Both secular and sacred history agree that about two millenniums ago there was born in Bethlehem a babe, who was named Jesus; that He grew to manhood's estate; that He was a great teacher; that He was crucified on a Roman cross, and died; and that the church systems of Christendom profess to be based upon the teachings of this great Teacher, Jesus of Nazareth.
The Bible record reveals that Jesus of Nazareth, at the age of thirty years, was baptized in the river Jordan, at which time a voice from heaven declared Him to be the Son of God; that He selected twelve disciples, who were His special pupils during the three and one-half years of ministry that followed; that He preached the Kingdom of God and performed mighty signs and wonders and miracles among the people; that His crucifixion had been foretold by the prophets in the Old Testament; that on the third day after His death He was resurrected from the dead; that forty days thereafter He ascended into heaven and ten days later the Holy Spirit was given to His faithful disciples, who were waiting at Jerusalem as directed by Him; and that these disciples confidently expected the return of Jesus Christ, and that later, in their epistles to the church, they spoke of His coming again.
These facts are conceded by all who believe the Bible. Therefore, if the scriptures conclusively establish the fact of His coming again, then we should expect to find therein evidence as to the manner of His coming, the time of His coming, and the purpose of His coming.
It is not new to us to have the Holy Spirit tear away many of our former cherished beliefs. He has been doing since the move of His Spirit many years ago began to draw us out of the religious systems of man in order to reveal Himself and unfold this glorious One that we call the Lord Jesus Christ. As we were separated from the static systems of Mystery Babylon we began to be taught by the Spirit of Truth.
I think those of you who have come this far in maturity will agree with me that most of what we believed and were taught was not truth at all. It was just the reasonings of the natural mind trying to interpret the scriptures through the instrumentality of the intellect of man, and not by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation from God. As a matter of fact, we were taught that all we needed was the bible and that we didn't need the Holy Spirit anymore.
If we are going to be opened to being taught by the Spirit of Truth we must be prepaired to lay down any, and all, preconcieved ideas of what the scriptures teach. At the same time we must be willing to accept what the Spirit teaches. It is an obvious fact that all Christians believe many doctrines simply because they have been handed down from generation to generation.
Our forefathers, our church, and our brethren believed them for generations, and we believe them because they did. Much of what we believe, we believe because people for many years and long centuries have believed thus, but not one precious child of God in a thousand ever takes the time or expends the energy or spiritual initiative to discover the origin of his beliefs, and whether they are truly scriptural. We just blindly follow on in the traditional path because father and mother and friends believe that way. But because our fathers, or the majority of Christians, have believed a thing is no guarantee that it is the truth!
When the Spirit of Truth began to reveal the depths of the scriptures and took us to an understanding of the deeper things of God, we were astonished to find that most Christians immediately begin to fight against the truth. This happens because the hidden manna of God can only be received by revelation be the Spirit of God. If we resist the Spirit of God's revealing of truth we will remain in ignorance and never fulfill His purpose in our life.
When you tear away time-honored tradition you must be prepared to be branded as a heretic and to have your statements misrepresented, misstated, and be regarded as unspiritual and dangerous. The things the Spirit reveals are always different from what men have previously believed. The Truth is light, and light reveals the great darkness in the carnal and childish concepts conceived by the natural mind.
The natural mind intreprets the dead letter of the word by running it through the intellect. Because the truth is so contrary to the ideas treasured and nourished for so long, many are incited to fight against it. The reason for this is because they are not seeking truth. Most of what is taught in the earth contains some element of truth. Most Christian church doctrine has some truth in it. At least enough to make it acceptable to some people. It isn't the truth that divides, it is all that is false that is mixed in with the truth that separates. Truth mixed with falsehood ceases to be truth.
Since the coming of Christ is a major theme of the New Testament, and linked to man's complete redemption, why is it so variously taught and conceived? Who is responsible for distorting the truth, and what gain is made by doing so?
Paul furnishes an answer to this question in 1 Cor. 2:14,
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
A great deal of faulty reasoning is apparent among Christians when the subject of the coming of the Lord is under discussion. The reason for this is because we have been led to think in terms of the first coming and the second coming of Christ. The bible, however, does not use these terms in relation to the coming of Christ. The bible speaks in terms of the progressive revelation of Jesus Christ.
The Lord has already had many comings, many appearings and shall continue to have many more. We have limited the comings of Jesus strictly to two because of our unscriptural terms "first coming" and "second coming". But the truth is that He came; He continued to come. He comes; He continues to come; He will come; and He will continue to come!"
There are numerous "comings" and "appearings" of the Lord in the New Testament. BUT THEY DO NOT ALL REFER TO THE SAME EVENT. The word "coming" is very often used in the scriptures of a visitation or manifestation of the Lord to judge or bless or accomplish some aspect of His plan and purpose among His people or in the earth. You would think, listening to the preachers rant and rave about "THE second coming of Christ," that every time the Lord says, "I will come," He is speaking of one, specific, particular, singular event sometime out in the dim and misty future.
We have seen that on the day of Pentecost Christ came again as the Comforter. In the scriptures He is presented coming with clouds; coming as lightning; coming as a thief; coming with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trump of God; coming as Bridegroom; coming as King; coming as the morning star; coming as the sun of righteousness; coming in resurrection power; coming as Judge; coming in flaming fire of judgment; coming as Saviour; coming as Christ; coming as Lord; coming as refiner's fire and fuller's soap; coming to His temple; coming on the Mount of Olives; coming in the air; coming on a white horse; coming as the Chief; Shepherd; coming in His Kingdom; coming as seasons of refreshing; coming in glory; coming on His throne; coming with His angels; coming with His saints; coming to His saints; coming in His saints; etc.; etc.
It should be evident to every spiritual mind that Truth is greatly suffering when all the above "comings" of the Lord are crammed into just ONE "second coming" of Christ. Like the sound of many waters the testimony of the Word of God resounds with abundant and stunning and inescapable evidence that the coming of the Christ is not a single event, but includes many different manifestations, past, present and future. His coming to us is a many-sided experience. Most of the doctrines in the Christian world today see only part of the plan of God and they major in what they see and exclude what anyone else sees. The reason for this is because they have little or no understanding of the overall plan and purpose of God. They major in a truth that they see and do not seek the truth which is Jesus Christ.
The mistake we have all made is that, as we come up through the various stages of spiritual growth, we get hold of a truth and then we jump to the conclusion that what we hold to is THE WHOLE TRUTH when, in reality, it is only a part of the whole. It never occurs to us that there might be another side that is equally valid, equally important, and equally essential to our understanding. Instead, we cling stubbornly to the truth we have thinking it is the whole truth and wonder why circumstances contradict our great and wonderful truth.
The coming of the Lord is not the simplistic event that many have made it. This explains why so very few Christians have really scriptural thoughts about the coming of the Lord. They are looking into prophecy for the church's hope - they confound "the Sun of Righteousness" with "the Morning Star" They mix up the coming of Christ "IN His saints," and His coming "WITH the saints" They don't have the faintest idea what is the difference in time or manifestation between His coming as Rain or His coming as Fire. His coming as Christ and His coming as Lord. His coming as Lightning or His coming with Clouds. His coming as Bridegroom or His coming as King.
Not very many know when or how the Lord comes in any of His manifestations, therefore, they cannot know how to MEET HIM! Almost all of Christendom teaches that the return of the Lord is one single, future event. How much more reasonable and understandable is the glorious truth! Christ came, He comes, He continues to come, He will come and will continue to come.
Nothing - absolutely nothing in the scriptures limits Christ's coming to one singular future event. The doctrine of the second coming of Christ as an event that has never occurred (in recent times) is as fictitious as Henry Kissinger being the antichrist. Former misconceptions and crude theories concerning this great event should not be permitted to hinder us from understanding the simplicity of the truth concerning it.
If you truly are a seeker of truth, if truth is more important to you than what you believe to be the truth then continue to read the rest of this article but before you do call upon the Spirit of Truth to manifest His will to you.