Notable Emails Part 13 “Gileadi compares the Servant to Hezekiah, in that he answered for the temporal sins of the people and acted as a proxy savior”

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I recently got an email from a remarkable gal who said I could share it. Along with withholding her name, I have omitted a few details in what she said to further ensure anonymity.
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Dear Watcher, 

I was listening to Avraham Gileadi explain Chapter 52 of Isaiah the other day, and was interested to hear him speak about the Lord’s Servant in the last days who sinned by following the ways of his heart and was smitten and later healed by the Lord. Gileadi compares the Servant to Hezekiah, in that he answered for the temporal sins of the people and acted as a proxy savior (ie.for their disloyalties to God). Perhaps you’re already aware of this, but if not, the point of interest can be heard around the 20 minute mark at this 

link:http://www.isaiahexplained.com/52#one_col 

Also, I want to thank you for your example to me. Three years ago, I lived with an ever-increasing weight of cognitive dissonance on my shoulders. Most of the time, I felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place (a symptom I now recognize as a result of growing up in the LDS church and only seeing things in black and white). It wasn’t until I stumbled onto your blog, that I saw that between that rock and hard place was a door leading to a place of peace and light and truth that I never imagined existed. My whole paradigm has changed and I thank God for leading me out from the traditions of my fathers and showing me a better way.

I have read pretty much everything you have ever written and thanks to your example, I am devouring the scriptures like never before. There is so much to learn! When I was a newly-wed, about 10 years ago, my father told me that I shouldn’t worry about not making it to the celestial kingdom, that because I’d gone through the temple, I was automatically ‘in’. I remember thinking that if that’s all it took, well… is that it? just like that? I have always felt life is meant to be a time of expansion, of experiencing the depth and range of life experience, doing those things that have meaning, of seeking God out, laying it all at His feet and to have Him change me – a spiritual rebirth. My father’s answer puzzled me at the time and now it breaks my heart. There really is so much more to this journey.

I introduced my husband to the church… [before they got married] … and we both served missions…We’re in a really difficult time of life now and just clinging to the love we have for each other and our children and the basic gospel principles that we share a belief in. I really pray he will have an open heart and see things as they are without losing his faith altogether. What I’ve found, I want to shout in everybody’s ear, but I hold back and wait and hope and try not to think about how lonely this feels. Thank you for your blog! I so enjoy reading and learning from you and the comments.

Warmest regards,

“M”

My reply-

“M”

Thank you for that link, I was aware that Gileadi taught about “proxy saviors” but was unaware that he made specific reference to the end times servant having sinned in behalf of his people and then eventually healed by the Lord.. that is awesome and I look forward to hearing it!

 I am devouring the scriptures like never before. There is so much to learn!”

Praise God almighty!!!! That is so exciting that you are personally establishing a deep relationship with God’s holy word.

 “We’re in a really difficult time of life now and just clinging to the love we have for each other and our children and the basic gospel principles that we share a belief in. I really pray he will have an open heart and see things as they are without losing his faith altogether.

We live in a time when those of us that have been awakened to the miracle of God’s word and the beginning of the magnificent spiritual rebirth, must be patient with everyone around us and simply rely on the love of Christ that you referenced above. 

These are really difficult times for many people and the heat is going to be turned up a notch in the near future… may we all be vigilant as we go through the refiners fire.

Mrs Watcher and I will pray for you and your dear husband. Thank you so much for sharing with us what you are experiencing. God is obviously working a marvelous work in your life with regard to the scriptures. May the Lord continue to bless and enlighten you in your daily walk with the Lord.”

After the email exchange I could not wait to listen to the blurb by Gileadi and I was absolutely blown away by what I heard.

Here is the transcript I made which may not be word perfect, but you will get the general idea… (better yet, click on the link she gave and listen to the recording yourself)

First, Gileadi quotes scripture-

21:26 “the Lord smote him and then healed him…  By his sin of covetousness I was provoked, I struck him and hid my face in anger when he strayed following the ways of his heart yet I have seen his conduct and will heal him and recover him I will guide him and amply console him and those who  mourn for him says the Lord who heals him.

Then, Gileadi gives the following commentary:

“It seems like it’s hardly his own fault, on the other hand the servant is like Hezekiah, he takes upon himself, or he answers for the sins of the people to God and Hezekiah is smitten instead of them after the pattern of Christ in chapter 53 Christ pays the price of our sins for our spiritual salvation, Hezekiah pays the price for the peoples temporal salvation. He answers for their disloyalty to their God and thus be becomes a proxy savior to them.

Astounding!

Obviously, I have some differences of opinion with Brother Gileadi regarding this section of scripture.

For one thing, he seems to think that the marring is a physical marring. I tend to think it has reference to the spiritual, emotional, and reputational marring from the burden of bearing Israel’s sins and possibly from what he has experienced in the spirit world since his death. Of course my interpretation of that passage is influenced by the fact that I believe the prophecy is referring to Joseph Smith. Brother Gileadi has told several people that he does not believe it is Joseph Smith. He is apparently still looking for a future Davidic Servant.

There are a few other insignificant issues that we disagree on as well. Nevertheless I am grateful for another voice out there is that is pointing out that the latter day servant offered up an intercessory offering and answers for the sins of the people.

I must say, I am baffled at what I heard because I remember listening to this segment years ago and did not remember him saying that. Furthermore, I have never heard any of his listeners talk about this concept, until “M” brought it to my attention, and lastly, I attended one of his lectures last year when he addressed the topic of “proxy saviors”, and again, he did not mention anything about the Lord’s latter day servant being a proxy savior that provided an intercessory atonement offering, and took the sins of the people upon himself, that I can recall. It causes me to wonder if he has arrived at this conclusion recently.

I looked up that particular link on the way back machine just out of curiosity to see if he had made any updates or changes to that particular page in recent times because I am curious to know if he has always taught that or if this is a recent epiphany that he has had.

gileadi

It appears as if he has made some changes or updates on the 14th and 24th of February. Of course the changes may have had nothing to do with the part in question.

At any rate, it doesn’t really matter one way or the other. The important thing is that someone with his knowledge of Hebrew is seeing what he is seeing. Regardless of whether he has always made this observation or whether the Lord has recently opened his eyes to it, the important thing is that he sees  it and has documented it.
Praise God.
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*UPDATE*
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I just got the following comments from a fellow:
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“I just read your latest blog and do not agree. For as long as I have listened to Gileadi (admittedly only since 2012), he has consistently denied Joseph Smith as the Servant whenever I asked. I remember him distinctly saying to always look for players in our own time, because we don’t need to have men come back from the past to fulfill God’s purposes. I understand him better now when he says that’s how we frequently get it so wrong, because we assume things that are not verified in the text of scripture. There is a good discussion about Hezekiah and the Davidic Covenant in the Literary Message of Isaiah, 1994 (second edition, 2012), by Gileadi, pages 39-53, and in the section on “Suffering and Salvation,” pages 183-239, but I am certain he wrote about the same things in the 1980s in his two books with Deseret Book.

Jonathan Felt”

My response:
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“Thank you for your observations Jonathan-I am a little confused by your declaration that you don’t agree with my post, followed by your observation that Gileadi has consistently denied Joseph Smith as the Servant. That is exactly what I said:

“Brother Gileadi has told several people that he does not believe it is Joseph Smith. He is apparently still looking for a future Davidic Servant.”

What part of the above comment did you not understand?

With regard to your contention that Gileadi has previously taught that the end times servant of the Lord does an intercession and takes upon himself the sins of the people, I am very excited to hear that, if it is true. I was not categorically claiming that Gileadi has never previously taught that, I was simply saying that I did not remember hearing him teach it, nor have any of his readers prior to “M” brought it to my attention.

Here is what I said:

“I must say, I am baffled at what I heard because I remember listening to this segment years ago and did not remember him saying that. Furthermore, I have never heard any of his listeners talk about this concept, until “M” brought it to my attention, and lastly, I attended one of his lectures last year when he addressed the topic of “proxy saviors”, and again, he did not mention anything about the Lord’s latter day servant being a proxy savior that I can recall. It causes me to wonder if he has arrived at this conclusion recently.”

As you can see, I did not claim categorically that Gileadi has not previously taught that the end times servant provides and intercession and takes the sins of the people upon himself, I am simply stating that I was not aware that he had, and I was speculating, and not sure if he had previously taught that.

I really appreciate hearing that he does teach this concept in two of his previous books, if that is the case.

Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

Unfortunately, I don’t own either of those two books and do not desire to purchase either of them. I do have his “The Last Days, Types and Shadows…” book which I love. And I have his “Isaiah Decoded” book which I did not enjoy at all. It seems strange to me that he does not cover this concept in either of those books, if my dwindling memory serves me correctly. If I am wrong, please direct me to the appropriate pages. Now I am curious and may go back and look in those books. It has been a long time since I have read them…

Regarding the two books that you referenced, would you be willing to provide a direct quote from one or both of them for me to review? I would be happy to update my post with your comments and with the quotes from his book.

With regard to his rejection of Joseph Smith returning, it really baffles and saddens me that he denies the many unconditional promises in the D&C regarding Joseph’s return, not to mention prophetic declarations from Isaiah such as found in Isaiah 49 that are so clearly referencing the return of a servant that failed in his first attempt to gather Israel but is ultimately successful.

How does he justify believing in a God that makes unconditional promises in modern revelation and then fails to fulfill them? Does he reject the fact that God is all knowing and has all time, past present, and future continually before his eyes?

Has Gileadi ever addressed D&C 1:6-7, 38-39 and explained why he rejects those declarations of the Lord?

“Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.
7 Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.
Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.”

I would love to hear his explanation on why he seems to believe that God’s word is not true and faithful and will not all be fulfilled. “

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