This week in our review of the Book of Mormon we’ll continue with our look at chapter 21 of 3 Nephi when Yeshua prophesies of the Endtimes. Yeshua opens His prophecy of the Endtimes by declaring that a “great and marvelous work” is about to come forth – v.9. As an adherent of “restored” Christianity, I was led to believe that this “great and marvelous work” was the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the founding of a latter-day church. Well, now I know that neither of these ideas are accurate. This week we’ll set the stage for this Endtime great and marvelous work by looking at three topics – the Abrahamic Covenant, the Anti-Christ and the Messianic Lineage.
The Abrahamic Covenant
Besides the Book of Mormon being a testimony that Yeshua is the Messiah, the Savior of Humanity, another major theme that we see woven throughout the Book of Mormon is the covenant that God made with Abraham. It is through this covenant that the nations of the earth will be blessed for which God’s Law and Gospel will come to man. So as a precursor to the restoration of all things and the gathering of the House of Israel lies the Abrahamic Covenant - 3 Nephi 21:4,7,22. We saw this occur when Yehovah restored Israel the first time, He had all males circumcised before they could participate in the Passover – Exodus 12:47-49.
Additionally, this great gathering of Israel at the end of the world is also referred as “the Work of the Father’ – a phrase that only appears in the Book of Mormon.
The Sign of the Abrahamic Covenant
A covenant sign is an ongoing witness that person is living within the terms of that covenant. The sign that witnesses that a person is living within the Abrahamic Covenant is circumcision. Without the ordinance of circumcision, a person is considered outside of the covenant and not eligible for the indicated benefits and responsibilities.
Because of a poor understanding of the Gospel, Christianity has eliminated the ordinance of circumcision and therefore they are outside of the Abrahamic covenant. While it is true that redemption from the sin of Adam and Eve does not require circumcision, it is required for sanctification and exaltation.
The false practice of circumcising little children for the purpose of redemption was brought to an end, which we see at Moroni 8:8, but the requirement for circumcision still exists for those who desire to be God’s Covenant People and to be number with the House of Israel. Another false teaching promoted by religionists is that circumcision was only required of the seed of Abraham (McConkie, MD, p.143). But there is only one law for all - Exodus 12:49. Moreover, Believers not raised with the Law are first required to have faith, repent and be baptized – the Doctrine of the Messiah – before they enter into the Abrahamic Covenant and are circumcised.
When we look at this great and marvelous work and the rule of the Anti-Messiah, what we get is a sub-sequence during the Endtimes, which looks like this –
The Seed of the Messiah
One of the puzzling things that we see in the Book of Mormon is how the term “Gentiles” is used and how the Gentiles will gather the House of Israel at the Endtimes. Some have speculated that it will be the tribe of Ephraim that was absorbed into the nations, but the Book of Mormon doesn’t ever make that connection, who are these Gentiles that will gather Israel at the end of the world,
One of the patterns we see in the scriptures is that God first organizes His leadership. We see that with Moses, Yeshua, and we also see that with the founding of America. However, leadership at the Endtimes takes a different form – a messianic form. Since, Yeshua has the right to rule over this world, He and His posterity have the right to rule over this world. So we can make the connection that Yeshua’s literal seed was dispersed among the Gentiles and it these Gentiles that will gather Israel and those who are adopted-in by covenant.
Kings and Queens of the Gentiles
One of the concepts set out in the scriptures is the Kings and Queens of the Gentiles. This sub-group of the Gentiles can be identified with the messianic seed and are God's Endtime servants.
22 Thus says my Lord Jehovah: I will lift up my hand[Endtime Servant] to the nations, raise my ensign to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosoms and carry your daughters on their shoulders.23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you, their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust of your feet. Then shall you know that I am Jehovah, and that they who hope in me are not disappointed. Isaiah 49:22,23
Though we have seen this prophecy fulfilled in the creation of the State of Israel, we have yet to see a spiritual fulfillment.