Zion – The Salvation Of Israel
When we speak of the gathering of Israel we include not only those who are descendants of Jacob who will build Zion, but also of the Jews who are to return to Jerusalem, and of the Lamanite or Indian people who are called a “remnant” of the Jews. D&C 19:27 Finally, we also include the Lost Ten Tribes as well as all people who are pure in heart.
We find evidence in the scriptures that there will be several gatherings: “The Lord God which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, YET I WILL GATHER OTHERS to him BESIDES those that are Fathered unto him.” Isa 56:8
The Moffatt version renders this a bit clearer: “Here is what the Lord, the Eternal, says who gathers Israel’s outcasts in: I will yet gather others in, besides those I have gathered.” Isa 56:8
Here we have an indication that there will be more than one gathering but few realize that all the spiritual gatherings depend upon the building up of Zion which will come to pass according to David’s prayer: “O that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people (When God gathers his captive people), Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.” Psalms 53:6 There is one important word here that is mistranslated and that is the word “salvation” should be “salvations” or plural. Obviously it did not make any sense to the translators to render it plural, but is makes a lot of sense when we consider that there will be several major groups of Israelites who are saved or delivered and all of their salvation will “come out of Zion.”
Many look upon the present gathering of those who are called Jews with great awe and respect and may say that they are gathering without any help from Zion and that they are fulfilling all the prophecies of old. Because of this believers are willing to blindly support any move they make. Is it possible that the gathering in Israel today is merely preparation for a future greater gathering where greater light will be manifest?
Jesus prophesied that the Jews would accept a false teacher or Messiah: “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his OWN NAME, HIM WILL YE RECEIVE.” John 5:43 This statement alone should make us somewhat cautious of believing that the Jews there are inspired in their every move, but there is another interesting and apparently contradictory statement from the Book of Mormon: “But behold, thus saith the Lord God: ‘When the day cometh that they (The Jews) SHALL BELIEVE IN ME, that I am Christ, then have I covenanted with their fathers that they shall be restored in the flesh upon the earth, unto the lands of their inheritance.” II Nephi 10:7 This interesting scripture strongly indicates that the Jews will not be gathered until they actually accept the Christ. Nephi speaks of this again: “They (the Jews) shall wander in the flesh, and perish, and become a hiss and a by-word, and be hated among all nations. Nevertheless, when that day cometh, saith the prophet, that they no more turn aside their hearts against the Holy One of Israel, (Christ),.THEN will he remember the covenants which he made to their fathers.” (The main covenant was to gather them). I Nephi 19:14-15
Nephi again gives us a third indication: “And it shall come to pass that the Jews which are scattered also shall begin to believe in Christ; and they shall begin to gather in upon the face of tile land; and as many as shall believe in Christ shall also become a delightsome people.” IT Nephi 30:7
It is also written: “And after they hake been scattered, and the Lord God hath scourged them by other nations for the space of many generations, yea, even down from generation to generation UNTIL they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind – AND WHEN THAT DAY SHALL COME THAT THEY SHALL BELIEVE IN CHRIST, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah, then, AT THAT TIME, the day will come that it must needs be expedient that they should believe these things. And the Lord will set his hand again THE SECOND TIME to restore his people from their lost and fallen state.” II Nephi 25:16- 17
Nephi also indicates that the Jews will accept the true church of Christ when they are gathered in: “That he has spoken unto the Jews, by the mouth of his holy prophets, even from the beginning down, from generation to generation, until the time comes that they shall be RESTORED TO THE TRUE CHURCH and fold of God; WHEN THEY SHALL BE GATHERED HOME to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.” IT Nephi 9:2
Here Nephi clearly indicates that the Jews will be gathered when they accept Christ and also when they are brought into the true church. On the other hand, we see a great gathering of those who say they are Jews in the land of Israel today, yet they neither accept Christ, neither do they belong to the Church of Christ, yet Nephi said that these two things must take place before GOD WILL GATHER them. Thus, if we take the Book of Mormon seriously we must accept that the gathering that is taking place in Israel today is not in fulfillment of the prophesies of old. It may be paving the way for some of the fulfillment, but it is not the true gathering of the Jews that believe in Christ spoken of by the Book of Mormon.
Actually the situation among the present inhabitants of Israel is quite similar to the situation in the LDS church. In the church we have a few who really believe the scriptures and the same is true among the Jews, there are a few who really have faith in the scriptures that they have, but even most of these are mislead by the craftiness of men. Concerning the church in America the Lord prophecies: ,”And liars and hypocrites shall be proved by them, and they who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.” D&C 64:39
On the other hand, concerning the Jews it is written; “I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.” Rev. 2:9
In Jeremiah chapter 24 the Lord talks about the dispersed of Judah and compares them to good and bad figs. We are told that the bad figs will eventually be destroyed. (See Jer 24:1-8)
Jeremiah also indicates that the true gathering of the Jews will be in the days of the one often referred to as the Branch. It shall also be in the days of the returning of the ten tribes for other tribes besides Judah will have an inheritance there. We are told that these tribes of Israel “shall dwell in their own land.”
Ezekiel also gives us an insight into the gathering period: “Thus saith the Lord God; when I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, AND SHALL BE SANCTIFIED in them in the sight of the heathen, THEN SHALL THEY DWELL IN THEIR LAND that I have given unto my servant Jacob. Arid they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence.” Eze. 28:25-26
Here we clearly see that they shall dwell in their own land AFTER they are sanctified. When they do possess this land it will be in peace, and not in the state of turmoil Israel is now in.
Ezekiel also says: “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all counties, and will bring you into your own land… Arid ye shall dwell in the land I GAVE TO YOUR FATHERS… Thus saith the LORD GOD; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded. And the desolate land shall be tilled.” EZE 36:24, 28,33-34
We see here that Israel will definitely be gathered back into their own land, but this gathering consists of much more than the kingdom of Judah. The Lord said: “And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: AND THEY SHALL NO MORE BE TWO NATIONS, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more.” Eze 37 :22
The two kingdoms consisted of all twelve tribes of Israel. Thus when the true gathering takes place there will be a gathering of all the tribes of Israel. Even Manasseh and Ephriam will have an inheritance there. For an account of the allotting of land to the tribes of Israel read Joshua chapters 13-18
The scriptures truly indicate that Zion will be the real power behind the gathering of the true Israelites which gathering will begin on the American continent. After peace is obtained on the earth then will the gathering of the righteous be toward the land of Israel which will again become a power for righteousness on the earth. For a correct sequence of events one may read III Nephi chapter 21. First it tells us that the United States will be established as a free country. Then it mentions the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel. Next it warns the Gentiles not to harden their hearts against the gospel. Then it talks about the destruction of our cities and then the building of the New Jerusalem. After that the ten tribes will be taught. After all this Jesus says: “Yea, and then shall the work commence with the Father, among all nations, in preparing the way whereby his people may be gathered HOME TO THE LAND OF THEIR INHERITANCE (Israel) And they shall go out from all nations; and they shall not go out in haste, nor go by flight, for I will go before them, saith the Father, and I will be their rearward.” III Nephi 21: 28-29
The sequence given in this chapter is much different than that expected by the Mormon and other Christian people today, but the true gathering of the Jews is not yet, but by and by. This is again verified in the Book of Mormon by the words of Christ: “And it shall come to pass that the time cometh, when the fullness of my Gospel shall be preached unto them; and they shall believe in me, that I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and shall pray unto the Father in my name. THEN shall their watchmen lift up their voice, and with the voice together shall they sing; for they shall see eye to eye. Then will the Father gather them together again, AND GIVE UNTO THEM JERUSALEM FOR THE LAND OF THEIR INHERITANCE.” III Nephi 20:30-33
Again we see that the true gathering of Israel will be from all the twelve tribes who believe in Christ. The gathering that is in the land of Israel today is most likely a practice run to prepare for the real thing.
Another group to be gathered in are descendants of Lehi or the Indian people and descendants thereof. We are told that they “shall blossom as the rose.” D & C 49:24 we are also told that the Gospel will be declared unto them “and then shall they rejoice; and they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes.” II Nephi 30:6
Interestingly the true gathering of the Lamanites is a part of the gathering of the Jews for we are told that “they are descendants of the Jews.” II Nephi 30:4. We are also told that the Book of Mormon is “My word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom THE LAMANITES ARE A REMNANT.” D&C 19:27 Obviously, then, the Indian and the Mexican people will be a part of the true gathering of the Jews and many of them will eventually return to their homeland in Israel. The Book of Mormon also verifies this: “Wherefore, let us take of the branches of these which I have planted in the NETHERMOST parts of my vineyard (American Indian), and let us graft them into the tree FROM WHENCE THEY CAME.” (Israel) Jacob 5:52
Nevertheless, there will be a great work to do among the descendants of Lehi before that day and they as a people will be more receptive to the fullness of the gospel than the American people.
Copyright 1979 by J J Dewey
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