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The Reappearance of the Christ - Chapter IV - The Work of the Christ Today and in the Future
Christ has been for two thousand years a silent, passive Figure, hidden behind a multitude of words written by a multitude of men (commentators and preachers). The church has pointed us to the dying Christ upon the Cross and not to the living, working, active, present Christ Who has been with us in bodily Presence (according to His promise) for twenty centuries.

Let us, therefore, endeavor to get a truer picture of Christ's activities and life and - consequently - of our future hope. Let us try and realize the ever-present yet divine Person, laying His plans for the future helping of humanity, assessing His resources, influencing His disciples and organizing the details which will attend His reappearance. We need to awaken faith in the factual nature of divine revelation, and galvanize the church of Christ into a truer appreciation of Him and of His work. It is the living, acting, thinking Christ with whom we must deal, remembering always that the Gospel story is eternally true and only needs reinterpreting in the light of its place in the long succession of divine revelations. His Mission on earth two thousand years ago is a part of that continuity and is not an extraordinary story, having no relation to the past, emphasizing a period of only 33 years and presenting no clear hope for the future.

What is the hope held out today by the orthodox and unimaginative theologians? That at some distant date, known only to the inscrutable will of God the Father, Christ will issue forth from His seat at the right hand of God, and (followed by His angels and by the Church invisible) descending upon the clouds of Heaven, to the sound of a trumpet, He will make an appearance in [65] Jerusalem. The battle raging at that time will then end, and He will enter the city of Jerusalem to rule for one thousand years. During this millennium, Satan or the principle of evil will be bound or imprisoned, and there will be a new heaven and new earth. Further than that, we are told nothing; humanity hopes for so much more that the picture presented does not intrigue them.

Behind this portrayal, if rightly interpreted, stands the human, the loving and the divine Presence of the Christ, embodying divine love and wielding divine power, directing His Church and establishing the Kingdom of God on Earth. What is this church of Christ? It is constituted of the sumtotal of all those in whom the life of Christ or the Christ-consciousness is to be found or is in process of finding expression; it is the aggregation of all who love their fellowmen, because to love one's fellowmen is the divine faculty which makes us full members of Christ's community. It is not the accepting of any historical fact or theological creed which places us en rapport with Christ. The citizens of the Kingdom of God are all those who are deliberately seeking the light and attempting (through self-imposed discipline) to stand before the One Initiator; this worldwide group (whether in the body or out of it) accepts the teaching that "the sons of men are one"; they know that divine revelation is continuous and ever new, and that the divine Plan is working itself out on Earth.

There are those today on Earth who know that through the instrumentality, the inspiration and the instruction of those sons of men who have wrought out their divinity in the crucible of daily human living the Kingdom of God will come into being; these Knowers now work actively, under the direct impression of the Christ, in leading [66] humanity from darkness to light and from death to immortality.

These are the great underlying truths which are distinctive of the Christ, of the Buddha, and of the Church of God, as it expresses itself in the East and in the West; these are the only truths which matter. In the future, the eyes of humanity will be fixed upon Christ and not upon any such man-made institutions as the Church and its dignitaries; Christ will be seen as He is in reality, working through His disciples, through the Masters of the Wisdom and through His followers who toil unseen (and usually unrecognized) behind world affairs. The sphere of His activity will be known to be the human heart and also the crowded market places of the world, but not some stone edifice and not the pomp and ceremony of any ecclesiastical headquarters.

Our study of the future work of the Christ is necessarily based upon three assumptions:

  1. That the reappearance of the Christ is inevitable and assured.
  2. That He is today and has been actively working - through the medium of the spiritual Hierarchy of our planet, of which He is the Head - for the welfare of humanity.
  3. That certain teachings will be given and certain energies will be released by Him in the routine of His work and coming. People are apt to forget that the coming of the Christ necessitates a period of intensive preparation by Him; He, too, works under law and is subject to control from various sources - just as are all human beings, but in a much lesser degree.

His reappearance is conditioned and determined by the reaction of humanity itself; by that reaction He must abide. His work is subject also to certain phases of [67] spiritual and cyclic timing and to impressions from sources to be found on higher levels than those upon which He normally works. Just as human affairs have effects upon His action, so great "determinations" and "profound settlements within the will of God" also have their effects. The human side or nature of the Christ, perfected and sensitive, responds to the invocation and to the appeal of men; His divine side or nature is equally responsive to the impact of energies, issuing from "the center where the will of God is known." Between these two, He has to make adjustment and bring about right timing. The bringing of good out of human so-called evil is no easy task; the vision of the Christ is so vast and His grasp of the Law of Cause and Effect, of Action and Reaction is such that the arriving at right decision as to activity and time is no simple one. Human beings are apt to look at all that happens, or that could happen, from the purely human and immediate angle; they have little understanding of the problems, decisions and implications with which Christ is today faced. In these, His pledged disciples share. Their task is to develop "the mind that is in Christ" and as they do so, they will help make clear the way for "the coming of His feet," as the Bible puts it (Heb., XII, 13.) Seeing life and events in the light of the spiritual values, as He does, will facilitate the giving out of the new teaching and will provide the skeleton structure of the new world religion, thus giving us a fresh view of divine intention and a living insight into the minds of Those Who implement the divine will and are the engineers of humanity's future. Let us, therefore, try and appreciate not only the opportunity which Christ has to help us (which is the usual presentation), but let us look also at the crises and problems with which He is confronted as He faces the work which He must do. [68]

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