[Editorial Note: This post has been updated and modified. NEPT brought up very important information that has been integrated into this post]
I was up doing things on my computer early this morning when I got an email from Mrs Watcher who had been listening to a lecture by Church Missler.
She was down stairs in the bedroom listening to Chuck Missler.
Her message was short and to the point along with a link to one of his fabulous sermons:
The fact that the gentiles would also be saved as well as the Jews was a mystery revealed for the first time in the New Testament. The mystery is that they would be fellow members of the body.. fellow heirs
start at 13 min. and 36 min. insight of 24 elders
The Old Testament does in fact allude to the Gentiles (heathens) coming to Christ. This is one of many examples,
but as Chuck explains, there was a mystery about this fact that was not revealed until the New Testament times.
I love to glean deep insights from a formidable Bible scholar like Missler.
Obviously Chuck doesn’t get everything right because he is limited to the KJV of the Bible and does not have the additional canons of scripture that Joseph Smith brought forth.
My goodness it would be fun if we could hear a discourse from him after he accepts the further light from the other canons of scripture that Joseph Smith brought forth.. perhaps we will some day.
If you are an (LDS) “Jewish Christian”, listening to Chuck for the first time, it will seem strange because he is a “Gentile Christian”, so his terminology and religious worldview will differ from what you are familiar with because there is a greater blindness upon Jewish LDS Christians. This is because those who have the light of the restoration scriptures yet deny the truth and practice idolatry have rejected the higher light and therefore have fallen much further than the gentile Christians. In essence the Jewish Christians have become a cult.
BTW when you get to 35:01 listen to what he is saying about the “24 elders” that sit around the throne of God.
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
This is what Joseph Smith said about the 24 elders:
5 Q. What are we to understand by the four and twenty elders, spoken of by John?
A. We are to understand that these elders whom John saw, were elders who had been faithful in the work of the ministry and were dead; who belonged to the seven churches, and were then in the paradise of God.
I would submit that the seven churches spoken of in the Book of Revelation might have been referring to a later time rather than the New Testament Churches.
There are several reasons why I make this speculation. One of them is because John had his vision many years AFTER the events mentioned in the New Testament and everything in the BofR is speaking of events to take place in the future of when he is writing his vision.
Rev 1:1 The revelation of John, a servant of God, which was given unto him of Jesus Christ to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass, that he sent and signified by his angel unto his servant John,
We have documented in previous posts and articles that the “seven spirits of God” spoken of above in Revelation Chapter 4, (and referenced in JST Rev 3:1, 4:5), probably match up with the seven shepherds prophesied in the Book of Micah, the seven eyes of the Lord who run to and fro in the whole earth in Zechariah and with the “seven elders” who were given promises of great things to accomplish during the third watch in Section 29 and 84.
That being the case, it stands to reason that the “four and twenty elders“, mentioned in the above passage in Revelation 4 appear to be contemporaries of the seven servants living during Joseph Smith’s first ministry and returning in the third watch.
This begs the question, was there a quorum of twenty four elders ever called to a ministry and given a commission during Joseph first ministry?
It is a little known fact that on February 17th 1834 a general council of “twenty four high priests” were called by revelation to meet at Joseph Smith’s house.
This quorum of high priests organized a “high council of the Church of Christ” that was composed of “twelve high priests” See D&C 102 (Since a high priest is also an “elder” the council of twenty four high priests could also be called a council of “Twenty Four Elders“)
All of this was done according the “law of heaven”
That is important to keep in mind when reading about the 24 elders in Chapter 4 of the Book of Revelation.
The High Council of 12 high priests could also be called a “high council or quorum of elders“. Also, the high council of twelve high priests could also be called a “Quorum of Twelve Apostles”
This is true because all high priests are also apostles:
63 And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath given me; ye are my friends;
111 And behold, the high priests should travel, and also the elders, and also the lesser priests; but the deacons and teachers should be appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church. Doctrine and Covenants 84:63,111
As you can see, High Priests called by the Melchizedek priesthood when the fulness was on the earth, are also “Apostles“.
Interestingly later on in the same revelation (Section 102) the “traveling high council of of the Twelve Apostles” is mentioned:
30 There is a distinction between the high council or traveling high priests abroad, and the traveling high council composed of the twelve apostles, in their decisions.
This begs the question, is the above passage referring to the quorum of twelve high priest which the content of the revelation has been about, or, is it referring to the Twelve Apostles that would be called almost exactly one year after the revelation was given?
The preface of the revelation points out that verses 30-31 were added by Joseph Smith after the revelation was given. I have not been able to accertain whether the change was made before or after Brigham Young and his brethren of the patriarchal quorum of the Twelve were called.
Here is the chronology I have been able to find, but I don’t know when Section 102 was edited.
Feb 19 1834 The revelation known as Section 102 was given.
September 24, 1834 (HC 2:165, 243-44) Joseph Smith and a committee appointed to the task on edited the revelations that had formerly appeared in the Book of Commandments. They corrected scribal and printing errors and occasionally clarified the text. They added explanations of the duties of officers that were new in the Church organization since the earlier revelations were received. They also combined some of the revelations to simplify publication and corrected grammatical problems.
January 3-5 1835 Joseph was editing Lectures on Faith for insertion into Doctrine and Covenants
(my guess is that all of the revelations had been edited prior to working on Lectures on Faith but I cannot prove that)
February 14 1835 Evangelic priesthood quorum of Twelve apostles were called
August 4th 1835 Doctrine and Covenants was presented for publication
I can see it being argued either way as to whether that verse is referring to the high priest apostles or the patriarchal apostles.
Regardless, we have established the fact that high priests holding the melchizedek priesthood that have proven themselves worthy, are also God’s apostles. Hence:
The VERY FIRST QUORUM OF TWELVE APOSTLES IN THE RESTORED CHURCH OF CHRIST was called by revelation and given their assignment only about nine months prior to the Lord pronouncing condemnation upon the leaders and members of the church and after the fulness of the gospel and priesthood was suspended for a little season.
Very little is ever heard about the administration and ministries of these 24 high priests which included the first quorum of the Twelve Apostles that were called.
This is because their ministries were suspended shortly after they were called when the church fell under condemnation.
During the following year (1835) the witnesses of the Book of Mormon called and ordained twelve apostles to witness of the “Name of Christ“. This was in accordance to the commission the Lord had given the witnesses several years earlier.
Very few people realize that the quorum of the Twelve apostles called and ordained by the witnesses of the Book of Mormon were the second quorum of the Twelve to be called during Joseph’s ministry.
Further, their calling and priesthood differed significantly from the first.
The second quorum called by the witnesses was called according by the authority of the “keys” of the patriarch/Aaronic priesthood that had been restored by John the Baptist.
Conversely, the first quorum was called according to the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood.
The second quorum was called for the purpose of taking the knowledge of the gospel to the dispersed of Judah and the outcasts of Israel.
The Melchizedek Quorum of the Twelve will return with their other Twelve brethren of the general council in the third watch to complete their ministries. They will accomplish amazing things and it appears as if they are mentioned in the Book of Revelation.
One more observation. When the 24 High Priests met at Joseph Smith’s house, the meeting began by reading chapter three of Joel.
Is that just a random chapter to read to begin a meeting, or was it prophetically inspired. It seems like a strange chapter to read to open a meeting of the high council.
The chapter speaks of events to take place in the end times, in the third watch.
Could it have been referring to events relating to their future calling when they return to the earth?