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The Modern Secret Combination
Closely associated with the corruption of the Nephites' laws of government came a widespread penetration of the Gadianton robbers (a secret combination) into their society. One of the underlying themes of the Book of Mormon seems to be its warning to us about secret combinations. Truly, we are surrounded by many forms of organized crime and subversion: drug rings, terrorists, the various Mafias, and disease profiteers(1)--to name a few. However, referring to our day, Moroni spoke of a "secret combination"--singular--"which shall be among you...." (Ether 8:24.) This suggests that he saw a combination of such magnificent proportions as to dwarf all others because of its broad penetration and its effectiveness in advancing evil.
The motivation of this destructive and murderous combination, he said, would be "to get power and gain." (Ether 8:23.) Their aim would be "to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries." (8:25.) Apparently, this warning has now become reality. President Benson recently declared, "A secret combination that seeks to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations, and countries is increasing in its evil influence and control over America and the entire world."(2)
Anciently the Gadianton robbers eventually "overspread all the land of the Nephites." (Hel. 6:38) They too were driven by the desire to "get gain and glory of the world." (7:4.) To accomplish their aim they "usurped the power and authority of the land" by "filling the judgment seats"--the positions of governmental leadership. (7:4.) In the same context of nearly every discussion of secret combinations in the Book of Mormon can be found mentioned some principle of government. Government is obviously where the most power and gain can be achieved.(3)
Modern times are no exception. Means for gaining power exist that ancient tyrants could only dream of. Today, conquest of the whole world is a very real possibility for those cunning enough to pull it off. Communication networks for propaganda purposes are in place, advanced military equipment for enforcement are plentiful, computer capabilities for monitoring are more than ample, and apathy of people who are in a position to thwart such plans has been sufficient.
Modern prophets, especially Ezra Taft Benson and David O. McKay, have spoken out clearly, fervently, and frequently concerning this secret combination prophesied to come in our day.(4) They identified it as the Communist/Socialist conspiracy. They remarked that the greatest threat came from within our very own country. They warned that this subversive movement was deceiving even the very elect. They declared that the conflict we faced against this conspiracy was nothing more than a physical continuation of the war that was waged in the pre-existence: the same issues being at stake. They spoke of the need for an apathetic populous to become alerted to the dangers that faced them so that they might be instrumental in reversing the dangerous trends that would bring enslavement and destruction. Often, during the sixtees, when these warnings were most pronounced, Ezra Taft Benson would say, "We don't need a prophet--we have one--what we need is a listening ear." Unfortunately, it seems that most people did not listen.
The Book of Mormon, especially its history, clearly supports the position of these two great prophets of freedom. Perhaps this is one reason why President Benson now emphasizes the Book of Mormon as he does.
Helaman 6:38-40 concisely describes the effect that the Gadianton robbers had on the Nephites. Like a polished mirror, this brief summary sharply reflects our latter-day situation.(5) It states:
"And it came to pass...that the Nephites did build them [the Gadianton robbers] up and support them, beginning at the more wicked part of them, until they had overspread all the land of the Nephites, and had seduced the more part of the righteous until they had come down to believe in their works and partake of their spoils, and to join with them in their secret murders and combinations. And thus they did obtain the sole management of the government, insomuch that they did trample under their feet and smite and rend and turn their backs upon the poor and the meek, and the humble followers of God. And thus we see that they were in an awful state, and ripening for an everlasting destruction."Perhaps the most startling aspect of this statement is the seduction of "the more part of the righteous." How could that have happened?
What the Communist/Socialist movement claims as its goal is a peaceful, united world in which all the needy are taken care of and there is no inequality. Everything they do, they do in the name of achieving these ends. These aims, of course, are good. They lie at the root of the gospel. They tend to touch man's conscience and reach into the deepest desires of his heart. Is it, perhaps, the means of achieving this aim that can be evil?
In the pre-existence, Satan offered salvation to everyone, as did Christ. Satan promised that no one would be lost, for he would impose his plan with force; man would have no agency. Underpinning his plan was the desire to get unsurpassed power and glory. The eternal plan of the Father, which Christ represented, would make salvation possible for all, but would require man to chose the ways of righteousness of his own free will. (Moses 4:1-3.)
This pre-earth division culminated in what we call the war in heaven. Significantly, in the same context that John speaks of this "war in heaven," he also told of the war that would be waged in the latter days against the saints of God. (Rev. 12:7,17.)
Reflecting Satan's plan, the Communist/Socialist movement promises that everyone will be taken care of, and it requires force to bring that about. What the key promotors of this system are actually after, though, is power and gain. The principles upon which the Constitution was framed, on the other hand, call for and allow men to chose a better world of their own free will. Recognizing the fact that some will fall, it beckons free men to repond appropriately to the plight of their fellow men.
Those who promote the Communist/Socialist line, in effect propose an alternative to God's wisdom.(6) They pit carnal knowledge against eternal truths. Could such presumptuous propagandists be among those who Christ labeled "false Christs." (JS-M 1:22; Matt. 24:24) They "set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world, but they seek not the welfare of Zion." (2 Ne. 26:29; Moses 4:1.)(7) Truly, these individuals seem to have been successful in deceiving some of the very elect, who are elect according to the covenant. (JS-M 1:22.) Might this self-savior egotism be the blasphemy against God that John, Isaiah, and Christ referred to in their prophecies of the latter days? (Rev. 13:6; Isa. 52:5; D&C 112:26.) Christ said that because of blasphemy by members of his church, the chastening destructions to sweep the world would begin upon his house. (D&C 112:25,26; 1 Pet. 4:17.)
Helaman 6:38 states that the righteous Nephites who had been lured away partook of the spoils of the Gadianton band. This phenomenon reflects the true nature of socialism--a fundamental tool of the Communist/Socialist conspiracy. Forced redistribution of wealth is nothing more than legalized plunder.(8) In the past few decades we have seen a burgeoning of socialistic programs in our nation that once reverenced individual responsibility. Today, we see nearly everyone, including the righteous, reaching their hands into the collectivistic pot. An even sadder commentary is that now even faithful latter-day Saints are involved in legislating socialistic programs.
Apparently, because socialism does not seem all that bad anymore--its motives appear benevolent--the righteous have been turning more and more to the government to feed the hungry, cloth the naked, help the poor, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted. However, what our nation is doing in the name of taking care of the needy, is actually creating an increased number of people dependent upon the government. The forced philanthropy which governmental programs provide will never suffice for the true charity of voluntary assistance.(9) Ironically, can we not therefore say that our society, like the Nephites', actually "turn[s] their backs upon the poor..."? (Hel. 6:39.)
Not only did the Nephites participate in the Gadianton band's plunder, but they "did build them up and support them...." (Hel. 6:38.) The same has been true in our day. Ironically, while being a fortress for freedom,(10) our nation has helped the globalists' cause, both at home and abroad. At home, our citizens finance the burden of increased socialism, champion the leftist rhetoric, patronize the various socialistic governmental programs, and elect liberal leaders. Abroad, our nation has built up and supported Communism around the world. Ezra Taft Benson has said, "Rather than impede communism our policies in their total effect have apparently helped promote it."(11) Our foreign policy has included such things as high-level diplomatic exchanges and granting favorable trading status to Communist regimes. It has also allowed the transfer of exorbitant amounts of equipment, technology, and credit(12) to oppressive governments.(13) In some cases, such as China and Nicaragua in the past and South Africa today, our nation has actually played (and is playing) a significant role in pushing countries into Communism in the first place.
To date, as many as 150 million individuals have been killed by Communists. That slaughter continues up to the present day.(14) Inasmuch as our nation has helped prop up these secret combinations "of murder and...darkness," how much responsibility do members of our country bear for this blood that has been spilt? (2 Ne. 26:22.) How much of this bloodshed will be found spotting the garments of neglegent members of the Church who were supposed to be a light unto the world and the saviors of men? (D&C 103:9.)
The Nephite record states that anciently, even the more part of the righteous were seduced "to join with [the Gadianton robbers] in their secret murders...." (Hel. 6:38.) Considering what has taken place in our day, we can see better why the mirroring Nephites "were in an a.awful state, and ripening for an everlasting b.destruction." (Hel. 6:40.)
In Moroni's warning about a secret combination to come in our day, he exclaimed, "...Wo be unto it, because of the blood of them who have been slain; for they cry from the dust for vengeance upon it, and also upon those who build it up." (Ether 8:24.) Because of this combination, Moroni said that we too would be in an "a.awful situation" and that "the sword of the justice of the Eternal God [would] fall upon [us], to [our] overthrow and b.destruction if [we would] suffer these things to be." (8:23,24.)
1. Doctrine and Covenants 89:4 speaks of conspiring men who make profit at the expense of people's health.
2. Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 87.
3. A well documented, up-to-date treatise on this subject may be found in The Shadows of Power by James Perloff. (Western Islands, Appleton, Wisconsin, 1988.)
4. Ezra Taft Benson and David O. McKay's warnings were most pronounced during the 60's. During this time Elder Benson gave 15 General Conference addresses and President McKay, over a dozen on freedom, free enterprise, fiscal responsibility, the Constitution, and agency. They invariably tied these topics into showing the evils of socialism and communism. (Sheri Dew, Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography, Deseret Book, 1987, pp. 366,367.)
5. In a General Conference address Ezra Taft Benson discussed the striking similarities between the aims and tactics of the Communist/Socialist conspiracy and the secret combinaitons of the Book of Mormon such as the Gadianton robbers. (CR, Oct. 1961, pp. 71,72.)
6. Whittaker Chambers, one of the early strategists involved in subverting our country (who ended up abandoning this affiliation), called Communism "the great alternative faith of mankind." He said, "The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God." (Whittaker Chambers, Witness, p. 9.)
7. Marion G. Rommey said, "Communism is Satan's counterfeit for the gospel plan, and...it is an avowed enemy of the God of the land. Communism is the greatest anti-Christ power in the world today and therefore the greatest menace not only to our peace but to our preservation as a free people." (Sept. 1979.)
8. Frederic Bastiat presents an in-depth treatise on the subject of legal plunder in The Law, Irving-on-Hudson, New York, 1987, pp. 20-28. See also Ezra Taft Benson, Improvement Era, Dec. 1968, p. 52.
9. Ezra Taft Benson, Teachings, p. 263.
10. Our Constitutional form of government and the citizens who revere what our nation represents stand directly in the path of these globalists' plans. Therefore, from the earliest stages, subversion of the United States has been a primary focus of their plans. (Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Sept. 1961, p. 73.)
11. CR, Oct. 5, 1962, p. 15.
12. Congressman Toby Roth said, "Billions of dollars in loans at terms that American borrowers can only dream of are being provided to the Soviet government and, in turn, are being used to help finance Soviet aggression and adventurism around the world." ("Look Who's Funding Moscow," The Constitution, May/June, 1988, p. 6.)
13. In 1982, explaining one reason why our nation was spending so much for our own military, Senator William Armstrong of Colorado said, "In the last ten years alone, the United States and other Western nations have sold to the Soviet Union and its satellites more than fifty billion dollars worth of technical equipment the communists could not produce themselves. In addition, the Soviets have been able to purchase entire factories, designed and built by Western engineers and financed in large part by American and European banks."
14. For example, recently the Marxist government in Kenya killed an estimated 50,000 civilians over a 19 month period. The apparent bias in our media was evidenced by the fact that this incredible casualty count was buried in an obscure article on page eleven of the Denver Post. ("Report: Somali Troops Killing Civilians," Jan. 18, 1990, p. 11-A.)
Scriptural Remedies for An Awful Situation
The Book of Mormon not only depicts our awful situation, but it presents the remedy as well. The solution could be considered two-fold: exposing secret works of darkness and repenting, the first being really a subset of the latter. This theme is probably most obvious in Alma's instructions to his son, Helaman, regarding the 24 plates that contained a record of the bygone Jaredites. Eleven consecutive verses (37:21-32) except one (37:24) mention a phrase to the effect, "secret works," "secret abominations," "works of darkness" at least once. There are nineteen such phrases in just eleven verses. Likewise, there are ten occurences of a phrase such as "bring to light" or "made manifest" that says something about making these hidden things known. From this conspicuous emphasis, we can conclude that an important antidote is turning on the light of truth to expose the secret works of darkness. A wealth of contemporary information is available, which unfolds plainly the evil workings of modern secret combinations. Appendix M list some of the most valuable sources, most of which have been endorsed by prophets, seers and revelators.
In the midst of speaking about unveiling secret abominations, Alma explicitely warned not to reveal the oaths, covenants, signs, wonders, and plans of these secret workers of darkness. (Alma 37:27,29,32.) "Only their wickedness and their murders and their abominations shall ye make known," he commanded. (37:29.) We are to teach people "to abhor" such things, proclaiming not the deep secrets of these workers of darkness but "that these people were destroyed on account of their wickedness and abominations and their murders." (37:29.) The focus is not on conspiracy but on iniquity. As Alma concludes this admonition he does not emphasize conspiracy per se, but he highlights the need to repent. "And now, my son, remember the words which I have spoken unto you: trust not these secret plans unto this people, but teach them an everlasting hatred against sin and iniquity." (37:32.) The remaining two verses of his conclusion admonish to preach repentance, faith in Christ, humility, resisting the temptations of the devil, and being diligent in good works. (37:33,34.) The "awful situation" in which we find ourselves today is not merely because a secret combination has gotten above us, but it has much more to do with the fact that our generation has been wicked enough to allow this to happen.
Perhaps this is why Nephi, son of Helaman, when he saw that a secret combination had obtained sole management of the Government of his people, sorrowed in his heart for the great wickedness of his people. (Hel. 7:6-9.) His reprimand to the wicked Nephites in Zarahemla, as recorded in sixteen verses in Helaman chapter seven (7:13-29), contains only one reference to secret combinations (7:25). Every other part of his message focused on their iniquity and their need to repent lest they be destroyed from off the land -- the same message that is now applicable today for the wicked Gentiles that inhabit the land of America.
Like the Nephites, we do not seem to have hearkened to the warning voices of civilizations past. A commentary on our history may very well read like what was said of the Nephite's during this period: "This great loss...and the great slaughter...would not have happened had it not been for their wickeness and their abominations which was among them; yea and it was among those also who professed to belong to the church of God." (Hel. 4:11.) The salt had lost its savor and was thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men. (Matt. 5:13; Luke 14:34; 3 Ne. 16:5; D&C 101:39,40; 103:10.) No wonder Nephi lamented, "O ye fools, ye uncircumscised of heart, ye blind, and ye stiffnecked people, do ye know how long the Lord your God will suffer you that ye shall go on in this your way of sin? O ye ought to begin to hown and mourn, because of the great destruction which at this time doth await you, except ye shall repent." (Hel. 9:21,22.)
Hence, Moroni identified the need for us to awaken to our awful situation as a commandment. (Ether 8:24.)(1) Many have been lured into believing that "all is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth," but actually Satan through his disciples of deception has been "[cheating] their souls, and [leading] them away carefully down to hell." (2 Ne. 28:21.) Our Prophet once declared, "...Our stand for freedom is a most basic part of our religion; this stand helped get us to this earth, and our reaction to freedom in this life will have eternal consequences. Man has many duties, but he has no excuse that can compensate for his loss of liberty.... You cannot fully live the gospel without working to save freedom and the Constitution...."(2)
Those who have become involved in this effort have found what a difficult task it is to alert an anesthetized people. They have found themselves ridiculed as right-wing extremists, pessimistic sensationalists, and paranoid anti-Communists (mocking labels that Moroni, no doubt, would have received had he lived in our day -- for President Benson has not been spared his share of derision). They have also been maligned with labels that do not even resemble their motives, such as "neo-Nazi" and "rascist."(3) These meek patriots are accused of departing from the mainstream of the Church; when in reality, those who make the accusation are the hypocritical ones who "hear [the words of the Prophet], but they do them not." (Ezek. 33:30-32.)
Anciently, this same sort of denigration took place. When Nephi "had spoken unto [the Nephites] concerning the corruptness of their law," the judges, "who also belonged to the secret band of Gadianton..., were angry with him because he spake plainly unto them concerning their secret works of darkness...." (Hel. 8:1,3,4.) They tried to taint Nephi by crying, "[He is reviling] against this people and against our law!" as if he had committed a "crime." (8:2,1.) The Nephite record acquits Nephi and convicts his accusers when it declares, "...Nothing did he speak which was contrary to the commandments of God." (8:3.)
Those who sorrow in the persecution heaped upon them when they speak forth the truth can be comforted, for persecution has followed, and will always attend the godly. (Matt 5:10-12 = 3 Ne. 12:10-12; 2 Tim. 3:12; 2 Ne. 26:8; D&C 98:13,14.) Suffering shame is an inseperable part of taking up the cross of Christ. (Jacob 1:8; 2 Ne. 9:18; Heb. 12:2.) The prize for enduring this burden is the kingdom of God. (Jacob 1:7; 2 Ne. 9:18; Heb. 12:2.)
Even though the modern combination will wreak great havoc, the Lord has reassured us that he will fulfill his covenant to his people who are of the House of Israel. (2 Ne. 29:14; 1 Ne. 14:13-17.) To do that, he "must needs destroy the secret works of darkness, and of murders, and of abominations." (2 Ne. 10:16.) Those Gentiles who do not repent will be severed from, while those who repent will be numbered among the redeemed House of Israel. (3 Ne. 16:13,15.) Whether or not a person stands valiantly for freedom, resisting any encroachments, will be an important sifter in the day of the Lord's wrath. (D&C 101:80,95; 98:6,12.) The reason Moroni warned about a massive secret combination to come in our day that would seek to overthrow the freedom of all lands, nations and countries was so "that evil may be done away." (Ether 8:26.) To resist the abundant admonitions of the word of God will result in a person's being cut off from among the Lord's people. (3 Ne. 21:11.)
1. J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the F.B.I., said, "There is no place here in America for part-time patriots. This nation is face to face with the greatest danger ever to confront it, a sinister and deadly conspiracy which can be conquered only by an alert, informed citizenry.... Public indifference to this threat is tantamount to national suicide. Lethargy leads only to disaster...." (Quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Oct. 1962, p. 17.)
2. Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Oct. 2, 1966, p. 122.
3. Ezra Taft Benson, "Stand Up For Freedom," address given at the Assembly Hall in Feb. 11, 1966 to the Utah Forum for the American Idea.
A Great and
During this portion of Nephite history, Nephi (son of Helaman) performs a central role. Looking to prophecy for a counterpart in the latter days, we discover that Christ's description in Third Nephi of a particular servant closely matches Nephi and the part he played. This prophecy of the Lord's servant paints a most fitting portrait of Joseph Smith. The context, however, suggests a time immediately preceding the destructions that will come upon the Gentiles. Therefore, this prophecy probably bears a dual fulfillment.
The comparison between Nephi and this servant yields many similarities, some of which are more characterizing than others. First, the words that this servant shall bring forth, shall be the words of Christ. (3 Ne. 21:9.) Nephi also declared "the word of the Lord" unto the Nephites, "...and nothing did he speak which was contrary to the commandments of God." (Hel. 10:14; 8:3.) Second, this servant will play an integral role in the "great and marvelous work" which will be wrought by the Father. (3 Ne. 21:9.) Similarly, "God...commanded [Nephi] to prophesy...marvelous things...." (Hel. 9:2.) Third, the servant will direct his words "unto the Gentiles...." (3 Ne. 21:11.) Nephi was commanded to declare his words to the Nephites (who parallel the Gentiles in significant ways)(1). (Hel. 10:11.) Fourth, the Father "shall give unto [the servant] power...." (3 Ne. 21:11.) Similarly, the Lord told Nephi, "Behold, I declare it unto thee in the presence of mine angels...that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people." (Hel. 10:6.) Fifth, Christ said destruction would come upon the Gentiles if they would not believe in the words which the servant would bring forth. (3 Ne. 21:11-21.) Likewise, Nephi was commanded by the Lord to declare to his people, "Except ye repent, thus saith the Lord, ye shall be smitten even unto destruction." (Hel. 10:14.) And sixth, the Gentiles "shall not hurt" the servant. However, though he "shall be marred because of them," the Lord "will heal him"; for, as Christ said, "...The life of my servant shall be in my hand...." (3 Ne. 21:10.) Possibly foreshadowing this, after Nephi declared the word of God, the angry Nephites "did revile against [Nephi], and did seek to lay their hands upon him that they might cast him into prison..., but...they could not take him to cast him into prison, for he was taken by the Spirit and conveyed away out of the midst of them." (Hel. 10:15,16.)
First Nephi chapter 14 tells us a fair amount about this great and marvelous work which shall be wrought. It associates the marvelous work with a polarization--among other things--that will take place. A statement made recently by President Benson epitomizes the message of this chapter. He said, "As the issues become clearer and more obvious, all mankind will eventually be required to align themselves either for the kingdom of God or for the kingdom of the devil."(2)
The predicting picture painted by Book of Mormon history seems to vividly illustrate this situation to arise in the days ahead. There too, a serious division arose among the people as Nephi declared the word of God in plainness. (Hel. 10:18; 9:39-41; 10:1; 8:7.)
The Lord said that in the last days when he will "work a great and a marvelous work among the children of men" that the work "shall be everlasting, either on the one hand or on the other...." (1 Ne. 14:7.) He then explained that people would either be convinced "unto peace and life eternal," or they would be delivered "to the hardness of their hearts and the blindness of their minds...." (1 Ne. 14:7.) The end result of the later would be to be "brought down into captivity, and also into destruction, both temporally and spiritually, according to the captivity of the devil...." (Ibid.)
The Book of Mormon account also presents these two opposing alternatives in conjunction with talking about Nephi and the polarization of his people. One alternative was to believe in the word of God, for, as Nephi said, "as many as should look upon the Son of God with faith, having a contrite spirit, might live, even unto that life which is eternal." (Hel. 8:15.) On the other hand, there were many who, "when Nephi had declared unto them the word..., did still harden their hearts and would not hearken unto his words...." (Hel. 10:15.)(3)
The issues that caused the division among the Nephites and the issues that will likely bring a polarization in the last days seem to center on two matters. A concise statement by Isaiah indicates what these are. He declared two fundamental reasons why destructions will come--apparently on our nation. First, he said, "they have cast away the law of the Lord of Hosts;" and second, "they have...despised the word of the Holy One of Israel." (2 Ne. 15:24 = Isa. 5:24.)(4) We know what the word of the Lord is: it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. President George Albert Smith identified the "law of the Lord" as the principles of the Constitution of the United States.(5) In Book of Mormon history, these same factors--casting away the laws of Mosiah and despising the word of God--seem to have laid at the root of the division that occurred among the Nephites. (Hel. 4:22; 8:25) No wonder President John Taylor declared, "Besides the preaching of the Gospel, we have another mission, namely, the perpetuation of the free agency of man and the maintenance of liberty, freedom, and the rights of man."(6) Ezra Taft Benson once quoted this statement and then remarked, "It was the struggle over free agency that divided us before we came here [from the pre-mortal life]; it may well be the struggle over the same principle which will deceive and divide us again."(7)
Another similarity between the ancient and latter-day situations is that due to the clarity of the issues, the people are left with no excuse. Nephi told his people: "[Because of] so many evidences which ye have received..., seeing that ye know these things, [ye] cannot deny them except ye shall lie...." (Hel. 8:24.) Likewise, the Gentiles will either be convinced to believe in Christ, or they will be delivered "to the hardness of their hearts" (1 Ne. 14:7), being "angry because of the truth of God" (2 Ne. 28:28). In Book of Mormon history as well, certain corrupt Nephites "were angry with [Nephi] because he spake plainly unto them..." (Hel. 8:4).
Considering these fundamental principles which identify God's people, we gain a greater appreciation for the Book of Mormon. It sets forth both directly and through parallels in its history the stand we should take concerning both the word and the law of the Lord.
This division among the Nephites grew to a point that "there began to be contentions..., and [they] began to slay one another with the sword," until eventually "there were wars throughout all the land among all the people of Nephi." (Hel. 10:18; 11:1.) "And it was this secret band of robbers who did carry on this work of destruction and wickedness." (Hel. 11:2.) This sounds very much like the "wars and the rumors of wars" that are prophesied to come "among all the nations and kindreds of the earth" (1 Ne. 14:15) in our day, as those who belong to "the mother of abominations" pit themselves against those who belong to "the church of the Lamb of God" (14:10). When the time comes "that the Lord God shall cause a great division among the people," we can be buoyed by the knowledge that eventually "the wicked will he destroy; and he will spare his people, yea, even if it so be that he must destroy the wicked by fire." (2 Ne. 30:10.)
1. See "Times of the Gentiles Fulfilled" section.
2. Ensign, Nov. 1988, p. 87.
3. Helaman 9:39-41 and Helaman 8:7 show that there were some who believed. This verse (10:15) in context suggests that the people as a whole (individuals aside) had rejected Nephi's words. This was why the destruction came upon them, for as a people, they did not repent--such as will probably be the case in the latter days as well.
4. This verse is preceded by one that ties in closely with our previous discussion about secret combinations. It speaks of those "who justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him." (2 Ne. 15:23 = Isa. 5:23.) Compare this to a verse in Helaman that speaks of the ancient secret combination that reflects the one that has come in our day. It states that they were "condemning the righteous because of their righteousness; letting the guilty and the wicked go unpunished because of their money...." (7:5.)
5. In the dedicatory prayer of the Idaho Falls Temple, President George Albert Smith identified the "law of the Lord" as the principles contained in the Constitution. After quoting the statement, "...Out of Zion shall go forth the law..." (2 Ne. 12:3), he continued, praying "that kings and rulers and the people of all nations under heaven may be persuaded of the blessings enjoyed by the people of this land...and be constrained to adopt similar governmental systems..." (Harold B. Lee, Improvement Era, Oct. 1945, p. 564; Ensign, Nov. 1971, p. 15.)
6. Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Oct. 1963, p. 16. 7. Ezra Taft Benson, CR, Oct. 1963, p. 16.
ReviewI would imagine by now that most of you have already heard of the #1 NYT bestselling book, "The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America's Future" by Jonathan Cahn.
It's a definite must-read, showing a very strong prophetic warning for America to humble itself and return to God, or suffer the same fate as the Israelites anciently when they defied God upon receiving a chastising blow from the Assyrians, boasting:
"The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stone; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.”The entire book does a masterful job showing that a singular verse, Isaiah 9:10 ties in to the events of Sept. 11, 2012, making that ancient statement now apply to our situation, along with the warning that comes in Isaiah 9:11. The author weaves a fictional story into the telling about these harbingers, which has the kind of page-turning appeal of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
For those of you who know how much I enjoy word and number associations, you will no doubt see why I would be particularly honed in to the correlation of Isaiah 9:11 relating to the events of 9/11.
Back on September 18, 2001, I did a compilation of the various instances of 9:11 in the scriptures, including not just chapter:verse numbers, but even page numbers, including Isaiah 9:11. You can see archive versions of that page via archive.org.
"Before God judges a nation, He sends warning," explains Cahn, and that is what the poignantly obvious Isaiah 9:10,11 tie-in is all about. And gratefully the book and associated video are doing very well in their distribution, spreading this message. Could we wake up in time and effect a deep enough change of heart in the nation to merit a turning away of judgment?
Some of the things The Harbinger points out:
- Isaiah 9:10 was quoted by three national leaders at key junctures as applying to the US (in the egotistical "we will rebuild" boast sense instead of going to introspection), not realizing they were pronouncing the associated judgment on America in so doing.
- Essentially the only building that went unscathed that surrounded the collapsed World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7, was St. Paul's chapel that happened to have originally owned the land prior to the towers, and was called "ground zero." It was where George Washington took the first congress to pray, to dedication the nation to God, the day the nation was founded -- long before DC was established. On that day, President Washington declared that America's prosperity and protection were dependent upon its adherence to God.
- That chapel was shielded from destruction from the falling towers due to a sycamore tree that was in front of it and was cut down, taking the blow for the church.
- In the sycamore's place was transplanted a mature "cedar".
- On the anniversary three years later, a "hewn stone" from a nearby quarry, was placed as a cornerstone of the new structure that was to be erected, and again, Isaiah 9:10 was cited as being relevant.
- The economic crisis that unfolded seven years after 9/11, happened right on the day of the Jewish calendar relating to judgment from God if the forgiving of debt is not evoked as Biblically required every seven years.
"The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" – a new two-hour documentary about the parallels between ancient Israel's fall and America since 9/11 – is the No. 1 movie at Amazon in the category of "faith and spirituality" a week after its official debut on DVD.
It is also the No. 8 most popular documentary of any kind and the 247th most popular video for sale.
Producer Joseph Farah said he is immensely pleased with the performance of the video, which is a documentary treatment of the message found in the best-selling book "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn, which has been on the top-10 New York Times list every week since the New Year.
"We put our money into the production of what we saw as a very worthwhile movie and couldn't budget any more for marketing – but this video is apparently marketing itself," he said.
In January, "The Harbinger," by Cahn, a messianic rabbi from New Jersey, exploded onto the publishing scene, immediately becoming a surprise New York Times bestseller, already read by hundreds of thousands nationwide.
A video documentary exploring the central message of Cahn's thesis – that ancient Israel's experience described in Isaiah 9:10 is being relived by the United States today – was released nationwide by WND Films.
Watch the trailer for Isaiah 9:10 here:
Cahn say he has since found nine harbingers that tie the problems America has experienced beginning Sept. 11, 2001, with parallels that led to the destruction of ancient Israel.
"Before God judges a nation, He sends warning," explains Cahn. "He sent warning to ancient Israel. He even allowed its enemies to breach its borders in a devastating strike that would traumatize the nation. It was a wake-up call, the call to return to God. But the nation responded with defiance. God then gave nine harbingers of judgment, nine prophetic signs, alarms and foreshadows of what was to come. Now America is the nation in rapid departure from God’s will. And God likewise allowed an enemy to breach its borders in a devastating strike – the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It was, likewise, a wake-up call. But America, like Israel, has not responded with repentance, but with defiance. And now the nine harbingers of judgment have reappeared and have done so on American soil."
The WND Superstore offers an exclusive bundle that includes "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" at one low price.
Isaiah 9:10 is a verse in which Israel's national leaders utter a vow of defiance following an attack by Assyria. It declared that the nation would not repent before God, but would defy Him instead. Cahn reveals in "The Harbinger" – and in even more dramatic fashion in the video – that beginning the day after Sept. 11, 2001, American leaders began repeating that 2,500-year-old vow, word for word.
"Having no idea what he was doing, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate (Tom Daschle) was declaring America as under the judgment of God," Cahn says. "It was the reenactment of an ancient mystery – and bore the most grave of consequences."
He continues: "According to the ancient mystery revealed in the Book of Isaiah, if after that first calamity and warning, the nation doesn't return to God but responds in defiance, it will end up triggering a second calamity. It was because of this ancient key, that, seven years after 9/11, the American economy collapsed. In the days after 9/11, the Federal Reserve slashed the base interest rate in an attempt to defy the consequences of the attacks. That action put us on the path leading to the collapse of the American economy seven years later. In 2008, the government made a second fatal mistake, another ill-fated financial decision, that would trigger the collapse of the American economy. Amazingly, it took place on the seventh anniversary of the uttering of the ancient vow on Capitol Hill."
Cahn also reveals in "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" something that readers and viewers universally find astonishing – that New York's Ground Zero actually represents more than the former financial center of the country. It represents the exact place at which America was first consecrated to God in prayer by the country's new leaders.
In 1789, newly inaugurated President George Washington gave a prophetic warning at Federal Hall in New York City. He declared that America's prosperity and protection were dependent upon its adherence to God. Later, the political leaders of the young nation gathered at St. Paul's Chapel to commit the nation's future to God's purposes. That chapel is located at Ground Zero and miraculously survived 9/11 virtually unscathed.
Cahn, the pastor of the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N.J., says America is uncannily re-enacting ancient Israel's behavior prior to its judgment and eventual fall. He found a sympathetic ear for his message in WND founder Farah, who produced "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," as a follow-up to "The Harbinger."
"I had a chance to hear Jonathan Cahn's message last fall," said Farah. "Then I had an opportunity to read an early manuscript of 'The Harbinger' before it was released in January. I was determined to produce this video documentary, 'The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,' because I believe its message is the most important one for Americans at this moment in history. In fact, I believe this project may be the most important one of my life. That's how strongly I feel about it."
The video is directed by award-winning filmmaker George Escobar.
"I can't say enough about George Escobar's work,” said Farah. "He was working on a very short timeline, but has delivered a masterpiece."
The key to decoding the harbingers, Cahn says, is found in understanding the seemingly innocuous words of Isaiah 9:10 (King James Version) what it meant to Israel and how the history seems to be repeating itself in America today: "The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: The sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars."
These words were first uttered by leaders in Israel and in response to a limited strike by Assyria on the lands of Zebulon and Naphtali – an attack the prophet makes clear is actually part of a limited judgment by God against apostasy. It wasn't meant to destroy the nation, but to awaken it, according to most commentaries.
But, says Cahn, Israel didn't take the cue. Instead, the response from the people in Isaiah 9:10 is one of defiance. The brick buildings were toppled, but they vowed to build bigger and better. The little sycamore trees may have been uprooted, but they vowed to plant bigger and better cedars in their place.
God, speaking through Isaiah, explains what will happen as a result of their pride and arrogance and failure to heed the harbinger: Bigger and more potent attacks will follow. Because neither the northern kingdom of Israel nor the southern kingdom of Judah truly repents, the first is eventually swept away by Assyrian invaders and the latter is carried off into captivity by the Babylonians for 70 years.
But what does this have to do with the United States of America – particularly what the U.S. experienced on 9/11 and since? Cahn has found some eerie parallels.
"In the aftermath of the attack, the nation was stunned," said Cahn. "Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, Sept. 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America's response to the world. And what did he say?"
Daschle said: "America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this."
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10.
"Daschle has no idea what he is doing here," explains Cahn. "He thinks he's offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn't realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation."
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn't even serve in Barack Obama's Cabinet.
That might have been the end of the story – if no other top leader in the nation uttered those strange and obscure words after 9/11. But that's not the case.
On the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another powerful U.S. senator running for vice president that year and who would famously run for the presidency four years later, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards' entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10: "Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord's Word to get us through," he said. He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars.
In "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," viewers get to see these remarkable, largely forgotten or overlooked speeches, which directly link the events of 9/11 and the events referred to in Isaiah 9:10.
"Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he's invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he's actually inviting judgment on America," says Cahn. "He's repeating the vow that provoked God to bring calamity on ancient Israel."
Even more astonishing, Daschle and Edwards were not alone among U.S. leaders in making similar statements, as "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment" shows.
But aside from such statements, which could be chalked up to political talk and coincidences, is there anything else linking Isaiah 9:10 to 9/11?
The video documentary, like the book, is full of shocking parallels. There was actually a very famous sycamore tree felled in the attack on the World Trade Center. It was replaced by trees in the same genus as the cedar. There have been many plans made to rebuild the twin towers bigger and better and a large "hewn stone" was actually quarried out of the Adirondack Mountains in New York and brought to Ground Zero as a cornerstone.
"The parallels are truly stunning," says Farah, founder of WND, who produced the documentary for WND Films. "In fact, they are overwhelming in their number and their exactitude. I am persuaded God is trying to tell America something and Rabbi Cahn has found the key to unlocking the message."
Haven’t yet read the best-selling "The Harbinger" by Jonathan Cahn? Get the book and the video documentary at one low price only in the WND Superstore.
Farah says events continue to unfold that seem to link directly to the message of Isaiah 9:10 right here in the United States.
In "The Harbinger" and "The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment," Cahn reveals some sensational answers to the following questions:
- Does a relatively obscure verse of Scripture hold the secret to the pain and suffering America has been experiencing in increasing doses since 9/11?
- Are America's key leaders unknowingly fulfilling a prophetic destiny of national judgment by uttering words from the Bible they don't comprehend?
- Is the United States following in the footsteps of ancient Israel with a spirit of defiance against God leading to increasingly severe judgments?
- Is America in danger of impending judgment? And is this judgment revealed in an ancient mystery that foretells current events down to the exact dates?
- What can Americans learn that can prevent their nation from falling like ancient Israel did when it failed to heed God’s warnings?