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Old Testament

Read and study along with Donna as she reviews each chapter, adds new insights, and simplifies the scriptures.

 

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Ls 1: Introduction

You will learn to love the OT. Be willing to open your heart. Eldersheim, in the OT Bible History wrote: “Properly understood the Scripture is all full of Christ, and all intended to point to Christ as our only Savior. …and to understand it we need the aid and teachings of the Holy Spirit.” Jehovah was chosen before the world to be our Redeemer. He created the world, He gave the law and ordinances. He came down to teach us how to live His law and treat one another. He died for us and directs us today to prepare for His Second Coming. Many precious parts of the Bible were taken away or stripped away. We will learn what made those teachings so precious. The Lord prepared a way to preserve the essence of it sacred message – the testimony of Jesus.

Though some of its translations have dimmed its meanings we are here today to rediscover them we will learn of the seven important keys to understand the OT in this lesson and discuss Edward Gibbon’s famous book DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE which gives five basic reasons why a great civilization like ours withered and died. We’ll discuss how Chris Conkling described God’s dealings with his people. There is violence, some barbarous times, murder, adultery, child sacrifice, slavery, warfare, graven images, and more. Israel was to be holy, special, peculiar, separate, and different. Her God was completely moral and holy and commanded his people to be the same. He was compassionate, forgiving, kind, loving and fair. Apollo taught with enthusiasm and desire, but he hadn’t been taught true doctrine. Moses wrote Genesis. Much was revealed to him. We’ll learn, What is the Bible? Are some scriptures of more value than others. In the beginning….. Where did we come from? What consisted of God’s councils? Life consists of pre-mortal, mortal, and immortal. What is our Second estate? Where is Kolob? Who created the earth? What does create mean? What about science and evolution.

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Lsn 2: Genesis 1-3,Moses 1-4

Creation. Neanderthal man. Complex animals, fossils. etc. Carl Sagan’s words – a little God? We cannot be saved in ignorance. Charles Darwin’s hypothesis. William Jennings Bryan’s thoughts. Joseph Fielding Smith analysis. Nibley – Bruce McConkie ideas on Creation. Galaxies. Every kingdom given a law. Divine order. Science and religion – no real conflict. Truth has to fight through the most severe opposition. Almost any false doctrine, philosophy or hypothesis, will be readily received. Science is “best guess”. Boyd K. Packer – no sense to life without knowledge of pre-mortal life. THE PLAN. – 6 POINTS. Adam and Eve. Reason for forbidden fruit. All had one language. Animal kingdom & our responsibility. Satan appears. Deceives Eve. What is pronouncement on them from God? On men and women – Men first among Equals. Woman not less. He is head only for the sake of order. She is not inferior. The husband should take the lead – his calling & responsibility – be an alert and righteous governor in the home, as one who is wise, kind, loving, and Firm in the faith – ever setting an example.

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Lsn 3: Genesis 3, Moses 4-6

Insignificant passages or eternal concepts? Man has become as one of us. Star Trek example – immature untried spirits. Temporal body – in-separately connected with spirit matter to be exalted. Eternal life or eternal lives. Thy desire shall be to thy husband and he shall rule over thee…..(depth of meaning here in Hebrew text …an intimate, loving and righteous relationship is implied but fostered. Not a punishment, only administrative procedure under the patriarchal order of Priesthood. Birth means “distress”. Ground cursed for Adam’s sake. Individual responsibility here. Banishment. Moses 5…sons and daughters divided two by two in the land. Children taught to read and write. Recorded genealogies and histories. Purpose of consequence. Adam and Eve sorrowed and sacrificed. God always wants what’s best for us. Moses 6:51…spilling of blood, tangible, heart rendering reminder that Father in Heaven was going to permit the sacrifice of his only begotten Son. David O. McKay’s words: – We are of differing degrees of intelligence, various grades of achievement, retarded and advanced spiritual attainment. Bruce McConkie: Subject to law we developed aptitudes, talents, capacity and abilities of every sort, kind, and degree. Various talents of Mozart, Melchizedek, Einstein, Michelangelo, Cain, Abraham and Moses as well as Mary and Eve, etc. We were not equal because of agency. Some outstripped others. God says Adam is forgiven. Original sin. Fall intentional. “Man Of Holiness.” As man is, God once was, As God is man may become. The Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do.” Joseph Smith. Jesus said in John 10. “Ye are Gods.”(Psalms 81:1,6); Water, spirit, blood – symbolism. Adam & Eve rushed to share information they received on why the fall but were rejected and Satan appeared to their children saying he too was a son of God, and said of Adam and Eve’s instructions to them …”believe it not.” Satan whines… Not fair!!! Story of Cain and Abel.

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Lsn 4: Genesis 4, Moses 5-6

Cain & Abel; Enoch

More Cain and Abel – summary. Why are you angry Cain? Cain would rule over Satan. Genesis 4:15; Josephus, Jewish historian said he increased in wickedness. Seth (D&C 107:43) He was a perfect man. Enos, lived to be 905 years old. (Moses 6:18) Lamech – the new Master Mahan settled in Cainan. Man cannot avoid the consequences of sin. Enoch. Africa not the beginnings of man’s civilization rather the endings of civilization. Enoch called of God to prophesy: Moses 6;26-29. Had speech impediment. But gained special power or witness to his words to testify of Christ and their need for faith in him. (First we abhor sin, then tolerate, then accept , then embrace.) Secular Humanism, evolution replacing correct understanding of intelligent design. People of Canaan to be destroyed. Us too if we don’t repent.

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Lsn 5: Moses 6-7

We study many sacred writings. The world must be left without excuse. The Letter from heaven. Hundreds of documents have been found, and they match each other – very old – but preserved in purity and are not copies of copies – these are the originals. More on Enoch. God cried for the lost people. Saw Noah and the arc. Mother Earth speaks vs. 48: “Wo, wo is me, the mother of men. When shall I rest, and be cleansed from the filthiness which is gone forth out of me. When will my Creator sanctify me, that I may rest, and righteousness for a season abide upon my face.” Enoch cried when he heard that. Given a vision of Christ’s death and of earth’s darkened condition until end of world. Saw gathering, great tribulations among wicked. Adam heard of vision, came to Enoch to ordain him to priesthood. Battle against revelation favoring evolution.

Enoch bravely taught revealed word of God. People won’t read religious material. Departmental pride.. secular scholars. Apocrypha – some truth, not all. Wickedness so great that tremendous political and social events about to take place. People used God’s name falsely to deceive. Also, used rhetoric – art of making true things appear false, and vice versa. Enoch preached to 7 different lands. Gathering the righteous. Wicked army attached, Enoch used Priesthood to change landscape. Giants feared Enoch. Bloodshed and war – a fore-shadowing to us. City of Enoch existed 365 years. Our world in need of a house cleaning – we need speedy repentance. Secret combinations in our midst – Ezra Taft Benson. Gadianton robbers appear, life becomes expendable, chaos reigns. If Jesus appeared we would tell him to leave as we don’t know Him any more. We are expelling God. Men of our time the most wicked in earth’s history. Vast corruption – absolute evil and power seeking secret combinations and the wars between nations will be the most terrible ever. Patterns and cycles reoccur. Prophets now raise the warning voice. Angels of destruction are being sent forth to accomplish missions. Wilford Woodruff: “The American nation will be broken in pieces like a potter’s vessel….there are changes awaiting us.” Elder Charles Penrose vision. Bruce R. McConkie’s warning. L. Tom Perry’s warning. President Gordon B. Hinckley’s words. John Taylor’s vision. Joseph Smith’s words. All reviewed here. In spite of this WE must quietly and righteously pursue our daily lives. Neil A. Maxwell – Don’t get carried away on tangents or extremes – stay the course. More on The Savior and the great millennium.

Enoch

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Lsn 6: Genesis 6-7, Moses 7-8, Book of Jasher 5-6, Abraham 1

More on Enoch. Conference called by Adam at Adam-ondi-ahman. Doctrine of translation. Info on Noah/Gabriel. Japeth, Shem, Ham. Apostasy at its highest. Homosexuality rampant. Unequally yoked together. Sons of man/sons of God. Comparison here of sins committed today and then. Noah and sons build ship and board it with animals, etc. Stones given by God to light the Arc. Flood came covered whole earth, men lost their souls. Terror. The Earth itself was divided. Noah sent raven and then a dove. Rainbow was given as a token and covenant. Priesthood limited…temporary restriction. Priesthood garment symbolic of covenants in Temple. Egyptus and Ham. Nimrod was rebellious. Tower of Babel. Nimrod first gained political control, then preached a new religion similar to false religions of our day.

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Ls 7: Genesis 8-11, Abraham 1

More on Nimrod. John Taylor wrote about why God destroyed a whole world at one time to save a few – also people worshipped false Gods, turned to soothsayers. Language confounded. Mahonri-Moriancumr & Brother of Jared story. Departure of Jaradites to America. Legends and myths replaced truth. We must study History so we don’t repeat their mistakes. Same dramatic contrast & division is happening right now in our nation. We know God’s rules and his laws – are we defiant or obedient? What enticed God’s children to rebel? Sexual gratification, pornography, fornication, decadence grew – satanic devices contrived to satisfy morbid appetites; sacrifices to Idols. Abortions rampant. Righteous colonies now set up. Teaching technique – take concept which people already believed and then rationalizing or twisting them to make more appealing. City of Salem’s territory now surrounds Jerusalem. Info on Melchizedek, The Prince of Peace, and his translated city. Life of Abraham – And his covenant with God. We are his seed. George Q. Cannon, Joseph Smith and John A. Widsoe’s Words on the royal line and covenants & what that really means. What are the covenants & obligations we have made with God? More words from the prophets on this and its importance!!!!! Are men willing to give up all eternity for a “piece of dirt”. Abraham had to be strong – everyone, including family turned on him. He was almost sacrificed by high priest. What is the price of a virtuous woman? Famine in the land – Abraham fled. (Phone Number is wrong as given in lesson. Should be 801-376-6300)

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Lsn 8: Genesis 17, Abraham 1-5

wonderful promises. Bruce McConkie – “Count the cost of discipleship” – Can’t serve God and Mammon – double minded man. He that is not with me is against me. Neutrality will not save us. Lord taught Abraham & Abraham taught – Egyptians (for 11 years) and Egyptians taught the Greeks and Greeks taught Romans, mathematics, astronomy, etc... Lord also showed Abraham the works of his hands, planets, etc. Hugh Nibley quotes various Apocrypha --The Apocalypse of Abraham; Stromata (2 showing how God brought order out of chaos and created all things); The Codex Brucianus (again creation). He speaks of the Spark-(An activating force – God produces the light not evolution. God showed Abraham how STARS are made. Terrifying.

1 Enoch talks about firmament/foundation); Pistis Sophia talks of Hierarchy, and various orders of the heavens, the degrees of the angels, thrones and powers, etc.; Ignatius- last Church Father. Abraham had Urim and Thummin. Kolob – star nearest God. 1,000 years on earth is one day on Kolob. Info on other Stars. Olea is the moon. Every kingdom has a law given. Shinehah is the sun. God says: “I am more intelligent than they all”, The Sophia Christi manuscript says the spirits are equal in age but different in power, intelligence, and appearance. Origen was intrigued by this diversity and inequality among God’s creatures. “These I will make my rulers.” Jehovah second to the Father. Planning stages or blueprint made before earth actually created. Note the plurality of Gods…”they, the Gods said”. Also note they waited to see if they were obeyed…by the various intelligences as commanded. Obedience is important. Now the actual physical Creation, earth, sky, firmament, etc. The Apocalypse of Abraham says: “Before the world was I was a strong God who once created the light of the world. Man’s pre-mortal existence an illustrious one.” Space travel.

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Lsn 9: Genesis 12-18, Abraham 15 

Sarai and Abram in Egypt. Her incredible beauty. Bible definitely inspired, but some missing books. Pharaoh lusted after Sarai but the Lord intervened. We learn of Abram and Sarai, Lot, and Hagar ( an Egyptian princess given to Abraham to be a slave to Sarai) now left Egypt for Bethel, north of Jerusalem. Lot and Abram went separate ways. Lot to the plains - close to Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abram to the mountains. Lot & family fell into hands of enemy and Abram rescued them. Meets Melchizedek. Info on the translation of the city of Melchizedek. Sarai gave Hagar to Abraham. Hagar became disrespectful after becoming pregnant and Sarai punished her. Angel appeared to Hagar with message. Ishmael born. Baptism by sprinkling. Atonement perverted. New names Abraham and Sarah. ISAAC now the covenant son. Translated and/or resurrected beings can serve as ministering angels without revealing their glory. Three visitors came from God to destroy Sodom & Gomorrah.

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Lsn 10: Genesis 18-25

Ongoing story of Sarai and Abraham and Isaac. More on the three holy men who came to destroy Sodom &Gomorrah because of abominations. Same as ours? Abraham feared for Lot and his family. What if there are 50 righteous in the city, or only ten? Lord said, “I will not destroy them.” Judgments will come on USA for driving out the Saints and prophets. Angels went to Lot to warn them – Lot’s house surrounded by homosexuals demanding his daughters and these angels. They were struck blind and fire and brimstone came down from heaven and cities burned up. Three angels saved Lot & some of his family. Lot fathers children by his daughters. (Another version of Sarah & Abraham and pharaoh or king, or another similar occurrence.) Trouble between Isaac and Ishmael – Sarah and Hagar). Story of Ishmael and his wife and Abraham.

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Lsn 11: Genesis 22-24

Story of Abraham and the Lord requiring the sacrifice of his only son. Spencer W. Kimball on “Why we must be tested and chastised before sanctification.” We must all prove ourselves! Joseph Smith gives three kinds of knowledge that are necessary if a person has faith to attain eternal life. Joseph Smith on what it means to be an heir of God. Jesus does what he saw his Father do – progress in dominion. Origen, a Church Father wrote: “If we fail to move on, attend Temple, go to Church to learn, etc. we are retarded in our growth. With exaltation comes an increase, an acceleration of exaltation, and the farther advanced one is, the faster one moves forward. So the farther you get ahead, the faster you get ahead.” Obedience the key principle.

All scriptures and commandments, sacrifices, etc. all point to Christ. A similitude – Abraham like the Father, Isaac like the Begotten Son – Sarah like Mary – miraculous births, etc. Sarah now dies. Isaac instructed by Shem & Eber. Eliazer sent by Abraham to find wife for Isaac was given Rebekah. Beautiful, intelligent, noble, humble, energetic, full of faith. Abraham died at 175. Faith and obedience make us the children of Abraham – those who choose to accept God’s call to service. Joseph Smith explains the effect of the Holy Spirit upon a Gentile vs. the covenant people, and our responsibility. Rebekah conceived and bore twins. Esau and Jacob. Not identical.

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Lsn 12: Genesis 25-34

Esau and Jacob and the contention between them because of birthright. Ellis T. Rasmussen: Is there a consequence for deception for any reason? The reason for Rebekah’s deceit. Jacob’s blessings to both sons. Jacob saw “Jacob’s ladder” – messengers going and coming from heaven to the earth. (2 Cor. 12:2). Joseph Smith and Marion G. Romney explained this dream. Also called “the gate of heaven” – rungs of ladder are our covenants – must be fulfilled, etc. Story of Leah and Rachael, and Laban and Jacob. Seven year contract before marriage. Why was Jacob deceived and bride became Leah instead of Rachael? New contract- for Rachael. The naming of Jacob’s grandchildren showing the controversy between Leah and Rachael. Concubines now brought in, bringing more animosity. The mandrake episode. . Jacob fled from Laban with family and large caravan. Rachael stole father’s images (teraphim). Peace treaty arranged and Jacob continued into land of Caanan – Esau endeavored to stop him – heart softened. Jacob wrestled with an angel or messenger from God. Jacob given new name: Israel. Hugh Nibley on new texts now found in regard to Old Testament in caves.

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Lsn 13:Genesis 34-49

Jacob and encore now in Caanan. Dinah, Jacob’s only daughter was abducted and raped by Shechem, the ruling prince and he fell in love with her. His father, King Hamor came to Jacob with offer of marriage to solidify their friendship, but Jacob’s sons devised a secret plan to punish them and demanded circumcision of all the men. Once the men were rendered powerless, Jacob’ son’s killed them. The Lord was angry – people had to move to Bethel and then to Hebron to see Isaac, age 117. Tragedy - Rachael died giving birth to Benjamin & Reuben sinned against his father – split family. Stephen Robinson wrote about perfection. Also, Peter: “We can’t take credit for overcoming the trials and tribulations we bring upon ourselves….”. We need self actualization to over-come some sins – repent, keep commandments. New assignment for the birthright - from Leah’s first born (Reuben) to Rachael’s first born (Joseph). Jealousy from half brothers. Joseph had powerful dreams. Brothers sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites (shepherd kings). Jacob wept bitterly & mourned. Joseph carried to Egypt – sold to Potiphar an official of the King. His wife accused Joseph of assaulting her – thrown into prison for years. Interpreted dreams of baker and butler and Pharaoh. Joseph warned Pharaoh of a famine of seven years. Listen here to Joseph’s story.

Boyd K. Packer reminds us to prepare for seven years of famine to come in our days. “Many ward & stake leaders to die for not being obedient to store food & other necessities.” Joseph was elevated to vice-regent over Egypt. Joseph married, Asenath – had two sons, Manasseh and Ephriam. The story of Joseph’s brothers coming to Egypt to purchase food and his interaction with them. Joseph remained faithful to God in spite of his terrible trials. The Lord has his purposes. Many prophets are types and patterns and shadows of the Lord – explained here in nine points. To attain leadership we must be sorely tried. The degree of the blessing often determines the degree of the trial. A sanctifying process.

After 22 years, Jacob now sees Joseph. Joseph’s family settled in Goshen. Jacob gave blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh. Again we see the younger Ephriam, receiving the greater blessing over the eldest, Manasseh. Cursings & blessings can be changed as warranted by the behavior of the individual. Three great promises to tribe of Judah. 1.) Judah would be a tribe of courageous warriors. 2.) The Kingdom of Judah would remain intact as a political entity until the coming of the Messiah. 3.) The Messiah would be of the Tribe of Judah and come riding on a donkey’s cold. Judah is a lion’s whelp – meaning a symbol of ruler-ship, and allusions to the scepter and lawgiver. The royal power would remain with David‘s descendants until the “divine lawgiver, Shiloh would be born.

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Lsn 14: Genesis 50, Exodus 4

Joseph’s blessing from Jacob – five great promises (to us his seed). Now Jacob dies and is buried in the cave with his ancestors. Joseph governed Egypt about 80 years, He was 17 when he came to Egypt, and 30 when he became co-regent of Egypt. He was 56 when Jacob died, & governed 54 more years after Jacob died, and then Joseph died at 110. Was given many remarkable revelations concerning the future of Israel. Lost until modern times. Listen to them here in this lesson. Reference the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. Also five points given which parallel Joseph Smith. Messiah ben Joseph story…. four points regarding this prophecy. Messiah ben Joseph and Messian ben David are NOT the same person. One of the main purposes of Book of Mormon is to convert the Jews. Now, MOSES – Hebrew orphan who became crown prince in Egypt. Became a prophet at 80. A historian who put together 2,500 years of human history. He was a Levite. Slow of speech. Taught by Jethro, his father in law. Now the Lord rescues his people through Moses.

New ruler in Egypt – knew not Joseph, & concerned over the fact there were about 3 million Jews amongst them and acted against them. Story given here by Josephus about Moses, Miriam, Joshebed, Pharaoh and Moses elevation to the heir- apparent to the throne. Book: ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS. Joseph married Ethiopian woman. Miriam & Aaron punished by the Lord. Leprosy & personal reprimand from Lord. Moses killed an Egyptian and fled to Midian, married Zipporah. Called to his mission on mountain.” His name – Moses is to say: “ I AM THAT I AM. I AM HATH SENT ME UNTO YOU.” Explanation of name: “I AM”. Moses is commanded to bring God’s children out of Egypt & Aaron is given to him to be his spokesman. Moses spoke to God “Face to Face”, given a comprehensive view of history and told of Jesus Christ. MOSES: 1:10-11 – “For this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed….”. Lucifer appeared to Moses to influence him, Moses refuses and Satan rages. Again Moses is filled with Holy Ghost and asks questions.

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Lsn 15: Moses 1, Exodus 4-14

Moses and Joseph Smith saw the Lord face to face. (No man has seen God at any time in the flesh EXCEPT if quickened by the Spirit of God.) They were transfigured. If you want answers, Ask the right questions (the Holy Spirit can help direct your questions). Moses was shown how a Star is born. Hugh Nibley quotes from: THE CLEMENTINE RECOGNITION, (The eggshell story), also other ancient writings: PISTIS SOPHIA, GINZA, GOSPEL OF TRUTH, FORTY DAY LITERATURE, and 1 ENOCH regarding creation and empty space. Man has been given dominion over various earths/creations. God said: “This is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. “ Ye are Gods!`````` “ (John 10:4). God does not harden men’s hearts. Aaron & Moses go to Egypt. God is ready to honor His (Jehovah’) covenant to give the Israelites the land of Caanan. He will do it with great power. Starting with Exodus 7 vs. 10 we have a series of miracles. Satan also uses miracles or the supernatural to deceive men. TEN PLAGUES brought upon Egypt. Explanation of Passover, a permanent memorial. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. One law, one people – mixed nationalities went with them – all treated alike. Phylacteries, prayer box carrying passages of scripture. Exodus 13:21-22 – “And the Lord went before them in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire …!” Moses divided the Red Sea and the Israelites passed through on dry ground.

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Lsn 16: Exodus 14-19

More on the flight of the Israelites from Egypt. Why all the miracles were given to the people? Why the Lord gave them manna. What was manna? What were its restrictions? Lord also provided quail. Hard-hardedness of these people. Miracle - Water from a rock. Amalekites cursed by Lord. Moses called forth Joshua to lead army. Top of hill Aaron and Hur held up Moses’s arm holding his staff – What was the purpose? Harold B. Lee’s words on this. Jethro introduced to tribes, and became Moses’ counselor. Set up lower and higher judges. Israelites to covenant with Jehovah to be a kingdom of priests, servants of the Lord with divine authority a holy nation which would be committed to teach and serve. This same covenant and blessing given to people in the Book of Mormon, New Testament, and D&C to us. Lord offered to speak directly to the people – a great honor, But only Aaron, Nadab, Abihu & 70 others including Joshua obtained this great blessing. The people were too frightened and immature for this sanctification. Ten commandments are given to show us the three great Priorities in life. They are all listed & explained in depth in this lesson.

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Lsn 17: Exodus 20-34

This lesson shows how quickly a nation can fall. We cannot break the Ten Commandments, we can only break ourselves against them. Thru choice we can take the higher road. God gave us laws not to shackle us but to guarantee the greatest individual freedom. Repeating 7-10 commandments from preious lesson because these are so rampant today. Next, God gives Moses the Laws for Governing the Nation. Then comes the Mosaic Law for the immature. Discuss Mosaic Case Law. Capital crimes, and capital punishment – murder, cursing one’s parents, neglect of the land, not taking proper care of our animals, abortion, theft, witch-craft, seduction, Idol worship, embezzlement, bearing false witness, bestiality, neglect of widows and orphans, raising or joining a mob, bribery, justice for rich and poor, etc. The Law of Moses is not a law of RETALIATION, but a law of REPARATION. We must make restitution for our offenses. Penalty: To be exiled, or make satisfaction. Prison rejected – man must be able to work to make restitution. Modern justice vs. the Lords jurisprudence. Various holy days and festivals discussed: Sabbath, Feast of Passover, Feast of Weeks, Yom Kippur, The Day of Atonement, the Feast of Tabernacles. If these are honored the Lord promised five blessings in Exod. 23:20-23!!! Now some saw God. Moses received God’s laws. He was commanded they build a portable tabernacle so Moses could administer all the ordinances, sacraments and laws of conduct to organize Church. But the people at the bottom of the mountain corrupted themselves. In anger Moses broke the tablets of the law. Punishment ensues and 3,000 people died that day. Moses offered to have his life blotted out in the book of life in place of the people -- God responded: “Whosoever hath sinned against me, HIM will I blot out of my book”. God must be a God of law. Israelites now commanded to execute His judgment against a vile and degenerate nation who were corrupting themselves.

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Lsn 18: Exodus 34, Leviticus 10

More on Mosiac Law. Ingenious. Some offenses for which satisfaction was not possible. Drunkenness, public prostitution, destroying the peace, etc. Punished by whippings. Maximum 40. Could not break the skin. Spankings by responsible parents okay. God’s laws always administered in equity and justice. The death penalty came only if the perpetrator didn’t clean up his act or make restitution, but the person who brought the accusation had to throw the first stone – if not there was something wrong with the accusation. Discusses Teenage punishment. Teens very open to manipulation by unscrupulous to riot and march regardless of the issues. Lord also gave health code to people & a singular array or ordinances, rules, regulations and new requirements. (Carnal Commandments – meaning worldly, materialistic & pertaining to things of the flesh, which were added because of transgressions.) Melchizedek Priesthood was taken from them. Why people believe Satan has horns. Why iniquity of the fathers visited upon their children. Building of Tabernacle ensued. Special skills endowed by the Spirit of God so they had greater understanding and wisdom in regard to their craft. Once completed a cloud covered the tabernacle and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and off and on returned to It. Now we cover Leviticus and a series of complicated rituals. Because of the mystic quality about them the people accepted them. They were a rigid teaching device, an attention holder, a gargantuan burden of ritualistic mechanics to form habits of obedience. Compare that with Isaiah 111-15 & D&C 58:26:33 and what God wants of us today!! God’s physical acceptance of the Tabernacle. God took Aaron’s two older sons. They violated the tabernacle. Aaron commanded not to mourn.

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Lsn 19: Leviticus 10-26

Spiritual and temporal sacrifice. Sacrifice can bring a better resurrection. If not required to sacrifice, you still must be PREPARED to do so. Opportunities in spirit world ONLY for those who had not had the opportunity in this life. We are not to be PRETTY GOOD, but rather “be ye perfect”. Performances develop character and faith. These things important: repentance, service, forgiveness, worship God, love, baptism by immersion. Each facet specifically designed to keep people in remembrance of God and their duty toward him. Discussion of the OFFERER, the PRIEST, and the OFFERING and their meaning. Offering of animal an emotional experience. All in similitude of the death of our Messiah. Learn here of the dual aspect or symbolism of sacrifice. Learn meaning of leaven, honey, and salt. Learn of sins committed in ignorance.

Our temple ordinances are symbolic. You must receive them here or they will not be enjoyed in hereafter. Once received we cannot be held back in our progression. We may not understand them yet, as Paul said… all we may get is a distorted reflection, but it’s still a reflection of what really is. Laws of un-cleanliness. Leprosy – representative of various symbols. Incest & homosexuality condemned by the Lord. Law regarding sorcerers & necromancers, magic, tattooing, spirit mediums, gambling, trial marriages, certain hair styles, fashions inn clothing. In the higher gospel law, broad principles are laid down & we must interpret & apply to OUR Lives today. Lev. 23 talks of five holy days or feasts to be observed by all Israel. Lev. 26 – powerful Chpt. If Israel was obedient to the laws given, they would be blessed with the bounties of the earth, safety and security, peace & protection from enemies. God would walk with them and be their God to obtain a Zion condition. If not blessings withdrawn: they would know sorrow, drought, hunger, war, disease, exile, tragedy & abandonment. The Lord uses the weather to discipline his people – he will shut up the heavens. DO NOT PROFANE THE SABBATH!!! Then I will give you rain in due season. Or he says “I will destroy your cattle, & make you few in number, and your highways will be desolate?” EMP attack?? He also warns he will bring a sword upon us. No more peace!

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Lsn 20: Numbers 1-20

Encompasses the Torah, or first five book of Moses. Account of the numbering of Israel, the Levitical preparations for moving the tabernacle, why Israel was cursed with 40 years of wandering, the second numbering of Israel, the choosing of Joshua to lead Israel, and a description of some land inheritances by the various tribes. Covers entire historical trek of the Israelites from Sinai to Mt. Pisgah. (Numbering to discern the military might of Israel -20 years old and up. All except tribe of Lehi because of their special calling – a fixed responsibility.) What is a Nazarene? What is the significance of the cloud over the tabernacle? Jethro as Moses’ counselor. People began to be weary and contentious – complained and became ugly. Wanted a God who would give them everything immediately with little or no effort or appreciation from them. The Lord punished them & sent down a fire to consume and destroy them. Moses intervened. 70 Israeli men were commanded to gather around the Tabernacle to receive instruction. Others were heard prophesying to people – Joshua asked Moses to forbid them. In a similar situation Jesus replied, “Would that all men would be prophets.” Don’t be jealous of another’s gift from God. Lord sent the people quail when they bitterly complained but it carried with it a deadly curse – death for those who were gluttonous. The Lord cursed Miriam and Aaron for jealousy of Moses. We do not have equal or superior status to the presiding priesthood authorities even if we are blessed with special spiritual gifts. Numbers 13 – Israel witnessed great miracles, but now came the great choice – and they lost everything. They openly rejected these miracles and the true and living God & Moses. They tried to stone their leaders. They wanted a mystic God, not the glorified exalted man who had appeared to them. The Lord passed a Death Sentence upon the entire camp – none of them would see the promised land.

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Lsn 21: Numbers 14-21

Because of the wickedness of the people of Canaan, Israel had been commanded to march against them. But they were afraid. Cities heavily fortified, and these people were GIANTS! They preferred to curl up & accept slavery to freedom if it required responsibilities & challenges and often warfare. So they appointed a new leader to take them back to the slime-pits of Egypt. Moses, Aaron dropped to their knees in grief & Calab (representing tribe of Judah) & Joshua (representing tribe of Ephraim) stepped forward, tore their clothing as a sign on mourning or sorrow for the behavior of the people… who responded with anger and stones. Lord furious - wanted to destroy them – Moses reasoned with Him – good lesson for us. They would be punished but wander 40 years in wilderness until this generation all died, and Lord would then deal with their children. Rebellion against God is not tolerated – at some point we will be punished for our sins. Their foolish reply was to attack now without the Lord’s approval. They were slaughtered.

Now Israel is given the law for those who live amongst the Lord’s people as non-members or as a stranger and enjoyed their blessings, but didn’t worship the Lord. One ordinance to be given to all. Now Levites rebelled & wanted Moses & Aaron’s position in higher priesthood – they all met at the Tabernacle to challenge their authority & the Lord opened the earth & swallowed up the Levites and all that appertained to them went alive into the pit & the ground covered them up. People still obstinate and accusatory – they thought they could stand against God, make demands and so they wouldn’t listen to Him. Plague was sent, Aaron quickly prescribed the ordinance of atonement & stopped it from spreading but 15,000 people died. There are proper channels of the Priesthood. Here we learn about the significance of the dry rods to branch, blossom & bear fruit. Third Temple to be built in last days. Modern Israel – red heifer, cornerstone of temple, gold and silver vessels being crafted, war. Miriam died. Moses performed miracle of providing water from a rock but didn’t give credit to God. We learn why he lost the privilege of bringing the congregation into the promised land. The weak are called to serve in high places. The Lord directed the distribution of the lands & people on a tribe by tribe basis. Aaron died.

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Lsn 22: Numbers 21, Deuteronomy 31

Israel avoids conflict with certain of the Canaanites who refused them passage thru their lands. Israel still complained so their punishment was fiery serpents. Learn of the significance of Moses fashioning a serpent of brass & placed on high pole. Amorites destroyed. Is there ever a time when war is justified? Joshua now takes the place of Moses. The Moabite king made a bargain with Balaam, who appears to be a spiritual leader, to get God to curse his own people. God said no, but Balaam was disobedient. His donkey spoke to him, angel appeared. Joseph Smith’s teachings on animals. Listen here to Balaam’s plan to curse Israel.. to use beautiful women to seduce the handsome Israelite men to come to their heathen sanctuaries to worship & sacrifice to their fertility God & engage in sexual immorality. Phinahas (Numbers 25:7) administered justice and slew an Israelite man and heathen woman engaged in immoral behavior within the Israelite camp , and thus the Lord turned away his wrath.

Boyd K. Packer’s GREAT talk on TOLERANCE. Moses is taken and Joshua was chosen in his stead. More war – Only female children and young virgins to be spared. Why were all the rest to be put to death?? Not all tribes were under this indictment. Only those who would not regenerate and change. Some had institutionalized their abominations’ & made them a mandatory way of life & would fight bitterly to hold to them. CITIES OF MERCY explained. Moses talks about women & inheritances. Apostasy, punishment, and pardon continually repeat themselves. Rev. 22:18-19 – explains - regarding adding or taking away from scripture. The Lord in Deut. warns then to never worship any other Gods or be swept off the land….true today to us. We learn of the Lord’s mercy, & God’s lament in Deut. 5:29. Starting with Deut. 6:4-9 is the SHEMA. The supreme affirmation of the unity of God, recited twice daily by all devout Jews & Deut. 11:13-21, and Numbers 15:37-41 in that order. Jesus said vs. 5 – Contains the greatest commandment in the law: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart & with all thy soul, & with all thy might. And these words, which I command thine heart.” Deut. 11-28 contain the promises associated with obeying the Lord!!!! (For us as well), and the penalties for disobedience.

AN IMPORTANT SECTION FOR US! We cannot forget God in times of peace and prosperity. Do not marry non-members. (It would adulterate their spiritual inheritance & fail in their mission.) Canaanites to be destroyed because sins were so infectious & contaminating, and evil and destruction to the order of society. People proud of their depravity, their prostitution & homosexuality, divorces rampant, adultery, babies born out of wedlock or sacrificed through abortions. Their iniquity was now full or total – how close are we? Ten Lost Tribes to be gathered in our time. A Joseph to be raised up in latter days.

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Lsn: 23 Deuteronomy 32, Joshua 1-7

Coursings and blessings distributed by law. Moses said The Lord selected a place for the children of Israel even before they were born, and indicated the number of spirits who were assigned to become the descendants of Jacob. Other people were parceled out on the surface of the earth as well. We earned privileges in the Spirit World. Preferential treatment comes with obedience. God declared the number of spirits to come here & when complete the end will come. No retaliation against Egypt. Why? The Lord’ seven directions for a future king. Also the Lord’s ten instructions on warfare and soldiers behavior. (Words of George Washington to his troops). Deut. 20:10-11 – When you come to a city to fight against it FIRST PROCLAIM PEACE UNTO IT. Founding Fathers emphasized Christian Character throughout revolution – but not British. Info given on families who protect one another when guilty.

Last of all – 7 comparisons of Moses and Christ. Now the Book of Joshua. Remarkable comparisons here which continue the topology or the symbolism of Christ. Under Joshua the Israelites conquered much of the promised land. For the next 400 years Israel went through a cycle of apostasy, captivity, repentance and delivery many times. Like us they tolerated, collaborated with, and finally embraced the same sins of the Canaanites. We even legislate evil. Joshua commanded to make the law the basis of all he did - followed with a promise and a plea for him to be strong. A woman named Rahab helped Israel conquer Jericho. An invisible dam appeared & parted the Jordon River water so Israelites could cross with the Arc. The Lord can plant fear in the hearts of our enemies. The captain of the host of the Lord manifested himself to Joshua and gave him instructions. The success lay in their covenant with Jehovah. Under the direction given the walls of Jericho collapsed and there was full destruction.

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Lsn: 24: Joshua 7-end

Joshua is told to be strong and courageous. After winning the battle of Jericho, Israel thought it was invincible. Credit must always go to God – not man. So for their failure in not giving God the credit, in the next military encounter Israel was defeated and demoralized. The Lord was disgusted in Joshua 7:10 saying to Joshua, who was depressed – Get thee up – stop whining, we have a problem to solve. What was the accursed thing that upset the Lord? Why was the thief stoned? Understand the effects of individual sin on the whole community. WE cannot hide sin from God. If we lose spiritual power, it is our fault not His. The Lord helps lay out the plan against enemies and Israel again won the battle. Huge Conference ensued and the priests laid out the law of blessings and cursings (a sacred covenant with the Lord) – all are accountable. Israel now sweeping across the land! Enemies recognized that they were now fighting against Israel’s God. They wanted to save their decadent lifestyles and contempt for law. They were not thankful for their blessings. Like us today. Wicked nations joined in an alliance to defeat Israel and their God. But Israel’s God IS God! Note another sacred oath. Intrigue and deception – Again God intervened.

Now an unprecedented miracle! A huge deadly hail storm. And neither the sun or moon moved!! Day extended to finish the work of cleansing. Enemy consumed with more hatred against God. Five enemy kings hanged. People lost desire to finish the Job. So they were given limited victories. A half a job Is no job at all. The Anakim were giants – Goliath came from Gath and not easy to defeat. Ezra Taft Benson talks here about modern Israel and our fight for freedom, and not being half-hearted or slow to respond when called. Gain promised blessing through work. Why did the war in the North take six long years? The enemy kept manifesting itself in different areas. The Lord again gave Joshua the battle plan against wicked & ferocious giants. Now an account of the distribution of conquered lands in Canaan between 12 Israeli tribes. Distressing news brought by spies against some of the Israeli Tribes but was found to be untrue. Six CITIES OF REFUGE designated for sanctuary until trial. Joshua and Eleazar died leaving only Calab & Judah alive out of all the adults who came out of Egypt as adults.

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Lsn 25: Judges

Since Moses and Joshua had died there was no unifying Central authority and the tribes started their own power structures & didn’t work together. Even Judges gained too much power within tribes & became corrupted. Time and again Israel suffered apostasy- sinning, suffering at the hand of their enemy, crying to the Lord, and being sent a deliverer. The men grew effeminate as to fighting, & indulged in luxury and pleasures. Didn’t want to hear the law. Cared nothing about religious principles in politics. Thoughts from Benjamin Franklin and David Barton. The greatest enemy to the Lord’s people almost always comes from within. Israelites fascinated with Canaanite people’s advancement in worldly endeavors. Spiritual apostasy set in. They served Baalam and forsook the Lord. The new generation back-slided. The same as today?

Now learn about the wealth of Canaan & its effects on the people in sensuous debaucheries and sacrificial victims. Israel now failed in her calling and allowed herself to be conquered by the very elements she was supposed to cleanse. What of Us? What were the rest of the tribes of Israel doing? God was now abandoning them. No more prosperity. Vexation by other nations. Debaucheries. Syria conquered them and made them slaves. Then invasion by a federation of Semitic tribes from Trans-Jordan. Ehad kills King Eglon and the Israeli’s attacked, with new hero’s coming forth in Israel. However, again the Israeli’s rebelled and were conquered by King Jabin, a Canaanite. Deborah, a prophetess and only female judge in Israel functioning in a private capacity – moved forward against Israel’s enemies in enlisting Barak to help her lead the Israeli Armies against the Canaanites and the Lord (because Israel was sorely lacking in leadership at this time, & because the covenant had been broken) allowed it. Another Israeli female hero, Jael, killed Sisera, the great Canaanite General while asleep with a spike to his temple.

Another invasion of Israel came from the wilderness on the South – they swarmed through the land and plundered all their grain, and livestock on which the Israelites subsisted. Seven years they suffered. This time the Lord was slow to answer their cries for help. Along comes Gideon to remind them of their disobedience. A man (angel) appeared to Gideon saying he was to be the new hero. The angel performed a miracle as a sign he was chosen. Later a huge army assembled and Gideon was to lead the Lord’s people. Another miracle regarding a fleece and it being wet, convinced Gideon to proceed and with only 10,000 men, -- the Lord reduced the number again to 300 so Israel could not claim their own hands won the battle. Again the Lord set up the battle plan, and it worked.

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Lsn 26: Judges 1, Ruth 1

Quick review of Gideon in last lesson. Ephriam’s help was sought to help Gideon fight the Midianiates. Several tribes withheld their aid to see which way the wind blew. The tribes were not united . Gideon slew the enemy kings & turned to the traitorous Israelite cities who had refused to give them sustenance in their hour of need. He had the seventy princes from Succoth, who had scorned him, captured and flogged with bushes full of thorns. Other cities had their watchtowers and other defenses destroyed. Some of the men were killed. Traitors could not go unpunished. Tribe of Ephraim asked Gideon to be their King- he declined and gave God the glory. In the early days of our nation our motto was “No King but Jesus!” Gideon’s gift to God became a stumbling block.

A secret combination developed – Abimelech. They raided the heathen temple and paid mercenaries to round up Gideon’s sons and murdered all of them but one, Jotham, who escaped. Other cities surrendered to them out of fear. Jotham preached a parable to them. After three years it came true, the people rebelled. Abimelech responded brutally. A woman dropped a millstone on his head – rather than die by a woman’s hand, he had his armour-bearer kill him. Again Israel rebelled – more wars. Jepht-hah an outcast was offered the kingship. He made a covenant with the Lord regarding his daughter – mistranslation. . Tribes fight amongst themselves again. Next, the story of Samson, a Nazarite. A man foreordained and chosen by the Lord but couldn’t master himself and Delilah, his temptress. He started life righteous but abandoned his calling and God. But this is a GOSPEL OF BECOMING. Are we better today than yesterday? And now the story of RUTH and the end of Israel’s dark ages. (Ruth, Naomi, & Boaz). Listen here.

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Lsn 27: Samuel 1-11

Tribe of Dan wanted to expand its borders – and planned to attack Laish a smaller city which was vulnerable – the people dwelt careless, quiet and secure without securing watchmen – like us, and were all murdered by merciless men. Events leading up to Israel’s civil war. A Levite had a concubine who became unfaithful and fled – he found her & when returning they stopped overnight in Gibeah, a town in Benjamin. Apostates like in Sodom and Gomorrah wanted the strangers, and instead the Levite gave these men his concubine and they sexually abused her to such a sexual extent that she died. The Levite cut up her into 12 parts and sent as a testimonial to Israel’s tribes against what these wicked men did.

They then called a meeting to inform the leaders of Benjamin of this atrocity within their borders, (as to what had happened) but instead of responding that the guilty men will be punished, the leaders themselves were so corrupt they tried to justify the actions of these wicked men. Benjamin was then attacked and most of the men of that tribe were killed. Feeling guilty that they might have wiped out one of their tribes, they went and abducted 400 women from Gilead and gave them to the surviving wicked Benjamites. Still 200 men had no wives so the tribal leaders allowed them to kidnap additional young women during the dance festival in Shiloh to be given to this wicked tribe to perpetrate their barbaric lifestyle. This was representative of how the tribes had deteriorated.

At this time, Eli, the High Priest had two sons who didn’t serve the Lord, and Eli wouldn’t discipline them and fell into disfavor with the Lord, but for now was still acting as High Priest with the powers therein and Hannah, who was childless and righteous prayed in the temple for a son, she was rocking back and forth in prayer and Eli confronted her for being drunk – she denied it saying she had a sorrowful spirit and poured out her soul to the Lord. Read here about her great blessing from Eli. Also she had the gift of prophecy. She raised Samuel until 12 and turned him over to High Priest. God used Samuel to give a warning to Eli regarding himself (Eli) & his sons. Southern tribes requested for Eli to send the Arc to them as they were under attack. Israelite forces collapsed, and the Arc was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hopni, and Phinehas were slain. The Arc brought the Philistines catastrophe after catastrophe so they sent it back to Israel. Great story here. Ended up in Kirjath-jearim. Samuel is now High Priest – Philistines defeated by Israel! Samuel’s sons turned aside after lucre, took bribes, and perverted judgment so Israel now desired a king – a whole new system of government. Israel had now rejected God, not Samuel. Info is given here on what to expect from a king… To give them every opportunity for success, the Lord personally chose their new king…now the story of Saul. And we have Samuel’s closing words to the people. Story of a vision given to George Washington about America in the last days. America invaded by foreign forces from Europe, Asia, & Africa – millions involved in combat……..! Listen to this.

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Lsn 28: I Samuel 13-15

What was the Arc of the Covenant? A description of it is given here. It was one of the most significant features of the tabernacle, both in its importance to ancient Israel & in its symbolic significance, The tabernacle became a school wherein the things of heaven were to be revealed to the Lord’s own people. A description of the various courts and altar and rooms have significance and are described here as well. In this sacred atmosphere we learned last week how Samuel’s sons grew corrupt and the people requested a king to replace them. Saul was chosen as that king, coming from the tribe of Benjamin.

The Lord, through Saul, was teaching the Israelites a lesson about kings. Saul had started off with a respect for God, but he lost that. His latter plans lead him to reckless & violent measures. The Philistines, fearing Israel, regulated the Israelites manufacture of weapons by taking away their forges, where they were made. Saul wanted to retaliate – asked Samuel to offer sacrifices to get a revelation from God but as Samuel was slow to respond he got presumptuous & anxious, & usurped Samuel’s authority in the Priesthood. Big mistake! No longer was he given the benediction of heaven – blessings cut off. His son Jonathan displayed courage. Saul voiced a reckless curse. Jonathan hadn’t heard and fell victim to the curse, but the people rescued him. Instead of a total cleansing as required by the Lord, Saul lied and Samuel tore the mantle from Saul’s shoulder saying the kingdom had been given to another. Samuel then executed the king of the Amalekites. This tribe was the most depraved of all the nomadic tribes, especially the King. What happened with modern Israel and the Muslims --listen here to a summary of the book: FANTASTIC VICTORY by Cleon Skousen – given here. Great Story!

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Lsn 29: I Samuel 16-23

The Lord withdrew his blessings from Saul & was stripping the Kingdom from him. Became depressed – had a tortured mind. He was impetuous, quick to anger and stubborn. Samuel was sent to Jesse and his sons, and David the youngest was chosen by the Lord to replace Saul and unbeknownst to Saul was anointed such by Samuel. He was the first Jewish ruler over Israel & the custody of the Scripture or the law would remain with Judah until the coming of Christ. Now comes the story of David and Saul, and Goliath, ….. etc. David married Saul’s daughter Michal. Saul became David’s enemy continually. David’s friendship with Jonathan. David ate showbread from the tabernacle. 85 priests killed by Saul. David would not lift a hand against Saul as long as he lived – showing respect for the priesthood.

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Lsn 30: I Samuel 24-II Samuel 6

Once a person has risen to power and are removed from it they often find it difficult to adjust, feeling they aren’t important any more – true of Saul. David found Saul sleeping in a cave, but he didn’t slay him. He cut a piece off Saul’s robe to prove he was there. Saul wept. He may have had schizophrenia. Samuel died. David and his men returned to Southern Judah and for a fee patrolled the area with his band of 600 to establish law & order from bandits, thieves and night raiders from the lower desert. One of the rich landowners, Nabal) who was protected refused David & his men provisions. Abigal, Nabal’s wife brought him provisions. Abigail became David’s third wife. (Second was Ahinoam). Once again we learn of Saul’s hatred and jealousy and David’s response to him. David spied on Canaanites and pretended loyalty to them to join the army of the Philistines to spread chaos among them. Saul goes to a witch for answers, to conjure up Samuel – she was an evil source for the living to hear from the dead. He went into complete psychological shock upon hearing he and three of his sons were to die the next day & that the Philistines would defeat Israel. The prediction was accurate – evil sometimes tells the truth or half truths to deceive mankind.

Saul, wounded, actually fell on his own sword committing suicide so he wouldn’t be captured by the enemy. David was sent by the Lord to Hebron, capital city of Judah. He was now king, but the Northern tribes rejected him for a season. Abner, the captain of Saul’s host set up Ishpbosheth, one of Saul’s sons, as the next king. Now two kings reigned in Israel and there was a confrontation – David won. He now had 6 wives, but wanted Michal, his first wife returned to him. He sent Abner to get her. A sad affair - her current husband, Phaltiel, deeply loved her & followed the procession weeping. Joab kills Abner. King Ishboshth was also killed by men feeling it would make David happy – what was David’s response? Finally David is accepted by the tribes as King.

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Lsn 31: II Samuel 5-12 ,I Corinthians, Psalms

A quick review of last week’s lesson: David is angry with Joab, the commander of his army because he killed Abner. David moves capital to Mt. Moriah (where Jerusalem now stands). It was currently occupied by the pagan Jebusites. David penetrated the city through an underground spring, today called the Fountain of the Virgin Mary. The Philistines again attacked. The Lord gave them a plan, and a signal to attack & defeat them. David entered into some treaties. David sought to recover the Arc with a great festival. The Arc began to fall and Uzzah, who had been the custodian reached to steady it and immediately fell dead. God can steady His own Arc – it was incredibly sacred. It symbolized the presence of God, His throne, His glory, and His divine majesty. It was not to be taken lightly! God was re-establishing order. Also He is a God of judgment who strictly adheres to principles of law. The Arc was pulled off to the nearest home and temporarily abandoned. The next time it was moved it was more holy – Levite choirs of well- trained singers, and a more reverent attitude was taken with the proper robes of fine linen with a Priesthood ephod over them worn by the Levites and it was carried as prescribed on the shoulders of the priests. A sacrifice was offered. The Arc was placed in the center of a magnificent tent. Michal watched the proceedings and scorned David for taking off his kingly robes and vestments of authority and replacing them with the simple linen ephod of the Priesthood. David was deeply offended and retaliated.

David wanted to build a temple to the Lord, but he was told that he had shed too much blood, but someone in his lineage would build that temple. A direct reference to Jesus Christ in the latter days (as well as reference to Solomon). David’s writings in Psalms can help calm our hearts & direct our thoughts to God for the succor we need, so let’s review some of them in our lesson. Now once again the Philistines attacked some of Israel’s border cities demanding tribute. More wars & Israel was finally able to conquer and possess the domain promised to the Israelites 500 years after Israel had left Egypt…the land extended from the each branch of the Delta Nile (the river of Egypt) to the great river Euphrates in Mesopotamia. New wives taken from each tribe for David, both he and Solomon took it too far & it ended in tragedy for both. The Lord said: “Plurality of families was an abomination before Him WHEN undertaken for the selfish purposes of individuals. Under normal circumstances men should have one wife.” D&C 132:38. Information given here on the military. David rewarded Jonathan’s son – this caused some controversy & there were series of wars.

Now David sees Bathsheba bathing in the courtyard. Their attraction led them to adultery and she became pregnant. David panicked and sent for her husband Uriah, but he wouldn’t go to her while other soldiers were still on duty on the battlefield. Learn what David did that cost him his exaltation! The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David to call him to repentance and justice. Although he was not replaced he would pay the uttermost farthing for his sins. Bathsheba’s child would now die. David prayed and wept, but the Lord did not respond & the infant died. What did David do then? Later God blessed Bathsheba and David with another son beloved of the Lord. David reigned 40 years. He was a giant killer, poet, dancer, soldier, shepherd, Priest and king. He rose to heights and sank to depths that lesser men would never know. He gained the whole world and then lost his soul.

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Lsn 32: II Samuel 12, II Samuel 24

The Lord said in I Kings 15:5 – “David did that which was right In the eyes of the Lord and turned not aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life; save only the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” David’s repentant feelings were no doubt sincere, but murder & adultery carry their own consequences – he could not repent enough to restore the life of his friend, Uriah, nor the virtue of his wife. We learn here that God cannot arbitrarily exalt a man un-righteously. First & foremost he must be a God of law and justice to have the support of the vast numbers of independent intelligences in the universe. Sometimes we need someone else to help us repent. In David’s case it was the prophet Nathan. Murder is not covered in the atonement. David has to pass through hell where the suffering is mental until the last resurrection to gain his inheritance, even the telestial kingdom, but from this we learn that Hell has a door in and a door out! A list of David’s accomplishments listed here.

Next, the story of David’s oldest son, Amnon & his infatuation and rape of his half sister and his subsequent scorn for her. Absalom retaliated against Amnon. David’s reaction. A widow’s tale caused David to act. Joab & Absalom and Absalom’s treason. Six reasons why his conspiracy flourished. Trusted friends became enemies from within. David had to flee. David sent Hushai, two high priests & their two sons back to Jerusalem to spy on Absalom & Ahitophel – Absalom’s grandfather. Ziba’s lie. Absalom defiled ten of David’s concubines. Hushai foiled plan to attack David. In fear of David, Ahitophel hanged himself. A battle ensued. Absalom fled on horseback, hair caught In limbs of a tree – Joab found him and defied David’s order not to hurt him – he thrust three javelins into him and threw his body in a pit in the woods. David reacted with bitterness & tears. Joab was incensed & spoke harshly to David. David was blindly loyal to evil son. David replaced Joab with Amasa – a traitor who helped in the revolution against David. Tribes were split. Joab killed Amasa retaking command of David’s military. Another Philistine war – David fought another giant – now forbidden to fight in military – too old. Next week we’ll discuss God’s interest in unrighteous wars.

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Lsn 33: II Samuel 21, I Kings 1-11

Now David wants more land. He took a census of the military men. This was offensive to the Lord. Offered choice of three punishments to satisfy sin. Questionable text? Pestilence because of David? People can and will suffer if their leaders are not righteous. Regarding rulers of nations, 2 Sam. 23:3 says, He that ruleth over men MUST be just, ruling in the fear of God. He must be a worthy and upright man or face God’s wrath – if not, then the people who support him can expect to suffer also. We must vote responsibly for our leaders. The final resting place for the Arc now covered by the Muslim Mosque called The Dome of the Rock. David assembles both the men and materials that Solomon would need to build temple. Blueprint for restructuring of Aaronic & Levitical Priesthoods. David reorganized military…he divided troops into 12 powerful armies of 24,000 each headed by David’s proven generals – they served only one month out of each year so each could monetarily support their military group & support themselves & families. David takes a new wife, Abishaz to comfort him in old age.

Solomon & brother, Adonijah, (heir apparent) vie for position to lead Israel. Prophet Nathan intervened and Solomon was anointed – interesting story. David on his death bed admonished Solomon to serve God and be strong. He gave Solomon the written plans for the entire Temple and other papers. Then he admonished Solomon to settle old scores- kill Joab the military commander who killed Absalom & defied him, and Shimei, the Benjamite, who threw stones at him when David was sorrowfully retreating from Jerusalem. Adonijah concocted a deceitful plan to overthrow Solomon. Bathsheba was deceived. Solomon increased military, fortified cities, built ships to create Navy, increased trade, built the temple and palace for himself. The sacrifices made to the Lord so pleased him, He appeared to Solomon in a dream. Blessed him with an understanding heart to judge the people to discern between good and bad. He also received riches and honor & long life because of his humility if he continues to serve God in administering the statutes and commandments of the Lord. Great story of two women claiming the same child. The amazing building of the temple – interesting information!!!

After Temple completed & rituals performed & all offerings made, then the Arc of the Covenant was brought in. 2 Chron. 8:22 - Solomon then gave the dedicatory prayer. “Lord God of Israel, there Is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenants and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart etc……” (listen here for more.) This is very important! Remember it is The Lord who controls the weather, and the events of this world – all dependent upon our behavior etc, etc. Is there hope for us? Are we experiencing droughts, floods, earthquakes, famines, pestilences, terrorism, heavy personal and collective trials? He has not failed us, we have failed Him. Remember the Lord IS GOD. After prayer and sacrificing a wondrous thing happened. 2 Chron.7:1 - Sacrifices consumed by a fire from heaven. I Kings 8:l0-11 – cloud filled the temple – vast vapor of darkness was then illuminated as glory of God filled the house. I Kings 9:1-9 Solomon given the privilege of seeing the Lord for the second and last time. I Kings 9:3 – appearance was at night – a blessing & a warning given. Over 20 years Solomon overspent. Queen of Sheba visited & was impressed beyond words. Solomon’s gained many wives through political alliances. He lost his wisdom & other gifts, got dementia. Foreign wives vexed him and he built heathen temples for them. Lord angry - tells Solomon that he will rend the kingdom from him.

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Lsn 34: I Kings 11, Proverbs

Contains some of Solomon’s writings in Proverbs. He also wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, - one thousand and three psalms are missing. It is divided into five parts – except for the last part are all his writings. We learn: how to increase in understanding; about accepting instruction. It talks about relationships in families. For instance Prov. 10:1 says “A wise son maketh a glad father but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.” Probably because the more part of her life is spent teaching and counseling her children. In Prov. 29:15 we read of the rod of correction. Is there a place for spankings? Prov. 22:6 adds “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Note: when he is old! Prov. 3:27“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” So…Give compliments. Prov. 15 – “A soft answer turneth away wrath; but grievous words stir up anger.” If angry strive to lower & soften your voice. And, Prov. 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”Chapter five has one topic – avoiding harlotry and adultery & retaining fidelity in proper, loving, marital relationships. I laugh at this one, Prov. 20:9 “It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house!”

The Lord says in Prov 8:17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me”. Note in Prov. 8: 22-31 where Solomon talks about the pre-existence. A reaffirmation that we are God’s children & were with him & saw it all before coming to this earth. Note also this one in Prov. 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Here’s one on gossip: “Be not a witness against thy neighbor without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.” and Prov. l8:13, “He that answereth a matter before he hearth it, it is folly and shame unto him.” In Prov. 20:13 Solomon tells us how to get ahead financially – “Love not thy sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.” He further told us in Prov 6:6-11 to consider the ant” (a famous passage which commends industry, foresight, and preparation.) This is a great book for gaining wisdom about a number of things– Review it often!

Okay, next the Lord sent a prophet to Solomon to pronounce judgment on him - he didn’t follow the covenants & now would lose the kingdom. The Prophet Ahijah came to Jeroboam, Solomon’s successor & took his robe, tore it into 12 pieces handing Jeroboam 10 pieces – he would be king, but not yet over the tribes of Judah & Levi. Jehovah says Jerusalem is the city on which he put his name, so it is a holy city – it is mentioned over 700 times in the Tanach, but not once in the Q’uran, the holy book of the Muslims. Four points - on why the kingdom is rent from Solomon. Furious Solomon found out his successor & drove Jeroboam to flee.

Solomon died and Rehoboam declared himself king. People wanted taxes reduced – but instead came threats of revolution & independence. Ten tribes are now called “Israel – the Northern Kingdom.” There is a permanent separation of the tribes. Southern king was Rehoboam. Unfortunately Jeroboam led the Ten Northern tribes into idolatry and provided apostate non-Levite priesthood. More here on the drastic & damnable changes he made…. and the inroads to heathen worship and children & virgins sacrificed in mass and describes the characteristics of heathen worship….! Prophets were sent to warn the people to repent. Lord punished Jeroboam when he reached to do harm to a prophet – he withered his hand & restored it. Still he did not repent.

The prophet Ahjah met with Jeroboam’s wife who had disguised herself & he prophesied six bad events that were going to come to pass regarding Jeroboam’s house and kingdom. Jeroboam was furious. Now back to Rehoboam who ruled for 3 years righteously, over Southern Kingdom- but his brain deteriorated. People turned to idolatry and both kingdoms were ripe for destruction . Judah would be attacked & conquered by Egypt and because they waited too long to repent it was decreed that although they wouldn’t all die, nevertheless the remainder would be slaves. Rahoboam died. Son, Abijah started out wicked, but repented and reformed the people of the southern kingdom & called on the Northern kingdom to repent as well. The Lord helped him defeat Jeroboam’s army. This is a difficult section of the Bible as we are following two different segments of history classified in northern & southern kingdoms. We have different kings, prophet & priests, etc. Okay -- we end today with Asa, in the southern kingdom – a good king. So many leaders good and then bad & vice versa throughout the various dispensations of time. Next – Brigham Young’s great words on trials …. ends our lesson.

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Lsn 35: II Kings 15-18

King Asa, a righteous king, was king over the Southern kingdom called Judah (consisting of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. And wicked King Nadab now ruled the Northern kingdom. Asa completely rooted out idolatry, torn down images and idolatrous altars. He eliminated all the male and female prostitutes and homosexuals who attended the pagan temples, groves, altars and shrines and thus they had the blessings of the Lord in the form of peace and rest which brought industry and prosperity and fortified their cities. Egypt attacked. The prophet, Azariah told King Asa that the Lord would be with them IF they were with him AND to strengthen the Aaronic Priesthood. Asa called a great conference and when the Northern tribes heard that Asa had put his people under covenant. Many from the Northern kingdom fled their land and joined with Judah and received the covenant as well in great numbers. The northern kingdom was full of wickedness and Baasha, a military commander assassinated King Nadab and killed all the house of Jeroboam in fulfillment of prophecy. Baasha was wicked & wanted war with Judah. The prophet Jehu was sent by the Lord to warn Baasha against war. He was defiant & instituted a political and economic embargo. Asa made a treaty with the King of Syria, & didn’t rely on the Lord, and gave them the Lord’s silver & gold & temple treasures. Threw his prophet in prison & repressed the people who followed him. What was his consequence? Next we follow the various wars and leaders in the North who because of un-righteousness suffered internal strife, and new kings, two of them Ahab & Jezebel, reigned jointly for 22 years. She was taught by her father to hate Jehovah. Everything was corrupt – judges, priest-craft, murder, & alliances with other nations. Wickedness was unchecked.

Now in the South Asa died and Jehoshaphat reigned in righteousness in the Southern kingdom by strengthening patriotism with military training and had the Levites teach in the schools in every city in Judah. A good lesson for us. The basic text was the book of the law of the Lord. (Like our early schools in America). They were energetically engaged in commerce. The other kingdoms were now afraid of Judah, for righteous leaders and behaviors brings the protection of the Lord. On the other hand King Ahab, of the Northern kingdom did evil above all that were before the Lord. He killed the Lord’s prophets and established the worship of Baal in Samaria & an idolater, and encouraged immorality. But God, for the lst time, poured out individual revelation in abundance to keep them strong as Ahab placed a death sentence upon anyone who worshipped Jehovah. They had to worship in their own homes. Total depravity everywhere.

Remember wicked Nimrod, a grandson of Ham. He told the people that God wasn’t important any more in their lives, and taught them not to show Him any gratitude, and then slowly changed the government into tyranny, etc. Ahab and Jezebel followed his lead. Secular humanism was instituted, just as today. They flaunted God’s laws and the people ignored Ahab’s sins of idolatry, murder, adulterer, a liar and a thief and still were loyal to he and Jezebel. Does that remind you of some of our leaders today & what’s taught in our schools? The land was polluted with blood sacrifices. What of abortion today? Now in 1 Kings 17:1 Elijah is called and given multiple powers, over nature, to control rivers, & raise the dead. Elias and Elijah are separate people. Elijah was later translated. He prophesied bad tidings to Ahab & his Queen - no more seasonal rains- famine came.

Elijah hid in a cave as they now sought to kill him and ravens brought him food. Elijah had to flee as the Queen sent him a message that she would have him killed & the Lord told him to go to Zare-path where a widow woman helped him. Listen to some of Elijah’s miracles in regard to this widow! Now, The Lord sent Elijah to Obadiah to notify King Ahab of a meeting. It was time for the rains once more. In contempt a contest was arranged by Elijah and these wicked priests of Baal to see who was the true god. (1 Kings 18:22-26) – What did the Lord do here? Great story! Also, Elijah commanded 450 of Baal’s prophets be destroyed. Suddenly the rain came. Elijah fled across desert. Angel came with a cake & water for him and after two feedings he subsisted for 40 days and nights as had Moses and Christ in preparation to SEE God but instead of receiving hope he became depressed. He didn’t hear words of comfort, the Lord asked “What doest thou Here Elijah?” What does this mean?

Why was Elijah feeling sorry for himself. WE know he didn’t want to waste any more time with these reprobates – he wanted to die & go to his just reward. The Lord revealed himself, bringing upheaval to the earth & billowing flames. The Lord spoke in a still small piercing voice – telling him to return to Damascus & anoint Hazel king over Syria and Jehu, king over Israel & there would be political upheaval & many of his persecutors would die. Then the unexpected good news! Learn about the 7,000 in Israel still loyal to Jehovah. New enthusiasm for Elijah. Our mission is not done until the Lord releases us. On the way he found his successor, Elisha, plowing in the field and placed his mantle on his shoulders – this was symbolic of having been called on a mission - he was to follow Elijah and come immediately to serve the Lord. Time is of the essence now; no family good-byes.

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Lsn 36: I Kings 19, II Kings 4

In review, we learned last week that Elijah had received an additional assignment - he was told to anoint a couple kings, and pass his mantel of prophet on to Elisha. He immediately obeyed and as we already discussed last week, he found Elisha plowing in the field and gave him his mantel. He was told he could say goodbye to his family but was cautioned that the call came directly from the Lord. What does that mean? An unnamed prophet came to King Ahab with message from the Lord. Syrians had attacked & Israel’s garrisons and military outposts had collapsed and they were making unreasonable demands on Ahab and the people. Ahab was commanded by the prophet to attack while the Syrian King and 32 kings in league with him were drunk. They were completely incapacitated and they had to flee to nearest city, Apek. Israelites followed, undermined city walls & they fell like Jericho killing 27,000 – the rest surrendered but the Lord was angry because Ahab had now allied himself with King Benhadad, his enemy, after the Lord had ordered his destruction. Once free wicked Benhadad turned on Ahab and on return to Damascus he mobilized another army to come against Israel. Wicked men cannot always be shown mercy.

Next, the story of Naboth, who owned a vineyard which Ahab coveted for Jezebel. A scheme was concocted & Naboth & his sons were murdered. Elijah was again sent by God to Ahab to warn of his judgment against Ahab. He would lose his posterity & everything he had and Jezebel would be eaten by dogs. Ahab made a stab at repentance – however this slight repentance delayed justice for 12 years later. Palestine was the bridge over which conquering armies would have to pass – a buffer zone – and they all wanted control of it. Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, came to Ahab with an offer to form a coalition for protection against Assyrian terror. Jehoshaphat wanted the Lord’s permission so he asked for one of his prophets to approve of the plan. Fearing Elijah or Elisha, would not consent, Ahab produced the prophet Michaiah, whom he held in prison to prophesy smooth words. What did Michaiah say? ( I Kings 22:16good story here.) Later Ahab was replaced by wicked son Ahaziah. Lord sent prophet Eliezer to Jehoshaphat to break alliance with Ahaziah. Moabite king Mesha, (a tribute of Israel) also rebelled against Israel & captured over l00 cities – cruel conquerors. Killed 7,000 Israeli men & children. Women prisoners were consecrated as temple prostitutes to pagan god – Astar-Chemosh. Wicked Ahazah had bad accident – appealed to heathen High Priest for help to assure him he wouldn’t die. Later the King sent soldiers after Elijah to help him They left in three contingents, 50 of them were consumed by fire. Finally Elijah agreed to come peacefully to speak to the King and confirmed the words of the Lord -- Ahazah would die.

Now the Church began to flourish. Elijah was old – he was going to meet the Lord. Learn here how Elijah used his mantel and divided the Jordan river. Then after he and Elijah walked over dry land it was time for the Lord to take him. Elisha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit to be upon him once he was gone… (he would be Elijah’s spiritual heir). What does that mean? Suddenly the Veil parted & a chariot took Elijah to the Lord, Elisha saw Elijah’s cloak on the ground, he picked it up and copied what Elijah had done and used It to part the Jordan River again.. Learn here why it was important for Elijah to be translated, also hear of the accomplishments of Elisha given in 2 Kings 2:20-22 & some of his miracles and challenges. Next in 2 Chronicles, Chpt 20 – Moabites Edomites, & Ammonites surrounded Jerusalem – no hope – a miracle!! What did God do here that saved Israel? (Another good lesson to us). 2 Kings 3:16-17begin series of miracles. Some miracles come with conditions - also noted here: If you are called on a mission you should “not to stop half-way in finishing the Lords’ work” – it is for Him to release you.

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Lsn 37: I Kings 19, II Kings 4

More here given on the miracles of Elisha. I Kings 4:40 - Cleansing of poisonous soup. 2 Kings 4:42 – Bread miraculously multiplied. 2 Kings 5:1 – Naaman, the leper healed. Wash 7 times in Jordan River. A description of leprosy. Gehazi, Elisha’s servant lied and received contraband and was cursed with leprosy. In 2 Kings 6:5Elisha raised axe-head from water. Next, king of Syria plotted to kidnap Jehoram, the king of Israel for an annual tribute. Plot failed because Elisha warned the king. King of Syria furious at Elisha and sent troops to surround the city where he dwelt in Samaria. So many soldiers that Elisha’s servant was afraid, -- famous words in 2 Kings 6:16 “ Fear not, for they that be with us are more that be with them.” Elisha prayed, and servant’s spiritual eyes opened to see spiritual horde of horses & chariots of fire round about Elisha from beyond the veil. The Lord shows further proof to his people that He is in charge, for when Elisha approached his enemies the Lord caused that they didn’t recognize him & in stupor or dazed condition followed Elisha to center of Samaria and were surrounded by King Jehoram’s military. They were given water and provisions and sent back home. If avoidable the Lord doesn’t want blood.

A year later King Benhadad, the wicked king of Syria again came against Israel – long siege – devastating – Israel ate their own dead. King Jorham in disgust blamed God, he sought Elisha telling him God was behind this misery – demanded the siege stop or he would kill Elisha-- who then prophesied that the following day there would be food. Not because of King Jorham’s demands but because it was time to end it all. God caused that the Syrians believed they heard the sound of chariots and an army coming to destroy their camp & them, and it scared them so bad that they fled leaving everything behind. Food, clothing, gold and silver, etc. Jehoram sent spies to verify the miracle. The starving people rushed to the abandoned camp and were fed and took booty. .

There is no chronological sequence of the events reported. Faith promoting incidents are just interjected by the recorder, so we can get a little confused here. 2 Kings 8:4 - Restoration of stolen land to a widow. Then we read where, King Benhadad was he who held Samaria in siege so long they turned to cannibalism. Totally depraved. He was critically ill & sent for Elisha and sent 40 camels loaded down with gifts as a bribe. Elisha told him he would recover. He didn’t say that later he would die from something else. In vision Elisha saw that Hazael would murder the King, and he wept when he saw in a vision where Hazael would become king and do terrible things to the children of Israel. He did murder Benhadad & fulfilled the prophecy. So, why did the Lord allow him to be king? The Lord treats each individual in terms of his best potential, not his worst. He honors the potential good in all of us as long as he can. Same is true of nations until they are utterly corrupted and lose the protection of God.

Both Israel & Judah were widely corrupted and Jezebel was driving force behind it with her grandson Ahaziah on the throne of Judah & her son, Jehoram, on the throne of Israel. Nations fall if they follow corrupted leaders. Lord’s prophet anointed Jehu king over Israel & commanded him to smite the house of Ahab to avenge the Lord’s prophets & servants which Jezebel murdered. Jehu killed Ahab, and Jehu’s captains killed Ahaziah. Joab returned to the palace to seek out Zezebel for retribution. Joab had some eunuchs throw her out the window to the courtyard below & where Joab crushed her with his chariot. In fulfillment of prophesy, her body was eaten by dogs. Jehu also had 70 of Ahab’s sons killed and anyone else associated with Jezebel to snuff out the evil. Then he killed all the worshippers of Baal, and destroyed the idols. Only Ahab’s evil daughter, Athaliah survived and she then moved quickly to seize the throne of David herself, and commanded her guard to kill all the other heirs so no one, including her grandchildren would challenge her right to rule. One baby boy survived, & he, Jehoash, was hidden and brought forth at 7 years old to be crowned king. When that happened, the queen rent her clothes & screamed – she & all with her were executed along with images of Baal.

Jehoash, under the direct supervision of the righteous High Priest, Jehoiada, ruled 40 years. Then Jehoiada died and Jehoash was influenced by wicked princes and heathen rituals returned and spread. He was warned that God was angry & was now forsaking him – in anger he had Zechariah killed at the temple (referred to by Jesus in Matt. 23-35). Now the king of Syria, Hazael, attacks & Jehoash tried to bribe him with a peace offering and gave him all the hallowed things from the Temple. Do wicked nations respond to bribes? Later, in retaliation for the death of Zechariah the High Priest, two of Jehoash’s own servants killed him. His 25 year old son, Amaziah replaced him & reigned 29 years.

Okay, we’ll learn of Israel, the Northern Kingdom, to see what has been happening for the past 35 years. Joab had cleansed them of the wicked King and Queen, & family. But for some reason, he allowed calf-worship. Lord said NO IDOLS & as a result more raids and harassment, change of various kings. Elisha now dying and gives the prophecy of the arrows. Judah and Israel were again at odds. Amaziah reigned in Judah, hired Israelite mercenaries, but Lord intervened and sent them away and still Judah with the help of the Lord killed 10,000 Edomites in war and hurled over a cliff another 10,000. The Israelite Mercenaries were upset at not being able to loot, and turned on Judah and 3,000 Jews died. The King of Judah, Amaziah, blamed this on Joash, the king of Israel – they met in battle. Israel prevailed, Joash let Amaziah go back on his throne, but took hostages to assure peace from the Southern kingdom. Disgraced, King Amaziah was assassinated by his own people. His son, Uzziah (or Azariah as sometime called) and fortunately he was the best king Judah produced in 200 years but even he had his problems.

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Lsn 38: II Chronicles, Jonah, Amos, Hosea

Uzziah was proclaimed the new king of Judah and he extended the borders of Israel, but though ruling righteously for a number of years, he usurped priestly authority, & was smitten with leprosy. Next - story of Jonah and the whale. He was commanded by the Lord to go to Ninevah – capital city of Assyria which had been terrorizing the entire Middle East. They were brutal. He was to call them to repentance. Central message of this book is that God is a God of all people, not just Israel only. And we are to have faith in the Lord to follow Him even when we don’t have the whole picture. Also prophets & leaders are people with frailties just like us.

What happened when Jonah fled the mission call? What was his response to the Lord after he fulfilled his mission? Remember he hid from the Lord on a strange vessel going to a distant place, had the sailors all turn on him, he practically drowned, and then he was swallowed by a whale, heaved up after three days and nights, travelled several hundred miles to pronounce judgment, and then the Lord backs down from punishing these wicked people. Why? Jonah was not going to forgive these people or the Lord. He erected a booth in the desert to sit and pout. He suffered until he was ready to listen, and the Lord explained His reasoning. Great story.

Next, during the reign of Jeroboam II whole nations – like Syria on the North, and all the Trans-Jordan down to Dead Sea became tributaries to Israel. Then came prosperity, great material achievements, and great temporal blessings- followed by symptoms of social and spiritual decadence. The Lord sent prophets to warn – one was Amos, saying to gain God’s favor & eternal life – be penitent and obedient. He warned of the calamitous paths they were following. Like today even famine or pestilence are often not recognized as reminders to turn back to God… religion no longer important – lost vitality – morals forgotten. Greed, corruption, & vice common among the wealthy…etc. Lord will not be mocked. Amos 6:1 – “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion.” Their consequence – a long period without revelation, or prophets. The Lord says he will send a famine in the land not of bread or water, but of hearing the words of the Lord - (We feel unhappiness, unrest, being un-fulfilled without the Spirit)? Next, the priest takes on Amos & he responds with a warning of dispersion. Learn here of the other consequences they endured. – Are we experiencing being mistreated & exploited by the government and are these affairs of government manipulated and corrupted with bribery, & intrigue, dishonest merchandizing and cult practices? What of our Prophets, are they thought of as odd-ball eccentrics, too old, out of step with mainstream intellectual thought?

Next comes the Book of Hosea & explanation of Hosea & harlot & specific verses discussed here. Quite symbolical. A call to return to God. The Lord is now an exasperated parent – some of worst offenders are Israel’s priests. The Lord issues an indictment against Ephraim in Hosea 7:8-9. Warns that alliances with other nations will not help – their consequence is: hardship will come & the people will cry on their beds and turn to alcohol/drugs rather than the Lord to take away hurt. False prophets say all is well – like today people don’t repent or prepare. Hosea l0:13 – here we learn of mercy and Law Of The Harvest. Hosea 11 refers to us here in America as Ephriamites and what the Lord taught us and laments our actions. We are warned that “Repentance shall be hid from mine eyes”. What does that mean?

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Lsn 39: II Chronicles 28

Ongoing study of the prophets, many who were contemporaries of Isaiah. A quick review: Amos –there will be a famine in last days of hearing word of Lord; Jonah – We can’t hide from the Lord – obey him or there are consequences – repentance brings His forgiveness for all men; Hosea – Lord likened his relationship with Israel to that of a faithful man married to an adulterous woman & how she betrayed Him. (The literary beauty often contributes to obscurity in some passages). Next, Micah speaks of Samaria (Northern Israel) & Jerusalem (capital of Judah) – dual prophecies (for us as well) – judgment coming to them. Bad leaders, covet & theft of property, corrupt judges, widows & orphans left without goods. Nobility or elite most responsible. Lay awake at night thinking & planning evil.

God has no love of chastening his people, but must when they sin grievously. He would hide his face from them & not listen to their pleas. The leaders hate good & love evil. Professionals are used by them to hide their sins in rhetoric. Proclaim peace but prepared for war to get what they want. Micah 4:1-2 – latter-day establishment of house of the Lord in the top of the mountains. (Law to go forth from Zion in America, and word of the Law from Jerusalem).

Micah 4:3 speaks of Millennium & that Jerusalem would have only two decent kings in her history (Hezekian & Josiah) & then be taken captive to Babylon, & a future ‘daughter of Zion’ shall arise, thresh, & consecrate harvest of peoples unto the Lord of the whole earth. Again in future saw Israel return in the strength of God & trample her enemies if they didn’t repent. Important Messianic prophecy: Micah 5:1-4 – about Christ – Bethlehem birthplace. Referral to last great battles through which Israel, under Christ, will at last triumph over all enemies.

What is required of us by the Lord? “To do justly, love mercy, & walk humbly with thy God.” Keep the commandments, & love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, & mind, & love thy neighbor as thyself, etc.” That is a true Christian. Hold to the rod or the word of God – read the scriptures listen to prophets or you have let go of the rod. Why are we warned to stop unrighteous gain, dishonest dealings & violent & deceitful negotiations? These are always the common evils of the time. We are warned here that men lie in wait for blood – to find something wrong with someone so they can hurt them. People take offense far too easily. Want grudges. At this time, people lack innate goodness – family relationships are pathetic. Many blame everyone else for their own problems & relationships break down. What was the only reason Israel’s enemies prevailed? Because of her own wickedness. We must learn from this. Then Micah breaks into a strain of praise & admiration for the divine attributes of loving-kindness, faithfulness, and compassion to be manifested by God in Israel’s deliverance. Spencer W. Kimball also warns us here in a talk. Now both Amos & Hosea were predicting that Israel was facing a calamity. Why is the History of Israel given here? To prepare us for Isaiah’s words, as we will experience the same thing. The Northern tribes – which was Israel at the height of prosperity was on top of the world, but things became shaky, & there was growing unease & apprehension as their stability & prosperity were now precarious. Suddenly there was government dissension & bickering in high office. (Sound like today?) Murder & intrigue. Terrorist for king. Civil war & mayhem starting up. Disharmony in main government – tributaries sensing weakness begin to seek for independence. (What of our States today in USA?)

But now in Judah they had a good king, Uzziah. As long as he sought the Lord all was well for the nation. A good leader builds up a strong military & expanded borders. With a just & efficient administration & righteous men at the head who gained wisdom from God they prospered. What can we learn from this? Suddenly they were attacked by Assyria. Uzziah had established a true pattern of worship & then transgressed against God in the Temple. He became defiant and was cursed with Leprosy. Jothan his son now reigned. There is order – we must follow procedure.

Now comes ISAIAH. Both Uzziah & Jothan died and was followed by Ahaz – one of the worst kings Judah ever had. His apostasy took the nation down & got in war with Israel & Syria – disastrous because now they were without the Lord. ( In regard to a war developing around Judah, Isaiah warned King Ahez, “Take heed, be quiet, fear not – go on about your business as if unconcerned & all will be well & these nations wouldn’t involve Judah in their war, but he didn’t comply – made other plans & turned to heathen God for help & sacrificed his own Hebrew children). He removed Solomon’s altar from the front of the temple and substituted the one copied from the heathen shrine of Damascus.

Well, Judah was defeated and people taken captive & settled in N. Mesopotamia – Lost Ten Tribes disappeared. Now we learn of a miracle!!! -- the Prophet of the Lord, Oded, was sent by the Lord to rescue two hundred thousand women, sons & daughters who were being driven by Judah’s enemies and commanded they be set free or face the fierce wrath of God. What happened? Later Assyria conquered northern & eastern Israel, the Philistines & Arabs….Stopped at Egypt. Colonists from N. Syria & Babylon brought in to settle among remnant of Hebrews who had not been carried off – they intermarried – called Samaritans. Next we have some information about the Lost Ten Tribes – Joseph Smith said “John the Revelator as then among the ten tribes of Israel & was working to prepare them for their return from their long dispersion.” Learn here when Jesus would appear to them.

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Lsn 40: Joel, Amos; Hosea, Micah, Isaiah

In Micah 5-8 he speaks of the last days saying the Gentiles would develop into a mighty people on the American continent and that God would restore the Gospel among them. Then would come their Time of Testing. What does that mean? Will they be righteous & help build the New Jerusalem or they would defiantly rebel against the Lord’s work of the last days & have to be cut off from among the Lord’s people who are of the covenant? And what would be their consequence if they follow the latter – would the Lord allow the powerful “remnant of Jacob” or the Lamanite - Nephite people of the American continent to destroy the mighty gentile civilization which had rising up to dominate the land? Will our great gentile cities become defenseless? What of our chariots & other vehicles, would they be destroyed, and what of our preachers & purveyors of false doctrine – will they be cut down? And what of the workmanship of gentile achievement which the people worship as a source of pride & accomplishment, will they also be cast down. Yes - He’s talking about us. Can the Lord’s anger can be turned away from us ? Is this only a potential threat? This is why the Lord has commanded us to study the book of Isaiah. First, it is deliberately obscure to protect those that are not able to bear it.

Also Isaiah has advanced skill in the art of literary expression. He was a man of refinement and education – a close confident of the king. We are told here the four elements of Prophesying. First, The Law of Moses, Secondly - Imagery & figurative language in metaphors, similes, analogies, parables, types and shadows. Third -He also used dualism and Esoteric terms. And last of all – number Four - Isaiah used geography figuratively. Isaiah attributed everything about himself to the goodness of God. Why was he resented when he proclaimed that his visions, eloquence & political insights all came from heaven - perhaps they asked, is he more important then were they?? They resented his personal relationship with God. Do we do this to people who are gifted with visions, etc.? Are we jealous? His reply – a man or a woman has to do what he has to do just simply because God has put him in that inescapable responsible position of performing a certain mission, and thus they will have more visions and revelation to help him perform. To the degree that Isaiah was blessed, so was he terribly tried so the people should not have envied & resented him. His wife was also a prophetess. He preached to a people he already knew would reject his message. He despondently said: “I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for naught, and yet surely my judgment is with the Lord, and my work with my God.” Because of his prophesies he was terribly abused but he continued because he had a testimony. What of us, will we endure abuse?

Isaiah Chpts. 1-12 pertain mostly to Isaiah’s times and nation (but he did a lot of jumping around from the past to the present and then to the future). Chapter 6 is Isaiah’s call to be a prophet which he received through a vision. Chapters 13 – 23 are prophetic warnings, mostly to nations that affected Israel, & some are addressed to Israel & Judah. Chapters 24 – 25 contain prophecies that are mostly concerned with the latter days. Chapters 38-39 are historical showing the prophet at work in his times. Chapters 40-49 are mostly concerned with the redemption of Israel and others through the ministry of the Lord as Savior. Chapters 50 – 59 contrast the wickedness & fall of Israel with the suffering of the Redeemer and His comforting good tidings of salvation for all mankind. And last of all Chapters 60-66 tell of the future glory of Zion, the new heaven and the new earth, after the destruction of wickedness.

This particular lesson needs to be heard as there is far too much excellent material & no room for all of it to be placed in this summary but I have tried. This is a bonus CD or lesson added here – yes there is some duplication, but more material covered. Remember, God does not take pleasure in rebuking us! He holds forth the most wonderful promises to us. There is a way out for us and that is why Isaiah is speaking in his behalf. Elder Penrose adds: “So often the God of Isaiah is depicted as a savage, vengeful Old Testament God of wrath, the tribal God. This is done so that we won’t have to think we have to take Him too seriously – it lets us off the hook. But Isaiah’s God, (and our God) is kindness itself – remember he said, “Come now and let us reason together though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow”. There is nothing authoritarian about Him, he is constantly willing to discuss and explain. His most threatening statements are instantly followed by what seems a reversal of mood and judgment. He is always willing, ready, waiting, urging, patiently pleading – it is Israel who will not hear. It is they who break off the discussion and walk away turning their back upon Him and asking Him to please be quiet.” He says: “Repent and all will be well – BETTER than you can EVEN IMAGINE”.

Unfortunately, with eyes wide open many will forsake the Lord and be consumed. Isaiah saw our day – our worship of idols, our lack of spirituality, the many false religions and false gods, false ideologies, the worship of money, etc. etc. Men are determined to walk in their own way because they have basically lost their perspective of who and what He was and their relationship with Him or just didn’t care. Secular humanism & other false philosophies have replaced God and a true understanding of the gospel. God is no incomprehensible, uncreated, immaterial spirit nothingness described in the creeds of Christendom, but rather He is a personal Being in whose image man is created. Why are we told by our prophets that without a true understanding of who and what God is, we cannot worship Him in truth?

This is the day when every knee would bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ. We’ll talk here about how we are warned that mountains and hills will fall – a great earthquake will come. The Lord will control the great deep. Note in D&C 88:89-91 what the Lord says will happen after they have delivered their testimonies. “Then cometh earthquakes, … the voice of thundering, lightening, tempests, the waves of the sea heaving beyond their bounds. All things will be in commotion; men’s hearts will fail them as fear will come upon all people.” Isaiah 2 says all the towers and fenced walls would fall – the ocean will be impacted by the earthquakes – and ships at sea would be destroyed as well. The wicked will try to flee to holes in the rocks and caves of the earth. Buildings will be destroyed, homes, cars, planes etc. It will be a time of crisis. No food or water. No police force to protect us. Countries will be without political, or military leaders or judges. Men of wisdom will be absent. Society collapses.

Deut. 28:50-58 “The Lord will bring a nation against thee from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth, a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand. A nation of fierce continence which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young, who would eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land leaving nothing for you, except cannibalism, if we do not observe to do all the words of the law. This will be a time when the people begin to oppress one another, that cheating and deception will become a way of life even between neighbors. Children will become arrogant toward their elders and people who have been honored in the past will no longer be respected. No one will want to serve in public office. … The countenances of the people would witness against them. Their faces will bear the marks of disease. In the midst of this God can save them. Women will rule over them and many people would steal in government through taxes and defraud the people. Why are the Daughters of latter day Zion condemned? What is their judgment? Why will seven women take hold of one man?

Without repentance we will face these terrible things. Consequence: Faces no longer beautiful. The righteous Saints will receive divine protection and perhaps temporarily transfigured. Only half of the Church will be worthy to be saved. Joseph Smith: “When the rainbow is withdrawn, it will be a token there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations and the coming of the messiah is not far distant.“ We hear about the Parable of the Vineyard. And talk more about how partying and drunkenness prevail with no regard for God.

Joseph Smith, TEACHINGS p. 217: “A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.” This is incredibly important - Hell will enlarge itself. Are we unknowingly headed to hell? The wicked pervert righteousness & goodness. Why do modern scholars say we have to do away with moral principles & the code of right or wrong? Woe’s are pronounced upon the wicked by God. The Lord will lift up an ensign to the nations and the gathering will be fast. Is this occurring now? Isaiah given a vision of the Lord and celestial realms. Joseph Smith: “If you could gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would be reading all that ever was written on the subject.´ Various apocryphal writers quoted here.

Isaiah SAW the Lord. What happens to animal life?. People will not want to be healed or converted because of their wickedness. More history on Israel & Judah given here. His sons given prophetic names. In bad times people will turn to “familiar spirits” instead of God. What are familiar spirits? . Who does the Lord squarely place the blame for the apostasy and corruption? Learn more about the coming Messiah Will the ruling aristocracy & false prophets & the people turn on one another, sparing no one? Why? We learn of their desperation - They will steal for the necessities of life, and starve.

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Lsn 41: Isaiah 2-9

The Lord’s name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Christian writer: Eusebius wrote liberally about the pre-existence & divinity of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Was it a recognized & accepted concept among early Christians? Before He was born in mortality Jesus spoke to many patriarchs & prophets such as Abraham, Isaiah, Enoch, Joseph, Moses & David as Jehovah, the lawgiver. Note Jesus words in John 16:5, “And now, O Father glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE THE WORLD WAS. And Jesus declared to the apostate Pharisees in John 8:58, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM.” Jehovah is called the Father in the sense he was the Maker, the Organizer, the Creator of the heavens acting as the counselor or executive of our Eternal Father in overseeing the earth’s creation & thus He was also given the authority to later become its lawgiver, and then our redeemer. Quoted here are several selections from the Apocrypha in regard to Christ’s mission. Isaiah spoke of this as well in Chapter 53.

In Isaiah 10 Isaiah pronounces a woe, against unrighteous judges & bureaucrats. A warning to Judah who has forsaken God. (Anther duel prophesy for us as well.) Mercy is no longer an option and a ruthless nation will come against a hypocritical nation. This vision of Judah’s plight moves forward to our time. The Savior’s servants will be raised up in modern times to usher in the Millennium. The Stem of Jesse is Jesus Christ. Because he possesses a quick understanding he will judge each of us righteously. We are given a description of the Millennium. No more agnostics, secular humanists, or atheists as the whole world will be filled with a knowledge of the Lord. EVERY knee shall bow & every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.

Who is the Branch of David raised up among the Jews? Who is this root of Jesse? A second gathering. The Gentiles will help to protect the remnant of Judah – (The Balfour Declaration came from England). Jews have conquered land, but always gave it back. Ten Tribes will be gathered miraculously – highway raised up out of the mist of the great deep for their return. Isaiah 12 is a song of Israel following her redemption. Isaiah 13-23 – tells of the rise & fall of nine different nations. Chapters 13 & 14are devoted to Babylon & Isaiah’s visions sweep down to our time. We call these multi-fulfillment prophecies.

We’ll learn about Comparisons & metaphors of Babylon and our days: Cyrus’s banner – rod of God’s wrath. Babylon – typifies wickedness in latter days. What is a banner? The mountain in Chap. 13:4 is restoration of Church, etc. Great summation here of modern wicked nations & how they are used for evil, and God’s warning – “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty……” D&C Section 88:91 – everything will be in commotion.. Section 14-19 – a great hailstorm, sun darkened, moon turns to blood, stars not shine, punishment for the whole world – the elements go out of control – very frightening - The earth will be brought back to a condition it once enjoyed to a terrestrial sphere. World will turn to war rather than to God resulting in the death of children, mothers ravished.

We discuss how predatory wars deprive man of conscience & hell is enlarged. The Persians were merciless in Isaiah’s time. This will be a terrible time for both ancient & modern Israel (all of us) when ruthless men come upon them – they MUST repent. To the righteous & those who remain faithful to their covenants, the Lord is going to be merciful. The Lord’s people will be suddenly liberated – listen to the three events listed here as to that fulfillment. Isaiah 14:9-23 now references LUCIFER He will be cast to hell – no longer invincible – inhabitants in hell amazed. More on the plan of salvation and Lucifer’s involvement and challenge.

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Lsn 42: Isaiah 9-20, Moses 4

First I will correlate a little of what Nephi and Isaiah saw in regard to the American continent. Isaiah 17 – We are warned against treaties with foreign nations. Do we engage in that instead of turning to God? Isaiah 18 – Gospel taken to the nations from America. ‘Hail to the land in the shape of wings’. Isaiah knew the USA would be a huge continental island surrounded by water. Dual prophecies – Egypt & America. “Terrible from their beginning” – a description also of the Lamanites who, except for brief interval of repentance (when they were blessed) were scattered & peeled meted out & trodden down for a thousand years. “Whose land the rivers have spoiled” – America’s important rivers overrun their banks during certain seasons. An ensign will be lifted upon the mountains – and gathering begin. What is an “Ensign”? It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. “A wonderful gift” is the Book of Mormon restoring the gospel in the latter days. We learn of Columbus here. Nephi knew the large majority of gentiles who migrate to America were driven or motivated by religious ideals. We’ll also learn in this lesson that he saw the war of independence. He also saw how America would be lifted up in power above all other nations and much much more.

Listen here to the Story of a miracle in the early days of America! The Lord also said that He would be merciful to the Gentiles in our day & raise up a great prophet to lead His Church. Listen to what Isaiah prophesied about the degeneration of our people in the latter days. Military might & money would be used to solve problems. “Eat, drink, and be merry.” People would face death partying rather than repenting……! We’ll learn here about widespread insurrection & civil strife, with fighting between individual families, neighbors, communities & cities. What happens to our National unity, will our leaders be unable to cope?

Next, Isaiah says of his day, Noph, or Memphis or Cairo would have within it a perverse spirit – Egypt will be like a frightened woman who sees the hand of the Lord in the terrible things which will be happing in the country. (Same true for us). Then we’ll learn what Isaiah predicted about a remarkable change in the Middle East – a more cordial relationship? A Savior will also deliver Egypt – the true gospel will be preached to them. More here on what happens in Israel & Middle East in latter days. Bruce McConkie teaches us here why Isaiah used certain countries to describe the wicked of the latter days. Isaiah 20 speaks of the terrifying armies that would occur in the immediate future. Assyria wasted herself in wars for over 70 years – it depleted her wealth & seriously weakened her military power – same today in America. (A report on the readiness of our nation given here.) Where are our watchmen on the tower? Isaiah saw invading forces roar in on Babylon like the whirlwinds from the southern deserts.

What does this statement mean? “Watchmen, what of the night”? Melvin Ballard’s great talk: “The Struggle for the Soul” - ( He said: “I see the evidence of a period of great danger. It was prophesied to come in the time of peace & prosperity……”). Please listen…I edited it for you. Next, 2 Ne. 28:7-8 - will God accept our committing a little sin…then beat us with a few stripes…and we will be saved? Besides seeing the destruction of Babylon in his time, Isaiah also saw a vision of our time – it became so terrible was it that he could hardly bear it – such brutality. Rulers fled like cowards – men not willing to go into battle to save their families. Walls no longer protected them. Enemies now without and within. treason in high levels of government. Have members of our government allowed enemies within our borders? Sound familiar???

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Lsn 43: Isaiah (a review), Isaiah 17 -21

So far we have been talking about different woes or burdens on wicked cities & nations in Isaiah’s time, and in our time. But it was a call to repentance and hope. The so called “doomday prophets” of the past & present plead with great urgency to repent – turn back to God – avoid the pain and suffering. In this chapter we learn that Isaiah is witnessing to Tyre, a major city, to repent or suffer. He warns the ship captains and merchants that honest trade is the key to prosperity & happiness, but they exploited it. So what is their consequence? It will not be long until the time of the Gentiles will be over and then the Lord will preach his own sermons, through the testimony of earthquakes, thundering, lightening, tempests – all in commotion (D&C 88:88-91) . This is to happen at the close of the sixth seal ephoch. Seventh seal then opened – signals the earth’s cleansing, and Millennium. What are the signs? First, a change in the weather, violent storms, earthquakes, plagues, & a terrible war – nuclear weapons. What will happen to the Saints at that time? Will they be temporarily transfigured? Earth turned upside down – mountains lowered, valleys raised, islands and continents rejoined, etc. Is this world wide? Will there be anywhere to hide? We are asked, What are situation ethics? What happens when the Earth is defiled, what must a just God do if he no longer can he endure the depraved debauchery. What of the covenant people who have become corrupted, changed or disdainfully rejected their covenants & cast them aside? This disaster is their fault, & few will survive.

Luke 17:26-27 refers to this latter-day defilement . Do we think we are wicked? Luke says no one thought of themselves as wicked – they were simply enjoying life, from their own perspective. Most are not interested in what God says or expects from us. What is coming? What is the reason for the sighing & mourning ? What is really happening? Can we really prepare? Have we prepared? Now the good news – a contrast to what is happening to the wicked is given here and then Isaiah turns back to our planet which now appears to be out of control, and falling toward the center of the galaxy. Isaiah sees the spirits of the people who have lost their lives and are now in spirit prison. Now, Isaiah Chapter 25 moves into the Millennium. Christ will swallow up death in victory & wipe away tears from off all faces…… Until then we will all need faith.

Isaiah Chapter 26 is a song or psalm, of praise that gives tribute to the Lord . Vs 7 tells us that the only people considered just in the eyes of the Lord are the upright, and He is constantly evaluating His children to see which of them are on the path of obedience & righteousness. These alone are just in the sight of the Lord. So we learn in this lesson that “Only those who are repenting every day are considered righteous.” Isaiah comments: “When the judgments of God fall upon us we begin to quickly learn righteousness.” What does that tell us? Does this chastening work for everyone? Are some locked into evil hearts – will they ever learn or accept correction? Isaiah tells us that many will deal unjustly with their neighbors etc. They won’t even acknowledge the Lord in disciplining us through his power & punishment – They say: ‘It’s only mother nature or just happenstance, a coincidence, climate change, etc.’ Is this happening today? Isaiah tells the righteous not to give up or despair – so does knowing that all this is prophesied to happen help us to do better?.

Next a short summary of what we learned about the Savior in this lesson. Isaiah in Chapter 27 says the Lord will punish the great naval power which will spread terror among the nations as it comes in from the sea. A duel prophecy, past and present. Why do the wicked & the world have to be destroyed in order for Zion to be established? What is Zion? Why must we rely on His strength – make peace with Him – obey His commandments. In Egypt what do we learn about what the Lord does to the Nile River? Both Israel (us) & Judah face judgments – why are we so important to the Lord? What does it mean to provide exemplary leadership for the rest of humanity.

The Lord will not turn to those who are still spiritual infants & must be breast-fed with milk to lead or help him. Instead, it would be those who have matured enough & are ready for the meat of the Gospel which is essential to growth and maturity. If one is spiritually alert & intellectually mature, then they will find spiritual diamonds in the scriptures. What are spiritual diamonds? In Hebrew 6 – we are warned that we have gone over & over the fundamentals – and now there are other things to learn if the Saints are to perfect their knowledge and understanding. Isaiah, as brilliant as he was, he was not allowed to share it with immature spirits. Chapter 28:11 says he was required to speak to them with stammering lips and a tongue that was so inarticulate that is seemed as though it belonged to someone else. Do our leaders have to do that to us? All because the Saints have lost interest, didn’t care, or simply rejected or ignored everything. So difficult for Isaiah to hold back! Why is it that we have to have more knowledge than the evil spirits when we pass to the other side? Can we still be deceived & snared?

Next Isaiah accuses the leaders of making a covenant with death & hell - & Satan. Why do they do that? They believe they will escape the scourge of war and pestilence by using lies and subtle deception in evil alliances with the enemies of God & his people. But Christ will stand in their way. It is not advantageous to betray or commit treason, or deceive the people, & enter into secret murder cults to achieve their goals. We are warned of secret combinations in our day – and that we are to wake up and expose them or they will cause our overthrow and enslavement. No matter how appealing sin may look at first, why is it that they can never satisfy man’s inner needs? What do we learn from the comparison of the sinful man to a man in a short bed with inadequate covers? Does God take pleasure in inflicting on humanity the consequences of their evil actions? Then why does He do that? Last of all Isaiah pleads with us – come to your senses he says and he explains the parable of the farmer. The Lord is not interested in crushing but in teaching. We learn here that He punishes in order that He may be able to bless. He sifts, but he does not destroy. Why is that comforting to us?

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Lsn 44: Isaiah 23-28

For more than 20 years Isaiah and other contemporary prophets plead and warned before Israel finally fell to her enemies in 721 B.C. They denounced the violence, immorality, drunkenness & criminal dishonest of the people. Our prophets today do the same but we don’t think of ourselves as wicked. What does it mean to be thought of as wicked in the eyes of the Lord? We believe we can sin like others and our collective sins will cause God to rethink his Ten Commandments, but what does history teach us? Once again we see dual prophesies. Isaiah talks of how the words of the prophets would speak “out of the ground – their speech would be low out of the dust.” So how do dead people speak out of the dust??? What does it mean that the Lord’s written words would come forth, through the stick of Joseph. (What is a stick? And who is Joseph?) Are there people who are either spiritually or physically deaf or blind, or both? – Is it that they truly can’t or simply won’t?

Both Isaiah & Nephi saw visions of the people in the last days and the events surrounding this book and they saw Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon come forth, and the witnesses. They also saw the logical manner in which the Church was restored and its success in the midst of almost universal hatred or opposition. Learn how only the Lord could do this! Listen here to discover the real reason why the plates were returned to the angel Moroni. In vs. 15 of Isaiah 29, Isaiah pronounces a woe upon those who set up secret combinations and conspire to murder and get gain. Learn here about these various Gadianton robbers or terrorists of every age and how they operate.

How do we shake off disbelief? Is knowledge of the gospel always a blessing? What must follow? Jesus was called meek. What does meek really mean? What is the warning given to those who take hold or latch onto a single word or sentence or some trivia in the scriptures or elsewhere & use this to discredit the restored gospel? What happens to those who are sincere in their Christian beliefs, who have been deceived, but are able to break through from their false doctrinal conclusions and prejudices and seek truth? And the fate of those who don’t? A quick summary is given here as to what Isaiah saw in his visions.. What is the Lord’s strange act? What about those men who make a covenant with death and hell? Can man hide into secret places where they think their conspiracy will be hidden or covered? Judah tried to bribe her enemies, like Egypt, or make alliances or treaties, to have peace – What of us today? What does the Lord say about these things? What does it mean that the Prophets prophesied “smooth things & lies”? What happens just before the millennium? And during the millennium – how will our true selves be known? Who are the liberal rich, whom the Lord loves? Isaiah is critical of the churl – meaning a miserly person – what happens to him?

In Isaiah 32:9 – What of the wealthy & idol women of latter days? What is their responsibility? What is the consequence of their behavior? What are some of the conditions in order to achieve the Celestial kingdom. In Isaiah 34:1-10 Isaiah seems to parallel passages in Ezekiel, Joel, and Jeremiah where the great battle of Armageddon is foretold. This parallelism explains the reference to the armies & the vast slaughter that shall take place. – here we’ll talk about what the abomination of desolation means. When will the debauchery and depravity take place in the latter days? Zion will experience great persecution by wicked combinations of wicked men – what does vs. 8 say about what the Lord will then do? What will happen to the righteous during this period? What are “holy places”?

Our names are recorded if we keep our covenants in the Lord’s “The Book of Life”. What does that mean? Isaiah reminds us in this chapter that whenever the Savior comes in contact with the righteous marvelous things happen. What are some of these? Next Isaiah Chapters 36-39 deal with king Hezekiah. The Assyrians were asking the Jews not to allow their God to deceive them – he was lying to them. For blaspheming God, He sent a “blast” on the Assyrian army & killed 185,000 men in one night. We learn here too about the sign given to Hezekia regarding the sun – a great miracle! WE are not to show the wealth the Lord has given us to our enemies. Have we done that today?

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Lsn 45: Isaiah 29-37

Isaiah now changes his style of writing to prophetic poetry & thus he gives us some wonderful insights into the mission of Jesus Christ. He talks about the gathering & the scattering of Israel, the latter days, and the covenant relationship between God and His people. The Lord constantly tries to comfort Israel of all generations in their trials & inspire them to renew their hope in the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He wants to ensure them that they are his people and they can be sure they will be upheld, refined, and delivered from temporal and spiritual Babylon. Now the Lord wants to send a message of comfort – “finally her sentence is served & her penalty is paid.”

What does that mean? What does it mean when Isaiah says that after paying DOUBLE for their sins Israel will be embraced & given full fellowship with the Lord? We are told that Christ will appear & righteous caught up into the air as a protection to them. We learn why the earth will struggle & convulse in pain. Isaiah gives us a metaphor comparing the wicked to withered, lifeless grass. Then we have the Lord’s call to the righteous in the latter days – those who gather to the American Zion and we are instructed as to the Savior’s appearance to the world. So amazing. He speaks of a revelation showing the world’s history & the lives of the people who lived there on l,000 years at a time (except those parts which have been blotted out by the atonement), otherwise secrets will be exposed. We learn a little here about the administration of the Savior during the Millennium. Answers to the most difficult philosophical questions will be given. Why were we quarantined down here? Why were the most important tests focused on our character? Isaiah challenges us – how does God know all his creations? Does He need rest or is He subject to weakness? What are His blessings to us who overcome and serve mightily?

Whenever Isaiah refers to the “Isles” – that also means us, America, as we are also one of these isles. Will the gathering of Israel be divinely directed by the Lord Himself? Do we have to endure severe trials to spread the gospel in the latter days? “For, I, the Lord, thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not, I will help thee?” What is the new sharp threshing instrument having teeth? What will the Lord do when the poor and needy seek water and there is none? The Lord says he has his own prophets, we are not to follow phony ones – they can’t give us eternal life. Test them, ask them important questions but they will have no answers. Again, more about Jesus – Who is He really? What is He going to do for us? We learn that hell has a door in and a door out – many who make up the spirit prison have been there from the time of Noah – so what will happen to them? We are to hold up the light of the Savior for all men to see. Now the sanctified will learn a new song.

Isaiah 42, Vss. 13-14 add that this time the Lord will come as a mighty man, unleashing power and he will cry out against the wicked. Huge changes will envelop the earth at his coming. Truth will reign supreme. In Isaiah, 43:1-7Isaiah speaks of a ‘shadow and a type’ – its another metaphor - what does it mean? Now the desert will blossom as a rose. Irrigation? Next the Lord laments in verses 22-26 that the people “have become weary of their God”. Spencer W. Kimball’s words here on how to correct that. In Isaiah 44 the Lord issues his call to his chosen people and those who respond are his noble soldiers who will prepare the way for His Second Coming and have been reserved for this day & time. Our first estate is explained here. After these had proven valiant in the Spirit World and called Israel, then the rest of His children were sorted out and assigned to their respective nations…..” ! How can others become the Lord’s chosen people here on the earth?

Isaiah 44:22 adds He loves us so much he is willing to put a cloud of obscurity over all our sins and transgressions and he pleads, “return unto me, for I have redeemed these.” He is our light – if you have lost your way – look to the light. Okay, now Isaiah in Chapter 45 speaks of Cyrus, and leaves a prophecy in the records and Cyrus reads this years later and became the Lord’s anointed. How could this be as he was a Persian king and a gentile? More on Cyrus and Daniel. What do the words “THERE IS NO GOD BESIDE ME?” and Isaiah 43:10 added “BEFORE ME THERE WAS NO GOD FORMED, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE AFTER ME? The Journal of Discourses 15:337 answers that here. Also President Kimball -What does it mean to be a steward in the family of Gods? Various Apocrypha quoted here on these questions. What does it mean “I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no Savior?” We are told here to ask questions – the Lord is willing to communicate. Isaiah is pretty explicit here that Jesus is our God. Do we focus on Him? Is our religion Christ centered?

Isaiah 45:12 – We are reminded by the Lord that He created the earth & that men are only stewards over His property, “ And let not any among you say that it is my own; for it shall not be called his, nor any part of it.” Don’t set your heart over a little pile of dirt when the eternities lie before us. Compare our life here with a “play” (theatre) with props that do not belong to us, but are useful, & when it’s over we move on and other actors come on the scene. etc.

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Lsn 46: Isaiah 40-45

In this and in previous lessons the Lord was speaking primarily to scattered Israel, and the wicked among the nations, where he was inviting all men and women to come and drink at the fountain of eternal life. Here he gives us a description of the conquest and fall of Babylon. The main theme is the foolishness & vanity of those people who rely upon idols of one kind or another to save them from the coming hour of crisis & they often lifted them up as a ensign to the people. We start out with a view of a procession led by the two principle gods of the Babylonians. Bel, also known by the name of Marduck, was the chief Babylonian god, and Nebo was his son. Isaiah mocks them – no man made God can give them victory over their enemies – only the one true God can do that. Isaiah gives another metaphor as to what will happen to Babylon comparing her to common slave girls. Babylon will now experience the horrors that she precipitated upon other nations for years. Note: When the Lord allows people to be conquered, he EXPECTS the nation or nations involved to show mercy to those they conquered. Babylon was boastful of her being indestructible that she failed to see the judgment that would destroy her because of it. What of America? Babylon was so secure in her wickedness that she was taken unawares. What is happening in America? Are we turning from our God? The warning here: “We are walking down the same path to destruction, believing we are safe & thus we are reckless and unobserving as to the danger that now threatens to come upon us in an instant, an evil that will be so overwhelming in its dimension that nothing will be able to stay its power. All this if we don’t repent & turn back to God. Cleon Skousen in ISAIAH SPEAKS TO MODERN TIMES gives some good information here.

Isaiah 48:10 adds “We will qualify as his choice people, but only having gone through the furnace of affliction. We must rally around God.” Next we are reminded that Israel (of which we are a part) failed in obedience – and thus lost blessings. So why did the Jews suffer so terrible – the double portion? Chapter 49 is very important – it clearly foretells the mission of the Latter-day Saints and destiny of the land of America in connection with the House of Israel. We learn more of the Messiah’s ministry & atonement, & the need for spiritual nourishment, and the need to observe the fast and the Sabbath. Who is the “polished shaft” hidden in the Lord’s quiver? We read where Isaiah is very discouraged, he laments that he has labored with great diligence but the people were not converted & therefore it was in vain, and he felt he spent his strength for not. Listen here to the Lord’s response of comfort – his words would be more meaningful in the latter days. Many will flow into Zion & the Old Jerusalem – they shall complain saying the land is too narrow. No longer will Israel become a hiss and a byword, hated and abhorred among the nations – feeling abandoned. It is through the missionary program that the Gentiles will be nursing fathers and mothers to Israel. I Nephi 22:14makes it very clear that all who seek to thwart the Lord in bringing this great thing to pass shall be destroyed.

Isaiah 50 asks where is the Bill of your mother’s divorcement? What does that mean? We know that Israel’s fate in being carried off to Babylon was in consequence of their own wicked transgression, not because He had turned His back on them. He uses an allegory of a divorce and the sale of a slave, that He has not set aside the original covenant He made with his people. Isaiah was skilled in language so no one could misunderstand. So how did the people respond to him? He had to now set his face like flint – ignore these contemptible people and go on fulfilling his great mission regardless of the consequence so in the end he would not be ashamed of his efforts. What of people who say they don’t need God to be happy? They will face a calamity ahead – their arrogance will turn to sorrow.

Isaiah 51 is addressed to those who follow after righteousness, and seek the Lord. He asks them to consider who they are, and from whence they came. A reference to our Patriarcle Blessing which assigns us to one of 12 tribes. Who is the rock from when Israel was hewn and what was the Pit from whence they were digged? Note the special emphasis on the pronouns, me and my, and that HE is their creator, judge, Savio, vss. 9-ll appears to be a plea from these righteous children of the latter days to their God, asking why He no longer shows forth his power as he did in the ancient days & turns his displeasure upon the wicked warmongers, the terrorists, the secret combinations and despots of our day. Note the Lord’s response here. Also later on he says we are to fear God more than man and not be afraid of them. We all have to suffer for the gospel cause even when it is unpopular to do so.

Isaiah 52 adds “How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of Him that bringeth good tidings.” THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, pp. 382-383 explain that the Lord will prepare so everything can be done carefully and in proper order but this is not a time to dilly dally or be fainthearted. We are still expected to prepare in every way possible while its available – the Lord will not provide when we ignore his counsel to do it now. If any are imprudent, negligent, or indolent, in taking that proper care…..they are not accounted wise.” They will then suffer the consequences. Vss. 13-15 talks about the Savior (and Joseph Smith) saying their appearance will be marred. Christ’s will be “more than other men”. Isaiah 53 refers to the life and death of the Savior, his resurrection & his atoning sacrifice. Christ is referred to as a “tender plant a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief”. Some of his trials are listed here. Did the people hide their faces from Him? Did we esteem Him? He was wounded for our transgressions – what does that mean? James Talmage, In JESUS THE CHRIST, pp. 613-14, wrote about Christ’s suffering in the Garden. Was the son’s suffering the “will” of the Father? Why? Isaiah 54 – speaks of the glorious redemption of Israel in the latter days. Presidents Grant and Taylor indicate that the war that will come will cause million to die for lack of food and water. We are warned that these supplies will be necessary if we don’t want to perish. Not just one year. We may not be able to leave our homes to get help so we MUST prepare to be independent. Food is our responsibility. Isaiah 55 contains the Lord’s special message to the people of the earth after the gospel is restored.

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Lsn 47: Isaiah 46-55

Here in Chapter 56 we read where the Lord directs his remarks to the converts who join the Church. He warns them to be equitable to all men. Though they are young in the gospel & just learning they are still accountable for what they do & how they administer justice to everyone in everything they do. Time is short – there might not be time to repent later. As a reward for good behavior the Lord says they will be blessed. The Sabbath day is very important & we are not to pollute it with routine labor or holiday activities – it’s a holy day & should be treated as such.

Then the Lord begins to comfort the converts. He shows empathy for eunuchs. Then He swings back to Isaiah’s time and is disgusted. He sees the enemy encircling them ready to pounce. Their watchmen are oblivious to the threats when destruction is at their doors. (Sound like us today?) Even political and military leaders & soldiers are ignorant of the danger. Not watching but instead more interested in filling their own coffers with ill gotten gain. Isaiah calls these leaders a bunch of drunken sots – continually feasting & drinking & pretending to some importance. Chapter 57 adds that men generally tend to honor the most wicked, or depraved men of the time & when they die there is great mourning; however the humble & righteous die & often leave this life un-honored & un-mourned except family & friends. But God honors them & sometimes takes them in death as a special blessing. What is that blessing? Many others are reveling in wickedness and turn to witches & other sorcerers who claim to have supernatural power. The Lord warns them here to consider who it is they ridicule & profane (Jehovah) – they debase themselves even unto hell by devising for themselves such a great highway of wickedness they can’t get off it. He asks, “Why didn’t they (or we) trust in Him?” And he lays out for them a warning for all of us – What is that warning? Then he adds more - there will come a time when they will cry out for the Lord to save them. What does He say about what will happen to them? One point - They (& we) need to understand that though He is a god of mercy, that He is also a god of justice – He sees their ways – they can’t hide their secret abominations forever. It is He who creates their blessings & cursings. So what are they?

In Isaiah 58, the Lord commands his prophet to cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet to show them their transgressions. Not an easy thing to do when people don’t want to hear anything negative. But they must be warned. These people are sinners even though they pray to the Lord daily & go to Church as though they were a nation seeking to be righteous. Don’t they pray for justice and perform God’s ordinances -- so what is wrong here? This applies to us today. Next, He asks us some heavy questions and points out some things we need to be doing RIGHT NOW. What are they? Listen here and we’ll go over them.

We can still become a delight to the Lord and travel the high road through life. Isaiah 59, we get Isaiah’s reaction to what he has seen and heard and; we learn important information here …. as he lays out his specific indictment against these so called religious people in vss. 3-11 and then in vs. 12 saying that people begin to realize how they have offended the Lord. Not only did they pull away but they have attempted to get others to do so as well. (Are we not seeing that today?) Note how Isaiah says that in our day there will be a time when there is no good leadership to right the wrongs perpetuated upon the people, and no agency to act for those who are weak & exploited by the wicked. But the Lord remembers us and will extend his holy arm by restoring the gospel for the last time and he will put us under covenant to him to further protect us. Isaiah 60 adds that this will be the time in which the latter day darkness which covers the whole earth will be shattered by a brilliant new dispensation of the fullness of times brought on by the Savior’s ministry. He saw the Restoration didn’t he?

He also saw how vengeance would come speedily upon the inhabitants of the earth – there will be vengeance and where did the Lord say it would begin? “Upon my house shall it begin & from my house shall it go forth. First among you who have professed to know my name and have not known me, and have blasphemed against me in the midst of my house.” Joseph Smith commented on this in TEACHINGS, p. 47 – “….crimes of every description are increasing among men, vices of great enormity are practiced – the rising generation growing up in the fullness of pride & arrogance – the aged losing every sense of conviction, and seemingly banishing every thought of a day of retribution……” (Hear more in this lesson). We know that since Joseph Smith the evil in the world has increased. When wars come we must flee to Zion. Where is it? Time is short – no peace anywhere. Make haste. Look to the Presidency of the Church & receive instruction. Listen here to what families will do to one another, and armies arrayed against armies, etc. Joseph added: “ How long you will have good crops, and the famine kept off, I do not know….. “ Smith, TEACHINGS pp 160-161 . Gentiles will also come to the light & flee to Zion. What else does Isaiah see in regard to the gathering? What happens to these nations who will not serve the Lord? We see some comfort in Isaiah 60:15 – what does the Lord promise us if we endure hardships valiantly? In vs 19, Isaiah extends his vision even deeper into the future – what does he see?

Then in Isaiah Chapter 61 which is a continuation of the theme relating to the redemption of Zion, & the Coming of the Savior, both in the meridian of time & in the latter days it picks up with Jesus in Nazareth at the synagogue on the Sabbath reading a scripture about the future coming of the “anointed” one. Why did they try to cast him down from a hill? Next in vs. 3 we again learn of the latter-days – bad days, but now cities will be rebuilt. The Israelite people will now receive a double portion of blessings. What does that mean?

Next in Isaiah Chapter 62 – it begins with a promise that both Jerusalem & Zion will one day be so righteous that they will be famous. Vs. 4 says the earth will be dramatically changed. -- Reference D&C 133:21-24. A specific warning again to latter-day women, who should be active in the Lord’s work, but who involve themselves in worthless endeavors. The clarion call has gone forth – it is time for Zion & Jerusalem to call forth those that would be redeemed. Then in Isaiah 63 we learn that after they are gathered, the evil and depravity among the nations will be so bad that it is time to cleanse it by fire. Now, in vss. 1-2, the Lord, Himself, comes in red apparel. Why? His voice shall be heard – What will he say? D&C 133:50 How does He feel? The Savior made it clear that if we don’t repent that it will be much more severe than they can possibly imagine - D&C 19-20.

Isaiah 63:5 adds Jesus’ words: “And I looked, and there was none to help, and I wondered that there was none to uphold; therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, IT upheld me!” After His great suffering and sacrifice where are his supporters? Where are those who agreed in pre-existence to his sacrifice. “Surely he says in Isaiah 63:8 – they will not lie!” Now, what is He going to do? Will he cut off the people? Isaiah is devastated to think that the Lord’s people will be completely cut off so he pleads with the Lord not to cast them off, not to remember their blunders and iniquity forever, for he says “we are all thy people”. How does the Lord respond? Chapter 64 says everyone will see he him at the same time. Fear will strike everyone. Fires cause water to boil. But those who wait on Him are blessed. Isaiah in vs. 4 adds: “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee what He hath prepared for him that wait for him”. So what is the fate of those who ceased to call upon God and repent? And the Lord answered in Isaiah 65:1 with a grand secret or key and another warning……! Listen to what Joseph Smith said about this. Then, In vs. 11 we learn who will inherit this choice land on which we live.

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Lsn 48: Isaiah 56-65

The Lord says that heaven is His throne, and the earth his footstool, and then asks: Where is the place of my rest? His Holy Temple. He makes reference to the blood sacrifices & other ordinances made there! Certainly not performed in the correct spirit. Same with us in taking the sacrament unworthily, or coming there unworthily as well. He condemns those who are called but don’t respond to missions, & positions of responsibility, or contribute tithes & offerings. In vs. 5 he comforts those who have been despised & cast out by haughty members who disdain them from their more exclusive circles. A mighty but humble people will suddenly gather together. A nation born in one day. Vs 8 added “Who hath heard such a thing?” The Lord adds he knows our works and thoughts, good or evil & will now which to gather to himself.

Next the Prophet Jeremiah. From the age of 14, he ministered during the reigns of five kings in Judah, from Josiah to Zedekiah. A great reference to the pre-existence – the Lord said to him: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” He was given two instructions: l.) Assert himself & confront the rich, powerful leaders of the people with boldness, & 2.) He was not to be dismayed by their faces. Jeremiah spends 3 chapters describing the various revelation and instructions he received from the Lord and by the 4th chapter he can no longer hold back from his mission. We are commanded in D&C 11:21-22 about when to declare the word of the Lord – after we obtain it. What was the double offense committed by these people that so upset the Lord? There are 10 charges he laid against them – listen to how closely they resemble the sins of our day.

Also we learn that some of Jeremiah’s worst enemies came from within the apostate religious community. At this time Babylon was preparing to attack and the Lord gave a message of hope through two promises, one of the present and one of the future. What were they? Sadly, when seeing the Lord’s revenge in a vision, Jeremiah actually attempted to convince the Lord that He was too harsh. Moses & Mormon did the same thing. Instead of arguing with these men, the Lord let them find out for themselves. We learn that they discovered that those who chose evil were more numerous than they who chose good. Next Jeremiah in chapters 8 & 9 explain in detail what evil they did. – and the Lord said in Jeremiah 5:31 “And my people love to have it so!”; & Jeremiah 8:12 adds “the people didn’t have any shame, they didn’t even know how to blush.” Being prosperous no one repented and Jeremiah asked “Why do the wicked prosper”. Listen here to the Lord’s reply. It’s interesting that later when Jeremiah was praying for the wicked the Lord told him in Chapter 14:11-12 to stop praying for them because He is punishing them.

Jeremiah 15:1-14. The Lord said: “I am weary with repenting.” Learn here what that means. Now we learn that Israel & Jeremiah will be carried off into some strange land and Jeremiah is struggling with this news. Sometimes the righteous must suffer along with the wicked if the nation falls. Clark in his Commentary 4:479-480 explains this principle – listen closely. Jeremiah had reached a point where the community & his own family initiated great opposition to him so he began to water down his words and we learn in Chapter 26 the Lord didn’t like that and he commanded Jeremiah saying, “Diminish Not A Word”. Be straight forward whether or not the words are well received. People then choose, hope or horror. Jeremiah was taken before a Court – learn here what happened to Jeremiah. Okay, once again Jeremiah pled for the people, but the Lord wanted no simpering or slushy sentimentality at a time when the circumstances call for parental firmness. The people needed discipline & warranted retribution. A good lesson to us. Jeremiah wanted a normal life but was given 3 specific instructions as to what he was NOT to do at this time. Why? As a prophet his enemies constantly overpowered him and abused him, so he didn’t want to preach anymore, but listen here to his words as to why he couldn’t stop!! Next Jeremiah called a scribe, Baruch, to record the Lord’s revelations to him, to take to the king, but it was burned and everyone sought their lives. Listen here to Baruch’s response.

What is the vision of the two baskets of figs in Chapter 24– one sour & one sweet? Note here two prophets – one false, one true. Who did the people believe & why? The Lord said: “I set before you the way of life and the way of death” and he gave the people a proposal. What was that proposal? Zedekiah the king knew what the Lord wanted, but did as he wanted and kept asking Jeremiah, “Is there any word from the Lord, “ to excuse himself. Jeremiah thrown back in to mud filled pits for his honest answer to the king, and then transferred to cabin cells. Jerusalem was starved into a state of collapse - The Lord’s holy Arc was plundered & Jerusalem was burned & the people taken captive. What happened to Zedekiah and his sons? Mulek, one of his sons escaped – his story is in the Book of Mormon. Jeremiah was saved for the time being, but was later dragged to Egypt. Listen here to one of Jeremiah’s most vivid prophecies about the potter’s clay and then a quick summary of his life.

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Lsn 49: Isaiah 65-66

We now hear the Lord’s lamentation that with all He had done for them they were rebellious and constantly provoked him to anger. He responds now telling them what he is going to allow to happen to them without repentance. They will be slaughtered - His servants shall eat & drink, but they will be hungry, and thirst. His servants will rejoice but ye shall be ashamed………etc. etc. Lost because of disobedience. They didn’t heed His call for service or missions. Because some were righteous he says that even before they call to him he will answer & hear them. But to the wicked now they will be found wanting.

Okay, next is EZEKIEL. – First a short summary. He had been a captive in Babylonia. Like Jeremiah as a prophet he was commanded to perform symbolic actions to strike out at the sins of Judah & explain the reason for God’s rejection of his chosen people. He ministered to the common people while Daniel ministered to the royalty. He prophesied stern rebukes & glorious promises that applied not only to Judah but to all Israel. Jeremiah tried to tell those in captivity to settle down, raise families & compete for a place in the affairs of the nation & stay close to the Lord. Life was not all bad in captivity for everyone – and even when they were allowed to go back to Jerusalem, a large contingency of Jews stayed in Babylon. The Lord’s people learned a great lesson here.

AT this time The Lord had three different prophets preaching to his people, Jeremiah in the court of Jerusalem – prophesying to the kings and leaders; Daniel giving his message to the conquerors, and Ezekiel among the exiles. Ezekiel’s visions need not be taken literally for he used many figurative expressions. In Chapter 1, Ezekiel had his first vision – it was almost impossible for him to describe the glories he saw – We learn he saw God and his throne surround by cherubim’s. Listen now to what Joseph Smith said about this vision here & listen to Cleon Skousen’s take on this.

Next the Lord equates the light of truth with “intelligence”. He says the individual intelligence is an eternal reality which “was not created or made, neither can be.” Abraham learned that Intelligences are individualistic. There are many different levels of thee eternal intelligences, & the supreme intelligence of them all is God. The infinite hosts of these graded intelligences voluntarily obey the Lord and through their superlative obedience the work or glory of God is manifest. So what does the Lord say about how He operates the universe? Ezekiel saw Jehovah. When Moses saw God he exclaimed: “For this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed. But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not with my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered & died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him. (Moses 1).

In Ezek. 2:1-2, The Lord speaks to Ezekiel & promises him power, courage, and firmness since his mission was to be to a very rebellious and obdurate people. He had a willing heart but was afraid and sat quiet for seven days and upset the Lord. He was called to be a WATCHMAN. Hear the words of Ezra Taft Benson, Confer. Rept. Apr. 1973, pp. 49-50. about how we also have watchmen to warn us but many don’t want to hear it. Learn here how this applies to us individually as well! If we don’t warn when the Lord tells us to do so, then we will find that the blood of those we should have warned will be on us. Ezek. 3:16-19 - Exasperated the Lord told Ezekiel was told to go to his home, and there the Lord would teach him what he was to do through symbolic images to teach the people.

Israel is guilty - the Lord speaks here about the angels who have blown the trumpets to ready the troops for battle, and the troops fail to show up – too busy, too lazy, or unconcerned or preoccupied to hear the call to live up to their agreement & thus the wicked army overran the people destroying as they went. The Commander & Chief was furious, where were his soldiers? Who are his soldiers? Learn here what this means to us!!!

Ezekiel 8 vss. 3-18 – Ezekiel was transported from Babylon to the Jerusalem temple and shown the wickedness & idolatry of the people & how they thought they were hiding their abominations. In Ezekiel 9:4 we see where a mark was put on the foreheads of the righteous in Jerusalem. Why a mark?. Both the wicked and the righteous receive marks. Learn about various marks here. Next we learn that The Lord has reserved his most severe judgments for those who profess his name but do not perform. Then in Chapter l0 is another vision. Chapter 11 – the Spirit again carries Ezekiel again to a different location . What does he see? 25 men doing what? Chapter 12 – Ezekiel was again to perform symbolic acts. Very interesting. Chapter 13 – prophets preaching lies of peace – “smooth words”. The Lord was angry with the “women” who by divination, led people from God. Chapter 14 – the line of demarcation has been drawn. Chapter 15 – an explanation of the allegory of the Vine tree which is useless for work. Chapter 16 – gives the allegory of the unfaithful wife. Chapter 16-17gives the allegory of the Two Eagles & the Cedar Tree. Chapter 18 – we learn of the principle of accountability. We learn about “the iniquity of the fathers being visited upon the children unto the third & fourth generation of them that hate me.” What does that mean to us? What does it mean that this is a “gospel of becoming”? The Judgment process is clearly not a means of weighing the good against the bad or a bookkeeping process of counting the debits against the credits. So what is it?

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Lsn 50: Ezekiel 1-37

There were many prophets now in the land warning of the judgments to come if the people did not repent. Lehi, from the Book of Mormon was one of those in Jerusalem. The Lord was desperately trying to avoid having to bring forth these judgments. Even in the world today, besides our Prophets and General Authorities, many good men and women are crying out against the emergence of a huge global evil which is in our midst and growing at a rapid speed. The scriptures say: “It is not political parties we fight against but powers and principalities we know not of.” Like these people far too many of us take offense & scoff when warned – saying we’ve heard it all before & don’t want to hear anything negative. Patrick Henry responded to his critics when they didn’t want him to speak boldly or courageously against an unjust government, he said: “Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself guilty of treason towards my country, and an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven which I revere above all earthly kings…Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others make take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

Ezra Taft Benson spoke here about our day – listen. “…….We offend as few as possible and avoid making controversial statements that might label us as ‘extremist’ or politically charged. In our efforts to be neutral, however, we empower evil by not stopping it in its tracks. This is not an area for neutrality or being ‘nice’. Rather than shirking from controversy, the Lord’s counsel has always been one of boldness. I’m not speaking of antagonism, but rather an honest evaluation of the situation, followed by openly declaring the truth of the matter. Far too many of us take pride in our political correctness in handling matters of great concern, so the Lord has commanded us to be anxiously engaged in a good cause & do many things of our own free will; and we are to speak up…………”! We can disagree without being disagreeable can’t we? When Ezekiel warned them of suffering , the people sneared and said: “Suffer? Look at me do you see me suffering.” We don’t see any problem in the nation, except in the heads of you radicals, so why should we take your rantings & ravings seriously? I don’t want to hear your doomsday prophecies of gloom & doom -- after all it’s not going to happen today & if it doesn’t affect me personally, I don’t want to think about it. You are negative & I only want positive people around me, so I won’t listen. Go away!” The Book of Mormon wants us to awaken to our awful situation – meaning terrible, terrifying, dreadful. The warnings are blessings to give us the opportunity to repent, get our affairs in order, prepare temporally, spiritually, emotionally, & financially in case a catastrophic event should occur. WE say “All is well in Zion; yea Zion prospereth, all is well and thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.” George Q. Cannon of the First Presidency taught us here that secret combinations would be of a political character & they would be looking to overthrow governments & introduce anarchy. We are to jealously guard our freedoms……..an educated person listens to warnings & seeks out truth for himself.” When you see these things come to pass, we must take a stand. This is precisely what is happening today. Take heed.

Ezekiel 37:15-17 – The Lord saw the Bible containing His words would become a target for wicked people to destroy its credibility and thus His influence over the people and so he told Ezekiel to take two sticks & write upon them – one for Judah and one for Joseph. What are these two sticks? And what is the Law of Witnesses? WE learn that a multitude of other scriptures have come forth, including the Book of Mormon. Many of them will be turned aside for a thing of naught and they will revile against them. To those who have them and have become complacent the Lord issues a Woe! Is the Bible all we need? Listen here to what the Lord says about this in 2 Ne. 28:27:33? “Woe be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough…………etc.” Christians are not to be angry or complain because others, other than our own have been given more information from God to distribute to the nations of the world. Next in Ezekiel chapters 38-39 we find referrals to the battle of Armageddon in the latter days where Gog the leader of the forces would come against Israel. He comes from the land of Magog & is the prince of Mesheck & Tubal (located today in present day Turkey). President Joseph Fielding Smith clarified some points here. Gog will come from the north………etc. Then in this lesson we learn more about this war—for instance, explaining what the Lord will do so that only a sixth of Gog’s army will remain alive.

Moving on Ezekiel summarizes here a list of the sins of the people – his time & in the latter days (that’s us). Then the remaining chapters contain information about the dimensions and a description of the latter day temple. Ezekiel saw in a vision Christ giving directions in regard to the ordinances and rules, and sacrifices & explained how the land was to be divided for the temple, the city, priests & tribes. Then in Chapter seven we learn that water will come out from the Temple. Why is this important?

Next we have the Prophet Daniel – he had great visions & revelations. He lived in Jerusalem at the same time Lehi did. Learn of Daniel and his three friends, Shadrack, Meseck and Abinago and their dealings with the King. The king had a dream & the Lord showed it to Daniel and gave him the interpretation to take back to the king. He saw a great image and each part of the image was representative of something. President Rudger Clawson gives his interpretation, as do Elder Orson Pratt & President Spencer W. Kimball & Brigham Young here for us. We also learn how Daniel & his three friends refused to worship a huge shiny gold plated image 90 feet in height, and their punishment for their stand. See here God’s ability to protect us even from what appears to be certain death. Nebuchadnezzar acknowledged their God saying: “There is no other God that can deliver after this sort, and added that God had indeed sent his angel to deliver His servants.”

Then in Daniel chapter four the King had another dream. Daniel was again brought in. The king was to show mercy to the poor. And now in Daniel 5:1-4 we have the story of King Belshazzar at a great feast & suddenly a hand appeared and wrote upon the wall. Daniel had to announce to the king the judgments of God to come upon him. Because of the warning, the King respected Daniel & elevated him to a high position – one of the three presidents who ruled over 120 princes of the kingdom. Daniel 6: 4-9 explains that Daniel’s enemies were furious and plotted against him by getting the king to issue a decree against praying to any god except their own. Daniel ignored it and was cast into the lion’s den. The King realized he had been deceived ad prayed all night for Daniel. Daniel was protected by the Lord, and his enemies were cast into the pit themselves.

Next, in Daniel 7, we have the description of the future political kingdoms shown in the vision which is represented by various animals. This is another of the apocalyptic chapters & was given to Daniel in the first five years of Belshazzar’s reign – He saw a lion (Babylon), a bear (Persia), and leopard Greece) and a diverse beast with iron teeth (Rome.) Listen here to an interpretation of this. In the meantime the Lord’s people are preparing the Lord’s kingdom for him. This is our work. Also Daniel saw a great conference in the latter days held in Adam-ondi-Aham in Jackson County where the Ancient of Days (Michael, the great Archangel or Adam as he was called during his mortal estate) presided and called forth his children to prepare them for the coming of the Son of man with millions of people surrounding him. This council will take place in close proximity in time to the destruction of Europe & removable of the dominion of the nations of Asia Minor. Prior to the council the “little horn” which was seen in King Belshazzar’s dream (some great individual or power) will severely persecute the Saints right up to the time of this conference…. however, this will make the ending of that persecution & the saints would serve as steward of the Lord in preparing a righteous government for the whole earth. Will the world in general know of this council? What about the members of the Church in general? This is preparatory to our Savior coming to the earth to receive back from Adam something important. What was that? Then we learn that Daniel was visited by the Archangel Gabriel giving him some instruction regarding Jerusalem and a new covenant to be given to the people.

In Daniel 8-9 we read of Daniel’s vision of a ram and a he-goat. *Then we read of a very wicked man who will come forth in the last days. Listen here to an edited description of this man and what he will do to us – for the full report listen to this lesson. He will come into power in the last days - He will hold up to the people the illusion of peace & prosperity to bind us even tighter to higher taxes, legislation & regulation, which will destroy many. His power will be mighty, but it won’t be him who is actually wielding power, but rather others who direct him. He shall have great power to destroy & use peace to further his agenda so he has more time to institute his evil policies upon men, and thus he shall prosper & practice & destroy the mighty & the holy people. He will not regard the God of his fathers – that means the God of this land, Jehovah, for he will magnify himself above all – however, eventually he will acknowledge and increase with glory a strange God, who he shall cause shall rule over many and divide the land for gain and because of his political agenda, which is full of himself. He will be a narcissist as he shall magnify himself in his heart. He will enter into power through flattery, work in a league deceitfully, and scatter in among the people their enemies and spoil the people taking their riches. (Opening our borders?) He will eventually pollute the sanctuary & take away the holy sacrifice (meaning he will pollute the temple & remove the right to freedom of religion.) Sound familiar?

Okay, getting back here to Daniel chapter l0, Daniel fasted for three weeks and saw a heavenly being by the river Hiddekel and he begins to explain the history of what was to come. And last of all in Chapter 12 – it is a prophecy of the end of the wicked world, the deliverance of the righteous with the help of Michael, the resurrection of the just and the unjust and the assignment of those (who were wise) to their kingdom of glory. So then Daniel also sees universal conflict and the Council at Adam-ondi-Ahman. Note that he speaks of the time of trouble, such as never was, will come upon the earth. Joseph Smith in HISTORY OF THE CHURCH Vol. 3, pp. 386-387 talks about the resurrection. Daniel received a vision of the resurrection showing that it would be a series of resurrections throughout the whole length of the Millennium, but the wicked will have to wait until the last. Daniel is now to seal up the book, even to the time of the end and then he sees some heavenly beings and one inquired “How long shall it be to the end of wonders? The reply was – “It shall be for a time, times and a half; and when he shall accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people – all these things shall be finished.” What do some of the commentaries say is the meaning of those words? Remember the Lord said He is ready and willing to give us more information as soon as we are able to bear it. Read your Book of Mormon – which contains the methods and warnings about the secret combinations which will seek to destroy us. 3 Nephi 6:21 says that there were some very courageous people who spoke boldly of the sins and iniquities of the people in power – they often offended their chief judges and lawyers. Because the people in general were slow to wake up to their danger, many of these courageous patriots were taken and secretly put to death.

President Henry D. Moyle said: “A safe criterion by which movements political, social or religious can be judged meritoriously is by their impact upon our Godly attribute of free agency.” All are present today & many have been murdered or assassinated because they have been whistle blowers, or have been perceived as having known too much about the evil which flourishes in various levels of Government today including with the highest levels. We are admonished to speak up a cry out against movements political, social or religious which seek to deprive us of our free agency. We already see restricted liberties, loss of agency and freedoms – all is NOT WELL in Zion. Freedom is a huge principle of the gospel – those who are awake are not deceived by condescension & flattery, nor by artificial or contrived media stories – nor are they fooled by the false flags which are used to manipulate the people into irresponsible and unnecessary wars and confrontation.

We need to recognize government programs for what they are – a way to enslave the people through entitlements, and recognize that because we pose a threat to the modern Gadianton robbers, we will be labeled radical and called all sorts of names to detract from our message. Stay on task!. WE will face great persecution but President Taylor taught that members of the Church should be definite & not conciliatory to constitutional abuse. What does that mean? And last of all the Lord admonishes each of us to listen to the voice of the Spirit to guide us, and He says that those who ignore His spiritual promptings are categorized as being wicked. We cannot be neutralized – we must be anxiously engaged and be people of action, especially when the will of the majority of our nation is ignored by Government & new taxes and regulations drown us in debt. Ezra Taft Benson said: “Our placement in the eternities will be based largely on the freedom issue.” Be valiant and alert. WE are now the Lord’s WATCHMEN.

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Lsn 51: Ezekiel 37-47, Daniel 1-12

The Apostle James in Chapter 5 vs. 11 says Job was a real person not just some imaginary hero in a fictional story – and the Lord referred to him in D&C 12:10.This story is a good lesson to us that the war in heaven in the pre-existence continues upon this earth in our second estate, in which we live. Our souls are so precious in both the sight of God and Satan that Jehovah & Lucifer are locked into a deadly struggle for the allegiance of the Father’s children. The great contest is both terrible and real. The commentaries say that “As a perfect man, the only thing Job lacked with the perfection of his faith, which could only come when he sacrificed his all and knew that he had sacrificed his all because the Lord commanded it – after all, he did know that the Lord was responsible for his predicament. And sacrifice by its very nature is a test of obedience & obedience is a sign of faith. In the end the Lord challenged Job to explain why he presumed to question the Lord’s dealings with him.” Job learned not to counsel the Lord but take counsel from his hand even if he didn’t understand. Once the trial was over, a special blessing came to him, he could now perceive the impercievable.

Through suffering comes perfection and faith – we too must face our trials head on and be strong and not council the Lord – He knows what trials we need to perfect us. This book of Job is divided into three parts; the prologue, the poem, and the epilogue. The story starts out with a dialogue between Jehovah and Satan, and Satan challenges him to take away Job’s super abundance of blessings and see how loyal he will be to Jehovah. DID JEHOVAH REALLY CONVERSE WITH SATAN? Listen here to an edited talk on this book of Job by Keith H. Meservy, associate professor of ancient scripture at BYU given in January, 1978 – its excellent! You’ll learn why the Lord permitted Satan to afflict his righteous servant. There are many lessons here.

President Kimball says, “The Lord is omnipotent, with all power to control our lives, save us pain, prevent all accidents, drive all planes and cars, feed us, protect us, save us from labor, effort, sickness, even from death if he will, But, he will not.” How could we learn if He did that? How could we grow? It’s so important we experience the good and the bad so we appreciate our blessing. As part of their mortal probation the saints are called upon to pass through tribulations, that is to undergo severe afflictions, distress, and deep sorrow. It’s only through much tribulation that men may enter into the kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22) “He that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.”

Job is so strong in his testimony of Christ – “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him.” And why? Because he had the everlasting gospel. President Kimball in FAITH PRECEDES THE MIRACE, p. 97 gives us a great understanding of what all this means to us – listen here. By studying Job’s life we learn to be patient in our own trials, and wait on the Spirit to teach each of us the whys and wherefores of them in his own good time. Next in Ezra we again learn of Cyrus, the Persian king who conquered Babylon. For a pagan king he did something unusual - shortly after coming to power he recognized the one true God by issuing a proclamation allowing the Jews to go home to Jerusalem, which is in Judah and build a temple for their God and he paid for everything. Ezra, chapter 2 describes the 50,000 Jews who made the long trek back to Jerusalem.

They worked hard and inadvertently attracted the Samaritans who lived nearby and wanted to help. But they were considered hybrids because the Jews had intermarried with the Gentile people and their help was flatly refused. The Samaritan’s never forgave them and constantly attacked the works both night and day and applied political pressures as well. Cyrus couldn’t help as he had been killed in one of his wars, and was replaced by his son Darius. However, three of the Lord’s prophets, Daniel, Haggai, Zechariah had used their influence at court to bring about a change. The Lord gave his prophets eight visions. We’ll talk about them here. In Zechariah 9:9 is one of the messianic prophecies of Zechariah and it’s in regard to the Messiah and his riding into Jerusalem seated on the “foal of an ass.”

Zechariah also talks about the PRISONERS OF HOPE and “WHEREIN IS NO WATER” – What do these mean? WE are cautioned to FOLLOW THE SHEPARD. We are not to follow idols and diviners. Chapters 11, 12 & 13 deal with the battle of Armageddon and talks about how the Lord will strengthen the Jews and House of Joseph to withstand their enemies. Vss. 11-13 of Zechariah 11 is a reference to the betrayal of Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Chapters 12, 13, & 14 refer to one of the greatest events in the latter days – the appearance of the Messiah (the resurrected Jesus Christ) to the Jewish people at the Mt. of Olives - the great battle that will take place in that area. Zechariah 12:8 refers to the Lord’s promise to defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the latter days. Arthur U. Michelson relates a miraculous story in the Jewish HOPE, Issue No. 9, Vol. 22, September 1950, regarding when only a few Jews faced the Arabs in battle, and God intervened – he sent three “angels or servants” with long white beards & flowing white robes who warned the Arabs not to fight or they would die and so they withdrew. Consider that the Lord spoke of the three Nephites in the Book of Mormon who were to tarry upon this land – he said: “And behold they will be among the Gentiles, and the Gentiles shall know them not. They will also be among the Jews and the Jews shall know them not…”(3 Ne. 28:27-28). Could this be them?

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Lsn 52: Job, Ezra, Haggai & Zechariah

Picking up with Zechariah 13:1 – where we learn about “a fountain being opened to the house of David & to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin & un-cleanliness ” – Joseph Fielding Smith said this is a reference to Baptism. Baptism was not new to the Jews. Why? Then in vss. 7-9 we read about the two parts of Israel who shall die or be separated from the land. And the “third” part that shall be left therein. Who are these people? What are the “living waters” mentioned here and what do they do? Note here the similar plague that consumes flesh and tongues of both Israel and Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Zechariah 14:16-19 – talks about if Christ will dwell upon the earth or just visit it.

Now back to the Jews building the temple – it seems that the Persian governor of all Syro-Palestine challenged the authority of Zerubbabel to use all the resources & manpower to construct the temple and he wanted to know by what authority he was able to do this. Zerubbabel responded that it came from King Cyrus. With this rebuttal the governor wrote a letter to Babylon and there was upheaval because proof could not be found. Finally after an exhausting search it was found – and Darius found that it had not been honored to the degree it was written and so he determined to make up for it & he issued a decree warning that the Jews were not to be hindered and whatsoever they needed was to be given to them – any found not following this decree would be killed. The politicians backed off and quickly changed their tune. Darius died and Xerxes succeeded him. He liked to celebrate his military victories with extravagant & elaborate banquets at the palace. He wanted to show off his beautiful queen, Vashti to all the dignitaries, but when called for she was entertaining some women and knew the men were drunk, and so she refused to comply.

That brings us to THE BOOK OF ESTHER. Once Vashi refused the Kings request, some fanatical and evil men who had his ear responded in anger, and didn’t like her independent spirit (fearing their own wives would follow her) and they pushed Zurksees for action against her asking for an irrevocable decree be issued against her. In a drunken state the King agreed. This opened the door for Esther. Listen here to her story and how she was able to outwit Israel’s enemies (one of which was Haman) and save her people. Her story is celebrated each year by the Jews.

Next is EZRA. His great work was collecting together and setting forth a correct edition of the Holy Scriptures which he labored much in, and went a great way in perfecting of it. He gathered as many sacred writings as he could, - put them in their proper order and settled the canon of Scripture for his time. These books were divided into three parts: The Law, The Prophets, and the Holy writings. He had them translated into the local languages and thus the scribes took on new prominence & gained social and religious prestige among the Jews.

Moving now into the Book of Nehemiah, which carries the history of the Jewish people down to a later date than any other of the avowedly historical works in the canon of the Old Testament. It describes not only the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem, but the reconstruction of the Jewish ecclesiastical organization and as an authority for the events it relates. Nehemiah was full of self-reliance, coupled with a humble trust in God. He was a Jew born in exile, and his family did not choose to return to Jerusalem when Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem. He held a high place at court (a cupbearer to the King) and was highly trusted. When he heard of the afflicted condition of his brethren in Jerusalem he was greatly disturbed and asked for permission to travel to Jerusalem & help build the city. He became their new governor. We learn of his social reforms, lowered the taxes, and ended confiscation of private property. He didn’t accept a salary and served without remuneration. He built a protective wall and fortified the city and set up a security police. He took a census of the people for genealogy purposes to see who legitimately could hold the priesthood. And now in Nehemiah 8:1-12 - Ezra is asked to read the law to the people as it had been lost for a very long time. Nehemiah put them under covenant to obey these laws, and he cleansed the temple of all enemies. However he left for vacation and the people back-slided. Listen here to what he did!!! And, also the temple was completed.

In the Book of Haggai, we hear about how Gerizim again became a place of importance – A member of the high priestly family was expelled from the priesthood for marrying the daughter of Sanballat, the Hornite, and he took refuge with the Samaritans and built a rival temple and priesthood on Mt. Gerizim. Rivalry increased.

Next the Book of Malachi. He was probably a contemporary of Nehemiah & his book was written about 400 years before the birth of Christ. Lehi and his family left Jerusalem in 600 B.C. nearly 200 years before the time of Malachi. The Lord gave his words to the Nephites) First, he accused the people of neglecting and perverting the proper Priesthood functions. Secondly, he chastised them for offending the wives of their youth by taking heathen women in marriage, and third he said the people were robbing God by refusing to pay their tithes. (The Talmud says he was the last of the prophets…. And with the death of Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi the Holy Spirit departed from Israel.)

In Malachi 1:2-5 it says that the Lord hated Esau. Did the Lord really hate Esau? Does the Lord withdraw his blessings from a whole people and if so why? Next we learn about the Lord’s anger toward unfaithful Priesthood bearers. The Lord’s promises to men are conditional? What does that mean? The Lord was upset over the men leaving their wives, whom they had loved and who bore their children, for younger women. He frowns on divorce. Malachi 3:3-6 talks about sacrifice and how it will always continue. Vss. 7-9 asks “Will a man rob God?” – What does he mean? He Is speaking about tithes and offerings. It’s a test of sacrifice. Then Malachi 3:10-12adds there are “Blessings for Paying Tithes.” What are those blessing? One is - he who is tithed shall not be burned at His coming. Why do men say it is VAIN TO SERVE THE LORD? Malachi 3:16-18 speak of another blessing if we serve him - our names will be listed in the Book of Remembrance, or the Book of Life which is kept in heaven. And those who keep their records are HIS JEWELS. We are to keep a book containing the record of our dead, and a book of remembrance – a life story, or journal.

What is the Lord saying when he says “It shall leave them neither root nor branch?” What does it mean that the “Lord will send us Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children…..”? What are Saviors on Mt. Zion? The Saints haven’t too much time to save and redeem their dead, and gather together their living relatives, that they may be saved also before the earth is smitten. Joseph Fielding Smith said: “Temple work is the most unselfish work we can do. There is no work equal to that in the Temple for the dead in teaching a man to love his neighbor as himself.” So in summary the message of Malachi is tithing & genealogy, and what a priesthood holder should be like. This ends our study of the Old Testament.

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Lsn 53: Zechariah, Esther, Nehemiah, Malach

City of Jerusalem measured; Christ came riding on an ass; Latter-day appearance of the Messiah; JEWISH HOPE – three prophets appeared Sept. 1950; ‘Two part of Israel’ – Ten lost tribes & dispersed; King Darius dies and Xerxes new king. Story of Esther – Haman - Mordecai; Nehemiah has history of Jews down to a later date & he demanded social reforms; Ezra collected scriptures and read the law to the people; Malachi was the last of the prophets; told of the Lord’s anger for unfaithful priesthood bearers – left wives, talks of sacrifice and blessings for paying tithing. Keep covenants; Geneology – turn hearts of fathers to children; Edited talk by Melvin J. Ballard- ‘Struggle for the Soul’, New Era, March 1984, p. 32.

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