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The Way in Which Jesus Returns Is Different From What Pastors Said
By Yongyi, Hong Kong
The church became desolate and I was withered in spirit.
When I first began going to church, the brothers and sisters were all full of love. We supported and helped each other, living in the love of the Lord. After a few years, however, the situation in the church became worse and worse. The believers either made small talk or talked about eating, drinking, and having fun, and some of them even did not attend meetings. Faced with such a situation, I also lost faith in my pursuit and started following the trends of the world. I was busy with making money every day, and except for attending services each week, I seldom prayed or read the Bible at home. I felt darker and darker in spirit.
I had expected that I could receive some spiritual supply when I went to the church to listen to preaching each week. But the pastor’s sermons were the same old platitudes, which made me not only feel bored, but also become more confused about the words in the Bible. The pastor often said to us that when the Lord came again He would descend with the clouds and raise us up to meet with Him in the air. Every time I heard him speak like this, I would think about the words in Revelation 1:7, “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. Even so, Amen.” According to the pastor’s interpretation, when the Lord comes again, we should be happy and joyful. But why does the prophecy say that all kindreds of the earth shall wail? Isn’t there a contradiction? The pastor told us that “all kindreds” referred to those who didn’t believe in the Lord, and that when the Lord returned, they would fall into disasters wailing. As to such an explanation, I felt it a little far-fetched, but I found no other answer. I was very helpless and didn’t know whom I should go to seek.
Due to lack of supply for a long time, my spirit felt quite parched. Thereupon, I left my former church. Full of hope, I went to another church. Unexpectedly, the pastors there only fixed their eyes on the money offered by the brothers and sisters. Those who donated a lot would be treated with warmth, while people like me who had little money to offer would be treated as if we were empty air, and they showed not the slightest concern for our lives. For this, I felt particularly sad inside. In helplessness, I could only pray to the Lord earnestly every day, “Dear Lord! Where are you? I feel very weak, but I don’t want to leave You. I beg You to have mercy on me, and to lead and guide me.”
I met a confidant by chance.
I didn’t imagine that the Lord really listened to my prayer. One time, when I took my child to the park, I came across a sister. We talked with each other very congenially, and she enthusiastically invited me to their Bible study meetings.
I remembered that in our first meeting, we studied the scriptures about the Lord’s return, “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36). “Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you” (Revelation 3:3). The sister asked me, “Sister, how do you think the Lord will come?” I thought to myself: “The pastors always say that the Lord will return descending with the clouds, which I feel is not practical. But I have no idea how the Lord will come.” So I replied, “I don’t know.” The sister fellowshiped, “The majority of the believers in churches think the Lord will come descending on a cloud and appearing to us in great glory. If it were really like our men’s imaginations, then how would the words the Lord Jesus prophesied that no one shall know, the Son shall not know, and it is ‘as a thief’ be fulfilled? If the Lord Jesus were to appear in a spiritual body, why would He not know about it Himself?” After hearing the sister’s words, I thought: “What she said is right. Why did I not notice these scriptures in the past? If the Lord truly arrives on a cloud publicly, all eyes will behold Him. How then will the scripture about the Lord’s coming as a thief be fulfilled? This won’t do. I should ask my pastor and see what he will say.”
When I saw the pastor on Sunday, I immediately asked him about this question. But what made me disappointed was that he didn’t give me any answer.
My confusion was resolved in a Bible study meeting.
After getting home, I immediately invited the sister to study the Bible.
The sister said, “Actually, the words in the scripture that no one shall know and the Son shall not know mean that before publicly descending with the clouds, the Lord will first perform a stage of secret work, that is, the Lord will become flesh as the Son of man to work and utter words.” “Secret work? Becoming flesh as the Son of man?” The sister’s words were beyond my comprehension. Then we continued studying the Bible, “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27). “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). After finishing reading these scriptures, the sister said, “These verses of prophecies all mention the Son of man. Then what is the Son of man?” “Does it refer to a person?” I whispered in my heart. But then I felt that what I comprehended in this way was just the literal meaning. So, I honestly said to her, “I have no idea.” “When we speak of the Son of man,” she said, “it refers to being born of man, having the image of man, and engaging in the activities of an ordinary man. The spiritual body cannot be called the Son of man. This is just as the Lord Jesus being called the Son of man; it’s because He is the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit and is a normal person with tangible form living among people. From this, we can know that when the Lordthe coming of the Son of man and the Son of man, He was referring to God’s return in the flesh in the last days. Especially, He mentioned ‘first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation,’ which even more proves that the Lord will come by becoming flesh. If the Lord were to arrive descending on a cloud, and appear to man as a spiritual body in great glory, whoever see Him would prostrate and worship. Then who would dare to resist and condemn Him? And how shall He be rejected by man? Because God’s incarnation has come among men in the form of a normal and average person, to man, He appears in secret. No one can recognize that He is God and no one knows His real identity. Only when the Son of man works and speaks, those who can tell His voice are able to recognize Him, while those who can’t hear God’s voice will surely treat Him as an ordinary person and thereby deny Him and reject Him. Just like when the Lord Jesus came to work and speak, people, like Peter, Nathanael and the woman from Samaria, could hear God’s voice, and they, from the Lord Jesus’ words and work, recognized that He is Christ and the appearance of God. As for the Pharisees and Jewish people who only saw the outward appearance of the Lord Jesus but couldn’t recognize God’s voice, they considered the Lord Jesus as an ordinary person, denying Him and rejecting Him, and finally nailed Him to the cross. It was not until the Lord Jesus was resurrected and ascended to heaven and appeared to man that people saw that He is the incarnate Christ, the Messiah, and the appearance of God. Hence, we can be sure that when the Lord returns, He will firstly perform a stage of secret work in the way of incarnation, and that when the work in secret concludes, He will descend with the clouds to openly appear among people, starting the work of rewarding the good and punishing the evil. By that time, all the people who refuse to accept God’s work in secret will completely lose their chance of salvation. How can they not beat their chests, weep, and gnash their teeth?”
After hearing the sister’s communion, I thought: “Her fellowship in this way is well-founded, and is much more practical than my pastor’s. The Lord’s words are the truth. Descending openly with the clouds and descending secretly as a thief are actually not contradictory. It is just that I didn’t understand how the prophecies will be fulfilled. Thank God! Now my heart is bright.”
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