WHO ARE THE PEOPLE OF GOD?

Only those who have had direct communication with God have a valid claim to being God’s people. God never had a people that He recognized as His without a prophet of His. The first children of God–with Adam at the head–were known as sons of God. This term has been used many times. The term saints has been the most used. They have also been known as believers.

“2 That the SONS OF GOD saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Gen. 6) “12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1) “2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3)

“SAINTS of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.” (Dan. 7) “O when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed.” (2 Thess. 1)

“6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15)

“12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the BELIEVERS, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4)

There have been five time periods that God has communicated with man; and given him the will and laws of God. There will be another when Jesus returns.

FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM
FROM ABRAHAM TO JOSEPH
FROM MOSES TO MALACHI
ENTER JESUS
GREAT GENTILE APOSTASY
SECOND GENTILE DISPENSATION
CHILDREN OF GOD LOST
RETURN OF JESUS
HOUSE OF ISRAEL
CONCLUSION

Before Adam walked on the face of the earth, the spirits of man were organized. “1 In the beginning [of this creation] was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [of this creation]. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1)

Chapter One and verses 1-5 of Chapter Two is the story of this spiritual creation. “4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.” (Gen. 2) “6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; 7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38) The morning stars were the first spirits organized by Jesus. Adam was one of these. The sons of God are those who are loyal followers of Jesus.

Jesus—being the first spirit organized for this creation—was the bright and morning star. “16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Rev. 22) Jesus was the root of David; as Jesus organized the spirit of David. Jesus was the offspring of David in the flesh. “3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom. 1)

“12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1) Only those who have a correct understanding of God can become sons of God. In the early fourth century, the True God was changed to the Trinitarian god of paganism; and the true identity of Jesus was changed to that of a pagan demigod born of a virgin.

There was a war in heaven during our spiritual estate. Satan–a morning star–rebelled against God; and thought to stand at the head in place of Jesus. “12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” (Isa. 14)

A third of the host of heaven (spirits) followed Satan in this rebellion; and were cast down with him. These will spend eternity as spirits (ghosts). What a price for rebellion! Did early bishops not make the same mistake when Bishop Ambrose taught that when God is thought of that no material thing whatsoever should be considered?

When the spirit of man is joined with a physical body, he becomes a living soul. “7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. 2)

FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM

FROM ABRAHAM TO JOSEPH

FROM MOSES TO MALACHI

ENTER JESUS

GREAT GENTILE APOSTASY

SECOND GENTILE DISPENSATION

CHILDREN OF GOD LOST

RETURN OF JESUS

HOUSE OF ISRAEL

CONCLUSION

FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM

Adam was first in the flesh to communicate directly with God. “15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” (Gen. 2)

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were immortal. They had to be married for eternity since at that time they were immortal. “23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. 24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2)

Eating the forbidden fruit changed the chemistry in their bodies, blood flowed in their veins, and they became mortal. “17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2) “8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Pet. 3)

God was a familiar friend of Adam and Eve. Satan deceived Eve and Adam rather than lose his wife also partook of the forbidden fruit. “8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. 9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?… 13 And the LORD God… 17 And unto Adam he said… 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.” (Gen. 3)

Many of the opportunities in life are the result of our works in the spirit. All prophets of God were so ordained before the foundation of the earth. “5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1)

All who have the opportunity to enter the Kingdom of God in the flesh, earned that blessing in the spirit. “4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated [for-ordained] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Eph. 1) There is no predestination; as man has a free moral agency.

The people in the days of Adam soon divided into two groups: (1) sons of God; and (2) sons of man. The first lived by the will and laws of God. “1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” (Gen. 6)

The children of God have also been known as sons of God, saints, and believers. “8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the CHILDREN OF GOD: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” (Rom. 9) “13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8) “14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the SONS OF GOD.” (Rom. 8) “12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the BELIEVERS, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1 Tim. 4)

God spoke with the first-born sons of Adam to Noah. Cain was the first-born son of Adam; but, when he killed his brother Able, he lost all right to the priesthood. God Cain communicated. “9 And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper?… 15 And the LORD said unto him… 13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.” (Gen. 4

After being cast out of the garden, it became essential for man to receive authority directly from God. Adam became the first prophet and representative of God on earth. This first authority from God was through a royal priesthood established before this creation: the Melchisedec Priesthood. “5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jer. 1) It was known as the priesthood of the sons of God until Melchisedec who was king of Salem and a most righteous man. It was changed to the Melchisedec Priesthood rather than use the name God so often. An outline of this priesthood is shown below.

MELCHISEDEC PRIESTHOOD

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APOSTLES

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First Degree: Lawgiver, Apostle, Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator

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Second Degree: Counsellor, Apostle, Prophet, Seer, and King

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Third Degree: Ambassador to the Nations

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Fourth Degree: Evangelist to a Nation

PRIEST

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High Priest

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Elder

Adam stood at the head of the church as a first degree Apostle, Prophet, and Lawgiver for 930 years. The first-born sons from Adam to Noah were all Patriarchal High Priests. Some of the prophets in the Bible were high priests. One of the duties of a High Priest is to hold communion with Go

Enoch was seventh from Adam and was born 622 years after the fall of Adam. He was a loyal follower and son of God. He kept a perfect celestial law; and thereby could be translated and taken into heaven. Enoch separated himself from the sons of man; until an angel of the Lord appeared to him.  Through his preaching many of the sons of man accepted the gospel and lived by the law of God with Enoch in the City of Enoch. When Enoch left the city and departed to a place designated by God for his journey to heaven, many of the sons of God followed him

“22 And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23 And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5) “7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev. 11) A more compressive and accurate history of Enoch is found in the Book of Jasher; which is noted twice in the Bible but was not included in the Bible because it was in Hebrew

“3.  And it was at the expiration of many years, whilst he was serving the Lord, and praying before him in his house, that an angel of the Lord called to him from Heaven, and he said, Here am I. 4.  And he said, Rise, go forth from thy house and from the place where thou dost hide thyself, and appear to the sons of men, in order that thou mayest teach them the way in which they should go and the work which they must accomplish to enter in the ways of God. 5.  And Enoch rose up according to the word of the Lord, and went forth from his house, from his place and from the chamber in which he was concealed; and he went to the sons of men and taught them the ways of the Lord, and at that time assembled the sons of men and acquainted them with the instruction of the Lord… 23.  And in some time after, when the kings and princes and the sons of men were speaking to Enoch, and Enoch was teaching them the ways of God, behold an angel of the Lord then called unto Enoch from heaven, and wished to bring him up to heaven to make him reign there over the sons of God, as he had reigned over the sons of men upon earth… 32.  And it was after this that he rose up and rode upon the horse; and he went forth and all the sons of men went after him, about eight hundred thousand men; and they went with him one day’s journey. 33.  And the second day he said to them, Return home to your tents, why will you go? perhaps you may die; and some of them went from him, and those that remained went with him six day’s journey; and Enoch said to them every day, Return to your tents, lest you may die; but they were not willing to return, and they went with him.” (Book of Jasher, Chap. 3

Enoch must return and die like all men. Enoch and Elijah will be the Two Witnesses spoken of by John. Others—like John–were also translated not to suffer death. “6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. 7 And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” (Rev. 11

Noah was born 136 years after the death of Adam, 1056 years after the fall of Adam. He lived 600 years before the flood and 350 after the flood. Noah was a Prophet and Lawgiver; and thus commanded man to repent and turn to righteousness. He preached the gospel for 120 years; but they would not.  “6 And after the lapse of many years, in the four hundred and eightieth year of the life of Noah, when all those men, who followed the Lord had died away from amongst the sons of men, and only Methuselah was then left, God said unto Noah and Methuselah, saying, 7 Speak ye, and proclaim to the sons of men, saying, Thus saith the Lord, return from your evil ways and forsake your works, and the Lord will repent of the evil that he declared to do to you, so that it shall not come to pass. 8 For thus saith the Lord, Behold I give you a period of one hundred and twenty years; if you will turn to me and forsake your evil ways, then will I also turn away from the evil which I told you, and it shall not exist, saith the Lord. 9 And Noah and Methuselah spoke all the words of the Lord to the sons of men, day after day, constantly speaking to them. 10 But the sons of men would not hearken to them, nor incline their ears to their words, and they were stiffnecked…13 And Noah was a just man, he was perfect in his generation, and the Lord chose him to raise up seed from his seed upon the face of the earth…15 And the Lord said unto Noah, Take unto thee a wife, and beget children, for I have seen thee righteous before me in this generation.” (Book of Jasher, Chap. 5

All sons and daughters of God passed away before the great flood. Methuselah—the oldest—was born 687 years after the fall; and died in 1651 at the age of 969 years. It should be noted that God spoke with the sons of God from Adam to Noah. Noah’s knew all the first born sons to Noah’s father Lamech. The great flood came upon the sons of man 1656 years after the fall.

FROM ABRAHAM TO JOSEPH

God continued to speak to the sons of God after the flood. Noah lived another ten generations–350 years after the flood–and saw the time of Abraham. Abraham was born 1948 years after the fall. Abraham spent 39 years with Noah and his son Shem. The story of Abraham is more complete in the Book of Jasher. It is important to note that God spoke with Abraham. “1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12)

God made two covenants with Abraham: (1) spiritual; and (2) the temporal. The first spiritual covenant was a promise that only through his seed would the families of the earth be blessed with an opportunity to become sons of God. The following is part of an article by Apostle John E. Page under James J. Strang explaining this covenant. The temporal covenant was only to the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to inherit the land of Canaan.

“The following is to show the nature of the “spiritual” covenant and its distinction from the “temporal” covenant. The temporal covenant (on which we have treated) was the second one of the two made to Abraham.

“We shall show that the spiritual covenant is not confined to the literal seed of Abraham only, but that it is extended to all the families of the earth of Adam’s posterity, and that the circumcision of the heart is its seal; and in the sequel we shall extend its effect into the world of spirits in order to show the propriety, nature and effect of it unto the whole human family.”

“The ordinance of circumcision of the flesh was instituted with Abraham some four hundred years before the law of “carnal” commandments was given to Moses. The covenants made to Abraham were given under the Melchisedec priesthood, for Abraham lived in the days of Melchisedec, king of Salem. Read Gen. xiv. The law of carnal commandments was given for the administration of the Levitical priesthood in the days of Moses.”

“In the former Nos. referred to of the “Reveille” we have found that the “temporal covenant” made with Abraham was confined to his literal seed and those “bought with his money.”

“We will now show that the “spiritual covenant” is extended to all the families of the earth, and that the same acts are requisite to constitute the literal seed of Abraham, spiritual Israel, that are required to make a gentile a spiritual Israelite.

“Gen. xii.3, “And I will bless them that bless thee, (Abram,) and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”

“Gen. xxvi.4, first clause, “And in thy (Isaac’s) seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”

“By the above we find that the Lord of Abraham continued the same “spiritual covenant” to Isaac that was made with Abraham. Gen. xxviii.14. The same covenant was continued to Jacob also.

“Gal. iii.16, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the “promises” made.

[Notice “promises” in the plural. What promises? We answer, the temporal and spiritual covenants.]

“He (the Lord) saith not, and to seeds as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.”

“By the above we find that the great dispenser of the spiritual covenant was Christ, that in him and through him only, we are to participate the blessings of salvation.

“An analysis of the following scripture shows clearly that Abraham had received the circumcision of the heart before he was circumcised in the flesh.

“Rom. iv.11, “And he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, (of the heart,) a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised; (in the flesh;) that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; (in the flesh;) that righteousness might be imputed unto them (gentiles) also.”

“Rom. iv. 8, “Blessed is the man (whether of Abraham’s posterity or of the gentiles) to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

“9. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? For we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

“10. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.”

“The above decides the matter eternally that the spiritual blessing of the “spiritual covenant” was participated by Abraham before and independent of the circumcision of the flesh.

“Deut. x.16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart and be no more stiff-necked.”

“By this we learn that Moses also knew something of the circumcision of the heart, distinct from the circumcision of the flesh.

“Jer. iv.4, “Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskin of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.”

“By the above we learn that the prophet Jeremiah was also acquainted with the work of the spiritual regeneration of the heart; he also saw the necessity of all the inhabitants of Jerusalem participating the same, to avoid the penalty due in case they did not do as he instructed them, though they all might have been circumcised in the flesh.

“Deut. xxx. 6, “And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

“By this we find that Moses was fully aware of the fact that the time would come when all Israel would be put in possession of the land of Canaan, according to the “temporal covenant;” that God would cause them to participate the blessing of the “spiritual covenant” also.

“Gal. v. 6, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision (in the flesh) availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”

“This clearly shows that the “temporal covenant” has no special connection with the “spiritual covenant,” and that it requires the same “faith that works by love” to make a natural Jew or Israelite a spiritual Israelite that it does a gentile, that is uncircumcised in the flesh.

“With propriety the following interrogation and its answer may here be inserted:–

Rom. iii.1, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

“2. Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were com­mitted the oracles of God.”

“Let the reader here notice that we are entirely dependent on the natural seed of Abraham for all the scriptures that is given to us of God, of both the Old and New Testaments. “The oracles of God” being the word of God and the means through which it is given.

“The following scriptures show clearly that the Jews, or natural seed of Abraham, stand in no higher relation to God (in a spiritual point of light) than the gentiles do; though the Jews may all be circum­cised according to the stipulations of the “temporal covenant,” as they should be, in order to be legal claimants to an inheritance on the land of Canaan.

“Rom. ii. 28, “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; nei­ther is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh.

“29. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”

“The neglect of the observance of the ordinance of the circumcis­ion of the flesh in the case of a natural Jew, only throws him into the same relation to God that a natural gentile stands. So that whether circumcised or not circumcised in the flesh, each have the same interest in the gospel of Christ, and each stand on the same footing in relation to the “spiritual covenant.”

“But not so with the Jew in the flesh if he neglects the stipulations of the spiritual covenant; he not only loses his advantages of the covenant of salvation in Christ, but also loses his claim to the land of Canaan.

“The gentile that does improve the advantages of the spiritual cov­enant, nevertheless has no claim to the land of Canaan, because of the fact that the land was ceded to the seed of Abraham, who im­prove the advantages of both covenants.

“Much more might be said on the subject to show the distinction between the “temporal” and “spiritual covenants” made with Abraham, but we deem what we have said to be quite sufficient to show to the full satisfaction of all candid inquiring persons that God did establish “two covenants” with Abraham, as above suited, and that they were both equally in force with Abraham’s seed from the days of Abraham to this day.

“Then, as the sign of the circumcision of the flesh is still in force for the same reason it was instituted with Abraham, it (circumcis­ion) was never done away to introduce another ordinance in its stead; consequently down falls the heretical doctrine of infant bap­tism as being introduced instead of infant circumcision.”

Abraham knew God. “1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. 2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. 3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, 4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.” (Gen. 17)

The temporal covenant was through the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to inherit the land of Canaan. Only those who are properly circumcised of the flesh have a right to inherit this land when Jesus returns.

When God appeared to Abraham in the plains of Mamre, he mistook God and three angles for men. “1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; 2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, 3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: 4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: 5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.” (Gen. 18)

God appeared to Abraham and tested his faith. “2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Gen. 22) This was an extreme test of Abraham’s faith to sacrifice his first-born son. He understood that when God speaks, man must listen.

Isaac became Abraham’s first born son through a blessing upon Sarah who was past the age of having children. Jacob became Isaac’s first born son when Esau sold his birthright. “12 And he [Jacob] dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. 13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed.” (Gen. 28:12, 13) The heavens were later hid from man at the time of the Tower of Bable. When Jesus returns, the heavens will be rolled together like a scroll and man will once again be able to view the heavens.

Jacob not only knew God, he wrestled with Him. “24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. 26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. 27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. 28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. 29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. 30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen. 32) God gave Jacob the name Israel for out of his loins came the twelve tribes of Israel.

At the time, Jacob dwelled in the land of Canaan and for a time Joseph was his youngest son. His brothers hated him and conspired to kill him. They stiped him of his coat and cast him into a pit. When a caravan of Ishmeelites came by, they elected to sell him instead of killing him. Then they killed a goat, soaked his coat in blood, and told Jacob that he was dead.

The caravan travelled to Egypt where Joseph found grace in the eyes of Pharaoh; and was made overseer over his house. Pharaoh had a dream which only Joseph could interpret. It foretold of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Pharaoh set Joseph over the whole land of Egypt. Joseph stored enough food to get them through the seven years of famine.

When Jacob learned of the plenty in Egypt, he sent his sons to buy corn. “1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.” (Gen. 46) Later Jacob journeyed to Egypt where the family was reunited. “26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six.” (Gen. 46)

How marvelous the works of God!  Jacob was a Patriarchal High Priest. Being inspired of the Holy Ghost, he blessed all twelve sons. He also blessed the sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh with his twelve sons; as part of the House of Israel. “28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.” (Gen. 47)

The House of Israel was blessed during the years that Joseph oversaw Egypt. “22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.” (Gen. 50) All of the generation of Joseph passed away.

FROM MOSES TO MALACHI

After his death a new king arose over Egypt. They were afflicted for 400 years as foretold. “13 And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; 14 And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.” (Gen. 15)

Fearing the Israelites because of the increase in their numbers, the king ordered all newborns to be killed. The child of a Levite woman bore a child that she hid in an ark of bulrushes. Pharaoh’s daughter found the child and raised him as her own; and named him Moses because she drew him out of the water. “11 And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. 12 And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand…15 Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.” (Ex. 2)

 “23 And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. 24 And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them.” (Ex. 2)

God spoke to Moses: “6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God. 7 And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.. 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: THIS IS MY NAME for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Ex 3)

Most know the story of Moses and the plagues that God sent upon Egypt. God spoke with Moses and Aaron during each of the plagues brought upon Egypt. Imagine the final plague against Egypt. “5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6 And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.” (Ex. 11)

The first born of Israel was passed over. Imagine such an event! God set this as a holy memorial to all generations of Israel. “It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s Passover.” Although they are scattered to every nation, they still remember this event. Denying the history of Adam to Moses is like saying the story of George Washington was a myth. Everyone has a right to believe what they may; but all will be judged and receive accordingly.

It is very important to appreciate that God appeared in person to Moses. This had to be true as there were about sixty million of Israel that were witnesses. The plagues and delivery out of Egypt could only be realized through God. When Moses returned to Mt. Sinai, “3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Ex. 19)

All of Israel–about sixty million strong—heard the voice of the Lord. “3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Moses went up on the mountain with Aaron and the priests of the people; and when he returned he told the people what God had said. “God spake all these words, saying.” (Ex. 20:1) These included the Ten Commandments and many other laws of God.

“18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. 19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. 20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. 21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. 22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.” (Ex. 20) “1 Now these are the judgments which thou shalt set before them.” (Ex. 21)

“16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel. 18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Ex. 24)

While Moses was on the mount, the people–except for the children of Levi—fell into great wickedness. They even forced Aaron make them a golden calf to worship. Moses was extremely angry when he returned from the mountain; and broke the original tables of stone; which God had written with His own finger.

Moses went back on the mountain. “11 And the LORD spake unto Moses FACE TO FACE, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle.” (Ex. 33) God can appear as a man; as he did with Abraham and others. Mortal man cannot look upon the face of God in all His glory and live. Moses wanted to see God in all His glory. “18 And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. 20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. 21 And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: 22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: 23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen.” (Ex. 33)

What a tangled web we weave when we seek to deceive. Constantine changed the identity of God to a pagan god: the Trinity. Anyone who studies the Bible with an open mind will find many places where the true God is addressed; and it is noted that God and Jesus are two separate identities. Jesus noted: “3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17)

Moses prepared new tables of stone. “5 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” (Ex. 34)

Moses was on the mount forty days and forty nights without eating or drinking. When he returned—after seeing God in His glory—“…the skin of his face shown… and they were afraid… he put a vail on his face.” “34 But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. 35 And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him.” (Ex. 34)

It must be noted that no one can minister in the name of God without being called by the spirit of revelation and being ordained by one holding authority from God. Moses held the highest office in the Melchisedec Priesthood: Prophet and Lawgiver. Jesus noted this law of God. “4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5) Not even Jesus would break this law.

While Moses was on the mount, Israel fell into wickedness. This caused God to place them under a new temporal law as a taskmaster until Jesus. A new Aaronic/Levitical Priesthood was introduced to administer this law. Aaron was placed at the head in the priest’s office. “1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.” (Ex. 28) This is a priesthood of life, where the Melchisedec is a priesthood is of an endless life.

Here is the structure of the Aaronic/Levitical Priesthood.

AARONIC PRISTHOD

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Priest

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Teacher
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The Melchisedec Priesthood continued through Joshua. “18 And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him; 19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight. 20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.” (Num. 27) Moses was a first degree Apostle. He ordained Joshua a second degree Apostle and Prophet.

When God opens a dispensation of the gospel on earth, He always sets an Apostle and Lawgiver at its head. These receive commandments and revelations for the kingdom by direct revelation from God. After a dispensation has been established, in the absence of a Lawgiver, a second degree Apostle has authority to stand at the head of the church; but, only in an administrative capacity. This is the priesthood held by Joshua.

The CHURCH OF CHRIST can only exist when there is a prophet of God on the earth; as it requires direct communication with God. If you were to claim that you represented the government of U. S. without any appointment, would your works be acceptable to the government? The KINGDOM OF GOD remains as long as there is an officer of the Melchisedec Priesthood. James J. Strang noted the prophets of God that stood at the head of the people of God after Moses.

“The genealogy of Abraham was through Terah, &c., to Noah. But at the time God called him, Melchisedec stood above him and received tithes. Gen. xiv. 18, 19, 20. Heb. vii. 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7. Joseph seems to have stood in that place after the death of Jacob, but however that may be, it is certain that Levi did not. Yet we soon after find Moses, of the lineage of Levi, filling it with most transcendent authority. And he did not give it to his posterity. But it went severally through:

Joshua, of the tribe of Judah,
Othniel, of the tribe of Judah, not his eon. Judges iii. 9.
Ehud, of the tribe of Benjamin. Jud. iii. 15, 19, 20, 28.|Shamgar, the son of Anath. Jud. iii. 31.
Deborah, a prophetess. Jud. iv. 3, 4
Gideon, the son of Joash. Jud. vi. 11, 12.
Tola, of the tribe of Issacher. Jud. x. 1, 2.
Jair, not his son. Jud. x. 3.
Jepthah, the son of a harlot, and consequently having no legal lineage. Jud. xi. 1. xii. 7.
Ibzan, not his son. Jud. xii. 8.
Elon, of the tribe of Zebulon. Jud. xii. 11.
Abdon, the son of Hillel. Jud. xii. 13.
Samson, of the tribe of Dan. Jud. xiii. 2, 5. xvi. 31.
Eli, of the tribe of Levi. 1 Sam. iv. 18.
Samuel, of the tribe of Ephraim. 1 Sam. iii.

“And Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and a great number of others, who stood as prophets in Israel, ei­ther acting with royal authority as did Moses and Joshua, or stand­ing above kings as did Samuel and Elijah.” (James J. Strang, Gospel Herald, Vol. 3, Sept. 21, 1848)

The first prophets of God were Adam and Noah. Imagine direct communication with God from Adam to Abraham—2,183 years. Melchisedec was evidently a prophet because Abraham–a high priest—offered tithes to him. After Abraham, prophets of God were through the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. No gentile has ever held the Prophetic Office and head of the Church of Christ.

There were to be two prophets and two works in the latter days. These were again of the seed of Abraham. “19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [Book of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim [Joseph Smith], and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [Book of the Law of the Lord translated by James J. Strang of the tribe of Judah], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37

There is a great deal to be learned through God’s communication with man during the time from Adam to Malachi; and in the New Testament. The first and great commandment has been to love the Lord they God with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. If we fail in a correct understanding of God, there is no way to be His people. Communication is essential. James J. Strang wrote concerning the god that is worshiped among sectarian Christians.

“9. The God who created Adam had a body, with all its parts; for as truly as Adam, when he begat a son, begat him in his own likeness, after his image, (Gen. v, 3) so truly God, when he created Adam, made him in the likeness and after the image of God. (Gen. i, 26, 27. v, 1. ix, 6. 1st Cor. xi, 7.  Jas. iii, 9.)

“10. Abraham worshipped the same God; for when God visited him, Abraham at first mistook him for a man; and, with genuine Patriarchal hospitality, invited him into the tent to eat, and offered to wash his feet. (Gen. xviii.)

“11. Jacob also, worshipped the same God; for after wrestling with him, he tells us he saw him face to face. (Gen. xxxii, 24, 28, 30.)  Surely the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has a body and parts, face and feet.

“12. The God who spoke to Moses from the fire in the bush, and in a voice of thunder in Sinai, gave the Commandments; wrote the Commandments on tables of stone, with his finger; (Deut. ix, 10;) conversed with Moses face to face, as a man converses with his friend; (Ex. xxxii, 11;) passed by covering Moses with his hand, and allowed him to behold his back parts. (Ex. xxxiii, 22, 23.)  Truly this is not the God without body or parts, which Episcopalians, Methodists, and all other Christians worship.

“13. The God of the Prophets and Apostles was in bodily form, with all the appropriate parts, as imaged in his creature man; for he had

“14. The appearance of God was the likeness of man, when he appeared to Ezekiel, and called him to the Prophetic office; though he was surrounded with fire and a glorious radiance, from his loins upwards and downwards (Ezek. i, 26, 27.)” (Book of the Law of the Lord, p. 54)

ENTER JESUS

The Melchisedec Priesthood continued through prophets of God after Moses to Malachi–about 400 years before Jesus. Jesus restored this priesthood; which is essential to administering the saving ordinances of the gospel of Christ. Jesus went to John the Baptist for baptism of water because John was a Priest of the Levitical Priesthood. John, though, did not hold authority from God to baptize with the Spirit. “11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.” (Matt. 3) John hesitated; but Jesus told him: “15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.” (Matt. 3) Like every other man, Jesus was a foreigner to the Kingdom of God and had to be born of water and the Spirit according to the law of God. “5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3)

After baptism, Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days where He was tempted of Satan. “11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him…17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [within your reach].” (Matt. 4) What did they minister? Jesus was ordained by the Father to the same Prophetic Office held by Adam, Noah, Moses, and others. “4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by revelation from God]. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.” (Heb. 5)

None can refute the existence of Jesus and His teachings. All prophets of God teach alike on the same subject because they are from God who is changeless. Jesus was not only prophesied of; but was to die at the hand of man. Every prophecy of a prophet of God whose time for fulfillment has come, has been perfectly fulfilled. Not one has ever failed. Jesus quoted many of the prophecies of the Old Testament.

The temporal law given through Moses was fulfilled when Jesus was ordained to the Melchisedec Priesthood. “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the [spiritual] law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil [the temporal law]. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the [spiritual] law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Jesus, Matt. 5)

I will not go into detail on the teachings and gospel of Christ; as it is covered in-depth on other pages. It is important to note that Jesus was of the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and the House of David through his father Joseph; as required by the law of God. The seed of man is carried only in the male line. Therefore, all genealogy in the Bible is through the male line. The first chapter in the New Testament notes that Jesus was of the proper lineage.

“1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of ABRAHAM. 2 Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas [tribe of JUDAH]and his brethren… 6 And Jesse begat DAVID the king…20 …JOSEPH, thou son of David….” (Matt. 1) I have covered the adoption of the pagan belief of the Trinity and Virgin Birth on other pages. Let it suffice to note that if Jesus was the genetic offspring of the Holy Ghost, then Jesus was not the Son of David; but, the bastard son of a ghost.

Joseph and Mary were married (a betrothal was a marriage without the ceremony) at the time of Jesus conception. Jesus was referred to all through the Bible as the son of David; and Jesus was noted as the son of man about seventy times. “17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made LIKE UNTO HIS BRETHREN, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” (Heb. 2) God cannot die. He is the only being that has complete immortality.

The great importance of the life of Jesus was that He kept a perfect law. “21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.” (1 Pet. 2) “4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3)

When Adam and Eve transgressed the law, man became mortal. The fundamental being of man is a spirit. After transgressing the law, all mankind was brought under the penalty of mortality. Only when a man kept a perfect law would Satan have no power over him in death; and God would have to raise resurrect him from the dead. The Lord said, “15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head [bring mortal death], and thou shalt bruise his heel [through the resurrection].” (Gen. 3)

“5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you… 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him… 16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matt. 28)

Many of the children of God were raised from the dead during the days that Jesus remained among the Apostles. “3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1) They were surprised when David was not resurrected with them. “29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day…16 …Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” (Acts 2) David had a man killed so he could have his wife. There is no forgiveness in mortal life for this most grievous sin. David had not paid the last farthing. Punishment can be very harsh.

Jesus fulfilled the desires of the apostles. John wanted to tarry on the earth until Jesus returns. Jesus fulfilled his desire. “23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” (John 21) John is walking somewhere on the earth today. “2 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Heb. 13)

After Jesus resurrection, He appeared to the eleven and called Peter to stand in His stead as prophet and head of the people of God. “15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs [saints]… 17 Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep [the ministry].” (John 21)

Jesus stood at the head of the Dispensation of the Meridian of Time until His death. The first phase was a closed dispensation only to the Jews. “5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 10)

After the Jews rejected Jesus the gospel, it was taken from them and given to the gentiles. This was the second phase of the Dispensation of the Meridian of Time. On the day of Pentecost, Peter addressed the crowd: “37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren , what shall we do? 38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. 40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. 41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2)

GREAT GENTILE APOSTASY

Peter, James, and John held the Prophetic Office in succession. All of the apostles—except John–were martyred by 70 AD. John prophesied of the loss of the priesthood and end of the Church of Christ. “1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun [Church of Christ], and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars… 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1,260 years]… 14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time [1,260 years], from the face of the serpent… 17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev. 12) “5 And there was given unto him [Satan] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years].” (Rev. 13)

As the gospel is a perfect law, it could not be changed by any; but, remained even as Jesus had taught. “8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1) The gentiles had been raised on paganism for about 1,500 years. It is no wonder that they soon returned to those doctrines.

“3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Jesus] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thes. 2)

The 1,260 year period began when the Bishop of Rome thought to stand as God on earth and head of the entire Christian church in 570 AD; as the first pope. “The pope is of so great dignity and excellence, that he is not merely man, but as if God.  The pope alone is called most holy, divine monarch, and supreme emperor, and King of Kings. The pope is of so great dignity and power, and he constitutes one and the same tribunal with Christ, so that whatever the pope does seems to proceed from the mouth of God.  The pope is as God on earth.” (Guiness, Romanism and the Reformation, pp. 25, 26)

The Church of Christ and people of God ended with the last prophet: John. God no longer spoke directly with man. Why is that? “1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isa. 59)

The ecclesiastical historian Eusebius—contemporary with Constantine—noted that the office of high priest—next under the office of apostle—lasted for possibly another generation. “Of those that flourished in these times, Quadratus is said to have been distinguished for his prophetic gifts. There were many others, also, noted in these times, who held the first rank in the apostolic succession [high priests of the Melchisedec Priesthood]… they performed the office of evangelist [high priest]…during the first immediate succession from the apostles.” (Eusebius, Chapter 37, first paragraph)

The dispensation to the gentiles was closed. There were none that stood as the people of God for the next 1,260 years. None entered the Kingdom of God. “11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea , and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.” (Amos 8)

The pagan, un-baptized Roman Emperor Constantine changed the doctrines of Christ to those of the sun god. “As seen in Constantine’s originating piety, that supreme deity would have been associated with the sun, and pagans would have recognized, with reason, their own solar cult in such Christian practices as orienting churches to the east, worshipping of ‘sun day,’ and celebrating the birth of the deity at the winter solstice.” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 183)

“Constantine fully understands himself by now as the ‘vice-regent of God,’ and, as is clear from what he did as soon as he defeated Licinius, he did not hesitate to act as such, especially against the ‘evil and unbelieving.” (Ibid. p. 187)

“Immediately upon coming to power as the sole ruler of the empire, but only then, Constantine asserted the right to exercise absolute authority over the entire Church. He did this despite the fact that he was not baptized, and, as was not unusual, would not be until shortly before he died.” (Ibid., p. 188)

“Thus, the now absolute and sole Caesar, demonstrating an authority no one had ever exercised before, summoned the bishops of the Church to a meeting over which he himself preside… Two hundred and fifty of them came. He would not let them leave until they had begun to do the Church what he was doing for the empire. This meeting was the Council of Nicaea, the first Ecumenical Council of the Church. It took place in 325… Those who dissented were exiled by Constantine. (More than one bishop–and most famously Athanasius [whose name the Trinitarian Code is named after], banished later–would serve out his exile in Trier. Christians still recite this [Trinitarian] formula today, as the Nicene Creed.” (Ibid., p.189)

“A wonderful instance of this spiritual blindness, this total ina­bility to discern the signs of the times mentioned in the scriptures, is given us in a very celebrated work of a late eminent writer, who supposed the New Jerusalem came down from heaven when Constantine the Great called himself a christian. I say called himself a christian, for I dare not affirm that he was one any more than Peter the Great. I cannot but believe he would have come nearer the mark if he had said that it was the time when a huge cloud of in­fernal brimstone came up from the bottomless pit! for surely there never was a time when Satan gained so fatal an advantage over the church of Christ as when such a flood of riches, and honor and power broke in upon it, particularly on the clergy.” (John Wesley’s Works, Vol. 2, page 97)

The Bible, ecclesiastical historians, and church leaders all recognized this GREAT APOSTACY. “The rites and institutions, by which the Greeks, Romans, and other nations, had formerly testified their religious veneration for fictitious deities, were now adopted, with some slight alterations by Christian bishops, and employed in the service of the true God.” (Mosheim, Ecclesiastical History, Century 4, Part 2, chap 4:1, 4)

The Church of England admitted of this apostasy in the Homily Against Peril of Idolatry.  “So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom–an horrible and most dreadful thing to think–have been at once drowned in abominable idolatry; of all other vices most detested of God, and most damnable to man; and that by the space of eight hundred years and more.”

It follows, if the gospel–and all divine authority–was to be lost for 1,260 years, that at the end of that time divine authority and the gospel would be returned. “6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” (Rev. 14)

SECOND GENTILE DISPENSATION

Now, take the 570 when the priesthood was lost and add the 1,260 years; and we get 1830. A young farm boy of only 15 was aroused in 1820, when there was a great religious excitement with priest contending against priest and convert against convert. “In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it? While I was laboring under the extreme difficulties of these parties of religionists, I was one day reading the Epistle of James first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraidelth not; and it shall be given him.”

Joseph Smith was determined to get an answer to his questions. He went in to the woods and prayed. As soon as he began, some real invisible power overcame him. With his last energy, he called upon the Lord. This power left and a pillar of light with two personages appeared above him. He wrote: “One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said pointing to the other—This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Joseph was told not to join any of the churches; as they were all corrupt. When Joseph related this experience to some preachers, they contended against him with great contempt. He knew that he had a vision; and like Paul and he could not deny it. Three years later after retiring to bed, a bright light appeared in his room until the room was brighter than at noon day. The person in the light told him that his name was Moroni; and that a book of ancient records was deposited nearby and that his name would be held for good and bad as he progressed in the work that was prepared for him. When Joseph was 21, the heavenly messenger told him it was time to recover these records. One of these records became known as the Book of Mormon after one of this peoples great prophets.

On May 15, 1829, an angel who said his name was John, baptized and ordained him to the Aaronic Priesthood. The next month he was ordained a prophet and Lawgiver under the hands of Peter, James, and John–who held that priesthood in life.

On April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith organized the Church of Christ according to the laws of man and God. Religious freedom was a relatively new doctrine—only 54 years old. The people of God were always a gathered people. God gave them a revelation that the saints should gather to Kirtland, Ohio. A few years later God commanded them to gather in Independence, Missouri. A place that would be known as the city of Zion.

The moral conduct of the saints soon conflicted with the rowdy men that gathered on the edge of the frontier. The Governor of Missouri actually issued an extermination order against the saints on no other grounds than they were religiously different. Like ISIS, they were ordered to either leave or abandon their religion.

God then pronounced Nauvoo, Illinois, as the gathering place for the saints. Here the saints built one of the most beautiful cities in the country. But, the mob from Missouri was still intent on murdering Joseph. They were finally able to have him arrested and held in Carthage Jail. The governor sent the militia to protect him. At about 5:00 in the afternoon of June 27, 1844, the militia left, the mob stormed the jail, and shot and killed Joseph and his brother Hyrum. Murder with the help of the government.

It is written that the knowledge of God is unlimited. “9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” (Isa. 46) Satan cannot make us do anything and God will not because we must be free agents of our own destiny. When the saints failed to abide in the will and laws of God, Joseph was taken.

God had already prepared for this event. Four times in the Doctrine and Covenants—an official book of revelations from God—God declared that Joseph would appoint his successor; and that successor would have to be ordained under the hands of angels. “4. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift [as Prophet] except it be through him [Joseph Smith]; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. 5. 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. 6. And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. 7. For verily I say unto you, that 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.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 43)

The same hour that Joseph was murdered in Carthage, James J. Strang claimed to have been ordained under the hands of angels; although he was 400 miles away and could have no knowledge of the event. The first news of his death came with the Letter of Appointment from Joseph; which was received by regular course of mail on July 9th. It is now in Yale University Library. A Handwriting expert declared the signature to be of Joseph. The letter proved to be true.

In this letter, God appointed Voree—a place near Burlington, Wisconsin—for the gathering of the saints. This was to be a garden of peace for the saints; and indeed, it was until the saints failed to abide in the law of God and the gathering was moved to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. Here they were persecuted by the citizens of Mackinaw.

The gentile saints again failed to follow the laws of God and James was taken; as Joseph before him. With the help of the captain of the U. S Steamer Michigan, two apostates shot James as he approached the ship. The captain’s surgeon ruled the wounds mortal. He was taken back to Voree where he died on July 9, 1856. The captain would not allow the killers to be tried under local jurisdiction as they should by law. He took them to Mackinac where a mock trial was held and the killers released. They could not be re-tried. The government was once again a party to the murder of a prophet. Their judgment is near.

The saints were driven from the island and all their property stolen. They were hauled to docks in Chicago and Milwaukee and left. Five of the apostles tried to get the saints to gather again; but, they would not.

James wrote of his tenure as prophet to the gentiles: “As First President, I have regularly presided over the Church and took the direction of its affairs in all the world, according to the law of God.

“As prophet, I have foretold in the name of God, the ills that were coming on men, and directed all who received the word of the Lord how and where to come out from among the wicked, that they receive not of their plagues.

“I have obtained covenants and promises of God and at his hand obtained an everlasting inheritance for the Saints, which I have divided among them by lot, without cost or price.  God is our God and we are his people forevermore.

“As a Seer, I have seen the visions of the Almighty, and as a Revelator have received knowledge of his purposes and commandments, and made them known among the children of men.  As a translator, I have brought forth hidden treasures, and re­vealed the old record to all who love the truth, and seek unto it.  The visions of the past and the hidden lore of future ages are laid by the side of present hopes and future knowledge.

“As an apostle I have borne a faithful testimony of the kingdom and the coming of the Lord Jesus.  I have fought a good fight. I have kept the faith.  I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God.  In the treasure‑house of the Almighty there is laid up for me a crown of glory richer than all diadems of earthly kings.

“Of all that dwell on earth, God has made me the most happy.  From men I fear no evil.  May God bless you abundantly with the same blessings, and especially with the love of the truth.

            Truly and sincerely,

                                                JAMES J. STRANG.”

CHILDREN OF GOD LOST

God no longer recognized the saints as the people of God without a prophet. The Kingdom of God does remain. Apostle L. D. Hickey ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained me An elder on July 8, 1956. Prophecy does tell us of a very small remnant of the saints remaining and representing the Kingdom of God. “8 And the daughter of Zion [church in the US] is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” (Isa. 1)

The gentiles rejected God once more. God gave a very important message to the gentiles. through the Apostle Paul: “25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” (Rom. 11)

This prophecy was fulfilled in 1967, after the Six Day War. Jesus told us: “24 And they [Jews] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21) The night before Israel was going to take Jerusalem, all Arabs left the city. It was no longer trodden down of the gentiles. They will soon become the children of God. “ 7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God : for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” (Jer. 240)

All that remained was a very small remnant of saints in Zion. Each ordination to the Melchisedec Priesthood is an individual dispensation to preach the gospel and administer its saving ordinances. “17 For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but if against my will, a dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me.” (1 Cor. 9)

Soon there will be a desolation more terrible than anything before. “21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake [Israel] those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24)

The latter day prophet James J. Strang wrote in the Book of the Law of the Lord: “22. The whole course of prophecy indicates that the nations of the world will not be converted to Godliness; but that they will increase in wickedness, and be destroyed.  The day has not yet come, but is in the future, which ‘shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble,’ and shall be burnt up, leaving neither root [parents] nor branch [children]; when they that fear the Lord shall tread down the wicked, as ashes beneath their feet. (Mal. 4:1, 3)

“23. Paul assures us that the coming of Christ shall be ‘in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord.’ (2 Thess. 1:8, 9) Isaiah says, the earth shall be made empty, and few men left. (Isa. 24:1, 3, 6) Those days are days of vengeance, when Christ shall tread the wine press of the wrath of God, and the blood shall flow unto the horses’ bridles. (Rev. 14:20) As those times are approaching, the judgment is pronounced on Babylon, ‘Reward her as she hath rewarded you, and double unto her double, according to her works.’ (Id., 18:6) Then shall the Saints execute vengeance on the heathen. (Ps. 149:6, 7)” (Book of the Law, p. 213)

Jesus will soon return “… in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God , and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” (2 Thess. 1:8) Jesus even wondered if there would be any saints of God remaining. “7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18)

James J. Strang will return as a resurrected person; and gather the very small flock of saints remaining in Zion to a place of refuge before the storm. “8 And thou, O tower of the flock [James J. Strang], the strong hold of the daughter of Zion [church in Zion], unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem [July 8, 1850). 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? [James was murdered] is thy counsellor perished? [L. D. Hickey was the last of the apostles and Lloyd Flanders was the last of the high priests] for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to [spiritual] Babylon; THERE SHALT THOU BE DELIVERED; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” (Mic. 4) “26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer [James J. Strang], and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” (Rom. 11)

RETURN OF JESUS

There are no promises to the gentiles because they rejected the gospel twice: once in the days of Jesus and again in the days of Joseph Smith and James J. Strang. “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen [gentile]: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and THEY SHALL BE AS THOUGH THEY HAD NOT BEEN. 17 But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” (Obadiah)

The return of Jesus is not going to be a time anyone would want to see; other than to see Jesus return. The righteous will barely escape. “10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country [US] by the river Euphrates [Mississippi].” (Jer. 46)

Jesus warned: “37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24)

All promises in the Bible are for the House of Israel. These are God’s chosen/elect people. They will once again become the people of God. “37 Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” (Jer. 32)

God will gather Israel and they will be His people.  For gentiles, there is the only one escape: become members of the Kingdom of God before the desolation; which is already on our doorstep. The gate into the kingdom is open. This is one time it is imperative not to put off today what many think may not even happen.

“8 And I will bring them [Israel], and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.” (Zech. 8) “16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Cor. 6) “15 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries. 16 But I will leave a few men of them from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence; that they may declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezek. 12)

HOUSE OF ISRAEL

There are three groups that constitute the House of Israel. Abraham’s twelve sons represent the TWELVE TRIBES OF ISRAEL. The twelve tribes divided after the death of Solomon into the children of Judah and the children of Israel. The CHILDREN OF JUDAH includes the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and half of Manassas. These became known as the Jews.

In 720 BC, the CHILDREN OF ISRAEL were taken captive into Assyria by King Shalmaneser. These became known as the TEN LOST TRIBES. Joseph Smith in an article on the tribe of Joseph wrote by inspiration that these were carried off to South America. They have not been heard from since.

The two sons of Joseph—Ephraim and Manassas—were also blessed by Abraham. Together with the twelve tribes, these are part of the HOUSE OF ISRAEL. They are referred to as the SEED OF JOSEPH. In 600 BC, God called a prophet in Jerusalem to lead a group of these to a Promised Land: Zion. Before leaving they brought with them many of the scriptures to that time.

They soon divided into a people that followed the will of God—sons of God–called Nephites. They were led by numerous prophets and were the CHILDREN OF GOD from 600 BC until 400 AD. The other group lived by the will of man—sons of man—were known as the Lamanites; and later became the Native Americans. Man seems to have a proclivity to follow his will above the will of God. This has happened several times in the history of the sons of God.

The Nephites abandoned God by 400 AD. The Lamanites came upon them and killed all Nephites. Their last prophet took the books of scripture along with a record of this people and buried them to reserve them for future generations. Joseph smith translated a part of their records; which became known as the Book of Mormon after one of their great prophets. Among these records was the Book if the Law of the Lord. Both were prophesied of by the prophet Jerimiah. The Book of the Law of the Lord is the single most important book of scripture. It was originally written by the finger of God.

These will be gathered when Jesus returns. The Twelve Tribes will inherit the land of Canaan. The seed of Joseph will inherit Zion.

CONCLUSION

The people of God in the beginning were the first-born sons of Adam through Abraham. Adam was a prophet of God; and communicated directly with God making His will and laws known among mankind. Early in the days of Adam, the people divided into the sons of God and the sons of man. The sons of man followed their own will.

Enoch was seventh from Adam. He preached to the sons of man and was able to save the people of city of Zion, near where Jerusalem stands today. Enoch kept a perfect, celestial law, so God took him into heaven with those who followed him. He will return before Jesus with Elijah to warn the people; but, they will be killed and their dead bodies will lay in the streets of Jerusalem three days. They will then be raised to greet the return of Jesus.

Noah was a prophet of God. He warned the sons of man that a terrible deluge was about to destroy mankind. He preached for 120 years according the direction of God; but, they would not hear him and the Great Flood came 1656 years after the fall of Adam—about 2,300 BC. Noah lived to the time of Abraham. Abraham spent 39 years with Noah and his son Shem.

Abraham was called of God to be the father of the children of God. From the time he covenanted with God to the time of Jesus, only his seed through Isaac and Jacob were the people of God. Not one gentile entered the Kingdom of God.

The last prophet before Jesus was Malachi–about 400 years before Jesus. During this 400 years, the Melchisedec Priesthood was completely lost. Although Israel were the elect of God, they were not recognized as His people; as there was no direct communication through a prophet of God.

Jesus was born the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and the House of David through his father Joseph. Jesus was first baptized by John the Baptist because John was a Priest of the Levitical Priesthood and held authority from God to baptize with water; but, not with the holy Spirit. After His baptism he spend forty days in the wilderness where He was tempted of Satan; but, remained true to God and His mission on earth.

At the end of this time, angels came and ministered to Him. He was ordained by the Father to the prophetic office the same as Adam, Noah, Moses, and others before Him. Jesus taught that is imperative to preach the gospel and administer its holy ordinances. Every minister must be called of God through the spirit of revelation and ordained by one holding that office in the priesthood. There is only one church left with the testimony of Jesus. “10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus : worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19)

Jesus called all officers of the Melchisedec Priesthood. “11 And he gave some, apostles ; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists [high priests]; and some, pastors [elders] and teachers; 12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 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.” (Eph. 4)

The perfect life of Jesus was the most significant part of His life. He lived a perfect life, never violating any law of God; and had nothing but love in His heart. He corrected the Ten Commandments as listed in the Old Testament; which were only abbreviations. “37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22) The only place the full law of God can be found is in the Book of the Law of the Lord; which the latter day prophet James J. Strang translated from the records which Joseph Smith recovered. I converted an old book into digital form and then published it in 2000.

During the three days that Jesus body lay in the grave, He went–in the spirit–to the spirits in prison (hell) to open a dispensation of the gospel to them. Now, they can obey the gospel and when there is a prophet they can be baptized for the dead and live according to men in the flesh.

Jesus said there are many mansions in My father’s house. Man will be resurrected into one of three glories at the resurrection: celestial compared to the sun, terrestrial compared to the moon, and the telestial compared with the stars. Only members of the Kingdom of God can inherit the earth at the resurrection in the celestial and terrestrial glories. Others must wait a thousand years for the second resurrection when all the rest of mankind will be resurrected into the teletial glory.

After the Jews rejected Jesus, and had Him crucified by Roman Law, the dispensation to the Jews was closed and the dispensation to the gentiles was opened. The problem with the gentiles is that they were raised on paganism. Being weak in the faith, they soon departed from doctrines of truth and returned to paganism.

In the early fourth century, a pagan, un-baptized Roman Emperor Constantine converted the Christian church to paganism. He changed the identity of God to that of the sun god whom He worshipped—the Trinity. He changed the identity of Jesus from the son of David to that of a pagan demigod. He changed the Sabbath to the “venerable day of the sun.”

There were hold outs mostly in Ireland. The popes took care of that by having them hung. Nothing seems to change the beliefs of a person who is weak in his belief system like watching others killed. ISIS killed little children in Iraq because they would not give up belief in Jesus. Constantine had made it heresy to believe anything contrary to Pagan Christianity. He killed his wife, his first-born son, his cousin, and thousands that would not accept his pagan doctrines. When the pagan priest, Sopater, would not provide absolution for his sins, he turned to a so-called Christian Bishop who said he simply had to be baptized. Jesus and the Apostles taught there is no forgiveness in life for killing. ‘…ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” (1 John 3:15) Constantine held out until his deathbed; when most likely a Catholic Bishop sprinkled him with some water and said he was baptized.

Jesus, and other prophets of God foretold of a great apostasy of the gentiles. This was to be complete when a presumed man of God sat as God on earth. The Bishop of Rome was first to take this stand in 570 AD. This ended the gentile dispensation and not one person entered the Kingdom of God for 1,260 years. Exactly 1,260 years later Joseph Smith who had been ordained under the hands of angels to the Prophetic Office organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830.

Like the gentiles before them, they could not bear to follow all the laws of God. They were first commanded to have all things in common; as it was under Jesus and the Apostles. When they failed, the law of tithing was restored. They were commanded to gather to places appointed of God and they would not.

The result was that Joseph was taken. Murdered with the help of the Governor of Illinois. The same hour that Joseph was killed, James J. Strang claimed to have been ordained to the same Prophetic Office as Joseph’s successor; although 400 miles away. The Letter of Appointment from Joseph—required by God—arrived a couple weeks later by regular mail.

Brigham Young led those that would follow him to the Great Salt Lake Basin. He took the name of the Lord in vain when he had his followers vote him to be their prophet. He later introduced many false doctrines. The worse—most likely—was changing the identity of God. He taught that God was once a man like us–even Adam with a wife from another planet—and we can be a god like him. Brigham and his followers were cut off the kingdom by the ruling of the High Council under James.

God first gave Voree as the place for gathering. This was a place where they would not be persecuted by their enemies. They would not live by all the laws of God and the gathering was moved by God to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan. Here the saints were persecuted by the gentiles of Mackinac.

Since the saints would not live by all the laws of God–the same as under Joseph—James was also taken. There were to be only two prophets and two work in the latter days. “19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [Book of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim [Joseph Smith], and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [Book of the Law of the Lord translated by James of the tribe of Judah], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)

With the help of the US Government—the captain of the U. S. Steamer Michigan—two apostates were able to shoot James. He died later in Voree. There was no successor. The saints were driven from the island; and dropped off at docks in Chicago and Milwaukee. All of their property had been stolen.

The Twelve Apostles—the highest office remaining—did not hold divine authority to lead the church. Some tried to gather again; but, were unsuccessful. The saints scattered from Michigan to the Rockies. Before his death, James ordained L. D. Hickey one of the twelve apostles. He ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained me an elder on July 8, 1956.

The prophecy of Micah came true. “8 And thou, O tower of the flock [James J. Strang], the strong hold of the daughter of Zion [church in America], unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem [July 8, 1850]. 9 Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counsellor perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 10 Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.” (Mic. 4)

The king—James J. Strang—was dead. L. D. Hickey was the last of the twelve apostles. Lloyd Flanders was the last of the high priests. We are left with the office of elder in the Melchisedec Priesthood. This office holds authority from God to preach the gospel and administer the saving ordinances of the gospel. We have been greatly blessed in this respect and will wait until “the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.”

The gate into the Kingdom of God is still open; although the major dispensation to the gentiles was closed in 1967, after the six-day war.

Soon, James J. Strang will return again as a resurrected person, set the house of God in order, and gather the worthy saints to a place of refuge to survive the desolation that is soon to come upon those that “know not God an obey not the gospel.” Then comes the great and terrible Day of the Lord. “6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD  is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. 7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: 8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. 9 Behold, the day of the LORD  cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” (Isa. 13)

Remember, all who have not been properly baptized are sinners. Those who are properly baptized become the seed of Abraham. “27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3)

“19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph [Bok of Mormon], which is in the hand of Ephraim [Joseph Smith], and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah [Book of the Law of the Lord], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)

There was 1,260 years when authority from God and the gospel were taken from the earth—from 570 A.D. to 1830 A.D. The prophet saw this time and wrote about it in the book of Revelation (12:6, 14; 13:5-7).

Joseph Smith was called by God to stand as a prophet to the gentiles. He organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. When the saints would not abide by all the laws of God given to them, he was taken on June 27,1844. The same hour that Joseph was murdered with the help of the Governor of Illinois, angels appeared to James J. Strang some 400 miles away and ordained him as a prophet the same as Joseph; as his successor.

Again, the saints failed to live by the word of God and James was taken. He was shot with the help of the U. S. Government. The captain of the U. S. Steamer Michigan lured him towards the boat where two apostate followers shot him. His wounds were pronounced mortal. He was taken back to his parent’s home in Wisconsin where he died on July 9,1856.

This ended God’s recognition of the gentiles as His people. The Kingdom of God has been brought forward to this day by apostles, then high priests, and now elders. Elders hold authority from God to preach the gospel and administer the saving ordinances of the gospel.

Soon, James is to return as a resurrected man and gather the very small remnant to a place of refuge before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. James will then be given power from God with other resurrected prophets to bring destruction upon those who know not God and obey not the gospel.

All of Israel will be gathered. The House of Israel will be gathered and inherit the land of Canaan as promised by God. Jesus is not to return to gentiles; but, to Israel. The seed of Joseph planted in Zion—Native Americans–will inherit the land of Zion. The central city for this Kingdom of God will be Independence, Missouri, where it was established in the days of Joseph.

HISTORY OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD

 Children of God          4000 B.C. to 2000 B. C          Adam to Abraham
Children of God          2000 B. C. to 1843 B. C.        Abraham to Joseph
Children of man          1843 B. C. to 1443 B. C.        Captivity in Egypt
C
hildren of God          1443 B. C. to 400 B. C.          Moses and prophets of God
Children of Man            400 B. C. to     4 B. C.          Micah last prophecy 400 B. C.
Children of God               27 A. D. to  34 A. D.         Jesus ministry
Children of God               34 A. D. to  99 A. D.         Peter, James, and John
Kingdom of God             99 A. D. to 570 A. D.        High Priests and elders
Great apostasy               570 A. D. to 1830 A. D.      All priesthood lost
Children of God          1830 A. D. to 1856 A. D.       Joseph Smith and James J. Strang
Kingdom of God        1856 A. D. to Present             Apostles, High Priests, and Elders
C
hildren of God          6,000 years after Adam          Jesus returns
Children of God          6,000 to 7,000 A. D.               Millennium
Children of God          7,000 years to eternity
Children of God?        721? B. C. to present              Ten Lost Tribes
C
hildren of God          600 B. C. to 400 A. D.            Nephites

There is a desolation about to fall on the earth unlike anything before. “21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened,” (Jesus, Matt. 24)

“29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Jesus, Luke 17)

There will be a “star on fire” that will fall upon the earth and destroy a third of all living things. Following that there will be a type of nuclear winter. “Fire goeth before, famine followeth after, and pestilence will waste them.”

Israel will also suffer; but, most will be preserved. It is written that the righteous will scarily survive. There are no promises for the gentiles. They fell into idolatry and all manner of wickedness after the apostles. After 1,260 years, the priesthood and gospel was restored to the earth through Joseph Smith and continued through James J. Strang.

Some think there is salvation only through the will of man. How they will cry like they did in Sodom. “16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1) “5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, BUT ALSO IN POWER, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thess. 1)

The POWER OF THE GOSPEL is the Melchisedec Priesthood. There can be no salvation without authority from God. “10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists [high priests]; and some, pastors [elders]  and teachers; {Why?] 12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 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.” (Eph. 4)

Jesus went to John the Baptist for baptism of water. “5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3) After Jesus was tempted of Satan, angels came and ministered to Him. Jesus “4 And no man taketh this honour  [of the priesthood], unto himself but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by the spirit of revelation]. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” (Heb. 5) By this ordination Jesus became the only begotten (ordained) and Son of God.

There are hundreds of so-called Christian churches, each with different doctrines that think they are the children of God. God does not recognize them. There can be only one true church and one gate into the Kingdom of God. “4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Eph. 4) The path to eternal life cannot change; even as God is without change. That path was given to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and by most prophets of God. The Catholic Church introduced new gods for their people to worship. But, they were not new. They were the old pagan doctrines given Christian names. Constantine changed the nature of God to that of the pagan sun god: the Trinity. He also changed Jesus as the son of David to a pagan demigod. He changed the holy Sabath to “the venerable day of the sun.”

When the blind lead the blind, both fall into the ditch.

“5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” (1 Cor. 8)

The only salvation is through the seed of Abraham. How does a gentile become the seed of Abraham? Through authority from God. “27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3)

Where are valid officers of the Melchisedec Priesthood? Where is there a church that has had revelations from God? Where is the promised gifts of the Holy Ghost? Only among the very small remnant of the followers of both Joseph Smith and James J. Strang. The “very small remnant” noted by the prophet Isaiah.

The latter day prophet James J. Strang ordained L. D. Hickey one of the twelve apostles. Apostle Hickey ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained me an elder. I have a valid claim to the Melchisedec Priesthood. The gate into the Kingdom of God is still open. Escape from the desolation is within your reach. WILL YOU COME WITH ME?

Samuel E. West
Elder in latter day Zion
Samuel270@aol.com
December 15, 2016.