The Lord Jesus said that He will return, and what will be the manner of His return?
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For several thousand years, man has longed to be able to witness the arrival of the Savior. Man has longed to behold Jesus the Savior on a white cloud as He descends, in person, among those who have pined and yearned for Him for thousands of years. Man has longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with the people, that is, for Jesus the Savior to come back to the people from whom He has been apart for thousands of years. And man hopes that He will once again carry out the work of redemption that He did among the Jews, will be compassionate and loving toward man, will forgive the sins of man, bear the sins of man, and even bear all of man’s transgressions and deliver man from sin. They long for Jesus the Savior to be the same as before—a Savior who is lovable, amiable and venerable, who is never wrathful toward man, and who never reproaches man. This Savior forgives and bears all of man’s sins, and even dies upon the cross for man once more. Since Jesus departed, the disciples who followed Him, and all of the saints who were saved thanks to His name, have been desperately pining for Him and awaiting Him. All those who were saved by the grace of Jesusduring the Age of Grace have been longing for that joyful day during , when Jesus the Savior arrives on a white cloud and appears among man. Of course, this is also the collective wish of all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today. Throughout the universe, all those who know of the salvation of Jesus the Savior have been desperately yearning for the sudden arrival of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the words of Jesus when on earth: “I shall arrive just as I departed.” Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud, and took His place at the Most High’s right hand. Similarly, man conceives that Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among those who have desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and that He shall bear the image and clothes of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and love, living and real. And so on. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and did not appear to all men while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of His arrival. Man is only aimlessly awaiting Him, unaware that He has already descended upon a white cloud (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, and His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days. Man does not know this: Although the holy Savior Jesus is full of affection and love toward man, how could He work in “temples” inhabited by filth and impure spirits? Though man has been awaiting His arrival, how could He appear to those who eat the flesh of the unrighteous, drink the blood of the unrighteous, wear the clothes of the unrighteous, who believe in Him but do not know Him, and who constantly extort Him? Man knows only that Jesus the Savior is full of love and compassion, and is the sin offering filled with redemption. But man has no idea that He is also God Himself, who is brimming with righteousness, majesty, wrath, and judgment, and possessed of authority and full of dignity. And so even though man eagerly yearns for and craves the return of the Redeemer, and even Heaven is moved by the prayers of man, Jesus the Savior does not appear to those who believe in Him but do not know Him.
from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God is incarnated in the Chinese mainland, what the compatriots in Hong Kong and Taiwan call the inland. When God came from above to the earth, no one in heaven and earth knew about it, for this is the true meaning of God returning in a concealed fashion. He has been in the flesh working and living for a long time, yet no one has known about it. Even to this day, no one recognizes it. Perhaps this will remain an eternal riddle. God’s coming into flesh this time is not something anyone is able to be aware of. No matter how large-scale and powerful the Spirit’s work, God always stays composed, never giving Himself away. One can say that it is as if this stage of His work is taking place in the heavenly realm. Even though it is perfectly obvious to everyone, no one recognizes it. When God finishes this stage of His work, everyone will awake from their long dream and reverse their past attitude.[a] … In rescuing man off the cross, Jesus was only completing redemption work; He was not doing perfection work. Thus only half of God’s work was being done, and finishing the redemption work was only half of His whole plan. As the new age was about to begin and the old one about to recede, God the Father began to deliberate the second part of His work and started preparing for it. In the past, this incarnation in the last days may not have been prophesied, and therefore that laid a foundation for the increased secrecy surrounding God’s coming into flesh this time. At the break of dawn, unbeknownst to any, God came to earth and began His life in the flesh. People were unaware of this moment. Maybe they were all fast asleep, maybe many who were watchfully awake were waiting, and maybe many were praying silently to God in heaven. Yet among all these many people, not one knew that God had already arrived on earth. God worked like this so as to more smoothly carry out His work and achieve better results, and it was also to avoid more temptations. As man’s spring slumber breaks, God’s work will have long been finished and He shall depart, bringing to a close His life of roaming and sojourning on earth. Because God’s work requires God to act and speak personally, and because there is no way for man to help, God has endured extreme pain to come to earth to do the work Himself. Man is unable to stand in for God’s work. Therefore God risked dangers several thousand times greater than those during the Age of Grace to come down to where the great red dragon dwells to do His own work, to put all His thinking and care into redeeming this group of impoverished people, redeeming this group of people mired in a heap of manure.
from “Work and Entry (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Now the new work of God has begun, and it is also the beginning of a new age. God brings to His house those redeemed to begin His new work of salvation. This time, the work of salvation is more thorough than in times past. It will not be done by the Holy Spirit working in man to allow him to change on his own, nor will it be done through the body of Jesus appearing among men, and least of all will it be done in another manner. Rather, the work will be done and steered byHimself. This is done in order to lead man into the new work. Is this not a great thing? God does not do this work through a part of men or through prophecies, but by God Himself. …
This time, God comes to do work not in a spiritual body but in a very ordinary one. Not only is it the body of God’s second incarnation, but also the body in which God returns. It is a very ordinary flesh. In Him, you cannot see anything that is different from others, but you can receive from Him the truths you have never heard before. This insignificant flesh is the embodiment of all the words of truth from God, that which undertakes God’s work in the last days, and an expression of the whole of God’s disposition for man to come to know. Did you not desire greatly to see the God in heaven? Did you not desire greatly to understand the God in heaven? Did you not desire greatly to see the destination of mankind? He will tell you all these secrets that no man has been able to tell you, and He will even tell you of the truths that you do not understand. He is your gate into the kingdom, and your guide into the new age. Such an ordinary flesh holds many unfathomable mysteries. His deeds may be inscrutable to you, but the goal of all the work He does is sufficient for you to see that He is not a simple flesh as man believes. For He represents theas well as the care shown by God toward mankind in the last days. Though you cannot hear the words He speaks that seem to shake the heavens and earth or see His eyes like blazing flames, and though you cannot feel the discipline of His iron rod, you can hear from His words the fury of God and know that God shows compassion for mankind; you can see the righteous disposition of God and His wisdom, and moreover, realize the concern and care that God has for all mankind. The work of God in the last days is to allow man to see the God in heaven live among men on earth, and to enable man to come to know, obey, revere, and love God. This is why He has returned to flesh for a second time.
from “Do You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
- 1. “Reverse their past attitude” refers to how people’s conceptions and views about God change once they know God.