The time has come to briefly recount how we discovered the Isaiah Story throughout the canon of scripture. At first, we were severely limited in our understanding because of the commentaries we had studied. The precepts of Mormonism were being imposed on us by the traditions Mormon writers bring to the publishing business. Everything that Mormon scholars write must be filtered through the sieve of their good standing in the church. This was problematic and had to be surmounted line upon line and round after round as we surveyed the scriptures carefully over and over, stripping away the precepts we had learned from the community of Mormon scholars. Learning to believe what the scriptures themselves say is more difficult than it sounds; it’s taken us many years. Obeying the scriptural command, to set aside all precepts, was our salvation in searching The Word of God.
In the early years of our joint research, we didn’t know there was a universal “Isaiah Story” which extended into the full canon of scripture. Then, as if by magic, we fortunately recognized in the Gospel of John certain key elements that had all the earmarks of the “Isaiah Story” and we pursued that discovery to see where it would lead. No one had ever before explored the scriptures looking for Isaiah’s prophecy encoded in “types and shadows” in other prophetic books. This was uncharted territory and it was everywhere in John’s record!
The Gospel of John is so vastly different from its three synoptic brothers; we finally saw the reason WHY it stands alone among the Gospels. John was seemingly presenting in prophetic obfuscation the story of God’s Servant in the last days using the life of Jesus as the perfect “type and shadow.” We were thunderstruck! How could it be that a few long-time students of Mormon Studies and Scripture, none of whom were specifically trained as New Testament scholars, could be unearthing what no one else had discovered?
Knowing the proper order of the events in the “Isaiah Story,” we were astounded that the expected events showed up over and over not only in the Gospel of John, but all over in holy writ. In many places John told precisely the same story in the identical sequence as Isaiah’s great prophecy. We soon recognized the prophets were following a script as they wrote their books of prophecy, and the script was precise and specific. This process of discovery lasted for numerous months as we surveyed both prophetic accounts back and forth from Isaiah to John and from John to Isaiah. As the overwhelming evidence continued to accumulate, we catalogued our findings which became so voluminous as to wipe away any doubt or question that John and Isaiah were writing the same story. John’s commission, to write about the last days is EXACTLY what he did. Seeing the end from the beginning in his own cosmic vision, the apostle John obeyed the Father’s commandment by writing the Book of Revelations AND the Gospel of John.
The Book of Mormon prophet, Nephi, was told that the apostle John was given a special commission to write about the vision of the end of days (see 1Nep 14:24-28). We always assumed it was in reference to “The Revelation of St. John The Divine” commonly known as the Book of Revelation, however, our discovery of the “Isaiah Story” within the pages of John’s Gospel threw the doors wide open to consider that perhaps John’s Gospel was the revelation that Nephi spoke of, and we were seeing it for the first time in modern history! That was four years ago in the spring of 2012. This discovery opened the canon of God’s scriptures to our view in ways that we never expected. Every prophet whose writings we have examined ALL tell the “Isaiah Story!” Now you know the genesis of our discovery. There is more to the story of John’s great revelation which we will discuss in a future post about new scriptures. But for the purposes of this paper, we’ll look at the Gospel of John.
Our purpose here is not to demonstrate the evidence of our discovery in a verse by verse comparison of Isaiah and John to prove anything to the world; we’re simply sharing the story of how we found the “Isaiah Story” throughout ALL of scripture beginning with John. We hope this knowledge will help you the reader see the “Isaiah Story” throughout all of scripture too. At this blog, we will never attempt to provide all of the intricate details about The Great and Marvelous Work; to do so, would be to write all of scripture into these posts because the story is contained within the writings of ALL of the holy prophets and apostles. Our hope is that each reader will learn to see the prophetic story of Isaiah written into all scripture.
Discovering the supernal gem that every prophet writes about the “Isaiah Story” became a litmus test to know the difference between true and false prophets! If men who claim to be prophets are not writing and testifying about the “Isaiah Story,” then you can be assured they do NOT have the spirit of prophecy and revelation and they are false prophets! By their fruits ye shall know them! Would you like to venture a guess where the “Isaiah Story” is NOT found? We’ll let you answer that question for yourselves after you look through the latest edition of the Mormons’ Ensign Magazine or Church General Conference report! The fact that every prophet and apostle in the Bible and Book of Mormon tell this story, together with the fact that it’s totally absent from the dialogue of so-called modern Mormon prophets and apostles, should make us stand up and take note— By their fruits ye shall know them!
Returning to the Gospel of John, he tells us in startling detail what the Servant’s mission will be like through the life experiences and teachings of Jesus. In the post entitled, “Jesus Against the Pharisees Part 2,” we explored Jesus contending against the Jews of His day as recorded in John’s Gospel. This is in perfect type and shadow of the Servant contending against the Mormons of our day; this is how the Servant’s mission will begin. For a short season when He first stands up among us, the Servant will contend against the false system of religion among the “O Jerusalem” Mormon people just as Jesus did against the Jews. What has been shall be!
John’s record seemed to us at first to be obfuscated because our eyes were not open to his prophetic message. It didn’t take long to recognize there is no obfuscation whatsoever in John’s Gospel or in the writings of Isaiah or any of the prophets. They write as plainly and clearly as humanly possible.
7 And now I, Nephi, cannot say more; the Spirit stoppeth mine utterance, and I am left to mourn because of the unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men; for they will not search knowledge, nor understand great knowledge, when it is given unto them in plainness, even as plain as word can be. (2Nep 32:7)
We are the ones strapped with the issues of “unbelief, and the wickedness, and the ignorance, and the stiffneckedness of men” because of the precepts of men which blind our eyes to the truth. Perhaps these chapters from John seen in the true light of the “Isaiah Story” will aid us to see things as they really are—