A Discussion About the Lord Jesus’ Return
by An Ming
One day, it was drizzling. Some pedestrians held umbrellas and some walked in the rain leisurely.
Pastor Lee, Pastor Kim and Preacher Ju are famous pastors and preachers in Korea. In the afternoon, after finishing the matters of the church, they got together and had a chat. Then they talked about the topic of “Some people testify that the Lord Jesus has returned.” Pastor Kim said, “Pastor Lee, Preacher Ju, your church must have gotten the news too. Now some people testify the Lord Jesus has returned to flesh, and moreover, has expressed millions of words. It’s shocking. What do you think of it?” This topic arrested their attention. Pastor Lee said with cool disdain, “The Bible says, ‘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’ (Revelation 1:7). But we haven’t seen this. How could the Lord have returned?” In reality, Pastor Kim used to have the same viewpoint as Pastor Lee. However, when he studied the Bible, he found it is prophesied in the Bible that there is another way in which the Lord will return. For example, Revelation 16:15 says, “Behold, I come as a thief.” Here, “come as a thief” means coming in secret. But if the Lord Jesus comes again on a cloud and before the eyes of everyone, how will that fulfill “coming as a thief”? Thereupon he laid out his views, “The Bible prophesies two different ways, two possible ways that the Lord shall return. One way will be in secret, the other in public. Thus, these two prophecies don’t contradict at all.”
Preacher Ju happened to hold the same view as Pastor Kim. He said, “I don’t think there is a contradiction in the Lord’s words, and that none of these prophecies will remain unfulfilled. Besides, many prophecies in the Bible say the Lord will come again as the Son of man. For example, Luke 17:24–25 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.’ Because it mentions the words, the ‘Son of man’ and ‘suffer many things,’ then it may refer to the incarnate flesh of God. So I hazard a guess: Like when the Lord Jesus came, people treated Him like an ordinary person, and didn’t realize that He was the Messiah, Christ. So if God incarnates as the Son of man to be unrecognised by the people as such, thus, it will mean that His incarnation is a secret thing. Then it will tally with the prophecy of His coming ‘as a thief.’ And I believe the prophecy of the Son of man’s coming probably refers to the coming of God in secret through incarnation.”
What Preacher Ju said made Pastor Kim clearer. Pastor Kim said, “It’s likely that the Lord Jesus will come in secret as the Son of man, and then appear in public. This has been acknowledged by many expositors.”
Pastor Lee failed to put in and, seeing they had an animated discussion, he was a little unhappy. Then he folded his arms to conceal his embarrassment. After calming himself, he challenged Preacher Ju’s view and disapprovingly said, “Since you say that the Lord’s return will be secret at first, and will only become public later, then what work will the Lord do between the time of His secret return and His public appearance?”
At his words, Pastor Kim and Preacher Ju became silent. They thought about this question over coffee.
Suddenly, Preacher Ju seemed to discover some new light and said briskly, “Many prophecies in the Bible say that the Lord will return to do the work of judgment. Like ‘for he comes to judge the earth’ (Psalm 98:9), ‘he comes to judge the earth’ (Psalm 96:13), and ‘And I will come near to you to judgment …’ (Malachi 3:5). What’s more, Revelation mentions ‘him that overcomes’ many times. For example, Revelation 2:7 says, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God.’ And Revelation 2:17 says, ‘To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna….’ From these verses, I see that during God’s time of His secret incarnation, He will make a group of overcomers through the work of judgement.” At his words, Pastor Lee challenged him again, “Is there basis for this in the Bible too?”
Pastor Kim kept on pondering what Preacher Ju said. He thought: “Preacher Ju’s words have the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and come from the leading of the Holy Spirit. I often read these verses. How come I’ve never gotten this light?” Hearing Pastor Lee’s question, he pondered for a moment and said, “The Lord Jesus once 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’ (John 16:12–13). Here, it says the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth. I wonder whether this means God will become flesh in the last days to express the truth to do the work of judgment.”
Preacher Ju was excited, saying, “Thank the Lord. I remember the Bible says, ‘And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit’ (Joel 2:29). Here it says God will pour out His Spirit on the servants and handmaids, which most likely is the work of ‘judgment beginning with the house of God.’ This way, God will make a group of overcomers first. And I assume the servants and handmaids in this verse refer to the first fruits made by God. They’re those who serve God in the kingdom in the future. It’s very possible. In that case, it’s quite meaningful for us to accept God’s work when He comes in secret.” “Thank the Lord. Hearing your words, I remember it also says in Revelation, ‘For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters …’ (Revelation 7:17). When it refers to ‘the Lamb shall feed them,’ this means that God will be incarnated as the Son of man to feed man. That is, God will personally put on the flesh to become the Son of man to work and speak in the world, giving man His living water of life and making a group of overcomers.” said Pastor Kim.
Preacher Ju nodded while listening, saying, “I think so, too. Which means during God’s time of His incarnation which is secret, He will make a group of overcomers by expressing the truth. We must seize this chance to accept God’s salvation. Or else, when God appears publicly, it’ll be too late for regret.”
Pastor Lee who was ignored spread out his hands and said provokingly, “Suppose the Lord does come secretly through incarnation, then how are we to recognize Him?”
Pastor Lee’s question made Pastor Kim and Preacher Ju sense his unhappiness and dissatisfaction, but they couldn’t answer it at that moment. All of them were lost in deep thought again. Pastor Kim thought: “Right! I’ve never thought about this question. If the Lord Jesus comes secretly through incarnation, what should I do to recognize Him?” He couldn’t help calling upon God in his heart: “Lord, what should I do if I miss Your return because of not recognising You? Lord, don’t forsake me. May You help me hear Your voice and follow Your footsteps.” After prayer, he suddenly thought of the Lord’s words, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me …” (John 10:27). Then he said to them excitedly, “I remember when the disciples asked the Lord Jesus about how to welcome His return, He said that we should be like the wise virgins, because wise virgins pay attention to God’s voice. And when they heard the news that God had come, they recognized God’s voice, and went out to welcome Him. Now we should also focus on hearing His voice. Since some people testify that the Lord has returned, we need to investigate this much more carefully and see whether whom they testify is the Lord Jesus’ second coming.”
“Thank the Lord. It’s from God’s guidance. We really can’t wait here and do nothing. We should investigate God’s work.” Preacher Ju said with excitement. Then he discussed with Pastor Kim how to find the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God so as to let them fellowship about the work of Almighty God. They thought: Today, since The Church of Almighty God testifies that the Lord Jesus has returned and spoken words, we should pray, seek, and think carefully and clearly, and shouldn’t blindly deny or condemn it. We must read Almighty God’s words and, after that, we will know naturally whether it’s God’s voice.
Pastor Lee drank his coffee with embarrassment and no longer challenged them.
The rain had already stopped for some time. The sun had broken through the clouds, shining upon the earth.
From: Grow in Christ
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