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The Gentiles and Zion Part II



          To continue exploring the “great and marvelous work” the Lord performs among the gentiles, it is beneficial to juxtapose the explanation of the gentiles from “The Glossary of Gospel Terms” with an excerpt from Denver’s talk, Zion:

“Now I need to read you something. This is Ezekiel 33:25-34:31: “Wherefore say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Ye eat with the blood [too anxious to consume the meat, time is not taken to drain the blood], and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood: and shall ye possess the land? Ye stand upon your sword, ye work abomination, and ye defile every one his neighbour's wife: and shall ye possess the land?[1] Say thou thus unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; As I live, surely they that are in the wastes shall fall by the sword, and him that is in the open field will I give to the beasts to be devoured, and they that be in the forts and in the caves shall die of the pestilence. For I will lay the land most desolate, and the pomp of her strength shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, that none shall pass through. Then shall they know that I am the LORD, when I have laid the land most desolate because of all their abominations which they have committed. [destruction of the gentiles, RE Isaiah 5:5, 1 Nephi 3:28-29, 3 Nephi 9:7-8] Also, thou son of man [Ezekiel the prophet], the children of thy people still are talking against thee [the Lord’s servant] by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words [Ezekiel the prophet], but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. [RE T&C 1, JSH Part 2:5] And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. “And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. AND the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel [Israel, rabbi’s, gentiles, General Authorities], prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe [condition of deep suffering] be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves [temporally and spiritually]! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased [spiritually and temporally impaired] have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them [required tithes and offerings in their poverty, withholding assistance while investing money and acquiring assets at their expense]. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd [real prophet/ disciple]: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered [they became victims of the wicked]. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds [servants who claim to represent the Lord but care not for the flock], hear the word of the LORD; As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them” (Zion, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.20, emphasis added).

At the conclusion of this reference, Denver states, “. . . you should apply these verses to us today” (Zion, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.21, emphasis added). Some may take issue with this suggestion because the subject matter historically relates to Ezekiel and his contemporaries in Israel. However, Ezekiel and Jeremiah were contemporaries of Isaiah. Like Isaiah, Ezekiel was a visionary whom the Lord revealed much regarding a latter-day David and the gathering of Israel. Included in Ezekiel’s prophecies was the establishment of Zion and the inheritances of the Twelve Tribes.

          It stands to reason, because of Ezekiel’s many revelations of the last days, the Savior’s words regarding Isaiah and the gentiles apply to Ezekiel’s prophecies as well:

“And now behold, I say unto you that ye had ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently, for great are the words of Isaiah. For surely he spake as touching all things concerning my people which are of the house of Israel. Therefore, it must needs be that he must speak also to the gentiles. And all things that he spake hath been and shall be, even according to the words which he spake. Therefore, give heed to my words. Write the things which I have told you, and, according to the time and the will of the Father, they shall go forth unto the gentiles. And whosoever will hearken unto my words, and repenteth and is baptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, [Ezekiel] for many there be that testify of these things” (RE 3 Nephi 10:4, emphasis added).

In addition to the “many” prophets spoken of by the Lord who knew of these things, the Savior also spoke to the descendants of Lehi about the latter-day gentiles. From the Glossary we continue:

“And the gentiles are lifted up in the pride of their eyes, and have stumbled because of the greatness of their stumbling block, that they have built up many churches; nevertheless, they put down the power and the miracles of God, and preach up unto themselves their own wisdom and their own learning, that they may get gain and grind upon the face of the poor (2 Nephi 11:15). Woe be unto the gentiles, saith the Lord God of Hosts, for notwithstanding I shall lengthen out mine arm unto them from day to day, they will deny me. Nevertheless, I will be merciful unto them, saith the Lord God, if they will repent and come unto me (2 Nephi 12:7). As many of the gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord (2 Nephi 12:11). In the latter day shall the truth come unto the gentiles, that the fullness of these things shall be made known unto them (3 Nephi 7:4). And, thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations and above all the people of the whole earth, and shall be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations, and if they shall do all these things, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, Behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them (3 Nephi 7:5). This is to be done after the gentiles — the European Latter-day Saints who descend from the bloodlines that overran and dispossessed the native people in North America — have rejected the fullness of the Gospel.8But if the gentiles will repent and return unto me, saith the Father, behold, they shall be numbered among my people, O house of Israel (3 Nephi 7:5).”

The Savior explains how the gentiles sin against His gospel and reject the Lord’s offer to provide them its fullness. When the gentile rejection is complete, the Lord begins withdrawing the fullness of the gospel from the gentiles and carries it to Israel, using repentant gentiles who received the fullness. This fulfills the pattern of the “first shall be last and the last shall be first.” The third quarter of this prophecy began with Joseph Smith Jr., and concludes when the Lord withdraws His gospel from the gentiles in the same manner He withdrew it from the Jews, after the crucifixion of the Savior.

          Returning to Denver’s quotation of Ezekiel, we read:

For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out [Israel’s gathering]. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. (RE Ezekiel 15:5, Zephaniah 1:5, T&C 123:18) And I will bring them [Israel] out from the people [gentiles, RE 3 Nephi 9:12], and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord GOD. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment. And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats. Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet? “And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle. (RE 3 Nephi 9:12-13) Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; (TPJS. pp. 15 & 339, RE Isaiah 5:4, Jeremiah 12:1-3, Ezekiel 19:6), he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them; [Ezekiel 19:6] I the LORD have spoken it. And I will make with them a covenant of peace, (RE Isaiah 19:4, 21:2, Jeremiah 12:9, Ezekiel 19:6-7) (and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they [Israel] shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods. And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing. And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them. And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen [gentiles], neither shall the beast [the wicked] of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid. (RE Isaiah 5:4, Ezekiel 21:59-61, T&C 31:15) And I will raise up for them a plant of renown [RE T&C 141:19, Numbers 9:2-10], and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen [gentiles] any more. “Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD. And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD." I [Denver Snuffer Jr.,] was required to read that—but I am not required [to], and will not, comment. You wouldn't want to hear my comments anyway. But you should apply these verses to us today” (Zion, Denver Snuffer Jr., pp.22-24, emphasis added).

The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ marked the beginning of the Lord’s offer of covenant to the gentiles. The gentile migration to America became the continuation of the persecution of the scattered tribes of Israel. Western movement from the East to the West drove the native Americans out of their lands. The gentile migration into the United States brought with it exposure to illnesses native Americans were susceptible to. Many natives died from exposure to these illnesses. In the dedicatory prayer for the Kirtland Temple the Lord said the following regarding the native inhabitants of America:

“Now these words, O Lord, we have spoken before thee concerning the revelations and commandments which thou hast given unto us, who are identified with the gentiles. But thou knowest that we have a great love for the children of Jacob [Israel] who have been scattered upon the mountains for a long time, in a cloudy and dark day. We therefore ask thee to have mercy upon the children of Jacob, that Jerusalem, from this hour, may begin to be redeemed, and the yoke of bondage may begin to be broken off from the house of David, and the children of Judah [Jews, generic name for Israel in the Book of Mormon] may begin to return to the lands which thou didst give to Abraham their father, and cause that the remnants of Jacob, who have been cursed and smitten because of their transgression, to be converted from their wild and savage condition to the fullness of the everlasting gospel, that they may lay down their weapons of bloodshed and cease their rebellions. And may all the scattered remnants of Israel, who have been driven to the ends of the earth, come to a knowledge of the truth, believe in the Messiah, and be redeemed from oppression, and rejoice before thee” (RE T&C 123:18, emphasis added).

Joseph Smith, Isaiah and Ezekiel all weave a latter-day David into the fabric of the gathering of Israel. The Lord also revealed to Joseph Smith the role of the “Root of Jesse” or son of Jesse, the father of David.

“Question: What is the Root of Jesse spoken of in the 10th verse of the 11th chapter [Isa. 5:4]?Answer: Behold, thus says the Lord: It is a descendant of Jesse as well as of Joseph, unto whom rightly belongs the Priesthood and the keys of the Kingdom, for an ensign and for the gathering of my people in the last day” (RE T&C 129:3, emphasis added).

The Root of Jesse plays a key role in Israel’s gathering. He is entitled to his Priesthood and holds keys to God’s kingdom to perform two specific functions. The Davidic figure raises an ensign or a rallying point for Israel. Once the ensign is raised, Israel gathers to it and to him.

          The “ensign” described in the above passage is not a banner or flag as in olden times. It relates to Joseph Smith’s comments regarding a latter-day David who does what ancient David could not. That was obtain the Spirit and power of Elijah and a Priesthood fullness. A description of the “ensign” has been given in “Preserving the Restoration.”

“The ensign Isaiah prophesied[722] refers to a zodiacal map, or to the constellations overhead. This is a depiction of the heavens themselves. The ensign to be reared will tell those in Zion how to walk in the paths of God, through the heavens, back into God’s presence. Zion will be a connection between heaven and earth, where those living will learn the ways of the God of Jacob. They will walk in His paths. Heaven and earth will be connected. The stairway connecting the two will be opened. The heavens and the earth will be reunited. This will happen in the top of the mountains. (Snuffer, Denver. Preserving the Restoration p.277, emphasis added. Mill Creek Press. Kindle Edition).

Isaiah uses the term “ensign” to describe the coming return of Elijah in the last days. (RE Malachi 1:12) The Spirit of Elijah is often characterized by a pillar of fire in scripture. It also refers to a Priesthood fullness involving Patriarchal Fathers appearing to declare their rights, keys, etc. It will be their descent to earth through Elijah’s portal that illuminates our understanding and causes the river of knowledge to flood out from the East porch of the Temple in Zion (see RE Ezekiel 21:58-67). They are best suited for the task of restoring lost scriptures because they were the original authors.

          In 3 Nephi 9, when the servant brings forth the words of Christ, the ultimatum is in the form of both the servant and the message he delivers. The substance of the message should be a sufficient witness of Christ and His gospel. Because of the vast number of those who pretend to represent God, people judge the Lord’s servant in relation to the false priests who oppress the flock with the philosophies of men mingled with scripture. As was said earlier, the great stumbling block will be the large number of churches teaching diverse doctrines of devils.

          The great test has always been the same and ever will be:

“Faith in Him comes by hearing the word of God,[882] delivered as He authorizes, by whomever He chooses to deliver it.[883] If we receive God’s word preached by someone He sends, then we can have faith in the Son of God. We can receive Him. But if we harden our heart, blind our mind and refuse to receive what He offers to us today, then we do not and cannot have faith in Him. We fall short of the faith required by His sons and daughters. This has always been the test. This will always be the test. I have been sent and God is proving you. Joseph Smith testified to these things and I am now a second witness. Therefore two proclaim the same doctrine. Christ was in the world, the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.[884] Why did the world not know Him? For the same reason people fail to recognize a messenger sent today. Our Lord was very ordinary. In His time, He seemed just another itinerant preacher” (Preserving the Restoration, Denver Snuffer Jr., p.329, emphasis added).

It is interesting someone rises up to openly declare they are a second witness to the same message declared by Joseph Smith. Joseph of Egypt saw our day and also spoke of a second witness for Joseph Smith. It appears in Lehi’s account of Joseph of Egypt’s prophecy about the last days taken from the plates of Laban.

“And the Lord said unto me [Joseph of Egypt] also, I will raise up unto the fruit of thy loins [Joseph Smith], and I will make for him a spokesman. And I, behold, I will give unto him that he [Joseph Smith] shall write the writing of the fruit of thy loins unto the fruit of thy loins; and the spokesman of thy loins shall declare it. And the words which he shall write shall be the words which are expedient in my wisdom should go forth unto the fruit of thy loins. And it shall be as if the fruit of thy loins had cried unto them from the dust, for I know their faith. And they shall cry from the dust, yea, even repentance unto their brethren, even that after many generations have gone by them. And it shall come to pass that their cry shall go, even according to the simpleness of their words, because of their faith. Their words shall proceed forth out of my mouth unto their brethren who are the fruit of thy loins; and the weakness of their words will I make strong in their faith unto the remembering of my covenant which I made unto thy fathers” (RE 2 Nephi2:6, emphasis added).

The role of the spokesman for Joseph Smith was not a contemporary of his. According to Joseph of Egypt, Joseph Smith’s spokesman must declare his words when he cannot. That time is at the gathering of Israel when Joseph Smith may no longer speak for himself.

“Wherefore, the fruit of thy [Joseph of Egypt’s] loins shall write, and the fruit of the loins of Judah [Bible] shall write. And that which shall be written by the fruit of thy loins, and also that which shall be written by the fruit of the loins of Judah, shall grow together unto the confounding of false doctrines, and laying down of contentions, and establishing peace among the fruit of thy loins, and bringing them to the knowledge of their fathers in the latter days, and also to the knowledge of my covenants, saith the Lord. And out of weakness he [Joseph Smith] shall be made strong, in that day when my work shall commence among all my people, unto the restoring thee, O house of Israel, saith the Lord” (RE 2 Nephi 2:4, emphasis added).

It is more than serendipitous that the spokesman for Joseph Smith should appear to make Joseph Smith’s words and ministry strong at the same time Israel gathers, the Lord makes David His shepherd, the Spirit of Elijah comes with the fullness of the Priesthood, all at the same time.

          In addition to the previous second witness of Joseph Smith’s message is another witness of Joseph Smith and his life and revelations.

“If you will receive it, faith in Him comes by hearing the word of God.94 Not by a pretender, not by someone guessing, not by someone offering up their theory of how the scriptures ought to be understood. Faith does not come by hearkening to someone citing you a bibliography. Faith comes only by hearing the word of God delivered as He would have it delivered, by whomever it is that He may choose to deliver it.95 If you receive God’s word sent by someone He sends, then you might have faith, and that too in the Son of God. Then you also might receive Him. But if you will not, if you will harden your hearts, if you will blind your minds, if you will not receive what He offers from His mouth 91 D&C 88: 11-13. 92 John 17: 21-23. 93 See Heb. 2: 10; 1 John 3: 1-3. 94 Romans 10: 17. 95 Romans 10: 14-17. 50 in your day, then you do not have faith in Him. You will fall short of that faith required to become His son and His daughter. It is that way, it has always been that way, it will always be that way. There is no other test. Therefore, either I am a liar and you ought to forget everything I've said, or I have been sent by someone greater than I am. If I have been sent and you reject and quibble over the things I declare to you, it is at your peril! It ought to be that way. I ought to be damned if I'm a pretender, and I ought to be damned and rejected by God if I'm saying things about which I know nothing! But I bear witness to you I know what I'm talking about. I have no reason to lie to you. I have no reason to pay to reserve a place to speak to you, and ask nothing of you but to listen. It requires a sacrifice to do what I am doing. I have no other reason to do this than to tell you the truth. Joseph Smith testified to these things and I am come as a second witness. Therefore you now have two proclaiming the same doctrine” (Christ: The Prototype of the Saved Man, Denver Snuffer Jr., pp.49-50, emphasis added).

 


[1] . . . And thus the Lord did pour out his blessings upon this land which was choice above all other lands. And he commanded that whoso should possess the land should possess it unto the Lord, or they should be destroyed when they were ripened in iniquity. For upon such, saith the Lord, I will pour out the fullness of my wrath” (RE Ether 4:4, emphasis added).


Scott Roderick

2/17/24

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