Individual Preparation For His Coming Kingdom
by Sang Chul (David) Kim
Chapter Thirteen - Doctrine of the Second Coming of Christ [Part 2]
IV. The Present Day and the Day of Jesus Christ, Viewed From the Synchronization Theory
The sequence of events which occurred at the time of Jesus and the First Coming, is being repeated at the present time, centering in the Lord of the Second Coming. For example, during the ministry of Jesus Christ, the high-ranking religious leaders of that time opposed and persecuted Him, using their power and authority against the Will of God. Now, consider the moral and physical condition of the present Christian Church; they have power and authority; beliefs are rooted in strong, ritualistic formality; and the churches are just as corrupt in content as Judaism was at the time of Jesus.
During the time of Jesus' ministry, the high priests, scribes, and Pharisees were engaged in rituals and exercised the maximum authority of Judaism. Many believers seeking the truth were following Jesus in order to fill their empty spirits and souls. The same conditions are now arising among present-day Christianity. Christians seeking for answers are groping in the wilderness of our confused society, visiting from one denomination to another, even converting to Oriental religions in their earnest search for higher truth, for a new message in the new age.
If the Lord comes again, the Christians (second Israel) shall oppose Him first, and persecute Him just as the first Israel (Jewish people) opposed Jesus and persecuted Him, not knowing God's Will and not knowing that He was the very Messiah for whom they had been waiting. Jesus came as the King of Kings to begin a new history for mankind upon the foundation of the Old Testament. He came to fulfill the words and prophecies of the Old Testament, and He introduced new teachings and a new message beyond the Old Testament contents which were necessary for the new age to come. However, all the high priests, the scribes, the Pharisees, and others took the writings of the Old Testament too literally, and they were so rigid in their ritualistic beliefs that they could not reconcile the teachings of Jesus with the contents of the Old Testament. Thereupon, they accused Him of being the Prince of Devils, judged Him, and finally killed Him. They thought it was God's Will to destroy Him.
When He comes again, He shall set up a New Heaven and a New Earth on the very foundation of present Christianity; upon the spiritual salvation of the New Testament. Naturally, the Lord of the Second Coming must give the people a new message beyond the New Testament contents, which Jesus had already given. He shall not repeat the message Jesus taught 2,000 years ago, but He shall bring new truth and a new message for the new age. But those who cling to the New Testament letters as their only life-line criteria will not have an open mind; in their eyes, and according to their Bible, He will be an heretic -- He will not be the Lord of the Second Coming. They will judge everything He does within their scope of the New Testament and man-made doctrines and theology. They shall persecute Him and throw Him in prison because of the newness of the Truth. Jesus clearly visualized the scene in the future, saying that:
"But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation." (Luke 17:25)
God's revelations of the Second Coming and the public acceptance of this message from the Lord of the Second Coming will be parallel to the sequence of events which occurred in Jesus' Day, at the time of the First Coming.
God did not reveal His First Coming to the high priests, scribes and religious leaders in Judaism, but to gentile astrologers and ignorant shepherds in the fields. Unless present church leaders repent of their attitudes of faith, God will not reveal the Second Coming to them, but to laymen Christians or non-Christians who are conscientious and seeking for new truth; and who are in the Lights and are watchful and prayerful.
In Jesus' Days those who accepted Jesus' Gospel were the Gentiles, not the First Israel people. In the same manner, when He comes again, the Second Israel night not accept His message, but non-Christians or laymen Christians will accept and receive the benefits of the Third Israel. When Jesus invited guests to His banquets they did not come. So, as we see in Jesus' parable, the host brought strangers in from the streets who were not originally invited.
At the time of the Second Coming, many people who had started their journey of faith in the direction of Heaven, will unexpectedly land in Hell. Just as in Jesus' Day, when all the religious leaders of Judaism who thought they were the real servants of God and believed they would go to Heaven when they died, actually, because of their rejection and persecution, and their unwitting crime against God, were banished to Hell after death. We must all be very careful in these last days to avoid this fate due to ignorance of the Heavenly time and God's Will.
It was the responsibility of the Jewish religious leaders, the high priests and scribes, to lead their people to Jesus Christ in order to accomplish their Heavenly missions and to learn about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus, Himself, in order to help them fulfill their missions first preached His new message in the Temples. After their rejection of His new revelations, Jesus had to walk along the seaside of Galilee in order to find His disciples from among the ignorant fishermen. Finally, He began to accept sinners, tax-collectors, and even harlots.
On the other hand, the high priests, scribes, and other religious leaders succeeded in killing Jesus, believing that they really killed the betrayer of God, and that it was God's Will that Jesus should die. They raised their voices in prayer, thanking God for their success in executing Jesus, firmly convinced that He was a betrayer of God. All their lives, even after Jesus' death, they worshipped God, offered their tithes, and offered their sacrifices until they died. They began their lives on the road to Heaven, but their disbelief nullified the blessings for which they were originally destined in this world and also, in their life after death.
Who can tell that modern, sincere Christian leaders, ministers, and preachers might not go to Hell, contrary to their original destination for Heaven, when He comes again? The same synchronizing pattern shall happen when He comes again. That is the reason why Jesus said:
"Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?'"
"And then will I profess unto them, 'I never knew you, depart from me, Ye that work iniquity.'" (Matthew 7:22-23)
Truly, the saints who are living in this period of transition in history are in grave danger of committing great crimes against God, unwittingly, if they refuse to accept proper guidance and if they do not act wisely.
So, Daniel strongly emphasized wisdom:
"... None of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:10)
V. Several Theories as to the Manner of His Second Coming
There is much disagreement on this subject among scholars and good Christians. Some people believe that His Second Coming is spiritual, and was fulfilled at the time of Pentecost. But Jesus said that He would send the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). So Pentecost cannot be the Second Coming. Further, the New Testament was written after Pentecost and the Second Coming was always described as a future event.
Some people believe that the conversion of sinners is the Second Coming. But when sinners convert to Christ, they came to Christ, Christ does not come to them. Furthermore, conversion of sinners is the function of the Holy Spirit, not of Christ. There might be a spiritual indwelling of Christ, but the Second Coming should be, like the first coming of Jesus, a visible, personal and physical coming.
Some people believe that the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. by the Romans was the Second Coming. However, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman soldiers and the Lord of the Second Coming was not present at that time. The purpose of His Second Coming is to restore the world and save mankind in both spirit and body, not to destroy Jerusalem. Further, the Book of Revelation was written twenty-six years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and it still speaks of the Second Coming as a future event.
Some people believe that the diffusion of Christianity is the Second Coming. The preaching of the Gospel is the duty of His followers as His final commandment before His ascension, not Christ's duty. The diffusion of Christianity is a gradual process while the Second Coming is a single event.
Some people believe that He will return in the same manner as He left, following the literal interpretation of Acts 1:31. According to this view, He went up bodily and visibly and He will return in the clouds in the same manner, accompanied by the sound of angel's trumpets. He will come first into the region of our atmosphere and the dead in Christ and the living saints will be caught up to meet Him in the air. Here we find several difficult problems which must be settled. If He comes in the body of Jesus of Nazareth, we must be able to explain how He maintained a physical body in the air for two thousand years. This violates the natural laws that God established when He created man and the universe. But if He comes as the Spirit of Jesus Christ with a resurrected body, then it would not be the Second Coming. Nowadays, many Christian saints throughout the world secretly see Jesus Christ in visions and converse with Him freely when they have been advanced spiritually to a certain level. In the same way, Adam and Eve talked with God in the Garden of Eden and many Old Testament prophets communicated with God. So His Coming to us as the Spirit of Jesus Christ is not the Second Coming. As mentioned in previous chapters, the physical body returns to the earth, but the spirit lives eternally as a spiritual entity. The impossibility of a bodily return of Jesus of Nazareth and the theory of Resurrection discussed in a previous chapter make the literal interpretation of Acts 1:11 seem very unlikely.
A recently developed theory is that the Second Coming will be fulfilled by the appearance of another person having the same mission as Jesus. We will consider this view in some detail.
The Bible can be interpreted in different ways according to the point of view of the interpreter. The Bible contains many truths in parables and symbolic expressions which God reveals to man progressively according to man's intellectual and spiritual growth. But, because of these parables and symbolic expressions, many denominations have developed within Christianity, each denomination being based on interpretation of the Bible according to one point of view. So it is very important to have the proper viewpoint when examining the Scriptures. For example, let us consider the case of John the Baptist. If we take the position that John the Baptist did finish his heavenly mission, we can find many scripture verses which seem to establish this point of view. But, if we take the position that John the Baptist failed to accomplish his heavenly missions then we again can find many Bible verses to establish our point of view and convince us that there was some unknown fact concerning John the Baptist as mentioned in Chapter three of Part I. Another example can be taken from the subject, "the manner of His Second Coming." If we take the position that He will come in the clouds with the body of Jesus of Nazareth, many verses of the Bible seen to establish this position, assuming the strict literal interpretation of these verses that we have been taught. If we take the opposite viewpoint, that He will came as another person, again there are many proofs that seem logical and reasonable to the modern intellectuals and highly educated Christians. So, let us approach the subject from this latter point of view, and try to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible.
The new viewpoint is based on the relation between Elijah and John the Baptist with respect to their heavenly missions. Malachi prophesied that before the appearance of Jesus Christ, Elijah would be sent as a forerunner (Malachi 4:5). Elijah ascended to heaven with a chariot, so many Jewish people believed the literal sense of the Bible, expecting that the literal Elijah, who ascended to heaven nearly four hundred years before Jesus came, would return to earth in the clouds. Because God said so through the prophet Malachi, the Jews believed it literally. But, contrary to the literal interpretation of the Word of God, John the Baptist came as Elijah (Matthew 11:14-15). In other words, the Second Coming of Elijah was fulfilled in another person, John the Baptist, from God's point of view. Elijah did not come in the clouds, nor did he come in the body of Elijah who had ascended to heaven four hundred years previously. Are we to assume then, that the Word of God is wrong? Certainly not; we must consider, instead, that if the Bible is always interpreted literally, the deep truths contained therein may be missed. So we can safely say that it is possible that the Second Coming of the Lord may be fulfilled in another person, as was true in the instance of Elijah and John the Baptist. The example of Elijah and John the Baptist also hints that He might be born of a woman as a perfect Adam, just as Jesus was. Taking this viewpoint, let us consider the scriptures which prove this.
Even in Jesus, day, many scholars knew that He would be born at Bethlehem. But some of the Jewish people believed that He would come from heaven in the clouds because they believed the literal interpretation of Daniel's vision.
Daniel 7:13, "I saw in the night visions, and , behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him."
This is the reason that many Jews opposed Christianity, even after Jesus' crucifixion. They believed that Jesus as a fleshly person could not be the Messiah. John gave a warning to those who opposed Christianity,
II John 7, "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an anti-Christ."
In other words, in Jesus day, some people believed that the Messiah would come in the clouds accompanied by heavenly wonders. So there is a possibility that Christ will be a man born of a woman. The following Scriptures may be used to prove that this will be the case:
Luke 17:25, "But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation."
Luke 18:8, "I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"
Matthew 7:22-23, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."
From Luke 17:20-37,
"... The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation." (20)
"... The Kingdom of God is within you." (21)
"... The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of, the Son of man, and ye shall not see it." (22)
"And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." (26-27)
"Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it." (33)
"There shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (34)
"Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (35)
"Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (36)
"Where, Lord? And He said unto them, Where so ever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." (37)
Luke 22:18, "For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come."
And from Revelation 12:1-5,
"A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars." (1)
"And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered." (2)
"And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born." (4)
"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."
The woman in this passage is usually interpreted as a symbol of the Heavenly Kingdom or the Christian church or Mary, Jesus' mother. But here a literal interpretation is required since the woman signifies the actual mother of the Lord of the Second Coming who will rule all nations with the Word of God and judge the world. The Lord of the Second Coming must be born of a woman, just as Jesus was, thereby being in the blood lineage of fallen man. He must even have the four immoral women in His lineage (Jesus). This is necessary if He is to make indemnity and restore all mankind.
Jesus came to restore fallen mankind and to rule the visible and invisible worlds through spirit and body. But Jesus accomplished spiritual salvation only, leaving physical salvation to His Second Coming. To accomplish the purpose of His First Coming, He must have a physical body to which mankind may be grafted so that they become perfected children of God and rule over the whole universe. Without a physical body, the Lord of the Second Coming cannot fulfill His mission, so He must come as a man and not as a spirit. He cannot come in the clouds.
Jesus Christ came to the earth to be the real father of mankind and to become the King of Kings in His Earthly Kingdom (Isaiah 9:6, Luke 1:31-33). The Lord of the Second Coming can accomplish this unfulfilled mission only if He has a physical body just as Jesus did. So, again, He cannot come as a spirit in the clouds.
Finally, the redemption of sins is possible only while we have a physical body. The Lord of the Second Coming will bring complete salvation in body and spirit to living mankind on the earth, so he must come as a living man.
The meaning of the symbolic expression "coming in the clouds" may be learned by examining the Bible. Clouds in the sky are evaporated water from the dirty water on earth. Revelation 17:15 says that waters symbolize peoples. So clouds are regenerated people who have been cleansed of their fallen natures and the evilness of the sinful world and whose minds are pure and serene above worldly corruption like the white clouds of heaven. Also, according to Hebrew 12:1, clouds symbolize witnesses. These witnesses always do God's work and witness to people on earth. With this interpretation, we can conclude that the statement "He will come in the clouds" means that He will appear among regenerated Christian saints on earth who are purified and sanctified and whose minds and hearts are in heaven though their bodies are living on earth.
If we take this interpretation, Jesus Christ actually came to earth in the clouds, fulfilling the prophecy in Daniel.
I. Cor. 15:47: "The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven."
John 3:13: "And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven."
The above two scriptures indicate that Jesus Christ, though He was born of a woman, came from Heaven. This means that at His First Coming He came in the clouds in the sense of the above interpretation of "coming in the clouds." Though He came from earth, He came from Heaven.
Why then did Jesus say that He would come in the clouds? There are two reasons: first, in order to prevent antichrists who would confuse Christians. If He had revealed that He would come as another person, there would have arisen a tremendous number of antichrists during the last two thousand years. Even the lowest and poorest people will claim their Lordship when they reach a certain level of spiritual growth (see Chapter Six on Resurrection) and this might have caused the greatest confusion in the course of the Restoration Providence since the crucifixion of Jesus. Because He said that He would come in the clouds, all the saints waited with great hope for His return, and thus the confusion was avoided. But now the time of His Coming is near, so God has revealed that He will not come in the clouds, a fact which many spiritually gifted people throughout the world have received. Second, Jesus said that He would come in the clouds in order to encourage the suffering saints and help them to fulfill their heavenly missions. Often Jesus told His disciples things that were not fulfilled. For example:
Matthew 10:23: "But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come."
John 21:22: "... If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me."
According to the above statements, His Coming should have taken place before the death of John and Peter. Further, Jesus said,
Luke 9:27: "But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God."
But the Kingdom did not come at that time. Then why did Jesus say this? Simply because He wanted to encourage His followers to work hard and do God's Will, with the Coming as a great hope for the near future. With this hope before them, they endured much suffering and hardship until Christianity was established, even withstanding the persecutions of the Roman Empire. His statements were all motivated by His Divine Love for His followers. So they waited, expecting His arrival at any time.
Download entire page and pages related to it in ZIP format
Table of Contents