Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday Sermons: Our Spirits, Sonship of God

Sister Vicki Gill
 

Dear Brothers and sisters,
 
I was given a total of 2 days to prepare this talk so please forgive me if it isn't as great as usual.
 
Just before Christmas I had the pleasure and joy to take Levi to one of his football matches. I had to take the two youngest with me as well and my plan was to keep them in the car nice and warm. I took food and juice with us and had selected a wide range of DVD's to play on our lovely Portable DVD players.
We had travelled halfway to our venue when Leonardo asks me where the Players for the DVD's were. I told him they were in the boot, I then asked Levi 'where are the DVD's', I didn't remember putting them in the car but I remember giving them to Levi. Levi's response was 'on the side in the hallway'. We had brought the players with us but nothing to play on them, there was no way we could turn back and still make the match on time.
So we get to the match and the boys have to come out and watch. Whilst we are watching Levi, Leonardo started talking about Christmas and about Jesus, and said that when we are old we die and we go up to the clouds to live with Jesus. I said well... that the spirit world was all around us, this confused Leo, so I said that really when we die it is only our bodies that die, our spirits live with Jesus and our bodies get buried and that the spirit world was all around us but we just couldn't see it.
Leonardo still didn't quite understand what I meant about our spirits.
I told him that heavenly father created our spirits and that our mummies and daddies created the bodies and that when we are born the spirit goes into the body to make it move, when we die it is really our body that dies but the spirit lives on, without the spirit our body, our flesh and blood can't work.
Bless Leonardo as he still couldn't understand, he was getting there but not quite. Luckily we were wrapped up as it was cold and he had his gloves on, so I told him again
heavenly father created our spirits (show an ungloved hand) and that our mummies and daddies created the bodies (show the glove) and that when we are born the spirit goes into the body to make it move (put glove on and wiggle fingers), when we die it is really our body that dies (remove glove) but the spirit lives on (show hand), without the spirit our body, our flesh and blood can't work (flop the glove around trying to make the fingers wiggle).
Leonardo loved this idea and continued to put the glove on and off, whilst wiggling his fingers or flopping the glove around.
The things you discuss by the side of a football pitch.
 
In The name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
 
 
The Prophet Matthew Gill
Sons Of God
 When the gospel of Jesus Christ was ushered forth into the world, there was something beautiful and glorious, connected with it;--something which when rightly understood, had a tendency to enamour, and captivate the soul of man. There was a dignity, a glory, and a freedom associated with its principles, which the generality of men, and even the teachers of Israel knew little or nothing about. The Jews indeed had been taught "that to them belonged the promises, the giving of the law, and the service of God:" that "theirs were the Fathers," and that from them (according to the flesh) Christ was to come: but of the nature and office of the Messiah, of the kind of glory that should be revealed when he came, and of the dignity, glory, and fullness of those blessings that should accrue to the human family, when he made his appearance among the children of men, they seemed to be entirely ignorant, as well as of the union, and relationship to God which it would be placed within the reach of the children of men to obtain through the medium of his atonement, and the redemption wrought out by him. Long accustomed to types and shadows, to sprinklings, washings, sacrifices, and the observance of a law, that could never make the comers thereunto perfect, they understood not, and could not appreciate that more "excellent sacrifice," and the "better covenant," when it was revealed. They had long been "under a schoolmaster," and he had not taught them the glories of a celestial law:--the riches, glory, fullness and blessings of the gospel of peace, nor the freedom of the "sons of God;" consequently when the "true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world," made his appearance, "He was in the world, and the world knew him not." He came to his own and his own received him not; but to as many as did receive him to them gave he power to become the "sons of God," even to as many as believed on his name, which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of man, but of God."
 
Not only were the Jews ignorant of these things; but the gentiles also, (who profess to believe the gospel) seem to be ignorant of the great principles that regulate the kingdom of God, and of the unspeakable privileges of the "sons of God." As the peculiar privileges of the gospel have long been banished from the church; as the light of revelation has long since ceased to dawn upon the professors of Christianity; and as the followers of Jesus have had no other landmark but that of the written word of God, perverted by the enthusiastic zeal of uninspired partisans and religious bigots; who however well meaning and sincere they might be, and however learned and intelligent in other respects, had no means of obtaining correct religious intelligence, nor a knowledge of the things of God. The world therefore must necessarily be ignorant, for "faith comes by hearing," (not by reading only,) and hearing by the word of God; and how can they hear without a preacher; and how can he preach except he be sent,"
 
“To as many as believed to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on his name," is the declaration of John. This declaration being made, it becomes us to enquire what peculiar blessings are connected with this sonship? and what is the nature of this heavenly boon referred to by John? "for says he, to as many as believed, to them gave he power" evidently showing that if they did not believe, they could not become the sons of God, neither could they without the "true light" referred to by John:--he might be in the world, and the world knew him not:--he might come to his own, and his own receive him not, but nevertheless he was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world, as it is written by the prophet of the Lord, "the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ. as also he is the sun, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also he is in the moon, and is the light of the moon, and the power thereof by which it was made. As also the light of the stars, and the power thereof by which they were made. And the earth also, and the power thereof; even the earth upon which you stand. And the light which now shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your understandings: which light proceedeth forth from the presence of God, to fill the immensity of space. The light which is in all things; which giveth life to all things; which is the law by which all things are governed: even the power of God, who sitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things." Consequently, if in the world, there is any wisdom, any intelligence, any true principle it all proceeds from the "Father of Lights, in whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning." All virtue, goodness, purity, righteousness that then may be in the world emanates from him, the great fountain of blessings, and the dispenser of every good; his blessings are scattered promiscuously over the universe; all the human family participate in his benevolence, "he sends his rain on the evil and on the good; and causes his sun to shine on the just and on the unjust yet he does not bestow his sonship upon all; nor introduce the whole of the human family to the nearness of that relationship.
 
To be a son of God, is to be born of God, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh but of God: to be related to, and be the son of God. Paul says in writing to the Galatians, now ye are all the children of God, by faith in Christ Jesus; for as many of you as have been baptized unto Christ, have put on Christ" . . . . `and if you be Christs, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." We may here pause--and ask, what we inherit? says Paul, "ye are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ our Lord." Consequently we inherit great blessings; we are conjointly with Christ the sons of God, and with him inherit like blessings from the father; he is our brother--God is our Father; and hence in Gal, iv:4-7, it is written, "But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth his son made of a woman--made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.--And because ye are sons, God hath sent for the spirit of his son into your hearts crying, abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ." Through the atonement, and redemption wrought out by him, and obedience to the law of the gospel.
 
There is a depth, a dignity and glory connected with this subject that very few have had any idea of; but when rightly understood it has a tendency to enlarge the heart, expand the capacity, to give us just, and comprehensive views of the plans of Jehovah, and it justifies the ways of God to man. Narrow prejudice and bigotry flees at its approach, and haggard superstition hides its head in shame. It was a subject upon which the apostles loved to dwell; and Paul in writing to the Galatians concerning their departure from the simplicity of the gospel,--portrays the dignity, the freedom, the blessings, and the glory of the sonship in striking and vivid colours; and when contrasted with the folly, the weakness, and the absurdity of the gentile superstitions; and the `beggarly elements of the world' presents a thrilling discord.
 
It is an opinion that generally prevails in the religious world that all people who have united themselves to a religious body, if it is presumed that they have "got religion," are sons of God; an opinion than which nothing could be more absurd or preposterous. That many individuals have been serving God in different parts of the earth, and among different sects of professing Christians, with all sincerity, diligence, and faithfulness, we are free to admit; but to say that all those individuals, or all those churches were sons of God, would be saying that which could not be supported by the scriptures of truth: we doubt not their zeal;--we do not question their diligence, nor their desire to do good: but there are certain principles, which do not exist among them, which must necessarily be connected with the sons of God. If a man is a son of God, he can comprehend the things of God, enter into the designs of Jehovah, unravel the mysteries of the kingdom of God and contemplate the future designs of the Great I Am, as they shall roll forth in all their dignity, and majesty, and glory, and this they do not profess to enjoy. 
 
Did this principle universally exist sectarianism would fall and all the different systems of theology would crumble into ruin, idolatry would not have an existence, and Islam would be annihilated; Catholicism would be no more, the names of Presbyterian and Methodist would be blotted out, and all the different parties whether found among the Muslims, the heathens, or Christians all being taught of God; would possess the same principles of intelligence, and whether in Europe, Asia, Africa, or America, they would have the same system of theology; being taught by the same God, instructed by the same spirit, and led into the same truths; and there would be but the one church, which would be the universal church of the universal world. For if God teaches one man he will teach him the truth; if two churches were to receive his tuition they would no longer be two but one; and if he teaches the world the world will be one. There is a principle of intelligence connected with it that burns like a lamp in the bosom of its possessor:--chases away the "gross darkness" with which the human mind has been enveloped, and spreads a halo of glory around. Hence (says the apostle "because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the `spirit of his son into your hearts." Persons thus situated are "therefore no more strangers; but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" possessing a union and relationship to him which nothing but the fullness of the gospel can impart; being no longer neither strangers nor servants, but sons.
 
There is a very material difference between a servant and a son; the ties that bind a father and son together are much more sacred, and binding than those which unite a master and servant. A father feels bound to his child by paternal ties, to his servant he does not: a father expects from his child a filial and an affectionate regard; but he expects a servant merely to do his work, and pays him for his services. A father reveals unto his son his purposes and designs, he does not acquaint a servant with them: a son inherits his father's property, a servant does not--having received his wages he has no further demand. Hence the reason of Paul's remark, "Wherefore thou art no more a servants, but a son, and if a son then an heir of God through Christ," and hence also the reason of our Saviour's remark. "Henceforth I call you not servants but friends" (they were his brethren, and God their father) "for the servants knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends for all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you." I have revealed it. I have obtained revelations from the Father because I am his son: I have revealed them unto you because ye are his sons also; and my brethren and friends; "no longer strangers, nor aliens, but fellow-citizens." Christ had revelation, and they had revelation also; because he revealed his Father's will unto them, and they were placed in a situation to know the mind, the will, and purposes of God through the sonship. The great distinction was that a servant did not know what his Lord did, and a son did know; thus we see that a son of God has revelation, a servant has not, and this is the grand difference between the sectarians, and the Latter-Day Saints.
 
Take away the principle of revelation from the gospel and it is stripped of its beauty, robbed of its glory, and like Sampson when his locks were shorn, it is weak, feeble, destitute and powerless. Enoch understood something of the principles and nature of this sonship, for he walked with God and was not for God took him. Noah having revelations from God understood this principle; and Abraham also being a son of God was made acquainted with the designs of his master, he had revelations from God and knew what his master did. Isaac Jacob and Moses possessed the same principle, and claimed the same relationship, there were also numbers of them in Job's day, and we read that when the sons of God presented themselves before God, satan also presented himself and the Lord asked him, `from whence comest thou?' &c.; evidently shewing that the sons of God, in those days, came into the presence of God and had communion with and revelation from him. The Lord spake also unto Job and he answered and said, `I have heard of thee, by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee:' in fact we read of the sons of God before the flood and of their transgression with the daughters of men; Gen. vi. In fact it is through the medium of this relationship that men in different ages have had communicated unto them the will, purposes, and designs of the great Jehovah; or that they know anything of futurity, of God, heaven or hell. It is this principle that introduces men into the presence of God, draws aside the curtains of futurity, unveils the beauties of the eternal world, and enables man to gaze on the beatific sight, to behold the dignity and glory of God, and to contemplate the future purposes of Jehovah, as they shall roll forth in all their majesty, their dignity and glory. The Jews were, for a season, placed under a schoolmaster until Christ; but when he came he took all that would obey the gospel from under his tuition, took away the veil that had long been on their hearts, and came "to redeem those that were under the law that they might receive the adoption of sons."
 
When the gospel was restored, and this sonship again imparted, the heavens were again opened, and the visions of God unfolded; light burst forth upon the human mind, "and life and immortality were" (again) "brought to light by the gospel." Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured on the Mount, and Elijah and Moses talking with him; the sick were healed, the blind received their sight, the lame leaped as an hart, and the poor had the gospel preached to them; sectarianism trembled, and bigotry stood ashamed, hypocrisy was unscathed and narrow prejudice stood forth in all its native deformity; while truth stalked triumphantly and intelligence spread like the rays of the sun.
 
The spirit of God rested upon the people, on the day of Pentecost, "like cloven tongues as of fire;" men began to prophesy, to dream dreams, and to see visions. Paul was caught up into the third heavens, and heard things that were not lawful to utter. John on the isle of Patmos had the heavens opened to him; while prophesies and revelations were poured forth upon the church, which led John to exclaim "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not because it knew him not. Beloved now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is." How did they get in possession of this intelligence, but through the medium of this sonship, and the revelation and intelligence communicated thereby? What have we had from that time to this, but forms and theories;--the systems and dogmas of men without certainty, prophesy, or revelation? It is true that many have sincerely desiring to do the will of God; but they could only become his servants; because as the gospel has long since become corrupt and departed, it has not been in their power to become the "sons of God," however desirous they might be to avail themselves of that privilege. It was not until our Saviour made his appearance among men, that the Jews had "power to become the sons of God," and it was not till the Lord revealed himself from the heavens, restored the priesthood and the gospel in these last days, that men had power to become his sons; but as the kingdom of heaven is now preached all men may rush into it, and avail themselves of those glorious privileges which have long been forfeited in consequence of the transgression and apostasy of the church. Cornelius was a servant of God; he feared God together with all his house: he fasted, and prayed, and gave alms, and his prayers, and his offerings were accepted before God; and an angel was sent to him to tell him of it; he was as good, as virtuous, as moral, as sincere and devout, as any man could be at the present day; but he was not a son of God, he was only a servant; and it was necessary after all his piety, and virtue, and religion, that he should send for Peter, to tell him "words whereby he and his house could be saved," and so at the present day it will be found that however devout, and sincere the children of men may have been; that it is necessary that they should come to the standard that God has set up, for the salvation of the human family in these last days; repent and be baptized, in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and have hands laid on them for the gift of the Holy Ghost, by those whom God has ordained, before they can receive the adoption of sons, participate in the glories of the gospel, and receive an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God.
 
In The Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
 

 
 

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