Let us begin with the 28th Chapter of Isaiah:
"Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. (Today it is Salt Lake City and other religious centers.) Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." (Isaiah 28:14-15)
So what is the covenant with death and agreement with hell?
In ancient times Israel made covenants with the Living God and in return they were promised protection from all their enemies as well as peace and prosperity.
A covenant with death would be the opposite of this. Instead of making covenants with a living God the spiritual guides of the people make covenants with groups, organizations and governments with a priority above their commitment to God and the people they serve. Any commitment that is not sought through soul contact is a covenant with death.
An agreement with hell is the opposite of an agreement that brings peace and benefit to all. An agreement with hell is one that takes the group's attention away from freedom, from attention on spiritual progress, and causes the organization to center on money, investment and looking good in the eyes of the world at the expense of nurturing the soul in its members.
"And when the times of the Gentiles is come in, a light shall break forth among them that sit in darkness, and it shall be the fullness of my gospel; but they receive it not (that is, the "fullness"); for they perceive not the light, and they turn their hearts from me because of the precepts of men. And in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. And there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass away until they shall see an overflowing scourge; for a desolating sickness shall cover the land. But my disciples shall stand in holy places, and shall not be moved; but among the wicked, men shall lift up their voices and curse God and die." [The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 45:28-32]
Concerning this "overflowing scourge" Isaiah said that the leaders would believe that "it shall not come unto us," but they forget that the Lord said that "upon my house shall it begin." (D&C 112:25)
Mormons are told that the members will be protected by standing in "holy places" and the leaders today say that this means we should make frequent trips to the temple, for the temples are holy places. While it is true that the temples are supposed to be holy places, they are not the ones referred to in this prophecy for they are in no way large enough to provide protection against desolation. A few verses later in that same section, we are told that the holy place is Zion, "a city of refuge, a place of safety for the Saints of the Most High God." (D&C 45:66) We are told that "the wicked will not come unto it." [v.67] So it certainly cannot be Salt Lake. The holy places or the cities of light are yet to be set up and the great day is waiting at our doors.
We are further told that, "The Lord's scourge shall pass over by night and by day, and the report thereof shall vex all people; yea, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come." (D&C 97:23)
Also, the Lord tells us to keep His commandments, "otherwise there remaineth a scourge and judgment to be poured out upon the children of Zion. For shall the children of the kingdom pollute my holy land? Verily, I say unto you, Nay." (D&C 84:58-59)
In spite of all this evidence, the authorities say, "it shall not come unto us" for we stand in holy places, and the Lord is with us for behold we are growing and prospering as never before.
"We have made lies our refuge and under falsehood have we hid ourselves." The "lies" refer to various false doctrines now espoused and the "falsehood" refers to the distortions of Church history and the cover-up of many important facts.
"Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste." (Isaiah 28:16)
The tried stone is Christ as is evidenced: "I am the good shepherd and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall." (D&C 50:44) In addition to this, the stone is also those who have been tried and found faithful and have the spirit of Christ in their hearts to the extent that they can speak the words of Christ.
"He that believeth shall not make haste." One who is really capable of accepting the Christ, who is the tried stone, will not do so in haste. He will not be converted on the spur of the moment or be saved in a day as with the case of many religious claims. He will be the type of person who will study the teachings out and eventually follow with a true realization of the difficulties involved. He will realize the wisdom in the words of Christ: "Which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it. Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him." (Luke 14:28-29) Even so, let him who believes in the setting in order count the cost before he decides to serve else his strength give out.
On the other hand, those in illusion are not to make haste in rejecting the revelations of God for behold, many will read a few paragraphs and reject the whole of any new teaching from God to their condemnation. Does not the scripture say, "He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is a folly and shame unto him." (Proverbs 18:13)
"Judgment also will I lay to the line and righteousness to the plummet: and hail shall weep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." (Isaiah 28:17)
This refers to two calamities brought by the one Mighty and Strong mentioned in Verse 2; and that is hail and flooding.
If the religious authorities resist strongly enough a fairly literal fulfillment will happen on the physical plane. If they practice what they preach and show minimal love, tolerance and understanding then these calamities will happen on a higher level.
Instead of literal hail it will be hard truth that cannot be withstood. Instead of literal flooding of water it will be overwhelming evidence of new truths which will sweep the land.
"And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it." (Isaiah 28:18)
The calamities will cause the present authorities to lose their power and influence, for "in the days that the prophesies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass." (2 Nephi 25:7)
The spiritual authorities again have a choice for how this prophecy will be fulfilled. Instead of a physical overflowing scourge it could be an emotional one. The emotions and feelings of authorities will be disturbed through the new light and teachings and reach a point of tension. When this point is reached they will definitely go down kicking and screaming on the emotional plane, but if they leave their response on that plane and seek to do no harm, then this prophesy does not have to be fulfilled on the physical.
If reasonable restraint and harmlessness on a physical level is maintained by authorities then the overflowing scourge will be one which plagues their belief system and the errors thereof will be "trodden down" by the light.
"From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report." (Isaiah 28:19)
If resistance to truth is strong enough the scourge will not only be calamities, but it shall also be a "desolating sickness" (D&C 45:31) it shall be "poured out from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty." (D&C 5:19)
If those who resist the light do not seek to do damage to disciples on the physical plane then the fulfillment will merely be a desolating sickness of outworn organizations and belief systems until the earth is empty of illusion and error and "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Isaiah 11:9)
"And it shall be a vexation only to understand the report."
If authorities remain physically harmless then the vexation will be teachings which will stir their souls rather than a physical plague which will wake them up to the fact that the powers of God are against them as they are against the truths of the soul. As a last resort physical calamities will come to vex the authorities to understand the report just as the plagues of Moses came against the Pharaoh.
"Report" is from the Hebrew SHEMUWAH which implies "an announcement which is fairly startling to people." It is also translated as news, tidings or doctrine. The report shall be teachings setting the tone for the new age which shall give the people light to put an end to the famine for greater knowledge. The greater knowledge which is becoming manifest by thousands of workers of light in varying degrees will create an unstoppable tide for the setting in order of the house of God; and because the established teachers will not listen, the Lord will cause a vexation to get their attention. These leaders may not all accept higher light by a long way, but the Master will certainly have their attention.
"For the bed is shorter than a man can stretch himself on it: the covering narrower than he can wrap himself in it." (Isaiah 28:20)
The "bed" refers to the foundations of the church and kingdom as presently constituted. They are not enough to fully satisfy the earnest seeker; therefore, he cannot "stretch himself on it." The "covering" refers to the teachings available. The fullness of revelation is no longer with the church; therefore, the covering is narrower than that a member "can wrap himself in it."
Visualize yourself going to bed in a cold room to take a rest. Your bed is so short that your feet hang over the edge. The covers are so short that they only cover half your body. Would this not be an uncomfortable situation you would want to rectify at the first possible moment?
Yet the foundation teachings, the good the beautiful and the true, of most religions have been in large part shorted or removed making the bed of religion too short and a very uncomfortable resting place. Foundation teachings and new revelation have been suppressed so members do not have sufficient light as a covering and shiver inside stone buildings lacking warmth.
"For the Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." (Isaiah 28:21)
Before we can comprehend this scripture, we must understand what it is the Lord did in Perazim and Gibeon.
The story is in the Old Testament.
Right after David was anointed king over Israel, the Philistines came seeking his life, and David inquired of the Lord as to what to do and was told to go against the Philistines and the Lord would deliver them into his hand. (2 Sam 5:19)
"And David came to Baalperazim, and David smote them there, and said, The Lord hath broken forth mine enemies as the breach of the waters. Therefore, he called the name of the place Baalperazim. And there they left their images and David and his men burned them." (2 Sam 5:20-21)
It is important here that we comprehend the full meaning conveyed. Baalperazim comes from the Hebrew word that literally means "master of breaking forth." The name was given in honor of David for he is the one who led the battle. The thought conveyed by the word is the breaking down of a barrier or enemy as the flooding waters will burst a dam. David and his men were compared to the waters and the Philistines were compared to the dam that was broken by the power of God.
The very next verses relate an incident in Gibeon which is translated "Geba" in the King James edition:
"And the Philistines came up yet again, and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: For then shall the Lord go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the Lord had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba (Gibeon) until thou come to Gazer." (2 Sam 5:22-25)
Here David was told to "fetch a compass behind them", or in the Hebrew to surround them from behind and to wait for "the sound of a gong in the tops of the mulberry trees." This sound that David was to wait for was the sound of the actual army of the Lord, which although unseen, would make a noise going through the trees. He was told "then shall the Lord go out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines." Most of the fighting was done by an invisible host sent from the Lord and David had an easy victory.
The most famous incident in Gibeon was when Joshua gave the great command: "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon." (Joshua 10:12) On that day, "The Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: and there were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword." (Joshua 10:11)
In this case, there was a great slaughter to the enemies of the Lord by the hand of his people, but there was even greater slaughter from his own hand caused by the hailstones.
These incidents are interesting when we consider that the one Mighty and Strong will come "as a tempest of hail (as the Lord sent in the days of Joshua) and a destroying storm (as the invisible hosts of the Lord were in Gibeon), as a flood of mighty waters overflowing...." (Isaiah 28:2) Just as David defeated his enemies in Baalperazim as a flood of mighty waters overflowing a dam, so will the one Mighty and Strong defeat his enemies as a flood of water.
Again, these prophesies can be fulfilled either physically or on a higher level. The course is determined by those who have stewardship over the captive students and political realms of the earth. The events to come are more related to the natural law of cause and effect than it is the decision of an angry God.
If the powers that be attempt to physically destroy then they will be destroyed by the effect of divine fire that can no longer be held back after many ages of attacking the workers of light.
On the other hand, if they can restrain their response to the emotional and mental plane and only seek to stop the light with argument, reasoning, and even anger, yet remain harmless physically then that which will be given them will be on the emotional plane and higher and not the physical.
Their worn out ideas and teachings will be destroyed in place of physical destruction and replaced by higher teachings of light. This will have the effect of being a "destroying storm" on the emotional plane, but that is better than a similar destruction on the physical level.
The Lord says He allows this that "He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act." (Isaiah 28:21) Why does He call this work "strange?" It is strange because in the last days He will have to fight against not the Philistines, but those who claim to be His own people. This is a strange, foreign, and repulsive thing for the Master to do, but to establish Zion He has no other choice. This incident is related in prophecy to come forth in the days of the "marred servant." (3 Nep 21:10)
"For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my beloved son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; and I will execute vengeance and fury upon them even as upon the heathen, such as they have not heard." (3 Nep 21:20-21)
Speaking of Israel in the latter days the Lord also said, "But they rebelled, and vexed his holy spirit: therefore, he was turned to be their enemy and fought against them." (Isaiah 63:10)
It will indeed be a strange work when the Lord has to fight against people who claim to be his own, those who claim to represent Him, "as upon the heathen" in order to gather a people out of the people who will truly serve Him and seek in their hearts to establish Zion.
The Lord then warns His people:
"Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth." (Isaiah 28:22)
Here all those who claim to represent God are warned as well as the whole earth. The judgment will begin at the Lord's own house and from there spread over the earth.
Again, I repeat. Remember the message of Jonah. The prophesy does not have to end with calamity on the physical plane. The judgment of God could be a correction from God as the voice of the Spirit is allowed into the heart to speak to the souls of men and change them so the consumption will be a consumption of old outworn teachings and not a consumption of physical calamity.
"Give ye ear and hear my voice; hearken and hear my speech. Doth the plowman plow all day to sow? Doth he not open and break the clods of his ground? When he hath made plain the face thereof, doth he not cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principle wheat and the appointed barley and the rye in their place? For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Isaiah 28:23-26)
Here again Isaiah refers to the "stammering" teachings in a round about way. He asks the question to a backward Israel: "Doth the plowman plow all day to sow?" In other words, does the farmer plow all day, day after day? No! Sooner or later, if he has any sense at all, "when he hath made plain the face thereof" he will "cast abroad the fitches, and scatter the cummin, and cast in the principle wheat and the appointed barley and rye in their place."
Unfortunately, the churches in these latter days do not have the sense of a simple plowman for all they have been doing is plowing through the same precepts over, and over, and over, for over hundreds years. We forget that "precept must be added upon precept" (Isaiah 28:10) and the teachers never cast in the principle wheat and consequently never have a harvest which harvest is the creation of Zion.
The fact that we do not get beyond the plowing stage is no fault of God's, for we are told that "His God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Isaiah 28:26) God has instructed us to do more than the plowing, but we have not heard.
"For the fitches are not threshed with a threshing instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin; but the fitches are beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. Bread corn is bruised; because he will not ever be threshing it, nor break it with the wheel of his cart, nor bruise it with his horsemen." (Isaiah 28:27-28)
We are told that the fitches (probably fennel) are not threshed with a threshing (Hebrew: CHARUTS, which means a heavy sledge-like) instrument, neither is a cart wheel turned about upon the cummin. If this type of crop were harvested in this pulverizing manner, it would be destroyed; instead "the fitches are beaten out with a staff (Hebrew: MATTEH, which is a stick), and the cummin with a rod (Hebrew: SHEBET, which is a whip-like stick).
By comparison, today we do not need the same old precepts that we should have mastered years ago drilled into us over and over with a sledge hammer. A light threshing of the simple doctrines is all we need so we can withstand the heavier.
Verse 28 is not a very clear translation, and therefore I would like to render it a bit plainer. "Bread corn" is undoubtedly wheat; and the word "bruised" comes from the Hebrew DAQAQ, which means "to crush to powder." The word "because" is from KIY, which is more appropriately rendered "nevertheless." Taking this into consideration, we will render the passage thus:
"Wheat used for bread is ground to powder; nevertheless, he will not ever be threshing it, nor crush it with the wheel of his cart, nor grind it with his horsemen."
In other words, Isaiah here admits that wheat is threshed, broken and ground, but this process is not "stammered" or repeated over and over, for it would be a waste of time and damage the grain in the process.
The message in these obscure words of Isaiah is this. The major problem of the church in the latter days will, be that the teachers will be like a plower who just plows his field over and over and never plants or harvests his wheat. The authorities are also like the wheat miller who merely grinds the product over and over and never makes any bread. Teachers will go through the motions of beginning the creative process, but never produce fruit or bread. No food for the soul will be grown or given. Only the illusion that they are headed in that direction is projected. They do busy work by plowing and grinding, but no fruit or bread is ever produced -- no real progress made. This illusion will create a trap for the teachers so when true food for the soul is offered the contrast between plowing and grinding and a finished spiritual food will be stark and embarrassing.
Isaiah ends with:
"This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Isaiah 28:29)
This whole chapter indeed illustrates that the Lord is "wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." Thus we conclude one of the greatest chapters in all the scriptures.
We thus end a commentary on one of the greatest chapters in the whole of scripture. Now let us have some plain talk clarifying a few questions:
"You identify the One Mighty and Strong as the Spirit of God, but then you mention that there will be a representative of this mission that will do marvelous things. It almost sounds like this will be the Second Coming. Could you clarify?"
In the first coming the Spirit worked through four main individuals in particular making them Mighty and Strong. They were John the Baptist, then Jesus, then Peter and finally Paul. In addition to this the Spirit did many mighty works through the Twelve Apostles and other believers. It was one Mighty Spirit but numerous individuals cooperated in the work.
In this age the number of people working in cooperation with the Spirit for creating change will be multiplied many times. Just like last time there will be several key players plus a multitude of disciples working in cooperation.
There will be a forerunner who will begin the mission which will be completed by Christ himself. In addition there will be many others working in cooperation and these also shall have opportunity to do mighty and strong works according to their faith and Oneness with the Spirit. Exactly how the Christ will do this and make his appearance is not given except that his appearance will be a much more natural event than the religions expect.
"Some believe the One Mighty and Strong is a quorum of individuals. Is there any truth to this?"
I cannot repeat too often that we as individuals in the lower personality will never be Mighty and Strong seen through the eyes of reality. If we are not connected to the vine of the Spirit then we have no life in us and thus no power of consequence.
There will be seven individuals in seven different locations on the earth called in the scriptures the "seven eyes of the Lord" who the presence of Christ will work through. In addition as many as will come into oneness can receive the Spirit of God and the Mighty and Strong works they perform will only be limited by their imagination.
There will be Molecules created which roughly correspond to Quorums as far as specific numbers are concerned. But unlike quorums it takes more than a certain number for them to do their job. Each individual in the Molecule must have spiritual contact to make it work and activate the spiritual flow. When this activation happens and there is a connecting link with the Christ then a Mighty and Strong Spiritual Presence will manifest in groups. I have covered this at length in my book "The Molecular Relationship."
"Will the current Mormon leadership be replaced by The One Mighty and Strong or his representative as many ex-Mormons seem to think?"
This is wishful thinking. Instead of this, the teachers of Light will teach many who are in the churches and this will cause the leadership of all churches to lose hold on its members over a period of time. One thing that will really act as a catalyst will be when enlightened teachers have more access to the media. This is beginning now with the Internet and will spread to radio and television. Eventually not even church leaders will be able to shield their flocks from higher knowledge and discussion of higher truths will eventually permeate the churches with people looking for answers or wanting to share answers.
The old authoritarian ways will lose much of their hold in the next thirty years and most of the Christian Churches will restructure their authoritarian systems within 150 years. By then the many sects will be replaced with a general concept of brotherhood and spiritual living, and such participants will see themselves members of the invisible church of God. This invisible church will eventually replace the visible. The main organization standing will be loosely knit blocks of individuals for learning and service. There will always be holdouts attempting to preserve the past whose time has come to disintegrate, but the majority of people who see themselves as spiritual will see themselves as under the authority of the Soul and not belong to any organization where a man or woman can override the authority of Spirit within one's own self where lies the Kingdom of God.
-- End Of Chapter 37 --
Gathering Of Lights (Chapter Index)
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved