We are now in the final phase of the last days, and at this crucial time of greeting the Lord, there is a growing sense of urgency in the hearts of Christians praying for the Lord Jesus to return. Many people anxiously hope for the Lord to come with clouds, but the great disasters will soon be upon us and we still haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds. Why is that? Could it be that we have deviated in our practice to greet the Lord’s coming? This puts me in mind of Thomas in the Bible. While the Lord Jesus worked in the flesh, Thomas always harbored doubts, and in his heart he did not believe that the Lord Jesus was Christ. When Thomas heard that Jesus had resurrected, he still did not believe it. He had to see the Lord’s spiritual body with his own eyes before he would believe, and in the end the Lord pronounced His judgment: “[B]ecause you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). The story of Thomas is a warning to each and every one of us who yearn for the Lord to return. If we rely only on our eyes and do not seek the truth with regard to greeting the Lord, would we not be committing the same mistake as Thomas? If we did that, we would be apt to lose our chance to be caught up before the disasters. It is therefore clear that if we want to greet the Lord, then it is absolutely crucial that we understand the root cause of why Thomas failed in his faith in God and avoid walking the same mistaken path as Thomas! Let us fellowship and explore this issue below.
The Bible records that when the disciples told Thomas the news of the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, Thomas said, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25). The Lord Jesus said to him, “[B]ecause you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). In fact, all the while Thomas was following the Lord Jesus, He didn’t know how to hear the Lord’s voice. No matter how great or how beneficial to people Jesus’ sermons were, Thomas never sought within the Lord’s words to find whether they possessed truth or whether they were the voice of God. No matter how many years he believed in God, after all that time he was still unable to recognize the Lord Jesus’ true identity, and that is why he always doubted the Lord’s identity and did not believe that Jesus was Christ; this is the root cause of why Thomas failed in his faith in God. It is precisely because Thomas didn’t know how to hear the voice of God and was not convinced of the Lord Jesus’ identity that, when Jesus told His disciples before His crucifixion that He would resurrect after His death, Thomas did not believe that the Lord’s words would come to pass. And when he heard the other disciples say that the Lord Jesus had resurrected, still he did not believe. Only when he saw the spiritual body of the resurrected Lord Jesus appearing before his very eyes did he finally believe it. When Jesus appeared to him in the form of His spiritual body after He resurrected, Thomas saw the Lord’s spiritual body with his own eyes and touched the wounds left by the nails on the Lord’s body, and only then did he believe that the Lord Jesus had resurrected and become certain that Jesus was Christ. But it was too late, and Thomas’ end had already been determined — he had lost God’s blessing forever.
At this crucial time when we are to greet the Lord, we are right now committing the same mistake as Thomas. When we hear someone testifying that the Lord has returned in the flesh already, we do not believe it, and we do not take the initiative to seek to hear the voice of God and welcome the Lord. Instead, we persist in our belief that unless He has come riding on a white cloud, then it is not the Lord Jesus, and we will only believe it when we see the Lord’s resurrected spiritual body with our own eyes; this is the main reason we have been unable to greet the Lord. There may perhaps be some who say, “Is it wrong for us to await the Lord coming with clouds, as the prophecy says?” We must be aware that there are many prophecies in the Bible concerning the Lord’s return. There is not just the prophecy that says the Lord will come with clouds, but there are also prophecies that say the Lord will come secretly in the flesh, as the Lord prophesied: “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). “Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44). “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). This “Son of man” means the One who is born of man and who is possessed of normal humanity. If He came as the Spirit or in the form of His resurrected spiritual body, then it would not be possible to call Him the “Son of man.” Therefore, these prophecies mean that when the Lord returns, He will incarnate before the disasters and come to work quietly and in secret. If, as we imagine, the Lord were to return riding on clouds in His resurrected spiritual body, how then would the prophecies concerning His coming in secret be fulfilled? Back then, Thomas did not believe the prophecy that the Lord Jesus would resurrect from the dead; do we also not believe that the prophecies that say the Lord will come in secret will be fulfilled? Must we still walk Thomas’ path of failure? The Lord Jesus told us plainly: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “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). “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). We can see from this that when the Lord returns, He will use His utterances to knock upon our doors, and that the most important thing to greeting the Lord is that we must hear the voice of God. We should therefore learn the lesson of Thomas’ failure; we cannot be people who only believe when seeing the Lord coming on clouds with their own eyes. We must focus on hearing God’s voice and greeting the Lord, and when we hear someone testifying that the Lord has returned in the flesh, we should take the initiative to seek and investigate it. The moment we recognize God’s voice, we should accept and submit, for only then will we be able to truly greet the Lord and attend the feast with Him. Take the disciples, for example, such as Peter and John. When they heard the authority and power in Jesus’ words, they recognized His words to be the voice of God, and they ended up following the Lord Jesus Christ and receiving His salvation. They greeted the Lord by hearing the utterances spoken by the incarnate God, and so they were most blessed.
If we do not act according to God’s words to hear God’s voice and greet the Lord during the time He comes to work in secret, and we continue to act as Thomas did, waiting for the Lord to come on clouds so that we may see Him with our own eyes, what will happen when we do really see Him coming on clouds? The Bible prophesies: “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). We can see from these verses that when we see the Lord coming on clouds with our own eyes, that is when all kindreds will wail. It is reasonable to think that people should greet the Lord with joy when they see Him, so why will all kindreds wail? It is because, when the Lord returns in the last days, He first comes secretly in the flesh before the disasters to express the truth and perform the work to judge and purify man. Those who hear God’s voice and who then seek and accept it are the wise virgins who will be caught up before God. After they have been judged and purified and made by God into overcomers, the work of the secret coming of God incarnate will be over. God will then begin to unleash the great disasters to reward the good and punish the wicked, and that is also the time when people’s ends will be determined. All who are made into overcomers before the disasters will come under God’s protection and will survive; those who wait blindly for the Lord to come on a cloud, who constantly refuse to accept God’s work in the last days, and who even condemn Christ of the last days, will be utterly abandoned and eliminated by God — what awaits them is the righteous punishment of God. Therefore, when God appears openly to all nations and peoples after the disasters and they see that the Christ of the last days whom they have defied is indeed the Lord Jesus returned, they will weep and gnash their teeth, and that is when the prophecy of the Lord coming on the clouds will be fulfilled: “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).
Now, only The Church of Almighty God is openly testifying that the Lord Jesus has returned already as the incarnated Almighty God. He has expressed the truth and is performing the work of judging and purifying man in the last days, and He will make a group of overcomers before the disasters arrive. This is the precise fulfillment of the Lord Jesus’ prophecies: “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). “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). And 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” The words expressed by Almighty God are “what the Spirit says to the churches” as prophesied in Revelation, and they have long been publicly available online for people from all over the world to seek and investigate — this is the Lord knocking on our doors! Yet no matter how the Lord might knock at their doors, there are some who close their ears to the Lord’s voice and who, like Thomas, will only believe it when they can see it with their own eyes. These people will miss out on God’s secret salvation work before the disasters, and the day they see the Lord coming openly on clouds will be the day they are punished, and no matter how much remorse they feel then, it will be too late. Just as the Lord Jesus said: “[B]ecause you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). Almighty God also exhorts us, “I tell you, those who believe in God because of the signs are surely the category that shall be destroyed. Those who are incapable of receiving the words of Jesus who has returned to flesh are surely the progeny of hell, the descendants of the archangel, the category that shall be subjected to everlasting destruction. Many people may not care what I say, but I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. That will be the time of the end of God’s management plan and it will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For the judgment of God will have ended before man sees signs, when there is only the expression of truth. Those who accept the truth and do not seek signs, and thus have been purified, shall have returned before the throne of God and entered the Creator’s embrace. Only those who persist in the belief that ‘The Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ’ shall be subjected to everlasting punishment, for they only believe in the Jesus who exhibits signs, but do not acknowledge the Jesus who proclaims severe judgment and releases the true way of life. And so it can only be that Jesus deals with them when He openly returns upon a white cloud. They are too stubborn, too confident in themselves, too arrogant. How could such degenerates be rewarded by Jesus?” (“By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew”). Do we want to be among those who deny that God has come secretly in the flesh before the disasters, who merely wait to see the Lord coming on clouds and who suffer calamity? Or do we want to be among those who, despite not having seen the Lord coming on clouds, accept the work of salvation of the incarnate returned Lord and who inherit God’s promise? Each of us must make this choice for ourselves.
Source: Grow in Christ — The Second Coming of Christ
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