By Titus Chu Keen Pong, Malaysia
God’s Wonderful Orchestration and Leadership
My Chinese isn’t very good, but I know there is a Chinese idiom “Misfortune may be an actual blessing.” It means that on the surface something looks like a bad thing but in fact it’s a good thing.
In early 2017, I lost my mobile phone and had to buy a new one. It seemed like a bad thing, but I never expected that it was the new phone that brought a favorable turn to my life.
I had believed in the Lord for ten more years and ever served the Lord in the church for two years. Afterward, I left the church and went out to make money. I had been to many places, including Singapore. Eventually, I earned much money and fully tasted the life of revelry. But in this real society where the law of the jungle prevails, I always guarded against others, so did they. Ah! Because of this, I couldn’t find a feeling of ease at the bottom of my heart but felt exhausted in this kind of life. Only the notebook with me could give me some reassurances because in it there were some extracts from the. Sometimes I would also read the Bible to fill the emptiness of my heart. Although I hadn’t gone to the church to attend gatherings in years, I had had a thought in my heart since last year that I wanted to find a church to serve the Lord well. Subsequently, I employed my spare time in visiting a lot of churches in Malaysia, but I always went gladly and returned disappointedly. I always felt there was something missing in my heart but I couldn’t clearly describe what it was. In this contradiction, I moved into another extremism—playing games and watching movies on the Internet. Sometimes I even played games online all night, or watched movies one after another, so that my sleep was very abnormal. In the beginning when I did these things, I could have a little consciousness that the Lord disliked me doing like this, but gradually, I was becoming hardened to them …
Right at this time, I lost my mobile phone. Originally I complained very much in my heart, because a lot of information on my mobile phone was missing and I had to find them back and log in my Facebook once again. … Alas!
One day at the end of February, after logging on to my Facebook, I unconsciously clicked through an English Facebook and saw one post. Besides some scriptures, on it there were some other words out of the Bible, which greatly excited me and attracted my heart. On the following days, I kept noticing this Facebook and after spending some time looking up some words, I finally finished reading the words on that post which interested me. It was only after reading them that I came to know that they mainly interpreted one of the’ words in the Bible: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 7:21). After reading these interpretations, I felt they were quite special and also could give me enlightenment and light. However, because I didn’t add the poster as my friend, I couldn’t read more even though I wanted. Through the timeline I learned this Facebook friend is a sister. Her name is Susan and she comes from South Korea. Thereupon, I sent a friend request to her, but maybe she was not on line at that time, so she didn’t add me immediately. After two days, I successfully added another Chinese Facebook friend, whose name is Qi Fei. She is a Christian and comes from South Korea too. Through hearing her talk about some experiences of believing in the Lord, I felt she talked very well. And I didn’t expect that Susan is Qi Fei’s good friend, so Susan and I added each other as good friends at that time. By reading their posts and chatting with them sometimes, I felt they understood a lot the things about believing in God.
Thinking back, when I didn’t lose my mobile phone, I often played games and watched movies in my spare time. During this period, through chatting with them about the Bible or something in my daily life, I felt the way they helped me solve my troubles was very special, and that what they said was quite reasonable and insightful. Through the experience of my life, I could see that they are different from others because when getting along with them I felt relaxed in my heart and most importantly, I didn’t need to guard against them and could treat them as my intimate friends who I could open my heart to. Gradually, the way of my life got some transformation. Later I found out that losing my mobile phone looked like a bad thing from the outside but was actually a good thing. It restrained me from living the degenerate life of playing games and watching movies. Look back again: Even my original thought of wanting to serve the Lord well was out of the Holy Spirit’s leading, out of God’s orchestration and arrangement. It was God that saved me step by step and led me back to His presence again.
Finding Out the Answer to a Problem
About a week later, that was, on the evening of March 11, after logging onto Facebook, I saw Susan was on line. I chatted with her about something at my work first, and later I told her the wish in my heart that I wanted to find a church to serve and that I would like to hear her advice. Sister Susan said everything is arranged and ruled by God, so I should pray to God more about this matter. God has His time for all things, so I should learn to wait and obey. After that she also talked about the current situation of many churches: The preachers had nothing worthy to preach; in some churches almost no one attended gatherings; at some places, although there were many believers, they basically talked about making money and introduced business to each other, and so on. She said that actually these were the manifestations that the church was desolate without the work of the Holy Spirit. I felt real empathy for what she said. When I previously served in the church, I had seen the co-workers schemed with each other, slandered each other, took over each other’s business, and even committed adultery. Seeing these scenes, I felt distressed and very indignant. At that time, I also asked the pastor and several co-workers how they looked upon these things, but none of them could explain them clearly. So I didn’t expect that the problem that had confused me for a long time was solved by Sister Susan. I felt happy beyond description in my heart.
Prophecies of the Lord’s Return in the Bible
Unconsciously, we began to discuss the topic on the various disasters and wars today. Judging from the current situation that calamities are occurring everywhere in every country and that wars between countries are on the verge of breaking out, I thought that now the prophecies of the Lord’s return in the Bible had basically been fulfilled, so the Lord should be coming back. Thinking of this, I remembered at noon I encountered a believer online who said that the Lord had been back since 1991. I was very doubtful about this, so I couldn’t help asking Susan about it. She asked my opinion of it. I said, “That’s impossible. When the Lord comes back, He must descend on a cloud for all to see. But so far there’s been no evidence that God comes with clouds. How can they say the Lord has already returned?
Susan replied: “Brother, you are familiar with the Bible. If you carefully study the Bible, I believe you will surely be able to find out the answer. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of sayings with regard to the prophecies of the Lord’s return. We can see from the Bible that the prophecies of the Lord’s return can mainly be divided into two types: One type foretells the Lord’s arrival upon a cloud in public, witnessed by all, just like you said just now; the other predicts the Lord’s coming in secret, known by only a group of people, just like the Lord Jesus said: ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Rev 16:15), ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Mat 25:6). The words ‘as a thief’ and ‘And at midnight there was a cry made’ mean coming quietly and silently. No one knows it, since there is no sound in heaven, nor does the earth shake; not everyone is able to see it, but only a minority of people who can recognize the Lord’s voice can welcome Him. These prophecies all foretell that the Lord arrives in secret. If we only hold on to the prophecies of the Lord descending with the clouds in public, but ignore the prophecies of the Lord coming in secret, is this right? In that case, are we going to miss the chance to hear the Lord’s voice and meet Him and be brought into the kingdom of heaven?”
I was stumped by the questions Susan asked. I read these two scriptures again and again and thought: Are there contradictions in the Bible? No. No. No! How could it be? But there are indeed two ways of the return of the Lord predicted in the Bible. How can this be explained? In perplexity, I asked her to continue. She said: “From the Bible’s prophecies, we can see that there are two ways in which the Lord returns: One way is to come in secret; the other is to appear in public. Now God has become flesh and come to the world. From His appearance alone, He looks like an ordinary and normal person. Just like the incarnate Lord Jesus: He looks just like an ordinary Son of man from the outside, He has normal humanity, and He eats, drinks, sleeps and walks like a normal man, living among man. This is a secret for us humans, so no one can tell that He is God, no one knows His true identity. Only afterbegins to work and speak can those—who are able to hear God’s voice through His word and work—recognize He is the Lord. This just fulfills the word of the Lord Jesus: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (Jhn 10:27). Conversely, those who cannot distinguish God’s voice will certainly treat the incarnate God as an ordinary person, denying, rejecting, even opposing, condemning, and blaspheming the of the last days. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, He seemed like an ordinary and normal man in outward appearance, so most people denied, resisted and condemned Him, while only a few people, through His word and work, were able to recognize Him as the incarnate Christ and the appearance of God, so that they followed the Lord Jesus and received His salvation.” After hearing this, I thought it made a lot of sense, for it was indeed the case when the Lord Jesus did His work. But then I recalled that the Revelation says the Lord will come with clouds in public, and that our pastors and elders also interpreted it like this. Upon thinking of this, I presumptuously asked Susan: “The Lord Jesus said Himself that He would descend with clouds. How could He come through incarnation? Can you deny the word in the Bible?”
Sister Susan said, “As long as you carefully study the Bible, then you will find there are many scriptures that definitely prophesied that theof the Lord is the incarnation.” Then I found some of the scriptures according to her words, and read: “Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not” (Luk 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” (Luk 17:24–25).
After I finished reading the scriptures, Sister Susan said: “All of these prophecies speak of the coming of the Son of man or the descending of the Son of man. The phrase ‘the Son of man’ refers to One who is born to a human being and has normal humanity. So the Spirit can’t be called the Son of man. For instance, because Jehovah God is Spirit, He cannot be called ‘the Son of man.’ Some people have seen angels, angels are also spiritual beings, so they cannot be called the Son of man. All those that have the appearance of man but are composed of spiritual bodies cannot be called ‘the Son of man.’ The incarnate Lord Jesus was called the Son of man, Christ, because He was the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit, was the Spirit realized within the flesh and so became an ordinary and normal man, living in the company of other men. The Lord Jesus was the Son of man and the flesh of God incarnate, so when He said He would come still as the Son of man, it means He will come in His identity as the flesh and the Son of man, not the identity as the Spirit. So the Lord Jesus’ words of His return refer to His coming back in the flesh. In addition, another scripture says: ‘But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.’ This proves even more explicitly that when the Lord comes again, He comes by becoming flesh. Consider this: If the Lord didn’t come in fleshly form but rather as a spiritual body appearing to us, He certainly wouldn’t experience any suffering, much less be rejected by this generation again. Who would dare to reject the Spirit of God? Who could make God’s Spirit suffer? In this way, would it not be self-evident whether the Lord returns in the form of the flesh or the Spirit?”
I looked at the words “the Son of man,” “first … and,” and felt astonished. Although I had ever pondered over the question about the Son of man, I just could not figure it out. What Sister Susan said exactly solved my doubt and put me in high spirits. But since it was too late, we had to say good night to each other and go off line. That night, I felt so excited that I couldn’t get to sleep until late. Thinking that over these years of believing in the Lord I had never heard such good fellowship and preaching, I felt very shocked, and just couldn’t express how brightened and enjoyable I felt in my heart.