THE GATHERING OF LIGHTS
Chapter Eighteen - Possible Calamities
Great physical destruction does not have to take place. Remember the example of Jonah. Nevertheless, that possibility is anticipated by the scriptures. We shall now review some of these. Remember to always look for at least two interpretations to every prophecy of destruction and let your mind contemplate the spiritual side, for there is a great thoughtform of doom hovering over mankind composed of strong emotional energy and this in itself is the strongest threat to world peace. One must be careful not to add to this energy, but to work toward the shifting of the attention of mankind to spiritual deliverance so the thoughtform of destruction will die from lack of attention.
Nevertheless, a man is a fool who ignores the possibility of destruction when it is only a computer error away from us at all times. Many hide their head in the sand and think that "God is taking care of it", but forget that mankind itself must deal with its own problems and if they are not solved natural consequences must follow. I have not yet had God or some Master come down from his hiding place and do my work for me, nor will he do for mankind what mankind has to do for themselves. This one lesson is most important for humanity to understand at this moment. People on one hand expect great destruction or expect to be swooped up into heaven to be saved, or they expect life to be preserved as it is with no effort on their part. Both views are reckless.
A greatly overlooked fact is that a true minister or pastor for Israel is to be a "watchman" who is to watch for the signs of the times and give his people warnings that will "save" or deliver them physically, as well as spiritually.
The current word "save" as used by modern Christians has got to be the most misunderstood, misplaced word in history with the most ambiguous of applications. Those who use it have no idea of what it is they are being saved from.
The word "saved" as used by Peter and Paul (see Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13) is merely a quotation from the Old Testament book of Joel 2:32 and there the King James renders it "deliverance", a more accurate translation. Paul says "Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." [Romans 10:13] This is interpreted to mean that the Christian must merely vocalize belief and he will go to heaven, but the original puts it in a totally different light.
Joel speaks of a day of great signs and tribulation when great revelations will be poured out on the earth and there will be "wonders in the heavens (space travel) and in the earth (transportation and communication systems), blood (wars), and fire (great weapons), and pillars of smoke" (atomic bombs). [Joel 2:30]
It is in this day that the saving, or deliverance will come: "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call." Joel 2:28-32
If great destructions come we are promised that that for those who do call out for help that there will be deliverance in Zion and the New Jerusalem through the "remnant", or gathered Israel.
This remnant who are to deliver the people are called "saviors... on mount Zion" Obadiah 1:21
This deliverance can refer to a saving from any type of oppression or lack of freedom as well as physical safety, but many overlook the importance of physical preservation. They feel that it does not matter if they live or die, but it does matter. Israel (the Lights of the Earth) especially has a responsibility to the world to survive, for they are the only ones who can create the New Age.
The responsibility of the watchman is outlined by Ezekiel: "Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: Therefore hear the word at my mouth, and GIVE THEM WARNING FROM ME. When I say unto the wicked, Thou salt surely die; (physical destruction) and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way TO SAVE HIS LIFE; the same wicked man will die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness (wrong actions -Heb), nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." Ezekiel 3:17-19
The true watchman of God is to show the people where the results of their wrong actions are leading them. If they are leading to an actual physical destruction the watchman is to warn them and show the way to physical deliverance. What acclaimed minister of God today offers a solution? Where is there a savior on mount Zion today who can deliver us, not only from calamity, but the fear of calamity which is almost as harrowing?
Jesus said: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Matthew 24:21
If we suffered a nuclear holocaust there would indeed be greater tribulation than has ever been or ever will be again on the earth. We must keep in mind that it can be prevented; but the prevention is predicated on free will and the action taken by the Lights of the earth over the next few years. Prevention at this time is NOT a sure thing. We cannot sit back and "let God do it". Preparation must be made to handle the worst, and our attention centered on anticipating the best.
If a future holocaust is prevented it will not void the scriptures as everyone thinks, for a correspondence to most of the prophecies of doom have occurred several times. For instance the destruction of Jerusalem under Titus shortly after Christ is a correspondence to the above prophecy for that cycle. The holocaust under Hitler was for this cycle, and we do not need another one, but if it comes it will be the grand daddy of them all. The following prophecy could be fulfilled: "I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir." Isaiah 13:13
Let us examine possible future calamities and probable methods of deliverance.
1. A nuclear holocaust.
2. Economic collapse.
3. Great natural calamity such as earthquakes or a shift of the earth's axis.
4. Great disease or, plague.
5. Loss of freedom.
Any of these events could spell "great tribulation" for mankind; but what solutions to these problems are being offered to the public? Most do not even believe prevention of any of these is possible and think that great calamities are the unalterable decree of God. Such is not the case. Nevertheless, if one of the first three were to happen, mankind may face a communications and distribution disruption which would spell disaster for modern man. Previous calamities in past ages did not cause such a great disturbance as a modern one would, for man, even a hundred years ago, was fairly self sufficient, and over ninety percent of the population engaged in some type of farming.
On the other hand, today a disruption of communications and food supplies could leave over ninety percent of the population in a helpless state. In addition, those in the northern areas could face freezing temperatures with no heat.
What do the wise people of the world recommend we do to prepare? What words of common sense come from the many voices of prophets, priests, and others who claim to be the watchmen of the Lord, or the Master?
Here is advice I have heard. "Do not concern yourself with the world, only confess Jesus as your Lord. Then when the tribulations come, you will be raptured with the saints and taken up into heaven. Then when the mess is all over you float back down and take possession of the world with Jesus."
This is such a high degree of illusion that I'm not going to waste energy at present refuting it from the scriptures, although it can easily be done. Those who are enlightened enough to have progressed thus far in this book should feel repulsed by the childishness of the orthodox rapture doctrine.
About the closest true principle corresponding to the rapture would be transfiguration as experienced by Jesus in Matthew 17.
Another piece of advice I have heard by conservatives is: "Invest in gold and silver. It will keep its value and you can use it in a crisis;"
Gold and silver may be handy in a recession or even a depression, but not in a great calamity as indicated in prophecy. One cannot eat gold and silver. These Bible quoting individuals seem to have missed an important scripture: "They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels...". Ezekiel 7:19
Investing in gold and silver is comparable to burying one's talent in the earth. (A talent was a unit of money.) Read Matthew 25:14-30. The Master gave three servants three sums of money and all brought forth increase except for the one with one talent. In explaining his action to his Lord he said: "I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent (money) in the earth." Matthew 25:25
Isn't this why people invest in gold and silver? They are "afraid" and it is as if they bury their money where it will bring no increase to their Lord. Notice too that this parable comes in the chapter after the great tribulation prophecy.
Another voice in the tumult cries: "Store a years supply of food. Then if there is a disaster you will be safe." This is a common admonition among Mormons and other small groups and it has been sold quite well to the public to the extent that storage foods have become a profitable business to many. The Mormons have also generated several myths around this doctrine that are as incredible as those espoused by the rapture people. Among them are:
1. Since the year's supply idea is endorsed by their "prophet" they feel they will have additional protection because they have been "obedient".
2. Many feel that they will be able to share with non Mormons and the other Mormons who have not and that if they run out their supply of food will be miraculously resupplied.
3. Many feel that if worst came to worst and greedy neighbors stole their food and there was great turmoil that the prophet would come up with a grandstand last minute solution. "Follow the Prophet and you'll be safe." They say.
In the days of Jeremiah the people had a similar attitude.
They had prophets that they trusted in and they felt that they had the Lord's protection. They felt that Jerusalem was God's city and that he would not allow any great calamity to come to it. They saved up gold and silver for an emergency, stored food and followed their leaders who told them that all would be well if they were "obedient". When Jeremiah arose and rocked the boat, the leaders were disturbed and tried to destroy him. Jeremiah told the people: "Thus saith the Lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and SHALL NOT SEE WHEN GOOD COMETH...". Jeremiah 17:5-6
Those who trust in an authoritative figure, or "the arm of flesh" rather than the Holy Spirit within are "cursed" according to their own Bibles whether they be Christian or Jew, Mormon or Catholic, and cannot "see when good cometh".
Jeremiah had enough vision to see the day when men would no longer depend upon an authority figure for their knowledge: "Behold the days come, saith the Lord that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord. But this shall be the covenant I will make with the house of Israel; After those days saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God (within), and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: FOR THEY SHALL ALL KNOW ME (The God within), from the least of them unto the greatest ...". Jeremiah 31:31-34
The Lord will deal differently with his people in the New Age than in the days of Moses and calls it here the "New Covenant". No longer will the people need an authoritative figure like Moses or Aaron, but the law will be within their hearts and they will not "lean on the arm of flesh". Nor will one say to another "have you accepted the Lord as Savior yet?", but they will all know the God within so he can actually be their God. Jeremiah acknowledged here that Israel constantly "brake" the former covenant and it was unworkable to bring the people to perfection. The Mormons, Jews, and others who depend on the covenant of strong authority still find the results poor. The people turn into response mechanisms that lack fire and never live up to the authoritative pronouncements they are given. For instance, few Mormons have a years supply of food and in the event of a calamity they would not be able to feed their own people let alone others.
History proves that a prophecy based on common sense is usually the most accurate. Let us contemplate with the mind. What would really happen to the various peoples in a calamity where communications and shipping were cut down? For a logical answer one may take a look at a well documented case in recent history: the siege of Leningrad during World Ward Two. This city suffered only a partial shutdown on and off for about a thousand days and we must keep in mind that a slow shutoff does not produce the violence and panic that a sudden one, as we may be faced with, will produce.
Leningrad had a wide variety of people in it just as any other major city in the world. Some of them were corrupt and mislead, others were religious and devout, and many were even Christians who expected deliverance from the Lord in the near future. Some of them had gold, silver, and jewels saved up for the evil day, others had a supply of food, still others thought that their faith would handle any problem. Those with gold and silver, or great wealth fared all right at the beginning of the thousand days, but it was not long before they found that they could not buy food at any price. After all, who would let their child starve for a pound of gold? Some of the more wealthy were the first ones to starve to death, for when their wealth was gone they were seized with great fear. One who fears will starve much more quickly than one who is calm, for his vital forces are much more quickly depleted.
Those who had a years supply found that they had to carefully guard it and if anyone found out that they had extra food, their life was in danger. Even if they were able to hold on to it for a year they found they had two more years to endure. It wasn't long before anyone who was not skin and bones was an oddity and attracted a lot of attention. If a man was well fed he was suspected of being a cannibal and often investigated. If he was not a cannibal and still had meat on his bones then he was a prime target to have his home and family violated by lawless starving men who would do anything to survive.
Some of the more resolute denied themselves food so their children could survive only to find that when they became incapacitated through hunger that their children were stolen and eaten by the numerous cannibals roaming the city. The majority put their own survival above that of their children and many watched their children die while they feasted on remaining morsels of food. For many of these individuals life was not worth living afterwards..
Those who were living on faith that their Lord would come and rapture them soon lost faith, for their Lord never arrived and they found that in the end they were left to depend on their own wits and efforts if they were to survive. Some did survive, but many did not. Over one million people starved to death, in this one city
In addition to starvation the people were faced with freezing cold temperatures with no fuel. Imagine how uncomfortable it was for them to have no food and spend much of the day as well as the night huddled in blankets enduring sub zero temperatures. You'll find few old timers in Leningrad that can be converted to the rapture theory, or that believe that all you have to have is "faith" and the Lord will take care of you!! Nevertheless, many found that they were sustained and given hidden strength by listening to that still small voice within and using what common sense they had.
Remember that the siege of Leningrad is not from ancient history books, but from modern times. There are thousands yet alive today who lived through it and could tell you about it, but few even want to bring the subject up because of the painful memories.
There are millions of other peoples today in the third world counties who are starving in a similar manner. They accept it more passively, however, because they never had an original supply to be cut off. The degree of violence starvation breeds is dependant on the suddenness and the degree of the shut off of the supply. Leningrad was an example of a shutoff in "degree". But the shutdown was not total (between 70-90%) and there was always hope that Hitler would be driven back and fresh supplies would come.
The more recent blackout in New York City in the late 70's was a shutdown in "suddenness" and caused more tumult than a slow shutdown of high degree. Many will remember seeing pictures through the media of the riots and great destruction and fires caused by the mob action. The suddenness caused a great irreversible panic and a desire on the part of the greedy to take advantage of the misfortune of others..
Never in recent history has there been a shutdown of high degree with suddenness in an advanced nation. It is difficult for those living without want to imagine the consequences. The prophet Ezekiel did a good job of painting a clear picture:
"Behold, the day! the doom is here, it has burst upon them... (suddenness) Outside is the sword, inside are pestilence and famine; and in the country men will die by the sword, in the city famine and pestilence will carry them off. If any escape and take to the mountains, like moaning doves, there will I slay them, each for his iniquity, while their hands hang limp, and their knees run with urine. They will go in sackcloth, shuttering from head to foot, with faces downcast and heads close shaved. They shall fling their silver into the streets and cast aside their gold like filth; their silver and their gold will be powerless to save them on the day of the Lord's fury. Their hunger will not be satisfied nor their bellies filled .... Clench your fists, for the land is full of bloodshed and the city full of violence. I will let in the scum of the nations to take possession of their houses; I will quell the pride of the strong, and their sanctuaries (churches and temples) shall be profaned. Shuddering will come over them, and they will look in vain for peace. Tempest shall follow upon tempest, and rumor upon rumor. Men will go seeking a vision from a prophet; there will be no more guidance from a priest, no counsel from elders. The king will mourn, the prince will be clothed with horror, the bands of the common people will shake with fright. I will deal with them as they deserve, and call them to account for their doings; and so shall they know that I am the Lord."
Ezekiel 7:10,15-27 [links are to KJV] New English Version
This prophecy was literally fulfilled when Jerusalem was destroyed around 600 BC, but the ancient prophets always spoke with dual meaning. On one hand, their prophecies applied to the people in the day they were living, and on the other it applied to a future corresponding generation. In our day where we are threatened with a similar, but even more devastating, sudden destruction we face a possible repeat fulfillment of Ezekiel's words.
This was pointed out in a revelation given to Joseph Smith: "For a desolating scourge shall go forth among the inhabitants of the earth, and shall continue to be poured out from time to time, IF THEY REPENT NOT, until the earth is empty, and the inhabitants thereof are consumed away and utterly destroyed by the brightness of my coming. Behold, I tell you these things, EVEN AS I ALSO TOLD THE PEOPLE OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM; and my word shall be verified at this time as it hath hitherto been verified." D&C 5:19-20
Here we are told that we may again fulfill the prophecy of Ezekiel if we "repent not". But we must keep in mind that there is a way out for us, just as there was for the people of Nineveh.
All we have to do to avoid destruction is to "repent". When the word "repent" is used in this day and age one pictures in mind the image of either a bearded fanatic or a zealous born again Christian fundamentalist. Actually, these are some of those in the greatest need for repentance.
"Repent" is translated from the Greek word METANOEO which literally means "to exercise the mind to think differently, or to comprehend differently". If we wish to usher in the New Age we must indeed think and comprehend differently than we do. There must be a paradigm shift for humanity, Most importantly, we must accept responsibility for our own actions, and not wait for God to save us or to set things right, but to get off our butt and put some action behind our words and correct the mess the world is in. If one sees a brother starving to death and say to him: "Have faith and God will provide" and leave him with this word only and then retire home for a meal of plenty - what effect is produced? The brother is still starving and in addition to that he is angry and bitter to them who preach only.
Many preach of peace and goodwill, but who is doing anything about it? Project Peace and Goodwill is a method of putting words into action. There are many others ways to those who are willing.
Think it through... Most religions are a cop-out designed to put all responsibility on God. To avoid destruction man must "repent" and feel the responsibility on himself and then "act". "My responsibility for the work of God bears down heavily upon my shoulders" is the phrase that passes through the mind of the coworker with Christ.
The final method that many believe will give them protection from the calamities is to "get away from it all". These people are often called survivalists and have the most logical method of preparation. They realize that a great calamity may be in the making and have enough reason not expect a deliverance through an unsubstantiated unscriptural rapture of those who merely mouth a certain belief. They also have enough common sense to not depend on a miraculous increase in their food supply merely because they are a member of a certain church. They see that they will be in a very dangerous situation even if they have a lot of food, because others will try and steal it from them. They would most likely be killed by rioters before hunger would get them. Thus, their solution is to get a few acres in the middle of nowhere, as Randy Weaver did, and take the family or maybe cooperate with friends and become as self sufficient as possible. These survivalists also believe in storing up a lot of guns and ammunition so they will be able to kill all intruders seeking their supplies.
This solution has several very serious flaws and among them are:
1. Expense. Not everyone can afford the cost of getting a retreat in a wilderness area. Are the rich the only ones who will survive the day of the Lord?
2. One must still make a living. Most of those who could scrape together enough money to get his few acres would still have to spend a considerable amount of time in the cities among the populace and it may be possible that he may not be able to reach his retreat in a crisis. When and if he does reach it on foot he may have found that others he has confided in reached it before him and have his guns and ammunition. If he decides to live permanently in his retreat he will find the going very difficult and lonely. Even if he likes it, his wife and kids probably will not.
3. Danger. If he were fortunate enough to make it to the retreat he is still not safe. Literally millions, if starving, would "head for the hills" with guns and fishing poles hoping to survive. When they discover you have food you'd never get any rest and would find that the homestead could only be defended so long before some starving maniac pounces unawares.
4. Selfishness and separateness. These survivalists are preparing with an "every man for himself" attitude and have no thought of working toward something that will also save his brother. Ironically, most of them are fundamental Bible believers.
5. Consequences. If the survivalists were the only ones to live through a holocaust then it wouldn't be long before mankind would be reduced to tribal living on a similar level to the lowly African natives, or the Indians in Peru. It may take a thousand years or more to get back to where we are today. Surely there must be a better solution.
Ezekiel reveals that one will have to be much more than a survivalist if he wants to live through the day of the Lord we may be approaching: "Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out my hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it (no animals to hunt). Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, THEY SHALL DELIVER NEITHER SONS NOR DAUGHTERS: THEY ONLY SHALL BE DELIVERED but the land shall be desolate." Ezekiel 14:13-16
For those who want to know how much faith they must have if they are to survive in the midst of great tribulation we have the answer here. One must have the equivalent faith and righteousness of a Noah, Daniel, or Job, and even at that he would not be able to save his family. Many born again Christians I have talked to have the audacity to state they have this much faith, but I'd like to see them stay the night in a den of hungry lions as did Daniel. If they could survive that, then there is the possibility that they could survive the day of calamity. I would venture to guess that most of those boasting of great faith could not survive a good rattlesnake bite, let alone a den of lions. "Everyone shall be salted with fire", said Jesus. Sooner or later each person gets to put his faith to the test to determine whether he is leaning on illusion or reality. Faith untested is no more workable than a glorious business idea that has not been presented to the marketplace of real life.
What is the real meaning of faith as it was originally taught in the scriptures? This we will cover in our next chapter.
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved