2 Nephi 17

2 Nephi 17: Ephraim and Sariah Wage War

In the days when Israel and Syria joined in league against Judah in the days of Ahaz. Via Isaiah and in the presence of his son Shear-Jashub (meaning: ‘a remnant shall return’) the Lord tells Ahaz not to fear, for the attack will not succeed, and Israel will no longer be a nation in 65 years’ time.

The Lord will give a sign: “…Behold a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” (2 Nephi 17:14) Immanuel, meaning God with us. Before the child can distinguish good from evil (i.e. within a couple of years), he will be eating curds and honey (i.e. the land will be back to producing plenteous food), and both Israel and Syria will be defeated. However, the Assyrians (whom Judah called upon for help) will inflict heavy calamities upon Judah. Isaiah counsels against a Judah-Assyria alliance to counter the threat from the Israel-Syria one.

2 Nephi 3

2 Nephi 3: Joseph Smith

                Lehi speaks to Joseph, his last born in the wilderness and proclaims unto him that he [Lehi] was a descendent of Joseph (who was sold into Egypt). Lehi also explains that Joseph of Egypt saw the day when the Lord would bring his people into a land of promise (see: Genesis 50:24-38).

“…Joseph truly saw our day. And he obtained a promise of the Lord, that out of the fruit of his loins the Lord God would raise up a righteous branch unto the house of Israel; not the Messiah, but a branch which was to be broken off, nevertheless, to be remembered in the covenants of the Lord that the Messiah should be made manifest unto them in the latter days, in the spirit of power, unto the bringing of them out of darkness unto light—yea, out of hidden darkness and out of captivity unto freedom.” (2 Nephi 3:7) Lehi is speaking of Joseph Smith, who would be the instrument in the hands of the Lord to RESTORE His Church!

Lehi explains that the Lord will command the fruit of the loins of Judah and Joseph to write what we know today as the Bible and the Book of Mormon; “Wherefore, the fruit of thy loins shall write; and the fruit of the loins of Judah shall write; and that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together, unto the confounding of false doctrines and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord.” (2 Nephi 3:12)

The Book of Mormon would come forth among the world and shall become a companion to the Bible to help confound false doctrines and contentions amongst the many churches and religions of the world. Joseph [the son of Lehi] explains that the seer who the Lord would raise up would be named after him [Joseph] and that the Seer would be named after his father. Joseph Smith, Jr. was named after his father; Joseph Smith Senior. The Prophecy of Joseph [Lehi’s Son] came to be; “…his name shall be called after me; and it shall be after the name of his father. And he shall be like unto me…” (2 Nephi 3:15)

1 Nephi 1: Lehi Warns the People

1 Nephi 1: Lehi Warns the People

From the Beginning of the Book of 1 Nephi:

“An account of Lehi and his wife Sariah, and his four sons, being called, (beginning at the eldest) Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. The Lord warns Lehi to depart out of the land of Jerusalem, because he prophesieth unto the people concerning their iniquity and they seek to destroy his life. He taketh three days’ journey into the wilderness with his family. Nephi taketh his brethren and returneth to the land of Jerusalem after the record of the Jews. The account of their sufferings. They take the daughters of Ishmael to wife. They take their families and depart into the wilderness. Their sufferings and afflictions in the wilderness. The course of their travels. They come to the large waters. Nephi’s brethren rebel against him. He confoundeth them, and buildeth a ship. They call the name of the place Bountiful. They cross the large waters into the promised land, and so forth. This is according to the account of Nephi; or in other words, I, Nephi, wrote this record.” (1 Nephi: Introduction)

Nephi makes a record of his people; “…in the language of my father [Lehi], which consists of the learning of the Jews and the language of the Egyptians… I make it according to my knowledge.” (1 Nephi 1:2-3) He makes this record during the first year of the reign of King Zedekiah, who was ruler of Judah. Nephi opens this book with his own introduction;

“I, NEPHI, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been favored of the Lord in all my days; yea having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days.” (1 Nephi 1:1)

                Nephi proceeds to tell how his father, Lehi, prayed to God on behalf of his brethren in Jerusalem where he is overcome with what the Lord tells him.

“…being thus overcome with the Spirit, he was carried away in a vision, even that he saw the heavens open, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels in the attitude of singing and praising their God… it came to pass that he saw One descending out of the midst of heaven… he also saw twelve others following him… And they came down and went forth upon the face of the earth; and the first came and stood before my father, and gave unto him a book, and bade him that he should read.” (1 Nephi 1:8-11)

Lehi read the book and was filled with the Spirit of the Lord, and because of this he was saddened because of the abominations he had seen in Jerusalem, exclaiming; “…Wo, wo, unto Jerusalem, for I have seen thine abominations!” (1 Nephi 1:13)

Nephi explains that his father read many things concerning Jerusalem, mainly that it should be destroyed for their wickedness. Nephi made it clear that although Lehi wrote many things, he would not make a full record of those things in his writings. Nephi did say that his father “…had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thypower, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who come unto thee that they shall perish!” (1 Nephi 1:14)

Nephi explains that his purpose for writing is to abridge the records of his father and then to continue to write his own record in his own time; “…I shall make an account of my proceedings in my days. Behold, I make an abridgment of the record of my father, uponplates which I have made with mine own hands; wherefore, after I have abridged the record of my father then will I make an account of mine own life.” (1 Nephi 1:17)

lehi-prophesy-jerusalem-mormon1

                Nephi explains that Lehi (his father) preached these words to the Jews, but they rejected him because of the things he testified of.

Zechariah 9-10

Zechariah 9-10

Chapter 9: The Messiah shall come

Zechariah speaks Messianically and tells us that a lowly King [Jesus Chrisr] riding on a donkey shall come into Jerusalem. Jesus shall speak peace unto the nations. His dominion shall be from sea to sea. “…the blood of thy covenant [The Atonement] I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” (Zechariah 9:11).

Here we learn a little about the Spirit Prison, which is a place after death and before judgment where those who have not had the proper light of Christ will be given the opportunity to accept His gospel before the judgment day.

Judah and Ephraim are the bow and arrow to be drawn against Greece. They will be used as instruments of the Lord.

Chapter 10: Judah and Joseph

Judah and Joseph shall be sown among the people in far countries. The Lord will grant showers of rain to help with the crops. The people of God will conquer, while idolaters will be led astray like sheep. The houses of both Judah and Jerusalem will be restored along with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Chapter 1-3 + Summary of Zephaniah

Chapter 1-3 + Summary of Zephaniah

Summary of Zephaniah:

The book of Zephaniah is Narrative History and Prophetic source of wisdom. Zephaniah wrote it shortly before the fall of Judah in the Southern Kingdom. The purpose of this book was to show the complacent Southern Kingdoms that they were wicked, God used a prophet (Zephaniah) to be His mouth piece and raise a flag of warning for them to change their ways.

Zephaniah speaks of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and the Restoration of the Gospel. It is interesting that we read in Ephesians 4:11-15; “And he [the Lord] game come, apostles; and come, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ [His church]; Till we all come in the nity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-15)

Zephaniah and Paul both spoke of a time when people would be “unified with one language”, religions around the world would cease to exist, because the Lord would be here and those who wanted to follow the Lord will follow HIS Church and not the church of man, where they might be deceived.

Chapter 1: The Second Coming

The word of the Lord came unto Zephaniah, who was the great great grandson of Hezekiah. He prophesied in the days of Josiah.

Zephaniah explains that the Lord will utterly consume everything from the face of the land and promised judgment to idolaters in the last days. Zephaniah also says that right before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ that “…they shall also build houses, but not inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, but not drink the wine thereof.” (Zephaniah 1:13) When I read this, only one thing came to mind; the housing market bubble. Think about it, how many homes in the U.S.A are left vacant, while we continue to build new subdivisions? Farms, homes they are all desolate in today’s economy. The day of the Lord will be characterized by darkness, gloominess, cloud, trumpet and alarm.

Chapter 2: Seek Righteousness

The Lord calls for the people to gather themselves, seek righteousness and humility while there is still time. Essentially we shouldn’t procrastinate until the end, because then it will be too late. God promises to destroy the cities of the Philistines and give their land as pasture for the remnant of the house of Judah. Moab is described to be like Sodom, and Ammon is described as a likeness of the people of Gomorrah. The Lord will reduce all the gods of the earth to nothing; people from all shores shall worship Him. Ethiopians will be slain by the sword, and the Assyrians will be destroyed because of their great wickedness and pride.

Chapter 3: Nations shall gather to battle

At the Second Coming, all nations shall assemble to battle. Jerusalem is described as being rebellious and polluted. After having poured his indignation onto the nations, the Lord will give the world a common language “…with one consent.” (Zephaniah 3:9), this is when people will understand that His gospel has been restored and religions will no longer exist.

Chapter 1-3 + Summary of Habakkuk

Chapter 1-3 + Summary of Habakkuk

Summary of Habakkuk:

The book of Habakkuk is Narrative History, written by the Prophet Habakkuk. Habakkuk wrote it just before the fall of Judah in the Southern Kingdom. We primarily learn about Habakkuk and the Babylonians. As is true of the many other prophets, Habakkuk is a short book. The information in it was vital since it carried God’s message to His people. Its purpose was that Habakkuk was announcing a familiar message of judgment.

•    In chapters 1-2: Habakkuk poses some difficult questions to God. He asks why evil was prevailing. God answered Habakkuk, “Behold ye among the heathen and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in our days, which ye will not believe though it be told to you.” (Habakkuk 1:5)

We also later read in Acts; “Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in our days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it to you.” (Acts 13:40-41)

                The Book of Habakkuk, while depicting the destruction of Judah and other people, it is a insight into the latter days and the destruction that will fall upon the people of the earth, prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Notice how it says, that God will ‘…work a work in our days, which ye will not believe though it be told to you…’ The Restoration of the Gospel, the restoring of God’s church on Earth has happened! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the same church that Jesus Christ established with Prophets and Apostles, the last time he walked the earth.

The Lord answers Habakkuk in Chapter 2 and tells him that those who have faith in the Lord will be saved from the evils of the Last Days.

•   In chapter 3: Habakkuk gives God the glory and praise for faithfully responding to his questions, “O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid…” (3:2).

Chapter 1: The Restoration

Habakkuk asks God why he seems to delay judgment against the wicked. God answers Habakkuk, “Behold ye among the heathen and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in our days, which ye will not believe though it be told to you.” (Habakkuk 1:5)  The Babylonians overwhelm the land of Judah, they will wrongly give the credit to their false gods. Habakkuk wonders why God would use a nation more wicked than Judah to bring judgment on Judah. Habakkuk will stand his watch and wait for God’s reply.

Chapter 2: The Earth will be filled with knowledge

The Lord tells Habakkuk to write the reply down. “…the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4) Babylon has an insatiable desire for conquest, but they shall be plundered by the remnant of those they plundered. Woe to the greedy, the violent, the drunk and the idolatrous. The Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.

Chapter 3: Habakkuk trembles before God

Habakkuk pleads for revival. There is a song of praise (punctuated by ‘Selah’, as in the Psalms) glorifying God’s power over the earth and the nations. Habakkuk is afraid, yet still rejoices in the Lord. Habakkuk explains that the Lord God is his strength. Habakkuk also fears the Lord and gives God the glory and praise for faithfully responding to his questions, “O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid…” (3:2).

 

 

Micah 1-2

Micah 1-2

Chapter 1: Micah prophesies of the downfall of Samaria and Jerusalem

The word of the Lord comes to Micah during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah of Judah. The Lord tells Micah that He will tread down the high places, the mountains will melt under Him, and the valleys will split like wax before the fire! Samaria will be left desolate in judgment, because of its idolatry. Because of this great destruction, this will cause Micah to wail and howls like an animal. The surrounding nations will know of Israel’s shame.

 

Chapter 2: The destruction of Israel

“Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil… they covet fields, and take them by violence…” (Micah 2:1-2) The Lord will take away the heritage of people who work iniquity. God’s people reject the word of His prophets. False prophets will rise and will prophesy days of wine and drink. Israel will be restored!

Amos 1-2

Amos 1-2

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

In these chapters we find a rhetorical formula that introduces judgment upon each people in this manner; “…For three transgressions of ____, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof…” The blank is replaced with Syria, Edom, Israel, Ammon, etc. Clearly we can see that the Lord is angered by the transgressions. I personally believe that this expression did not literally mean that the transgressions occurred 3 or 4 times… but that they were occurring many times and that was enough to cause a punishment.

Chapter 1: The Lord Judges Syria, Tyre and Edom

Amos shows the Lord’s judgments upon Syria, the Philistines, Tyre, Edom and Ammon. We learn a little about Amos, who is a sheepbreeder of Tekoa; a simple farmer with no prophetic or theological training. Amos lived in the days of Uzziah of Judah and Jeroboam of Israel.

The Lord roars from Zion; the pastures of the shepherds mourn, and top of Carmel (in Israel) withers. The people of Damascus shall go captive to Kir in Assyria. Judgment against Gaza and Tyre, because they delivered God’s people to the Edomites. Edom will be punished because of its pitiless anger. Ammon will be punished, because it killed pregnant women in Gilead. The king of the Ammonites will be taken captive.

Chapter 2: The Lord will Judge Moab, Judah and Israel

The Lord will pour out judgments upon Moab; Moab will be destroyed with fire, and its princes slain, because it burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime. Judah will be sent fire, because their lies have led them astray. Israel will be punished for its sins against the righteous, poor and humble. The Lord vanquished the Amorites so the Israelites could occupy their Canaanite land, and the Israelites responded by giving wine to Nazirites and forbidding people from prophesying. The most courageous of men shall flee naked in the Day of Judgment.

Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel

Joel 1-3 + Summary of Joel

Summary of Joel:

Joel is a Narrative and Prophetic source of wisdom. The prophet Joel wrote the book around 841-835 B.C. sometime before the fall and exiles of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms. The book discusses Joel himself, and the people of Judah. Its purpose was to call the Southern Kingdom to repentance or prepare for the coming judgment and Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

•    In chapter 1: Joel compares the destruction and judgment of God like a plague of locusts. This is the warning and penalty for disobedience and evilness.

•    In chapters 2-3: God calls His people to repent and return, if not, they will all be judged. The promise and deliverance of the Lord is given. He will restore the land and his people.

Chapter 1: Gather the House of the Lord

The word of the Lord came to Joel, who was the son of Pethuel. A plague of locusts come upon Judah:

“That which the palmerworm [the larva of a tineid moth] hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm [the striped, green caterpillar of any of several geometrid moths] eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left the caterpillar eaten” (Joel 1:4).

The drunkards weep, because the nation of locusts has laid waste of the vine. Everything has withered.  There can be no grain or drink offering to offset the Lord’s anger. Joel urges the people to repent with wailing, sackcloth and a fast. The rivers have dried up, and the animals suffer in the drought.

Chapter 2: The Second Coming

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain… for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is night at hand;” (Joel 2:1)

The Second Coming of Jesus Christ is described as a day of darkness and gloominess, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. In the last days you will see a land like the Garden of Eden before you and a desolate wilderness behind you.

“The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining:” (Joel 2:10) The Lord, however, gives voice before His army. He commands the people; “…turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:  And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evils.” (Joel 2:12-13)

The Lord will be zealous for His land, and pity His people, removing the northern army to a barren and desolate land. The Lord will pour out His Spirit on all flesh;

“Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things….I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten… And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God… my people shall never be ashamed.” (Joel 2:21;25-26) The Lord will restore that which is taken away from man in this life. He will also bless those who love and praise His name. In the last days, when Jesus comes for the Second time, those who are righteous shall be glad and should not fear His coming. At His Second Coming… Blood and fire and pillars of smoke will be seen; the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood.

Chapter 3: The Last Days at War

All nations, who have scattered and cast lots for the Lord’s people, will be gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat and judged. God warns the nations that He will retaliate against those who have mistreated His people, and looted His gold and silver. The nations must prepare for war, beating their plowshares into swords and their pruning hooks into spears. The sun and the moon will go dark and the stars will cease to give light.

 

Hosea 9-10

Hosea 9-10

Chapter 9: Israel and her sins

Israel is taken into captivity for their sins; they have played the harlot against God. Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and eat unclean things in Assyria. Sacrifices will become like the bread of mourning, defiling all who eat it. God will send barrenness and bereavement to Israel. The root of Ephraim is dried up; they shall be wanderers among the nations.

Chapter 10: Hosea calls upon Israel to repent

Israel has plowed wickedness and reaped iniquity, because of this they have empty vines, and an empty throne. Israel’s high places will be destroyed, and thorn and thistle grow on their altars. God will control and guide Israel and Judah, even if they kick against Him. Sow righteousness, and reap mercy.