2 Nephi 17

2 Nephi 17: Ephraim and Sariah Wage War

In the days when Israel and Syria joined in league against Judah in the days of Ahaz. Via Isaiah and in the presence of his son Shear-Jashub (meaning: ‘a remnant shall return’) the Lord tells Ahaz not to fear, for the attack will not succeed, and Israel will no longer be a nation in 65 years’ time.

The Lord will give a sign: “…Behold a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel.” (2 Nephi 17:14) Immanuel, meaning God with us. Before the child can distinguish good from evil (i.e. within a couple of years), he will be eating curds and honey (i.e. the land will be back to producing plenteous food), and both Israel and Syria will be defeated. However, the Assyrians (whom Judah called upon for help) will inflict heavy calamities upon Judah. Isaiah counsels against a Judah-Assyria alliance to counter the threat from the Israel-Syria one.

Revelation 20

Revelation 20: 1,000 Years of Peace

                “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having they key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:1-2) Satan is bound for 1,000 years and peace comes during the Millennium.

Satan is cast; “…into the bottomless pit, and shut… up… that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” (Revelation 20:3) Here we learn that for one thousand years we will have peace and the world will be free from corruption. We also learn that Satan truly has no power, all the power he has is given to him and can be stopped at any time by God. But, as the scripture mentions, He must be released again for a season. John explains that he sees judgment being given to the nations of the world and those who were; “…beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God…lived and reined with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4) These were the ones who died for the testimony of Jesus Christ and will be part of the first resurrection, where they shall “…be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6) Then Satan will be released from prison one last time to deceive the world and to gather those who turn their hearts away from God one last time for a battle at; “…Gog and Magog…” (Revelation 20:8)

Since the beginning of time the outcome of the battle has been determined; Satan loses. After the battle is complete the dead will gather and come forth to be judged; this is the Second Resurrection. John describes this judgment;

                “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:12-13) We learn that everyone great and small will be judged by the Lord through their works during their own lives. Everyone will regain their bodies and will be judged in the flesh. Those who are not found in the book of life, were; “…cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15) In other words, those who did not have good works in their life and instead chose wickedness will not be found in the book and will therefore be cast down to hell (or a lesser kingdom) according to their individual judgment by the Lord.

Revelation 12

Revelation 12: The War on Earth

                John saw a “…great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.” (Revelation 12:1-2) John describes this woman and the bringing forth of; “…a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.” (Revelation 12:5) However, there was also a great red dragon, which had seven heads and ten thorns, and seven crowns on his head, which would draw away; “…the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth… [and the dragon stood ready]… to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (Revelation 12:4) This dragon is Satan who desired to killed Jesus Christ.

John goes on to explain a war that occurred before we came to this earth; “And there was a war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought against his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world…. And his angels were cast out with him…” (Revelation 12:7-9) Before we came to this world a third part of heaven decided to follow the plan of Satan, instead of the plan that God had placed before us. Because of their disobedience, one-third of heaven was cast down to the earth with Satan, and without bodies. Because the other two-thirds followed the plan of God, they were sent to earth with bodies and given the opportunity through the blood of Christ to return to live with their Heavenly Father. Satan and His followers were “…roth… and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God…” (Revelation 12:17) Essentially, Satan and His followers do not like those who follow Jesus Christ and His commandments and will do everything to persuade the followers of Christ to sin, and be miserable like himself and his angels.

James 4

James 4: Wars are Born of Lusts

                James opens up this letter by explaining that wars come from the lusts of the world, and that when we ask God for things, they must stem from righteous desires. James explains that “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3)

Paul addresses the sinners of the world; “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4) Those who love the world more than God, are enemies of God Himself!

James urges everyone to be humble, so that we might receive the grace of God; “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10) Those who humble themselves and submit themselves to God, will have the power to overcome the Devil; “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

James reminds us that compared to God we’re; “…a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14) Therefore we need to strive daily to perfect ourselves so that we can become like Him! James explains that anyone who knows good; “…and doeth it not, to him it is a sin.” (James 4:17). Therefore those who know good, but choose to do bad will be given their just reward.

Jeremiah 25-26

Jeremiah 25-26

Chapter 25: The Last Days: War

Word comes to Jeremiah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and the first year of Nebuchadnezzar. Because Judah has not hearkened to the prophets, it will be captive in Babylon for seventy years. After these seventy years, the king of Babylon will himself be punished. All nations are made to drink of a cup of wine, become drunk, spew, fall and rise now more. The dead shall not be lamented or buried. These nations that will fall and rise no more will be a result of wars in the last days.

The Lord sends his servants “…the prophets…but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.” (Jeremiah 25:4)

Chapter 26: Not worthy of death

Word comes to Jeremiah in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim. Jeremiah makes a call to repentance in the court of the temple. The priests and people take objection to this, but the memory of Micah, who persuades Hezekiah to repent, stays their hands. Jeremiah is protected by Ahikam the son of Shaphan. Another prophet, Urijah, prophesies against the city. He flees to Egypt, but Jehoiakim’s men bring him before the king and slay him.

The prophets speak out to the evil people saying: “Therefore not amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God…” (Jeremiah 26:13) Essentially telling the people that if they repent and do not hurt the messengers of God (the prophets) that God will kindle his anger.

Isaiah 7-8

Isaiah 7-8

Chapter 7: Ephraim and Sariah Wage War

In the days when Israel and Syria joined in league against Judah in the days of Ahaz. Via Isaiah and in the presence of his son Shear-Jashub (meaning: ‘a remnant shall return’) the Lord tells Ahaz not to fear, for the attack will not succeed, and Israel will no longer be a nation in 65 years’ time.

The Lord will give a sign: a virgin will conceive, called Immanuel, God with us. Before the child can distinguish good from evil (i.e. within a couple of years), he will be eating curds and honey (i.e. the land will be back to producing plenteous food), and both Israel and Syria will be defeated. However, the Assyrians (whom Judah called upon for help) will inflict heavy calamities upon Judah. Isaiah counsels against a Judah-Assyria alliance to counter the threat from the Israel-Syria one.

Chapter 8: Turn to God for Guidance

Isaiah has a son, whom the Lord tells him to name Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz, which means ‘speed to the spoil, hurry to the plunder’. Before the children can call his mother and father, the riches of Damascus and Israel will be taken away by Assyria. However, the Assyrian army, compared to water, will overflow its banks and flood Judah with violence and destruction. Judah can prepare for the invasion by fearing God rather than Assyria. Seek the Lord’s light and word, not the darkness of the occult. (Isaiah 8:19-20)

1 Chronicles 19-20

1 Chronicles 19-20

Chapter 19: Ammonites plan War against Israel

Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died and his son reigned in his stead. David seeing this sent messengers to comfort Hanun the son of Nahash because his father showed mercy unto him. But servants that worked with Hanun asked Hanun to rethink what David was doing; “…Thinkest thou that David doth honour thy father, that he hath sent comforters unto thee? are not his servants come unto thee for to search, and to overthrow, and to spy out the land?” (1 Chronicles 19:3)

Hanun then took David’s servants and shaved off their beards and stripped them naked and send them back to David. When David saw this, he was upset, but told them men to go to Jericho and wait for their beards to grow back and when they did grow back they were to return to Hanun again. When the servants of Hanun found out that David was upset, they went to surrounding cities and they hired 32,000 chariots and men . David finding out about this army, takes all of his mighty men and gathers them against the gate of the city and David defeats the Ammonites and the Syrians. Killing 7,000 men on chariots and 40,000 foot men.

Chapter 20: Ammonites are overcome

At the end of the year, Joab led an army out of the country to waste the children of Ammon, and they besieged Rabbah, and destroyed it. David took the crown of their king, which weighed one talent of God and had precious stones in it and he placed that crown upon his head. Then it reads that David…

“…brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon…” (1 Chronicles 20:3)

Now that may sound gruesome, but here is where translation and error come in… in the Spanish Bible (La Reina Valera) it reads; “Sacó también al pueblo que estaba en ella, y lo puso a trabajar con sierra, con trillos de hierro y con hachas…” In Spanish, with my translation it reads; “He brought out the people that were in it, and put them to work with saws, harrows of iron, and with axes…”

Very big difference, right? I would say so. I believe that the Spanish is probably more accurate. Based on another scripture in 2 Samuel 12:31 that allude to them being put to work and not killed. But this goes to show that the Bible was not translated correctly, whether this was done on purpose or just human error, we see that the Bible is not perfect. That is why it was so important to have another testament of Jesus Christ, and that we know of today as the Book of Mormon; Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Does that mean that the Bible is not worthy of being read, and that it does not contain the word of God? No. But just like the Old Testament does not lose value in our eyes when we are presented with the New Testament, the New Testament and Old Testament do not lose value in our eyes when presented with the Book of Mormon. They all build on each other and help us to ground our faith in Jesus Christ.

Anyways, back to the story in chapter 20… a war breaks out with the Philistines at Gezer and there, Sibbechai murders Sippai and Elhanan the son of Jair murders Lahmi the brother of Goliath. Another war at Gath breaks out and there was another giant, of very large stature with 6 toes on each foot and 6 fingers on each hand, but when he defied Israel, Jonathan killed him.

1 Kings 19-20

1 Kings 19-20

Chapter 19: A Still Small Voice

Ahab comes in and tells Jezebel all that Elijah had done; how he had executed the prophets. So Jezebel sends a messenger to Elijah telling him; that if he were to expose the lie of worshiping Baal and expose the glory of God that he would be killed.

So, Elijah makes a run for it! Elijah heads off to Judah to get away and there is met by an angel of the Lord, who tells him to eat and drink for his strength… strength for a 40 day journey. The food and water here, basically appeared out of nowhere! Elijah eats and drinks and then travels for forty days and forty nights on that food, while he traveled to Mount Horeb (verse 8). Elijah gets to the mount and goes into lodge in a cave. There in the cave the Lord asks; “…what doest thou here, Elijah?” (1 Kings 19:9), and Elijah responds by saying “…I have been very jealous for the Lord God of Hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10).

So the Lord tells him to go stand upon the mount and stand before him (the Lord) and a great wind passed by him which did rent the mountains breaking the pieces of rock, followed by an earthquake and a fire… but we learn that the Lord was not in any of those… but after all the power… there was a “still small voice” that the Lord was in. (see verse 12). Here we learn that the Spirit of the Lord can be felt in a quiet, reverant manner. We don’t need to scream to God… believe me, He can hear us! He also won’t scream down at us… if we want to hear him… we must be careful to listen, patiently and humbly and we WILL hear HIM!

The Lord then gives Elijah a mission, to anoint Hazael to be king over Syriaand Jehu to be anointed as king over Israel to replace the corrup Ahab and his wife Jezebel. Elisha is to be a friend and a succesor to Elijah.

Chapter 20: Ben-hadad makes War with Israel

Ben-hadad the King of Syria goes up tp war against Samaria. Ben-hadad also sends a message to Ahab in Israel that he will be coming to take everything he has. So Ahab gathered the elders of the land together and they all tell him to not listen or consent to the messages of Ben-hadad. But at the same time a prophet came to Israel and tells Ahab that he essentially cannot win against Ben-hadad, but makes him a promise that he would be able to deliver Ben-hadad into his hands if Ahab followed the Lord and allowed the Lord to show his great power.

So Ahab organizes his army and goes in on a surprise attack to Ben-hadad (who at the time was actually drunk), the Israelites pursue the Syrians until the king (Ben-hadad) has to escape with his leaders on horseback. The Israelites have a victory! But the King of Syria and his leaders are convinced that the God of the Israelites is the god of the hills, whereas their god is the god of the valley. They decide that they should have the battle again, and because it is in the valley they will win. They fight a second time and even though the Israelites were outnumbered… they still have a second victory against Syria! Ahab, probably out of fear of other threats around him makes a treaty with the now humble Ben-hadad and sends him on his way.

2 Samuel 3-4

2 Samuel 3-4

Chapter 3: David and Saul Wage War

The war between the house of David and the house of Saul continued on, except David kept getting stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul kept getting weaker and weaker. While in Hebron, David has many sons.

David’s Sons: Amnon, Chileab, Absalom, Adonijah, and Shephatiah, Ithream all born from different women. Abner decides to switch sides and start to fight for the king of Israel, David. David however requests that he get his wife Michal back. Joan however takes Abner aside and hits him under his rib, which kills him. Joab slew Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel in Gibeon.

Everyone mourns for the loss of Abner.

Chapter 4: Saul’s Captains are slain

Saul’s son finds out about the death of Abner and is distraught, just like the rest of Israel. Saul’s son had two men that were guards. These two men go into the house of Ish-bosheth who was lying in his bed at noon. They hit him beneath the rib and beheaded him (obviously killing him). These two men bring the head of Ish-bosheth’s head to King David. These two men thought that David would reward them for killing Ish-bosheth. But instead David reminds them of how he killed a man who claimed to have killed Saul (when really Saul committed suicide). He then asks them, how much more dead they thought they would be for having killed an innocent person. David commands his men to kill the two murderers and has their hands and feet cut off to be hung up over the pool of Hebron and commands that the head of Ish-bosheth is buried in the Sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

1 Samuel 29-31

1 Samuel 29-31

Chapter 29: Israel & The Philistines Prepare for War

David prepares for war, but some of the other Philistine rulers are not happy, they think that David will end up turning on them when they start the battle! Achish calls David and tells him to go to the back and not fight, because Achish trusts David, but doesn’t want to frustrate or upset the other rulers. David is devastated by this and asks Achish what he has done wrong! David really is making it look like he wants to fight for the Philistines! Is this the case?

Chapter 30: David Smites the Amalekites

Because David was not trusted by the other Philistine leaders, him and his men return to Ziklag only to find that the entire town has been raided by the Amalekites. They took everyone in the city captive as slaves. David and his men are upset and weep until they have no more strength to weep. Some of the men even try to place blame in David and some talk about stoning David to death. But at the same time, David finds strength in the Lord and has Abiathar bring the ephod, so that he can ask the Lord if they should pursue the Amalekites or not. David is told to pursue them, so he and his men do! Unfortunately 200 of his men are too sick/tired to make it on the journey and have to stay behind.

David comes across an Egyptian who was starving, and after they gave him food they find out that the man was a slave to the Amalekites, but was left behind because he was sick. The man agrees to lead David to the Amalekites, if he agrees to not turn him over to his previous master. David agrees and they go to catch up with the Amalekites. When they come across the Amalekites they fight for two days straight and manage to kill all the Amalekites, except 200 young men who flee on camels. They rescue/free the people and take back their plunder.

When David returns, the men who fought in the battle decide that none of the plunder goes to them men who stayed behind, because they didn’t have to fight! David however, tells the men that they must share equally, because those who stayed behind had to watch the supplies. This becomes an ordinance in Israel forever.

When David returns to Ziklag, he even sends some of the plunder to the Elders of Judah, who are friends of his, as a gift.

Chapter 31: The Philistines Defeat Israel

The Israelites fight the Philistines and the outcome is exactly as Samuel had predicted to Saul. The Israelites lose against the Philistines, the Philistines kill many Israelites and drive the rest away. They kill Saul’s sons and critically wound Saul. Saul is afraid that the Philistines will come back to finish off the job of killing him, and he is worried that they will also torture him. Saul asks his amour bearer to kill him, and he refuses, so Saul takes his own life to avoid possible torture from the Philistines.

When other Israelites find out about what happened, they flee from their homes and the Philistines immediately occupy all of the Israelite towns. Later the Philistines find the dead body of Saul and declare it a trophy, by cutting off his head and send people throughout the land to declare the good news. They then hang the bodies of Saul and his sons on the walls of the city. When the people at Jabesh Gilead hear about what had happened, they send courageous men to rescue the bodies and take them to Jabesh to give them proper burials and fast for seven days.