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The Five Comings of Jesus

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When asked, most Christians will say that they are awaiting the second coming of Jesus. Australian theologian, the late D.B Knox, suggests a reading of scripture that includes five comings of Christ, four of which have already taken place. Now, I'm not certain "awaiting the fifth coming of Christ" has the same ring as "second coming", but still, I thought I'd post up an article he wrote. It's taken from a collection of his works titled "The Doctrine of God, Volume 1 - Matthias Media, 2000". There's quite a lot of information, and I'm not going to type it all out (think of my poor fingers here, lol), but I'll revise the important bits, and skip the rhetoric. These five comings stem almost entirely from a discourse on Matthew 24 and 25 – as such, there may not be a reference for something that happens specifically within these chapters, so you might want to read these two chapters.

Anyway, the five comings of Jesus (and let's hope my editing of chunks for brevity have not made the article incomprehensible):

"The coming one" is the title that John the Baptist gave to Jesus. Jesus by implication approved (Matt 11:3). The title goes back to the Septuagint. In Daniel 7:13 ho erchomenos, the coming one, is seen with the clouds of heaven and is introduced into the presence of the Ancient of Days who is seated on his throne surrounded by a myriad of holy ones, his saints. Then "the coming one", who is described as like "a son of man", receives from the Ancient of Days "dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people's nations, languages should serve him." It is an everlasting, indestructible kingdom and dominion over every race of the world.

Five different ways of applying the concept of the coming one to Jesus may be distinguished in the New Testament. Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem and his entry into the world is the first coming.

Examples could be multiplied from the Gospels to indicate that the concept of coming is applied extensively to Jesus with regard to his earthly ministry. There are, however, four other applications of the concept of coming applied to Jesus which may be distinguished in the New Testament.

On leaving the temple precint (see Matt 24-25), one of the disciples drew Jesus’ attention to the magnificent architecture and engineering of the building expressed in the size of the stones that Herod had used. Some of the stones, which Herod used in constructing the temple platform, are still standing, and are huge. The tenor of Jesus’ reply to the question must have been unexpected, for it impressed itself on the minds of the hearers and is reproduced word for word in each of the three synoptic Gospels. “Not a stone will be left on a stone here, which will not be thrown down” (Matt 24:2, Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6).

The predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem (which took place in AD 70) is introduced by the statement “when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him who reads understand (Matt 24:15)”. It was to be a time of tremendous suffering, confirmed in actuality by Josephus’s description of the siege and capture of the city. What is interesting in Matthew’s account is the terming of the event “the coming (that is, the parousia) of the Son of Man” (v27). This second coming will be conspicuous and unmistakeable, as clear for all to see parousia as the lightning is in heaven.

The destruction of Jerusalem was the most conspicuous example of God’s judgement, that is to say, the most conspicuous example of the parousia or presence (translated ‘coming’ in our English version) of the Son of Man. Judgement is one of the offices of the Son of Man. This is explicitly stated in John 5:27, and Matthew 25:31, and is based on Daniel 7 where the final judgement follows the reception of the Son of Man by the Ancient of Days. Every parousia of the Son of Man for judgement will be sudden and unexpected. When men are saying “peace” then suddenly destruction will come upon them.

The coming of the Son of Man in judgement will not only be sudden but will also be absolutely unpredictable as to the day on which it falls. “Of that hour knows no man neither the angels or the Son.” (Matt 24:36). This truth refers equally to the destruction of Jerusalem as to the final denouement or to any other of the comings of the Son of Man in Judgement. Indeed, our Lord was able to foretell that Jerusalem would experience judgement within that generation (Matthew 23:36,39 and 24:34).

The third coming of the Son of Man distinguished in the New Testament is his coming on the clouds of heaven. It is a coming which takes place within the lifetime of Jesus’ hearers and will be recognized by them as having taken palce. Jesus predicted “They shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…. Verily I say unto you this generation shall not pass away until all these things are accomplished”. (Matt 24:30, 34). It is plain from these passages that Jesus expected with absolute certainty that the Son of Man would come on the clouds during the lifetime of his hearers. The imagery of the Son of Man coming on the clouds is drawn directly from Danily 7:13, where the son of man comes with the clouds into the presence of the Ancient of Days and receives the Kingdom.

This coming of the Son of Man is neither a coming into the world at Bethlehem nor the coming or parousia in judgement at Jerusalem but is a coming to the Father. As Jesus said inhis prayer before his death “I come to thee” (John 17:11). He comes to the Father to receive the everlasting kingdom, to be crowned with glory and honour through his death, to sit on God’s right hand, asking reigning and waiting for every enemy to be subject to him. The “coming on the clouds” is a synonym for “sitting at the right hand of God”, and both stand for receiving and the exercising of dominion and sovereignty. In recording the words of the Saviour, Matthew uses both images: “henceforth you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Matt 26:64). Strictly speaking the images are incompatible, but they both stand for the same truth, that through his death Christ has been raised to the Father’s right hand where he now reigns.

“Then shall they see the sign of the Son of Man in heaven” (Matt 24:30). We have in these words probably a reference to the fourth coming of the Son of man. This coming is the coming of the Holy Spirit. “I will not leave you orphans, I come to you” said Jesus in the context of the gift of the Spirit (John 14:18). A verse or two earlier, he had said “I will come again and will receive you until myself, that where I am you may be also”. This verse is also probably a reference to the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ in our hearts. Its language is based on Exodus 19:4, where God comes down on Mt Sinai and brings the nation of Israel until himself. So Christ through his Spirit comes to his disciples and indwells them so that they have fellowship with him, spirit with spirit. The coming of the Spirit into the heart of the believer is the coming of Jesus for fellowship. “I will come in to him and have a mean with him and he with me” (Rev 3:20). “My Father and I will come to him and stay with him” (John 14:23). Jesus comes to his disciples and takes them to himself, that where he is there they may be also (John 14:3), even seated with him at the right hand of God in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6). They have been introduced by Jesus into the presence of God, as the son of man was so introduced in Daniel 7. This is through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the first fruit of their full inheritance. As Jesus is described as ho erchomenos, “the coming one”, so his faithful are described as hoi erchomenoi, “the coming ones”, in Revelation 7:14. They are the ones destined to come into the presence of the Father and receive the kingdom.

One coming yet remains. After the general description of how Christians should live between the fourth and the final comings of the Son of Man which occupies Matthew 24:36-25:30, Jesus refers to the final parousia and coming of the Son of Man. This coming is distinguished from the coming on the clouds (or with the clouds) to receive the kingdom. It is the coming with the angels for the final judgement. The angels surround the throne of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:10. The Son of Man having received his kingdom comes with the angels to the throne of judgement.

The final and fifth coming of Jesus is very prominent in the New Testament. When our Lord ascended in the clouds to the Father in Acts 1, the angelic messengers assured the disciples that this same Jesus would come in like manner as they had seen him go into heaven.

End Article

Well, it hasn't ended, but since the last coming is what most understand as the "second coming", I won't devote space to this last coming, unless people really wish it.

So - thoughts, comments, criticisms? I for one found the second and third comings particularly interesting, and especially how Knox viewed Jesus' comments that the generation would not pass away. Using this interpretation, Jesus was indeed correct.

Anywho, over to you guys now :tu:

Regards, PA

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Why is it that Christians can't admit that Yeshu goofed on the Olivet prophecy? Couldn't the guy have made a single mistake? Just admit that, assuming he really existed (doubtful), that he was a human being as he himself claimed. Why all the fuss?

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Very interesting

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Interesting, especially the part with the prophecies applied to the destruction of Jerusalem. Must've seemed like an apocalyptic event back then.

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Need some contemporary evidence that this ever happened...anyone mention it prior to it being used as an excuse by 18th century Christians trying to explain why their "Savior" missed on his prophecy? Did Paul make a mention of it? Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Peter or any of the others mention it? Was it mentioned Barnabas or Esuebius or any of the early Chruch Fathers? If not, then it is just another fairy tale to add to the Christian mythology - Da Wolf

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Posted (edited)

When asked, most Christians will say that they are awaiting the second coming of Jesus. Australian theologian, the late D.B Knox, suggests a reading of scripture that includes five comings of Christ, four of which have already taken place. Now, I'm not certain "awaiting the fifth coming of Christ" has the same ring as "second coming", but still, I thought I'd post up an article he wrote. It's taken from a collection of his works titled "The Doctrine of God, Volume 1 - Matthias Media, 2000". There's quite a lot of information, and I'm not going to type it all out (think of my poor fingers here, lol), but I'll revise the important bits, and skip the rhetoric. These five comings stem almost entirely from a discourse on Matthew 24 and 25 – as such, there may not be a reference for something that happens specifically within these chapters, so you might want to read these two chapters.

Anyway, the five comings of Jesus (and let's hope my editing of chunks for brevity have not made the article incomprehensible):

"The coming one" is the title that John the Baptist gave to Jesus. Jesus by implication approved (Matt 11:3). The title goes back to the Septuagint. In Daniel 7:13 ho erchomenos, the coming one, is seen with the clouds of heaven and is introduced into the presence of the Ancient of Days who is seated on his throne surrounded by a myriad of holy ones, his saints. Then "the coming one", who is described as like "a son of man", receives from the Ancient of Days "dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people's nations, languages should serve him." It is an everlasting, indestructible kingdom and dominion over every race of the world.

Five different ways of applying the concept of the coming one to Jesus may be distinguished in the New Testament. Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem and his entry into the world is the first coming.

Examples could be multiplied from the Gospels to indicate that the concept of coming is applied extensively to Jesus with regard to his earthly ministry. There are, however, four other applications of the concept of coming applied to Jesus which may be distinguished in the New Testament.

On leaving the temple precint (see Matt 24-25), one of the disciples drew Jesus’ attention to the magnificent architecture and engineering of the building expressed in the size of the stones that Herod had used. Some of the stones, which Herod used in constructing the temple platform, are still standing, and are huge. The tenor of Jesus’ reply to the question must have been unexpected, for it impressed itself on the minds of the hearers and is reproduced word for word in each of the three synoptic Gospels. “Not a stone will be left on a stone here, which will not be thrown down†(Matt 24:2, Mark 13:2, Luke 21:6).

The predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem (which took place in AD 70) is introduced by the statement “when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, let him who reads understand (Matt 24:15)â€. It was to be a time of tremendous suffering, confirmed in actuality by Josephus’s description of the siege and capture of the city. What is interesting in Matthew’s account is the terming of the event “the coming (that is, the parousia) of the Son of Man†(v27). This second coming will be conspicuous and unmistakeable, as clear for all to see parousia as the lightning is in heaven.

The destruction of Jerusalem was the most conspicuous example of God’s judgement, that is to say, the most conspicuous example of the parousia or presence (translated ‘coming’ in our English version) of the Son of Man. Judgement is one of the offices of the Son of Man. This is explicitly stated in John 5:27, and Matthew 25:31, and is based on Daniel 7 where the final judgement follows the reception of the Son of Man by the Ancient of Days. Every parousia of the Son of Man for judgement will be sudden and unexpected. When men are saying “peace†then suddenly destruction will come upon them.

The coming of the Son of Man in judgement will not only be sudden but will also be absolutely unpredictable as to the day on which it falls. “Of that hour knows no man neither the angels or the Son.†(Matt 24:36). This truth refers equally to the destruction of Jerusalem as to the final denouement or to any other of the comings of the Son of Man in Judgement. Indeed, our Lord was able to foretell that Jerusalem would experience judgement within that generation (Matthew 23:36,39 and 24:34).

The third coming of the Son of Man distinguished in the New Testament is his coming on the clouds of heaven. It is a coming which takes place within the lifetime of Jesus’ hearers and will be recognized by them as having taken palce. Jesus predicted “They shall see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory…. Verily I say unto you this generation shall not pass away until all these things are accomplishedâ€. (Matt 24:30, 34). It is plain from these passages that Jesus expected with absolute certainty that the Son of Man would come on the clouds during the lifetime of his hearers. The imagery of the Son of Man coming on the clouds is drawn directly from Danily 7:13, where the son of man comes with the clouds into the presence of the Ancient of Days and receives the Kingdom.

This coming of the Son of Man is neither a coming into the world at Bethlehem nor the coming or parousia in judgement at Jerusalem but is a coming to the Father. As Jesus said inhis prayer before his death “I come to thee†(John 17:11). He comes to the Father to receive the everlasting kingdom, to be crowned with glory and honour through his death, to sit on God’s right hand, asking reigning and waiting for every enemy to be subject to him. The “coming on the clouds†is a synonym for “sitting at the right hand of Godâ€, and both stand for receiving and the exercising of dominion and sovereignty. In recording the words of the Saviour, Matthew uses both images: “henceforth you shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming on the clouds of heaven†(Matt 26:64). Strictly speaking the images are incompatible, but they both stand for the same truth, that through his death Christ has been raised to the Father’s right hand where he now reigns.

“Then shall they see the sign of the Son of Man in heaven†(Matt 24:30). We have in these words probably a reference to the fourth coming of the Son of man. This coming is the coming of the Holy Spirit. “I will not leave you orphans, I come to you†said Jesus in the context of the gift of the Spirit (John 14:18). A verse or two earlier, he had said “I will come again and will receive you until myself, that where I am you may be alsoâ€. This verse is also probably a reference to the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ in our hearts. Its language is based on Exodus 19:4, where God comes down on Mt Sinai and brings the nation of Israel until himself. So Christ through his Spirit comes to his disciples and indwells them so that they have fellowship with him, spirit with spirit. The coming of the Spirit into the heart of the believer is the coming of Jesus for fellowship. “I will come in to him and have a mean with him and he with me†(Rev 3:20). “My Father and I will come to him and stay with him†(John 14:23). Jesus comes to his disciples and takes them to himself, that where he is there they may be also (John 14:3), even seated with him at the right hand of God in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6). They have been introduced by Jesus into the presence of God, as the son of man was so introduced in Daniel 7. This is through the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is the first fruit of their full inheritance. As Jesus is described as ho erchomenos, “the coming oneâ€, so his faithful are described as hoi erchomenoi, “the coming onesâ€, in Revelation 7:14. They are the ones destined to come into the presence of the Father and receive the kingdom.

One coming yet remains. After the general description of how Christians should live between the fourth and the final comings of the Son of Man which occupies Matthew 24:36-25:30, Jesus refers to the final parousia and coming of the Son of Man. This coming is distinguished from the coming on the clouds (or with the clouds) to receive the kingdom. It is the coming with the angels for the final judgement. The angels surround the throne of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:10. The Son of Man having received his kingdom comes with the angels to the throne of judgement.

The final and fifth coming of Jesus is very prominent in the New Testament. When our Lord ascended in the clouds to the Father in Acts 1, the angelic messengers assured the disciples that this same Jesus would come in like manner as they had seen him go into heaven.

End Article

Well, it hasn't ended, but since the last coming is what most understand as the "second coming", I won't devote space to this last coming, unless people really wish it.

So - thoughts, comments, criticisms? I for one found the second and third comings particularly interesting, and especially how Knox viewed Jesus' comments that the generation would not pass away. Using this interpretation, Jesus was indeed correct.

Anywho, over to you guys now :tu:

Regards, PA

WOW PA you posted the entire artical...............yet I posted an entire artical..and you took it apon yoursef to deleat most of it..saying not allowed to do that..and source??

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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I feel like someone just cut the power off right before the movie ends. What happens in the final return of Christ according to the author?

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