2023 Study Summary 37: “GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF PEACE”
1 Corinthians 14–16
“GOD IS NOT THE AUTHOR OF CONFUSION, BUT OF PEACE”
1 Corinthians 14. People should desire spiritual gifts—Tongues and prophecy are compared—Prophecy is the greater gift—Paul says, You may all prophesy; covet to prophesy.
1 Corinthians 15. 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.
1 Corinthians 16. Paul counsels, Stand fast in the faith; let all things be done with charity.
How important is prophecy?
The original biblical sense of Prophecy was taught by Moses: “. . . Enviest thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Numbers 11:29) That is repeated by New Testament Paul: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” With a yearning insight, religious Jews, nowadays, say: “When the Torah (first 5-books of the Old Testament) was given at Mount Sinai, all of Israel experienced direct prophecy. However, that revelation was too powerful for them, and they requested that Moses serve as an intermediary between them and God’s word. Following that model, God sent us other prophets to communicate His messages. Prophecy continued until the beginning of the Second Temple period. Since then, we have received God’s word with less clarity. One of the indicators of the future redemption will be the return of prophecy to Israel. When the glory of God will be revealed in the future world, all will prophesy, young and old.” (https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/5183322/jewish/Prophecy-in-Judaism.htm)
What is the key to proper prophecy?
Paul Taught that all should be worthy enough to prophesy, and that the prophecy be in tune with previous prophecy, after all, truth is eternal. “And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning.” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:24–25) “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1Corinthians 14:32-33) The original “House of Israel” gave us the Bible and a record of the prophets of old. Even thoughmost of the Jews on the planet today are not “observant” they maintain traditions that if understood would lead them to recognizing the restoration of the “House of Israel” and true prophets being on the earth today. Jewish traditions include: “Levels of Prophecy – There are a number of ways in which God communicates with people: by a voice from heaven; by means of the Urim and the Tumim that functioned during the earliest period of Jewish history; by the holy spirit, where a person would say words that God caused him to say without being aware of their origin; and by prophecy, in which a person’s senses would be numbed and he would see visions from above. There are four levels of divine communication: a voice from heaven, the Urim and the Tumim, the holy spirit, and prophecy. These are increasingly higher levels of revelation . . . I will now explain these four levels to you: The first, the voice from heaven . . . was always heard by the Sages of the Talmud (written Jewish biblical interpretations) and pious people of the generations during the Second Temple era. They would make use of the voice from heaven when prophecy had ceased and the Urim and the Tumim no longer operated. The second level was the Urim and the Tumim, which, through its holy names, conveyed an indirect divine revelation. The third level was the holy spirit . . . in which a person would find that he experienced expanded consciousness, and wonderous words would come out of his mouth, speaking about future events. His feelings would not be affected at all; he would say words placed in his mouth through the spirit of holiness and he would not know the source of those words. The fourth level was prophecy; in prophecy a person would speak of future events when all of his feelings were numbed. He would remain separated from physicality, and anything connected with it, totally and exclusively uniting with his pure mind. Then he would see clear light with visions, perceiving things through a dream or while awake. (Rabbeinu Baĥya ibn Ĥalawa, Commentary on the Torah, Deuteronomy 33:8) from (https://www.chabad.org/library /article_cdo/aid/5183322/jewish/Prophecy-in-Judaism.htm)
How does prophetic revelation teach us about life after mortality?
Prophets in the New Testament witness: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas (Peter), then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present,” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) One of the covenant ordinances that is given to children of God that brings us back to our Father in Heaven is called “Baptism for the remission of sins.” It is an ordinance done in mortality. The bridge to Eternal life was the Son of God. “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21) Emphasizing life after mortality, the Apostle Paul teaches the necessity of mortal immersion for forgiveness of sin. “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:29-30)
How do Jewish Traditions echo a once understood “Baptism (immersion) of the Dead?”
The Kaddish prayer at a burial pleads for forgiveness of sins. In an article published by the New York Times, entitled Ritual of Tending to the Dead, we discover a Jewish echo of immersions, or baptisms for the dead. “It’s a person; and that person in our view is still alive in a parallel world, very much aware of what’s happening.” People who can approach a deceased person in that spirit, he said, are potential members of a “chevra kadisha,” translated variously as a burial or sacred society . . . prayers to be said during the washing, lifting, immersion, drying and dressing of the body. Men prepare the bodies of men; women, those of women.” (https://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/13/nyregion/13burial.html) From the writing of Mary Lane Potter, December 20, 2020, again the New York Times; Honoring the Boby in Death, “The Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Association) begins the purification (tahara) of the body by cleansing it of dirt, bodily fluids and solids, and anything else on the skin. Next, they immerse the entire body in a mikvah (ritual bath) or pour a continuous flow of water over it. Once the body has been purified, they dress it in plain white linen or muslin shrouds (tachrichim) and a kittel, a white robe many religious Jews wear in synagogue on Yom Kippur. Each Jew is dressed identically in shrouds and a kittel, symbolizing equality before God and recalling the garments worn by the kohen gadol (high priest) when he entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. (https://www.tabletmag.com/ sections/belief/articles/honoring-the-body-in-death)
How do I pattern my habit of charity?
“Stated simply, charity means subordinating our interests and needs to those of others, as the Savior has done for all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that of faith, hope, and charity, ‘the greatest of these is charity’ (1 Corinthians 13:13), and Moroni wrote that ‘except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God’ (Moroni 10:21). I believe that selfless service is a distinctive part of the gospel” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Conference Report, Oct. 1991, 20; or Ensign, Nov. 1991, 16). In Jewish writing, “Tzedakah—often translated as charity—is a mainstay of Jewish life. The Literally translated sages teach that the world was built upon kindness. Tzedakah goes one step beyond. as “justice” or “righteousness,” tzedakah tells us that sharing what we have with others isn’t something special. It’s the honest and just thing to do. Tzedakah is not limited to gifts of money. Sharing time, expertise, or even a kind smile are all forms of charity. No matter how much you were blessed with, you can always share with others . . . So, make sure to make it a habit.” (https://www.chabad.org/library/ article_cdo /aid/5183322/jewish/Prophecy-in-Judaism.htm)