And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same (Abraham, vs 2)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Time is Appointed Unto Man: What is Time?

What is time? What is eternity? These are the thoughts I wish to discuss.

Lets look at verse 27 of Hebrews 9.
26 For then must [Christ] often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
It is appointed unto man to die. After comes judgment (eternity). Appointed is another way to say, in time, it is given so that men die. But through Christ all will arise from time into eternity to be resurrected. I also want to note that, as it says in Alma 34:34, "that same spirit which doth possess your bodies AT THE TIME [appointed time] that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world." This is important. Christs atonement may raise us from the dead overcoming our sin, but he will not make us "perfect" as in perfection for our SAME spirits will dwell there as here. So whatever progress we improve upon here will be added upon us there. 

I want to make sure we use the same definition of perfection. I am talking about what the Lectures on Faith define as perfection. To be precisely like Christ for he is the prototype and any being unlike him cannot both be saved for what constitutes the salvation of one will constitute the damnation of the other.

Also lets look at the rest of the verses 33-35. "for after this day of life [called Time], which is given us to prepare for eternity [Purpose of time], behold, if we do not improve our time [time is given to do works or improve our spirits which is called progression] while in this life [time or the day when the sun shines, a probationary state, an estate, mortality, etc...], then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed."
34 Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay...35 For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked."
So if we wait to repent, or wait till our appointed death, we will become subjected to the spirit of the devil and this is the "final state of the wicked". Notice two things. 1) Time is given to repent. 2) Eternity is given as a "final state" or other-wards there is no more repentance. So there is no more "time" to improve our spirits, which same spirit will exist beyond the grave. Thus we "reap" what we "sow" in time.

Now how does Alma know this?
36 And this I know, because the Lord hath said he dwelleth not in unholy temples, but in the hearts of the righteous doth he dwell; yea, and he has also said that the righteous shall sit down in his kingdom, to go no more out; but their garments should be made white through the blood of the Lamb.
He says because God dwelleth not in unholy temples. But he is talking about the afterlife! He said this earlier, that same spirit which posses your body here will posses your body in the eternal world. And that body, if its unholy, god cannot dwell in it. But you say that's what the atonement is for? Lets look at this in just a moment.

So, that SAME spirit when it departs this life will be in some "final state" whether its wicked or righteous. There is NO repentance beyond this life or should I say in eternity. So Alma says time is given for one purpose, "improve our time".

What is time? 
A time given to repent.

What is Eternity?
Our true identity or spirit. A place where God dwells for he is from eternity to eternity. A place where one cannot repent. The illusion of mortality ceases to exist, the probationary state of men. The time given to prove us in all things and enlarge our souls as Alma 32 puts it.

Time of Reckoning
Adam was given the following commandment in the garden.
But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; for in the time that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Now I, Abraham, saw that it was after the Lord’s time, which was after the time of Kolob; for as yet the Gods had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning. (Abraham 5:13)
Interesting enough Eve was not given the commandment but was taught it through Adam. So when eve added the words "neither" shall she "touch it" and saw Satan there touching the fruit and not dying she thought, oh well guess its ok to touch it therefore I can eat it and have no consequences.

What I wanted to point out though was God had not appointed unto Adam his reckoning. In otherwards he had not been given "time", a place to repent yet. There was no sin. Once Adam fell that the children of men might be, it was given unto them through sorrow to know good from evil. Now how is that so? Because they were in time! Their reckoning had been given! A probationary, mortal, state. They could repent but through sin they would need an atonement. Christs second coming will come without reference to sin (Hebrews 9:38). He will come to raise us from the dead into this state we are prepared to receive. A fulness thereof. Either Telestial (they rise after millennium), Terrestial or Celestial.

What is God's Work?
Gods work is to what? "Bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men" (Moses 1:39). Eternal Life is the life that God lives. Its the life seen in the Celestial kingdom. Its to be precisely like Him. Now it does not say immortality OR eternal life. This is a common belief of many. They say, you will go to your kingdom and remain forever and ever. Never to receive a celestial inheritance. But that is NOT His work. His work is BOTH immortality AND eventual eternal life of man. However there is truth to that statement which I will show in a second. It was Satan's plan after all to save all God's children. Christ would save all but the sons of perdition.

A Rampant Plague
There is a rampant plague being taught among us. The concept of "we don't need to see Christ in this life for it will be worked out in the after life" or the thought "we don't or shouldn't seek after his face as its only for certain people".

To all those who deny Christ can or must needs come minister to us in the flesh, Yes, now, To you, To me, In the flesh, Face to face. To all those who say we don't need to see Christ in this life. We just need ordinances in the temple and odds are we'll be exalted. To all those who preach a gospel of procrastination and hesitate or delay your repentance for another day because some leader hasn't told you this is important, and that you should or need to do it, or because you doubt or fear or just don't know where to start, or you claim, "God doesn't speak to me". This ordinance is as essential as baptism. This is the entire message of the Book of Mormon. This is why we will not and cannot be part of Zion. We fail to rise up and seek after these things. Gentiles are decreed to reject the fulness of the gospel which is the ascent into gods presence while in the flesh. Its part of the Doctrine of Christ. And more or less cometh of evil and is not of Him. We are like the children of Israel who the Lord said of them.
23 Now this Moses[Joseph] plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness [kirtland, ohio, salt lake city, though a few did], which rest is the fulness of his glory.
25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
Or you can choose to believe it will be worked out in the next life. The choice is yours. The thought is too terrifying to think otherwise. This is sobering thoughts for many because the consequences seem almost overbearing on many minds. But it shouldn't be. You also won't take the burden seriously and realize the awful situation we are in if you ignore it. The definition of an apostle is one who is sent by God who has been in the presence of the Father and the son. That is the Lord's disciples.

 Joseph said when you are ready to come to him He is ready to come to you.

The Lord comes in judgment so you must be prepared to enter His presence before than. I am not saying the timing of his appearance to you has to occur at a specific moment, that will be in His timing. I am saying you must be prepared to receive it and it will be because you will have become like Him, not because you ask for it. But you must also believe its possible and its for you here and now. Not some blessing in the afterlife.

Wo is pronounced upon you if...
The Oath and Covenant. Remember this part? "35 And also all they who receive this priesthood receive me, saith the Lord; 36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me; 37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;" Should we take this as, receive his servants therefore you receive the father? Or should we take this to mean levels, or degrees or kingdoms? Therefore first you receive the servants? Which teach you to receive the Holy Ghost. Than you can receive the Son. Than the Son will bring you to the presence of the Father where you will gain a fulness of the power of God and they will take their abode with you? Where you can be a king and priest to God.

What are the consequences for not rising up?
42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you. (D&C 84:42)
This is a onefold "wo". Not a twofold or threefold doom. Other-wards there will be disappointment for not rising up and receiving that which you could have received. You will suffer for your loss "worlds without end" as you will no longer be in a state called "time". You cannot qualify, as there are no "works" to be shown, eternity being the "final state". You will look down at those in mortality and desire another 5 minutes that you may "improve your time" to gain that which you are not ready or unwilling to receive. Whether your an angel in the celestial kingdom who is single and separate, servants to the most High, or lower degree beings, isn't gods work to bring to pass the eternal life of man? Does God's work for YOU end beyond the grave? Or will He, if you choose to accept it, allow once again a place called time where you can "improve your time", "enlarge your souls" and receive a "reckoning of time" to perform your works? You see, is this merely realizing that you were either not in a position yet to, because we will not be given that which we are unable to handle thus we first receive experience upon experience (story of the talents), to go from the bottom of the ladder to the top or failed to realize all we could receive therefore we will receive a wo upon our heads and continue our progression from grace to grace, exaltation to exaltation, from degree to degree until we arrive at the Top of the ladder?

If the atonement is given to you so that you can rise up from the grave and be resurrected, yet your spirit will not be like His because you have the same spirit, than how does He make up the difference in changing you from an imperfect un-perfected spirit to a perfected one if the only place we can prove ourselves is a place called mortality, a probationary state? Or rather does the atonement allow us to continue to rely up Him, and His power, and His work and glory to further our progress in becoming like Him? Thus, if we accept, one "who will appoint time" will give us a chance to "progress". Or perhaps we can view it is a magical formula that will change our spirits into a perfected spirit even though our same spirits will posses that body? Therefore He will make up the difference and change our spirits because after all we only have to show a little works and not offer the sacrifice of all earthly things to obtain the things of heaven. Or perhaps the things of heaven really do require us to sacrifice here and now to obtain them while there is yet "time".

Having such a view could really help us remove the judgment we often pass onto others. After all God is a merciful God and won't give us more than we are ready for? Or another way to say it, he will give us experience for experience until we are ready to crawl, than walk, than run. We are not required to run faster than we have strength. Do today what he bids you to do. Do only that. Don't do everything at once. Choose one thing. Improve upon it. There is a great work for all of us that lies ahead. Start today. We are each uniquely situated to learn exactly what each of us needs to learn! And its different than the person next to you. Therefore receive what he wants you to learn and you will return to your God, in a happy state, being "added upon".

Who shall appoint time?
Now I ask.
"Who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?" (Jeremiah 50:44)
We have two choices. We can turn and face him which means to give our time to God or give our time to Babylon. We cannot serve two masters. Christ was a living sacrifice, He was the prototype. His entire life was a sacrifice. He is our example, our redeemer and savior of the world. In Him and through him the worlds were created. It is by Him that salvation may come unto the children of men.

Who shall appoint time? Who has appointed time? Why is time appointed over "her"? Who is "her" in reference to? What will you do with your time? He has a plan for each of us. If we will only but accept it and let Him do the work. Or we can hinder His work and reject his perfect plan for each of us. He knows exactly what each of us needs to become like Him. For he has experienced all things thereby knowing how to succor each of us to overcome the stumbling block that is before each of us. Let Him do His work. You just have to accept it by having a broken heart and contrite spirit to allow him to give you what you need.

Look time is given for salvation or a time to receive a tabernacle which is temporary (See Lectures on Faith). Its through the temporary tabernacle that we show our works for salvation to receive a body not of flesh and bones but of something made without hands eternal in the heavens (body of light). That which has a beginning has an end. We hope to gain an eternal body without beginning or end. It will not be like the tabernacle we now have for it is temporary with flesh and blood.
Perhaps there are principles here that few men have thought of. No person can have this salvation except through a tabernacle. (Teachings, Section Six 1843-44, p.297)
That is the purpose of time, to be tried in all things. Well I should add one comment. What about those Christ ministered to between death and the Resurrection in the spirit world? A great question. I'll leave for you to ponder upon.

Testimony of Jesus
I like leaving some things to ponder upon but I want to share a few things that help me realize some of the false ideas I once held here. I talked about the Testimony of Jesus already here.

I will relate two distinctions.

51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus (D&C 76:51)

Terrestial74 Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.(D&C 76:74)

So I mentioned what Joseph said the testimony of Jesus was. Its to be sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise (HSOP). (See WJS, pg 209) So what is the Holy Spirit of Promise? Why is it that those who receive it afterwards receive a lesser reward? Why do those who receive it in this life, and I would personally include those who "would have received it if they were permitted to tarry" in that group, receive a greater reward?

See D&C 88:1-5 for an explanation of what the HSOP is. I will not discuss it.

Remember, Remember
A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and the broad expanse of eternity—thou must commune with God. (Joseph Fielding Smith (editor), Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 137)
Alma 34:35 
Last comment here. It states "ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil" if you procrastinate repentance. Repentance is to receive light and truth. The doctrine and covenants states something like whatever principle of intelligence we obtain in this life will rise with us and the more intelligence (light and truth or knowledge) we obtain in this life the greater the advantage in the world to come. That's repentance! That's repentance! Its to gain experience or knowledge THROUGH experience and experimenting upon the word of God as found in the scriptures. Even if you make a mistake! You gain knowledge of good and evil! Its OK in God's eyes to make mistakes that is why we are here. But He also wants us to learn from them. So don't look back, it may take a few times to learn all that is needed but keep looking forward.

Now if you fail to fully repent or gain ALL that is required for you, than your spirit, that same spirit, becomes subjected to the spirit of the devil and you are dragged back into captivity (See Alma 12:9-11). Ponder this quote by Joseph Smith.
“… A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world[This is after death!], as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.”15 (TJS, Chapter 22)
One more interesting one about the same spirits dwelling there as here.
Now, in this world, mankind are naturally selfish, ambitious and striving to excel one above another; yet some are willing to build up others as well as themselves. So in the other world there are a variety of spirits. Some seek to excel. And this was the case with Lucifer when he fell. He sought for things which were unlawful. Hence he was sent down, and it is said he drew many away with him; and the greatness of his punishment is that he shall not have a tabernacle. This is his punishment. So the devil, thinking to thwart the decree of God, by going up and down in the earth, seeking whom he may destroy--any person that he can find that will yield to him, he will bind him, and take possession of the body and reign there, glorying in it mightily, not caring that he had got merely a stolen body; and by and by some one having authority will come along and cast him out and restore the tabernacle to its rightful owner. The devil steals a tabernacle because he has not one of his own: but if he steals one, he is always liable to be turned out of doors. (Teachings, Section Six 1843-44, p.297)

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