The Second Coming Revisited

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I do not believe in the second coming of Jesus, I believe in the first coming.

Please understand that I do not say this with the intention of persuading anyone to think differently on this subject. I am simply sharing what has become clear to me from my studies, and my own spiritual logic. Jesus taught and demonstrated a system of ideas based on principles of oneness with God. These principles include an understanding of God as omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient; one presence and one power, as we would say. He taught that God is centered in everyone, and the individual’s relationship to God is inseparable unity, a relationship of oneness that can never be broken.

The system he taught was known as the Way.About that time there arose no little stir concerning the Way” (Acts 19:23). The name change to Christian was later applied because the disciples were teaching that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah: “… in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians” (Acts 11:26). It can be argued that this name change represents a transition from the teachings of Jesus to teachings about Jesus.

The principles of oneness do not allow for a future time when God’s kingdom will finally be established. As the following passages make clear, Jesus understands this spiritual dimension as a present reality:

“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 within you” (Luke 17:20-21).

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see how the fields are already white for harvest” (John 4:35).

Perhaps the most compelling reason for the mainstream’s shift to a futuristic kingdom is stated in the Gospel of John: “Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The spiritual dimension cannot be observed with ordinary physical vision. As William James wrote: “Its quality must be directly experienced; it cannot be imparted or transferred to others.”  

The kingdom is accessible to any who are willing to stop looking for signs that can be objectively analyzed and become intuitively sensitive to the living Source of his or her own being. This way of knowing lies at the heart of the message Jesus brought. Should he decide to return, he would simply repeat what he has already said. Some will hear his voice, but most will probably “… see but not perceive, and hear but not understand” (Mark 4:12).

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