By Frank M. Keele
The road to the Lord’s second coming is full of tribulations, however, these tribulations can be divided according to the timeline and into two general categories. And they are:
- Those that unfold leading up to the Lord’s first appearance and the coming of the New Jerusalem.
- Those that unfold during the seven years following the Lord’s first appearance (above) and leading up to his appearance to the Jews.
We are presently experiencing #1 above… the tribulations we are experiencing today are mostly due to the working of “the whore of all the earth” or the wicked gentiles that Nephi was shown in vision. In 1 Nephi chapter 14 we read:
11 And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.
12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.
13 And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.
This “whore” is presently at war with anyone who has faith in Jesus Christ, believes in the constitution, the bill of rights, personal property, the rule of law or values liberty and freedom. She has combined the power of corrupt governments with high powered corporations, social media and the cutting edge of technology. Only in the modern age could “the whore of all the earth” exorcize such wide spread power and control.
However, being in the 42 months means that this particular power has almost run out of time because we are also speaking of the first beast of Rev 13, John say of it:
10 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.
The demise of this beast will very, very shortly be followed by tribulations that are not necessarily man made. Earthquake, the sun being darkened, the moon turning to blood and stats falling from heaven, “the voice of thunderings, and the voice of lightnings, and the voice of tempests, and the voice of the waves of the sea heaving themselves beyond their bounds” shall attend the coming of the Bridegroom along with the heavenly New Jerusalem. And from this point forward or once the elect have safely been gathered to the New Jerusalem, the world shall enter the second phase of tribulations or what is commonly referred to as the seven years of tribulation.
With the coming of the Bridegroom comes the opening of the seventh seal and a sequence of events that will lead to the Lord coming to the Jews as their long awaited Messiah. From Rev 8 we read:
1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.
2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.
3 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.
4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
5 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.
6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
As we follow the activities of these seven angels we are seeing one view of the seven years of tribulation which culminates in chapter 11 where we see how the second half of the seven years or the last 42 months is to unfold. We read:
1 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.
2 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.
3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.
5 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.
6 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.
7 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.
8 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.
9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.
10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth.
11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
In the first half of the seven years Gog will gather his army of 200 million and during the second half or 42 month (or 1260 days) he will lay siege against Jerusalem and that’s what the above passage is all about. We note in verse 14 that the final woe is poured out on Gog’s army (seventh angel) although we are not given the particulars, however, Ezekiel indicates that it’s fire and brimstone.
And finally we reach verse 15 where John declares, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” So those kingdoms who had resisted Lord’s initial appearance as the Bridegroom will now be brought into compliance for “the kingdoms of this world” will have “become the kingdoms of our Lord” and with that, tribulation will come to an end.
All of this will get us 1/3 of the way through the half hour of silence or the first 21 years of the millennium and pave the way for the gospel going to the heathen nations and the final preparations before the earth is to receive it’s paradisiacal glory but that’s a story for another day.
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