The Strength of Zion
Isaiah speaks frequently of the period of the gathering. One of the most interesting which is also quoted several times in the Book of Mormon is Isaiah 52:
“Awake, awake; put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come unto thee the uncircumcised and the unclean.”
A revelation explains part of this verse. Joseph was asked what “Put on thy strength, O Zion” had reference to and the answer was: “He had reference to those whom God should call in the last days, who should hold the power of the priesthood TO BRING AGAIN ZION, and the redemption of Israel; and to put on her strength is to put on the authority of the priesthood, which she, Zion, has a right to by lineage; also to return to the power which she had lost.” D&C 113:8
Obviously this prophecy is referring to our day since they did not “bring again Zion” in the days of Joseph Smith.
Verse 2 reads: “Shake thyself from the dust; arise and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O Captive daughter of Zion.” Scripture also explains here what is meant by “loose thyself from the bands of thy neck O captive daughter of Zion.” We are told the following: “We are to understand that the scattered remnants are exhorted to return to the Lord from whence they have fallen; which if they do, the promise of the Lord is that ‘he will speak to them, or give them revelation. See the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses. The bands of her neck are the curses of God upon her, or the remnants of Israel in their scattered condition among the gentiles.” D&C 113:10
Isaiah continues: “For thus saith the Lord, Ye have sold your selves for naught; and ye shall be redeemed without money. For thus saith the Lord God, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for naught? They that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.” Verses 3-5
The remnants of Israel referred to here would be not only the Lamanite who is called a “remnant of the Jew.” At also the Ephriamites and possibly descendants of other tribes who live among the nations, but more especially America. We see that Isaiah tells us that Israel today is the “captive daughter of Zion.” She sold herself “for naught.” Not only is Israel oppressed with unjust laws which are taking away the freedom of the righteous as they did in Egypt, but their spiritual freedom is also taken away. They do not know the truth so they are not free, but the cloud of darkness in Lehi’s dream hangs over them. They do not cling to the iron rod so they are not able to taste the fruit of the tree of life.
“Therefore, my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I.” Verse 6.
What does he mean by “in that day” We are told that it is in the days when the Lord “shall bring again Zion.” (Verse 8) Thus this scripture would refer to our day when the Lord is about to do this rather than the days of Joseph Smith. We are told that an interesting thing will happen in this our day and that is “my people shall know my name.” Has anyone stopped to ask what the name of God the Father is? Many Mormons believe it is Elohiym, but that is not a name, but a title. It is the Hebrew word from which the word “God” is translated from in the Old Testament. Elohiym is no more God’s name than “God” is. Yet we know that the Father has a name which can be revealed for Jesus said: “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world… And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it.” John 17:6 & 26. Here we see that Jesus did reveal the name of the Father to the inner circle and this will be elaborated on in future writings.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.” Verse 7 Abinadi said that those who publish peace are the prophets. That is those who have the testimony of Jesus or the Spirit of prophesy and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Priests of King Noah brought up this scripture to Abinadi and it is more than likely that they thought that they were the ones who were bringing glad tidings and publishing peace, for in their opinion Abinadi was a trouble maker and certainly not a bringer of peace. However, Abinadi explained to them that they misunderstood the scriptures for there must first come the inner peace through the Holy Ghost and then the true and lasting outer peace will come.
This is quite an interesting verse to examine more deeply: “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings…” Although prophets are sometimes on physical mountains, the mountains referred to here are spiritual mountains. Often in the scriptures the Lord takes a prophet to “a high mountain.” The mountain is symbolic of the raising of a man’s mind above the things of the world. It is also symbolic of’ the gathering of the saints which forms a mountain of spiritual force or a kingdom.
We are told that the ones on the mountains will have beautiful “feet.” That seems strange symbology, yet it makes sense when one realizes that feet represents spiritual preparation as evidenced by Paul: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.” 11 Eph 6:15
“… that publisheth peace…” The word for publisheth comes from the Hebrew SHAMA which word is translated in a variety of different ways but the basic meaning is to “cause to understand or hear intelligently.” It is interesting that when Solomon asked for wisdom he asked the Lord: “Give therefore thy servant an understanding (From the Hebrew word SHAMA) heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad.” Then the Lord said back to him: Thou “hast asked for thyself understanding to discern (SHAMA) judgment.” I Kings 3:9-11 These verses reveal to us that SHAMA is a very important quality to have, for the Lord was pleased that Solomon requested it. In other words, the ability to cause yourself and others to hear and understand intelligently, which is the meaning of SHAMA, was the key to Solomon’s great wisdom. When we then apply the full meaning of the word to Isaiah we have in place of publishing peace the following: “that understands and causes others to understand the way to peace and safety.”
“… that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation…” The true prophets will bring good news of things which are good in the eyes of God and not men, and here again we see that they “publisheth.” This word again comes from the Hebrew SHAMA. The word salvation here comes from the Hebrew YeSHUWAH which literally means to “cause to be delivered or brought to safety.” Thus if we clarify in the Hebrew instead of “publisheth salvation” it could read: He “causes himself and others to understand that which truly brings deliverance and safety.” And what really brings safety and deliverance? Nothing more than the literal gathering of Israel for without it the earth will be “utterly wasted at his coming.”
“That saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” The true prophet, can see that God reigns even when the church is in the wilderness and even if the nation should go into physical captivity and all others around him curse God and die because they feel that God has let them down.
We at this time who believe and publish the literal gathering of Israel do proclaim that the God of Zion does reign even though Zion sleepeth, the Lord of Israel never sleeps but is preparing to fulfill the covenant he made to the fathers.
Now if we were to translate verse seven according to the intent of the Hebrew we could render it thus: “How beautiful among the gatherings of my people is the spirituality of him that bringeth good tidings, that understands and causes others to understand the way of peace and safety, that bringeth good tidings of things that are truly good, who causes himself and others to understand that which really brings deliverance and safety; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!”
The next three verses were quoted by Jesus in III Nephi 16. He said that they would be fulfilled after the day “when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel” and that he would “bring the fullness of My gospel from among them.” III Nephi 16:10 In the day when the Lord begins to fulfill his covenants to his people “then the words of the prophet Isaiah shall be fulfilled which say;..” Then Jesus quotes Isa 52:8-10
“Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” Verse 8
The word watchman comes from the Hebrew TSAPHAH which signifies one who is able to perceive and be prepared for coming events and in this case indicates one who waits upon the Lord and is as one of the wise virgins with his lamp full of oil. These men will lift up their voices and tell the people how they may prepare for coming events.
“… with the voice together shall they sing…” Again “sing” is from the Hebrew RANAN which literally means “to cry aloud for joy” or “to shout for joy.” This shouting for joy was restored through the prophet Joseph in the form of the Hosanna Shout where the whole congregation shouted: ‘”Hosanna, ‘Hosanna, Hosanna, to God and the Lamb.” This principle was given up with many others near the turn of the century. Then too when Zion is redeemed there will be a natural instinct through the spirit to cry out loud for joy.
“..for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” When has a people ever seen eye to eye? Not since the days of Enoch, or the righteous Nephites. Even in the days of the Prophet Joseph the saints were badly divided, but the wise virgins will truly see eye to eye in the last days because they will have their lamps full of the Holy Ghost and if we are one with God we will see eye to eye.
“Break forth into joy, sing (RANAN) together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for-the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.” Verse 9 This could be referring to either the New or Old Jerusalem for they both shall be redeemed, but the New Jerusalem shall be made clean first and this is mainly what it is referring to. The waste places of Jerusalem will be the desolate areas of this country as prophesied by Jesus: “Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots; (in other words we will have no transportation) And I will cut off the cities of thy land, and throw down all thy strongholds… And I will pluck up thy groves (houses of prostitution) out of the midst of thee; so I will destroy thy cities… For it shall come to pass, saith the Father, that at that day whosoever will not repent and come unto my Beloved Son, them will I cut off from among my people, O house of Israel; AND I WILL EXECUTE VENGEANCE AND FURY UPON THEM, (His own people) EVEN AS UPON THE HEATHEN, such as they have not heard.” III Nephi 21: 14-15, 18, 20-21.
Continuing with Isaiah verse 10 reads: “The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.”
First the Lord will gather the righteous from among the Latter-Day Saints as well as non members and American Indians and then finally, the Lord will make bare his holy arm and “rebuke nations from afar” and deliver his people from destruction for all the world to see. It will be on a much grander scale than Moses passing though the Red Sea. All the freedom loving people in the world will have a chance to come to Zion.
“Depart yet depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out from the midst of her; be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” Verse 11
Here again we have the cry to go out of Babylon for there will “be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.” Isa 6:12. The great forsaking will come after the righteous are gathered out of the Mormon Church and the call sent forth for the lovers of freedom to support the constitution. “Touch no unclean thing” indicates that we must avoid substances which will harm our bodies as well as our spirits. Only the clean vessel can withstand the great day. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord” refers to those who are vessels of the Holy Spirit and have a responsibility to be literal Saviors on Mount Zion as will be discussed later.
“For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. Behold, my servant shall deal (prosper) prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled., and be very high. As many were astonished at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men.” Verses 12-14.
Apparently these verses speak of the same man spoken of in the Doctrine and Covenants: “Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power; Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.” D&C 103:15-16 This would undoubtedly be the same as the One Mighty and Strong; however, there will undoubtedly be several individuals strong in the Spirit involved in a major way in the great work here.
Some Bible scholars think that this man was Christ because “His visage was so marred MORE THAN ANY MAN.” But when one considers it even the body of Jesus was not marred more than ANY man. He was marred it is true, but there was not even a bone broken in his body. There have been other individuals who have been nearly cut in two or had their body badly burned or in explosions that have been physically marred much more than Jesus was. But as final proof that It was not Jesus we have Jesus himself quoting this verse in III Nephi 20:44 as a future event. Does this then mean that this man who is to come will be more crippled and marred than any other man like it says? How then will he lead the people?
A more thorough examination of the words will reveal the answer.
We are told that his visage was marred. What is meant here by visage? It comes from the Hebrew MAREH and literally means “the appearance that is seen,” and the word can be used in a number of ways. Numerous times it is translated as “favored.” For instance: “Joseph was a goodly person and well favoured.” (MAREH) Gen 39:6 “Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.” (Mareh) is another example. The word is translated “fair” in Ester 2:2: “Let there be fair young virgins sought for the king.”
The most interesting use of the word is found in Isaiah itself where he talks about the man symbolized as the Branch; Here the word is translated “sight”: “And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight (MAREH) of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears.” Isa 11:3. The other key word here, that is the Hebrew for “marred” is MISHCHATH. The word “‘marred” is a fairly correct translation for the word indicates disfigurement and can also imply corruption.
If we put all of this together what do we get? Instead of the idea that his physical image would be marred more than any other man we see here that the Hebrew tells us that it will be his appearance or his character which is displayed before men is that which “was so marred more than any man.” Is not this what happened to Joseph Smith? He was a great soul, yet his character was marred more than any man of his day. The whole world thought for sure that he was in league with the devil.
It is good reasoning then that the man like Moses will have to go through the same ordeal. He will be the most misunderstood man of the age. Jesus elaborates on this somewhat in the Book of Mormon: “But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore, THEY SHALL NOT HURT HIM, (Physically) although he shall be marred because of them. (That is his character will be defamed) Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.” III NEPHI 21:10 If his enemies “shall not hurt him” then obviously he will not be marred physically by them, but he will be spoken good and evil of as Joseph Smith was. The Lord says that he will heal him and that such a healing will show forth his wisdom. A physical healing would not show forth the wisdom of the Lord nearly as much as the healing of a man’s character for after Zion is redeemed then the servant will no longer be defamed and they who have laughed will see their folly and the servant “shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.” It is also very probably that part of the fulfillment will be correcting the many illusions that members and non members have about Joseph Smith.
The verse continues and tells us that the “form” of the servant will be marred “more than the sons of men.” ISA 52:14. The word “form” comes from the Hebrew TOAR which literally means outline or figure and implies the physical body more than does MAREH. Thus the scripture indicates that the servant’s physical body will be marred “more than the sons of men.” but fortunately not more than any man. For instance, Joseph Smith had a leg injury which marred his body.
The last verse continues: “So shall he sprinkle many nations.” This verse is directly quoted in the Book of Mormon and the Hebrew indicates that to sprinkle means “to purify.” This is very fitting, but the inspired version says: “So shall he GATHER many nations.” Now how would one go about gathering nations? Isaiah gives us the answer: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; TO IT SHALL THE GENTILES SEEK… And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isa 11:10 & 12.
What is the Ensign to which the Gentiles will seek? It will be the basic principles of freedom in the original Constitution of the United States which the Lord said he “suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of ALL FLESH, according to just and holy principles… And FOR THIS PURPOSE have I established the Constitution of this land.” D&C 101:77 & 80 In other words, the design the Lord had in mind for the Constitution was to protect “all flesh.” It would eventually protect all nations just as it was designed to protect all states and that will happen by other nations subjecting themselves to the Constitution or in other words “to it shall the Gentiles seek.”
Joseph Smith Prophesied of this day: “The White Horse (the saints of God) will raise up an ensign on the tops of the mountains of peace and safety… many hundreds and thousands of the honest in heart will gather there; not because they would be saints but for safety and because they would not take up the sword against their neighbor… The great White Horse will have gathered strength sending out Elders to gather the honest in heart among the Pale Horse, or the people of the United States, TO STAND BY THE CONSTITUTION, as it was given by the inspiration of God. In these days God will set up a kingdom, never to be thrown down, FOR OTHER KINGDOMS TO COME UNTO… Power will be given the White Horse to rebuke nations afar off, AND THEY WILL BE ONE WITH THE WHITE HORSE, but when the law goes forth they will obey; for the law will go forth from Zion.” Taken from the White Horse Prophecy as told to Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley by Joseph Smith. The ensign prophesied of here has never been lifted up, but we are dangerously approaching the day when this must be done, for the fact that the honest in heart will be called to stand by the Constitution indicates a time when the survival of the document or its content will be in grave danger.
Brigham Young quoted Joseph Smith as saying: “the time will come when the destiny of this nation will hang upon a single thread. At that critical juncture, this people will step forth and save it from the threatened destruction.” JD 7:15
He also said: “When the constitution of the United States hangs, as it were, upon a single thread, they will have to call for the Mormon Elders to save it from utter destruction; and they will step forth and do it.” JD 2:182
Orson Hyde also quoted Joseph Smith, as saying: “The time would come when the Constitution and the country would be in danger of an overthrow; and said he: If the Constitution be saved at all, it will be by the Elders of this church.” JD 6:152
John Taylor also spoke in harmony with the White Horse Prophecy: “When the people have torn to shreds the Constitution of the United States the Elders of Israel will be found HOLDING IT UP TO THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH and proclaiming liberty and equal rights to all men, and extending the hand of fellowship to the oppressed of ALL NATIONS.” JD 21:8.
Joseph Smith is recorded as speaking boldly concerning future problems our government will have: “I prophesy in the name 0 of the Lord God of Israel, unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the saints in the state of Missouri and punish the crimes committed by her officers that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left.” DHC 5:394 He also said “that if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us. protection, THEY SHALL BE BROKEN UP AS A GOVERNMENT.” DHC 6:116
Also Wilford Woodruff said: “The American Nation will be broken in pieces like a potters vessel…” Wilford Woodruff, History of His Life a Labors, by Matthias F. Cowley; Page 500.
Taking all of these things into consideration we see that a gathering will be necessary to salvage the country and the Constitution itself, for if the nation is broken up and left without a government, then how can anything be set up as an ensign by the people of God if they are in a scattered condition? We see here that a gathering of two types of people will be necessary and there will be three steps to the process.
First Heber C. Kimball’s prophecy will be fulfilled that “the time will come when the Lord will choose A PEOPLE OUT OF THIS PEOPLE, upon whom he will bestow his choicest blessings.” Deseret News; Nov 9, 1865.
After a people are then gathered out of this people the Constitution will hang as if were by a single thread. (It’s only hanging by several now). At this point these righteous individuals will lift up the inspired Constitution as an ensign and many righteous non Mormons will gather together with them to support the principles of freedom.
This is the second step and the third step will begin after the desolations when a third group will be gathered out of all those who accept the fullness of the Gospel to go East to Missouri and build the New Jerusalem. Then from that point the Law will go forth out of Zion and she will be given power to rebuke nations from afar, “and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David.” Zech 12:8. At the time of these gatherings the words of Isaiah will be fulfilled: “Fear not; for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the East, and gather thee from the West; I will say unto the North, Give up; and to the South, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth… Let the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled; who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth.” Isa 43:5-6, 9
In other words, the power of the example of the Ensign will be so strong that the nations will be embarrassed to even witness against it and they will have to admit “It is truth.”
Then the Lord commands them: “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing.” Isa 43:18-19
All the governments of men in ages past will seem so primitive in comparison to the Lord’s “new thing” that they will not even want to remember the “former things.”
Also we will have a fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah: “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the Children of Israel out of the Land of Egypt; But the Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the Land of the North, and from ALL THE LANDS whither He ‘had driven them.” Jer 16:14-15
Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey
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