One of the most frequently quoted or referenced scriptural concepts has to do with the idea that no one will know the hour and day of the Lord’s Second Coming. So, is this an absolutely settled matter? No one is going to know, right?
Well…. Perhaps this subject deserves a bit more discussion. We start off with an unimpeachable quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith. I say unimpeachable because it comes from a statement that he made in a General Conference of the Church on April 9, 1843. We read:
“Christ says no man knoweth the day or the hour when the Son of Man cometh. This is a sweeping argument for sectarianism against Latter day ism. Did Christ speak this as a general principle throughout all generations Oh no he spoke in the present tense no man that was then liveing upon the footstool of God knew the day or the hour But he did not say that there was no man throughout all generations that should not know the day or the hour. No for this would be in flat contradiction with other scripture for the prophet says that God will do nothing but what he will reveal unto his Servants the prophets consequently if it is not made known to the Prophets it will not come to pass; again we find Paul 1st of Thesslonians 5th Chapter expressly points out the characters who shall not know the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh for says he it will come upon them as the theif or unawares. Who are they they are the children of darkness or night. But to the Saints he says ye are not of the night nor of darkness that that day should come upon you unawares.” (Joseph Smith, General Conference, April 6, 1843)
I find it very interesting that this quote gets very little press among Latter Day Saints who write or blog about such things…. I’m going to say that your chances of coming across this statement in Sunday school class is just about nonexistent and yet this statement is the real deal.
It is not my intention to start a debate over whither or not we shall actually know the day and the hour of the Lord’s Second Advent but I do want to show that there are signs enough and the elect shall have no problem discerning them.
We’re going to use a different approach to this subject by considering a question that nobody ever seems to ask… Where in scripture does it say that no one would know the years, the year, the season, the month or the week of the Lord’s coming? It just isn’t there, is it?
Just because we “may not” end up knowing the hour and the day, does that mean that the subject should be closed to further investigation? To listen to some folks you would think so. I often, no, very often hear comments from those within the Church that appear to think just this way. However, I’ll take this opportunity to remind all of us of what the Lord had to say in Section 45, says he “and he that watches not for me shall be cut off”. Moving on, we shall now consider some of the sings that shall be manifest just before the Lord makes his appearance.
The sign of the rainbow…
Joseph Smith repeatedly taught about the connection between the rainbow and the year of our Lord’s coming. We shall consider three of his statements as follows:
I have asked the Lord concerning His coming, and while asking the Lord, He said, ‘In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token, that in any year that the bow should be seen, the Lord would not come, but there should be seed time and harvest during that year; but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant. (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 340-341)
While inquiring of the Lord concerning the end of time, it was made known to me by the Holy Spirit that there should be prosperity, seedtime, and harvest every year in which the rainbow was seen. For to that was Noah referred as a surety on this subject. But in the year when the bow was not to be seen would commence desolation, calamity, and distress among the nations, without seed time or harvest. (Kent P. Jackson, Joseph Smith’s Commentary on the Bible, p.112.)
So long as we see the bow in the cloud, seed time and harvest shall continue that year. When the bow shall cease, then shall come famine, wars, and so forth, after which the sign of the Son of Man shall be seen in heaven. (ibid)
Taken together, these three statements reveal a great deal about the year of the Lord’s coming. Using a bit of analysis and creativity we might conclude that “in the year when the bow was not to be seen would commence desolation, calamity, and distress among the nations, without seed time or harvest… after which the sign of the Son of Man shall be seen in heaven.”
You may not agree with the way I’ve constructed the Prophet’s words but I’m going to say that I firmly believe it gives us an accurate picture. If so, we may conclude that events which shall commence in the spring of the year will prevent “seed time and harvest” and that the Lord shall make his appearance some time after or just after harvest time, would that be unreasonable?….. John says of this appearance:
“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” (Rev. 21:3)
Incidentally…. Or perhaps not so incidentally, the feast of tabernacles shall commence on Oct. 3 in 2020 for example, the feast continues for seven days. The feast of atonement just precedes the feast of tabernacles and is associated with harvest time…. Hmmmm… something to ponder and the subject of a future blog for sure!
The saints trek back to Jackson County…
This is such an obvious sign that the Second Coming is nigh at hand but curiously it is hardly ever mentioned as such. In the 103rd section of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord says of the saints return:
15 Behold, I say unto you, the redemption of Zion must needs come by power;
16 Therefore, I will raise up unto my people a man, who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel.
17 For ye are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham, and ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm.
18 And as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.
19 Therefore, let not your hearts faint, for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence.
20 But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence, and in time ye shall possess the goodly land.
Here in verse 17 the Lord affirms that “ye (the members of the church) are the children of Israel, and of the seed of Abraham” and then he says “ye must needs be led out of bondage by power, and with a stretched-out arm”. We don’t have to look very far to see that both the saints and the world at large are in bondage to a global cabal. This global cabal which rules here in America and around the globe must be brought down in order that Christ’s millennial kingdom may come!
Next the Lord says “as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be”. Here the saints are compared to the children of Israel (who were also in bondage) whom the Lord let out of Egypt and eventually to a Promised Land.
In verse 19-20 the Lord says “for I say not unto you as I said unto your fathers: Mine angel shall go up before you, but not my presence. But I say unto you: Mine angels shall go up before you, and also my presence”. So in our case the Lord will do something that he did not do when he led the children of Israel into their Promised Land. The modern day saints shall also enjoy “my presence” as the Lord says “and… ye shall possess the goodly land”!
So if the Lord is going to lead the saints to “the goodly land” and they are to enjoy his “presence”, does that mean that he shall appear to the saints or at least to our leaders in advance of our trek back? This does appear to be the case for the Prophet Joseph Smith has said:
“This people will go into the Rocky Mountains; they will there build temples to the Most High. They will raise up a posterity there, and the Latter-day Saints who dwell in these mountains will stand in the flesh until the coming of the Son of Man. The Son of Man will come to them while in the Rocky Mountains.” (Wilford Woodruff, Conference Report, April 1898, p. 57.)
And what conditions shall prevail when the saints commence their trek back? Will there be “famine, pestilence and great distress among the nations” as Joseph Smith has said? Such appears to be the case for it was Orson Pratt who said:
“Well then, to return to the prophesying, when the time shall come that the Lord shall waste away this nation, he will give commandment to this people to return and possess their own inheritance which they purchased some forty-four years ago in the state of Missouri”. (Gerald N. Lund, The Coming of the Lord ,110.)
So, assuming that this chaos shall come upon the nations in the spring of “the year when the bow was not to be seen”… The timing would be very favorable for the saints, for it would give them the summer months in which to make the trek back to “the goodly land”.
And at that time shall Michael stand up…
So far we have discussed “the year with no rainbow” and the saints trek back to “the goodly land”, both are excellent indicators of the nearness of the Second Coming. They might easily give us six months of lead-time or warning. Is it possible that there might be another indicator, one that might give us even more lead-time? I think the answer to that question is a resounding yes, we go to Daniel chapter 12 where we read:
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
These verses make reference to a time when “Michael” or Adam shall “stand up… for the children of thy people” it “shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time”. The Lord’s “people” are to “be delivered” from the bondage imposed by the global cabal I’m going to say.
In verse 5 we learn that there are “two” messengers of a sort that appeared to Daniel. One of them asks “the man clothed in linen”… “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? The answer he gives is no surprise if you have studied Rev. 13: 1-10 and Daniel chapter 7. Says he, “it shall be for a time, times, and an half” or 42 months. And what happens “when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people” or when the time shall expire? The answer given is “all these things shall be finished” or all the visions and events Daniel saw leading up to that great day when Michael shall return to earth with a great host shall be accomplished. In other words, the Second Coming unfolds!
So if we wish to extend our vision of the events leading up to the Second Coming beyond six month, to perhaps four years or so, we need to understand John and Daniel’s prophecy of the 42 months!
I hope you have found this blog to be both enlightening and thought provoking! If so, please take a moment to like us on Facebook, share a link or subscribe to this blog… May God bless us, the generation of the Second Coming!