The Coming of Christ
The second coming of Christ has to be the most misunderstood doctrine in all Christendom for there is not one of the sects that is even halfway preparing for it correctly and when the Christ comes he will again find his greatest response from the same type of people who received him the last time: The non religious but spiritual people, and people who were ostracized from the normal religious community.
When Jesus was with the twelve they asked him: “What shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world? ”(Greek AEON or “Age”) The word “coming” comes from the Greek PAROUSIA which more correctly is translated as “presence”. This word is used by Paul to demonstrate this: “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence (PAROUSIA) only, but now much more in my absence.” Phil 2:12 We see that PAROUSIA means the opposite of “absence”. The word can also be translated as “nearness”. Thus we see that the signs given in Matthew chapter twenty-four are indications of the nearness or the presence of Christ
The three stages of the coming of Christ are:
(1) The teaching and introduction of the Christ Consciousness. The lifting up of the Son of Man or the Christ consciousness in a large group of people.
(2) The partial and/or complete overshadowing of certain disciples and groups.
(3) The appearance of Christ himself in physical manifestation.
The second step is the beginning of the presence of the entity who is Christ on the earth for He shall indeed be present even though it may not be in a body of his own to start with, and this event is actually prophesied of in the scriptures themselves.
A careful reading of Zechariah will reveal that the persons mentioned as Joshua and Zerubbabel are representative of the Christ. Keeping this in mind let us read: “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH. For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be SEVEN EYES, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of Hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Zech 3:8-9
Here we have mention of Joshua who is Jesus and the stone which is laid before him who was the overshadowing Christ, the stone of Israel. Then there is the servant, the BRANCH who is the one like Moses. Finally there is a group of disciples who are “wondered at.” These persons are the seven eyes of the stone of Israel or the Christ. They are seven entities who shall experience the overshadowing presence of Christ as Jesus did. We see that when this will happen that the Lord will remove the iniquity out of the land. Thus it is obvious that it shall occur near the beginning of the new age of peace.
The seven eyes are mentioned again in the next chapter; “For who hath despised the day of small things? For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven, they are the eyes of the Lord, WHICH RUN TO AND FRO THROUGH THE WHOLE EARTH.” Zech 4:10.
We find another mention of this in the Book of Revelation: “And in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God SENT FORTH INTO ALL THE EARTH.” Rev 5:6
Seven individuals are mentioned in another prophecy concerning Christ: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; (Christ) whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. (He has the experience of many lifetimes.)…And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then we shall raise against him SEVEN SHEPHERDS, and eight principle men.” Micah 5:2 & 5
We see from these scriptures that there will be seven men raised up in the last days who will be called the eyes of the Lord and will run to and fro through the earth and finally that they will assist the Christ in driving back the Assyrian or the Anti-Christ forces. Altogether there will be eight principle men if we include the Christ. They will be men of wonder because these seven men will be overshadowed and will fulfill the prophecy of doing even greater things than Jesus did because the Christ will come in unto them and sup with them and the Christ has even more wisdom, experience and power than he had two thousand years ago so we can look forward to marvelous things ahead. These wonders may or may not include miracles in the normal sense. They will definitely include synthesizing and uniting people and groups to prepare for the coming of the Master.
Christ will use these seven entities as seven projections of his presence through the assistance of other Masters in his group. His spirit will shift from one person to another as His overshadowing presence is needed and will produce a tremendous effect as if there were a group of saviors on the earth.
The second stage in the presence of Christ involves a larger group of disciples wherein the Christ within them will be manifest on a larger scale. These disciples will try and fulfill the commandment given by Paul: “Let this mind BE IN YOU, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Phil 2:5 In speaking of himself and faithful disciples he said: “But we have the mind of Christ.” I Cor 2:16
Many people quote these scriptures, but few believe them. If we really have the mind of Christ then we will find that all of the scriptures that apply to Jesus also apply to us. For instance, Jesus said: “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” John 3:13. We are also Sons of God who will ascend into heaven who have in the beginning came from heaven.
Jesus continues: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” John 3:14
It is true that this corresponds to his death on the cross, but he also wanted to illustrate that each man should have the Son of man, or the mind of Christ lifted up within him so that “when he shall appear we shall be like him”. I John 3:2 We shall be like him because the consciousness of Christ is lifted up in us.
Next Jesus said: “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:15-16.
Not only should we believe the words and works of Jesus, but we must believe in and have faith in the Son of God that dwells within us. If we do this we can have everlasting life and life at the end of the age or in the age of peace. The Son of God that can be lifted up within every man forms a part of ”Christ, the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is ONE Eternal God.” Thus when we lift up the Son of Man within ourselves we also become the Only Begotten Son for we are an extension of the only Son there is, for all the sons of men share a oneness that few can realize. Paul tried to teach the real Christ when he said: ”For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: SO ALSO IS CHRIST…Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular.” I Cor 12:12&27.
Thus we see that Christ is an office that is composed of all those who take upon themselves his name. Everyone who listens to the sacrament prayer should be aware of this principle for we are told to “eat in remembrance of the BODY of thy Son (Which body is composed of many members), and witness unto thee, O God the eternal Father, THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE UPON THEM THE NAME OF THY SON…” Moroni 4:3.
To take upon ourselves the name of the Son means a lot more than remembering the works of another man however great he is. It means that we are to have the mind of Christ within us and to not think it mockery to be equal with God or to be a “savior on Mount Zion”, or a Christ. This principle is illustrated numerous times in the scriptures. For instance: “And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should TAKE UPON YOU THE NAME OF CHRIST all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; FOR HE SHALL BE CALLED BY THE NAME OF CHRIST. And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.” Mosiah 5:8-10.
Jesus repeated this doctrine when he visited the Nephites: “Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name SHALL YE BE CALLED at the last day.” III Nephi 27:5 Again this is repeated in modern revelation: “Wherefore all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name SHALL THEY BE CALLED at the last day.” D&C 18:24
We shall all bear the name of Christ if we are worthy and share the title of the only begotten. We are many members, but one body, “and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and BE MADE EQUAL WITH HIM.” D&C 88:107
If we lift up the Son of Man in us as Jesus did we will indeed eventually be made equal with him.
In speaking of this group of disciples Nephi said: “I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, who were the saints of God (Not necessarily the members of any denomination), were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small… And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord (those who take upon themselves his name), who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and WITH THE POWER OF GOD in great glory.” I Nephi 14:12-14.
What does it mean when it tells us that the saints of God will go forward with power and in great glory? Nephi gives us a perfect example when he prophesied of the mission of Jesus: “And I beheld that he went forth ministering unto the people in power and great glory.” I Nephi 11:28
Thus we may safely conclude that when the righteous in the latter days go forth with power and great glory they will go forth as saviors on mount Zion and do the works of Jesus, and possibly the greater works that he spoke of because they have lifted up the Son of man within themselves to reveal their true state as Sons of God.
The third stage of the second coming is the actual reappearance of the Christ himself. We say reappearance because he has not been gone to some far off heaven, but has been working right here on the earth for the past two thousand years for did he not say: “and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world (from the Greek AION)which means “Age.” Matt 28:20.
The Christ told us that he would be with us to the end of the age and he has fulfilled that promise by not leaving the earth. This is the field of his mission, for at present he has no stewardship on other worlds, even though the position of the Christ ministers to all worlds.
Christ has had numerous previous lives and many were great, and noble ones, but he has not worked among men in the flesh since the days of Jesus. He has done much work in organizing a nucleus kingdom of heaven right here on the earth with a group of translated beings he calls the Spiritual Hierarchy of the Earth. He and other Masters of the resurrection work constantly with mankind inspiring them to do good and laying foundations which will eventually produce peace on the earth.
Some people believe that Christ was Buddha in a past life, but he was not. Buddha was a separate entity who was sent to help bring enough enlightenment to mankind so they could accept his message of love, brought by the Christ. Christ was however Krishna in a past life who was the founder of Hinduism. Many of his acts and words are recorded in the BHAGAVAD-GITA.
Many also believe that Christ was Melchizedek and there are some indications of this in the scriptures. For instance, we are told that the Priesthood was changed in ancient times from the Priesthood after the order of the Son of God to Melchizedek making Melchizedek synonymous with the Son of God. Melchizedek was the Christ who was overshadowed by for the Ancient of days, or the first Adam to come to the earth. The first Adam is an even higher entity than the Christ for he has already been a savior on another world before he came to the earth. He has power to create a physical body an the earth at will, which in the east is called a MAYAVIRUPA.
Thus when he appeared on the earth as Melchizedek be became the “King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” Heb 7:2-3 Even though Joseph Smith said that this scripture was speaking of the Priesthood, it is also true of the Ancient of Days for he has no father or mother in this world. It was revealed to me that when Abraham’s name was changed from Abram to Abraham that he was overshadowed by a higher being. Even so the person who owned the body of Melchizedek was Christ and he was overshadowed by Adam, or Melchizedek, for it is written of him (Melchizedek): “Now there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater.” Alma 13:19
Before Christ will come again in a physical body the first two steps have to be fulfilled as we have discussed. There has to be people spiritually prepared to meet him and since reincarnation is one of the more simple doctrines he will teach we can see that there would be few ready to accept him with opened arms, especially among the Christian world. It is written: “When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.” Psalms 102:16 Thus we see that a Zion condition will precede his coming and not be the result of it.
When he appears this time he will not be the Jewish Messiah, for a lesser Avatar will appear to them, but he will fulfill the Messianic predictions of many of the major religions from Christianity to Moslem, to Hindu to the Buddhist. Exactly how he will manifest physically is a great mystery, but it will be one of three methods.
(1) He will be born as a natural child as happened last time. If the method of natural birth is chosen there will be no virgin birth, but he would be born as a normal child of no special appearance.
(2) He could create a physical body of manifestation which is called in the East a mayavirupa. He could manifest in this any time the world is prepared for him.
(3) He could manifest through a divine possession and share a physical body with a cooperating disciple. This was the method used with the disciple Jesus and is a closer relationship than an overshadowing. If this method is chosen then he could manifest later by methods (1) or (2) as the need may require.
At this point one would tend to object and say that the scriptures tell us that he will appear in power and great glory, but remember that is how Nephi prophesied that he would come the FIRST time, and this misinterpretation is the reason that the Jews failed to recognize him and is the reason many will fail to recognize him when he comes again. This is why it is written in the scriptures concerning the slothful: “And the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour THAT HE IS NOT AWARE.” Matt 24:50 In other words many supposed disciples will meet and see the Christ and not even be aware of him. Indeed, we are told that the righteous “shall be looking forth for the signs of my coming, AND SHALL KNOW ME.” D&C 39:23 Most people believe they will know Christ whether they are righteous or not because the physical glory will make it obvious. They are not aware that the great glory will be spiritual as it was the first time and only the righteous shall “know” him. There will indeed be “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth among the deceived who will not recognize their Lord whom they professed to know as the five foolish virgins hoped to be ready for the bridegroom but had no oil (Holy Spirit) in their lamps.
When he comes it will be much different and more natural than any Christian dreams and, as it was last time, the less pious among the people will be the ones who will be his greatest disciples, whereas most orthodox Christians will reject him. This is as he anticipates.
When he comes, even though it will be of a different nature than people expect, it will be found that all the scriptures regarding his coming is accurate, but will be interpreted in a different light just as they were with his first appearance.
When he is here he will not fly around like a bird, but will use airplane like everyone else and thus “he will come in the clouds”. When he begins to attract attention he will be seen on television and “every eye will see him”. He will also bring with him the “holy angels.” The Greek for Angel means messenger. Thus Christ will bring with him other great disciples who will work with him.
Because of the nature of his coming the Lord has put much stress on readiness so we can recognize him and assist him in his mighty work. We are told to “be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you (That is be filled with the Spirit), that you may be ready at the coming of the Bride groom.” D&C 33:17 Also Jesus said “Therefore, be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Matt 24:44 Again Jesus said: “I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shall not know what hour I will come upon thee.” Rev 3:3
In other words if we are not ready and watching and seeking the Christ may pass us by and we may not even be aware which hour it was we saw him.
Hear, 0 Israel! The time is at hand when the days of marvelous works and wonders are to appear and these writings are to help prepare the lights to awaken so they can receive the marvelous things to come, for unless they awaken and be aware, Christ will come as a thief and pass them by. Let us be among the wise virgins who have oil in their lamps, or the Holy Spirit in us, so we do not lean on the arm of flesh and can be like prophets and not let the scoffing of men bother us so we can follow the light within which will lead to a recognition of the Christ. All the lights without are merely blinding lights that confuse and distort; therefore, let your eye be single that ye may be filled with light that “when he shall appear we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:2 “Wherefore marvel not, for the hour cometh that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you on the earth.” D&C 27:5
Yes, it would be nice to sit down and have a drink with the Christ, our Elder Brother. And some of us will do just that.
Copyright 1996 by J J Dewey
To read “Reincarnation & Mormonism” go HERE
To read “Reincarnation & the Bible” go HERE