Hello, brothers and sisters! Acts 1:11 says: “You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” The Lord left on a white cloud after His resurrection, and so He will return on a white cloud. Holding fast to this viewpoint, I’ve been on constant lookout for the Lord’s descending on a cloud. However, some time ago, I heard from my classmate that the Lord had returned, and that He had become flesh and come down to the earth as the Son of man to do His work and speak. I can’t see this matter clearly. It’s true that the prophecies of the Lord’shave been basically fulfilled. But I still haven’t seen the Lord coming with a cloud to take us. I feel confused: Am I right to await the Lord’s coming on a cloud? I’d like to discuss this with you and hope you can give me some help.
Posted by Gao Huimin
I’ve just seen your post, and I feel the same way. In 2000, the pastors said that the Lord would be bound to return and take us back to the heavenly home someday. But it’s 2018 now, and yet we haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds to take us. Nowadays, disasters are frequently happening all over the world, such as flood, drought, earthquakes and wars, which exactly fulfills the prophecies of the last days thesaid to His disciples. Judging from the signs, we can see that the time of the Lord’s return seems to have come. What your classmate said may be a fact. I think the Lord’s coming is an important thing and you should make an investigation.
Sister Gao and Sister Yu, we can’t lose faith in the Lord, because He is trustworthy.clearly says: “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Luke 21:27). It was said by the Lord Himself that He will come with clouds at His return, and that every eye will see Him. The Lord’s words won’t be wrong. So there is no need to worry, and we just continue to await the Lord’s descending on a cloud to take us.
God is faithful. When heaven and earth are no more, not even one letter or dot will be removed from the word of God. This is an undeniable fact. The point is that it has been the last days now, and yet we haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds; rather, we feel that the Lord is getting further and further away from us: We can’t grasp the Lord’s intentions when encountering things; the faith of the brothers and sisters becomes colder and colder. It seems that we have been abandoned by the Lord. Now your words just remind me: Could it be that the Lord has already returned?
Brothers and sisters, thanks for your help. You guys all have your own understandings on the subject of the Lord’s return, and all you said makes sense. But I’m still not quite clear on this issue. Is there any other brother or sister who holds a different opinion? Please share with us.
Brothers and sisters, what you are talking about is truly important, because it matters whether we can welcome the arrival of the Lord; moreover, it matters whether our belief in the Lord is a success or not. So we must treat it prudently and find the answer in the Lord’s words, instead of drawing conclusions blindly. As to this matter, I used to hold the same viewpoint as Sister Gao, and just waited for the Lord’s coming with clouds. But recently, by studying the scriptures together with my brothers and sisters, I found some mysteries. Let’s first read some passages of the prophecies about the Lord’s return. The Lord said: “Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24-25).
From these scriptures we can see that there are two ways in which the Lord shall return. One is to descend from the clouds publicly, which can be seen by all people. The other is to come as the Son of man, and no one will know it. It is obvious that the Lord won’t appear to us just in one form. So if we blindly hold on to the view that the Lord will return in one way, then we might miss the chance of welcoming the Lord’s return.
Thank the Lord! After hearing your communication, I finally know the Lord will return in two ways. We have read the Bible so many times, but why haven’t we found this point?
Well, what you said is reasonable and truly matches the Bible. The Lord will not only descend on a white cloud, but also come in the identity of the Son of man. That is to say, there’re two ways in which the Lord will return. Then how do these two ways come true? Can you fellowship with us in detail?
If we put these prophecies together and investigate them carefully, we can find that the Lord’s return is divided into two stages: the Son of man arriving secretly and His spiritual body descending with clouds publicly. God’s coming in secret is to save the mankind. During this period of time, if people hear the voice of God and welcome the Lord, then they will follow the footsteps of God’s work, attend the marriage supper of the Lamb and gain the truth and life. Such persons are those who will be saved by God. Just as it is said in Revelation 3:20: “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.” These people are all the wise virgins with a seeking heart. But if people, when hearing someone crying that the bridegroom has come, neither come out to welcome Him, nor seek or examine, but just blindly hold on to their own conceptions and imaginations, awaiting the Lord’s coming with clouds, then they will miss out on the Lord’s arrival. When God finishes the work of arriving in secret to express the truth to save people, the disasters will come. By then the Lord will descend on a cloud and openly appear to all people; He will reward the good and punishes the evil. All the enemy forces resisting God will be crying and regretting amid the destruction. Just as Revelation 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. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7). That is the stage when the Lord descends publicly.
From this we can see that, the stage of God’s hidden descent is the period when He works to save man, while the stage of open arrival is the time when He rewards the good and punishes the evil. Matthew 24:37-39 says: “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Why does it say that the days of the Son of man are the same as those of Noah? That’s because before the flood, God asked Noah to make the ark and spread the gospel, which actually was offering opportunities to people to repent. That was the stage when God saved people. When the flood came, or rather, when God’s punishment befell, people were all shocked, but at that time they had no chance to repent, and all of them were weeping and gnashing their teeth in the flood.
From the work God did in the past, we can see clearly that God’s disposition is not only merciful and compassionate, but also majestic and wrathful. God is a holy God, so He won’t permit the existence of filthy people. He first works to save those who can be saved, and then punishes those who do evil and resist Him. Similarly, in the last days when God works secretly, He saves men, and when He appears publicly, He will reward the good and punish the evil.
Thank the Lord! Brother Liu’s fellowship is really enlightening. It is true that there’re the prophecies of the Lord’s descending with clouds publicly and the prophecies of His coming secretly in the Bible. If we just wait for the Lord’s coming with clouds according to our imagination, we might miss the chance to be saved by the Lord arriving in secret. Brother Liu fellowshiped that the Lord will first come secretly as the Son of man and then descend with clouds publicly; this conforms to the prophecies in the Bible, and the fact of God’s work as well.
Such understanding is out of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. The stage of the Lord’s open arrival is the time when He rewards the good and punish the evil, while the stage of hidden descent is the period when He saves man. If we just await the Lord’s openly coming with clouds, we’ll never welcome His arrival. I can’t just keep waiting for the Lord to openly descend upon the clouds like before.
When the Lord returns, He will first descend in a hidden way and then appear openly, which is totally in line with the Bible. But we can hardly know it when the Lord comes secretly, so how can we welcome the Lord’s return then?
I think we shouldn’t just wait passively. The Lord Jesus said: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). This is the way to welcome the Lord’s second coming. As long as we seek for God’s appearance with a true and longing heart, we’ll surely be able to welcome the Lord’s return.
Yes, we should hold a seeking heart and learn to identify the voice of God to welcome the Lord’s coming. As for your question, I’m still in the process of seeking. Here I’ll talk about my opinion, and hope we can seek God’s guidance together. As we all know, Revelation says: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). It is obvious that the Lord will speak to the churches at His second coming in the last days. Where there is the word the Holy Spirit speaks to the churches, there is the voice of God and His appearance. We should pay heed to the voice of God. If someone testifies that the Lord has returned, we should investigate it carefully, and pray and seek more. Only in this way can we welcome the Lord’s return, follow the footstep of God, and attend the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Thanks be to the Lord! It was truly out of the Lord’s guidance that you shared these illuminations with me when I was at a loss. Your fellowship has turned around my deviation of only waiting for the Lord’s coming with clouds, and helped me find the way to practice. Now I feel brightened. I must put aside my own thoughts and have a careful investigation with my classmate to avoid missing the chance to welcome the Lord’s return.
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