I attended my church on the first Sunday of Advent, and was surprised by the Scripture readings on that day. The first was Jeremiah 33:14-16 and the second was Luke 21:25-36. Both of these readings had to do with the SECOND Advent. Interesting! Where was this going? Well, as the sermon unfolded the pastor declared that he was tired of waiting and was it not the case that the Saviour had already come? He summed up by pointing out the Spirit filled people with whom we are in daily contact, and in whose faces we see the face of Jesus. 2nd Peter 2:3-4, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Were is the promise of His coming for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” I certainly would not put our pastor this category, but in declaring that Jesus had already come, the logical thing to do is to stop looking for His second Advent. Doing this, I find very dangerous!
But first, we should remind ourselves of the omnipresence of God. This is beautifully recounted in the Psalm 139 : 7 – 12, “Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there; if I make my bed in Hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from Thee; but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to Thee.” So, the presence of God is all around us but this is not the issue in discussion.
After the resurrection, Jesus presented Himself to the disciples who were in a room behind a locked door. Because Jesus “appeared”, they were frightened thinking He was a spirit. Luke 28:38,39, “And He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I, Myself; Handle Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.” So, at the birth of Jesus, we refer to the Word made flesh, or God incarnate. John 1:14, states rather beautifully, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” We readily accept this concept regarding Jesus’ birth and ministry among the people of His day, but, in spite of the post resurrection quote above, we try to spiritualize Jesus. Jesus was and still remains the Word made flesh, the messenger of God, the anointed one, the King of kings and Lord of lords, the Messiah! Therefore, Jesus does not occupy our bodies, having returned to earth in the Spirit. Again, listen to the words of John 14:2,3, “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF, THAT WHERE I AM, YE MAY BE ALSO.”
So, if Jesus is not the spirit within us, who is? Well, I believe the answer is found in John 14 : 16 & 17, “And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and SHALL BE IN you.” So, it is the Comforter or the Spirit of Truth that shall abide IN us! Chapter 15 : 26 & 27, summarizes the discourse on this subject, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me; And ye also shall bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” Or John 16 : 7, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.” So, here Jesus clearly distinguishes between Himself and the Comforter, the third party in the Trinity. (Pic courtesy The Chosen Word)
So, we seem to have defined the Trinity. God, the Spirit abiding in heaven and present everywhere; Jesus, the Word made flesh, currently abiding with the Father until He returns to take up the reins of the kingdom and reign; and the Holy Spirit which abides in each of us who have accepted Jesus as Saviour.
Consequently, is it dangerous to consider that Jesus has already come? Well, we have the parable of the ten virgins who went out to meet the bridegroom, and while waiting, some of them allowed their lamps to run out of oil, so they came late to the wedding supper and the door was shut. He told us that the servant who is not vigilant runs risk of his master returning at an unexpected time and finding him drunken. Nor does the Master expect to find us in shame in our nakedness. From the quote above, Luke 21, I mention only two verses, 27 & 28, “And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Jesus did not say He would come as a Spirit, and live within our hearts; He said He is coming in great glory and EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM!! And why should we rejoice? (As if our redemption were not enough!)
Revelation 22: 12, “And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with Me, to give to every man ACCORDING AS HIS WORK SHALL BE.” This is work in the kingdom of Christ! Luke 22: 29 & 30, “And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father has appointed unto Me; That ye may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” Well, we will not sit on thrones appointed to the disciples, but we will participate in the kingdom with Christ’s rewards according as our work shall be! Are we tired of waiting? No! But we grow increasingly anxious, as the signs proclaiming the soon return of Christ keep piling up, waiting for the time when our clean hearts will burst with joy at our redemption. Hallelujah!
Even so, come Lord Jesus!