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Sunday, October 9, 2022

Zion vs the Beast I: The Strongman Model

 Previously: Vipers VI: Offending the Little Ones

Welcome readers. This series will be a comparative analysis of the last days Zion with the coming Beast system described in the book of Revelations. It will be broken up into seven parts and subtopics... I'm well aware of my tenacious propensity to be long-winded in my writing, so I'm trying something new with this series. I know that many of you are extremely busy in this fast-paced world of rising living costs, so these posts will be much shorter than usual, and I hope to continue that pattern going forward. Also, for any of you who are not aware, if you scroll up to the top left of my blog, you will see a PDF read-option (in between the Print and Email options) which will allow you to download my articles onto a tablet so you can read them like a book. I much prefer swiping pages to scrolling down, and for some of you this may be a more comfortable option to get through some of my longer posts (who am I kidding they are all long). 

I will also be implementing another change on the blog. I will no longer be linking to lds.org for scripture quotes, or even using their version of restoration scriptures at all. Due to changes on the LDS website, you can no longer link to blocks of highlighted verses, and keyword searches seem to be more vague than they use to. From now on I'll link to the Restoration Edition that came out in 2017, you can find them at scriptures.info. Some of you may be turned off by the new scriptures because of their association with Denver Snuffer, but the project is far bigger than just him. There were two groups, acting independently of each other, and independently of Denver, who worked on the project for months. The goal was to put together a set of scriptures that were as close to the originals at the time of Joseph Smith as possible. They asked Denver to help them, but he was by no means "in charge" of the project. There have been many changes to the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants by the LDS Church and other Restoration branches over the last two centuries, as well as many additions and omissions. The Restoration Bible is the most complete version of the Joseph Smith Translation that we have today, even the RLDS branch (the church who first published the JST) made changes to the original text. Joseph often referred to his translation of the Bible as the "fullness of the scriptures," and with such a treasure being lost since the time of he and Hyrum, all of the branches of Mormonism have dwindled in unbelief. No matter what flavor of the Restoration you are a part of (LDS, Remnant, Doctrine of Christ, etc.), these scriptures are a valuable resource. You can read the introductions to the new scriptures by clicking on the links below:

The Old Testament

The New Testament

The Book of Mormon

The Teachings and Commandments

Also, a word on Denver Snuffer. By now I'm sure most of you have heard of him. He is a lawyer from Sandy, Utah, and author of about a dozen books. He was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 2013 for apostacy after writing a book called Passing the Heavenly Gift, in which he quoted "damaging" history from the journals of LDS General Authorities (specifically Heber J. Grant). In 2006 he wrote a book called The Second Comforter: Conversing with the Lord Through the Veil, in which ascension theology (the doctrine that one can have a personal audience with the Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh, i.e., in this life) as outlined in the Book of Mormon is explained. In 2014 he travelled around the Mormon corridor and gave ten lectures (at his own expense) on gospel topics including faith, repentance, priesthood, marriage, covenants, Christ, and Zion, you can find links to the audio and transcripts of all the talks here. He has claimed to have seen the Lord on many occasions, and most everything he writes and says seems to be pointing back to things which have been forgotten or lost since the time of Joseph. 

Many people who have left the LDS Church and other Restoration sects look to Denver as a prophet... but he has never said that is what he is. He has never asked to be followed, adored, emulated, or idolized. He has never said that he has authority to lead others or to tell them what to do. He simply has a message to deliver... the main theme of which is that we as individuals must rise up and work out our own salvation with the Lord. If we want to see Zion come in our generation, we must prepare ourselves and learn to live in harmony with others and have all things common. No strongman is going to tell us to gather to Zion, that task is left up to the angels who are preparing for the harvest. Denver is just an ordinary man, he admits he is nothing special, but he has been given a message to deliver from God. He has said a few things which bother people, me included, but if you focus on the message rather than the man, you'll find a consistency with scripture. In fact, throughout all his ten talks, and every talk since then, he is constantly quoting and explaining scripture. He points out that when angels appear to men, and even when the Lord appears to someone, most of what He/they talk about is found in scripture. We have been under condemnation as a people because we have treated lightly the things which we have received, especially the Book of Mormon. Until we understand what God has already given us, the greater things will be withheld. (By the way, here is a great article on Denver that Rock Waterman wrote 8 years ago).

Consider this exercise in logic when it comes to Denver: how many of us would question men like Lehi, Nephi, Jacob, Abinadi, Alma, the brother of Jared, Ether, Mormon, Moroni, Paul, Peter, Joseph Smith and others who claimed to have had an audience with our Lord? If we had lived at that time when these men claimed to have a message from God would we have questioned them? Would we have thought of them as ambitious, presumptuous, crazy, mentally ill, or out on a limb? Remember what Samuel the Lamanite taught: that it's much easier to believe in dead prophets who have passed on than it is to listen to a prophet who is alive and delivering a message right now. Is it so hard to believe or accept that God could call a man to deliver a message to us, today? It doesn't mean you have to follow him--that abominable idea is so ingrained in many of us who are seeking refuge from the corporate Church--it just means you might want to listen to the message, and do as Alma instructed: plant the seed in your heart and see what fruit comes of it. If it leads you closer to Christ, then you know it was a good seed. Use Moroni's standard to judge what you hear. Listen and/or read all of Denver's talks and honestly ask yourself if his message will lead you closer to Christ and to Zion. 

The latter-day Zion has been prophesied in scripture and will come. God will vindicate His promises that He made to the house of Israel, but it will require some few to "rise up" and become the Lord's covenant people. God is extremely patient, He has been waiting since the Saints in the 1830s and 40s mucked it up the last time. He will wait even if it takes another 200 years for some few humble followers of Christ to rise up and establish Zion. It has only happened a few times in history that we know of. Once by Enoch's people, once by Melchizedek's people, and once by the remaining Nephites who survived the destruction that occurred after Christ's death and resurrection. This blog series will be an attempt to paint a picture of what that future Zion may look like, and admittedly, it is widely based upon Denver's lectures and teachings. In contrast, my comparison of the Beast system will be based on scripture from the books of Revelations and Isaiah, and from my own study and research into dictatorships and secret combinations. And with those caveats, let's begin...

As a Hen Gathereth Her Chicks

Those few remaining Nephites who survived the destruction that followed our Lord's death heard the voice of Christ many times echoing in the heavy darkness that surrounded them. One of those utterances was a lament that despite attempts to gather His people (the house of Israel), as a hen gathereth her chicks, they would not be gathered. You can read that verse here. God is always trying to gather His people. That is always the goal. Zion is what that gathering looks like. He offers the same thing in every dispensation. But unfortunately, most of His people reject Him, simply because they refuse to rise up. If you clicked on the link to read the scripture you'll notice the wording: "how oft would I have gathered you." Christ employs no servant at the gate, it is Him that does the gathering. It is not a strongman, or some great mortal leader. However, the servants that God calls to teach His people how to rise up often get misconstrued as strongmen, gatherers, and leaders. Moses is the perfect the example. 

Moses is perceived as the historical strongman leader of the ancient Israelites. After all, it was he that performed the miracles in Egypt that released the children of Israel from bondage. Like Nephi, the son of Helaman, Moses had the sealing power, i.e., power over the elements. Because of their hard-heartedness, he had to give them a law of carnal commandments. He tried to teach them how to face God themselves, but they refused to rise up. They wanted Moses to talk to God for them. They wanted a strongman leader... sometimes God gives His people what they want. Moses was attempting to restore something ancient, something that went all the way back to the Patriarchal Fathers: the original religion and the greater Priesthood, the one that "holds the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the keys of the knowledge of God." Keys are not something God bestows to a hierarchy of men as a means of control and compulsion to get "power over the flesh". Keys unlock knowledge through obedience to God's commandments. They are personal, redemptive, and salvific. Moses tried to teach this to the children of Israel, but they weren't having it:
And this greater Priesthood administers the gospel and holds the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest, and without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the Priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto man in the flesh, for without this no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. 

Now, this, Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God, but they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence. Therefore, the Lord, in his wrath, (for his anger was kindled against them) swore that they should not into his rest--which rest is the fullness of his glory--while in the wilderness.

Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also... (Teachings and Commandments 82:12-14

The entire ordeal of delivering the Israelites from bondage and leading them to the promised land was an attempt by God to get them to rise up and behold His face (see also, Exodus 12:14, Restoration Edition). He was attempting to gather them into a Zion society in the promised land... but they would not gather in that way. Instead of gathering willfully, they followed slothfully, and it took forty years of wandering in the wilderness to make it to Israel. And once there, they coveted the Babylonian ways of the heathens all around them, eventually choosing a mortal king, and rejecting God and Zion in the process. 

It turns out that we are not altogether unlike the ancient Israelites. Joseph Smith had obtained this higher Priesthood (from God Himself), and like Moses, he tried to get the early Saints to rise up and behold the face of God, but they would not. God gave them opportunities to establish Zion in Missouri, Kirtland, and Nauvoo, but because of jarrings, contentions, covetousness, and lustful desiresthey were unable to achieve it. They forfeited their blessings and were rejected as a church with their dead. Ironically, like the Israelites, they were left to wander in the wilderness in the wake of a self-proclaimed strongman named Brigham Young, who would establish a theocratical dictatorship in the Salt Lake valley. In a meeting addressing the Relief Society, Joseph lamented the Saint's propensity to depend on the prophet:

President Joseph Smith read the 14th chapter of Ezekiel--said the Lord had declared by the Prophet, that the people should each one stand for himself, and depend upon no man or men in that state of corruption of the Jewish church--that righteous persons could only deliver their own souls--applied it to the present state of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints--said if the people departed from the Lord, they must fall--that they were depending on the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting the duties devolving upon themselves, envious towards the innocent, while they afflict the virtuous with their shafts of envy. (TPJS p. 237-238, emphasis added)

In the 14th chapter of Ezekiel (chapter 5 in the Restoration Edition), the Jews were chastised for worshipping idols. Their punishments would become the punishments of the false prophets they were idolizing. In the KJV, it says that when a prophet is deceived, it was the Lord who deceived him, but in the JST version it says the Lord has not deceived him, and that both the false prophet and those who seek after him will be destroyed. The Lord followed the warning with, "that they may be my people and I may be their God." To be His people, we cannot follow a strongman. We can't serve two masters. Ambitious men who lead financial institutions and feign authority from God as a means to control others are using His name in vain. It is men like them that have prevented Zion from coming forth in past dispensations. Those who follow men are labeled by the Lord as living a Telestial law. Joseph Smith described these people in a vision as some of Paul, and of Apollos, and of Cephas, and of Christ, and of John, Moses, Elias, Isaiah, Enoch, etc. (See T&C 69:26). You can even add that they are some of Joseph, some of Brigham, some of Benson, and some of Hinckley, Monson, and Nelson. They are those who refuse to rise up and face God. They want a strongman, they want a prophet to follow, they want to be told what to do, and how to think. Consequently, they are included among those who are liars, sorcerers, whoremongers, and adulterers, and like them, are thrust down to hell

To abide in Zion we must be living a Terrestrial law. To do so requires us to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and to heed it. We must follow our Lord despite the musings and rantings of men, even it if means we are cast out of the synagogues where such men speak lying words from the pulpits. God has promised to gather us. He does not need a man to do that for Him. He uses men to deliver messages to His people, not to lead them, nor to coerce them. Once the message is delivered, the people who hear it must rise up by repenting and developing faith in Christ, and then being obedient to His personalized commandments for them. Sometimes others who rise up will receive different commandments, sometimes it may even seem like what God calls them to do is in contradiction to what He calls others to do. That is all part of the order of Heaven. To have one heart and one mind doesn't mean we all think and act the same. God will send you contradictions to humble you. That is the point. Thinking and even believing differently should not separate us. Mormonism embraces all truth, and all are on different parts of that path. 

There are certain words used in scripture that seem like God has intended for us to follow leaders. One such word is ruler. This is an example of how the meaning of language gets confounded or lost over time. Nephi recounts that his brothers were angry and jealous of him because God made him a ruler and a teacher over them. Abraham described a pre-existent meeting where God made the noble and great ones His rulers... but does that mean what we think it does? The etymology of the word "ruler" is simply a straight line made of wood, or to move in a straight line, or to direct others in a straight line. Nephi gave us the first clue: ruler is synonymous with teacher. God's rulers are His teachers and messengers, they have come down to direct us to Christ and His gospel. Their message is for us to rise up and become rulers ourselves. God is no respecter of persons, He wants all of us to advance up the same ladder of progression. Remember what Jesus said, "he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who is chief, as he who does serve." 

The last days Zion has been prophesied of since the beginning. It is going to happen. God always fulfills His promises. He can do His own work, He doesn't need men to do it for Him. As Joseph once said, "I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me." He knows what He is doing. He will raise up those in the last days that will build Zion, but they will have to hear His voice, and will have to act independently and without leadership. He revealed His plans to the prophet Ezekiel, who described the latter-day gathering in typical Old Testament poetic language. At first glance it seems as though he is speaking of the Jews that were his contemporaries, but upon closer examination, it becomes obvious that Ezekiel is talking about us. Through him, God declares that He is angry with the shepherds who feed themselves and neglect the flock. Who else can this be talking about but those who lead the latter-day Restoration branches? Those who also practice priestcraft, who pay themselves out of the widows mite, who have changed the ordinances, and dumbed down the Gospel of Christ to a correlated remnant that is hardly recognizable. Those who "teach for doctrine the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof...," who say that "the Lord and Redeemer hath done his work, and he hath given his power unto men." It is those shepherds that Ezekiel declares that God is angry with. He is going to remove them at some point. He is going to pull down all the societal power structures that are now in place, both political and religious, and He will take His rightful place as King of the earth. 

This passage in Ezekiel is important enough that I will quote it at length. It is found in chapter 33 of the KJV, and chapter 17 of the RE (the chapters in the RE are different because they inserted the book of Moses into the beginning of Genesis where it originally belonged). Notice the wording the Lord uses, that it is "I, even I," who will gather the people. He will do this, He will accomplish this. We can trust Him:

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say unto them, Thus says the Lord God unto the shepherds: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves. Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and you clothe yourself with the wool. You kill them that are fed, but you feed not the flock. The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them. And they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and they became food to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill, yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search them or seek after them. 

Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. As I live, says the Lord God, surely because my flock become a prey, and my flock became food to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and fed not my flock, therefore, O you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves anymore, for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be food for them. 

For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out. As as shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be. There shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my flock and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick. But I will destroy the fat and the strong, I will feed them with judgment. (Ezekiel 17:5-7, RE, emphasis added)

This is the Great and Marvelous work that the Father will commence in the last days. He will gather His people from all over the world and bring them to Zion. His sheep who have no shepherds except those that feed off of them, and who prey upon them. And when His sheep go away from those shepherds (i.e., leave those religious institutions), they can fall prey to "wild beasts," i.e., those pretenders in the wilderness who are claiming some special gift, some great mantle, calling themselves the one mighty and strong, or claiming to talk to dead prophets who are returning, but who are doing nothing but trying to garner a following, who are not waiting upon the Lord, but acting out of their own self-delusional ambitions. God will save His sheep from the evil shepherds, and from the wild beasts... He will gather them to a place where all will choose to be equal, every one dealing justly with another, having all things common, having one heart and one mind, and all made free and partakers of the Heavenly gift

Joseph Smith described what some of these events will look like:

He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries and the islands shall become one land, and the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided. And the Lord, even the Savoir, shall stand in the midst of his people and shall reign over all flesh. And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord, and their prophets shall hear his voice and shall no longer stay themselves, and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence, and a highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep. Their enemies shall become a prey unto them, and in the barren deserts there shall come forth pools of living water and the parched ground shall no longer be a thirsty ground. And they shall bring forth their rich treasures unto the children of Ephraim, my servants, and the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence, and there shall they fall down and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, by the hands of the servants of the Lord, even the children of Ephraim, and they shall be filled with songs of everlasting joy. (T&C 58:3)

All of this God will accomplish without a strongman. Without mortal leaders, without earthly institutions, and without a "call-out" from the president of the ChurchTm. Those who are waiting for the "prophets, seers, and revelators" to issue such a call-out are waiting in vain. It will never happen. They already have their Zion, and it is a bank. They already have their developmental real estate to build it on, consisting of millions of acres in the state of Florida. To them, all is well in Zion, Zion prospereth, they have their earthly kingdom, they have their hierarchy, why would they want anything different? They will enjoy their works (their financial empire) for a season, but by and by, the end cometh

God will use persuasion, meekness, love unfeigned, gentleness, and kindness to gather His people. He will never use force. He will never use compulsion. He will never use deceit. But Satan will use all those things to establish his counterfeit to Zion, his last-days beast system, the one-world totalitarian socialistic nightmare. It will be like 1984, Brave New World, and The Hunger Games on steroids, but its proponents and propagandizers will make it appear as a heaven on earth. It will seem like the best and only alternative to the chaos that will be rampant on the earth. Satan will use miracles, specifically calling down fire from heaven, to deceive, and those who have not sufficiently sought the Lord may be lulled away by the majesty of it all. It will be truly beautiful to behold, alluring to voyeuristic eyes, mesmerizing like the tune of the pied piper, and hypnotizing like the seductive sirens of Homer’s Iliad. Without sufficient oil in our lamps, and the ability of being led by the Holy Spirit, we will be powerless to resist the grandeur of its sorcery, the magnificence of its deceit, or the splendor of its faux transcendence. 

The Ultimate Strongmen

John the Revelator saw two strongmen in his vision on the isle of Patmos, namely, the first and second beasts. Nephi saw everything that John saw and wasn't allowed to write in on the gold plates, but instead copied several chapters of Isaiah as part of his "testimony." This was pointed out brilliantly in Denver Snuffer's 2006 book, Nephi's Isaiah. Nephi reasoned that because others were shown these things, he could testify as to what he saw without spilling the beans. He was hiding it in plain sight, as so much in scripture is. Here is what Nephi said about the things that John saw:
...for the Lord God hath ordained the apostle of the Lamb of God that he should write them. And also others who have been, to them hath he shown all things, and they have written them... (1 Nephi 3:30, RE) 

One of those “others,” the prophet Isaiah, was shown the same things as Nephi and his brother Jacob. They have all seen their Redeemer, and are all witnesses of the truth:

And now, I, Nephi, write more of the words of Isaiah, for my soul delighteth in his words. For I will liken his words unto my people, and I will send them forth unto all my children; for he verily saw my Redeemer, even as I have seen him. And my brother Jacob also hath seen him as I have seen him. Wherefore, I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three, God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses and he proveth all his words. (Nephi 2 8:2, RE

What strongman did Isaiah see? The king of Assyria, who sounds like some last days de facto warlord/dictator that will march through the entire world conquering every nation and people... except Zion. Nephi added some of Isaiah's warnings about this man. They are as follows:

...the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria and all his glory. And he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks, and he shall pass through Judah. He shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck. And the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel. Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces. And give ear, all ye far countries: Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. (2 Nephi 9:8, RE)

Often in scripture when waters are mentioned it is imagery for masses of people. Recall that Nephi described the whore of Babylon as sitting on and having dominion over many waters. I wrote about that in this post on law. Isaiah is trying to tell us through water imagery that this megalomaniac will control the entire world, i.e., "over all his channels...", and "over all his banks." As a consequence of this warlord's power every nation will be "broken in pieces." Isaiah continues:

O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is their indignation. I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so, but in his heart it is to destroy and cut off nations not a few...

Wherefore, it shall come to pass that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and upon Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. For he saith, By the strength of my hand and by my wisdom I have done these things, for I am prudent. And I have removed the borders of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man. And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people, and as one gathereth eggs that are left I have gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped. (2 Nephi 9:16-17, RE

These passages are loaded with clues. The "hypocritical nation" has to be America. What other nation has military presence in over 100 countries feigning to be the world's policemen? We eliminate small-beans dictators like Saddam Hussein and then stay in a place indefinitely on "policing missions." The 2003 war in Iraq had nothing to do with 911 and everything to do with Saddam's refusing to honor oil prices in the international oil cartel, OPEC. He was bucking the powers that be, the real mafia, and made an example. We invaded on the premise of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," in which no Iraqi's had any more freedom then when Saddam was in charge. It doesn't get any more hypocritical than that. Study any war, conflict, or CIA black ops mission in which we have meddled in the affairs of foreign nations, none of these operations are in the interest of the common people. They are always the results of political agendas. Isaiah is calling us out. 

God will allow the king of Assyria to tread down the streets of America. He will think that it is because of his cunning and power that he is able to do this, but God will only allow his reign to be temporary. After the New Jerusalem and the old Jerusalem are established, the king of Assyria's time will be shortened. Notice the other clues Isaiah leaves: the borders, i.e., nation-states, will be removed, he will take the riches, (spoils) of the earth, no one will give him resistance ("none opened the mouth, or peeped"), and he has "gathered all the earth." This will be the end of all nations. 

But Isaiah offers hope to those who are established in Mount Zion. Christ admonishes His people to not be afraid of this Assyrian, because God will stir up a scourge for him. Isaiah is telling us to take comfort in the fact that God is ultimately in charge of the events in the last days. He writes:

And it shall come to pass in that day that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them, but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, yea, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return. The consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness; for the Lord God of Hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in all the land. 

Therefore, thus saith the Lord God of Hosts: O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian (he small smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt), for yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease and mine anger in their destruction. And the Lord of Hosts shall stir up a scourge for him, according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing. (2 Nephi 9:18-19, RE

Whoever this Assyrian is, it sounds like he will be wreaking havoc all over the earth, but God's covenant people who will be established in Zion need not fear. With one foul swoop, a desolating sickness will take him and his armies out. God will make bare (reveal) His arm (his power) to protect His people. As a side note, it also appears that many, or all of us, will at some point be in some kind of bondage to this dictator, and as I was studying Mosiah I caught a glimpse of how God might deliver us. The story of Alma and his new converts who started the church of Christ near the waters of Mormon may be a typology of the latter-days. Remember that the priests of Amulon (who knew Alma from king Noah's court) found favor with king Laman and were placed over Alma and his people as taskmasters. Alma’s people put their trust in God and cried unto Him to be delivered, and were eventually led through the wilderness back to king Mosiah. God allowed them to go through this trial to test them (the Lord seeth fit to chasten His people). I think we may be subject to similar tests in the future. (This account is found in Mosiah 11, RE). 

So who are the beasts mentioned by John? And what do they have to do with Assyrian? Honestly, I can't answer that without speculating. I've heard it taught that prophecy was not meant to be completely understood until it actually comes to pass, otherwise, Satan could thwart the purposes of God. Nephi said it this way:

Nevertheless, in the days that the prophecies of Isaiah shall be fulfilled, men shall know of a surety at the times when they shall come to pass; wherefore, they are of worth unto the children of men... For I know that they shall be of great worth unto them in the last days, for in that day shall they understand them; wherefore, for their good have I written them. (2 Nephi 11:3, RE, emphasis added)

Here is what we do know about the beasts mentioned in Revelations: the first one represents the kingdoms of the earth, and the second is the false prophet. Here is John's description of the first:

And I saw another sign, in the likeness of the kingdoms of the earth, a beast, rise up out of the sea, and stood upon the sand of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his crowns the name of Blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion. And the Devil gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads, as though it 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? And there was given him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and power was given unto him to continue forty-two months. And he 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 with the saints and to overcome them. And power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. (Revelation 4:6-7, RE, emphasis added)

Later on John offer's an explanation of the ten horns:

And here is the mind which was wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman [Mystery Babylon] sits. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; when he comes, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition. And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as of yet, but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings; and they that are with him are called, chosen, and faithful. (Revelation 6:12, RE) 

Here is my speculative interpretation: the seven mountains are nations, the woman, Mystery Babylon, is the Illuminati, the mystery schools, the conspirators that control the world, i.e., the church of the Devil, and the ten kings are would-be dictators who God will use to destroy the woman. The king of Assyria as described in Isaiah, may be one of these kings, and may be used by God as means of the wicked destroying the wicked. Consider the next paragraph in Revelation 6:

And he [the angel] says unto me, the waters which you saw, where the whore [Mystery Babylon] sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw 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; for God has put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree to give their kingdom unto the beast until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 6:13, RE, emphasis added) 

Nephi uses similar language in his prophecy. He also described the whore as sitting upon many waters (1 Nephi 3:28-29, RE), and having dominion over "all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people." He describes a time when the great mother of abominations, i.e., Mystery Babylon, will "gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God." The saints, or "the covenant people of the Lord," will not escape this war, but Nephi promises that the power of God will descend upon them in great glory, and that the wrath of God will be "poured out upon that great and abominable church." This wrath will consist of the wicked destroying the wicked, as Nephi points out later on when he offers his concise explanation of Isaiah chapters 48-49 (KJV) to his brothers after reading it to them. This summation can be found in 1 Nephi 7 of the RE, or 1 Nephi 22 of the standard edition, and I have to hand it to Nephi. His ability to sum up the entire scattering and latter-day gathering of Israel really brings the entire work of the Father into perspective. This chapter is a link between what he, John, and Isaiah all saw. Nephi is trying to tell you what God showed him without revealing what God showed him. This is what makes reading his commentary so exciting! The clues he is laying before you are hidden in plain sight. Here is how he describes what will happen to that great and abominable church, and it is not without a twist of irony:

And the blood of that great and abominable church, which is the whore of all the earth, shall turn upon their own heads, for they shall war among themselves, and the sword of their own hands will shall fall upon their own heads, and they shall be drunken with their own blood. And every nation which shall war against thee, O house of Israel, shall be turned one against another, and they shall fall into the pit which they digged to ensnare the people of the Lord. And all they that fight against Zion shall be destroyed. And that great whore who hath perverted the right ways of the Lord - yea, that great and abominable church - shall tumble to the dust, and great shall be the fall of it. (1 Nephi 7:4, RE, emphasis added)

Notice that Nephi says that this church, the great and abominable, has "perverted the right ways of the Lord." This is the pattern that Satan follows: he imitates, corrupts, and perverts everything that God does. And under the umbrella of the great and abominable church, Nephi includes all other churches that are built up to get gain and power over the flesh. These necessarily include the Restoration branches who exercise authority over their members, who claim that God has given His power to men. Here are Nephi's sobering words:

For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world and to do all manner of iniquity - yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the Devil - are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake. They are those who must be brought low in the dust, they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet. (1 Nephi 7:5, RE, emphasis added)

If you are new to this blog, I have written a four-part series on Mystery Babylon, explaining the Luciferian philosophy and symbology of the secret combinations who run the world behind the scenes. It is based on D. Christian Markham's two-volume set, There are Save Two Churches Only, and other insights I have found in scripture, as well as my own research. Start with the first one: Mystery Babylon: Into the Abyss

The second strongman mentioned by John, the second beast, is who many sects of Christians refer to as the Anti-Christ (although that term is not found in the Bible), but John refers to him as the false prophet. His views will certainly be anti-Christ, similar to Sherem, Nehor, and Korihor in the Book of Mormon, but there is no title in prophecy that calls this "false prophet" the Anti-Christ. This is the guy that will call down fire from heaven and use these miracles to deceive the world into accepting the beast system, the ultimate strongman model. There has been a lot of effort on the part of the Luciferian's to prepare the world for this beast system, including the monetary system we now labor under. The church of the Devil has been extremely patient... they do not realize that God will use the wicked to destroy them, they think they will be reigning under the New World Order for some time, maybe even indefinitely. But God will cut their days short, and abruptly end their shenanigans. Yet during those shortened days, they will be allowed to murder many saints who refuse to take the mark of the beast, and it will seem like Satan has the victory. We can take hope in the fact that John says the Lamb will overcome them, and He will stand with His people on Mount Zion, who will dwell in peace and safety.

This where I need to bring this post to an end. In part two, I'll be analyzing the beast system, or least what I think it may look it. Stay tuned...

Postscript: New Blog & Recommended Talk by Denver Snuffer

After doing some perusing I have discovered a new blogger called Awakening Servant. On his about page the only information he offers about himself is that his name is Thomas, and that he's a Mormon boy from Utah. He has five posts up and the content is really good. From what I've read he seems to be a sincere seeker of truth. His first post was an analysis of many of whom he calls Mormon Truth Seekers, and his latest post entitled, Amen to the Priesthood of that Man, is well-written and informative, and a bit of false tradition destroyer. Click on the link below and check out his content, it's great stuff:

 

Also, much of this blog series will be based on a talk (one of the famous 10) given by Denver Snuffer in 2014 entitled Zion. Denver read the 33rd chapter of Ezekiel as part of the talk. Click on the links below to watch or read it:



Transcript

Keep in mind with Denver's 10 talks that they are all really one talk, so it is best to listen or read them in consecutive order (if you have about 30 hours to spare). For any of you who are skeptical of Denver, I recommend listening to all the talks before you make a judgment on him. Ask yourself if what he is teaching will bring you closer or further away from Christ. Click here for a link to all the talks and conferences.

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