By Lin Hua
In the church, Pastor Zhu who wore a suit and leather shoes was standing at the pulpit, with a Bible in his hand. He preached: “Brothers and sisters, the prophecies of the Lord’s return in the Revelation have basically been fulfilled. We shall be watching and waiting. Now is the time that the Lord comes again, so we must keep our meetings no matter how weak we are.”
After hearing the words of Pastor Zhu, Sister Wang felt a bit puzzled. She stood up and asked: “Pastor Zhu, you told us long ago that we should be watchful and wait for the Lord’s return. May I ask what sign there will be when the Lord comes back?” “Brothers and sisters,” Pastor Zhu said, “please turn to Matthew 24:30–31, ‘And then shall appear the sign ofin 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. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.’ These verses are very clear. When the Lord comes back, He will come on the white cloud in the sky. And angels will sound their trumpets. It can be said that the scene will be incredibly powerful and unprecedented. It must be a scene of glory, splendor, and magnificence. So there must be a great sign! We need to have faith in the Lord!” Upon hearing that, all believers whispered together about it: Some of them were smiling, and some were shaking their heads…. At the time, sister Mu was looking puzzled. She stood up and asked: “Pastor Zhu, if the Lord comes back on the white cloud in the sky, and there is a great sound of angels’ trumpets and cries of all nations and all peoples, then all people on earth will know it and can hear it without pricking up their ears. Do we still need to watch and wait?” Some brothers and sisters agreed with her, saying: “Right! Pastor Zhu, what is the explanation for this?” After hearing these words, Pastor Zhu became speechless, he gave a dry little cough to conceal his embarrassment.
Seeing his embarrassed look, Brother Zhang, who sat in the front row, said with a seeking tone: “Pastor Zhu, I have a question too. It’s also prophesied in the Bible: ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15). My understanding of this verse is that there will be no sound when the Lord comes back, and that He will come as quietly as a thief. But you tell us that there will be a great sign. Then whether will there be a sign when the Lord comes back? Does this verse have some other meanings?” Pastor Zhu was dumbfounded by the question. He looked at Brother Zhang and said: “It is a common view of religious world that the Lord will come on the white cloud in the sky with a great sign. Can it be …” Just at that moment, the cell phone of Pastor Zhu rang. He took it out from his trouser pocket to answer it. Listening to the phone, his face clouded over. He said: “What? They went to listen to the messages of the Eastern Lightning again? … You must hinder them from reading the word of Almighty God; otherwise, all our good sheep will be gone …” Casting a glance at believers, he stepped aside and said in a low voice: “OK, you go there quickly and drive them away! … Hmm, I’ll be right there!” While Pastor Zhu was answering the phone, he picked up his bag. Then he looked at other believers and pointed at his phone, meaning that he had to leave. Looking at the back of Pastor Zhu who was hurrying away, a few brothers and sisters sighed and shook their heads.
The sun was shining brightly outdoors. The poplar trees were in bud and the birds were chirping merrily among the branches. The sun filtered through the windows into sister Wang’s house. In the warm and bright house, Sister Wang was shelling peanuts with a pat-pat-pat sound, wearing a worried look. She was sitting round with several brothers and sisters. They went about their chores as they chatted: “There are so many prophecies of the Lord’s return. I really can’t figure out what sign there will be when the Lord comes back. Why can’t our pastor also explain it clearly?” Sister Mu sighed, feeling helpless. After hearing their conversation, Sister Wang’s father-in-law pulled his moustache and said thoughtfully: “Think about this: The prophecies made in the Old Testament foretold the coming of a Messiah. But it turned out that God became flesh and first appeared to mankind with the name of the. When the Lord came, He was not called Messiah. Many people didn’t recognize that the Lord Jesus is the Son of man incarnate. What was the sign at that time?” Upon hearing the words, Sister Mu was suddenly brightened and said: “Ah! That’s right! They all condemned the Lord Jesus. They all judged that the Lord Jesus impersonated God to perform miracles. They didn’t acknowledge He is God. And moreover, they also slandered that He drove out demons and healed the sick by the prince of demons.” Brother Zhang listened to them with concentration. At this moment, he blurted out excitedly: “Right! When the Lord Jesus came, He departed from the temple and did his work outside the temple accompanied by the disciples. The Pharisees said that the Lord Jesus didn’t abide by laws, so they hated Him to their bones. Therefore, they attacked Him in all things and purposely found an excuse to condemn Him. It was not a small sign at that time …” Sister Wang cut in and said: “You are right. At that time, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees used the law of the Old Testament to condemn the Lord Jesus. They said the Lord didn’t observe the Sabbath. And finally they colluded with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus on the cross, which at that time shocked the entire Jewish nation. Look at the religious world’s actions toward the Eastern Lightning. The more I think about it, the more I feel it seems like the way of the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees.” Listening to their discussion, Sister Wang’s father-in-law said loud and clear: “Now the voice—that the religious world and the Chinese Communist Party government condemn the Eastern Lightning—has spread all over the world. This is probably the sign of the Lord’s return!”
Brother Zhang seemed to suddenly see the light, he knocked at his head and said: “Oh! I see. The true way has suffered persecution since ancient times. This is why the religious world reacts so sharply to the Eastern Lightning. I think of the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘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’ (Rev 3:20). ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (John 10:27). ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). From these verses we can see that the Lord told us to welcome and listen to His voice once we hear someone preach the message of His return. Can it be that the Eastern Lightning condemned by them is precisely the return of the Lord Jesus?” Sister Mu thought for a while, then she said: “That’s right! I remember something. At that time, all Judaism wildly opposed and condemned the Lord Jesus. Only those who sought the truth welcomed the coming of the Lord, such as Peter, John, Matthew, Mark, Nathanael, and so forth. They recognized that the Lord Jesus was actually the coming Messiah through seeking and investigating. Besides, because the Lord Jesus exposed the Samaritan woman’s hidden facts of darkness during their conversation, the Samaritan woman recognized through His words that the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah. They were all wise virgins who recognized the Lord’s voice and welcomed His appearance. On the contrary, when the Pharisees heard the Lord’s voice, not only did they not seek or investigate, nor could they recognize God’s voice, but they crucified the Lord on the cross. Finally, they were forsaken by the Lord, and suffered the loss of their nation. Nowadays, we should never become the modern Pharisees. We should seek and investigate the Eastern Lightning actively, see whether what they are preaching is the return of the Lord Jesus, and listen whether Eastern Lightning is the voice of God. Many verses of the Revelation told us that ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Rev 2:7).” Hearing their conversation, Sister Wang said with surprise: “Right! 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’ (Jhn 16:12–13). Can it be that the words of the Spirit of truth are words of God, or words of the Holy Spirit to the churches? Why have so many good sheep of various denominations and sects all accepted the Eastern Lightning? Now, the Eastern Lightning has shaken all denominations and sects. Isn’t this the sign of the Lord’s return?”
At the moment, everyone’s heart was stirred. They looked at each other surprisingly. Big bright smiles appeared on their faces …
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