2019 Study Summary 35: God Is Not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace
1 Corinthians 14–16
“God Is Not the Author of Confusion, but of Peace”
People should desire spiritual gifts—Tongues and prophecy are compared—Prophecy is the greater gift—Paul says, You may all prophesy; covet to prophesy.
Christ died for our sins—He rose from the dead and was seen by many—All men will be resurrected—Paul speaks of baptism for the dead—The three degrees of glory are described—Victory over death comes through Christ.
Paul counsels, Stand fast in the faith; let all things be done with charity.
How does prophecy relate to the Holy Spirit?
“Ruah ha-Kodesh (holy spirit) is often used as a synonym for prophecy. However, according to some rabbis, unlike prophecy, there are some types of ruah ha-kodesh which also can be attained by doing good deeds.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How do Jews describe some attributes of the Holy Spirit?
The possession of the “Holy Spirit has been used to describe various righteous teachers and sages. “. . . Luria already had a reputation as a man of striking personality who possessed the holy spirit.” “. . . Nahman was the great-grandson of the Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidism, and his mother was said to “possess the holy spirit.” “. . . Phinehas is known to have traveled to redeem captives, and on one journey a river in flood parted for him, so as not to delay his mission. He constructed the famous “ladder of saintliness” in which Caution (against evil) leads through Eagerness (for good), Cleanliness, Purity, Asceticism, Holiness, Humility, Fear of God, Attainment of the Holy Spirit (divine inspiration), ultimately to the Resurrection of the Dead.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
Where is the Holy Spirit?
At a recent conference of scholars dealing with “The Bible Code,” one orthodox Jew stated simply, “Judaism does not have the Holy Spirit.” Readers can refer to previous statements and quotes in these supplements about the Holy Spirit. A repetition and other Jewish comments about the spirit are included for comparison. “The rabbis regarded Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi as the last of the prophets, the “divine spirit” having ceased in Israel with their deaths.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) One of the necessary requirements to have the true spirit is to have true faith in the Lord. It is a true test with true results. Misinformation usually results in closing the mind and the heart. It requires an open heart and an open mind to exercise true faith.
How do Jews decribe the “Christian” faith?
Jewish scholars have described the Christian faith as follows. “Christianity is the religion which derives from the original followers of Jesus of Nazareth, and which became a major religion in the Western world during the common era. While the history of Christianity has much detailed information, this article . . . is seen from the Jewish point of view.” “Strictly speaking, the ministry of Jesus himself does not come under the heading of “Christianity,” but rather is part of the history of different Jewish-Christian sects which developed at the beginning of the common era. The first Jewish sects which followed Jesus’ teachings still observed much of the Torah but added the belief that Jesus was the messiah. The Greek translation of the word messiah is Christos, and thus Jesus’ followers deemed him Jesus Christ. After his death, these followers came to be known as Christians. At this point, the nature of Christianity began to change from being a Jewish-Christian sect with partial observance of mitzvot to a sect embracing gentile followers. This development took place largely under the influence of Paul of Tarsus who attracted a gentile following by teaching that the observance of the commandments was no longer necessary. Faith in Jesus could take the place of the commandments and the “Church” could take the place of the Jewish people.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
How is the development of the Christian community described?
“A Christian community began to emerge whose traditions and beliefs concerning Jesus were shaped by the New Testament. The writings included in the New Testament were written between 66 C.E. and 200 C.E., a period in which relations between Jews and Christians had already begun to deteriorate. Thus, the New Testament portrays Jesus as engaged in violent debates with Jewish scribes, and tends to describe “the Jews” as being responsible for Jesus’ death. As the scriptural authority of Christianity, the New Testament has served as a basis for Christian anti-Semitism throughout the ages.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What is the body and the spirit?
“The Talmudic rabbis thought the body to be separable, in a sense, from the soul. God breathed the soul into the body of Adam (Genesis 2:7).” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.) Similarly, Ezekiel spoke of breath and of wind bringing life into a dead skeleton. As the sticks (ETZ-emot) of the body are clothed again with flesh and come alive, so shall the stick (ETZ) of Judah, the dead skeleton of a once true and living religion, come together with the stick of Joseph. This embodies the true religion and with the “breath” of the Lord, his spirit – a resurrection – a new life begins again. That new life will include a new sanctuary of the Lord. “. . . and the bones came together, bone to his bone . . . the sinews and the flesh came up upon them . . . and the breath came into them, and they lived . . . Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel . . . And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not show us what thou [meanest] by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand. . . . Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side . . . And I will make them one nation . . . Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.” (Ezekiel 37) In Hebrew, sticks and bones, wind and spirit are the same words. The bones, body and spirit came alive again. The stick of Judah (skeleton of the original religion) and the stick of Joseph (the Book of Mormon as the body) came together, and God blew the spirit back into them. Dead religion came alive again!
How do I participate in coming alive again?
The Savior’s ultimate purpose was to provide a way for us to overcome mortality and provide us a choice between good and evil. As we accept good and shed evil, the Savior’s atonement gives us new life. The atonement symbolism of the Messiah’s death and resurrection was foreshadowed since the beginning of time. Therefore, understanding the past can provide us with a larger picture that provides a clear perspective on the present and a clearer understanding of the future. That symbolism begins with Adam; his immersion, it was an act of being born again. “As an everlasting covenant, baptism began on this earth with Adam (Moses 6:64-67) and has continued ever since whenever the Lord has had a people on earth. (D. & C. 20:23-28; 84:26-28) It was not a new rite introduced by John the Baptist and adopted by Christ and his followers. The Jews were baptizing their proselytes long before John, as is well attested from secular sources. The Inspired Version of the Bible, the Book of Moses being a part thereof contains ample evidence of the practice of baptism in Old Testament times. The part of the Book of Mormon of the pre-Christian Era contains some of the best information we have relative to this eternal law.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Pg.71) “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (Romans 6:4)
How was the Messiah foreshadowed?
The experience of Abraham being saved and subsequently Isaac being saved from sacrifice is one of the most direct symbols of the Savior’s atonement. Both father and son shared powerful experiences of being saved. “And as they lifted up their hands upon me, that they might offer me up and take away my life, behold, I lifted up my voice unto the Lord my God, and the Lord hearkened and heard, and he filled me with the vision of the Almighty, and the angel of his presence stood by me, and immediately unloosed my bands; And his voice was unto me: Abraham, Abraham, behold, my name is Jehovah, and I have heard thee, and have come down to deliver thee, and to take thee away from thy father’s house, and from all thy kinsfolk, into a strange land which thou knowest not of . . .” (Abraham 1:15-16)
How can I sense the “joy,” the “delight,” in the atonement?
Abraham was brought to the “Crossroads of the East,” and there was promised a posterity like the “sands of the sea,” yet Sarah was barren. Miraculously, even after the “time of women” had passed, Sarah conceived and bore a child. The miracle may have evoked laughter from the neighbors. Truly, it evoked delight from the almost centenarians Abraham and Sarah. The laughter of joy spilled from their mouths as God’s promised word was fulfilled, and they brought forth new life. That one child was named Yitzhak (Isaac in English). The name means laughter, delight and humor in Hebrew. Jewish tradition insists that in his early thirties, Isaac obediently followed his father Abraham who was instructed to take this miracle son and offer him as a human sacrifice. The appointed event was to take place at Mount Moriah, “Moreh-Yah,” (to be taught of Jehovah). The dialogue that followed teaches us the real lesson of two humble and obedient Godly men who are taught the atonement.
How is the Lord the center of attention?
There are patterns that teach the ultimate sacrifice of the Lord. Please note the three chiasmi with the Lord in the center. The first chiasmus is “Here am I” sandwiches “God will provide himself a lamb.” The second chiasmus is “angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven” which sandwiches “ram caught in the thicket.” The third chiamus has “hast not withheld thy son” sandwiching “Jehovahjireh.” The imagery of these chiasmi teaches that God will provide His son, the Lamb of God, who will take upon himself the sins that we are all caught in, we then can see Jehovah, God’s son, who will take us to His and our Father in Heaven. “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou dearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. And Abrahams lifted up his eyes, and looked, and beheld behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Genesis 22:7-18)
What purpose did sacrifices have?
Abraham and Isaac apparently knew that Isaac was a symbol of God’s firstborn son. A substitute was found as a ram in the thicket. Ever since, other substitutes were offered as a symbol of Him who would pay for our sins as we repent.
How was personal faith confirmed?
Jesus showed his personal compassion and individual love in His miracles. They were used to confirm the private, personal faith of those involved. Does it seem out of his nature to use miracles to prove His divinity and power? Was it those observing that interpreted His miracles as such? “And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.” (Mark 1:27) “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)” (Mark 2:10) This last account in Mark of the palsied man had another subtle yet powerful lesson. Connect the meaning of this event with others. For example, most people that witnessed Jesus heal the withered hand, (Matthew 12:12, Mark 3:1, Luke 6:6) or heal the woman with an issue of blood, (Mark 5:25) saw it as a sign of His power over ailments. Yet, His responses often included a broader lesson. “And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” (Mark 5:34)
Which would you prefer, healing or sins remitted?
He was a “Whole-istic” healer. For example, a palsied man was told that his sins were forgiven. Consider the man with his withered hand. What happened to the rest of his soul? The blood issue of the woman, unclean for twelve years, (untouchable under Mosaic law) was last in His healing. She was told that she was whole, to go in peace and then, be healed of her “plague.” Is it possible that Jesus knew that her distress of bleeding was in fact the lesser of her challenges in life? She may not have had a hug, a touch or caress in twelve years! Sometimes we are sick one way so that the Lord can bless us another way. Often, the Lord sent the multitude away and asked that the miracle be kept private. It was His nature to ask that “no one know;” it was his way of showing the personal nature of His salvation. Viewing miracles in their private context will give us a greater insight to His mission–of saving each and every one of us.
How did individual faith evolve into collective faith?
“Biblical scholars believe that the (Bible) verse comes to emphasize Israel’s faith in the absolute uniqueness and unity of God. Because God is one and unique, He alone is the Creator and Ruler of the universe and He alone is its judge. The unique, sole God is completely independent, He has no needs, and therefore the worshiper can “give” God nothing, except his own personal loyalty which is expressed by obedience to the Divine Law.” “Rabbinic scholars expand this concept beyond Israel to include the hope that all mankind will become unified through its faith in the One God. They interpret: “The Lord our God” (who is now our God alone), “The Lord is One” (He will someday be the sole God).” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
What is the plan?
The unified plan of the Godhead is for mankind to return, sinless and proven, to God the Father. The way was prepared for us by His Son who atoned for all sins if we would repent. It is through the Holy Ghost we can know for a surety of the true nature of God, His Son, and the Holy Ghost.