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By Wei Na, Philippines
Dear brothers and sisters, I am Wei Na and I’d like to tell you how I welcomed the returned. Just like many brothers and sisters in the Lord, my greatest wish was to wait for the Lord to come and me into the kingdom of heaven. However, in recent years, I felt I was very far away from the Lord; I was unable to feel the presence of the Lord even when attending worship in church and always felt drowsy when reading at home. In order to find a church with the work of the Holy Spirit, I visited several other churches in succession, but the sermons of the pastors there were all the same old stuff—the biblical knowledge and theology—which failed to provide sustenance for my spiritual life. This left me feeling lost, empty and lonely. Therefore, I prayed to the Lord time after time.
Afterward, one day, I came across the website of The Church ofon Google. Out of curiosity, I opened the website and discovered that the content was very rich, with books of God’s word, hymns, movies, MVs, and so on. It really opened my eyes. In particular, Almighty God’s words benefited me a lot and excited me; the more I read these words, the more I felt encouraged. So, in the several days that followed, as long as I had time I would read Almighty God’s words, from which I understood many truths that I had never heard in my church. Thus, my relationship with the Lord gradually became closer, and I was always moved by the Holy Spirit and felt very fulfilled in my heart. I went back to the feeling of when I first started believing in the Lord.
After investigating on the website for two weeks, I established contact with The Church of Almighty God via the live chat. After that, the brothers and sisters of this church frequently fellowshiped to me about truths such as the method of the Lord’s return, what the wise virgins are, how to recognize, etc. Also, they explained to me why the religious churches have become so desolate. After hearing their fellowshiping, I came to know that it was because God has done a new work, the work of the Holy Spirit has shifted, and only by following God’s footsteps and reading God’s new words could we be supplied with the living water of life. I also understood why God worked through the Spirit in the Age of Law and worked as the incarnate flesh in the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom. And so on. Their fellowshiping resolved many questions of mine. After several meetings with them, I felt like a vagrant child who had returned to his home, and my heart felt very much at ease. Accordingly, I believed from the heart that this was the church I had been looking for.
Later, in a meeting, I was shocked when hearing a sister say that this time God has incarnated as a woman. I thought: “How can the Lord be a woman when He returns? We call the Lord ‘Heavenly Father’ in our prayers. Isn’t ‘Father’ male in gender? I can’t accept that God has incarnated as a woman.” I then said to the sister, “You are saying that the Lord Jesus has returned as a woman. This is impossible! Many passages of the Bible record that the Lord Jesus called God in heaven ‘Father’ and that God in heaven called the Lord Jesus ‘Son.’ Since They are Father and Son, doesn’t this imply that They are male? So when the Lord returns, He should be a male.”
After hearing what I said, Sister Lucy fellowshiped, “There is a context to the titles of Father and Son in the Bible, and the true meaning is different from the understanding based on our notions. Let’s read two passages of God’s words and then we’ll understand. God says, ‘When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had clothed Himself as an ordinary and normal man and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of an ordinary man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called the Son of man, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all.’ ‘There are still those who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” “Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased” was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “The Father is in Me and I am in the Father,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself.’ It can be seen from God’s words that the Lord Jesus is God Himself and is God’s Spirit clothed in an ordinary and normal flesh and that He looks like us created humanity. When the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father as He prayed, He did so from the perspective of a created being, that is, from the perspective of the flesh; when God in heaven called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son, it was God testifying from a spiritual perspective that the Lord Jesus is God incarnate—which has nothing to do with God’s gender, instead of testifying that the Lord Jesus is His Son. When God completes His work in the flesh, there will no longer be any Father and Son. Thus, we can’t define God as male just because the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father and God in heaven called the Lord Jesus Son.”
I was amazed to hear the sister’s fellowshiping. It turns out that the terms the Father and the Son in the Bible don’t refer to God being male. But I then thought of the first man God created being a male. Thereupon, I said, “Genesis 1:26 in the Bible records, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ Adam, the first man created by God, was a male, and we know from this verse that he was made in the image of God. This is sufficient to prove that God is a male.”
Sister Karina patiently fellowshiped, “Sister, it’s true that the first person God created was a male, but the Bible also says, ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them’ (Genesis 1:27). This verse tells us that God created both man and woman in His image, not only man. If we define that God is a male according to the fact that Adam, the first person created by God, was male, then how can we explain that God created females in His image? Doesn’t it contradict this verse? Actually, God’s essence is spirit and spirits are sexless. God incarnates in the form of a male or a female according to the needs of His work of salvation. And thus His incarnations are differentiated by sex. However, whether God incarnates as male or female, as long as He is the flesh that the Spirit of God wears, He is God Himself; His adopting the form of a woman basically does not affect God’s essence. This is why we should not rely on our notions and imaginations to delimit the gender of God incarnate.”
Though what Sister Karina fellowshiped was reasonable, it was very hard for me to accept that God has incarnated as a female, because this did not fit with my notions at all. I thought, “With regard to the Lord’s coming, I must think it over carefully. I can’t make a decision lightly before investigating it clearly. If I start believing wrongly, won’t my over twenty years of faith be wasted?” So, I silently prayed to God asking Him to guide me.
After the meeting, I searched online for The Church of Almighty God and saw some different opinions about the Lord returning as a female. As a result, I felt even more confused. During that period, the sisters from The Church of Almighty God always fellowshiped this aspect of the truth with me, but I still could not accept, so I decided to stop gathering with them. After that, I felt really uncomfortable. Thinking back to that period of time, when attending meetings with them, I did understand many truths that I had not previously understood and felt edified. Nevertheless, there was no way that I could accept the fact that the Lord has returned in the flesh as a female.
In the following days, I went back to my previous situation where my spirit felt parched, and my life was very empty, so I really missed interacting with the sisters from The Church of Almighty God. To be honest, though I could not accept that God’s second incarnation is female, I felt that every meeting with them was rewarding. Their fellowship was well grounded and conformed with the Bible. By giving up seeking and studying like this, wasn’t I too arbitrary? I thought carefully for a while and then decided to continue examining and understanding The Church of Almighty God. Thereafter, I secretly started to read the books of God’s word and the articles of testimony on its website.
One day, I saw a passage of God’s word, “Put your conceptions to one side! Stop and carefully read these words. If you yearn for the truth, God will enlighten you to understand His will and His words. Put aside your view of ‘impossible’! The more that people believe something is impossible, the more likely it is to occur, for the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God. Because no matter where God reveals Himself, God is still God, and His substance will never change because of the location or manner of His appearance.”
These words moved me deeply. Yes! When God’s work was out of line with my notions and imaginings, I held on to them instead of seeking God’s will, and thus refused to accept God’s work. Wasn’t I so arrogant in doing this? God is the Creator and has His own plans and ways when He does His work. As a created being, how could I fathom His work? The Bible records, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). So, I could not blindly cling to my own conceptions and imaginings and I needed to continue to fellowship with the sisters.
Later, I initiated contact with Sister Lucy again and she got very excited and said, “Thanks to God’s enlightenment and guidance, you finally understand His will and return before Him again. This is truly God’s sheep hearing His voice. Sister, we’ve been constantly praying for you these days, asking God to guide you.” It warmed and moved my heart to hear this.
Then, I told her about my confusions, “The first time God was incarnated, He was male, but why does He adopt the form of a female this time instead of a male?”
Lucy said with a smile, “Sister, I also used to believe that since the Lord Jesus was a male, Hiswould be a male too, which conforms to our notions. However, God has His own plan for His work. As for this, let’s read two passages of God’s word. God says, ‘Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, but when God comes this time, He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any kind of flesh at will and that flesh can represent Him. Whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If such had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated nor conflicts with the other. … If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female.’ ‘If God came into the flesh only as a male, people would define Him as male, as the God of men, and would never believe Him to be the God of women. Men would then hold that God is of the same gender as men, that God is the head of men—but what then of women? This is unfair; is it not preferential treatment? If this were the case, then all those whom God saved would be men like Him, and not one woman would be saved. When God created mankind, He created Adam and He created Eve. He did not only create Adam, but made both male and female in His image. God is not only the God of men—He is also the God of women.’”
After reading God’s words, the sister said in fellowship, “God’s words tell us that every stage of work performed by God has practical significance. In the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came to work, He was male; in the last days, when the Lord returns, He is female. This allows us to see that God created both man and woman for His work and that God doesn’t have a gender. Whether God incarnates as a male or a female, as long as He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God, then He is God Himself. If God only incarnated as a man, we would define Him as male, as the God of males, and would never believe Him to be the God of females. In the last days, God becomes the flesh as a female in order to counter our conceptions and eliminate our absurd idea ‘God can only incarnate as a man.’ It can be seen from this that God can become both male and female, that God is not only the God of men but also the God of women, and that He not only saves men but also saves women. Therefore, it’s so very meaningful that God comes into flesh as a female. God is so wise and wondrous!”
After listening to her fellowshiping, I said with excitement, “By you fellowshiping in this way, I now understand. God incarnating as a female this time is significant. It is in order to resolve our conceptions and imaginings about God. This has shattered my conception of ‘God can only incarnate as a male,’ and allowed me to no longer delimit God. God’s work is so wise and almighty!”
“Yes! God choosing different genders the two times He incarnates has significance. What gender God takes depends on the needs of His work. From this, we can see the wisdom and almightiness of His work,” Sister Karina sighed with emotion.
Thank God! Through their fellowshiping, I felt a lot more enlightened and I was willing to continue to seek and study God’s new work.
Later, I saw a passage from God’s word, “External appearance does not determine substance; what’s more, the work of God has never conformed with the conceptions of man. Did not the outward appearance of Jesus conflict with the conceptions of man? Were not His appearance and dress unable to provide any clues as to His true identity? Was not the reason why the earliest Pharisees opposed Jesus because they merely looked at His external appearance, and did not take to heart the words that He spoke? It is My hope that the brothers and sisters who seek the appearance of God will not repeat the tragedy of history. You must not become the Pharisees of modern times and nail God to the cross again. You should carefully consider how to welcome the return of God, and should have a clear mind of how to be someone who submits to the truth.” After reading God’s words, I understood that, regardless of what God looks like or what form God takes to perform His work, it is not important. God incarnate is a holy flesh and can express truth and do His work of saving men. Facing such a big event as the return of the Lord, I should have humbly sought and investigated it, but I had rejected God’s new work because I had held on to my own conceptions and imaginings, determining that God’s incarnation must be a male and couldn’t be a female. I didn’t even realize that I had embarked on the path of resisting God. I was too foolish and muddleheaded! Recalling two thousand years ago, the Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and even crucified Him, offending God’s disposition. Was this not because the incarnated Lord Jesus did not accord with their notions and imaginings? Thinking about myself, if it hadn’t been for God’s mercy and grace, enlightening me with His words and setting up the sisters to patiently fellowship with me, I would have been eliminated by God due to resisting Him by holding on to my conceptions and imaginations. Realizing all this, I thought: “I can no longer rebel against God, and I must accept the truth and follow the footsteps of the Lamb.” As a result, I prayed silently in my heart, “Dear God! May You forgive my ignorance and foolishness. Because I stubbornly clung to my notions and imaginings and didn’t seek the truth, I almost lost Your salvation. Now I’m willing to put aside my notions and repent to You.”
Later on, through a period of examining God’s work in the last days, I confirmed that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Thinking of how God guided me to welcome His appearance and hear His voice, I feel that I really am fortunate. Now, I have formally joined The Church of Almighty God and have started to live the church life. Thanks be to Almighty God! All the glory be to God!
Further reading on our Who Is Jesus page, or in the following articles.
What exactly is meant by “the coming of the Son of man”? In what way will the Lord Jesus make His return?
Huiyong Since I believed in the Lord, I have prayed to God in the name of “Jesus” in everything. One day, I found that the Israelites all called upon God’s name “Jehovah” in the Old Testament. The believers began to pray in the name of “Jesus” in the Age of Grace of the New Testament. Moreover, Revelation prophesied that people will call God by the name “the Almighty” at the time of the holy city coming down. Until then did I know that God can be called by another name the Almighty besides the names of Jehovah and Jesus. Then I thought: Now that God has three names, which name should I pray in? Feeling confused, I went to see a pastor. He said to me: “In Acts 4:12, it says, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ So we must hold on to the name of the Lord Jesus, pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, and not call on other names. …” Hearing what the pastor said, I thought: Isn’t it recorded in the Bible that God also has the names of Jehovah and the Almighty? If we can’t call on other names, then aren’t we denying the two names? With the question, I began to study the Bible. In the Old Testament, it is recorded that Jehovah God said: “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11). “this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15). However, it is recorded in the New Testament: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Now that, in the Old Testament, it is said that only Jehovah is the Savior, why do we accept the name of Jesus? Since the name of Jehovah lasts forever, then why do we pray in the name of Jesus? And in the New Testament, it also says: “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). Aren’t these words contradictory? I felt very confused, so I often prayed for the Lord to enlighten me to understand the mysteries contained within. Until one day, my father told me: “The Lord Jesus has come back, and He is the incarnate Almighty God in the last days. He has revealed the mystery of God’s name in His words.” Hearing this, I hastened to seek and investigate it. Then my father read several passages of Almighty God’s words to me: “The work that Jesus did represented the name of Jesus, and represented the Age of Grace; the work done by Jehovah, represented Jehovah, and represented the Age of Law. Their work was the work of one Spirit in two different ages. … Although They were called by two different names, both stages of work were done by one Spirit, and the work of the second was a continuation of the first. As the name was different, and the content of the work was different, the age was different. When Jehovah came, that was the age of Jehovah, and when Jesus came, there was the age of Jesus. And so, each time God comes, He is called by one name, He represents one age, and He opens up a new path; and on each new path, He assumes a new name, which shows that God is always new and never old, and that His work is always progressing forward” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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 the Age of Grace. If man still longs for the arrival of Jesus the Savior during the last days, and still expects Him to arrive in the image He bore in Judea, then the entire six-thousand-year management plan would stop in the Age of Redemption, and would be incapable of progressing any further. The last days, furthermore, would never arrive, and the age would never be brought to an end. That is because Jesus the Savior is only for the redemption and salvation of mankind. I took the name of Jesus for the sake of all the sinners in the Age of Grace, and it is not the name by which I shall bring the whole of mankind to an end. Although Jehovah, Jesus, and the Messiah all represent My Spirit, these names only denote the different ages in My management plan, and do not represent Me in My entirety. The names by which people on earth call Me cannot articulate My entire disposition and all that I am. They are merely different names by which I am called during different ages. And so, when the final age—the age of the last days—arrives, My name shall change again. I shall not be called Jehovah, or Jesus, much less the Messiah, but shall be called the powerful Almighty God Himself, and under this name I shall bring the entire age to an end” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). My father fellowshiped with me: “In the Age of Law, God did His work under the name of Jehovah. In the Age of Grace, God did His work under the name of Jesus. He uses the name to start a new age and end the old age, and to represent the work of one age. His name changes according to the change of the age. The Bible says: ‘I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior’ (Isaiah 43:11). ‘this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations’ (Exodus 3:15). The words are under a certain background and refer to one age and one stage of work. They don’t mean that God’s name is Jehovah in any age, but that, as long as the age and the stage of work God starts doesn’t finish, people have to keep His name in that age, which can be transgressed by no one. The ‘all generations’ and ‘for ever’ here refer to the scope of the Age of Law. When God starts a new work and a new age, His name will change accordingly. That is to say, God’s name doesn’t remain the same forever, but changes with the development of His work. In the Age of Law, God’s name was ‘Jehovah.’ When the Lord Jesus came to work, then God’s name changed to ‘Jesus.’ This is why we hold on to the name of the Lord Jesus. In the last days, God carries out a new work and His name changes to ‘Almighty God.’ People must pray in the name of Almighty God. This fulfills the very prophecies in the Bible: ‘Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name’ (Revelation 3:12). ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty’ (Revelation 1:8). These words prophesy that God will have a new name. Since it’s a new name, it can’t be the name of Jesus, but that of Almighty God. Every time when God carries out a stage of work, He will take a name with the significance of the age to represent the work He is to do and the disposition He is to express in that age. The Bible says that God’s name is ever unchanging. It only means that God’s name remains unchanged in that age. But when the age changes, God’s name will change accordingly. It is the reason why the name of the Lord Jesus has changed to Almighty God. Moreover, each name of God has its meaning. His name is closely related to His work, with one name representing the work of one age. The name of Jehovah represents the work God did in the Age of Law. The name of Jesus represents the redemptive work God did in the Age of Grace. Finally, the name of Almighty God represents the judgment work God does in the last days. Although the name of God changes, His substance doesn’t change. Just as Almighty God says: ‘There are those who say that God is immutable. That is correct, but it refers to the immutability of God’s disposition and substance. Changes in His name and work do not prove that His substance has altered; in other words, God will always be God, and this will never change’” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Afterward, I read many words expressed by Almighty God and they solved the questions that have bedeviled me for years. I finally understood: There is only one God. Just because of God’s different work in different ages, He takes three different names—Jehovah, Jesus, and Almighty God. One name represents one age, one stage of work and part of God’s disposition. This is God’s work principle of being always new and never old. In the Age of Law, Jehovah God did the work of decreeing the laws and commandments and leading man in their lives, and made them know how to worship God to receive God’s blessings and what was sin. In that age, God expressed His disposition of wrath and curse. Later, people fell into sins and weren’t able to keep the laws. They were all at the risk of being condemned to death by the law. Therefore, Jehovah God was incarnated for the first time. Under the name of the Lord Jesus, God ended the Age of Law, did the redemptive work of the Age of Grace, and forgave people of their sins. What the Lord Jesus expressed was the disposition of mercy and love. In the last days, people are corrupted deeply. God becomes flesh again, and under the name of Almighty God, does the work of judging and purifying man. He expresses the disposition of righteousness, majesty and wrath, and shall bring the entire age to an end. No matter how God’s name changes, His substance never changes, neither does the aim of His work of saving man. So, people should pray to and call on God by the corresponding names of different ages. For example, in the Age of Law, when people called on the name of Jehovah, they could feel God’s leadership. In the Age of Grace, people must pray to God in the name of Jesus, confess their sins and repent to the Lord Jesus. Only in this way could they be forgiven of their sins and receive God’s blessings and leadership. If people didn’t follow God’s footsteps and still called on the name of Jehovah, they couldn’t obtain God’s work, and God wouldn’t listen to their prayers. In the Age of Kingdom of the last days, we should directly call on the name of Almighty God. If we still call on the name of the Lord Jesus, we can’t receive the work of the Holy Spirit or the approval of God. Moreover, we will finally be eliminated and forsaken by God. Thank God for enlightening me and making me understand the truth in this regard. Without Almighty God’s words revealing the mystery of God’s name, I would never understand it even if I believe in the Lord Jesus all my life. Thank Almighty God! All the glory be to Almighty God! Recommended: Reveal the Mystery of God’s Name God’s Name—Do You Know the Origin of Name “Jehovah”? God’s Name-What Does the Name “Jesus” Mean?
Bai Xue Jin Hua fetched Sister Zheng and Sister Yang (back from another province) from the railway station. After they three had lunch, she put them to bed. Jin Hua was about to lie down and take a nap when Sister Wang of her church came to tell her that ten more brothers and sisters had been arrested by the police of the CCP the day before, so she didn’t want to attend meetings and planned to go to another place to work. Hearing that, Jin Hua’s heart sank with the realization that the extent of the CCP’s persecution was becoming more and more grievous. But at that moment, she was too busy comforting Sister Wang to think more, “God uses it to test our faith in Him, and it also fulfills the sign of the Lord’s return. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. … But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved’ (Matthew 24:9-13). Now the prophecies of the Lord’s return have already been fulfilled and the day of the Lord has already come. Wait till He descends with the clouds, and we’ll be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near’ (Luke 21:27-28). At this crucial moment, we should keep our faith in Him even more—we must endure to the end, no matter how great the persecution and tribulation. Today, our light affliction, which is but for a moment, will work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the future.” Sister Wang said with an impatient look, “I know it’s worthwhile for us to suffer any hardship in order to welcome the Lord’s return. But the point is how to welcome His return when we don’t even know how He will return. Are we going to just look up to the clouds in the sky and wait for His descending day after day? Has the Lord Jesus come?” Before Jin Hua could say a word, Sister Wang had hurried off, on the pretext of catching the bus. Now Jin Hua did not have the heart to nap any longer. The words of Sister Wang hit her heart like a heavy hammer and her heart, she felt, were as if falling apart. She smoothed her hair, sat in the chair by the window, and looked subconsciously out of it: There the trees on each side of the road joined to form a long green shade, which was in verdant luxuriance; fleecy clouds, like masses of cotton, were floating in the azure sky. Staring at the floating clouds, Jin Hua thought: She is right. Can it be that we just look at the sky and wait for the Lord Jesus to come upon white clouds day after day? Has the Lord Jesus come? With so vast a sky and so many clouds, how can we see Him if He doesn’t come on clouds within our view but in another place? All of a sudden, Jin Hua’s heart became heavy. Lately, the CCP government had restarted another round of persecution. Besides, smog had been heavy and news of deaths from it kept coming, throwing many people who didn’t believe in the Lord into panic. So a majority of brothers and sisters were more eagerly expecting the Lord Jesus to return earlier. But they all were confused about how to wait for His return. Jin Hua opened the Bible to study the prophecies about the coming of the Lord Jesus. She saw Revelation 3:3, “If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you,” and 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’s mentioned in these verses that the Lord will come as a thief. Thinking that “as a thief” means coming quietly and secretly, rather than openly on clouds, she was startled: How should I have ignored these verses? The Lord will come as a thief, which is to say that He will come secretly. In that case, how can we meet Him? When Jin Hua was thinking over this question, Sister Yang and Sister Zheng came up. Sister Yang was a preacher and always had a unique insight into the scriptures. So, when Jin Hua saw her, as if seeing a lifeline, she poured out all her confusion. She said eagerly, “I had thought the Lord will come openly upon a cloud. But just now I read several verses and felt He will come secretly. So I can’t make out how He will come. What are your opinions on this question?” Sister Zheng said smilingly, “Revelation 3:3 says, ‘If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you.’ Here it says the Lord will come as a thief and that people don’t know when He will come. So the Lord will descend in secret.” Sister Yang said, “You say the Bible prophesied the Lord will come as a thief and that nobody knows when the Lord will come. I don’t deny that. But the Lord Jesus also prophesied, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:20). These verses have made this clear: At midnight someone cries that the bridegroom has come, and if someone hears the voice and opens the door to welcome the Lord, they will attend the feast with Him. This shows that there is a voice when the Lord comes and people can know it. In addition, Revelation 1:7 says, ‘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.’ According to these verses, I think, it’s very possible that the Lord will first descend secretly and then change His form and descend openly on a cloud after finishing His work.” [caption id="attachment_16177" align="aligncenter" width="640"] From the Internet[/caption] Sister Zheng said, “According to the prophecies in the Bible, the Lord’s descending on a cloud is entirely different from His coming as a thief. If He comes upon a cloud and we can see Him, it will be much easier for us to recognize Him. But if He comes as a thief, it’s hard to know. We may meet with many difficulties, and must seek and investigate, because it’s not easy to hear the voice of the bridegroom. What does the voice of the bridegroom actually mean? Can it be the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches? If we find the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, does it mean that we hear the voice of the bridegroom? I suppose the voice of the Holy Spirit equals that of the bridegroom, and that can’t be wrong. If the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches have been expressed, that would be wonderful!” Jin Hua said, “There are mysteries in the biblical prophecy that the Lord will descend on a cloud, which we can’t delineate. We all know that the earth is round, so which place is suitable for all mankind to see the Lord Jesus descending on a cloud? How far can we mankind see? If He descends on a cloud over our city, we can see Him, but can we see Him if He does so on the opposite side of the globe? So I think this prophecy that the Lord will descend on a cloud can’t be as simple as we’ve thought. We should carefully seek and investigate the Lord’s return. Revelation prophesied, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). This indicates that the Holy Spirit will undoubtedly speak to the churches in the last days. If we hear the words of the Holy Spirit, does it mean that we hear the voice of the bridegroom? And when we seek the appearance of the Lord, what’s the most important is to hear the voice of the bridegroom. Is it right?” Sister Yang said, “Yeah. After hearing your communication, I think that the Lord may come as the incarnate Son of man to speak and work. Aren’t the words of the Son of man exactly the voice of the bridegroom? Here I think of another significant prophecy about the coming of the Lord. The Lord Jesus 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). In these two verses, it’s mentioned that when the Lord comes, He must “suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” It cannot refer to the public appearance on a cloud of the spiritual body of the resurrected Lord Jesus. For the spiritual body is supernatural and not subject to space and geographical constraints, walking through walls and entering into the house with the doors closed. If the Lord descends with clouds in the spiritual body after resurrection, who dares to reject Him? How can He suffer a lot? According to the prophecy of the Lord, I think it is very likely that He will come as the incarnate Son of man, just as when the Lord Jesus came, outwardly, He was an ordinary, normal man, so no one recognized Him as God Himself. They treated Him as an ordinary man and rejected Him; besides, the Jewish chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees frantically resisted Him, condemned Him, and even nailed Him to the cross. Therefore, I think the Lord’s prophecy—He will return as the Son of man and as a thief—probably means that He will incarnate as the Son of man and descend secretly. The utterances of the returned Lord should be the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches. Such understanding is probably out of the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit.” Jin Hua said, “Thank the Lord! There are many prophecies about the Lord’s return in the Bible: Some say that the Lord will descend on a cloud and everyone will see Him; some say that the Lord will come secretly as a thief and that no one knows when He will come; still some say that the Lord will arrive as the Son of man, who will suffer a lot and be rejected by this generation, and so on. In these prophecies, there are mysteries and truths to be sought. Most believers in the Lord are waiting for Him to descend upon a cloud, and many pious servants of the Lord are all waiting watchfully, eager to see one day that the Lord descends with clouds and takes them into the kingdom of heaven. But no matter how He comes, since He promised to come again, the Lord Jesus will certainly come to receive us. The Lord is faithful. We believe those who wait for Him will never be disappointed. So if someone hears the bridegroom’s voice, he should notify the church as soon as possible and we all should go out to meet Him; if someone hears the testimony of the Lord’s coming, we should not miss the chance but should seek and investigate.” Sister Yang said, “Well, I came across a relative who believes in the Eastern Lightning on the road yesterday. He testified to me that the Lord Jesus has already secretly returned in the flesh as the Son of man and expressed the truth to do the work of judgment starting from the house of God. We didn’t fellowship too much because the environment was not good. But I can invite him to fellowship together.” All of them were ecstatic. Jin Hua suddenly had her direction and was brightened within. At that moment, the first thing she thought of was to call Sister Wang immediately. She picked up the cell phone … Recommended: What Is the True Way to Prepare Oil for Second Coming of Jesus? In What Manner Will the Lord Appear to Man When He Comes Again? How Will the Lord Appear to Man When He Comes Again? How Should We Welcome the Jesus Christ When He Knocks on the Door?
By Yufei After a Bible study meeting, Pastor Huang left hurriedly, clutching the Bible under his arm. I and several other co-workers began to talk about today’s meeting. Sister Li looked thoughtful and said: “Brothers and sisters, all these years we have been waiting to welcome the coming of the Lord. According to what the pastors say, we watch and pray, look up to the sky, and wait for the Lord to come upon white clouds with great glory and to take us up into the kingdom of heaven. But year after year, disasters become ever greater. The four blood moons have appeared. Yet, why haven’t we seen the Lord come upon the clouds with great glory? These days, I am thinking: Is the way of our waiting for the Lord right? If there is something wrong leading us to miss the Lord’s return, then isn’t our belief in Him all in vain? I attended the wedding ceremony of my niece yesterday and heard several brothers in the Lord talking in a low voice. They said the Lord has returned to flesh and is doing a stage of new work of judging man and purifying man through His words …” Sister Zhao hurried to interrupt her: “Impossible! Matthew 24:30 says clearly, ‘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.’ The Lord shall definitely return by descending on clouds in His glory and with His angels. At that time, all people on earth could witness the Lord’s return.” Sister Wang agreed with her: “That’s right. The Gospel of Matthew 25:31 tells us clearly, ‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory.’ I’m sure the Lord will come again with His authority and power. The scene will be very spectacular: The Lord Jesus shall be sitting on His glory throne with majesty, and all people on earth will be bending the knee to Him, worshiping Him, and accepting Him as the only true God.” At this moment, brother Chen took the thread of the conversation and said seriously, “As to these verses of the Lord’s second coming with great glory, I don’t think we should simply receive them literally. Besides, we need to ponder their inner meanings. Because the Bible says, ‘Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life’ (2 Corinthians 3:6). These years, I’ve been thinking of this question: If the Lord really comes upon white clouds with great glory, it’s obvious that all people will kneel down and leap in joy. But why does the Lord say, ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn’? (Matthew 24:30). I think ‘great glory’ here should contain some unfathomable mystery …” Instantly, we several brothers and sisters all focused our eyes on brother Chen. I became confused: Brother Chen said that the spectacular scene of the Lord’s descending upon the clouds with great glory came from our imaginations. That reminded me of a scripture: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). “The light of the glory of God” mentioned here did not refer to the glorious light which could be seen with our naked eyes, but the glory that the Lord Jesus gained by defeating Satan and successfully redeeming us from the death and Hades of the Law. So, “the glory” in the prediction of the Lord’s descending again with great glory seem to contain mystery? Thinking of that, I asked curiously, “Hey, Brother Chen, how do you receive ‘great glory’ here? Hurry up to fellowship with us, please.” Brother Chen continued, “Regarding the real meaning of the ‘great glory’ said by God, I studied some verses and saw the Lord Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John 12:23–24, ‘The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.’ And John 17:1, ‘Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you.’ From these verses, we can clearly see the ‘glory’ of God in the Age of Grace means that the work of redemption was completed through the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion. The Lord Jesus lived in the flesh for thirty-three and a half years, bore men’s cruel persecution and great humiliations in silence. Finally, He accomplished the work of redeeming mankind at the expense of being nailed His holy and innocent flesh to the cross, and saved men from lifeless laws. And thereby the gospel of the Lord spread throughout the world. The believers who followed the Lord and prayed to Him could be forgiven of their sins and enjoy the grace and blessings bestowed by the Lord. That was a part of glory obtained in His incarnation. So the Lord Jesus said ‘It is finished.’ on the cross, that is, God had completed a stage of redemptive work and thus gained glory. Obviously, the ‘glory’ here means God has completed His work and His work has achieved a result, rather than the outward majesty and splendor in our imagination.” I suddenly understood it and said, “Hearing what you said, I am a little clear. The ‘glory’ turns out to be the result achieved by the completion of God’s work instead of the splendid pictures formed in our mind. The glory we think is vastly different from the actual glory of God! It seems that on the matter of welcoming the Lord’s second coming, we cannot guess and define God’s work by imagination any longer; we should urgently seek the actual meaning of God’s appearance with glory in the last days. Otherwise, if we still keep looking up to the clouds in the sky, the consequences will be unimaginable: We won’t even know we miss meeting the Lord when He comes.” Sister Li said earnestly, “Right! It offends God’s disposition to define God’s work by our conceptions and notions. It’s easy to be forsaken by God. Now we should seek what work God is going to do when the Lord descends again. Only in this way can we follow the footsteps of the Lord.” Brother Chen said excitedly, “Thank the Lord! In the Age of the Grace, God just gained a part of glory. In the last days, God will receive greater glory, then what work will be done in order to receive glory completely when the Lord returns? I search many chapters of the Bible and find the Lord Jesus predicted long ago: ‘I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:46–48). 1 Peter 4:17 mentions, ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). From these verses, we can see when the Lord returns in the last days, He will express the truth to judge man. In the Age of Grace, the Lord only redeemed us. Though our sins have been forgiven, our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us, so that we live in the state of committing sins in the daytime and confessing them at night, and are not completely gained by God yet. Thus, the Lord comes back to do the work of judgment beginning at the house of God, to completely save us from Satan’s domain, and to purify and transform us to be those who thoroughly obey God, worship God, and love God. Only in so doing can we be worthy to enter into God’s kingdom and then God will gain all the glory. Hence, when the Lord appears to the public with ‘great glory,’ the work of judgment in the last days will have been accomplished. At that time, God will have purified and perfected a group of overcomers. They will be raptured before God’s throne of glory; the others who resist God, condemn God’s work, and who don’t accept God’s work of judgment will be destroyed in the great disasters. This is the reason why the Lord says, ‘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’ (Mat 24:30). So, if we missed the opportunity of the Lord’s work of judgment and were unable to be purified and perfected, I’m afraid we would beat upon our breasts and weep unceasingly when the Lord appears with glory. So, wherever God’s work of judgment in the last days is testified, we should hurry to find it, seek and investigate humbly. Only in this way can we gain the opportunity of being purified and perfected by the Lord, and be qualified to be taken into the glorious kingdom. Just as Revelation 2:7 says: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God.’” At this moment, we suddenly saw the light, and felt that Brother Chen’s fellowship regarding the practical meaning of the Lord’s coming back with “great glory” in the last day was really full of enlightenment and well-founded. This also allowed us to have a correct goal and direction in welcoming the return of the Lord. Thank God for His guidance! At this point, Sister Li said with remorse, “Alas … It seems that we had a muddled belief in the past. We wait for the Lord’s return by our imaginations and according to the superficial meaning of the Bible. If we keep waiting bitterly and do nothing, we will surely be foolish virgins and lose the salvation of the Lord. Yesterday I heard several brothers say the Lord has come back, and done the work of judging and purifying man through God’s word—that seems to be true. We shall arrange a time and invite them to fellowship with brothers and sisters, so as to investigate whether or not the Lord has returned and done a stage of new work.” I nodded approvingly. While Sister Zhao and Sister Wang turned back angrily, we several co-workers all agreed to seek and investigate, since the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:3). If you have other understanding or new light about this article, you’re welcome to have a chat with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We Look forward to sharing with more brothers and sisters about your enlightenment from God and growing together in Christ. You may be interested in this article: Three South Korean Pastors’ Discourse on the Prophecies of the Lord’s Second Coming