Amos 3-4

Amos 3-4

Chapter 3: Prophets

The Lord asks a series of questions, such as:

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3)

(Marriages? Missionaries? Walking two by two)

“Will a lion road in the forest when he hath no prey? …” (Amos 3:4)

“Shall a trumpet be blow in a city, and the people not be afraid? …” (Amos 3:6)

Then after listing a few more questions, Amos reminds the reader; “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealth his secret unto the servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) Here, we re-learn the importance of a Prophet. Prophets are called by God and are only Prophets when given the proper authority from the Lord. Throughout all time, and every generation there has been a prophet. A Prophet is basically the Lord’s mouth piece on the earth and until Jesus Christ returns in the Second Coming there will ALWAYS BE A PROPHET on the Earth! So the question is where is the Prophet for the Modern Day? Today, as of September 22, 2013 that Prophet is; ‘Thomas S. Monson’. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s church on earth TODAY, just as the original church that Jesus Christ established when he was last on the earth.

The children of Israel have not fulfilled their responsibilities as God’s chosen people. The Lord will cause a calamity in the city. Egyptians and Philistines are invited to the mountains of Samaria as witnesses of the punishment of Israel. Israel will be conquered and exiled. The altars of Bethel will be destroyed.

Chapter 4: The Lord makes things hard, so we remember

Women are referred to as “…kine of Bashan…” (Amos 4:1) i.e. ‘the cows of Bashan’ who oppress the needy and demand wine from their husbands. They will be taken away with fishhooks (the Assyrians used to lead people by hooks driven through the lower lip). Rain will be withheld, which will cause some cities to be in drought and others to have water. All teeth shall be ‘clean’ (a good way of saying that the people will be starving) because of lack of bread. Israel will suffer blight and mildew. God asserts himself the former of mountains and the creator of winds.

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.

Psalms 73-74

Psalms 73-74

Chapter 73: God is Good

A Psalm of Asaph.

                God is good to Israel, every one of them that has a clean heart. Those people who speak wickedly, set their mouths against heaven and are filled with pride, these same people are the ungodly. “…the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.” (Psalms 73:12)

                These people, who prosper in the world wickedly, will eventually be “…consumed with terrors.” (Psalms 73:19) Those who put their trust in the Lord however will be received up in glory.

Chapter 74: The Foolish Shall Say: No Prophets

Maschil of Asaph.

                The wicked will destroy the synagogues when “They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more any prophets…” (Psalms 74:8-9)

                The author is singing/praying to God and asking God to remember that the wicked will always blaspheme his name (verse 18). The author continues to ask God to remember that and to not forget the poor and needy with whom have respect for His covenant.

 

2 Chronicles 35-36

2 Chronicles 35-36

Chapter 35: Josiah is slain

                Now Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord. Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord; “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel. And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites. So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses”. (2 Chronicles 35:3-6)

Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and young goats from the flock, all for Passover offerings for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand cattle; these were from the king’s possessions. And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle. Also Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand from the flock and five hundred cattle.

The service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king’s command. And they slaughtered the Passover offerings; and the priests sprinkled the blood with their hands, while the Levites skinned the animals. Then they removed the burnt offerings that they might give them to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the cattle. Also they roasted the Passover offerings with fire according to the ordinance; but the other holy offerings they boiled in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them quickly among all the lay people. Then afterward they prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in offering burnt offerings and fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron.

                And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places, according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer. Also the gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not have to leave their position, because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them. So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.

And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations.

The rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what were written in the Law of the Lord, and his deeds from first to last, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Another Lost book of the Bible.

Chapter 36: The People Reject the Prophets

                Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. Now the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him off to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him, and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. More LOST books of the Bible!

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.

                Here we find something very interesting, Jehoiachin was only 8 years old when he did “evil in the sight of the Lord”, and therefore he was capable of committing these sins at the age of 8. Now in many churches and religions the age for baptism is questioned. After all Jesus was baptized when he was about 30 years old. In the Catholic Church, they baptize you when you are born. Which we have learned through the Book of Mormon is an evil practice:

“And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell. Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell. For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism”. (Moroni 8:11-14)

Other religions and churches believe that you should be baptized later in life, but what age would God have us baptized at? The Doctrine and Covenants, a modern scripture revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in November of 1831 clearly lays out when baptism should be performed.

“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25 & 27)

                So we see that the Bible clearly states that at the age of 8, Jehoiachin could commit sin, therefore it is important to have children be baptized from the age of 8, and on.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem.

And the Lord God sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people. The Lord’s prophets are almost always rejected by the people. Including his modern day prophets, like Joseph Smith and his current prophet in His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.

Those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!

 

1 Kings 17-18

1 Kings 17-18

Chapter 17: Elijah Raises a Little Child from Death

Elijah prays for a drought. Elijah came as a prophet of the Lord at a very crucial time int he wicked times of Israel. Elijah tells everyone that the heavens will be sealed and will not rain again, until the words are spoken from his mouth. Elijah tells everyone where the source of his power comes from… God!

Elijah is instructed of the Lord to leave the current city “Cherith” and go to the Brook of Cherith, which flows into Jordan, there he would be met by ravens that would feed him. There, the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening… and he drank from the brook. After a short while, the brook that he was at slowly dried up until there was no more water. There was no water, because it had not rained… this is exactly what Elijah had prayed for and he got it! Now he had to trust in the Lord to stay alive during this drought.

The Lord speaks to Elijah again and tells him to go to Zarephath where he has a widow lined up to provide for him. Elijah does as the Lord commands, even though this probably made no sense to him at all. When he arrives at the gate of the city, he finds a widow gathering sticks and he calls to her and asks her to bring a little water in a cup. He also asks her for a little bit of bread too.

The widow responds to Elijah by telling him that she has no bread, but a little flour and oil and with her gathering of sticks was going to go home to her son and there she was going to make her last meal (because she had probably run out of food) to die. Elijah responds back and makes a promise to her, that if she makes him bread first and then makes them both bread… that the flour and oil shall not go down until the day that the Lord makes it rain. So the lady does as Elijah had request and she ends up NOT running out of bread!

After a few days the woman and her son become sick. She then indirectly blames Elijah for what has happened; “…art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?” (1 Kings 17:18). Elijah comes in and takes her son in his arms and cries to the Lord and begs God to let the spirit of her son come back into his body. Elijah stretched himself out over the sons body and continued to plead, until the Lord listened and restored the sons soul to his body.

Chapter 18: Elijah Challenges the Prophets of Baal

The Lord comes again to Elijah and he tells him to go present himself to Ahab, because he was going to end the drought. When he went to present himself to Ahab, there was a sever famine in Samaria. The drought (after 3 years) finally came to an end.

Elijah meets Obadiah, who was in charge of the house of Ahab.But he meets him in an unexpected manner… Ahab was worried about the livestock dying of hunger so he commands Obadiah and others to search out pasture land with grass. On the search, Obadiah meets Elijah and immediately recognizes him and falls to the earth in fear (because he feared the Lord). Elijah tells Obadiah that he will see Ahad and that he would make sure he doesn’t get into trouble on his behalf.

When Ahad meets Elijah he blames a prophet of God for the problems of Israel, instead of seeing that his wickedness has actually led them into the problems that they now face. This is where the story and chapter get really interesting, Elijah challenges King Ahab to gather the idol prophets of Ball and Asherah for a meeting at Mount Carmel. So all the prophets gathered on Mount Carmel, the prophets HATED Elijah and their loyalty was to King Ahad and Queen Jezebel.

Elijah asks a question; “…How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him….” (1 Kings 18:21). The people were silent to his question. He tells everyone there that he is a prophet of God, the only one there. But the prophets of Baal number more than 450 men! Elijah proposes a test. In this test each side will pick out a bullock, kill it, cut it up and then put it on the altar with wood, but no fire underneath.

Then Elijah proposed a test; “…call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God…” (1 Kings 18:24). So the prophets of Baal start to pray to Baal and ask for fire to cook the meat. But after some time, there is no success… so Elijah tries to mock them a bit…. “…Cry aloud: for he is a god (Baal); either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or preadventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked” (1 Kings 18:27). So Elijah calls the people’s attention over to him (now that Baal’s people have failed).

Elijah takes 12 stones (to represent the 12 tribes of Israel), he built an altar out of the rocks and around the altar a trench. Elijah then commanded the people to drench his altar with water so much that it filled the trench that he had dug. Elijah then called out to the Lord in prayer; “…Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou  art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done  ball these things at thy word. Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.” (1 Kings 18:36-38). Then when the people saw this, they fell to their faces and they knew that he was God. Then he commanded the people to grab the prophets of Baal who were trying to evade and he had them taken to the brook of Kishon, and there he killed them.

Elijah prays for the rain to come back, by praying on the top of Mount Carmel.