And at that time shall Michael stand up…

Frank M. Keele

In the previous blog, the connection between the burning of the whore (destruction among the Gentile nations, abomination of desolation, WWIII or end of the day of the Gentiles) and the Second Advent were made clear. However, there are multiple sources for this event and the circumstances surrounding it in scripture. By considering other passages we are able to both broaden our view and understand the timing and sequence of events more clearly.

(Note: In as much as this blog builds upon the previous blog, it may be helpful to read the previous blog first…)

We start with Isaiah chapter 18 where we learn about the fate of “the land shadowing with wings”:

1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:
2 That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!
3 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.
4 For so the Lord said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
5 For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.
6 They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.
7 In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion.

There is so much that is pertinent to our times within these seven verses. We shall take advantage of an inspired interpretation of the above passage, we turn to Orson Pratt who said:

“Read the 18th chapter of Isaiah. Isaiah, when standing in Palestine delivering his prophecy, looked off to the south-west and saw the rivers of Ethiopia, or Africa; and after having seen these rivers in vision he also sees a land shadowing with wings away beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. What kind of a land was that, away beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, from where Isaiah stood in Palestine? Why it is a land that had the appearance of wings. You have been struck doubtless, with the great resemblance that North and South America have to the two great wings of a bird. While Isaiah was thus gazing upon a land away beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, it looked so much like the wings of a bird that he says—A land shadowing with wings, away, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.”
Well, Isaiah, what have you to say about that land? Why, says he, there is a proclamation to be had there. How extensive, Isaiah? To all people. Hear the words of Isaiah. Says he “All ye inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth, see ye when he lifts up an ensign on the mountains.” Not on the low places of that land shadowing with wings, next to the seashore, but in the mountains. What is the nature of this ensign? It is characteristic of a standard, often spoken of by the Prophets, and called by the name of standard. Isaiah speaks of it as an ensign in a number of places. What would naturally be a standard? The kingdom of God is a standard to which the people rally and gather together. Does it affect all people, Isaiah? Yes. “All ye inhabitants of the world.”

From Orson Pratt’s commentary we learn that “a proclamation” is to go forth to the entire world. It is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It originates “Not on the low places of that land shadowing with wings, next to the seashore, but in the mountains.” A reference to the latter day kingdom being established in the mountains of the western Untied States to be sure. We continue with elder Pratt’s commentary:

“What could be more extensive than that? “And dwellers on the earth, see ye when he lifts up an ensign on the mountains, and when he bloweth a trumpet hear ye.” What else is to take place, Isaiah? He says that a severe judgment is to take place on that land shadowing with wings. What kind of a judgment, one that is to be very severe, Isaiah? Yes, for he says—”Afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches. They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth; and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.” When will this be, Isaiah? After this proclamation, after all the nations of the world have heard it, after the people have heard the sound of the warning message; then the first among all the nations where the extremities of the image have sent forth one of its governments, there will be the commencement of a most terrible judgment, so much so that the people on that land will not have time to bury their dead, and the fowls shall summer upon them. Why is all this? Because they will not hearken when that sound goes to all people; they will not repent of their sins; they will not receive the message that God has sent by his angel, he therefore visits them first, because they are the first to hear those glad tidings. No wonder, then, that Zion, that brings good tidings, was commanded by the ancient Prophet to get up into the high mountain.

What Isaiah tells us about the judgment to come upon America, “the land shadowing with wings”, is a parallel to John’s prophecy of the beast and the whore. When you add the element of nuclear weapons to the mix it’s not difficult to understand how swift this judgment shall be and why “the people on that land will not have time to bury their dead” as Orson Pratt says.

Another interesting element of Isaiah’s prophecy is that of timing. We learn that “afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.” So the judgment to come upon “the land shadowing with wings” or the burning of “the whore… with fire”, whichever way you look at it, shall commence in the spring of the year! Let us not forget that the event of which we speak is preparatory to and part of the final sequence leading up to the Second Coming. Elder Pratt reflects this fact in his commentary on Isaiah 18, we continue reading:

“Let us go a little further, and see what immediately follows this. Isaiah says—”For behold the Lord God shall come with a strong hand.” What! The coming of the Lord going to take place after Zion has gone up into the mountains? Yes, that is one of the great events that will transpire, when the people of the nations are careless and indifferent, when they are eating and drinking, buying and selling, and their minds wholly swallowed up with the various occupations of life. “Behold, the Lord comes with a strong hand, his arm will rule for him and he will reward his people; then the glory of the Lord will be revealed and all flesh will see it together.” (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 18: 183.)

In verse 7 of Isaiah 18 we read:

“In that time shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion.”

From this we surmise that, out of a nation (America) “scattered and peeled… a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled” “shall the present be brought unto the Lord of hosts of a people” (the latter day saints) who shall be brought “to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion” (trek back to Jackson County) just in time for the Bridegroom’s appearance.

Now we turn to the book of Daniel in order to view this destruction among the gentiles and it’s relationship to the coming of the Bridegroom from yet another perspective. In doing so we gain further insights into events that shall just precede these great calamities. From chapter 12 we read:

1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 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?
7 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.

In verse one we learn that “Michael” (Adam) shall “stand up… and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book”. This has reference to the great assembly to take place at Adam-Ondi-Ahman where Christ shall come to his people, the Second Coming. The gathering to a single location is one of the means by which the Lord’s covenant “people shall be delivered” from the fate of the wicked.

Note that this takes place at “a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time”. Certainly the burning of the whore via the use of nuclear weapons would qualify as an unprecedented “time of trouble”! The world to this point will have never witnessed such destruction, it is “the abomination of desolation”!

In verses 2 & 3 we are told of events that shall manifest at the time of the Second Coming, for “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”.

Daniel’s visions give us knowledge of Christ’s appearance in the meridian of time and of events to unfold at “the time of the end”. Here he tells us of three messengers and of a solemn declaration given by one of them, “the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river” who answers the question “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” We read:

“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.”

So we learn that when there shall be “a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people” something is going to happen, what is it?…. “all these things shall be finished”! In other words, the final destructive sequence shall commence, “the abomination of desolation” shall be unleashed! It shall be in the spring of the year as we have learned, and how shall the Latter-Day Saints be effected by these events? It was Orson Pratt who said:

“Well then, to return to the prophesying, when the time shall come that the Lord shall waste away this nation, he will give commandment to this people to return and possess their own inheritance which they purchased some forty-four years ago in the state of Missouri”. (Gerald N. Lund, The Coming of the Lord ,110.)

So the saints shall return at this time to Jackson County, fulfilling the scriptural mandate, “the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him”. They shall have the summer months in order to make the trek.

When this great destruction falls upon America, the wise among us shall know that the Lord’s Second Advent is nigh at hand, only months, not years away! However, the wisest of the wise will have seen it coming even years earlier. This is because they will have studied and discerned the meaning of what Daniel gives us in the phrase “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.”!

I hope you have found this blog to be informative and edifying. Please take a moment to leave a comment, like us on Facebook, share a link or subscribe. Thanks for reading, as always, may God’s blessings be with you until the next time…

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