1 And it came to pass that as the disciples of Jesus were journeying and were preaching the things which they had both heard and seen, and were baptizing in the name of Jesus, it came to pass that the disciples were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting. [Jesus had left them and they were traveling in the land to preach the Gospel as it had been given to them.]
2 And Jesus again showed himself unto them, for they were praying unto the Father in his name; and Jesus came and stood in the midst of them, and said unto them: What will ye that I shall give unto you?
3 And they said unto him: Lord, we will that thou wouldst tell us the name whereby we shall call this church; for there are disputations among the people concerning this matter.
4 And the Lord said unto them: Verily, verily, I say unto you, why is it that the people should murmur and dispute because of this thing?
5 Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day; [A Church is simply a group that worship the same way. It is Christ’s Church, so it can be called by nothing else. It may be called anything that points to that end: Church of Jesus Christ, Christian Church, The Church of Jesus, The Church of Messiah, it doesn’t matter as long as that is the focus.]
6 And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day.
7 Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. [Everything is through Christ. All glory is to the Father, and all is because of Him.]
8 And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel. [There are many Christian churches today who call themselves after the name of the man who organized them. This is not approved of the Lord. I don’t think Mormon was happy that the restored Gospel people took the name of “Mormons.”]
9 Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;
10 And if it so be that the church is built upon my gospel then will the Father show forth his own works in it.
11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return. [There are many churches and movements led by men, but if their foundation is built around a personality and not upon the Doctrine of Christ it shall fall.]
12 For their works do follow them, for it is because of their works that they are hewn down; therefore remember the things that I have told you. [Here, the Lord places great emphasis on “works.” It is improper for a person to place themselves in any way between us and God. By their fruit, or “works” we will know what is truth. Sometimes, for a “season” things will look wonderful, but the final result is whether it brings people to Christ and increases faith.]
13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil— [The Father shall also lift up men, as Jesus was lifted up on the cross. What does this mean? Christ became our Savior because of what He suffered in our behalf. The Father shall also lift us up, to stand before Him, that we may be found worthy of Eternal Life. And then, we shall come to know Christ in an intimate level as never before. The Sisters are also lifted up, but their journey after knowing the Son is to know the Daughter and the Mother. There is a great work to be done to prepare for exaltation, and such things are among the mysteries of the Everlasting Covenant to be taught here after.]
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
16 And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled [with the Holy Ghost]; and if he endureth to the end [as they stand worthy to receive the gift during mortality], behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world. [“Enduring to the end” during mortality, is the challenge to persevere until one has received the gift of the Holy Ghost. For some this “end” is after water baptism. For others, it may take many years of faith in seeking Christ. All who choose Christ will find Him.]
17 And he that endureth not unto the end, the same is he that is also hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence they can no more return, because of the justice of the Father.
18 And this is the word which he hath given unto the children of men. And for this cause he fulfilleth the words which he hath given, and he lieth not, but fulfilleth all his words.
19 And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood, because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end. [How do we become clean and stay that way? The baptism of fire cleans a soul of sin, but then we are free to sin again, and again, making ourselves dirty in the process. Here is where the gift of the Holy Ghost is paramount. It such a state, our spirits are filled with light and glory, to the extent that we are claimed by Christ, judged of the Father. If we sin, we can be handed over to the buffetings of Satan, but cannot be lost, except by denying the Holy Ghost (shedding innocent blood).]
20 Now this is the commandment [The number one commandment from Jesus to you!]: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day.
21 Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do; [What works is Jesus referring to? Everything. When will we do it? Now, then, later, and forever…]
22 Therefore, if ye do these things [Doctrine of Christ] blessed are ye, for ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
23 Write the things which ye have seen and heard, save it be those which are forbidden. [The Lord expressly tells us what we can and cannot share. There is no question on the matter. I once asked the Lord, “How will I know if I am saying something I should not? and the Lord replied, “I will stop your utterance.”]
24 Write the works of this people, which shall be, even as hath been written, of that which hath been.
25 For behold, out of the books which have been written, and which shall be written, shall this people be judged, for by them [these writings] shall their works be known unto men. [future generations]
26 And behold, all things are written by the Father [His instruction to keep the record of all things]; therefore out of the books which shall be written shall the world be judged. [What kind of books exist in Heaven? Today, in many cases, books seem primitive, as most books and writings are kept digitally and not in a library of paper printed, bound books. How does God keep a record? It is the record of time and space, an infinitely permanent record which cannot be dissolved. There are things that are kept for symbolic purposes, but truth is accessible according to our faith and glory, and it is eternal.]
To know that all acts are recorded in Heaven may cause many to be concerned that their sins will be revealed to all some day. What is important is that they are not held against a repentant soul, and God will remember (judge against) them no more. In the higher realms it is considered beautiful to know that a sinner is made clean. Like the hiker that has endured a great and treacherous climb, coming down the mountain covered in mud, sweat, and blood, to be bathed and given fresh clothes, and told by the great Judge, “You did it!”
27 And know ye that ye [My disciples] shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am. [You are My ministers, to do My works.]
28 And now I go unto the Father. And verily I say unto you, whatsoever things ye shall ask the Father in my name shall be given unto you.
29 Therefore, ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; for he that asketh, receiveth; and unto him that knocketh, it shall be opened. [The Lord promises these servants that they will be given anything they ask for if they ask and knock. That constitutes praying until you get the answer you need.]
30 And now, behold, my joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you, and also this generation; yea, and even the Father rejoiceth, and also all the holy angels, because of you and this generation; for none of them are lost. [They are all saved in the kingdom. This is of the greatest worth to the Lord, the Father, and the angels. It is what they exist for, to save the House of Israel.]
31 Behold, I would that ye should understand; for I mean them who are now alive of this generation; and none of them are lost; and in them I have fulness of joy. [The Lord explains that it is the group of people alive now, not forevermore.]
32 But behold, it sorroweth me because of the fourth generation from this generation [Almost 400 years], for they are led away captive by him even as was the son of perdition; for they will sell me for silver and for gold, and for that which moth doth corrupt and which thieves can break through and steal. And in that day will I visit them, even in turning their works upon their own heads. [They will turn to their lusts of power and self-gratification as does the sons of perdition.]
33 And it came to pass that when Jesus had ended these sayings he said unto his disciples: Enter ye in at the strait gate; for strait is the gate, and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it; but wide is the gate, and broad the way which leads to death, and many there be that travel therein, until the night cometh, wherein no man can work. [And where did Jesus learn this? It was also given to Him of the Father.]
This is an interesting chapter, as the Lord continually references the Father and doing His will as He teaches His disciples. All things are done through Christ, and glory be to the Father. Why must it be this way? Is it not confusing as to whom we must worship? The Lord has often said that to see the one is to see the other. They are one in purpose, yet two distinct and separate beings. Jesus sets the example by deferring glory to the Father. We must do the same. I praise the name of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and also the great glory of our Heavenly Father that sent Him. We must remain focused on doing His will and never deviate to seek other sources of worship. There are many mysteries that the Lord must teach us. As you ask and knock, the answers shall be given.