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Thursday, March 27, 2014

SECOND COMING OF JESUS ALREADY HAPPENED

          After the death and resurrection of Jesus (peace be upon him) as believed by Christians, nothing is closer to their heart or more central to their belief than his long-awaited Second Coming. Biblical prophecies about the Second Coming have been debated by Christian scholars for centuries. When Jesus failed to reappear at the dawn of the first millennium (AD 1000), a general consensus began to form that Jesus would return sometime in the mid-to-late 19th century. Numerous messianic and rapture movements started in fervent expectation of the return of Jesus in the 1800s. What if I were to tell you that those prophecies did indeed come true? Unbelievable, you say? Don’t you know me by now?
For all those devout, God-loving Christians who strive to be Christ-like and live their lives by his teachings and example and who await his Second Coming as he himself defined it -- through someone else who would come, not physically, but in his power and spirit -- the good news is, that Jesus Christ has already come!
He came as he said he would -- “like a thief in the night” -- born in India in 1835 and receiving his appointment by God as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi (the Guided One) in the last quarter of the 19th century. His name was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908).
Jesus said in Matt.23:39 that people would not see him again (i.e., recognize him in his Second Advent) until they said “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” And so most Christians did not and do not “see” or “recognize” Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Second Coming of Jesus because they are not members of the religion that requires pronouncing blessings upon “he who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Only Muslims say “Peace and blessings of God be upon him” whenever they hear or say the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And it was Muhammad who received, memorized and recited for his followers the 114 chapters of the Holy Quran -- all but one of which starts with the words: “In the name of God (the Lord), Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.”
          All Muslims believe in Jesus as the true messiah for the Israelites. All Muslims also believe in the Second Coming of Jesus (pbuh). The difference between Ahmadi Muslims and all other Muslims is that non-Ahmadi Muslims believe (as do most Christians) that Jesus was taken up bodily alive into heaven 2,000 years ago, and that he will bodily descend back down to Earth in the latter days. In both non-Ahmadi Muslim and Christian camps, mass slaughter is promised for those who do not submit to Jesus -- see Luke 19:27 where Jesus says: “Bring all those who will not have me reign over them as their king and slay them at my feet.”
Only Ahmadi Muslims believe the Second Coming of Jesus will not be a blood-soaked killing spree, resulting in the deaths of billions of “disbelievers.” And only Ahmadi Muslims take Jesus at his word when he explained in Matt.17:12-13 that the prophet Elijah was not going to come again in his same physical body, but that Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, came “in the power and spirit of Elijah” to herald the appearance of the messiah.  Jesus clearly defines the real nature and form of Second Advents -- including, by logical inference, his own. And yet, virtually all Christians and Muslims await the literal Second Coming of Christ from 2,000 years ago. True, the world needs the messiah now, but the messiah Jesus from the 1st century AD is not coming back himself.
There is also the matter of the death of Jesus on the cross… Christians require it to fulfill their “death-as-atonement” salvation theology. Jews and Muslims, however, both view it as the clear sign of a false claimant to be the Israelite messiah. All Jews who have not accepted Jesus as their messiah and savior generally believe that Jesus did, in fact, die on the cross, thus proving (via Deut.21:23) that he was a false prophet and a false messiah.
Non-Ahmadi Muslims are usually taught (and thus believe) that because he was a true prophet from God and the messiah for the Israelites, there is no way God would have allowed him to die an accursed death on the cross. The majority of Muslims believe Jesus was taken up alive to heaven before he was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane. These Muslims believe someone else (usually Judas) was made to look like Jesus and this imposter was arrested instead and later put to death on the cross.
Ahmadi Muslims believe Jesus was indeed put on the cross, but -- as a fulfillment of the “Sign of Jonah” which he gave to his enemies -- he survived the life-threatening ordeal of crucifixion, just as Jonah survived his life-threatening ordeal of being swallowed alive by a whale by coming out of it alive, not resurrected from the dead.
          Since the dawn of Islam, Christians have been accepting Islam. This will only continue as more and more Christians study the Bible and dare to question what they are taught in church. If, by seeking answers elsewhere, they investigate Ahmadiyya Islam (at Alislam.org), they will find the answers to their questions in the Quran and in the life of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and in the advent of the Promised Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Some Christians at the time of Muhammad (pbuh), when they first heard the recitation of the Quran, recognized the truth of Islam and the fulfillment of the promised advent of a Law-bearing prophet like Moses (pbuh) as mentioned in Deut.18:18-20 and Deut.33:2. Here are three verses from the Quran (ch.5, vv.83-85) specifically about Christians:
. . .And thou shalt assuredly find those who say, “We are Christians,” to be the nearest of them in love to the believers [the Muslims]. That is because among them are savants [learned scholars] and monks and because they are humble. And when they hear what has been revealed [from the Quran] to this Messenger [Prophet Muhammad], thou see their eyes overflow with tears because of the truth which they have recognized. They say, “Our Lord, we believe, so write us down among those who bear witness…”   (Holy Quran, ch.5, “Al-Maidah,” verses 83-85)
Ahmadi Muslims are the only Muslims in the world who have accepted the First Coming of Jesus (pbuh) in the first century AD, as well as the Second Coming of Jesus (pbuh) in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the 19th century. To learn more, I humbly invite you to investigate the truth about the First and Second Advents of Jesus at the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino (909-627-2252 or 909-636-8332) and at Alislam.org and you can call-in with your questions to our weekly radio show on KCAA 1050-AM every Tuesday at 9:35am. The KCAA radio station can be heard via the Internet at www.KCAAradio.com. Click on the U-stream button to watch live or click on the Morning Show podcast button to listen to every Tuesday’s archived show.
In closing, if the Feb. 22nd religion column headline “Resurrection proves Jesus is God” is true, then it also proves Lazarus was God, along with anyone else Jesus or any of his followers resurrected.
Concerning the Mar. 15th religion column, which listed Trinitarian definitions of the Hebrew words “Eloh-im” and “echad,” it is noteworthy that no Jewish scholars of Hebrew translate them in support of a triune God. In fact, Hebrew derives its source meanings from Arabic -- “Eloh-im” comes from the Arabic “Allah,” while “echad” comes from the Arabic “ahad” -- and Judaism and Islam both share the exact same definition of the pure “Oneness” of God as having no partners or “persons” in a triune entity. Some Christian scholars will admit this and some Bible websites (BlueLetterBible.org for example) will show it in their language lexicons. They won’t translate the Arabic of course, but I will be glad to furnish the translation in English.
In response to the Mar. 22nd religion column which again presented the idea that Jesus died as a sinless atonement for our sins, I present the “aspirin argument.” If you have a headache and I take the aspirin, will your headache go away? The same logic applies to the problem of sin.  
I do appreciate all the responses to my columns that I’ve received over these past three months. In the end, though, the debaters on any issue rarely (if ever) change their positions. That choice is meant for those in the audience who may be questioning their beliefs or the reasoning they are given for them. It is these truth seekers I invite for further inquiry.


[ with Imam Shamshad A. Nasir; appeared online at AhmadiyyaTimes.com March 22nd, 2014 at this link: http://ahmadiyyatimes.blogspot.com/2014/03/perspective-second-coming-of-jesus.html and an abridged version of this ran in the Daily Bulletin religion section's "From the Pulpit" on Sat., April 26th, 2014 under the title "Second Coming of Jesus" at this link: http://www.dailybulletin.com/social-affairs/20140425/second-coming-of-jesus ]

JESUS' SECOND COMING HAS ALREADY HAPPENED (MAG's original 2K word ver.)

          Yes, you read that right. (By now, you should expect “outrageous and unbelievable” from me...) Before I explain the headline, I wish to comment on the latest responses to my previous columns questioning the Trinity and Jesus-as-God... My first comment is on the Feb. 22nd “From the Pulpit” column titled: “Resurrection proves Jesus is God” -- to which I humbly submit that, if this is true, then Lazarus is also God and so is every other person reportedly raised from the dead by Jesus and any of his disciples or later followers. Moving on...
Quite a few respondents told me that quite a few vigorous theological discussions took place (always a good thing) as a result of my three previous columns, but after reading the majority of responses and speaking by phone with several callers, I’ve learned that what I considered very clear and authoritative statements from God and Jesus about their natures and purposes are not viewed that way by many Christians (at least not the ones who responded to me). And especially not when such statements contradict or invalidate the Christian theology of salvation through the accursed death of Jesus for the sins of mankind. In the case of verses like Numbers 23:19 and Isaiah 43:10, the “New” Testament always trumps the “Old” Testament.
Most responded to my understanding of Numbers 23:19 (God is not a man that he lies, nor the son of man that he repents) by stating that, yes, God is not a man or the son of man -- until He incarnated as Jesus, and then he was still not just a man, but now literally and inseparably 100% God and 100% sinless man in human form as Jesus. (According to Catholicism, Mary’s Original Sin was cleansed from her at her immaculate conception, not at the conception of Jesus as many Protestants believe. This was done only for Mary so that Jesus could be born as a sinless, future sacrifice for our sins. The “why” of it only prompts questions such as: Why didn’t God do this for everyone and mercifully remove the unjust condemnation of Original Sin once and for all? But then there would be no need for Jesus to come and die for anybody’s sins...)   
Several respondents stated that Numbers 23:19 “proved” God’s immutability (unchanging form) precisely because God later became (changed into) a human! This is what Luke refers to in Acts 14:11 where he writes that “…these Greek peoples believed the gods came down in human form…” Now, if you ask any Christian (priest or layman) if the Greeks were correct in their belief about their gods coming down in human form, they will say this is absolutely false! Yet, when Paul introduces a new god (Yahweh) to the Greeks and Romans and tells them his name in human form is now Jesus instead of Perseus or Hercules, suddenly this idea is absolutely true!
Some of the responses by Christians to Numbers 23:19 said the straight-forward Hebrew meaning as understood by all Jewish Rabbis (and their congregations) for the past 3,500 years was true for the Jews up until the birth of their messiah, Jesus, at which time it was not true anymore because Jesus was God and also the Son of God and also the son of man -- a triple-play, as it were, that ended the Old Testament definition of God and inaugurated the New Testament definition of God. (Paul, take a bow.)
It was at this point of trying to digest this last idea that I knew my real audience was not those Christians adamantly defending their belief in God as a Trinity and in Jesus-as-God in the flesh as a Sacrificial Savior. These Christians do not take God Himself at His Word in Numbers 23:19 so how can I expect them to accept anything I say about it? No, the real audience for my questions is that group of people asking the same questions as I, and who desire answers that don’t go against logic, common sense, and historical and linguistic facts.
And so, it is also to this audience that my present column is addressed -- those who accept that Second Comings as explained by Jesus were spiritual and metaphorical, not literal. Jesus identified John the Baptist as the spiritual Second Coming of Elijah. Most Christians know this (or should), yet when it comes to the promised Second Coming of Jesus in the latter days, most Christians still fall prey to the same literalist expectation that Jesus will return in his physical body, just as the Jews awaited the Second Coming of Elijah in his physical body.
I won’t try convincing readers of my column with detailed expositions of Bible verses anymore; all the information I present from the Bible is generally well-known by academic scholars and regular Bible readers, and all of it can be verified from the language lexicons on Bible websites, such as www.BlueLetterBible.org (my favorite).  
In fact, I have found that a person is either open-minded enough to see the rationale of my position based on the verses I am referring to (without having to cite them), or else they will be dogmatically bound to the salvation theology promoted by standard Pauline Christianity and will refuse to consider any interpretation of Christ’s action, utterances and events surrounding his crucifixion that goes against standard Trinitarian, “Jesus-is-God” doctrines.
If anyone wants to discuss at length any of the topics I present, they are always welcome to contact me or come to the Baitul Hameed Mosque at 11941 Ramona Ave. in Chino. But I see no point in “debating” with someone who has no desire to see past the doctrinally-motivated positions they cherish, rather than explore what the Bible is really talking about. I assure you, there is a very real difference between the two, and those who insist on interpreting the Old Testament through the lens of the New Testament will never accept the Judaic foundational beliefs and theological principals that have defined it with internal consistency since it was first recorded. 
The reason is apparent to all devout Jews and Judaic scholars: the first five books of the Old Testament (a Christian classification that is inherently dismissive and patronizing) was revealed by God to the Israelites to expunge idolatry from the Israelites and educate them in the understanding of God as a non-physical, un-created, all-powerful, all-knowing Supreme Being -- the exact opposite of what the Israelites had become corrupted into believing in as gods while they were enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years. The Torah did this fairly successfully, considering the near universal history of sustained, pure monotheism that has characterized the Jewish faith since the time of Moses. So what I’ve learned over these past three months of reading responses from Trinitarian, “Jesus-is-God” Christians is that it doesn’t matter how true or clear the meaning of a Bible verse or word is if that meaning threatens the sanctity or viability of a Christian’s promise of salvation.
If you doubt this, just look up Elohim in Gen.1:26 at the website www.BlueLetterBible.org. In the Hebrew lexicon section, it says Elohim comes from Allah in Arabic and is used to refer to the One, True God of the Israelites over 2000 times -- but you will never know this unless you can read the Arabic word for God because Strong’s H430 Hebrew lexicon entry doesn’t transliterate it into English so you can see the word “Allah.” Why don’t they tell you? Because then you would realize that Arabic, the language of the religion of Islam, is the source of the root meanings of Hebrew. And that the real Covenant in the form of a new Holy Law was transferred (as per Biblical prophecies in Deut. 18:18-20 and Deut.33:2) to the descendants of Ishmael -- the Arabs -- from whom the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was appointed by God as “the Holy One from Mount Paran” in Habakkuk 3:3.
And since the Arabic in the Quran says that God is singularly one (ahad as in Ch.112), without partners or “persons” in a Trinity, and that “ahad” in Arabic is the source for the Hebrew word for “one” (echad in Deut.6:4), it leaves no support whatsoever for the New Testament Greek idea of a Triune god comprised of God the Heavenly Father, a created human being as His Son, and a “Holy” Ghost.
Jesus was a monotheistic Jewish Rabbi, not a Greek-Roman polytheistic idolater. One would think that wouldn’t need stating since it’s such an obvious fact. That’s why agreement on the meanings of words is important. It is universally understood by linguists that language -- any language – can only work as a successful medium to communicate ideas when there is a uniform consensus of agreed meaning and comprehension of those ideas. But you can, of course, choose to ignore or dispute the meaning of the noun “fire” but we all know that fire will still burn you regardless of your acceptance or rejection of its meaning.
When it comes to religious ideas, it doesn’t promote tolerance, healthy dialog or increased spiritual awareness and morality if the fundamental definition of who is and who is not God can be rewritten and reversed by the hand of man. Whenever this happens, God sends down another prophet and, ultimately, another Holy Law to correct the manipulations and corruptions in earlier divine scriptures. Such is the case with the advent of the Holy Prophet of Islam and the Holy Quran. Those who objectively and open-heartedly study the life of Muhammad and the Holy Quran invariably come to this conclusion.
And so, for all those devout, God-loving Christians who strive to be Christ-like and live their lives by his teachings and example and who await his Second Coming as he himself defined it -- through someone else who would come, not physically, but in the power and spirit of Christ -- the good news is that Jesus Christ has already come!
He came as he said he would -- like a thief in the night -- born in northern India in 1835 and receiving his appointment by God as the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi in the last quarter of the 19th century. His name was Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh). Jesus said (in Matt.23:39) that people would not see him again until they said “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” And so most Christians did not and do not “see” or “recognize” him as the Second Coming of Jesus because they are not members of the religion that requires pronouncing blessings upon “he who comes in the name of the Lord” – the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), the “Holy One from Mount Paran” mentioned in Habakkuk 3:3 and elsewhere in the Bible.  
Only Muslims say “Peace and blessings of God be upon him” whenever they hear or say the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). And it was Muhammad who received, memorized and recited for his followers the 114 chapters of the Holy Quran -- all but one of which starts with the words: “In the name of God (the Lord), Most Gracious, Ever Merciful.”
 (As for the Muslims, to this day most of them do not accept Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as the Second Coming of Jesus because nearly all Muslims except Ahmadis have adopted the Christian belief that Jesus was raised bodily alive to heaven (before the crucifixion), and that it will be this same Jesus from 2000 years ago who will bodily descend from heaven in the Latter Days and demand that all Christians become Muslims or be slain as infidels. Thankfully, this is not a true teaching in Islam, nor what Ahmadis believe about Jesus. You can learn more at: TombofJesus.com and at: Alislam.org/topics/messiah)
          I apologize for anything I’ve written here that some (or most) Christians find offensive or object to, and I apologize in advance for my column next month which will present information on the Ahmadi Muslim belief that Jesus, being a true prophet and the messiah for the Jewish people, could not and did not die an accursed death on the cross – but that he survived the crucifixion and went on to complete his stated mission to “gather the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel.”

Ahmadi Muslims are the only Muslims in the world who have accepted the First Coming of Jesus (pbuh) in the first century AD, as well as the Second Coming of Jesus (pbuh) in the person of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian (1835-1908) in the 19th century. Discover the truth about both at the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino (909-627-2252) and at Alislam.org and TombofJesus.com. Peace be upon Jesus and upon you.