Saturday, August 30, 2008

#18 "Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things..."

Understanding the role of Joseph Smith is critical in understanding the events of the Marvelous Work.

I started off the first two entries of this blog quoting from the JS Translation of the Bible because it unlocks many of the mysteries pertaining to the events of the last days. I will devote a future entry to the importance of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible.

For now I want to focus on yet another great mystery pertaining to the last days that is revealed in the JST of the Bible.

In JST Matthew 17, after Peter James and John go up on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Savior and see Christ ministered to by Moses and Elias, Christ revealed the amazing secret that there were to be two primary messengers in the last days that would come in the spirit and power of Elijah, he referred to them as Elijah the Preparer and Elijah the Restorer!

(Elias is the Greek translation for Elijah, referring to Elijah the Prophet of the Old Testament who came back to earth as John the Baptist in the Meridian of Time to prepare the way of Christ.... see JST Mark 9:3)

Elijah the Preparer was John the Baptist, who came to prepare the way for Christ in the 1st watch and came again in the 2nd watch to prepare the way for the restoration of the Gospel by bringing the Priesthood to Joseph and Oliver.

Elijah the Restorer is Joseph Smith who will come to restore all things.

In the future I will delicate an entry focusing on the fact that virtually all prophecies have a dual fulfillment. One is usually a "shadow" fulfillment and the other is a "literal fulfillment"

Elijah the Preparer came to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple to proclaim that he had previously revealed the priesthood and transferred the keys of the spirit and calling of Elijah over to him completing the "shadow" fulfillment of the prophecy in Malachi. This enables Joseph Smith to return in the spirit and calling of Elijah when the appointed time of the Marvelous Work begins!

Here is the amazing account in Matthew where the Savior reveals that there are two separate and distinct individuals that come in the spirit and calling of Elijah:

"And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud
overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

And when the disciples heard
it, they fell on their face, and were afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision
to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, as the prophets have written.

And again I say unto you that Elias has come already, concerning whom it is written, Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me; and they knew him not, and have done unto him, whatsoever they listed.
Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them.

But I say unto you, Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist, and also of another who should come and restore all things, as it is written by the prophets."

Here is the account of Elijah the Prophet transferring the keys of Elijah over to Joseph:

"After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us, and said:

Behold, the time has fully come, which was spoken of by the mouth of Malachi—testifying that he [Elijah] should be sent, before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come—

To turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, lest the whole earth be smitten with a curse—

Therefore, the keys of this dispensation are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors"

Truly the time had already come... the first fulfillment of Malachi's prophecy had been consummated when John the Baptist revealed the priesthood to Joseph by the laying on of hands.... Now, John was acknowledging that the keys pertaining to his calling of Elijah had now been giving over to Joseph so that he could return and restore all things in the spirit and power of Elijah when the appointed time of the third watch and Marvelous Work should arrive!

Equally important was the transferring of keys from Moses at that same time. Joseph received the keys to gathering Israel at the time of the Marvelous Work from Moses:

"After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north."

Clearly, Joseph Smith held the keys to gather Israel and restore all things.

Here is another section in modern day revelation speaking of the role of Joseph Smith as the Elias (Elijah the Restorer) who oversees the gathering of Israel and the sealing of the 144,000

" Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?
A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is Elias which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things. D&C 77: 9, 14

There are several similarities between the appearance of messengers on the mount of transfiguration and the appearance of messengers in the Kirtland Temple. One of them is that Christ told his disciples to not talk about the vision until the Son of man is risen from the dead.

Conversely, Christ must have commanded Joseph and Oliver to not tell about the vision they had in the Kirtland Temple as well. For they simply had it documented in writing but never openly spoke about it during their lives.

It was not until 40 years after the event that it was published in the D&C.


Malachi said...

I find it interesting that Christ told the Apostles as they came down from the mount "to tell the vision to no man".

As it worked out this is what happened to Joseph when he received the keys and visitation in 110. I guess very few people knew that Joseph was visited by Elijah until years later. Like it was a big secret.

Malachi said...

You ended your post quoting D&C 77:9. How do you reconcile verse 14which seems to say that John the Revelator also has the calling of Elias and is to help restore all things? Especially when we know that John the Revelator is on the earth today!

D&C 77:14 Q. What are we to understand by the little book which was eaten by John, as mentioned in the 10th chapter of Revelation?
A. We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is Elias, who, as it is written, must come and restore all things.

Someone who is watching said...

Very good point Malachi, there is a parallel there. Christ is visited by Moses and Elijah on the Mount and he tells his disciples to keep it a secret..

Joseph is visited in the Kirtland Temple by Moses, Elijah, Elias and Christ and apparently the Savior told Joseph and Oliver and their scribe to keep it a secret as they never mentioned it to the Saints of that generation and the account was not published in the D&C until 40 years ( a biblical generation ) later!

Someone who is watching said...

Malachi... your second comment is a great observation and question... because the wording in the D&C makes it sound like John the Revelator is the final Elijah instead of Joseph Smith..

According to the Inspired Verion, here is the definition of the calling of Elijah:

"...But I say unto you, Who is Elias? Behold, this is Elias, whom I send to prepare the way before me.."

In otherwords, every servant of God who goes forth to prepare the way, is acting in the spirit and calling of Elijah.

Although John the Baptist was the primary person acting in the spirit and calling of Elijah in the meridian of time and at the restoration of the church, and although Joseph Smith will be the primary (literal fulfillment) servant act in that spirit and calling, virtually every servant involved in a preparatory role is acting in the spirit and calling of Elijah

Although the purpose of this blog is to focus on Joseph Smith with regard to the Marvelous Work, the fact is that people like Oliver Cowdery and Sidney Rigdon and Hyrum Smith will all be returning and acting in the spirit and calling of Elijah, along with the three Nephites and John the Revelator and many others!

Anonymous said...

FYI: I found this interesting. According to the new Joseph Smith papers project (J.Smith's diary from 1838) Joseph writes that Elijah came. BUT then in a sermon he gave in 1844 Joseph describes what Elijah is GOING to do (as in the future - despite the fact that Elijah had already appeared to the prophet in the temple.)

Someone who is watching said...

Great point Anonymous

It is amazing that in his sermon about Elias, Elijah and Messiah which he gave during the Nauvoo period, the whole context was based on the future with no mention of what had already happened in the Kirtland Temple!

In that sermon he separates the terms "Elias" and "Elijah" as being completely separate and distinct missions. This has created much confusion among scholars.

Elias is the New Testament Greek translation for the Old Testament Hebrew term for Elijah. I would suggest that the term "Elias" ALWAYS refers to Elijah in the NT.

From that standpoint JS was introducing a foreign concept.. one that "appeared" to be inconsistent with how the Bible uses the terms.

Nevertheless, the principle being taught by JS is a great key that will never rust, there will be an Elias figure that prepares the way for the Elijah figure.

This will be discussed later in a later post.