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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Infallible Authority, Chapter Nineteen

Revelation for All
by J.J. Dewey
(This is the final installment of "Infallible Authority." To read the previous chapter, click here. To start this series at the beginning, click here.)

In pointing out that the Church is out of its proper order and that the Lord could call prophets outside the general authorities of the Church to call it to repentance, several objections are brought up. The main objection is the belief that God will only speak to the Church as a whole through one man - the president. This belief is based on a revelation to Joseph Smith:
 “All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy BY REVELATION and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom THIS POWER and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.” (D&C 132:7)
Does it say anywhere in this scripture that this “one” appointed is the only one that can call the Church to repentance through revelation?

No, it does not.

Then what does it say for sure? It says that there is only “one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred.” Now we must ask what keys and power are referred to here? It is plainly answered by the scripture itself. We are clearly told that “this power” is the power to seal “by the Holy Spirit of Promise.” And what sort of power is this?

Does it have anything to do with receiving revelation on the mysteries of the kingdom?

No.

When this One Anointed receives this power, he then has the privilege of receiving personal consultation from the Holy Ghost as to what associations and covenants can be sealed to be made valid in the celestial world. Since the actual personage representing the Holy Ghost can only be one place at one time (even though his influence is universal), and also for the sake of order, this power is only given to one person at a time.

The scripture furthermore does not indicate who would hold this power after the death of Joseph Smith, but it does say that Joseph holds “this power in the last days” almost as if they would belong to him throughout the dispensation. It is written that there is never but one on the earth at a time who holds this power. It does not say that there always has to be one here. Even though Joseph passed the keys of the kingdom on to the twelve apostles and also the members of the Council of Fifty, and possibly others, there is no indication that these particular keys of sealing were ever passed on. In other words, the scriptures indicate that there were certain keys the Lord reserved for Joseph to hold for the entire dispensation.

The early saints were told, “Rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward, shall not be taken from him until I come.” (D&C 112:15)

Also we read, “Verily I say unto you (Joseph), the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come.” (D&C 90:3)

Even in the hymn book in the song “Praise to the Man” we find the phrase, “Ever and ever the keys he will hold.”

After the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young said, “Let no man presume for a moment that his (Joseph’s) place will be filled by another; for remember he stands in his own place, and always will.” (DHC 7:250)

Since we are told in D&C 132:7 that Joseph holds this power in the last days, it is most probable that the scripture was referring to certain powers peculiar to the keys of the whole dispensation. We do not have enough revelation here for a full explanation, but may see further light in the future. One thing is certain. The Lord does not put all His eggs in one basket and limit the gift of revelation and seership to one man. Brigham Young said that the kingdom could “stand while one member is left alive on the earth.” (DHC 7:250) If this is so, then any one member could potentially have all the keys necessary to build up the kingdom of God.

Another stumbling block is the following scripture: “Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given unto anyone to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.” (D&C 42:11)

The authorities claim that this limits revelation for the Church to the authorities of the Church, but is this what the scripture says? No! It tells us that to preach the gospel for the Church and to build up the Church, one must be called by a recognized authority. This is only good order and common sense. Just as one who is not employed by a company is not recognized by the company, so is the unauthorized servant not recognized as a worker for the Church organization.

But, if one is not employed by a certain company does this mean he is powerless?
No.

What can he do then?
He can do anything he desires of his own initiative that is within the law.
And what is within the law?
Quite a few things. Here are a few:

He can contact members of the company and give any advice he desires.

He can publish any ideas beneficial to any company in any paper or publication be desires.

He can write his own thoughts on how a company is not living up to its founders ideas or its potential.

He can create his own company if he desires.

The only thing he cannot do is to work in the name of a particular company without its permission.

People forget that most of the prophets who wrote the scriptures were not called to preach the gospel for the Church or to build up the Church, but they were called to cry repentance to the Church and to try to set the Church in order; or if it would not be set in order, they often warned the people of destruction. Just as anyone who is not authorized by a company can work outside of that company, even so have many prophets worked outside the authority of the church.

Lehi, Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus were all rejected by the general authorities in their day, and none of them were “regularly ordained by the heads of the church” in their dispensation, and since “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever”, there is no reason why a prophet of their similitude cannot arise in our day. None of the above prophets mentioned tried to build up any church except Jesus.

Thus, we conclude that D&C 42:11 is an accurate scripture, but it in no way forbids the Lord from calling a prophet to cry repentance to the Church. It does not also forbid the Lord from making other arrangements if the Church is cut off. In that case the Lord has said He would seek “another people.”

One of the most powerful scriptures used to support the infallibility of the prophet is, “And this ye shall know assuredly - that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.

“And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily, I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:3-7)

On the surface here it certainly seems as if the president of the Church or his replacement is to be the only one that God will give revelations for the Church to, but have we not shown that the doctrine of infallibility is wrong whether it applies to a person or a position? For instance, we know that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lehi, Jesus, and Paul were certainly not the president of any church; yet they declared many commandments and revelations. If God is an unchanging God in his principles, then how could the above quoted scripture be true?

First we need to study the historical background of this scripture. Just before the revelation was received, there came a woman among the saints named Hubble who claimed to be a prophetess and said that the Lord had revealed that she was to be a teacher in the Church. Apparently, she taught a number of things contrary to the revelations through Joseph Smith. The saints knew that both Mrs. Hubble and Joseph could not be right, so the revelation was given as an explanation. First they were told that “There is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him.” (verses 3-4)

What does this tell us? Simply that as long as Joseph (or possibly his successor) abide in the Lord, then he will be the one appointed to receive revelations. Has anyone ever stopped to consider what the Lord would do if the president did not abide in the Lord? The president of the Church has no promise if he does not abide in the Lord.

We are also told that “none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him.” (The Lord’s Anointed) Mrs. Hubble was not appointed to receive revelations through the Prophet Joseph. As far as we know, she was not even a member of the Church. Who is appointed to receive revelations through the president of the Church then? The scriptures give the answer as before mentioned: “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this Church shall teach the principles of my gospel ... And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good; for behold the comforter knoweth all things... .” (D&C 42:12 & 16-17)

Indirectly, the elders, priests and teachers are appointed through the president of the Church; thus the Lord is consistent when He commands them to prophesy to the Church. Mrs. Hubble, however, received no such appointment.

Thus, we see that anyone in the church who is a “teacher,” “priest” or Elder can prophesy to the church. At the time I wrote the first draft of this book (1978) I was an elder in the church and thus had authority to speak to the church through the Comforter as “seemeth…good.”

If one speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost and is excommunicated, can God then continue to honor his authority?

He can for the rights of the Priesthood are “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” not the powers of the church.

David Whitmer names many elders who received revelation: “I could give you the names of many who gave great prophecies which came to pass. I will name a few: Brothers Ziba Peterson, Hiram Page, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Peter Whitmer, Christian Whitmer, John Whitmer, myself, and many others had the gift of prophesy.” (An Address to ALL Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, p. 32)

Were these individuals out of order for what they did? Verily, no.

The scripture continues, “For if it be taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.”

This is a somewhat deceiving scripture for the Church tends to believe that the president of the Church could not be astray because if he were, he would have to appoint someone else to take his place and since he has not done this, then all must be in order. But again, is this what the scripture says? No, it does not.

Then what does it say? It says that if the gift is “taken from him [evidently because of transgression], he shall not have power.” This scripture surely gives evidence that the gift has been taken from the president of the Church for he certainly does not have the “power” spoken of. It has been over 100 years since this “power” of revelation has been manifest through the president of the Church. Of course, some think there was revelation in 1978 concerning the Priesthood, but there was no revelation written that we know of, only an “Official Declaration” of the First Presidency.

Is it not evident that the gift of revelation has been taken? The only avenue of belief available to those who insist on blindly clinging to their faith is that the president is receiving all kinds of revelations in secret of which the lowly members are not aware.

We are further told that once this gift has been taken, that the only power the anointed one will have is to I “appoint another in his stead.” At this point, this rejected prophet would have only one power from God and that is to “appoint another”. But does the scripture say that this other one has to be appointed through him? What would happen if a prophet was rejected and he lost the spirit of revelation and he decided that he did not want to appoint another to take his place? Can you imagine the humility it would take to confess before the whole Church that God had rejected you and that you were to appoint another to take your place? Most men, once they are rejected of God, would not have this humility, but would try to keep their position for the glory of the world.

If this happened, would God’s hands be tied, or would He take the man’s free agency away and force him to appoint another? No! God also has power to appoint another as He did with Brigham Young. Joseph Smith had several persons in mind to appoint to succeed him and several claims were made to ordinations and letters to that effect received, but when the chips were down, God showed His approval of Brigham Young by giving him the miraculous appearance of Joseph Smith before the Saints. Brigham Young was not selected by Joseph Smith, but by God; but on the other hand, he was indirectly appointed to this gift because he was an elder in the church.

Concerning this one who is appointed, the Lord said: “He that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you, before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:7)

This scripture gives us three things to watch for in the one appointed to receive revelations for the church:

(1) He will come in at the gate. What does that mean? Concerning the “gate”, Nephi says: “The Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there... for he cannot be deceived.” (2 Nephi 9:41) Since the Keeper of the gate is the Christ and He employs “no servant”, then it is obvious that the president of the Church cannot be the gate. Christ, who is the Keeper of the gate, who alone cannot be deceived, decides to whom to give revelations.

(2) He will be “ordained as I have told you.” Indeed, I have been ordained as the LDS scriptures prescribe and only the keeper of the gate can undo this ordination. Millions of people in the Church fulfill this requirement.

(3) He will “teach those revelations which you [Joseph Smith] have received.” This is the third grand key to finding the one anointed. We must ask, Does this one anointed teach the revelations of Joseph Smith as well as the other scriptures, or does he ignore them and teach contrary to them – doctrines of men, not confirmed by the Holy Spirit?

Those who support the doctrine of the infallibility of the position of the president of the Church usually cease quoting at verse seven, yet an important commandment and warning is given immediately after:
“And now behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together, ye instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my Church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments ... . That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.” (D&C 43:8 & 10)
What would be taken if the church does not act correctly “upon the points of my law and commandments?” The kingdom, the authority, the gifts of the spirit, the key of knowledge- all would be gone. If this was the case, then one would not even be needed to act in the stead of the president of the Church for all would be lost and the Lord would have to seek another people as He has said. In that case all the scriptures concerning authority in the Church would be as void with us as it is with the Catholic Church.

A final evidence used to put down those who do not support the infallibility of the prophet are these words of Joseph Smith. He said, “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is on the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” (DHC 3:385)

It may surprise some of you to know that I accept that statement as being true, for we are indeed told that Satan is “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10), and anyone who follows an accusing path is indeed in danger of apostasy. The first sign of the apostate given here is that he condemns others. Let me thus set the record straight. I have no desire to condemn anyone and declare myself righteous. On the other hand, there are many active Latter-Day Saints who condemn those who have been excommunicated without reason and thus they are the ones who have the spirit of apostasy.

The second clue in finding the apostate will be that he will find fault with the Church. Many will say that I am finding fault with the Church and thus we are out of the way; but if this is the case, how do we explain Abinadi, Jeremiah, Lehi, John the Baptist, Jesus and others who found fault with the churches in their day? Were they apostatizing? No, of course not. Neither were they finding fault. The word of God which was written, and also the revelations from God to them was what found the fault. In other words, it was not man that found the fault; it was the word of God.

The true saint is not an accuser by nature, but he wants to follow the revelations of God; and if something goes against those revelations, then he must eventually speak out when moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Until he is moved upon by the Holy Spirit, he will generally keep the knowledge of the error to himself.

On the other hand, the apostate finds fault with the Church, government, friends, businesses, etc not because he is moved upon by the Holy Spirit, or has studied the scriptures, but merely because they are not doing what he personally wants according to his emotional desires. He then begins to accuse his brethren and the main object of his accusations will be those who possess the greatest light.

Before Curtis and I were excommunicated, we did not find fault with the Church. Even though the scriptures did, we did not even promote this idea. We each had over a half dozen jobs and were receiving no complaints from anyone. On the other hand, many steadfast members of the Church are constantly finding unwarranted fault with their leaders and Church organization; yet when it comes time for the temple recommend, they say they support the brethren. These brethren who are the true accusers are the first ones to defame the character of the one who truly arises and speaks or writes by the Spirit of God. They will be the first to call such a man a fault-finder.

The third clue to apostasy is that he will think that he himself is righteous. Interestingly Joseph Smith confessed to many of his follies and the Lord chews him out in numerous revelations. He once told a group of Saints that he was not a righteous man. Have you heard any of the present authorities say that they were not righteous? Have you heard any of them confess their sins?

On the other hand, the Church encourages the idea that only the most righteous ever become general authorities. I have certainly never heard a talk to refute this attitude.

Isaiah discussed the fate of the true apostate that Joseph Smith had in mind: “The scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.” (Isa. 29:20-21)

If I, or anyone else “reproveth in the gate,” then they that rise up to condemn and lay a snare are the true accusers or apostates, for he that reproveth in the gate is he that reproves by the power of the Holy One of Israel. A reprover has an entirely different attitude than an “accuser of the brethren.”

No matter how many excuses we make, it does not deny the fact that almost every prophet God has called in the past was not recognized by the authorities of the day. Why would the case be any different today? The Lord’s words to the early saints apply even more so toward us: “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received - which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.” (D&C 84:54- 56)

Think for a moment - could this scripture yet apply to the Church today, but more so? You haven’t heard of a revelation lately stating the Lord’s opinion of the Church, have you? If you want the word of the Lord on the subject, you’ll have to get it by personal revelation, for you will not receive it through the present heads of the Church.

In almost every age authorities have tried to garner power and special privileges to themselves to the exclusion of the common man so such a man would have to depend upon them for light, giving the authority a greater feeling of importance. However, the more the authorities claim the gifts for themselves, the less of the gifts we see manifest, and we see that God honors the common man more than the authority. This type of blundering was the basis of the foundation of the great and abominable church, which thing we need to be very wary of today, for the scriptures teach that God wants us all to be prophets, seers and revelators.

It is the Lord’s plan that “every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world.” (D&C 1:20) It is the authorities’ plan that only they can do so; yet in denying others, themselves they shut the gate, for in the New Testament church, there were numerous prophets who were not members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We are told, “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus (not one of the apostles), and signified by the spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world.” (Acts 11:27-28) Today, the church would consider it out of order for anyone outside of the First Presidency to make such a prophecy.

Also we find, “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; such as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen (Acts 13:1)
These men were all called prophets, but three of them were not apostles. Where are the corresponding prophets in the Church today? Verily, they are out there unrecognized.

Joseph Smith said, “We may look for frequent revelations ... in the Church of Christ,” and then added that, “When the head is sick, the whole body is faint.” (DHC 2:146) Does this mean that if we do not see frequent revelations, then the head is sick? That certainly seems to be the implied meaning. Thus the whole body is sick and there is a famine of spiritual gifts throughout the Church.

Why can’t we be like the early Nephites - “And there were many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiff-necked.” (Jarom, verse 4)

Why cannot we follow the admonition of Peter: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” (I Peter 4:11) The scriptures tell us that the “oracles for the whole church” are the First Presidency. (D&C 124:126; also see 90:4-5) Therefore Peter, in telling us to speak as the oracles, commands us to speak with the same authority as the First Presidency. Many people have been excommunicated for trying to follow the commandment of Peter.

When Lehi was yet in the land of Jerusalem, he explained where he received his authority to prophesy: “And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.” (I Nephi 11:22)

When Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, he quoted him some interesting verses from Joel and told him the fulfillment was not yet, but soon to be. Moroni quoted: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Also upon the servants and handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29)

Many people say that you have to receive the laying on of hands to be a prophet, but here we see that even daughters and handmaids will prophecy, and where is the ordinance to ordain them? Where are the lady prophets in the Church today? They were even around in the New Testament times. The lady Anna was such a woman. (See Luke 2: 36-38) Lady prophets are mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, but if one were to appear today to fulfill the prophecy of Joel, she would be cut off.

That this is in perfect order is illustrated by Alma: “And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times which confound the wise and the learned.” (Alma 32:23)

Joseph Smith added that “many of which (revelations and mysteries) are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, upon the weak, obscure and despised ones of the earth.” (DHC 3:296)
The Lord commanded to the “elders, priests and teachers of this church ... ye shall lift up your voices by the comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good.” (D&C 42:12 & 16)

It is interesting that this commandment for the teachers to prophesy comes right after D&C 42:11 which scripture is used to suppress prophesy in the Church. Think of what the reaction would be today if a mere obscure teacher rose up and prophesied as he is commanded to do in the scripture!

Speaking of those small and great who are faithful, the Lord promises:
 “And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even things of many generations. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. For by my Spirit I will enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will - yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” (D&C 76:7-10)
Furthermore, we are told that it is not only the privilege of every man to be a prophet, but also to be a seer. Brigham Young wrote the following on December 27, 1841: “I met with the twelve at Brother Joseph’s. He conversed with us in a familiar manner on a variety of subjects, and explained to us the Urim and Thummim which he found with the plates, called in the Book of Mormon the Interpreters. He said that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone, and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness, and most of those who do find one make an evil use of it, he showed us his seer stone.” (Mill. Star 26:118)

Behold, the gifts of the spirit are not controlled nor should they be suppressed by mortal men, for Nephi tells us, “The way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived (as an authority can), for the Lord God is his name. And whoso knocketh to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches - yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, He will not open unto them.” (2 Nephi 9:41-42)

We are clearly told that God employs “no servant” (authority) at the gate and the Holy one of Israel alone decides who to give His revelations to. He gives them to those who ask, considering themselves fools before God. Yet our authorities today consist of men who are fairly rich, and learned, and wise in the eyes of the world. Such persons must humble themselves greatly to receive revelation from the keeper of the gate for He cannot be deceived.

Yea, the time is verily coming when the prophecy of Jeremiah will be fulfilled: “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 neighbor, 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.” (Jer. 31:33-34)

Brigham Young had this in mind when he said, “Is not the time to come when I shall not say to my neighbor, know the Lord, for he will know him as well as I (the President of the Church) do.” (J. of D. 3:89)

Once people reach a certain state of spiritual progression, they do not need to be commanded in all things for the “law” is in “their inward parts.” Eventually all humanity will be full of the Holy Ghost and there will be no more priestcraft.

Indeed, the Lord does not want us to lean on the arm of flesh, for any man is capable of error. Yet in spite of all this evidence, why, O why do people trust the fate of their immortal souls, as well as their families, to the man who leads us? Why do they not question and ask God for revelation as to the leaders standing before God? The fact that a man appears righteous before men does not qualify him to be unquestionably followed.

If Balaam, an authorized prophet of the Lord, could be so far amiss that the Lord had to rebuke him through an ass (See Numbers 22), then why do members today rage at the idea that their prophet may be rebuked through a humble man or woman?

The Lord is the highest authority, and He can command His servants as it pleases Him for He is the Master of the vineyard; and who is even the president of the Church to question His doings? If an ass can speak the word of the Lord to an authorized prophet, then why not me, you, or any other person God wishes to call?

Remember Moroni 10:4-5.
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission.


For those interested in more of the works of J.J. Dewey, he has compiled some of his mission experiences here, and there is an easy index to most of his other works here.  You can get a free CD containing his book, The Immortal, in both pdf and mp3 formats by going to to www.freeread.com. Or you can read it online right now here.

If you are interested in the key doctrine of The Literal Gathering of Israel, as were the early latter-day Saints, you'll want to follow this link.





Infallible Authority, Chapter Nineteen

Revelation for All
by J.J. Dewey
(This is the final installment of "Infallible Authority." To read the previous chapter, click here. To start this series at the beginning, click here.)

In pointing out that the Church is out of its proper order and that the Lord could call prophets outside the general authorities of the Church to call it to repentance, several objections are brought up. The main objection is the belief that God will only speak to the Church as a whole through one man - the president. This belief is based on a revelation to Joseph Smith:
 “All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy BY REVELATION and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom THIS POWER and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.” (D&C 132:7)
Does it say anywhere in this scripture that this “one” appointed is the only one that can call the Church to repentance through revelation?

No, it does not.

Then what does it say for sure? It says that there is only “one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this Priesthood are conferred.” Now we must ask what keys and power are referred to here? It is plainly answered by the scripture itself. We are clearly told that “this power” is the power to seal “by the Holy Spirit of Promise.” And what sort of power is this?

Does it have anything to do with receiving revelation on the mysteries of the kingdom?

No.

When this One Anointed receives this power, he then has the privilege of receiving personal consultation from the Holy Ghost as to what associations and covenants can be sealed to be made valid in the celestial world. Since the actual personage representing the Holy Ghost can only be one place at one time (even though his influence is universal), and also for the sake of order, this power is only given to one person at a time.

The scripture furthermore does not indicate who would hold this power after the death of Joseph Smith, but it does say that Joseph holds “this power in the last days” almost as if they would belong to him throughout the dispensation. It is written that there is never but one on the earth at a time who holds this power. It does not say that there always has to be one here. Even though Joseph passed the keys of the kingdom on to the twelve apostles and also the members of the Council of Fifty, and possibly others, there is no indication that these particular keys of sealing were ever passed on. In other words, the scriptures indicate that there were certain keys the Lord reserved for Joseph to hold for the entire dispensation.

The early saints were told, “Rebel not against my servant Joseph; for verily I say unto you, I am with him, and my hand shall be over him; and the keys which I have given unto him, and also to youward, shall not be taken from him until I come.” (D&C 112:15)

Also we read, “Verily I say unto you (Joseph), the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come.” (D&C 90:3)

Even in the hymn book in the song “Praise to the Man” we find the phrase, “Ever and ever the keys he will hold.”

After the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young said, “Let no man presume for a moment that his (Joseph’s) place will be filled by another; for remember he stands in his own place, and always will.” (DHC 7:250)

Since we are told in D&C 132:7 that Joseph holds this power in the last days, it is most probable that the scripture was referring to certain powers peculiar to the keys of the whole dispensation. We do not have enough revelation here for a full explanation, but may see further light in the future. One thing is certain. The Lord does not put all His eggs in one basket and limit the gift of revelation and seership to one man. Brigham Young said that the kingdom could “stand while one member is left alive on the earth.” (DHC 7:250) If this is so, then any one member could potentially have all the keys necessary to build up the kingdom of God.

Another stumbling block is the following scripture: “Again I say unto you, that it shall not be given unto anyone to go forth to preach my gospel, or to build up my church, except he be ordained by some one who has authority, and it is known to the church that he has authority and has been regularly ordained by the heads of the church.” (D&C 42:11)

The authorities claim that this limits revelation for the Church to the authorities of the Church, but is this what the scripture says? No! It tells us that to preach the gospel for the Church and to build up the Church, one must be called by a recognized authority. This is only good order and common sense. Just as one who is not employed by a company is not recognized by the company, so is the unauthorized servant not recognized as a worker for the Church organization.

But, if one is not employed by a certain company does this mean he is powerless?
No.

What can he do then?
He can do anything he desires of his own initiative that is within the law.
And what is within the law?
Quite a few things. Here are a few:

He can contact members of the company and give any advice he desires.

He can publish any ideas beneficial to any company in any paper or publication be desires.

He can write his own thoughts on how a company is not living up to its founders ideas or its potential.

He can create his own company if he desires.

The only thing he cannot do is to work in the name of a particular company without its permission.

People forget that most of the prophets who wrote the scriptures were not called to preach the gospel for the Church or to build up the Church, but they were called to cry repentance to the Church and to try to set the Church in order; or if it would not be set in order, they often warned the people of destruction. Just as anyone who is not authorized by a company can work outside of that company, even so have many prophets worked outside the authority of the church.

Lehi, Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah, John the Baptist, Jesus were all rejected by the general authorities in their day, and none of them were “regularly ordained by the heads of the church” in their dispensation, and since “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever”, there is no reason why a prophet of their similitude cannot arise in our day. None of the above prophets mentioned tried to build up any church except Jesus.

Thus, we conclude that D&C 42:11 is an accurate scripture, but it in no way forbids the Lord from calling a prophet to cry repentance to the Church. It does not also forbid the Lord from making other arrangements if the Church is cut off. In that case the Lord has said He would seek “another people.”

One of the most powerful scriptures used to support the infallibility of the prophet is, “And this ye shall know assuredly - that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations until he be taken, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him; for if it be taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.

“And this shall be a law unto you, that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments; and this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. For verily, I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:3-7)

On the surface here it certainly seems as if the president of the Church or his replacement is to be the only one that God will give revelations for the Church to, but have we not shown that the doctrine of infallibility is wrong whether it applies to a person or a position? For instance, we know that Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lehi, Jesus, and Paul were certainly not the president of any church; yet they declared many commandments and revelations. If God is an unchanging God in his principles, then how could the above quoted scripture be true?

First we need to study the historical background of this scripture. Just before the revelation was received, there came a woman among the saints named Hubble who claimed to be a prophetess and said that the Lord had revealed that she was to be a teacher in the Church. Apparently, she taught a number of things contrary to the revelations through Joseph Smith. The saints knew that both Mrs. Hubble and Joseph could not be right, so the revelation was given as an explanation. First they were told that “There is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations, if he abide in me. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him.” (verses 3-4)

What does this tell us? Simply that as long as Joseph (or possibly his successor) abide in the Lord, then he will be the one appointed to receive revelations. Has anyone ever stopped to consider what the Lord would do if the president did not abide in the Lord? The president of the Church has no promise if he does not abide in the Lord.

We are also told that “none else shall be appointed unto this gift except it be through him.” (The Lord’s Anointed) Mrs. Hubble was not appointed to receive revelations through the Prophet Joseph. As far as we know, she was not even a member of the Church. Who is appointed to receive revelations through the president of the Church then? The scriptures give the answer as before mentioned: “And again, the elders, priests and teachers of this Church shall teach the principles of my gospel ... And as ye shall lift up your voices by the Comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good; for behold the comforter knoweth all things... .” (D&C 42:12 & 16-17)

Indirectly, the elders, priests and teachers are appointed through the president of the Church; thus the Lord is consistent when He commands them to prophesy to the Church. Mrs. Hubble, however, received no such appointment.

Thus, we see that anyone in the church who is a “teacher,” “priest” or Elder can prophesy to the church. At the time I wrote the first draft of this book (1978) I was an elder in the church and thus had authority to speak to the church through the Comforter as “seemeth…good.”

If one speaks by the power of the Holy Ghost and is excommunicated, can God then continue to honor his authority?

He can for the rights of the Priesthood are “inseparably connected with the powers of heaven” not the powers of the church.

David Whitmer names many elders who received revelation: “I could give you the names of many who gave great prophecies which came to pass. I will name a few: Brothers Ziba Peterson, Hiram Page, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Peter Whitmer, Christian Whitmer, John Whitmer, myself, and many others had the gift of prophesy.” (An Address to ALL Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, p. 32)

Were these individuals out of order for what they did? Verily, no.

The scripture continues, “For if it be taken from him, he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead.”

This is a somewhat deceiving scripture for the Church tends to believe that the president of the Church could not be astray because if he were, he would have to appoint someone else to take his place and since he has not done this, then all must be in order. But again, is this what the scripture says? No, it does not.

Then what does it say? It says that if the gift is “taken from him [evidently because of transgression], he shall not have power.” This scripture surely gives evidence that the gift has been taken from the president of the Church for he certainly does not have the “power” spoken of. It has been over 100 years since this “power” of revelation has been manifest through the president of the Church. Of course, some think there was revelation in 1978 concerning the Priesthood, but there was no revelation written that we know of, only an “Official Declaration” of the First Presidency.

Is it not evident that the gift of revelation has been taken? The only avenue of belief available to those who insist on blindly clinging to their faith is that the president is receiving all kinds of revelations in secret of which the lowly members are not aware.

We are further told that once this gift has been taken, that the only power the anointed one will have is to I “appoint another in his stead.” At this point, this rejected prophet would have only one power from God and that is to “appoint another”. But does the scripture say that this other one has to be appointed through him? What would happen if a prophet was rejected and he lost the spirit of revelation and he decided that he did not want to appoint another to take his place? Can you imagine the humility it would take to confess before the whole Church that God had rejected you and that you were to appoint another to take your place? Most men, once they are rejected of God, would not have this humility, but would try to keep their position for the glory of the world.

If this happened, would God’s hands be tied, or would He take the man’s free agency away and force him to appoint another? No! God also has power to appoint another as He did with Brigham Young. Joseph Smith had several persons in mind to appoint to succeed him and several claims were made to ordinations and letters to that effect received, but when the chips were down, God showed His approval of Brigham Young by giving him the miraculous appearance of Joseph Smith before the Saints. Brigham Young was not selected by Joseph Smith, but by God; but on the other hand, he was indirectly appointed to this gift because he was an elder in the church.

Concerning this one who is appointed, the Lord said: “He that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you, before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (D&C 43:7)

This scripture gives us three things to watch for in the one appointed to receive revelations for the church:

(1) He will come in at the gate. What does that mean? Concerning the “gate”, Nephi says: “The Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there... for he cannot be deceived.” (2 Nephi 9:41) Since the Keeper of the gate is the Christ and He employs “no servant”, then it is obvious that the president of the Church cannot be the gate. Christ, who is the Keeper of the gate, who alone cannot be deceived, decides to whom to give revelations.

(2) He will be “ordained as I have told you.” Indeed, I have been ordained as the LDS scriptures prescribe and only the keeper of the gate can undo this ordination. Millions of people in the Church fulfill this requirement.

(3) He will “teach those revelations which you [Joseph Smith] have received.” This is the third grand key to finding the one anointed. We must ask, Does this one anointed teach the revelations of Joseph Smith as well as the other scriptures, or does he ignore them and teach contrary to them – doctrines of men, not confirmed by the Holy Spirit?

Those who support the doctrine of the infallibility of the position of the president of the Church usually cease quoting at verse seven, yet an important commandment and warning is given immediately after:
“And now behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together, ye instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my Church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments ... . That inasmuch as ye do this, glory shall be added to the kingdom which ye have received. Inasmuch as ye do it not, it shall be taken, even that which ye have received.” (D&C 43:8 & 10)
What would be taken if the church does not act correctly “upon the points of my law and commandments?” The kingdom, the authority, the gifts of the spirit, the key of knowledge- all would be gone. If this was the case, then one would not even be needed to act in the stead of the president of the Church for all would be lost and the Lord would have to seek another people as He has said. In that case all the scriptures concerning authority in the Church would be as void with us as it is with the Catholic Church.

A final evidence used to put down those who do not support the infallibility of the prophet are these words of Joseph Smith. He said, “That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is on the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” (DHC 3:385)

It may surprise some of you to know that I accept that statement as being true, for we are indeed told that Satan is “the accuser of our brethren” (Rev. 12:10), and anyone who follows an accusing path is indeed in danger of apostasy. The first sign of the apostate given here is that he condemns others. Let me thus set the record straight. I have no desire to condemn anyone and declare myself righteous. On the other hand, there are many active Latter-Day Saints who condemn those who have been excommunicated without reason and thus they are the ones who have the spirit of apostasy.

The second clue in finding the apostate will be that he will find fault with the Church. Many will say that I am finding fault with the Church and thus we are out of the way; but if this is the case, how do we explain Abinadi, Jeremiah, Lehi, John the Baptist, Jesus and others who found fault with the churches in their day? Were they apostatizing? No, of course not. Neither were they finding fault. The word of God which was written, and also the revelations from God to them was what found the fault. In other words, it was not man that found the fault; it was the word of God.

The true saint is not an accuser by nature, but he wants to follow the revelations of God; and if something goes against those revelations, then he must eventually speak out when moved upon by the Holy Spirit. Until he is moved upon by the Holy Spirit, he will generally keep the knowledge of the error to himself.

On the other hand, the apostate finds fault with the Church, government, friends, businesses, etc not because he is moved upon by the Holy Spirit, or has studied the scriptures, but merely because they are not doing what he personally wants according to his emotional desires. He then begins to accuse his brethren and the main object of his accusations will be those who possess the greatest light.

Before Curtis and I were excommunicated, we did not find fault with the Church. Even though the scriptures did, we did not even promote this idea. We each had over a half dozen jobs and were receiving no complaints from anyone. On the other hand, many steadfast members of the Church are constantly finding unwarranted fault with their leaders and Church organization; yet when it comes time for the temple recommend, they say they support the brethren. These brethren who are the true accusers are the first ones to defame the character of the one who truly arises and speaks or writes by the Spirit of God. They will be the first to call such a man a fault-finder.

The third clue to apostasy is that he will think that he himself is righteous. Interestingly Joseph Smith confessed to many of his follies and the Lord chews him out in numerous revelations. He once told a group of Saints that he was not a righteous man. Have you heard any of the present authorities say that they were not righteous? Have you heard any of them confess their sins?

On the other hand, the Church encourages the idea that only the most righteous ever become general authorities. I have certainly never heard a talk to refute this attitude.

Isaiah discussed the fate of the true apostate that Joseph Smith had in mind: “The scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: that make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of naught.” (Isa. 29:20-21)

If I, or anyone else “reproveth in the gate,” then they that rise up to condemn and lay a snare are the true accusers or apostates, for he that reproveth in the gate is he that reproves by the power of the Holy One of Israel. A reprover has an entirely different attitude than an “accuser of the brethren.”

No matter how many excuses we make, it does not deny the fact that almost every prophet God has called in the past was not recognized by the authorities of the day. Why would the case be any different today? The Lord’s words to the early saints apply even more so toward us: “And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received - which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation. And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.” (D&C 84:54- 56)

Think for a moment - could this scripture yet apply to the Church today, but more so? You haven’t heard of a revelation lately stating the Lord’s opinion of the Church, have you? If you want the word of the Lord on the subject, you’ll have to get it by personal revelation, for you will not receive it through the present heads of the Church.

In almost every age authorities have tried to garner power and special privileges to themselves to the exclusion of the common man so such a man would have to depend upon them for light, giving the authority a greater feeling of importance. However, the more the authorities claim the gifts for themselves, the less of the gifts we see manifest, and we see that God honors the common man more than the authority. This type of blundering was the basis of the foundation of the great and abominable church, which thing we need to be very wary of today, for the scriptures teach that God wants us all to be prophets, seers and revelators.

It is the Lord’s plan that “every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world.” (D&C 1:20) It is the authorities’ plan that only they can do so; yet in denying others, themselves they shut the gate, for in the New Testament church, there were numerous prophets who were not members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We are told, “And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them named Agabus (not one of the apostles), and signified by the spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world.” (Acts 11:27-28) Today, the church would consider it out of order for anyone outside of the First Presidency to make such a prophecy.

Also we find, “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; such as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen (Acts 13:1)
These men were all called prophets, but three of them were not apostles. Where are the corresponding prophets in the Church today? Verily, they are out there unrecognized.

Joseph Smith said, “We may look for frequent revelations ... in the Church of Christ,” and then added that, “When the head is sick, the whole body is faint.” (DHC 2:146) Does this mean that if we do not see frequent revelations, then the head is sick? That certainly seems to be the implied meaning. Thus the whole body is sick and there is a famine of spiritual gifts throughout the Church.

Why can’t we be like the early Nephites - “And there were many among us who have many revelations, for they are not all stiff-necked.” (Jarom, verse 4)

Why cannot we follow the admonition of Peter: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.” (I Peter 4:11) The scriptures tell us that the “oracles for the whole church” are the First Presidency. (D&C 124:126; also see 90:4-5) Therefore Peter, in telling us to speak as the oracles, commands us to speak with the same authority as the First Presidency. Many people have been excommunicated for trying to follow the commandment of Peter.

When Lehi was yet in the land of Jerusalem, he explained where he received his authority to prophesy: “And the Holy Ghost giveth authority that I should speak these things, and deny them not.” (I Nephi 11:22)

When Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith, he quoted him some interesting verses from Joel and told him the fulfillment was not yet, but soon to be. Moroni quoted: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. Also upon the servants and handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29)

Many people say that you have to receive the laying on of hands to be a prophet, but here we see that even daughters and handmaids will prophecy, and where is the ordinance to ordain them? Where are the lady prophets in the Church today? They were even around in the New Testament times. The lady Anna was such a woman. (See Luke 2: 36-38) Lady prophets are mentioned numerous times in the Old Testament, but if one were to appear today to fulfill the prophecy of Joel, she would be cut off.

That this is in perfect order is illustrated by Alma: “And now, he imparteth his word by angels unto men, yea, not only men but women also. Now this is not all; little children do have words given unto them many times which confound the wise and the learned.” (Alma 32:23)

Joseph Smith added that “many of which (revelations and mysteries) are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, upon the weak, obscure and despised ones of the earth.” (DHC 3:296)
The Lord commanded to the “elders, priests and teachers of this church ... ye shall lift up your voices by the comforter, ye shall speak and prophesy as seemeth me good.” (D&C 42:12 & 16)

It is interesting that this commandment for the teachers to prophesy comes right after D&C 42:11 which scripture is used to suppress prophesy in the Church. Think of what the reaction would be today if a mere obscure teacher rose up and prophesied as he is commanded to do in the scripture!

Speaking of those small and great who are faithful, the Lord promises:
 “And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom. Yea, even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even things of many generations. And their wisdom shall be great, and their understanding reach to heaven; and before them the wisdom of the wise shall perish, and the understanding of the prudent shall come to naught. For by my Spirit I will enlighten them, and by my power will I make known unto them the secrets of my will - yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man.” (D&C 76:7-10)
Furthermore, we are told that it is not only the privilege of every man to be a prophet, but also to be a seer. Brigham Young wrote the following on December 27, 1841: “I met with the twelve at Brother Joseph’s. He conversed with us in a familiar manner on a variety of subjects, and explained to us the Urim and Thummim which he found with the plates, called in the Book of Mormon the Interpreters. He said that every man who lived on the earth was entitled to a seer stone, and should have one, but they are kept from them in consequence of their wickedness, and most of those who do find one make an evil use of it, he showed us his seer stone.” (Mill. Star 26:118)

Behold, the gifts of the spirit are not controlled nor should they be suppressed by mortal men, for Nephi tells us, “The way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the Keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived (as an authority can), for the Lord God is his name. And whoso knocketh to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches - yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, He will not open unto them.” (2 Nephi 9:41-42)

We are clearly told that God employs “no servant” (authority) at the gate and the Holy one of Israel alone decides who to give His revelations to. He gives them to those who ask, considering themselves fools before God. Yet our authorities today consist of men who are fairly rich, and learned, and wise in the eyes of the world. Such persons must humble themselves greatly to receive revelation from the keeper of the gate for He cannot be deceived.

Yea, the time is verily coming when the prophecy of Jeremiah will be fulfilled: “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 neighbor, 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.” (Jer. 31:33-34)

Brigham Young had this in mind when he said, “Is not the time to come when I shall not say to my neighbor, know the Lord, for he will know him as well as I (the President of the Church) do.” (J. of D. 3:89)

Once people reach a certain state of spiritual progression, they do not need to be commanded in all things for the “law” is in “their inward parts.” Eventually all humanity will be full of the Holy Ghost and there will be no more priestcraft.

Indeed, the Lord does not want us to lean on the arm of flesh, for any man is capable of error. Yet in spite of all this evidence, why, O why do people trust the fate of their immortal souls, as well as their families, to the man who leads us? Why do they not question and ask God for revelation as to the leaders standing before God? The fact that a man appears righteous before men does not qualify him to be unquestionably followed.

If Balaam, an authorized prophet of the Lord, could be so far amiss that the Lord had to rebuke him through an ass (See Numbers 22), then why do members today rage at the idea that their prophet may be rebuked through a humble man or woman?

The Lord is the highest authority, and He can command His servants as it pleases Him for He is the Master of the vineyard; and who is even the president of the Church to question His doings? If an ass can speak the word of the Lord to an authorized prophet, then why not me, you, or any other person God wishes to call?

Remember Moroni 10:4-5.
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission.


For those interested in more of the works of J.J. Dewey, he has compiled some of his mission experiences here, and there is an easy index to most of his other works here.  You can get a free CD containing his book, The Immortal, in both pdf and mp3 formats by going to to www.freeread.com. Or you can read it online right now here.

If you are interested in the key doctrine of The Literal Gathering of Israel, as were the early latter-day Saints, you'll want to follow this link.





Sunday, January 22, 2012

Infallible Authority, Chapter Eighteen

The Drunkards of Ephraim
by J.J. Dewey
(To read the previous chapter, click here. To start this series at the beginning, click here.)

We shall now comment on one of the fascinating chapters in the scriptures, Isaiah 28:
“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” (Isa. 28:1)
Before elaborating on this, we must note that even though Isaiah’s prophesies were given to ancient Israel and had meaning for them, most of them also applied to the far future such as the first and second coming of Christ, the Millennium, and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.

First we must note here that Isaiah is speaking to "the drunkards of Ephraim”. There is no question that the Latter-Day Saints refer to themselves as “Ephraim” and there is no question that the Church teaches that the very next chapter of Isaiah (chapter 29) refers to our day or the coming forth of the Church, and the Book of Mormon. Therefore, it would seem quite logical that Isaiah 28 would also refer to Ephraim of our day.

But wait! It calls Ephraim drunkards and Mormons don’t drink! Therefore, it could not refer to us.

On the contrary, a drunkard in the scriptures does not always refer to one drunk with wine. David explains, “Thou hast showed thy people hard things; thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.” (Psalms 60:3)

Another example: “And I will tread down the people in my anger, and I will make them drunk in my fury....” (Isa. 63:6) “They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of a deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” (Isa. 29:9-10)

Thus we see that the “drunkards of Ephraim” refers to a people who stumble because the little doctrine that the Lord did give them was too much for them to handle and they did stumble as a drunken man.

Concerning the words of Isaiah, Nephi said, “The words of Isaiah are not plain unto you, nevertheless they are plain unto all those that are filled with the spirit of prophecy.” (2 Nephi 25:4)

Where is there an authorized prophet or apostle in the Church that can declare that the words of Isaiah are plain unto him? On the contrary, most of them will admit they do not understand them.

Nephi also says, “In the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety, at the times when they shall come to pass.” (2 Nephi 25:7)

Many of the prophesies referred to here by Nephi are approaching fulfillment and the prophesies of Isaiah are becoming so clear that none will have an excuse to not understand. The same is true of the revelation written by John as Moroni said, “And then shall my revelations which I have caused to be written by my servant John be unfolded in the eyes of the people. Remember, when ye see these things, we shall know that the time is at hand that they shall be made manifest in very deed.” (Ether 4:16)

The time is verily approaching when all these scriptures will be unfolded in the eyes of the people, but not through “authorized channels.”

Getting back to Isaiah 28, we see that the drunkards of Ephraim are called the “crown of pride.” Being the crown of pride is referred to by Jesus as the day “when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations and above all the people of the whole earth.” (3 Nephi 16: 10) In other words, out of all the pride the peoples of the earth have, the Latter-Day Saints are the crown of it all.

“...Whose glorious beauty is a fading flower... .” The glorious beauty of the cities in the valleys established by our pioneers is becoming a fading flower. The rivers and the atmosphere is now becoming polluted and the beauty that was there is fading, not only physically, but spiritually. The inhabitants are no longer bright with the spirit of God making prophesies, healing by the Spirit and seeking the mysteries.

Unless they turn from the arm of flesh to the Spirit within, they shall be counted as among the foolish virgins.

“Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” (Isa. 28:2)

The mighty and strong one ... that rings a bell doesn’t it? We find reference to it in D&C 85:7-8: “And it shall come to pass that I, the Lord God, will send one mighty and strong, holding the scepter of power in his hand, clothed with light for a covering, whose mouth shall utter words, eternal words; while his bowels shall be a fountain of truth to set in order the house of God, and 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; 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.”

I once heard an LDS lecturer declare: “If the authorities knew how many problems this scripture was going to cause them, they would have never let it in the Doctrine and Covenants.” This may be true and the present day authorities would love to rip this section out of the book, but since it would bring criticism from the people, they decided to ignore it instead. Even if it were taken out of the D&C (which may possibly happen in the future), it would still be in Isaiah, and all the Bibles in the world cannot be changed.

The Doctrine and Covenants tells us that the one mighty and strong will set the house of God in order.

How can it be set in order if it is not first out of order?

The authorities say that this scripture has already been fulfilled, but how can this be when we have not yet received our inheritances in Zion? The authorities also say that circumstances did not warrant a complete fulfillment here, but the scripture says a few verses later, “These things I say not of myself; therefore, as the Lord speaketh, He WILL also fulfill. (D&C 85:10)

Not only will this individual 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.” At his presence the power of God will cause much destruction to bring the people to repentance.

He shall “Cast down to the earth with the hand.” What shall be cast down? He shall cast down the crown of pride, or the authorities in the Church.

How will he do this?

There are a number of ways this could happen. Some avant guard LDS students think he will forcibly remove the authorities (by higher power) and install himself and others as the new leaders of the church. Anything is possible, but a more likely scenario is that his works and teachings through the Spirit will be of such high order that many will look up to him and down on the teachings of authorities. This is what happened in the situation of Jesus and some of the prophets. The teachings of the religious leaders were “cast down” because of the light or “ensign” which was lifted up.

And where will they be cast down to? The scripture says “the earth.” What does this mean?
Their original teachings were a revelation from heaven, but because revelation has ceased, the consciousness of the authorities is cast down to the earth, or earthly things – not heavenly things.
“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under foot.” (Isa. 28:3)

The explanation of this is found in a verse previously explained: “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.” (3 Nephi 12:13)

“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.” (Isa. 28:4)

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 firstfruits 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 entrusted 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 firstfruits by using several methods.
(1) Altering their teachings
(2) Destroying or hiding their teachings from the people.
(3) Convincing the masses to ignore their teachings.
(4) Minimizing their work by elevating mediocrity so current caretakers will seem to be as great as the founders.

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.

Isaiah Continues: "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." Isa. 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 traditional teachings which are missing the light of the first fruit. 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.

Isaiah continues: “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.” (verse 7) This is written as clear as word can be and needs no explanation.

“For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” (Verse 8) We talked earlier about problems with the current sacrament, but this scripture has meaning on other levels also.
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 or restored 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 be speak to this people.” (verses 9-11)

There has been much written, especially by the Fundamentalists, about the stammering lips and another tongue. Most believe that it refers to an Indian prophet who will preach to the Latter-Day Saints. Even though there will be Indian prophets, this does not necessarily refer to him. 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.

Then, too, looking at it from a different angle, many of the Lamanites will eventually teach the children of Ephraim who will listen, but many of them will speak English. The scripture mainly 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 what the other tongue is 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." (Verse 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 Hebrews 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."
"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." (Verse 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 by those who wait and the choice will be clear. Let us hope that all people of goodwill choose the highest light they see before their eyes.
"Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem". (Today it is Salt Lake 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." (verses 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 the Spirit 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 of spiritual progress and causes the organization to center on lower desires 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." (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." (Verse 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 of anything new and reject the whole. 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 sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place." (Verse 17)
This refers to two calamities brought by the one Mighty and Strong mentioned in verse 2 - 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." (Verse 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 from God 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." (Verse 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
"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 he 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." (Verse 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." (Verse 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.
"And David came to Baal Perazim, 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. 5:19-21)
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 going 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 God 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...." (Isa. 28:2)

Just as David defeated his enemies in Baalperazim as a flood of mighty waters overflowing a dam, so will God defeat his enemies as a flood of water which breaks down the illusion ands false doctrine which hold back the truth.

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." (Isa. 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:
"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 Nephi 21: 10, 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." (Isa. 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." (Isa. 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.

Isaiah continues, "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." (verses 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, Is all the farmer does is 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." In other words, when he is finished plowing he will then plant the seeds.

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 hundreds of years. We forget that "precept must be added upon precept" 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." (Verse 26) God has instructed us to do more than the plowing, but we have not heard.

Isaiah continues, "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." (Verse 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 hammered into us over and over with a sledge hammer. A light threshing of the simple doctrines is all we need to prepare us for the heavier.

Verse 28 is not a very clear translation and 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 is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Verse 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.
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission.