By Li’na, Australia
Editor’s note: Christians have always been longing for the Lord’s return so that they can be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. The Bible prophesies that when the Lord returns, He will descend not only as the Son of man but also upon a cloud. Then how will these prophecies be fulfilled? We’ll share this Christian’s experience to help you get the answer.
I had longed for the Lord’s arrival upon a white cloud since I was little.
I was born in a Christian family in Malaysia. Since I could remember, I had begun to go to church with my mother. I often heard my family and the pastors say that we who believed in the Lord were the most blessed and that in the future the Lord would descend on a white cloud to rapture us into the kingdom of heaven to enjoy eternal blessings. So, in order to enter the heavenly kingdom, I had always obeyed the teachings of the Lord: I was humble and patient in all things, didn’t assault, curse or seek to gain small advantages over others, and I spread the Lord’s gospel and often gave to the poor brothers and sisters.
Afterward, I went to Australia to work. Over two years passed, I hadn’t found a Chinese church. So, I could only pray to God and read the Bible at home and occasionally looked at some denominational websites. Not attending church meetings for a long time made me very weak in spirit, so I was eager to attend meetings. For this, I often prayed to the Lord and asked Him to prepare it for me.
At the end of 2017, I got to know Sister Nian’en on Facebook. Her timeline was all about belief in God, which was beneficial to me. Then I began to communicate with her. When she knew that I had not attended meetings for two years, she cared about me and told me that her cousin, Brother Liu, was a preacher and suggested I listen to his preaching on the internet. I agreed right away.
After listening to sermons on the internet, I understood the true meaning of Eastern Lightning.
In January, 2018, I started to attend church meetings on the internet. Brother Liu’s preaching was very practical and I could gain so much every time I listened to his preaching. Over a month later, Brother Liu said that the Lord would become flesh and do the work of judgment when He returned. Just then, I felt very surprised and thought, “In many verses of the Bible, it is clearly written that the Lord will arrive upon a white cloud. But why did Brother Liu say that the Lord will become flesh when He returns? Our pastors have never said that before.” Then I got online and searched a little, and learned that only those who believe in Eastern Lightning preach that the Lord has been incarnated as the Son of man again. So I asked Sister Nian’en in private whether her cousin believed in Eastern Lightning. She fellowshiped with me, “The return of the Lord is an important thing. We should seek and investigate to figure it out. If we blindly refuse to listen, we’ll then miss God’s salvation. We should imitate the wise virgins, and focus on hearing the voice of God. That is in accordance with God’s will.” Hearing that, I felt it made sense but I still had some scruples. I thought, “I’ve believed in the Lord and been longing for the Lord’s return for 40 years. Once I believe in something incorrect, then won’t I have waited in vain?” Thus, I sent a message to the preacher from my previous church and asked him about Eastern Lightning. At my words, he immediately demanded of me not to attend meetings on the internet with brothers and sisters of Eastern Lightning. With that, I didn’t dare to contact Brother Liu anymore. So, I found an excuse and stopped my online meetings. As a result, my spirit was withered again. One unbearable month passed by in this condition. One day, a thought hit me, “I have known the preacher from my previous church for many years and he has known my current situation, but why does he not care about and support me? He hasn’t made any contact with me up to now. On the contrary, Brother Liu has only known me for just over a month, but he cares about my belief in God. It seems that Brother Liu has genuine love. Love can only come from God. Can it be that Brother Liu was sent by the Lord?” I thought it over and over again, and felt I should take investigating the Lord’s return on the internet seriously and that I couldn’t just talk it over with others. Then I prayed to the Lord, “O, my Lord. If Brother Liu is the preacher dispatched by You, may You guide and lead me, and prepare me another chance to contact him.” One day after that prayer, Sister Nian’en sent me a message to invite me to attend a meeting on the internet. I thought this was from God, so I agreed.
When we communicated again on the internet, Brother Liu said frankly that he was from The Church of Almighty God, which was Eastern Lightning I spoke of. Seeing his sincerity, I felt remorse and confessed that I had found an excuse not to attend meetings and deceived them. Brother Liu didn’t blame me but fellowshiped with me, “Many brothers and sisters in the religious world don’t know what Eastern Lightning means. Next, let’s talk about its meaning. The Lord Jesus prophesied, ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Matthew 24:27). ‘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’ (Luke 17:24). As we all know, the east of the world refers to China. Almighty God appears and works in China to express all the truths that cleanse and save mankind, like the great light shining out of the East. This is the origin of ‘Eastern Lightning.’ However, the pastors and elders in the religious world, facing the truths expressed by Almighty God, not only do not seek or investigate, but fanatically condemn and blaspheme against Eastern Lightning. Also, they report the brothers and sisters who believe in Almighty God and even collude with the atheistic CCP government to capture them. Nevertheless, the pace of God’s work is unstoppable. In only twenty years, Almighty God’s work of the last days has already spread throughout China and is by now a household name. Nowadays, the words expressed by Almighty God are already available online for all to see so that people from countries and territories around the world may seek and search. Almighty God’s work of the last days is just like a bolt of lightning shining out of the East into the West. This completely fulfills the Lord Jesus’ prophecy, ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west.’ Wise virgins all over the world who truly believe in God and can hear God’s voice have been returning to God’s family, one after another, so that it takes on a gratifying scene where all people are streaming to God’s holy mountain. This is all the effect of the work of the Holy Spirit. From this we can see that Eastern Lightning refers to the work of God in the last days.”
From the brother’s fellowshiping, I understood the true meaning of Eastern Lightning. I felt so happy and continued discussing the topic relating to God’s return with him….
Will the Lord come upon a cloud or as a thief?
I said, “Concerning the Lord’s return, it is written in the Bible, ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). ‘Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him’ (Revelation 1:7). According to these verses, I think that the Lord will descend on a cloud when He returns.”
The brother said, “Sister, we all know that there are many prophecies in the Bible about the Lord’s return. You’ve only found some verses. Next, let’s read other verses, ‘Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. 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’ (Revelation 3:3). ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15). ‘But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…’ (2 Peter 3:10). These verses say that the Lord will come as a thief. And there are some other verses saying that the Lord will come upon a cloud. Do you think they are at odds with each other?”
I read these verses carefully, thinking, “It turns out that in the Bible, not only are there the prophecies that the Lord will descend on a cloud, but there are the prophecies that the Lord will come as a thief. How come I’ve never noticed these verses before?” But I was too embarrassed to say I didn’t understand, so I said, “No, I don’t. ‘Come as a thief’ means that no one knows the days of the Lord’s coming.”
The brother said, “I had the same view as yours before. Afterward, I encountered the brothers and sisters who believed in Almighty God. Through their fellowshiping with me, I came to know that the Lord’s return is in two different ways: secret arrival and public arrival. ‘Come as a thief’ means that God will be incarnated and arrive in secret, and express words to do the work of judgment starting from the house of God. Through this, God will make complete a group of overcomers and then He will publicly descend upon the clouds to reward the good and punish the wicked. We can further clarify this issue by reading a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. It will herald the end of God’s management plan, and will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For the judgment of God will have ended before man sees signs, when there is only the expression of truth. Those who accept the truth and do not seek signs, and thus have been purified, shall have returned before the throne of God and entered the Creator’s embrace. Only those who persist in the belief that ‘The Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ’ shall be subjected to everlasting punishment, for they only believe in the Jesus who exhibits signs, but do not acknowledge the Jesus who proclaims severe judgment and releases the true way of life. And so it can only be that Jesus deals with them when He openly returns upon a white cloud. They are too stubborn, too confident in themselves, too arrogant. How could such degenerates be rewarded by Jesus?’ Almighty God’s words make it very clear: When the Lord publicly descends upon the clouds, some people will go down to hell to be punished. Because when the Lord came hidden as the Son of man, they not only didn’t accept but condemned, resisted and rejected God. God arriving secretly is to save mankind, while when He publicly descends upon the clouds, He will reward the good and punish the wicked. So, those who don’t believe in Almighty God until they see the Lord publicly descending will be eliminated by God in the end. Sister, after we finish communicating, what are your thoughts?”
I came to a sudden realization, “That’s right! In Matthew 24:30 it 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.’ When we people see the Lord descend on the clouds, we should be joyful but not wail instead, as we can imagine. It turns out that it is because some people don’t accept God’s work and miss the chance to be saved during the period of the Lord’s hidden arrival that they will wail when the Lord publicly descends upon a cloud. Brother, you fellowshiped that the Lord’s return is in two different ways: secret arrival and public arrival. This completely conforms with the Bible’s prophecies, so I can accept it. But I’m still a little unclear as to the Lord’s coming as incarnate. Is there any prophecy about this in the Bible? ”
The brother said, “About that, let’s read some verses. ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not’ (Luke 12:40). ‘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). All of these prophecies speak of the coming of ‘the Son of man’ or ‘the Son of man in his day.’ This phrase ‘the Son of man,’ refers to One who is born to a human and has normal humanity. So the Spirit can’t be called the Son of man. For example, Jehovah God is Spirit and thus He cannot be called the Son of man; the reason why the incarnate Lord Jesus is called the Son of man is that He is the incarnation of the Spirit of God, and He became an ordinary, normal man, living amongst man. Therefore, ‘the Son of man in his day’ and ‘the coming of the Son of man’ refer to God’s coming through incarnation in the last days. Especially, the Lord Jesus said, ‘first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation,’ This proves even more explicitly that the Lord will return through incarnation. If God came through the means of the Spirit, He certainly wouldn’t experience any suffering, and certainly wouldn’t be rejected by this generation. So the Lord Jesus’ return is through incarnation and He comes to express the truth and do the work of judgment in the last days.”
Seeing that Brother Liu’s fellowship was well grounded, I was left agape. I thought, “Without listening I didn’t understand, but once I do listen I know that it really was recorded in the Bible that the Lord will come through incarnation. It seems that I lack profound understanding of the Bible. It’s a major event that the Lord will return through incarnation. I really must understand it.”
Why does God become flesh to do His work?
I said, “Brother, I have no doubt about what you said. But there is still one thing I do not understand. Why does God not appear through the means of the Spirit, but becomes flesh?”
Brother Liu said, “Sister, your question is very important. Let’s study two pieces of scripture to see the results that can be achieved by God’s Spirit appearing to carry out work. ‘And he said, I beseech you, show me your glory. … And he said, You can not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live’ (Exodus 33:18-20). ‘And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die’ (Exodus 20:18-19). From these verses we can see: God is holy while we men are corrupted and the Spirit of God will strike down the impure that He sees, so we cannot approach Him at all. Besides, the voice of God’s Spirit is like thunder and we cannot understand it at all. Thus, this does not facilitate the progress God’s work. As to this question, let’s read some more passages of God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘God’s saving of man is not done directly using the method of the Spirit and the identity of the Spirit, for His Spirit can neither be touched nor seen by man, neither can man draw near. If He tried to save man directly using the perspective of the Spirit, man would be unable to receive His salvation. If God did not put on the outward form of a created man, there would be no way for man to receive this salvation. For man has no way of approaching Him, much as no one was able to go near the cloud of Jehovah. Only by becoming a created human being, that is, only by putting His word into the body of flesh that He is about to become, can He personally work the word into all who follow Him. Only then can man personally see and hear His word, and moreover enter into possession of His word, and by this means come to be fully saved. If God did not become flesh, no man of flesh and blood would be able to receive such great salvation, nor would a single man be saved. If the Spirit of God worked directly in the midst of mankind, all humanity would be struck down, or else, with no way of coming into touch with God, they would be completely carried away captive by Satan.’
‘By the same token, during the first incarnation, only the flesh of God incarnate could redeem man through His crucifixion, whereas there would have been no way for the Spirit of God to be crucified as a sin offering for man. God could directly become flesh to serve as a sin offering for man, but man could not directly ascend to heaven to take the sin offering that God had prepared for him. This being so, all that is possible would be to ask God to run back and forth a few times between heaven and earth, not to have man ascend to heaven to take this salvation, for man had fallen and moreover man simply could not ascend to heaven, much less obtain the sin offering. Therefore, it was necessary for Jesus to come among men and personally do the work that simply could not be accomplished by man. Every time God becomes flesh, it is out of absolute necessity. If any of the stages could have been carried out directly by the Spirit of God, He would not have submitted to the indignity of being incarnated.’
From God’s words we understand: We’ve been corrupted by Satan, so if we directly come into contact with God’s spirit, we’ll be struck down by Him. This is a fact that everyone has accepted. Moreover, every time God becomes flesh it is completely based on mankind’s needs. Just as in the Age of Grace when God was to do the redemption work, if God had appeared to man through the means of the Spirit again, then there would have been no way for Him to be crucified, shed His precious blood or suffer pain. So God came to earth from heaven and put on the outward form of a created man to become a man so that He could be crucified practically to redeem our sins. If the Lord Jesus had not become flesh, we would have never gained the sin offering. Similarly, in the last days, for God to express the truth to save us, He must be incarnated into flesh. If the Spirit did the work, we would not be able to understand the words expressed by Him.”
Hearing this, I understood more clearly. I said, “That’s right. We are of flesh and blood. If God appears to us through the means of the Spirit, we not only won’t be able to approach Him but will feel afraid. It seems that God becoming flesh to do His work is most suitable for us mankind, and is also beneficial to His saving us. ”
The brother said, “Sister, you understand very well. Next, let’s read another passage of God’s words: ‘The flesh of man has been corrupted by Satan, and most deeply blinded, and profoundly harmed. The most fundamental reason why God works personally in the flesh is because the object of His salvation is man, who is of the flesh, and because Satan also uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God. The battle with Satan is actually the work of conquering man, and at the same time, man is also the object of God’s salvation. In this way, the work of God incarnate is essential. Satan corrupted the flesh of man, and man became the embodiment of Satan, and became the object to be defeated by God. In this way, the work of doing battle with Satan and saving mankind occurs on earth, and God must become human in order to do battle with Satan. This is work of the utmost practicality. … It is because God is incarnated that He can defeat Satan and is able to save mankind. He does not directly destroy Satan, but becomes flesh to do the work to conquer mankind, who has been corrupted by Satan. In this way, He is better able to bear testimony to Himself among the creatures, and is better able to save corrupted man.’ From God’s words we can see that we man have all been deeply corrupted by Satan, and have become the embodiment of Satan. Meanwhile, we are mortal flesh and have no ability to escape the bondage and control of sin. To save us, God must be incarnated in person to express the truth and reveal the truth that we have been corrupted by Satan to allow us to discern Satan so that we can abandon it and return to God. If God directly destroyed Satan, our old nature would never be resolved. That is, God must be incarnated to do the judgment work to conquer, perfect and cleanse man and in this way, He is able to defeat Satan and save mankind.”
I said, “Brother, through your fellowshiping, I realize that it is really very meaningful that God is incarnated to do His work and realize that all that God has done is to better save us. However, I had a very inflated view of myself, didn’t know what I am and made conclusions about and judged God’s way of working at will. I was so completely without sense! What manners God will use to save mankind is God’s own affair. What we should do is to obey Him.”
Brother Liu said, “Thanks be to God!”
Through his fellowship, all of my confusions had been relieved. I acknowledged in my heart that the Lord would be incarnated when He returned. After that, I installed The Church of Almighty God app and started to hungrily read God’s words. After a period of investigation, I firmly believed that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus and that the words of Almighty God are the utterances of the Holy Spirit. And so I happily accepted God’s work of the last days.