Truth is My Sword, Volume II
by Bo Hi Pak
Chapter 6 How Christ Is Coming
Celebration of Life-Second Night
May 23, 1974
Using quotes from the Bible and insights from the Divine Principle, Dr. Pak explains how Christ will come again.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the second night here in Seattle. I am deeply grateful and honored to have all of you here. Sit right where you are. After this message there is more exciting dancing and singing to come. Last night's message dwelled on the very important subject of why Christ is coming. My subject tonight is how Christ is coming.
Today, many people feel that we have come to a very important era. Something important will happen. The Christian world has believed in the coming of Christ for 2,000 years. And I do believe we are truly living in the most extraordinary of times. Indeed, the coming of Christ is an important subject for us to discuss tonight.
The Bible says something about the coming of Christ. When you read Matthew 24:30 it says, "They will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Furthermore, in Revelations 1:7, the Bible says, "Behold he is coming with the clouds." On the other hand, 1 Thessalonians 5:2 says the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. The Bible seems to give contradictory testimony or prophecy concerning the coming of the Lord. If the Lord is coming with the trumpet of angels and power and glory, how can he come like a thief in the night?
Christians all over the world are focusing on the blue sky, waiting for the coming of Christ on the clouds of heaven. But this is not the only occasion that mankind has waited for somebody very important coming from the sky or clouds. There are two previous occasions in biblical history that mankind waited for an important arrival from the blue sky.
The first occasion was the return of Elijah. The prophet Malachi had foretold, in Malachi 4:5, "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers." God promised the return of Elijah prior to the coming of the messiah, the son of God. The people expected Elijah to appear before the messiah could come.
Who was Elijah? He was a great prophet of Israel who lived approximately 900 years before Jesus. The Bible records that Elijah ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire. Since Elijah ascended in that manner, the people of Israel reasoned that he would return in the same way, coming down from the blue sky.
But they never heard the news of Elijah's supernatural return. Instead, one day the people of Israel heard a most extraordinary declaration, that the son of God had come. They heard Jesus of Nazareth being proclaimed to the world as the messiah.
The chosen people of Israel were puzzled. They asked, "If Jesus is the son of God, then where is Elijah?" When Jesus' disciples went out into Israel preaching the Gospel, proclaiming that Jesus was the son of God, the scribes and Pharisees rebuked them, saying, "If your master is the son of God, where is Elijah?"
The disciples could not answer that question. They were very embarrassed. So they decided to ask Jesus for help with this problem. We read in Matthew 17:10-13, "And the disciples asked him `Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?' He replied, 'Elijah does come, and he is to restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come.' Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist."
This was a bombshell. Was John the Baptist Elijah? Yes. Jesus said so. Jesus speaks the truth. However, this was not convincing to the people of Israel because John the Baptist did not come from the blue sky. He was born as a man in the flesh, just like you and me. However, we read in Luke 1:17 a prophecy concerning John the Baptist before his birth. God foretold the mission with which John would go forth into the world. "He [John] will go before him [Jesus] in the spirit and power of Elijah, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared."
John the Baptist was chosen to be the harbinger of the son of God, Jesus Christ. He came to prepare the way of the Lord. Indeed, in the sight of God, John the Baptist was Elijah. God gave him the power and spirit of Elijah. John did not come from the blue sky. He was born just like anybody else, born of woman, but the prophecy was fulfilled in the sight of God. This was one occasion on which they were expecting someone important to come from the sky but that expectation was not fulfilled.
Another occasion when something was expected to come from the sky was none other than the coming of Jesus Christ himself. The people of Israel at that time thought that God's throne was up there in heaven. Therefore, Jesus Christ, son of God, the Messiah, must come from the blue sky in a supernatural manner. Daniel was a great prophet, and the Jewish people really believed the word of Daniel. Daniel 7:13 says, "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like the son of man." He saw in a vision the son of man coming down with the clouds of heaven. The Jews thought that Jesus Christ must come through the clouds of heaven.
But when Jesus came, he was born of a woman in Bethlehem. The people rejected Jesus as the son of God. They thought he was just another man. They gave great trouble to Jesus' disciples. The apostle John was so troubled he said in 2 John 7, "For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh." People were denying Jesus Christ because he was another man in the flesh. How could he be the son of God? But John said, such a one is a deceiver and antichrist. This shows how much difficulty the disciples of Jesus had. Everybody denied Jesus Christ as the son of God because he was a man. He didn't come from the blue sky. He didn't come in a supernatural way.
However, Jesus did come from God even though he was born on earth and did not come down from the blue sky. Today, the Christian world is looking up into the blue sky waiting for the second coming of Christ, just as people did in the time of Jesus. Do you have a guarantee that your expectation will not be betrayed this time? This is indeed a very serious subject.
Tonight we must have a clear-cut answer through the Bible. I would like to draw your attention to Acts 1:11, where two angels asked, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven." For 2,000 years this particular verse, Acts 1:11, has been used as proof that the son of God will come back to us through the clouds of heaven. However, tonight, let us deeply read this passage and get the true meaning out of it. First of all, the angels are speaking to the disciples of Jesus who are looking up at Jesus who is ascending into heaven. Their hearts were sorrowful. They were troubled. Their hearts were saying, Lord, we need you. Please come back soon. Then the two angels appeared beside the disciples of Jesus and said, why do you stand looking into heaven?
Let us analyze. When you say "why do you stand looking into heaven," it has a negative connotation. The angel is almost saying, man, it is no use looking in that direction. On Christmas Day my eight-year-old son kept looking at the chimney waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus. So I said to him, why do you look into the chimney? Even though I am not saying it, I know Santa Claus will not come from the chimney and it is no use waiting for Santa Claus that way. Santa Claus will walk in the front door. Your daddy will be the Santa Claus. Even though I am not saying it, I am implying to my son it is no use looking into the chimney.
Why Are You Looking Up?
If Christ is returning from the blue sky and clouds of heaven, the angel would have told the men to keep looking. He will indeed come from that direction. But the angel said, why do you stand looking into heaven? It is of no use. Then the angel explained that Jesus who was taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven. What does that mean? First of all, we must clearly know the meaning of heaven. There are two meanings of heaven. The first heaven means sky. The disciples were looking up into the sky. But the second heaven does not mean the sky or any other physical location. This heaven means the spiritual kingdom of God, God's dwelling place, the spiritual world. And this heaven does not exist up in space.
Some years ago Moscow radio made an impressive broadcast on Christmas day. I want you to hear these remarkable words, "Our rocket bypassed the moon. It is nearing the sun and we have not discovered God. We have turned out the lights of heaven that no man will be able to turn on again. We are breaking the yoke of the Gospel, the opium of the masses. Let us go forth and Christ will be relegated to mythology."
Very impressive, but Moscow radio missed the whole point. They looked for God up in the sky. God is not up in the sky, up in space. For that matter, Neil Armstrong, on the way to the moon, didn't say he waved to Christ. Christ is not up there hanging in the sky. No. The spiritual heaven is entirely separate. It has nothing to do with this physical place. Everything there exists spiritually. Nothing exists outside the law of God.
So, when you are taken up into that heaven, it means ascension. Ascension into spiritual heaven. It does not necessarily mean a physical ascension like this. This ascension has nothing to do with physical elevation. And so does descension have nothing to do with the physical landing.
Jesus said in John 3:13, "No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended from heaven, the son of man." Jesus is saying the son of God descended from heaven. Do you think Jesus Christ came down like an airplane landing? Let me give you a very simple illustration. This is a little parachute I borrowed from my son. Let me throw it. Did Jesus come down that way 2,000 years ago? No. Physical descent has nothing to do with the coming of Christ.
Jesus came, we know, through the natural process of birth. He came to this earth as a baby. He was born through Mary as a baby. But in the sight of God that was precisely the descent. Therefore, as soon as the descent was complete, the moment of the birth of Jesus Christ, his heaven-bound trip began. In other words the ascension began the very moment Jesus descended.
Once again, let me paraphrase this whole thing. The angel is asking the disciples why they are looking into heaven. This Jesus who entered into the spiritual world, the spiritual kingdom and the throne of God, will come, will descend in the same way you saw him come 2,000 years ago and went into heaven. This shows Christ is indeed coming once again to our world, as he did 2,000 years ago, born as a man. A man of flesh. Therefore, Revelations 12:5 says, "She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron."
Who has the right to rule all the nations with a rod of iron? The president of the United States? It is a powerful nation. However, the head of state of this country does not have the right to rule all the nations. The queen of England? No. The pope in Rome? Not him either. Only one person. One man has a right to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Christ. And the Bible says woman brought forth a male child. He is to come through a woman. She is bringing forth this male child as a man. This is so completely clear.
Once we know this much, then the Bible really starts to make sense. Tonight I cannot go through all the important quotations from the Bible, but let me recite just a couple of the very important ones. Luke 17:20: "Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, `The Kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed; nor will they say, "Lo, here it is!" or "There!" for behold the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.'" No sign. When he comes from the clouds of heaven, with the trumpets of angels, there will be a sign. Jesus said, no sign to be observed. When he comes as the son of man in the flesh, there will be no sign in the sky to be observed.
Most important of all is Luke 17:25: "But first he must suffer and be rejected by this generation." Be rejected by this generation. This is a stunning statement. Who in the world would reject him and make him suffer when he comes in glory and power and with the trumpet of angels? Would you? No. You will welcome him, won't you? When Neil Armstrong came back from the moon, there in the Pacific Ocean, the president of the United States went out to meet him. When the son of God comes from the cloud of heaven, I know the pope would be there. I know Billy Graham would be there. I know that all the ministers would be there. I don't think I can get a ticket into the welcoming ceremony. So probably, it is a great opportunity for NBC to put on a special so you can watch in your living room. Everyone will want to be there to welcome the Lord in the clouds of heaven. But Jesus said that he will suffer and this generation will initially reject him. How can the prophecy, the word of Jesus Christ, be fulfilled? It can only be fulfilled when he comes again as the son of man, in the flesh.
Will He Find Faith On Earth?
When you read Luke 18:8, Jesus is saying, "I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Faith is believers on earth. It is really an astounding statement. There are millions of Christians on earth waiting for the coming of Christ. Here in America alone there are thousands and thousands of churches. Jesus is saying that he will not find any faith, not even a single believer on earth. Why is this? Even though there is great faith upon the face of the earth, these faithful have already set their minds up in the blue sky. But when the Lord reappears among ourselves, as a humble man in the flesh, you know that this world, the Christian world, will be ready to throw the first stone at him, just as it happened 2,000 years ago.
There was great faith at the time of Jesus. So many faithful Jews went to the synagogue morning, noon, and night. They prayed and they obeyed the Law of Moses. But they are the ones who plotted to kill Jesus. Not a single one of them would become the follower or disciple that Jesus wanted. History shall be repeated once again. The Christian world must be very careful in order not to make the same mistake the Jewish people made 2,000 years ago.
Just one more. Matthew 7:22-23 says, "On that day [the day of the coming of Christ], many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?' And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'" How could that happen? A man was loyal all his life, but Jesus will say depart from me. When will this happen? When he comes to the world once again in the flesh.
Throughout history many crimes were committed in the name of the Lord. In this present world, so much evil is committed in the name of God. During the Protestant Revolution alone, in Europe almost half a million people were persecuted because they were thought to be enemies of God. They were exterminated in the name of God. Two thousand years ago when Jesus Christ came, the Jewish people thought Jesus was a heretic, a blasphemer, an enemy of God. They not only threw stones at him, but they actually crucified him.
However, I mentioned yesterday that Christ is coming to complete salvation, to bring the kingdom of God here on earth. Therefore, he will become a lord and judge. Even though he passes through the road of tribulation, he will indeed be lifted up as the son of God upon the face of this earth. He will become the Lord of Judgment. By then the entire world will see him and know him for who he is. Those arrogant ones and evildoers who already threw stones at him will regret it, but it will be too late. The Lord will say, "Depart from me, you evildoers." We must become one of those who accept the Lord.
Coming on the Clouds
Before I give you an indication of how we could do that, let me give you the true meaning of the clouds of heaven. When Jesus said, "I am the vine and you are the branches," those words have a symbolic meaning. Jesus does not mean that he is a literal grapevine and we all are branches of a grapevine. It is symbolic. The Bible is written in symbols and parables. The spiritual facts and truth are set in a physical language so it has to be expressed in symbolic terms. The word "clouds" also has a symbolic meaning.
What is a cloud? A cloud is vaporized water. Therefore, we must know what water is first. What is water? The Bible says in Revelation 17:15, "The waters that you saw, where the harlot is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues." The water in the Bible is a symbol of people, nations, and multitudes. Water has many foreign elements, many sinful elements. In the water there are many pollutants, particularly in this day and age. However, once that water is vaporized, it is purified into steam or a cloud. It is genuinely pure. So Christ is saying, I will come among pure, genuine people.
He will come, pick up the strong, and rule all the nations. Therefore, today this is our duty: We must know how we can become that consecrated group so that we can meet the Lord. The most important thing to know today, however, is that consecrated Christian does not necessarily mean churchgoer. It does not necessarily mean the Bible scholar or those who do many good works and charities. There is one more important thing that we must do to become consecrated. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to Father, but by me." When Jesus comes, this Bible is no longer needed. The living Jesus is the living Bible. He is the light.
Yesterday I explained that Jesus came as the author of life. Anybody who belongs to him has life. Anybody who does not recognize him does not have life. It is death. This is the judgment of the last days. The Bible says that the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give light and the stars will fall. But this will not happen literally. God will not destroy this earth at all. Why should He? This earth did not commit any sin. Only man committed sin. God only needs to re-create man and put him on earth and then the earth will become the Garden of Eden. There is no reason for God to destroy the environment of man. God needs to change man, judge man, separate man to bring the kingdom.
Then what are the criteria on the day of the coming of the Lord? "Accept the Lord" will be the criteria. Those who accept the coming Lord, recognize him, shall live for eternity with God. Those who do not recognize him shall go into the great fire.
An Important New Truth
Ladies and gentlemen, the conclusion and most important statement is: "How can you meet the Lord?" What are the criteria or qualifications to meet the Lord? Knowing the Bible is not enough. Going to church is not enough. We must do one very important thing. We must know Jesus Christ when he comes the second time. He will declare a very important new truth to this world.
Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ came not to repeat the law of Moses. He came to perfect the law. Jesus knew many new things about the law. But people at that time rejected Jesus Christ because they thought he was corrupt because he did not repeat the law of Moses. Two thousand years ago, Jesus said, "I have many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now." One time Jesus said, when I tell you earthly things and you do not believe, how can I tell you heavenly things? The whole heavenly truth was not told in the Bible. This Bible did not carry the full truth, the complete Kingdom of God, the blueprint of heaven. Jesus brought the truth 2,000 years ago, but people were not ready to accept.
This time when he comes he brings out a new truth, a newer truth than the New Testament. We must expect a new truth and we must open our hearts, be humble and meek, so the spirit of God can speak to us. This is the criterion. This is most important. How much Bible you know is not important. How much money you have is not important. What is most important is we must remain poor in spirit, thirsting for righteousness. Open your heart so the spirit of God can speak to you directly.
Peter, the chief disciple, didn't know anything about the Old Testament. He never went to the synagogue. He never prayed before he met Jesus, but he accepted Jesus. Those harlots, those tax collectors, those lepers, those blind men, those outcasts of society saw the coming of Jesus, the son of God. Why? They were poor in spirit. Thirsting for righteousness. Their hearts were open so the spirit of God could speak to them directly.
Today, the Christian world had one warning of the time of the coming of Christ. The worst enemy of the Christian world is arrogance. Be humble and meek, then God will speak to you directly. Read Amos 3:7: "Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets." When you are ready servants, ready prophets, the time has come when God will speak to you directly. And the son of God is not coming in the clouds of heaven. He is coming as the son of man in the flesh once again because the kingdom he needs to build is on earth.
Jesus gave the key to the kingdom of heaven to Peter by saying, "Whatever you bind here on earth shall be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose here on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Heaven is OK. The error, the sin, was committed here on earth. Jesus Christ is coming as a heavenly Ajax to wipe out the stains here on earth, so he has to come here on earth where the sins are. Isn't that logical? We can have that kingdom, the sons and daughters of God here on earth, here in America. Here in Seattle. Let us be open and I must tell you the day has come.
I want to give you one invitation to come to our Celebration of Life workshop this weekend. Tonight in just 40 minutes, I can only scratch the surface of the entire content of the revelation given to Reverend Sun Myung Moon. We have prepared a most joyful workshop this weekend, a two-day Celebration of Life workshop to hear the entire message. Not only how Christ is coming, but when he is coming, where he is coming. In order to meet someone successfully, you need three pieces of information: when, where, and how. I just said how tonight. You need when and where. We invite you come to the workshop. And tonight I truly appreciate your most attentive attention. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.
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