Unofficial Notes from
International Conferences for Clergy Questions And Answers
ICC - Questions And Answers - The Second Coming - Clouds
QUESTION: 1. If "cloud" in Daniel 7:13 is only symbolic of purified people, does that mean that the same word used in 1Kings 18:44-45 is interpreted as Elijah telling Ahab to get in his chariot quickly because the "purified people" were going to rain on him? Additionally, did the heavens then become black with "purified people"?
ANSWER: No, and neither did the Pharisees have scaly skin because Jesus called them snakes!
QUESTION: 2. Daniel 7:13 is not talking of Christ's First Coming, it is talking of the judgement time in heaven preceding the Second Coming of Christ. Comment?
ANSWER: The Daniel 7:13 context is the First Coming of Christ in Israel. Remember what God said in Jer. 18:7-10. A prediction that a Kingdom will be built up can be canceled if the people do not fulfill in faith. Daniel 7:13 did not come true because of the failures of faith in Israel. This is why Jesus must repeat the same prophesy. If Daniel 7:13 is the Second Advent, then there would be no need for Jesus to firm it up. Jesus must repeat it for the same reason Isa. 65:17 must be repeated in Rev. 21:1. The destiny of Israel predicted by the prophets was canceled by the faithlessness of the nation at the time of Christ's coming. Thus the need for Matt. 21: 43.
QUESTION: 3. The context of Daniel 7:13 has to do with a particular phase of the judgement (verse 10) which precedes the Second Advent (1Peter 4:17; Rev. 14:6-7). It appears that a disservice is done to a text when it is read and studied out of context.
ANSWER: That the 7th chapter of Daniel is dealing with the time of history from Daniel's time to Jesus in Israel is not only our view but also the view of most credible Christian interpretation. Stating that Daniel 7:13 is dealing with the Second Coming is in fact out of context. The context is the history leading up to the First Coming.
QUESTION: 4. What do you understand from Daniel 2:44 " that in the days of these kings (that is, the 10 kingdoms formed from the Roman Empire) that God would set up His Kingdom that would never be destroyed (the kingdom was Greece, established in 1829)?
ANSWER: The 4th kingdom in the 2nd chapter (of Daniel) is the same 4th kingdom in the 7th chapter, that is Rome. Prophesy does not have to be fulfilled as stated because prophesy is conditional to man's portion of responsibility (see Jeremiah 18:7-9 which is underscored by the examples of Jonah in Ninevah, Isaiah and Hezekiah). This was prophesy of glory and of the primary destiny that the nation of Israel was to fulfill, but because of their failure, these prophesies are to be fulfilled by a New Jerusalem. It is for this reason that there are parallels between the Old Testament prophesy and the book of Revelation. It is not because the OT is already pointing to the Second Coming, it is because Israel's destiny that was to be fulfilled was not and is now extended forward to the future New Israel (and thus, Isa. 65:17, for example, is repeated in Rev. 22:1 or Daniel 7:13 is repeated in Matt. 24:30 by Jesus).
QUESTION: 5. What about Acts 1:11 "You men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? The same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven."
ANSWER: Why, indeed. For Jesus came down from heaven, went up to heaven and was, in that very moment, in heaven as recorded in John 3:13. He will come down from heaven in the same way, not from the sky, which is why the angel was correcting the men of Galilee who were in fact looking in the sky, which was the wrong place to look.
QUESTION: 6. Act 1:11 says that Jesus shall come in like manner as you have seen Him go to heaven. You are calling this verse a lie and this verse should not be in the Bible.
ANSWER: Not a lie! The truth! Just as Malachi was not a lie when Elijah came back in the "spirit and power" through John the Baptist. When Jesus proclaimed that John was Elijah who is to come, the Pharisees also accused Jesus of calling the scripture a lie. The consternation and anger you feel about what you heard here in Korea is the same feeling the Pharisees had toward Jesus and His apostles. Don't let that feeling dominate you, because it is not from God. Just remember the good experiences you have had here and put aside the difficult ones for now. Just pray and give the Holy Spirit time to lead you to the right conclusion about what you have heard here. See John 3:13; Jesus explains how He came down and went into Heaven. God Bless you all and we love you.
QUESTION: 7. Please explain Acts 1:11, is this to be taken literally?
ANSWER: As I explained in my presentation, Acts 1:11 does not mean that Jesus is going to come from out of the sky. The angel states "Why are you looking into the sky?" indicating that what follows this inquiry will be a correction for people who are looking into the sky. That Christ will come the same way as you've seen Him go is more closely linked to how Jesus come down in John 3:13 then to the coming out of the sky.
QUESTION: 8. Acts 1:11 says that Christ was lifted to heaven with the redeemed who were raised at Christ's death on the cross. It was a special resurrection described in Ephesians chpt. 4.
ANSWER: This was not physical experience, but a spiritual experience. Just as Jesus described in John 3:13. The many bodies of the saints who were raised and "appeared" to many (but not all; Matt. 27:52-53) were also the glorified of spiritual bodies of the saints, that were perceivable to only the faithful eye of the spirit. There is no record in the history that mentions the revered physical return of the OT saints in Israel. Christ's return will be the same way... He came to Rev. Moon in 1936. Jesus appeared in His spiritualized body. He is appearing as vividly as He did after His resurrection until His Ascension. This is happening and will continue all the more.
QUESTION: 9. Acts 1:11 emphatically states: "This same Jesus...shall return in like manner. This contradicts your statement regarding Christ's return.
ANSWER: Malachi 4:5 also emphatically states that it will be Elijah that will return. However, it most fundamentally meant that the role of the named figure will return. That the angel is saying "why are you looking up into heaven?" is to indicate that what follows is a correction for people who are looking into the sky. Therefore Christ will come in the same way, refers more to John 3:13, then it does to the sky. Thus we see Rev. 12:5, a child receives the role of Messiah from Jesus (Rev. 2:26-27) and He will have a "new name" (Rev. 3:12; 2:17) and Jesus will be with Him (Rev. 2:28 with 22:16).
QUESTION: 10. If the Second Coming will not be a celestial event, please explain Acts 1:9-11, Rev. 1:7-8, 2Thes. 2:1, etc.
ANSWER: Heaven does not mean sky. See again John 3:13. To meet the Lord in the "air" also does not mean "sky". See Ephesians 2:2.... Satan is not in the sky, he is a spirit. I recommend you to study the Divine Principle chapter on the Resurrection and The Last Days.
QUESTION: 11. If there is no rapture according to 1Thes. 4:16-18, the everything in the Book of Revelation is symbolic?
ANSWER: Ephesians 2:2 calls Satan the ruler of the Kingdom of the air. Is Satan in the air? If so, we'd better take the train home. Pray about the meaning of "meeting the Lord in the air". Remember also what side the "literalists" fell on at the time of Jesus... those who were expecting the literal return of Elijah are still waiting for him to this day. Let us pray with the seriousness of Anna the prophetess.
QUESTION: 12. Your long discourse on "clouds", trying to equate clouds with "purified people" reminds me of a stabilizing rule, "when common sense makes good sense, then seek no other sense." 1Thes. 4:13-19 makes it clear that the clouds at the time of the Second Coming of Christ are natural clouds and distinct from believers both dead and alive at that time (verse 17 in particular) Rev. 1:7 supports this.
ANSWER: It does make good sense, but so does Elijah's coming from the sky in a chariot of fire make good sense too. I think it makes good sense that Daniel 7:13 had a relevance to the First Coming. I think to suggest that "air" does not mean "sky" is also good sense, in relation to Ephesians 2:2 which is clearly not inferring that satan is in the sky. I recommend that you study the Divine Principle chapters on Resurrection and The Last Days, which we did not have time to cover in this conference. For us, the resurrection is of the spiritualized and not the natural or physical body (1Cor. 15:44). The appearance of Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration was in their spiritualized bodies, not their flesh bodies. Those that raised from the dead after Jesus' resurrection were raised in their spiritual bodies not their physical bodies (they appeared to many, but not all...there is no historical record in Jewish archives of the physical return of their revered forefathers at that time of history). Of course, Matt. 27:52-53 is a real event, it is, however, not a physical event perceivable with the physical eye of anyone. It was a spiritual event perceived by the faithful. It will take place again (and is taking place right now) and the faithful will be caught up into the same cloud that "surrounded" the apostles in Hebrew 12:1. Physical death is not the death that Adam and Eve experienced at the fall. God said on the very day you eat thereof you will die. They did not die physically, but rather spiritually.
QUESTION: 13. 1Thes. 4:14-18 says that we (believers) will be raptured out of the world at the Second Coming of Christ. Does the Unification Theology substantiate this? If not, please explain.
ANSWER: Meeting the Lord in the "air" does not mean "in the sky". See Ephesians 2:2, Satan is not in the "sky". Being caught up is referring to the spiritual resurrection, not the resurrection of the decomposed physical body or the physical elevation of those on earth at the time of Christ (see the Divine Principle Chapter on Resurrection and the Chapter on The Last Days).
It should also be noted that Paul apparently was predicting this event within his earthly lifetime. He says "Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep..." Paul is addressing a concern of the believers about those that have already died believing in Christ, and therefore, have not experienced the Second Coming. Paul goes on to say in the 15th verse of 1Thes. chpt. 4..."According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the Coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep." Here, Paul is making a distinction between "those who have fallen asleep" (the bodily dead) and "we who are alive" (Paul and the other believers with him still in the flesh). That Paul was expecting the rapture for himself and those other believers of his age is made clear by the 17th verse "...after that (the rapture of the earthly dead) we who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. In that Paul was imperfect with regard to the timing of the event of the rapture, we must consider the possibility that Paul could, likewise, be imperfect with regard to the content of the phenomenon of the rapture.
QUESTION: 14. What about 1Thes. 4:17 which says that we will meet the Lord "in the air"?
ANSWER: "Air" does not mean "sky" (see Ephesians 2:2; satan is not in the "sky") I recommend that you study the divine Principle chapters on The Resurrection and The Last Days, which we did not have time to cover in this conference.
QUESTION: 15. Does the Divine Principle, for the return of Christ, mean Christ will be reborn through human flesh in order to return to the earth? If so, please explain 1Thes. 4:14-17.
ANSWER: To meet the Lord in the "air", also does not mean "sky". See Ephesians 2:2...Satan in not in the"air" he is a spiritual being. I recommend that you study the Divine Principle chapter on The Last Days, under the section of Phenomenon of the Last Days.
QUESTION: 16. Please explain 1Thes. 4:16 "...for the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first."
ANSWER: "Descending from "Heaven" does not mean "from the sky" (see John 3:13). Jesus said, no one has gone into Heaven except he who has "come from down Heaven." Jesus did not, at His first advent, come down from the sky. He was born earth. The Lord Himself will return and fulfill His mission (Hebrews 9:28, 1Peter 1:5) in the same way Elijah fulfilled his at his return. That is, through a chosen representative. Another point to consider: 1Thes. 4:13-16 indicates that Paul expected that his generation, including himself, would see the return of Christ and their rapture. The 15th verse says: "...we who are still alive, who are left till the Coming of the Lord (those of the earthly life, in the body) will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep (those, who are laid to rest before Christ comes). But no one, including Paul remained alive, in the earthly flesh, to experience the general timing of the awaited event should cause us to pause in terms of the content of the awaited event. Remember, too, that Paul admits to the imperfection of his own knowledge and looks forward to a future clarity (1Cor. 13:8-10,12).
QUESTION: 17. With regard to the Second Coming, please explain 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17.
ANSWER: See John 3:13 for how Jesus came down from Heaven the first time. No one saw that with their physical eye. It did not mean that Jesus was not born quietly on earth. The dead in Christ will rise is, of course, speaking of the resurrection (see the Divine Principle chapter on the Resurrection, which we did not have time to cover in this conference). For understanding what "meeting the Lord in the air" means, consider Eph. 2:2. Is satan in the "air"? "Air" in this context and also in the scripture you mentioned is not to be taken as the air we know to be in the sky. This again shows that there is an important difference in Heaven and sky. It is a very serious issue for all Christians to pray what ultimately led to John the Baptists failure and our Lord's sorrow unto death in Gethsemane.
QUESTION: 18. You said that Christ will not come in the clouds. Why do we read in the Bible that Jesus will come with the thousands of Angels in Jude 1:14-15.
ANSWER: Jesus came with Angels at His first Coming (see Matt. 4:11; Hebrews 1:6) and yet Jesus coming in His first advent did not take place from the sky. Also, Hebrews 13:1 tells us that angels can appear and have done so, without anyone knowing they were angels! How can you be so sure that, in fact, thousands and thousands of angels are not today at work in the dispensation of the Second Coming?
QUESTION: 19. Rev. 1:7 says that all eyes shall see Jesus come, as He appears in the sky (clouds) at His Second Coming. Comment?
ANSWER: But first He must suffer may things and be rejected by this generation. If Christ comes in such an obvious way, who would make Him suffer? If Christ comes in a way that does agree with every jot and tittle of every doctrinal agenda, it is very clear who would make Him suffer... the same who caused His suffering 2000 years ago... the very sheep for whom He comes! Every eye will see Him, is not declaring His mode of entering the world, it is declaring the ultimate victory and acceptance He will achieve.
QUESTION: 20. What happened to Jesus if He didn't go up into the sky in the presents of the Apostles? Did He die? Was He buried?
ANSWER: He went to Heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. See John 3:13. Jesus said that He came down from Heaven, went up into Heaven and was at that very moment, in Heaven. Jesus did not mean that He was in the sky. Sky and "Heaven" are not the same thing.
QUESTION: 21. According to the Divine Principle, what is the symbolism of "water"?
ANSWER: Water has many meanings. In the context of "clouds" which mean sanctified people (see Hebrews 12:1) "waters" (from which clouds come) means unsanctified people (see Rev. 17:15 and Jude 1:13).
QUESTION: 22. You said that the clouds represent purified people. How are they purified apart from the blood of Jesus Christ which has already been done for the believer? Doesn't the Bible teach that the only purification that is acceptable to God is that which is purified by the blood of Jesus Christ?
ANSWER: The cloud is a symbol of the people prepared for the Lord. 2000 years ago, it was John's foundation. They were "purified " through John's baptism. This of course, is not salvation nor was I presenting it as such. John's baptism was a relative, conditional sanctification until the baptism of the Holy Spirit arrived. The cloud that Christ returns on will be Christians baptized in water and spirit.
QUESTION: 23. I resent what you said about Jesus not coming back in a literal cloud but in a cloud of witnesses. However, how do you explain Matt. 24:27 which states that the lightening cometh out of the East and shineth in the West, so shall also the Coming of the Son of Man be?
ANSWER: It does not mean that Christ will be like a lightning bolt, but as lightning comes from East to West, so shall the Son of Man come from the East to the West (and very suddenly in a very controversial, tumultuous manner).
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