Editor’s Note: When it comes to the manner of the Lordin the last days, most brothers and sisters believe that the will publicly appear to us upon a white cloud. But some brothers and sisters feel puzzled about this because it is also prophesied in the Bible that the Lord will come in secret like a thief. Then, how on earth will the Lord return in the last days? This issue is related to whether we can welcome the Lord’s return, so it deserves our seeking.
At the co-worker meeting, Suxing said with a forlorn expression, “Brothers and sisters, recently I’ve been mulling over a problem: Since we’ve believed in the Lord, we’ve been longing for the Lord to come upon a cloud to rapture us in the last days. In the year 2000 the pastors and elders said that the Lord’s return was imminent. However, now it’s almost 2019 and the various prophecies of the Lord’s arrival have basically been fulfilled, but we still haven’t seen the Lord descend upon a cloud. What is going on here?”
Wu picked up where she’d left off, “Yes. There is widespread desolation in the religious community nowadays. Many churches have closed down. Tell me, will we be able to welcome the Lord’s return after all just by constantly watching the skies and waiting?”
Glancing at Suxing and Wu, Hu Yue closed the Bible and spoke, in a measured tone, “Sister Su, Brother Wu, you worry too much. The Bible very clearly states: ‘And then shall they see thecoming in a cloud with power and great glory’ (Luke 21:27). ‘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’ (Revelation 1:7). The Lord Jesus will publicly descend on a cloud when He returns, and everyone will see Him. How can you have any doubts about this?”
Li Qi pondered this for a moment and then said, “Before, I also believed that the Lord Jesus would publicly descend from the clouds to come again. However, afterward, I didn’t see it happen. For this, I pored over all scriptures about the Lord’s return and found that two verses in the Bible, ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15). ‘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). From these verses I knew that ‘as a thief’ and ‘no one knows’ means coming in secret. So, I feel confused: Aren’t the prophecies of the Lord openly descending on a cloud and that of the Lord coming secretly contradictory? Then how exactly will the Lord come in the last days?”
Hu Yue argued, “Those verses mean that no one knows when the Lord will come.” After hearing Hu Yue and Li Qi’s words, Suxing and Wu both looked perplexed.
At that moment, Cheng Li said, “Thank the Lord! Regarding the matter of the Lord’s return in the last days, I had the same confusion as Brother Li in the past. But some time ago, when working in a church in another area, I met a co-worker sister. As for this matter, she communicated with a lot of light, and her understanding is different from ours. The more I listened, the more I felt it came from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Through her fellowshiping, I finally gained some different insight into the manner of the Lord’s return.”
Suxing’s eyes lit up, and she excitedly said, “Thanks be to the Lord! Sister Cheng, hurry up and tell us!”
“All right!” Cheng Li continued on, saying, “The Lord Jesus said, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away’ (Mark 13:31). Once God’s words are spoken, they will surely be realized and accomplished one by one. Since the Lord not only prophesied that He would come with clouds when He returns, but also foretold that He would secretly come like a thief, these words will certainly come to pass. Then how will the Lord come? Actually, the Lord’s return will be done in stages: The first stage is His secret return as the Son of man in the flesh; after that He will openly descend on a cloud and appear to all. In this way, the prophecies in the Bible of the Lord Jesus’ return aren’t contradictory.”
“You said the Lord will become flesh and come secretly. Do you have a biblical basis for saying this?” Hu Yue questioned.
Cheng Li said, “In regard to this aspect, it was stated very clearly in the Bible. For example, Luke 12:40 says, ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not.’ Luke 17:24-25 say, ‘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.’ These verses all mention the Son of man. The Son of man refers to being born of a human and being a person with normal humanity. The Spirit could not be called the Son of man. That’s why Jehovah God cannot be called the Son of man, while the incarnated Lord Jesus can be calledand the Son of man. This is because the Lord Jesus was born from a human being, with a normal humanity, and besides, His substance is divinity and He is God’s Spirit in the flesh to appear and work. Moreover, this verse means that the Son of man in the flesh of the last days will be rejected. Just reflect for a moment. If the Lord Jesus directly descends on a cloud, then all people will fall down before Him and worship Him because a spiritual body is of course supernatural and can perform miraculous signs and wonders. Who would dare to resist and reject Him? How would God endure suffering and be rejected by this generation? Only when God incarnate appears to work as the Son of man, when people do not recognize that He is Christ incarnate, would they dare to condemn and reject Christ according to their notions and imagination.”
“It turns out that the Lord will first work secretly and then appear openly. In this light, those prophecies really aren’t contradictory. Although I’m not clear of what work God will do when He secretly descends, I think since God will act in this way, it contains His wisdom. Well, Sister Cheng, why don’t you tell us more about it?” inquired Suxing. And other coworkers also agreed.
Cheng Li nodded and said, “Through communicating on this question with the sister, I finally understood that God will first return in secret, in incarnate flesh, mainly to speak new words and make a group of overcomers. In the Book of Joel 2:29-31 in the Bible, it records ‘And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes.’ This ‘the great and terrible day’ refers to the great disasters of the last days. And the verse, ‘And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit’ means that before the great catastrophe comes, God’s Spirit shall speak new words and He shall water His servants and handmaids, and ultimately make a group of overcomers and bring them into His kingdom. This fulfills what is said in Revelation 7:14-15, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sits on the throne shall dwell among them.’ During the time of God making a group of overcomers, He will always work in secret, so we’ll certainly not see the Lord publicly descend on a cloud. Only after God’s great work is fully accomplished, at which time His secret descent among man will be complete, and after He has sent down great disasters to reward good and punish evil, will He openly descend upon a cloud before all nations of earth. At that point, God’s work ofof mankind will be thoroughly complete. When God works in secret, all those who truly believe in God and love the truth accept God’s work in the last days, gain God’s purification and perfection, and will be made into overcomers by God. In contrast, those false believers who loathe and hate the truth blindly cling to their own conceptions and imaginings, but don’t accept the returned Lord’s hidden work, and even resist and condemn God incarnate. People like this will completely lose the chance to be saved and will ultimately suffer God’s righteous punishment. In this way, all are separated according to their kind. This is in complete fulfillment of the prophecies, such as ‘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, 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’” (Revelation 1:7).
Li Qi nodded and said, ‘Yes, Sister Cheng’s fellowship is enlightening and in line with the prophecies of the Bible. Just now, I recalled that before God destroyed the world with the great flood, He first commanded Noah to build an ark and preachin the meantime. 100 years later Noah finished doing that. Still nobody believed what he said. So, soon after, God sent down the disaster. At that time, when people really saw the flood happening, it was too late because God’s work of salvation of mankind had already concluded. In the end, only Noah and his family of seven were saved, while everyone else was washed away by the floodwaters and drowned. Praise the Lord. Now I’ve understood that in the last days God will first descend secretly and strenuously try to save those who truly believe in Him, bring them before His throne, and make them into overcomers before the disaster. When He has done so, God’s work of salvation of mankind will be finished. Thereafter, God will bring about disasters and reward the good and punish the wicked, and then descend upon a cloud to openly appear before all the nations of earth. When that time comes, those false believers, tare, evil servants, and all evildoers who make an enemy of God will all be struck down by God’s wrath. Now we are in the late period of the last days. Disasters have gotten more serious in different countries. The world is becoming ever more chaotic. The prophecies of the Lord’s coming have been fulfilled. However, we have still not welcomed the Lord. So, do you think that the Lord has already descended secretly to do His work? If that’s truly the case, we shouldn’t still idly wait for the Lord to descend on a cloud. Otherwise we will easily miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return.”
Suxing continued, “Yes. Now we all have premonitions that the Lord has already arrived. If we don’t keep pace with His secret work, won’t it be too late when the Lord appears openly? Then how can we accept the Lord’s hidden work?”
Cheng Li, smiling, said, “Don’t be anxious. The Bible is very clear about the Lord’s work of secret arrival. The Lord Jesus said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth’ (John 16:12-13). ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son’ (John 5:22). And other verses also recorded, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son’ (John 5:22). ‘Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1 Peter 1:5). From those verses we can see that when the Lord does His work in secret, He’ll utter truths, do the work of judgment, and tell us all the truth that we didn’t understand before in order to allow us to attain His salvation in the last days. From this we know how to find the secret work of the returned Lord Jesus, pointed out to us by the Lord’s words and these verses. So when hearing some people testify that God has expressed words to do the work of judgment, we should imitate the wise virgins, humbly seek and investigate, and see whether this way contains the truth and whether the words are God’s voice. Only in this way will we be able to welcome the Lord, have the opportunity to be purified, perfected, and made into overcomers by God before the disasters strike, and ultimately enter into God’s kingdom, and feast with the Lord.”
Suxing, Li Qi and the others, looking at each other, one by one said, “Thank the Lord. Now we finally have a path….”
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