The Second Coming
by Edgar Cayce
THE CAYCE READINGS FORTHRIGHTLY affirm the second coming of Jesus the Christ. "How hath the angel given? 'As ye have seen Him go, so will ye see Him come.' Were those just words? No!" (no. 1158-9; compare Acts. 1:1-11). The mode of this return is here suggested to be similar to that of Jesus' ascension, as described in the biblical Acts of the Apostles. We find a further explanation of this understanding with the statement that it "will be only to those... who look for and expect to see Him as He is" (no. 3615-1; compare Matt. 24:29-31; Mark 13:26; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). This language seems to imply a mode of manifestation that is not necessarily public or perceptible to all persons on earth at the time.
(Compare with The Second Coming of Elijah )
Rudolf Steiner affirmed through his own clairvoyant activity an under-standing of the return of Christ Jesus similar to that found in the Edgar Cayce readings. According to Johannes Hemleben's Rudolf Steiner, in 1923 Steiner stated, "Christ will return, but in a form that transcends physical reality, a form that only he can look upon who has come to understand spiritual life." Yet the manifestation is not, we are told by Cayce, to be understood as merely a vague influence. "He shall come as ye have seen Him go, in the body He occupied in Galilee. The body that He formed, that was crucified on the cross, that rose from the tomb, that walked by the sea, that appeared to Simon, that appeared to Philip, that appeared to 'I, even John'" (no. 5749-4; compare John 21:1 25; 1 Cor. 15:3-8). This language clearly seems to imply a manifestation of Jesus that will be recognizable to those who know him in some fashion. (The first-person reference to the apostle John in this quotation is one of the few instances in the readings in which the "source" is willing to reveal its identity. Other sources so identified are the archangel Michael [no. 254-42, 66; no. 294-100; 262-27, 28, 29, 33], the angel Halaliel [no. 4976-15; no. 262-56] and possibly Jesus himself [no. 993-3; no. 137-125]. It should be recognized, however, that this kind of phenomenon is rare in the whole corpus of 14,256 recorded Cayce readings. That which is ordinarily called "mediumship" is almost totally nonexistent. A possible exception is reading no. 5756-5, and this experience was not intended or requested by Cayce.) In several readings it is stated that "the day of the Lord is indeed at hand" (no. 2156-1). This statement is explained in the following question and answer given in another reading.
Q-3. What is meant by "the day of the Lord is near at hand?"
A-3. That as has been promised through the prophets and the sages of old, the time and half time [compare Dan. 7:25] has been and is being fulfilled in this day and generation [date of the reading, July 9, 1933], and that soon there will again appear in the earth that one through whom many will be called to meet those that are preparing the way for His day in the earth. The Lord, then, will come, "even as ye have seen Him go" [compare Acts 1:11].
Q-4. How soon?
A-4. When those that are His have made the way clear, passable, for Him to come. (no. 262-49)
The reference in the reading here quoted to "that one" apparently means the same person described elsewhere as the "one who is to be a forerunner of that influence in the earth known as the Christ Consciousness, the coming of that force or power into the earth that has been spoken of through the ages" (no. 5749-5). (The phrase "that influence in the earth known as the Christ Consciousness" is probably similar to that frequently identified by Rudolf Steiner as "the Christ Impulse.") The name of this "forerunner" is not given in the readings. The same reading, however, goes on to use more conventional language concerning the second coming of the Christ, speaking of "those days when He will come in the flesh, in the earth, to call His own by name." This language, to be sure, implies some kind of bodily manifestation. Another reading speaks of the return of the Lord as follows. "Then shall the Christ Spirit be manifest in the world" (no. 262-29). To return to the issue of the time of the event, "The time no one knows. Even as He gave, not even the Son Himself, only the Father. Not until His enemies and the earth are wholly in subjection to His will, His powers" (no. 5749-2; compare Matt. 24:36; Acts 1:6-7; 1 Cor. 15 :20-28). But then in answer to the further question, "Are we entering the period of preparation for His coming?" the same reading says, "Entering the test period rather." (The date of this reading, June 28, 1932, is the occasion of the first Annual Congress of the Association for Research and Enlightenment.) Another reading, given in the context of consideration of possible changes in the earth's surface structure predicted for the second half of the twentieth cen- tury, states, "These will begin in those periods in '58 to '98, when these will be proclaimed as the periods when His light will be seen again in the clouds" (no. 3976-15; compare Mark 13:26 and parallels).
(Compare. number 40 means separation from satan)
Here we note reference apparently to an event visible, at least to some, and of grand scope. We note with regard to the time of the second coming several comments in one of the 262 series of readings that speak of many persons feeling that the Father has delayed the return of the Christ out of "the merciful kindness of the Father." In this context the further word is given that also speaks movingly of the high importance of human responsibilities and contributions to the event, especially the mission of Jesus' followers.
Yet, as He has given, in patience, in listening, in being still, may ye know that the Lord doeth all things well. Be not weary that He apparently prolongs His time, for, as the Master has given, "As to the day, no man knoweth, not even the Son, but the Father, and they to whom the Father may reveal the Son, prepareth the way that all men may know the love of the Father" (compare Matt. 24:36; 11:27; John 14: 1-3). And as ye would be the channel to hasten that glorious day of the coming of the Lord, then do with a might that thy hands find to do to make for the greater manifestations of the love of the Father in the earth. For, into thy keeping, and to His children and to His sons, has He committed the keeping of the saving of the world, of the souls of men.... So as He gave, "I leave thee, but I will come again and receive as many as ye have quickened through the manifesting in thy life the will of the Father in the earth." Hence know that as thine mind, thine activities, long more and more for the glorifying of the Son in the earth, for the coming of the day of the Lord, He draws very nigh unto thee. (no. 262-58, given on February 11, 1934)
Here, as frequently elsewhere in the Cayce readings, the mission of the followers of the risen Christ is seen as intimately, inextricably associated with his followers' manifestation of the will of the Father in their own lives, in their thoughts and feelings as in their activities. We find also in one of the Cayce readings what we may call, using historic Christian terminology, a kind of millenarian view. This faith holds that the return of Christ Jesus upon this earth in visible form will result in a glorious reign of a thousand years. At the end of this period the forces of evil will be unleashed, and a battle of cosmic scope between the forces of good and evil will ensue. God the Father and his Christ will have total victory over all opposing will, and complete harmony and happiness will be the experience of all who are on God's side (compare Rev. 20:1-22:21). The question was asked, "When Jesus the Christ comes the second time, will He set up His kingdom on earth and will it be an everlasting kingdom?" The sleeping Cayce answered, "Read his promises in that ye have written of His words, even as I gave. He shall rule for a thousand years" (no. 5749-4; compare Rev. 20:7-10). This is one of the few cases in the Cayce readings in which the speaker Is revealed to be other than Cayce's own subconscious self. Here the speaker would seem to be the John who was the author of the New Testament book, the Revelation to John. With regard, however, to the larger issue of millennial phenomena, no further information is given. The reading in this case is the only one to offer this position of faith, and it is proper to add that with regard to particularities of time, millennial views have played only a minority role in the history of Christian faith. It is proper to note in the reading just cited that the word "promises" is used rather than "predictions." This usage is common in the Cayce readings, wherein the teaching of Jesus, as of Scripture as a whole, is frequently spoken of as replete with positive divine promises for the salvation, the welfare of humanity. The general posture of the Cayce readings is to combine helpful anticipation of the future with positive emphasis upon present possibilities within this world and the next. Thus we read,If ye will believe that He is, ye may experience. For as many as have named the name, and that do unto their brethren the deeds that bring to them, to you [also], that closeness, oneness of purpose with Him, may know ye, too in body, in mind, that where He is, there ye may be also....
For thy Christ, thy Lord, thy Jesus is nigh unto thee just now! (no. 5749 6; compare Heb. 11:6; Matt. 25:31-46; John 14:3)
This dual emphasis is revealed in yet another reading, a reading that also speaks of the coming again of the Lord Jesus as possible in s variety of ways, both external and internal.
Then again He may come in body to claim His own. Is He abroad today in the earth? Yea, in those that cry unto Him from every corner. For He, the Father, hath not suffered His soul to see corruption, neither hath it taken hold on those things that make the soul afraid. For, He is the Son of Light, of God, and is holy before Him. And He comes again in the hearts and souls and minds of those that seek to know His ways.
These be hard to be understood by those in the flesh, where prejudice, avarice, vice of all natures holds sway in the flesh. Yet those that call on Him will not go empty-handed! (no. 5749-5; compare Acts 2:27, 31, and the like; Gal. 5:19-21; Rom. 10:12-13)