The True Meaning of the Coming of the Son of Man
Do you know the true meaning of the coming of the Son of man? Many brothers and sisters don’t know about this, and according to the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, “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), they believe that the Lord Jesus will come back in the last days in His resurrected spiritual body with great glory, appearing publicly to all peoples.
But we should know that besides the prophecies of the Lord’s public descent with clouds, in the Bible there are also the prophecies about the Lord’s secret return. For example, “But of that day and that hour knows no man, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). These prophecies are clearly different from the prophecies of the Lord’s public descent with clouds. If the Lord comes publicly with the clouds, all eyes can see Him. But these prophecies say that the Lord will come secretly like a thief when we least expect it. If the Lord comes publicly with clouds appearing to us, how can those prophecies of the Lord’s secret descent be fulfilled? In addition, the Book of Revelation prophesies: “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” (Revelation 3:20). Here, it is mentioned that when the Lord comes, He will utter His words and knock at our door. If the Lord comes with white clouds and everyone sees Him, does He still need to knock at our door? Thus, it can be seen that the way of the Lord’s return is not as simple as we have thought. God’s work is wonderful and unpredictable. We can’t jump into a conclusion based on the literal meaning of one or two verses and believe that the Lord can only come with clouds. That’s too arbitrary. So, what are the prophecies of the Lord’s secret descent all about?
The True Meaning of the Son of Man
If we look carefully at those prophecies concerning the Lord’s secret coming, we will find that “the Son of man” or “the Son of man coming” is mentioned in many places in the Bible. When it comes to the “Son of man,” it means a person born of man and with a normal humanity who eats, drinks, sleeps and walks like a normal man. Take the incarnate Lord Jesus for example. He was the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God. He became an ordinary and normal person to live among people. He worked to save people, preached to people, healed the sick and drove out demons, and was eventually crucified for people. All of these things were done in His normal humanity. A spirit cannot be called the Son of man, just like Jehovah God, who is the Spirit, cannot be called the Son of man. Angels are spiritual bodies, so they cannot be referred to as the Son of man. The resurrected Lord Jesus could penetrate walls, and was not restricted by space or geography, sometimes hidden and sometimes visible, particularly extraordinary, so He could not be called the Son of man either. Some people, however, don’t know the meaning of the Son of man, believing that the spiritual body of the Lord Jesus after His resurrection can also be called the Son of man, and that the Lord will descend on the clouds in His resurrected spiritual body upon His return. If that is the case, then it must be on a gigantic scale—everyone must bow down and worship Him. Who would dare to reject and resist Him? The Bible says, “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” (Luke 17: 24–25). In that case, wouldn’t these words in the Bible come to naught? Because if the Lord returns in His spiritual body He won’t suffer, thus the Son of man isn’t referring to the spiritual body. The Son of man is the incarnate God born of man. It is because God comes incarnate with an ordinary and normal appearance, and no one can recognize Him as God Himself, that people dare to resist Him and the Son of man suffers and is rejected. Just like when the Lord Jesus appeared to work at that time, the Pharisees saw the Lord Jesus as an ordinary person from His appearance, so they dared to condemn and resist the Lord Jesus. Thus, we can be sure that “the coming of the Son of man” means that the Lord Jesus will come back through incarnation to reveal Himself and do His work.
The Bible Prophesies That the Son of Man Will Come to Express the Truth
The Bible predicts that the Son of man will come back to express the truth. Just as the Lord, “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” (John 16:12–13). It is thus clear that the Lord will utter more words when He returns. At this point, some people may be confused: You say that the Lord will come back in secret to utter words, but it’s also prophesied in the Bible that the Lord will come with great glory in the clouds. How do you explain this? In fact, these two kinds of completely different prophecies will both be fulfilled. It’s only the order in which they are fulfilled that differs. In other words, the Lord will first come secretly to express the truth in the form of the Son of man and make a group of overcomers prior to the disasters, and then after these disasters appear openly to all nations and all peoples, punishing evil and rewarding good, and classifying people according to their kind. So that everyone can understand this better, let’s first read a passage of the Bible. The Lord Jesus said, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37–39). The Lord Jesus was referring to the day of Noah, implying that the day of His return will be like the day of Noah, that He would first come in secret to express words and do His work and then appear openly. As we all know, in the time of Noah, before God destroyed the world with a flood, God called Noah to make an ark and to preach the gospel to everyone, telling them that God would destroy the world with a flood. This stage before the flood occurred was the stage of God’s hidden work. Also, it was an opportunity of repentance God gave to man. But when the flood came, it was the time of God’s public appearance and work, and it was also the time to determine man’s outcome. In just the same way, this is also how the days of the coming of the Son of man are. When the Lord comes back in the last days, He will first put on an ordinary and normal flesh, and come to earth secretly to speak and save people before the disasters. For those who love the truth and can recognize the voice of God, when they accept God’s work in the last days, they are attending the wedding feast of the Lamb, and will be made into overcomers before the disasters and be able to be led by God into the next age. However, those who don’t pay attention to hearing God’s voice during God’s hidden work, but instead condemn and resist His work in the last days will lose the opportunity to be saved. They will be punished when God appears publicly. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to work, those Pharisees who did not love the truth paid no attention to hearing God’s voice. No matter how powerful and authoritative the Lord Jesus’ words were, they did not seek or investigate, but still resisted and condemned the Lord based on their notions and imaginations. In the end, they suffered the Lord’s curse and punishment. This is how the good and evil are revealed. So, during God’s secret descent to express the truth to save people before the disasters, we can’t possibly see the scene of God appearing publicly on clouds. When God’s work of secret descent and incarnation ends, then the great disasters will immediately descend and God will appear on the clouds publicly to all nations and all peoples to punish the wicked and reward the good, and He shall classify people according to their kind. To say it another way, the secret stage of God’s work before the disasters is the stage during which God saves people. Only those who accept the Lord’s work of the secret coming and listen for His words have the chance to be made into overcomers before the tribulation. If we wait until the Lord publicly appears whilst riding upon a cloud, we will succumb to disaster and feel anxious and desperate, unable to carry on. By then it will be too late to regret it. This is because when the Lord appears openly upon a cloud is the time when people’s outcomes are determined. Those who stabbed Him, that is, those who resisted and condemned Christ in the last days, will weep and gnash their teeth and feel extreme regret when they find the incarnate God whom they have resisted and condemned is the return of the Lord Jesus. This fulfills what the Bible says: “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). “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).
So, to welcome the Lord before the tribulation, we have to seek out the work of God’s secret coming. God says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist.” Here, it can be seen that in the last days God will express the Holy Spirit’s words to the churches. If we want to follow the footsteps of the Lamb, we have to search for God’s word. In other words, if we want to welcome the Lord, we have to focus on hearing the voice of God. People like the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus and the Samaritan woman all recognized the Lord Jesus as the incarnate God, the Messiah to come, through His work and words, and thereby welcomed the Lord Jesus. So, when someone proclaims that the Lord has come and expressed His new words, we should be like wise virgins, focusing on hearing the Lord’s voice. Only in this way can we welcome the Lord’s return before the disasters and go to the wedding feast of the Lamb, just as the Bible says, “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” (Revelation 3:20).
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