Concerning the work of the One Mighty and Strong it is written:
"So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider." (Isaiah 52:15)
The word sprinkle comes from the obscure Hebrew word NAZAH which is translated several times as "sprinkle" but can indicate a startling waking up as one who is woken from a sleep with a sprinkling of cold water. Using this interpretation the scripture could be translated as: "So shall he startle many nations to greater awareness...."
The Inspired Version by Joseph Smith gives yet another interesting twist: "So shall he gather many nations...."
Taking this into consideration then, to restrict any setting in order to a single church out of hundreds, or even churches as a whole, is a blatant miscalculation. Even though there will be specific work aimed at specific groups which will include the Latter-Day Saints (LDS and/or Mormons), it will certainly not be limited to them.
The scripture continues in describing the mission: "To arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God." [The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 85:7]
Joseph received this revelation through the Spirit and worded this section in anticipation of building Zion within his lifetime for he predicted that:
"Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, (Jackson County Missouri) even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house." (D&C 84:4-5)
Joseph's premature removal from the scene through his martyrdom caused the church to be led by those who did not have the vision to bring the prophesy to pass.
Prophecy is predicated on two things:
There are certain great events which are predetermined and which will take place despite the decisions of mankind, but there are other events which are predicated on the cooperation and decision of the workers of light.
The gathering of Lights and the building of a temple graced by a cloud of glory was predicated on the free will and cooperation of the early Mormons. Joseph made a mistake in allowing his life to be taken and that mistake changed the course of history and altered the fulfillment of some of his prophesies.
The interesting thing is that even when inspired words are not fulfilled as expected, they still come to pass on some level.
Let us look at the prediction again in this light: "To arrange by lot the inheritances of the saints whose names are found, and the names of their fathers, and of their children, enrolled in the book of the law of God." (D&C 85:7)
To interpret this we must ask: "What is the Book of the law of God?"
To this question many fundamentalists have a picture of an old white haired prophet keeping a record book and assigning people their appropriate place to live. To incorporate such a vision would place great restrictions on the free will of man.
The real book of the law of God as it will manifest in the new age was predicted by Jeremiah:
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
In the coming age the Book of the Law of God will be written in our "inward parts" and our "hearts." And not some physical book with black-and-white rules and dictations of where we shall live.
In the gathering of Lights to come, people will choose their own lots through their own pure hearts linked with the Spirit of God
The scripture continues:
"While that man, who was called of God and appointed, that putteth forth his hand to steady the ark of God, shall fall by the shaft of death, like as a tree that is smitten by a vivid shaft of lightening." (D&C 85:8)
The Ark of God (or the Ark of the Covenant) was a physical storehouse for the laws of God written on stone in ancient Israel. But in the coming age the laws of God will not be written on stone but in the hearts of men and women as foretold by Jeremiah. The Ark of God as predicted here then is not a physical object, but the hearts of true disciples who are in tune with the will and Spirit of God.
To understand this prediction we must recall a time when Israel was moving the Ark and all workers were commanded to not touch or steady the ark. But for one worker it looked as if the Aark was out of balance and he reached forth his hand to steady it and he was immediately struck dead by an invisible force.
So who is the one in this age who will seek to steady the Ark?
The answer is written as "that man, who was called of God and appointed."
Most fundamentalist Mormons see this man as the leader of the LDS church who was called of God -- in their eyes at least.
But on a higher level one who is called of God is any person who has had communion with the Spirit of God and should have awareness high enough to understand the laws of God written in the hearts of man.
The Ark of God in this age is the purified hearts of working disciples. When a person who has had contact with the Spirit goes against what he has received and reverts back to the old ways and seeks to steady the Ark of God in the hearts of others with black-and-white laws of stone, then such a one will be in danger of being burned by the spiritual fire and can actually physically self destruct.
All those who see themselves as teachers or shepherds of the flocks of men must beware of the temptation to steady the Ark, which is to criticize and fight against the true disciples of the earth who are lighted within by the One Mighty and Strong Spirit of God.
There is nothing more dangerous to the souls of men than to fight against a light which has been seen and felt.
Not only this representative (or possibly a group) of the Mighty and Strong Presence will set in order the House of God, but his word will cause much turbulence "as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing." (Isaiah 28:2) At his presence the power of God will cause much destruction to those who would use force to hinder the message.
He shall "cast down to the earth with the hand." (Isaiah 28:2) What shall be cast down? He shall cast down the crown of pride, and all authorities who represent the Mark of the Beast.
How will unjust authorities be cast down?
Answer: By lifting up the meek and lowly of heart who are seeking light and truth. When the lights are lifted up on a hill and let their light so shine, then darkness can no longer exist and is thus "cast down."
"The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under foot." (Isaiah 28:3) The words of Jesus expand on this thought:
"Ye are the salt of the earth, But if the salt shall loose its savor, wherewith shall the earth be salted? The salt shall be thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out and to be trodden under the foot of men." (Matthew 5:13)
Isaiah tells us that those who are supposed to be the spiritual teachers of humanity will not fulfill their roll, but instead be lifted up in pride to the extent that their teachings may be compared to that of a drunken man. But then will come true teachers bearing light and truth for the world. These higher teachings shall so overshadow the old traditional ones that the negligent teachers will begin to be bypassed by the people and "trodden under foot" as if they were illusion and did no longer exist.
"And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate." (Isaiah 28:4-6)
It is interesting that the Mormons who claim to be from Ephriam have their headquarters in a "fat valley." But the meaning goes beyond this. Many unjust teachers and leaders there are who live in abundance off the people (symbolized by fat valleys). The fat valley also symbolizes the abundance of light that should be theirs, given to them by the sacrifice of past prophets and seers. Unfortunately, all these past teachings have become a "fading flower" through neglect by those who are looked upon as the stewards of light by humanity.
The next phrase continues the story: "And as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up."
"Hasty fruit" comes from the Hebrew BIKKUWR which literally means "first fruits." The first fruits are considered as the most precious of the harvest -- this is one of the reasons that Jesus himself was called this.
Who are these first fruits? They are the original bringers of light in a religion, group or country. For Christianity these would be Jesus and the apostles and prophets. For the protestant Churches this would include Martin Luther and the reformers. For Mormonism, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other founders would be included. For the United States the first fruits would be the Founding Fathers.
The first fruits usually go through great sacrifice to initiate a new work that will benefit humanity and often garner very little personal benefit from their work in their own lifetime.
However the later stewards who are trusted to carry on, enhance and teach the work often live lives of plenty with great adoration from the masses. These teachers who get rich in the fat valleys are threatened when they see they are a fading flower so they seek to devour the first fruits.
How do they do this?
The unjust stewards seek to destroy the first fruits by using several methods:
By using these and other subversive methods the "crown of pride" eats up the first fruits and manages to keep its authority over the people while leaving them in darkness.
"In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, and for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate." (Isaiah 28:5-6)
Even though the majority of the people will be deceived by lazy or false teachers there will be a "residue" who will be a "crown of glory" and a "diadem of beauty." These are they who refuse to be taken in by mass propaganda. These think for themselves and go within and find the beauty of the Spirit of God. These are they who will turn the tide of the spiritual battle and eventually pave the way for the new age of peace and enlightenment.
"But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." (Isaiah 28:7)
This is written as clear as words can be and needs no explanation.
"For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean." (Isaiah 28:8)
This scripture has several meanings as many of the prophet's writings do, but the basic message is that instead of giving their people food which feeds the soul the current teachers feed their flocks with decaying food that has no life -- old worn out teachings that need to be discarded and replaced with fresh and living food and drink.
"Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people." (Isaiah 28:9-11)
There has been much written, especially by the Fundamentalists about the stammering lips and another tongue. Some believe that it refers to an American Indian prophet who will preach to the Latter-Day Saints. Even though there will be Indian prophets, this does not necessarily refer to them. The English word "stammering" is translated from the Hebrew LAEG. When one speaks stammering or LAEG, he speaks in a sort of repeating baby talk to jokingly irritate his listeners. Joseph Smith sometimes did this to stir up the sectarians and Isaiah himself is using this sort of talk with the Jews when he repeats himself unnecessarily in verse 10. When he speaks of "another tongue," we must remember that our tongue today is a different one than that used by the Jews. The scripture indicates that Ephraim will become as a little child again and must be taught with a stammering lip, or repetitive language before they can learn doctrine.
A higher interpretation of the other tongue refers to a new way of speaking and teaching to Israelites. Jesus spoke with a different tongue, or manner of speaking, than Moses, and God will speak in new and different ways as the times change in this age. The teachers of the various ages and climes teach so differently (even though it is all one message) that it seems to be "another tongue."
"To whom he said, This is my rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear." (Isaiah 28:12)
Here Isaiah identifies the people in the prophecy as those who were promised the rest of the Lord. This promise was made through Moses to the Jews that Isaiah was talking to and also through Joseph Smith to the Latter-day Saints in our day. We must bear in mind that even though most of Isaiah deals with the future, he had to write it in such a way so it had meaning to the people in his day.
Concerning the people in the days of Moses, the Lord said, "But they hardened their hearts and could not endure His presence; therefore, the Lord in His wrath, for His anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into His rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of His glory." (D&C 84:24)
Were the Latter-Day Saints given a similar promise? They were:
"Verily, this is the word of the Lord, that the city of New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord which shall fill the house." (D&C 84:4-5)
Just as ancient Israel was unable to obtain the promise of the rest of the Lord, so did modern Israel fail to achieve its rest by establishing the temple and New Jerusalem in Jackson County. The Mormons are one of the groups prophesied of by Isaiah of whom the Lord promised a rest and a refreshing "yet they would not hear." (Isaiah 28:12)
"But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." (Isaiah 28:13)
Here Isaiah again used his "stammering" language for he again uses his repetitive speech. He clearly illustrates how the word of the Lord has been to the resisting religions. He says it is, "Precept upon precept, precept upon precept." The repetition or stammering indicates the manner of presentation of the gospel to the Mormon people (and other religions). That is, the few precepts they have been given are given to them again and again in simple language a child can understand. At nearly every conference, the general authorities say the same things over and over, and the Sunday School manuals teach the same simple lessons over and over. Because they "would not hear," this is the backward manner that the word of the Lord would come to them.
Why is this? So that they "might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken." "Taken" is from the Hebrew LAKAD which signifies being "caught in a trap." The Lord is allowing the Church to follow the backward course it is taking so it will be caught in a trap, and when its bands are made strong the real truth through wise virgins will come forth to reveal the bondage to those who thought they were free. There must be great contrast between light and darkness or the light will not be seen or sought.
Verily the time is at hand when that contrast between the light and the dark, the shadows and the real, the ego and the soul will be seen of all humanity and the choice will be clear. Let us hope that all people of goodwill choose the highest light they see before their eyes.
-- End Of Chapter 36 --
The Gathering Of Lights (Chapter Index)
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved