Although I have long since quit highlighting and numbering the countless passages the prove there is to be another restoration and final dispensation of the gospel, I just had to point this one out.
Notice verse 31
"And again, this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come, or the destruction of the wicked"
That right there is the last time that the gospel of the kingdom will be preached.
The fact that the gospel needs to be preached AGAIN is, in my humble opinion, proof that it has long since stopped being preached at the time this event is taking place!
It is clearly not speaking about the preaching of the gospel that took place during the LDS restoration when the first portion of the Book of Mormon came forth. We know this because of the following things.
1- The end of the world, otherwise known as the destruction of the wicked takes place directly afterward... not 200+ years afterward. (verse 31)
2- The Abomination of Desolation takes place directly afterward, not 200+ years afterward. (verse 32)
3- Immediately after the tribulation that follows the preaching of the gospel for the last time, the Sun shall be darkened and the moon will not give her light and the stars will fall from heaven. That did not take place directly following the LDS restoration movement. (verse 33)
4- Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the powers of the heavens will be shaken and then will appear the sign of the coming of the Son of Man. Did that wondrous event take place shortly after the LDS restoration movement? No. (verse 36)
5) Finally, we are informed that within just one generation, all of the above events will be fulfilled. Clearly, none of the events listed above took place during the lives of the generation of people living at the time of the restoration of the Church, nor did it happen within a 40 year biblical generation. (verse34)
Now then, we already know that the first watch took place during the Saviors earthly ministry.
We are informed of that in JST Luke 12, the passage of scripture that inspired the name of this blog-
"For, behold, he cometh in the FIRST WATCH of the night, and he shall also come in the SECOND WATCH, and he shall come in the THIRD WATCH. And verily I say unto you, He hath already come, as it is written of him [during the meridian of time] and again when he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, blessed are those servants when he cometh, that he shall find so doing"
Since we know that the first watch took place during the earthly ministry of Christ, when he was among is disciples, that would be at the very beginning of JST Matthew 24 as he begins prophesying to them about the end of the world.
If JS Matthew begins with Christ speaking during his earthly ministry in the 1st watch, and verse 31 represents the 3rd watch when the final preaching of the gospel into all the world for the last time takes place, when is the 2nd watch mentioned in this chapter?
I realize that it is possible that it just wasn't even mentioned in this chapter. Perhaps the Lord did not want to make mention of it as he was speaking of the events leading up to His second coming in glory.
I suppose some might make a strong argument that it isn't mentioned.
May I suggest, however, that perhaps the events of the 2nd watch are in fact briefly mentioned in the parable found in verse 27 and the other verses leading up to the introduction of the final preaching of the gospel in verse 31 (3rd watch).
If in fact it is, this might shed light on what has been taking place during the last four generations, since the restoration of the church and the publishing of the Book of Mormon.
Lets review these verses-
27 And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth.
28 And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars.
29 Behold I speak for mine elect's sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
30 And again, because iniquity shall abound, the love of men shall wax cold; but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved.
Prior to the final preaching of the gospel in all the world in the 3rd watch, the elect are gathered from the four quarters of the earth! (As we will see as we continue to dissect these passages, the preliminary gathering of the elect to the promised land began taking place as a result of the restoration of the keys of the gathering of Israel in 1836 as documented in section 110)
After being gathered to the land of promise in America, they will hear of wars and rumors of wars. (this has also taken place and is currently taking place)
Eventually war will break out all over the world pitting nation again nation and kingdom against kingdom. (this is about to happen. It is mentioned in section 87 and 112 )
A time of famines, pestilences and earth quakes in divers places takes place also. (we have had increasing earthquakes and they will undoubtedly become more rapid and bigger until the really big on hits. We have also experienced famines in various places in the world, however, we are informed that there will be a much bigger global famine that is coming.)
Prior to the final restoration and final preaching of the gospel, the love of man will wax cold. (Shortly after the gospel was restored and the call to repentance was sounded by the first laborers of the last kingdom, the Lord gave this warning in section one of the D&C " And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.")
All of these events listed above take place AFTER the beginning of the gathering of the elect from the four quarters of the earth which started back in 1837, and BEFORE the final shining forth of the light of the fulness of the gospel which will be preached in all the earth for the last time!
Notice how verse 30 provides the subtle observation regarding the elect who have been gathered prior the Marvelous Work-
"..but he that shall not be overcome, the same shall be saved."
Despite the fact that the elect start being gathered out from the four quarters of the earth in the 2nd watch and during the four generations leading up to the final dispensation, it is a time of spiritual darkness and hardship when many people are being overcome.
Only those whose hearts do not wax cold are not overcome during this period of time, will triumphantly accept the gospel when it finally is preached in its fulness for the last time.
The Savior prophesied about two significant things that would happen during the 2nd watch in the following passages.
One was that the gentiles of the 2nd watch reject the gospel. The other was, that after the rejection of the gospel by the gentiles, he would remember his covenant with the house of Israel .
10 And thus commandeth the Father that I should say unto you: At that day when the Gentiles shall sin against my gospel, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, and shall be lifted up in the pride of their hearts above all nations, and above all the 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 abominations; and if they shall do all those things, and shall reject the fulness of my gospel, behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them.
11 And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my gospel unto them.
12 And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel, that the Gentiles shall not have power over you; but I will remember my covenant unto you, O house of Israel, and ye shall come unto the knowledge of the fulness of my gospel.
You will notice from the above passage that when the fulness of the gospel is taken from the gentiles, the house of Israel initially only gets the KNOWLEDGE of the fulness of the gospel.
The book of Mormon speaks of a general gathering to he land of promise that takes place before the final gathering to Zion takes place.
"Yea, even my father spake much concerning the Gentiles, and also concerning the house of Israel, that they should be compared like unto an olive-tree, whose branches should be broken off and should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.
13 Wherefore, he said it must needs be that we should be led with one accord into the land of promise, unto the fulfilling of the word of the Lord, that we should be scattered upon all the face of the earth.
14 And after the house of Israel should be scattered they should be gathered together again; or, in fine, after the Gentiles had received the fulness of the Gospel, the natural branches of the olive-tree, or the remnants of the house of Israel, should be grafted in, or come to the knowledge of the true Messiah, their Lord and their Redeemer." (1st Nephi 10)
The actual fruits of the fulness of the gospel don't materialize until a later time. (Jacob 5:74)
This dispensation pertaining to the keys of gathering Israel in the latter days were secretly committed to Joseph and Oliver in 1836 after the fulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was rejected.
"Moses appeared to us and committed unto us the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth"
These keys were passed on to the quorum of the twelve with the mandate to publish and testify of the Book of Mormon and associated modern revelations. (Section 112)
Foreign missions were established to begin taking the preparatory gospel to the nations of the earth, fulfilling the prophecy of Christ.
The preliminary gathering of Israel from the "four parts of the earth" mentioned in verse 11 of section 110 appears to incorporate (or be synonymous with) the preliminary gathering of the elect "from the four quarters of the earth" mentioned in verse 27 of JS Matthew!
The fulness of the gospel was cumulatively rejected by the saints during the 2nd watch (including the law of consecration) as contained in 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon and Modern revelation.
Although the saints failed to usher in the dispensation of the fulness of times and the final gathering of the elect to the center place of Zion, they did usher in the dispensation of the gospel of Abraham and the preliminary gathering of the house of Israel to the promised land of America.
This provided the laying the foundation for the Marvelous Work and a Wonder that would take place four generations later!
"..ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great." (section 64)
The Lord revealed that following the foundation of the restored church, the first elders would, at a later time, bring it forth again out of obscurity and darkness. It is during this second work that the church will come forth out of obscurity and darkness-
"And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.." (section one)
The laying of the initial foundation included the bringing forth of the translation of the unsealed portion of the Book of Mormon which has become the standard for latter day Jews and Gentiles to seek after. (see D&C 45:9 )
The first portion of the Book of Mormon is preparing the way, laying the foundation, providing the light that has been gathering Israel and the elect of God to the preparatory gospel and to the promised land in preparation for the last dispensation. Even the dispensation of the fulness of times.
After four generations of using the translation of the unsealed portion of the Book of Mormon to gather Israel and the elect unto the promised land and the knowledge of God's covenants, God will begin his final work. He will bring forth his "strong reasoning" to see which of those who have accepted the lesser light, will receive the greater light. (see D&C 45:10)
It will be a Marvelous Work. It will polarize the world.
It will involve the rest of the Nephite record and other records and it will result in the preaching of the FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL for the last time.
9 And even so I have sent mine everlasting covenant into the world, to be a light to the world, and to be a standard for my people, and for the Gentiles to seek to it, and to be a messenger before my face to prepare the way before me.
10 Wherefore, come ye unto it, and with him that cometh I will reason as with men in days of old, and I will show unto you my strong reasoning.
The greater light is about to shine forth.
Let us now observe cryptic information embedded within portions of the Book of Mormon showing that the plates are translated and come forth in three parts.
- First portion of Book of Mormon was written to Seed of Lehi (2nd watch)
- Second portion of Book of Mormon will be written to Gentiles (beginning of 3rd watch)
- Third portion contains history of the earth from beginning to end (end of 3rd watch)
In 2nd Nephi 29 we are informed that the first portion of the Book of Mormon record which was primarily written to the seed of Lehi was to come forth. It laid the foundation of the preliminary work.
"the words of your seed should proceed forth out of my mouth unto your seed.." (See 2nd Nephi 29:2-)
The first record provided the STANDARD that began the preliminary gathering of the seed of Abraham and Israel to the promised land of America and given them a KNOWLEDGE OF THE GOSPEL.
"..and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel"
The first portion of the Book of Mormon has laid the foundation for the final work and has been instrumental in gathering many remnants of Israel and made known the covenants of the Father, HOWEVER, when it went forth from the gentiles to the seed of Lehi during the 2nd watch, it failed to collectively convert the seed of Lehi.
In 2nd Nephi 30 Nephi prophesies again with additional information. This time he speaks about the second part of the record that will come forth at a future time. He then informs us that the second portion of the Book of Mormon record (which is about to come forth in our time), will be primarily speaking to the gentiles. It will come forth long enough to be translated and then will be sealed up again.
"And now, I would prophesy somewhat more concerning the Jews and the Gentiles. For after the book of which I have spoken shall come forth, and be written unto the Gentiles, and sealed up again unto the Lord"
This second portion of the Book of Mormon that comes forth will be primarily speaking to the Gentiles.
Once again, people will only be able to read the translation but not see the plates, just like what happened during the first part of Joseph Smith's ministry in the 2nd watch. One will need to exercise FAITH in accepting the second portion of the record and in embracing the fulness of the gospel when it comes forth in the beginning of the 3rd watch. This test in the 3rd watch will be similar to the previous one in the 2nd watch.
Oddly enough, when the believing gentiles present the second part of the record that is primarily directed to them, to the seed of Lehi, in the beginning of the 3rd watch, the seed of Lehi will collectively believe and "be restored to the knowledge of their fathers!" (2nd Nephi 30:5)
The portion of the record that is about to come forth, that is primarily directed to the gentiles, will finally convince the seed of Lehi. It will provide confirmation of the truthfulness of the first part of the record.
It will be instrumental in ushering in the Marvelous Work and the fulness of the gospel and the dispensation of the fulness of times.
It is fascinating to note that the first gathering that begins at the time of Joseph Smith and continues to this present day is characterized by section 110 and JST Matthew as gathering Israel from the "four parts of the earth" and the elect from the "four quarters of the earth".
We are informed later in JST Matthew that AFTER the Gospel is finally preached for the last time, the REMAINDER of the Elect will be gathered from the "four winds, from one end of heaven to the other".
Apparently this final gathering is differentiated from the preliminary gathering because it includes people on the other side of the veil.
One of the points I want to really emphasize pertaining to this post is that the last four generations have not been prophetically insignificant regarding the working of Gods hand in a positive way.
Many sincere truth seekers who begin searching deeply into the scriptures and the history of the church become alarmed to find out what the current state of the church really is and then they become discouraged, thinking that nothing of significance has been taking place for the last four generations.
However there is a bigger picture to all of this.
Think about it. How prepared would you personally be for the Marvelous Work that is about to come forth if you had not been exposed to the Book of Mormon?
Since the coming forth of the first portion of the Book of Mormon in 1829-30 to this present day, millions upon millions upon millions of people, in and out of the church, on both sides of the veil, have been exposed to the Book of Mormon and the fulness of the gospel contained therein.. The laying of that foundation of knowledge and awareness is essential to the ushering in of the Marvelous Work.
Everything pertaining to the final ushering in of the Marvelous Work requires the world in general and the church membership specifically, to have a documented, previous knowledge, of the record of the seed of Lehi and the history of a brief restoration of the fulness of the gospel among the gentiles.
Everyone who reads the Book of Mormon has the ability to discern truth and grow spiritually regardless of what outside forces are doing and teaching and commanding.
That is what sets the stage for the drama we are about to embark on.
How could God bring forth his "strong reasoning" about the content in the second part of the record if we were not already familiar with the first part of the record?
Everything God does has a purpose. We need to see the big picture and see the hand of God working Now.
Yes, it is true, that priestcraft and false doctrines are being packaged and presented along with the Book of Mormon and the revelations associated with bringing it forth.
Yes it is true that the Book of Mormon and those revelations are used as window dressing to give credibility to and imply that said claims are true even though they cannot be scripturally justified.
Each person who reads the Book of Mormon and the associated revelations brought forth by the same Seer is provided the knowledge to discern the truth if they choose to believe and obey God instead of the arm of flesh.
It is all just part of the test.
I am not suggesting that those who are using the Book of Mormon and associated modern revelations to further corporate objectives are intentionally conspiring to do something evil.
I am suggesting that the eyes of the seers have been covered.
The Book of Mormon provides clarification to the following passage from Isaiah-
"For behold, the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep. For behold, ye have closed your eyes, and ye have rejected the prophets; and your rulers, and the seers hath he covered because of your iniquity."
Why has the Lord covered the eyes of the latter day saints and their prophets and seers?
Because they have taken lightly the things in the first portion of the Book of Mormon and associated scriptures brought forth by the same seer.
In section 84 the Lord declares-
"the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin." verse 49)
The Lord explains how you can know if people are under the bondage of sin-
"And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me. For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin. And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me. And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now."
Clearly, those who do not know Gods voice and follow his commandments are under the bondage of sin.
The Lord continues to explain in greater detail why the saints were under the bondage of sin and were condemned.
54 And your minds in times past have been darkened because of unbelief, and because you have treated lightly the things you have received—
55 Which vanity and unbelief have brought the whole church under condemnation.
56 And this condemnation resteth upon the children of Zion, even all.
57 And they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon and the former commandments which I have given them, not only to say, but to do according to that which I have written—
58 That they may bring forth fruit meet for their Father's kingdom
This is why the eyes of the latter day seers and the modern church authorities that succeeded them according to the law of common consent have been covered.
Getting back to JST Matthew 24, this is why the love of men has waxed cold and the spirit of the Lord did not strive with men.
This is why the Savior explained that those who were not overcome during this time of darkness would be saved when the light shines forth and the gospel is again taken to the world.
Are we anxiously awaiting the coming forth of the next portion of the record?
Will we be able to discern the true record and discount the counterfeit records that have and probably will come forth to deceive?
One last observation.
The Book of Mormon uses the term STANDARD differently when speaking about the 2nd watch than it does when speaking of the 3rd watch.
The Book of Mormon identifies the STANDARD, in 2nd Nephi 29 as the BOOK OF MORMON. which contains the KNOWLEDGE OF THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL.
"..and my words shall hiss forth unto the ends of the earth, for a standard unto my people, which are of the house of Israel"
You will notice however, that if you do a Book of Mormon key word search on the term STANDARD, there are other places when it refers to the STANDARD in the 3rd watch as those righteous GENTILES who are showing forth the fruits of the fulness of the gospel.
Nevertheless, after they shall be nursed by the Gentiles, and the Lord has lifted up his hand upon the Gentiles and set them up for a standard, and their children have been carried in their arms, and their daughters have been carried upon their shoulders, behold these things of which are spoken are temporal; for thus are the covenants of the Lord with our fathers; and it meaneth us in the days to come, and also all our brethren who are of the house of Israel.
7 And it meaneth that the time cometh that after all the house of Israel have been scattered and confounded, that the Lord God will raise up a mighty nation among the Gentiles, yea, even upon the face of this land; and by them shall our seed be scattered.
8 And after our seed is scattered the Lord God will proceed to do a marvelous work among the Gentiles, which shall be of great worth unto our seed; wherefore, it is likened unto their being nourished by the Gentiles and being carried in their arms and upon their shoulders.
This provides another illustration of the difference between the 2nd and 3rd watches.
The first portion of the Book of Mormon was the written standard of truth in the preliminary gathering in the 2nd watch.
The righteous Gentiles are the living standard of truth in the final gathering.
"Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none;
for without Zion and a place of deliverance, we must fall;
because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from heaven, and the earth reel to and fro.
Then if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall. we cannot stand; we cannot be saved;
for God will gather out his Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolations and destructions, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered. " (TPJS 196)
BTW- Having just briefly reviewed portion of 2nd Nephi 29 & 30, I just read one of the best articles I have ever read concerning 2nd Nephi 27. Do yourself a favor and read it.