Bible prophecies regardingnot only include Him arriving openly upon the clouds, but also Him coming in secret, as a thief. So then, how will these two prophecies be fulfilled? If we only await the Lord coming upon the clouds, but overlook the prophecy of His coming as a thief, will we be able to welcome the arrival of the Lord?
Bible Verses for Reference
“Be you therefore ready also: for thecomes at an hour when you think not” (Luke 12:40).
“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).
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15).
“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).
“And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6).
“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).
“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” ().
“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).
Relevant Words of God
For several millennia, man has longed to be able to witness the arrival of the Savior. Man has longed to behold Jesus the Savior riding a white cloud as He descends, in person, among those who have pined and yearned for Him for thousands of years. Man has also longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with them; that is, longed for Jesus the Savior, who has been separated from people for thousands of years, to come back, and to once again carry out the work of redemption that He did among the Jews, to be compassionate and loving toward man, to forgive the sins of man and bear the sins of man, and even bear all of man’s transgressions and deliver man from sin. What man longs for is for Jesus the Savior to be the same as before—a Savior who is lovable, kind, and venerable, who is never wrathful toward man, and who never reproaches man, but who forgives and takes on all of man’s sins, and who will even, as before, die upon the cross for man. Since Jesus departed, the disciples who followed Him, as well as all of the saints who were saved in 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 exultant day in the end time when Jesus the Savior descends on a white cloud to appear before all people. Of course, this is also the collective wish of all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today. Everyone in the universe who knows of the salvation of Jesus the Savior has been desperately yearning for Jesus Christ to suddenly arrive to fulfill what Jesus said while 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 to take His place at the Most High’s right hand. In like manner, 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 He shall bear the image and wear the clothing 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 full of love, vivid and real. All such notions are what people believe. 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 He did not appear to all people while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of Him. Man is merely awaiting Him aimlessly, unaware that He has already descended upon a “white cloud” (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, 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: Despite all the affection and love the holy Savior Jesus has for man, how can He work in those “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, and 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 overflowing with compassion, and that He is the sin offering, filled with redemption. However, man has no idea that He is God Himself, who is brimming with righteousness, majesty, wrath, and judgment, possessed of authority, and full of dignity. Therefore, even though man eagerly yearns for and craves the return of the Redeemer, and even their prayers move Heaven, Jesus the Savior does not appear to those who believe in Him but do not know Him.
Excerpted from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’”
At the end of the Age of Grace, the final age has arrived, and Jesus has already come. How could He still be called Jesus? How could He still assume the form of Jesus among men? Have you forgotten that Jesus was no more than the image of a Nazarene? Have you forgotten that Jesus was only the Redeemer of mankind? How could He take on the work of conquering and perfecting man in the last days? Jesus left riding on a white cloud—this is fact—but how could He return on a white cloud among men and still be called Jesus? If He really did arrive on a cloud, how would man fail to recognize Him? Would people all over the world not recognize Him? In that case, would Jesus alone not be God? In that case, the image of God would be the appearance of a Jew and would moreover be the same forever. Jesus said that He would arrive as He had departed, but do you know the true meaning of His words? Can it be that He told this group of you? All you know is that He will arrive as He departed, riding on a cloud, but do you know exactly how God Himself does His work? If you were truly able to see, then how are the words that Jesus spoke to be explained? He said: When the Son of man comes in the last days, He Himself will not know, the angels will not know, the messengers in heaven will not know, and all humanity will not know. Only the Father will know, that is, only the Spirit shall know. Even the Son of man Himself does not know, yet you are able to see and know? If you were capable of knowing and seeing with your own eyes, would these words not have been spoken in vain? And what did Jesus say at the time? “But of that day and hour knows no man, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. … Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes.” When that day comes, the Son of man Himself will not know it. The Son of man refers to the incarnate flesh of God, a normal and ordinary person. Even the Son of man Himself does not know, so how could you know? Jesus said that He would arrive as He had departed. When He arrives, even He Himself does not know, so can He inform you in advance? Are you able to see His arrival? Is that not a joke?
Excerpted from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)”
God has been incarnated in the Chinese mainland, or in the words of compatriots from Hong Kong and Taiwan, the “interior.” When God came from heaven above to the earth, no one in heaven or on earth was aware of this, for this is the true meaning of God returning under concealment. He has been working and living in the flesh for a long time, and yet no one has been aware. Even to this day, no one recognizes it. Perhaps this will remain an eternal riddle. God’s coming into the flesh this time is something that no human can possibly become aware of. No matter how large-scale and powerful the impact of the Spirit’s work, God always remains impassive, never giving anything away. One can say that this stage of His work is the same as if it were taking place in the heavenly realm. Even though it is apparent to all who have eyes to see, no one recognizes it. When God finishes this stage of His work, all humanity will break with their usual attitude, and awaken from their long dream. I remember God once saying, “Coming into the flesh this time is like falling into the tiger’s lair.” What this means is that, because in this round of God’s work God comes into the flesh and moreover is born in the dwelling place of the great red dragon, even more than before, He faces extreme danger by coming to earth this time. What He faces are knives and guns and cudgels and clubs; what He faces is temptation; what He faces are crowds wearing faces filled with murderous intent. He risks being killed at any moment. God came bringing wrath with Him. However, He came in order to do the work of perfection, which is to say that He came in order to do the second part of His work, that which continues after the work of redemption. For the sake of this stage of His work, God has devoted the utmost thought and care and is using every conceivable means to avoid the assaults of temptation, humbly concealing Himself and never flaunting His identity. In rescuing man from the cross, Jesus was only completing the work of redemption; He was not doing the work of perfection. Thus only half of God’s work was being done, and finishing the work of redemption 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 on the second part of His work and to make preparations for it. This incarnation in the last days was not clearly prophesied in the past, thereby laying a foundation for the increased secrecy surrounding God’s coming into the flesh this time. At the break of dawn, unbeknownst to the multitudes of humanity, God came to earth and began His life in the flesh. People were unaware of the coming 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 a single one knew that God had already arrived on earth. God worked like this so as to carry out His work more smoothly and to achieve better results, and also to forestall even more temptations. When man’s springtime 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 in His own person, and because there is no way for man to intervene, God has endured extreme suffering in order to come to earth to do the work Himself. Man is unable to stand in for God’s work. For this reason God braved dangers several thousand times greater than those during the Age of Grace to come down to the land where the great red dragon dwells to do His own work, expending all His thought and care, to redeem this group of impoverished people, this group of people mired in a dung heap. Even though no one knows of God’s existence, God is not troubled, because this greatly benefits His work. Given that everyone is heinous and wicked in the extreme, how would they tolerate God’s existence? That is why it is always in silence that God comes onto the earth. No matter that man has sunk into the worst excesses of cruelty, God does not take any of it to heart, but only keeps doing the work He needs to do so as to fulfill the greater commission that the heavenly Father entrusted to Him.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (4)”
1. “Break with their usual attitude” refers to how people’s notions and views about God change, once they have come to know God.