How Should We Welcome the Lord’s Return?
By Zhanxin, China
I’m a preacher in a church, but I have nothing worthy of preaching and am unable to provide the brothers and sisters with anything useful. Their faith has generally become weak and insipid, and during congregations they either doze off or chat in low voices. Seeing this scene being regularly played out in the church always makes me very upset. I’ve prayed to the Lord many times, and on many occasions have reminded the brothers and sisters to be alert and watchful, but because they haven’t been able to welcome the Lord’s return they have lost their faith. No matter what I do, it isn’t enough to bring the church back to life. And now it’s the last days and even the unbelievers know that great catastrophes are about to occur, so it stands to reason that the Lord should return. But why haven’t we been able to greet Him? Will we really be able to welcome the Lord’s return just by watching the clouds and sky? My heart has really been a mess until recently!
Just when I was feeling unenthusiastic and puzzled, 3 of my coworkers—Sister Liu, Brother Zhang, and Brother Wang—came to visit me at home. So I told them about my vexation.
Brother Wang said this: “Desolate churches are already a common phenomenon in the entire religious world, but many pastors and preachers won’t admit this because they want to protect their status and livelihood, so they hold on tight to what they’ve gotten. But the disasters are getting greater and 4 blood moons have already appeared, which fulfills the prophecy in the Book of Joel in the Bible: ‘And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes’ (Joel 2:29-31). Recently, I’ve been mulling over this prophecy, and the appearance of the 4 blood moons seems to be the fulfillment of the line ‘turned … the moon into blood.’ The prophecy also states ‘before the great and terrible day of Jehovah comes.’ I believe that this ‘great and terrible day’ refers to a great catastrophe. And the verse, ‘And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit,’ definitely refers to the work God will do in the period before the great catastrophe. This is how I have received this passage of prophecy. It seems before the arrival of the great disaster, the Spirit of God will speak and His words will water His servants and handmaids. I feel that the Holy Spirit is about to do a new stage of work in the last days!
“The utterances of the Spirit of God mentioned here seems to be related to the prophecy in the Book of Revelation about the Holy Spirit speaking to the churches. Most Bible expositors have all confirmed that God will make a group of overcomers before the great disaster. Regarding this, this is what I think: The Spirit of God speaking and God making a group of overcomers is definitely related, and in God’s eyes the overcomers will all be servants and handmaidens!”
Everybody was enlightened by this and looked at Brother Wang.
I was pondering what Brother Wang had said when Brother Zhang picked up where he’d left off: “If it’s really like that, then we should all be out looking for the utterances of the Holy Spirit. We should find where the Holy Spirit’s expression is so that we don’t end up like the Pharisees, who were eliminated by God and had disasters befall them!”
Hearing this, I could feel even more light reaching my heart. I said: “Listening to your fellowshiping, I thought of the’ words, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7), and ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:6). It seems to me that we should quickly seek out the utterances of the Holy Spirit and see which churches the Holy Spirit is speaking to. Otherwise, if we just hang around stupidly I fear that we’ll be cast aside by the Lord.”
Sister Liu then spoke, in a measured tone: “You are saying that the utterances of the Spirit of God is the Holy Spirit talking to the churches. This made me think of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ believers bearing witness to Almighty God as the Lord’s return. Almighty God has expressed many truths, has done the work of judgment beginning from the house of God, and is currently making a group of overcomers. Do you think this is related to the Spirit of God watering God’s servants and handmaids? If it is, then we should waste no time in investigating whether Eastern Lightning really is God’s work or not.”
Brother Wang said: “Yes, I’ve heard that too. With regards to welcoming the Lord’s return, the Lord Jesus said something very important, something very crucial, which helps us to be wise virgins. He said: ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). From this we can see that when the Lord returns He will use people to transmit His voice to all those who have been waiting for His appearance. When we hear that there are people bearing witness to the Lord’s return, we should be wise virgins and carefully listen to the Lord’s voice. Then we’ll be able to welcome the appearance of the Lord.”
Then Sister Liu said: “I have a female cousin who lives far away who now believes in Almighty God and has preached theto me. I have debated this question with her, but because the pastor in our church threatened to expel anyone who reads Eastern Lightning books I didn’t dare to investigate further. My cousin told me about the Lord’s prophecies, such as Revelation 16:15, ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ and Matthew 25:6, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ and also 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.’ She said that according to the Lord’s words, He will come like a thief and that someone witnessing a ‘bridegroom coming’ at ‘midnight’ means that without people realizing it God will become flesh as and quietly and secretly come to issue utterances and do His work. It’s not the case that everyone will know. Only those who can listen to the Lord’s voice and recognize the Lord will accept the Lord. My cousin also said that anyone who hears that there are people bearing witness to the Lord’s return and thus carefully listens to the Lord’s voice will be raptured before the throne and will feast with the Lord.”
Brother Wang said: “In these prophecies the Lord Jesus does indeed mention that when the Lord returns not everyone will see Him. Only those who listen to the Lord’s voice will be able to welcome Him. It seems that if we want to welcome the Lord’s coming then we have to pay very careful attention to listening to the Lord’s voice!”
Brother Zhang looked at us pensively and then said: “What you are fellowshiping sounds very rational. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not a stroke of the Lord’s words shall pass away. The Lord said, ‘And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also’ (John 14:3). This will certainly come to pass. In regard to how the Lord’s prophecies will be realized and fulfilled, there must surely be mysteries and truths that we cannot fathom. It seems now that we shouldn’t just follow the pastors in denying and condemning Eastern Lightning but instead should hurry to investigate. Otherwise, we’ll be cast aside by the Lord and won’t even have time to regret it!”
Brother Wang continued this theme by saying: “Yes, we’ve believed in the Lord for half a lifetime in order to welcome the Lord’s return and be raptured to the kingdom of heaven. So since we’ve already heard about the Lord’s return we should seek and investigate and not be restricted by the pastors. As the saying goes, ‘You don’t know if a tangerine is sour or sweet until you’ve tasted it.’”
Thank the Lord for allowing me to hear the brothers’ and sisters’ fellowshiping and resolve my difficulty. I’m going to waste no more time in finding a church that has the work of the Holy Spirit to solve my problem of having nothing to preach about. If the Lord really has returned, then by doing this at least I won’t prevent the brothers and sisters from experiencing such a major life event as being raptured to the kingdom of heaven.