Sunday, December 7, 2014

Who is the Lord God of Elijah?

When the prophet Elijah was taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire his mantle fell off and Elisha took it and stood by the bank of the river Jordan. The scriptures describe what happened next:

And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the Lord God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over. (2 Kings 2:14)

I would like to begin the Christmas season by first using the scriptures both old and modern to show that the prophets of the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon foretold of the life and mission of Jesus Christ and that they worshiped him and looked forward to his birth, ministry and atonement. 

If we ask the question that Elisha asked in a different way it will help us better understanding whom Elijah worshiped and served and it will help us better understand God that we worship what blessings come to those who follow him today. That question is who is the Lord God of Elijah? The Lord God of Elijah was known in the Old Testament as Jehovah or the Great I Am.

When Moses spoke with God on Mt. Sinai, he asked what his name was and the Lord told Moses:

And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (Exodus 3:14)

Isaiah testified of the ministry of the messiah who is Jesus Christ when he said:

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour:

I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. (Isaiah 43:3, 11)

The Israelite people understood that when the scriptures talked about I AM, they understood that it was the same God that appeared to Moses and gave them the Ten Commandments. Here we see that Isaiah is saying that their God known as I AM is our Savior Jesus Christ.

The other name for the God of the Old Testament was Jehovah. In the Bible Dictionary under the reference for Jehovah it says:

The covenant or proper name of the God of Israel. It denotes the “Unchangeable One,” “the eternal I AM” (Ex. 6:3;Ps. 83:18; Isa. 12:2; 26:4). The original pronunciation of this name has possibly been lost, as the Jews, in reading, never mentioned it but substituted one of the other names of God, usually Adonai. Probably it was pronounced Jahveh, or Yahveh. In the KJV, the Jewish custom has been followed, and the name is generally denoted by Lord orGod, printed in small capitals.
Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth being born of Mary (see Mosiah 3:8; 15:1; 3 Ne. 15:1–5;D&C 110:1–10). Although Ex. 6:3 states that the God of Israel was not known by the name Jehovah before Moses’ time, latter-day revelation tells us otherwise; see JST Ex. 6:3 (Ex. 6:3 note c); Abr. 1:16; 2:8; see also Gen. 22:14.”(LDS Bible Dictionary, Jehovah)

The first and last prophets of the Book of Mormon, Nephi and Moroni, wrote their testimonies of Jehovah or Jesus Christ. They said:

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation. (2 Nephi 22:2)

And now I bid unto all, farewell. I soon go to rest in the paradise of God, until my spirit and body shall again reunite, and I am brought forth triumphant through the air, to meet you before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge of both quick and dead. Amen. (Moroni 10:34)

On January 1, 2000 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a document titled “The Living Christ”. In that document they testify:

“As we commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ two millennia ago, we offer our testimony of the reality of His matchless life and the infinite virtue of His great atoning sacrifice. None other has had so profound an influence upon all who have lived and will yet live upon the earth.
“He was the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Messiah of the New. Under the direction of His Father, He was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3). (“The Living Christ”)

Elder Robert E. Wells in a general conference address gave this testimony that The Jehovah of the Old Testament is Jesus Christ. He said:

“Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah of the Old Testament, the God of Adam and of Noah, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jehovah appeared to and talked to the ancient prophets. When He spoke He did so on behalf of the Father, and He said what His Father would have said. Jehovah of the Old Testament became Jesus Christ of the New Testament when He was born into mortality.” (“Our Message to the World”, Robert E. Wells, General Conference, October 1995)

And from Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“It is written: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb. 13:8.) He is the Lord Jehovah; he is the Great I AM; and beside him there is no Savior.

“The whole law of Moses, with all its types and shadows, testified of the one who would come to save his people. For instance, on the Day of Atonement the high priest placed the name of Jehovah upon a goat and sacrificed it for the sins of the people in similitude of the sacrifice Jehovah himself would make when he was lifted upon the cross and slain for the sins of the world.” (“The Seven Christs”, Bruce R. McConkie, General Conference, October 1982)

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas season, we can know more about the person we know as our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the God of Elijah, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is the God of the Old Testament, he created the earth and he is the only begotten Son of God the Father, he is our advocate with the Father. As Isaiah testified:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

I would also like to share some of my favorite Christmas music each week in December. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

Your comments and questions are always welcome

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