Whatever Became of Jesus Christ? The Biblical Case for the Second Coming as Accomplished Fact – Afterword – The Traditions of Men or the Truth of God?

Afterword – The Traditions of Men or the Truth of God?

In this book, I have shown you how the Bible teaches that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ should be considered by us in the 21st Century not future and physical, but rather past and spiritual.  In other words, Jesus Christ has already come again – sometime late in the 1st Century A.D. not too many years after the destruction of Jerusalem’s temple in 70 A.D.  I did this by showing you what the Scriptures themselves say about the Second Coming, and how history confirms it.

We spent the bulk of our time first analyzing what Jesus and His apostles said about the timing of the Second Coming.  In doing so, we brought to light the fact that is so often ignored in today’s Bible teaching on this subject – that all believers in the New Testament expected the Lord’s return in their generation and gave no indication that they thought it could possibly come in any other generation.  This actually explains why this fact is ignored, for if you say the New Testament disciples were wrong about this but right about everything else you look a little silly to the world you are trying to convince.  Second, we analyzed what Jesus and His apostles said about the nature of the Second Coming.  We saw that they were describing not a physical event, but a spiritual one.  We are to see Jesus coming in His kingdom the same way we saw Him at the right hand of the throne of God – that is, by faith.  “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).  Trusting Jesus, His apostles, and the prophets before them about the timing and nature of the Second Coming demands a belief in a Second Coming that was accomplished in their timeframe and in their way.  What was imminent future for them is, for us in the 21st Century, distant past.  Fait accompli.  Mission accomplished.

All this is completely fitting with what Paul said in his second letter to the believers at Corinth:

…even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.  2 Corinthians 5:16  NASB

This is the church that Paul called “still fleshly” in his first letter.  Yes, God did come in the flesh…but we are to know Him in the spirit now.

By the way, it was outside the purpose of this book to deal with the implications of the Lord’s coming as accomplished fact.  In a sentence, it is that we should acknowledge and revere His presence at all times, serving Him with joy and gladness in all that we think, say, and do.  If you want an elaboration, see the overview of A Scriptural Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom; and if you want more biblical support of those elaborations, see the blog A Bible Reader’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.

I do not deny that the teaching of a “future, physical” Second Coming is more traditional than what I have shown you in this book.  I simply ask which is more important to you: the truth of God or the traditions of men?

End of the Afterword

End of the book

 (Return to Preface and Table of Contents)

16 Responses to Whatever Became of Jesus Christ? The Biblical Case for the Second Coming as Accomplished Fact – Afterword – The Traditions of Men or the Truth of God?

  1. Ounbbl says:

    Your position is that of preterists. My question is: what about the current situation of our humanity in this world (a.k.a. the end of the system)? When and what do you expect?

  2. Mary Burgess says:

    much of what the Lord has shown/is showing me “goes against the grain” of mainstream “Christianity” and so I covet your prayers in seeking the Lord’s path in knowing when and where to minister, and how… we really do need Godly wisdom and discernment i knowing what or who to allow to influence your life, and exactly what needs He wants us to address, and how specifically to address each one… intimacy with the Father is so critical to a life well lived for Him… there are no methods for us, anymore than there were methods for Jesus when He lived His life here on the earth… we need utter dependence on the Father for every breath… every word…

    I’m sure you have taken a lot of grief from folks who are resistant to what you have shared… my prayers go out to You…

  3. Mike Gantt says:

    The Lord is faithful. He will be there for you every step of the way.

    Even in those moments when you can’t sense Him there, keep doing what you believe will please Him…and the sense of His nearness will return.

    Of course, you don’t even need me to say this because you have walked with Him long enough to know how to follow Him. We stray in many ways, and so we know how to stray. But we also know how to return and how to be faithful, if only we will do that day by day.

    2 Corinthians 11:3

    • Mary Burgess says:

      I think the thing that “trips me up” the most is figuring out people – especially people who call themselves Christians, but have the ability to deceive and defile others because they are themselves deceived… there is one person in particular I’m praying about because even though she says the “right” things much of the time, sometimes I get the impression that she’s not always being led of the Holy Spirit, and in fact, adheres to some new age thinking that directly contradicts the truth of God… and at times it appears she may be giving place (knowingly or unknowingly) to the powers of darkness…

      and she’s one who really wants to be a part of my ministry… and I’m concerned because I never want to cause another to stumble, even inadvertently, or through someone else’s “involvement” – i.e. I really don’t want someone associated with me who is bound to hurt others… and so I need to be sure about where she’s at, and what I’m to do about it…

      I’ve felt led to pray for better discernment, and to pray against a spirit of divination, though I’m not sure how that spirit works or the best way to address the problem… is a direct confrontation necessary? or do I simply trust God to “redirect” her elsewhere and stop including her in my communications about gatherings I’m hosting…

      or am I simply overreacting? as I said, I need Godly wisdom in my life… because I KNOW all of us fall short of the glory of God, none of us is perfect and so I need to be as gracious and forgiving of others as Jesus is with me… but I’m also to be “wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove” – there are two sides to the sword of truth – mercy and judgment… I know God’s mercy ALWAYS triumphs over judgment, but the judgment is still there, and totally necessary… we couldn’t fully trust God if He wasn’t just…

      so I covet your prayers right now… and I’m thankful for your Godly counsel.

  4. Mike Gantt says:

    Seek and find your peace with the Lord. In that place, answers will come to you.

    Anxiety in our hearts drowns out the still, small voice of the Lord that would lead us.

    Therefore, let us be neither feaful of loss nor greedy for gain. The peace of the Lord is our inheritance, and the grace of the Lord is sufficient in all circumstances.

    Only when we truly fear Him can we be free from the opinions of men.

  5. Timothy says:

    Mike, I too have received the revelation that Jesus has come back a second time. But, in reality…. How can anyone view God as ‘limited’ and ‘conscripted’ to time and space when He is Eternal? We definitely, as Christians, need to think “outside of the box”, so to speak! If, as Jesus said to His Apostles: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Matthew 28:16 (RSV), then WHY should GOD need to return to earth when He is omnipotent and omniscience? Jesus doesn’t need to return AT ALL! Jesus, as God “is” and “always will be” with His body, His “Physical” manifestation on earth. The Lord Jesus also said that where the body is there the eagles will be gathered. I do not control Jesus by telling Him when He should, or shouldn’t, come for His Bride. I only make myself ready for Him at any moment. So should we all.

  6. Mike Gantt says:

    Timothy,

    It is not a matter of our “limiting” or “conscripting” God. Neither is it a matter of “controlling” Jesus by telling Him “when He should, or shouldn’t, come for His Bride.” Rather, it is a matter of knowing, understanding, and believing what He has promised.

    Promises like those He made in John 14:2-3, 18 were made at His initiation, not ours. We’re just trying to be sure we understand what He meant…and live accordingly.

  7. Timothy says:

    Yes Mike, You are right to claim that we, as Christians, expect Jesus to keep His word. We expect Him to keep His promises. The point I was making is, that as Almighty God, He doesn’t really have to come or go ANYWHERE. Those of us who do hold Him to His word, His promise, are also trying to limit or constrict His Almighty Power to conform to our wishes. We try to put God on trial, so to speak, and expect Him to be our ‘escape route’ out of the hardships and difficulties of persecution we may face. Only the Overcomers are the ones who say: “Father, thy will be done. May I bear up under this persecution for Your honor and glory patiently.” No, not all Christians are weak and fearful. But many would rather have ‘the easy way’ out of problems. Let us say: “Whether deliverance should come, or not, I will always be faithful to You. No matter what may come.” Let us stand and be counted true, no matter what the cost.

  8. Mike Gantt says:

    Timothy,

    Yes, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted” (2 Tim 3:12), and “it is better, if God should will it so, that we suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong” (1 Pet 3:17). Therefore, we gladly “choose rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin” (Heb 11:25) because “His grace is sufficient for us” (2 Cor 12:9). And thus we “thank God for His indescribable gift!” while we serve Him “with reverence and awe” (Heb 12:28). (2 Cor 9:15). “To Him be the glory!” (2 Pet 3:18).

  9. fred merrill says:

    mike i agree with your basic revelation. personally i believe to interpret the word spiritually, has nothing now (not since late lst century) to do with anything needing to
    be fulfilled. all was finished (fulfilled by christ the spirit.) all of us have or will go thru the lake of fire. it’s a spiritual fire and has nothing to do with our flesh. since god has or is reconciling the world back to himself by the lake of fire. not a torture pit. my only question is why god had to do anything to accomplish this. i have heard all the standard answers and yet i wonder why any omnipotent, omnicient, omnipresent god has done what he has done. there must be somewhere in the word that tells us

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fred, well this is another strange doctrine indeed! But, if it makes any sense to you and others who have accepted such; then I guess you’re not the first to come up with such an idea, nor the last. I find it amazing how nowadays people will take scripture and twist, distort, manipulate, or “interpret” it to say other than what it was intended to say. But, “that much” I can assume is A SIGN that, as Jesus has said, at Matthew 24:11: “And may false prophets shall rise, and deceive many. ” We can come up with the most strange interpretations, and then hope that someone will listen to our rationale. God help us to steer away from sensational sounding teaching that would “tickle” our ears! (See II Timothy 2:3-4). As for why we should have to go through any pain or suffering in this life… Don’t you think that Almighty God knows what is ‘best’ for us? Perhaps, all the trials in this life are “God’s Mercies in disguise”.

  11. Mike Gantt says:

    Fred,

    In addition to being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, God is also good. Because He is good, He cannot lie, He cannot contradict Himself, and He cannot go back on His word. In the outworking of creation and redemption, He reveals His character to us in a particularly memorable – you could even say eternally memorable – way. He demonstrates the depth of His love against the backdrop of evil unleashed. It’s hard to imagine that anything less would have communicated anything more about Him.

    If you are willing to read my books – The Biblical Case for Everyone Going to Heaven followed by The Implications of Everyone Going to Heaven (for both, click on “Books” in the menu bar above) – I think they will help you appreciate this more. Otherwise, I think God Himself can show you.

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