Sunday, September 22, 2013

Blogging "65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second Coming" - Part 3.

This is part 3 of my review of David Ridges, 65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second ComingPart 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Before moving on to Chapter 3, which discusses each of the 65 signs the author has chosen to elucidate, there is another point from Chapter 2 which Ridges raises: that there may be considerable time from when Christ appears to when he comes to reign on Earth. He notes, in that regard, Zech. 14:1-9, describing Christ's appearance to the Jews when the Mount of Olives splits, to Ezekiel 39:8-16, describing that it will take 7 months to "cleanse" the land after the final battle (by burying the dead). Presumably, the Lord will not return until the land has been cleansed. 

In Chapter 3, Ridges discusses (in no particular order I could discern) 65 of what he considers to be signs preceding the second coming. It is important to note that many of the signs have already been fulfilled, or in the process of being fulfilled. My point is not to repeat Ridges book here, but to interject comments or emphasis. Thus, while I will list all the signs, I will not comment on all of them.

(1)  The discovery of America and establishment of the United States -- fulfilled.

(2)  The coming forth of the Book of Mormon -- fulfilled. This is in fulfillment of Ezekiel 37:15-19, where the stick of Judah (the Bible) is to be joined with the stick of Joseph (the Book of Mormon). 

(3)  The restoration of the priesthood and the priesthood keys (i.e., the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods, and the sealing powers)  -- fulfilled. (Malachi 4:4-6, Jeremiah 31:31-33). 

(4)  The restoration of the true church of Jesus Christ -- fulfilled. Ridges obviously cites those scriptures that discuss that there will be a falling away or apostasy from the original church, such as 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 and Acts 3:19-21. I would also note that the Lord spoke many times of the "first being last and the last first." (e.g., Luke 13:30; Matthew 19:30; Matthew 20:16). Christ, during his ministry, was very clear that His purpose was to go to the Jews first. (See, e.g., Mark 7:24-30). Later, the apostles were commanded to take the Gospel to the Gentiles (essentially the whole theme of the Acts). The restoration of the Church has now made the last first and the first last because the restored Gospel was first made available to the Gentiles, and the Church has agreed with Israel that it will not proselyte to anyone in Israel, such that Israel will truly be the last to receive the Gospel in these latter days.

(5) The Church will be established in the tops of the mountains--fulfilled. (Isaiah 2:2-3). (Note that in much of what is written by Isaiah and the other prophets concerning the last days ("in that day") "Zion" refers to the restored Church while "Jerusalem" refers to Judah (the nation of Israel, and/or the Jews)).

(6) The Church will grow to fill the whole Earth--being fulfilled (Daniel 2:35, 44-45).

(7) Slaves will rise up against their masters--being fulfilled (referring to a portion of the prophecy on wars: D&C 87-4).

(8) A full end of all nations--yet to be fulfilled (D&C 87:6). I would note that this ties together with the prophecy, cited above, from Daniel, to when the stone cut out of the mountain will strike and destroy the figure (representing the great empires).

(9) Scattered Israel will be gathered--being fulfilled (e.g., Isaiah 5:26-30; Ezekiel 28:25). This refers not only to the gathering of the Jews to the Holy Land, but also the gathering of peoples into the Church.

(10) All will hear the Gospel in their own tongue--being fulfilled.

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