SUNDAY SERMONS

By Cordell and Janice Vail

06 July 2003

Copyright 2003 by Cordell Vail, all rights reserved

A weekly email gospel message for the descendents of Ammon and Winona Vail

I'll Send The First (1st what?)

One of the things that I really enjoy doing it to circle words in the Scriptures and then try to understand the meaning of the word or words. It helps may times to look at the context of the scripture and relate it to the history of the times or the customers of the people of the time to try to understand why they used that example. For example where Paul being a Roman citizen uses the military armor to make his point.

For example have you ever noticed that the order of the creation in the Temple is different than in the scriptures? I assume in reality it is hard to have plants growing before there is light. Minor point but it seems important to me to notice those kinds of things.

One such place in the scriptures that I find very interesting to think about the true meaning of the words is in the Pearl Of Great Price Abraham 3: 24-28. If you read it literally it does not make much sense as it talks about who spoke first and then sending the first.

Abraham 3:24
24 And there stood one among them that was like unto God, and he said unto those who were with him: We will go down, for there is space there, and we will take of these materials, and we will make an earth whereon these may dwell;

25 And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them;

26 And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.

27 And the Lord said: Whom shall I send? And one answered like unto the Son of Man: Here am I, send me. And another answered and said: Here am I, send me. And the Lord said: I will send the first.

28 And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and, at that day, many followed after him.

If we look at those 7 bolded phrases they dont make much sense as a story. Try to answer the questions below of who we are talking about and you will see what I mean... OK?

1. There was one who was "Like Unto God" who seemed to be in change with others of presenting the plan for the creation of the earth. Apparently the first thing that happened was this person (who ever it was) presented a plan to the Lord where people would go down and be proven by some means (as we see next either by free agency or force). This scripture implies that was the first event here.
WHO WAS THAT "Like Unto God PERSON?

2. It says there were others with this person who is "like unto God".
WHO WERE THESE "those who were with him" PEOPLE?

3. Someone who was like unto the Son of Man spoke up now concerning how to "prove them herewith".
(Notice it is separating here now a person who is "LIKE UNTO GOD" who presented the over all plan in verse 24 from the person in verse 27 who is "LIKE THE SON OF MAN" who is presenting the details to the plan now as to how they would "prove them herewith". Two separate people. One is in charge of presenting the plan for creating the earth and the other is volunteering his services as a Savior.)
WHO WAS THAT "Like unto the Son of Man PERSON?

4. Another answered. Remember this is now one speaking who then was not the one "like unto the Son of Man". He already spoke his piece. This someone else. Can we assume that?
WHO WAS THAT "Another" PERSON?

5. The Lord
WHO WAS THIS "Lord" PERSON?

6. The Lord says he will send the first.
WHO WAS THAT "first" PERSON?

7. And then the second one was angry
WHO WAS THAT "second" PERSON?

Well for #7 we of course know that was Satan. Or was it?

Here are some interesting facts.

1. The name Michael in Hebrew is
ME = Who
CHI = Like
El = God (ie we see that same el phrase in Elohem)
Could that be Adam or Michael who is the one like unto God? Was this Adam or Michael in verse 24?

2. Who was with him presenting the plan? I think we can assume from the Scripture in Abraham 3: 22-23 that at least the great and noble ones" were there. Would that include us?

3. If this person we are talking about in verse 27 was LIKE the Son of Man then we can assume that he was not the Son of Man. Who was the Son of Man? Elohem is referred to in the scriptures as MAN OF HOLINESS. So if this person is like the Son of Man Of Holiness then it is not Christ or the Son of Man (of Holiness)? Does that make sense? Christ is the Son of Man (of Holiness) so in verse 27 the first person speaking here was someone like Christ. That would seem to imply to me that this is actually Satan who in the pre-mortal life was the son of the morning. Second in greatness only to Christ. He was like the Son of Man or like Christ before he fell. He was the first to speak up in verse 27 to say he wanted to be the Savior.

4. ANOTHER..... Now think about this second person in verse 27 that is referred to as "another". We know only two people volunteered to be the Savior of the world. If someone who was LIKE THE SON OF MAN already spoke and then another spoke, wouldn't that second voice be Christ? Doesn't it make more sense that Satan did not wait to volunteer to sacrifice his life for us. He did not volunteer to go down. He spoke up as soon as the plan was called for to present his plan first. He demanded to be made the head where no actual savior sacrificing his life would be needed because there would be no free agency and therefore sins to die for. He probably in his boldness, or rudeness spoke up first and said he would make us all obey and demanded that he be sent to save us from ourselves not from our sins. Doesn't it seem more consistent to the story then, that Christ in his humility, after Satan tried to take over, quietly volunteered to go and die for us and give us our free agency. Verse 27 implies to me that Satan who was like the Son of Man of Holiness spoke first then "another" who was Christ spoke second and quietly volunteered to sacrifice his life rather than demand everyone obey.

5. Who was the Lord in this verse? Elohem or God the Father is the likely being that is speaking here. Would you agree?

But now here is the confusing part that makes us mix up who is being spoken about....

6. The Lord says he will send the first. First what? First one to speak? That would be Satan. Or is the Lord talking about sending the FIRST (BORN). The Lord said he would send the First (Born). Christ was the first born but not the first to speak.

7. The second being spoken of in verse 28 is easy. Or is it? We know the Second who was angry is Satan, but second what? Second to speak or second born.

Now this is not doctrine. Just something to get you thinking as you read. I hope it will help you to not just jump to conclusions when reading the scriptures. Sometimes knowing the meaning of words, or the history behind the people being taught or the customs of the times can make things much clearer to our understanding.

Now if you want to have another fun exercise in the scriptures try looking for every place in the scriptures where there is an "IF YOU DO THIS.... THEN....." promise. Some times the words IF or THEN are not actually there, but implied. There are some marvelous promises in those two statements in the scriptures. Try starting with D&C 11:21 where there is an implied IF and a THEN which is followed by a second THEN IF - The second promise is only if you desire it. You will not get that blessing if you just do the first IF part, you have to want the second if condition to receive the second promise. You have to do what is required and get the first promise and then if you desire it you can have the second promise.

Happy scripture reading.....

Cordell

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NOTE: Nothing in any of these Sunday Sermons is intended to represent the official doctrines of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are strictly instructions and teachings from Cordell and Janice Vail to their family.