The Revelation of St John, the Apocalypse, knows the secret of the increasing power of evil. When humanity consistently rejects Christ, then the Beast, the possibility of the sub-human, emerges from the abyss. Yet it is within the mission of this increasingly powerful apocalyptic evil to ‘provoke’ the good — to call it forth and thereby help it to come to realization.
Just as evil increases in intensity, so should Christianity continue to ‘grow up.’ Christianity must become increasingly mature and conscious, ever more clear and capable of transformation. Only a Christianity with an apocalyptic orientation will carry us through apocalyptic destinies. Such a Christianity will be capable of placing us in proper relationship to the apocalyptic event of the Second Coming. What does this ‘return’ of Christ mean? Since the Resurrection, is he not with us ‘always, even unto the end of the world’ (Matt 28:20)? True, but until now his presence has remained more or less hidden from humanity’s view. With the development of Christian awareness, human beings will gradually unfold eyes of soul, eyes of spirit which will enable them to contemplate the supersensorily present Christ… Christ’s coming is his entry into the waking consciousness of human beings. Christ thus, becomes more and more manifest. ‘Apocalypse’ means an ‘uncovering.’ The hidden presence is revealed.
Rudolf Frieling from “The Essence of Christianity,” 1948.