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When we look at the happenings all around us and even in the church, we feel confusion and want stability instead. I submit it was no different in 1830, except they didn’t have covid-19 then. Look at this time as an opportunity to reflect on where we need to be as individuals and as a people. Below is an article that will call us to meditate and repent.

END TIMES NOW
December 22, 2020

 

Ezek. 7:2

“Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel;
 An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land."

 

 

As I read this, I am impressed with two words: "An end," then the prophet goes on and says "the end." When he said "An end" I got the idea that this is saying there are more ends than just this one. Then when I read "the end" I realize the prophet is talking about an end in the land of Israel. I believe the land of Israel is America. 

 

With this in mind, my thoughts go back to the 24th Chapter of Matthew, and the 21st Chapter of Luke. So, let us go back to these scriptures and see what we can find that applies to "An end."

 

As Jesus sat upon the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to him and asked two questions: Matt 24:4 ..."Tell us, when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming; and of the end of the world? "  

 

Jesus then begins to tell them what will happen to the Jewish people; of their individual troubles and the national distress caused by the invasion of the Roman armies, and in the 22nd verse of this same chapter we read, "And again, after the tribulation of those days which shall come upon Jerusalem," signifying the end of His answer to the first question. 

 

Then in verse 30 He begins to address the second question. Matt 24:30-32 "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famine and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places. And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved. And again, this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked."  You remember that in the second request His disciples asked Him about the sign of His coming and of the end of the world.  What we are interested in for this study is the first part of this request for information: "the sign of thy coming;"    ".... nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famine and pestilences, and earthquakes...." These things have already happened and are now happening. This should awaken us to the condition of the times in which we live. Yet we search, as did those disciples, for a more clear sign of His coming. 

 

Let’s go to the book of Luke, Chapter 21, for Luke gives some information that is not found in the other Gospels. After giving the Jews much the same information that Matthew had given them about their tribulation, Luke finished with this: 21:22 “But woe unto them who are with child, and to them who give suck, in those days! For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.  23 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." 

 

I have highlighted what I believe is an interesting part of a continuous thread of information that will lead us to understanding some of the signs of the coming of Christ. Jerusalem and the Jewish people were conquered and came under Gentile rule by the Kingdom of Babylon around 600 BC and remained under the rule of the Gentiles until the British captured Jerusalem from the Turks in December 1917. General Allenby of the British army, with his army of 96,000 men came to the outskirts of Jerusalem and halted their march. One account that I had read awhile back, as I remember it, tells of how, when they had halted, they called London for advice, as they did not want to fire on the Holy City. London told them to kneel down and have a prayer. When they arose from the prayer, a man from the city came with a white flag saying the Turks had fled and the city was theirs. It was told that the Turks saw the British planes flying over, and since their weapons were mainly directed straight ahead and they had no air defense, they retreated. The wife of a Christian missionary heard the planes flying and remembered this from the Book of Isaiah: 31:5 “As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it." This historic account of the fulfilling of a small but important prophecy has been my favorite since I first read it. 

 

But let us go back to the signs of His coming. Luke 21:24 “Now these things he spake unto them, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem. And then his disciples asked him, saying, Master, tell us concerning thy coming? 25 And he answered them, and said, In the generation in which the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, like the sea and the waves roaring. The earth also shall be troubled, and the waters of the great deep; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth. For the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for the day of your redemption draweth nigh." 

 

I have highlighted two points of interest. The second, concerning our redemption, is the focus of this whole article, but the first tells us what to be looking for as pertains to His coming. It mentions a generation when we will see physical signs upon the earth, and He tells us what these signs shall be. While we read this, we realize that we are witnessing these things right now and should also recognize what they are telling us. ".... for the day of your redemption draweth nigh."  We also notice in verse 25, that he specifically says, "the generation....,” thus making it a particular generation in which the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled or finished. Remember back in verse 23: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." 

 

We have already seen that Jerusalem was freed from Gentile rule beginning with the capture from the Turks by the British army in 1917. In the following years the British began to work with the Jewish people to develop a form of government, and, if my memory of dates is correct, they became a nation in 1948. Yet they were not totally out from under the Gentiles until 1968. So between 1917 and 1968 is the generation in which the Gentile times were fulfilled. Now, concerning this generation Luke also reveals this: Luke 21:32 “Verily I say unto you, this generation, the generation when the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, shall not pass away till all be fulfilled." Now my conclusion is that all pertaining to the coming of Christ will be completed before this generation that is spoken of here has passed away. This may be startling to you, and it should be, for the time of His appearing is very near. 

 

Now when one "time" is completed another will begin. Ezek. 30:3 “For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen."  It would appear that we are entering into this time of the heathen, for things around us have changed in this nation and the world and have begun to deteriorate into immoral and evil ways which are typical of the heathen. We can see this more clearly in the Christian culture in our nation. 

 

Brother Bob Moore wrote an article entitled   "America's Destiny," and I would like to quote a paragraph from it that I think is very descriptive of our times. “Once America began turning away from the teachings of Jesus Christ, it became a proud nation. The social revolution of the 1960s increased violence, crime, immorality, and family instability. It also enticed many into drug addiction. Our once peaceful and moral country filled with wickedness. The Book of Mormon predicts this development: "At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all people of the whole earth, and be filled with all manner of lyings, and of deceits, and of mischiefs, and all manner of hypocrisy, and murders, and priestcrafts, and whoredoms, and of secret abominations; and if they shall do all these things, and shall reject the fullness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fullness of my gospel from among them" (3N 7:34-35). The loss of the gospel of Jesus Christ among Americans is happening exactly as predicted." 

 

Isa 28:15 “Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us; for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves;" It is with a sad heart that I see many of the Restoration movement of 1830 fall under this condemnation. This was foretold by the prophet Joseph Smith Jr in the Doctrine and Covenants: Section 1:3d-3e “for they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant; they seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall."

 

Some have said, "we have not changed the faith and belief of our forefathers, we have not changed the ordinances, we have not broken the everlasting covenant..." True, you yourselves did not make the change, but you follow those who did. Now you say, “we are alright, the overflowing scourge will pass through, it shall not come unto us.” What have we here today if it is not the overflowing scourge? How has it affected the whole world, including our nation? And we are Israel!  Joseph Jr prophesied that this would come. Sec 5:3g, “for a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out, from time to time, if they repent not, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away, and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming."

 

Is not this Covid-19 pandemic among all the inhabitants of the earth? What is the guiding force behind it? Is it not the heathen nations? Who is the guiding force behind these nations? Is it not the adversary, Satan? The Lord warned us through Joseph Smith Jr that we would go through much tribulation before we would enjoy the Glory. (Sect 58:2a) We find again this mention of the scourge in Sect. 45:4d, “and in that generation shall the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled; and there shall be men standing in that generation that shall not pass, until they shall see an overflowing scourge, for a desolating sickness shall come over the land;” Notice it says it is a desolating sickness that comes over the land. I don't believe there is one state in this land that has escaped this covid-19 sickness.

 

Again, in Sect 94:5d-5e, “for, behold, and lo, vengeance cometh speedily upon the ungodly, as the whirlwind, and who shall escape it; the Lord's scourge shall pass over by night and by day; and the report thereof shall vex all people; yet, it shall not be stayed until the Lord come; for the indignation of the Lord is kindled against their abominations, and all their wicked works;" The word “stayed” means curbed or checked. This tells us that we will have this Covid-19 sickness until the Lord comes. It is well that we remember this also from Sect 94:5f, “nevertheless Zion shall escape if she observe to do all things whatsoever I have commanded her, but if she observe not to do whatsoever I have commanded her, I will visit her according to all her works, with sore affliction, with pestilence, with plague, with sword, with vengeance, with devouring fire;"

 

Luke 21:36 “And what I say unto one, I say unto all, Watch ye therefore, and pray always, and keep my commandments, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man when he shall come clothed in the glory of his Father"

 

Now let us take one last look at Ezek. 7:3-8 “Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations.  And mine eye shall not spare thee, neither will I have pity; but I will recompense thy ways upon thee, and thine abominations shall be in the midst of thee; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God; An evil an only evil, behold, is come. An end is come, the end is come; it watcheth for thee; behold, it is come. The morning is come unto thee, O thou that dwellest in the land; the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains. Now will I shortly pour out my fury upon thee and accomplish mine anger upon thee; and I will judge thee according to thy ways and will recompense thee for all thine abominations."

The Ezekiel period of prophecy was between 622-570. I believe he was speaking directly to us in America now.


 

Joseph F Smith