1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1: Teach ONLY the Doctrine

                Paul writes a letter to his son Timothy, and asks him to command that local church leaders in Ephesus and Macedonia (among others) to “…teach no other doctrine.” (1 Timothy 1:3) During this time it was probably common practice for local leaders to stray slightly from the real doctrine and perhaps teach their own views, or tell stories that are more tradition than fact. Paul encourages his son to not “…give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith…” (1 Timothy 1:4) Essentially Paul is explaining that it is not important to know every detail about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because often times this intense studying of the gospel only leads to questions that may or may not edify someone in the faith of Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to explain that all we need to know/have (as followers of Christ) is charity and a pure heart. Paul explains that many, who desire to be teachers of the law (and gospel); teach things that are not necessarily correct or true. Because of this, they do not understand; “…what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1 Timothy 1:7)

                Paul teaches us that no one is perfect, and for this purpose; “…Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (1 Timothy 1:15) However, we need to strive to be perfect and strive to be like Jesus; “Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.” (1 Timothy 1:19) In other words, we are not perfect. However, we should strive to be perfect and hold our faith so that we aren’t led away by the devil.

Galatians 2

Galatians 2: Contending the True Gospel

Paul goes to Jerusalem (after he had been absent for 14 years) and preaches the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church in Jerusalem had accepted Titus even though he was a uncircumcised Greek. Paul preaches that God favors no one. The leaders in Jerusalem (James, Cephas and John) accept the ministry of Paul and his preaching to the gentiles.

Paul publicly expresses his disapproval of Peter, because he had separated himself from the gentile Christians in that area. Paul has to remind Peter that the Gentiles are justified before God, not in their keeping of the law, but by the works they put forth in the name of Jesus Christ.

Acts 13

Acts 13: Saul = Paul

                In the church at Antioch, the Holy Ghost calls Barnabas and Saul to missionary work. They are both set apart by the Holy Ghost to administer this missionary work (see Acts 13:2). This act of ‘separating’ them for the work is the same way LDS Missionaries are set apart for 18-24 months to preach the Gospel throughout the world.

Barnabas, John and Saul depart for Seleucia, Cyprus, Salamis, Paphos and during their travels they encounter a man named Bar-jesus, who was a false prophet and a sorcerer. Another man named Sergius Paulus, who was a prudent deputy of the country desired to hear the word of God from Saul and Barnabas. However, Bar-jesus [Elymas, as it was being interpreted] desired to turn him away from the faith. Saul, who is also called Paul looked at Elymas and said; “…O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” (Acts 13:10) Sergius wanted to learn about Jesus and the His Gospel; however those with evil intent were trying to say him away from hearing the truth. Paul causes Elymas to go blind for a season. When Sergius saw this, he believed. John departs back to Jerusalem and Paul and Barnabas continue on to Perga where Paul delivers a sermon in the synagogue on the Sabbath day.

Paul gives a extended history of Israel, and explains how Jesus came from the lineage of David. Paul preaches the risen Christ. When the Jews see the popularity of Paul’s message, they become envious. Paul quotes Isaiah, saying that Christ is a light to the gentiles. Paul explains that they need to be careful if they don’t want the wrath of God, as promised by the prophets of old. Paul explains that God will “…work a work in your days, a work which ye shall no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.” (Acts 13:14, see also Habakkuk 1:5) Paul is explaining the great Restoration the Gospel of Jesus Christ that will happen in the Last. Many will not believe of the great work, even if someone were to tell them. That Restoration has already occurred, and the Church of Jesus Christ is back on the Earth today; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These statements angered the Jews, which causes them to expel Paul and Barabas from the region; they shake the dust from their shoes, and move on to Iconium.

Numbers 11-12

Numbers 11-12

                I learned two major things through today’s reading:

  1. God HEARS and ANSWERS Prayer.
    1. When Moses was in probably one of his darkest hours, pleading with God to send him help, or kill him. The Lord responded with the help he needed. I think that sometimes the Lord will try us, until we can no longer take it anymore. I know in my own life that it is in those darkest hours, the time when you think nothing can go right, when everything that normally makes you happy, just makes you sad. We as humans, have all experienced this loneliness or a feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed out. But if we remember to put God first and pray to him. Talk to him. Then he will listen and answer.
    2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the ONLY true church on the EARTH!
      1. There are many reasons why the LDS church (more commonly known as the Mormons) is the only true church on earth. But from just two simple verses (6 and 8) we read that the Lord can manifest himself to people through dreams and visions, but through the Prophet (appointed by God himself), God will actually speak to him, “mouth to mouth” or in person. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints is that same church that existed in the time of Moses, only restored in these latter (end) days. In 1820 the Lord answered a young boys prayer about which church he should join. This boy, was Joseph Smith and through him, Jesus RESTORED HIS CHURCH! Today the church has a Modern Prophet and a Quorum of the Seventy. Just as in the days of Moses.

Chapter 11: The 70 Elders of Israel

We learn that the Lord can get very angry with those who chose to disobey him. It says that when people complained, the Lord would cause a fire to burn among them, but when the people complained to Moses and Moses prayed for them, the fire was quenched.

After some time though, the congregation of Israel gets upset with only eating Manna. They start complaining about not having meat and demanding it. Moses prays to God and asks for help, saying that he is unable to “…bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy…” (Numbers 11:14) for him, even asking God to kill him, if he did not send help. (See Numbers 11:15)

But the Lord sends help to Moses, he asks Moses to gather 70 men of the Elders of Israel to be Elders and Officers over the people.

The first Quorum of the Seventy is organized in the church of Jesus Christ, the Lord appoints these men and gives them authority so that Moses (who acts as the Prophet and President of the Church) can have people to delegate some of the tasks that the Lord would have him complete.

The Lord tells Moses that he will let the children of Israel eat meat, even providing a whole month of meat. A wind brings in quails from the sea, the Israelites gather them and begin to eat. The Lord however is displeased.

Chapter 12: Speaking to Moses; Mouth to Mouth

Miriam and Aaron speak to Moses, with discontent over the fact that the Lord only usually speaks to Moses. The Lord hears this and immediately calls all three of them to come to the front of the tabernacle for a talk. The Lord tells them that if he calls a prophet, he will make himself known to them through dreams and visions. This goes for most of his children, but he says with Moses (the prophet) it is different, with him he says, he speaks to Moses MOUTH TO MOUTH. In other words, person to person just like a father speaks to his children and vice versa.