In part 1 of this series I noted that in 2nd Nephi 32, the prophet is teaching the people about the doctrine of Christ and the importance of repentance and entering into the strait gate through water baptism.
He then he declares that there will be no more doctrine given until Christ manifests himself in the flesh.
“there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh”
I noted that some of the fringe groups have been deluded into thinking that they have had the true baptism and have become “righteous”.
Because of this delusion, they feel that they should now be seeking the “second comforter” and their “calling and election”
Some erroneously claim to have had the second comforter.
Because of the strong delusion that has come upon these folks, they have misinterpreted the above passage, thinking that it is referring to the random personal visitations of Christ to individuals as the second comforter rather than referring to a prophesied group visitation.
I believe the proper interpretation of the above passage is that Christ would be visiting the more righteous portion of Nephites and Lamanites in the future, in the meridian of time, after his atonement.
It would be after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ that he would visit the more righteous portion of the inhabitants to provide additional doctrine.
That is exactly what happened.
Christ did visit the more righteous Nephites and Lamanites of that generation and he did declare more doctrine.
We shall be dissecting just exactly what the additional doctrine is that is given in 3rd Nephi, but first, we need to parse what takes place step by step.
We shall begin looking at each major chronological event that took place during this mind-blowing visitation that is documented in 3rd Nephi.
Let the parsing begin.
Repentance and Baptism
What is the very first thing Christ says to the more righteous portion of the Nephites before he descends out of heaven?
He invites them to repent and become converted and healed-
12 And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, because of their wickedness and their abominations.
13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
Wait just a dad-gum minute.
Hold the phone!
Why is Christ inviting the more righteous portion that were spared, to return to him and repent of their sins and be converted and healed?
Earlier in 3nd Nephi 7 we are informed that they had already repented, returned to Christ and been baptized.
And yet, as the narrative continues to unfold in 3rd Nephi, when Christ finally descends, he will give power to Nephi and others to baptize and all of the people will be commanded to repent and be baptized.. again.
Study closely the following snippet from 3nd Nephi showing that Nephi previously had priesthood authority given to him from angels and was baptizing and converting the more righteous people to Christ_
15 And it came to pass that Nephi—having been visited by angels and also the voice of the Lord, therefore having seen angels, and being eye-witness, and having had power given unto him that he might know concerning the ministry of Christ, and also being eye-witness to their quick return from righteousness unto their wickedness and abominations;
16 Therefore, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds—went forth among them in that same year, and began to testify, boldly, repentance and remission of sins through faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
17 And he did minister many things unto them; and all of them cannot be written, and a part of them would not suffice, therefore they are not written in this book. And Nephi did minister with power and with great authority.
18 And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily.
19 And in the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits; and even his brother did he raise from the dead, after he had been stoned and suffered death by the people.
20 And the people saw it, and did witness of it, and were angry with him because of his power; and he did also do many more miracles, in the sight of the people, in the name of Jesus.
21 And it came to pass that the thirty and first year did pass away, and there were but few who were converted unto the Lord; but as many as were converted did truly signify unto the people that they had been visited by the power and Spirit of God, which was in Jesus Christ, in whom they believed.
22 And as many as had devils cast out from them, and were healed of their sicknesses and their infirmities, did truly manifest unto the people that they had been wrought upon by the Spirit of God, and had been healed; and they did show forth signs also and did do some miracles among the people.
23 Thus passed away the thirty and second year also. And Nephi did cry unto the people in the commencement of the thirty and third year; and he did preach unto them repentance and remission of sins.
24 Now I would have you to remember also, that there were none who were brought unto repentance who were not baptized with water.
25 Therefore, there were ordained of Nephi, men unto this ministry, that all such as should come unto them should be baptized with water, and this as a witness and a testimony before God, and unto the people, that they had repented and received a remission of their sins.
26 And there were many in the commencement of this year that were baptized unto repentance; and thus the more part of the year did pass away.
As you can see, Nephi had previously been given power to baptize from angels!
The more righteous that Christ is visiting had already been baptized by Nephi through the power and authority bestowed by angels and yet we shall see as we continue parsing the events in 3rd Nephi that they will all need to be baptized again by Nephi and others through the power and authority given by Christ!
As Christ is descending, he acknowledges that those that were spared were the “more righteous” portion of the people. Yet they need to repent and become converted!
3 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?
14 Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me.
Notice in the following passages that even though they had been told about Christ and repented and baptized, they had also been previously offering blood sacrifices under the law of Moses. Christ was telling them that he would no longer accept their blood sacrifices.
He declared that they must now offer up a broken heart and a contrite spirit.
15 Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God. I created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are. I was with the Father from the beginning. I am in the Father, and the Father in me; and in me hath the Father glorified his name.
16 I came unto my own, and my own received me not. And the scriptures concerning my coming are fulfilled.
17 And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.
18 I am the light and the life of the world. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
19 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings.
20 And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost, even as the Lamanites, because of their faith in me at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not
It is apparent in reading 3rd Nephi 7 that Nephi had great priesthood power that he had received by angels and that tremendous gifts of the spirit were present among those that had repented and been baptized before the coming of Christ.
What is the deal with multiple baptisms?
Notice the following snippet from JST Hebrews 6 wherein Paul refers to the “doctrine of baptisms“:
1 Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And we will go on unto perfection if God permit.
Is it not saying that after obeying the principles of the Doctrine of Christ, ie., the doctrine of “baptisms”, the laying on of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, “let us go on to perfection”?
Is it not implying that there are multiple baptisms and additional principles and doctrine above and beyond those found in the doctrine of Christ?
We have all been indoctrinated to believe there is only one faith and one baptism but perhaps we have taken the passage out of context.
There are preparatory baptisms of the lesser priesthood, baptisms of the higher priesthood, baptism for healing, baptisms for the dead, etc.
Interestingly, Christ will declare in 3rd Nephi 11, that anything more or less than the doctrine of Christ that has been established, cometh of evil, yet on the other hand, we are informed that more doctrine was coming when Christ visits the more righteous in the flesh.
These apparent discrepancies are opportunities to search deeper and gain greater insights.
Several passages of scripture speak about how the water baptism which is commanded by Christ, is followed by the spiritual baptism.
Is it possible that we are seeing a transition point between the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST THE SON wherein we enter into the gate, and the WORK OF THE FATHER that prepares us for Zion? (see 3rd Nephi 21)
When we continue with the parsing of this remarkable narrative, we need to pay close attention to what the Father commands the Son to do and say.
BTW Those that think they have received even the preliminary priesthood and baptism that is mentioned in 3nd Nephi 7, (let alone the higher priesthood and baptism mentioned in 3rd Nephi after Christ visits the more righteous Nephites and Lamanites) and are seeking the second Comforter, should do some real soul searching.
Is the power and spiritual gifts mentioned in either part of 3rd Nephi evident in your daily walk with Christ?
If not, perhaps you need to have a reality check and repent of your delusions.
Have you been healed of your physical and mental afflictions?
Do you successfully cast out devils?
If the gifts of the spirit don’t accompany your baptism and conversion, guess what? You have not truly been baptized and converted.
Quit following false prophets who teach false doctrines and prepare yourself for the true servants of God and the Savior who will be returning back to the vineyard.
In December of 1830, AFTER the saints of the restoration had been given the priesthood from an angel and were being baptized, this is the admonishment they got from heaven:
12 And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which I have sent forth unto this generation.
The preparatory priesthood and baptism that they had received was just the beginning.
It was a preparation for something greater.
It was to prepare them for the fullness that would soon to be restored a few months later in June of 1831.
Sadly, the saints would struggle and stumble and fall backwards and be broken and the fulness would depart within 3 1/2 years.
15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. Isaiah 8
The above passages applies to us.
The restoration saints have stumbled and fallen and been snared and taken.
Those of us that think we have the true baptism have been given a strong delusion.
Only those of us that are humble and teachable and searching the word of God and preparing our hearts and our minds for the fulness that will be returning, are pleasing unto God.
3rd Nephi provides a chronological pattern that can prepare us for what is coming.
We have just begun with the parsing and already we have been given much food for thought.
To be continued..