To start off I want to thank Tim for following the Spirit. He has received the assignment that he claimed he received. I know it. He knows it. Many wonderful things are happening in the world right now, and many wonderful things are happening in the hearts of individuals. This is where Zion is built, right within the hearts of God’s sheep.
I have felt impressed to share some things that I learned for my own spiritual progression in the past. Many of the things that I have received by revelation concerning certain scriptures may not directly apply to you, but in the small chance that they do, I am glad to share.
Quick, ask yourself, “Why do I want to see Jesus Christ?”…..What comes to mind? Was an answer available immediately? Why do most people want to see Jesus? Seriously, I mean what is it about seeing the Lord that is so intriguing? So many rumors, so many claims, so many people who would love this opportunity, and yet at times we must ask if our hearts are in the right place. I would have to guess that a great many people want to see Jesus Christ to “consume it upon their lusts….”.
Yes, I said it. A lot of people really want to see the Savior because, well, it would be so awesome! Who wouldn’t want a quick peek at our Redeemer? Just to be surrounded in His glory would be amazing. Melvin J Ballard saw the Savior in a dream, and said that he would do ANYTHING to make it back to the presence of the Savior. Many in near death experiences relate that just to be in His arms and feel the unsurpassed love He has is the greatest feeling imaginable.
With these thoughts in mind, I would like to delve into the scriptures and point to some things that I learned about coming into the presence of the Lord, and what the purpose of such an encounter might be.
2 Nephi 32
5 For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.
6 Behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh. And when he shall manifest himself unto you in the flesh, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do.
7 And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be.
First off, a teaching that many are learning at a rapid rate, and that is that in order to see our Savior, we must follow the Holy Ghost. We must obtain the Holy Ghost, and trust in His voice in all things. There is no teaching here to trust in any man. We have heard this a lot lately, and it is beautiful to see many people waking up to this fact, but the meat of these verses that I want to focus on is in verse six. Notice that Nephi doesn’t say “…and there will be no more doctrine given until after he shall manifest himself unto you. And when he shall manifest himself unto you, the things…”. Nephi put in a key that is ABSOLUTELY VITAL to this whole process. He stated unequivocally that the visitation he was talking about was “in the flesh”.
Then he explained that when Jesus does come unto us “in the flesh”, the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do. There it is. The purpose of a visitation from our Savior is to receive higher commandments, higher truths, and then observe to do them.
Wait a minute! Hang on….. just before this Nephi stated that “angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, wherefore they speak the words of Christ…”. Also Nephi said that the Holy Ghost “will show unto you all things what ye should do..”
In countless occasions in the scriptures, we learn that God speaks to individuals by the Holy Ghost. The spirit of revelation is real, the voice of the Lord is real. God can speak plainly to us by the Spirit. We can receive commandments by the Spirit, the very scriptures we read were given by the guidance of the Holy Ghost . So what exactly does Nephi mean that when Jesus appears IN THE FLESH, that “the things which he shall say unto you shall ye observe to do…” Why would we need such a visitation in order for Him to tell us anything? We know right after this Nephi was told by the Spirit to go no further… The Spirit stopped his utterance, and he was left to mourn…
I want to testify that I know that the reason for this is something that God wants revealed to many of His chosen people in this day. The laborers must know, so that they can be prepared to go forth “armed with power”. I pray that I can relate this plainly and in the Spirit, and that a few of the readers might be pierced to their very souls, and learn of God’s desire for them to prepare NOW, so that He might appear to them “in the flesh.” There will be no 144,000 sent, no mighty and strong one raised up, without the truth of these things not only being known, but also being experienced by those chosen vessels.
Let us start with the beginning of the process of being “sent”. In Hebrews 5:4 it is written that “no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God.” The young Samuel heard the voice of the Lord calling him by name “Samuel…” . When Saul was visited by the Savior, the first words spoken to him were “Saul, Saul!…” (His name was called twice, we will come back to this).
Alma 10:6-7 “Nevertheless, I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God…. As I was journeying to see a very near kindred, behold an angel of the Lord appeared unto me and said: Amulek, return to thine own house…..”
From the Doctrine and Covenants, “behold, ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect, for mine elect hear my voice, and harden not their hearts…”.
So a question that we all can ask ourselves, have we been called? Have you heard the voice of the Lord’s spirit calling to your spirit? Even now we can bow our heads in reverence and listen… Listen for the voice of the Good Shepherd. Be still. He will call your own name. We must learn His voice and recognize the call. I know many have heard, and many more will….
“Many are called, but few are chosen….”
How many in times past have heard the voice of the Lord and turned away? How oft have I done it in times past? The answer to my own soul is “Way too many.” I have acted a little like Jonah way too many times. (Sorry Jonah). Man that guy takes a lot of heat. He was actually called, and chosen, and was perhaps one of the best guys around, but he just happened to run away and get swallowed by a whale (or a big fish)!
We each have reasons of the flesh that keep us from hearkening to the voice of our Redeemer; pride, unbelief, fear…it could be anything. The Savior taught that thorns and weeds can choke out the word, a hardened heart, or the wicked one can come steal the word away from us in a variety of ways. We must press forward, feasting on the words of Christ, and not turn back from the call. Again to the scriptures…
Hebrews 3:15 “…To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.”
So Paul is speaking to those who have heard the voice of God.
“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Paul sees fit to reiterate this over and over again in Hebrews. Jesus Christ is the Redeemer! He prepared the way. He paid the price! Our sins are happily forgiven when we look to Jesus! We can look to God in boldness and great faith. There are so many occasions when people begin to pray in faith, and they feel the closeness of God, and then a sin or weakness comes to mind and faith is lost. We are our own biggest critics, and this is just what the adversary wants. We think of all of the reasons why Jesus would not appear to us, and we think of all the reasons why we are unworthy, and find ourselves in despair. In reality this is nothing but a lack of faith. Did Christ atone for us or not? The debt is paid. The deed is done. To think that it cannot work for us FOR ANY REASON is denying the power of God. It is like if someone paid off a giant house for you, and you refused to enter it because you felt too poor to live there. The house is paid off, it is in your name, so why not enter in?
Hebrews 6: “4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”
God wants us to realize, that once we have truly tasted of the heavenly gift we seek, and know certain things and have been given access to certain powers, that there is no turning back. What we are asking for is not something to take lightly, and God will not give us such a thing unless we understand the commitment involved.
17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. – Hebrews 6
Here is another key. Paul teaches us again that we can trust in God’s promises. What promises has He given you? Have you obtained a promise that Christ will appear to you? Have you asked God if He will? Go get the promise! If God tells you anything by revelation then He has sworn by no greater! God cannot lie. His word is Truth. Have faith to lay hold of the promises we have been given. We cannot rely though on other’s promises. We must obtain our own.
In Hebrews 9 Paul teaches us of the tabernacle of Moses, which is a shadow of heavenly things. The first he called a “worldly sanctuary”. This was after a veil was parted, where one would enter in and reach the candlestick, the table, and the shewbread. One was introduced to the presence of the Lord (symbolism of shewbread). The Spirit has taught me that this can be likened to us being born again IN SPIRIT. When we receive the Holy Ghost, and a remission of sins, we are CHOSEN. We have the opportunity to receive in the flesh (if faithful) the things which have been given to us in the spirit.
Many people since the beginning of our earthly existence have obtained this worldly sanctuary. We are reborn unto God and He places a new spirit in us. Our spiritual desires are changed and we walk with peace and joy (most of the time). The problem here is that being born spiritually does not change are bodies. We still have to war against the flesh and we continually have to be reborn spiritually and plead with God daily for forgiveness. There is something greater, and not only something greater but also something absolutely necessary for redemption!
3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; -Hebrews 9
I could paste the whole of Hebrews which I highly recommend studying, but suffice it to say that Paul is teaching that before the coming of Christ, the way was not open for people to enter the “Holiest of all”, save for the high priest, once a year.
Because Christ came and obtained the resurrection, the way is now available for all men and women to enter the Holiest of all! Not only speaking of entering a room in a building on earth, but entering the heavenly sanctuary and coming into the presence of God in heaven. He tells us so many times to have a full assurance of faith, and to not waver. Jesus has done the work, and we need to believe it, and then hearken to His voice until we are lead into His presence.
Paul speaks of testators, and how if we truly want to be chosen and sent, we must be willing to lay down our lives if asked. In fact we must be willing to do anything we are asked! Do we really want this? It seems many people want to behold the Lord, and then come back and continue on with normal life. They do not want to be sent to the Lamanites, or to Ninevah, or to the people of a variety of false religions, or anyone. Who wants to be ridiculed and rejected, and spit at? Do we really want to to “take up our cross?”. Sadly, many people have good desires, but God can see that many also would stumble and fall, if they were chosen for too much, too fast. On the other hand, there are mighty spirits of incredible potential, who have no idea of the power of God that will be placed upon them.
This post is getting long, and this is the first time I have written for a blog. I will continue in a week or two with this line of thought. So far everything that I have mentioned above applies to us seeing Christ in a vision or a dream. We can have these experiences, and they most likely will come before Christ appears in the flesh, but these experiences, although they can be very edifying and uplifting, are not enough. They do not redeem us. In the next post I want to share what I have learned about what people sought after and obtained in the days of Peter, James, and John. It used to be common (ok maybe common is not the right word) for men and women to overcome the elements of the flesh. People became HOLY. They obtained the High Priesthood and saw the Lord “in the flesh”. This power of redemption has not been on the earth for a very long time. Some have gotten close, and God could have blessed many with these things, but many of these blessings have been reserved for this time of the earth, for the times of refreshing, and the restitution of all things. The angels in heaven rejoice for the things developing on the earth!
To finish I feel impressed to share a dream that I had years ago. The dream began with me sitting across from Thomas S Monson in an office. “So you have a mission to fulfill!” he said. I nodded silently and felt happy to be sitting across from the president of the church. He then pulled a wad of cash from his back pocket and reached it out towards me. “You know that if you don’t go on this mission you can become rich…” he continued.
I smiled and slowly pushed the money back. “President, you know that to a man of God money is meaningless.” I responded. He smiled and the scene immediately changed. I stood in front of a great white temple with gold doors. I knew I was in a heavenly realm and was filled with light and peace. I reached out and touched one of the doors and I KNEW that Jesus Christ was inside of the temple.
I was filled with the spirit and reached out to the handle of one of the doors to walk inside. I had all the confidence in the world to open the door and go see my Savior, but just before I opened the door, Thomas S Monson appeared in front of me. He smiled warmly and said. “Don’t go in to see Him, I will bring Him to you!”.
I woke from the dream immediately and knew it had deep spiritual significance for me. At this time I was an active member of the LDS church and I had studied the second comforter and the second anointing and what others had suggested. God had told me that I would “enter the Holy of Holies” and see the Savior.
I thought for some time that this dream meant that I would be called by the first presidency and receive the second anointing, at which time the Savior would appear. I thought it meant that Thomas S Monson had the keys to bring me into the presence of the Lord. What do you think?