From an early age we were taught about the second coming of Christ, an important prophecy in the Bible that would bring many of GOD’s promises to fulfilment. A picture was painted of how Jesus Christ would one day come on a physical cloud, seen by the entire world, to take us to heaven where we would live out the rest of eternity.
The following questions may have entered your mind at one time or another while thinking about this event: How will it be possible for the whole world to see Jesus at once when one cannot even see a cloud from five kilometres away? Or, since only half of the earth would have daytime, how would the other half of the world see Jesus coming if they are still in the dark?
Fortunately, when we understand the plan that GOD has for the earth, the second coming of Christ is no longer a mystery. It not only becomes a reality in our hearts but also makes us part of the second coming of Christ.
Everything in the Old Testament was a prophetic Word, directing, guiding and instructing the nation of Israel to Christ – the coming of Christ.
Everything in the New Testament is a prophetic Word directing, guiding and instructing the Church (Spiritual Israel) to Christ – the second coming of Christ.
Firstly, for us to understand the second coming of Christ we need to understand an important principle in the Word of GOD, namely:
1 Corinthians 15:46 (NKJV)
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
We are all acquainted with the first coming of Christ. It was a natural coming whereby the Word, which is GOD, became flesh in Jesus Christ and we received redemption because of the work on the cross. Our Spirits were saved.
This was the purpose of the first coming of Christ, to bring us redemption so that we may once again be reconciled to GOD. Since the first coming of Christ was a natural coming, the second coming will be a spiritual coming, according to the principle that Paul teaches us. Therefore, the first coming of Christ ended with these promises:
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies (first coming), it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain (second coming).
So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.
We had this picture in our minds that one day Jesus Christ would come on a cloud and that this would be the second coming of Christ, (even though it is not what the Bible teaches us). As long as we have this natural mental picture of the second coming, not only do we not understand it, but it is passing us by, just as the first coming passed the people by in the time of Jesus Christ.
We need to understand that the second coming will not be for sin, for this was the work of the first coming of Christ, which was manifested through Jesus Christ. His work is completed and has been perfected. We do not need to add to this. But the promise remains that the second coming will come for salvation. If we say that Jesus Christ brought salvation, we are therefore saying that the second coming has been here all along. Firstly, we need to understand what salvation is. When we think of salvation we think of the work of the cross. Yes, the cross brought us the redemption and salvation of our Spirit, but this is not the salvation the second coming speaks of. Peter teaches us that the salvation of the second coming is the following.
1 Peter 1:9
Receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.
The salvation of the second coming is the salvation of the soul, not that of the Spirit – for GOD completed that work through Jesus Christ on the cross through the first coming of Christ. The soul is the mind, the ability to think like GOD. When we are born again we receive the same SPIRIT, namely the SPIRIT of GOD, but we all still think differently. Is the SPIRIT of GOD divided then? Most certainly not, but our minds are divided. The filter between the Voice or SPIRIT of GOD and our earthly lives is the soul. When we have the salvation of the soul/mind we will think exactly like GOD and there will be no division in the body of Christ. As believers, we will not only have the same Spirit but also the same Mind.
Peter continues his explanation of the salvation that would come with this verse,
1 Peter 1:10
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you.
He notes that the salvation will come with grace. What grace? The type of grace that would be revealed at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We all know and understand the work of Jesus Christ, but this is not the revelation Peter is talking about. If this was the revelation, then the second coming would have been in our midst a long time ago. The revelation of Jesus Christ is the revelation knowledge of the difference between Jesus (flesh) and Jesus Christ (spirit).
The word ‘revelation’ is the Greek word apokalupsis which means a disclosure of truth concerning things before unknown, making naked. Please note, a “truth” concerning things “before unknown”. There is a revelation of Jesus Christ that was hidden that needs to be uncovered. The root word of apokalupsis is apokaluptō which means to uncover, lay open what has been veiled. Again, take note of the word “to uncover” that which “has been veiled”. The root word is a combination of two words, which means to separate the veil.
When Peter is speaking of the revelation of Jesus Christ he is not speaking of the function that we all know and believe very well, he is speaking of something that has been a mystery. This mystery has to do with the veil that needs to be removed from our picture (understanding) of Jesus Christ. This is important because it will bring the salvation of the soul, which will usher in the second coming of Christ.
This veil is Jesus, the fleshly part of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, (20) by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh.
We did not always have the understanding that Jesus was born a man (yes, without sin) but still a man, a fleshly being, a natural ‘Adam’ – not a god, and neither was he GOD. He was a man just like you and me (without sin) that needed to be born again; he was baptised at the Jordan River where he received the SPIRIT of GOD (Acts 2:36, Acts 10:36-38) and became Jesus Christ (please read the article, “When did Jesus become Son of GOD?”). This is the veil that covered our hearts and our minds, and this is the salvation Peter is speaking of.
2 Corinthians 3:14-16
But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. (15) But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. (16) Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, (Jesus Christ) the veil is taken away.
Jesus Christ is the Lord, not Jesus. If we cannot make this distinction we are still veiled.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. (18) But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
When we understand this, we not only have unveiled faces, but we are being transformed into the same image as what Jesus Christ was. This is the second coming of Christ, not one Christ but a specie*, who believe and know that they are a Christ (please read the article “What is Christ”).
GOD gave Abraham a promise that his seed would be as many as the stars of Heaven.
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.
Paul teaches that this seed is singular. How then will it be as many as the stars of heaven? Because this one seed is Christ – the specie* – one specie consisting of many Christs. This is what John 12:24 teaches us. The first coming of Christ would produce a harvest of the same kind. When we start to believe this through the revelation of Jesus Christ, we also become part of the second coming of Christ.
Genesis 15:5 (KJV)
And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
* The newly coined word ‘specie’ (derived from ‘species’) is used to emphasise the fact that there can be only ONE kind or sort (no variation).