The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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Home Scripture PROPHESY The second coming of Jesus Christ.

The second coming of Jesus Christ.

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In Acts 1:6 we read, "When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power."

Perhaps the most intriguing question which disciples of Jesus have asked in all ages is, "When the Lord will return again?" Many have tried to discover
the answer to this question, but so far no one has correctly determined the time of this long expected event. Although, in the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus gave some of the signs that would be occurring then, instead of looking at these, I'd like to focus on the prophecies which need to be fulfilled or already fulfilled before He can come again.

A great prophecy fulfilled for the second coming is the gathering of Israel.

In A.D. 70 Titus Vespasian, with the fifth, tenth, twelfth, and fifteenth Roman legion leveled the city of Jerusalem. remarkably, this destruction also took place on the very day, the 9th of Av, as the destruction of the first temple. According to Josephus, over a million Jews were killed by starvation and crucifixion, cannibalism and the Roman sword. Those that escaped death were taken captive by Rome and dispersed "among the nations".
For the second time in its history, the House of God and the city of Jerusalem were destroyed. Remarkably, this second destruction was also foretold by the prophet Daniel at least six centuries before.
As we saw earlier in Daniel chapter nine, the angel Gabriel told Daniel that after the coming of Messiah " the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary." Daniel 9:26.
When Daniel wrote this the first temple had long since been destroyed. From this historical context we know that the term "the city and the sanctuary" must therefore refer to the city of Jerusalem and the second temple which was to rebuilt shortly after Daniel wrote his prophecy. From the 70 A.D. until May 14 1948 the Jewish people lived dispersed and isolated among the nations. despite this fact, they retained their cultural and religious identity for nearly two thousand years. This fact is unprecedented in history. In virtually every other case, when a people or nation is reduced to a small remnant and supersede around the world, they lose their identity within just a few generations as they are " absorbed" into the local population.
Remarkably, the fact that the Jewish people would be regathered to the land of Israel from the four corners of the earth was also foretold by a number of prophets thousands years earlier.
When David Ben Gurion announced the rebirth of the nation of Israel May 14 1948, he used as his authority the ancient prophecies of the book of Ezekiel!
In the book of Ezekiel, written over 2500 years ago, the prophet predicts a time when the Jewish people would be regathered to the land of Israel a second and final time. However, quite unlike the prophecies of the Babylonian exile and the first restoration, those referring to the second restoration speak of the people being regathered from among the nations (plural) of the earth.
Ezekiel 37:21-22
Ezekiel 39:26-29
Ezekiel 37:23-28
Isaiah 11:1-12
Isaiah 49:22-23 in this last one Isaiah prophesied that 
Isaiah 49
22Thus says the Lord GOD: 

"Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations, 
And set up My standard for the peoples; 
They shall bring your sons in their arms, 
And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders; 
23Kings shall be your foster fathers, 
And their queens your nursing mothers; 
They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, 
And lick up the dust of your feet. 
Then you will know that I am the LORD, 
For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me." 

Kings and queen in the last days are represented from the "United nations" from which came the new state of Israel.

In Acts 3:19-22 we read that Peter told the people, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of
refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

Peter states that the Lord must remain in heaven and therefore cannot come again until the time when all things have been restored. And, clearly, you can't restore something that hasn't first been had and then lost. Therefore, the Bible testifies to the fact that there will be a restoration needed
before the last day. But what kind of things need to restored? Let's take a look at some of the things "which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

In John 1:19 we read, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou? And He
confessed, I am not the Christ." The Jews asked John, "Are you the Messiah?" We know that the Jew were expecting the coming of the Messiah
because His coming had been prophesied many times by the ancient prophets. However, when John answered that he wasn't, they next asked him, "What then? Are you Elias? And he said I am not." It's clear from this second question that the Jews were also awaiting another person, besides the Messiah, specifically, a prophet named Elias. It should be noted that if the prophet Elias was also the Messiah, John would have clarified this point.

In reality, the Jews are waiting for three distinct people -- the Messiah, Elias, and one other prophet. Furthermore, we know now that Jesus was the
Messiah. But what about Elias? Many people believe that John the Baptist and Elias were the same person, but they aren't. For a more in-depth look at this subject, please my article, "John the Baptist or Elijah?"

But there is still someone else prophesied to come. In Malachi 3:1,2 we read, "Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before
me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap." This certainly can't be John the Baptist for several reasons. First, Jesus didn't come "suddenly... to his temple." Secondly, when Jesus lived on the earth, he didn't appear "like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap" where people were not able to withstand his appearance. Thirdly, this matches the prophecies which refer to the Messiah coming in great power and glory. Therefore, it is clear that this scripture is referring to the second coming of Christ, not the first. In fact, the Jews are still looking for this for this prophecy to be fulfilled. Unfortunately, Christians pay no
attention to this prophecy, even though, according to the Bible, this person must come first before Jesus can come again the second time.

In Revelation 11:3-8 we read of two other prophets which must come first before Christ returns again. It reads, "And I will give power unto my two
witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two
candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and
have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their
testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

However there is still another great prophet which the Jews are expecting. Surprisingly, the prophecies concerning this person is not found in our present-day Bible, even though he is well known among the Jews. In 1955, the Macmillan Company of New York published the English translation of a book by Dr. Joseph Klausner, professor of Hebrew literature and Jewish history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The book came out under the title of "The Messianic idea in Israel". In this volume Dr. Klausner devoted one full chapter (Part 3, chapter 9) to the coming of a future "Joseph". Dr Klausner pointed out that one of the most ancient and respected traditions among the Jewish scholars is the prophecy that a "Joseph" should be raised up in the latter days for the specific purpose of preparing the way for the coming of the Messiah. He cited sources to show that this future Joseph is not only mentioned in the Talmud and other Jewish classics, but Christian scholars have also taken note of this tradition.

According to the Jewish scholars, this future Joseph was to be killed, some said in battle, but Judah Ibn Shmuel said he would be attacked by "Armilus, who is the antichrist". (Klasuner p. 496). According to tradition, this Joseph of the latter days would be a descendant of Joseph who was sold into Egypt and would come through the line of Ephraim (Joseph heir). It also said that his mission would commence about the time Elijah made his appearance to fulfill the promise made in Malachi 4:5-6 (Klausner page. 498) Dr. Klausner then admitted he was puzzled as to why this was so.

But what puzzled Dr. Klasner the most was why this tradition of a latter-day Joseph should be so thoroughly established among Jewish scholars when there was no reference to him in the Hebrew scriptures. The Talmud, the Midrash, and the Targum all refer to it, but these, of course, are merely
commentaries rather than the scripture itself. Furthermore, the Jews are not the only ones who have this tradition. Dr. Klausner states that the
Samaritans are even more zealous than the Jews in keeping alive the tradition of the latter-day Joseph. Since some of them claim to be of the tribe of Joseph, it is understandable why this prophecy is extremely important to them.

Also, the Samaritans were part of a tiny remnant which successfully escaped the siege of the Assyrians in 721 B.C., and therefore they were not carried off to Mesopotamia with the rest of Israel. Their tradition concerning the latter-day Joseph goes back to a period which was long before the Talmud. According to Dr. Klausner (page 484), the Samaritans had this to say about the future Joseph:
1) They said he would be a descendant of Joseph through Ephraim. They sometimes referred to him as a "son of Ephraim". 2) They called him "Teal", meaning "the restorer", "He who returns", or "He who causes to return". 3) They said he would call the people of the world to repentance and bring
back better days for Israel. 4) They said this Joseph of the latter days would "restore everywhere the true law to its former validity and convert all peoples, especially the Jews, to the Samaritan (Ephraimite) religion."

As we look at the life and events surrounding Joseph Smith we find that it fits perfectly with the prophecies concerning the coming of the expected
great prophet "Joseph."

Each of these people - Elias, Joseph, and two other prophets - must come first to prepare the way or restore all things before Christ can come again.
But this is not all. Let's take a look at some other prophecies that must be fulfilled before Christ can come again.

We have already read in Malachi 3:1,2 that God will send a messenger who "shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple." Since this prophecy is referring to the second coming of the Messiah, then obviously there must be a temple already built when He comes again. Since the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the Jews haven't built another one since that time, when and where is this temple to be built that Malachi talked about? He gives us a clue in chapter 4, verse 1 when it said, "But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it." Here it is prophesied that the House of the Lord (which is the proper name for the Temple) would be found "in the top of the mountains."

Jerusalem is not on top of any mountain, let alone on top of many mountains. So where are these mountains? Even though the Bible doesn't give it a name, it has given us a description. As we look at the geography of Salt Lake city we find that it is situated about 1400 meters above sea's level, and is surrounded by many other mountains. The word "Utah" in the language of the native American Indians means "tops of the mountains". Therefore it can be said without any stretch of the imagination that this city sits "in the top of the mountains." Of course, the name "Salt Lake City" was unknown to the Jews when Jacob, Isaiah, and Micah uttered their prophecies, but the description they give us of what the place looks like where the temple of the Lord will be in the last days fits the location where Salt Lake City is located. In addition to that, there is now a temple there, whose inscription states "The House of the Lord," and every year thousand of people come from every nation and literally flow to the top of these mountains to the House of the Lord, just as it was prophesied.

But this isn't the only prophecy concerning the existence of a temple in the last days. In Zechariah 6:12-15 we read, "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD. And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God." And Ezekiel even gives us the description of what this temple will look like (see chapters 40-44).

In Revelation 11:1,2 we read, "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled but it will!

In Daniel 12:1-4 we read, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." It is clear that this is referring to the second coming of Christ because it is speaking regarding the book of Life and of the resurrection and judgment.

Continuing in verses 5-13 we further read, "Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand. And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days."

This prophecy makes reference to the "daily sacrifice" and about people being "purified" which is what the ancient temple was used for. Since this prophecy of Daniel is speaking about a temple that will be standing in the last days, and since the Jews as a whole still have not accepted Jesus
Christ as being their Messiah, when they do rebuild a temple, of necessity, they will perform sacrifices in it as they did anciently. But when will this event occur? Daniel was given some very exact times: "here shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." We will take a closer look at this date a little later, but for now it is important to
realized that the Bible prophecies that in "the end of time" there will be a temple. Since the Jews do not presently have one, this event must still happen before Christ can coming again a second time.

Another prophecy which must occur first before the Messiah returns is the coming forth of a "book." In Isaiah 29:18 we read, "And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness." What "book" is Isaiah referring to? It can't be the Bible because the word "bible" literally means "a book of books", or a compilation of books. Furthermore, in the days of Isaiah when he wrote this prophecy, the scriptures were not contained in one book, as we have today. Each book of our present-day Bible was a separate and distinct scroll. So Isaiah must have been talking about a different book than the Bible.

Notice that because of this book, "the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness." Furthermore, this book would be responsible for bringing people out of spiritual darkness and help them to see the salvation of the Lord more clearly. Obviously, Isaiah can't be talking about the Bible because just the opposite is true with it. There are more Christian churches today teaching more different doctrines of salvation than
any other religion in the world. And they all base their beliefs on the Bible! If there is any spiritual blindness and darkness, Christians as a whole easily fit into that category.

Then what book is Isaiah referring to? The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit" (Jeremiah 16:19). Why will all the nations from every part of the world come to God? Because their eyes will have been opened and they will see the truth for the first time. Then they will acknowledge that their fathers have taught them lies, that their fathers had acted in pride and vanity concerning God, and had been engaged in those things that brought them no spiritual profit.

The declaration at the beginning of the Book of Mormon states its purpose in these words: "Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever- and also to convincing of the Jew and gentile that Jesus is the Christ the ETERNAL GOD, manifesting Himself unto all nations." In other words, its purpose is to convince not only the Jews but the Gentiles as well that Jesus is the Christ. In its pages we find the teaching of the gospel stated more clearly. Surely this is a book that would help open the eyes of all people and allow them "see out of obscurity and out of darkness."

We know that during the Old Testament times that only the Jews worshipped the God, Jehovah. Yet the ancient Jews prophesied that there would come a time when all nations would come and worship the true and living God. Consider these prophecies: "They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens" (Psalms 65:8). "From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed shall bring me mine offerings." (Zephaniah 3:10). "From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, even glory to the righteous" (Isaiah 24:16).

>From these scriptures it is easy to see that people from even "the uttermost part of the earth" will come to bring offerings to the Lord. But notice that the prophecies refer to these people as "the daughter of my dispersed." We know that ten of the twelve tribes of Israel have been not only dispersed, but lost as well. Therefore, it is clear that these prophecies refer to those people who belong to the house of Israel. Psalms 77:15 explains it this way: "Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph." Notice that the prophecy makes a distinction between "the sons of Jacob and [the seed of] Joseph." Since Joseph was also a son of Jacob, we need to ask ourselves, why does the prophecy make this distinction between the two?

Before we answer that question, let's take a look at another prophecy. In Psalms 98:3 we read, "All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of
our God." (also see Isaiah 52:10). How will "all the ends of the earth see the salvation of our God," especially when we take into consideration the dispersed "sons of Jacob and of Joseph"?

The Book of Mormon purports to be a record made by descendants of the tribe of Joseph who were dispersed or removed to the American continent. This book also states that after the resurrection of Christ in Jerusalem, He also appeared to these people as well. But is this a fictional story, or did it actually happen?

In the book "The 100," which is a ranking of the most influential people in history by Michael H. Hart, he says this about the Spanish conquistadors Pizarro and Cortes: "When, in 1967, the Israelis won a dramatic victory over Arab nations which greatly outnumbered them, and which possessed far more military equipment, many persons were surprised. It was an impressive triumph; but history is studded with examples of military victories won against sizable numerical odds. However, Pizarro's conquest of an empire of over 6 million with a force of only 180 men is the most astonish military feat in history. The numerical odds he overcome were considerably higher than those which faced Cortes, who invaded an empire of roughly 5 million with a force of 600 men. But, one might ask, did not Spanish firearms give them an overwhelming tactical advantage? Not at all. Arquebuses, the primitive firearms of the time, had a small range and took a long time to reload. Although they made a frightening noise, they were actually less effective than good bows and arrows. In any event, when Pizarro entered Cajamarca, only 3 of his men had arquebuses, and no more than 20 had crossbows. Most of the Indians were killed by conventional weapons such as swords and spears. Despite their possessions of a few horses and firearms, it is plain that the Spanish entered the conflict at an overwhelming military disadvantage. What then happened? Speaking about Cortes and mentioning the same things the writer added:" Cortes was also aided by Aztec legends concerning the god Quetzalcoatl. According to Indian legend, this God had instructed the Indians in agriculture, metallurgy, and government; He HAD BEEN TALL, WITH WHITE SKIN, AND A FLOWING BEARD. AFTER PROMISING TO REVISIT THE INDIANS, HE HAD DEPARTED. To Montezuma, it seemed very possible that Cortes was the returning god, and this fear seem to have markedly influenced his behavior. Certainly the Montezuma's reaction to the Spanish invasion was very weak and indecisive."

It is clear that the ancient inhabitants of America believed in a god-like being who was tall, with white skin, and flowing beard and had not only visited them but had promised that he would return. This fits perfectly with the account of Christ's visit to the inhabitants of America as found in the Book of Mormon.

But this is only one clue. In Psalms 60:7 and Psalm 108:8 it refers to Ephraim as the defender of his head. Ephraim was one of the sons of Joseph, yet in the Old Testament history as found in the Bible, there is no record of this prophecy every being fulfill. In fact, the tribe of Ephraim was the worst when it came to practicing idolatry! (Jeremiah 31:6-9)!

In Zechariah 10:3,4,6,7 we find this prophecy: "Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for I the Lord of host hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together and I will strengthen the house of Judah and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and I will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man." It should first be noted that this prophecy about the house of Judah was fulfilled, but what about "the house of Joseph?" When will God save them and "bring them again to place them?" The Book of Mormon is a written record of these people who are a branch of Joseph, a remnant of the house of Israel.

Also, in Ezekiel 12:1-6 we read, "The word of the LORD also came unto me, saying, Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house. Therefore, thou son of man, prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight; and thou shalt remove from thy place to another place in their sight: it may be they will consider, though they be a rebellious house. Then shalt thou bring forth thy stuff by day in their sight, as stuff for removing: and thou shalt go forth at even in their sight, as they that go forth into captivity. Dig thou through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby. In their sight shalt thou bear
it upon thy shoulders, and carry it forth in the twilight: thou shalt cover thy face, that thou see not the ground: for I have set thee for a sign unto the house of Israel."

Since Ezekiel was a prophet, his responsibility was to PROPHECY to the Jews. Therefore, all of these acts which the Lord asked him to perform were
symbolic of events that related to the house of Israel. With that in mind, let's continue. In verses 7-11 we read, "And I did so as I was commanded: I brought forth my stuff by day, as stuff for captivity, and in the evening I digged through the wall with mine hand; I brought it forth in the twilight,
and I bare it upon my shoulder in their sight. And in the morning came the word of the LORD unto me, saying, Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said unto thee, What doest thou? Say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; This burden concerneth the prince in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel that are among them. Say, I am your sign: like as I have done, so shall it be done unto them: they shall remove and go into captivity."

There are some who might think that Ezekiel is only referring to the Jews who were in captivity at that time, but verses 12 through 16 shows us that isn't the case. He talks about a few who would be saved "from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence." These people the Lord would "scatter them among the nations, and disperse them in the countries." And these would "declare all their abominations among the heathen whither they come; and they shall know that I am the LORD." In other words, this is a prophecy of people who would go into exile, rather than into captivity.

In another prophecy, Ezekiel again made mention of these people . In chapter14:22-23 he wrote, "Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and ye shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you, when ye see their ways and their doings: and ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord GOD."

In still yet another prophecy found in the sixth chapter, verses 8-9, Ezekiel wrote, "Yet will I leave a remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when ye shall be scattered through the countries. And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations whither they shall be carried captives."

Who are these people who escaped the sword, were scattered among the nations and dispersed in various countries? Who is this remnant that shall come forth so that we can "see their ways and their doings" declaring the abominations of the Jews and help us know that the Lord has not done these things without a cause?

According to the story found in the Book of Mormon, a man named Lehi, who was a prophet, lived in Jerusalem shortly before its destruction. Like
Ezekiel and Jeremiah, Lehi warned the city's inhabitants of the desolation that would be poured out upon them if they didn't repent of their wickedness. In time there were some who plotted to take his life, but before they could silence his message, he was warned by God in a dream to leave Jerusalem. Being obedient to the word of the Lord, in the middle of the night Lehi and his family quietly carried some of their "stuff" through the walls of the city and "brought it forth in the twilight" hours of the night where they finally camped out in the wilderness, about a three day's journey from Jerusalem. While there, Lehi was shown in a dream a land that the Lord promised to take him to.

For the next eight years, Lehi and his family traveled in the wilderness, first in a southwesterly direction, and then in a more easterly direction until they came to a large body of water. There, the Lord commanded one of Lehi's sons to build a ship. When the work was completed, they set sail, and after the space of many days they arrived at the land which the Lord had promised to Lehi. That land was here upon the American continent. Lehi and his family were part of the remnant spoken of by Ezekiel. They were taken from Jerusalem before its destruction, thereby literally being saved "from the sword, from the famine, and from the pestilence."

But how shall we see their ways and their doings and therefore know that "the Lord has not done these things without a cause?" How would they declare the abominations which the Jews had done? To answer this question, let's ask another one. How do we know what things the Lord has done to the Jews? If it wasn't for the Bible - God's record of His dealings with the Jews - only a few scholars would even be interested enough to find out through archeological research. It is mostly because of the Bible that we know what God has done. Then how will we know about the remnants that are scattered among other countries? Because of the books they wrote.

Today, we know about at least one of those remnants of the house of Israel because of the Book of Mormon. And it is because of this book, that we now have a better understanding of why God brought this evil upon the house of Israel and that He didn't do it without a just cause.

The clearest indication referring to both the first coming and second coming of the Messiah, are found in the book of Daniel. In chapter seven, he gives a panoramic history up to the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. In chapter eight Daniel gives us a panoramic history from the death of Jesus to His second coming. What makes these chapters so amazing is that they give precise dates as to when these events will occur.

Before we look at this, we first need to understand that a "day," as used in Biblical prophecies, often times means a "year." We not only know this because it is explained in Ezekiel 4:6, but also because these prophecies wouldn't have come true if we use "days" instead of "years." This is especially true when we are talking about the prophecies which refers to the end of time. If we take the term "day" as meaning a literal 24-hour period of time, then Jesus would have had to come back a second time before He even appeared the first time.

In the eighth chapter of Daniel we read: "In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. And out of one of them came forth a little horn, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced and prospered. Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto
that certain saint which spake, how long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? and he said unto me, Unto 2300 days then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."

Then the scripture goes on to tell how Gabriel had been sent from God to explain the vision to Daniel. Gabriel states: "Understand, O son of man: for
at the time of the end shall be the vision....and he said, behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." Gabriel points out, that the vision is true and that it is referring to something that was a long way off into the future. He also told Daniel to "keep the vision secret." As an interesting side note, Gabriel explains all the symbolism about the animals and horns, but he doesn't give any indication what he means by the term "the evenings and mornings." He only states that the sanctuary will be cleansed. And it must be kept in mind that the sanctuary is part of the temple. Here again we see a prophecy about a temple that will be in existence in the last days.

In order to find the ending date of this vision, we first need to know the starting date when the 2300 years begins. In Daniel 9:21-27 we read, "Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall even in troubles times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut of, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolation are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the
overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."

Daniel was pondering the prophecy of Jeremiah at the beginning of chapter 9 and was thinking that the period of the vision that refers to the purification of the sanctuary meant that the Jews would spend a longer period of time in exile. Daniel therefore prayed to God on behalf of his people, confessed the sins that provoked the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile and asked God to rebuild the holy city and its holy temple. It was while Daniel was praying about this that Gabriel, whom he had seen in another vision, came and told him, "Know therefore and understand." Then Gabriel explained to him that the vision related to the Messiah and not to the exile of the Jews.

The beginning of both of these prophecies starts at "from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build up Jerusalem." Cyrus published an edict in 536 BC. which empowered the Jews to go back to their homeland (see Ezra 1:1-4.) In the 520 BC. Darius signed an edict that gave the Jews the authority to rebuild the Temple (see Esdra 6:1-12.) Afterwards, in 457 BC, Artaserse, in the seventh year of his kingdom, issued a third edict that insured the Jews would have full autonomy (see Ezra 7.) This edict also gave Ezra the legal authority to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple (see Ezra 9:9.)

The scripture says that from this point until the Messiah's death, seventy weeks would pass. If we calculate a "day" as a "year", that gives us 490
years. Therefore, if we begin our counting at 457b.c. and add 490 years, we arrive at the date of 34 A.D. According to biblical scholars, that was the
year Jesus was crucified for our sins.

With that information, we can now calculate what the ending date of the second vision concerning the purification of the sanctuary. We actually have two ways of determining this. The first is, we can start with the same beginning date of 457 BC. From this we can simply add 2300 years, which
takes us to 1844 AD. The other method is, we can subtract 490 years from 2300 years and add 34 (that is the difference of time between the two
related visions) and the result is still the same -- 1844. The question we need to ask ourselves is, "What happened on this date?"

We know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was established by Joseph Smith in 1830, but that doesn't fulfill this prophecy. It would
appear, at first glance, that such an event would be irrelevant to our discussion. However, we have to remember that the prophecy refereed to a time when "the sanctuary will be cleansed."

How it is possible to clean a sanctuary? In Hebrew 9:18-22 we read: "Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when
Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and
hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament, which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover he
sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood is no remission."

The sacrifices of the blood of animals cleansed people from their sins (see verse 13). More than that, all the prophets, including Christ, sanctified their mission by the shedding of their own blood through martyrdom. Paul explained, "For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is not strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood" (verses 16-18). That is the key to understanding what is so important about the date of 1844.

On June 27, 1844 the prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum Smith were martyred for their declaration of the word of God, just like all the prophets in the scriptures before them. In D&C 135 we are told this about Joseph smith: "He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord's anointed in ancient times, he sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so did his brother Hyrum. The testators are now dead and their testament is in force."

The moment these two testators sealed their testimony with their own blood the prophecy Daniel saw in his vision was fulfilled. When we compare this event to other prophecies concerning the second coming of Christ, we see that this is indeed the correct understanding of this prophecy. (For further information on the topic of the law of two witnesses, I recommend you read "Doctrines of Salvation" by Joseph Fielding Smith.)

So we have seen how Daniel was very precise concerning the dates of his prophecies. At least in these two cases it was possible for us to determine
the exact date of the fulfillment of these prophecies by using historical facts and the scriptures.

Daniel also foresaw the restoration of the church in the last days. In Daniel 2 34, 44 we read, "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."

It is clear to me that if the kingdom should be restored in the last days, a restorer was needed. That leaves us with two options to consider. Either the prophecy of this restoration has already been fulfilled or it has still yet to occur. According to the prophecy of Daniel, this would happen 2300 years after the temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem after the Jews came out of captivity. As we have just seen, that time has already past! But a restorer
has come, whose name was Joseph and so has Elias, and so has another book, and so has a temple which is set in the tops of the mountains.

However, there are still some other things that need to happen. In Revelation 5:5 we read, "And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof." Each of these seals had different plagues. For example in Revelation 6:12-14 we read, "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."

In Revelation 8:1-7 we read, "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand. And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up."

When it says in verse 1 that "there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour," if we calculate this according to "the Lord's time" in which
one day is a thousand years (2 Peter 3:8), that would be the same as 21 of our years.

The seven plagues that will come upon the earth are:
1) Hail and fire.
2) The sea is smitten.
3) waters are smitten.
4) the sky is smitten.
5) Modern warfare.
6) Armageddon.
7) Christ will come and destroy the wicked.

Also, in Revelation 13:11-18 we are told of a beast who will have the power to greatly deceive the people of the world and are further told that "he
causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." This has already fulfilled but not completely. In fact the number 666 is not only referring to just a false prophet or religion but to several things.

In Matthew 24:3 we read, "Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" Jesus answered them by listing a number of signs that would precede His return, but in verse 14 he specifically stated, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come."

The Catholic church traces it's beginning back to Peter, and it has been preaching the gospel of the kingdom for over 2000 years, but the end hasn't
come. It isn't too hard to conclude that it's because they are not teaching the correct gospel of the kingdom. That is why it was necessary for there to be a restorer. When I was baptized in 1976 the missionaries told me, "We can't preach in many countries right now, especially in the communists
countries, but the day will come in which communism will fall and the Gospel will be preached even there." Since then the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints has been able to begin preaching the gospel of the kingdom in former communist countries and they are expanding into more and more. Yet, there are still more countries that have not heard the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and this must happen before the Lord can come again.

Of all the signs showing that the coming of Christ is near at hand, for me, the greatest will be when there is a true temple built in Jerusalem. And the
reason for that is because Daniel wrote "blessed who he waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." Therefore I wait because I want to be blessed.

Here Daniel is speaking about the temple in the last days, clearly the Hebrew having not accepted the Messiah they will perform sacrifices in this temple, but something will happen to stop these sacrifices and here Daniel give us some times :"here shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
Israel will be our clock for the second coming.
It is interesting to analyze the symbolisms of these numbers.
1290 days are 43 months (the sum is seven : complete) or 3 years and seven month (perfection and complete) The difference between 1335 and 1290 is 45 days (the sum is nine).
1290 contains the number of God (1) the number of the witnesses (2) and their sum is three (perfection) the number nine is also a symbol for perfection (3 x 3) and their sum 1 + 2 + 9 = 12, the guidance of the church on earth.. Therefore 1290 contains all the numbers to fulfill perfection in the divinity and on earth.
43 months (4+3=7) it says that everything will be complete. The missing days 45 (4+5=9) means that this intermediary period it will be necessary to add perfection to perfection, or better 1290 it is the end of something but not being possible to specify the date of the second coming it will be necessary to give an intermediary period by which it will be possible to open a new dispensation, in act when we go to 1335, blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days. We have here the number 1 (God) two 3 ( witnesses and perfection) the total sum is 12 and therefore always the guide of the church on earth. But we have two 6 (1 + 5 =6 3+3=6) it means that we are still missing another dispensation to completely fulfill the God' plan., It is missing the Millennium that will be introduced when Jesus will come.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 May 2011 12:56  

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