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.

Spiritual Preparedness Requires Looking Beyond the Mark

Avraham Gileadi Ph.D.

If the goal we want to reach is our personal spiritual preparedness for the coming Day of Judgment that God has decreed upon the world, then it is imperative that we look beyond just ourselves. If God has said he will save his righteous people in that day, shouldn’t we acquaint ourselves with his definition of righteousness that looks past our self-righteousness? Malachi’s prophecy of that time, for example, defines righteous persons as those who fear God, who sustain each other through a time of wickedness, who meditate on the things of God, and who serve him.

In a day when wickedness is virtually institutionalized, he says, “Those who feared Jehovah spoke often one with another. And Jehovah heard and took notice, and a Book of Remembrance was written before him for those who feared Jehovah and thought on his name. They will be mine, says Jehovah of Hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. Then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who serves him not” (Malachi 3:16–18).

In a context of the saints’ endtime return to redeem the land of Zion in God’s day of “power” (Doctrine & Covenants 103:11–20), the Lord says, “They were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men; And inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men” (Doctrine & Covenants 103:9–10). To be “saviors of men” here evidently looks beyond the saints’ serving as saviors of the dead to their serving as saviors of the living.

That dichotomy—of some being “saviors of men” while others resemble “salt that has lost its savor”—again marks God’s Day of Judgment as a time of stark contrasts between the righteous and the wicked, far more than we discern at present, when the wise and foolish virgins may seem indistinguishable. Jesus makes a similar observation when he predicts that Israel’s natural lineages will receive the fulness of his gospel sometime after the Gentiles have received it and then sinned against it, causing them to be trodden underfoot (3 Nephi 16:10–15; 20:28–31).

Of all covenants God makes, the Davidic Covenant—God’s covenant with King David and his heirs—exemplifies one in which a person may serve as a “savior of men.” That individual covenant becomes particularly timely in an endtime context of the restoration of Israel’s natural lineages who will receive the gospel at the time the Gentiles as a whole reject it. It is precisely through certain Gentiles who repent, in fact, that Israel’s natural lineages receive it, much as the Gentiles once received it through Jesus’ Jewish disciples when the Jews as a whole rejected it.

A redeeming feature about the descendants of Ephraim who assimilated into the Gentiles—who thus became “identified with the Gentiles” (Doctrine & Covenants 109:60)—is that they inherited Israel’s birthright (1 Chronicles 5:2). That involves their serving as saviors of Israel’s twelve tribes, just as Joseph served as a savior of his brothers during Egypt’s seven-year famine. That coincides with the role of the 144,000 servants of God whom John saw, whose endtime task is “to bring as many as will come to the church of the Firstborn” (Doctrine & Covenants 77:11).

Under the terms of the Davidic Covenant, a person may assume the role of a proxy savior of those to whom he ministers by answering for their transgressions before God in order to obtain their temporal salvation—their physical protection—just as Jesus answered for his people’s transgressions in order to obtain their spiritual salvation. The protection clause of the Davidic Covenant operates when a king keeps God’s law and those to whom the king ministers keep the king’s law. That covenant binds God to deliver both king and people from a mortal threat.

During the worldwide chaos that prevails in God’s Day of Judgment, Israel’s natural lineages who are newly receiving the gospel will require proxy saviors to vouch for them before God until they are able to obtain his protection by answering for their own transgressions. When the Nephites in King Mosiah’s day, for example, came to realize how their divine protection had been burdening their king under the terms of the Davidic Covenant, “every man expressed a willingness to answer for his own sins” (Mosiah 29:38) and their laws of government changed.

The “kings and queens of the Gentiles” who serve as proxy saviors to Israel’s natural lineages in God’s Day of Judgment thus function under the terms of the Davidic Covenant both to minister the gospel to them and to gather them to Zion under life-threatening conditions: “Thus says my Lord Jehovah: I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, raise my ensign to the peoples; and they will bring your sons in their bosoms and carry your daughters on their shoulders. Kings shall be your foster fathers, queens your nursing mothers” (Isaiah 49:22–23; cf. 2 Nephi 10:7–9).

The endtime role of Isaiah’s spiritual kings and queens of the Gentiles—which coincides with the role of John’s 144,000 saviors on Mount Zion (Obadiah 1:21; Revelation 7:3; 14:1; Doctrine & Covenants 77:9)—thus extends far beyond looking out for themselves to restoring Israel’s natural lineages. As that defines the nature of the Ephraimite Gentiles’ birthright mission, it also defines the nature of their spiritual preparedness. Because the endtime Gentiles have been exceedingly blessed of God, anything less than that runs the risk of being trodden underfoot.


  1. Thank you, yet again, for sharing beautiful insight.

  2. As a student of Dr. Gileadi, I have taken his work to an applications paradigm - see here.

  3. Time to --or should I say it's past time to-- step up to our role. Not very pleasant to think I am self-righteous, salt that has lost its savor and is good for nothing but to be trodden underfoot. Not pleasant, but true. Thankfully, there is still time to repent and "step up." Right? It is not yet "everlastingly too late."

  4. Thank you for your incredible insight as usual.
    Sherri and Ron C.

  5. I agree with what you are saying but was confused by your use of the phrase "looking beyond the mark." Jacob 4:14 warns against looking beyond the mark.

    1. The way I understood God to teach me about "looking beyond the mark" is simply...when we look to our own understanding for God's designs and purposes and try to understand in mans way we are looking beyond the mark. Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. When we turn to God for understanding we won't be led astray. So don't try to understand with your mind, go to God.

    2. I think the context of Jacob 4:14 needs to be considered here. Jacob was describing the apostate Israelites for whom the law was given to point the way to the Messiah, even Jesus Christ. In a word, 'the mark' represents Jesus Christ. Therefore, Jacob is teaching us that in 'looking beyond the mark' they were looking for something else to save them, not Jesus Christ. I think what Avraham is saying is that if we become the 'salt that has lost its savor', we then are guilty of looking beyond the mark as well. In light of the overused mantra 'follow the brethren/prophet', we should be seeking Christ, which is a personal journey. I think this is what Avraham intends for us to take from this blog post. No one intercedes for us, or takes us to Christ, for He employs no servant there. If we wait for someone else to take us to 'the promised land' we look beyond the mark and become as the salt that has lost its savor.

  6. Personally, I appreciate the depth of thoughtful, studied scriptural analysis, in comparison to recent counsel at General Conference:
    "In some places, too many of our people are looking beyond the mark and seeking secret knowledge..." Whereas, in my opinion, seeking greater light and knowledge is name of the game here in mortality, from whatever source. One purpose of having the Spirit of the Lord is to enable discerning between truth and error. Some doctrines just "taste good;" others, not so much.