Second Coming

If, as we know, along with all Christendom Paul viewed the Resurrection of Christ as central to our faith (1 Cor 15,12-19), no less so was the certainty of his return, the parousia, or “Second Coming” (1 Cor 16,22; 1 Th 2,19; 3,13; 4,15 and 5,23; 2 Th 2,1,8; Heb 9,28 and 10,37). But the conviction that his Resurrection was “in the body” and the expectation that his return would be likewise have, with the loss of the first century’s inspired vision and the increasing focus upon the modern “scientific” mind, caused the truth to be lost by division (a “house divided,” Mt 12,25-26) into opposing camps of internecine misunderstanding. On the one hand are the fundamentalists who maddeningly insist on the reconstitution, atom by atom, of the mineral-physical body not only of Christ but also of his followers “on the last day.” On the other hand are the rest who, hopelessly diffused, nevertheless hold tenaciously, likewise as a matter of “faith,” to some type of Resurrection and Second Coming, but cannot swallow the incredible inconsistencies assumed by the “atomic” scenario. In between, erstwhile believers slip away from firm conviction while their younger sensitive counterparts ignore Christianity as increasingly irrelevant, understandably disenchanted by both camps.

One senses that just as humanity had to sink to the “Right Time” before the Advent of Christ, Christianity had to come to this threshold of immolation before comprehension of the reconciling Truth of the Mystery of Golgotha could ripen Faith into a Faith based upon the greater certainty of Knowledge.

Anthroposophy shows us that Christ incarnated “Once for All” and that those who expect its repeat do not understand the cosmic significance of the Incarnation in the first instance. Yet, while the “atomic” scenario is indeed an Ahrimanic (delusively materialistic; see 2 Th 2,11) falsehood, it is nevertheless true that the Resurrection of Christ was in the “body,” so also will be his Second Coming. Paul made a clear distinction, of course, between “the body” and “the flesh,” and it is this distinction that is ignored by the expectation of “atomic” reconstitution. The Resurrection of Christ was of all of his three bodies, the physical, etheric and astral, while the higher components of his Being (see I-9) experienced death without themselves ever having died (Jn 11,26).

A critical distinction must here be made, however, between the Resurrection of Christ and that of humanity. The perfection of Christ was absolute and thus during Earth evolution his Resurrection was of both the physical and etheric bodies (ignoring as here irrelevant the less dense astral body). The resurrection of humanity, of which Luke speaks for instance in Lk 20,35-36, is what it will experience when the mineral-physical body is permanently laid aside (with the end of reincarnation), and when at the “last trumpet” (1 Cor 15; see “Trumpet[s]”) the etheric body is also laid aside, both as a result of Earth evolution leading to the Jupiter Condition of Consciousness (see I-1 through I-3), the “New Jerusalem” of Rev 21. Earth evolution is the “Age” spoken of by Christ (e.g., Mt 28,20; Mt 24,3; Lk 20,34). Humanity will convert its astral body to the manas (Spirit Self) state on Jupiter, its etheric body to the buddhi (Life Spirit) state on Venus, and its physical body to the atma (Spirit Man) state on Vulcan. Only at the last point can the physical body be said to be resurrected, for it only then attains the redeemed state of its original form or pattern, what Steiner refers to as its “Phantom” (see “Form/Phantom”). This is the state of the “one like a son of man” portrayed in Rev 1,12-16, which during Earth evolution only the Christ could represent. Nevertheless, his Resurrection was humanity’s assurance that even that eventual state is guaranteed to those who take the Christ “I Am” into their being. The witnesses to Christ’s Resurrection experienced both his purified, mineral-free, nonatomic, physical body (i.e., Phantom) as well as his etheric body. They experienced this through Christ-enabled organs of perception other than their senses as we today know them. (Passages that seem to indicate otherwise, such as Lk 24,43, Jn 21,13 and Jn 20,27, dealing with the eating of fish and placing a finger in his wounds, will be seen to have a literally different meaning than that superficially assumed. See, for instance, Point #2 in “Peter, James and John.”) In the same manner (Acts 1,11), those whose organs are thus prepared can now experience his return, the Second Coming, in the etheric world. Rudolf Steiner has shown us the “path” (Mt 7,13-14) to the development of those organs of perception (e.g.,Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment [KHW], as well as in numerous other works).

   
Lord of Karma, Page 20
Second Coming, Page 2