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By Zheng Xi
After receiving grace and returning to the Lord, we read in Matthew 3:17 in, “And see a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Also, when the preached to the disciples, He also called God in heaven the Father, saying when He prayed in Gethsemane, “O my Father,” which makes us think that the Lord is the Son, and this is what all who follow the Lord Jesus have thought over the past two thousand years. But some brothers and sisters also read in the Bible that when Philip asked the Lord Jesus to make the Father appear to them, the Lord Jesus said to Philip, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works” (John 14:9–10). Also, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). So, some of our brothers and sisters are confused, “Since the Lord Jesus is God’s beloved Son, why does the Lord say, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me’ and ‘I and my Father are one’? Here it seems like the Lord is telling us that He is God Himself, and that the Father and the Son are inseparable, so is the Lord Jesus God’s Son or God Himself?” Let’s fellowship about this question today.
When the Lord Jesus came in the flesh to live among mankind, He began the work of redeeming mankind, thereby concluding the Age of Law and beginning the Age of Grace, and lived and dwelled with mankind in the world. Then, the Holy Spirit testified that the Lord Jesus was God’s beloved Son, and the Lord Jesus called God in heaven the Father, so people thought the Lord Jesus was God’s Son. The concept of the Father and the Son spread from there. But let’s stop and think—in Genesis, is it recorded that God said He has a son?
Surely all of our brothers and sisters who read the Bible know that God never stated He has a son in Genesis, and that when Jehovah worked in the Age of Law, He never said He has a son. It was when the Lord Jesus worked that He told His disciples, “he that has seen me has seen the Father…. Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:9–11). And from these words, “he that has seen me has seen the Father,” “the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works,” we can see that the Lord Jesus is God Himself. The Lord Jesus Christ is God incarnate, the Spirit of God in heaven actualized as flesh to do God’s own work. He not only possessed normal humanity and complete divinity, and His substance was that of God Himself, which is made clear in this passage, “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father”). The Lord Jesus is Christ, and although He externally appeared normal and ordinary, He was the actualization of God’s Spirit. When the Lord Jesus worked, He expressed a merciful, compassionate disposition, He concluded the Age of Law, began the Age of Grace, preached the doctrine of “Repent you: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2), taught people to love their neighbors as themselves, forgive seventy times seven times, love their enemies, and so on, as well as gave people a new path of practice. The Lord Jesus’ words and work had authority and power; He was able to heal the sick and drive out demons, show God’s signs and wonders, calm the wind and waves with an utterance, bring the dead back to life, feed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and more, and finally, the Lord Jesus was crucified to complete the work of redeeming mankind and take on the burden of mankind’s sin. From the Lord Jesus’ work and words, it is entirely apparent that what the Lord Jesus expressed was God’s own disposition, all that God has and is, and also that the Lord Jesus was the living God Himself, the appearance of the one true God. So, there is only one God, and the concept of the Father and the Son is false.
Perhaps some brothers and sisters will ask, “Even if the Lord Jesus was God Himself, when the Lord Jesus prayed, why did He pray to the Father?” Let’s read a passage that addresses this question, “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 put on an ordinary and normal flesh 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. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, this shows that Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the Son of God). If you call God ‘Father,’ is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience. His addressing God (that is, the Spirit in heaven) in such a manner, however, does not prove that He is the Son of the Spirit of God in heaven. Rather, it is simply that His perspective is different” (“Does the Trinity Exist?”).
From this passage, we can see that when the Lord Jesus prayed and called God in heaven the Father, He was merely speaking from the perspective of a created being, which is to say mankind’s perspective, but this does not prove that the Lord Jesus is the Son of God’s Spirit in heaven. Before He was crucified, His identity was the Son of man, He had normal humanity, and His appearance was that of an ordinary person. He lived a normal life, He ate, drank, and wore clothes, and was not supernatural at all. Therefore, the Lord Jesus prayed to God from the perspective of a created being, which perfectly demonstrates the humbleness and obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. But no matter what tone or form of address the Lord Jesus used in His prayers, His essence was still that of God Himself controlled by the Holy Spirit. He had normal humanity and also complete divinity. Especially when the Lord was formally working, when He was speaking or performing miracles, He was entirely controlled by the Holy Spirit. As God He could express the entirety of the truth, express God’s disposition and all that God has and is, give people the truth, the way, and the life, reveal the mysteries of heaven, which is to say that God in heaven was doing His own work in the incarnate flesh. This is an undeniable fact.
Perhaps some brothers and sisters will also ask, “If the Lord Jesus wasn’t God’s Son, how can we explain the fact that in Matthew 3:17, it says ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’?” Let’s look at another passage, “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—this 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, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in me,’ 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. … But at that time, the Spirit in heaven stated only that He was the beloved Son of God, and made no mention of His being the only Son of God. This simply did not happen. How could God have an only child? Then would God not have become man? Because He was the incarnation, He was called the beloved Son of God, and, from this, came the relationship between Father and Son. It was simply because of the separation between heaven and earth” (“Does the Trinity Exist?”).
From this passage, we can understand that when the Holy Spirit testified “This is my beloved Son,” it was God speaking from the perspective of the Spirit testifying that He had incarnated as the Son of man. He was testifying Himself. At the time, all people knew of God as a Spirit, so if the Holy Spirit directly testified that the incarnate Lord Jesus was God, it would have been hard for people to accept. Also, when people first came in contact with the incarnate God, they had very little understanding of God’s incarnation and could never have imagined that this ordinary-seeming Son of man was the incarnation of God’s Spirit, the appearance of the incarnate God. Even after the Lord Jesus spoke many words, did much work, revealed many of God’s signs and miracles, and thoroughly demonstrated God’s authority and power, people still weren’t able to recognize from His words and work that He was God Himself, the appearance of God, and instead merely said the Lord Jesus was John the Baptist, or Elijah, or the Master. So, based on people’s spiritual stature at the time, God testified that the Lord Jesus was His beloved Son, and temporarily allowed people to think of the Lord Jesus as God’s Son, which was both in accord with man’s notions and easy for people to accept. Because the Lord Jesus did the work of redeeming mankind at the time, it didn’t matter what people called God, as long as they accepted the Lord Jesus as the Savior and had their sins forgiven, and thus were qualified to enjoy God’s grace. So, the fact that the Holy Spirit testified that the Lord Jesus was God’s beloved Son was based on the era’s historical background, and on the spiritual stature and ignorance of people at the time. In this, we can see God’s tolerance of our weakness, as well as God’s good intentions in His salvation for us, and God’s love for us. Consider: If we think of the Lord Jesus as God’s Son, doesn’t that imply that we think of God in heaven as a person?
I believe that through the fellowship above, we should understand that the Lord Jesus Christ is God Himself. The concept of the Father and the Son is limited to the years when the Lord Jesus was incarnate. When the Lord Jesus completed the work of redemption, the concept of the Father and the Son became obsolete, because there is only one God.
Thanks be to God for His guidance! May God be with us, Amen!
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