Greeting the Coming of the Lord

Greeting the Coming of the Lord: Are You Making the Same Mistake as Thomas?

By Xinyu, Spain We are now in the final phase of the last days, and at this crucial time of greeting the Lord, there is a growing sense of urgency in the hearts of Christians praying for the Lord Jesus to return. Many people anxiously hope for the Lord to come with clouds, but the great disasters will soon be upon us and we still haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds. Why is that? Could it be that we have deviated in our practice to greet the Lord’s coming? This puts me in mind of Thomas in the Bible. While the Lord Jesus worked in the flesh, Thomas always harbored doubts, and in his heart he did not believe that the Lord Jesus was Christ. When Thomas heard that Jesus had resurrected, he still did not believe it. He had to see the Lord’s spiritual body with his own eyes before he would believe, and in the end the Lord pronounced His judgment: “[B]ecause you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The story of Thomas is a warning to each and every one of us who yearn for the Lord to return. If we rely only on our eyes and do not seek the truth with regard to greeting the Lord, would we not be committing the same mistake as Thomas? If we did that, we would be apt to lose our chance to be caught up before the disasters. It is therefore clear that if we want to greet the Lord, then it is absolutely crucial that we understand the root cause of why Thomas failed in his faith in God and avoid walking the same mistaken path as Thomas! Let us fellowship and explore this issue below. The Bible records that when the disciples told Thomas the news of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). The Lord Jesus said to him, “[B]ecause you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). In fact, all the while Thomas was following the Lord Jesus, He didn’t know how to hear the Lord’s voice. No matter how great or how beneficial to people Jesus’ sermons were, Thomas never sought within the Lord’s words to find whether they possessed truth or whether they were the voice of God. No matter how many years he believed in God, after all that time he was still unable to recognize the Lord Jesus’ true identity, and that is why he always doubted the Lord’s identity and did not believe that Jesus was Christ; this is the root cause of why Thomas failed in his faith in God. It is precisely because Thomas didn’t know how to hear the voice of God and was not convinced of the Lord Jesus’ identity that, when Jesus told His disciples before His crucifixion that He would resurrect after His death, Thomas did not believe that the Lord’s words would come to pass. And when he heard the other disciples say that the Lord Jesus had resurrected, still he did not believe. Only when he saw the spiritual body of the resurrected Lord Jesus appearing before his very eyes did he finally believe it. When Jesus appeared to him in the form of His spiritual body after He resurrected, Thomas saw the Lord’s spiritual body with his own eyes and touched the wounds left by the nails on the Lord’s body, and only then did he believe that the Lord Jesus had resurrected and become certain that Jesus was Christ. But it was too late, and Thomas’ end had already been determined—he had lost God’s blessing forever. At this crucial time when we are to greet the Lord, we are right now committing the same mistake as Thomas. When we hear someone testifying that the Lord has returned in the flesh already, we do not believe it, and we do not take the initiative to seek to hear the voice of God and welcome the Lord. Instead, we persist in our belief that unless He has come riding on a white cloud, then it is not the Lord Jesus, and we will only believe it when we see the Lord’s resurrected spiritual body with our own eyes; this is the main reason we have been unable to greet the Lord. There may perhaps be some who say, “Is it wrong for us to await the Lord coming with clouds, as the prophecy says?” We must be aware that there are many prophecies in the Bible concerning the Lord’s return. There is not just the prophecy that says the Lord will come with clouds, but there are also prophecies that say the Lord will come secretly in the flesh, as the Lord prophesied: “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). “Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44). “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). This “Son of man” means the One who is born of man and who is possessed of normal humanity. If He came as the Spirit or in the form of His resurrected spiritual body, then it would not be possible to call Him the “Son of man.” Therefore, these prophecies mean that when the Lord returns, He will incarnate before the disasters and come to work quietly and in secret. If, as we imagine, the Lord were to return riding on clouds…

What Should We Do in the Face of Famine in the Church Prophesied in the Bible?

What Should We Do in the Face of Famine in the Church Prophesied in the Bible?

By Qiulin A gust of autumn wind blew through, sweeping up the fallen leaves in the yard. Sitting by the window, I frowned and pondered over these verses, “Behold, the days come … that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah” (Amos 8:11), and “And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered” (Amos 4:7). It can be seen from these verses that God will cause famine to befall the religious world when His followers all deviate from His way and no longer obey His words. That is to say, the desolation of the church is ordained by God, but what is God’s intention behind that? And what inspiration can we people of the last days gain? With this in mind, I came before the Lord, prayed and sought to Him. After I consulted the Bible and some spiritual books, the riddle in my heart was finally solved. From the biblical records of what the temple was like at the end of the Age of Law, I gained some enlightenment. At that time the temple had lost God’s leadership, where the chief priests and Pharisees who served God lost the heart that revered God and offered lame and blind livestock as sacrifices to God. Though they had violated the laws and commandments of Jehovah God, they received no discipline or punishment. Besides, they didn’t follow the way of God, and often deceived the common people for the sake of their own interests and even devoured widows’ property. They only focused on talking about the literal doctrines of the Bible and theological theories instead of leading the people to follow the way of God and obey the laws and commandments. As a result, they turned the temple into a “den of thieves.” Just as it is recorded in the Bible, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said to them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12–13). From these verses, we can see that, the temple at that time had turned into a place where livestock and poultry were bought and sold and money was exchanged, no longer a place for worshiping God. When the Lord Jesus came to do new work, He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, asked people to confess their sins and repent, and performed many miracles and wonders, such as allowing the blind to see, the lame to walk, and lepers to be healed. At that time, the Holy Spirit turned to defend His work, which resulted in the gradual desolation of the temple. God’s intention in doing so was for people to see that He had done new work outside the temple and thus to leave the temple to follow the Lord Jesus’ work and gain His redemption. The Pharisees, however, were so arrogant that they didn’t seek and accept the Lord Jesus’ work but held onto their own conceptions and even fabricated all kinds of rumors to resist and condemn Him in order to protect their status and livelihood. They doggedly stayed within the temple bereft of the work of the Holy Spirit and in the end missed the salvation of the Lord Jesus. This reminded me of the present situation of our church. Externally, we often attend meetings where we listen to sermons, read the Bible and sing hymns to praise the Lord, but when we return home, we have no interest in reading the Bible or praying, losing our previous enthusiasm. The faith and love of the brothers and sisters in general are growing cold and weak, and our spirits are withered and dark; we gain no light when reading the Bible and have nothing to say while praying to the Lord; we only treat God’s words as rules to abide by, but don’t understand His will or have any knowledge of Him; we just focus on the superficial good deeds, yet fail to practice God’s words when encountering things. Moreover, many of us are following the trends of the world and coveting worldly enjoyment, unable to extricate ourselves. In the church there appear more and more iniquitous actions like struggling in jealousy, fighting over fame and profit, attacking and excluding each other, and forming small groups; the pastors and elders only talk about biblical knowledge and theological theory, unable to say something fresh and bright to supply our lives. In order to change this situation, they tried many methods such as holding Bible study classes, prayer meetings, and scripture recitation competitions, and arranging for the brothers and sisters to pray for the church by turns, which temporarily excited our enthusiasm, but afterward we were still passive and weak. … Given the present situation of our church—most of the pious Christians are dark and withered in spirit and no longer feel the Lord’s presence—it seems as if we have been abandoned by the Lord. I then recalled when we first believed in the Lord. At that time, the brothers and sisters were full of faith, each burning like fire. Even when we suffered persecution and tribulations, we never became negative or weak, but still persisted in attending meetings and preaching the gospel to bear witness to the Lord’s name—it was totally different from the desolation of the church now. The Bible says, “The church … is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:23). But obviously our church now is nothing…

How to Welcome the Lord’s Return to Be After God’s Will

How to Welcome the Lord’s Return to Be After God’s Will

Gao Huimin: Hello, brothers and sisters! Acts 1:11 says: “You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” The Lord left on a white cloud after His resurrection, and so He will return on a white cloud. Holding fast to this viewpoint, I’ve been on constant lookout for the Lord’s descent on a cloud. However, some time ago, I heard from my classmate that the Lord has returned, and that He has become flesh and come down to the earth as the Son of man to do His work and speak. I can’t see through this matter clearly. It’s true that the prophecies of the Lord’s second coming have basically been fulfilled. But I still haven’t seen the Lord coming with a cloud to take us. I feel confused: Am I right to await the Lord’s coming on a cloud? I’d like to discuss this with you and hope you can give me some help. Posted by Gao Huimin Response: Sister Yu: I’ve just seen your post, and I feel the same way. In 2000, the pastors said that the Lord would return and would take us to the heavenly home. But it’s 2018 now, and yet we haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds to take us. Nowadays, disasters are frequently happening all over the world, such as floods, drought, earthquakes and wars, which exactly fulfills the prophecies of the last days the Lord Jesus said to His disciples. Judging from the signs, we can see that the time of the Lord’s return seems to have come. What your classmate said may be a fact. I think the Lord’s coming is an important thing and you should make an investigation. Sister Zhu: Sister Gao and Sister Yu, we can’t lose faith in the Lord, because He is trustworthy. The Bible clearly says: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). It was said by the Lord Himself that He will come with clouds when He returns, and that every eye will see Him. The Lord’s words won’t be in vain. So there is no need to worry, and we just continue to wait for the Lord to come on a cloud to take us. Sister Li: God is faithful. When heaven and earth are no more, not even one letter or dot will be removed from the word of God. This is an undeniable fact. The point is that it is the last days now, and yet we haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds; rather, we feel that the Lord is getting further and further away from us: We can’t grasp the Lord’s intentions when encountering things, and the faith of the brothers and sisters becomes colder and colder. It seems that we have been abandoned by the Lord. Now your words make me think: Could it be that the Lord has already returned? Gao Huimin: Brothers and sisters, thanks for your help. You guys all have your own understandings on the subject of the Lord’s return, and all you said makes sense. But I’m still not quite clear on this issue. Is there any other brother or sister who holds a different opinion? Please share with us. Liu Enming: Brothers and sisters, what you are talking about is truly important, because it determines whether we can welcome the arrival of the Lord; moreover, it determines whether our belief in the Lord will be a success or not. So we must treat it prudently and find the answer in the Lord’s words, instead of blindly drawing conclusions. As to this matter, I used to hold the same viewpoint as Sister Gao, and just waited for the Lord’s coming with clouds. But recently, by studying the scriptures together with my brothers and sisters, I found some mysteries. Let’s first read some passages of the prophecies about the Lord’s return. The Lord said: “Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). “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). From these scriptures we can see that there are two ways in which the Lord shall return. One is to publicly descend with the clouds, which can be seen by all people. The other is to come as the Son of man, and no one will know it. It is obvious that the Lord won’t return in just one form. So if we blindly hold on to the view that the Lord will only return in one way, then we might miss the chance of welcoming the Lord’s return. Sister Yu: Thank the Lord! After hearing your communication, I finally know the Lord will return in two ways. We have read the Bible so many times, but why haven’t we found this point? Gao Huimin: Well, what you said is reasonable and truly matches the Bible. The Lord will not…

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