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When the Lord Returns, Will He First Come With Clouds or Come in Secret?

The blue sky was dotted with white clouds floating and rolling along like a flowing landscape painting, and I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh as I thought of how the pastor always used to say, “In the last days, the Lord will return on a white cloud, and as long as we keep watch and wait for His return, then the Lord will raise us up and welcome us into the heavenly kingdom….” Over 10 years ago, I would often gaze at the sky with such high hopes, dreaming that the Lord Jesus would suddenly appear on a white cloud to bring us up into heaven. But more than 10 years had passed since then and I never did see the coming of the Lord. I couldn’t help but feel melancholy as I thought: We’re now well into the last days, so when will the Lord come on a cloud to welcome us? I really wish to one day be able to see the spectacle of the Lord riding on a white cloud down from heaven—that would be so great! One day, I was visiting a friend and it just so happened that my friend’s nephew, Brother Li, was there. When we got to talking about the state of the world today with disasters everywhere growing bigger and bigger in scale, and about the appearance of the blood moons mentioned in Revelation, we all felt that the prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus’ return had pretty much been fulfilled and that He would soon return. Brother Li then asked me, “Sister, in what way do you think the Lord shall return?” Without thinking, I said, “He will come on a white cloud, of course, for He has said, ‘And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory’ (Luke 21:27). And it’s prophesied in Revelation chapter 1, verse 7: ‘Behold, He comes with clouds.’” Brother Li said, “Sister, I used to think that the Lord would return on a white cloud as well and that He would come with great glory. But then I attended a co-workers’ meeting, and by discussing the way in which the Lord will return with all the brothers and sisters there, I finally realized that, besides the prophecies in the Bible that state the Lord will come openly with clouds, there are actually many other verses of Scripture that prophesy that the Lord will come in secret when He returns …” Before waiting for Brother Li to finish speaking, I butted in anxiously, saying, “How could that be? Will the Lord not come on a white cloud? How could He come in secret?” Brother Li smiled and said, “Sister, in actual fact, there are mysteries relating to the Lord’s return. I consulted the Bible with the brothers and sisters and we fellowshiped and discussed it, and only then did I discover that there are two ways in which the Lord shall return: One is that the Lord shall come openly with clouds, and the other is that He shall come in secret. As it says in Revelation 16:15, ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.’ It says in Matthew 25:6, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.’ And in Matthew 24:43–44, it says: ‘But know this, that if the manager of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.’ The words in these verses, ‘as a thief,’ ‘at midnight there was a cry made’ and ‘in such an hour as you think not’ are referring to the fact that the Lord will return in silence so that we will remain unaware, they are referring to the Lord coming quietly and in secret. Besides, when the Lord prophesied His return, He said, ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ (Luke 17:24–25). The ‘Son of man’ mentioned here refers to someone born of a human and who is possessed of normal humanity. We know that the Lord Jesus was called the Son of man and Christ because He was the incarnation of the Spirit of God. From the outside, He looked like just another ordinary, normal man, and no one could tell that He was God, and no one knew His true identity. To man, His identity remained a secret until the Lord Jesus began to preach and perform His work, and only then did people recognize Him as the Lord and as Christ. Therefore, the Lord prophesied that His return would be as the coming of the Son of man, and this actually means that God will incarnate as the Son of man and come in secret.” After Brother Li had finished speaking, I carefully contemplated those verses of Scripture and I thought to myself: The brother’s fellowship tallies with the Bible, it has the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and it contains new light. It seems as though the Lord really will return as the Son of man and come in secret. I’ve read these verses before, so how come I never realized this? I therefore said to the brother, “I understand what you have fellowshiped. So, the words ‘the Son of man comes’ and ‘as a thief’ actually mean that God will incarnate as the Son of man and come in secret. This is a pretty pure understanding. But I still don’t quite understand. If, when the Lord returns, He really does come…

The Savior, Jesus,

The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a “White Cloud”

Man has longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with the people, that is, for Jesus the Savior to come back to the people from whom He has been apart for thousands of years. And man hopes that He will once again carry out the work of redemption that He did among the Jews, will be compassionate and loving toward man, will forgive the sins of man, bear the sins of man, and even bear all of man’s transgressions and deliver man from sin. They long for Jesus the Savior to be the same as before—a Savior who is lovable, amiable and venerable, who is never wrathful toward man, and who never reproaches man. This Savior forgives and bears all of man’s sins, and even dies upon the cross for man once more. Since Jesus departed, the disciples who followed Him, and all of the saints who were saved thanks to His name, have been desperately pining for Him and awaiting Him. All those who were saved by the grace of Jesus Christ during the Age of Grace have been longing for that joyful day during the last days, when Jesus the Savior arrives on a white cloud and appears among man. Of course, this is also the collective wish of all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today. Throughout the universe, all those who know of the salvation of Jesus the Savior have been desperately yearning for the sudden arrival of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the words of Jesus when on earth: “I shall arrive just as I departed.” Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud, and took His place at the Most High’s right hand. Man conceives that similarly, Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among those who have desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and that He shall bear the image and clothes of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and love, living and real. And so on. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and did not appear to all men while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of His arrival. Man is only aimlessly awaiting Him, unaware that He has already descended upon a “white cloud” (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, and His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days. Man does not know this: Although the holy Savior Jesus is full of affection and love toward man, how could He work in “temples” inhabited by filth and impure spirits? Though man has been awaiting His arrival, how could He appear to those who eat the flesh of the unrighteous, drink the blood of the unrighteous, wear the clothes of the unrighteous, who believe in Him but do not know Him, and who constantly extort Him? Man knows only that Jesus the Savior is full of love and compassion, and is the sin offering filled with redemption. But man has no idea that He is also God Himself, who is brimming with righteousness, majesty, wrath, and judgment, and possessed of authority and full of dignity. And so even though man eagerly yearns for and craves the return of the Redeemer, and even Heaven is moved by the prayers of man, Jesus the Savior does not appear to those who believe in Him but do not know Him. “Jehovah” is the name that I took during My work in Israel, and it means the God of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) who can take pity on man, curse man, and guide the life of man. It means the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. “Jesus” is Emmanuel, and it means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the management plan. That is to say, only Jehovah is the God of the chosen people of Israel, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, and the God of all the people of Israel. And so in the current age, all the Israelites apart from the tribe of Judah worship Jehovah. They make sacrifices to Him on the altar, and serve Him wearing priests’ robes in the temple. What they hope for is the reappearance of Jehovah. Only Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind. He is the sin offering that redeemed mankind from sin. Which is to say, the name of Jesus came from the Age of Grace, and existed because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus existed to allow the people of the Age of Grace to be reborn and saved, and is a particular name for the redemption of the whole of mankind. And so the name Jesus represents the work of redemption, and denotes the Age of Grace. The name Jehovah is a particular name for the people of Israel who lived under the law. In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age. “Jehovah” represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel. “Jesus” represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during…

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