What-Where Is Zion?
By Samuel E. West
The land of Zion is North and South America; but especially America on the “sides of north.” “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount [kingdom of God in] Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King [Jesus]” (Ps. 48:2).
Jesus is not returning to Rome, London, New York, or any other gentile country; but to His people in Zion and Jerusalem. There will be New Jerusalem in America and a holy Jerusalem—where it is now—when Jesus returns. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God… And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:2-3, 10). This is—of course—the people not the physical city. The Jerusalem of today will become the holy Jerusalem. “And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” (Rev. 21:10).
There is a horrible desolation on our doorstep. “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 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. 24:21-22). The coronavirus will seem like a common cold. “From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report” (Isa. 28:19). The Prophet Isaiah saw this time. “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 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. 24:5-6). There is more hatred today than ever before.
This is the last time for gentiles to seek the Kingdom of God and understand the events that are even now on our doorstep. Just look around you. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The power thereof is the priesthood of God which was lost with Constantine in 325 A.D. and restored in 1830.
Zion: The Pure in Heart
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, “pure” means, “free from sin or guilt; blameless.”
“Sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4). Jesus was the only man without sin. “Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Pet. 2:22). All others have sinned. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
Enoch was seventh from Adam and knew him personally. He was the example of righteousness: the pure in heart. Enoch kept such a perfect law that God translated him and took him into heaven. “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:23-24). “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb. 11:5). He will have to return as one of the Two Witnesses of the last days and die (Rev. 11:3).
Not only was Enoch translated and taken into heaven but also those that followed him on the path of righteousness and obedience to the will and laws of God. The Book of Jasher is as canonical as any other book in our current Bible. The Bible came from the Greeks—this book was in Hebrew. It is mentioned twice (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18). There are over 20 books of scripture noted in the Bible that were lost.
“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. 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. And on the sixth day some of the men remained and clung to him, and they said to him, We will go with thee to the place where thou goest; as the Lord liveth, death only shall separate us. And they urged so much to go with him, that he ceased speaking to them; and they went after him and would not return; And when the kings returned they caused a census to be taken, in order to know the number of remaining men that went with Enoch; and it was upon the seventh day that Enoch ascended into heaven in a whirlwind, with horses and chariots of fire… And all those kings went to the place and they found the earth there filled with snow, and upon the snow were large stones of snow, and one said to the other, Come, let us break through the snow and see, perhaps the men that remained with Enoch are dead, and are now under the stones of snow, and they searched but could not find him, for he had ascended into heaven” (Book of Jasher 3:32-36, 38).
The two greatest Commandments require pure love. “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. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt. 22:37-39). No one can be pure in the heart without this love. This is not a casual relationship. It is not simply accepting Jesus as our Savior. “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (Jas. 2:19-20).
“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). Being pure in the heart requires a correct understanding of God and Jesus. “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). God has associated with man since the beginning. Adam was made in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:26). He lived to know the father of Noah. Abraham lived with Noah for 39 years. Nothing is more certain than a correct understanding passed from Adam to Abraham.
Abraham mistook God for a man and dined with Him (Gen. 18). Jacob wrestled with God and saw Him face-to-face (Gen. 32:24, 28, 30). Moses conversed with God face-to-face, and God covered His face (Ex. 33:11) and allowed him to see His back parts in all His glory (Ex. 33:23). Jesus is the express image of God (Heb. 1:3). God only stops talking with man when he departs from Him. “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 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. 59:1-2).
Since sin is a transgression of the laws of God, it is essential to know and obey his laws. “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love” (John 15:10). “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). Pure in heart implies obedience to the laws of God. “He that overcometh [by faith and obedience] shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev. 21:7).
Next to the Commandments to love, the law on the priesthood of God and the Gospel are the two greatest laws given to man. 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). Every kingdom must have both laws and officers to provide and administer those laws. Without both, anarchy reigns supreme.
Jesus was our example. He was born alien to the Kingdom like us. “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren” (Heb. 2:17). He advised us, “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 3:5). He had to obey this law,
John prophesied that Jesus would hold the higher 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).
Jesus was still not authorized to preach the Gospel and administer its saving ordinances. After 40 days of being tempted of Satan in the wilderness, he prevailed. “Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him” (Matt. 4:11). Jesus was ordained a Prophet like Moses under the hands of God. “And no man taketh this honour [of the priesthood] unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron [by revelation from God]. 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. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 5:4-6; see Acts 3:22). Only then was Jesus authorized to preach the Gospel. “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 4:17).
This is the only priesthood authorized by God to administer all the saving ordinances of the Gospel (see Eph. 4:11-13). Paul reminded his son of the law of God. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (1 Tim. 4:14). The voice of man is not the voice of God. “… crucify Him, crucify Him.” If that were true, it would make no difference which religion we embraced and Christianity would be a fraud. Where this priesthood is not, the Kingdom of God is not, and salvation is not.
God’s plan from the foundation of the world is to free us from sin and provide the path to being pure in heart: the Gospel. “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16).
The first step to being cleansed of sin is repentance. Before a person’s sins can be erased and for him to enter the Kingdom of God, he must experience a behavioral change in which he forsakes his former sins, repents, and agrees walk as Jesus walked in obedience to God. No one that remains in sin can be forgiven, enter the Kingdom, or become pure in heart. “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Jesus also told us: “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The purpose of the baptism of water is to erase our sins. “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). No one can be forgiven of sin without the baptism of water by one holding authority from God. Baptism of the Spirit then adopts each as the seed of Abraham and into the Kingdom of God, provides the Spirit to guide into all righteousness, and provides a Gift of the Holy Ghost. “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. 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; see 1 Cor. 12).
Then it becomes the responsibility of all to walk in the newness of life in obedience to the will and laws of God. “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked” (1 John 2:6). It would be presumptuous to think that after baptism, a person would never sin again. Forgiveness is always conditioned by repentance. Forgiveness of the sins of the saints also requires repentance. “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him” (Luke 17:3). There is no forgiveness for those who continue in sin. The Kingdom has been compared to a great moral hospital in which we are healed of our moral infirmities, weaknesses, and disabilities.
“If we [saints of God] say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins [repent], he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34). “… though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isa. 1:18).
To walk in the light requires an understanding of the will and laws of God. We have 4,000 years of the history of God’s people and how they were approved before God. The Bible is our primary source of truth. “All scripture given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). There is a direct connection between knowledge and righteousness. We must not think that God will simply pour this knowledge into our heads. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Where Is the Land of Zion?
The location of the land of Zion should be a subject of great importance to those seeking salvation in these latter days. It was one of great interest to the Prophets. It will be a place of refuge and deliverance for the people of God when destruction falls upon the nations. Jesus is not returning to Rome, London, or to Gentiles. God will gather Israel to one of these two places, return to them, and be their God forever. The seed of Abraham through Jacob will be gathered in their homeland in Canaan. All others will be gathered in Zion.
Isaiah wrote of the land of Zion: "Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled! All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he [the Lord] lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye… In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion” (Isa. 18:1-3, 7).
Anyone familiar with the Hebrew language would know there is a better rendition. It should read: "Ho! To the land shadowing with [or in the symbol of] wings, that lies beyond the rivers of Cush.” This by no means changes the sense; but reduces it to the modern style of phraseology, which will greatly assist the reader in understanding the true meaning of the Prophet.
Isaiah was at Jerusalem, looking west beyond the land of Cush. The Jews called the north part of Africa Cush or Chusheam. Ethiopians were called Cushites. The rivers were simply those that flow into the Mediterranean Sea along the coast of Morocco and the Barbary states. He was looking to a far distant land to the west beyond Ethiopia.
Now, take a globe and look westward to a distant land beyond Africa in the shape of wings. Only North and South America meet this description. From here, the Lord will send ambassadors of the Gospel to gather Israel in the last days. Many prophecies in the Bible tell of this gathering of Israel. Could Israel not be justly called “a nation scattered and peeled”?
The land of Zion is especially on the sides of the North (North America). David wrote: “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King… As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever” (Ps. 48:2, 8). “I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. Lo, we heard of it at Ephratah: we found it in the fields of the wood… For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation” (Ps.132:4-6, 13).
Is not the interior of North America interspersed with the fields of the woods; or, in other words, fields in the midst of a wilderness? Isaiah says, “Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation” (Isa. 64:10). Zion must be some place other than Jerusalem “on the sides of the north.” This is where Isaiah tells us that God will set up an ensign in the last days to gather Israel (“a people scattered and peeled”) from the four corners of the earth. The land of Zion is America.
The Location of Zion or the New Jerusalem
Times and Seasons, Vol. 2, p. 474
That there will be a city called Zion or the New Jerusalem, built, beautified, and prepared for the millennium is evident from all the prophets that have mentioned the work of God in the last days. We have in a brief manner, touched upon this subject before; but the magnitude and importance of it is such, that we think that justice to it requires us to give it a more extensive investigation.
That there was a Zion established at Jerusalem we do not wish to deny; but that has nothing to do with the one for the millennium.--However, because some are unable to separate or distinguish it from the one for the Millennium, we will first show the difference between the two, and then proceed to examine the prophets with respect to the place of the location of the latter.
This Zion at Jerusalem was sometimes called the upper city, and it was detached from Jerusalem proper by a wall. Historians say that Jerusalem was founded by Melchizedek, then called Salem. Paul says Melchizedek was king of Salem. (See Heb. vii. 2.) Subsequently it was called Jerusalem; but whether or not Zion was founded by Melchizedek is not easy for us to determine; but one thing is certain, it was in existence in the days of David; for when he took Jerusalem from the Jebusites, it is said that he “took a strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David”--2 Sam. v. 7.
Many places in the inspired writings where Zion is mentioned, refer to this Zion at Jerusalem.--Isaiah speaking of this Zion says: “For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem,--Isa. xxx. 19. Now, if Isaiah had no idea of any other Zion; than the one at Jerusalem, why did he use the preposition at, as though there was another city called by the same name? Indeed, he knew that the Lord would cause to be built another city of Zion, which should be a place of deliverance in the last days, which he saw in the vision established upon this land [America]; therefore, he used the preposition, “Zion at Jerusalem,” to designate the difference between it and one of the last days upon another land. But says one, if the ancients knew that God would establish another Zion for the Millennium, why did they call the one at Jerusalem by that name? This is a thing that the scriptures in a measure leave in the dark; however, there is a foundation for an opinion, which we will give whether it is correct or not. Zion is a very ancient name and signifies the pure in heart, or the place where the pure in heart dwell; and according to recent revelations which the Lord has given to his people, there was a Zion established in the days of Enoch wherein the church of the first-born dwelt: and perhaps, Paul alludes to this Zion of Enoch when he says: “But ye are come unto Mount Sion, and into the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first-born.”--Heb. xii. 22, 23. The saints of the Antediluvian world, are the only ones we can with propriety call the church of the first-born; but they and their Zion are in heaven, and Paul calls their Zion the city of God, and them the church of the first-born.
Now it is possible that when Melchizedek, or whoever founded Zion; when arranging the various districts, and suburbs of Jerusalem, called that district, or the upper city, which was so beautiful and elevated, “Mount Zion,” out of respect to a former Zion, and because of the pureness of the name, the same as many name their children after eminent men and those whom they in a particular manner respect. after David, it was called “the city of David.”
When Jerusalem is rebuilt, it is probable that this city of David, will also be built again; but not in the fulfillment of the predictions of the prophets concerning the establishment of the latter-day Zion or the New Jerusalem; but in fulfillment of prophecy relating to the rebuilding of Jerusalem; for when it is built of course all its districts and suburbs will also be built. But we have said enough upon this part of the subject, and we hope that the reader will be able to designate the difference between the Zion which was at Jerusalem, and the one that the Lord shall cause to be built for the saints to gather to, and be a place of refuge and deliverance at the time that God will trouble the nations with his wrath.
This Zion of the last days, we believe will be located on the land of America; and indeed the prophets have said enough to establish this idea. David says: “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the city of the great King. God is known in her palaces for a refuge.”--“As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it forever.--Ps. xlviii. 2, 8. David evidently saw the situation of Zion, which he says is beautiful, at some other place besides Jerusalem, or he would not have said that it was on the sides of the North. Match this saying with what Isaiah says in xviii, ch. of his prophecy, concerning a land [America] beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, and we learn: first, as Isaiah says, that this is the land where the Lord’s ensign of the last days was to be reared, and from whence the ambassadors of the Lord are to be sent to all nations, and where “the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the Mount Zion” shall be established, to which the servants of God, or swift messengers to the nations shall bring a present unto the Lord of a people terrible from their beginning.--This proves that Zion is to be located in America. Second, that, according to David, it is to be on the sides of the North; consequently, on North America. David says in another place: “I will not give sleep to my eyes nor slumber to mine eyelids until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. Lo, we heard of it at Ephrata; we found it in the fields of the wood.” “For the Lord hath chosen Zion: he hath desired it for his habitation.”--Ps. 132:4, 13. It cannot be said in truth that Jerusalem was in the fields of the wood in David’s time; therefore, we conclude that he had reference to some other place besides Jerusalem. Indeed, the interior of North America is interspersed with the fields of the woods, or in other words fields in the midst of the wilderness. Isaiah says: “Zion is a wilderness, Jerusalem a desolation.”
We have before proved the Book of Mormon to be true; therefore, whatever it says upon this subject we consider as valid testimony.--Moroni writing the words of Etious says, page 550. “Behold, Ether say the days of Christ, and spake concerning a New Jerusalem upon this land; and he spake also concerning the House of Israel, and the Jerusalem from whence Lehi should come; after it be destroyed, it should be built up again a holy city unto the Lord; wherefore it could not be a New Jerusalem, for it had been in a time of old, but it should be built up again and become a holy city of the Lord: and should be built up unto the House of Israel; and that a New Jerusalem should be built up upon this land, unto the remnant of the seed of Joseph, for which things there has been a type: for as Joseph brought his father down into the land of Egypt, even so he died there; wherefore the Lord brought a remnant of the seed of Joseph out of the land of Jerusalem that he might be merciful unto the, seed of Joseph, that they should perish not, even as he was merciful unto the father of Joseph, that he should perish not: wherefore the remnant of the House of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and shall no more be confounded, until the end come, when the earth shall pass away.”
As we have before mentioned the prophets have declared that there shall be deliverance for the saints in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; therefore, when we take all things into consideration, we discover that it is perfectly consistent with reason and the scriptures, for Zion to be built upon this continent: for this is a promised land to the tribe of Joseph, as much so as Canaan to the House of Israel. For instance, the Lord will establish a place of gathering upon this land, near the center of the North division of the continent, which will be convenient for the House of Joseph that is upon this land to gather to, and also, for many of the saints that are now scattered among the Gentile nations. And also he will cause the old city of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, and the Jews to gather there, Thus, there will be two central places of gathering, and deliverance. Zion, and Jerusalem, when spoken of as being the two great places of deliverance, are not synonymous: for Jerusalem and its suburbs when spoken of at a distance are all ranked under the one head; but the prophets speak of Zion as being established, and having stakes, or auxiliary cities. The city of David or Zion at Jerusalem was merely an auxiliary and not the principle.
Isaiah places this matter beyond doubt that Zion and Jerusalem are not synonymous; but on two separate lands. “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof, as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory; and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken: neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate; but thou shalt be called Hephzi-bah, and thy land Bulah: for the Lord delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married.” It is said in Gen. x. 25, that in the days of Peleg the earth (not nations) was divided; it is also said, Gen. i. 9 that the waters were gathered together unto one place at the time of the creation, and of course the land was in one place; but it is manifest that there has been a great division, so much so that the earth has been divided into continents, which the bible says was done in the days of Peleg; but according to the prophet Isaiah, when the time of restoration comes, then this continent upon which Zion shall be built, shall re-unite with the eastern, and thus fulfill the saying, “thy land shall be married,” or joined. But says the objectors, how can there be two places of gathering if Ezekiel’s words are true? “And I will make them one nation upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all.” We have before proved that the land of America is a promised land to the House of Joseph; therefore, the “mountains of Israel” are here as much so as in the land of Canaan.
What Is Mount Zion?
The Kingdom of God in Jerusalem could be referred to as Mount Zion. “O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt” (Ps. 74:1-2).
Our primary concern is with the Mount Zion of the last days. “In the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains [above all nations], and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Mic. 4:1-2). Since this reference is to “many nations,” it cannot refer to Jerusalem as that was only for Israel.
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the North, the city of the great King” (Ps. 48:1-2). This Mount Zion is simply the Kingdom of God in Zion. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north [North America], the city of the great King [Jesus]” (Ps. 48:2).
Land of Zion Is Promised to Joseph
We know that God provided only two lands as an inheritance for His people: Zion and Jerusalem. The inheritance of the twelve sons is in Jerusalem (Canaan). A special blessing in the last days was placed on the seed of Joseph through his sons Manasseh and Ephraim. They are to be “branches run over the wall… above the blessings of my progenitors [Abraham and Isaac] … [to the] utmost bound of the everlasting hills.” The only land that meets this description is the land of Zion on the sides of the North: America.
How can the seed of Joseph possess Zion in the last days? In 600 B.C., God sent a Prophet in Jerusalem to a far distant promised land in the shape of wings. This could only be North and South America. These people divided soon after arriving: one keeping the laws of God [the righteous branch] and one living by their own will [the evil branch]. In 400 A.D., the righteous branch had turned to evil and was destroyed by the wicked branch. This account is found only in the Book of Mormon. The authenticity of their existence has been proven beyond any doubt. The remaining branch represents part of Native Americans. The seed of Joseph was also scattered throughout the nations of the world by intermarriage among the tribes. These will all be gathered and become the people of God before Jesus returns. There are several good videos on this subject. A good video of recent discoveries can be found here.
The land of America is a promised land to the house of Joseph in the last days; therefore, the “mountains of Israel” are the Kingdom of God in Zion and Jerusalem (Canaan). The whole earth will be subject to one form of government, one code of laws, and one king [Jesus] who shall rule over them forever.
Where Is the City of Zion?
Enoch’s father built a city and named it after Enoch—the city of Enoch. “And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch” (Gen. 4:17). This city of Enoch could justly be termed a city of Zion on the land of Zion because of the righteousness of Enoch and those that followed him. The city of Zion in the last days will likely be in the same location as it was in the days of Enoch: in America.
Here were the first members of the church of the firstborn—those who obey the Gospel in the flesh. Paul alludes to this Zion of Enoch when he says, “But ye are come unto Mount Sion [Zion], and into the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and the church of the first-born” (Heb. 12:22-23). They and their Zion are in heaven, and will return, and also inherit the land of Zion.
The righteousness of Enoch entitled him to be translated and taken up to heaven. “And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:23-24). “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb. 11:5).
Those who followed him to where he was caught up to heaven were the righteous or pure in heart among the sons of men. Many of those in the city of Enoch were translated with Enoch and taken up into heaven with him. This city will be rebuilt before Jesus returns to the land of Zion.
The second city of Zion existed in the days of David at Jerusalem. It was sometimes called the upper city, as it was detached from Jerusalem proper by a wall. When he took Jerusalem from the Jebusites, it is said that he “took a strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David” (2 Sam. 5:7). Isaiah speaking of this Zion says, “For the people [Israel] shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem” (Isa. 30:19). This Zion at Jerusalem will also be built in the last days for the seed of Abraham through Jacob.
The final city of Zion has to be built, established, and prepared for the millennium. It will be on the land of Zion and will be called the New Jerusalem. Jerusalem will also be rebuilt and will be known as the Holy Jerusalem. The Apostle John wrote of two cities in the last days. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem… And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem” (Rev. 21:2,10).
“Him that overcometh [pure in heart] will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which [people] cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name” (Rev. 3:12). The city of Enoch—the original city of Zion—will descend from heaven to meet the latter-day city of Zion on the land of Zion: America.
The isles of the sea are the land of Zion—North and South America. “Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea” (Isa. 24:15). “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee…Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob” (Isa. 60:9,16).
The promises are to America on the sides of the North. “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King” (Ps. 48:2). “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” (Isa. 60:14).
Zion to Be Redeemed
Gospel Herald, January 24, 1850
Some may be ready to ask the question, how were Israel’s judges at first? The answer is they had a Moses and his counselors; hey also had seventy elders, which constituted the executive department in their ecclesiastical government. This restitution thus far has taken place. Christ compared the kingdom of heaven to a net cast into the sea, which gathered of every kind, both good and bad. It is necessary that this gathering should take place, in order to obtain a sufficient number of tried and chosen ones to organize the kingdom. The principle of choosing is the same now as it was when Moses said to the children of Israel, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve”--See also Book of Doctrine and Covenants, sec. v, p. 2. “Behold here is wisdom; let every man choose for himself until I come.”
The reader, by this time, may be ready to ask, has the Lord promised to send a man like unto Moses to prepare the bride for his coming? God has promised that Zion shall travail and bring forth her children in the last days and that she shall have a leader. See Isaiah lxvi. 7. “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.” Compare this with Malachi iii. 1. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.” Thus the Lord has promised a man child to lead Zion--a messenger to prepare the way before him, that the bride may make herself ready for the marriage supper.
Moses placed the shepherd, the stone of Israel, in the tribe of Joseph, and Paul informs us that our Lord sprang out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. The kingdom of heaven will go out to meet the bridegroom at his coming, and no doubt they will have Malachi’s messenger to lead them, with their judges restored as at first, and their counselors as at the beginning. N. ANWAY.
Zion of the Last Days
When we look at the world today, we have to wonder how Israel is going to be delivered. We have only to look at their deliverance in the days of Moses. Who could have imagined that Israel would be delivered? Remember the plague that destroyed the firstborns in Egypt? The plagues that hit Egypt will seem like a picnic compared to those of the last days.
“The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness [leave the righteous]. For the LORD GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land” (Isa. 10:21-23).
“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. 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. 24:3-6).
Before Jesus returns, there will be wars, severe lightning and thundering, hail and fire mingled with blood, a plague of hail, all green grass burned, famine, a mountain on fire cast into the sea, a great star on fire, locusts and pestilence, grievous sores, every living soul dies in the sea, fresh water turned bitter and deadly, scorching heat, a desolating plague, the most severe earthquake and hail storm to come upon the earth, and finally, the (immortal) army of the Lord brings the sword against the nations of the world. “And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles” (Rev. 14:20). You may have to face this horror. Are you ready?
Every prophecy in the Bible has been perfectly fulfilled, even to the day when the time for fulfillment arrived. God told Abraham of the Egyptian Captivity and how long it would last. “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” (Gen. 15:13).
“Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter” (Isa. 34:1-2).
“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: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished” (Jer. 30:11).
There is to be a desolating scourge, similar to Ebola, that is to cover the earth shortly before Jesus returns. “From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report” (Isa. 28:19) Horrible, but real. “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. 24:22).
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor” (Zech. 14:12-13).
Israel will suffer as they have departed from the Lord, but a remnant will be preserved. “And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report... Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the LORD GOD of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth” (Isa. 28:18-19, 22).
Only a few—especially among Gentiles—will remain. There is only one promise to Gentiles of the last days: “For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen [also translated gentile]: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 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” (Obad. 1:15-16).
Gentiles have departed from God. “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9). All divine authority was lost when Constantine, an unbaptized pagan Roman Emperor, stood as absolute head of the Church, even thou he was not 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” (Constantine’s Sword, James Carroll, p. 188). All authority from God was lost in the Church after Him. No revelation and no divine authority that even the offices of the true priesthood were lost.
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)
In 325 A.D., he converted the church to paganism. He adopted the pagan Trinity that is not found in the Bible and the Virgin Birth that is noted only once by a fraudulent entry added in the fourth century. This doctrine makes God an adulterer and Jesus the bastard son of ghost. These pagan doctrines originated in Babylon, were adopted by mystery religions from Egypt to Rome, and will also be destroyed.
Where is the mighty empire of Babylon today? Where are the mighty nations of Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome who adopted the same pagan doctrines? When Daniel interpreted the dream of Nebuchadnezzar of the last days, he told of the fall of these nations plus the 10 kingdoms of Rome [ten toes], which became the 10 kingdoms of Europe. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these [ten] kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Dan. 2:44). Is America not a daughter of these kingdoms? Do they not all worship the same pagan god?
The Apostle John told us of the evil of Mystery Babylon the Great. “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman [church] sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:3-5). This can only reference the Catholic Church organized by Constantine. Who are these daughter harlots? What churches came out of that church teaching these same doctrines? “And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2).
The seven heads and ten horns can only reference the Catholic Church. “And there are seven kings: five are fallen [Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece], and one  is [Pagan Rome], and the other  is not yet come [Pagan Christian Rome, begun by Constantine]; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space [325 AD to 476 AD]. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth [Papal Rome], and is of the seventh, and goeth into perdition” (Rev. 17:10-11). The ten horns are none other than the ten kingdoms of Rome.
John goes even further in his description. “And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth” (Rev. 17:9). The only city that has been synonymously known as the city of seven hills is Rome. “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rev. 17:18). She ruled over the kingdoms of Europe through her self-appointed kings. She will remain on the earth until Jesus returns to take vengeance on her and those who associate with her.
The Bible abounds with information on a deliverance of the saints of God in Jerusalem and Zion in the last days “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call” (Joel 2:32). “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth” (Isa. 62:1).
“And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king [Jesus] shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations [Judah and Israel], neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all” (Ezek. 37:22). The mountains of Israel will be the Kingdom of God in Zion and Jerusalem.
The seed of Abraham through Jacob will be gathered back to their homeland, Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and they will become the people of God once again. “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: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God” (Jer. 32:37-38). Jerusalem will become Holy Jerusalem in the East.
“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (Zech. 8:23).
The primary land and city of Zion of the last days will be separate from the Zion at Jerusalem. These will be built and become a place of deliverance for the saints from Adam to Abraham, the seed of Joseph, and Gentiles that have been adopted as the seed of Abraham. This city will become the New Jerusalem in the West.
“And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem” (Isa. 4:3). “Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously” (Isa. 24:23).
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call” (Joel 2:32).
“And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem” (Mic. 4:2). Jerusalem will become the Holy Jerusalem in the east.
The Bible identifies the people of God. Adam, the firstborn sons, and their families were the people of God before the Flood—only a few remained until Abraham. Abraham became the last man of God. God covenanted with him through Isaac and Jacob to be the elect of God forever. They were the PEOPLE of God until the Babylonian Captivity. They became the elect of God for 400 years until Moses delivered them, and they became the people of God again. After the last Prophet Malachi, they were left as the elect of God. Jesus restored them as the people of God. When they rejected Jesus, they were left only as the elect of God. They will soon become the people of God again and forever. The seed of Joseph will be gathered and will claim their inheritance in Zion.
What of Gentiles?
All promises in the Bible are for Israel. There are no Gentiles in the Kingdom of God. God covenanted with Abraham that he would be the father of all believers [through 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; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also” (Rom. 4:11).
God made a provision for Gentiles to be adopted as the seed of Abraham by those holding authority from God. “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 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. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:27-29).
The only hope for Gentiles is to find someone with a valid claim to the priesthood of God: the Melchisedek Priesthood and be adopted as the seed of Abraham. Jesus, the Apostles, High Priests, and Elders held this priesthood. They all had to obey the law of God to become ministers of God. Paul reminded his son of this law. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery [those holding this priesthood]” (1 Tim. 4:14).
Jesus was called and ordained under the hands of God. “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. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 5:5-6).
He called and ordained the Twelve. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark. 3:14). Then Jesus ordained all of the other officers of this priesthood because none can enter the Kingdom of God and have hope of salvation without one of these. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [high priests and elders] and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [how long was this law to continue?] 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. 4:11-13). Where calling by revelation and these offices do not exist, the Kingdom of God does not exist.
The problem for Gentiles is finding one with a valid claim to this priesthood. We know from the Bible, historians, and church leaders 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 [apostacy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thess. 2:3). “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” (Jer. 16:19).
Of the fourth century, when Constantine stood as head of the Church and replaced the true God with paganism, the noted ecclesiastical historian Mosheim wrote, “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 in Homily Against Peril of Idolatry, first published about the middle of the sixteenth century, admitted the same. “So that laity and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages, sects, and degrees of men, women, and children of whole Christendom-- a 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.”
History attests to the fact that all priesthood of God was lost when Constantine stood as absolute head of the Church; although he was not 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” (Constantine’s Sword, James Carroll, p. 188). All of the offices of the priesthood of God were lost.
He was a loyal follower of the sun god all his life and turned Christianity into paganism. “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).
The Apostle John advised us that the true Church, the priesthood, and all saints of God were to be lost for 1,260 years when not one person entered the Kingdom of God. “And the woman [Church of Christ] 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]… 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 [180, 1,260 years], from the face of the serpent.” (Rev. 12:6,14)
“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]. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 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. 13:5-7).
The next question is, when did these 1,260 years begin? It was when a man without any priesthood of God would claim to be as God and head of the Church. “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. 2:4).
Emperors of Rome stood at head from 325 to 468, when the Lombard Invasion ended the power of Rome. This freed the Bishop of Rome in 570 to make that claim—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” (Romanism and the Reformation, Guinness, p. 25-26).
John also wrote of the restoration of authority and the Gospel after 1,260 years. “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. 14:6). This was only possible through angelic administration, as it had been lost on earth.
Discovering the return of divine authority and the Gospel begins with adding the 570 when the first pope stood as God on earth with the 1,260. The result is 1,830. 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 under the hands of angels. He organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. He restored the other offices of the Melchisedek Priesthood. If his claim was false, there is still no salvation for mankind. We might just as well go to a Buddhist priest.
He was first to stand against doctrines of paganism that became an integral part of the Church, beginning with Constantine. He taught the truth as found in the Bible. This restoration included correct knowledge of God, Jesus, and other doctrines like the Sabbath. There is only one Sabbath; it was kept throughout the Bible. Jesus and the Apostles honored the Sabbath. It was the unbaptized, pagan Roman Emperor Constantine that made the “venerable day of the sun” the rest day for Catholics.
The Sabbath was the first law given to man after creation, and it was forever. “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). “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates” (Ex. 20:10). “Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 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. 31:16-17). No one that honors the pagan sun day can be recognized as saints of God.
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. “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. 37:19).
This Book of Mormon does not replace the Bible. It is another testimony of the truth of Jesus Christ and His teachings. It is an abridgment of the record of early Israelites on this land from 600 B.C. to 400 A.D. The Book of the Law of the Lord was among the books recovered by Joseph Smith 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 lost to Israel in 588 B.C., just before the Babylonian Captivity when the Prophet Jeremy hid the Ark of the Covenant with the original tables and destroyed copies because it was felt too sacred to fall into the hands of Gentiles. One copy was preserved with the people of God that came to Zion in 600 B.C.
It was first printed in 1850, again in 1856, and a facsimile in 1990. The first two are very rare and the third is out of print. We reprinted this most important book of scripture in 2000. It is the only place where the original Ten Commandments can be found. It can be read in its entirety on here.
The Doctrine and Covenants is the official record of the revelations and commandments given under the Prophet Joseph Smith. God knew that Joseph would be killed and gave the law on Prophetic Succession four times—the first only one year after the church was organized. "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. 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. And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. 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.” This prophecy was true.
On June 18, 1844, Joseph received a vision from the Almighty and learned of his impending death. He wrote a letter of appointment to James J. Strang in Burlington, WI, the same day. He wrote that he was going like a lamb to the slaughter. He was murdered on June 27, 1844, with the help of the governor of Illinois. The same hour that Joseph died in Carthage, IL, James claimed to have been ordained to the same Prophetic Office under the hands of angels, although he was 400 miles away and could not have any knowledge of his death. Locals were told of this the same day. The first news of his death came when the letter of appointment was delivered by regular mail on July 9th. The revelations noting Joseph would die in office, foretelling Joseph of his impending death, and James claiming ordination under the hands of angels the same hour are prophetic in their own right.
The most fraudulent claim to the succession was by Brigham Young. He was never called by God as a Prophet. For three and half years after Joseph’s death, he claimed the Twelve Apostles were to lead the Church, even though they held no such authority. On December 24, 1857, he admitted the claim of James that the Church of Christ cannot exist without a Prophet was true. Since God had never called him, he had his followers vote for him as their man-made Prophet. Nothing in the sight of God.
He wrote in his own journal: “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). He repeated this several times. We are told to judge a tree by its fruits. Brigham invented a new god for his followers to worship. He claimed that God was once a man like us and progressed to His present state, and we can do the same. He taught that Adam was the Eternal Heavenly Father and Eve, a wife from another planet.
James J. Strang fulfilled all duties of a Prophet of God. His fate was sealed when he accepted his office; as he would also have to give his life as an absolute testimony like Joseph. He was shot on June 20, 1856, with the help of the captain of the USS Michigan. His murderers were taken back to Mackinac—the home of his murderers—given a mock trial and released so they could never be properly tried. James was taken back to his parents’ home in Wisconsin, where he died on July 9th. There was no successor; as there were to be only two Prophets given to the Gentiles in the last days.
During his administration, he ordained L. D. Hickey as one of the Twelve Apostles to the Gentiles of the last days. Apostle Hickey ordained Samuel Martin as a high priest in accordance with the law of God. He ordained Lloyd Flanders as a high priest, who then ordained Samuel E. West as an elder on July 8, 1956. He ordained Stephen Munyora in Africa as an elder in 2005. He has ordained others in Africa and recently in other countries.
The gate into the Kingdom of God is still open. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate [through the priesthood of God], and narrow is the way [through obedience to the laws of God], which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
Zion Built and Established for the Millenium
Gospel Herald, April 18, 1850
But to hasten, we will commence with the prediction of Joel upon this subject, speaking of the great and notable day of the Lord, when there shall appear signs and wonders in the heavens, and on the earth, blood and fire, and pillars of smoke, the sun darkened and the moon turned into blood, he says: “And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.” Joel ii. 32. Obadiah says, verse 17th: “But upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and the House of Jacob shall possess their possessions.” Thus Mount Zion and Jerusalem are to be places of deliverance for those that call on the name of the Lord, at the great and notable day, when he shall cause destruction to come upon the wicked. Hence, we see the importance of knowledge of this work. Isaiah in the lx. chapter of his prophecy describes the materials for the building of Zion; we insert the whole chapter.
“Arise, and shine; for thy light has come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eves round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory.
“Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows? Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee: Therefore thy gates shall be open continually: they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted. The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious. The sons also of them that afficted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
"Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Savior and thy redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction in thy borders: but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates praise. The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory; thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Again, Isaiah says: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Isa. ii. 2, 3. From this latter quotation, we learn that Zion is to be a place where people shall gather to from all nations; and that the law of God shall go forth from Zion to all nations. Christ, speaking to the Nephites, is very plain upon this subject: Book of Mormon, page 185, third edition.
“Verily, verily I say unto you, all these things shall surely come, even as the Father hath commanded me. Then shall this covenant which the Father hath covenanted with his people, be fulfilled; and then shall Jerusalem be inhabited again with my people, and it shall be the land of their inheritance. And verily, I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion, my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them, my Zion. And behold, this is the thing which I will give unto you for a sign, for verily, I say unto you, that when these things which I declare unto you, and which I shall declare unto you hereafter of myself, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, which shall be given unto you of the Father, shall be made known unto the Gentiles, that they may know concerning this people who are a remnant of the house of Jacob, and concerning this my people who shall be scattered by them; verily, verily I say unto you, when these things shall be made known unto them of the Father, and shall come forth of the Father, from them unto you, for it is wisdom in the Fattier that they should be established in this land, and be set up as a free people by the power of the Father, that these things might come forth from them unto a remnant of your seed, that the covenant of the Father may be fulfilled which he hath covenanted with his people, O house of Israel; therefore, when these works, and the works which shall be wrought among you hereafter, shall come forth from the Gentiles unto your seed, which shall dwindle in unbelief because of iniquity: for thus it behooveth the Father that it should come forth from the Gentiles, that he may shew forth his power unto the Gentiles, for this cause, that the Gentiles, if they will not harden their hearts, that they may repent and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, and know of the true points of my doctrine, that they may be numbered among my people, O house of Israel; and when these things come to pass, that thy seed shall begin to know these things, it shall be a sign unto them, that they may know that the work of the Father hath already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the people who are of the house of Israel. And when that day shall come, it shall come to pass that kings shall shut their mouths; for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider. For in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.”
Much more might be said upon this subject; but we think it unnecessary at present: for enough has already been said to convince every candid mind that a Zion or New Jerusalem will be built and prepared for the Millennium; also, that the ancient city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt.
To this the joyful nations roundAnd distant tribes shall flow;“Ascend the hill of God,” they cry,And to the temple go.
The beams that shine on Zion’s hillShall lighten every land;The King that reigns in Zion’s tow’rs,Shall all the world command.
Come then, O come from every landTo worship at his shrine;And walking in the light of God,In holy beauty shine.
Gospel Herald, September 20, 1849