Saturday, October 5, 2013

Blogging "65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second Coming" - Part 4

This is part 4 of my review of David Ridges, 65 Signs of the Times Leading Up to the Second ComingPart 1 is herePart 2 is here. Part 3 is here.

In part 3, I discussed the first 10 signs. Now I will mention the 11th through 20th signs:

(11)  The Church will be brought out of obscurity--being fulfilled. This sign is from D&C 1:30 To understand this sign, you have to remember that the Church, as established by Christ and His apostles, would be taken from the Earth because of apostasy, and later restored. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition[.]" 2 Thess. 2:3. See also Rev. 12:5-6.

(12) The name of Joseph Smith will be spoken of for good and evil in all nations--being fulfilled.

(13) The lost Ten Tribes will return--yet to be fulfilled. See D&C 133:26-33.

(14) The time of the gentiles will be fulfilled--being fulfilled. Luke 21:24; D&C 45:22-28. This refers to the fact that the gospel was first preached to the Jews, then to the gentiles; but in the last days, it would be preached first to the gentiles and then the Jews. The "time of the gentiles" appears to refer to both the time of the preaching to the gentiles prior to the gospel being taken to the Jews, but may also refer to the end of the time that the gentiles will rule over Jerusalem. Ridges specifically discusses that there is currently an agreement between the Church and Israel that the Church will not proselyte in Israel, nor baptize citizens of Israel.

(15)  There will be much despair, depression, gloom and doom, etc. (i.e., men's hearts shall fail them)--being fulfilled. Luke 21:26. I would also include anxiety and fear in this. The basic idea is that people will be disheartened, dispirited, or lacking moral in some way, whether despair or anxiety. However, the Lord's instruction to us is "see that ye be not troubled." Matthew 24:6.

(16)  There will be extraordinary widespread selfishness and lack of caring for others--being fulfilled. 2 Timothy 3:2. Today, many people, when they do help the poor or afflicted, do so for selfish reasons: whether they are required to by school or an employer; to feel better about themselves; to pad a resume; or otherwise gain the praise of others.

(17) The mark of the Beast in their foreheads--being fulfilled. Rev. 13:16-17. Ridges notes that in the Bible, the forehead symbolizes loyalty and obedience. Compare Rev. 14:1 (the 144,000 have the name of the Father written on their foreheads). Ridges takes the position that it will not be a literal mark, but is symbolic of people who are loyal to the Beast or Satan. As for requiring the mark to buy and sell, Ridges discusses the danger of debt (particularly consumer debt) and the need to avoid all unnecessary debt and live within our means. I would note that it may be more than debt, but some requirement that we abandon principles in order to participate in commerce or the marketplace. We have already seen examples of businesses shut down or bankrupted because the owners and managers attempt to follow Christian values by not wanting to offer abortion or birth control benefits to employees (thus violating ObamaCare) or do not want to provide services or goods supportive of gay marriage. Thus, this may refer to our facing a choice of compromising our standards in order to run a business or otherwise earn a living.

(18) Ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of the truth--being fulfilled. 2 Timothy 3:7. Ridges explains that this refers to the great advances in science and technology, the widespread pursuit of knowledge and scholarly fields, but that never bring these scholars and scientists to the gospel.

(19) The Jews will return to Jerusalem--fulfilled and being fulfilled. 

(20) The Jews accept the true gospel--yet to be fulfilled. This apparently will not happen until Christ appears to save Jerusalem from its enemies. See Zechariah 13:6 and Zechariah 12:7-10.

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