Why did the Pharisees and Sadducees desire Jesus to show them a sign from heaven? And why did Jesus call them hypocrites saying, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign”?
The Pharisees also, with the Sadducees, came, and tempting Jesus, desired him that he would show them a sign from Heaven. And he answered and said unto them, When it is evening ye say, The weather is fair, for the sky is red; and in the morning ye say, The weather is foul today; for the sky is red and lowering. Oh hypocrites! Ye can discern the face of the sky, but ye cannot tell the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the Prophet Jonas. And he left them and departed. [emhasis added] Matthew 8:107-112
What is the sign of the prophet Jonas?
And there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matthew 6:86
Why do the wicked and adulterous seek after a sign? It may be that many of the wicked and adulterous have never “committed adultery”. The wicked and adulterous are they who are attached to what they can experience with their five senses. They can believe that which they can touch, see, hear, taste, and smell. This is why they ask for signs. They want to be given evidence or proof that they can experience with their physical body. This is all they know to do. They are slaves to addictions, passion, lusts of the flesh, and the things of this world.
The carnal mind cannot work by faith because it will only believe what it sees with its eyes. Faith works by first seeing with an eye of faith. What we see with our eye of faith we will see with our eyes. What is seen in the spirit, manifests itself in the flesh.
And there were many whose faith was so exceedingly strong, even before Christ came, who could not be kept from within the veil, but truly saw with their eyes the things which they had beheld with an eye of faith, and they were glad. [emphasis added] Ether 4:18
And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life. [emphasis added] Alma 13:113
To believe is to see.
It is not true that "seeing is believing." Rather, believing is to see. Belief will open your eyes. The Voice, three levels removed from us, is regained by your election to remove the veil that bars your hearing and your sight. Proverbs of Denver Snuffer #3
If I do not work by faith, I am being acted upon by the results of some other being's faith? To truly be free I must be able to work by faith.
And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil, to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day according to the commandments which God hath given.[emphasis added] 2 Nephi 1:93
We did not even get to this earth except by faith as it existed in ourselves or in some other being, and there will not be a change or a revolution in any of the creations of God unless it is effected by faith.
In the preceding lectures, we treated of what faith was, and of the object on which it rested; agreeably to our plan we now proceed to speak of its effects: As we have seen in our former lectures, that faith was the principle of action and of power in all intelligent beings, both in heaven and on earth, it will not be expected that we will, in a lecture of this description attempt to unfold all its effects; neither is it necessary to our purpose so to do; for it would embrace all things in heaven and on earth, and encompass all the creations of God, with all their endless varieties: for no world has yet been framed that was not framed by faith; neither has there been an intelligent being on any of God's creations who did not get there by reason of faith, as it existed in himself or in some other being; nor has there been a change or a revolution in any of the creations of God but it has been effected by faith: neither will there be a change or a revolution unless it is effected in the same way, in any of the vast creations of the Almighty; for it is by faith that the Deity works. [emphasis added] Lecture on Faith 7:1
The whole visible creation, as it now exists, is the effect of faith. Faith is the principle upon which we must act in order to enjoy the blessedness of eternity.
It is only necessary for us to say, that the whole visible creation, as it now exists, is the effect of faith- It was faith by which it was framed, and it is by the power of faith that it continues in its organized form, and by which the planets move round their orbits and sparkle forth their glory: So, then, faith is truly the first principle in the science of theology, and when understood, leads the mind back to the beginning and carries it forward to the end, or in other words, from eternity to eternity.
As faith, then, is the principle by which the heavenly hosts perform their works, and by which they enjoy all their felicity, we might expect to find it set forth in a revelation from God as the principle upon which his creatures, here below, must act, in order, to obtain the felicities enjoyed by the saints in the eternal world, and that when God would undertake to raise up men for the enjoyment of himself, he would teach them the necessity of living by faith, and the impossibility there was of their enjoying the blessedness of eternity without it, seeing that all the blessings of eternity are the effects of faith. [emphasis added] Lecture on Faith 7:6-7
We must learn how to work by faith or else not work at all. We must learn to act instead of being acted upon.
And now my sons I speak unto you these things for your profit and learning, for there is a God and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth and all things that in them is, both things to act and things to be acted upon. 2 Nephi 1:75
Why does Paul have no confidence in the flesh? Why did Paul count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus ? Why did Paul suffer the loss of all things, and count them but dung, that he might be found in Christ? Why must we be found in Christ through the faith of Christ? What does it mean to know Christ and attain unto the resurrection of the just?
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more; circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the just. Philippians 1:41-45
How is the flesh contrary to the Spirit? What are the works of the flesh? What is the fruit of the Spirit? What does it mean to crucify the flesh? Why must I crucify my flesh? Can I have faith in God while I am attached to my five senses? How does the flesh veil me from the things of God?
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 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. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 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. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance; against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vainglory, provoking one another, envying one another. [emphasis added] Galatians 1:113-120
What is the veil? What is inside the veil? Where do I see? Do I see within the veil? Or do I see with my natural senses? How does this veil affect my faith? Can I have faith in things outside the veil?
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh, and having such an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. [emphasis added] Hebrews 5:38
What does Paul mean “when I was under the law, I was yet carnal”? Why when spiritual do I do that which I am commanded to do? Why does no good thing dwell in my flesh? Why is that which is good under the law, not good? How could something which is evil under the law be good in Christ? Where is the law of God written? Where is the commandment of Christ written? Why does the fleshy or carnal serve the law of sin? But the spiritually minded cannot sin?
For we know that the commandment is spiritual; but when I was under the law, I was yet carnal, sold under sin. But now I am spiritual; for that which I am commanded to do, I do; and that which I am commanded not to allow, I allow not. For what I know is not right, I would not do; for that which is sin, I hate. If then I do not that which I would not allow, I consent unto the law, that it is good; and I am not condemned. Now then, it is no more I that do sin; but I seek to subdue that sin which dwelleth in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me, but to perform that which is good I find not, only in Christ. For the good that I would have done when under the law, I find not to be good; therefore, I do it not. But the evil which I would not do under the law, I find to be good; that, I do.
Now if I do that, through the assistance of Christ, I would not do under the law, I am not under the law; and it is no more that I seek to do wrong, but to subdue sin that dwelleth in me. I find then that under the law, that when I would do good evil was present with me; for I delight in the law of God after the inward man. And now I see another law, even the commandment of Christ, and it is imprinted in my mind. But my members are warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. And if I subdue not the sin which is in me, but with the flesh serve the law of sin; O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, then, that so with the mind I myself serve the law of God. [emphasis added] Romans 3:56-70
The war to be won is between the Spirit and the flesh. Which one will govern me? Which one controls and directs the other? Does my flesh govern me? Or does my Spirit govern me? Why are the carnally minded dead? What is it about being Spiritually minded that brings life and peace?
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are after the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, though the body shall die because of sin, yet the Spirit is life, because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. [emphasis added] Romans 3:71-81
Here is another way of saying it. The flesh or the son of God must be subjected to the will of the Father or the Spirit.
And now Abinadi said unto them, I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son - the Father because he was conceived by the power of God and the Son because of the flesh, thus becoming the Father and Son, and they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked and scourged and cast out and disowned by his people. [emphasis added] Mosiah 4:179-181
Why can't I have faith unto life and salvation while I am still attached to earthly things? How does my attachment to my five senses or my flesh destroy my faith?
Let us here observe, that a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things: it was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life; and it is through the medium of the sacrifice of all earthly things, that men do actually know that they are doing the things that are well pleasing in the sight of God. When a man has offered in sacrifice all that he has, for the truth's sake, not even withholding his life, and believing before God that he has been called to make this sacrifice, because he seeks to do his will, he does know most assuredly, that God does and will accept his sacrifice & offering, & that he has not nor will not seek his face in vain. Under these circumstances, then, he can obtain the faith necessary for him to lay hold on eternal life. [emphasis added] Lectures on Faith 6:15-17
Does this give greater meaning to Nephi's words? “cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.”
O Lord I have trusted in thee and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh,for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm. Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me if I ask not amiss. Therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee. Yea, I will cry unto thee, my God the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen. 2 Nephi 2:56-64
Why must I choose between God and mammon? Can I enjoy the things of the Spirit while still holding on to the things of the flesh? What is the focus of my eye? Is it the eye which governs all things?
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth corrupt and thieves break through and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness. No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 3 Nephi 3:119-125
Where is joy to be found? How is this to be received?
Joy cannot be found by subordinating the spirit to the flesh. Joy, peace and freedom come only by subordinating the flesh to the spirit. Proverbs of Denver Snuffer #19
How are the disciples of Jesus an epistle of Christ to be read of all men? Where is the law of Christ written? Why does the letter kill but the spirit gives life?
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men; forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart. And such trust have we through Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. 2 Corinthians 1:36-38
Are signs and mighty works important in pleasing God? Do signs come before I exercise faith or after I exercise faith? What purpose do signs serve for the unbelieving and rebellious? How will signs and wonders follow believers in Jesus Christ and be used to glorify God and for the good of men?
Behold, I the Lord uttereth my voice and it shall be obeyed, wherefore verily I say, Let the wicked take heed and let the rebellious fear and tremble and let the unbelieving hold their lips, for the day of wrath shall come upon them as a whirlwind and all flesh shall know that I am God, and he that seeketh signs shall see signs, but not unto salvation. Verily I say unto you, There are those among you who seeketh signs and there have been such even from the beginning, but behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe. Yea, signs cometh by faith, not by the will of men nor as they please, but by the will of God. Yea, signs cometh by faith unto mighty works, for without faith no man pleaseth God. And with whom God is angry He is not well pleased, wherefore unto such He sheweth no signs, only in wrath unto their condemnation. Wherefore I the Lord am not pleased with those among you who have sought after signs and wonders, and not for faith and not for the good of men unto my glory. D&C 18:3-8
If miracles have ceased, what does that say about my faith? Why are miracles wrought among the disciples of Christ?
And now my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will shew unto you with power and great glory at the last day that they are true, and if they are true, has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he so long as time shall last or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay. For it is by faith that miracles are wrought. And it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name. Wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. [emphasis added] Moroni 7:51-60
Do I ask for signs so that I might believe? Or do I do the works that Jesus did because I have faith in Him? Can you see the difference between asking for signs from God on the one hand, and performing miracles in the name of Jesus on the other hand? One brings condemnation and the other brings life and salvation.