The Law, The Testimony & Judgment Seat

The duty of Bishops

In previous articles including the final tribute to Sidney Rigdon I have tried to develop the relationship between Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon and their respective callings. This duo has been characterized in different ways in the scriptures and in Jewish tradition.

In last days prophecy they may well be the two Sons spoken of in the 2 Ne. 8: 19-20 version of Isa. 51: 19.

Jewish tradition appears to refer to them as Joseph Ben Messiah and Judah Ben Messiah.

Zechariah (and John the Revelator) refer to the two Olive Trees Zech. 4: 11-12 which could possibly be referring to them.

Isaiah 28 speaks of the prophet and the priest who erred in spirit and stumbled in judgment during the 2nd watch before the Lord finally begins the marvelous work and sends the one who is mighty and strong along with his counterpart.

Isaiah 11 and Zechariah use terms like branch and brand, rod and root two describe these two.

According to the words of Jesus Christ, those embracing the calling and commandment to preach the gospel needed to come before BOTH Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon to be ordained and sent forth.

In the Book of Mormon and the inspired version these two servants are referred to as the Seer and the Spokeman.

When the scriptures speak about the “LAW and the PROPHETS” it seems to be speaking about the two aspects of the gospel by which the saints are governed and judged. The term, law, refers to how God expects us to live, the term, prophets, refers to the conduit by which God reveals his law and gives testimony of himself and his law. John points out, The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

It is therefore no surprise that section 88 informs us that Gods servants of the 2nd watch need to return to BIND UP THE LAW and SEAL UP THE TESTIMONY.

What exactly is the LAW that needs to finally be bound up?

I believe it is the law of the gospel that was given in section 42. That is the LAW that people will be judged by.

What testimony needs to finally be sealed by the original two prophets that saw the father and the son and bore witness of what the fullness of the gospel is?

I believe it is the last testimony of the father and the son and the fullness of the gospel that was given by Joseph and Sidney in section 76.

Section 76 contains that last testimony of the dispensation of the fulness of times. That is the testimony that needs to be accepted during probation in order to come forth in the first resurrection of the Just.

I am going to suggest that one of these last two servants represent the human personification of the TESTIMONY while the other servant represents the human personification, or representative of the LAW.

The Seer testifies and reveals Gods word. The Spokesman presides in judgment over the law and expounds on it.

According to modern revelation, the Lord made Sidney Rigdon equal with Joseph Smith in holding the keys of the kingdom and said they both held the keys in this world and in the world to come.

Sidney is commanded to write for Joseph and to tarry and journey with him.

Sidney Rigdon is the great scriptorian and theologian of the restoration movement who was commanded to scripturally prove the validity of the revelations brought forth by the Prophet Joseph Smith .

Sidney and Joseph jointly held the keys of the School of the Prophets for the purpose of perfecting the Elders in their ministry for the salvation of Zion to take the gospel to those who believe among the nations of Israel and  the Gentiles. Sidney was the principle instructor of the school and is probably the primary if not exclusive author of what is known today as the Lectures on Faith, which was the original doctrine part of the Doctrine and Covenants, and was sustained as scripture.

Sidney Rigdon was given the honor and privilege of proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord in the 2nd watch and shall do it again in the 3rd watch thereby bringing the elect who repent to salvation and those that reject the Servants of the Lord and fail to recognize the day of visitation, under condemnation.

A very strong case can be made for the fact that the two prophets that torment Gods people during a 3 ½ period of time in the end times are these same two servants of God, although I currently believe that Elijah and Moses will return to fill those roles.

Joseph and Sidney have been commissioned to gather the elect while Elijah and Moses will probably gather the remnant in the second harvest. Joseph and Sidney appear to be commissioned to finish their TESTIMONY in the 3rd watch, so that the final testimony by which the world will be judged can be sealed up, yet we have been told in modern revelation that the last testimony of all the prophets was given during the 2nd watch, (see section 76)

Regarding the two witnesses who prophesy in the last days, we have been told:

3 And I will give power unto my TWO WITNESSES, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.

5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.

6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.

7 And when they shall have finished their TESTIMONY, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified.

9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.

10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.

11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

The Death of a Testator

For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without bloodHeb. 9: 16

(Regardless of whether the two witnesses mentioned in the Book of Revelation are Joseph and Sidney, Sidney and Lyman, Elijah and Moses, two mortals of our generation, etc., I am convinced that the testimony that they will be bearing witness of is the LAST testimony given to a terrestrial remnant, not the 144,000 who are referred to as the first fruits.

The Moses and Aaron Type

Just as Joseph was characterized as the latter day type of Moses, Sidney is characterized in the Book of Mormon and Old Testament JST as the latter day spokesman type of Aaron.

This is significant because Aaron and his seed represent the keepers of the law and the keepers of the temple and it needs to be a literal first born descendant of Aaron through the lineage of David that holds the keys of and sits on the seat of the temporal judgment seat.

In previous blogs we have addressed the fact that according to modern revelation, Sidney had been called to oversee a preparatory ministry BEFORE his ministry and followers merged with the restored church. One of the trademark characteristics of his ministry was that of living the New Testament Communal Law of having all things in common. (something rather appropriate for a literal descendant of Aaron to do)

The restoration of this law and the associated outgrowth of righteous judges or bishops to oversee the common storehouse began with Sidney long before Joseph ever received a revelation about this ancient practice.

Indeed, Joseph and his small flock were commanded by revelation to migrate to “the Ohio” where they would be given the LAW.

Is it a coincidence that Sidney and his two congregations were already living and practicing a form of biblical consecration in the very spot where God was commanding the restored church to assemble so that they could live the law and that Sidney was made equal with Joseph in holding the keys of the kingdom?

Section 35 provides an amazing summary of how God had called Sidney to do what he had already done in his preparatory ministry. It is not surprising that he compares Sidney to John the Baptist, who was apparently a direct descendant of Aaron, who held the priesthood by right in the meridian of time and who prepared the way of the Savior in the first watch.

While the preliminary ministry of Sidney had already begun to address the restoration of the LAW of CONSECRATION AND THAT OF GOSPEL LAW, The preliminary ministry of Joseph, on the other hand, was that of receiving and bearing witness of the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy.

Hence, the merging together of Joseph the prophet and Sidney the Priest was necessary so that eventually the law could be made binding and the testimony could be sealed up.

According to the law of witnesses where everything must be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses, it is fitting that Joseph and Sidney jointly bore witness of the father and the son… with Lyman Wight adding a third witness… one that was apparently rejected by many of the leading elders of the church, as prophesied in the Book of Mormon.

It is with this context that I and some of the readers of this blog have previously likened Joseph and Sidney to Nathan the prophet and David the King who sat on the judgment seat.

Nevertheless, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, the elect of God will be both kings and priests, just as Sidney and Joseph are, nevertheless they each exemplified one of those primary functions.

In this article I want to suggest that the office of Bishop or Bishopric might be linked to the true modern day version of the judgment seat held by righteous judges and kings anciently in the Old Testament and Book of Mormon

Before I had began connecting some of the above pieces of the puzzle together, I found it curious years ago to note that Sidney Rigdon was being referred to as “Bishop Sidney Rigdon of Pittsburgh” by himself, his followers and by Alexander Campbell…

It seems to me that with the exception of the Catholic Church, most other churches, (reformation churches) seldom used this term of bishop to describe there minsters. It seems to me that they  usually referred to the Sheppard’s of their congregations as “ministers”, “pastors” “evangelists” “deacons” and “elders”, etc.

This is fitting since, as we shall find out, Bishops only exist when the law of consecration is being introduced or lived.

The new testament gives us precious little information about the office of the Bishop, however it does reveal that the Bishop, along with being blameless and the husband of one wife, in conformity to the gospel law of monogamy, was the temporal STEWARD OF GOD.

1 Tim. 3: 1-2

1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

Titus 1: 7

7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Modern revelation provides additional information

“The office of the Bishop is in administering all temporal things“.

LDS Church historian Michael Quinn made the following observations about the development of the office of Bishop in LDS theology-

“The Presiding Bishopric was the fifth quorum of the hierarchy to develop. Of all the presiding quorums , the historical development of this office has been the most complex and the least understood. Joseph Smith established the possibility of a supreme, presiding bishop, but no one functioned in this capacity until after his death.

Smith first appointed “general bishops with broad geographical jurisdiction. Only later did he introduce the possibility of local bishops for smaller geographical units and a Presiding Bishop for the entire church….The two 1831 revelations which appointed Partridge and Whitney as Bishops, promised further instruction about the bishops duties (41:10 & 72:7) A later presiding Bishop, Edward Hunter, commented that in 1831 whitney “did not know at the time nor Joseph either what the position of a Bishop was.” Hunter significantly added that Whitney “thought like the Catholics and Episcopalians a Bishop was the highest office in the church“. Later revelation would (107:69-73) required a man to be ordained a high priest before he could be ordained a bishop (unless he was a direct descendent of Aaron). However Partridge served as bishop without high priest ordination. [for four month before the office of High Priest was restored to the church](pg 70) (this possibly indicates that he was a literal descendent of Aaron.)

In a very veiled message contained within section 58 the Lord revealed several fascinating things about the law and the testimony that are to be lived on his consecrated land.

See if you can identify what they are.

11 And after that cometh the day of my power; then shall the poor, the lame, and the blind, and the deaf, come in unto the marriage of the Lamb, and partake of the supper of the Lord, prepared for the great day to come.

12 Behold, I, the Lord, have spoken it.

13 And that the testimony might go forth from Zion, yea, from the mouth of the city of the heritage of God—

14 Yea, for this cause I have sent you hither, and have selected my servant Edward Partridge, and have appointed unto him his mission in this land.

15 But if he repent not of his sins, which are unbelief and blindness of heart, let him take heed lest he fall.

16 Behold his mission is given unto him, and it shall not be given again.

17 And whoso standeth in this mission is appointed to be a judge in Israel, like as it was in ancient days, to divide the lands of the heritage of God unto his children;

18 And to judge his people by the testimony of the just, and by the assistance of his counselors, according to the laws of the kingdom which are given by the prophets of God.

19 For verily I say unto you, my law shall be kept on this land.

20 Let no man think he is ruler; but let God rule him that judgeth, according to the counsel of his own will, or, in other words, him that counseleth or sitteth upon the judgment seat.

21 Let no man break the laws of the land, for he that keepeth the laws of God hath no need to break the laws of the land.

22 Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.

23 Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth. Behold, here is wisdom.

24 And now, as I spake concerning my servant Edward Partridge, this land is the land of his residence, and those whom he has appointed for his counselors; and also the land of the residence of him whom I have appointed to keep my storehouse;

Here are some of the observations I have made-

  • It is not until the day of power that the law of God will be successfully lived on Gods land
  • The testimony will go forth from Zion (the law from Jerusalem)
  • Bishops like Edward Partridge are to be Judges in Israel like in ancient times to divide the lands of heritage and to make temporal judgments according to the testimony of the just
  • A temporal representative of Jesus Christ who holds the proper keys of a temporal judge or king will reign by right of lineage prior to the reign of Christ
  • “AND ALSO THE LAND OF THE RESIDENCE OF HIM WHO I HAVE APPOINTED TO KEEP MY STOREHOUSE” In addition to Edward Partridge and his counselors who hold the office of Bishopric, there is another person who has been appointed to keep the Lords storehouse!

Who is this mystery person that had been appointed by God to keep the Lords storehouse? And why is it that God did not want to reveal who this person was during the second watch?

It appears that either Joseph, Sidney, Lyman or someone else was to act as the presiding bishop over the entire church and to eventually live in Zion, but God did not want that person to take their rightful place until the appointed time, after the purging and after the tribulation, in the third watch.

Below is what modern revelation says about the right of the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood.

KEYS OF BISHOP

D&C 68: 17-18; 107: 16, 70

17 For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same.

18 No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron.

70 For unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron he cannot hold the keys of that priesthood.

In the latter day corporate church the office of bishop is considered to be the spiritual, priesthood head of each individual congregation or “ward”.

As such, one would assume that the office of Bishop would have been one of the first priesthood offices to be restored in this dispensation.

However such an assumption appears to be wrong. The office of a bishop according to scripture, has no right to preside over spiritual things.

Although the office of elder was present in the restored church from the time that Peter James and John restored the patriarchal/evangelical priesthood (making Joseph and Oliver the first and second elders of the restoration) it was about one year after the restoration of the priesthood and the legal organization of the church before the Lord acknowledged the office of bishop and began calling people to that holy calling.

At that time, he called Edward Partridge to be the first bishop that we know of according to published revelations.

His place of stewardship in Gods vineyard was to preside as the local Bishop in Zion.

Shortly after that, Newel K. Whitney was called to preside as the Bishop in Kirtland.. this set a bishop over the land of Zion as well as one over the land of the latter day Jerusalem.

I believe the reason that bishops were not called to serve in the church for nearly a year after the priesthood was restored is that the office of Bishop only becomes applicable when the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL AND THE FULNESS OF THE LAW OF GOD have been restored to the earth and God is requiring the establishment of the law of consecration and a Bishops storehouse are on the earth.

Indeed, the office of Bishop only exists as a singular office when Gods people are going to consecrate and have a Bishops storehouse.

In other words, it is only after the law of the gospel, containing the law of consecration, as contained in section 42, has been restored and is being lived, that the office of Bishop is necessary.

Prior to the church living consecration, there is no need for the office of bishop. The church is simply presided over by elders who preside over spiritual things.

After the church has rejected the law of consecration, or has decided, for any reason, to not live it, the Bishops Storehouse becomes obsolete in its proper and full organization along with the active office of Bishop since there is no storehouse to preside over, in the calling of a temporal Judge in Israel.

Some have assumed that the office of bishop was revealed as early as April 1830 when section 20 was given because it addresses the office of the bishop, however, it is important to understand that the term bishop was added to that section after the fact, at a later time.

The Unpublished Revelation Expounding the Office of a Bishop

The very first published revelation mentioning the office of bishop is section 41, (given in Feb of 1831) in which the office is mentioned in preparation for the LAW which was given five days later, as revealed in section 42.

The LAW which was revealed in section 42 required the office of a bishop to preside over the consecrated storehouse.

In an unpublished revelation given in march 1832 the Lord revealed to the Lords two anointed servants, Joseph and Sidney, what the specific duty of the Bishop is. I don’t know why the revelation was not published in the D&C or why its contents has been obscured in the history of the church.

In this amazing revelation, the Lord revealed to Joseph and Sidney that the primary responsibility of a Bishop is to

“To administer the benefits of the Church or the overplusses of all who are in their stewardships”

The Bishop’s calling was quite singular. He was to deal exclusively with the saints in his geographical stewardship that had entered into the law of God, had consecrated and received their inheritances and stewardships. His responsibility in that calling had to do exclusively with judging temporal matters of the saints who were “in their stewardships“.

The Bishop was to

  • Receive the overplusses of everyone who entered into consecration
  • Put the overplusses into the storehouse and make sure the store house was kept full
  • Sit as a temporal judge, determining who of the widows, orphans and poor needed the temporal assets from the storehouse.

Interestingly, the term “judgment seat” according to this revelation simply has to do with righteously judging who qualified for and was in need of the temporal overplusses of those who had already consecrated and helped to fill the storehouse.

The judgment seat of the Bishop, according to this revelation, has nothing to do with giving spiritual counsel nor does it have to do with presiding over disciplinary courts pertaining to spiritual matters or making spiritual judgments or condemnations about the spiritual standing of other saints, men or women.

It specifically has to do with judging who is in need of the temporal assets of the storehouse. (It would appear as if it is because a Bishop is also a High Priest that he is able to make spiritual judgments)

The above definition of the judgment seat that a Bishop sits on provides a stark contrast to the judgment seat that worldly rulers sit on as they pass judgment on others, such as the judgment seat Pilot sat on (Matt. 27: 19
John 19: 13 ) and the judgment seat Ceasor sat on. (Acts 25: 6, 10, 17)

The scriptures do of course speak of different types of judgment seats including the judgment seat of righteous kings and ecclesiastical leaders as well which are a type of the great Judgment seat of Christ that is spoken of pertaining to the great day of judgment, however many of these scriptural references pertaining to judgment are quite different from the judgment seat that Bishops sit on in their temporal stewardships of watching over the storehouse and judging the needs of the poor.

The above mentioned unpublished revelation is in perfect harmony with the ancient prophecies that speak about judging the poor and fatherless. It is the ominous responsibility of the bishop to make temporal judgments about who is in need of the surpluses of the storehouse.

When the saints consecrate and the storehouse is filled, a righteous bishop will sit in the JUDGMENT SEAT and make sure that the widows and orphans never go without the temporal necessities of life.

I have provided a copy of this amazing unpublished revelation below. Read it carefully with a discerning eye, you might be surprised at the simplicity of the stewardship of the bishop and the blatant lack of jurisdiction he has over spiritual matters-

Historically it appears that Bishops in the latter day gentile church did in fact sit in judgment over spiritual matters during the laying of the foundation, however it is not because of their calling as a bishop, rather it is because they were also High Priests as well as Bishops.

Anciently, the office of bishop was given to those who were direct descendants of Aaron, whose birthright is to administer in temporal affairs, however the gentile church was told by the Lord that High Priests could serve in lesser callings, including that of a Bishop.

The literal first born among the sons of Aaron hold the right to preside as Bishops

There remain hereafter, in the due time of the Lord, other bishops to be set apart unto the church, to minister even according to the first; Wherefore they shall be high priests who are worthy, and they shall be appointed by the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood, except they be literal descendants of Aaron. And if they be literal descendants of Aaron they have a legal right to the bishopric, if they are the firstborn among the sons of Aaron; For the firstborn holds the right of the presidency over this priesthood, and the keys or authority of the same. No man has a legal right to this office, to hold the keys of this priesthood, except he be a literal descendant and the firstborn of Aaron.D&C 68:16-18

The above passage brings us back to the cryptic statements in section 58.

It appears there was someone living on the earth at the time that Joseph and Sidney were organizing the church and trying to establish Zion that had been appointed by God to be the presiding bishop.. even the prophesied one who right is was to reign in temporal judgment over Israel.

The first chapter of Isaiah speaks of the time when God would separate the wheat from the tares and restore the judges of Israel and their counselors so that Zion could finally be redeemed with JUDGMENT-

25 ¶ And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

Modern revelation tells us that when the servants return, and are restored to their previous stewardships, the Bishop who was also a high priest plays a significant role in warning the people to flee to Zion before the destruction hits.

114 Nevertheless, let the bishop go unto the city of New York, also to the city of Albany, and also to the city of Boston, and warn the people of those cities with the sound of the gospel, with a loud voice, of the desolation and utter abolishment which await them if they do reject these things.

115 For if they do reject these things the hour of their judgment is nigh, and their house shall be left unto them desolate.

116 Let him trust in me and he shall not be confounded; and a hair of his head shall not fall to the ground unnoticed.

117 And verily I say unto you, the rest of my servants, go ye forth as your circumstances shall permit, in your several callings, unto the great and notable cities and villages, reproving the world in righteousness of all their unrighteous and ungodly deeds, setting forth clearly and understandingly the desolation of abomination in the last days.

118 For, with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble.

119 For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.

120 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Amen.

Section 85 speaks of the time when this mysterious presiding bishop will return to take his rightful place and to “set the church in order” and give people their inheritances. This righteous judge is referred to as the ONE MIGHTY AND STRONG.

The counterpart or antagonist of the one mighty and strong is referred to as the one who was CALLED OF GOD but tried to STEADY THE ARK OF GOD. He took authority unto himself that was never his right to take, despite the fact that he had been called to a high position and was simply trying to be a caretaker of the church and keep the dogs and wolves out of the flock.

His ultimate fate is that he shall FALL BY THE SHAFT OF DEATH.

High Priests who serve as Bishops can also act in spiritual things as well as temporal things.

The office of a Bishop is an awesome responsibility. It will be an incredible blessing to the poor when the true office of bishop and high priest is restored to the earth.

Malachi speaks of the messenger of the Lord who will sit as a refiner and purifier of the sons of Levi so that they can offer an offering in righteousness.

He notes that Israel has previously neglected the ordinances and the storehouse resulting in the robbing of God.

He speaks of a time when the storehouse will be set up in righteousness.

Finally there will be meat in the Lords storehouse again and the accompanying blessings of living the law will be obtained.

1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.

2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:

3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts.

6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

7 ¶ Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 ¶ Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.

Isaiah spoke prophetically about how the latter day restored church would transgress from being a faithful city into a harlot!

At first it had righteous judges but then, murderers who did not provide righteous judgment for the fatherless and widows.

21 ¶ How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

22 Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water:

23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

24 Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies:

25 ¶ And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin:

26 And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city.

27 Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.

28 ¶ And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.

Again and again the prophets foretold how the latter day church would trespass against the law and the covenant.

Hosea notes that latter day Israel would set up her own kings but not according to the will of God

1 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.

2 Israel shall cry unto me, My God, we know thee.

3 Israel hath cast off the thing that is good: the enemy shall pursue him.

4 They have set up kings, but not by me: they have made princes, and I knew it not: of their silver and their gold have they made them idols, that they may be cut off. Hosea 8: 1

Hosea saw the time when God would cut of the unrighteous judge because latter day Israel has despised the law of the Lord.

1 Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:

2 But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kirioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:

3 And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the Lord.

4 ¶ Thus saith the Lord; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the Lord, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

5 But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

Amos 2: 4

A theme throughout Isaiah is how his latter day church would reject the Law of the Lord. In Isaiah 5 we are informed that Gods wrath would devour the stubble because Gods people “they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel“. Isa. 5: 24

8 ¶ Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

9 That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord:

10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Isa. 30: 9

22 But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses: they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.

23 Who among you will give ear to this? who will hearken and hear for the time to come?

24 Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the Lord, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law.

25 Therefore he hath poured upon him the fury of his anger, and the strength of battle: and it hath set him on fire round about, yet he knew not; and it burned him, yet he laid it not to heart.

Isa. 42: 21, 24

The one mighty and strong in section 85 and Isaiah 28 is also mentioned in Isaiah 11. This person will judge the poor and the meek of the earth in righteousness.

1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Truly latter day Israel has broken the everlasting covenant and despised the law of the gospel and many have rejected the testimony. We have rejected the law of consecration, lost sight of what the office of the Bishop really is and we have denied what the real office of the High Priest really is.

The time is coming however when the God of Israel is going to return our judges and their councilors as at first. The real office of bishop and the real office of High Priest will be returned to the earth and the law will again be established.

The servants of God will bind up the law and seal up the testimony.

He whose right to reign will reign preparatory to the reign of Christ on this earth during the millennium.

Praise God.


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4 Responses to The Law, The Testimony & Judgment Seat

  1. NEPT says:

    Methinks the balance tips toward SR as the “one mighty and strong”, no? Perhaps v.22 of D&C 58 also pertains to the mysterious keeper of the storehouse…

    “Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.”

    —–

    I love the concept of a righteous king and his seer/prophet. Although the David/Nathan pair is relevant, I can’t help but find the many analogies of this post to Judah’s king Hezekiah and his seer Isaiah. The parallel to the storehouse is astoundingly relevant. Hezekiah sets the house of God in order by “purifying” the Levites and then establishes the storehouse. Moreover, they are the Levites who cleanse the temple and oversee the consecrated properties in the storehouse, which makes Malachi’s prophecy about the “tithes and offerings” that much clearer….

    “And he (the king/messenger/one mighty and strong) shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”

    And it was Hezekiah’s seer, Isaiah, who prophesied that the silver would become dross, hence the need for refining…

    “How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.”

    The analogy is only too clear when we realize that this prophecy of Isaiah was also something that Isaiah witnessed first hand. Hezekiah’s son, Manasseh, turned from the Lord and his father’s ways to defame the temple and to shed innocent blood (he had turned to murder, among other things)…

    “Surely at the commandment of the Lord came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;

    “And also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the Lord would not pardon.” (2 Kings 24:3-4)

    And because of Manasseh’s sins, the inhabitants of Judah were scattered…

    “And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem.” (Jeremiah 15:4)

    The parallels with latter-day Israel just never end, do they?

  2. Thank you for those insights NEPT

    “Methinks the balance tips toward SR as the “one mighty and strong”, no? Perhaps v.22 of D&C 58 also pertains to the mysterious keeper of the storehouse…

    “Wherefore, be subject to the powers that be, until he reigns whose right it is to reign, and subdues all enemies under his feet.”

    I agree with you about the scales tipping toward Rigdon… although I must confess, I find the two callings and prophetic promises extremely close and very hard to distinguish at times.

    “I can’t help but find the many analogies of this post to Judah’s king Hezekiah and his seer Isaiah.”

    Great point!

    By the way, NEPT have your read the letter from JS to James Strang lately? there is some interesting stuff in it..

    I may be doing a post on it soon. You might find it interesting.

  3. Fabledsog says:

    I am having a hard time, trying to combine the roles and missions of oms/messenger in Malachi/keeper of the Lord’s storehouse/stem of Jesse/ and whose right it is.

    Firstly, Ive juggled the oms title alot among Joseph,Sidney and Christ. There is two almost word for word references that link Joseph and the oms.

    From his mothers dream of where Joseph said he will come with the scepter(sceptre) of power.
    http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/Lucy/introduction.htm

    From his patriarchal blessing from his father wherein it states that Joseph’s bowels(bowles) shall be a fountain of truth.
    http://www.xmission.com/~research/about/patb1.htm

    With the above, JS has a high possibility of being the oms. But why does the oms have to be only one person? Is it possible, because of the oneness concept/portrayal in Isaiah, that the oms is a combination of Joseph and Sidney? In fact the oms just be Joseph, and Sidney who has Jesus Christ(light) for a covering which would make them appear as one.

    The messenger in Malachi I believe to be Jesus Christ. If there is a personification for law and testimony, who is the personification of the most important aspect for our lives, if it were not applicable, law and testimony would be of no use. Who is the personification of the fulness of the gospel, or everlasting covenant? With the inspired version of John Chp 1 vs 1-14. I learned that Jesus Christ was the gospel/Word made flesh! So Jesus Christ being the everlasting covenant made flesh, with Zion in the bosom of the Lord. Section 45:vs9 is truly also speaking about the Sons role.

    9 And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a “messenger before my face to prepare the way before me.”
    (Doctrine and Covenants | Section 45:9)
    Major link to the messenger in Malachi, imho the Lord will send Elijah the Prophet before the great day of the Lord when Christ the messenger comes. Section 128:24 adds some minor changes to the Malachi verses. Zech 13;8-9 supports the idea that Christ is the messenger.

    Keeper of the Lord’s Storehouse, its a subject I’ve come across but haven’t yet put time with it like other subjects. So maybe some other time I’ll expound on my thoughts. But I will say this that Joseph of Egypt was in charge of the storehouses in his time, although he sold to the Egyptians; to his family fulfilled temporal needs without price kinda like the true office of bishop, from what I understand.

    The verses of 1-5 in Isaiah 11 which are about the stem of Jesse, maybe it attributes to the role of the presiding Bishop. But to me the verse underlined its the poor in spirit, rather than the poor in pocket, but I will note the fact, that sometimes people are poor in both areas. Here is the same verse but in more of a spiritual context.

    8 And it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth.
    9 And with righteousness shall the Lord God judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth. And he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
    10 For the time speedily cometh that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people, and the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire.
    11 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
    (Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 30:8 – 11)

    Oh and far as the rod and root are concerned I know longer think they are certain individuals but rather roles and offices. I.E Both Sidney and Joseph are roots of Jesse(priests/elders) before they go through Christ and become rods of Jesse(high priests).But then again I still could be wrong with this view.

    Last but not least. Whose right it is to reign. Who subdues all enemies under his feet. Again I believe this is Christ, most if not all with key words subdues, under and feet. They relate more to Christ than a mere mortal. I don’t believe in someone to reign before Christ, even if I did, the closest would be Adam.

    The first part to the verse, Be subject to the powers that be, I use to view it as be subject to the worldly kingdoms, governments etc. But I feel the Lord was saying to be subjects to His servants, other words pretty much fulfill the Law of Consecration. And then when the Law is fulfilled, the Lord will finally come down and reign over his people. Oh and theoretically or heretically speaking: the true laws of the land, might be in fact the laws that were given by God, laws of the church. But because of the Lord’s wisdom and the seers foresight, it would seem the laws of the land commandment attribute to the government, and that’s how its usually interpreted. But now methinks otherwise.

    But anyways this was an excellent post and made me think about how offices and roles are simple and complicated all at the same time. Curse this drunken stupor.

    Fabled

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts Fabled

    I think most would agree that Christ is ultimately the king who will rule and the one who is ultimately mighty and strong.

    It is his power that will make the weak things of the earth strong.

    Nevertheless, he does work through his servants prior to his literal return.

    As I mentioned before, the roles of the spokesman and the seer are so closely meshed together it is hard to differentiate them.

    I noticed in the letter from JS to Strang that JS referred to himself as the marred servant, etc.

    Was he inspired in that declaration?

    I don’t know.

    As long as the duo are on the same team when they return, and as long as it is Christ’s team, I am not that concerned about all of the differentiation between callings and offices.

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