Two Wings of a Great Eagle
by J.J. Dewey
Why do you think it is that the true saints “shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake?” (Matt. 10:22)
The world hates the light because the people of the world are like Joseph’s brothers. They have heard the prophecy that they will have to bow down to their younger brother and they fear that it is true. Thus, they make a mockery of the saints and try to destroy them, but instead of being destroyed, the saints are sold into Egypt and become slaves through over taxation and excessive laws. Thus they are doomed to a prison of their own making due to a refusal to see greater light. But eventually the meek and humble will be delivered through the power of God and have judgment given to them as Joseph of old did and will bring salvation to the world as he also did.
The 12th chapter of Revelations tells us of two times that the woman [that is, the Church] will flee into the wilderness. The first describes the great apostasy: “And the woman [the Church] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and three score years.” (Rev. 12:6, Inspired Version) This period ended when the Lord restored the Church which was “the beginning of the rising up and coming forth of my Church out of the wilderness.” (D&C 5:14)
But wait! John says the church goes into the wilderness again: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and a half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
Instead of 1260 years the second time, the church goes in the wilderness or hiding as written “a time, and times, and a half a time.” How long is this? Obviously it is a different time period than the 1260 years, or it would have been written the same. Actually the “time, and times, and half a time” is a type or a symbol of the great apostasy, but a different length; thus the different wording. A time is a symbol of a season, a year, or a generation. The “times” spoken of stands for double that length. A “half a time” is, of course, half the length. This ads up to three and one half seasons, years or generations. If we use three and one half prophetic years, this adds up to 1260 days which keeps showing up.
In the second apostasy the woman was “given two wings of a great eagle.” (Rev. 12:14) Look on the back of a dollar bill and you will see the symbol of the United States, two wings of a great eagle! Obviously this prophecy is referring to a time of apostasy of the woman [the church] right here in the United States. The question arises: When were the saints forced into the wilderness [or underground] in these latter days and how long is the “time, and times, and half a time”?
We can answer the first question by asking several others. Since we are told that the true saints are always persecuted, we need merely ask: When did the persecution of the LDS Church as a body subside?
Since the saints of God are blessed with revelations, signs, wonders, and miracles, when did these begin to subside?
Since the saints of God are supposed to overcome the world, when did the Church cease overcoming the world?
Since the saints are supposed to gather and be separate from the world, when did the saints begin to disperse and freely intermingle with the world?
Since the saints are supposed to be hated of the world, when did they begin to receive the praise of the world?
The time is the same for all the questions. It is the time prophesied by Isaiah when “the drunkards of Ephraim” would “err in vision and stumble in judgement.” (Isa. 28:1 & 7) It is a day when Ephraim would “make a covenant with death, and with hell we are at agreement.” (Isa. 28:15)
By some it may be argued that Isaiah 28 does not pertain to our day, but it can be easily proved that it does. The first evidence is that Isaiah 28 is right next to Isaiah 29, which is an acknowledged prophecy (by the LDS church) about the coming forth of the Church and the Book of Mormon. Secondly, Isaiah 28 contains a prophecy of the sending of “a mighty and strong one.” (Isa. 28:2) This prophecy is repeated in D&C Section 85 as pertaining to our day. Thirdly, Isaiah prophecies about the “overflowing scourge” (Isa. 28:15-19) According to the Doctrine and Covenants, this scourge is yet to come. (See D&C 45:31 & 5:18)
When did the Church make this “agreement with hell and covenant with death.” and what is it? Nephi tells us that “hell” is “both temporal and spiritual.” (I Nephi 15: 31) That means that the kingdoms of this world are a part of hell. Thus an agreement with hell is an agreement with the world. A covenant with death is a covenant that produces spiritual death.
When did the Church make an agreement with the world that was followed by a famine of revelations? Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff all had revelations in the name of the Lord, though none of the revelations received by the latter two are published for the Church. One revelation received by John Taylor is vehemently denied as existing by the Church, even though anyone who has permission can go in the Special Documents Section and see a copy of it.
What covenant was drawn up in the days of Wilford Woodruff? The Manifesto, which agreed to submit to the moral demands of the government.
Whether or not plural marriage was right or wrong is not as important as the acquiescence of the church in giving away their power to the kingdoms of the world through an agreement with hell and covenant with death.
The Church made an agreement with hell to cease all plural marriages and to send away and cease living with all plural wives. This produced extreme hardship for these women, many of whom had to fend for themselves. This covenant produced spiritual death because many of the brethren decided to keep their former covenants rather than the agreement with hell causing them to break their word. Wilford Woodruff kept his covenant and did not live with his plural wives after the Manifesto, but Joseph F. Smith and most of the general authorities continued to openly live with their wives.
Joseph F. Smith told a Congressional committee that he was violating his covenant with the United States, but it was a chance he was willing to take. Six apostles took new plural wives after the Manifesto. They were put in a position where any decision they made would break a covenant (either with the government or the church) so they tried to choose the lesser evil. But just as Adam’s lesser evil caused his spiritual death, so have many lesser evils in the Church caused its partial spiritual death.
Church authorities of the time are reported to have said that the purpose of the manifesto was “to beat the devil at his own game.” Unfortunately, you can’t beat the devil playing by the rules of deceit. To beat him one must use the higher rules of the Kingdom of God.
When will the “time, and times, and half a time” be at an end and what do they stand for? This stands for three and one half time periods of some kind – perhaps a generation. Is it possible that in the days of the fourth generation, the House of God will be set in order as prophesied in Doctrine and Covenants 85 and the Church will again be out of the wilderness? This time for good, hopefully. The fourth generation (symbolized by the one-half time) are most probably the great, great, great grandchildren of those who were living in 1890.
The Lord seldom gives out exact dates in prophecy because often the fulfillment is flexible according to the free agency of man. Thus, He has not given us the exact date that the Church will again come out of
the wilderness. The days of the fourth generation are near us, but both the third and fourth generations will be intermingled for some time. If we consider that the Biblical generation was a period of forty years and if we use this time period for a generation, we find that three and one-half generations equals 140 years, and when we add this to 1890, we again arrive at the date 2030. Time will indeed tell us if this is the true date that the church will come out of the wilderness.
The Manifesto may not be the only agreement with hell that the Church has or will make. There will be many pressures on the Church from the government in the future. The government would like to control the schools and would like to tax church properties and many would like to tax money that has been tithed. In addition to this, the Church, through no outside pressure, may find itself supporting certain nations, political leaders or corporate interests when they are in the wrong. Discernment must be made and it must not be assumed that any entity should be supported without question or the use of reason.
The scriptures say: “They who are not apostles and prophets shall be known.” (D&C 64:39)
Are there in the church those who are called apostles and prophets who are neither, and will one day be exposed?
Time will tell.
Copyright J.J. Dewey, used with permission.
(To continue on to chapter four, click here.
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