Isaac was standing under the apple tree when an apple fell on his head. He declared, Eureka! He had discovered gravity. Well, that is how the story goes. I bet there was more to it than just a bump on the head.
When we get a deeper revelation of Jesus it is the same thing. When we “see” Him face to face it is an Eureka moment. When He puts the pieces together for us we have one of those “Ah ha” moments. When He appears to us in dreams and visions we definitely have a moment of intense clarity. When we hear a message or a testimony and the tears flow, we are getting some amazing revelation. When we see a miracle or witness a touch by God, we are changed. When we see Him appearing we have an epiphany! Actually that is what it means, appearing. Did you know that?
Here is the Greek. I know you love it when people do the Greek on you. It is a Eureka moment for you, right? OK maybe I am projecting me in your shoes. But here goes:
epipháneia (from 1909 /epí, “on, fitting,” which intensifies 5316 /phaínō, “show forth, appear”) – properly, a fitting manifestation (literally, “an epiphany”). [2015 (epipháneia) is the root of the English term, “epiphany.”]
And here is the Wiki stuff:
An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening (Holy Spirit) realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Epiphanies are relatively rare occurrences and generally follow a process of significant thought (or the Holy Spirit) about a problem. Often they are triggered by a new and key piece of information (or the Holy Spirit), but importantly, a depth of prior knowledge is required to allow the leap of understanding. Famous epiphanies include Archimedes’s discovery of a method to determine the density of an object (“Eureka!”) and Isaac Newton’s realization that a falling apple and the orbiting moon are both pulled by the same force.
I added the Holy Spirit comments but you probably figured that out. This Greek word is translated as “appeared” and “appearing” in these verses:
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, 14 who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. (NAS)
It is an epiphany! Ah ha! Eureka! Jesus!!!!
I want to challenge your thinking. Is it possible that religion has lumped all things amazing about Jesus and His power into a “second coming?” Is it possible that we have deferred an intended relationship for a future time? Is it possible that the enemy has deceived us into believing lies that make us victims instead of victors? I know that some of you may blow a gasket when I go down this path but just keep an open mind for a moment. Ask yourself these questions:
Who wins when the power of God does not manifest on the Earth?
Who wins when this is a hurry up and wait to die program?
Who wins when our only hope is a rescue mission?
Who wins when we sit in our church clubs and barricade the doors to keep the “bad people out?”
Who wins when Jesus is off on a building project and never appears to His bride?
Who wins when the Holy Spirit is just knowledge?
Who wins when we are waiting, suffering, getting beat up and telling everyone to “get on this train or else you will burn for all eternity at the hand of a God who actually hates you but calls it love so you can learn to be a better person?”
Whew…..sorry for the banter, but I bet you get the idea. Could it be that the first “second coming” was on the day of Pentecost? I’ll talk about the Kingdom coming and all that in the next post but for now ask yourself this question: “Is it possible that Jesus has more for me now and here and in this life than I previously thought?” I believe He does. No, I know He does. Often He “appears” as an epiphany. Check out this passage:
1 Tim 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with [me] in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, 10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (NAS)
Same word. One more passage:
2 Tim 4:6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Is the “appearing” Paul is describing for a multitude of dead people, or is it the people who have loved His appearing over and over again? Is it just “Jesus in the clouds” or “Jesus at the door?” It happens to me often. I hear something or read something. I “experience” Him in worship. I see Him in a dream. He makes me aware of His feelings for others. On and on it goes. Each time I am transformed more and more into His image. Remember this one?
2 Corinthians 3:18 And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. (AMP)
This is what Paul is talking about. We “see” Him, we “touch” Him, we are consumed by Him. All this is made possible by His appearing. It is a Eureka moment. If you don’t believe me at least have enough trust to ask Him. He will show up. Just a little open door…that is all he needs. He says He is knocking and waiting for you to turn the door knob. Go ahead. Usher in the “second coming.” I suggest then you plan for the third and fourth and … infinity comings. That is what you were made for. That is what He wants with you. That is why He died to make it possible. Come on! Go and put yourself exactly under the apple tree and Eureka!