The following websites contain the works of Avraham Gileadi Ph.D. on the Book of Isaiah:


www.IsaiahExplained.com — An interactive website on the prophecy of Isaiah explaining how literary features conceal and reveal its apocalyptic message.

www.IsaiahInstitute.com — A website on the prophecy of Isaiah featuring webinars and audio and audio-visual aids that teach Isaiah’s apocalyptic message.

Sowing Confusion about God’s Endtime Servant

Avraham Gileadi Ph.D.

Having analyzed prophecies that distinguish between spiritual and temporal messianic roles, I wrote several books in the 1980s that mention a latter-day servant of God named David. Before that, the only person I knew of who had published anything on this subject was Duane Crowther in his book, Prophecy: Key to the Future. That book seemed to ruffle no feathers at the time as there existed a general consensus in the church that a person named David would precede the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and perform a great work among the Jews or house of Israel.

When President Ezra Taft Benson personally phoned to request a video I had done on analyzing the Book of Isaiah, it too received no negative response. All that changed when I published my second book with Deseret Book, The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon, which also mentions a latter-day David. So did my first book with Deseret Book, The Book of Isaiah: A New Translation with Interpretive Keys from the Book of Mormon. As I was never asked to change their content, both books are still in print with Hebron Books.

Although The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and the Book of Mormon was fully documented and reviewed, with a Foreword by Hugh Nibley, when it became the top seller in the LDS market within two months, it was pulled from the shelves. Because a well-known General Authority who was not the president of the church had called the doctrine of a latter-day David a “heresy,” the church’s academic arm followed suit, and publishing books on that subject became sufficient reason for excommunication from the church on the grounds of apostasy.

Books I published later, such as The Literary Message of Isaiah—the fruits of ten years of post-doctoral analysis of Isaiah’s prophecy—as well as derivative works, such as Isaiah Decoded—resulted in the idea of an endtime servant of God named David growing in readers’ awareness as being truly based on messianic prophecies of a temporal nature. Those prophecies deal with Israel’s spiritual and physical restoration that precedes the coming of Jehovah/Jesus to reign on the earth, involving Israel’s gathering to Zion and building of the temple from which he reigns.

The fact that God’s servant who restores Israel’s natural lineages—the Jews, Israel’s Ten Tribes, and the Lamanites—has been “hidden” from the world (cf. Isaiah 49:1–3) didn’t help my efforts of making the idea of such a person better known. However, because God acts only when his people exercise faith (cf. Moroni 7:21–37), at least some among them would need to exercise faith that such a person as God’s servant would come. Even at his first coming, for example, Jesus was anticipated by people who exercised faith that he would come (Luke 2: 25–38).

This isn’t to say that God’s endtime servant has been the central focus of my publications. That focus has been Israel’s God Jehovah, his earthly mission as the suffering person of Isaiah 53:1–10, and his coming in glory, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that Jehovah would reign as the earth’s millennial King of Zion (Isaiah 52:7; 62:11–12). Because we can’t gain an accurate picture of endtime events without taking into account the relationship between Jehovah, his forerunner, and the endtime Antichrist, all passages depicting them must be carefully analyzed and compared.

So when Isaiah “experts” began springing up in recent years who speculate about God’s servant, some even assigning his role to themselves, I was appalled at the shallowness of their opinions. I assumed it was enough that conflicting interpretations based on the “heresy” idea identified God’s servant as Joseph Smith in one place and as Jesus in another, whereas Jesus speaks of his servant as someone other than himself within Isaiah’s context of Israel’s endtime restoration (3 Nephi 21:8–10). That restoration occurs long after the time of the prophet Joseph Smith.

Those who have jumped on the “servant” bandwagon without paying the price of diligently searching Isaiah’s words as Jesus commands (3 Nephi 23:1)—who, as Nephi says, “suppose they know of themselves” (cf. 2 Nephi 9:28)—I therefore advise to give up their speculations as they will be held accountable for all whom they mislead. If God says he has “hidden” his servant from the world until he begins his worldwide mission (Isaiah 49:1–3)—in order to test his people as he tested the Jews when Jesus came—shall we dare to presume we know so much about him?

My friends know that I have avoided speaking of God’s endtime servant other than to cite the prophecies of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, and Joseph Smith—also pointing to scriptural patterns that indicate whether such a person is of God or not. So far, not a single candidate has fit these patterns. That includes speculation about whether God’s servant will be a translated being who has already fulfilled a mortal mission on the earth. For that, too, there exists no precedent as such persons can’t be “marred” or need “healing” (Isaiah 52:14; 57:18–19; 3 Nephi 21:10).

My final work, Endtime Prophecy—A Judeo-Mormon Analysis, now due for publication, clears up many misconceptions people have about what the scriptures actually say. My motto, “If you can’t show it, don’t say it!” challenges numerous “precepts of men” that have crept into LDS beliefs that prevent people from receiving the blessings God has in store for those who love him (cf. 2 Nephi 28:14, 24–32). Such stumbling blocks need not exist at all, however, if we would only “search the scriptures” to determine what they say as Jesus commands (John 5:39).

12 comments:

  1. Whoever the Servant turns out to be, what really matters is his worthiness and lineage, not the first name he goes by. Isaiah may have used “David” as a type and code name.

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  2. I am so happy to hear that this book is now due for publication! Thank you for all you have done!

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  3. I'm excited to read your new book. When will it become available?

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  4. Joseph Smith knew of the end-time servant, he said, "the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage" (TPJS, p.339). Isaiah gives David, the end-time servant of Christ, a well defined profile. Glad the confusion is in the past and we can anticipate his mission including expanded knowledge he will bring.

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  5. Thank you for addressing this end time "David" issue. I, too, have wondered about it, and am certainly looking forward to reading your most recent book, Endtime Prophecy--A Judeo-Mormon Analysis. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful insights!

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  6. Now that you have finished your End Times book, would you have time to put your Dreams,Visions and Near-Death experiences in written format? You asked me to remind you of this some time ago when you came to visit my ward. I learn best by reading and also have a hearing issue. I'm grateful for your impeccable work. Just received your Isaiah Decoded book. It came highly recommended. Thank you!

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  7. I look forward to translating this latest book into Spanish my dear amigo.

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  8. I think we are missing the forest for all the trees when trying to identify who the Davidic servant is. A servant hidden from the world for a time. I believe modern revelation and instruction by Joseph Smith give use some useful keys to reveal the identity of the end time Davidic servant or forerunner.

    In a revelation given to Joseph Smith in 1832 we read the following:

    D&C 77:9 Q. What are we to understand by the angel ascending from the east, Revelation 7th chapter and 2nd verse?
    A. We are to understand that the angel ascending from the east is he to whom is given the seal of the living God over the twelve tribes of Israel; wherefore, he crieth unto the four angels having the everlasting gospel, saying: Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And, if you will receive it, this is ELIAS which was to come to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things.

    This revelation identifies the angel ascending from the east as one having the everlasting gospel and the authority to seal. It also importantly identifies this angel as Elias or the forerunner which is to gather together the tribes of Israel and restore all things. These specific tasks are also identified with the Davidic end time servant in Isaiah.

    Read what Joseph Smith teaches in a sermon given in 1844 regarding the spirit of Elias, the spirit of Elijah and the spirit of Messiah. He starts out teaching about the spirit of Elias and the office and mission of Elias. That Elias is the office of a forerunner and that er have a forerunner in the last days as there also was in the days of Christ. Then he introduces and identifies the spirit and power of Elijah as the awaited Elias in the last days. He then teaches about what constitutes the spirit and power of Elijah (the Melchizedek priesthood). In short the power of Elijah is the power to seal, which the same power and authority that was given to the angel ascending from the east which was revealed as Elias that would restore all things.

    "But if I spend much more time in conversing about the spirit of Elias I shall not have time to do justice to THE SPIRIT & POWER OF ELIJAH, THIS IS THE ELIAS SPOKEN OF IN THE LAST DAYS & here is the rock upon which many split thinking the time was past in the days of John & Christ & no more to be, but the spirit of Elias was revealed to me & I know it is true therefore I speak with boldness for I know verily my doctrine is true. Now for Elijah, the spirit power & calling of Elijah is that ye have power to hold the keys of the revelations ordinances, oricles powers & endowments of the fulness of the Melchezedek Priesthood & of the Kingdom of God on the Earth & to receive, obtain & perform all the ordinances belonging to the Kingdom of God even unto the sealing of the hearts of the hearts fathers unto the children & the hearts of the children unto the fathers even those who are in heaven. Malachi says I will send Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord come & He shall turn the hearts of the Fathers to the Children and the hearts of the Children to the Fathers lest I come & smite the earth with a Curse,"

    I believe I have given you some keys to identify the Davidic end time servant prophesied by Isaiah, Nephi and John and many more.

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    1. Good stuff. This is my understanding as well, according to the Words of JS.

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  9. Indeed, the whole "Davidic Servant" theme has been linked to apostate groups. Everybody wants to be the Davidic Servant or Joseph Smith, and with that they start their priestcraft and try to attract followers.

    Concerning the Church's "academic arm," they are a very powerful and potentially dangerous influence. They consist of a small cabal of professors of religion from BYU and they have an agenda. Violate that agenda and you find yourself in real trouble. Various doctrines hinted at by Brigham Young that frequently ballyhooed by various fundamentalist organizations have likewise ended up in the "excommunication bucket." In defense of the people who put them there however, it is my opinion that the Saints in general aren't ready for them yet, and that if the entire truth was given to us, Satan would find a way to turn it on its head. God was wise to hide certain things, and I hope they will remain hidden. On the other hand, in the intelligence world we have a saying, "The fact that a secret exists is half the secret."

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  10. Dr. Gileadi, Thanks for your work and research! I look forward to your new book. Thank you also for helping my understanding and affection of Isaiah and the Hebrew methods of prophecy and thinking. I'm LDS and readily accept that "David" will precede Jehovah's return in glory. I look forward to "David", whoever that will be, and how things will play out in the years ahead.

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  11. I've been waiting for that David for over 25 years. ...Can't wait for your book!

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