It sounds like Sterling was gliding right along through my latest dissertation, until he came across one more thing that stopped him in his tracks. Now some of us may wonder - what's the matter with the guy - why does he so much?
Actually what he is doing is a good thing, for did not the prophet Isaiah say: "He that believeth shall not make haste."
I have always found that people, who believe too quickly without a thorough investigation, will often later drop the belief when the slightest problem occurs. I would guess that when Sterling comes to a conclusion, that he is pretty solid on it.
The first point I would like to make is that when the Jews were awaiting the first coming of the Messiah, they made the same mistake that the religious world makes today. They were expecting him to show up in great glory, probably in the clouds of heaven, and destroy all their enemies and establish the kingdom of God through the use of great fear and force. This Messiah would be so powerful that all would quake in their boots and none would dream of going against him.
Doesn't this view of a Messiah sound a lot like John's description of the Beast:
Rev 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Rev 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast:
Rev and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to
overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Rev 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Rev 13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
Rev 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
This description of the Beast fits very well with the religious world's current belief of how Jesus will impact the world when he comes in glory. Here is what the believers expect in Jesus that fits John's description of the antiChrist.
(1) He will have great power and authority
(2) He will be so powerful that none can make war with him
(3) People will worship him
(4) Power will be given him over all nations
(5) He will do great wonders and make fire to come down - a possible description of a fiery appearance in glory
This antiChrist messiah was the illusion that the Jews looked for 2000 years ago, and now the world awaits again for the appearance of one with great power and authority to destroy the wicked and save the righteous. Of course, the righteous are always those who believe the same way we do.
Instead of a booming destructive Messiah, what was given to the Jews? A kind gentle man who taught: "For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." (Luke 9:56) If he came the first time to not destroy, but to save, do you think his mission statement will be that much different this time? I don't think so.
Let me repeat a prophecy concerning his first coming: "And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the PEOPLE IN POWER AND GREAT GLORY." (I Nephi 11:28) Now, some early seekers could have read that and envisioned Jesus going forth upon the land in a blazing chariot dazzling everyone with the brightness of his presence.
But instead, how was this prophecy fulfilled? Jesus went forth as one of the people and the only ones who saw the "great glory" were those who "had eyes to see."
The Jewish leaders saw no great glory at all, but a great disturbance. Also consider this: How many do you suppose there was who were expecting the Messiah to come as he did? I would guess it would have been a very small handful. If John the Baptist had not prepared the minds of his little group, perhaps the number would have been close to zero.
That said; let's review the scriptures concerning the clouds of heaven. Here is a popular one:
I Thess 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
I Thess 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
I Thess 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
The religious world is waiting for this scripture to be, but many will be astounded to learn that it has already been fulfilled. Notice the wording - Paul says: "WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN unto the coming of the Lord..." Then WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
Paul was not speaking of a coming, which would happen thousands of years hence, but of one which would come in his lifetime. Jesus told the church "I come quickly..." Surely 2000 years is not quickly.
These early Saints expected Jesus to come and save them from the great persecutions, which were forthcoming, and because the time was short, and the message of Christ had to be spread abroad before he appeared, the early leaders thought it best that the saints should not marry, but totally dedicate themselves to spreading the word. The injunction to not marry was a temporary one due to the circumstances of the time.
This teaching of the early leaders was not without foundation for Jesus told his disciples: "Verily I say unto you, There be some [more than one] standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom." (Matt 16:28) These early saints believed that the 144,000 would be a group of Christians who would be taken by the Lord.
Actually, there is some historical evidence that such a saving event did happen, and it was recorded by none other than the respected historian, Josephus. He recorded a second coming of Christ on May 30, 73 AD:
"Besides these, a few days after the feast, on the one and twentieth day of the month -Artemisius, a certain marvelous and incredible phenomenon appeared. I suppose what I am going to tell would seem a fable, were it not related by those who saw it, and were not the sad events that followed it deserving of such signs. Before sunset chariots were seen in the air, and troops of soldiers in their armor running about among the clouds. Moreover, at the feast which is called Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner temple, as was their custom to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that first they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a multitude saying, Let us remove hence." (The Jewish War, Book 6, page 106, Chapter 5, section 3)
This sounds like an early UFO sighting, but we also have a "multitude" that was removed. Was this Christ appearing with his hierarchy, or Kingdom, as he promised? After all Paul told the saints: "Ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, and the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and the church of the firstborn which are written in heaven..." (Heb 12:22-23)
Did members of the church on the earth join with the "church of the firstborn" in heaven? Or is it possible that they were merely transported to a different area for safety? Or did they join Christ and his hierarchy for a period of time? Whatever the case is, we can see that a fairly literal interpretation was applied to Rev 14:4 in that age.
Another scripture that seems to deal with a glorious coming is from Matthew 24.
I will here repeat some of my writings on this:
To illustrate this and expand on the sign of atomic energy let us go to a prediction of Jesus. In Matthew chapter 24 He was speaking of signs that would occur before He would come again.
Here is an important one the Christian world is yet waiting for:
Matt 24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Matt 24:28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
Matt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Matt 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Matt 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh:
Matt 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.
Matt 24:34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Here we learn about The Sign of the Son of Man in "heaven," that will be given before the end of the age. What do you suppose this is and why? What generation shall not pass away till all the things mentioned are fulfilled?
Now let's get back to the scripture. The reason we are going over to Matthew chapter twenty four is because it sheds additional light on the "fire from heaven." This chapter tells us about an anti-Christ character that was prophesied by Daniel: A man of fierce countenance who would try and destroy the holy people (the Jews - who were holy to Daniel). (Daniel 8)
Who was the man of fierce countenance who tried to destroy the Jews?
Hitler, of course. And is it not true that if the days of Hitler were not shortened the elected Jews would have been completely destroyed just as it says in Matthew 24?
Now let us read verses 29-30:
Matt 24:29 IMMEDIATELY after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
The key to understanding this scripture is that the word heaven comes from the Greek OURANOS, the exact same word from which uranium is derived. It is also interesting that the name of the planet Uranus, which rules the coming Age of Aquarius, comes from the same word.
Now substitute again the word uranium for "heaven" and read the verses again. Do we now understand why this sign would make all the people of the earth "mourn?" Remember Jesus was using language of 2000 years ago to describe this future event. Nevertheless, it is amazing how accurate he was. You might want to dust off that Bible and read all of chapter 24 of Matthew. Tell us what you see now...
There seems to be some difficulty in seeing the uranium for heaven. First remember that this is not a black and white thing. One must use the intuition to see where the play on words was an intention of the Spirit.
For instance we wouldn't normally pray to Our Father in Uranium (heaven) even though God is in all things including uranium.
It is not coincidence, however that the word "heaven" and "uranium" are so closely linked. Another interesting word from the same Greek origin is the planet "Uranus." Now the interesting thing about Uranus is that it rules Aquarius and what new age is it we are passing into?
So let us look at these three phrases:
Sign of the Son of Man in Heaven
Sign of the Son of Man in Uranium
Sign of the Son of Man in Uranus.
All of these are full of meaning. Let's clarify an important point. The sign of the Son of Man is not the actual Second Coming, but a great sign that will appear as a sign that the coming of Christ is at hand. Let me first quote a previous article illustrating the correspondence between uranium and the resurrection of Christ:
"The Christ represented the positive nucleus of the atom. His crucifixion and burial represented the fall of spiritual matter into a state where illusion and death becomes a real concern. In this state the central sun (Son) of the atom has its great light hidden by a veil of negative energy that becomes a tomb hiding a great reality.
"Atoms evolve similar to humans in that as they progress they add seven chakras or electron layers. When the seventh becomes active, the atom becomes radioactive and may even glow in the dark as does radium. The radioactive human will also shine like the sun during certain initiations as Jesus did on the Mount of transfiguration.
"Finally when the atom and the human complete their evolution, the dark tomb of matter can no longer hold them, and that which seemed to be dead splits the tomb of death in two and the pure spiritual energy escapes. In the case of the atom a certain percentage is translated into pure energy or spirit, and in the case of the Christ the inner life stands revealed as pure spirit and is no longer limited by physical restrictions."
Thus we see that the splitting of uranium is a sign of the resurrection of the Son of man. It also tells us how the second beast (the U.S.) "made fire to come down out of heaven in the sight of men", for when we substitute heaven for uranium this begins to make sense.
In this chapter (Matt 24) Jesus talks about the abominable person who causes desolation. He is quoting here from the book of Daniel and Daniel talked about this antiChrist who would attempt to destroy the Holy people. To Daniel the holy people were his people, the Jews.
There is only one time in history that an antiChrist attempted to completely destroy the Jews and that was in Hitler's Germany. Now, someone asked about the other tribulations and persecutions mentioned in the Book of Revelation. John's book here concentrates more on the Christian persecutions, but in Matthew 24 Jesus is talking about the Jewish people as evidenced by the reference to Daniel.
Keeping this in mind, let's look a little deeper:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened [or "obscure"], and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." (Matt 24:29)
Men have been perplexed by this scripture for two thousand years and, every time there has been an eclipse, or the moon is obscured, or we have a meteor shower, there are those who arise and tell us that Jesus is coming.
The key to the meaning of the verse is in the Greek word for "heaven" which is OURANOS. The element Uranium was named after this as we have said. For proof one merely has to check any good dictionary and it will trace uranium to OURANOS.
What happens when the powers of Uranium are shaken??? The atomic Bomb. This makes much more sense than the thought that the very powers of God in heaven will be shaken. Now we can read in the verse in a totally different light:
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days [the defeat of Hitler who was destroying the Jews] shall the sun be darkened [the blast is so bright it obscures the sun], and the moon shall not give her light [a victim cannot even see the moon], and the stars shall fall from heaven [stars shall fly from uranium - it will be very sensational and bright], and the powers of heaven shall be shaken" [how the atomic blast works].
It is interesting how almost "immediately" after the extermination of the Jews ended this great sign was given just as predicted.
Now we can understand the mystery of the next verse:
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven [the atomic bomb was the sign that the coming of Christ is sure and fairly soon]: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." (Matt 24:30)
Many read this verse and think that it means that people will see Jesus coming and mourn because of their sins but notice, it says "all" the tribes (Greek: races) shall mourn. Surely someone must be happy to see Jesus appear. The sign is not Jesus at all for his appearance will bring happiness and peace to many; but the prophecy was fulfilled to the letter when the atomic blast went off in Hiroshima. All the races of the entire earth "mourned" and began to fear that the fate of Hiroshima may eventually be their own.
A more accurate description of the atomic bomb cannot be given than: "clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Another description is: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be." We must keep in mind that when Matthew wrote this account he had to describe an event that was beyond the imagination of man at that time.
All this sounds like good correspondence, but one is inclined to ask: "Why is a dreadful thing like the atomic bomb called "the sign of the Son of man? Was he not the Prince of Peace?" The splitting of the atom and the releasing of great energy is a perfect correspondence to the resurrection of Christ. The life force of the atom was released to enter the way of higher evolution just as the tomb of the Christ burst opened and released the Son of God. The splitting of the tomb of material matter is the one sure sign that the Son of man is the Son of God, and the knowledge given to man to split the tomb of the atom is the greatest revelation given to man to date. It is a sign that we are not far from overcoming death as Christ did.
The power of the atom does not have to be a frightening thing if it is understood and used by Israelites. Many fairly intelligent people are against any use of atomic power, but the time will come when it will be used wisely for the benefit of mankind. In addition, many other sources of energy will be opened up for us in the New Age and many of the theories of Nicola Tesla will be verified.
The next verse has the gathering message. We will repeat it again: "And he shall send his angels (messengers) with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other... This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matt 24:31-34) The generation that saw the first atomic bomb shall not all pass away until the Christ shall again manifest on the earth.
There have been many methods used for predicting the return of Christ, and hundreds of dates set. All of them have been wrong. Some time ago I read about a small sect in Arizona who had arrived at the date and they sold all their belongings and went up on a hill and waited. Of course, Jesus did not swoop them up as expected. After this their undaunted leader discovered a three day error in his calculations and they waited again, but to no avail.
But were they discouraged? Never! They are still expecting Jesus to come after them at any minute. The Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and many others have set dates for his appearance and they have all failed.
When he does appear, he will have to pick a certain day, and what if, by accident, some religious group happened to pick at or around that day for their prophecy? Would the Christ decide to take up his abode with them and no one else because they chose the lucky day? Most likely Christ would find their company so boring and unenlightened he would ignore them if at all possible.
Now we come to another scripture that many have misunderstood. From Acts we read about the ascension of Jesus: "And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, 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." (Acts 1:9-11)
People read this and they assume that the time will come that we will look to the skies and the whole world, at one time, will see a bright Jesus in the sky descending. No one has yet stopped to explain how both sides of the globe could see him at one time, but that's another topic.
First it is entirely possible that these prophecies had a literal fulfillment in 73 AD as recorded by Josephus, but let us suppose it does pertain to our day. Let us look at the ingredients surrounding this event that we are supposed to look for again.
(1) First, he was "received" by a cloud.
(2) There is no description of any great light that was seen by the whole earth.
(3) His ascension was witnessed by probably no more than a couple dozen people, in an isolated location.
If this is a correspondence of his coming, then what can we expect? He will be revealed as one coming forth out of a cloud, or some type of veil hiding him from our eyes. He will not come with a razzle dazzle of bright light seen by all the earth. When he left, a couple dozen people witnessed the event. Thus when he returns only a small number will, at first, be aware of his presence. Finally, we are told that "every eye shall see him."
As we explained earlier, this will happen through television and modern communications. When he resides with us, he will have to use air travel like the rest of us and thus he will periodically travel in the clouds and through the air. Concerning his coming Craig gave a great quote from Joseph Smith:
"The coming of the Messiah among this people will be so natural, that only those who see him will know that he has come; but he will come and give his laws unto Zion, and minister unto his people. This will not be his coming in the clouds of heaven..." (Prophecy - Key To The Future, pp. 318-319)
Let me add that Joseph Smith did not quite understand that the "clouds of heaven" was represented by the atomic bomb.
Let me end here on a final note of reason. What is the main difference between the philosophy of the Christ and the Adversary? The answer is free agency. Christ always supports the agency of all men and women. Now suppose he did come with such great power that all who were opposed to him were destroyed, and those who are left are full of the fear of God and would not think of opposing such a powerful being who now is the King of the earth? Do you not think this would destroy the agency of man? It would.
Now suppose he came as a teacher who uses no compulsory means to draw attention to him, but all who meet him feel no pressure to relinquish their free will and accept him. Would not this coming as a humble servant, rather than one with great power and authority, fit Jesus' description of a true leader in the kingdom of heaven?
Matt 23:10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
Matt 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Matt 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
Mark 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
John 13:13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
Again and again Jesus taught service to humanity in humility. Does such a teaching correlate to one who comes with great personal power and glory to the extent that the whole world will quake in their boots?
As a final witness let me state that the Master himself is aware of this list and has an interest in seeing its success. If any desire to seek the truth of this matter ask him, yourself, through prayer or meditation. Can you think of a reason he would refuse you? He will bear you witness to the basic truth of my words, even though there is bound to be some human error in wording on my part.
Copyright 2000 by J.J. Dewey, All Rights Reserved