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Mon, January 18, 2016
Jesus' Promise To Return
By TruthBook Staff
Link to External Source Article
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When Will Our Lord Jesus Return, and When Will the Church Be Raptured? by CHARLES P. SCHMITT/D. MIN., D. TH.
Believers have been wondering about the Master's return for centuries; it is something that he promised, and so we all take it very seriously. See our blog on Urantia Book teachings regarding this event below...but first, you may be interested in what the Christian community has to say about this event. This article explains in some detail the Biblical references about Jesus' return which are paired with references to the "rapture...," also discussed in our blog. Here is a singular excerpt from the article that caught my attention:
Jesus' final teaching on His Second Coming, given on the Mount of Olives, and recorded in Matthew 24 and 25, is extremely clear. In Matthew 24, there is no Second Coming and no rapture until "after the tribulation of those days ... [for] then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He 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" (Matt. 24:29-31).
Click to read the entire article referenced above
Now to our blog:
Arriving on the Clouds
According to Urantia Book teachings, the reference in the Bible about the Son of Man arriving in the clouds is originally from Daniel (7:13).
From Paper 135: John the Baptist:
135:3.3 John was never able completely to rise above the confusion produced by what he had heard from his parents concerning Jesus and by these passages which he read in the Scriptures. In Daniel he read: "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom." But these words of the prophet did not harmonize with what his parents had taught him. Neither did his talk with Jesus, at the time of his visit when he was eighteen years old, correspond with these statements of the Scriptures. Notwithstanding this confusion, throughout all of his perplexity his mother assured him that his distant cousin, Jesus of Nazareth, was the true Messiah, that he had come to sit on the throne of David, and that he (John) was to become his advance herald and chief support.
And from Paper 137, where Ezra questions Jesus being the Messiah:
137:2.2 That day, as Jesus and his four disciple-apostles departed for Galilee, there was a great tumult in the camp of John's followers. The first great division was about to take place. The day before, John had made his positive pronouncement to Andrew and Ezra that Jesus was the Deliverer. Andrew decided to follow Jesus, but Ezra rejected the mild-mannered carpenter of Nazareth, proclaiming to his associates: "The Prophet Daniel declares that the Son of Man will come with the clouds of heaven, in power and great glory. This Galilean carpenter, this Capernaum boatbuilder, cannot be the Deliverer. Can such a gift of God come out of Nazareth?
What did Jesus Say?
In Part IV of The Urantia Book, the Life and Teachings of Jesus, a good deal of attention is paid to the Master's return to this earth. In Paper 176, Jesus declares:
176:2.3 "Even though I shall thus be present with you in spirit, I also promise that I will sometime return to this world, where I have lived this life in the flesh and achieved the experience of simultaneously revealing God to man and leading man to God. Very soon must I leave you and take up the work the Father has intrusted to my hands, but be of good courage, for I will sometime return. In the meantime, my Spirit of the Truth of a universe shall comfort and guide you."
"You behold me now in weakness and in the flesh, but when I return, it shall be with power and in the spirit. The eye of flesh beholds the Son of Man in the flesh, but only the eye of the spirit will behold the Son of Man glorified by the Father and appearing on earth in his own name.
"But the times of the reappearing of the Son of Man are known only in the councils of Paradise; not even the angels of heaven know when this will occur. However, you should understand that, when this gospel of the kingdom shall have been proclaimed to all the world for the salvation of all peoples, and when the fullness of the age has come to pass, the Father will send you another dispensational bestowal, or else the Son of Man will return to adjudge the age.
"And now concerning the travail of Jerusalem, about which I have spoken to you, even this generation will not pass away until my words are fulfilled; but concerning the times of the coming again of the Son of Man, no one in heaven or on earth may presume to speak. But you should be wise regarding the ripening of an age; you should be alert to discern the signs of the times. You know when the fig tree shows its tender branches and puts forth its leaves that summer is near. Likewise, when the world has passed through the long winter of material-mindedness and you discern the coming of the spiritual springtime of a new dispensation, should you know that the summertime of a new visitation draws near.
This passage is from The Master's Second Coming.
Further in that section, we read about how the passages in Matthew came to be included in the Bible as we know it today:
176:2.8 Of all the discourses which the Master gave his apostles, none ever became so confused in their minds as this one, given this Tuesday evening on the Mount of Olives, regarding the twofold subject of the destruction of Jerusalem and his own second coming. There was, therefore, little agreement between the subsequent written accounts based on the memories of what the Master said on this extraordinary occasion. Consequently, when the records were left blank concerning much that was said that Tuesday evening, there grew up many traditions; and very early in the second century a Jewish apocalyptic about the Messiah written by one Selta, who was attached to the court of the Emperor Caligula, was bodily copied into the Matthew Gospel and subsequently added (in part) to the Mark and Luke records. It was in these writings of Selta that the parable of the ten virgins appeared. No part of the gospel record ever suffered such confusing misconstruction as this evening's teaching. But the Apostle John never became thus confused.
The Meaning of Jesus' Return
And lastly, in this section, the revelators of The Urantia Book explain further the importance and the meaning of Jesus promise "to come back in person to this world."
176:4.5 We most positively believe that Michael will again come in person to Urantia, but we have not the slightest idea as to when or in what manner he may choose to come. Will his second advent on earth be timed to occur in connection with the terminal judgment of this present age, either with or without the associated appearance of a Magisterial Son? Will he come in connection with the termination of some subsequent Urantian age? Will he come unannounced and as an isolated event? We do not know. Only one thing we are certain of, that is, when he does return, all the world will likely know about it, for he must come as the supreme ruler of a universe and not as the obscure babe of Bethlehem. But if every eye is to behold him, and if only spiritual eyes are to discern his presence, then must his advent be long deferred.
You would do well, therefore, to disassociate the Master's personal return to earth from any and all set events or settled epochs. We are sure of only one thing: He has promised to come back. We have no idea as to when he will fulfill this promise or in what connection. As far as we know, he may appear on earth any day, and he may not come until age after age has passed and been duly adjudicated by his associated Sons of the Paradise corps.
The second advent of Michael on earth is an event of tremendous sentimental value to both midwayers and humans; but otherwise it is of no immediate moment to midwayers and of no more practical importance to human beings than the common event of natural death, which so suddenly precipitates mortal man into the immediate grasp of that succession of universe events which leads directly to the presence of this same Jesus, the sovereign ruler of our universe. The children of light are all destined to see him, and it is of no serious concern whether we go to him or whether he should chance first to come to us. Be you therefore ever ready to welcome him on earth as he stands ready to welcome you in heaven. We confidently look for his glorious appearing, even for repeated comings, but we are wholly ignorant as to how, when, or in what connection he is destined to appear.
Does The Urantia Book teach about the Rapture?
Finally, the rapture is a singular event that earns a great deal of interest among many Christians. Regarding the rapture and what it may mean in regards to Urantia Book teachings, we offer this scenario, laid out in early in the book's teachings:
51:2.3 If some physical catastrophe should doom the planetary residence of an evolving race, the Melchizedeks and the Life Carriers would install the technique of dematerialization for all survivors, and by seraphic transport these beings would be carried away to the new world prepared for their continuing existence. The evolution of a human race, once initiated on a world of space, must proceed quite independently of the physical survival of that planet, but during the evolutionary ages it is not otherwise intended that a Planetary Adam or Eve shall leave their chosen world.
The section from which this passage is taken is discussing Adam and Eve, and how these semi-material beings are able to be transported from the celestial realms to the material worlds. It is very interesting and informative!
In fact, that whole paper about Adam and Eve is unlike anything previously known or imagined about these two amazing beings. Check it out!
Nowhere else in The Urantia Book is a scenario like the Christian belief in a "rapture" addressed - only in a dire situation, such as a planetary disaster in which humanity's existence as a whole is threatened, would the planet be emptied of people - ALL people, not just a chosen few. But not to heaven; instead, to a new planet, where humanity would be able to safely continue its evolution.
In such an instance, the Father's ascension plan would still be in effect, with the ultimate survival of individuals ensured.
Are you a Truthseeker?
These comparisons of Biblical teaching with Urantia Book teaching will hopefully whet the interest of any truth-seeker. One of the aims of The Urantia Book is to correct errors that have made their way into humanity's consciousness over the centuries since Jesus walked the earth. These revelatory teachings fill in all the gaps in our knowledge regarding Jesus, regarding our planetary history, and regarding mankind's origins and destiny.
Check it out! The entire text is free to all online.
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