101 prophecies (Interpretation)

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1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101

Hebrews in America

the covenant family tree

Above: the major branches of the Hebrew family, and the major branches of the Israelite family. Of all the branches, only Judah had its great prophecies fulfilled in the land of Canaan.

Predictive prophecies are in red. Other prophecies (teachings) are in black.


Bible teaching 12. The forgotten Hebrews

Genesis 10:21-32: Eber (father of the Hebrews) was the principle son of Shem (father of the "Shem"itic or "Semitic" races). The Hebrews split into two main branches - the Peleg side and the Joktan side. The Bible follows the Peleg side. But what happened to the Joktan side? It ends with Joktan's children, including Jerah and Ophir.

The Book of Mormon records what happened at about this time, and calls the people the Jaredites. There are numerous clues that suggest that the Brother of Jared may have been a son of Joktan. Yet none of this was realized until many years after the Book of Mormon was published. If Joseph Smith ever knew, he said nothing about it. Unlike most of these 101 points, it appears that no prophet has yet commented on this. I first came across it in Reynolds and Sjodahl's "Commentary on the Book of Mormon." (Deseret, 1961).

This is a big topic, and raises many questions. For a more detailed discussion of Jaredites in the Bible, click here.

In conclusion, Mormonism may solve one of the earliest mysteries of the Bible - what happened to literally half of all the Hebrews - the descendants of Joktan? Why does the Bible tell us about these families then just ignore them? Now we know - the great Hebrew families are spiritually reunited at last.

13. Believers are the seed of Abraham - and only the Mormons care

Genesis 11-25 description of Abraham. According to Galatians 3:29, those who accept Christ become Abraham's seed and heirs. Yet most Christians disregard this important detail. In contrast, the Mormons not only have a clear idea of what being a heir means, but have additional scripture concerning this key Biblical figure.

Recent non-LDS scholarship reveals many new details about Abraham, many of which are in the LDS Book of Abraham, but not in the Bible. For example, the location of Ur, Abraham on the sacrificial altar, the plain of Olishem and many other details. Another example relates to Isaiah 53 - the "suffering servant" motif. This is applied to Christ, but applies even more to Abraham, according to apocryphal sources. Comparing the apocryphal and Mormon sources, the Mormon Book of Abraham comes off extremely well. This is a huge and complex topic, so I shall write no more on it. But it is most definitely Mormon territory!



14. America and the Gathering of Israel

Genesis 15-17 and 49: Abraham's and Joseph's promised lands.

Perhaps the strangest teaching of the restored church of Jesus Christ is that America plays an important part in the gathering of Israel. The church teaches that after the Second Coming of Christ, there will be two world centers for Israel. One will be at Jerusalem; the other will be in America. Once again, this is supported by Bible prophecies, prophecies that every other church chooses to ignore or downplay.

Abraham is promised the land of Canaan, and (according to later books of Moses), perhaps many adjoining lands too. Yet, when his great-grandson Joseph is given his birthright (Genesis 49:26), he is promised even greater things - his blessings are above those of his progenitors! All the children of Israel were allotted a portion of the Abrahamic lands, so how could one son, Joseph, receive more than all of them put together?

One interpreter of Genesis 49 (see the audiotape "conversion of a Jew") interprets the Hebrew of Genesis 49:26 in an interesting way. He says that "utmost bounds of the everlasting hills" can be read as "where the hills go from one end of the earth to the other". Where is this?

Joseph's blessing began by saying that he was "a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall" (Genesis 49:22). So, where is the land of Joseph's inheritance? Somewhere over water (the side of the well), somewhere larger than the whole middle east, where a mountain range runs from one the bottom of the world to the top.

There is only one place on earth that fits this description - America. These are the greatest promises in all scripture (as far as promises for this life are concerned). And only the Book of Mormon can show their fulfillment. (For more on America, see the earlier comments on the Hebrews and Joktan, and the later commentary on Isaiah 18.)

More than one promised land

We tend to think of Canaan as the promised land because Abraham's seed was to go there (Genesis 12:1-7). But the first promised land was Eden - far from Israel. The next promised land was the whole earth - which Noah was to replenish (Genesis 8:17, 9:1 - the earth was divided between his descendants in chapter 10). Even in Abraham's time and after, different righteous people were to live in different places. For example, there were priests in Midian - Moses married the daughter of one (Exodus 2:15-21).. They must have been authentic priests, as God was very clear about not marrying local people who were not of the covenant people (Genesis 24:1-4; 27:46; Deuteronomy 7:3). They must have known about the land of Canaan, yet chose to live in Midian. Similarly, there were wise men in the east at Jesus' birth. They appeared to be righteous and inspired by God, and knew about the land of Israel, yet did not live there.

The problem of the gathering is solved

The recognition of America solves a great problem with Bible prophecy - the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies for Gentile converts.

According to Galatians 3, those who accept Christ also inherit the promises of Abraham (see especially verses 9, 14, 29). So they also inherit the promises of a literal and physical homeland (see Genesis 17:7). But how can all the convert believers inherit the land of Israel? Where would they all fit? And most of the promises about inheriting the land talk about gathering to the place where the people were scattered from - prophecies that have their greatest significance only to those who ancestors came from Palestine. Convert Christians have no particular links with Palestine. Indeed, Jesus warned that Jerusalem would be trodden under the feet of Gentiles, and after that the New Testament only looks forward to a heavenly Jerusalem. So where, if believers are to inherit the promises of Abraham, do they gather?

A focus on the time of the law of Moses may distort the wider view

The emphasis on the land of Canaan/Israel is because we have so many scriptures from the period of the Law of Moses, the time and the people for whom Canaan and exile from Canaan had a special meaning. But the law of Moses was only a small part of history, a temporary thing. We need to see the big picture. The promise to Abraham, for example, existed before and after the law of Moses (Galatians 3:18-19).

So if we look beyond the law of Moses, we see one homeland for Adam, the whole world for Noah, a small part of it for Abraham, a greater land for Ephraim, another for Midian, and another for the wise men of the east.

Zion

Zion, literally, refers to the hill in Jerusalem. It is the place of gathering. Throughout the Bible its use is more symbolic than literal. Indeed, the name Zion (Strong's number 6726) is the same as the word for signpost, monument, or marker (Strong's 6725). Zion is the signpost for the faithful. By New Testament times, its use is purely symbolic (Hebrews 12:12).

Conclusion: Zion and America

So, in conclusion, it is entirely appropriate for the gathering place of each of God's faithful peoples to be a different place, and each could be referred to as their Zion, their signpost or marker. And since the largest promised land of the Bible fits the description of America, then America is the most significant Zion of the last days, according to the Bible.



15. A great covenant - only the Mormons have the vision to accept it!

Genesis 15-17: Abraham's covenant. This was never overturned or revoked. Yet how many modern churches consider it a live issue? How many Christians know specifically what it entails? The LDS church does. (And before you assume I am anti-Palestinian and a Zionist, there is nothing in the covenant about driving out previous inhabitants of the land). In case you think that Abraham is Old Testament material that can be ignored, remember that Jesus referred to heaven as "Abraham's bosom" (Luke 16:22-23).

A covenant is in two parts - God does one part, we do the other. What was Abraham's part? Look at Genesis 17:1: The command to be perfect (see also Matthew 5:48). How many churches take this command literally? How many teach that their members that perfection is even possible, let alone that it should be a goal? Only the Mormon church accepts man's part of the Abrahamic covenant!

16. Sacred truths - and only the Mormons know their significance

Genesis 32: Jacob wresting with an angel: This and many other references throughout the Bible have extra significance for members of the LDS church, particularly those who have been temple-going members for many years. Some topics are not appropriate to discuss on the web, so I shall leave it at that.

Hidden teachings are discussed in relation to the last twelve verses of the book of Mark.

17. Of all Christians, only the Mormons have the Biblical attitude of common sense

Genesis 41 - preparation; the seven good years and seven bad years. The Bible is full of common sense (like store food in good times in preparation for bad times). Only the Mormons teach of food storage as a matter of policy.

Other churches use the "take no thought for the morrow" statement (Matthew 6:34) as an excuse not to plan ahead. But they ignore the context of that verse. The section in question begins with verse 24 (see the paragraph mark in the King James version - the small backwards "p" sign). Jesus is commanding against serving mammon (money) like the gentiles do (verse 32). Jesus is saying that we should not worry about physical things. If we seek the kingdom of God, everything will be OK (verse 33). That is exactly what they Mormons do. The kingdom of God is the Church. It teaches its members to store basic foods. The members do this and have no need to worry. In contrast, other churches do not take care of these things. Their members have every reason to worry. Their imitation kingdom of God cannot look after its people when things get tough.

The wise course is summed up in 1 Timothy 5:8, speaking of material goods - "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."

18. The greatest physical promises in all the Bible - fulfilled in the Book of Mormon!

Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33:
The central importance of the tribe of Joseph. These are the two great chapters where the history of Israel is foretold. In each case, two of the twelve tribes stand out. Judah is promised that through his lineage will come the Messiah. The Bible records the fulfillment of these prophecies. But of all the tribes of Israel, the greatest promises are reserved for the tribe of Joseph. Both in space devoted to his promises and in terms of the promises themselves, the tribe of Joseph had the most dramatic and significant future. Yet, the Bible says nothing of how these amazing prophecies are fulfilled! That task is left to the Book of Mormon.

19. A great blessing from God, and only the Mormons have it

Still on Genesis 49 and Deuteronomy 33: consider the practice of the great patriarch giving prophetic blessings to his sons. Individual prophecy for all believers!- what a tremendous blessing! This came from before the Law of Moses so there is no reason to suppose that it was ever done away with. Yet, only the Church of Jesus Christ continues the practice.



101 Bible prophecies: 1-11 | 12-19 | 20-32 | 33-38 | 39 | 40-55 | 56-70 | 71-79 | 80-86 | 87-101

 

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