How to Recognize the Coming of the Son of Man?
By Ma Ling
When the night fell, Jiamin stood before the window, watching the quiet sky with a bright moon. She thought of several verses she had looked up when reading the Bible a few days ago: “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), “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:37), and “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). Jiamin sank into thought: These verses all refer to “the coming of the Son of man”. Does it mean the Lord will appear to us in the image of the Son of man when He comes again? The Scripture also said, “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” The Lord Jesus was rejected by that generation. But He will be rejected again in the last days. Could it be that the Lord will once again suffer the persecution and rejection of the world when He returns, just like when He was incarnated among man the first time?
Jiamin could not help looking back to the scene of when the Lord Jesus worked. He brought the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, taught man to confess and repent before God, and performed numerous miracles, such as healing the sick, casting out demons, calming the wind and sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, resurrecting the dead, and so on. From that we can see the work and words of the Lord Jesus were the manifestations of God’s authority and power. However, as the Lord Jesus looked ordinary in appearance, people at that time regarded Him as the son of Joseph, a carpenter, and no one treated Him as God. Not until the Lord Jesus resurrected three days after He was crucified, appeared to His disciples for 40 days and then ascended to heaven with clouds did they believe the Lord Jesus was Christ, the incarnate God. Obviously, if mankind doesn’t know the incarnate Son of man, he will surely reject and resist God.
Jiamin thought that if she had been born in that age when the Lord Jesus worked and saw Him, who looked like an ordinary and normal person, then would she have recognized He was Christ, believed in and followed Him? She was lost in thought.
Nowadays, it is the critical time to welcome the second coming of the Lord. If the Lord came to earth as the Son of man again, then would we make the same error as the Jews at that time and walk onto the road of believing in God but resisting God? Thinking of this, she realized that she needed to know God if she wanted to welcome the Lord’s return.
At this time, this problem continued lingering in her mind. She had no idea how to know the Son of man. Therefore, she knelt on the ground and prayed to the Lord, “Oh, Lord, please open my spiritual eyes so that from the recorded scripture I can know You, recognize and follow You when You return.” After her prayer, she suddenly remembered one scripture, “Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it suffices us. Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? he that has seen me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:8–11).
As the Lord Jesus said, “the words that I speak to you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works,” and “… believe me for the very works.” The Lord Jesus teaches us that He is an ordinary and normal Son of man in appearance. But if man wants to know the divine substance of the Lord Jesus and recognize He is the Father in heaven, he needs to know the Lord Jesus’ words and His work. That’s because the Son of man has divine substance. His words and work represent the Father in heaven and are the direct expression of the Holy Spirit. He could speak to the whole of mankind on behalf of God, teach man to love their enemies and forgive people seventy times seven; what He revealed was God’s disposition and His being: He showed mercy on man, and forgave man’s sins; the Lord has the authority and power to perform miracles: raise the dead … The more she pondered, the clearer she was. Only from the words and work of the Son of man can we recognise He is Christ, the incarnate flesh of God.
At the thought of this, she felt she gained something today through studying the Bible and she was very happy.
In the following night, after being busy all day, she came before the Lord once again to meditate and ponder the Scriptures. Yet, today one of her co-workers gave her a book. She opened the book and saw these words, “The essence of the work of the Holy Spirit is to save man, and is for the sake of God’s own management. Similarly, the work of Christ is also to save man, and is for the sake of God’s will.” “He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. If man intends to inquire into whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, then he must corroborate this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, to corroborate whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, one must discriminate on the basis of His essence. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key lies in His essence (His work, His utterances, His disposition, and many other aspects), rather than external appearance. If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant.”
These two passages of words made her gain some light, allowing her to understand one aspect of mystery: To recognize the Son of man is the incarnate flesh of God, is not based on the ordinary and normal appearance of the Son of man, but depends on His words and work. That’s because the incarnate Son of man possesses the substance of divinity and can express what God has and is, just as the Lord Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Then, she was reminded why the Pharisees had no knowledge of the Lord Jesus and condemned Him for blasphemy. As for the reason why, it is because they were too arrogant, stubbornly holding to their own notions and imagination. They neither sought out nor accepted the truth, full of conceptions about the Lord’s words and work as well as normal humanity, even slandering, condemning, and resisting Him. Due to their attitude toward the truth, they not only directly attacked and blasphemed against the divine substance of the Lord Jesus, but also colluded with the Roman government to nail Him to the cross, committing a heinous crime of opposing God, and were thus punished and cursed by God. Seeing the failure of the Pharisees, Jiamin not only felt scared but was also grateful for God’s mercy. Thank God for allowing her to understand this aspect of truth.
At this moment, Jiamin thought: It is prophesied that the Lord will appear to man as the Son of man when He returns. So it should be that God will speak and work as God incarnate.
Jiamin was very delighted within. She had some understanding of the prophecy of the Lord’s second coming: If we’d like to welcome the Lord’s second coming, we must seek out the words and work of the Holy Spirit, and see who can express the truth, whose words and work can express God’s disposition and what He has and is. Only in this way can we recognize the incarnate Christ. We should not follow in the footsteps of the Pharisees, stubbornly clinging to our own notions and imagination or measuring the incarnate Son of man by His appearance and origin.
That night, Jiamin had a nice dream.
Source: Grow in Christ — The Second Coming of Christ
Earthquakes, plagues, famines, floods and other disasters are happening frequently. This is a sign of the Lord’s coming. Many brothers and sisters are afraid of being deceived by false Christs while praying for the Lord’s return. So, how should we discern the true Christ from false Christs? Click here to join our discussion.