The joy of Christ’s coming
Is the second coming of the Christ, or His reappearance, about to take place? Is He already here, in physical form, and soon to appear on international television, as some affirm? Certainly on Audio and TV, and through books and sermons, we are being flooded with predictions of His imminent return. Many of these messages predict that He is coming to blast most of humanity, all but an elect few, with dismay, doom and destruction.
But fortunately there is also a far different kind of message coming to us ---- one of hope and joy, of goodwill, and peace. Certainly His coming in Palestine at the beginning of our era was heralded with glad tidings of joy and peace, by the heavenly host of angels, as recorded in the gospel of Luke. And we read that the father of John the Baptist looked to His coming,''When the day shall dawn upon us from on high, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.'' (Luke 1:78-9)
Some of us dare to believe that He is about to show His face to the whole world, and that again it is to be an occurrence to usher in joy, hope and peace. Even away back in the New Testament we have assurances to this effect. In the gospel accounts we find that Jesus foretold these crisis times at the end of the age ---- with wars, tumults, earthquakes, and all kinds of calamities ---- such as we are now having. Concerning this time He said:''When you see all this happening you may know that the kingdom of God is near.''
In that same passage, in verse 28 we read:''When all this begins to happen stand upright and hold your heads high, because your liberation is near.'' (Luke 21:31 and 28)
And in John 15:11 we find that after speaking about the importance of abiding in him whatever comes, He states:''These things have I spoken unto you that my joy be in you, and that your joy may be full.'' These are just a few of the biblical passages which encourage us, in a time like this, to be joyful rather than depressed or gloomy.
This biblical emphasis of joy and gladness concerning His advent is echoed and re-echoed for us in our own twentieth century, both in the Tibetan's teachings given through Alice Bailey, and in the current writings of Benjamin Creme. In The Reappearance of the Christ, by Alice Bailey, we are told that happiness and joy represent a difficult lesson for us to learn.''It is for man a totally new experience and Christ will have to teach men how to handle happiness correctly, to overcome the ancient habits of misery, and thus to know the meaning of true joy.'' (p.115)
And Creme's book, Messages from Maitreya the Christ, resounds with the emphasis of release from fear and the joy Christ has in store for us, which we can indeed emphasize right now. For instance, in Message No. 93 He states:''No man need fear for the future when My Shield is over him. No man need fear want when My Principle governs.''
And in Message No. 92:''My Message at this time of joyous celebration is this: awaken anew the love in the hearts of your brothers and teach them to share.'' Yes, again and again, as in Message No. 100, given on 19 March 1980, He emphasizes: ''I am with you and in you. I am the heart of your life... I bring Joy.''
As you can see, I am pointing out some of the parallels between what Christ emphasized 2,000 years ago and what is being given in this century. And I could find no more important note to start with than this theme of joy, the needed antidote for the great fear so prevalent today. For the more fully we can dwell in real joy, the better we can serve him, and help to usher in the new heaven, or at least the new earth, which God has promised, and which, even in the midst of the present crises, is in some ways beginning to manifest.
A second factor of note is the matter of the surprise element in His coming, seemingly 'too soon', at a time when He said:''Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.'' (Matt. 24:44) And Paul warns us: ''The day of the Lord will come like a thief.''
Now let me quote some passages from Alice Bailey and Benjamin Creme, which also stress the imminence of His new appearance among us:
''His hour has now come, because of the people's need in every land, and because of the invocative cry of the masses everywhere, and the advice of His disciples of all faiths and of all the world religions... When the Christ, the Avatar (1) of Love, makes His reappearance then will the sons of men who are now the Sons of God withdraw their faces from the shining light and radiate that light upon the sons of men who know not yet they are the Sons of God. Then shall the Coming One appear, His footsteps hastened through the valley of the shadow by the One of awful power Who stands upon the mountain top breathing out love eternal, light supernal, and peaceful silent Will. Then will the sons of men respond. Then will a newer light shine forth into the dismal, weary vale of earth. Then will new life course through the veins of men, and then will their vision compass all the ways of what may be. So peace will come again on earth, but a peace unlike aught known before. Then will the will-to-good flower forth as understanding, and understanding blossom as goodwill in men.'' (AAB, Reappearance of the Christ, p. 12-14)
In Messages from Maitreya the Christ we read:''Mankind has lost its way, and strayed far from the path prepared for it by God. Many there are now in the world who know this, who search and pray, and work towards the Light; but many more are blind and would rush towards disaster. My Plan is to halt this headlong plunge and to turn the tide.'' (Message No. 13)
Speaking of the shortness of the time before He plans to make His presence known worldwide, He states in Message No. 7:''My Aim is to shorten this time yet further, but an early declaration of My Presence depends on you, depends on your will to serve.''
Now a third important matter concerned with His imminent appearance deals with what the Christ calls 'the sword of cleavage'. When He was here before He said:''Blessed are the peacemakers.'' But He said also: ''Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother; and a man's foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.'' (Matt. 10:34-9)
There is much misunderstanding about this. What it says to me is that if we are to be disciples, then the cause of Christ must take precedence over personal loyalties and considerations. The cleavage is caused by the fact that while some are ready to do this, others are not. It worked that way before. Bitter division arose between those who followed Him and those who rejected Him. And sometimes the division was between father and son, or mother and daughter.
Now we are told that the same will be true this time. On page 110 of Bailey's Reappearance of the Christ we read:''When He came before He said, I come not to bring peace but the sword. This will be true especially during the early days of His advent. The sword which He wields is the sword of the Spirit; it is that sword which produces cleavage between a true spirituality and an habitual materialism.''
Likewise in the book of Messages referred to before we read:''My coming brings Peace. Likewise, My Presence brings cleavage. My Sword, that Love which I am, will separate all men, will show the true from the false, will clear the way for the new Light which I bring. May it be that you can withstand this change, and accept My Light.'' (p. 156)
We also are given indication of the sources of what may be the greatest resistance. Consider these statements:''It is highly improbable that the reactionary churchmen will be the ones to recognize Him. He may appear in a totally unexpected guise; who is to say whether He will come as a politician, an economist, a leader of the people (arising from the midst of them), a scientist, or an artist.'' (Reappearance of the Christ, by AAB, p. 17)
And consider this:''The incredibly powerful international banking and financial institutions will prove to be among the last to accept the fact that a complete change in the world's financial and economic order is imperative. To meet this obstacle the Hierarchy has plans already made and ready to be put into effect. These involve the reconstruction of the world financial and economic order. A group of high initiates, themselves economists, industrialists and financial experts of great experience and achievement, are working with the Hierarchy, and have evolved a series of blueprints, alternative interrelated plans, which will solve the redistribution problems which are at the basis of the present world crisis. These can and will be speedily implemented when the need is seen and accepted... The cry for help and justice from the poor and starving nations will be too loud and dramatic to ignore.'' (The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom, by B. Creme, p. 34)
These and other passages are given to assure us that, despite cleavage and resistance, the Plan and program of the Christ will win out against all opposition. Let me quote from the Messages just a few short paragraphs indicating firm assurance of the success of the Christ's mission after He openly appears among men:
‘‘My hope is ---- nay, My brothers, My knowledge is ---- that mankind will respond to My Call. I know this to be so. I know that within men sits a Divine Being, whose Plan it is that Love and Justice should triumph. This being so, the end is assured.’’ (Message No. 77)
‘‘The choice is man’s alone. If he chooses the path which I shall indicate, that divinity shall verily shine forth. Otherwise, My brothers and sisters, the future for man would be fateful indeed. But, My friends, I know beforehand your answer and choice. Through your love ---- the love in your heart for your brothers ---- have no fear, My dear ones, you will choose correctly. This love will radiate throughout the world and on this you may count. My Presence guarantees that this shall be so. Already the changes are occurring in such magnitude that victory is assured.’’ (Message No. 78)
In Message No. 65 we find this assurance couched in slightly different form: ‘‘Great, indeed, has been the enthusiasm of your brothers, which bodes well for the future of My Mission. When you, yourselves, see me, you will, I feel sure, respond likewise; for within you all does sit the same Light of Truth, of Justice and Freedom which I awaken in all who hear me. Therefore, My friends, have no fear that mankind will reject me. My Plans are safe in your hands.’’
The question is, I suppose, can we have the same strong assurance which He expresses? For myself, the more I meditate on this theme, the stronger my conviction becomes. Now before we go on to the next phase of our subject, let me quote from just one more of these strong assurances of the victory of His Plan.
This one is from Message No. 44: ‘‘My Presence is causing such changes in the world that before long the knowledge of My existence will be ascertained... The divisions of old will merge and grow together; the sons of men will sense a higher Light and, turning their faces towards that Light, shall find My waiting to lead them. Thus shall it be. Thus shall the Truth in the hearts of men respond to the Truth which I am. Thus shall that new Light be kindled in their hearts, and the anguish of men depart.’’
Thus far we have looked briefly at the joy which belongs to us in connection with His coming at a time sooner than expected; at the sword of cleavage which He brings, and the resistance of vested interests and reactionary churchmen; also at some Messages of assurance that in spite of all resistance, He will be victorious.
Finally, let us consider a few of the changes which are to take place because of His world-wide appeal, and what our part is to be in these world-shaking changes. Going back again to the Bible, we find in II Peter 3:13 the promise of ''a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.''
To see what this new quality of life on earth is to be like, let us look further. We find a beautiful symbolic portrayal of it in the closing chapters of the Book of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22. Let me quote a few selected verses from those chapters:''I saw a new heaven and a new earth...and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem [meaning the place of peace ---- HRC] coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne saying, 'Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, for the former things have passed away.'
''And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb [Christ ---- HRC]... Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.''
The symbolism flows on, but this is perhaps sufficient to show the beauty and newness of life when God and the Lamb, or Christ, are openly with us.
Now let us take a look at some more recent words, giving further indication as to what this new world is to be like, through the influence of Christ's active presence on the physical plane. First from AAB's The Reappearance of the Christ (page 101):''Thus the Christ, with the fused energies of love and wisdom, with the aid of the Avatar of Synthesis (2) and the Buddha (2), and under the influence of the Spirit of Peace and of Equilibrium (2), can implement and direct the energies which will produce the coming new civilization. He will see, demonstrating before His eyes, the true resurrection ---- the emergence of man-kind from the imprisoning cave of materialism. Thus He will 'see of the travail of His soul and shall be satisfied.' ''
Turning again to the Messages, we find in so many of them the emphasis on love, brotherhood, justice and sharing.‘‘My energy of Love, My Gift, creates among men a pool of happiness. Dip deeply therein, My friends and, shining with the Light of Love emerge into a New Day... The rock upon which that glorious future will be built is Love, Justice and Sharing.’’ (Message No. 45) ‘‘The world awaits the sounding of the Cosmic Dates. The nations prepare for a New Dispensation, and in Trust and Brotherhood all men will share.’’ (Message No. 36) ‘‘I shall show you wonders of which you cannot dream. I shall release from your eyes the blindfold of ignorance. I shall drive from this earth forever the curse of hatred, the sin of separation... The time is coming, My friends, when the Light of Truth shall shine all around you, when man shall take his brother to his heart and know him as himself.’’ (Message No. 51)
We are not led to expect that all these great changes will take place overnight, but that His coming will bring a great change, a definite turning point from chaos toward harmony and goodwill. So, perhaps more rapidly than we can conjecture, the present difficulties will be transmuted into tranquility and peace. Let me quote from Creme's The Reappearance of the Christ and the Masters of Wisdom (p. 177) a surprisingly strong statement to that effect:''He works very closely with the law of action and reaction, and His function is to transform the prevalent discord, confusion, chaos, turmoil in the world into its opposite, so that we shall enter an era of tranquility and peace ---- in exact proportion to the present discord. The violence and hatred of today will be transmuted into goodwill, and again, in exact proportion to the intensity of the hatred and violence. This is the great law of action and reaction. The law stated is that action and reaction are equal and opposite; and this great entity, the Spirit of Equilibrium, is working now with the Christ, producing the transformation of the world.''
Thus far we have seen a few minor hints as to our part in all this. Let us now look a bit more closely into what is intended as our share and our responsibility.
‘‘Take now the first steps into your glory. Serve the purpose of your return and the Plan of God; they are one and the same. My Masters will show you the first steps out of the quagmire. They will show you that a simpler life can be led in full happiness and manifested Divinity, through Love and Service of our brothers... Make now your choice: to serve My Plan and see the Light which beckons you into the future, or to sound forever the knell of regret.’’ (Message No. 16)
‘‘My coming will transform the world, but the major work of restoration must be done by you. I am the Architect, only, of the Plan. You, My friends and brothers, are the willing builders of the shining Temple of Truth. I shall give you the key of that Temple, and entering therein shall you know God. My Masters await, also, your response to their guidance. Give them your trust and let them lead you into the New Dawn, sharing together the earth’s produce, knowing together the joy of Brotherhood, manifesting together the divinity within you all.
The time is short indeed till you shall see me. Make best use of this little time to prepare My Way, to teach all those whom you meet the words of Truth which I send you. Lead them, too, into the Path of Light and the Promise which My return brings to the world. My emergence into full vision is imminent. Watch and wait and sleep not.’’ (Message No. 65)
Let me give you one more quote from the Messages, this one from Message No. 50:"Take Me to your hearts, as I, My dear brothers and sisters, have taken you to mine, and working together let us remake the world. Let us change all that is corrupt and useless in your structures, all that prevents the manifestation of your divinity. Let us together show the way for the Little Ones and hold fast the world for them. I appeal to you to aid Me in My Task of succor... My coming is planned, is lawful, and releases to you the Love and Will of God. I am the Manifestation of both Love and Will. I am the Caretaker. I am the One sent to teach you. I am the Flute Player... I am the Lawgiver. I hear all pleas. I come to Save. I render Service. Make yourselves one with me, and let us together serve the Plan... May the Divine Light and Love and Power of the One Most Holy God be now manifest within your hearts and minds. May this Light and Love and Power lead to the manifestation of that Divine Being Whom in truth you are.’’
1. Avatar ---- Spiritual Being who ‘descends’ in answer to mankind’s call and need.
2. Avatar of Synthesis ---- the Buddha ---- the Spirit of Peace and of Equilibrium. Three Great Beings who constitute a triangle of Cosmic Energies, reinforcing and strengthening the energies of the Christ.
This article is a chapter from The Joy of Christ's Coming. This book by the late Rev. Howard Ray Carey was published by Share International Foundation in 1988. It is not currently available in hard copy form. Copyright © Share International Foundation. Biblical quotations are taken from the Revised Standard version unless otherwise indicated.
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