Each genuine follower of the is expecting Him to come back soon so that his wish for years could be realized. And he can receive the Lord’s promise and enjoy His blessings. Especially in the end-time, our heart of longing for the Lord’s return becomes more eager. It is written in Acts 1:11, “this same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” And it says in John 14:3, “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.” Therefore, the brothers and sisters firmly believe that the Lord Jesus will come again. Then, in what manner will the Lord Jesus come? Will He really come on a cloud as we imagine? Will the prophecies be fulfilled in the same way as we think? In what manner should we welcome His return? This is a question that each of us who follow the Lord Jesus must consider seriously. If we are careless, we’ll probably lose His salvation.
Referring to “prophecy,” we should first know this clearly: Prophecies are what will occur in the future. Before they come true, none of us knows what they really mean. In prophecies, there are God’s wonderfulness and wisdom as well as mysteries. Man can neither fathom nor understand how they will come true. Why can’t man fathom it? Because God’s thoughts shall always be higher than man’s thoughts. The gulf between heaven and earth is like that between the thoughts of God and man. Just as it is written in Romans 11:33-34, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been his counselor?” And it says in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “…for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life.” So, the fulfillment of prophecies is not as simple as we imagine, much less will it occur according to the words of the Bible. Why do we say so? Let’s look back to how the prophecies about the Messiah’s coming were fulfilled. Then, we shall see that prophecies don’t come true according to the letters of the scriptures or man’s imagination. The Israelites at that time all expected the Messiah to come earlier. Especially in the later period of the Age of Law, their heart of longing was even more eager. However, when the Messiah did come, they did not recognize Him but resisted and forsook Him. Why was it so? It was clearly written in the Bible, “…a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son….” (Isaiah 7:14) But in their eyes, Marry had a husband. How could the prophecy that “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son” be fulfilled on her? Although the Lord Jesus was actually born by virgin Marry, how many people believed this fact? Obviously, what people saw was discordant with the fact.
Let us read another prophecy in Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.” According to this prophecy, the Israelites gave the rein to their lively imagination, thinking that the Messiah who would take power must be born in a palace. He must be majestic-looking and have an impressive appearance, and would lead them to overthrow the rule of the Roman government. What was the result then? When the prophecy came true, Jesus was not born in a palace, but in a manger. He was not majestic-looking like a king in their imagination but was a very common carpenter. He did not lead the army to overthrow the rule of the Roman government, but instead taught man to be tolerant and patient, love enemies, and forgive others until seventy times seven. None of these conformed to the imagination of the Israelites. From what is stated above, we see that man’s imagination completely contradicts the fulfillment of the prophecies. Pharisees eagerly looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, but at the same time forsook and resisted His coming. Why was that? Because they were full of the illusions about the coming of the Messiah. They were filled with imaginations and notions about the fulfillment of the prophecies. Therefore, when the prophecies came true in a way not conforming to their notions and imaginations, they resisted and condemned Jesus to the utmost. This fully showed their nature of stubbornness, arrogance, and not seeking the truth, which was the cause of their failure. Pharisees held onto the prophecies in the Old Testament, but they resisted the coming of the Messiah. Were the prophecies wrong? Certainly not. It was simply because they paid too much attention to the letters of the scriptures but neglected the substance of the fulfillment of the prophecies. These prophecies didn’t enable them to recognize and accept the Messiah. Instead, they became the cause of their resistance to the Messiah and the foundation for them to forsake Him. In the end, they nailed the merciful Lord Jesus onto the cross, committing a monstrous sin, which led to the destruction of their nation. Now it is already the end time. How should we deal with the prophecies about the Lord’s return? If the Lord returns in a way that is discordant with our expectation and imagination, how shall we face it? Shall we hold on to the letters of the scriptures and welcome the return of the Lord according to our imagination, or be a humble man who seeks the truth? Will we shut the door against the returned Lord Jesus like the Pharisees? Don’t we need to think it over?
In fact, the Lord Jesus has already descended in a hidden way, the Spirit of truth has already come to the world. He is Almighty God who became flesh in the end time. Almighty God expressed millions of words. He has opened the Little Scroll and revealed all the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan to the whole mankind. It has been over twenty years since Almighty God embarked upon the end-time work in China. Every denomination and sect seem to have been cleared up. All those who truly and thirst for the truth have come out of their denominations and sects to accept Almighty God’s end-time work of judgment and chastisement. However, when Almighty God’s kingdom is spreading on a grand scale in the religious world, few of the unbelievers are aware of it. This fulfills all the prophecies in the Bible that the Lord will come as a thief. The reason why this period is called the hidden advent is that during this period God only does work on those believers who await His coming. For those unbelievers, the work is hidden. It fulfills the prophecies in 1Peter 4:17 and Hebrews 9:28. The verses go like this, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” “So was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.” When the Lord Jesus comes back, some know it first, some know it later, and some don’t know. Some investigate and accept the gospel after hearing upon the Lord’s advent, while some condemn it hastily or ignore it. As Almighty God’s kingdom gospel continuously spreads, the prophesies gradually come true that the Lord will reap and winnow, separate the wheat from the tares, reunite all denominations into one, and so on when He comes again.
Since the Lord has descended in a hidden way, then how to explain that the Lord will descend on a cloud? Almighty God says, “For several thousand years, man has longed to be able to witness the arrival of the Savior. Man has longed to behold Jesus the Savior on a white cloud as He descends, in person, among those who have pined and yearned for Him for thousands of years. Man has longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with the people, that is, for Jesus the Savior to come back to the people from whom He has been apart for thousands of years. And man hopes that He will once again carry out the work of redemption that He did among the Jews, will be compassionate and loving towards man, will forgive the sins of man, bear the sins of man, and even bear all of man’s transgressions and deliver man from sin. They long for Jesus the Savior to be the same as before—a Savior who is lovable, amiable and venerable, who is never wrathful towards man, and who never reproaches man. This Savior shall forgive and bear all of man’s sins, and even die upon the cross for man once more. Since Jesus departed, the disciples who followed Him, and all of the saints who were saved thanks to His name, have been desperately pining for Him and awaiting Him. All those who were saved by the grace of during the Age of Grace have been longing for that joyful day during the last days, when Jesus the Savior arrives on a white cloud and appears to all men. Of course, this is also the collective wish of all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today. Throughout the universe, all those who know of the salvation of Jesus the Savior have been ‘desperately yearning for’ the sudden arrival of Jesus Christ, 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. Similarly, man conceives that Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among the mankind who has 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. How can man know that, although the Holy Savior Jesus is full of affection and love towards man, He would never do His work in the ‘temples’ inhabited by filth and impure spirits? Though man has been awaiting His arrival, how could He appear to those who eat the flesh of the unrighteous, drink the blood of the unrighteous, wear the clothes of the unrighteous, who believe in Him but do not know Him, and who constantly extort Him? Man knows only that Jesus the Savior is full of love and compassion, and is the sin offering filled with redemption. But man has no idea that He is also God Himself, who is brimming with righteousness, majesty, wrath, and judgment, and possessed of authority and full of dignity. And so even though man eagerly yearns for and craves the return of the Redeemer, and even ‘Heaven’ is moved by the prayers of man, Jesus the Savior does not appear to those who believe in Him but do not know Him.” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh)
When God does His work in a hidden way, all of those who seek humbly and can accept the truth have returned to the throne of God by accepting His end-time work. Those who don’t accept it condemn and blaspheme God out of their arrogance. So they are numbered among the wicked by God and will be subjected to His righteous punishment. Almighty God says, “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit. I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what’s more, do not be casual and carefree in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential. Those who have heard the truth and yet turn their nose up at it are foolish and ignorant. Those who have heard the truth and yet carelessly jump to conclusions or condemn it are beset by arrogance. No-one who believes in Jesus is qualified to curse or condemn others. You should all be someone who is rational and accepts the truth. Perhaps, having heard the way of truth and read the word of life, you believe that only one in 10,000 of these words are in line with your convictions and the Bible, and then you should continue to seek in that 10,000th of these words. I still advise you to be humble, to not be over-confident, and to not exalt yourself too highly. With your heart holding such meager reverence for God, you will gain greater light. If you carefully examine and repeatedly contemplate these words, you shall understand whether or not they are the truth, and whether or not they are life. Perhaps, having only read a few sentences, some people will blindly condemn these words, saying, ‘This is nothing more than some inspiration of the Holy Spirit,’ or, ‘This is a false Christ come to deceive people.’ Those who say such things are blinded by ignorance! You understand too little of the work and wisdom of God, and I advise you to start again from scratch! You must not blindly condemn the words expressed by God because of the appearance of false Christs during the last days, and must not be someone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit because you fear deception. Would that not be a great pity?” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh)
God’s sheep listen to God’s voice. As long as you read Almighty God’s word, you will see that God has appeared!
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