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to David and Solomon, thence to John who was the immediate forerunner of the Messiah. The actuality of Divine revelation through duly constituted prophets, seers, and revelators, has been so generally accepted throughout the ages, and is so abundantly attested, that by all rules of argument and debate the burden of proof naturally and properly falls upon him who denies.
Continued revelation of the Divine will and purpose is in harmony with the spirit of the times. In no phase of human effort and advancement, save only that of the soul's salvation, do men venture to assert or even think that we have learned all there is to learn. What of a college professor in chemistry, geology, or astronomy, who would confine his students to the conning of books that tell of early discoveries, with the dictum that nothing remains to be discovered, instead of guiding them in laboratory and field, and in the searching of the outer deep with telescope and spectroscope, in the confident hope of finding new truths?
Revelation is God's means of communication with His children, and we deny the consistent and unchangeable character of Deity when we say that God has revealed Himself to man, but cannot or will not do so again. Is it reasonable to hold that in one age the Church of Christ was blessed, enlightened, and guided by direct revelation and that at another time the Church is to be left to itself, sustained only by the dead letter of earlier days? The living Church must be in vital communication with its Divine Head.
The Christ Himself was a revelator, through whom the Father's will was made known to man. Notwithstanding His personal authority as Jehovah, God though He had been, was, and is, while He lived as a Man among men Jesus Christ declared His work to be that of One greater
than Himself, from whom He had been sent, and by whom He was instructed and directed. Note His words: "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John 12:49-50).
The recreant and unbelieving Jews rejected their Lord because He came to them with a new revelation. Had they not Moses and the prophets? What more could they need? They openly boasted "We are Moses' disciples," and added "We know that God spake unto Moses; as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is." (John 9:2829). Those who deny the possibility of present day revelation are not distinguished by originality; they follow a beaten path, hard trodden by ignoble feet.
The Apostles ministered under the guiding influence of revelation. Paul writing to the Corinthians said: “But God hath revealed them [Divine truths] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." (1 Cor. 2:10-12).
The imperative need of continued revelation appears in the fact that new conditions and unprecedented combinations of circumstances arise with the passage of time, and Divine direction alone can meet the new issues.
The Apostle John knew that in the last days, these present days, the voice of God would be heard calling His people from the Babylon of sin to the Zion of safety: "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins,
and that ye receive not of her plagues." (Rev. 18:4; see also 14:6).
Nephi, an ancient prophet whose record appears in the Book of Mormon, addressed himself to the unbelievers of the last days, and thus predicted the bringing forth of additional Scriptures: "And it shall come to pass, that the Lord God shall bring forth unto you the words of a book, and they shall be the words of them which have slumbered. And behold the book shall be sealed: and in the book shall be a revelation from God." (2 Nephi, 27:6-7).
Through the Hebrew prophet Malachi the Lord promised additional revelation in the last days, by the coming of Elijah with a special and particular commission. (Mal. 4: 5-6). These prophecies have been fulfilled to the letter in modern time, the first by the bringing forth of the Book of Mormon and its publication to the world: the latter by the inauguration of vicarious work for the dead through the personal visitation of Elijah, a work now in vigorous prosecution in the Temples erected and maintained by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Not only has the voice of God been heard in modern times, but His words spell rebuke and reproof unto those who would close His mouth and estrange Him from His people. Verily hath He spoken, "proving to the world that the Holy Scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old, thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, to-day, and for ever." (Doctrine & Covenants 20:11-12). Of old the Lord proclaimed: "Wo be unto him that shall say, We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough" (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 28:29); and in this age hath He spoken words of
admonition and warning: "Deny not the Spirit of revelation, nor the Spirit of prophecy, for wo unto him that denieth these things." (Doctrine & Covenants 11:25).
THE TRAGEDY OF ISRAEL
A Nation Without a Country
E believe in the literal gathering of Israel, and in
WE the restoration of the Ten Tribes, etc. (Articles of
Faith, No. 10).
The gathering of Israel is contingent upon the fact of that people's dispersion. Consideration of the scattering is a necessary preliminary to a study of the reassembling of Israel's hosts.
God made covenant with Abraham that through him and his posterity should all nations of the earth be blessed. A rich fulfilment of the promise is found in the earthly birth of the Christ through the lineage of Abraham. Further and related fulfilment appears in the effect of the distribution of Israelites amongst other nations through enforced dispersion.
Abraham's descendants through his son Isaac and grandson Jacob have been distinctively known since Jacob's time as Israelites, or the Children of Israel. As the Old Testament avouches they grew to be a mighty nation, distinguished in certain respects from all other peoples. They were particularly characterized as "Jehovah worshipers," professing allegiance to the living God, whilst all the rest of the world was pagan and idolatrous. By their worldwide dispersion a knowledge of the true and living God has been diffused.
So long as the Israelites were true to the Divine covenants made with Abraham, and reaffirmed severally with Isaac and Jacob, they prospered in material things as in spiritual power. So far as they became alienated through pagan practises and unrighteous affiliations, they suffered both individually and as a nation.
The Lord set before them the alternative of blessed perpetuity incident to their faithfulness, or disruption and subjugation to alien powers as the sure result of disobedience to Divine requirement. Both sacred and secular history make plain that Israel chose the evil part, forfeiting the promised blessings, reaping the foretold curses.
At the death of Solomon the nation was divided. Approximately two of the twelve tribes became established as the Kingdom of Judah, and came in time to be currently known as Jews; the rest of the tribes retained the title Kingdom of Israel, though known also by the name of Ephraim. The division led eventually to the eclipse of both kingdoms as autonomous powers among the known nations of the earth.
The Kingdom of Israel was subdued by the Assyrians about 721 B. C.; the people were carried into captivity, and later disappeared so completely from history as to be designated the Lost Tribes. These are the ten tribes whose restoration is predicted as an event of latter times. The Kingdom of Judah maintained a precarious and partial independence for a little more than a century after the Assyrian captivity, and then fell a prey to the conquering hosts of Nebuchadnezzar. After seventy years of bondage, the period specified through prophecy by Jeremiah (25:11,12; 29:10), a considerable number of the people were permitted to return to Judea, where they rebuilt the temple, and vainly strove to reestablish themselves