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The Visions of Mrs. E.G. White

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    OBJECTION 43. — THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

    It is claimed that the visions locate the second coming of Christ in the past? Why? Because in Spiritual Gifts 1:73-4, it is stated that immediately after his resurrection, when he had told Mary not to touch him, for he had not then ascended to God, he did ascend to Heaven, received from the lips of the Father the acceptance of his sacrifice, and returned the same day to his disciples. In his zeal to make this an objection to the vision, the objector forgot to guard against making it an objection to the Bible also, by telling us what John 20:17, does mean, if it does not mean that. How could Christ consistently refuse to let Mary touch him, because he had not yet ascended to his Father, and afterward bid the disciples handle him, Luke 24:39, if he still had not ascended? or how could he request Mary to go and tell his disciples that he ascended to his God and their God, unless he was to make that ascension before he himself should see them? for then he could inform them himself. But we will waive this point, and proceed to the objection. If he ascended and returned, it is claimed that such return must be his second coming; but Paul locates the second coming in the future, hence, in the sneering dialect of the opposer, Paul and Ellen clash. But we inquire, was the ascension of which John 20:17, speaks, or, if the objector prefers, of which the visions speak, visible to the world? Did any one of then see him ascend? No. Did any one see him return? No. But can any one fail to see that when we speak of the first and second advents of Christ, we mean his outward, visible appearance among men? “To them that look for him shall he appear the second time, not come secretly or invisibly. And does this declaration preclude the idea of his passing any number of times between earth and Heaven, unknown to the world? Of course not. And further, does the objector suppose that Christ is immovable, fixed to a particular locality in Heaven, and that he has never been personally present on this earth except during his earthly ministry? If so, he will please excuse us from taking so contracted and unworthy a view of his position.VEGW 110.1

    But waiving all these points, let us see how the objector will get along in his position with the Bible. Take Paul’s experience. On his way to Damascus, the Lord met him and caused him to fall to the earth by brightness of his presence. He told him plainly that he was Jesus of Nazareth whom he persecuted. The men who were with him heard the voice, but saw no man. Acts 9:7. By this language, Paul plainly shows that he did see Jesus who spoke with him. But Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, speaking of those by whom the Lord was seen after his resurrection, says, verse 8, “Last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” Again, chap. 9:1: “Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” And Ananias said to him on reaching Damascus, “The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.” Acts 22:14. Thus the Lord Jesus came down from Heaven met Saul in the way, revealed to him his person, and spoke to him with an audible voice, which even the men who were with him heard, though they understood not. It will be in vain to urge that the Lord was not really present, because Paul speaks of it as a heavenly vision; for this term is in such instances applied to real literal appearances as when the women went to the sepulcher and beheld a vision of angels; that is, angels who were really and literally present. Luke 24:23. Now let us apply a little of the objector’s reasoning: Did not Christ return to earth when he met Saul in the way? “Yes. And does not this return to earth, in connection with his first coming, make a second coming? Just as truly as one and one make two. There is no escape from this conclusion. No squirming or dodging will help the matter in the the least.” But Paul long spoke of Christ’s coming the second time in the future. So the objector here has Paul against Paul.VEGW 111.1

    Again, the objector’s view would place the first advent of Christ ages before the opening of the present dispensation; for once at least, in the days of Daniel, he came down to earth to assist Gabriel in influencing the king of Persia to take a course which would fulfill the prayer of that prophet. So if any visit of Christ to this world counts one in a numerical order, the appearance of Christ as a babe in the manger, a teacher of the people, and a sacrifice on Calvary, was not by any means his first advent to this world.VEGW 112.1

    Having now found the objector, in his efforts here to frame an argument against the visions, in trouble with both Daniel and Paul, we leave him to settle his difficulty, as best he can, with those holy men.VEGW 113.1

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