The Second Coming


There are four distinct appearances of Christ associated with the Second Coming, not just one. The greatest, as far as we are concerned, will be when He comes to the New Jerusalem. I have written extensively on the gathering that will take place there, and how to prepare personally to be there. The gathering has already begun in the sense that people are being invited to join the Latter-day kingdom, become the “Elect” of the kingdom, and prepare themselves to do this great latter-day work of building Zion. (D&C 29:7; D&C 33:6; D&C 58:45)

These people who are presently gathering in this way are identified by their patriarchal blessings as members of the House of Israel. So, this is a gathering of Israel. Right now the gathering is spiritual. Largely we are gathering to the latter-day temples to make covenants and receive promises that will qualify us for membership in Zion. (For an in-depth discussion of these principles, read: The Triumph of Zion, by John Pontius, CFI, available on Amazon.com)

The time will come when we will be instructed to physically gather to what is now Missouri. That call will come from the living brethren, but it will only come to those who have gone through the prior spiritual preparations.

“Let no one suppose that the Ten Tribes, having been gathered by the elders of Israel so as to return in a body; let no one suppose that because they bring their scriptures with them; let no one suppose that because prophets mingle among them—let no one suppose that any of this shall happen independent of the senior apostle of God on earth who holds the keys of gathering and who is authorized to use them as the Spirit directs. There is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth, and there is one prophet and one presiding officer of the earthly kingdom, and he has rule over all of the Lord’s affairs in all the earth.” (McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, p 203)

Once we are gathered there we will engage in the great work of physically gathering “the elect” from out of the earth and bringing them to Zion. This will occur during a time of great upheaval in the earth. There will be ongoing wars throughout the world, but the “Saints” will be safe in Zion. Zion will be protected by the power of God. (D&C 115:5-6)

“The Holy Word affirms that Israel gathers to Zion to escape the abomination of desolation that shall be poured out upon the wicked world in the last days. In Zion there will be safety; in the world, naught but sorrow and tribulation and desolation.” (McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 573)

Joseph Smith taught:

“Without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from heaven, and the earth reel to and fro. Then, if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed, with all our former professions and our great love for the Bible, we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out His Saints from the Gentiles, and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.” (Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 2, p. 52)

How long will we arrive in Zion prior to the actual Second Coming? We do not know, but it will be long enough prior to build a city, populate it, become translated and thus to form the 144,000, gather all of the elect without missing a soul – all before the general Second Coming occurs. That could take 15-20 years. It is interest that Revelation chapter 8 shows us that just after the opening of the 7th seal, that there will be silence in heaven for 1/2 hour before the horror of the Tribulations begin. That 1/2 hour in equivalent in God’s time (1 day = 1000 years for man) to 21 years. The 1/2 hour of silence, of relative quiet before the last great woes are poured out upon the world may mean something in addition to this, but it is certainly well-placed to give us the time we need to organize ourselves, gather in the elect and prepare for His last great Coming in glory.

Appearance at the Temple in New Jerusalem

The Second Coming’s first appearance will be when Jesus Christ comes suddenly to the temple which we will build in the New Jerusalem. (Malachi 3:1; 3 Nephi. 24:1; D&C 36:8; 133:2; JS-H 1:36). Before Christ appears in His temple there, we must first build and populate Zion, and then build the temple there. Expecting Christ to return to a Zion that does not yet exist is like waiting for the doorbell to ring on a house we have not yet built. It also must be that those who will see Him there, within His great, latter-day temple, will be those who have not only qualified to enter the temple, but those who have further qualified themselves to be in the presence of God.

The Holy Word affirms:

“Righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with a flood, to gather out mine elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.” (Moses 7:62).

When Jesus Christ appears to those at the New Jerusalem, it will be a private and quiet coming. It will only be known to those who have gathered there, and who can see the spiritual changes His residency there will cause. One of these is that there will be pillars of fire above the temple and dwelling places of Zion. From that moment on, the Millennium will begin in Zion, though the earth will escalate in evil, warfare and destruction outside of Zion. Peace will only be found in Zion, and from there it will spread through all the earth during the Millennial era.

Next on the Un-Blog: “The Second Coming at Jerusalem”

Brother John

© January 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.

About John Pontius

I am a lover of truth.
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6 Responses to The Second Coming

  1. srsmith says:

    It’s been a while since I commented in this unblog, but I have a few more things to say about the silence in heaven. I realize my way of looking at it is different. Maybe if I explain my reasoning someone can point out something I have overlooked.

    I came up with the concept of silence inferring the heavens being shut to the wicked rather than inferring some kind of inactivity in heaven while reading “Opening the Seven Seals” by Richard Draper. According to Draper, the half hour of silence is measured on earth’s clock and is a period of solitude during which the angels of destruction wait for the “great command to reap down the earth.” (D&C 38:8-12)

    He does recognize that D&C 88:95 is inconsistent with his view. D&C 88:95 says the face of the Lord shall be unveiled immediately after the silence in heaven. He specifically says “it is out of position with that of Revelation.” In other words, it is out of position with his theory. It struck me that when a theory requires a choice between the two scriptures, it may be time to get a new theory.

    The only theory that doesn’t require a choice between an ancient and a modern scripture has silence in heaven stretching from the opening of the seventh seal until the Second Coming. Obviously, the time between the opening of the seventh seal and the Second Coming will not be a period of inactivity in heaven, and especially not on earth. The definition of silence in heave would have to change.

    The angels must not be waiting for the silence to end before receiving the command to reap down the earth. They must be waiting for silence to begin.

    Silence in heaven measured on heaven’s clock still allows almost 21 years for New Jerusalem. Destructions during the first few years clear the way for New Jerusalem to be built, leaving at least 17 years for New Jerusalem itself. The siege of Jerusalem accounts for 3.5 of those years. 7 more years will be taken up by burning the weapons of war, building the temple in New Jerusalem, and the 144,000 taking the gospel to the whole world just before the end comes.

    This still leaves about 7 years between the destructions and the siege of Old Jerusalem for New Jerusalem to be built and for Gog to gather his Magog army. Gog invades Israel who is dwelling safely in unwalled cities (Ezek 38:11-12). There must be time after the opening destructions of the seventh seal for Israel to dwell safely in unwalled cities. Otherwise there is another scripture we have to ignore.

    Notice that John includes Chapter 10 as an interlude between the opening destructions of the seventh seal and the siege of Jerusalem. He describes eating a little book that makes his belly bitter (Rev. 10:8-10). D&C 77:14 says the little book represents John’s calling to gather the tribes of Israel. When better to describe the little book if New Jerusalem is built during this time. The culmination of John’s calling will be the building of New Jerusalem.

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  2. srsmith says:

    What if “silence in heaven” does not refer to a period of relative quiet or inactivity? Silence certainly infers quiet. But what if we read “silence” with something completely different in mind? The intention of the scripture may change completely.

    Reading about the time of Noah and Enoch in the Book of Moses not only brings something different to mind, but reveals a concept that applies to our day. Remember, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man” (JST Matt. 1:41).

    During Enoch’s day the wicked were not only polarized from the righteous, but they were “shut out from the presence of God” (Moses 6:49). They had lost whatever Spirit of Christ they were born with and were without conscience. Because of this, “their ears (were) dull of hearing” (Moses 6:27). To the wicked there was silence in heaven.

    The same will happen before the Second Coming when “he that is not purified shall not abide the day” (D&C 38:8). The day will come when “the powers of darkness prevail upon the earth, among the children of men, in the presence of all the hosts of heaven— which causeth silence to reign” (D&C 38:11-12). It could just as well have said the wicked will be shut out from the presence of God because their ears will be dull of hearing. According to the end of verse 12, silence will reign when the “enemy is combined,” meaning polarized against the saints.

    We can now read John’s statement about silence in heaven with a completely different concept in mind. John is now telling us that the seventh seal will not open until the wicked are shut out from the presence of God and are combined against the saints. It will be a time when the saints are threatened with destruction by the wicked. “Silence in heaven” infers all this.

    This helps us understand why an angel “having a golden censer” takes the prayers of the saints to heaven and returns to cast his censer into the earth causing “voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake” (Rev. 8:3-5). The saints are in need if deliverance. Deliverance is provided in the form of destruction of the wicked.

    Psalm 50:3 tells us how long the silence will last. “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.” God will not break His silence in heaven until the Second Coming when Christ comes to destroy the wicked that caused the silence.

    D&C 88:95 agrees with this timeline. “And there shall be silence in heaven for the space of half an hour; and immediately after . . . . the face of the Lord shall be unveiled.” In effect, this says that the wicked will not repent and the heavens will remain shut (silent) to the wicked from the opening of the seventh seal until the Second Coming. We are told that rather than repent, the wicked will “lift up their voices and curse God and die” (D&C 45:32).

    I realize this line of thought goes against anything that has been taught since the time of Joseph Smith about the silence in heaven. Perhaps the silence in heaven is meant to have a dual meaning. If so, does anyone know of a reference in the scriptures, besides the word “silence,” that supports the traditional meaning? To me, the word “silence” is not enough to infer a dual meaning.

    I also realize the effect this has on the timeline of the last days. If the silence in heaven is measured on heavens clock, it last about 21 of our years. During those 21 years we should witness the initial destructions of the seventh seal, New Jerusalem being built, the Gog and Magog war, the building of the temple in Old Jerusalem, and the preaching of the gospel to all the world by the 144,000 one last time, just before the Second Coming. According to Ezekiel, the temple in Old Jerusalem is not built until after Christ saves the Jews and Old Jerusalem becomes a holy city.

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  3. kenh says:

    Christ’s earthly life took approximately 34 years to accomplish. From His first appearance at Adam-Ondi-Ahman until all of the wicked are swept off the earth and global peace is established that could take the same amount of time. Many people have said they wish they could have been there in Jerusalem when the Savior walked those streets and taught and blessed so many with His teachings, miracles and presence. We, who are the last day saints, will be so blesses to witness AOA, New Jerusalem, and the events and years leading to the great millennial era. Both groups can truly say that they had faced extreme challenges and glorious blessings. But when the Savior’s presence is involved both extremes of intense challenges and glorious blessings are always present. Blessed are they and blessed are we. Onward and upward!

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