1 Nephi 21

1 Nephi 21: Israel will be gathered in the Last Days

Compare to Isaiah 49

Taken from Isaiah, Nephi taught his people and made record of Isaiah in his own records. The Lord speaks to Israel and all those who have been broken off; “…because of the wickedness of the pastors of my people.” (1 Nephi 21:1) Many people are led away from the house of Israel by wicked men who chose to distort the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The servant speaks in his own voice – he has been called from the womb. His mouth has been made like a sharp sword. He will be a light to the gentiles; He will release prisoners, and those in darkness. The Lord cannot forget Israel, as a nurse cannot forget her nursing child. The Lord will protect Israel from her enemies, who will be humbled and defeated.

Ephesians 4

Ephesians 4: Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ

Paul opens this letter by explaining that there is “…one body, and one Spirit…” (Ephesians 4:4), which means that there is one purpose behind all of God’s works. Paul goes on to further exclaim that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4:5)

                What is Paul saying here? He is saying that there is only one God, One Savior [Jesus Christ], and one baptism… which also means there can only be one Authority. Paul explains that there is “One God and Father of all… unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:6-7) So we learn that there can only be one Lord, one faith and one baptism… so the question arises; Why are there so many religions? Different Faiths? Different Baptisms?

Paul goes on to explain the organization of Christ’s Church: “…he gave some, apostles; and some, 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: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be not more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about 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 group up into him all the things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-15)

From these five verses we learn a lot about how Jesus Christ’s Church must be set up; it must have an organized body to administer His Church on the earth, including: Apostles, Prophets, Pastors and Teachers. Those who hold those positions are CALLED to them, and do not receive money for being in them. These people called to the work and given the authority from Jesus Christ himself can guide the church and receive revelation for the Saints [members] in the church, that they might edifying the body [the members] of Christ. The reason for God calling Prophets and Apostles is simple, so that we can be guided by men called of Christ and not just those men who ‘lie in wait to deceive’. This is the reason there are so many religions, churches and faiths… because it is profitable. Over thousands of years since the death of Jesus Christ there have been evil men who distort doctrines and confuse the masses. Because of this we have so many religions today… when in reality there can only be one.

Paul explains that one day, when everyone is united and everyone believes on Jesus Christ, that there will be no reason for this same organization because Christ will reign as King. Paul urges the Saints to “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth… let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you… by ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving… even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:29, 31-32)

Micah 3-4

Micah 3-4

Chapter 3: Pastors for Money

The heads of Jacob commit some pretty horrible acts of violence against their own people. (see 1-3)

Because of this Jacob’s people turn to the Lord “Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them…” (Micah 3:4) A darkness will descend on the prophets, and the prophets will be confused because there is “…no answer of God.” (Micah 3:7) This is the Apostasy, a time when men were so wicked that the Lord had to withdraw his power and authority from the earth (for a time). Meaning that there wouldn’t be a prophet and those who pretend to be a prophet would suffer great consequences.

 

“… the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us? None evil can come upon us.” ( Micah 3:11) Today, and throughout History there has always been false prophets and priests trying to make a quick buck. They do it for money, sadly a large number of churches today follow this format, that God was so angered by in the first place. We further learn in this chapter that Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, and the mountain of the temple like the bare hills of the forest.

Chapter 4: The Millennium

This is an almost word for word vision of what Isaiah sees as a vision of the latter days in Isaiah 2:2…

“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it.” (Micah 4:1)

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-4)

Essentially Isaiah sees a vision of the last days, where God’s church would be restored and the Temples would be built and shortly following that the Second Coming of Jesus would happen, where there would be 1,000 years of peace in the World.

The most interesting part of this, to me, is the following: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the tops of mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it…” (Isaiah 2:2) The reason this is so fascinating to me, is because the “tops of mountains” is a translation of a meaning of the word “Ute” which was the Indian Tribe of Utah, where the state was named and one of the most famous Temples in the world… the Salt Lake Temple has visitors from ALL around the world flock there on a daily basis. Isaiah was speaking of the Latter-day Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the last days, the proud and the wicked will be brought low and the judgment will occur for everyone during the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Nations will no longer know war, and the world will enter into a peace for 1,000 years, while Jesus Christ reigns as king over Zion!

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.

Jeremiah 21-22

Jeremiah 21-22

Chapter 21: Judged by Works

Vision when Zedekiah was king he was given advice to submit to Nebuchadnezzar’s forces and live, rather than fight against them and die. Those who stay in the city shall die, but those who go out and submit to the Chaldeans shall live.

God instructs us that He will “…punish you according to the fruit of your doings…” (Jeremiah 21:14) or in other words, we will be judged for our works!

Chapter 22: Pastors will be confounded

The king of Judah must execute judgment and righteousness and protect the needy. If he does not, his house shall become desolation. All nations shall marvel at the desolation. Shallum (Jehoahaz) the son of Josiah will die a captive. Coniah (Jeconiah) the son of Jehoiakim will be given to them that seek his life, and his seed will be forever excluded from the throne.

“Woe unto him…. That useth his neighbour’s service without wages, and giveth him not for his work.” (Jeremiah 22:13)

This shows us that we must not steal and must also not expect anything for free. This reminds me a lot of people who think that they deserve a handout instead of a hand-up. We should never mistreat our neighbor.

In the last days hate will be preached and false teachers will arise, of these Pastors God said; “The wind shall eat up all thy pastors… surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.” (Jeremiah 22:22)

Isaiah 55-56

Isaiah 55-56

Chapter 55: Salvation if Free

The Lord invites those who are thirsty to come and be richly fed.

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.” (Isaiah 55:6) Don’t wait around to call upon the Lord to help you… call upon His help, while He is there.

The everlasting covenant is talked about in terms of the sure mercies of David. The wicked will be forgiven if they forsake their ways. The Lord’s thoughts are higher than men’s thoughts.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Simply put: we don’t understand the ways of God.

Sometimes we question why things happen in the world in our own lives and the lives of those around us. Why did God cause a natural disaster to occur, why did someone die before their time… etc. Everythin has a reason, but we may not fully understand why. But an all knowing, all powerful God… does! “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33)

The Lord’s word shall make the earth fertile. Psalm-like image of the mountains and hills breaking forth in singing. Out of this fertile earth will come the word of the Lord, and He said: “…my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

One thing to keep in mind in verse 11, God said His “word”, and His word is not “a” book, it can be multiple books, like it was before the Bible was formed by MAN. Jesus even said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” (Mark 13:31) Notice how it said “words”, if word was meant to be “a book”, like the Bible… then we are only talking about one book and not multiple books. This is why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes in an OPEN Cannon of Scriptures, where revelation is alive and not dead, where God’s words are not limited to the one single book.

Chapter 56: Keep the Commandments

A call is made to be righteous, and not defile the Sabbath. The foreigner and the eunuch will not be separated from the Lord. The Lord will judge the “…greedy dogs… shepherds that cannot understand…” (Isaiah 56:11) I believe this is referring to the pastors of churches, which are built for gain. In the Spanish “Reina-Valera” version of the Bible it uses the word “pastors” in place of Shepherds.