By Rayson, Kenya
Throughout our lives we will miss out on many things, such as a delicious meal, a date, a good job, an object of our affection, and so on. If we miss out on these things, we can get other things to replace them, but if we miss the last train to the kingdom of heaven, we will be left with eternal regrets. As a Christian, I was very lucky to have caught the last train for the kingdom of heaven.
The Lord has returned?
Being a Christian, I always attendedgatherings. But at some point I realized that there was no illumination in the sermons preached by the pastors in my church. After listening to their sermons, I was still very poor in spirit. So in order to obtain the nourishment that I needed, no matter how busy my studies were, I prayed to the Lord and read the three times a day. Sometimes I would go online to search for Christian films to watch or some Christian sermons to listen to. One day in May 2018, I found several Christian films on the Internet: “Break the Spell,” “Waiting,” “Yearning,” “Knocking at the Door.” The title of the movie clip “Break the Spell,”—“How Can We Welcome the Lord’s Return?”, immediately captivated my attention, so I first watched that clip with curiosity. In the beginning of it, I heard the brothers and sisters talking about how they were longing for the Lord’s return, which resonated with me. So I continued watching it. When I heard it testify that the has returned, I was really happy and excited yet confused. I thought, “The Lord has returned? But it is clearly written in the Bible, ‘And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, 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’ (Acts 1:9-11). ‘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). We haven’t seen the Lord descending on a cloud to be among us, so how can it be that He has returned? Is this true? If it is, then have I been cast aside?” I was very confused and worried. So as the brothers and sisters communicated the relevant Bible verses, I pressed the pause button from time to time to find them in the Bible to confirm what they were fellowshiping about.
When reading the verses, “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall alsobe in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24-25), I carefully pondered the words “the Son of man” and “must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” I thought: “Since the Lord Jesus often used the words “the Son of man” to refer to Himself, then the Son of man definitely refers to God’s incarnate flesh, just like the Lord Jesus, who was born of a human. Only in this way will God suffer many things and be rejected of this generation. It seems that the Lord really comes as the Son of man.” Then I read another verse, “And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man” (Luke 17:26). Take a look at this world today, it is the same as the time of Noah. People all live lives of eating, drinking and cavorting, degenerate and evil. There is no one who proactively follows and worships God, and moreover no one who actively seeks God’s appearance. I realized that the Lord’s words have apparently come true. And the days of the Lord’s return have come upon us. But then I thought, “If the Lord really has come as the Son of man, then how should the prophecy of the Lord descending with the clouds be explained?” So I became confused again.
Following the fellowshiping in the movie, I saw the verse in the Bible, “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). It communicates an important message: The Son of man will descend and appear in the East. I carefully pondered this matter in my heart, and thought, “The verse has stated that the Lord will become flesh in the last days and appear in the East. China is in the East of the world. And the brothers and sisters in the film are all Chinese. They testify that the Lord has returned. Then shouldn’t I seek the truth in this matter? If the news of the Lord’s return is true but I don’t seek, then won’t I lose the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return and be raptured into the kingdom of heaven?” So I determined to investigate it.
What’s the Lord’s ‘descend with the clouds’ all about?
I immediately checked to see where the movie came from and discovered it was one of the films of The Church of Almighty God. Then I made contact with two sisters of The Church of Almighty God. Because my head was full of questions and confusion, after a brief self-introduction, I came straight to the point and asked, “I’ve watched a movie produced by your church. You testify that the Lord has returned. But the Bible says the Lord will descend upon a cloud when He returns and that all will see Him, and now I haven’t seen the Lord appearing to us atop clouds. So how can you say that the Lord has returned? Could you communicate on this issue specifically?” They happily agreed.
One of the sisters read the words of Almighty God to me, “Jesus said that He would arrive as He had departed, but do you know the true meaning of His words? Can it be that He told this group of you? All you know is that He will arrive as He left, riding on a cloud, but do you know exactly how God Himself does His work? If you were truly able to see, then how are the words that Jesus spoke to be explained? He said: When the Son of man comes in the last days, He Himself will not know, the angels will not know, the messengers in heaven will not know, and all humanity will not know. Only the Father will know, that is, only the Spirit shall know. Even the Son of man Himself does not know, yet you are able to see and know? If you were capable of knowing and seeing with your own eyes, wouldn’t these words have been spoken in vain? And what did Jesus say at the time? ‘But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. … Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.’ When that day comes, the Son of man Himself will not know it. The Son of man refers to the incarnate flesh of God, a normal and ordinary person. Even the Son of man Himself does not know, so how could you know? Jesus said that He would arrive as He had departed. When He arrives, even He Himself does not know, so can He inform you in advance? Are you able to see His arrival? Is that not a joke?”
After finishing reading, she fellowshiped this, “From these words we can understand that when the Lord comes again, the incarnate God Himself will not know. Nor will we. Thus it can be certain that the Lord won’t openly appear to us upon a white cloud of heaven as we imagined. There is actually not only the ‘descend with the clouds’ prophecy in the Bible. There are also many prophecies like that the Lord will come as a thief and descend secretly. For example, ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15). ‘Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes’ (Matthew 24:44). ‘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). All these prophecies refer to the Lord becoming flesh as the Son of man and descending in secret. ‘As a thief’ and ‘that day and that hour knows no man’ means coming quietly, secretly. In addition, the Lord prophesied, ‘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). This also refers to theof the Lord being in the flesh. If the coming of the Lord was His resurrected spiritual body descending on a cloud and publicly appearing to mankind, then people would see Him and they would prostrate and bow down to worship Him. Who would dare to oppose and condemn Him? Then how could He suffer many things and be rejected of this generation? Just as when the Lord Jesus appeared and worked, from the outside, He looked to be an ordinary, normal person. When He performed work and gave sermons, nobody knew He is God; the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees even resisted, condemned, and rejected Him. Ultimately they crucified Him. So, only by being incarnated as the Son of man can God suffer hardship and be rejected by people.”
She continued by saying, “Then, what is the relationship between God incarnate descending in secret to work and God appearing in public atop clouds? In the last days, God becomes flesh and comes secretly. He speaks words and does His work of judgment beginning at the house of God, purifying and perfecting mankind, and making a group of overcomers before the calamities. Only then will God descend openly with clouds to manifest Himself to mankind. Then the prophecy in the Bible will be fulfilled, ‘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). In theory, when the Lord openly descends upon the clouds, people should be joyous and happy, but why will they wail? It is because during the period in which Almighty God incarnate has descended in secret to work, they not only do not seek and examine, but also judge, condemn, and resist God’s work. When God openly appears, they will see the Almighty God that they have resisted and condemned is precisely the Lord Jesus they have been bitterly awaiting all these years. At that time, they shall beat their chests, weep and gnash their teeth, and their outcome can only be punishment.”
After hearing her fellowshiping, I felt like the clouds had been lifted and I saw the sun. It turned out that, the Lord will return in secret to work and save man, and only afterward will openly descend upon a cloud to reward good and punish evil. I finally understood why we have not seen the Lord descend upon the clouds but He has already appeared. At that time, I felt very ashamed. I thought, “I’ve read those verses many times, so how come I haven’t recognized this aspect, and instead thought God would only appear in a spiritual body upon a cloud? I am really too numb and blind.”
The true meaning of “white cloud” is like this.
After that, another sister read another passage of Almighty God’s words, “Throughout the universe, all those who know of the salvation of Jesus the Savior have been desperately yearning for the sudden arrival of, to fulfill the words of Jesus when on earth: ‘I shall arrive just as I departed.’ Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud, and took His place at the Most High’s right hand. Man conceives that similarly, in the last days Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among those who have desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and that He shall bear the image and clothes of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and love, living and real. And so on. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and did not appear to all men while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of His arrival. Man is only aimlessly awaiting Him, unaware that He has already descended upon a ‘white cloud’ (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, and His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days.”
Then she continued, “Almighty God’s words make it very clear that ‘white cloud’ written in the Bible isn’t what we imagined as the clouds of heaven, but is God’s Spirit, words, entire disposition, and all that He is. In welcoming the second coming of the Lord, many people rely on their notions and imaginations, cling to the literal meaning of the verses, and idly wait for the Lord to return on a cloud to receive them. When hearing some people testify that the Lord Jesus has returned, they define God’s work with their conceptions and imagination and think that God could not possibly come in secret. They don’t have a heart of seeking the truth, causing them to miss the chance to welcome the Lord’s appearance. Just like the Jewish Pharisees: They longed for the arrival of the Messiah but didn’t know Him, nor did they understand the real meaning of the Biblical prophecies. And they just defined God based on the literal meaning of the Bible. When the Lord Jesus’ work was not in line with their notions, they didn’t seek or investigate it at all, but instead resisted, condemned, and denied God’s work, and in the end they crucified the Lord Jesus. They became someone who, on the one hand longed for the Messiah, but on the other resisted the Lord Jesus. Therefore, in regard to the return of the Lord, we shouldn’t confine it based on our notions and imaginations but should maintain a heart of humility and seeking. Only in this way can we welcome God’s appearance and avoid walking the God-resisting path of the Pharisees.”
God dissecting my stupid notions through His words, I felt very humiliated. I thought of God’s words, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8). God’s wisdom is really unfathomable to mankind. God’s words are full of the truth and authority. None but God could express these words. At that moment, I got very excited and shared my inner joy with them, “Sisters, now I understand that the method of the Lord’s return as I originally believed is a figment of my imagination and notion. Actually, the Bible predicts that the Lord will return in secret, in the flesh, and that only after finishing His work of salvation will He appear publicly. From God’s words I also understand that ‘white cloud’ is His Spirit, words, His entire disposition, and all that He is, rather than a materialistic cloud that can be seen with my eyes. I’ve never heard such clear and incisive fellowship. I want to hear more.”
Then, the sisters fellowshiped with me many truths to do with how to differentiate between the trueand false Christs, how God does His work of judgment in the last days, and other aspects of the truth. The words expressed by Almighty God resolved my notions and imaginations that I had retained in my faith in the Lord all along, and allowed me to understand something about how God works to save mankind. I felt my spirit had been reborn and my heart brightened. I completely believed that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. 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). And Revelation 3:13 said, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Almighty God is the Spirit of truth who guides us and supplies us with all the truths, and is also our gateway to God’s kingdom. Only from Him can we attain the water of living life that flows from the throne. So I happily accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “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). In the last days, the Lord knocks at the door of our hearts with His words. Only by being a wise virgin and paying careful attention to God’s voice, will we welcome the Lord’s appearance and not miss the chance to enter into the kingdom of heaven.