Tuesday, March 31, 2015


  • "For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness." (Moroni 7:30)

As it was in the days of Kirtland so shall it be in the days before people find themselves going off the deep end again. There is a lot of talk about angels, seeing angels, and "angelic" experiences.  Some are believable and legitimate.  Others are right out of a scene from Star Wars with the accompanying Lucas Arts Special Effects.  The challenge we face is discerning reality from illusion and the holy from the profane. 

The word angel is translated from the Hebrew word malak (angels (pl.) or malakim (pl.).  The word means messenger.  It does not necessarily mean a supernatural being although what we would consider a higher or supernatural being can be a messenger (malak).  In scripture, the word can also be applied to mortal men who are sent by God with a message to deliver to his people.  In Hebrew eyes a messenger could be Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Moses, Samuel, Samuel the Lamanite, King Benjamin, Nephi, they guy down the street, your mother, or anyone delivering a true message from God.

If we use this scriptural definition then an angel or malak can be anyone who is sent by God with a message for us whether they be immortal or mortal. This may disappoint some because our tradition is to imagine a 12 foot tall heavenly being that glows like a 500 watt light bulb and who causes the earth to shake when he speaks. This should help us to understand that the importance of receiving an angel is not in the glorious encounter (although that can take your breath away) but in the message itself-- and it is in the message that we must focus and discern.

So with that broader definition in mind, it may open our eyes to see that God may be sending many messengers to us in our everyday lives. But of course our desire is also to be administered to by those messengers on a higher level on Jacob's ladder so that we through their assistance may ascend the next step.  So how is this done?  

In Moroni 7:30 we are given a key to the ministration of angels, "For behold, they are subject unto him, to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness."

Over the years, I have heard just about every theory in Mormonism to explain this scripture each getting more and more complex with every explanation because people just can't seem to figure out why Angels have ceased to minister as in the ancient days.  The complex doctrinal theories fall apart when compared to simplicity of the Hebrew scriptures.  So let's take a look at Moroni 7:30 with our Israelite glasses on. 

For behold - Listen and comprehend

they are subject unto him - true angels are servants of Christ

to minister according to the word of his command  - they deliver their message in accordance with Christ's instructions

showing themselves unto them of

strong faith - those whose minds and actions demonstrate trust and loyalty to God

and a

firm (decisive) mind (will, intent)

in every form of godliness - In Hebrew godliness is equated with keeping God's commandments.  

So if we put it all together in our modern vernacular it might read something like this:

Listen and comprehend, true Messengers are servants of Christ who are subordinate to the  decrees and instructions of Christ, to deliver their message in accordance to Christ's Laws (Torah- Instructions), manifesting themselves to those whose mind and actions demonstrate trust and loyalty to God and who have a decisive will or intent to keep God's commandments. 

In other words: Angels come to teach the words of Christ to those who place their trust in and are loyal to him and whose goal is to fulfill his commandments in their every day lives.  

We see the same principle in other places:

"And wo be unto the children of men if this be the case; for there shall be none that doeth good among you, no not one. For if there be one among you that doeth good, he shall work by the power and gifts of God." (Moroni 10:25)

To do good in an Hebraic mindset is that which leads us to fulfill God's commandments. That which is evil is that which leads us away from fulfilling God's commandments. So no one can fulfill God's commandments except he is empowered by the grace/power, and gifts (manifestations or fruits) of God.

To back up this point we also see this same principle:

"Wherefore, beware lest ye are deceived; and that ye may not be deceived seek ye earnestly the best gifts, always remembering for what they are given;

For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me, that ask and not for a sign that they may consume it upon their lusts." (D&C 46:8-9)

The Principle Being Communicated

The principle that is being communicated is that the reason that Angels appear, or that Gifts are given, or that revelations are given is not to dazzle you with special effects, satisfy your vain curiosity, or give you the warm fuzzies.  They are given for the express purpose of fulfilling and helping you to fulfill God's commandments (his laws and instructions).  They are to give you instructions consistent with his laws that will lead you from a state of covenant alienation to covenant oneness with Christ. 

If a messenger or angel comes, or miracles are worked, and amazing signs are given, but they lead you away from fulfilling God's laws and commandments then you may know of a certainty those things were not from God.


Understanding this principle is of great importance because it leads us to one of the Greatest promises from God given in the Book of Mormon:

"And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you." (Moroni 7:26)

The concept of taking upon the name, asking in the name, calling upon the name is very foreign to our culture.  We have been taught to believe that it is literally the vocal expression of saying "in the name of Jesus Christ" and while this is the outward expression of this principle the Hebrew understanding of establishing God's name has to do with representing him accurately and you establishing his righteous dominion and kingdom in your home and the world around you. (A lot more could said on this.)

In a Hebrew Mind, God in Moroni 7:26 is promising that whatever you ask of God that will establish or help you to fulfill his commandments and decrees with loyalty to him believing that you will receive- it will be done!  

Like a righteous King he gives liberally to all those who seek assistance in keeping and enacting his commandments in their lives.  It is not a promise to fulfill our lusts for wealth, status, power, etc, but a promise that if we are seeking to fulfill his commandments we may ask for his enabling power and instructions through Angels, Gifts of the Spirit, and frankly all that the Father has to go out and then take action to live and establish his Kingdom (laws, instructions, decrees, judgments, etc) on this earth and in our own lives---EVEN TO THE ASKING AND BECOMING HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS THROUGH CHRIST!

What better promise OR gift could you ask for?


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sabbath Psychosis

Calendar Wars among Jewish Scholars have been going on for centuries.  There are many different calendars used by Judaism such Hillel’s Calendar, The Lunar Calendar, The Hanochian Calendar, The Levitical Calendar, The Hekhalot Calendar, The Jubillee Calendar, the Aviv Moon Calendar—the lists and debates go on and on.  If ANYONE and I mean ANYONE comes declaring that their calendar calculations are the correct one, I normally tell them to get in line. 

When the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah broke their covenant with God one of the resulting curses was that they would be exiled to nations where they could not obey the Torah.  In other words, because of Israel broke the terms of the covenant they lost their covenant land grant and their descendants where scattered to the four corners of the earth.  Shabbat or Sabbath is a sign of the covenant God extended to Israel.  To this day neither kingdom, Northern Kingdom of Ephraim or the Southern Kingdom of Judah, has ever been fully restored.

It is a noble and righteous desire to want to honor God.  We feel that separation between us and him and in our zeal to restore that relationship we want to establish those things that we believe will help us make that connection with him again.  Let me be clear on one point though, the outward of observance of the Sabbath (Shabbat) and the Feasts of Israel (Moedim)without understanding and walking in the covenant relationship with God is an abomination, “Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting--they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings.” (Isaiah 1:13)

To keep Shabbat and the other appointed times without walking in covenant loyalty to God is similar to having an unfaithful wife that literally has sex with other men while her husband is away, but when he comes home she asks her husband, “What are we doing for our Anniversary?”   I mean really?  Why Bother?  To me, this is the symbolic context of God’s condemnation of Israel in the above referenced scripture.   What is the value of celebrating the Anniversary when in all reality there is no real love, honor, and loyalty from the wife—in this case Israel?

Where are we at?

God has extended an invitation to come to him so that a covenant relationship may be extended.  An invitation to come to the place where a covenant can be extended is not the same thing as having the covenant extended.  Upon coming to the Messiah, God can extend a covenant to us which entails a new point of reference, a covenant land grant, and the establishment of the ordinances or cycles that are involved in establishing a covenant kingdom here upon the earth.  The Sabbath and the other Appointed Times (Passover, Shavuot, Sukkot, etc) are just such ordinances because they involve a people who have entered into covenant with God appearing at his throne to learn from, pay homage to, and establish the commandments of the King in their covenant families and land.

If anyone supplicates to the Father and obtains a witness that they should observe Shabbat then I would say go and do what you are commanded to do.  I myself keep Shabbat out of my tradition, but I am under no illusion that when things are again set in order that what I think may be the day of Shabbat may turn out to be at some other time than what tradition dictates.  

My suggestion would be to learn, rehearse, and use God’s appointed times to teach our families their covenant Identity as Israel and the fulfillment of these times both past and future by Messiah (Christ).  There are many things that we are unable to perform according to God’s instructions without a covenant, a covenant land grant, an Altar, and a Temple to perform them in.  Instead of focusing on endless debates of the when and where of Shabbat or other appointed times, it would seem wisdom to seek to place ourselves in a position so that God may extend to us a covenant just as he did ancient Israel. 

There are many things yet to come forth regarding the ancient of days.  While we have bits and pieces regarding the knowledge, ordinances, and cycles of the celestial bodies that Abraham had there is much being kept from us because of wickedness and unbelief. Rending the veil of unbelief (a Hebraic idiomatic expression) starts by turning back to God, embracing his commandments, and creating a place for him to come to.   

There is a great promise extended to Israel even in our scattered condition:
 “In the future (latter days), when you experience all these blessings and curses I have listed for you, and when you are living among the nations (gentiles) to which the LORD your God has exiled you, take to heart all these instructions.” (Deuteronomy 30:1)
God revealed to Moses that Israel would not be faithful in keeping his instructions.  Moses knew that we would be scattered to the ends of the earth.  We would be found living among nations that did not know the God of Israel and in conditions where we would forget his covenant instructions that he not only gave to all Israel that stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, but to all their future generations yet unborn.  Realizing this predicament God revealed:
“If at that time you and your children return to the LORD your God, and if you obey with all your heart and all your soul all the commands I have given you today, then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes. He will have mercy on you and gather you back from all the nations where he has scattered you.” (Deuteronomy 30: 2-3)
This promise that God revealed to Moses is the backbone of the Great and Marvelous Work wherein God will remember his promises he made to the Fathers and restore the House of Israel.
“Even though you are banished to the ends of the earth, the LORD your God will gather you from there and bring you back again. The LORD your God will return you to the land that belonged to your ancestors, and you will possess that land again. Then he will make you even more prosperous and numerous than your ancestors!  The LORD your God will change your heart and the hearts of all your descendants, so that you will love him with all your heart and soul and so you may live! (Deuteronomy 30:4-6)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

God’s Equation for Zion

“And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.”  Moses 7:18

In Moses 7:18 we are given the divine equation of Zion.  We read these words and we philosophize on their meaning.  In the attempts to achieve Zion in these Latter-Days many a men have read these words and attempted to establish groups, orders, communities, churches all in the attempt to replicate Zion.  The results of their efforts were aptly described by the scriptures, “But behold, this time it hath brought forth much fruit, and there is none of it which is good. And behold, there are all kinds of bad fruit; and it profiteth me nothing, notwithstanding all our labor; and now it grieveth me that I should lose this tree.” Jacob 5:32

Sometimes the greatest of principles are hidden in the simplicity of the language.  Moses was an Israelite and the language he uses in his description of Zion are actually very simple (and yet profound) expressions that are quite common in the Hebrew.  This profound verse utilizes a tool called Hebrew block logic which is very cyclical and picturesque.  It is also a foreign concept to our western minds.  So to simplify matters—I am going to present this using western thinking in the form of a mathematical equation. So Let’s Examine the Equation:

And the Lord (YHVH) called his people Zion, because they were:

Zion = One heart + One Mind + Dwelt in Righteousness = “no poor among them” (the result)


The Hebrew word for Zion, Tzion (ציון) (pronounced TSEE-YON), can be translated as “sign” or “marking.” When God places his name upon a person or a place the person becomes marked.   Zion is Zion by virtue of being established or marked by God and the people who fulfill God’s commandments.  From a Hebraic mindset when a physical object has a sign or marking, should it be lost, the sign enables it to be returned to its owner .   Just as Mount Zion was a monument or memorial (stone or mountain) even so the people become a living nation or monument that is marked by the distinctive laws, statutes, culture of the Kingdom of God- even that order that existed in the Ancient of Days before Israel ever existed as a people.

“Hear (Listen and Obey), O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one (echad-united). You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)

Embracing God’s covenant relationship and commandments is the sign of oneness/unity/harmony which characterizes Zion. 

This same relationship of oneness or unity is also expressed by the Savior:   
“I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.

They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

 I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me. I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one.

I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me.” (John 17:14-23)


In Hebraic thought the heart is the center or source of our thoughts.  In other words to be of one heart the people must be in agreement or in harmony. For Zion to exist and all Israel to be gathered we must be one (echad) or united.  This unity does not come from a vacuum of speculation but on the knowledge that Yehovah is God and he alone is our God.  There is one law Given to all Israel.  It is the same Law delivered on Mount Sinai and renewed by the Messiah.  There is ONE people-Israel; whether by natural blood or adoption.

Their Unity or Oneness comes from accepting God as their King and his laws as their Constitution. They are of one heart because their thoughts are centered on him and the embracing of his instructions  that he gave to Moses and reiterated through Messiah. 


In Hebraic Thought the “MIND” (point to your head) is the center or source of the will of a man.  For a people to be of one mind is to have a united or harmonic desire  to carry out or implement those instructions given by God to Moses and reiterated by the Messiah in the physical world of the here and now. 

In doing so, God promises:

The LORD your God will inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate and persecute you. Then you will again obey the LORD and keep all his commands that I am giving you today.”

“The LORD your God will then make you successful in everything you do. He will give you many children and numerous livestock, and he will cause your fields to produce abundant harvests, for the LORD will again delight in being good to you as he was to your ancestors.
The LORD your God will delight in you if you obey his voice and keep the commands and decrees written in this Book of Instruction, and if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and soul. (Deuteronomy 30:9-10)

By returning (teshuvah-repentance) to the God of Israel and his commandments that he delivered to Israel not only to say them, but to do them in the here and now we will obtain the covenant blessings that will overturn the curses coming upon us.  Rather than destruction we will have prosperity.  Rather than losing our children to a foreign culture we will establish an everlasting inheritance in the land to our God.

There are those who would have us believe we must make some metaphysical connection with spirits and heaven to learn the “secret” before establishing Zion, but in doing so they err.  The instructions of God are the words of plainness.  They are simple and practical.  We can begin to implement them in our homes and families in the here and now.  Zion is the result of loyalty and obedience to God.  It is our loyalty and obedience to God’s instructions that draws heaven to us—the connection.  There is no new revelation or hidden instruction that we need to begin.  God has provided these instructions to us in plainness in his Scriptures:

 “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’

It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’

No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.

 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster.

For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.   (Deuteronomy 30: 10-16)


Dwelling in Righteousness is a Hebraic expression that means the people enacted God’s laws (righteousness) in their society.  In other words their lives, homes, and their communities were centered in and established upon God’s commandments.  This is not theology or philosophy, but the people taking action to organize, declare, and walk out God’s commandments.   In Hebrew Righteousness is the word Tzedakah which is the same word that is translated for Charity.  This word describes not only a state of action but also a state of being or condition:
“If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity (tzedakah); for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.  And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (Moroni  7:44-47)
For Zion or “the marked” to dwell in righteousness or the carrying out of God’s words we carry them out in an intent or condition of : long suffering (patience), kindness, no envy (i.e. no covetousness), no pride (seeking to place ourselves above Gods commandments and other men), not being easily provoked, not being  thinking evil (entertaining principles that would lead us to break God’s commandments), not rejoicing in iniquity (lawlessness), but rejoicing in truth (God’s word), bearing all things (bearing in Hebrew means carrying or working out-in this case God’s words),  believing all things, hoping (or expecting based on God’s promises) all things, and enduring all thing.  


The result of the equation is that as a result of being in agreement or united upon God’s laws/commandments, and being in agreement or united in their will to carry them out, the people actually dwelt in righteousness (a Hebraic expression for living and carrying God’s laws in the real day to day world).

The Messiah stated, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”  (Luke 4:18-19)

In expounding the fulfillment of this scripture the Messiah laid out not only his mission but the mission of every man, woman, and child who would walk in his footsteps as his disciple. 

“And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.  And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.  But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.” (Mosiah 4:13-16)

King Benjamin Reiterates these same principles:

“And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants. And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.”

We are at a crucial juncture in history.  We are being given an opportunity to participate in bringing again Zion, but to do so means we must set aside the brainwashing of our modern churches and embrace God’s scriptural laws. Instead of trying to re-invent the wheel perhaps we should consider that God has already given us an economic system in the Scriptures. Consider for a moment that Moses who was the author of the phrase “and there was no poor among them” also made a similar statement in the Torah and gave the directions for an economic system so that there would be no poor among them: 

“But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today.” (Deuteronomy  15:4-5)

Moses then proceeds to layout several laws regarding tithes and financial laws given by God designed to prosper his people whether in freedom or Bondage.  When these laws were given they were given to the individuals and families in Israel.  THERE WAS NO HOLY 501C-3 CORPORATION SET UP BY GOD!

The Equation was given to us for a reason so that by following it we could pass under the rod and find ourselves in the Shepherd's flock.  No step of the equation can be skipped.  For us It starts with oneness/unity/harmony in the Doctrine of Christ and the commandments delivered from God to men.