The Old Testament is DONE!

Hello everyone,

I would like to thank you for your constant support by reading “Zach’s Scripture Study”. On January 1, 2012 I started to read the Old Testament, while writing about what I read. This journey took me a total of 1 year and almost 11 months. So very close to 2 YEARS to complete the Old Testament. I was fairly consistent with reading 2 chapters per day, but of course missed a few days here and there.

This journey created “ZachScriptureStudy.com” and has created the start to my scripture commentary with a printed version of 471 pages of commentary and summary of the Old Testament and its 39 books!

 

The journey is NOT OVER! Starting tomorrow; Monday October 21, 2013 I will do the same thing with the New Testament. This time you can expect 1 chapter per day of summary, commentary and scripture links, all with an LDS look on the Bible. Scripture references and commentary on all books of the New Testament can be linked to any part of the LDS Cannon of scriptures. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and as always, comments and questions are encouraged and treated with seriousness.

Thanks again!

– Zach

Ezekiel 37-38

Ezekiel 37-38

Chapter 37: The Bible and the Book of Mormon

Ezekiel is taken in Spirit by the Lord and set in the midst of a valley full of dry bones. Ezekiel is told to prophesy to the dry bones, saying “…O ye dry bones hear the word of the Lord.” (Ezekiel 37:4) As Ezekiel prophesies, the bones are joined together, and covered with flesh. This is a representation of the joining together of Israel. Israel shall be brought from the graves and will have their lands restored in the Last days.

Here is where we learn something, VERY important. The Lord then turns to Ezekiel and tells him; “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick and write upon it, For Judah and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.” (Ezekiel 47:16-17)

Here the Lord is referring to two “sticks”, also known as “books” the one book is for Judah (the Old World- The Bible and the other book is for Joseph or the descendants of the Ancient Americas (the New World – The Book of Mormon)

“We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” (Articles of Faith, 8)

                Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly known as Mormons); DO BELIEVE and USE the Bible.  We believe that just as the Lord told Ezekiel that both sticks would be joined together to become “one” in our hands. We believe that the Book of Mormon helps to understand our Savior Jesus Christ and does not take away from the Bible, nor do we place more emphasis on the Bible… they both build on each other. (See Isaiah 29:4, 11-18)

Chapter 38: Battle of Gog and Magog= the Last Days

The battle of Gog and Magog against Israel shall usher in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Lord will intervene and execute furious judgment against Gog, when he seems about to defeat Israel. All creation will shake at the presence of the Lord. The Lord will be known in the eyes of many nations.

Ezekiel 1-2

Ezekiel 1-2

Chapter 1: Vision of Four Creatures

In the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity, by the river Chebar, Ezekiel has a vision that comes from a whirlwind from the north. In the vision he saw four living creatures with four wings (each touching the wing of another) and four faces (man, lion, ox, eagle), and of the four wheels they appeared to be wheels within wheels. Above them is the firmament, where Ezekiel sees one with the appearance of a man sitting on a throne. The vision comes from a whirlwind from the north.

Parts of this vision are familiar:

  • The creatures with touching wings (verse 11) are similar to the golden cherubim in the inner sanctuary of tabernacle and temple (Exodus 25:18-20; 1 Kings 6:23-28).
  • The creatures are like the seraphim that surround God’s throne in Isaiah’s vision, with outstretched wings and others covering their body (Isaiah 6:2).

Chapter 2: The Sealed Book

God addresses Ezekiel as the son of man. He says the children of Israel have transgressed. Ezekiel is commanded to take the word of the Lord to Israel. God tells Ezekiel “…be not afraid of them…” (Ezekiel 2:6) A scroll is shown to Ezekiel; “…when I looked,behold an hand was sent unto me; and lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” (Ezekiel 2:9-10)

 

This same scroll is supposed to be the book of the Seven Seals that was spoken of in Revelations 5:1. Lamentations, mourning and woe would occur with this book.

Jeremiah 35-36

Jeremiah 35-36

Chapter 35: Blessings for Obedience

The Lord commands Jeremiah to go and test the obedience of the Rechabites by essentially tempting them with wine. However after having wine placed before them they tell Jeremiah and those that are with him; “…We will drink no wine: for… our father commanded us… Ye shall drink no wine…” (Jeremiah 35:6) So even after being tempted they resisted and obeyed the commandment of the Lord. This is something we should learn from… even after temptation and perhaps peer pressure or pressure from the world to do something that goes against God’s commandments… WE CAN HAVE THE STRENGTH TO SAY NO!

The Lord commends and blesses the Rechabites, who obey the Lord by staying sober and not partaking of any wine.  Their obedience is contrasted with Judah and Jerusalem.

Chapter 36: Roll or Book

Word comes to Jeremiah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. Using Baruch as his scribe, Jeremiah writes down his prophecies. Baruch reads them publicly upon a fast day in the temple, where the princes hear him, and decide to tell the king of what they are preaching while at the same time advising both Jeremiah and Baruch to hide. Jehoiakim has the roll thrown into the fire, and orders Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized. The Lord conceals them and then later commands Jeremiah to rewrite the roll, and denounces the burning of the roll.

 

Jeremiah 23-24

Jeremiah 23-24

Chapter 23: False Prophets

Woe to those that have scattered the sheep of the Lord’s pasture. A king shall arise from the branch of David, and he shall be called the King of Righteousness (Jesus Christ). Jeremiah writes; “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man…” (Jeremiah 23:9) The priests and prophets of Judah are wicked, and divine vengeance is hanging over them. The people should not listen to their false promises: they will face destruction if they do.

Jeremiah continues to write about the land being filled with evil and “…swearing…” (Jeremiah 23:10) which goes to show that keeping your words clean is important to God. Jeremiah writes that “…both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness…” (Jeremiah 23:11) The so called prophets of the Lord have “…caused my [God’s] people Israel to err.” (Jeremiah 23:13) But the Lord counsels the people that are hearing the false prophets; “…Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say… unto them… Ye shall have peace; and they say unto you everyone one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” (Jeremiah 23:16-17) The world today is filled with prophets/pastors who say that as long as you profess the name of the Lord you shall be saved. It doesn’t matter what you do! But in reality, it does matter what you do! If you don’t make proper choices, like following all of God’s commandments, your calling of the Lord in your heart is in vain.

Jeremiah tells us that “…in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.” (Jeremiah 23:20). Jeremiah was right! We are in the latter days and we are seeing it happen, perfectly, all around us. I hear you can’t do wrong, and if for some reason you do… confess the name of God in your heart, accept Him as your Savior and you will be freed from sin! Do you realize what kinds of lies are being taught? The people are being misled and because of the false teacher/preacher/pastor/prophet they are causing the Lord’s people to err.

So if there are so many False Prophets, how do we know which ones are TRUE messengers of God? Well this is where we get into a very unique LDS Doctrine. In the past God has called prophets, like Jeremiah for instance, but God knew that they would not believe him, so He gave Jeremiah “fruits” to prove that he was a messenger of God. Jesus speaks of these False Prophets and gives a formula for proving their truthfulness… “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)

Jesus tells us that good prophets (men who are called of God, and given His authority to act and speak in His name) will bring forth good fruits, and bad or FALSE prophets will show forth evil or rotten fruit. It goes on to say “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruity… Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:18,20)

In the LDS church, we have a church that was RESTORED. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the RESTORE church of Jesus Christ. God restored HIS church through the hand of Joseph Smith and continues on this day with a living Prophet and Apostles. No other church on earth has this, the Authority and power of God is back on the earth! How can you know this to be true? God gave Joseph Smith a “Fruit” to prove that he was truly called of God. This fruit is known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the Ancient record of the people of the Americas, which was buried for thousands of years! God told Joseph Smith the location of this ancient buried record and had him translate it from an ancient language. The Book of Mormon is the fruit. If anyone wants to know the truth of these statements they must read the Book of Mormon and ask God themselves to manifest the truthfulness of this message.

Chapter 24: Jews shall be scattered and cursed

A vision after Jeconiah had been taken away captive: good figs and bad figs. The good figs symbolize those the Lord shall preserve in captivity, and the bad figs Zedekiah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem, and those that dwell in Egypt. A scattering of people will occur.

Isaiah 29-30

Isaiah 29-30

Chapter 29: The Book of Mormon

Woe to Ariel (Jerusalem) – its pride shall be humbled. However, the humbled Jerusalem will be protected from its enemies. Jerusalem suffers from spiritual drunkenness and illiteracy. However, the spiritually blind will see, and justice for the wicked be administered.

The coming forth of the Book of Mormon (to cure the spiritually blind) is prophesied:

“And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” (Isaiah 29:4)

The Book of Mormon came out from the ground and came forth as a familiar spirit and as a companion to the Bible, the New World story of the Ancient Americas. What is more interesting is that Isaiah continues to prophesy about the Book of Mormon…

“…the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” (Isaiah 29: 11-12)

Joseph Smith received this book (the Book of Mormon), being unlearned. What’s more, he sent it with Martin Harris to the learned Professor Anthon, who reportedly said precisely “I cannot read it, for it is sealed.”

Ezekiel prophesied of a Stick of Judah (Ezekiel 37:15-17), (a stick is a book or a scroll) these are the Jews and this stick is the Bible. He also prophesied of a Stick of Joseph, these are descendants of Joseph, down through Lehi and his descendants who came to the New World. He and his descendants wrote the Book of Mormon.

Isaiah continues by saying that God will “…proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” (Isaiah 29:14) God will bring forth more of His word, what is more marvelous than that? People long for the Lord to speak and reveal that He still lives, the Book of Mormon proves that Jesus Christ Lives! It is Another Testament of Him! In the last days the word will become confused and many will wonder and stray away from God, the Book of Mormon will help people come back to the path… “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” (Isaiah 29:24)

Chapter 30: Rejection of Prophets

Woe to the rebellious children who look to Egypt to protect them from Assyria.

“…this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not: and to the  prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things…” (Isaiah 20:9-10) The people do not want seers to see, and want prophets to prophesy deceits rather than right things. They want “smooth things” or things that don’t require them to be righteous and follow commandments.

Judah will be broken like a potter’s vessel. Blessed are those who wait for the Lord. He shall respond to his people, who cry to him from Jerusalem. The Lord’s people will throw away their graven images of gold and silver. Nature will bring forth abundance. There is a place in Tophet (the rubbish dump outside Jerusalem) for the Assyrian king. The breath of the Lord shall kindle it.

Remember that “…though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction… This is the way, walk ye in it…” (Isaiah 30:20-21) OR in other words… the Lord gives us affliction… but we need to move forward and walk in His path, and we will be blessed and those afflictions will be for our own growth and learning.

Isaiah 23-24

Isaiah 23-24

Chapter 23: Tyre shall be overthrown

The burden against Tyre. The sailors will agonize when they hear about the destruction of their home port. The pride of Tyre will be dishonored. Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years. God will allow Tyre, symbolized by a prostitute, to continue her gross materialism with all the kingdoms of the world, but her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord.

Chapter 24: Men Shall Change the Scriptures

The land will be emptied and laid waste. The earth will mourn and fade away, because people “…have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 23:5). The simple doctrines and ordinances taught by the Savior were debated and changed to conform to worldly ideas. This would lead to the need for a Restoration of the Gospel.

The Book of Mormon expands on what happened:

“And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away…this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book… And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles… Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen….

 behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb…. And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true…. These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.(1 Nephi 13:26-40)

                In the last days the Book of Mormon will come forth as Another Testament (or evidence) of Jesus Christ.