WAS BRIGHAM YOUNG A PROPHET OF GOD?
This is a surprisingly important question for all. Ezekiel was told in a vision of the last days that there would be two prophets and two works. One book would be through the seed of Joseph, son of Jacob. The other would be through the tribe of Judah. “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 through James J. Strang], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)
Answering this question requires a basic understanding of the priesthood of God; especially as it relates to our time. Jesus advised us: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) Salvation is possible only through officers of the kingdom holding authority from God. Let’s take out our Bibles and begin.
Only members of the Kingdom of God can receive the priesthood of God; just as only a citizen of the US can represent the government of the US. JESUS is our example in all things pertaining to righteousness. Before He could begin His mission, He had to obey the gospel; as only then could He receive this priesthood. He went to John the Baptist because John was a Priest of the Aaronic Priesthood and held divine authority to baptize with water. John prophesied that Jesus would hold the higher Melchisedec Priesthood that holds authority to baptize with the Spirit. “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. 3:11)
When Jesus rose out of the water, He was born of the Spirt by God. “… lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Thus, Jesus obeyed the law that He taught: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
WHAT IS THE PRIESTHOOD OF GOD?
Jesus was still not authorized by God to preach the gospel. He had to obey the law of God on receiving this priesthood: a calling by God and an ordination by one holding that priesthood. The Apostle Paul reminded his son of this law. “Neglect not the gift [of the priesthood] that is in thee, which was given thee by PROPHECY, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery [those holding that office].” (1 Tim. 4:14)
Jesus was called by God and ordained under His hands as a Prophet like Moses. “4 And no man taketh this honour [of the priesthood] unto himself, but he that is called of God [by revelation from God], as was Aaron [Moses received this 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; Acts 3:22)
Jesus then ordained the Twelve Apostles so they could be sent to preach the gospel. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach.” (Mark 3:14) Next He called and ordained all of the other offices of this priesthood because none can enter the Kingdom of God without the administration (e.g. baptism) of one of these officers. “11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [high priests and 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) Have we “all come in the unity of the fulness of the faith”? This is an eternal law. “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Jesus, Matt. 5:18)
There were four offices within that of APOSTLE under Jesus. The highest is a FIRST-DEGREE Apostle, Prophet, and Lawgiver. Jesus held this office; as did Adam, Noah, Moses, and others. ONLY ONE PERSON can hold this office on earth at the same time; as the Church of Christ can have only one head. Elisha wanted Elijah—who held this office—to ordain him to the same; but that was not possible until Elijah stepped on the fiery chariot and was no longer in mortal life. All ordinations to this office must come by direct revelation from God and be ordained by angelic administration.
The nest lowest office—SECOND-DEGREE Apostle–is that of Apostle, Prophet, and Counselor. These are authorized by God to stand at the head of church when there is no Lawgiver; but only in an administrative capacity. They give revelations but not laws to the church. Joshua succeeded Moses in this office. He was called directly by revelation from God and ordained by Moses who held the highest office. “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.” (Num. 27)
THIRD-DEGREE Apostles are Ambassadors to take the gospel to the nations. The Twelve were first sent to the Jews and then to the gentiles—nations of the world. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) Twelve make a quorum.
FOURTH DEGREE APOSTLES are Evangelists: Ambassadors to one nation. “… and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.” (Acts 21:8) Seven make a quorum. They were sent to the seven churches of Asia.
HIGH PRIESTS are next below that of Apostle and then ELDERS. Both are honorable offices and were called during the ministry of Jesus and the Apostles. “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God.” (Heb. 5:1) “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.” (Acts 14:23)
The law of God on priesthood is—like God–eternal and never changes. Only those called by revelation from God and then ordained by one holding that priesthood are qualified to preach the gospel. “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the [original spiritual] law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil [the added temporal law of Moses]. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in NO WISE pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Jesus, Matt. 5)
AUTHORITY FROM GOD LOST IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH.
The Church of Christ, all divine authority, and saints of God were to lost on the earth for 1,260 years. First, Satan destroyed the CHURCH of Christ. In the prophecy of John, he also noted: “and to the woman [Church of Christ] 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.” (Rev. 12:14)
Next, Satan destroyed the PRIESTHOOD of God. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman [church], and went to make war with the remnant of her seed [those holding the PRIESTHOOD of God], which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (12:17) “… the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10) Without a calling by revelation, there is no priesthood of God.
Finally, Satan destroyed the SAINTS of God. “5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,2,60 years]… 7 And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to OVERCOME THEM: and power was given him over ALL kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13)
“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)
Gentiles had been raised on paganism for over 2,000 years. Even during the life of the Apostles, gentiles began returning to those doctrines. “7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way… 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thess. 2)
The Bible, history, and church leaders all attest to the fact that gentiles apostatized and lost all divine authority. “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.” (2 Thess. 2:3)
The noted Ecclesiastic historian Mosheim wrote of the fourth century. “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.”
In 325 A.D., the unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor Constantine organized his new Catholic Church and stood as absolute head. He did this solely as Emperor of Rome; as he was not even a Christian. “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.” (James Carroll, Constantine’s Sword, p. 188)
Constantine caused a COMPLETE LOSS OF DIVINE AUTHORITY, the gospel, and the Kingdom of God. He stood alone as absolute head of the church without even being baptized. Not one person after Constantine was properly called to the priesthood of God. No more Apostles, Prophets, High Priest, or Elders. Bishops became the new officers of the church of Rome. The office of Bishop is temporal and not spiritual without divine authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel. “It may perhaps be deduced from the letters of Ignatius that at this period each of these was ruled by a bishop, chosen from the elders (the presbyters) and assisted by other presbyters and deacons, who were elected by the vote of the entire congregation.” (Life of Jesus, Marcello Craveri, p. 234) Their only authority was by man with no central authority. It was later when the Bishop of Rome claimed authority over all.
With Constantine came a CONVERSION TO PAGANISM. He was a loyal follower 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.” (Ibid., p. 183)
Jesus advised us: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Constantine removed a correct understanding of God and Jesus from Christianity and replaced it with doctrines of pagan gods. He simply adopted pagan doctrines–giving them Christian names. He changed the God of Abraham to the pagan Trinity; which began in Babylon and is opposed by everything in the Bible. He changed the identity of Jesus from the seed of Abraham according to the flesh to the bastard son of a ghost. If this Virgin Birth doctrine were true, God was an adulterer and Jesus was not the Messiah. “Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh.” (Rom.1:3)
“19 O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit. 20 Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” (Jer. 16)
THE GOSPEL is God’s plan of salvation. “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. 1:16) There are two essential parts to the gospel: (1) the word of the gospel, and (2) the power of the gospel. “For our gospel came not unto you in WORD only, but also in POWER, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance [FAITH]; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thess. 1:5)
The WORD OF THE GOSPEL is faith, repentance, baptism of water and the Spirit, sharing in the sacrament of bread and water, and obedience to the laws of God. Jesus advised us: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.” (Jesus, John 6:53) “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (Rev. 22:14)
GOSPEL FAITH is available only through His ministers that hold the Melchisedec Priesthood; even as it was in the days of Jesus and Apostles. “14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent [be properly ordained]? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then FAITH COMETH BY HEARING, and hearing by the word of God [through His ministers].” (Rom. 10)
Gospel faith brings many blessings not found in Catholicity. The first is to have an understanding–through personal revelation–that the path you are walking is in accordance with the will of God. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” (Jesus, John 16:3) Revelation ceased with Constantine.
“9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the DEEP THINGS OF GOD. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. 2)
Jesus told us “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) No one can know God and Jesus without revelation. “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Jesus, Matt. 11:27)
Anyone can know OF God; but to KNOW God requires personal revelation. A child separated from its mother at birth could know of its mother; but can only know its mother through association. The same was true with Peter knowing Jesus. He advised him the only way able to know Him and God was by revelation from God. “Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17)
Through gospel faith, many wonderful works are possible. Abraham’s wife conceived when she was well beyond the age of child bearing. Elizabeth–mother of John the Baptist–conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost. Mary–mother of Jesus–also conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost; as did many others. The sick are healed through gospel faith and ministers of God. “14 Is any sick among you? let him CALL FOR THE ELDER (an office of the Melchisedec Priesthood) call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the PRAYER OF FAITH shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5)
“32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets. 33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection.” (Heb. 11; read the entire chapter)
All who are properly baptized are promised a gift of the Holy Ghost. On the Day of Pentecost when the gospel went to gentiles, “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. 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.” (Acts 2:38, 39) The Apostle Paul advised the Corinthians: “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts.” (1 Cor. 14:1) For an understanding of these gifts go to 1 Cor. 12.
Constantine removed baptism of water and replaced it with pouring a little water on the candidate. The term baptism means immersion—the only form in the Bible. Baptism of the Spirit was also completely lost; as it requires personal revelation from God. NOT ONE PERSON AFTER CONSTANTINE KNEW GOD or received blessings of the Holy Spirit. ALL OF THE BLESSINGS OF GOSPEL, FAITH, AND THE HOLY GHOST WERE LOST.
The POWER OF THE GOSPEL is authority from God to minister in His name. Jesus was not allowed to preach the gospel until He obeyed the gospel and was ordained to the priesthood of God under the hands of the Father. “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. 5:5) The Twelve could be sent to preach the gospel until ordained to that office. High priests and elders obeyed the same. ALL AUTHORITY FROM GOD WAS LOST WITH CONSTANTINE. None could obey the gospel and all hope of salvation through the gospel was lost.
THE CHURCH, PRIESTHOOD, AND GOSPEL WERE LOST FOR 1,260 YEARS.
The Apostle John wrote of authority from God and the gospel being lost for 1,260 years. “5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months [1,260 years]. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given unto him to make WAR WITH THE SAINTS, and to OVERCOME THEM: and power was given him OVER ALL kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Rev. 13)
The 1,260 YEARS BEGAN when a man thought to be of God–but without any authority from God–claimed to stand at the head—as God on earth. The Apostle Paul advised us: “3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Jesus] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostacy] 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 Thess. 2)
Roman Emperors stood at the head of the church from 325 to 568 (when the Lombard’s defeated Rome). In 570, the Bishop of Rome thought to stand as God on earth over the whole church. He was 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 Protestant revolution could not restore authority from God without communication with God. So, they invented a new gospel: salvation by faith alone. “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. 1:8) This doctrine is contrary to everything taught in the Bible. Did Jesus lie when He advised us: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) “19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD?” (James 2) Did Peter lie when he told all to be baptized and promised gifts of the Holy Ghost to all who believed? “… 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.” (Acts 2:39)
Since the gospel was to be lost for 1,260 years, it follows there would be a RESTORATION OF AUTHORITY AND THE GOSPEL after that time. John wrote of this restoration. “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) This restoration was for every nation because it had been lost in every nation.
WHO WAS THE PROPHET THAT RESTORED DIVINE AUTHORITY?
Paul advised us to “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good [true].” (1 Thess. 5:21) “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20) If divine authority was not restored, there still isn’t any hope of salvation. Discovering the return of authority from God and the gospel begins with adding the 570 with the man of sin with the 1,260; which yields 1830. Then, we have to search for a man claiming divine authority through angelic administration. The only man who claimed a RESTORATION of divine authority was Joseph Smith. He claimed direct communication with God and Jesus, a calling of God, and an ordination as a Prophet under the hands of angels. He organized the CHURCH OF CHRIST on April 6, 1830.
Holding the highest office as Prophet and Lawgiver, Joseph restored all of the other offices of this priesthood. None of these offices had existed for at least 1,260 years. With gospel faith came all the blessings of gospel faith. This included a correct understanding of God and Jesus while the rest of Christianity worshipped the pagan Trinitarian god. Baptism of water AND the Spirit were once again on the earth with all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The gate into the Kingdom of God was opened with the priesthood of God and the gospel. If Joseph Smith did not restore these, the world remains without salvation and the Bible is a fraud.
The Bible tells us of TWO PROPHETS AND TWO WORKS in the latter/last days. This is in accordance with the Apostle John’s prophecy of the restoration of the gospel and authority of God. “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 translated by James J. Strang], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)
The FIRST WORK was the Book of Mormon translated by Joseph. It does not replace the Bible; but is a second testimony of the truth of Jesus and His teachings and includes a brief record of a branch of Israel lived in America from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. Recent archeological records prove this white skinned people did, in fact, live in America at that time. They separated into two groups shortly after arriving here. One followed the teachings of God and the other their own will. When the first turned away from God, they were destroyed by the other in 400 A.D. This latter group is part of Native Americans.
The Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. It is another testimony of the truth of Jesus Christ; and provides a history of ancient inhabitants of this continent who were of the House of Israel and of Jesus’ works among them. Knowledge of this advanced civilization was not known when this book was published in 1830. New DNA evidence shows this white skinned people did exist during the exact time line from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. Their last prophet buried their records shortly before they were destroyed because of their iniquities. Joseph Smith was led by this prophet to where these records had been buried.
The Book of the Law of the Lord was among these books and was later translated by his lawful successor, James J. Strang. It is the most sacred book of scripture; as it was written by the finger of God. Moses made copies for the Priests to teach the people. “And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.” (Deut. 31:9) It was first printed in 1850, and an expanded edition in 1856. I reprinted this most important book of scripture in 2000. It is the only place where the original Ten Commandments can be found. You can study it at mormonbeliefs.com.
The duties of a Prophet of God in the latter days includes being a Prophet and Lawgiver, Seer, Revelator, and Translator. Joseph Smith fulfilled all of these. In 1830, he published the Book of Mormon. In1835, he published the Doctrine and Covenants. Part One contained a series of Lectures on Faith by Joseph; identifying the true God and principles of salvation as laid out in the Bible. Part Two included the revelations and commandments given through Joseph for the saints to guide them into righteousness and have hope of salvation.
JOSEPH WAS TO BE TAKEN.
God knew Joseph would be killed while in office. He has perfect knowledge of both the past and the future. “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,” (Isa. 46)
Joseph received four revelations (the first only a year after the church was organized) that he was to appoint another in his stead; which meant he would die in office. He was to appoint his successor and that man had to be ordained under the hands of angles like himself. “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 [by angelic administration], to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed.” (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 43, Utah Edition)
With the help of the government on June 27, 1844, a mob murdered Joseph. Nine days before his death, he wrote a Letter of Appointment to James J. Strang in Burlington, Wisconsin. The same hour that Joseph died in Carthage, Illinois, James claimed to have been ordained to the same Prophetic Office under the hands of angels like Joseph; although he was 400 miles away and could have no knowledge of his death. The first official news of Joseph’s death came when the Letter of Appointment was delivered by regular mail on July 9th. Joseph’s foretelling of his death in office, impending death, and James claiming ordination under the hands of angels the same hour as his death, are prophetic in their own right.
On June 20, 1856, again with the help of the government, James was shot. He was taken back to his parent’s home in Wisconsin where he died on July 9th. There was no successor; as there were to be only two prophets given to gentiles in the last days (Ezek. 37:19).
WAS BRIGHAM YOUNG THE NEXT PROPHET?
Was he called by direct revelation from God and ordained under the hands of angels like Joseph; as required by the law of God? NO! History proves that he was only ordained a third-degree Apostle, one of the Twelve under Joseph; who held no authority to stand at the head of the church.
Two months after Joseph’s murder on June 27, 1844, Brigham called a special meeting of the church. He “asked the saints what they wanted. Do you want a guardian, a PROPHET, a spokesman, or what do you want? If you want any of these officers, signify it by raising the right hand. Not a hand was raised.”
Brigham announced that the church would not to have another prophet; but that the Twelve lower order Apostles would stand at the head of the church instead of a Prophet as required by the law of God. “LET NO MAN PRESUME FOR A MOMENT THAT HIS PLACE WILL BE FILLED BY ANOTHER; FOR REMEMBER, HE STANDS IN HIS OWN PLACE AND ALWAYS WILL.” “You are now without a prophet present with you in the flesh to guide you; but you are not without apostles who [will now] DICTATE ALL THE AFFAIRS OF THE CHURCH IN ALL THE WORLD.” (The official church journal Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, pp. 618, 637) In effect, this statement declares Joseph was not a Prophet; as there was to be a successor.
WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THE TWELVE? These are AMBASSADORS to the nations of the world and hold no ruling authority in America. The Doctrine and Covenants contains the official principles and regulations for the church. “The TWELVE TRAVELING counselors are called to be the twelve apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ, in all the world: thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.” (D&C 107:23, Utah Edition).
It clearly states that the mission of the Twelve is to the nations of the world and not to stand as head of the church. They function only under the direction of the Prophet. “The twelve are a traveling, presiding high council, to officiate in the name of the Lord, UNDER THE DIRECTION of the presidency of the church, agreeably to the institution of heaven; to build up the church, and regulate all the affairs of the same, in ALL NATIONS: first unto the Gentiles, and secondly unto the Jews.” (Utah Section 107:33) No Prophet, no mission, and the duty of the Twelve becomes one to only preach the gospel and administer its ordinances.
Then on December 24, 1847 (over three years after Joseph’s death), while on their way West, Brigham called a general conference of his followers and noted their church was in an “unorganized state… THEY HAD TO SELECT A FIRST PRESIDENCY and they would admit the first argument of the apostates was correct.” That is, that the organization was not complete without a Prophet. Brigham was never called by God as a Prophet to lead the church. What happened? “It was moved and seconded that Brigham Young should be our First President. It was carried unanimously [by the voice of the people].” BRIGHAM BECAME THEIR MAN-MADE PROPHET–NOTHING in the eyes of God.
NOTHING according to Brigham in his own Journal of Discourses. “I do not profess to be a Prophet. I never called myself so; but I actually believe I am, because people are all the time telling me I am.” (Journal of Discourses, 5:177) “A person was mentioned to-day who did not believe that Brigham Young was a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. I wish to ask every member of this whole community, if they ever heard him profess to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, as Joseph Smith was?… Who ordained me to be First President of this Church on earth? I answer, It is the choice of the people, and that is sufficient.” (Ibid., 6:32) The VOICE OF THE PEOPLE has never been the voice of God. “When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.” (John 19:6)
Jesus advised us: “15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUITS. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matt. 7)
WHAT WAS BRIGHAM’S FRUITS?
HE INVENTED A NEW GOD. Jesus told us: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3) Brigham introduced a new God and a false doctrine called ETERNAL PROGRESSION. That is, God was once a man like us and we can progress and become like Him. “And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.” (Mark 12:32)
On Oct. 8, 1854, he stated, “… so we had a grandfather or we would have had no father, and our grandfather had a father and grandfather and great-great-great- grandfather so far back there is no beginning – They always existed on some world – and when this world was made – our God who is Adam came and commenced the peopling of it – Though he is God and had lived and died and had been resurrected on some other planet – and obtained his exaltation and begat the Spirits of children enough to people this world.” (John Pulsipher account of same discourse. Quoted from The Teachings of President Brigham Young, Vol. 3, 1852 – 1854, Comp. and Ed. by Fred D. Collier, Collier’s Publishing Co., October 1987, p. 369)
On June 23, 1875, Wilford Woodruff stated, “… and whoever goes back into the presence of God our Eternal Father will find that he is a noble God… they will also learn that he has placed us here that we may pass through a state of probation and experience, the same as he himself did in his days of mortality.” (JD, 15:319)
On Jan. 10, 1886, Apostle Lorenzo Snow stated, “As man now is, God once was.” (JD, 26:368)
It is evident that Brigham Young and the Utah church have taught that God was once a man like ourselves. This doctrine was continued in 1886, by Apostle Lorenzo Snow; 1913, by President Joseph F. Smith; 1969, by Hyrum L. Andrus; and in 1975, by Wilford Woodruff.
He also taught a false ADAM-GOD doctrine: that Adam was the eternal heavenly Father. “… you believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe.” (Journal of Discourses, 2:6) “Brother Pratt… could not believe that Adam was our God or the Father of Jesus Christ. President Young said that He was that he came from another world & made this brought Eve with him.” (WWJ, Sept. 17, 1854)
On Oct. 8, 1854, Brigham Young stated, “… Adam is the Father of our spirits… and Adam obeyed his Master the Lord, and probably many of his wives did the same, and they did the same, and they lived, and died upon an earth, and then were resurrected again to Immortality and Eternal Life.” (Brigham Young, Oct. 8, 1854, Afternoon Session of the General Conference, Church Archives. Quoted from Craig L. Tholson, Adam-God, Publishment, Payson, Utah, 1991, p. 60)
He also taught the false doctrine of SPIRITUAL WIFERY. He taught there was a Mr. God and Mrs. God who begat our spirits and that those who are married in his church will, after the resurrection, will beget spirits for other creations. Newsweek on September 1, 1980 published an article entitled “What Mormons Believe.” This applies only to the church founded by Brigham Young in Utah.
“At the center of that theology is the belief that God is literally a procreating father and that he is married to a Mrs. God, or divine mother… In the [Utah] Mormon view of human destiny, progression toward godhood continues after death. Joined together for all eternity in heaven, devout Mormon couples advance in knowledge and power, purify their lives, and eventually, spawn spirit children of their own. As father and mother gods in their own right, they will ultimately ‘organize’ new planets for their children, thus repeating an endless cycle of reproduction.”
What does the Bible teach? Jesus is the father of everything in this creation–in liaison with the Father. His spirit was organized by God and He organized our spirits. “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 [not a Mr. and Mrs. God]; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1; Col. 1:16) “And God said, Let [God and Jesus] us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26)
God is the SUPREME being over the Universe. He alone possesses eternal perfections. GOD IS WITHOUT CHANGE. He has been and will remain the same from eternity to eternity. “I am the LORD, I change not.” (Mal. 3:6). “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) If God was to change, He would be untrustworthy and we could trust and faith in Him.
God alone hath IMMORTALITY. “Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” (1 Tim. 6:16)
God alone hath OMNISCIENCE. God alone is all-knowing with perfect knowledge of past, present, and future. “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)
God alone has OMNIPOTENCE. Hew alone is the supreme power in the Universe. Even Jesus is subject to God. “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28)
God alone is OMNIPRESENT. His presence fills the immensity of space as a point. There is not a place in the Universe where He is not present through His ministers. His speed is unmatched as His thought is even faster than angels.
God alone is ONE. There are choirs of angels, hosts of spirits, and multitudes of men; but God has no fellow.
Jesus advised us: “20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7) BRIGHAM DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE.
One of the great laws of God is the SABBATH. It was given by God after creation. “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Gen. 2:3) This is one of the great laws in the Ten Commandments. “REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY, to keep it holy… the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God.” (Ex. 20:8, 10) “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel FOR EVER: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” (Ex. 31:17)
The seventh day is kept throughout the Bible; and was honored by Jesus and the Apostles. Some think the law of God changed with Jesus. No so! There is no difference between Jew and gentile in the eyes of God. “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.” (Gal. 3:28) This sacred law is to be kept forever. Jesus noted. “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matt. 5:18)
HOW DID SUNDAY COME TO BE HONORED? It was the unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor Constantine that changed the day to honor the sun god. He was not a Christian but honored the sun god all his life. “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) He made the “venerable day of the sun” the new rest day for Christians. The Jews never accepted this change. It is not the Sabbath. There is only ONE SABBATH. Those who honor the sun god have no right to being called people of God.
Joseph Smith honored the seventh day—Saturday—as the Sabbath. “Brethren in the Lord, good advice is like springs in the wilderness; you may drink at one and drink at another, and pure water always tastes agreeable. Never plan your business on SATURDAY SO THAT IT MIGHT INTERFERE WITH THE SOLEMN DUTIES OF THE SABBATH [caps mine], for the Lord will not hold you guiltless if you do. His sacred command is: OBSERVE THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY [caps mine].” (Evening and Morning Star [official church journal], October, 1832, Vol. 1, No. 5)
Brigham Young honored the seventh day Sabbath until after Joseph’s death in 1844. On a Saturday in May, 1845, Brigham noted: “So let it be, O Lord Almighty. This is the seventh day of the week or the Jewish Sabbath. It is the day on which the Almighty finished his work and rested from his labors; we have finished the walls of the temple, and we may rest today from our labors.” (History of the Church, VOL. 7, p. 418) Then he and his followers have honored “the venerable day of the sun.”
THESE DOTRINES ARE CONTRARY TO THE BIBLE and to Joseph Smith’s teachings.
One of the DUTIES OF A TRUE PROPHET of God is to provide association with God through REVELATIONS–providing guidance from God like all Prophets in the Bible. They are Seers and Revelators. In 1906, Joseph F. Smith [a successor of Brigham] appeared before the United States Senate. Here is what this man-made prophet declared:
“Senator Hoar. Is the doctrine of the inspiration of the head of the church and revelations given to him one of the fundamental or non-fundamental doctrines of Mormonism?
Mr. Smith. The principles of revelation is a fundamental principles of the Church.
Senator Hoar. I speak of the revelations given to the head of the Church.
Mr. Smith. Yes, sir.
Senator Hoar. Does or does not a person who does not believe that a revelation given through the head of the Church comes from God reject a fundamental principle of Mormonism?
Mr. Smith. He does; always if the revelation is a divine revelation from God.
Senator Hoar. It always is, is it not? It comes through the head of the Church?
Mr. Smith. When it is divine, it always is; when it is divine, most decidedly.
The Chairman. I do not quite understand that – ‘when it is divine.’ You have revelations do you not?
Mr. Smith. I HAVE NEVER PRETENDED TO NOR DO I PROFESS TO HAVE RECEIVED REVELATIONS. I never said I had a revelation except so far as God has shown to me that so-called Mormonism is God’s divine truth; THAT IS ALL.”
CALLED BY REVELATION FROM GOD? NO, Brigham became their man-made prophet by the vote of his followers. When their prophets die, their SENIOR APOSTLE, also called by the voice of man and becomes their NEW MAN-MADE PROPHET. The voice of the people is not the voice of God. The voice of man “cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.” (Luke 23:21)
“Senator Bailey. I understand that. As a matter of fact, the apostles nominate the president and the church elects him. Do I understand that to be the case?
“Mr. Smith. Well, yes, sir; that has been the case. And then, again, the senior apostle, through custom of the church since the death of Joseph Smith, has been recognized on the death of the president as the legitimate successor to the president.”
BRIGHAM AND HIS SUCCESSORS are prophets that have PROPHESIED NOTHING, seers that have SEEN NOTHING, revelators that REVEALED NOTHING, and translators that TRANSLATED NOTHING. They are nothing in the sight of God. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isa. 8:20) Jesus spoke of such: “In vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matt. 15:9) “I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:23)
Jesus was ordained under the hands of God as Prophet and Lawgiver like Moses (Heb. 5). JOSEPH SMITH was ordained to the same office under the hands of angels like those before him in the Bible. He fulfilled all the duties of a Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Translator. The DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS was published in 1835. PART ONE, from Joseph’s teachings, proves the Bible is correct in its teachings of the God of Abraham and of the plan of salvation. Brigham removed this from his D&C; as he taught a man-made god. PART TWO contains revelations, commandments, and principles for the regulation of the church. It is the only edition approved under Joseph. Brigham removed two important sections from this approved edition and added 24 of his own origin.
Joseph translated the Book of Mormon in 1830, from ancient plates that contained a record of a branch of the House of Israel that migrated to the Americas in 600 B.C. It does not replace the Bible; but is another testimony that Jesus was the Messiah and supports Bible teachings. Joseph fulfilled the duties as Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Translator.
THERE WAS A LEGITIMATE SUCCESSOR TO JOSEPH.
The Bible teaches there were to be TWO PROPHETS and two works among gentiles of the last 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 Joseph’s successor], and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.” (Ezek. 37)
God knew that Joseph would be murdered while in office. He gave four revelations that in the event of his impending death that he would appoint another; and that man would also have to be ordained the same as Joseph 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, Utah Edition)
Like many Prophets before him, Joseph gave his life as a testimony of the truth of his work. Through an angelic visitation on June 18, 1844, shortly before his murder on June 27, he understood of his impending death. He wrote that he was going like a lamb to the slaughter. He was jailed under false pretenses in order to effectively murder him.
The SAME DAY of this vision he wrote a Letter of Appointment to JAMES J. STRANG in Burlington, Wisconsin, appointing him as his successor in accordance with the law of God. The SAME HOUR that Joseph was murdered, James J. Strang claimed to have been ordained to the same Prophetic Office as Joseph under the hands of angels (although he was 400 miles away and could not have any knowledge of his death). He was a recognized attorney and advised community leaders of this ordination. This Letter of Appointment was the first official news of Joseph’s death. It was delivered by regular mail on July 9. It is now in Yale University Library. Its authenticity has been proven beyond a doubt. The original revelation received by Joseph, the vision of his impending death, and James claiming ordination the same hour of his death are prophetic in their own right.
Joseph Smith, of the seed of Joseph through Ephraim, received the first book (stick): The Book of Mormon. The second was given through James, a Prophet of the tribe of Judah: The Book of the Law of the Lord. It was among the plates recovered by Joseph. “14. And now, when I Nephi, had heard the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that Inasmuch as they seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise. 15. Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law. 16. And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass.” (1 Nephi 4) Both were taken into heaven after translation.
The Book of the Law is the most important book of scripture–written by the finger of God. Moses made copies from the tables of stone for the Priests to teach the law to the people. “And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel.” (Deut. 31:9)
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE BOOK OF THE LAW OF THE LORD? Why isn’t it in the Bible? In 588 B.C., just before the Babylonian Captivity, the Prophet Jeremy took the Ark of the Covenant with the tables and buried them a cave on a mountain—not to be recovered until Jesus returns (2 Mac. 2). All copies of the Book of the Law were destroyed; as it was felt to sacred to fall into the hands of the heathen/gentile.
Only one copy survived. Twelve years earlier, in 600 B.C., God called a Prophet in Jerusalem—Lehi–to take his family to a far distant Promised Land—Zion: North and South America. Before leaving, his son recovered the sacred writings to that time; including the Book of the Law. They were mostly the seed of Joseph of old (Jacob’s son) through Manasseh and Ephraim. When the people arrived in Zion they divided. The righteous people that kept the law of God continued until 400 A.D. when they turned from God and were completely destroyed by the others. Their last Prophet buried these records. Joseph recovered them and translated part of the record of that people: the Book of Mormon.
The Book of the Law was translated by James J. Strang and first printed in 1850. A more comprehensive edition was printed in 1856, with notes by James. A facsimile edition was printed in 1996; but has been out of print for many years. I reprinted the Book of the Law in 2000 with digital and hard copies. It is the only place where the original Ten Commandments can be found. You can study it at mormonbeliefs.com.
James J. Strang fulfilled all of the duties and responsibilities of a Prophet of God. “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.”
On June 20, 1856, with the help of the government (the captain of the US Steam Ship Michigan) James was mortally wounded. His murderers from Mackinac were taken home, given a mock trial, and released so they could never be given a just trial. He was taken home to his parent’s house in Wisconsin where he died on July 9th. The property of the saints was stolen, they were driven from their homes, and scattered. Since there was to be only two prophets given to the gentiles in the last days, there was no successor in the Prophetic Office.
During his administration, James ordained L. D. Hickey one of the Twelve Apostles to the gentiles. Apostle Hickey ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained Samuel E. West an elder on July 8, 1956. He has ordained other elders in America. In 2005, he ordained the first elder in Africa. From 2005 to 2018, the gospel spread to Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania. Then a significant change occurred near the end of 2018. The gospel has now been accepted in Ethiopia, Eretria, Namibia, South Korea, Russia, Eswatini, Madagascar, Nigeria, and soon Serbia, Ukraine, and Italy. Here is a great warning. Jesus advised us: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt. 24:14)
There are only a few remaining in Zion [America] in accordance with the prophecy of Micah. “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? [James was murdered] is thy counsellor perished [offices of Apostle and High Priest have been lost]? 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.” (Micah 4)
All of the PROMISES OF GOD in the last days are for Israel. Soon Israel 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) “For I am with thee [Israel], saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee.” (Jer. 30:11)
There is only one promise for gentiles. “15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen [“goi” also translated 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.” (Obadiah)
There are no gentiles in the Kingdom of God. God covenanted with Abraham that all believers would be of his seed. “And he 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 also.” (Rom. 4:11)
All are born alien to the Kingdom of God—even Jesus who also had to baptized. Those who are properly born of water and the Spirit–by one holding authority from God–are adopted into the Kingdom of God as the spiritual seed of Abraham; and become heirs of the spiritual covenant and promises made with Abraham through the gospel. “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)
There is a desolation more horrible than we can imagine on our doorstep. People on the earth were first baptized with water without repentance. Soon there will be a baptism of fire without repentance. “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.” (Jesus, Matt. 24) “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time [destruction] of the heathen [gentile].” (Ezek. 30:3) “Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and FEW MEN LEFT.” (Isa. 24:6)
We are told when Jesus returns it will 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, and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thess. 1:8, 9)
We have been blessed to have a remnant of the Melchisedec Priesthood today. The office of Elder holds authority to administer all of the ordinances of the gospel. The GATE into the Kingdom of God is STILL OPEN. Jesus advised us: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33)
“13 Enter ye in at the strait gate [authorized priesthood]: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way [laws of God], which leadeth unto life, and FEW THERE BE that find it.” (Jesus, Matt. 7)
YOU CAN BE AMONG THOSE FEW. The greatest blessing available to man is to enter the Kingdom of God in mortal life; as it opens the gate to rise in the first resurrection and inherit the earth with Jesus and the saints of God. “5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.” (Rev. 20)
Samuel E. West
Senior elder in the Kingdom of God