The following websites contain the works of Avraham Gileadi Ph.D. on the Book of Isaiah: — An interactive website on the prophecy of Isaiah explaining how literary features conceal and reveal its apocalyptic message. — A website on the prophecy of Isaiah featuring webinars and audio and audio-visual aids that teach Isaiah’s apocalyptic message.

Does Isaiah Decode Sept. 23rd 2017’s Astrological Sign?

Avraham Gileadi Ph.D.

To many people, the “signs in the heavens” the scriptures predict that will precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Luke 21:11; Acts 2:19) are a subject they categorically dismiss. In their minds, astrological events are unrelated to realities on the ground. Associating them with fortune telling and other forbidden practices, they ignore the part of God’s Word that deals with “looking forth for the signs of my coming” (Doctrine & Covenants 39:23). And yet, hasn’t it always been in the nature of God, who created the heavens, to reveal his truth through heavenly mysteries?

When Abraham inquired of God, for example, he learned of “the set time of all the stars that are set to give light, until thou come near unto the throne of God” (Abraham 3:10). As a celestial embodiment of God’s children who attain exaltation, the stars God showed Abraham informed him of different degrees of exaltation and that exaltation was a work in progress: “I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it,” the nearest being Kolob (Abraham 3:2, 16).

Isaiah similarly saw the stars as exalted beings: “Lift your eyes heavenward and see: Who formed these? He who brings forth their hosts by number, calling each one by name. Because he is almighty and all powerful, not one is unaccounted for” (Isaiah 40:26). Persons who experience spiritual rebirth each time they ascend the ladder to heaven, God calls by a new name (Isaiah 43:1; 49:1; 56:5; 62:2). Those who are “formed, molded, and wrought for my own glory,” he re-creates nearer to himself, acknowledging them as his “sons” and “daughters” (Isaiah 43:6–7).

Such esoteric knowledge, which deals with the mysteries of God, forms a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is accessible to all: “For he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (1 Nephi 10:19). While on the one hand “he that will harden his heart, the same receiveth the lesser portion of the word,” on the other, “he that will not harden his heart, to him is given the greater portion of the word, until it is given unto him to know the mysteries of God until he know them in full” (Alma 12:10).

Remembering the many precedents of astrological signs that portended significant events, including the birth of Jesus Christ at his first coming (Helaman 14:1–8, 12; 3 Nephi 1:9), surely the four blood moons on the four successive Jewish feastdays of Passover 2014, Tabernacles 2014, Passover 2015, and Tabernacles 2015 convey a message significant to the times in which we live, particularly for the Jews. And what of the solar eclipse of August 21, 2017 that cut across the entire United States, which has been followed by intensifying national disasters?

The question is one of belief or unbelief: “He that believeth shall be blest with signs following, even as it is written. And unto you it shall be given to know the signs of the times, and the signs of the coming of the Son of Man” (Doctrine & Covenants 68:10–11); “And it shall come to pass that he that feareth me shall be looking forth for the great day of the Lord to come, even for the signs of the coming of the Son of Man. And they shall see signs and wonders, for they shall be shown forth in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath” (Doctrine & Covenants 45:39–40).

To those who “fear” or reverence God, the messianic planet Jupiter’s gestation in the womb of the Virgo Constellation, and of its “birth” on September 23rd 2017, evidently contains far more significance than to those who don’t fear God. Particularly is that so when we perceive that all messianic prophecies aren’t equal—that many refer to a temporal savior who restores God’s people Israel to prepare them for Jehovah’s coming to reign on the earth; while others, such as Isaiah 53:1–10, refer to a spiritual Savior who “saves his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21).

The phenomenon called the “Birthpangs of the Messiah” deals with Zion’s entering a time of travail until she brings forth a deliverer—God’s endtime servant: “Before she is in labor, she gives birth; before her ordeal overtakes her, she delivers a son! Who has heard the like, or who has seen such things? Can the earth labor but a day and a nation be born at once? For as soon as she was in labor, Zion gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to a crisis and not bring on birth? says Jehovah. When it is I who cause the birth, shall I hinder it? says your God” (Isaiah 66:7-9).

Like the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day, who feared being displaced, those who attempt to hinder Zion’s deliverance oppose the servant’s efforts of gathering Israel’s natural lineages into a new nation of God’s covenant people in God’s Day of Judgment. Despised, abhorred, accused, and disfigured (Isaiah 49:7; 50:8–9; 52:14), God’s servant—his “arm” of righteousness (Isaiah 51:5, 9–12; 52:10)—nonetheless succeeds in restoring Israel in preparation for Jehovah’s coming (Isaiah 49:8–13; 52:13, 15; 55:3–5). The earth’s Creator sustains him (Isaiah 42:1; 44:24–26).

John’s vision of the Woman “travailing in birth, in pain to be delivered” (Revelation 12:2) forms a second witness of this endtime event. Synchronizing his and Isaiah’s visions, we learn that the Woman Zion’s son being “caught up to God and to his throne” (Revelation 12:5) implies his being translated. As with Enoch, Moses, and the Three Nephites, who were translated at similar such experiences, God’s translating his servant accounts for his being healed of his disfigurement (Isaiah 57:18; 3 Nephi 21:10), after which he gains prominence (Isaiah 49:7; 52:13–14; 55:3–5).

Why the Sons of Helaman Could Not Be Killed

Avraham Gileadi Ph.D.

What was it the Lamanite mothers “knew” that convinced them to entrust their young sons to Helaman to lead them in battle against a ferocious enemy that far outnumbered them? Helaman said of them, “They never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying: We do not doubt our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:47–48).

Some background to these youths’ firmness of mind may explain the fearlessness their mothers had instilled in their sons: Traditionally, the Lamanites followed the emperor–vassal system of government that had prevailed throughout the ancient Near East. In brief, an emperor such as King Laman or an heir of Laman, the eldest son, ruled over a number of vassal kings and their city-states in his empire. As in the Hittite, Israelite, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires, the emperor was called the “father” of his vassal kings, and they were called his “sons.”

We see an example of this in King Lamoni’s relationship to his “father,” the Lamanite emperor at that time, “who was king over all the land” (Alma 18:9). Although Lamoni was called his “son,” vassal kings were commonly native to the peoples over whom they ruled. Because Lamoni ruled over the land of Ishmael (Alma 17:21), he was therefore most likely himself an Ishmaelite. The “father/sons” relationship between an emperor and his vassal kings, in other words, although purely political and not familial, was nevertheless treated as if it was familial.

The “feast” the emperor had arranged for his “sons,” to which Lamoni was invited (Alma 20:9), typified the traditional or annual celebration when vassal kings came to renew their allegiance to the emperor, bringing with them their tribute monies or taxes. Lamoni’s nonattendance at the feast thus implied that he had rebelled against his emperor. Analogously, the Lamanites’ traditional gripe against the Nephites was that the Nephites had rebelled against Lamanite kingship over all the land, which they considered a Lamanite “right” (Alma 54:17).

As in ancient Near Eastern emperor–vassal covenants, when a vassal king kept the law of the emperor and the people kept of the law of the vassal, the emperor was bound under the terms of the covenant to deliver the vassal and his people from a mortal threat (Avraham Gileadi, “Priesthood, Patriarchy, and Proxy Salvation,” The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon; Deseret Book, 1990; Argon Press, 1998). By thus guaranteeing the emperor’s protection, the vassal acted in the capacity of his people’s proxy savior.

When we transpose the emperor–vassal paradigm to Helaman and his two thousand stripling warriors, we observe some explicit parallels. While Helaman called them his “sons”—because “they were all of them very young”—they called him “father” (Alma 56:46). More than simple youthfulness, however, characterized these Lamanite sons. Not only were they untested for valor physically in battle but also spiritually. They would therefore benefit immensely from Helaman’s serving as their proxy savior under such life-threatening circumstances.

Under the terms of God’s covenant with King David and his heirs, for example, God acted as David’s “father” and David as his “son” (Psalms 2:6–7; 89:20–28). When David kept God’s law and David’s people kept David’s law, God was bound under the terms of his covenant to deliver David and his people from a mortal threat. A classic case of such deliverance occurred in the days of King Hezekiah: When Hezekiah kept God’s law and the people kept Hezekiah’s law, the angel of God slew an invading Assyrian army of 185,000 men (Isaiah 36–38).

In such instances of obtaining God’s protection in the face of mortal danger, David and his heirs not only acted as “sons” to Israel’s God, but also as “father” to the vassal kings of the peoples over whom they ruled. Again transposing this covenantal paradigm to Helaman and his stripling warriors, while God acted as “father” to Helaman and Helaman acted as God’s “son,” Helaman additionally acted as “father” to his “sons,” binding God to protect both him and his young warriors so long as they observed the terms of the Davidic Covenant.

Knowing that Helaman was a righteous high priest according to the holy order of God (Alma 46:6; 49:30), the Lamanite mothers were thus assured of their son’s deliverance under the terms of the Davidic Covenant. Even as Helaman kept God’s law, his two thousand stripling warriors kept Helaman’s law: “They did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them” (Alma 57:21).

Not a single soul perished, therefore, in the two great battles they fought (Alma 56:54–56; 57:19–27). In a similar case, when the sons of Mosiah kept Mosiah’s law and Mosiah kept God’s law (Mosiah 28:1–9), they survived serious mortal threats among the Lamanites. Even when Ammon lay in a swoon and a man raised his sword to kill him, he himself fell dead. Alma thus sums up: “Now we see that Ammon could not be slain, for the Lord had said unto Mosiah, his father: I will spare him, and it shall be unto him according to thy faith” (Alma 19:23).

Journey of Self-Transformation: From Sons & Daughters of Christ to Becoming as He Is

Hebraeus Foundation Zion Conference May 19-20th 2017
Keynote Address - Avraham Gileadi

When Jesus promised his three Beloved Disciples that "ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father" (3 Nephi 28:10), he signified to them in so many words that they would become Saviors of worlds. While on the one hand he informed his Nephite disciples that "the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do" (3 Nephi 27:11), on the other he had made clear to his Jewish disciples that "the Son can do nothing of himself but what he sees the Father do. For whatsoever things he does, these also the Son does likewise" (John 5:19).