurrection (See 2 Ne. 9:12Alma 40:23Alma 41:23 Ne. 11:1–16)

• How to receive and retain a remission of your sins (See Mosiah 4:1–3, 12, 26Alma 4:14)

• What hold justice or mercy may have on you, (See Alma 34:15–16Alma 41:14Alma 42:15–16, 22–25)

• What to pray for (See 2 Ne. 4:352 Ne. 32:8–9Enos 1:9Alma 13:28Alma 34:17–27Alma 37:36–373 Ne. 18:19–21Moro. 7:26)

• Priesthood (See 2 Ne. 6:2Mosiah 18:18Alma 6:1Alma 133 Ne. 11:213 Ne. 18:37Moro. 2:2Moro. 3:4)

• Covenants and ordinances (See 2 Ne. 11:5Mosiah 5:5Mosiah 18:13Alma 13:8, 16)

• The office and ministry of angels (See 2 Ne. 32:2–3Omni 1:25Moro. 7:25, 37)

• The still, small voice of personal revelation (See 1 Ne. 16:91 Ne. 17:44–45Enos 1:10Alma 32:23Hel. 5:303 Ne. 11:3)

• The mission of Jesus Christ (See 1 Ne. 11:13–332 Ne. 2:6–10Mosiah 3:5–12Alma 7:7–133 Ne. 27:13–16)

The Book of Mormon quenches the spiritual hunger and thirst that was described by Amos of old. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints…

“We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. (2 Nephi 25:26)

Chapter 7: Amos, a prophet of God

In this chapter we learn about how Amos became a prophet of God. Amos explains that he saw a vision of locusts, and a vision of fire; in both instances, the Lord is deaf to Amos’ petitions that Jacob may be spared. There is a further vision of a plumb line (to see if Israel is ‘straight’ or rather ‘righteous’ on the Lord’s path). Amaziah, a priest of Bethel, speaks against Amos. Amos replies;

“…I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but was an herman, and a gatherer of sycamore fruit: And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.” (Amos 7:14-15).

Here we learn something VERY important. Prophets are not born of a special family bloodline, nor are they educated in a formal setting to become a prophet. The Lord choses His prophets by his own means, including finding un-educated herders, farmers, etc. and then slowly teaching them throughout their lives to become a prophet. They are not paid, nor do they work their way to the top. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is the same. Prophets are selected by the Lord, not by man. They are sculpted throughout their lives, while living their lives and working in their respective careers.

The Lord decrees Amaziah’s punishment – his wife shall be a harlot, your sons and daughters shall fall by the sword, you shall die in a defiled land.

Chapter 8: A time of famine: The Great Apostasy

Amos has a vision of summer fruit; which signifies the end has come on Israel. Dishonesty and cheating the poor is disapproved of. In that day of Apostasy (a falling away from the Lord’s teachings), when the world will no longer turn to God “… the sun shall go down at noon…” (Amos 8:9), which will cause the sky to be darkened.

Amos also speaks of a famine; this famine will afflict the entire earth. However, this famine is not a famine of food and water, but of the word of GOD! “Behold the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8:11-12)

                This ‘spiritual’ famine will occur on the earth, just as it has in the past. People want to know the truth, the desire and rather long for the opportunity of knowledge and wisdom. Some of the most basic desires of the human experience are to know; where we came from, and why we are here on the earth. What purpose do we have? Amos described a time when people would go to the ends of the earth to find this truth, to find anything to fill that spiritual void in their lives, but sadly, they would not find it during that time of Apostasy.

Chapter 9: The Restoration

Amos has a vision of the Lord at the temple, seeing the work of destruction. The Lord will sift the house of Israel, as grain is sifted in a sieve. Those who think they will be unaffected by the calamity will die by the sword. With all this destruction the Lord promises to raise the tabernacle of David.

“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old.” (Amos 9:11). Israel shall be restored, and fruit and wine shall be abundant. Israel will be planted in the land, and no longer pulled up.