Thursday, August 25, 2022

Apostasy in the Last Days (Amos; Joel)

Amos and the Role of Prophets

READ Amos 3:7

Why does the Lord follow this pattern?

His work is to bring about our immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39).

…which requires that WE bring our lives into conformity with His ways (see LoF 6:4 and LoF 7:9).

…which means that we must understand what it takes to do that (see 2 Nephi 31 and 32:3-7 and D&C 93:1).

…which means that God must begin by revealing Himself to at least one person, initially, to give His instructions (see LoF 2:54-56).

…but must end with each of us knowing Him for ourselves if we are to have eternal life (see John 17:3).

What is the objective of having prophets?

So that all that will hear their testimony will inquire after the knowledge of God THEMSELVES – leading to the most glorious discoveries (the Lord Himself) and eternal certainty (sealed up) – see LoF 2:56, again.

What secret does the Lord not put in motion until He has revealed it first to His prophets?

That He is coming.

…because once He comes, the probationary period is over (or at least significantly constrained, as the wicked will not be able to stand – for them it will be over).

What is most prophesy about?

The comings of God/Christ to the earth – either His first coming as the suffering servant to redeem Israel spiritually or His second coming in glory to rule and reign on earth and redeem Israel physically.

What is the message of all true prophets?

To repent, so that the people can “stand” in the day of the Lord’s coming (either His first or second coming).

 

READ Numbers 11:29

How does this verse inform Amos 3:7 and what are the implications?

Amos speaks of “prophets”, which implies more than one.

We constrain the number of real prophets among us by our lack of willingness to rise up and know God.

If we know God ourselves (i.e. are “prophets”), we will be able to stand when He comes again in glory, otherwise… we will be utterly wasted because we can’t abide the day.

Moses hoped that all Israel would become prophets, for likely this reason (among others… see Numbers 11:29).

 

READ Amos 7:10-17

Who was Amaziah?

The “authorized” Priest at Beth-el (Israel was in apostasy at this time, as the truly authorized priests were in the Kingdom of Judah with the temple – but were in apostasy - so King Jeroboam had consecrated his own priests, regardless…).

How did Amos become a prophet?

Not in an “authorized” way – i.e. he didn’t hold a “calling” to be a “Prophet” or “Seer” and wasn’t from a family bloodline where either he had priesthood (i.e. a Levite) or any kind of spiritual “birthright” – he was a lowly herdsman.

He was called by God as he went about his work.

How did the authorized Priests react to this outsider “prophet”?

They told him to stop prophesying against Israel.

Told him that he wasn’t being politically correct (“Beth-el is the king’s chapel and court”).

Threatened him (the word “flee” is used).

Falsely accused him before the king (“Amos has conspired against thee”) and the people.

 

READ Amos 6:1

What does it mean to be “at ease in Zion”?

It’s not about 100% home teaching or scheduling more service projects,

It’s about complacency regarding our exaltation, which leads to taking our focus away from knowing God and coming unto Christ – and focusing instead on tithing payments, temple recommends, ministering numbers, and leadership callings.

 

READ Amos 8:11-14

In prophetic language, what does “the days will come” imply?

The times around His comings – first and second.

What does a “famine” of hearing the words of the Lord mean?

Either the words of the Lord either aren’t being spoken at all.

Or what is spoken is old and weak and lacks “nutrition” because it has been compromised by the teachings of men.

Or the words have been spoken in strength and boldness but the people won’t hear them – perhaps because they aren’t coming from authorized sources but from those God chooses to speak with.

Where do the seekers go?

All over the earth – anywhere to find truth.

What does “faint for thirst” imply?

Whatever “spiritual water” is found (the “god of Dan”) is bitter or non-nutritious to their souls and causes them to lose spiritual consciousness.

So this implies that the word of the Lord is not being spoken in that day.

 

 

Joel’s Vision of the Second Coming

READ Joel 1:13-16

What will happen because of this “famine of hearing the word of the Lord”?

The priests, ministers and elders will seek to repent “all night” (i.e. at the last minute) to stave off what is coming – in sackcloth and with fasting and in solemn assemblies/counsels/conferences (see D&C 112:23-26).

But it will not work –because it is too late; implied is that the Lord had been warning them but they would not listen until things get really bad right before the end.

 

READ Joel 2:1-3, 11

Who is coming to destroy the wicked?

It is not the US military or Russia/China or Al-Qaeda/ISIS/Taliban.

It is not Zion – they sound the alarm that the “great people” are coming; also see D&C 45:67-70 (no weapons in Zion).

It is the Fathers who are in Heaven (see JSH 1:37 and TPJS 380:2).

It is the Army of the Lord.

Who CAN abide the presence of the Lord and His Army from Heaven?

Only those who can abide the same glory.

Those that are filled with the same spirit, light, truth or intelligence as those that come.

All others will be totally wasted, regardless of their military might or their self-righteousness.

 

READ Joel 2:12-15

What is the difference between the Lord having mercy on Zion vs. destroying the other priests and elders?

In Zion their contrition and repentance is real.

Perhaps it is not last minute, either.

 

READ Joel 2:28-32

What will happen in the last days to all those living in Zion?

Spirit will be poured out upon them.

The veil will be thin – they will have prophesies, dreams, and visions given to them.

God’s glory and light will be within them – they will be quickened by it.

Why will the Lord give them such wonderful and universal spiritual manifestations?

They will need them to survive the day  (Blood, fire, pillars of smoke… the day of the Lord’s coming).

They will have been true to God in the face of the terrible things happening to them, gaining light by wading in faith through the equal and requisite amount of darkness.

Who will these people be who survive the day?

A “remnant” who the Lord shall call.

The “self-elect” who choose to be seekers – and ultimately, become “finders” of the most glorious discoveries (the Lord Himself) and eternal certainty (sealing or quickening) which enables them to stand in the presence of the glory of the Lord and those who come with Him from the heavens.

 

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