WHO ARE WE?
During any discussion of religious beliefs, it is necessary to first understand our position on religion. We believe that everyone has a right to their own beliefs. The only limitation is if when a religion either causes harm to others, or forces its beliefs on others. I do not believe it proper to discuss the faults of individuals within a particular religion. Every religion on earth has had apostates and individuals that, although attached to a particular organization, behave contrary to the principles of behavior of that religion. Except for the earlier provision, the behavior of such individuals should not be used to judge a religion as a whole. King David had Uriah placed in the front lines where he would be killed. Although he was guilty of murder, that did not indicate that the House of Israel were a bunch of murderers. King David has received his individual judgment for his actions. If one wishes to learn, he must first clear his mind of individual bias. Since all good things come from God, the second most appropriate step for one desiring to learn truth, is to ask of God. Finally, it is requisite to allow all elements of a concept being considered to be acquired before attempting to arrive at a decision.
I find it difficult to look about the world and the universe around me without experiencing an overwhelming joy at the wonder and the beauty that surrounds us. The simple fact that all Jewish prophecy has been absolutely accurate, stands as a testimony of a true and living God. If there is such an Almighty God, that did in fact create all things, He must also have a plan for us to escape the powers of Satan and death. We owe no greater duty to ourselves and to those we love than to search every corner of light and spiritual knowledge to discover than plan and unlock the door to our eternal glory. Satan works very hard to keep us in darkness. Satan has a good place for all those you love the dark. Anytime we lock the door to our minds from new information, we make it impossible to learn. Spiritual knowledge is our greatest power over Satan. Only when we acquire sufficient spiritual knowledge, when we uncover the plan of the Almighty, only then will we be able to defeat the powers of darkness.
Always remember that when I turn over religious beliefs it is only to either let the light underneath escape, or to reveal the darkness that lurks there. I never intend any offense against a fellow man when writing. There have been many facts about the history of the Christian religion that have been hidden from its people. There are many subjects, like the origin of Christmas, that require only perusal of a good encyclopedia. Ecclesiastical history, popular history, science, humanities, and Scripture all become important sources for truth. Worldly knowledge can be acquired simply for the sake of personal gratification. There are often no absolute answers. Spiritual knowledge, though, is a gift from God and like him is always true and can never change. The things that were required of Adam to gain salvation are the same that were required under Jesus and will continue to be the same until the end of time. Any time religious doctrine changes, it was either never the truth, or it is no longer the truth. If spiritual truth could change, there would be no reason to either place any confidence in it, or to any trust in it. It is only the unchanging quality of truth that makes its discovery worth the effort to find it. It is time to stop a moment and pray to our Father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob for his grace and the spirit of understanding. Spiritual truth is available only through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith.
“Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.
“And the Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.
“Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
“For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
“But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal.
“Such as the Father is, such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost.
“The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
“The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.
“The father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.
“And yet they are not three eternal, but one eternal.
“And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another.”
“So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped.”
“He therefore that will be saved, must think of the Trinity.”
This incomprehensible, Trinitarian god is not the God of Israel. The Bible is not his witness. Yet, he is the accepted god of the Christian religion. It is no wonder that those who preach such a god declare it to be a mystery. John the Revelator named the Christian church in which it originated, “Mystery, Bablylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and abominations of the earth.” (Rev. 17:5).
A thousand Christian ministers could never convince one Jew that this is their God. Comprehend is defined by Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, as, “to grasp mentally; understand.” How are we to worship a god which we cannot understand? Why should we be bound to think first of the Trinity when worshipping God? There is no record in the Bible of the Trinity. None of the Patriarchs bear such witness. This was not the god of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. None of the prophets bore witness of such a god other than when speaking of pagan idolatry. No one from Adam to Noah ever worshipped the Trinity. Were none of these saved? No one from Noah to Abraham worshipped the Trinity. Were none of these saved? No one from Abraham to the Apostles after Christ ever bore witness of a Trinity. Were none of these, including Jesus, saved? Since there is not one record among the people of God to give witness of a Trinitarian god in over 4,000 years, why should we now believe in a Trinity God? Where did this Trinitarian god come from?
ORIGIN OF THE TRINITY
“If there be this general coincidence between the systems of Babylon and Rome, the question arises, Does the coincidence stop Here? To this the answer is, Far otherwise. We have only to bring the ancient Babylonian Mysteries to bear on the whole system of Rome, and that it will be seen how immensely the one has borrowed from the other. These Mysteries were long shrouded in darkness, but now the thick darkness begins to pass away. All who have paid the least attention to the literature of Greece, Egypt, Phoenicia, or Rome are aware of the place which the ‘Mysteries’ occupies in these countries, and that, whatever circumstantial diversities there might be, in all essential respects these ‘Mysteries’ in the different countries were the same.” (The Two Babylons, Third Edition, Rev. Alexander Hislop, p. 12.)
“So utterly idolatrous was the Babylonian recognition of the Divine unity, that Jehovah, the Living God, severely condemned His own people for giving any countenance to it: “They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens, after the rites of the ONLY ONE, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together.’ (Isaiah 66:17). In the unity of that one Only God of the Babylonians, there were three persons, and to symbolize that doctrine of the Trinity, they employed, as the discoveries of Layard prove, the equilateral triangle, just as it is well known the Romish Church does at this day. In both cases such a comparison is not degrading to the King Eternal, and is fitted utterly to pervert the minds of those who contemplate it, as if there was or could be any similitude between such a figure and Him who hath said, ‘To whom will ye liken God, and what likeness will ye compare unto Him?’
“The Papacy has in some of its churches, as, for instance, in the monastery of the so-called Trinitarians of Madrid, an image of the Triune God, with three heads on one body. The Babylonians had something of the same. Mr. Layard, in his last work, has given a specimen of such a triune divinity, worshipped in ancient Assyria (Fig. 3). The accompanying cut (Fig. 4) of such another divinity, worshipped among the pagans of Siberia, is taken from a medal in the Imperial Cabinet of St. Petersburg, and given in Parson’s ‘Japhet.’ The three heads are differently arranged in Layard’s specimen, but both alike are evidently intended to symbolize the same great truth, although all such representations of the Trinity necessarily and utterly debase the conceptions of those among whom such images prevail, in regard to that sublime mystery of our faith.
“In India, the supreme divinity, in like manner, in one of the most ancient cave-temples, is represented with three heads on one body, under the name of ‘Eka Deva Trimurtti,’ ‘One God, three forms.’ In Japan, the Buddhists worship their great divinity, Buddha, with three heads, in the very same form, under the name of ‘An Pao Fuh.’ All these have existed from ancient times. While overlaid with idolatry, the recognition of a Trinity was universal in all the ancient nations of the world, proving how deep-rooted in the human race was the primeval doctrine on this subject, which comes out so distinctly in Genesis.” (The Two Babylons, pp. 16-18)
Constantine had to make his new Christian religion palatable for his pagan populace. To make the change to Christianity easier, the guiding hand of Emperor Constantine introduced the concept that Christ’s mother is the “Mother of God;” making God, according to the Trinity, a God begotten by himself on a creature of his own hands. The concept is one where Jesus mother, Mary (a virgin), conceived by the Holy Ghost. Joseph, her husband, being a just man was not willing to make a public display of her (as required by Jewish law). It is alleged, that while contemplating this mystery, he was told by an angel of God that Mary had conceived by the Holy Ghost and that Joseph “knew her not” until she had born Jesus.
IS THE TRINITY TRUE?
Since Mary was married to Joseph at the time, this doctrine makes God and adulterer, guilty of one of the basest of all sins. This doctrine is based on only two passages in the Bible; one in Matthew and the other in Luke. The last part of the first chapter of Matthew actually disagrees with the first part. The first part of the chapter gives the Genealogy of Jesus through Joseph, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham,…And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” The last part of the chapter disregards the genealogy of Joseph and alludes that Mary was a virgin and conceived of the Holy Ghost.
Such a virgin birth doctrine is contrary to all teachings of the Old and New Testament. Genealogy in the House of Israel was always kept on the male side and never on the female. If one is to believe the virgin birth doctrine added that was added to the end of this chapter, the first part, which is the genealogy of Joseph, should be thrown away. Clearly the first part and the last part were not both a part of the original manuscript. Since the first part is an accurate genealogy that was needed to establish Jesus as the seed of Abraham, the tribe of Judah, and the lineage of David, it would be most logical to seriously question the validity of the last part of the chapter concerning the virgin birth.
Consider for one moment the true significance of such a doctrine. First, that scripture clearly says that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Ghost and not by God. Jesus, therefore, could not be the son of God. Second, in the Trinity these three gods are all one and the same. Where was God during Mary’s pregnancy? Where, then, was God during all of Jesus infancy? Third, modern medical science makes this concept less than palatable. All males are the product of Y genes carried by the male. The female has no Y genes. There is no mention in Scripture of the Holy Ghost being either male, or female. How could a man be born with a human mother and a spirit for a father? Such an absurdity, if introduced today, would never wash! Fourth, if Mary did conceive by other than her husband she was guilty of adultery. This would make God an adulterer, his mother an adulteress, and himself a bastard son of a supposed spirit. Anyone purporting such an idolatrous doctrine in Israel would have been stoned! Yet, we are to believe, “without doubt,” that this adulteress union bore the Savior of the world.
None of the Patriarchs, neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob, and none of the prophets bear witness of such an extraordinary event as a virgin birth. One would have to look outside of Israel for such a doctrine. Again, an inquirer of truth must ask, “Where did this doctrine originate?”
“While this was the theory, the first person in the godhead was practically overlooked. As the Great Invisible, taking no immediate concern in human affairs, he was ‘to be worshipped through silence alone,’ that is, in point of fact, he was not worshipped by the multitude at all. The same thing is strikingly illustrated in India at this day. Though Brahma, according to the sacred books, is the first person of the Hindoo Triad, and the religion of Hindostan is called by his name, yet he is never worshipped, and there is scarcely a single Temple in all India now in existence of those that were formerly erected to his honour. So also is it in those countries of Europe where the Papal system is most completely developed. In Papal Italy, as travelers universally admit (except where the Gospel has recently entered), all appearance of worshipping the King Eternal and Invisible is almost extinct, while the Mother and the Child are the grand objects of worship. Exactly so, in this latter respect, also was it in ancient Babylon. The Babylonians, in their popular religion, supremely worshipped a Goddess Mother and a Son, who was represented in pictures and in images as an infant or child in his mother’s arms. From Babylon, this worship of the Mother and Child were worshipped under the names of Isis and Osiris. In India, even to this day, as Isi and Iswara; in Asia, as Cybele and Deoius; in Pagan Rome, as Fortuna and Jupiter, the boy; in Greece, as Ceres, the Great Mother, with the babe at her breast, or as Irene, the goddess of Peace, with the boy Plutus in her arms; and even in Thibet, in China, and Japan, the Jesuit missionaries were astonished to find the counterpart of Madonna and her child as devoutly worshipped as in Papal Rome itself; Sing Moo, the Holy Mother in China, being represented with a child in her arms, and a glory around her, exactly as if a Roman Catholic artist had been employed to set her up.”
“[Note] The very name by which the Italians commonly designate the Virgin, is just the translation of one of the titles of the Babylonian goddess. As Baal or Belus was the name of the great male divinity of Babylon, so the female divinity was called Beltis.—(Hesychius, Lexicon, p. 188.) This name has been found in Ninevah applied to the ‘Mother of the gods’—(Vaux’s Ninevah and Persepolis, p. 459); and in a speech attributed to Nebuchadnezzar, preserved in Eusebii Praeparation Evangelii, lib. 9, chap. 41, both titles ‘Belus and Beltis’ are conjoined as the titles of the great Babylonian god, was undoubtedly Baal, ‘The Lord.’ Beltis, therefore, as the title of the female divinity, was equivalent to ‘Baalti,’ which, in English, is ‘My Lady,’ in Latin ‘Mea Domina,’ and, in Italian, is corrupted into the well-known ‘Madonna.’ In connection with this, it may be observed, that the name of Juno, the classical ‘Queen of Heaven,’ which, in Greek, was Hera, also signified ‘The Lady;’ and that the peculiar title of Cybele or Rhea at Tome, was Comina or ‘The Lady.’—(Ovid, Fasti, lib. 4, v. 340) Further, there is strong reason to believe, that Athena, the well-known name of Minerva at Athens, had the very same meaning. The Hebrew Adon, ‘The Lord,’ is with the points, pronounced Athon. We have evidence that this name was known to the Asiatic Greeks, from whom idolatry, in a large measure, came into European Greece, as a name of God under the form of ‘Athan.’ Eustathius, in a note on the Perergesis of Dionysius (v. 915, apud Bryant, vol. 3. p. 140) speaking of local names in the district of Laodicea, says that ‘Athan is god.’ The feminine of Athan, ‘The Lord,’ is Athana, ‘The Lady,’ which in the Attic dialect, is Athena. No doubt, Minerva is commonly represented as a virgin; but, for all that, we learn from Strabo (Lib. 10, cap. 3, p. 405 Paris, 1853), that at Hierapytna in Crete (the coins of which city, says Muller, Dorians, vo. i. p. 413, have the Athenian symbols of Minerva upon them), she was said to be the mother of the Corybantes by Helius, or the ‘The Sun.’ It is certain that the Egyptian Minerva, who was the prototype of the Athenian goddess, was a mother, and was styled ‘Goddess Mother,’ or ‘Mother of the Gods.’—See Wilkenson, vol. iv. p. 285)” (ibid., pp. 20, 21)
There are numerous pages illustrating the virgin “mother of God” and her son “The Lord” in Assyria, Egypt, and Greece. The testimony is beyond dispute that the concept of a virgin mother of God was a fundamental doctrine of all the ancient pagan religions and was made a part of the new Christian religion by the Roman Emperor Constantine.
The following is from the Catholic Discussion No. 6, an answer to Mr. Rafferty, by James J. Strang, the latter day prophet.
“‘United together by the profession of the same faith.’
In my last article I showed the consequence which, according to the scriptures, should befall the church of Christ from a want of the priesthood which God set therein. I also showed that, according to the constitution of the Roman church, it was defective in that priesthood. It behooves me now to show that those consequences have befallen that church.
“I shall therefore show that, as children, they have been tossed to and from with every wind of doctrine till they have lost the faith committed to the saints, as well as departed altogether from the foundation of Christ and the Apostles. What, sir, is the first and most important truth upon which hangs the authority of the Christian religion? What is the foundation stone of the Christian faith? It is that Jesus Christ came in the flesh as the Messiah, in fulfillment of the word of God by the Jewish Prophets. And that fact is most distinctly and explicitly denied in the creeds of the Roman Catholic Church. The very confession of your creeds is a denial of the faith, and a proclamation that Christ is an impostor and Christianity a lie.
“The whole course of prophesies was that the Messiah should come of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah and of the lineage of David. And the mass of testimony by the Apostles was that he did thus come. Not so the Catholic church. Ashamed of his parentage in the times of the decay of Hebrew royalty, and unwilling that the founder of their church should be the son of a poor carpenter, they have resorted to the heathen fable of children begotten of gods on beautiful women, and filled all their books and creeds with a story, fit only for heathen mythology, of a liaison of the God of heaven with a Hebrew peasant girl. The Apostolic creed runs, “I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary.’ I quote also from the Poor Man’s Catechism, page 28, 30, 31, 32:—
“ ‘Q. What is the significance of the name Christ? A. The anointed. Q. What mean those words, His only Son our Lord? A. That he is by nature the only Son of God the Father, born of him from all eternity; and that he is our Lord and our God.
“ ‘Q. What means the incarnation? A. It means that God the Son, the second person in the blessed Trinity, was made man.— Q. How was he made man? A. He assumed human nature, a body and soul, like ours, which subsisted together with the divine nature, in one and the same person of the Son of God. Q. When was he made man. A. At that instant when he was conceived in the womb of his blessed mother, the virgin Mary, when she gave her consent, saying, Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.
“ ‘Instruc.—The unity and trinity of God whereby we understand that one and same divine nature subsists in three persons, really distinct; and the incarnation of the Son of God; whereby the two natures, divine and human were united in one person, are mysteries of mysteries; the two principal mysteries of the Christian faith; and the ground-work upon which our religion is built.
“ ‘So great and incomprehensible is this mystery, that we have all reason to say with St. Paul, O! depth of the riches and wisdom of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways beyond finding out! Why should we doubt or fear to submit to all the other mysteries of the Christian faith, while we have this before our eyes, and believe it, that God the Son was made man, was born of a woman, lived in poverty, suffered and died as man, even the death that was due to sinners.
“ ‘Q. How was he conceived? A. Not by human generation, but by the power and virtue of the Holy Ghost. Q. When was he conceived? A. At the instant the Virgin Mary gave her consent, saying, behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.
“ ‘Instruc.—The conception of our blessed Savior was purely a work of God, beyond our comprehension. It was all miraculous full of mystery; far different from the ordinary conception of other men, by human generation: his conception was the immediate work of the Holy Ghost, and not of any man. That his body was formed by the substance of his mother, is indeed a natural thing, for all men are in like manner formed; but that a virgin, who never knew man, should conceive a son; that his human nature should subsist in a divine person: that his mother, remaining a virgin, was also a mother of God, mother of man, are mysteries beyond the reach of nature, and capacity of our understanding, and peculiar to none but himself.’
“Now if this account be true, Christ was not of the lineage of David. Jewish genealogies are always reckoned in the male line: never in the female. Moreover if we should reckon in the female line, we have not one iota of evidence that Mary, the mother of Christ, was of the lineage of David, nor even of the tribe of Judah. Two of the evangelists, Matthew and Luke, have given the genealogy from Abraham to Joseph, the husband of Mary, for the especial purpose of showing that in the male line Jesus Christ was a literal descendant of Abraham, Judah and David. If the husband of Mary was not the father of Christ, what have we to do with his genealogy? And for what purpose was it written? Matthew begins his gospel, ‘The book of the generation (Genealogy) of Jesus Christ, the son of David the son of Abraham,’ and concludes the genealogy, ver. 16, ‘And Jacob begat Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.’ Why is this, if Joseph did not beget Jesus? How is this, his genealogy, if Joseph is not his father? How is it evident, as Paul says, ‘that our Lord sprung out of Judah,” Heb. 7:14, if it does not appear by these genealogies, neither of which runs to Mary, but both to Joseph?— Ah! would Paul dare thus in writing to the Jews boldly assert that Christ was of the tribe of Judah, if the doctrine had then gone forth that Joseph was not his Father? Aye; would not the Jews have answered, ‘how is it evident that he came out of Judah? wherein does it appear? By what line did he descend from Judah?” (Gospel Herald, Nov. 11, 1847, p. 197)
“…And what is still worse for the cause of my opponent, there is not one iota of evidence that Mary was of the house of David at all. Much pains did the New Testament writers take to show that Joseph was of the house of David, but such a thing is nowhere said of Mary. It was very uncommon for priests to marry out of the tribe of Levi. And as Elizabeth, the cousin of Mary, was the wife of a priest of high rank, the inference is very strong that Mary was of the tribe of Levi. And this inference is strengthened by the fact that all tradition agrees that she was raised in the Temple.”
“…This passage seems to be the strong bulwark, the Gibraltar of those who claim that Jesus Christ was not ‘the son of man’— And though if true it does prove that Joseph was not his father after the flesh, it is very far from proving that God was. If it proves that any body was the father of his flesh, the Holy Ghost was that father. that is, that he was the son of the third person in the Catholic Trinity, instead of the first. Collated with the Apostles’ creed which my opponent has quoted, it will not even bear that construction; for in that it is expressly said he was ‘conceived by the Holy Ghost,’ and I think my opponent would hardly pretend that he was begotten and conceived by the same individual. That is, that the same individual was both his father and mother. Still we cheerfully concede that whether this passage has any real meaning in it or not, it is against us. And consequently that the main question is whether it is true.
“1. Against this passage in the first place we oppose all the Prophets who have spoken of the Messiah, who all concur in this, that he should come in the royal line of king David. (See Herald vol. ii. No. 35.36. Catholic Discussion, p. 34 to 42.)
“2. We oppose, also to this the word of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who when she and Joseph had found him in the Temple, after three days search, admonished him sharply for deserting his parents, and told him that she and his FATHER sought him sorrowing. Whether this father who sought him sorrowing was his father in the he Priesthood or Father in the Flesh we leave for those to doubt who don’t know what priesthood is, and believe that a spirit without a body (Holy Ghost) begot a man with a body.
“3. Further, we oppose to this some eighty passages of scripture in the evangelists, in which Jesus Christ is denoted ‘the son of man.’
“4. To the same effect are all those scriptures calling Christ the root of Jesse, the son of David, the carpenters son, &c.
“5. More particularly do we array against it the two genealogies, Matt. 1, Luke 3., and the various scriptures in which pains is taken to show that Joseph and not Mary was in the line in which the Messiah should come—the house of David.
“The scriptures above referred to make up a chain of divine revelations and apostolic, evangelic and heavenly testimonies, from the times of Nathan the prophet till those of John the Revelator, a period of over 1100 years; during all which they are the principal themes of prophecy and history, and enter into the body and minutia of two-thirds of the whole Bible. It is impossible that they should be interpolations; for if stricken out, a skeleton of the book would not remain. The part remaining would be but as occasional scraps of a torn newspaper.” (Gospel Herald, April 6, 1848, p. 322, 323)
CATHOLIC DISCUSSION. ANSWER TO MR. RAFFERTY.—NO. 6.
James J. Strang
(Continued from Vol. 2, No. 36.)
April 13, 1848
“1. Now will you please tell us whether you really believe in one God or three?
“2. If in one, is that the Father, the son, or the Holy spirit?— If the Father, or the Holy Spirit, how is Mary mother of God?— Who made the infinite atonement?
“3. If Jesus Christ is the ‘one living and true God,’ who filled his place when in the womb of the virgin? Who was the ‘living God’ when he died?
“4. If the Father and the Christ are but one being and one God, then is it not evident that what is true of the Father must be true of Christ the Son, Father and Son in this case being but two different names for one and the same God?
“5. If the Christ the anointed be God, who anointed him? Did he anoint himself, being at once both the anointer and the anointed? Luke 4:18. Acts 10:38.
“6. If the Father be unbegotten, and the Son begotten, and if they both are one and the same being, then does it not follow that the same being is both begotten and unbegotten, and begot himself?
“7. If Christ & the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, be one and the same being, then does it follow that Christ is the God and Father of himself? 2 Cor. 11:31. Eph. 1:3. Peter 1:3.
“8. If the Father and Son be the same ‘individual’ being, does it not follow that Christ is both the Father and Son of himself; that he sent himself, ascended to himself, and now sitteth at the right hand of himself; that he prayed to himself when he prayed to his Father whom he called the only true God; John 14:5; and submitted his own will to the will of himself, when he prayed to the Father, Luke 22:42, ‘not my will, but thine by done;’ and forsook himself, when he prayed to the Father, Matt. 27:46, ‘my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
“9. If Christ be God Almighty, possessed of all power, with what truth could he declare, that of his own self he could do nothing; John 5:19 and 30; and that to sit on his right hand and on his left, was not his to give? Matt. 20:23.
“10. Was God Almighty the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable Jehovah, once a helpless infant, dependent on the care of one of his own creatures for protection from injury, and for the supplies of animal life; and carried from place to place, at the will of his nurse, in her supporting arms?
“11. If Christ be the omniscient God, to whom are perfectly known all times, and all events past, present, and to come, with what truth could he say, ‘of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the father?’ Mark 13:32.
“12. Can it be true, in any sense whatever, that the very same being could be ignorant of that day, and at the same time know it; and what language could Christ have used, which would more clearly have expressed both his own ignorance and that of all other being whatsoever, but the Father concerning that day?
“13. If Christ be God, the ever living God, who only hath life and immortality in himself, who was it that expired on the cross, after praying, Luke 23:46, ‘Father into thy hands I commend my spirit?’
“14. Did Christ know that he and his Father were one being, when he said to the Jews, John 7:17, 18. ‘It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true; I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me, beareth witness of me?’
“15. If that saying of Christ’s, John 10:30, ‘I and my Father are one,’ prove Christ and his Father to be one being, will not that other saying of his also prove his Father, himself, and his disciples, to be all but one being, when he prays to his Father, John 12:11, 21, 22, 23, ‘that they all may be one; as thou Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me that they may be made perfect in one?’
“16. Did Christ know, or mean others to understand, that he was God, when he said to the Jews, John 8:40, ‘Ye seek to kill me, A MAN that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God?’
“17. Does not the doctrine of the deity or Godship of Christ do away with all the piety and obedience of Jesus to his heavenly Father, and cast unjust reflections on the character of him who came to bear witness of the truth, and in whose mouth was found no guile?’
“18. Did Peter know that Christ was God, when he called upon the assembled multitude to hear his words, and told them, Acts 2:22 to 36, that ‘Jesus of Nazareth was a MAN approved of God, by miracles, &c., which God did by him; and that after the Jews had crucified and slain him, God raised him from the dead, and that the same Jesus whom they had crucified was made by God both Lord and Christ?’
“19. If Christ be very and eternal God, is he not the Lord in and of himself, there being in that case no one superior to him to make him Lord? How is he, then, made Lord, made by God both Lord and Christ, and Lord not of his own glory, but of God the Father?
“20. Was he a God, or a crucified man, whom the Jews slew, but whom God exalted to be a Prince (or Leader) and a Savior? Acts 5:30, 31; 13:23.
“21. If he was a crucified man, does it not follow that Christ the Savior was a man and not a God?
“22. Did the apostle Paul understand Christ to be God when he said, 1 Cor. 15:21, ‘By man came (or cometh) the resurrection from the dead;’ Acts 27:31, ‘God hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world by that man whom he hath ordained and raised from the dead;’ and 1 Cor. 8:6, ‘to us there is but one God the Father;’ 1 Tim. 2:5, ‘There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the MAN Christ Jesus;’ and again, 1 Cor. 14:24, 28, ‘That Christ must deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, and be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in (or among) all?’
“23. Did the apostle Paul understand Christ to be God, when he says, 1 Cor. 3:22, 23, ‘All things are your’s, and ye are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s, (not God, but God’s,) and in 1 Cor. 11:3, ‘The head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God?’
“24. Did Paul know that Christ was God, or indeed more than man, when he said, Christ was made like his brethren in ALL THINGS, tempted in all points as we are, and made PERFECT through sufferings?’ Heb. 2:10, 17, 18; 4:15.
“25. Did the apostle John, (the author of the Revelations,) understand Christ to be God, when in the book of Revelations Christ is described as the lamb which was slain; and when in chap. 1:1, it is said, that God gave the revelation to Jesus Christ; who must have been previously ignorant of it, else how could it have been a revelation to him?
“26. Did the real and very Christ himself, and in his proper person, actually die on the cross, and in the agonies of expiring nature pray, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do?’ Luke 23:34.
“27. If the real and very Christ himself, and in his proper persons died, was it a man, or God himself, that died, was laid in the sepulcher, and on the third day was restored to life?
“28. Did the Jews in reality crucify God Almighty; was the Creator and upholder of all things put to death by his own creatures; and did the God of the universe actually expire?
“29. If the God of the universe had ceased to live, who then could have lived; would not all nature in that instant have wrecked world on world and become a vast chaos?
“30. If it was only a man that died, and if the real and very Christ himself, and in his proper person, actually died, does not the conclusion necessarily and unavoidably follow, that the real and very Christ himself, and in his proper person was only a man?
31. And if Christ was really and truly a man what hinders our believing he was begotten of Joseph the husband of Mary in the true lineage of David?
“Well did Paul, looking down through the vista of time to that age when apostles and prophets, called by revelation of God, set apart to that ministry as pastors and leaders of the church, should cease, call you ‘children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine in the wickedness of men, in craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive.’ How miserable does that mass of absurdities we have been poring over look by the side of the plain system taught by apostles and prophets; that Jesus Christ came according to the prophets, of the lineage of David; that he was a man of like passions with us, Heb. 2:17, and tempted and tried as we are, Heb. 2:18; 4:15, and resisted evil and kept himself unspotted and free from sin, 2 Cor. 5:21; that he is the Son of God by holding the priesthood after the power of an endless life, Heb. 7:16, 24; 1:5, 9, as were Adam, Enoch, Noah, Elijah, and many others; some of whom wickedly married the daughters of unbelieving men, by means of which they raised up, not giants, but men of might and renown, upon whom they conferred the governing power, which of right pertains to this priesthood, and destroyed the antediluvian world thereby, Gen. 6; that he is begotten of God, not by any carnal begetting, but by being made an high priest after the order of Melchisedek, that is, made a son of God himself, Heb. 1:9; 5:5, 10; 7:21, 28; that he is the first begotten of God, as the first raised from the dead to life everlasting, Rev. 1:5, and by the precedence and superiority of his priesthood above all others of the like order, Heb. 1:2 Eph. 1:20, 21, 22. Psa. 88 (89 in the Prot. version) 28; in accordance with the rule that the first begotten is entitled to a double portion, 2 Chron. alias Para. 5:1, 2, 3. Gen. 48:22; that he is the only begotten, John 3:16, 18, in that there is no other brought into the same degree of priesthood and jurisdiction, Acts 5:31. John 17:2. Heb. 11:17. Rom. 9:5. 1 Cor. 1:25, 27, 28. Heb. 2:5 to 10; that he possesses his power by grant from god, Acts 10:38. v. 31. John 17:1, 2, 7, 8. Heb. 1:2, 4. 5:4, 5, 6; that he is called an ‘Everlasting Father’ because by his priesthood he is made the Father or Shepherd of the true fold forever, Rev. 17:14. Isa. 9:6. Heb. 12:20, in that by the oath of God, not man, he has received an everlasting priesthood, Heb. 7:16, 17, 21; that he is called the mighty God, Isa. 9:6, because God has given Him all power in heaven and on earth, Matt. 28:18, and placed all things under him, Eph. 1:22, so that in the name of God, by virtue of the priesthood and authority of God, he rules as God.
“He has become perfect through suffering, Heb. 2:10. v. 9, obtained the keys of hell and of death, Rev. 1:18, received power from God, John 5:19-30. Acts 17:31, ascended on high, Acts 1:9-11, and being perfect as his Father in heaven is perfect, has set down, not in place of God, but at his right hand, Heb. 1:3. Eph. 1:20, as the principal viceroy and highest minister unto him, Heb. 1:4, 9. Eph. 1:20, 21, 22, being one with God, not in person, essence or individuality, nor in any mysterious sense, but in the same manner in which the saints are all likewise required to be one with him and each other, John 17:11, 21-23. Gal. 3:28; that is, one in faith, one in purpose, one in interest and one in possession and enjoyment. and he, as son, being heir of God; that is, as high priest having an inheritance in the power of God’s kingdom, seeks to bring us to a like perfection, that we also may be sons, that is, high priests after the power of an endless life, that we may be also heirs of God, joint heirs with him in this inheritance, Rom. 8:17. James 2:5, setting down with him on thrones in the kingdom of God, Matt. 19:28. Luke 22:29, 30. 1 Tim. 6:15. Rev. 1:6, 10; 20:6; retaining to Christ his double portion as first begotten, because whereas we shall be kings, princes and lords, he will be king of kings and Lord of Lords, Rev. 17:14. 19:16. And in this inheritance, as he is so like his father as to be declared the express image of his person, and the brightness of his glory, Heb. 1:3, so we shall be like him, Phil. 3:21.
“Christ constantly spoke of himself personally as the ‘the son of man,’ Matt. 16:13, &c. As the redeemer he is expressly declared to be a ‘man,’ 1 Cor. 15:21. In that greatest treatise on priesthood, the epistle to the Hebrews, it is said that because he loved righteousness (and of course not till he had done so) God exalted him in power above all others, Heb. 1:9; became a son of God by being made an high priest by the oath of God, Heb. 5:5, 6. 7:21, and it was by the word of the oath, and not by the act of carnal generation, that he became God’s Son, Heb. 7:28.
“For what trash have men bartered away the truths of God? All for want of the proper priesthood, which God set therein as a perpetual and unerring standard of truth.” (James J. Strang, Gospel Herald, April 13, 1848, p. 325)
NO ROOTS IN CATHOLICITY
We are not a part of catholicity. We have no roots in the Catholic Church. Protestants were cut off the Catholic church as apostates and are referred to as, “Protesting Catholics.” A feature of these churches worth noting is that each looks to their church leaders as authority on doctrine. The people of Israel have always looked to their prophets to reveal God’s will to man. Only the appointed priest was allowed the “Urim” by which they could inquire of God. “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7) The court of last appeal (source of answers concerning doctrine) among the Christians has been their self-appointed leaders. The court of last appeal among the people of Israel has been their God. It should be clear by now who we are not! Now let’s consider who we are.
Back to the Scripture, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism,” (Eph. 4:5) We believe there is only one true God and we believe that to worship anything less is idolatry. We are that latter day people of the Church of Jesus Christ who believe in the God of Israel: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was called the God of Abraham seven times in the bible and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob another thirteen times. This is His name and His memorial to all generations, “And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Ex. 3:15) What other religious group denies the Trinity and believes in this God of Israel?
If there is another people on the earth that can make that statement, please let me know; because I am ignorant of any other such people, anywhere among the Gentiles. Before considering how this people view the principles of the gospel, we need to understand their views concerning God and the relationship that has existed between man and God. We need to understand who the people of God have been. We need to appreciate that everything relative to the people of God revolves around revelation (communication between God and man).
Jesus questioned Peter about who he thought Jesus was, “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:15-18) This rock which Jesus referred to was the rock of revelation. He told Peter than man had not revealed it to him, but he understood only because God revealed it to him through the Holy Ghost. He further noted that His church was built on this rock of revelation against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.
Even as revelation is the rock and foundation of the Church, those called by God to be the head of the Church are called rocks and stones. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Eph. 2:19, 20) Peter not only calls Christ a living stone and a chief corner stone, but others, who received the word, lively stones, a spiritual house and a holy priesthood. (1 Pet. 2:2, 4-6) (Acts 4:11) Jacob also prophesied of a “shepherd and stone of Israel,” who should arise of the tribe of Joseph in the latter days. (Gen. 49:24) The prophets and lawgivers of God are called the stones and rocks which form the foundation of the Church because they are the revealers of the word and authority of God, upon which the true church of God is built.
Here is a simple way to weigh, in the balance of truth, those claiming to preach the word of God. Using only this one tool you can discover for yourself if there is a people of God on the earth. God always revealed Himself to His people. He walked and talked with Adam. (Gen. 2 & 3) He feasted with Abraham. (Gen. 18) He wrestled with Jacob. (Gen. 32:24, 28, 30) He spoke with Enoch. “And the Lord said unto Enoch:” (Moses 6:32; 6:35) “And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord;” (Moses 7:20) He spoke face to face with Moses. (Ex. 33:11) He appeared in the likeness of man when he appeared to Ezekial. (Ezek. 1:26, 27)
When God created the world He walked and talked with Adam. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Gen. 2:16, 17) When they ate of the forbidden fruit it is written they, “… heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Gen. 3:8)
FROM ADAM TO ABRAHAM
0 Adam left garden of Eden
130 – 1042 Seth
235 – 1140 Enos
325 – 1235 Cainan
395 – 1290 Mahalaleel
460 – 1422 Jared
622 – 987 Enoch
687 – 1656 Methuselah
874 – 1651 Lamech
930 Adam died at 930 years
987 Enoch was taken
1042 Seth died at 912 years
1056 – 2006 Noah
1140 Enos died at 905 years
1235 Cainan died at 910 years
1290 Mahaleel died at 895 years
1422 Jared died at 962 years
1558 – 2158 Shem was born
1651 Lamech died at 777 years
1656 Methselah died at 969 years
1658 – 2096 Arphaxed
1693 – 2126 Salah
1723 – 2187 Eber
1757 – 1996 Pelig
1787 – 2026 Reu
1819 – 2049 Serug
1849 – 1997 Nahor
1878 – 2083 Terah
1948 – 2183 Abram
1996 Pelig died at 239 years
1997 Nahor died at 148 years
2006 Noah died at 950 years
2026 Reu died at 239 years
2049 Serug died at 230 years
2083 Terah died at 205 years
2096 Arphaxed died at 438 years
2126 Salah died at 438 years
2158 Shem died at 600 years
2183 Abram died at 235 years
2187 Eber died at 464 years
FROM ADAM TO NOAH
When Cain killed his brother Able, God said, “…What has thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” (Gen. 4:10) “And Adam knew his wife again; and she bare a son, and called his name Seth: For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” (Gen. 4:25)
God talked to man from Adam to Noah. Refer to the Genealogy From Adam to Noah and you can see how easy the knowledge of God spread throughout the ancient world. Adam was still alive when his son Seth, his grandson Enos, his great, grandson Cainan, his great, great, grandson Mahalaleel, his great, great, great, grandson Jared, his great, great, great, great, grandson Enoch (who was translated and taken into heaven 987 years after Adam was cast out of the garden), his great, great, great, great, great, grandson Methuselah, and his great, great, great, great, great, great, grandson Lamech the father of Noah. Adam lived to see nine generations on the earth at the same time. He died only about 100 years before Noah was born.
Noah lived with Seth 800 years, with Enos 695 years, with Cainan 605 years, with Mahalaleel 535 years, with Jared 470 years, with Enoch 57 years, with Methusalah 243 years, and with Lamech 56 years. Adam only died 126 years before Noah. Noah knew Seth the son of Adam for 800 years, Enos for 84 years, Cainan 179 years, Mahalaleel for 234 years, Jared for 366 years, Methusalah for 600 years, and his father Lamech for 595 years. It is easy to see how the people from Adam to Noah had a full knowledge of God. He was known to all of them. There is very little Scripture remaining concerning this early period before the flood. It is evident, though, that God was known personally by all the Patriarchs of old.
FROM NOAH TO ABRAHAM
When God was preparing to destroy the earth with a flood, He spoke to Noah. “And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.” (Gen. 6:13) Noah spent 120 years preaching repentance to the world. “And the LORD said unto Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” (Gen. 7:1) When the flood came only Noah and his family of eight persons survived.
God spoke to man from Noah to Abraham. See the Genealogy From Noah to Abraham. I used the biblical genealogy of Abraham being born when his father Terah was 70 years old and also illustrated the relationships if Abraham was born, as some think, 130 years after Terah was born. Abraham knew Noah for 58 years, Shem for 210 years, Arphaxed for 148 years, Salah for 178 years, Eber for 239 years, Pelig (in whose time the earth was divided) for 48 years, Reu for 78 years, Serug for 101 years, Nahor for 49 years, and his father Terah for 135 years. It was easy for the word of God to spread from the days of the flood directly to the days of Abraham.
Abraham was righteous and God “chose” him and covenanted with him to be the father of all future generations of the people of God. Through Abraham was to come the reclamation and redemption of all Mankind through Jesus. God first visited Abraham in Ur (Gen 11:31), in Bethel (13:14-17), and twice in Hebron (Gen. 15:5, 18 and 17:1-8). When God visited him, he at first mistook him for a man, invited Him into the tent to eat, and offered to wash his feet. “And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.” (18:1) In genuine patriarchal hospitality he invited to wash the feet of God, he took a choice calf, bread, butter, and milk “…and they did eat.” (18:8)
Abraham and Lot mistook God for a man. (Gen. 18:2,5,16-20. 19:1,15) Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorra he warned Abraham and Lot. “And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorra is great, and because their sin is very grievous;” (Gen. 18:20) God covenanted with Abraham that the land of Canaan would be for his generations for all time. “And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.” (Gen. 17:9) “And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.” (Gen. 17:15) “And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Gen. 21:12) “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.” (Gen. 22:1)
After the conjurors of king Nimrod saw the birth star of Abraham, they encouraged the king to kill Abram. “32. And it was in the third day that the king sent to Terah, saying, Send me thy son for a price as I spoke to thee; and shouldst thou not do this, I will send and slay all thou hast in thy house, so that thou shalt not even have a dog remaining. 33. And Terah hastened, (as the thing was urgent from the king), and he took a child from one of his servants, which his handmaid had born to him that day, and Terah brought the child to the king and received value for him. 34. And the Lord was with Terah in this matter, that Nimrod might not cause Abram’s death, and the king took the child from Terah and with all his might dashed his head to the ground, for he thought it had been Abram; and this was concealed from him from that day, and it was forgotten by the king, as it was the will of Providence not to suffer Abram’s death. 35. And Terah took Abram his son secretly, together with his mother and nurse, and he concealed them in a cave, and he brought them their provisions monthly. 36. And the Lord was with Abram in the cave and he grew up, and Abram was in the cave ten years, and the king and his princes, soothsayers and sages, thought that the king had killed Abram.” (Book of Jasher 8:)
“5. And when Abram came out from the cave, he went to Noah and his son Shem, and he remained with them to learn the instruction of the Lord and his ways, and no man knew where Abram was, and Abram served Noah and Shem his son for a long time. 6. And Abram was in Noah’s house thirty-nine years, and Abram knew the Lord from three years old, and he went in the ways of the Lord until the day of his death, as Noah and his son Shem had taught him; and all the sons of the earth in those days greatly transgressed against the Lord, and they rebelled against him and they served other gods, and they forgot the Lord who had created them in the earth; and the inhabitants of the earth made unto themselves, at that time, every man his god; gods of wood and stone which could neither speak, hear, nor deliver, and the sons of men served them and they became their gods. 7. And the king and all his servants, and Terah with all his household were then the first of those that served gods of wood and stone. 10. And there was not a man found in those days in the whole earth, who knew the Lord (for they served each man his own God) except Noah and his household, and all those who were under his counsel knew the Lord in those days. 19. And Abram said unto himself Surely these are not gods that made the earth and all mankind, but these are the servants of God; and Abram remained in the house of Noah and there knew the Lord all the days of his life, and all that generation forgot the Lord, and served other gods of wood and stone, and rebelled all their days.” (Book of Jasher 9)
Abraham’s faith was in one living, talking, true God. How did Abraham learn about God? By direct revelation from God, “God said.” Noah’s life had extended nearly to the birth of Abraham. Noah’s life was overlapped by Methuselah’s life by 600 years and was overlapped by Adam for 243 years. Abraham could have received the knowledge of God, Noah’s account of the Flood, Methuselah’s account of Adam, all directly from Shem, the son of Noah.
Abraham learned from God that although he was 100 and Sarah 90 that they would have a son, Isaac. “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” (Gen. 17:1-7)
God told Abraham of the captivity of Israel in the land of Egypt. “And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 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: And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age.” (Gen. 15:7, 13-15) Jewish prophecy was history in the future tense. Jewish prophecy is revealed from God and are prophetic facts. All of the prophecies given to Abraham were fulfilled. They were strangers in the land of Egypt for 430 years and were held captive for 400 years. “And these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived, an hundred threescore and fifteen years. Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people.” (Gen. 25:7, 8)
God also talked with Abraham’s son Isaac. “And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake.” (Gen. 26:24) “And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived. And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” (Gen. 25:21-23
God also talked with Isaac’s son Jacob. “And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;” (Gen. 28:13) “And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.” (Gen. 31:3) “And the LORD said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.” (Gen. 31:3)
Jacob even wrestled with God and prevailed. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
(Gen. 32:24-30) By direct command of God Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, “And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. “And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; And the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” (Gen. 35:10-12)
Jacob had two wives and two concubines of which were born twelve sons. From these twelve sons was born the Twelve Tribes which became the House of Israel, the Messianic Nation. Jacob’s youngest son Joseph was sold into Egypt where he became a ruler, took a wife, and had two sons. Although Joseph lived in a country that was the center of idolatry, his faith in the God of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob never dwindled. After a famine in the land of Canaan, Jacob (his father Israel) and the rest of the family settled in Egypt. When Jacob left Canaan, God gave him assurance that his descendants would return. “And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.” (Gen. 46:3, 4)
The time from Jacob’s migration into Egypt until the Exodus was 430 years. After the death of Jacob and Joseph, Israel was made slaves for 400 years. (Ex. 12:40,41) In the face of idolatry, the children of Israel maintained their belief in the God of their fathers and believed that Canaan would again become their homeland.(Ex. 13:19) God had told Jacob that Israel was to become a mighty nation. When Jacob came into Egypt they numbered seventy (Ex. 1:5). During the time the house of Israel was in Egypt, they increased to 600,000 men above 20, besides women and children. The total number would have been about three million. (Num. 1:46)
Moses was a levite. His father’s name was Amram and his mother Jochebed. (Ex. 6:20) His sister Miriam engineered his rescue (Ex. 15:20) when Pharaoh ordered that the first born male children of Israel should be destroyed. He was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter and spent 40 years in the palace. When Moses first attempted the deliverance of Israel, he was cast out of Egypt and spent 40 years in the wilderness. Moses married a Midianite woman, Zipporah, daughter of Jethro a priest of Midian. The Midianites were descendants of Abraham through Keturah (Gen. 25:2). Thus, Moses was taught even more of the God and the traditions of the Israelites.
When the Lord appeared to Moses he noted that He had previously spoken with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. “Then the LORD said unto Moses, Now shalt thou see what I will do to Pharaoh: for with a strong hand shall he let them go, and with a strong hand shall he drive them out of his land. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.” (Ex. 6:1-4)
Have you ever wondered how to address God when calling upon Him? Every time you address someone you call them by name. In early Scripture He was called the Almighty God. His secret name was written only in that copy of the Law kept in the Ark of the Testimony. Even Abraham was not permitted to know His true name (Ex. 6:3). His name was never spoken out of the Sanctuary, nor above the breath, and then only between three High Priests, after the order of Melchisedek (Josephus’ Antl., B. 2, Ch. 7:4). There are those that would have us believe that His name is Jehovah. The name Jehovah was used in place of His true name. The most accurate translation to date is Yahwah. We cannot know or speak His true name and live. Instead, we are commanded to address Him as the, “God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” even to all generations.
“And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared unto me, saying, I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt:” (Ex. 3:15, 16) “That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.” (Ex. 4:5)
How many professed Christians have ever called upon the name of the Lord? Have you ever heard one professed Christian say, O Father, “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?” If not, they are not addressing the true God of Israel. If they are thinking about the Trinitarian god of mystery Babylon as required, they are addressing a dumb god incapable of either hearing their prayers, or answering their calls.
God spoke with all his holy prophets after Moses. God spoke with Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekial, and even until Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. If there is one principle that stands above all others when reading the Old Testament, it is that God lives, communicates with His people, gave His laws, and blessed His people any time they were righteous and punished them anytime they were disobedient.
As the New Testament opens, it tells of a priest named Zacharias with a wife by the name of Elisabeth and of a revelation they received concerning their unborn son. “And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless…But the angel (Gabriel) said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” (Luke 1:6,1315) This John was later called John the Baptist.
When Jesus began his ministry, he came to this same John for baptism “by water” in the river Jordan. John’s father Zacharias was a priest of the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood and administered in the temple. As a literal descendent of the tribe of Levi, it was his birthright to receive that priesthood. There can be little doubt that John held that priesthood which authorized Him to baptize with water. Jesus recognized the authority of John’s priesthood.
When Jesus began his ministry the first thing He did was to go to John for baptism by immersion. Baptism by water for the remission of sins is the door into the kingdom of God. Jesus said, “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5) After His baptism, “…Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” (Matt. 4:1) After the devil left him, “…behold, angels came and ministered unto him.” (Matt. 4:11)
After Jesus resurrection, He communicate with the Apostles until the day He was taken up. After this, He continued to give them revelations through the Holy Ghost. “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen;” (Acts 1:2) “And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison. But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” (Acts 5:19, 29)
Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul, was persecuting the disciples of Christ. “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:3-6)
While Peter was in prison an angel of the Lord delivered him out of prison. “And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so, he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.” (Acts 12:8-11)
Due to the amount of space required, I will limit the examples of revelation (direct communication with God) during the New Testament. There is nothing in the New Testament that would allude that the ability of man to communicate directly with God ever changes. It is a function of truth and faith and is available to all who believe in Jesus, the carpenter’s son. He is not like the dumb idols of mystery Babylon. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
The last book of the New Testament is Revelations which was written by the Apostle John on the isle of Patmos, about 96 AD. Of this book John began, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” (Rev. 1:1) “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.(Rev. 1:10, 11) “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;” (Rev. 1:17-19) The entire book of Revelations is the record of the revelations which John received.
Why have the churches of catholicity taught that all revelations ended with the Apostles, never to return? The reason is not because God’s hand is shortened; but because the Church of Jesus Christ was replaced by the church of Anti-Christ. Well did John name her “Mystery, Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” (Rev. 17:5) After reading the testimonies written herein, can anyone that says God does not speak to His people. By their own words, God does not speak to them. Is it because God’s arm is shortened, or is it because they worship a god born of a virgin and conceived as a Trinity invented by the mind of man. Gods that do not speak are, by definition, dumb gods.
The fullness of the everlasting gospel was taken from the earth at some time after the Emperor Constantine turned the Church of Christ into the church of Anti-Christ. The reason God no longer spoke to them was explained by the Prophet Isaiah, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isa. 24:5) When revelation and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are withdrawn, it is because of sin and disbelief on the part of man. And, just as the priesthood was taken from the Jews because of their disbelief, the priesthood was taken from the Gentiles because they transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broke the everlasting covenant.
They transgressed the laws. We have been commanded by God, “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:” (Ex. 34:14). The Apostle Paul tells us that if anyone preaches any god/gospel different than that of Israel, let him be accursed, “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). The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob and the Lord Jesus was changed into a Trinitarian god. They transgressed the holiest of laws which addressed our worshipping God.
The holy Sabbath which was to be kept for a thousand generations was changed to the venerable day of the sun. There could no longer be any faith in God: (1) because they changed from the God of Israel to a an incomprehensible Trinity; and (2) because faith required revelation and they claim revelation has been done away.
They changed the ordinance. Jesus said, “… 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) Baptism (which translated means immersion) was changed to sprinkling. The holy ordinance was changed, making all baptisms, from that day on, of no value. Not one person could be saved after baptism was changed.
And they changed the everlasting covenant. The everlasting covenant was simply that God’s people would have no other God before them and they would be obedient to the Laws of God. The God of Israel vanished from the Church, replaced by a virgin born Trinitarian God. The laws of God were replaced by the will of men.
Alas, the Church of the Lamb was gone. In the Apostle John’s visions he saw, “And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:” (Rev. 12:1) This woman was the Church of Christ and the priesthood, including the twelve apostles, of God. But, she left her place among the people to a place prepared by God, “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, from the face of the serpent.” (12:14)
The Church of Christ was to be taken from the earth for 1260 years. In her place was the church of Anti-Christ. “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman 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.” (17:3-5)
During this 1260 years, the gospel of Jesus Christ was not to be found upon the earth. “Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink. For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.” (Isa. 29:9, 10) “Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God…The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us.” (Micah 3:6, 7, 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: (Amos 8:11) “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. Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods?” (Jer. 16:19, 20)
RESTORATION OF THE GOSPEL
At the end of this 1260 year period the Church of Jesus Christ was to be restored. “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) Since the angel had the gospel to preach to: “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people,” it is obvious at that time the earth was destitute of the gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ was established in the latter days on April 6, 1830, by the latter day prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. through direct revelation from God. The prophet Joseph was the first in 1260 years to teach the true God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was the first to claim direct revelation from God and a priesthood brought from the throne of God and restored to earth by Peter, James, and John. If the gospel was not restored by Joseph, the earth is still destitute of the everlasting gospel because no one else today teaches the God of Israel and the Church of Christ administered by His holy priesthood.
The Church of Christ had to be restored for another reason: so the Gentiles who received the gospel in the latter days could be gathered out from among the church of Anti-Christ. Concerning this church of Anti-Christ, Mystery Babylon the Great, John spoke, “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double. How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.” (Rev. 18:3-8) If John was not speaking of the Romish church, who was he addressing? What other church in the world today has its foundation set in mystery Babylon?
LOSS OF GENTILE DISPENSATION
The saints under Joseph were given strict commandments to gather, to live together with everything in common as during previous dispensations, and to be faithful and keep the laws of God. The everlasting covenant that was given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was renewed in the Church of Christ. There have been few in the history of the earth that will live according to the everlasting covenant. When man breaks his part of the covenant, God is no longer bound by His oath. Joseph Smith was murdered by a mob while in the Carthage, Illinois, jail on charged trumped up to set him up for the slaughter. His murderers were never brought to justice.
At the same moment of Joseph’s death, James J. Strang in Burlington, Wisconsin, claimed to be ordained at the hands of angels from the throne of God to the same prophetic office to lead the Church of Christ. Again, the Gentiles failed to live according to the everlasting covenant and the commandments of God and the prophet James was murdered. None other was appointed to lead the Church of Christ.
The 24th Chapter of Isaiah tells of the conditions in the latter days. Concerning these last days Isaiah wrote, “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” (Isa. 24:5) The dispensation which brought the gospel to the Gentiles was to be closed when this happened. “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) Fulfill is defined as, “to bring to an end; complete.”
Jerusalem was trodden down of the Gentiles until after the six day war in 1967. In simple terms, the Gentiles, the Church of Jesus Christ in the latter days, was to transgress the laws, change the ordinance, and break the everlasting covenant. The times for the Gentiles to hear the word of God came to an end in 1967. The gospel will never again be preached to the Gentiles as a group. It would be reasonable to believe that there would continue to be a few, very few that would be privileged to understand the gospel before Christ comes “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:” (2 Thes. 1:8) There is another hidden truth in this prophesy. If the Bible is true, the times of the Gentiles is closed and the all the preaching by catholicity cannot bring it back. If the Bible is wrong, we are all wrong.
The everlasting covenant requires us to be obedient to the spiritual laws God. That is, we must obey His laws. Our trust be in the guiding hand of the Almighty and not in the hands of man. Any laws of man that infringe on the spiritual laws of God represent idolatry
DIVINE AUTHORITY REMAINS
The kingdom of God, though, remains on the earth as long is there is one righteous man holding the Melchisedec Priesthood. As long as one such person remains to preach the gospel of repentance, to baptize with water, and to bestow the gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Church of Jesus Christ remains. Truth has not changed. The door to salvation is still open. Noah was the righteous man who took the priesthood to the other side of the flood. Concerning our day it is written, “And as it was in the days of Noe [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.” (Luke 17:26) Eight souls survived the flood. Jesus said concerning our day, “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)
There are prophecies in the Bible concerning our people and this generation. The people of God in the last days are referred to as “the daughter of Zion.” “In that day, saith the LORD, will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out, and her that I have afflicted; And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation: and the LORD shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever. And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem. Now why dost thou cry out aloud? is there no king in thee? is thy counseller perished? for pangs have taken thee as a woman in travail. 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 4:6-10) “Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out; and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame.” (Zeph. 3:19)
The reference to “her that halteth” is to our people because the major dispensation to the Gentiles is closed and we are on hold until the final dispensation to the House of Israel is opened. Several things should be noted: (1) we are to be scattered even to Babylon (spiritual Babylon is wickedness), in other words among the wicked; (2) we are to be in great pain because of a lack of leadership; and (3) we are to be gathered from our current condition together with the House of Israel and the seed of Ephraim to Zion. “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD. And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.” (Zech. 2:10, 11)
Contrary to the doctrine of Anti-Christ, revelation from God continued for some time after the Apostles, was restored by the latter day prophets, and will be restored again when Jesus sets His hand to gather His “chosen” people from the four corners of the earth. The Gentile dispensation ended in 1967. Of this generation it is written, “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) The time is short when the gathering of Israel will commence. Revelation from God will soon cover the earth as a flood.
John the Revelator saw the time immediately proceeding the return of Jesus. “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Rev. 7:1-3) The seal of God is the fullness of the priesthood which brings with it the everlasting gospel and salvation.
The literal gathering of Israel (the ten tribes) from the “north country,” and of Judah (the Jews) “from the four corners of the earth,’ is a central them of the Bible and is the principle part of it from Moses to John the Revelator. They are to be gathered back to the land of their fathers.
“And now therefore thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; 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: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the LORD; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” (Jer. 32:36-42)
Revelation, done away? Nonsense. Only the dumb gods of idolatry have no tongue.
“Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.” (Jer. 33:6, 7)
“As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant:” (Ezek. 20:33-37)
“But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid. Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.” (Jer. 46:27, 28)
“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. 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. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the LORD shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 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. 28:16-22)
All that remains of the ten kingdoms of Rome is the kingdoms of Europe (and the United States her offspring). The prophet Daniel spoke of the latter days, “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 kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.” (Dan. 2:44)
I could write a volume on this one subject of the gathering of God’s “chosen” people and the immensity of revelations and miracles in the last days; but let it suffice that revelation and communication with God ceased only during the 1260 year absolute reign of catholicity. God spoke with His people for over 4,000 years, again since 1820 (Joseph Smith’s first revelation), and will again when the elect of God are gathered, when those that “know not God” and “keep not the gospel” will be destroyed.
WHO ARE WE?
Who are we? We are that unique people among professed Christians that worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We believe in the priesthood which he established God established on the earth. We believe that the rock and foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ is revelation. We believe the only path to salvation begins with a dispensation of the priesthood from the throne of the Almighty; requires communion with God and faith in Him; necessitates everyone to be “born of the water and of the spirit” and to abide in the everlasting gospel as taught by Jesus Christ and His disciples in all ages of the world.
We believe that all who do not abide in the everlasting covenant and worship the God of Israel and keep His commandments will have no place in the Sabbath of Creation; but will suffer the wrath of Jesus at His return, “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; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.(2 Thes. 1:8-10)
We believe that the priesthood of God, the everlasting covenant, and the gospel of Jesus Christ were restored to the earth through Joseph Smith, Jr. and James J. Strang. We, tearfully, believe that the dispensation of the gospel to the Gentiles was closed in 1967. We believe that we are now living in that last generation of mankind before the return of Jesus Christ; in that time when, unless a person is found worthy in the kingdom of God, he will not live to see the next generation, but will burn with the wicked.
We accept our fate as a remnant of that people and will hold to our faith through love, hope, and charity and wait for the opening of the dispensation to the “chosen” people of God and our gathering with that people to Zion. We are the only people that accept the words of Jesus, “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:24) When the times of the Gentiles closed in 1967, their fate was sealed. While the professed Christians are preaching their god and their gospel, saying “all is well,” we appreciate that the greatest destruction, since the great flood, is soon to come upon the earth. We look to our deliverance with the House of Israel and look forward to glorifying Jesus at His return. We know that except for the small remnant of Gentiles left from this Church, all of the promises concerning the last days are to the House of Israel. The stone is to fall upon the Gentiles and grind them to powder.
We appreciate that in every instance when the House of Israel was righteous they were blessed by their God. We also know that every nation that has held Israel captive has been destroyed. Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Babylon and Assyria, mighty nations, are nothing but ruins. Now every nation on the earth has persecuted the House of Israel. Consider the attempted destruction of the seed of Joseph, the Ephraimites, by this country. They are to receive double for every evil that was ever done against the House of Israel. We believe our hope is with the House of Israel, that God will “raise up” a “deliverer,” one “mighty and strong,” who is to “Come out of Zion,” and “turn away ungodliness from Jacob.”
We keep our arms open to accept anyone chosen by God to understand that Jesus Christ is not a third part of a Trinitarian pagan god; but is the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Judah, and the lineage of David and believe that He gave a worthy testimony, died without sin, and after being resurrected received the keys of the resurrection from our Father. We remain ready to teach the everlasting gospel and administer its holy ordinances even to the salvation of all who desire to keep the will of God.
We believe that Mystery, Babylon the Great will soon fall. “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:” (Rev. 18:8-11)
We believe the House of Israel will soon be gathered back to the land of their fathers. We believe that Jesus will return to this earth, restore it to its original glory as it was in the days of Adam, set up and rule over an everlasting kingdom in Zion and Jerusalem, will destroy the wicked, will open the Sabbath of Creation, and rule on earth with His saints for a thousand years in peace and glory.
We are the only people on earth with the priesthood of God that can send an invitation to the pure in heart, to those that hate evil and desire to live righteously, to repent, to be “born of the water and of the spirit,” and join the kingdom of God, to prepare for the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and to pray that we will be found worthy to join the seed of Ephraim and sing songs of praise unto God while we walk into Zion, when Jesus returns.
Samuel E. West
Elder in latter day Zion