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Why not go on unto perfection?

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Let Us Go on unto Perfection

The opening verses of the sixth chapter of the letter to the Hebrews present us with a divine calling: let us go on unto perfection. We find this charge prominently stated in a listing of the principles of the doctrine of Christ.

Hebrews 6:1-3
1)  Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
2)  Of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3)  And we will go on unto perfection if God permit.

Just how important is this divine calling upon our lives? The writer [1] tells us, we will go on unto perfection, but with this qualifier: if God permit. In order that we might truly understand and appreciate this principle and the “if God permit” qualification associated with it, we will need to learn more about this seventh principle of the doctrine of Christ.

First of all, why refer to “let us go on unto perfection” as the seventh principle of the doctrine of Christ? While there are seven principles clearly listed here, over the years there has been an emphasis placed on only six of these principles.

  • repentance from dead works
  • faith toward God
  • the doctrine of baptisms
  • laying on of hands
  • the resurrection of the dead
  • eternal judgment

This particular set of principles has often been referred to as the six principles of the gospel of Christ. Each of these principles is, as indicated by the words of the author, foundational. However, there clearly is a seventh principle conspicuously included in these verses. While the manner of writing used by the author clarifies that this seventh principle builds upon the other principles, it still has not received as much attention as the other six. Therefore, this study letter is intended to shift the focus back onto letting ourselves and each other go on unto perfection. Why pursue such a shift? The use of the words let us go on… show us that going on unto perfection is, in fact, the authors main message.

Consider now another aspect of the relationship between the six foundational doctrines and this seventh doctrine of perfection. The foundation which the six principles provide must be soundly in place before building thereon, [2] else the foundation will not be well grounded, but will be susceptible to shifting or tilting. Moreover, note how the six principles cannot, in and of themselves, make us perfect. If they could, why would we be called to go on unto perfection in the very same verses in which the other six are listed as already having been established? Thus, we see that the six foundational principles of the gospel do not represent the entire gospel of our Lord.

Briefly summed up, by calling us to go on unto perfection, the author of the letter to the Hebrews is making both a clear distinction and a clear connection between perfection and the other six principles listed in Hebrews 6:1-3. Therefore, not including the principle of going on unto perfection in any discussion on the principles of the doctrine of Jesus Christ makes such a discussion incomplete and ultimately aimless. Our faith and obedience to the gospel are not complete if we ignore this seventh principle. Stated another way, the other six can only be of full worth to us if we do, indeed, go on unto perfection in Jesus Christ.

By a Greater and More Perfect Tabernacle

In this section a number of passages from the book of Hebrews are quoted to show that going on unto perfection is a consistent theme emphasized throughout this unique book of the Bible. This seventh principle is like one of the major cords in a rope that is intertwined with other cords (themes) to make a completed rope, one that is strong but pliable, and ready for use. Thus, we can expect to see, and do see the author return to it again and again throughout the letter.

When reading through these quotes included in this section, it is important to note how the author speaks in such terms as being made perfect and similar phrases. From these statements we learn that the divine calling to go on unto perfection is not something we can accomplished without our Maker, the God who created us and made us in the beginning in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:27-29). Only He can make us perfect, and in Jesus Christ He has prepared the way for this to be accomplished in our lives, but only if we are willing and obedient.

In the words of the Lord, the work of perfection is His work and glory. It is something God must complete in us. At the same time, it is a work that we must be willing to fully cooperate and coordinate with God on. Otherwise, if we draw back unto falling away from God, He will have no pleasure in us and will not permit us to go on unto perfection.

Hebrews 2:9,10
9)    But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
10)  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

Hebrews 5:5-10
5)    So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee.
6)    As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
7)    (Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
8)    Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.)
9)    And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10)  Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 6:1-3
1)  Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
2)  Of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3)  And we will go on unto perfection if God permit.
4)  For he hath made it impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5)  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6)  If they shall fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance; seeing they crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 7:14-20
14)  For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
15)  And it is yet far more evident; for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest,
16)  Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17)  For he testifieth, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
18)  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19)  For the law was administered without an oath and made nothing perfect, but was only the bringing in of a better hope; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
20)  Inasmuch as this high priest was not without an oath, by so much was Jesus made the surety of a better testament.

Hebrews 9:6-12
6)    Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
7)    But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people;
8)    The Holy Ghost signifying this that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as yet the first tabernacle was standing;
9)    Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10)  Which consisted only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
11)  But Christ being come a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12)  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Hebrews 10:9-14,38
5)    Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me;
6)    In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7)    Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God.
8)    Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
9)    Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10)  By which will we are sanctified through the offering once of the body of Jesus Christ.
11)  And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
12)  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13)  From henceforth to reign until his enemies be made his footstool.
14)  For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.

38)  Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. [cf. Luke 9:62 with Hebrews 6:3]

Hebrews 11:39-40
39)  And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promises;
40)  God having provided some better things for them through their sufferings, for without sufferings they could not be made perfect. [cf. Romans 8:16-18, James 1:2-4]

Hebrews 12:22-24
22)  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23)  To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24)  And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Hebrews 13:20-21
20)  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21)  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

The above verses help us see that by reading Hebrews 6:1-3 in the context of the entire letter, the call to be made perfect is clearly a common cord which runs all the way through the letter, from its beginning to its end. Contrast this with the other six principles mentioned in Hebrews 6:1-3 and the number of times each is clearly named elsewhere in the letter to the Hebrews.

Found in multiple references

  • repentance (Hebrews 6:1,6 & 12:17) from dead works (Hebrews 6:1 & 9:14)
  • faith toward God (34 times, making faith a significant strand in the letter as well)

Found only in Hebrews 6:2 (e.g. as stated)

  • the doctrine of baptisms
  • laying on of hands
  • the resurrection of the dead
  • eternal judgment

Given its importance to the whole of the letter, not just as found in the opening verses of the sixth chapter, it’s evident that we need to know even more about going on unto perfection according to the emphasis placed on doing so by the Hebrew writer. Furthermore, it is important to also continue on in our learning about why exactly the author of the Hebrew letter placed this certain qualifier on becoming perfect: “if God permit.

Let Us Labor therefore to Enter into that Rest

Consider how there were seven days in creation week as chronicled for us in the opening chapters of the Bible. In Genesis 1 we read of the first six days of that week. Then in Genesis 2 we read of how God ended His work and rested on the seventh day.

Genesis 2:1,2
1)    Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2)    And on the seventh day, I, God, ended my work, and all things which I had made; and I rested on the seventh day from all my work; and all things which I had made were finished. And I, God, saw that they were good.

The seventh day spoken of here was a day of the culmination with respect to God’s works. It was a day in which the first six days were made complete in a single day; a day toward which God had labored the six previous days. And when it finally arrived, He rested in it as He reviewed all of creation and pronounced it good. The author to the Hebrews reminds us of another day, even a seventh day, one that awaits each of us. It is a day of rest that awaits God’s people (cf. Luke 12:40-44 with Isaiah 40:10,11 & Isaiah 62:10-12).

Hebrews 4:7-11
7)    Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8)    For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9)    There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10)  For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11)  Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. [cf. Hebrews 6:1-3 with Philippians 3:13-16]

Consistent with God’s pattern of creation and His entering into a day of rest, the author of the letter to the Hebrews points us to a similar day of rest, a day unto which we are called to labor towards. This day of rest and the call to labor to enter into this day of rest is represented by the seventh principle of the gospel of salvation in Hebrews 6:1-3, that is, to go on unto perfection. It is a day of culmination, of completion. This is why the writer includes such words as these:

Hebrews 10:23-22,35-39
23)  Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised;
24)  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works;
25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

35)  Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
36)  For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
37)  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
38)  Now the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
39)  But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Hebrews 6:9-15
9)    But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
10)  For God is not unrighteous, therefore he will not forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
11)  And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end;
12)  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13)  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
14)  Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
15)  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

From the consistent theme of perfection and specifically of going on unto perfection found throughout the letter to the Hebrews, we see that this doctrine of Jesus Christ is more than worthy of our consideration. It is God’s divine calling upon our lives as the writer of the Hebrew letter teaches us. By looking carefully at the message of the letter, we also learn that it is imperative for us to not only understand the doctrine of going on unto perfection, we must live it. That is, we need to live toward the end of our perfection, which is our rest in the Lord that comes of faith in Jesus Christ. Otherwise, the other six remain unfulfilled and unprofitable to us.

Take Heed, Brethren

Like Paul, we must be careful not to consider ourselves as having apprehended (obtained and achieved) this high calling in Christ Jesus, that of perfection, until we are actually and fully complete in Him.

Philippians 3:13-16

13)  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14)  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

15)  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded; and if in anything ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

16)  Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

That is to say, it would be premature to conclude that one has arrived before he or she has the testimony that they actually please God even as Enoch received the testimony that he pleased Him and was translated into God’s presence and thus His rest.

Hebrews 11:5,6

5)    By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

6)    But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Note how Paul also included in his letter to Philippians (quoted above) an admonition to those who are perfect in Christ: to be thus minded. That is to say, those who are perfect (complete) in Christ are to live and think accordingly (perfectly). Otherwise, God will reveal to them what they lack (see John 16:7-11 with Luke 18:18-27).

Those who do not harden their hearts against the Lord when He chastens and guides them, it will be well with them, and they will be permitted to continue on in their walk of faith unto perfection. Stated another way, those who offer unto the Lord the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit will be welcomed into His presence as His child.

Hebrews 12:6-11

6)    For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

7)    If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?

8)    But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

9)    Furthermore, we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

10)  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.

11)  Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

This is something King David believed and experienced first hand.

Psalm 34:15-18

15)  The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.

16)  The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

17)  The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

18)  The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psalm 51:17

17)  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

The opposite is also true. Those who, like the children of Israel before them, harden their hearts against the Lord, will not be permitted to enter into the Lord’s rest at the last day (cf. D&C 17:6a-6e with Hebrews 6:3).

Hebrews 3:12-19

12)  Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

13)  But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14)  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

15)  While it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

16)  For some, when they had heard, did provoke; howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.

17)  But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?

18)  And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?

19)  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

And Ye are Complete in Him

What exactly is this perfection spoken of in the letter to the Hebrews? The Greek word used in Hebrews 6:1,3 that is translated as perfection is Strong’s number 5047, teleiotés. It simply means “completeness, perfection.” From this definition we learn that perfection and completeness are synonyms when this Greek word is used in context. Thus, the divine calling to go on to perfection is a call to go on unto completeness. Yet the question remains, what does completeness (perfection) look like in a person’s life and how is it realized in their walk?

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul helps us understand the meaning of completeness and its application in living the gospel of our Lord. There, Paul tells us we are complete in Jesus Christ, and thus we are to understand that we are perfect in Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:8-10

8)    Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

9)    For in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

10)  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power…

The Greek word translated here as complete is Strong’s number 4137 pléroó, which literally means “to make full, to complete.” The message appears plain enough. To go on unto perfection means, then, to become complete in and completed by Jesus Christ through receiving His fullness, even all the fullness of God, for in him, as it is also written, dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. This principle is described well in this next verse also penned by Paul.

Ephesians 3:14-19

14)  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15)  Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16)  That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17)  That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18)  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19)  And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God.

The words “filled with” in verse 19 above is again this Greek word, Strong’s number 4137 pléroó, “to make full, to complete.” And its use in this passage of scriptures speaks of our true calling in Christ, to be made perfect through receiving Him by faith unto receiving all the fullness of God within us. Summed up, the divine calling to go on unto perfection points us directly to becoming complete in Jesus Christ by being rooted and ground Him, to be grafted directly into our Lord unto becoming one with Him. Our Lord illustrated these truths for us through His words and prayers as recorded by John.

John 15:4-8

4)    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5)    I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.

6)    If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. [he or she cannot go on unto perfection; cf. Luke 8:14,15 with James 1:4]

7)    If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

8)    Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9)    As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.

10)  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

11)  These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 17:18-23

18)  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19)  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20)  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21)  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22)  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one;

23)  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

For the Perfecting of the Saints

Paul included in his letter to the Ephesians an outline of the three primary responsibilities for the priesthood.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12)  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ;

13)  Till we, in the unity of the faith, all come to the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

14)  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

15)  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ;

16)  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Do you see these three responsibilities clearly? This is the calling of the Lord on priesthood. It is for this purpose that each priesthood member has been called and sent forth to minister?

  • for the perfecting of the saints,
  • for the work of the ministry,
  • for the edifying of the body of Christ;

Note especially that first responsibility, for the perfecting of the saints! Any apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teachers – and any priesthood member listed elsewhere in scripture – who does not call those to whom he ministers to go on unto perfection as did the writer of the letter to the Hebrews, that man is failing in at least the first of this three-fold calling upon his life. And if he cannot get this first part of his calling straight, how can he expect to get the other two right?

To be effective ministers for the Lord, then, like Paul we each must labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in us mightily.

Colossians 1:25-29

25)  Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God;

26)  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now in made manifest to his saints;

27)  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory;

28)  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus;

29)  Whereunto I also labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

On a related note, it is more than a shame for a priesthood member, or any member of the church for that matter, to say “No one is perfect.” This is a lie. It simply is not true. We know this because we read in the scriptures how Jesus Christ lived a sinless life and is therefore perfect in the Father’s eyes.

I Peter 2:21-25

21)  For even hereunto were ye called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps;

22)  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;

23)  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously;

24)  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness; by whose stripes ye were healed.

25)  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Hebrews 4:12-16

12)  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of body and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13)  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14)  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15)  For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was on all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16)  Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

As discuss in other sections of this study letter, those who have received of His fullness are complete or perfect in Jesus! Thus, everyone should recognize statements such as “no one is perfect” for what it is. It is a lie, and its source is the father of all lies, Satan, the devil. This enemy works tirelessly to discourage anyone from believing they can be complete in Jesus Christ. Those who speak and spread such lies deny their Lord and will not be permitted to go on unto perfection.

John 8:42-47

42)  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me; for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

43)  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot bear my word.

44)  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do; he was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45)  And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

46)  Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

47)  He that is of God receiveth God’s words; ye therefore receive them not, because ye are not of God.

Why would it be important from Satan’s standpoint to hold the members of the church back from perfection by leading priesthood members to teach that no one is perfect? He knows he will be bound by the righteousness of God’s people. Theoretically, he could put that day off indefinitely by keeping the church from going on unto perfection. This is why a priesthood member fail in his calling when he fails to lead others to perfection. Without guiding and assisting the member so the church to arrive or to seek to arrive, they are simply not fulfilling the word of the Lord to seek first to build up the kingdom of God and to establish His righteousness. Plainly stated, it is a sin for them to act or argue contrary to our divine calling in Jesus Christ to go on unto perfection.

This leads us to yet another reason why a person may not be permitted to go on unto perfection. They continue to believe the lie of Satan that no one is perfect, which some priesthood members perpetuate knowingly or unknowingly. Therefore, they themselves will not be filled with the fullness of God as a result of their doubting and turning away from the Word of God.

James 1:2-8

2)    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into many afflictions;

3)    Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4)    But let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

5)    If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6)    But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7)    For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord.

8)    A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

This is why no priesthood member is to teach unless they receive the Spirit of truth through prayer. Otherwise they can be readily tempted to say just about anything by the evil one who seeks to hold the church and her members back from going on unto perfection.

D&C 42:5a,5b

5a)  And again, the elders, priests, and teachers of this church shall teach the principles of my gospel which are in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, in which is the fullness of the gospel;

5b)  and they shall observe the covenants and church articles to do them, and these shall be their teachings, as they shall be directed by the Spirit; and the Spirit shall be given unto you by the prayer of faith, and if ye receive not the Spirit ye shall not teach.

D&C 63:15e,16a

15e) Wherefore, let the church repent of their sins, and I, the Lord, will own them; otherwise they shall be cut off.

16a) Remember that that which cometh from above is sacred, and must be spoken with care, and by constraint of the Spirit, and in this there is no condemnation; and ye receive the Spirit through prayer; wherefore, without this there remaineth condemnation.

It was Needful for Me to Write unto You

Jesus Christ is both the truth spoken of in John 14:6,7 and the love of the truth spoken of in II Thessalonians 2:9-12. Anyone who receives and abides in Him as the truth will not be deceived, nor will they be drawn away from the truth, but only if He, as the love of the truth, truly does live within that individual. If anyone is grafted into Him but fails to yield Him the fruit of His Spirit (e.g. because of a poor graft) will, in the words of Jesus, be taken away from Him by the Father and to be bundled and readied burning.

John 15:1-6

1)    I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2)    Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3)    Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4)    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5)    I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.

6)    If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Hebrews 6:3-8

3)    And we will go on unto perfection if God permit.

4)    For he hath made it impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5)    And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6)    If they shall fall away, to be renewed again unto repentance; seeing they crucify unto themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

7)    For the day cometh that the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them who dwelleth thereon, by whom it is dressed, who now receiveth blessings from God, shall be cleansed with fire.

8)    For that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; therefore they who bring not forth good fruits, shall be cast into the fire; for their end is to be burned.

9)    But, beloved, we are persuaded of better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.

10)  For God is not unrighteous, therefore he will not forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11)  And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end;

12)  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Said another way, those who are grafted into Jesus are expect to bear the Father, who is the husbandman, He desires and is expecting, which is the fruit of His Spirit of truth.

John 15:1,2

1)    I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2)    Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Galatians 5:13-26

13)  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

14)  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

15)  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16)  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

17)  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18)  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20)  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21)  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23)  Meekness, temperance; against such there is no law.

24)  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25)  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26)  Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another.

We can only bear the Father the fruit He requires if we receive Jesus Christ as the love of the truth. This is because we cannot forsake the evil one and his lies on our own (see D&C 90:5a-6c with John 1:1-18, Ephesians 6:10-18, etc.). Therefore, if we fail to receive Jesus as both the truth and the love of the truth, Satan will easily draw us away from our Lord and His kingdom of righteousness. For this reason, the following admonitions were given:

II Thessalonians 2:9-12

9)    Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders,

10)  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11)  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie;

12)  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Jude 1:3-5

3)    Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

4)    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5)    I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this,how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

II Timothy 4:1-4

1)    I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing in his kingdom;

2)    Preach the word; be instant in season; those who are out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

3)    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4)    And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Simply stated, those who fail the grace of God and are thus taken away from the True Vine by the Father, are those who fail to bring forth fruit of the Lord’s own Spirit with patience in the designated harvest season. They will have taken from them even that which they seem to have already till they know nothing of the things of God.

Luke 8:4-18

4)    And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable, saying,

5)    A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell by the way-side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.

6)    And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.

7)    And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.

8)    And others fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundred-fold.

9)    And when he had said these things, he cried, He who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

10)  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

11)  Now the parable is this; The seed is the word of God.

12)  That which fell by the wayside are they who hear; and the devil cometh and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.

13)  That which fell on the rock are they, who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and they have no root, but for a while believe, and in a time of temptation fall away.

14)  And that which fell among thorns are they, who, when they have heard, go forth and are choked with cares, and riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to perfection.

15)  But that which fell on the good ground are they, who receive the word in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep what they hear, and bring forth fruit with patience.

16)  For no man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they who enter in may see the light.

17)  For nothing is secret, which shall not be made manifest; neither hid, which shall not be made known, and go abroad.

18)  Take heed therefore how ye hear; for whosoever receiveth, to him shall be given; and whosoever receiveth not from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

If Ye then be Risen with Christ

As written in Ephesians 3:14-19, in practical, everyday terms, we are to be rooted and grounded in love unto comprehending and knowing the sanctifying, perfecting knowledge of Jesus Christ.

II Peter 1:2-11

2)    Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3)    According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue;

4)    Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5)    And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;

6)    And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness;

7)    And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.

8)    For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9)    But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10)  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall;

11)  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I Peter 1:22,23

22)  Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.

23)  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.

Jesus Christ is our life. It is in Him that we live and move and have our being, both in this life and by whom we are to live on into eternally.

Acts 17:24-28

24)  God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25)  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26)  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

27)  That they should seek the Lord, if they are willing to find him, for he is not far from every one of us;

28)  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Colossians 1:12-20

12)  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;

13)  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son;

14)  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins;

15)  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.

16)  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him;

17)  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

18)  And he is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

19)  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;

20)  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Colossians 3:1-15

If ye then be risen with Christ [see Romans 6:3-11], seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

2)    Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

3)    For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

4)    When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory [see Romans 8:16,17].

5)    Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry;

6)    For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience;

7)    In the which ye also walked sometime, when ye lived in them.

8)    But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

9)    Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10)  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him;

11)  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12)  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering;

13)  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

14)  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

15)  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

And the Same Word was Made Flesh and Dwelt Among Us

Jesus is the very Word of God. He was made flesh and dwelt upon the earth among His ancient covenant peoples.

John 1:13-16

13)  He was born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14)  And the same word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

15)  John bear witness of him, and cried, saying, This is he of whom I spake; He who cometh after me, is preferred before me; for he was before me.

16)  For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, and sent unto us by the will of the Father. And as many as believe on his name shall receive of his fullness. And of his fullness have all we received, even immortality and eternal life, through his grace.

Hebrews 10:5

5)    Wherefore, when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.

Jesus promises to come again and abide not just with His people, to reside within whosoever will keep His words. Only those in whom Jesus Christ, as God’s Word, truly does dwell by faith will actually know Him and His love.

I John 4:7-16

7)    Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8)    He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.

9)    In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10)  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11)  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12)  No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13)  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14)  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

15)  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16)  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

But Be Ye Doers of the Word, Not Hearers Only

The Word of God is to be the Lord of our lives. Jesus Christ is to rule over our lives by faith. It is simply not enough to say we believe His words. We must actually do what He teaches and instructs.

James 1:23-27

23)  For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass;

24)  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25)  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

26)  If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.

27)  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the vices of the world.

If we say we believe in God’s Words but are not actually doers of the Word, we are hypocrites and our religion is vain and unprofitable to the Lord.

Matthew 15:7,8

7)    O ye hypocrites! well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

8)    But in vain do they worship me, teaching the doctrines and the commandments of men.

9)    And he called the multitude and said unto them, Hear, and understand.

10)  Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth the man.

Luke 6:44

43)  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit;

44)  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

45)  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good. And an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

46)  And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

If, on the other hand, we let His words sink deep into our hearts where they may take root downward and bear fruit upward, we will come to fully know the goodness of God.

Psalm 34:8

8)    Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

John 14:18-24

18)  I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.

19)  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also.

20)  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21)  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22)  Judas saith unto him, (not Iscariot,) Lord, how is it thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23)  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24)  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

I Am That Bread of Life

Jesus Christ and His words are the bread of life. All those who have His words abiding within themselves have the promise of eternal life because His words are spirit and they are life itself.

John 6:47-56

47)  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

48)  I am that bread of life.

49)  This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

50)  Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

51)  But I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

52)  The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53)  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

54)  Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up in the resurrection of the just at the last day.

55)  For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56)  He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

63)  It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

His words of life not only teach us of His love for us, they carry His love directly into our very souls.

Romans 5:1-5

1)    Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;

2)    By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3)    And not only this, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4)    And patience, experience; and experience, hope;

5)    And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

For this very reason God sent His incarnate Word (His Son) into the world: to give eternal life to as many as will who receive Him by believing upon His name, which is The Word of Life.

I John 1:1-3

1)    Brethren, this is the testimony which we give of that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2)    (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

3)    That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Without the words of Christ dwelling within us we cannot know the mind and will of God. We will only see the physical world around us. But with His words of life abiding within us, we receive the mind of Christ. This is the way He becomes the head of the body of believers which is equipped with the eyes of faith granted in and through the Spirit of truth. With these spiritual eyes, we are able to see and are shown the greater things than those in which our bodies reside. We are afforded the blessing of seeing the eternal things upon which this life and all eternity rest.

I Corinthians 2:9-16

9)    But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

10)  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

11)  For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, except he has the Spirit of God.

12)  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

13)  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

15)  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

16)  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

This is why He calls us, even commands us, to feast spiritually upon His flesh and blood (i.e. His words). It is so we might be His body and thus be complete or perfect in Him.

I Corinthians 10:16,17

16)  The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

17)  For we being many are one bread, and one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread.

I Corinthians 11:23-29

23)  For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread;

24)  And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat; this is my body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of me.

25)  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

26)  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till he come.

27)  Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

28)  But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

29)  For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

I Corinthians 12:12-14

12)  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

13)  For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14)  For the body is not one member, but many.

I Corinthians 13:1-13

1)    Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2)    And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3)    And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4)    Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5)    Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6)    Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7)    Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8)    Charity never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9)    For we know in part, and we prophesy part.

10)  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12)  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13)  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Herein is Our Love Made Perfect

With the following words, John helps us more fully grasp our divine calling in Jesus Christ to go on unto perfection.

I John 4:10-17

10)  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11)  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12)  No man hath seen God at any time, except them who believe. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13)  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14)  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

15)  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16)  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17)  Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as he is, so are we in this world.

John’s words agree with Paul’s quoted above from Ephesians 3. Our love is to be made perfect by the Spirit of God dwelling in us by faith in Jesus Christ. How is this possible? Peter helps us out here by giving us seven perfecting steps we are to follow unto we arrive at charity, the pure and perfect love of Christ.

II Peter 1:2-11

2)    Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

3)    According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue;

4)    Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5)    And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;

6)    And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness;

7)    And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.

8)    For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9)    But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10)  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall;

11)  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This agrees Paul’s admonition to Timothy that charity is the end of the commandment.

I Timothy 1:5-7

5)    Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned;

6)    From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

7)    Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

Now charity is the pure love of Christ, His sacrificial love, and where there is true charity, there is completeness, even perfection, even to the point that we are like Him in this world because of the love that resides in our hearts and is manifest through our daily living.

Moroni 7:49-53

49)  And again, behold, I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek and lowly of heart; If so, his faith and hope are vain, For none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly of heart;

50)  And if a man be meek and lowly in heart and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; For if he have not charity, he is nothing; Wherefore, he must needs have charity –

51)  And charity suffereth long, and is kind and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things – Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity ye are nothing, for charity never faileth;

52)  Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail; But charity is the pure love of Christ, And it endureth forever; And whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with them.

53)  Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, That ye may be filled with this love which He hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of His Son Jesus Christ, That ye may become the sons of God, That when He shall appear, we shall be like Him – for we shall see Him as He is – That we may have this hope, That we may be purified even as He is pure. Amen.

I Therefore So Run

An illustration may help further carry the message into our hearts. Consider a player at bat in a baseball game. How silly it would be for that player to simply stay at home plate after hitting the ball, thinking that he is safe because he is standing on home plate? No. He has to run the bases and get back to home in order to be safe. It appears to me at least, that many people believe that once they have believed, they are safe at home. They do not recognize there is a race to be run in this life. And so they ask Christ and then just sit on home plate (or at home as the case may be) and wait for the return of Jesus Christ. But run they must, otherwise they will have no fellowship with Paul and the other disciples who set off on a journey of faith by following in the footsteps of Jesus. Or do they somehow think they will also get to wear the crown Paul knew he would receive by faithfully discharging his duties according to the divine calling on His life?

II Timothy 4:2-8

2)    Preach the word; be instant in season; those who are out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.

3)    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

4)    And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

5)    But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

6)    For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

7)    I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith;

8)    Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

Paul knew only those who strive lawfully would be crowned.  So he ran lawfully.  How then is it that there are people who read Paul’s writings who do not know what Paul knew? He was rather plain spoken. Surely it is self-evident to the sincere reader.

I Corinthians 9:24-27

24)  Know ye not that they which run in a race all run, but only one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25)  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

26)  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air;

27)  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Well, all those who fail to run the race as did Paul, who do not get a move on, will hear the Umpire’s call, “You’re out!” That is, unless they hit a home run and the only one to do that has been or will ever be Jesus Christ.

These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him

It is instructive at this point to compare the selected verses from the sixth chapter of Hebrews with selected verses from the sixth chapter of Proverbs. Repeating from Hebrews 6:1-3, we have the list of gospel principles as outlined at the start of this study letter:

  • repentance from dead works
  • faith toward God
  • the doctrine of baptisms
  • laying on of hands
  • the resurrection of the dead
  • eternal judgment
  • go on unto perfection

A portion of Proverbs 6 reads as follows:

Proverbs 6:16-19

16)  These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him;

17)  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18)  A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19)  A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Listed out, we have seven things God hates. And when all seven are present, they are a complete abomination before the Lord.

  • a proud look,
  • a lying tongue,
  • hands that shed innocent blood,
  • a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
  • feet that be swift in running to mischief,
  • a false witness that speaketh lies,
  • he that soweth discord among brethren

Listing out seven principles from each book is not meant to imply they are necessarily parallel lists, one good and one bad. Rather, these two lists of seven items are provided here to compare what it is present in a perfect life filled with the life of Christ and what is present in someone who is not perfect in Christ.

Notice how in Proverbs 6 that the first 6 items are only parts of a person, whereas the last item is the entire person. Those who have the first six will most assuredly be described by the seventh unless they repent and return to our Lord to be cleansed and renewed in His fellowship.

A person does not have to do all of the other items listed, such as shedding innocent blood, to sow discord among his family, congregation, community, etc. Such people will not inherit the kingdom of God. That is, they will not go on unto perfection, but remain in their carnal, fleshly self-serving, self-promoting desires.

Galatians 5:14-21

14)  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

15)  But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

16)  This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

17)  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

18)  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

19)  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20)  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21)  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Where the pure love of Christ is absent, there will be strife and disillusionment, contentions and jealousies, backbiting and the like. If a member of the body of Christ fails to grow up unto maturity, the Spirit of the Lord will eventually cease striving with them. Consequently, God will turn them over to themselves to continue on in their internal fighting and self-serving ways unto to their own destruction

Romans 1:18-32

18)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; who love not the truth, but remain in unrighteousness,

19)  After that which may be known of God is manifest to them.

20)  For God hath revealed unto them the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, which are clearly seen; things which are not seen being understood by the things that are made, through his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse;

21)  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

22)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

23)  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24)  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts; to dishonor their own bodies between themselves;

25)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections; for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature;

27)  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

28)  And even as they did not like to retain God according to some knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31)  Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful;

32)  And some who, knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, are inexcusable, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

People who are always focused on themselves, on whether or not others notice them and their contributions, will not grow up in Christ. They need to seek to go on unto perfection in Him and Him alone, not laying aside the foundation or purpose of their salvation. And the priesthood who serve them need to remind them to grow up, and not coddle them to pacify or to endear themselves to such complainers and self-serving members.

Recall how Paul calls each of us to receive and let the mind of Christ dwell in us unto thinking on others more than ourselves.

Philippians 2:1-16

1)    If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2)    Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3)    Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4)    Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5)    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;

6)    Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God;

7)    But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men;

8)    And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9)    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name;

10)  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11)  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

12)  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

13)  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

14)  Do all things without murmurings and disputings;

15)  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

16)  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain.

This is perfection. This is why the true body of Christ is robust. It is not like a careful balancing act, where we all have to hold just so to prevent the whole thing from coming tumbling down. No. The true body of Christ is not fragile. It is amazingly resilient because of the love that resides in their hearts by faith in Jesus Christ!

Finally, Brethren, Farewell. Be Perfect

Each person who says they believe in the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days must not only consider the final words of the Book of Mormon. They must live these words out in their daily lives, not only to say but to do. Otherwise they will remain under condemnation, never able to go on unto perfection in their Lord, never able to realize the fullness of His glory in their lives. For those who do keep the words of Jesus Christ, however, there remains a certain and perfect rest in God, which includes a power that overcomes all things and gives them a peace to abide forever in His presence.

Moroni 10:27-31

27)  And again, I would exhort you that ye would come unto Christ and lay hold upon every good gift and touch not the evil gift, nor the unclean thing!

28)  And awake! And arise from the dust, O Jerusalem! Yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion! And strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, That the covenants of the Eternal God which He hath made unto thee, O house of Israel, may be fulfilled.

29)  Yea, come unto Christ and be perfected in Him and deny yourselves of all ungodliness, And if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind and strength, Then is His grace sufficient for you, that by His grace ye may be perfect in Christ; And if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in no wise deny the power of God.

30)  And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ and deny not His power, Then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God through the shedding of the blood of Christ, Which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy without spot.

31)  And now, I bid unto all, farewell; I soon go to rest in the paradise of God until my spirit and body shall again reunite, And I am brought forth triumphant through the air to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen.

To conclude, here are several scriptures that sum up the matter. Please consider them in your daily walk each day. And may the Lord go before you to set in order your steps wherein you might walk with Him justly and mercifully.

atthew 5:40-50

40)  Ye have heard that it hath been said. An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.

41)  But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

42)  And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have it; and it he sue thee again, let him have thy cloak also.

43)  And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him a mile; and whosoever shall compel thee to go with him twain, thou shalt go with him twain.

44)  Give to him that asketh of thee; and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.

45)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.

46)  But I say unto you, love your enemies; bless them that curse you; do good to them that hate you; and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you;

47)  That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

48)  For if ye love only them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same?

49)  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans the same?

50)  Ye are therefore commanded to be perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.

Luke 6:32-38

32)  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

33)  For if ye love them only who love you, what reward have you? For sinners also do even the same.

34)  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what reward have you? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

35)  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great; and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful, and to the evil.

36)  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37)  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

38)  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.

Romans 13:8-10

8)    Therefore owe no man anything, but to love one another; for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9)    For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

10)  Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

II Corinthians 13:11

11)  Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

[1] The book of Hebrews was originally titled The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews in the King James, or Authorized Version, of the Bible. The Inspired Revision, or Inspired Version, of the Bible retained this noted authorship and added Timothy as his scribe (see last verse). There yet remains, however, a scholarly and religious debate over authorship. So as to not distract from the message of the current article, then, “author” and “writer” will be used to denote the person who wrote this unique book.

[2] You may be asking how is it possible for the principles of the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment, for example, can be set in place before we go on unto perfection. The answer is by faith. Just like Abraham who saw the day of the Lord and rejoice (John 8:56), so likewise, the faithful see the day of the resurrection of the dead in Christ and rejoice in Him. They also fear God and therefore so live their lives by faith in Jesus Christ so that it will go well with them in the day of judgment.

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