20 October 2022

"...the sword of his justice..."

I hope I have made it more than obvious over the years that the disobedient should fear God. The scriptures we have are replete with warnings of the destruction that will come to those who choose not to reconcile themselves to Christ and his commandments, who broadcast behavior against publishing gratitude for their personal blessings from the Lord and his merciful kindness toward us.

All of the quotes in this post come from the 3rd Book of Nephi, chapter 29 and were written by an ancient Western hemisphere prophet named Mormon living three hundred years after the coming of Christ to the Americas, following his resurrection. This comes to us through the larger Book of Mormon

1 And now behold, I say unto you that when the Lord shall see fit, in his wisdom, that these sayings shall come unto the Gentiles according to his word, then ye may know that the covenant which the Father hath made with the children of Israel, concerning their restoration to the lands of their inheritance, is already beginning to be fulfilled.

Mormon here is talking about the Book of Mormon that he was assembling and that would be translated and published by Joseph Smith in the 1820's. The Book of Mormon is a tool to bring the children of Israel to the knowledge of their God, another witness alongside the Bible to the fact that *all* of God's promises will be kept and are already in the midst of being kept. 

2 And ye may know that the words of the Lord, which have been spoken by the holy prophets, shall all be fulfilled; and ye need not say that the Lord delays his coming unto the children of Israel.

3 And ye need not imagine in your hearts that the words which have been spoken are vain, for behold, the Lord will remember his covenant which he hath made unto his people of the house of Israel.

Here is the idea that "the Lord delays his coming" or the modern analogue that God doesn't exist because we don't see evidence of his presence. The covenant the Lord made with the children of Israel is not forgotten or disbanded.

4 And when ye shall see these sayings coming forth among you, then ye need not any longer spurn at the doings of the Lord, for the sword of his justice is in his right hand; and behold, at that day, if ye shall spurn at his doings he will cause that it shall soon overtake you.

5 Wo unto him that spurneth at the doings of the Lord; yea, wo unto him that shall deny the Christ and his works!

"...spurn at the doings of the Lord,..." is an apt phrase - this is at the crux of modernity. It is so common to decry God that it isn't even trendy or chic anymore. We once called the poor and lowly "humble", but even these have adopted godlessness and curse the heavens.

The term "wo" or the more modern "woe" is to be noted here. Christ the Lord bears a sword and he will use it to punish those who have "spurned" him and cause such people "woe".  I think this goes beyond feeling badly - many people will find that, when the grace of God is removed from them, many things that they thought were dependable, such as water and crops growing and well-oxygenated air, will be denied them and a deeper agony with a "Jesus signature" on it will come.   

6 Yea, wo unto him that shall deny the revelations of the Lord, and that shall say the Lord no longer worketh by revelation, or by prophecy, or by gifts, or by tongues, or by healings, or by the power of the Holy Ghost!

7 Yea, and wo unto him that shall say at that day, to get gain, that there can be no miracle wrought by Jesus Christ; for he that doeth this shall become like unto the son of perdition, for whom there was no mercy, according to the word of Christ!

For those being described here, upon whom "woe" will come as a proclaimed by Christ himself, it is stated by Mormon why people deny the Lord and his abilities:  "to get gain" - as in power and money. It is even said that such people are like angels of Satan (sons of perdition) and will get the same reward - "no mercy" - as further proclaimed by Christ. 

8 Yea, and ye need not any longer hiss, nor spurn, nor make game of the Jews, nor any of the remnant of the house of Israel; for behold, the Lord remembereth his covenant unto them, and he will do unto them according to that which he hath sworn.

9 Therefore ye need not suppose that ye can turn the right hand of the Lord unto the left, that he may not execute judgment unto the fulfilling of the covenant which he hath made unto the house of Israel.

Again and again, Mormon affirms that Christ will keep every promise he ever made, even the ones said by his prophets.  He will bless those who obey (the right hand) and he will punish those who reject the Lord (the left). There is that dirty "judgement" word again and an assurance that those who put themselves on the "left" hand of God will not get the merciful result they have assured each other that a "loving"  God showers down on everyone, no matter their behavior. It has never been so.

As Mormon does, let me assure you that the children of Israel will be redeemed as they obey God. You can be adopted into the family of Israel through sincere repentance and authoritative baptism and receive all the blessings and promises due to every righteous child of the covenant.  You can do it because Christ has made it possible for you as you seek for it.