Let us forget distance, remoteness and vagueness and realise that we are talking of exact and literal happenings on our planet. We are dealing with recognitions and occurrences and with factual events which are the conscious possession of many. The Christ of history and the Christ in the human heart are planetary facts.
There is one aspect of this return of the Christ which is never touched upon and to which no reference is ever made. It is the factor of what this coming out again among men, this return to outer everyday activity will mean to the Christ as He faces it. How will He feel when the hour of His appearance arrives?
There is a great initiation spoken of in The New Testament to which we have given the name of the Ascension. Of it we know nothing. Only a few items of information are brought to us in the Gospel story; the fact of the mountain top, of attendant watchers, and of the words of Christ, assuring them that He was not leaving them. Then a cloud received Him out of their sight. (Acts I.9.) There were none present who could go further with Him. Their consciousness could not penetrate to the place where He had chosen to go; they even misinterpreted His words and only in a vague and mystical sense has humanity ever understood His disappearance, or the significance of His persistent but unobserved Presence. The watchers were assured by two of the Knowers of God Who were also present that He would come again in like manner. He ascended. The cloud received Him; today the clouds which cover our planet are waiting to reveal Him.
He is now waiting to descend. This descent into our unhappy world of men can present Him with no alluring picture. From the quiet mountain retreat where He has waited, guided and watched over humanity and where He has trained His disciples, initiates and the New Group of World Servers, He must come forth and take His place prominently on the world stage; take His part in the great drama which is there being played. This time, He will play His part, not in obscurity as He previously did but before the eyes of the entire world. Because of the smallness of our little planet, and because of the prevalence of the radio, of television and the rapidity of communication, His part will be watched by all and the prospect must surely, for Him, hold certain horror, must present its tests and major adjustments, plus painful and unavoidable experience. He does not come as the omnipotent God of man’s ignorant creation, but as the Christ, the Founder of the Kingdom of God on Earth, to complete the work He started, and again to demonstrate divinity in far more difficult circumstances.
The Christ suffers, however, far more from those in His Own household than from those in the outer world; His work is more impeded by the advanced aspirant than by the intelligent thinker. It was not the cruelty of the outer world of men which caused the depths of sorrow to the Christ; it was His Own disciples, plus the massed sorrow—spread over the entire cycle of living—past, present and future—of humanity.
He comes to correct the mistakes and the misrepresentations of those who have dared to interpret His simple words in terms of their own ignorance, and to recognise those whose faithful service has made His return possible. He too is facing a major test, preparatory to a great initiation and when He has passed the test and fulfilled His task, He will pass to a still more exalted position in the Father’s House or to some distant place of service where only the most exalted can follow Him; His present position will then be taken by the One Whom He has prepared and trained.
But before all this can happen, He must again enter the public arena, play His part in world affairs, and prove the scope of His mission. He will gather round Him, in the flesh, His chosen associates and advisors; these will not be the ones who gathered around in those earlier simpler days but those members of our human family who today recognise Him and are preparing to work with Him as far as in them lies. It is a different world to which He is now planning to return and this is largely due to the intellectual development of the mass of men. This presents Him with stupendous difficulties, for the intellects of men must now be reached and not just their hearts (as in the earlier days) if the Will of God is to be intelligently carried out on Earth. His major task is surely the establishing of right human relations in every department of human living. I would ask you to use your imagination and endeavour to think out what must be the implications of the task which confronts Him; I would ask you to ponder on the difficulties which He must inevitably face—the difficulty, above all, of mass intellectual wrong emphasis.
He, the Representative of the love of God, is asked to work again in the world arena wherein His earlier message has been negated, forgotten or misinterpreted for two thousand years, and wherein hate and separativeness have distinguished all men everywhere. This will plunge Him into a foreign atmosphere and into a situation wherein all His divine resources will be needed, and will have to be tried out to the uttermost. The generally accepted idea that He will return as a triumphant warrior, omnipotent and irresistible, has surely no basis in fact. That He will ultimately lead His people, humanity, into Jerusalem is a fact, founded on a secure foundation, but it will not be into a Jewish city called Jerusalem but into “the place of peace” (as the word “Jerusalem” means). A careful consideration of the world situation today and a dedicated use of the imagination will reveal to the sincere thinker how appalling is the task which He has undertaken. But He has again “set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (Luke IX.51.) He will re-appear and guide mankind into a civilisation and a state of consciousness in which right human relations and worldwide cooperation for the good of all will be the universal keynote. He will—through the New Group of World Servers and the men of goodwill—complete His association with the Will of God (His Father’s business) in such a manner that the eternal will-to-good will be translated by humanity into goodwill and right relations. Then His task will be done; He will be free again to leave us, but this time not to return but to leave the world of men in the hands of that great spiritual Server Who will be the new Head of the Hierarchy, the Church Invisible.
The question now arises: In what way can we be of service? How can we aid during this preparatory stage?
What the members of the Spiritual Hierarchy are doing is much indeed; those disciples who are in conscious touch with the Masters of the Wisdom—or, if you prefer the term, with the senior disciples of the Christ—are working day and night in order to establish such confidence, correct attitudes and an understanding of the divine spiritual “push” or enterprise that His way will be made easier. They and their groups of lesser disciples, aspirants and students of the realities stand unitedly behind the Christ and can thus enable Him to accomplish His purpose. Their major realisation is that of a cyclic crisis in the spiritual life of our planet; it is one which has been anticipated in the Father’s House (Shamballa) for thousands of years. They have registered the fact that, for the first time in human history, all the three spiritual centres or groups through which God works are unitedly focussed on the same objective. Shamballa, the Spiritual Hierarchy and Humanity (the Father’s House, the Kingdom of God and the World of Men) are all striving in one vast movement for an intensification of the Light of the World. This Light will irradiate (in a fashion unknown before) not only the Father’s House, which is the source of all our planetary light but also the spiritual centre from which have come all those Teachers and World Saviours Who have stood before men and said, as did Hermes, the Buddha and the Christ: “I am the Light of the World.” This light will now flood the world of men, bringing illumination to men’s minds and light into the dark places of human living.
It is light and—above all else—”life more abundantly” which Christ will bring, and until He brings it we know not what it signifies; we cannot realise the revelation which this will entail and the new possibilities which will open up before us. But through Him, light and life are on their way, to be interpreted and applied in terms of goodwill and of right human relations. For this the Spiritual Hierarchy is preparing. This time the Christ will not come alone for His co-workers will come with Him. His experience and Theirs will be the reverse of the previous one, for this time every eye will see Him, every ear will hear Him and every mind will pass judgment upon Him.
We can freely aid in the reconstruction work which the Christ proposes, if we will familiarise ourselves and all men whom we can contact with the following facts:
- That the reappearance of Christ is imminent.
- That the Christ, immanent in every human heart, can be evoked in recognition of His appearance.
- That the circumstances of His return are only symbolically related in the world Scriptures; this may produce a vital change in the preconceived ideas of humanity.
- That the major required preparation is a world at peace; however, that peace must be based on an educated goodwill, which will lead inevitably to right human relations, and, therefore, to the establishment (figuratively speaking) of lines of light between nation and nation, religion and religion, group and group and man and man.
If we can succeed in presenting these four ideas to the world at large, and thus in overcoming the intelligent criticism that all that is said is too vague, prophetic, and visionary, we shall have done much. It is possible surely that the ancient truism that “the mind is the slayer of the real” may be fundamentally true where the mass of humanity is concerned and that the purely intellectual approach (which rejects the vision and refuses to accept the unprovable) may be far more at fault than the anticipation of the Knowers of God and the expectant multitude.
The intelligence of divinity is vested in the Spiritual Hierarchy, and that Hierarchy is today composed of Those Who have united in Themselves both the intellect and the intuition, the practical and the apparently impractical, the factual way of life and way of the man who sees a vision. There are also people who must be found in the market place of daily life; these are the people who must be trained in the divine recognitions which are essentially physical plane responses to the newer expansions of consciousness. The Christ Who will return will not be like the Christ Who (apparently) departed. He will not be a “man of sorrows”; He will not be a silent pensive figure; He will be the enunciator of spiritual statements which will not necessitate interpretation and receive the wrong interpretation, because He will be present to indicate the true meaning.
He has been for two thousand years the supreme Head of the Church Invisible, the Spiritual Hierarchy, composed of disciples of all faiths. He recognises and loves those who are not Christian but who retain their allegiance to Their Founders—the Buddha, Mohammed and others. He cares not what the faith is if the objective is love of God and of humanity. If men look for the Christ Who left His disciples centuries ago, they will fail to recognise the Christ Who is in process of returning. The Christ has no religious barriers in His consciousness. It matters not to Him of what faith a man may call himself.
The Son of God is on His way and He cometh not alone. His advance guard is already here and the Plan which they must follow is already made and clear. Let recognition be the aim.
Bailey , A. A. (1948) The Reappearance of the Christ, pp, 54-59. Lucis Trust.