Because I knew that thou [Israel] art obstinate, and thy neck is an iron sinew [stiff-necked won’t bend or bow], and thy brow brass.” (Isaiah 48:4)
What does it mean to have a brass brow?
Look up. Notice the position of your forehead and eyebrows. Now try looking up without using your forehead, eyebrows or neck. Can you?
- What is God telling the Israelites through the symbolism of the forehead and neck?
- Do you have a reputation of being stubborn? How are you overcoming it?
- In what ways do you look to God?
- In what ways are you riding yourself of pride?
- In what ways are you summiting to God?
After doing a study on foreheads I came up with a list of symbols. I always find it interesting how God uses a symbol and Satan has a counterfeit symbol. At the same time God uses the hard forehead to describe prophets and sinners. The message I’m learning is that we need to make our hearts (in this case foreheads) hard against evil and soft toward God’s messages.
- Obstinate: the house of Israel are “stout of forehead” (Ezekiel 3:8)
- Without God: thy brow is brass (Isaiah 48:4)
- Separation from God: Amlicites marked themselves (Alma 3:13)
- Not looking to God: Israel are of a hard forehead and of a stiff heart (Jeremiah 3:7)
- Beliefs: David’s stone struck Goliath’s forehead (1 Samuel 17:49)
- Loyal to God/ need not fear your enemies: God makes his prophet’s “forehead hard …. as an adamant harder than flint,” (Jeremiah 3:8, 9)
- Hard work: Adam worked “by the sweat of [his] brow”
- Bold and Firm Message from the prophet (Isaiah 48:8; Isaiah 48:9)
- Saving Mark: a distinguishing mark made on the men that turned to God, it set them apart and they were spared (not killed)(Ezekiel 9:4)
- Present to God: “Holiness To The Lord” written on the mitre (hat) of the High Priest (Exodus 28:36)
The Lord isolates the prophets and insulates them with knowledge, understanding and testimony. Then he sends them out to lead. Not to fit in, not follow – but to LEAD.
We follow this same pattern when we keep our children close until they know how to follow the Lord and the spirit says they’re ready to lead.
In 1939 it was proposed that the government get the children away from the moms and grandmas as early as possible, because this is when they are easily molded.
Heavenly Father’s plan is best – keep them with mom. But Father’s plan has a counterfeit. Satan has devised a plan to keep children away from their parents – today children are with their moms less than 2 hours a day.
For examples think of Moses in the wilderness, the call of Enoch or Isaiah…
How do you keep your children isolated from the things of the world?
How do you insulate your children from the fiery darts of Satan?
I had always understood that the “ministering of angels” to mean that the Aaronic Priesthood were blessed to see angles. Recently while studying the scriptures I learned what “ministering angels” really meant.
What is an angel?
In Hebrew and Greek angel means “messenger.” God has “sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest… the coming of Christ.” (Moroni 7:22) They bear Christ’s message, declaring his word and therefore building faith.
Ministering Angels are missionaries “minister[ing] unto all the scattered tribes of Israel…and they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good.” (3 Nephi 28:29, 30)
They are those who receive the Holy Ghost. “I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels?” and they “speak the words of Christ.”
Those that witness miracles (an indicator of the Lord’s help) are also ministering angels. “have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” Angels are “subject unto [Christ] to minister according to the word of his command, showing themselves unto them of strong faith and a firm mind in every form of godliness.”
Ministering angels are subject under Christ’s authority. They are those that are baptized and doing Christ’s work. Ministering Angels are those declaring His word and building faith in Christ. They are us!
When you are baptized you become an angel. The Lord will prompt you to help someone and you’ll see the hand of the Lord working through your kindnesses.
When we teach with the spirit those with the spirit will respond and recognize the angelic ministry and miracles and it will build their faith.
We, as members of the Church, are Ministering Angels. We gain strength by treasuring up His word so its power is within us. If we are prepared with this power we can teach the gospel the way angels do: by the power of the Holy Ghost.
see General conference talk, “What Every Aaronic Priesthood Holder Needs to Understand” by Douglas D Holmes, first counselor in the Young Men General Presidency
Olive oil is the life essence of the olive. It represents the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God and is a symbol of peace. When used with authority olive oil brings the power of Holy Ghost into our lives, it is the great sacred symbol of all mortality.
There are three main uses for olive oil
- LIGHT. The source of light and warmth came from a wick with olive oil, it lit their homes. “Pour out light upon them” is a symbol of olive oil being poured out
- FOOD. Olive oil was the basic element of food. Used as cooking oil and as a condiment for salads and breads. Bread was ground flour mixed with olive oil. A Jewish oral belief says that olive oil is light to the mind and enhances the intellect. “I will nourish thee and feed thee.” The Israelites would ground their flour very fine to make the very best for the Lord’s temple.
- MEDICINAL. Olive oil is a heavenly ointment used to heal wounds and leaves no scaring. It was used as a poultice and an ointment. This represents the great healing power of our Savior
Fire keeps our meat from spoiling just as the Holy Ghost keeps us from spoiling. The Hebrew meaning for the word wickedness is “spoil rotten.”
Olive oil is used in several different places in the Biblical Tabernacle.
- The Horn of Oil at the lavar or place of washing and used to anoint the priests.
- The Menorah was lit with the material of priests clothes and olive oil.
- The prayer alter is lit from the oil of the sacrificial offerings. This represents our prayers being lit with our sacrifices.
Some believe that olive oil is the token of forgiveness. Paul spoke of it as “the oil of gladness” (Hebrews 1:9)
The cow represented the open, public display of sexual behavior. Following your animal instincts, your ego.
When Moses came down from the mountain and saw the Israelites “worshiping the golden calf” they were acting like the symbol of the bull. A bull does whatever it wants to in public without shame. It shows sexual emotion in public with no shame. The Israelites were acting like cattle.
To worship means to practice being like what you are worshiping until you become like it. If you practice it you’ll become it. When you have your children practice teaching others they become what they teach (have learned). When you select a book for your child think about what they are “practicing” or learning for they are “practicing” what they will become.
Ask yourself the question, “What will they become when they are finished with it (book, movie, show, art work, friends, etc.)?
What are you allowing your children to “worship”? What are you “worshiping”?