The Coming in Glory, Part 3
From Matthew 24 we have another description of the second coming. “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.” (Verse 27)
We must keep in mind that when Matthew wrote this account he had to describe an event that was beyond the imagination of humanity 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 answer: 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 true seekers. 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, 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
One take on this could be that the generation that saw the first atomic bomb shall not all pass away until the Christ shall again manifest on the earth. Of course, that could apply to either the overshadowing of disciples or a physical presence.
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. 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.
On the other hand, 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 stedfastly 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 this prophecy 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?
(1) He will be revealed as one coming forth out of a cloud, or some type of veil hiding him from our eyes.
(2) He will not come with a razzle dazzle of bright light seen by all the earth.
(3) 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 may use air travel like the rest of us and thus he will periodically travel in the clouds and through the air.
Concerning his coming here is an interesting 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?
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’s description of a true leader in the kingdom of heaven?
“Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matt 23:10-12
“But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest. 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.” Mark 9:34-35
“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” John 13:13-15
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?
The spirit of Christ is that of hope, faith and love, not fear and dread which is the keynote of all antichrists.
Copyright by J J Dewey
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