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When Jesus returns

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posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 01:55 PM
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As the New Testament shows, the early church was always expecting Jesus to return.
That is what Jesus taught them, though in an oblique way. That is, he told his disciples to expect the Son of Man coming in judgement, and referred to himself by the same name. His closest friends took the point, which is why the sons of Zebedee asked for the privilege of sitting beside him on the throne of judgement.
I looked at this promise in a previous thread- The promise to return

As for the rest of the New Testament, the most complete outline of the teaching comes in the two letters to the Thessalonians (which may have been the earliest written portions of the whole collection).

2 Thessalonians

Paul tells them that they will find rest from their tribulations “when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire” (ch1 v7).
This image resembles the statement in the Temple discourse; “coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory”. These descriptions ought to debunk the foolish modern assumption that Jesus would return by being born into a second human body. The New Testament is expecting nothing of the kind.

The purpose of his return has two aspects.
On the one hand, he is coming in judgement;
“… inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (v8)
As already mentioned, this judgement was also part of the teaching about the coming of the Son of Man.

On the other hand, he is coming in glory, to reveal himself to the world and to collect his followers;
“He comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all those who have believed” (v10).
“… the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him…” (ch2 v1).
This is Paul’s version of the gospel’s “they will gather his elect from the four winds” (Matthew ch24 v31).

Paul warns them against false letters purporting to come from himself and purporting to announce that this day is about to arrive.
They should know that the day will not come yet, because the “man of sin” has to appear on the scene first (v3). Some manuscripts call him the “man of lawlessness”. Both titles mean that he sets himself against the will of God.

This figure appears to be derived from the account of the hostile king at the end of Daniel.
Daniel’s king has political power aided by a strong network of allies (the result of making “many covenants”).
He uses his political power to assert control over religious affairs. He is the more willing to do so because he respects none of the traditional gods and worships only “the god of fortresses”. In other words, presumably, he puts all his trust in his own military power. “He shall magnify himself above all”.
Thus he is bold enough to challenge the worship of the Lord. He introduces the ”abomination which causes desolation”- that is, a form of idolatry which has the effect of separating the people from their God. There follows a state of “tribulation”.
In all these things, he is evidently modelled on the infamous king Antiochus Epiphanes.

Various aspects of this description are echoed in different portions of the New Testament.
The Beast in Revelation has political power aided by the allegiance of the “ten kings”.
Matthew’s gospel specifies the ”abomination of desolation”, and both books refer to the tribulation.
In this letter, Paul covers the point that “he opposes and exalts himself against every so-called object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (v4).
We do not need to assume that he occupies a physical temple, because Paul tells us in another letter that the Christian community itself is the temple of God, the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians ch3 v16).
So the man of sin may be “sitting in the temple” when he controls the external aspect of the Christian community. Since he is a ruler in the first instance, his power in religious affairs would be a by-product of his political power, as in the case of Antiochus Epiphanes and Nero (not to mention Hitler and Stalin). In other words, he is probably not the Pope.

We are told that his arrival is accompanied by “pretended signs and wonders”, which matches the picture in Revelation ch13. There will be great deception “for those who are to perish”.
The origin of the deception is described in two different ways.
On the one hand, it happens because “they refuse to love the truth”.
On the other hand, it happens because “God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false” (vv9-10).
This double explanation is found elsewhere in the Bible, providing one of its more mysterious themes. The classic example is the “hardening of Pharaoh’s heart”.
It seems to say that when people are determined to set themselves against the will of God, he may allow their disobedience to continue unrestrained- “giving them enough rope”, as it were- and this may then be described as God making them do it.

Paul calls this deception “the mystery of lawlessness”. John’s version of this idea is that “the spirit of antichrist has come into the world” (except that translators have added the word “spirit”).
This mystery is inhibited, for the moment, by “he who now restrains” (v7)
This has to be a reference to the Holy Spirit. The power of the deception is muted as long as the world is under the unconscious influence of the Spirit. Only when that influence is withdrawn can the deception come out into the open and be “revealed”.

All this has a bearing on the timing of the return of Jesus. For one of the elements of his return in judgement will be the destruction of the “man of lawlessness” (v8).
Therefore, Jesus will not return before the man of lawlessness has come out into the open.
Therefore we should not beexpecting Jesus to return before that man has been revealed.
Therefore the Thessalonians should not be hasty to believe and react to messages purporting to come from Paul, and purporting to announce the imminent arrival of that day (vv1-3).
The advice holds good, even today. We should not allow ourselves to get “quickly shaken in mind or excited” by predictions of the imminent return of Christ, before the man of sin has clearly shown himself.


edit on 17-12-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 01:56 PM
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1 Thessalonians

In the first letter to the Thessalonians, we see the more personal application of this teaching.
The expectation of the return of Christ is defined as one of the most basic elements of their faith;
“You turned to God from idols, to serve a living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come” (ch1 vv9-10).
That last phrase answers the occasional modern question about salvation; “What are we supposed to be saved from?”
The New Testament answer is quite clear. We are being saved from the prospect of condemnation in the time of judgement. The outpouring of God’s wrath towards the world is to be combined with the protection of his own people.
That is exactly what happened in the days of Noah, which is why the New Testament understands the Noah story as foreshadowing the role of Christ.

But what about those believers who die before Christ returns? Will they still benefit from salvation, or will they miss out? Paul’s readers are concerned about this point, and he has to re-assure them.
Those believers who are “dead in Christ” will come back. Their coming back is described in two different ways.
On the one hand, “through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep” (ch4 v14).
On the other hand, they will rise from the dead and then join the living faithful in being “caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” (vv16-17). (Given these alternatives, it is best not to be too dogmatic about what the experience will look like)
This common experience, of the living and the dead, is also described in his later letter to the Corinthians; “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed… For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians ch15 vv51-52).

“We shall be caught up to meet the Lord….So we shall always be with the Lord”.
The Latin version of ”caught up” is RAPTUS.
This verse is the source of the modern “Rapture” doctrine, but the passage as a whole makes it clear where the modern Rapture doctrine is going wrong.
In this letter, the being “caught up” is tied very firmly to the return of Christ, the resurrection, the time of judgement, and the end of this present world. Nothing follows these events except “We shall always be with the Lord”.
There is no interval between this rapture and the rest of the final events.
There is no interval.
So any interpreter who tries to insert an interval, and fill it with half the book of Revelation, is grossly in error.

We are told that this event, the Day of the Lord, will come “like a thief in the night” (ch5v2)
This comparison is based on one of the sayings of Jesus; “If the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched” (Matthew ch24 v43). The point is that the Day comes without immediate warning. For those who are not on the alert, it arrives unexpectedly.
It will arrive as a sudden catastrophe (for the world at large) even while people are saying “”There is peace and security”. Despite the phrase “when people say”, this is not really about the use of the words themselves. It is about the complacency of those who don’t expect any trouble to interrupt their easy existence. They think they have bolted the doors and the windows.

How is this teaching compatible with the expectation of a time of tribulation?
It seems that the tribulation will run its course before the world ends. Jesus said that the days of tribulation would be “shortened for the sake of the elect”- thus confirming, of course, that the elect would still be there (Matthew ch24 v23).

And how is this teaching compatible with the expectation of “signs”?
The truth is that there is no promise of any clear and unmistakable warnings which will force themselves upon people’s attention.
Any signs will be read by those who are willing to read them, and not read by those who are not interested. The second group is the one that will be taken most completely by surprise.
This is the difference between “the sons of day” and “the sons of night”.
Coming back to the picture of the thief and the householder, it is the difference between those who are keeping awake and alert and those who have fallen asleep (in the negative, neglectful sense).
By a natural association of thought (based on observation of human life), being asleep is equated with being drunk, so it is also the difference between the drunk and the sober (vv5-8).

Paul’s main concern is with the sober, watchful children of the day.
The Day of the Lord will not come as a shock to them.
They should maintain themselves during the interval in faith and love and in the hope of salvation (and we need to remember that there is no uncertainty in the New Testament understanding of “hope”).
God has destined us for salvation, so that we might live with Christ, whether we are waking or sleeping- that is, alive or deceased- when he returns (vv9-10).

For the believer, the promise of salvation is the key point about the return of Jesus.
What we need is that God should sanctify us, so that our whole being may be “kept sound and blameless”, to be discovered in that condition when he arrives.
“He who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (vv23-24).



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:12 PM
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When Jesus returns.

I feel sorry for him.

Given the toxic political environment this country alone has become.

Neither the church or the state would give up their power and control, and money.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:19 PM
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a reply to: neo96
They would have no choice.
The gospel shows the Son of Man arriving "on the clouds of heaven". That is, with all the power of God. As I see it, the disablement of human power would be instantaneous.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: neo96

It won't matter.

When He comes back, I don't think anyone will have much say in the matter. You are talking about a manifestation of the Word of God. You gonna try to say, "No"?



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:33 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

The big shock will be when the world finds out Jesus is a she.

It could happen.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: neo96

He'd probably move to Canada where MJ is legal.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:35 PM
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originally posted by: Sapphire
a reply to: ketsuko

The big shock will be when the world finds out Jesus is a she.

It could happen.


If none of us will really have male/female in our heavenly bodies, then I doubt Jesus exactly will either. There may be outward seeming, but that may be about it. I'm not sure where the verses are, but it does say there will be no more husband wife, male/female in heaven.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:40 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

good answer.

what if he's an alien?



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:45 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Ok. I get that you believe in the divinity of The Bible. But since you pointed out the exoteric meaning, I'd like to point out the esoteric meaning.

The second coming of Christ is not a physical event, nor was Jesus implying that. Jesus was a man. A remarkable man who incarnated with the purpose of lbeing a catalyst towards awakening people to the true nature of the universe. If Jesus ever got to read The Bible and view how people interpret it, he would facepalm.

Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors while teaching and awakening humanity in order to respect free will and exclude those who weren't ready to hear these teachings.

For example, every time Jesus refers to his "father" he's simply talking about his higher self.

The second coming of Christ is the return of humanity to a higher consciousness that was prevalent before the dark age of these past few millennia ( or Kali Yuga ) But of course to acknowledge that would be to agree that civilized humanity is far older than Sumeria, and the Roman architects of The Bible definitely didn't want that.

In other words, the second coming of Christ is ( and always has been ) INTERNAL.

Metaphysical. Emotional. Energetic.

As far as all the epistle passages you quoted, I feel they're useless in clarifying this. Saul of Tarsus never met Jesus, nor did he intend to ever spread the true meaning of Jesus teachings. His job was to aid in putting together an exoteric narrative while splicing in some pagan traditions in order to help convert people from foreign lands who also never met Jesus in flesh.

Humanity is awakening slowly but surely. The second coming would surely intensify though if Christians would stop looking outside themselves for salvation. Fear and love cannot exist in the same place.

That's what Jesus was saying.




edit on 17-12-2017 by AgarthaSeed because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-12-2017 by AgarthaSeed because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:51 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

A friend of mine thought his whole life Jesus would return in his lifetime. He's now been dead for a long time. I think you, me, and everyone else here will be long dead and gone before Jesus ever returns.

Maybe 2018, nope.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:53 PM
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originally posted by: Sapphire
a reply to: ketsuko

The big shock will be when the world finds out Jesus is a she.

It could happen.


Can God have a thought so complex that even She can't understand it?



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: AgarthaSeed
I have no interest in esoteric meanings. The whole point of the Bible is communication, which means exoteric. No secret codes for special people.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015
I'm not hung up on the expectation that it will happen in my lifetime.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015

I honestly think god is an entity. It has no sexual organs. (or preference).
edit on 17-12-2017 by Sapphire because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 03:06 PM
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originally posted by: dfnj2015
a reply to: DISRAELI

A friend of mine thought his whole life Jesus would return in his lifetime. He's now been dead for a long time. I think you, me, and everyone else here will be long dead and gone before Jesus ever returns.

Maybe 2018, nope.


Jesus does return in everyone's lifetime one way or another. Even if you hold the position that the dead "sleep" until he returns for all of us at the end, no one is aware of what goes on while they sleep, so it's like no time at all passes from when you close your eyes to when you open them.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
a reply to: AgarthaSeed
I have no interest in esoteric meanings. The whole point of the Bible is communication, which means exoteric. No secret codes for special people.



Then why was it assembled under the power of a Roman emperor?

Why were so many books excluded? And why did the adherents of these books bury them?

Why was the library of Alexandria destroyed the exact same year?

"Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear!" -Jesus said this many times AFTER telling a parable. But no, no secret codes



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 03:39 PM
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a reply to: dfnj2015


I think you, me, and everyone else here will be long dead and gone before Jesus ever returns.


Have no fear friend, I don't believe Jeshua ever left, and never will. He's wherever you see strife, struggle or LOVE. Peace.



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 03:56 PM
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a reply to: donktheclown
Yes, that is why the future day is also described as the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter ch1 v7), meaning that the world at large will be able to recognise his presence.


edit on 17-12-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 17 2017 @ 09:40 PM
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originally posted by: AgarthaSeed

For example, every time Jesus refers to his "father" he's simply talking about his higher self.


No man is greater than the Lord whom came before him, and God Almighty is greater than them all.




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