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Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Spiritual Return of Jesus

By George Johnston

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." --Matthew 24:29-30

In his book The Second Coming of Christ, Paramahansa Yogananda interprets the return of Jesus in the above passage as Jesus appearing to individuals in a spiritual form, not in a physical body (Volume II, pp. 1312-1314). However, he does not refer to this as "the Second Coming of Christ". Yogananda sees the Second Coming of Christ as the awakening of each individual soul, in the course of its spiritual development, to unity with the Christ Consciousness - God as the omnipresent, guiding intelligence in creation. First, one experiences the Christ Consciousness; then one can merge with it. Thereafter, the soul is able to ascend to oneness with God as the Supreme Being, the ultimate Source of all that ever was and will be.

In commenting on Matthew 24, Yogananda says that, immediately after great tribulations and upheavals in nature, even greater troubles will ensue: the sun and moon will be darkened, great "falling stars" of meteors will enter the earth's atmosphere, and the many seas will be roiling with upheavals and tidal waves. Then those who become sufficiently developed spiritually will be able to "see the embodied Christ Consciousness (Jesus) coming out of the ethereal clouds of the darkness of closed eyes into the Christ light of the spiritual eye, his form radiant with luminous heavenly power and great glory."

The spiritual eye is the sixth chakra - the astral organ of spiritual sight. By deep, devotional meditation, with the eyes turned upward and one's concentration focused at the midpoint between the eyebrows, it is possible to see the light of the spiritual eye. Yogananda speaks of this wondrous light in his writings. He says that being born again (being born in Spirit) means seeing the Christ light of the spiritual eye, entering through it into Christ Consciousness, and finally, by further development, merging into Cosmic Consciousness. This is the kingdom of God - the blissful state of oneness with God as the Supreme Being, the Source of all beings and all creation.

As in the above prophecy of Jesus, many of the prophecies that have been received in our times speak of enormous changes coming to our earth and solar system, with the earth being enveloped in darkness for several days. Some of them explain that these changes are part of a long-awaited process for the purification and regeneration of the earth and its life forms and for beneficial changes in our galaxy. They speak of opportunities for spiritual growth, which already are all around us. They advise us that, in order to take advantage of these opportunities and cope with what is coming, we need to open our hearts and minds. They tell us we should make every effort to participate in the spiritual transformation that is taking place ... that God and divine beings are there to help us every step of the way.

In Messages from Jesus, by Mary Ann Johnston, Jesus spoke to the author about his return. Among other things, he said that, although many like her had already experienced his return, when he would return for all mankind, "all shall know." He told her that he would come "in Christ Consciousness, for all people everywhere, with the glory of the heavens and earth", and "the highest heavens and all of nature rejoicing." (Third Edition, 2009, pp. 46-47)

George Johnston lives in the Clear Light Community at Song of the Morning Retreat with his wife, Mary Ann, who authored Sustained by Faith & Messages from Jesus. As a team they work to spread the messages of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, and other great beings. George graduated in 1956 from Yale University, with an honors major in philosophy, and has taught the spiritual principles of yoga and led meditations since 1962.

See website to find out more about George & Mary Ann's spiritual writings:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why Did John the Baptist Say He Was a Voice Crying in the Wilderness?

By Carey Kinsolving

"John the Baptist said he was a crying voice because he was a Baptist," says Kaylin, 11.

I wonder if Kaylin's assertion should be considered for a vote at the national convention of the Southern Baptists.

"John did not want them to think he was Jesus," said Morgan, 9. "Jesus was his cousin."

the religious leaders asked John, "Who are you?" he could have said,
"I'm not the Messiah, but he's my cousin." John and Jesus were probably
cousins. The Bible says John's mother and Mary were relatives (Luke
1:36). John resisted the temptation to call attention to himself.

was trying to say to the Jews, I am just a person coming to tell about
Jesus," says Jessica, 8. "I am no one important. I cannot save you from
your evil ways. Only Jesus can. I have been chosen by God to come and
speak to you."

Humility is what we can learn from John the
Baptist. In a sermon, Pastor Jerry Hoffman made several interesting
observations about the questioning of John the Baptist as it relates to
us. Hardly a day goes by when we aren't asked in one way or another,
"Who are you?"

We often identify ourselves in terms of our job,
profession or family relations. Not John. He gives all honor to the
Lord Jesus. He knew the buzz from Jerusalem was that he might be the
Messiah. "I am not the Christ," he said.

Next, they wanted to
know if John was Elijah. In the last two verses of the last book in the
Old Testament, God promises to send Elijah "before the coming of the
great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Malachi 4:5).

About John the
Baptist, Jesus said, "And if you are willing to receive it, he is
Elijah who is to come" (Matthew 11:14). In other words, John the
Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. Through his prophetic message and
miracles, God sent Elijah to turn the nation of Israel and its leaders
back to the Lord. Similarly, God sent John the Baptist to announce the
Messiah's coming to Israel and the impending judgment if they failed to
receive him.

By 70 A.D., Jerusalem lay in ruins. Although Jewish
Apostles and converts started the early church in Jerusalem, they soon
found themselves persecuted by their countrymen. Like John the Baptist,
Jesus warned of coming judgment. As Jesus accurately predicted, the
temple and Jerusalem were destroyed within a generation (Matthew 24).

summarize John's ministry, Hoffman writes: "Christ is the Word of God.
We are simply the instruments (voices) through which the Word flows to
the world. John the Baptist, more than any other individual who walked
this earth since his time, had the right to heap accolades upon himself.

was related to the Lord, he was the fulfillment of Old Testament
prophecy, and he had a band of disciples who followed his teaching.
Yet, the cry of his heart and voice was 'Make straight the way of the
Lord.' In other words, it's not about me, the King is coming, prepare
your hearts to receive Him. Remove all of the obstacles in your life
that would prevent him from coming to you."

Think about this:
True ministry points others to Jesus Christ, not to ourselves. Memorize
this truth: "I am 'the voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make
straight the way of the Lord"'" (John 1:23). Ask this question: Is your
voice pointing people to Jesus Christ?

Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and
website developer. To see more material like this, visit http://www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org.
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Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.

Copyright 2009 Carey Kinsolving