In this week’s review of the Book of Mormon, we’ll look at Mosiah chapters 2 to 6. What we see in these five chapters is King Benjamin setting out the processes of Redemption and Sanctification so that his people can become the sons and daughter of the Messiah/Christ and take upon them the name of Christ – chapter 5 - who become His covenant people - Zion. This week we’ll look at these processes of Redemption and Sanctification and then compare those processes with how King Benjamin presents them in these five chapters.
In order for any people to become Zion, they must overcome Universal Sin and Personal Sin or in other words to be Redeemed and Sanctified.
These concepts have been previously set out in The Process of Transformation.
Essentially redemption is to be redeemed from the sin and fall of Adam and Eve, for which all of us are subject to or Universal Sin, and to receive immorality and life with God forever. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” – 1 Cor 15:22. The terms of redemption can be expressed as a covenant, which we could call the Messianic Covenant and is a covenant of grant. A grant covenant is where the grantor does most of the work to consummate the covenant. Some have called it a free gift, but we can’t go on sinning on some basic level and say that we have really accepted Christ as our Savior. That basic law is set out in the seven laws for all Humanity know as the Noahide Law, which is a law of honesty and integrity, and will be lived in the lowest of God’s eternal kingdoms – see 3:24. The sign of the Messianic Covenant are the nail prints in Yeshua’s hands and feet.
When we look at King Benjamin’s address in chapter 3, we see him prophesy concerning the redemptive mission of Jehovah who condescends taking on mortality and redeeming man from the Fall. And because King Benjamin had established much of God’s Law 2:31 but not all 2:41 and had received God’s protection from their enemies – 2:31, Deu 28:7, we can assume that all his people needed to do was to accept Yeshua(Jesus) as the Redeemer of mankind, which we see at 4:2.
When we look at sanctification, we see three general aspects and the elements of those three aspects assembled in a specific sequence. Here is what that looks like.
Now, we’ll review and compare King Benjamin’s address to his people.
Born of the Water
Though we don’t see King Benjamin specifically mention ritual washing (Baptism) in his address, we do see him asking his people to repent – 4:10,18,22 and have faith – 4:3,6,11,21,30. And in the Israelite mind, both repentance and faith are connected with living the Law that God gave to Israel. Faith is to believe that God will bless us if we live His law, and repentance means to return to the covenant law. Further, baptism in the Book of Mormon, completes this triad of concepts called the Doctrine of Messiah(Christ).
Born of the Spirit
Once we are Born of the Water, we begin a new life of living divine truth and receiving the Spirit.
The Law of God
By default our starting point with King Benjamin and his people is the Law that God gave to Israel. How do we know that because they had the brass plates containing the Law – 1:3. We also know that King Benjamin’s people received protection from their enemies as a blessing of living the Law – 2:31, Deu 28:7. And since the commandments (Law) are truth – Psalms 119:151 - they set us on the path of receiving the Spirit.
Growing in Spirit and Truth
As we pointed out, living the Law God gave Israel is the starting point for receiving the Spirit, which we saw King Benjamin’s people do in chapter 2. Indeed, receiving the Spirit is a fruit of living the Law because the Law is truth and the Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Once we live the Law and receive the Spirit, we can grow in Spirit and Truth, and receive knowledge for knowledge is a gift of the Spirit – 1 Cor 12. We see King Benjamin’s people receive the Spirit, which is a result of living the law – 2:28,32,33,36,37. Furthermore, the Law does not preclude material equality!
A Fullness of the Law
The end result of receiving knowledge through the Spirit is to receive a fullness of knowledge of the Law. We saw in a previous post that God’s covenants were lost from the record of the Jews because of apostasy and corruption – 1 Nephi 13-15. However, these covenants can be reconstructed by receiving knowledge through the Spirit, but our path to receive the right knowledge begins by living the Law, which we saw in the Iron Rod of Lehi’s dream and Lehi’s compass (Liahona). Go here for those who want to revisit Jehovah’s Seven Covenants as a reconstruction of God’s covenants. We see connections of receiving a knowledge of all things through the Spirit here with King Benjamin and his people – 2:41; 5:3. Moreover, we are not to confuse receiving a fullness of the Law with receiving a fullness of knowledge that we see with Exaltation.
Born of God
Once we are Born of the Spirit and have received a Fullness of the Law, we can complete the transformation process of becoming sanctified by being Born of God.
A Trial of Faith (Baptism of Fire)
One concept that we see in the Book of Isaiah is a descent into trouble that tests a person's resolve to keep the commandments, the Law. During the Endtime events, we see this descent into trouble that will test believers. In King Benjamin’s address, we don’t see this concept set out specifically, but we can conclude that it will be required to receive the sealing of the Spirit – 5:15.
A Change of Heart (Baptism of the Spirit)
Once we pass this trial of faith, we receive an immersion of the Holy Spirit and have a change of heart effectively purging us of our carnal natures and overcome Personal Sin. We see that here in King Benjamins address at verse 2 in chapter 5.
“because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.”
Further, we can make a direct connection with this verse and the Law set out in the Torah, for Moses said after he had recited the Law to Israel,
“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.” Deu 30:15,16
Additionally, what we see in chapter 4 of King Benjamin’s address is his people retaining a remission of their sins until they have this change of heart.
Sealed by the Spirit
Those who complete the process of sanctification convert their covenants from a conditional and temporary status to that of being permanent and unconditional, and are sealed unto to God through His Holy Spirit. This process differs from Exaltation because those who are holy receive the Second Comforter, even Yeshua Himself who binds their covenants.
In this address with King Benjamin, we see him set out being Born of God in chapter 5 and mentions this sealing of the Spirit at 5:15. Here we notice that these receive the name of Christ and are called His sons and daughters. So we see here that only those who have overcome Universal Sin and Personal Sin are called by His name! These sons and daughters are not to be confused with those who are the Seed of Messiah who are Davidic Kings that rule with Him and are exalted – see Matt 12:50
As a testament of being sealed by the Holy Spirit, these receive a tangible manifestation of the Spirit that confirms their sealed status – of this I have a personal witness. We see these tangible manifestations at Yeshua’s baptism where the Spirit descended in the form of a dove and we also see a manifestation on the Day of Pentecost with the Apostles.