By Anyuan, Philippines
Now the disasters are getting greater and there have been frequent earthquakes, famines and wars. In addition, from the end of 2019 to 2020, the new coronavirus emerging in Wuhan, China, has spread to over 20 countries. Now Wuhan coronavirus is still spreading and the death toll is rising. Besides, from September 2019 to January 2020, the Australian bushfires destroyed thousands of buildings. In addition, dozens of people died and billions of animals are reported to have been killed. On January 18, 2020, a 100-year heavy rain lashed Australia, causing flooding, power failures in some districts, and the death of large amounts of aquatic life. In January 2020, torrential rains swept across Indonesia, so that tens of thousands of people became homeless. Furthermore, the four blood moons have appeared, and disasters have frequently occurred worldwide. These fulfill the prophecies of the return of the Lord Jesus, “And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, see, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood” (Revelation 6:12). “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows”(Matthew 24:7–8). Seeing the fulfillment of these prophecies, many brothers and sisters in the Lord raise such questions: Since the prophecies of the second coming of Christ have been basically fulfilled, has the Lord come back? If so, why haven’t we welcomed the Lord? Where can we find the Lord’s footprints?
With regard to this issue, we should first know how the Lord will return. Many people think that because the Lord left in the clouds, He should also come with clouds when He returns, for the Bible says, “Behold, He comes with clouds” (Revelation 1:7), and “[T]hey shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30). But why haven’t we seen the Lord comes with clouds? Actually, in the matter of welcoming the coming of the Lord, we have neglected an important thing—there are biblical prophecies of the Lord coming in secret, such as “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), “Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44), “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).
The words “come as a thief” and “at midnight there was a cry made” in these verses refer to the Lord quietly and secretly coming in the last days. “The Son of man” and “the Son of man comes” in these verses refer to God becoming flesh as the Son of man to secretly come. When the Son of man is mentioned, it always refers to One who is born to a human, has parents and lives among people in the form of an ordinary man of flesh and blood, just like the Lord Jesus. If the Lord returned with the resurrected spiritual body, He could not be called the Son of man. Besides, the verse “But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” means that the Lord will become flesh as the Son of man when He returns. Because the incarnate God is normal and ordinary from the outside and people don’t realize that He is God Himself, thus they treat Him as an ordinary person and even condemn and reject Him. Therefore, when the Lord returns, He will suffer many things. Just as it was back when the Lord Jesus appeared and performed His work during His incarnation as the Son of man, many people didn’t know the Lord Jesus was the Messiah, and they, based on their own notions and imaginings, resisted and condemned Him and nailed Him on the cross. If the Lord Jesus returned to work in the form of His resurrected spiritual body, who would dare treat Him as an ordinary person and who would dare condemn, resist or reject Him? Then everyone would drop to the ground and God’s suffering would come to an end. It can be seen that when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days, He will become flesh and descend in secret to do His work.
At this point, some brothers and sisters feel confused: Since the Lord will secretly descend and work among mankind in the last days, then how will the prophecies of His descent upon a cloud be fulfilled? Is this not a contradiction? We know God is faithful, so His prophecies will surely be fulfilled. In fact, God has been performing His work with a plan, and with steps. He will first secretly descend to work and save man, and then will publicly descend upon a cloud to appear to man and reward the good and punish the evil. Let’s read some verses to help clarify how the prophecies of the second coming of Christ are fulfilled. The Lord Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “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 12:48). “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). From these verses we can see that when God becomes flesh and secretly walks among mankind in the last days, He will speak to mankind, do the work of judgment to purify and perfect all those who return before His throne. And God does this stage of work on the foundation of the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus and in accordance with mankind’s present needs. Although we’ve been redeemed by the Lord Jesus and our sins are absolved, our satanic natures such as arrogance, trickery, selfishness and malice have not been thoroughly resolved, and we still live in a state of sinning and confessing. So, the Lord Jesus said when He returns in the last days, He will become flesh to express His words and perform His work of judging and purifying man. Those who accept the judgment work of God’s word can be cleansed by God and become overcomers before the disaster, and finally enter God’s kingdom, enjoying the everlasting blessings bestowed by God. However, during God’s secret work, those who don’t seek or listen to God’s voice and don’t accept God’s judgment work in the last days but instead rely on their own notions and imaginings to condemn God, are the tares exposed by God’s work in the last days. After God’s judgment work separates the wise virgins from the foolish virgins, good servants from evil servants, and those who love truth from those who detest the truth, God’s work of saving man will be thoroughly completed and then God will come down on a cloud to openly appear to the peoples of all nations, rewarding the good and punishing the evil. Those who don’t accept the work of the incarnate God will be surprised to find that the One they resist and reject is precisely the returned Lord Jesus, so they will regret, beat their breasts in despair, wail and grind their teeth, but it is already too late. This wholly fulfills the prophecies, “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). “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). Thus, as long as we accept God’s judgment work in the last days during His secret work, we can be cleansed by God and have a chance to enter God’s kingdom.
How can we welcome the second coming of the Lord Jesus? Let’s look at these verses, “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). The verses mention “there was a cry” and “I stand at the door,” which mean that when the Lord returns to work, some people will testify that the Lord has come back and He will use His words to knock on the doors of our hearts. So, what is most critical to welcome the Lord is heeding God’s voice, just as the Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Therefore, when we hear someone testifies that the Lord has returned to express the truth and to do the judgment work, we should pay more attention to seeking and investigating and see if these words are the voice of God and if the work is God’s appearance and work. If we can recognize God’s voice from the words of the returned Lord, then we have followed the Lamb’s footsteps and welcomed the second coming of Christ.