How are we supposed to free ourselves from the spiritual emptiness and the degenerate life and find a genuine life? I was so lost and befuddled before, but now I’ve found the answer.
Judgment Is Not Condemnation
In 2015, I was sent to work in another city by my unit. At that time, because of being stuck at work, I could not go to church every Sunday. After getting married, my husband was an unbeliever and I just arrived in a new environment, so I lost the life of fellowship. Afterward, my parents passed away and I also remained sick without improvement. I then unconsciously lost confidence in the Lord, prayed less than I used to and often lived in weakness. Even though I was busy all the time, I felt particularly empty.
In April of 2016, I had flatulence and it got more and more severe that I even put on my clothes with great difficulties. One of my fellow believers recommended Doctor Zheng to treat me. During the treatment, apart from prescribing medicines for me, Doctor Zheng told me that God is an almighty doctor and is man’s refuge and that I should rely on God and have faith in the trial given by Him. From our casual conversations, I thought he understood the Bible rather well. So I spoke to him that we were unable to feel God’s blessing and presence during meetings, fewer and fewer believers came to attend meetings, my spirit was particularly weak, and I was the target of the pastor’s cultivation before, but I didn’t even have the confidence to have meetings. Doctor Zheng told me that the situation in his former church was the same: The communications were dull and dry during meetings and believers couldn’t feel the presence of the Lord in prayer. But later, he found the place where there was the work of the Holy Spirit, and kept up with God’s footsteps, and thereby saw the light again in darkness. Brother Zheng said with delight, “The Lord Jesus has come back. He has already expressed words and done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God.” Upon hearing this, I was shocked and said, “The Lord has come back? How could it be possible? I have read the Bible for more than twenty years. We Christians are all waiting for the Lord to collect us to heavenly home upon a white cloud. The Bible says clearly, ‘…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’ (Act 1:11). Now we haven’t seen the signs of the Lord’s coming riding upon a white cloud. How could the Lord possibly have come back? Brother, have you gone the wrong way?”
But Brother Zheng answered, “I didn’t go the wrong way but instead have kept up with the Lamb’s footsteps. Sister, you said that the Lord will come upon a cloud when He comes and also provided the biblical basis. But regarding the prophecy ‘shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven’ recorded in the Bible, we should understand how it will be fulfilled. Only when the prophecy concerning the Lord’s return comes into reality can we know it. We can’t define God based on our imagination. This is wrong. I used to think that the Lord will come upon a cloud to take us to heavenly home. However, after reading Almighty God’s words, I had the correct understanding of the ways of the Lord’s return. Actually, the Lord’s return will be in two different ways: in secret and in public. And the way of arriving on a cloud, which you have mentioned, refers to the Lord appearing in public.
“The Lord will come in two ways: in secret and in public” was a subject I had never heard of before. I felt that what Brother Zheng was saying was very novel. I dearly loved to know what “the Lord will come in two ways: in secret and in public” was about. It has been a long time since someone helped me with a problem of the belief like this. It seemed that my yearning heart has revived. Then I listened to Brother Zheng carefully about what he was going to talk about.
Brother Zheng continued, “In addition to the verses concerning the Lord’s descending upon a cloud in public in the Bible, there are still those mentioning the Lord will come in secret. For example, ‘I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15), ‘…for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes’ (Matthew 24:44), and ‘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). Here ‘the son of man comes’ means that the Lord will appear in His fleshly form when He comes again. When God incarnate comes into the world of man, His exterior appearance is an ordinary, normal man, which is secret for all humanity. No one recognizes Him as God, nor does anyone know His true identity. Not until the Son of man works and speaks do those who are able to recognize His voice come to know Him. Yet those who can’t discern His voice will certainly regard Him as an ordinary man and thus deny and reject Him. For instance, when the Lord Jesus was incarnated to do His work, He appeared as a man, looking ordinary and normal. So most people denied, resisted, and condemned Him. Whereas some other people, through the Lord Jesus’ work and word, recognized Him as the incarnate Christ, the appearance of God. Now, God has appeared to man by becoming flesh again and begun the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. He is expressing His words to judge, purify, and perfect man, which really is the Lord’s work when He comes in secret. During this time, people can’t see the scene of the Lord coming on a cloud in public. Not until God has made a group of overcomers will His hidden work of incarnation come to an end. And the great disasters shall consequently fall. It will be the time when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked and the time God reveals Himself publicly to the myriad peoples and the myriad nations. At that point, the prophecies of the Lord’s public descent will be fulfilled: ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in 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’ (Matthew 24:30), and ‘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’ (Revelation 1:7). When people see the Lord publicly appear to them on a cloud, they should be wild with joy as we can imagine. But right here it says that all kindreds of the earth shall wail. So why is that? That’s because when God appears to the public, His hidden work of salvation in His incarnate flesh will have been finished. After that comes the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. And then, all those who refused to accept God’s hidden work will thoroughly lose the chance to be saved. Those who pierced Him, that is, those who resisted and condemned Christ of the last days, Almighty God, will see Almighty God whom they resisted and condemned is exactly the returned Lord Jesus. How could they not beat upon their breasts and weep and gnash their teeth? So then, at that moment the scene that all kindreds of the earth shall wail will appear. Sister, we should seek and investigate the true way during the time of God working in secret, accept the work of salvation and judgment of man that Almighty God does. Just as the wise virgins: Once hearing the cry that the bridegroom has come, they come out to meet him. If people blindly await the open arrival of the Lord Jesus upon a white cloud, they will miss the chance for salvation and only fall into disasters mourning and grinding their teeth.
After hearing what Brother Zheng had said, I thought it was not without reason. I have already read these verses, yet I indeed did not get such a light. The Lord Jesus will come in two ways: in secret and in public, which was in line with the Bible. It indeed was the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. But God does the hidden work of judgment and salvation of man. Is that true? Won’t God condemn man based on his actions and deeds when God judges man? How can it be the work of saving mankind? Is God’s work of judgment to save man or to condemn man? I am a believer over 20 years and the Lord’s return is a great matter. So, I should read and understand more of the Bible first.
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