[editorial note- sorry about the blue text now showing in some of my posts, I am using a disobedient blog publisher that I can’t figure out]
Transgressing the Covenant
In part one we reviewed a deeper, contextual interpretation of Malachi 3:1 based on the fact that the previous two chapters were identifying ancient and latter day Israel as being in an apostate condition;
“..the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the [false] covenant, whom ye delight in.”
As we can see from a deeper, contextual interpretation of Malachi 3, it hardly makes sense that an apostate people are delighting in the true covenant… things are not always as they appear in the scriptures from a surface reading… Hence the admonition to “search” the scriptures…. for the hidden treasures.
As we get deeper into our searching of the scriptures it becomes apparent that God’s servants frequently utter cryptic statements that have a surface meaning that hides the deeper interpretation.
This is certainly true with many passages pertaining to the latter day apostasy; nevertheless, there are other passages that are unbelievably clear on this topic.
Hosea, for instance, sees the final infiltration of the invading enemy into the American borders in the latter days as a direct result of those who transgressed against his covenant;
“Set the trumpet to thy mouth. He shall come as an eagle against the house of the Lord, because they have transgressed my covenant, and trespassed against my law.” Hosea 8: 1
Isaiah prophesied that in the latter days the earth would be defiled and made empty because of those who broke the everlasting covenant;
“Behold, the Lord maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof… The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the Lord hath spoken this word… The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance broken the everlasting covenant.”
Isaiah sees the great curse mentioned by Malachi devouring the earth as a result of those in the latter days that transgress the laws of God and break the everlasting covenant;
“…Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned and few men left.”
Isa. 24: 5
One would think that IF the true spiritual covenant of water baptism had an outer ritualistic ceremonial endowment in addition to the true spiritual endowment of the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, that it might involve a group of believing Saints being ushered into a room to hear a presentation by someone depicted as the Savior of the world telling them the good news about the celestial gospel of mercy and emphasizing the power of faith in his infinite and eternal atonement.
Yet Malachi and Isaiah makes it sound as if the false covenant they and other Old Testament prophets are referring too does not reflect such imagery of love and faith and the law of Mercy. Rather it appears to be a covenant with death and hell.
I suspect that if there is a false covenant that has replaced the simplicity of love, faith and mercy which is found in Celestial Law, it is probably more likely that someone depicting Lucifer, the God of this world, would be ushered in to use fear and the terrestrial law of justice to bind everyone over to himself and place them under his power by their own free will and choice, if they fail to keep any of the commandments of the terrestrial gospel that they have covenanted to keep.
It appears, from the words of Isaiah, to be such a covenant… indeed, Satan characterizes it as a covenant with death and hell.
Such an insidious ritual appears to fit the profile of what Isaiah prophesied would befall the drunkards of Ephraim in the latter days!
“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.”
The Old Testament prophets that prophesied about the establishing and breaking of the New and Everlasting Covenant in the latter days were really just reiterating what Moses foretold our forefathers;
“For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you… And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant… I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.”
“Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”
Lev. 26: 9, 15, 25, 42, 44-45
Moses and other Old Testament Prophets assure us that the breaking of the covenant is what ultimately brings the sword upon this nation and brings about the time of Jacobs trouble HOWEVER, the good news contained in the passages above and other prophecies is that eventually, the covenant that is broken in the latter days will be reestablished.
Nevertheless, it was clearly prophesied by Moses that latter day Israel would break the covenant;
“And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel…. And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, thou shalt sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them… For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant.”
Deut. 31: 9, 16, 20, 25-26
As we can see from the prophesies contained in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Malachi and other Old Testament Prophets latter day Israel would break the New and Everlasting Covenant of Baptism and the Fulness of the Gospel and they would be seduced into entering into a false covenant with Satan…
Fortunately, God foresaw the latter day apostasy and has a Marvelous Work in store that will restore the true covenant with a righteous remnant.
Milk vs Meat
Recently a general authority cautioned those in teaching capacities to stay away from the deeper doctrines. Although this counsel which has been given for over 100 years by Church leaders seems to make sense, we must ask ourselves why it is that during New Testament times, while the Church of Christ was in its infancy, did the apostles get into the deeper things with the Saints?
I believe the answer to this is found in Hebrews 5. Paul warns that he that is still on the “milk” in their understanding of the scriptures is “unskillful in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe.”
Paul goes on to state;
“But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
According to Paul, one cannot even discern between good and evil UNLESS one is feasting on the meat, or deeper things of Gods word!
Once this is understood, excuses like “we have lots of new converts that don’t have a solid foundation in the Gospel and we don’t want to destroy their fragile testimonies” are not valid reasons for continually teaching the watered down versions of Gods holy and infallible word year after year for four entire generations. It in fact actually becomes a compelling reason why instructors and teachers within the Church should be getting into the meat instead of just treading water from Sunday to Sunday in the milk of the Gospel.
Again, we see that things are not always as they seem. Instead of milk being the safe harbor, it is those who choose to stay in the shallow waters that are at the highest risk of being deceived, not being exercised in the word of God and able to discern good from evil!
. Many of the articles on this particular blog are intended for those who, as Paul says, are of full age partaking of the meat that they may discern good and evil.
Paul’s analogy of the milk and the meat was apparently echoing if not borrowed from the words of Isaiah.
All Tables are Full of Vomit
Continuing on in Isaiah 28, Isaiah speaks of a time in the last days when “all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean“.
This is because the “priest” (spokesman) and the “prophet” (Seer) have “erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine…they err in vision, they stumble in judgment“.
In the next chapter, ( Isaiah 29:10), we are informed that in the last days God covers the eyes of the Seers… however, using the correct translation from the Book of Mormon, Isaiah reveals that it is not the Seer or the Spokesman’s fault, it is because of rebellious Israel that God has covered the eyes of the Seers;
“For behold the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity” (For additional information about the scapegoat doctrine and how the sins of Israel are placed upon Gods seers resulting in the covering of their eyes, please click here.)
Isaiah reveals that the eyes of the Spokesman and the Seer were covered not because of their own iniquity but because of the iniquity of the Saints… because the Saints basically rejected the New and Everlasting Covenant which is the Fulness of the Gospel and which includes the Covenant of Baptism and the Law of Consecration.
Just as the Children of Israel refused to seek the face of God under the direction of Moses and therefore had the holy order and the higher law taken from them and were given the preparatory gospel, which was a cursing to them, such was a type of what was to happen in the latter days.
Again, we must remember that God foresaw all of this and has prepared a Marvelous Work in which the Everlasting Covenant will be restored.
Back in chapter 28 Isaiah reveals that God will be sending one who is mighty and strong to the latter day Ephramites who are identified as the Crown of Pride;
“Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. The Crown of Pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet” (Isaiah 28:1)
He eventually poses the following questions regarding those who have erred through strong drink;
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.” Isa 28:9
The Strongs lexicon reveals that the definition for the word “doctrine” as used in these passages and described in #8052 is exclusive to these verses.
This word is not used anywhere else in the Old Testament. It has a unique meaning. It has to do with the making of an “announcement” which is “news” that needs to be “heard“, something that has to do with a “report” and with great “tidings“. It comes from #8074 which is also to “stun” or “devastate” and “astonish“.
Isaiah then observes that those who have not been “weaned from the milk” cannot withstand the “refreshing” and will not enter into the rest of the Lord. Despite the teaching which is line upon line, and precept upon precept, they fall backwards and are broken, snared and taken.
These passages are laying the foundation for Isaiah 52 and 53 which speaks of the time when the marvelous work takes place and people will be “astonished” when the servant returns;
“Who hath believed our “Report? And to whom is the Arm of the Lord revealed?”
It is critical to understand that if Israel enters into a false covenant after receiving the true New and Everlasting Covenant of baptism, from which all other true commandments and covenants spring forth, the former covenant is superseded by the latter false covenant, therefore breaking the previous true covenant…. leaving a breach between God and his people.
Anciently, the priesthood protection provided by God was sometimes referred to as a Hedge or Wall;
“Hear another parable: There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country..” Matt. 21: 33
When the Children of Israel sinned and forsake their covenant with God, it creates a breach, or a gap in the hedge, and in some cases God removes the hedge altogether as a consequence of their rejection of the Gospel;
“What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and
break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down” Isa. 5: 5
It is interesting to note that in modern revelation the Lord foretells, in the parable of the redemption of Zion how he would provide a hedge around the cornerstone of Zion and set watchmen while the tower (temple) was being built, however the enemy would break down the hedge and destroy their works and scatter the Lords servants;
“Now, the servants of the nobleman went and did as their lord commanded them, and planted the olive-trees, and built a hedge round about, and set watchmen, and began to build a tower… And the enemy came by night, and broke down the hedge; and the servants of the nobleman arose and were affrighted, and fled; and the enemy destroyed their works, and broke down the olive-trees.”
D&C 101: 46, 51, 53-54
Anciently, when the children of Israel broke their covenant with God, it created a breach in the hedge and Moses, the Lords chosen servant stood in the gap as the intercessor to turn away the wrath of God;
Ancient prophesy warns us that in the end times there would be a period of time when there would be gaps in the hedge but there would not be a man found who could make up the hedge and stand in the gap as did Moses of old.
Nevertheless, prophecy assures us that after the everlasting covenant is broken by the Saints in the 2nd watch, it is reestablished after four generations, beginning in the 3rd watch.
Jeremiah prophesied of the re-establishment of the everlasting covenant with Israel in the latter days;
“And now therefore thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say, It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence;
Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely:
And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:
And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them, and of their children after them:
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul.
For thus saith the Lord; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” Jer. 32: 42
The prophesies of Ezekiel agree with Jeremiah as they foretell how in the end times God will first curse rebellious Israel with statutes that are not good, and then when the time of refreshing comes in, he will gather a remnant of his scattered people by the one mighty and strong and lead them back into the bond of the covenant;
“Because they had not executed my judgments, but had despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;
“Because they had not executed my [true] judgments, but had despised my [true] statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
Wherefore I gave them also [false] statutes that were not good, and [false] judgments whereby they should not live;
And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass athrough the
bfire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the cend that they might dknow that I am the Lord. Ezek 20:24-26
This portion of Ezekiel 20 is very consistent with Isa 66 wherein the Lord fortells how he will choose the delusions of apostate Israel. It is consistent with the prophecy in 2nd Thes wherein the Lord says the time will come in the latter days when he will send strong delusion to those who refuse to believe the truth and choose to believe a lie. It is consistent with the original version of section of the D&C…. Wherein the Lord warns that if the Saints are not faithful he will turn them over to Satan;
“As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you:
And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out.
And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face.
Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God.
And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant
And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezek. 20: 38, 42, 44
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:
Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And the heather shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.
Ezek. 37: 26, 28
To be continued…