In many Christian circles the notion of the return of Christ is a cataclysmic event that changes the world entirely. “In the twinkling of an eye,” we are warned by the televangelist, Jesus will return to earth. What they describe (sourced from prophetic books and the work of Revelation) a return where he won’t be nice Jesus but a judge pouring out bowls of wrath upon humanity. But is this sentiment true? I believe that this is a misunderstanding of scripture and that Jesus foretold a return that is spiritual to each individual, not as a judgement to mankind.

Matthew 16:28

The defining moment that changes the idea of a global Christian rapture into a metaphor is Matthew 16. Jesus is addressing his following and makes this proclamation:

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.

Matthew 16:28

If we were to take this literally, it would mean that some of those present at the sermon are still alive to this day, and will remain alive until the rapture. This, of course, is a fantasy.

Some theologians point out that Jesus was speaking of his transfiguration (where he ascends into the clouds). The problem with that argument is two fold:

  • The sermon is referring to a coming of the Son of Man (not a going).
  • If he was addressing an event that was about to happen within a week or two, then it is equally strange… it’s rather like addressing a crowd and saying, “some of you will not die until I return here next week.” Key word being SOME, as this implies the rest of some, will be dead – this is even more strange.

As you can see, these arguments are weak attempts to salvage a narrative. The narrative has cast people under the wheels of the church for centuries. “Give us your money,” they cry, “so we can reach as many as we can before the return of Jesus!”

Another Meaning

It’s entirely possible that Jesus didn’t intend this passage to represent a physical return to humanity, but rather the result of Gnosis (True Wisdom) returning to the individual devotee. The coming New Jerusalem, from my point of view, isn’t a building or kingdom for the Earth but a descent of Gnosis into the heart and minds of the aspirants of Christ.

Instead of giving money and power to politicians, theologians and televangelists, who all promise to rebuild this broken world into the Holy Kingdom, perhaps our time would be better spent finding the Kingdom of Heaven/God that is within us. That place within us that needs the space to grow.

Through the dissolution of the old nature (ego), a space is created, and in that space a new spiritual nature is realized.

Revelation

A revelation is not a prophecy. A revelation is a revealing truth. This is deeply personal and powerful. When we approach the Book of Revelation in this way, we get a different approach. Instead of bowls of wrath poured out upon a world of sinners, it is the judgement of our own nature that we either accept or reject.

At any given time a seeker is given two aspects of Divine Light: a Light to cultivate our spirit (infrared), and a Light to dissolve our old nature (ultraviolet). Reading the work from this Light – we have a new view.

In this way there is no need to fight battles in the flesh, to engage in war, to pollute our minds with political nonsense. All of this dialectical evil is a severance from the path – it is the raising of the illusion of good and from that, evil is once again strengthened. It’s the image of the snake eating its own tail, an endless cycle.

The cycle is defeated when we allow the separation and dissolution of the old nature and tune into the new nature of a new personality. The personality of the Higher Self, aligned with Christ itself.

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