Episode 37

Great are the Words of Isaiah Pt. 2

ft. Avrahram Gileadi

This is part two of this episode. It picks up right where the previous episode left off. If you haven’t checked out part one, you can find it here

Meghan Farner: Springing off of what you just said there about how our role- we’re meant to become these kings and queens of the Gentiles. But Isaiah seems to indicate that very few of us will actually take on that responsibility. So what is it that you think we’re missing right now, collectively speaking? Obviously, we all have individual things that we need to be working on, but what is it that we are misunderstanding or that we’re failing to do? And how can we change course? How can we really embrace our potential and live up to that Ephriamite birthright that you were talking about.

Avraham Gileadi:  Right? Meghan you really hit on some of the key things here. And in fact, Isaiah is not the only one who predicts the kings and queens of the Gentiles: they’re also restoring the House of Israel, they are gathering them from the four directions of the Earth to Zion.  In Chapter 49 and Chapter 60 of the book of Isaiah he also calls them the Lord’s Watchmen. These watchmen appear on the scene after the Lord’s end-time servant, the New John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ’s Second Coming. By the way, Native Americans have also seen this forerunner in their visions. As Enoch prepared a Zion people, so these do- as he also calls them-the Lord’s servants. And he saves the House of Israel for the sake of his servants; he says that’s an expression. “For the sake of” means because they perform the role of saviors through them, not just saviors in the sense of doing temple ordinances, but actual saviors on Mount Zion as Obadiah talks about and and as the Book of Revelation talks about, 144,000 standing with the lamb on Mount Zion. Those are those kings and queens of the Gentiles. Yes, we’re Ephraimites, but we’re also, because of 2000 or more-2500 years- of assimilation of the lineages of Israel and intermingling of the lineages. Some of us may not just be purely of Ephraim, but also of some of the other tribes. Another 12,000 stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes. But because everything that happens in the end-time has a precedent in the past, the precedent for the 12,000 being 12,000 of each of the 12 tribes are the 12 apostles of Jesus in the New Testament, whom he appointed to be judges over the 12 tribes of Israel, even though they were Jews, probably mainly of the tribe of Benjamin, up in Galilee, where they came from, possibly also of Judah. And there was one Levite, I think. But anyway, it was by assignment. And so it will be as an organization of the kingdom of God in the millennial age, in the New Jerusalem and in the old Jerusalem as well, where the Jews will be established. And the prophet Joseph Smith said the Jews would be re-established in old Jerusalem. All other tribes would be in the New Jerusalem. So yes, those will be very few, comparatively speaking. How many members of the church do we have today, at least on the books?  144,000 out of all of those is not very many. They would be on the earth living at the time. They’re not coming back from the dead, which is a gross misconception of other people who’ve been translated in the past because they have fulfilled their roles on the earth. They’re not going to come back and do another mortality. If they attain that spiritual level, there’s no more need because that’s as high as you can go in this mortality, as a translated being. And those 144,000 have power over the elements. They’re the equivalent of a Seraphim. They are as the angels of God, like the three Nephites were called when they were sent into heaven and were translated. So they were as the angels of God. When Jesus says in Matthew 24, “He will send his angels and they will gather his elect from the four winds.” That is the same thing as the kings and queens of the Gentiles going out and gathering the sons and daughters of God, God’s elect to Zion because they are as the angels of God. As translated beings, they are like small gods in a way. They’re like gods, they already have power over the elements and have the sealing power like Enoch and Elijah and John the Revelator and Nephi, the son of Helaman in the Book of Mormon and Alma, the younger and I daresay, and others.

Meghan Farner:  I guess I’m just wondering what you observe to be holding us back from understanding and embracing our roles as Ephraimite Gentiles. You talked a little bit there about how our ultimate potential and opportunity is to serve on the Seraph level, which is just below the Savior, and it’s as translated beings, which is a mind blowing doctrine when you have the opportunity to learn it. But what is it that you feel like might be keeping us at some of the lower levels on the spiritual ladder and preventing us from becoming who the Lord needs us to be?

Avraham Gileadi:  Right. That is answered by Isaiah in chapters 43-44 and those in that area in the book. And other parts even in the beginning. And it is spiritual blindness. And of course, when you’re blind, you don’t realize you’re blind.  You may think, like Nephi says, they think they know of themselves. And don’t tell us what it means, because we already know. And this is just somebody’s idea or- this is- we haven’t heard that before, so it can’t be true kind of thing. So people do have this sense of entitlement. They think by living the gospel and going to the temple regularly and going to their football games and all of that and watching TV and movies, they think they’re going to go to the Celestial kingdom. No, they’re not. That’s the most basic level that may get you to a safe state, but not an exalted state, which requires some serious labors and some descent phases that qualify you for ascent to those higher spiritual levels. So no, I think what’s keeping us back is, I hate to say this, but an indoctrination into the idea that perfection is something we can leave for far off into the future. Well, that depends on which level of perfection you’re talking about, because even Jesus himself said, “I do miracles today and cast out devils today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.” And it was the atonement that perfected him, as Paul makes abundantly clear. Through suffering. He was perfected through the things that he suffered. He was perfected and that was perfection on his level, the level of the Father. But, for just men made perfect there is also a level of perfection relating to that of celestial level people, and that is through service and suffering, we can be purified and sanctified, we become ministers. We minister to others spiritually to the fullest of our capacity. We’re not tied to the world anymore. It’s where the things of the world are nothing to us. We have no desire to see or indulge in this form of idolatry or that form of addiction that we’re addicted to. And we don’t even realize we’re addicted to them. You know, you have to cleanse our lives totally of all these things that we’re addicted to, whatever they are, even the news. We can be addicted to the news or to golf or to football games or basketball games or to movies or television or to barbecues or you name it. Our little gadgets that we have that we’re addicted to, to our games and to our waverunners or whatever it may be. What are we spending our resources on and our time and energy and means? That is what is going to decide where we’re at spiritually. And those worldly attachments are keeping us and also letting the devils into our lives. And we wonder why we have some problems that occur. We never seem to get beyond a certain point in our prayers because God’s not listening to our prayers because we haven’t done what he’s asking us to do and we don’t pray properly anyway. If you haven’t broken through the faith barrier, and have your own personal portals with God–he’s right there when we pray and we know he is and he’s listening to us and we know he’s listening to us –we absolutely know it and can feel it and we can feel his response. It’s just different degrees of commitment, Meghan that people have. Very few are willing to go all the way and all the way is really hard. But is it worth it? It’s worth it. There’s nothing more worth it. It’s so empowering. Would you not rather do that and and pay the price for that then end up on the other side of the veil and say, “I missed all this, these opportunities here, there and everywhere, and now I can’t do it over or can I do it over, please, God?”– and have all that remorse and gnashing of teeth and so on, expressions that are used in the scriptures of that spiritual state. Do you know God today when Jesus appears and wants to appear to all ten virgins? Are you among those to whom He says,  “I don’t know you. I never knew you. You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. You never got to know me. Who I really am and what I was really asking of you.” And only half of the ones that are active in church possibly are those five wise. And they go into the marriage supper of the Lamb. And what could be more glorious than that? It’s us, ourselves, holding ourselves back.

Meghan Farner:  I think that it’s always a hard truth to hear when you are the problem. The wicked taketh the truth to be hard, right? And so it’s always hard for us to be introspective and to realize that we are living below our privileges and that’s our fault. But can you paint a picture of the process of if we decided to change, what does that spiritual growth require?  You know, obviously we’ve talked about the descent and we’ve talked about the service. But how do we put these things on the altar and how can we get a vision of where the Lord wants to take us so that we feel motivated to do that?  Because the appeal of this world is such a strong pull for so many people. And I think that in some ways we’ve made justifications for ourselves by saying, ”Well, we’re supposed to be in the world and not of the world, and I qualify for that because I don’t drink coffee and I don’t go places on Sunday.” We kind of say that, “Well, we’re following these commandments and that’s what sets us apart.” But I don’t know if that’s necessarily what the Lord means by that. So anyway, all of that’s to say is, how can we find the motivation and the willingness to really put ourselves on the altar and choose to grow in this spiritual process because there are so many amazing blessings that the Lord wants to give us.

Avraham Gileadi:  Right. So if you go to Book of Ether, chapter four where the brother of Jared sees the Lord and he sees the end from the beginning, the Lord shows him all the inhabitants of the world and the brother Jared is a Gentile, right? He’s not of the House of Israel. And the reason I think Moroni makes a big deal about that–he says, in the day that the Gentiles–that’s us by Book of Mormon definition, we’re the fullness of the Gentiles, as I mentioned earlier–in the day that the Gentiles repent of their iniquity and become clean before the Lord, exercise faith like unto the brother of Jared, then the Lord will show those things to us as well. So it’s an open invitation right there that nothing is withheld from us. Even a vision of all the inhabitants of the world. And of course, seeing the Lord himself. But look what the brother of Jared did that formed an expression of his faith. He built those barges, he led that group, the Lord castigated him for not calling upon the name of the Lord at one point, for three hours the Lord spoke with the brother of Jared and says, “And the brother Jared repented of the evil which he had done and called upon the name of the Lord on behalf of his brethren who were with him because he was being a savior and leader and a teacher to them”. And that’s what most people miss, is that he was being a proxy savior to them right there and then. He was suffering things on their behalf. He was praying on their behalf constantly, like Nephi in the Book of Mormon, pouring his heart out daily and nightly on behalf of his people. And all those people on that spiritual level were doing that kind of thing. When the Sons of Mosiah went along to the Lamanites they had that attitude. You can never have the impact as a savior to others unless you’re sacrificing on their behalf. So first of all, we have to stop putting away and stop following lesser laws. Put away your TV set. Put away this out of your life and put away these knickknacks and these games and all these things out of your life. And as you start doing them one by one, whatever addictions you may have to whatever it may be: repent every single day at the end of the day. Do an analysis suggesting counseling. Making a suggestion of this. Did I do this? Was I successful in this? And taking stock of yourself. And as you do that–it’s hard work–but over time, as you put away following lesser laws, the spiritual blindness will start disappearing and new insights and understanding comes to you almost imperceptibly, and it starts beginning to open your eyes and empowering you in ways you never experienced before. I mean, for example, I used to smoke many years ago long before I joined the church but I said, “This is not doing me any good. I’m addicted to this.” And so I made a determination to put it away and as I did so my spiritual life totally changed and I began to be way more active spiritually. The spirit of God could work through me because I wasn’t filled with these toxins anymore, as they went out of my body over time. And so it is with these lesser habits that we have, as we put them away, over time, we become clearer and clearer and are able to perceive things more that help us to make the next move or walk through the next door. As one door closes, another one will open in our lives and the Lord will afford us opportunities to serve, opportunities to labor on behalf of others and to minister to them in whatever capacity may be. And it doesn’t have to be in a formal calling in the church. We have our families. Fathers are proxy saviors of their family. It used to be thus in the old temple endowment, if we understood that properly, we understand that those were the terms of the Davidic covenant: the king keeps God’s law and the people of the king keep the King’s Law and then the king obtains God’s protection of himself and his people. And we see that beautifully in action in Hezekiah’s intercession on behalf of his people in Jerusalem who are surrounded by an Assyrian army of 185,000 men; because the king kept God’s law and the people of Hezekiah–they were tested by the Assyrians, they didn’t go out to them as they were asked to do–they remained loyal to their king. They kept his law. And so the angel of the Lord goes out and destroys 185,000 of the Assyrian men. The men arose in the morning and there were all these dead bodies lying around. Those bodies had loot that that army had conquered. You know, when they conquered other nations they just couldn’t help themselves to the loot for the cost of burying the dead bodies. So the Lord kind of adds another little benefit here and there as well. It’s almost funny to see that in Isaiah, but Isaiah, he makes a lot of fun with God’s people and with the Lord. I think God has a tremendous sense of humor as well. That comes through in Isaiah. When he’s talking about idolaters, he really has some fun with them.

Meghan Farner: He doesn’t mince words, that’s for sure.

Avraham Gileadi: Does not mince words.  And I come from a Dutch background, so I also tend not to mince words and it’s got me into trouble.

Meghan Farner:  I think that the more I study Isaiah, the more I start sounding a little bit more direct. Just through association, I suppose.

Avraham Gileadi:  Well, it’s honest. Being honest with yourself and honest with others. And that is a form of love. If you love your friend, sometimes you have to not just say nice things, you have this tough love involved. The Book of Mormon prophets saw our day and when you look at what they say about us, some of it is horrendous. It is totally blunt and castigating and condemning and this and that, but also very hopeful. It’s never all that way. And the same with Isaiah. We tend to apply as Latter-Day Saints what’s called proof texting, right? We use a scripture to prove something. And we look at all the promises of God in the book of Isaiah, we say, “Oh, well, those are ours. We as members of the church, those are our promises.” “Yes, they are but didn’t you work through the bad news first before you got to the good news?”  “No, I didn’t.” “Well, then how do you know that those promises are yours– those blessings are yours?” You don’t know unless you work through the bad news first and become reconciled with the Lord on his terms, become righteous by his definition, not by your own self-righteousness.

Meghan Farner:  Yeah. This was something that my husband and I ended up having a really extensive conversation about the other night because I think it dawned on him for the first time, and I’m fairly new to this idea too, because you’re totally right. What we do when we read the scriptures is that we assume that all of the good stuff applies to us and all of the bad stuff applies to non-members or people who fight against the church. And what my husband was realizing is that everything is just about the church and we’re talking about end-times and the division and things. And the example that came to mind for him was the Zoramites in the Book of Mormon and how they build these Ramiumptums and they say, “God, thank you for blessing us. We’re the chosen people. We know that you’ve chosen us. Thank you. Okay, goodbye.” And then they go home and they don’t talk about God for the rest of the week. And my husband was reflecting and he’s like, “But who is the audience of the Book of Mormon? Because there’s not a bunch of non-members that are out reading the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon was written for the Latter-day Covenant people. And why, is it to make us feel really good about ourselves and to be able to look at other religions and other practices and other peoples and say, ‘Oh, yeah, you’re the problem. You guys are really bad. You’re just like the Zoramites.’ No, like that’s included in there because we have those tendencies. And it’s a warning to us to beware of pride and not take for granted the fact that we’re the quote unquote covenant people of the Lord.”  And Isaiah’s message, I feel so strongly, is that same thing, that it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter if you’ve made covenants with the Lord, it doesn’t matter if you’re a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, unless you’re actually taking those covenants seriously.

Avraham Gileadi: So yeah, the Zoramites had the scriptures. You know, people make excuses about the Lamanites. The Zomamites had scriptures and they misinterpreted them and they had the sense of entitlement and we may even think that we could become the kings and queens of the Gentiles. But do you know what the role of a king is? We’re just wanna be kings and queens if we’re not actually performing the role of a king. So you have to figure out what was the role of King David, for example. He was a proxy savior of his people, or King Hezekiah. Unless you’re actually performing that role, the role of the brother Jared and others, in the Book of Mormon, then then you’re not it, you’re not one of them. You may be ordained as such, but that’s the end of it, you know? And the thing is, when you superimpose or transpose, the whole book of Isaiah, which I found the literary proof for, when you superimpose it on the end-time as an allegory of the end-time, then who are God’s people that are coming under condemnation In the first part of the book? The bad news part? Well, it is us this time around. It’s not the Jews or the ten tribes as it was in Isaiah’s day. This time it is as clear as day that we’re the people in Second Nephi 28 who say “All is well in Zion.” That’s not some other Zion, it’s an end-time scenario. It’s us this time around and we can’t be pointing the finger at the Jews or at the Nephites or at the Jaredites and all their apostasies and what happened to them and say, “Well, that’s them.” And put all of this stuff at a safe distance. Now this time around it is us and we’re going to divide, as I said, of the Gentiles. The time will come when there’s a division on the one hand, between those who harden their hearts, 1 Nephi 14 and those who repent and get their acts together.  And repentance is not just of menial sins. It’s repentance until you’re actually clear of all those iniquities or those generational things and have totally consecrated your life to God, so there’s nothing left to consecrate. And then you become the saints of The Lamb on whom the power of God descends when the great abominable church makes war upon us. But it’s saints, not by our own definition of Latter-day Saints, it’s saints by God’s definition of holy ones. Those who are truly sanctified of God. They’re the ones in whom the power of God descends, not on the Latter-day Saints as a whole. So again, we keep reading the scriptures through these lenses of spiritual blindness and through our misconceptions and through what Nephi calls ‘the precepts of men’ that we have inherited. From the academic arm of the church we’ve inherited horrible precepts of men. And the answer is, look at the scriptures themselves. Analyze them and search them for yourself. Don’t listen to what people tell you. Don’t listen to what I’m telling you here. Go to the scriptures yourself and figure out what they say, not what people are telling you they say. Not what the manual tells you. Not the chapter headings–those are just people’s opinions. It’s what the scriptures actually say in Isaiah is the grand book of prophecy for the end-time. There’s no other book that compares with Isaiah in that respect.

Meghan Farner:  Yeah. And this exercise I actually have found really helpful because in the way that we read the scriptures–again, excusing ourselves and refusing to think that the covenant curses that are mentioned in the scriptures could possibly be reserved for members of the LDS Church in the last days–it gets really confusing. Like there are parts of Isaiah that I would read before I found these resources that it would sound like things are going really well and then all of a sudden things were bad. And anyway, it was just very confusing.  And so actually being able to be introspective, to admit that we are fallen, to admit that we are sinful and that we individually have great need to repent is actually a great way to clarify the scriptures, in my opinion.

Avraham Gileadi:  Meghan, so, for example, the question we might ask is, “Well, how many translated beings of us, are there in the church?” Do you know of any yet? I don’t. So obviously we’re not there yet. And if we’re not there yet, what have we still to repent of? Something, right? We still have something to repent of. Have we seen the Savior? Has he appeared to us? If not, what have we still to repent of? Because the promises are right there. And some among us have indeed seen the Savior. And that is a glorious thing. But even that is not the end-all of it. To become translated beings, we have to do what other translated beings did. And there are not many back stories, but we have some, like Nephi, the son of Helaman in the Book of Mormon, for example. Read what it says about him. He did not fear for his life, he served the Lord without weariness. And for the brother of Jared, look what he did to inherit those blessings. Or Enoch or any one of them that have been translated. You have to say, “Well then, we still have a lot to measure up to.” Let’s get started, at least because the Lord will open the way as quickly as we are prepared to do it. That is my testimony. I know this to be true. And Meghan, I want to close here and just say, I know these things to be true and that Isaiah is a tremendous help to us. In the end-time, it is a treasure trove of God’s truth. It’s so empowering for all of us. If you simply give heed to it, start applying it in our lives, doing what the Savior asked and has commanded, we will be led as surely as can be into his presence and beyond into the presence of the Father. And that was the kingdom that the three Nephites inherited. You know, it was the kingdom of the Father. See the distinction there between the nine and the three? Let us become those saviors on Mount Zion that Obadiah saw and that John the Revelator saw. Let us become those 12,000 who stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion. The scriptures are there. We have to believe it. We have to ask for it and then do it and implement it. So thank you very much, Meghan, for giving me this chance to speak to you. You’re an amazing host and you see many things clearly, and I know that you’ll continue to see them clearly as time goes on. God bless you, Meghan.

Meghan Farner:  Thank you. Thank you so much, Avraham.

Want to listen to this episode? Listen here. To learn more about Avraham Gileadi’s work, visit: www.isaiahexplained.com



The Book of Isaiah, Isaiah Institute Hebrew Translation

Isaiah’s Seven Levels of Spiritual Humanity

Isaiah’s Literary Structures

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