Friday, October 11, 2019

The End, Part 7: The Beginning

And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign, that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place, that I shall gather in from their long dispersion my people, O house of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion.
—3 Nephi 9:11 NC

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

The Father’s work is moving forward, just as the Lord said it would. The 9th chapter of 3 Nephi in the New Covenants Edition of the Book of Mormon gives the Lord’s outline of what to expect and how it will unfold. Let’s consider his message.

It actually begins a couple of chapters earlier when he quotes Isaiah as follows:
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. Break forth into joy, sing together ye waste places of Jerusalem, for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God (3 Nephi 7:6 NC).
But then, oddly, the Lord abruptly stops and gives the explanation as to why:
I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time; therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father, in my name, that ye may understand and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again (3 Nephi 8:1 NC).
You may recall that the Lord next heals the sick, conducts a prayer circle with the children, opens the heavens, and institutes the sacrament. The next day, he continues by holding a prayer circle with the twelve and providing the sacrament again. The whole multitude is then filled with the Holy Ghost, at which point the Lord can continue his message. I wrote extensively about this episode in another post.

Our Lord continues his message from the previous day by referencing the Isaiah passage he previously quoted:
Ye remember that I spake unto you and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled — behold, they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them — and verily, verily I say unto you that when they shall be fulfilled, then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. Then shall the remnants which shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the earth be gathered in from the east, and from the west, and from the south, and from the north; and they shall be brought to the knowledge of the Lord their God who hath redeemed them (3 Nephi 5:7 NC).
In this explanation, he both gives a summary of, and sets the theme for, his entire message. He then delivers the balance of the message—the words his Father commanded—consisting of a beautiful double chiasmus. It’s really worth reading the whole thing, and I suggest you do that. I can’t begin to do it justice in a single blog post. In fact, This single sermon from the Messiah can, and should, be the object of many hours of study.

But since I have a point to make, I’ll offer the briefest of summaries of the dual chiastic message as follows:

Opening Theme: The gentiles will be trodden down by the House of Israel if they don’t repent.

First Chiastic Message


A. This land (America) is the land of promise for Joseph

B. When Joseph inherits the land, the watchmen shall lift up the voice, see eye to eye, and sing together. The Lord has made bare his holy arm. (From Isaiah 18:8 OC) This is the fulfilling of the Father’s covenant.

C. The scattered remnants of Israel will be gathered in and come to the knowledge of God.

D. This land (America) is your land of inheritance (Joseph). 

E. The gentiles scattered Israel, but Israel will now scatter and tread down the gentiles

F. I will establish New Jerusalem in this land to fulfill the covenant with Jacob. The powers of heaven will be there, and I will be in the midst. I am the prophet Moses spoke about.

f1. You are the children of the prophets, and part of Abraham’s covenant through which all the kindreds of the earth would be blessed.


f2. The Father raised me up first, to bless you in turning you away from your iniquities


f1' Because you are children of the covenant, and after you are blessed, all the kindreds of the earth will be blessed

E' Gentiles scattered the people, but their iniquities will be returned on their own heads.

D' Jerusalem is the land of their inheritance (Judah)

C' The Fulness of the gospel will be preached, they will believe, pray to the father in Messiah’s name, and be gathered.

B' When Judah inherits the land, the watchmen will lift up the voice, see eye to eye, break forth into joy, sing together

A' Jerusalem shall be redeemed


Second Chiastic Message


A. My people shall know my name; I am he that doth speak

B. A servant will publish peace and teach repentance, but will be marred; kings shall shut their mouths because they hear and see new things

C. The covenant will be fulfilled and Jerusalem will be inhabited by his people. Here’s the sign to tell you when this is about to take place:

D. When these things which I declare are made known unto the gentiles (it is wisdom in the Father that it comes through the gentiles to you) and come from them unto you

E. From the gentiles to a remnant of your seed

F. The covenant of the Father with the House of Israel will be fulfilled

E' It will come from the gentiles to your seed

D' It behooves the Father that it comes to the gentiles first, so they might repent and become numbered among the House of Israel

C' This is the sign the work has already commenced unto the fulfilling of the covenant

B' Kings shall shut their mouths when the marvelous work is declared by a servant who will be marred and healed.

A' Those who won’t believe Christ’s words, spoken by his servant, shall be cut off from the covenant

Closing Theme: The gentiles will be trodden down by the House of Israel if they don’t repent.

Like I said, the message is immensely rich and complex; it is worth the time to study it out properly. This little diagram is only the barest of outlines. Nevertheless, let me point out a few themes from it.

  1. Notice the opening and closing warning to the gentiles (in red). Their time is up, the sword of justice hangs over them, and destruction awaits.
  2. The Lord used specific prophecies from Isaiah to illustrate coming events in our day.
  3. In the first chiasmus, the first half is all about “this land” (America) to be inherited by Joseph’s seed. The second half is a mirror image, all about Jerusalem to be inherited by Judah’s seed. This reinforces the idea that covenant fulfillment starts among the gentiles who become numbered with Joseph, then goes forth to Judah from Joseph.
  4. The Father WILL keep the covenant he made. Their fulfillment absolutely depends on people being willing to repent and believe in the Messiah.
  5. Keep in mind, this is the message the Lord couldn’t even preach at first because the audience wasn’t prepared. Only when they were filled with the spirit did he convey this information.
  6. The Lord specifically stipulated that this message must be recorded for future generations. It must go first to the gentiles in the latter days, then to scattered Israel.
  7. This message carefully and specifically lays out the sign that will tell the world when these things are happening.

I hope this series has made it abundantly clear that EVERYTHING about which the Lord spoke is now underway. The gospel has come to the gentiles; a messenger has declared the truth in purity; some gentiles have repented and become numbered among Israel; this covenant gives them the right to this land. And those gentiles who refuse to repent and believe now face destruction. The offering to the gentiles is now complete and the teachings of Messiah must now go to scattered Israel. This brings us to the Book of Mormon.

Gentile Clothing

When the Book of Mormon was published in 1830, the target audience was Christian gentiles through whom the restoration would begin. Consequently, the language and demeanor of the text was given in a gentile-focused translation, featuring King James language and abundant Christian terminology. Words like gospel, baptism, apostle, Christ, priest, church, and dozens of others all ring familiar to Christians, but would be utterly foreign to the books Jewish authors, who would have used different terms for these concepts.

Keep in mind, this book was written by Jews, for Jews, with the stated goal of bringing about the Father’s covenants to Israel. The gentiles were only the warm-up act, to awaken Joseph and set the marvelous work in motion.

Ezekiel prophesied of these events, in the following terms:
The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, you son of man, take one stick and write upon it: For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions. Then take another stick and write upon it: For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions. And join them one to another, into one stick, and they shall become one in your hand. And when the children of your people shall speak unto you, saying, Will you not show us what you mean by these? Say unto them, Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick; and they shall be one in my hand. And the sticks on which you write shall be in your hand before their eyes (Ezekiel 19:4 OC).
If you look at the above verse in its original Hebrew, you’ll find the word here translated as “stick” is עץ (etz). This word actually means tree, stick, wood, lumber, and the like. The more fulsome translation of Ezekiel’s prophecy, therefore, deals with two trees: a tame olive tree (Judah) and a wild olive tree (Joseph) who become grafted together into one tree at the last day. This is a familiar allegory to us all. Like Isaiah, Paul and Jacob, Ezekiel referred to the words of Zenos.

An ancient Jewish interpretation of this prophecy uses “plates” or writing tablets instead of trees. It literally speaks of two sets of plates, or two records—one for Judah and one for Joseph. The record of Joseph will go from Joseph to Judah, and the two will become one.

Of course, the gentile-flavored Book of Mormon cannot effectively reach its intended Jewish audience, who will likely reject it outright due to its intensely Christian flavor and terminology. It also doesn’t help that the follies of gentile organizations and corporations have turned the book into a laughingstock and a punchline. NO gentile church has EVER even BEGUN to use and appreciate this sacred text the way it was intended by its authors and by God.
  • It is not a proof text from which to cherry pick snippets for sound bites in vapid, inane conference talks
  • It is not a book of children’s stories about heroes and villains and virtues
  • It is not a tool for use in convincing people to join a church and pay tithing
  • And it is most certainly not “proof” that an organization is “true,” that an imposter is a “living prophet” or that any church has a monopoly on what came to the world through Joseph, son of Joseph. The text was not published by any church, not officially canonized by any church, and is not the property of any of the gentile churches who have so long abused and ignored it
So, instead of talking about what it is NOT, let’s talk about what this book IS.
  • It is the direct continuation of the Plates of Brass, preserving and continuing the prophetic record uninterrupted after the destruction of Jerusalem.
  • It is the only existing first-temple-period Jewish text in the world. Nowhere else can we find the insights it provides into pre-exile Jewish thought and worship.
  • It is the premier messianic text in existence, giving more insight than any other record into the life, mission, death, ministry, and impending return of the Messiah.
  • It is the most sublime ascension text available, providing the direct teachings of those who ascended into the personal presence of God.
  • It is the prophesied record to come forth in the last days, from Joseph to Judah, destined to launch the restoration of scattered Israel, the unification of Judah and Joseph, the return of the covenant people to their lands of promise, and the preparation of God’s family to meet him at his coming.
  • It is the embodiment of the Marvelous Work and Wonder.
  • It is the Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim.
And the Lord has, at long last, allowed this marvelous record to shed its gentile disguise, return to the language and pattern of its Hebraic origins, and bear witness to scattered Israel of their covenants, their Messiah, and their God. After 190 years, this most miraculous book is finally prepared for its target audience.

The prophecy of Ezekiel stands fulfilled. The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim has been published.


Actual photo; not a mock up


Publication

Yosef ben Yosef (Joseph, son of Joseph—known to you as Joseph Smith Jr.) received the plates from Nefi on September 22, 1827. That day was not only the autumn equinox, but was also Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish calendar. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, and is celebrated by the blowing of the Shofar (a trumpet made from a ram’s horn.) The blowing of the Shofar is the signal used to call Israel to gather. It is entirely fitting that this is the day the plates came to Yosef.

The Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim was published on Rosh Hashanah, 2019, sounding the signal for the gathering of scattered Israel. The publication fulfills prophecies and timetables too numerous to even list here. Suffice it to say, it is a miracle wrought by the hand of God.

You may recall from this series of posts that a lightning strike on June 28 of this year symbolically blinded and silenced the golden watchman on the corrupt gentile tower. His shofar was destroyed so that it could not be blown. You may also recall that the next day, June 29, marked the end of the gentile fulness and the beginning of the restoration of Israel, as evidenced by numerous signs, including a calendar alignment that takes place once in 10,000 years. 

June 29 also happens to be the day the copyright was filed for The Stick of Joseph, recording on earth—and in heaven—that this work does not, and never will, belong to any gentile institution, church, or corporation. Their opportunity has ended, and even the legal right to the text has reverted to the House of Israel.

None of this was done by human intention. Only weeks later did I discover this miraculous alignment of signs, wonders, events and dates. God has done this.

Availability

A number of copies have already been printed and are currently being proofread to catch any final errors. When this process is complete, print-on-demand copies will be available for purchase at the publishers minimum allowed price. PDF versions and a searchable online version will also be made available to the world at no charge. All of these will be deployed in the coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, a leather-bound, high quality version is being made available in conjunction with the leather RE scriptures. The same cover options and colors will be offered for the Stick of Joseph as are offered for the other scriptures.


Artist's Rendition of Leather Version in Blue Lambskin


But time is of the essence!

The window for ordering leather-bound scriptures closes on October 15th. Because the Stick of Joseph has just been announced, the ordering window—for the Stick of Joseph only—has been extended one week, to October 22. You'll need to act quickly to order a leather-bound Stick of Joseph, should you desire to do so. Orders are live now, and can be accessed at the following link:



Remember, print-on-demand paperbacks should be available within weeks. Orders will open for those as soon as they’re ready, and shipping will take a few days from the time orders are placed. The leather-bound versions, if ordered now, are currently expected to be available around March, 2020, with the rest of the RE scriptures. See the above link for more information.

This is an epic moment in human history. This is the sign our Lord said would tell us the Father’s work has already commenced. This is the beginning of the fulfillment of the covenants to the fathers.

And I will remember the covenant which I have made with my people, and I have covenanted with them that I would gather them together in my own due time, that I would give unto them again the land of their fathers for their inheritance, which is the Land of Yerushalayim, which is the promised land unto them for ever, says the Father. 

And it shall come to pass that the time comes when the fullness of my besorah shall be preached unto them, and they shall believe in me, that I am Yeshua HaMashiach, the Son of Elohim, 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 Yerushalayim for the land of their inheritance. Then shall they break forth into joy. Sing together, you waste places of Yerushalayim, for the Father has comforted his people, he has redeemed Yerushalayim. The Father has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of the Father. And the Father and I are echad.
—3 Nefi 9:8-9 SoJ

16 comments:

  1. People have asked some good questions about things I didn't make clear in the post. Here are a few items that should help.

    First, this is not just the Book of Mormon with a new title. Its starting point was the New Covenants version of the Book of Mormon, with the following changes made.

    1. Archaic language and terms updated to modern English.
    2. Common Christian terms replaced with their culturally correct Hebraic equivalents.
    3. Major names altered to their Hebraic spellings.
    4. Names of deity given in their Hebraic forms.
    5. Extensive footnoting to provide explanation of the underlying Hebraic nature of the text.
    6. Text and quotations from the Tanak (Old Testament) noted in bold.
    7. Explanations and introduction properly couching the text in its historic and cultural setting as a first-temple-period Hebraic text, written by Jewish refugees from Jerusalem.
    8. A glossary of Hebraic names and terms, with their definitions and Hebrew spellings, where applicable.
    9. A reference list of Tanak (Old Testament) prophecies fulfilled by this work.

    The text is written in English, with Hebrew terms defined in the glossary. This volume contains no “Christian” language or culturally inappropriate references and is suitable for a Jewish audience. A non-Jewish audience will find the text accessible with the help of the glossary, and will experience new insights into the book and its teachings because of the Hebraic information incorporated into the text.

    The above changes were made by a group of dedicated volunteers, over the course of several months, comprising thousands of hours of effort. These changes were authorized by the Lord.

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  2. Adrian -

    Thanks for your statement. Three quick questions of my own:

    1) What makes this version different than the other similar ones?
    2) What makes this one fulfill the prophecy and not the other similar ones?
    3) Is there a revelation From Heaven authorizing this/verifying the fulfillment?

    Thanks.

    - Jeffrey Richardson

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jeffrey,

      I'd suggest the answers to all 3 questions will be found by reading the book. There will be free ebook, PDF and online versions available soon.

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  3. I have waited for this day since I first sat in Cleon Skousen's Old Testament and Book of Mormon classes back in the early 70's. He taught and warned us of The Fullness of the Gentiles and to prepare ourselves. I am so happy to order and look forward to reading the Stick of Joseph in the Hand of Ephraim...and then sharing it with others (the Lord willing).

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  4. I am nearly overcome with emotion, and deeply grateful to all those who have labored and sacrificed to bring this work to publication. There is joy and rejoicing at our house today. On behalf of my children and their Sephardic ancestors in the lineage of Shealtiel, thank you. Just thank you.

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  5. 24 hours ago, I had zero thoughts on such a thing as this, but this announcment hit me out of nowhere like a bolt of lightning, how great things the Lord is doing before my eyes.
    I then thought of all the fuss over the “managerial” changes made in the last few LDS conferences, changes made in corporate America daily, pulled off as “revelatory “they all seem silly in comparison to what the Lord done in that same time period with the scriptures alone.

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  6. Thank you all for this labor of love. And thank you Lord. In a way...the book of Mormon/stick of Jospeh can be "unsealed"/understood as intended by our savior and Messiah. More yet to come of course. Thank the Heavens!

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  7. This project seems like a great labor. It will be an interesting read. However, my question is why not produce just a Hebrew translation for Hebrew speakers. This Hebraic version for English speakers is novel, but not really targeting a specific real language group or culture.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy, Thanks for asking. Couple of things to keep in mind. There are more Jews in America than in the rest of the world combined, and the vast majority of Jews in the world speak English either as a first or second language, far outstripping Hebrew. Of course a Hebrew translation is necessary as well, but English is the most obvious place to start.

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    2. It reaches a very real language group and culture, that is why David Stern created the "Jewish New Testament" in what he called "Jewish English." More Jewish people live in New York, much less America, than in Israel. - signed: A Jewish believer in the Stick of Joseph

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  8. Thanks Adrian. We have ordered ours, is there a PDF version somewhere that we can start reading ?

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    Replies
    1. Not yet. It is still being proofread and corrected. When it is finalized, it will be available for download. Probably a couple of weeks.

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  9. But before we talk about the next passage, first I want to talk a little about The Book of Mormon The Earliest Text. There are many reasons this is my favorite edition of the Book of Mormon, one being the sense-lines another being taking the text back to the original as much as possible showing more of the Hebrew structure in the text. Ideally I would have a Book of Mormon combining elements from multiple Book of Mormon editions that are out there already. Including the Voices From The Dust an edition from Rob Kay in how he uses Hebrew terms for some concepts. Along with text being formated in a way that makes the poetic nature obvious to everyone as done in Poetic Parallelisms in the Book of Mormon The Complete Text Reformatted. The one specific thing I want to bring up about The Book of Mormon The Earliest Text is how it shows the chapter breaks from the Gold Plates. To quote Royal Skousen from the Editor’s Preface on page xl:

    Chapter Breaks
    The original text had sections that Joseph Smith decided to call “chapters”, even though the word chapter itself is extracanonical and is never used by any writer within the Book of Mormon. Apparently as part of the revelatory process, Joseph would from time to time perceive breaks within the text. At those points in his dictation he would tell the scribe to put the word chapter into the manuscript but without any numerical specification (the chapter numbers were added later, sometimes months later). The RLDS church (now known as the Community of Christ) has maintained these original chapters in their editions and has added versification. The LDS system, in comparison, has divided the original longer chapters into shorter ones so that no chapter ever reaches a hundred verses. Because the original chapter breaks seem to have been a non-verbal component of Joseph’s revelation, I have included them in The Earliest Text, but not as words. Instead, I have indicated their position with the symbol [stylized “~” (tilde)].

    https://seekingyhwh.com/2018/12/09/on-the-morrow-morning/

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  10. Thank you for your sacrifices to bring this about. It inspires me to be about my Father's business and dedicates my talents to this work.

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  11. This is very exciting, and hopefully will inspire believing Jews to start on a Hebrew translation soon. It raises a question though, the BOM and the revelations given to Joseph describe the scriptures first going to the Lamanites and other list tribes and after to Judah and the rest of the House of Israel. Are there similar efforts underway to reach the other tribes?

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Hey everyone,

It's been brought to my attention that comments from mobile phones might not come through in some situations. If you commented and it hasn't appeared, try sending from a computer or other device, or use the "Contact Me" tool to reach out to me personally. Sorry for the problems! The blogger platform, though free, seems to have problems.