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https://www.latterdayconservative.com/w ... ive-years/
Shorter version below:
What we might Expect in the Next Twenty-Five Years
by W. Cleon Skousen
THE REVELATION OF THE APOSTLE JOHN
JOHN BEGINS DESCRIBING MODERN TIMES AFTER THE OPENING OF THE SEVENTH SEAL
Now John is ready to transfer his attention from the five chapters outlining the preparations in heaven for the Second Coming and concentrate on the unfolding of these events on earth. All of these events are controlled by the factor of “time.” He therefore defines the period in which these events will occur. John says:
“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.”
WHAT HAPPENS IN HEAVEN DURING THE HALF HOUR OF SILENCE?
In the next five chapters John tells us of the careful and precise assignment of the angels in heaven so the earth can be cleansed of all wickedness and prepared for the Second Coming.
Here is a brief summary of each of these chapters.
Chapter 8. After the seventh seal is opened, the first four angels receive their assignments to cleanse certain portions of the earth.
Chapter 9. The fifth and sixth angels are assigned their ministry of cleansing the earth but they are not ‘to torment or destroy those who have the “seal of God in their foreheads.” (verse 4) This probably refers to those who are under the Lord’s covenant, or members of the church. However, all others will be tormented until they “seek death and shall not find it.” (verse 6) But in the end over a third of mankind will be destroyed. (verse 15) During the raging wars over two hundred million men will be under arms. (verse 16) There is an amazingly accurate description of the highly mechanized instruments of war that will be employed. (verses 17-19) Nevertheless, in spite of all this period of turmoil and bloodshed the people not only refuse to repent but become more depraved and debauched than ever. (verse 20-21)
It will be recalled that when Joseph Smith was asked the specific time when the 144,000 would be foreordained and sealed he said: “In the sixth thousand years or the opening of the sixth seal.” 23 but later Joseph Smith was asked, “When are the devastating things to be accomplished which are written in the 9th chapter,” he replied: “After the opening of the seventh seal, before the coming of Christ.” 24 as we shall see later, the coming of the ten lost tribes and the ministry of the 144,000 to every nation just before the Second Coming, all occur after the opening of the seventh seal.
Chapter 10. The seventh angel (identified in verse 7) holds up a little book whereupon seven thunders roar out a message which John was forbidden to record. (verse 4)
When Joseph Smith was asked what this little book represented, he said:
“We are to understand that it was a mission, and an ordinance, for him to gather the tribes of Israel; behold, this is the Elias, who, as it is written must come and restore all things.” 25
During the June Conference of 1831 Joseph Smith revealed that John the Beloved was already among the ten tribes of Israel who had been led away by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, to prepare for their return from the long dispersion. 26
This is not referring to the remnants of Israel scattered among the various nations, but that supremely righteous segment of the Ten Tribes whom Moses said eventually would be gathered in from the “outmost parts of heaven.” 27
chapter 11. This is a heavenly vision of the climax to the second worldwide dictatorship. It will culminate in the great battle of Armageddon which we will discuss later.
chapter 12. This chapter provides the background for the fall of Lucifer and his hosts after the war in heaven. John says it was there that the righteous fought against Satan “by their word and their testimony” trying to persuade the confused and uncommitted spirits to support Christ’s gospel plan. In the end, two-thirds rallied behind Jehovah but one-third supported Satan and were cast out into the mortal earth. (verses 7-11)
John depicts the Saints of God as being like “a woman clothed with the sun.” (verse 1) John looks back through the centuries and realizes that because of Satan’s persecution of God’s kingdom there would be “a time and times and half a time” (verse 14) when the woman would have to flee into hiding. This would be off and on throughout the 3,500 years incorporated in the dispensation of Joseph, Moses and the apostles. John saw that not until 1,830 A.D. would the woman of the Church of Jesus Christ come forth in all her power and glory. Then John says:
“And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (God’s servants in the latter days] which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (verse 17)
It will be appreciated that the previous five chapters are describing the elaborate structure of the angelic forces in heaven to prepare for the mighty contest that will take place on the earth after the opening of the sixth and seventh seals. John wants us to know that during this contest Satan will lay the foundation for two worldwide dictatorships. Now we are ready for Revelation, chapter thirteen.
THE RISE OF THE FIRST WORLDWIDE DICTATORSHIP AS SEEN BY JOHN
Beginning with Revelation, chapter 13, John is talking about event which unfold on the earth after the opening of the seventh seal and the beginning of the half hour of silence in heaven referred to earlier.
John says the first worldwide dictatorship will come into its full dimension of power shortly after the year 2,000 but its beginning will be during the sixth seal. It is not a single dictatorship, but a coalition of nations. Here is how John describes it:
“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” 29
The reference to HIS horns and HIS heads demonstrates that these nations were a unified coalition. We do not know why seven heads would have ten horns and ten crowns unless three of these nations had colonial dominions.
John leaves no doubt that this monster rising out of the sea was a Satanicinstitution. Speaking of the monster as a united entity, John says “the dragon” gave him his power and his seat of authority. 30
John describes the figurative symbols used by God, and says this dictatorship had the sinister cunning of a leopard, the feet and claws of a bear, and the teeth and mouth of a lion.
IS THERE ANY MILITARY OR POLITICAL ENTITY THAT SEEMS TO FIT THIS DESCRIPTION?
Since the opening of the seventh seal is upon us, has any military or political entity been emerging which seems to reflect any of these characteristics?
An apostle has warned that there is. For many years J. Reuben Clark, former U.S. Under-Secretary of State and a member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church, had been sounding the alarm.
He first became concerned when President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill signed the Atlantic Treaty on a U.S. cruiser off the coast of Newfoundland in August, 1941. Of course, who might have suspected that this might be the beast John saw rising out of the sea? It was viewed by most people as merely a mutual defense pact
However, World War II changed the whole world landscape and the United States came out of that terrible conflict as the new world leader with the Soviet Union a jealous and frantically obsessed competitor.
There were several reasons why the United States forged into first place as a world leader. To begin with, her Wall Street bankers had invented a virtually unlimited “debt based” economy so – to a large extent – the U.S. generously financed the major part of the Allied war effort. Secondly she had out produced most of the rest of the world in planes, ships, tanks and military supplies. Third, she was far and away the leader in high technology although Russia, by stealing many of America’s top secrets, was not far behind.
World War II ended in 1945, but by 1949, Russia had muscled and maneuvered her way into dominating approximately 1/3 of the entire planet. Europe, Asia and Latin America looked to the United States to prevent further Communist expansion.
Thus it was on April 4, 1948, that the United States, Britain and certain other countries dangerously threatened by the Soviet Union, signed THE NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY. It provided that if the Soviets attacked ONE member of the treaty it was an attack against ALL. This pact contained a score of blatant violations of the U.S. Constitution, nevertheless, to a large extent the new NATO treaty was popular, but not with J. Reuben Clark.
After he studied the document he gave a thundering warning which was first heard by the Trust Division of the American Bankers Association on August 17, 1949. He said:
“The North Atlantic Treaty, recently passed, is a military alliance pure and simple. It is what our forefathers called an ‘entangling alliance.'” 31
This entire speech was filled with fiery quotations from the American Founding Fathers predicting disastrous results if the United States ever allowed itself to be trapped within an international conglomerate of interdependent alliances.
Of course, the North Atlantic Treaty was just the beginning.
THE EVOLUTION OF NATO TOWARD A NEW WORLD ORDER
Nevertheless, the United States – as the principal defense against, the Soviet Union – began to look upon itself as the policeman of the world. Consequently, the State Department managed the next two major wars and they were disastrous. The Korean War has been described as the worst-managed war in the history of the United States and the Vietnam War is the only war the United States ever lost.
As a result of these and other fiascos, Ronald Reagan was elected President in 1980. He got the backing of both parties and spent two trillion dollars building America back up to the most powerful nation on earth.
The Soviet Union tried to compete with the United States but finally went bankrupt and in 1989 the whole Soviet Union fell apart. Russia became an isolated, despondent, disorganized non-entity, and the Cold War was over.
Now we go back to John who saw something amazing happen. He says:
“And I saw one of his heads as [if] were wounded to death; and his DEADLY WOUND WAS HEALED: and all the world wondered after the beast.
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying Who is like unto the beast? WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE WAR WITH HIM?” 32
One of the amazing things about the Cold War was the fact that the Soviet Union was crushed into near annihilation. It was completely fragmented and left with only the original, isolated Russia as a wounded remnant of what had been a world super-power. Never had there been such a golden opportunity to require the Soviets to disarm, defuse or destroy her intercontinental ballistic missiles, get her factories converted over to domestic production and launch a massive road construction so her farmers could get the vast food supply from the muddy Russian fields to the central markets. But none of this happened. John saw what did happen.
The United Nations extended a generous helping hand to the Soviet Union – which had previously set out to conquer the world – and used the resources of the free world to begin building her up again. Eventually, this bloody head that was saved by the rest of the UN may prove to be once more the most dangerous facet of the first world dictatorship.
So the coalition of many heads and horns John saw in vision, will continue to strengthen itself until it becomes a world-wide dictatorship of ruthless proportions. It will dominate the whole human race for 3.5 years. This is still future.
THE NEW WORLD ORDER BECOMES A REALITY
The Soviet Union began to desperately urge her former allies to continue the Communist expansion program. On August 2, 1990, the dictator of Iraq – with Soviet encouragement- overran and occupied an oil-rich neighbor, Kuwait. The UN Security Council set a deadline for Saddam Hussein and his forces to retire and when it was ignored, the UN called upon all its members to enforce the UN decree.
George Bush was the new President and he had always favored a New World Order to enforce justice and peace. He looked upon the crisis in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as an ideal opportunity to show what the policeman of the world, acting in the name of the United Nations, could do to give itself credibility. Therefore, without following the requirements of the Constitution, he asked Congress to ratify a UN resolution and the next thing the country knew, half a million Americans were in the PersianGulf War.
A gigantic, massive air attack ended the war after a few days and its success established the precedent J. Reuben Clark had hoped would never happen. From this point on the President the United States as commander in chief would look upon any UN decree as an order to take “police” action. But the Persian Gulf War was the only success so far. It didn’t happen in Somalia, Bosnia, or Yugoslavia.
THE PATTERN IS ESTABLISHED AND JOHN SAW THE FUTURE
“And there was given unto him [of the many kingdoms collectively] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue FORTY AND TWO MONTHS.” 33
So the first dictatorship reaches a point where it dominates the world and sustains the ongoing society of immorality, abortion, non-religious education, high crimes and misdemeanors for which even the President could not be impeached even though he was finally forced to confess what he had done, and the House found him guilty of two counts. However, the Senate did not have enough support to convict him because under the 17th Amendment the Senators had to face a popular election and too many of the Senators felt the President was supported by most of the people so that if they impeached him they might not be re-elected themselves. (Under the original Constitution, Senators were appointed by the state legislatures to protect the Constitution and states rights. This was changed in 1915.)
And so, as John says, it will continue until at some point the first dictatorship will attain a position of absolute power for three-and-a-half years. Then an amazing thing will happen.
THE FIRST DICTATORSHIP WILL MAKE A DEADLY MISTAKE
However, at this point, John saw that the first dictatorship would make a lethal mistake which will eventually wipe it out of existence. Here is what happens:
“And he [beast or dictator] opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
“And it was given unto him to make WAR AGAINST THE Saints and to OVERCOME them: and power was given him over all mankind, and tongues and nations.” 34
FROM THIS POINT ON, THE FIRST DICTATORSHIP WILL DRIFT INTO OBLIVION
Just as John’s account reaches a point of supreme suspense with the monster declaring war against the Saints – and overcoming them – John tells us the first dictatorship has been obliterated.
But what happened? He doesn’t tell us what happened! He simply closes the account of the first dictatorship with this rather amazing philosophical comment:
“If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.” 35
In other words, the first dictatorship has disintegrated into ashes and the faith of the saints is vindicated.
But what brought this about after the first dictatorship turned on the Saints and overpowered them?
Perhaps John left out this vital part of his story so it could be told by his Master. In any event we now have the whole story in the Book of Mormon, and it probably gives us far greater details than John could have provided.
THE RESURRECTED JESUS TELLS WHAT HAPPENS TO THE FIRST DICTATORSHIP
When the resurrected Jesus appeared to his “other sheep” on the American continent in 34 A.D., he talked a lot about America in the latter days. He talked about the Gentiles coming from Europe and setting up the first free people in modern times. He talked about their riches and their power. But he also talked about their wickedness . He said the pure original gospel would be restored among them but unless they embraced it as a people, America would be entirely cleansed of its gentile wickedness and this continent would be largely depopulated.
Here is the way Jesus said it:
“And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against 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 shall 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 combinations, and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I WILL BRING THE FULNES MY GOSPEL FROM AMONG THEM.” 36
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