“I was once praying earnestly upon this subject, and a voice said unto me, “My son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years of age, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man.” I was left to draw my own conclusions concerning this; and I took the liberty to conclude that if I did live to that time, He would make His appearance. But I do not say whether He will make His appearance or I shall go where He is. I prophesy in the name of the Lord God, and let it be written–the Son of Man will not come in the clouds of heaven till I am eighty-five years old. Then read the 14th chapter of Revelation, 6th and 7th verses–“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to Him, for the our of His judgment is come.” And Hosea, 6th chapter, After two days, etc.,–2,520 years; which brings it to 1890. The coming of the Son of Man never will be–never can be till the judgments spoken of for this hour are poured out: which judgments are commenced. Paul says, “Ye are the children of the light, and not of the darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief in the night.” It is not the design of the Almighty to come upon the earth and crush it and grind it to powder, but he will reveal it to His servants the prophets.”
(Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 286)
From this we can see that Joseph Smith believed the two days mentioned in Hosea chapter 6 were equal to 2520 years (1 day = 1260 years) and that this period of two days would end in 1890. If we move back 2520 years from 1890 AD we find the starting point of his timeline: 631 BC. Before we get into the significance of this date, we need to determine what this timeline is all about. So let’s take a look at the verses in Hosea that Joseph referred to:
“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”
From this we can gather that this prophecy is concerned with the division and reunification of the house of Israel (and also about the 1st and 2nd comings of Christ, which we won’t go into here). It is after the two days (631 BC – 1890 AD) that the house of Israel is revived. It is during the third day (1890 AD – 3150 AD) that it is raised up. So what event took place in 631 BC that began the fulfillment of this prophecy? Let’s take a look at what was going on in the house of Israel during this time period.
610 BC31st year: Josiah dies. (2 Chronicles 34:1)
|649 BC||Josiah born. (2 Chronicles 34:1)|
|641 BC||1st year: Josiah becomes king of Judah at 8 years old. (2 Chronicles 34:1)|
|633 BC||8th year: Josiah seeks the Lord. (2 Chronicles 34:3)|
|629 BC||12th year: Josiah begins to purge Jerusalem of idolatry. (2 Chronicles 34:3-7)|
|628 BC||13th year: Jeremiah begins to prophecy. (Jeremiah 1:2)|
|623 BC||18th year: Josiah repairs the Temple, the books are read, and Passover is observed. (2 Chronicles 34:8-33; 35:1-19)|
The dates provided here are primarily based on the Battle of Carchemish which happened about 605 BC. Josiah got killed by an Egyptian archer when he confronted King Necho II of Egypt (who was in the process of moving his armies north to join forces with the Assyrians in preparation for battle against Babylon). 610 BC is an approximate date for the death of King Josiah. Based on my previous studies, I’m convinced that 623 is a Jubilee year, so it would make sense that that would be the year which Jeremiah would have the Temple repaired, the books read, and the Passover observed. That is my reason for choosing these dates, but I’m still willing to believe they may be off by a year or two. Whatever the case, we can see that around 631 BC the Israelites were turning away from idolatry back to the Lord, a repentance process begun by King Josiah. The reading of the books is important, because Israelites were renewing their covenant and that covenant is found in the books. Concerning his covenant, God provided a prophecy in the 26th chapter of Leviticus (one of “the books”).
The covenant starts like this:
“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.”
If you continue reading in the 26th chapter of Leviticus, you’ll see God promises many more wonderful blessings to the Israelites if they keep all of his commandments, but starting on verse 14 he starts to enumerate the penalties for not keeping his commandments.
“But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.”
This is the covenant that King Josiah read in the ears of the Israelites and which they covenanted to abide by. However, as we can see from history, they broke this covenant and we can see that the curses of the covenant came down upon their heads. They were beaten, killed, and taken into captivity and ruled by those who hated them. In captivity they were unable to enjoy the fruits of their harvest, which were consumed by their enemies. However, God in his mercy restored the covenant with the coming of Christ, but again they broke the covenant and again they reaped the cursings.
“And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins. And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass: And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.”
It’s interesting that he says he will punish them “seven times more.” That implies that the first time he punished them was also seven times, but that is a topic for another time.
The time period being described here is the time from the birth of Christ (1 BC) to the uprising of the Muslims (630 AD). Christ’s coming here would be considered the “former rain” spoken of by Hosea. This is also the period of the Great Apostasy (570 AD).
“And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins. I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.”
These “wild beasts” can be none other than the Muslims who in 637 AD laid siege to the city of Jerusalem and took control of it. In 688 AD the Muslims began building the Dome of the Rock on the temple mount and finished it a few years later. Thus the “high ways” were made desolate. These are the years during which the Christian Crusades were fought against the Muslims in an effort to regain the Holy Land. The power of the Muslims was punctuated in 1260 AD in the Battle of Ain Jalut in which the Muslim Mamluks drove back the invading Mongols. This was a historically decisive battle which defined the Muslims as a new world power.
“And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me; Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins. And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy. And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.”
The period from 1260 AD to 1890 AD had several severe famines in Europe. The Great Famine of 1315-1317 is reported to have caused millions of deaths in Europe. From 1845 AD to 1849 AD more than a million Irish perished due to a potato blight. This may be considered a form of pestilence, but a more obvious match would be the bubonic plague outbreak in Europe (the Black Death) which started around 1340 AD and continued for many decades. It is estimated to have claimed one third of Europe’s population. This period of time had no shortage of bloody wars either. These include the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) in most of Europe, and the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) in France and the American Civil War (1861-1865). Also notice that all these major wars were civil wars.
But we’re not done yet. God has yet one last 630 year period planned after 1890 AD. That’s our day, so listen up! It seems God has much more to say about this period than any of the previous periods.
“And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you. And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours. And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste. Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies’ land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths. As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. And upon them that are left alive of you I will send a faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; and the sound of a shaken leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as fleeing from a sword; and they shall fall when none pursueth. And they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth: and ye shall have no power to stand before your enemies. And ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up. And they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.”
The tone has seriously changed here. God isn’t just walking contrary to the Israelites now. He’s walking contrary to them in his fury. Certainly many of these prophesied events are still in the future (the desolation of cities and temples and cannibalism). However, we have seen the partial fulfillment of some of these events. You can see that American and European troops are scattered throughout the world (“among the heathen”) and they are dying on foreign soil (“ye shall perish among the heathen, and the land of your enemies shall eat you up”). This is a very telling verse:
“they shall fall one upon another, as it were before a sword, when none pursueth.”
Does anything better describe the situation of our ever tightening Homeland Security here in America? Americans are so afraid of what the terrorists might do that they’ve really been cracking down on our civil liberties with an insane zeal. Ultimately this situation may very well lead up to another civil war in the United States as well as in other Israelite nations.
If the above passage was all you’d read, you might think the only thing we have to look forward to is doom and gloom. However, this chapter concludes with the Israelites turning back to God and him restoring his covenant with them. Remember after 1890, we’ve entered into the third day: the time of revival, although it appears that revival doesn’t come (at least not fully) until after the wrath of God has been poured out upon the house of Israel.
If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; And that I also have walked contrary unto them, and have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land. The land also shall be left of them, and shall enjoy her sabbaths, while she lieth desolate without them: and they shall accept of the punishment of their iniquity: because, even because they despised my judgments, and because their soul abhorred my statutes. And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the Lord their God. But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.”
So it seems the order of major events in this final 630 year period (starting in 1890) are:
1) The house of Israel breaks their covenant with God.
2) The wrath of God is poured out upon the house of Israel in fury.
3) The house of Israel repents and is reconciled with their God.
“And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.”
This one verse makes a mess of a common interpretation of the seven-headed beast and the harlot. That interpretation being that the last head of this beast is the Roman Catholic church and that the harlot is also the Roman Catholic church. How can the harlot and beast be the same entity if the one hates the other and destroys it?
It’s easy to see why many are convinced that the harlot is the Roman Catholic church. In scripture the Church of God is often referred to as a woman and an apostate Church as a harlot. The Catholic church is an easy target since it is the largest of the Christian churches and it is very wealthy. Not only that, but they are guilty of much bloodshed from their inquisition days. So it may be easy to picture her being drunk on the blood of the saints.
As for the beast, it’s argued that the 6th head was the Roman Empire and that the 7th head was the Roman Catholic church, which came to power after the fall of the Roman Empire.
Both of these ideas can’t be true and maybe neither is.
Let’s take a closer look at the 7th head of the beast. The book of Revelation tells us that there are 10 horns on this head and that these kings have not yet appeared on the scene at the time John the Revelator received the vision. When we compare this with the gold-headed image in Daniel, we find that the final kingdom of that image is the feet, which has 10 toes, some made of iron and others of clay. The previous kingdom of this image is the iron legs which suggest a kingdom that was divided in half. Was the Roman Empire divided in half? Yes, it was divided over religious differences into the Western Orthodox (Roman Catholic) church centered in Rome and the Eastern Orthodox church centered in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul, Turkey). The toes most likely get their iron from one or both of these factions. But where does the clay come from?
It seems logical to look for the clay in the nations that made up the first kingdoms of the image, since the imagery of both Daniel and Revelation implies that the final kingdom is a composite of the previous kingdoms. These nations are generally agreed to be Babylon, Media/Persia, Greece, and Rome. I already addressed Rome, so where are these other kingdoms today? Babylon is modern-day Iraq, Persia is Iran, and Greece is well Greece. What powers rule these countries? Iran and Iraq are governed by Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. The prodominent religion in Greece is Greek Orthodox, which is a flavor of the Eastern Orthodox (Catholic) church. Islam and Cathlocism, a strange mixture indeed! But is there any evidence of an alliance forming between these religions/nations? The Prophet Muhammad indicated that the Muslim nations would make an alliance with a somewhat ambigious nation named Rûm. The popular Sheikh Imran Hosein identified Rûm, not as Rome, but as the fallen Byzantine Empire which used to be centered in Constantinople. However he says the religion of this empire (the Eastern Orthodox church) is now centered in Moscow, Russia. So he’s expecting a Russian/Muslim alliance in the not too distant future. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given the close economic/political ties between Russia and Iran in recent years.
I’ve identified two potential Eastern Orthodox nations (Russia and Greece) and two Muslim nations (Iran and Iraq) who are likely members of the ten-toed kingdom of these latter-days. At present I don’t think I can identify the other toes with any confidence, although I suspect Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Pakistan are among them. Other European countries may even be involved, however, I think we can all safely forget the declining European Union being involved in this alliance.
If the nations named are correctly identified as being part of the leadership of the final head of the beast, it should be relatively easy to identify who the harlot is. We just have to ask ourselves one question: “Which nation(s) do these four beast nations hate?” The United States is the obvious choice, but the Muslim nations also hate Israel and to a lesser degree Britain. We can certainly see how the population of the United States in general has lived an oppulent lifestyle compared to the rest of the world. The same is also true for many nations in Europe. In fact, it could be said that the reason for the United States’ wealth is because it rides on the back of third world countries (China, the Middle East, and South America). And she controls these countries through various economic means (sanctions, subsidies/loans, etc). Much of this is done through the World Bank, IMF, and the New York Stock Exchange. The book of Revelation also identifies the woman as a diverse city made up of many peoples and tongues, a city of trade and commerce. New York City is the natural match.
But how is the United States/New York City a harlot? You certainly couldn’t label this nation or city as belonging to any one church, although a large majority of the population of the United States still identify themselves as Christian, most of those being either Protestant (51%) or Catholic (24%). Interestingly in New York City, the demographics change somewhat, its population being 40% Catholic and 30% Protestant. Even if you can agree with me that both of these denominations are apostate, how could they be accused of being drunk on the blood of the saints? We could of course point to the inquisitions of the Catholic church, which no doubt have not been forgotten by God. However, those crimes aren’t specific to the United States. We do have one crime which continues to grow in popularity in the United States. Current statistics state that one out of every three American women will have an abortion in their lifetime. Could these unborn children be considered saints by God? This is certainly a possibility. As a Mormon, it is also my belief that the United States became guilty of shedding the blood of at least two saints when it allowed the life of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum to be taken by an angry mob. Not only that, but many other Mormons lost their lives when they were driven from their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois by similar mobs. Many of them died in the harsh trek westward to Utah. Lastly, it’s a well known fact that the United States government was involved in the extermination of many Native Americans through war and the intentional spread of disease. Do you think a just God has forgotten these crimes against his people?