After posting my last blog post highlighting some comments from “M” and discussing some commentary that Avraham Gileadi has provided about Isaiah 52, I got a comment in my “about” section from an ardent Gileadi disciple. He exclaimed:
“I just read your latest blog and do not agree.”
The two of us had a little exchange in the comment section which I also provided on that last posting as an update.
Anyone interested in the exchange can go there to read it.
After the exchange, the fellow returned and made the following comments and observations:
“About the last thing I want to be is contentious so I will tread lightly.
I thought you also said, “It causes me to wonder if he has arrived at this conclusion recently.” I disagreed with you because Gileadi is now and has been consistent in looking for a Davidic Servant which is not Joseph Smith.
Occasionally I have the privilege of asking him questions and he always answers me succinctly. One of my questions has been, ‘why are some members of our church so against what you say?’ I then ask, ‘do you play the role of a prophet?’ To which he says he is more of a scribe. Scribes, after all, do not make things up, but elucidate and clarify what is written in scripture for our time.
Gileadi would NEVER reject anything the Lord says, and we can trust him on that.
In other words (and unfortunately for me), he is not a speculator like I want him to be. BTW…I think you are more informed about things generally than I, but a speculator you are (and you have stated as such). His advice has always been to find out what’s in scripture precisely before saying ANYTHING. Ouch. I am always so disappointed when I get advice like that, but he is right.
Since you asked, I looked up in my copy of The Last Days, 1991 (first edition), by Gileadi, pages 177-259, “Priesthood, Patriarchy and Proxy Salvation” for the exhaustive discussion about Hezekiah and Davidic Covenant which, I also remember in his book “Isaiah Decoded.”
Anyway..and In conclusion: I was reading D&C 90:3-4 today and thought of you. Speaking to Joseph the Lord said, “Verily I say unto you, the keys of this kingdom shall never be taken from you, while thou art in the world, neither in the world to come; Nevertheless, through you shall the oracles be given to another, yea, even unto the church. And all they who receive the oracles of God, let them beware how they hold them lest they are accounted as a light thing, and are brought under condemnation thereby, and stumble and fall when the storms descend, and the winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon their house.”
I don’t know exactly how the mortal Davidic Servant will operate, but I am confident his authority will hinge from the keys of the key holder of this last dispensation. When I think about it, there will be a great deal of temporal and spiritual work to do in ushering the Millennial age to this earth. For starters, Ephraimites need to start acting like Israel again (in other words shed our lost tribe status), and who better to teach us than another mortal? it’s too late for Joseph because he’s already ascended above us.
Treading carefully again in my opinion, you and I need to be more careful about how we speculate in this last space of time before the “winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon..” our house. Our church members are not reading the scriptures like we should and thus we are easily drawn away from what the scriptures are actually saying….etc…
It’s too bad you aren’t in my high priest group on Sundays because you would keep things lively for me.”
This good fellow did not want to be offensive or condescending as he reminded me that Brother Gileadi is an inspired Jewish “Scribe” that strictly sticks with what the Lord says and he never speculates.
I, on the other hand, am just an Ephraimite speculator. (In the profound words of my great great grandpappy Brigham Young, I am not a prophet, or the son of a prophet, I am a “Yankee Guesser“! LOL)
“Scribes, after all, do not make things up, but elucidate and clarify what is written in scripture for our time. Gileadi would NEVER reject anything the Lord says, and we can trust him on that.”
Here is my reply to him-
“About the last thing I want to be is contentious so I will tread lightly. I thought you also said, “It causes me to wonder if he has arrived at this conclusion recently.” I disagreed with you because Gileadi is now and has been consistent in looking for a Davidic Servant which is not Joseph Smith.”
I wasn’t saying that Gileadi has not been consistent in looking for a Davidic Servant that was not Joseph Smith. [Frankly, that is one of the biggest problems with Brother Gileadi’s message] I simply think you misunderstood what I was saying.
It was never my intent to question whether Gileadi has been consistently teaching about the topic of the “Davidic Servant” or “Davidic King” that provides protection for his people, or the topic of “proxy saviors” or “proxy salvation” or “vassals” and “suzerain king” etc. I understand that he speaks of these general concepts particularly in reference to the latter day servant of the Lord. I very much appreciate that he does speak of these things.
What I had never detected from Gileadi’s writings is that he may have come to the conclusion that I have arrived at, which is that there is a very specific, identifiable prophetic event that takes place in the last days wherein the Davidic servant literally takes upon himself the sins of his people as an intercessory act (atonement offering) that causes him to be marred and that he needs to be healed of; An intercessory act that prevents his people from being destroyed from off the face of the earth.
That is what I was getting excited about. I felt that what Gileadi was saying in the blurb was more congruent with my findings (not referring to Joseph Smith as the servant, but simply the narrative about having the sins of Israel put upon him) than anything else I had heard him say. It is very possible that he wasn’t even saying what I thought he was saying.
I suspect that you have read my thesis about the Intercessory offering by the latter day servant. I would not be surprised if Gileadi has read it as well. In it, I claim that the Davidic servant in 2 Samuel 7 is NOT referring to Christ or Solomon as the literal fulfillment of the prophecy. My contention is that Joseph Smith fulfills every aspect of the prophecy. I then reference many other Old Testament prophecies to support the thesis, including the atonement statute in Leviticus 16, which I believe is also a prophecy about the same event.
(If you have not read the thesis, it is here
The thing that struck me about the statement by Gileadi that “M” referred me to is that it sounded to me as if he was describing something quite similar to what I am saying in my thesis, despite the fact that he and I disagree about WHO the servant is.
That was the only point I was trying to make. I was not saying that Gileadi was softening about Joseph Smith being the Davidic servant and I was not saying that he had not spoken in general terms about how davidic servants can act a protectors, etc., I was simply saying that the explanation and verbiage that he used, particularly in reference to Isaiah 52 and the “marred servant” narrative seemed to be more to the point of what my research has led me to conclude about the servant being spoken of.
I appreciate that you don’t want to be contentious. I don’t either. But there is no need for you to tread lightly, I want you to be hard hitting in what you believe and in the points you want to make. I want you to stand up valiantly for what you believe in and to defend the beliefs of your friend Brother Gileadi, because that is how we learn from each other .
There is no need to be thin skinned. We need to be bold in declaring the truth as we see it.
I realize that in my enthusiasm and passion about these topics, I sometimes sound more contentious and combative in a personal sense than I mean to be. To me it is not personal; it is somewhat of a contest of ideas. It is a contest of proving which doctrines are sound and which ones are not.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with being hard hitting with regard to doctrine and in showing someone where they err in doctrine. I believe that debating the meaning of scripture can be beneficial if both parties sincerely just want to get to the truth while trying to be respectful and understand each other.
Joseph and Sidney were commanded to confound their enemies that were spreading false rumors and false doctrine:
2 Verily I say unto you, proclaim unto the world in the regions round about, and in the church also, for the space of a season, even until it shall be made known unto you.
3 Verily this is a mission for a season, which I give unto you.
4 Wherefore, labor ye in my vineyard. Call upon the inhabitants of the earth, and bear record, and prepare the way for the commandments and revelations which are to come.
5 Now, behold this is wisdom; whoso readeth, let him understand and receive also;
6 For unto him that receiveth it shall be given more abundantly, even power.
7 Wherefore, confound your enemies; call upon them to meet you both in public and in private; and inasmuch as ye are faithful their shame shall be made manifest.
8 Wherefore, let them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord.
9 Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you—there is no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper;
10 And if any man lift his voice against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time.
11 Wherefore, keep my commandments; they are true and faithful. Even so. Amen.
Frankly, I would really like to meet brother Gileadi either in public or in private in a friendly debate because I think that much of the great work he has done is negated by the fact that he is indoctrinating his followers into rejecting who the true servant really is.
That is a serious thing.
Would you be willing to pass on this challenge to your friend and ask him if he would be willing to have a friendly little debate in private or public over this issue?
You have said:
.”Gileadi would NEVER reject anything the Lord says, and we can trust him on that.”
I am sorry, but I have to disagree with you on that. He already has rejected something the Lord has said.
I don’t mean to be mean spirited or demeaning; I am simply calling a spade, a spade.
Brother Gileadi as set himself up as an expert in Hebrew and furthermore, he considers himself an inspired scribe that is inspired in the art of understanding ancient scripture and prophecy. Therefore it is fair to scrutinize his claims and to see if he is teaching sound doctrine.
Allow me to explain my concerns.
I have presented you with a literal example of how Gileadi has in fact rejected what the Lord says and you have not defended the claim in his behalf. If you have been in contact with him about this discussion, then perhaps your neglect in mounting a defense is a result of his neglect in defending his position.
Now that I know that you are personal acquaintances with brother Gileadi and that you have a line of communication with him wherein he answers questions that you ask him, I am going to ask him a question through you and see if he is able and willing to defend himself.
In your last communication, you said this:
” 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.”
Lets analyze what is taking place here.
You took a scriptural narrative to brother Gileadi that indicates that Joseph Smith is the Davidic servant. That narrative is clearly provided in modern revelation.
Brother Gileadi simply responded with a personal opinion that has no scriptural backing.
“we don’t need to have men come back from the past to fulfill God’s purposes.”
Sadly, he did not feel the need to substantiate what he was saying with scripture.
Is he speaking on behalf of the Lord? I don’t think so because he told you he is more of a scribe than a prophet and he did not say “thus sayeth the Lord”
So why did he feel that he did not need to justify the personal opinion he proffered with the word of God?
I am now going to ask the same question I asked you earlier only I am going to break it down and be much more specific just in case you or he, is unfamiliar with what scripture says.
First of all, God has told us that every unconditional promise and prophecy in the D&C will come true. I use the following passages of scripture to justify that claim:
“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.”
OK now, I need you to ask brother Gileadi if he accepts the Doctrine and Covenants as scripture. [ask him is he accepts latter day revelation to be] just as valid as the book of Isaiah.
If he does, please ask him to agree or disagree with my interpretation of the above passages.
If he thinks I am wresting the meaning of the scriptures, please ask him to explain why I am wrong. Have him break it down for me in simple terms so that I can understand what the above passages really mean.
Now then, if he agrees with my interpretation of the above passages, then lets go on to the next passages that I am presenting as evidence that Joseph Smith is the Davidic Servant.
The following passages are taken from section 103 of the D&C. Please have him read them carefully and not take anything for granted.
“Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;
16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.
17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.
18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.
19 Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence.
20 But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.
21 Verily, verily I say unto you, that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. is the man to whom I likened the servant to whom the Lord of the vineyard spake in the parable which I have given unto you.
22 Therefore let my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. say unto the strength of my house, my young men and the middle aged—Gather yourselves together unto the land of Zion, upon the land which I have bought with money that has been consecrated unto me.
23 And let all the churches send up wise men with their moneys, and purchase lands even as I have commanded them.
24 And inasmuch as mine enemies come against you to drive you from my goodly land, which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion, even from your own lands after these testimonies, which ye have brought before me against them, ye shall curse them;
25 And whomsoever ye curse, I will curse, and ye shall avenge me of mine enemies.
26 And my presence shall be with you even in avenging me of mine enemies, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.”
To fully appreciate what is being said in section 103, brother Gileadi needs to carefully read the parable of the redemption of Zion in section 101 [which it makes reference to].
My interpretation of the above passages is that Joseph Smith is the servant mentioned in the parable of the redemption of Zion that is given in section 101 and that he will literally fulfill the parable to the letter.
He will, as unconditionally stated in the above passages, be raise up and will go forth in power.
He will lead the Lords people forth with a stretched forth arm just as Moses did. Just as Moses was successful at leading the children of Israel out of bondage, Joseph Smith will be successful in leading the latter day saints out of bondage.
Verse 26 informs us that when Joseph Smith returns, it will be during the time of the 3rd and 4th generation of those living back [during that generation] in 1834, that hate the Lord.
Ask Brother Gileadi to show why the above interpretation is wrong.
I am not looking for his personal opinion as to why we do or don’t need someone to return from the dead, I am asking him to explain why he disregards the literal declarations of the Lord.
Now, the next passage I want to present is found in Section one of the D&C, the same section that the Lord declares that all of the promises and prophecies will be fulfilled:
“1 HEARKEN, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
2 For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.
3 And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.
4 And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.
5 And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.
6 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.”
In my opinion, a literal interpretation of the above passages would indicate that when the appointed time comes, Gods servants will go forth providing a voice of warning. The servants are described as “my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.”
As you can see, the disciples that go forth warning the people in power, [in the last days] had already been chosen by the Lord by the time that revelation was given in November of 1831.
Providing even more clarity as to who the servant are, the Lord declares that the servants being referenced, are the same disciples that had been commissioned to publish the revelations in the BofC and the D&C.
As I am sure you and brother Gileadi are aware, the committee that was commissioned to publish the revelations was composed of Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Oliver Cowdery and Frederick G. Williams
The way I interpret that unconditional promise and prophecy by the Lord is that those four individuals will be among the ones that go forth in power with the voice of warning to the inhabitants of the world.
Please ask brother Gileadi if he disagrees with my literal interpretation of the above passages and if in fact they are not congruent with the prophecies contained in sections 101 and 103.
There are other passages the support the ones mentioned above which I will bring up in the live debate [that I have invited brother Gileadi to participate in].
Finally, you made the following statement:
“Treading carefully again in my opinion, you and I need to be more careful about how we speculate in this last space of time before the “winds blow, and the rains descend, and beat upon..” our house. Our church members are not reading the scriptures like we should and thus we are easily drawn away from what the scriptures are actually saying….etc…”
The problem with you directing the above statement to me is that it applies to brother Gileadi more than it does to me.
I am the one backing my conclusions up with scripture. He is the one throwing out personal opinions about people not needing to come back from the dead without providing any scriptural support for what he was saying.
I look forward to hearing brother Gileadi’s responses to my above questions and I am hopeful that he would be willing to have a personal discussion with me in public or in private.
Thank you for your consideration”
Sadly, I have not yet received a reply from Brother Gileadi or his friend.
I hope one is forthcoming.
I hope he accepts my challenge to meet him in a debate of these most important topics.
I look forward to challenging some of his false interpretations and conclusions.
While I respect the fact that he has an impressive secular education and has spent many years trying to understand what Isaiah is saying, my contention is that you can never fully understand Isaiah until and unless you learn to understand and believe modern revelation.
From everything I can ascertain, Brother Gileadi takes modern revelation lightly and seldom if ever takes the unconditional promises and prophecies in it literally. He seldom employs modern revelation as an interpretive key in understanding Isaiah. For this reason, Brother Gileadi still has not figured out who the Jews are or where Jerusalem is, with regard to Isaiah’s prophecies of the last days.
I have provided a huge amount of scriptural documentation to establish the truth behind these issues and I am offering to let Brother Gileadi show me how I error in these conclusions:
A Mystical Look at the LDS Restoration Movement
Until Brother Gileadi has an awakening to the hidden truths contained in the Book of Mormon and the D&C, his teachings relative to Isaiah will continue to echo many of the false prophetic assumptions that our protestant friends have been spewing for years.
It is because of false teachers assuring Latter day Saints that we don’t need people to come back from the dead, and that we need to look to temporary luminaries to find the prophesied Davidic Servant, that we get so many wing-nuts rising up, claiming to be the servant of the Lord who leads us into a Zion society. It would be interesting to know how many of the followers of you know who, had been prepared to be deceived by him, because of the indoctrination of brother Gileadi.
I don’t know if it was just a coincidence or if it was motivated by this recent exchange, but I just got the following email from another person who is asking me to state my prophetic credentials. Here is what he said in the email:
I like to learn and observe and see how others react to new and different information. As to myself I like reading what you have to offer. It provides me with a different insight of how people think and also there rational.
A thought has been going through my head as to this, If we really knew who we are and our parentage would we recognize our state now on this earth and how to use those parental powers. As I read the scriptures I pray that my eyes may see, my mine will be open, and that my heart will recognize the truth from my Heavenly Father and my Savior.
This scripture was revealed to me last year as I was pondering the everlasting work and the word of my Lord.
14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
This scripture gives to me the priority of how much credence I listen to someone. And I take things literally because it does and can happen.
So my question to you is this, base off of the scriptures you research..
I know that you are not the Lord.
Are you the Lord?
So are you his servant? If so, whom say that you are?
Are you a Prophet? If so, whom say that you are?
Are you an Apostle? If so, whom say that you are?
Who are you??????? In the order of communication???
I know, Now please refer your post. J
I have not replied yet to DL so I will do it here
I don’t claim to be the Lord.
I don’t claim to be His Servant
I don’t claim to be a Prophet
I don’t claim to be an Apostle
I guess I am just a lowly Ephraimite Speculator and Yankee Guesser 😉