The "Second Coming" Story: Why It's a Myth
The Nicene Creed of Christianity declares that Jesus of Nazareth "shall come again," an idea that stems from several statements that were included in the official church canon and "New Testament." But, upon close examination and an accurate understanding of the literal prophecies of Jesus and the prophecies of preceding Jewish prophets, we can see that the "second coming" idea is based on symbolic statements that were not meant to be taken literally.
But let us begin by considering that adherents of Christianity are not the only religious group that expects a Messiah. There are Jews who expect a Mashiach, Muslims who expect a Mahdi, Buddhists who expect a Buddha Maitreya, Hindus who expect a Kalki Avatar, and so on, because the prophets of nearly every religion in the world predicted the coming of such a one. However, most of the prophecies are vague, and some of them have been misinterpreted and distorted and have consequently produced erroneous expectations.
One very notable example is in the fourth century Nicene Creed that declared Jesus himself would come again. However, Jesus of Nazareth did not actually say he would come again in person.
Even according to the official church canon or Bible Jesus said he “had to go away and be seen no more on earth” (John 8:28, John 12:47 and John 16:7-15), and the only time he said ‘he’ would "come again" he clarified that it would be in spirit to individuals, to "receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:3)
In fact, John 14:2-3 reports that Jesus said: “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
The truth is that Jesus is in heaven, and there we may be also, and be "received." But in another sense, what Jesus was talking about is the experience of us receiving the Holy Spirit, which “comes down out of heaven” to establish union with a human spirit-soul that has been carried away in spirit to that high and holy place where God inhabits eternity, as the books of Isaiah and Revelation mention. That is, it is experienced "within," or in the spiritual realm. It has nothing to do with a holy person coming down into this world.
That experience can happen when our mortal body dies, which is the experience of most people. However, it can happen also to a person who, though divine revelation, realizes the divine reality and is spiritually "reborn." It has nothing to do with swearing allegiance to a religion, nor is it about worshiping an idol (as so many "born again Christians" do). It is an actual spiritual experience in which one is spiritually changed and sees the world in a new Light of universal love and understanding, if only for a moment. (See the article on The Highest State of Consciousness.)
How the "Second Coming" Story Is Harmful, and Why Some Believe Extreme Versions of It
There are some fundamentalist and evangelical Christians today who believe vervently in the "second coming" myth, and some of them have even melded that belief with erroneous "end of the world" myths and so-called "Rapture" myths that claim that only "born again Christians" will be spared as the earth is destroyed by God when Jesus magically comes down out of the sky to save the "chosen ones."
Such beliefs have spawned groups of warrior "Christians" who are fighting "holy war," thinking they are quickening the time before that happens. And they and all the others who believe that really don't care what happens to the world or the "non-believers" in it.
There are other misguided Christians who believe in a different scenario in which there will first be an "Anti-Christ King of the World" and then the "second coming" of Jesus who will come down out of the sky to be a Warrior King of the World.
None of those beliefs are true.
That is why it is important to learn why the "Second Coming" story is actually a misleading distortion of what Jesus actually said, and the idea of "coming again" is one of several things that Jesus said that gave some of his followers the wrong idea about the fulfillment of prophecies.
Some progressive Christians today understand the error, and most good Christians understand that the humble and meek shall inherit the earth by abiding by the Golden Rule. However, the truth must now be told because the humble and meek "good sheep" are drowned out by the proud and militant "goats" who are making the problems in the world worse.
Fortunately, as Jesus foretold, now at the end of the age he ushered in we can distinguish between the good sheep and the hypocritical goats, because the latter are the proud and militant hypocrites who claim to serve God but aggressively fight for wealth, power and dominion, claiming they are "preparing the way" for Jesus to magically appear.
The amazing irony is that Jesus knew that the hypocritical goats would be doing what they are doing. In fact, he predicted it, which is why he said many hypocrites would now be claiming to do "many wonderful works in the name of the Lord," when they "work iniquity" and actually serve Mammon, not God. (Matthew 7:22-23)
The hypocrites ignore the Golden Rule and the core universal teachings of Jesus. Instead they focus on the myths about Jesus, and one of those myths claims there will be an actual, literal "second coming" of the man known as Jesus. However, the truth is not only that Jesus did not say he would come in person. Furthermore, nowhere in the Hebrew prophecies does it mention a son of man coming, then dying or going away and then coming again.
Where Did the Myth Come From?
The belief in a literal "second coming" is based on words in the Christian canon that contradict other words that better reflect the truth. Even worse, it, like other myths about Jesus, is based also on ideas that are simply fabricated.
For example, what we read in the Christian Bible states that after his crucifixion Jesus "defeated death" and walked away from his tomb physically "resurrected." It further states that he made a point of showing his disciples that he was still physically alive and well in his bodily form, and that two men dressed in white told the disciples who then "watched Jesus ascend to heaven" that he would "return just as he ascended, from the clouds."
None of that is true, at least not literally.
Fortunately, there is still much truth in the Christian Bible, as you will see, because it does say that the "coming" of the Christ's spirit can take place in the spiritual realm (within), so that "where I am, you may be also" (John 14:3). In other words, the "coming again" that Jesus actually spoke of is not in person in the world. It is rather like the "coming of the kingdom of heaven," which he said "comes not with observation in the world," but from within. (Luke 17:20) And "the Spirit of truth is within you." (John 14:17)
That truth, however, is not reflected in the Pauline theology of Christian Apologetics which is summed up in the Nicene Creed. And Christian theology has never successfully explained or reconciled the contradictions in the official Christian Canon and Bible, nor has it successfully reconciled the contradictions between the New Testament and the Judaic scriptures in the Old Testament (Torah and Tanakh). It claims it does, but it does not.
Instead, the Nicene Creed ignores much of what Jesus of Nazareth and preceding prophets said, and it declares that Jesus was (to paraphrase): "the only-begotten Son of God, God of God, being of one substance with the Father; who, for our salvation, came down from heaven and was made incarnate by the Holy Spirit through the Virgin Mary, and was made man, and was crucified for us, and on the third day rose again and ascended into heaven, and shall come again."
That is contradicted by the following facts:
(1) Jesus said the Lord God is Our Father;
(2) The Torah and Tanakh (Old Testament) states that the Lord is Our God, that God is not a man, nor a son of man, and that a Mashiach (Messiah) and/or son of man is a servant of God;
(3) King David said there is no salvation in a son of man;
(4) Isaiah wrote that besides God there is no Savior, and that we should not liken God to any man, nor compare the likeness of God to any man or son of man, nor regard any man or son of man equal to God, nor worship any idol or image of any man or son of man; nor consider any man or son of man alike with God.
(5) The child named Immanuel in the book of Isaiah was not born of a virgin but of a "young woman" (according to the original Hebrew texts) and lived and died hundreds of years before the time of Jesus;
(6) Jesus martyred himself and became a sacrificial lamb of God as a good example and a "soul offering" in order to culminate his teachings regarding universal love, forgiveness, and pacifism;
(7) Jesus said he had to go away and be seen no more on earth, but another son of man would come at the end of the age of division as messenger for the Spirit of truth, to issue judgment, guide you unto truth, show you things to come, and glorify God and the Christ in heaven;
(8) Nowhere in Hebrew scriptures (the "Old Testament") does it say anything about any individual son of man living and dying, being "resurrected," going away, and then coming again as the same person;
(9) All the gospels that were not included in the official church canon (bible), like the Gnostic gospels and the hermetic Greek texts in the Nag Hammadi Library, refute the idea of a "second coming" of Jesus in person.
The fact is that not even Jesus said he would come again in person in this world. Again, Jesus said he had to go away to heaven and be seen no more on earth (John 8:28, John 12:47 and John 16:7-15), but "he" would come to us in the spiritual realm so that "where I am, you may be also" (John 14:3). That is confirmed in John 14:16-20, which explains that the "Spirit of truth" would come bearing the testimony of Jesus, but neither the Spirit or the main messenger for the Spirit of truth would be Jesus in person.
Better Understanding The Myth And The Truth
After the death of Jesus his followers became divided into different factions, some of which were at odds with each other. And the most serious and consequential rift and schism was between James and Paul.
According to the Gnostic gospels, Jesus had told his followers that when he was gone they were to follow James and Mary Magdalene. However, when the late convert Paul saw an outer light, he came to assume he was the "chosen vessel" of Jesus. And, after failed attempts at being an evangelist in person, Paul created a new written theology and "published" it in 50 CE in his first seven epistles. Those earlist Christian texts written by Paul influenced the writers of the later four gospels (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John) that were chosen as canonical and included in the official Christian Bible. (See A Chronological New Testament by Marcus Borg, a prominent member of the progressive and prestigious Jesus Seminar.)
Now if we consider the findings of archaeology and modern research and scholarship, it becomes rather amazing that Paul’s theology was accepted and is reflected in the official church canon (bible) and in the Nicene Creed, because it was written as if it superseded Judaism (the "religion of the Jews," according to Paul, as if Jesus was not a Jew). And it produced many contradictions, one of which is the idea and myth of a “second coming” of Jesus of Nazareth in person.To understand why it is a myth it helps to understand why Jesus said: "I have come not to bring peace on earth; but rather division." (Luke 12:51) For Jesus knew the age he ushered in would be one of conflict and division, and he knew many people during this age would not take the advice he gave about loving one another and even your enemy, and not judging one another.
That is why Jesus spoke of prophecy being fulfilled at the end of the age (aeon). And that’s why he said that he "must go away and be seen no more," and "the Spirit of truth shall come, who shall issue judgment, guide you unto truth, show you things to come, and glorify me." (John 16:7-15) Furthermore, according to Jesus, the main, authorized messenger for the Spirit of truth would be the "son of man, who shall first be rejected by his generation and suffer many things." (Luke 17:22-25)
So How Are the Prophecies Fulfilled?
If you read the article on Prophecies Re: He Who Fulfills Them, you will see exactly how and why Jesus was not talking about himself in that instance, because he was accepted by multitudes in his generation and did not suffer first, or before hand, but only on the last day of his life.
The modern son of man, however, is fully human, and only human. In fact, to fulfill prophecies of Isaiah, he "brings Jacob again" because like Jacob he struggles with God. And Jesus mean it literally when he warned people against those would come saying "I am Christ" or "the Christ is here or there in the world." After all, many have made such false claims, and many claim that they know when and where the Christ will come. But the fact is that the Christ, or that consciousness that is known as the Christ or Avatar or Buddha, is and will manifest in all humanity eventually. And the modern son of man is your fellow servant of God, and he is your fellow companion in Tribulation.
Jesus meant it literally that many people would be deceived by false Christs, false prophets, and hypocrites. All that has happened.
Jesus also meant it literally when he said that prior to the coming of the modern son of man (and while he was being rejected), there would be wars and rumors of wars. He said nations would rise up against other nations, and there would be "seven plagues" (diseases, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, and droughts) and "many other terrible things" in many places in the world. And Jesus said that the sorrows of most people in the world would get worse until the message from the Spirit of truth is finally accepted and acknowledged.
Jesus was quite right, even though it should be understood that Jesus did not mean this ordeal and tribulation would be God’s doing, because it is Man’s doing, as Jesus and many other prophets foresaw and foretold.
Unfortunately, many Christians have misunderstood prophecies because they misunderstand the Judaic scriptures in the Old Testament. They don’t understand the symbolic language about the "lightning," the "darkened sun and moon," the "sign of the son of man in heaven," the "signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars," and his "coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." And they misunderstand the symbolism in the language that foretells that God shall "send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
All that kind of language symbolizes the spiritual events that have been taking place. The "final war between good and evil," the "battle in the Valley of Jehoshephat," the war of "Armageddon," and the "fall of Babylon" are all symbolic, and there is an unseen spiritual battle going on even while there are very real physical battles going on too.
The Great Spiritual Battle: Truth vs. Falsehood
The spiritual battle is one of unifying truth against divisive falsehoods, and it is a war of words and ideas. And the Spirit of truth does not cause harm. It does not condemn, or punish, or destroy. Rather, it educates, corrects, and saves.
The most effective "weapons" of the Lord are divinely inspired written words of truth. They always have been, and they always will be, which is why the pen is or will ultimately become mightier than the sword.
The problem is that many Christians don’t understand that because they misunderstand the symbolism in the terms and language that are used in both the old and new testaments in their Bible.
For example, Jesus knew that in the very first chapter of Genesis, the first book in the Bible, it states: "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." (Genesis 1:14)
That’s why Jesus said, "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars..." (Luke 21:25)
By the way, most people don’t know it, but the Magi, the followers of the Avatar Zoroaster, knew that the Christ Jesus had been born because of the signs in the night sky. They knew because they were astrologers, as so many people were long before. For example, the prophet Daniel was an astrologer, as is so evident from the symbolism he used in his writing, as is explained in the article titled The Fall of Babylon.But to get back to the "signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars," spiritual astrologers know, in the same way that the Zoroastrians did when the Christ Jesus was born, that the modern son of man is here now. And recently more and more people have seen the more obvious signs in the sky.
Unfortunately, it is quite true where it is written in the gospels that "according to their own desires they will choose teachers who will tell them just what they want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and go after fables." And it is quite true that religious bigots and hypocrites have been and still are clinging to fables and myths to justify their political aggression and theocratic imposition, and their offensive and violent efforts to rule the world in the name of religion.
That’s why it is quite true where it is written that: "Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, feigning godliness but denying its power."
But, ironically, arrogantly proud and militant right-wing religious bigots and hypocrites who claim to be godly Christians (or Muslims or Jews) do not understand that most of those words apply to them!
"And the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart …for the earth is filled with violence through them." (Genesis 6:5-11).
Once again that applies exactly and precisely to the time we are going through. It is exactly why there is so much violence in the world, and why the Lord God and the human servant and witness of God grieves!
Fortunately, even today it is still a minority of human beings who have been tempted, deluded and corrupted by greed, hate, self-righteousness and self-importance. Most people in the world are still good, or at least try to be good and try to abide by the Golden Rule and the Universal Divine Imperative. They treat all others kindly and fairly, as they would want to be treated. But, because the misguided ones who don’t have become so aggressive and malicious and violent, God has sent the modern son of man to deliver the message of righteous judgment.
The message exposes and dispels the myths because ever since the fourth century they have enabled a lot of "Christian" Popes, Emperors, Kings and subsequent Heads of State to indulge in war, military imperialism, colonialism, and even genocide, all in the name of spreading Christianity. And those myths are the main reason why so many Christians, Jews and Muslims do not recognize that they belong to one family of religions that includes all religions.
It is time for myths to be exposed and dispelled. It is time for all peoples, nations and religions to recognize that they all are members of one family of God. And it is time for the righteous judgment from the Spirit of truth to guide you unto truth, and show you things to come.
(Back to the Main Message.)