724JESUS THE CHRIST TO RETURN
724THE LORD'S SECOND ADVENT PREDICTED IN ANCIENT SCRIPTURE
724"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up
from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
spake the white-robed angels to the eleven apostles as the resurrected Christ ascended from their
midst on Olivet. The scriptures abound in predictions of the Lord's return.
724By the "second advent" we understand not the personal appearing of the Son of God to a few,
such as His visitation to Saul of Tarsus, to Joseph Smith in 1820, and again in the Kirtland
Temple in 1836; nor later manifestations to His worthy servants as specifically promised;
His yet future coming in power and great glory, accompanied by hosts of resurrected and
glorified beings, to execute judgment upon the earth and to inaugurate a reign of righteousness.
724The prophets of both hemispheres, who lived prior to the meridian of time, said
comparatively little concerning the Lord's second coming; their souls were too full of the
merciful plan of redemption associated with the Savior's birth into mortality to permit them to
dwell upon the yet more distant consummation appointed for the last days. Certain of them,
however, were permitted to behold in vision the working out of the divine purposes even to the
end of time; and these testified with unsurpassed fervency concerning the glorious coming of
Christ in the final dispensation. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied saying, "Behold the
Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all."
In a more
extended account of the Lord's revelations to Enoch than is included in the Bible, we read that
after this righteous prophet had been shown the scenes of Israel's history, down to and beyond
the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, he pleaded with God, saying: "I ask thee if
thou wilt not come again on the earth. And the Lord said unto Enoch: As I live, even so will I
come in the last days, in the days of wickedness and vengeance, to fulfil the oath which I have
made unto you concerning the children of Noah. . . . And it came to pass that Enoch saw the day
of the coming of the Son of Man, in the last days, to dwell on the earth in righteousness for the
space of a thousand years."
Isaiah, in rapturous contemplation of the eventual triumph of
righteousness, exclaimed: "Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold,
your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you";
and again: "Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him:
behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him."
The conditions specified were not
realized in the earthly life of the Redeemer; moreover the context clearly shows that the prophet's
words are applicable to the last days only-the time of the ransomed of the Lord, the time of
restitution, and of the triumph of Zion.