“How could it be possible that the Lord has returned? We haven’t seen the Lord coming with clouds!” I thought. At this, I immediately realized that they were believers in Eastern Lightning, and I didn’t want to listen to them anymore. I made up some excuse and went into to my bedroom. I knelt and said a prayer to the Lord: “O Lord! These two brothers do indeed preach most enlighteningly, but they testify that You have returned in the flesh, and I’m afraid of going astray in my faith. O Lord! I’m so lost and I don’t know what to do to conform to Your will. Please guide me.” After I’d prayed, I thought about how the Lord Jesus taught us to be loving toward other people, and so I knew that making them leave my home would not accord with the Lord’s will. And yet they were testifying that God had returned in the flesh in the last days, and I simply couldn’t accept it. This issue disturbed me so much that I simply couldn’t quieten my mind. In the end, I couldn’t bear it anymore, and I wanted to sound this issue out with them. And so, I left my bedroom and said to them, “Brothers, it clearly states in the Bible, ‘You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11). When the Lord Jesus resurrected and ascended into heaven, He did so in Spirit form, and so when He returns, He should also do so in Spirit form. How then can you say that the second coming of God is in the flesh?”
The brothers listened to my question and then one of them patiently gave fellowship, saying, “The Lord returns in the last days in the flesh, and this was prophesied long ago in the Lord’s own words. Let’s read a few verses of Scripture together: ‘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). ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not
’ (Luke 12:40). ‘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). The Lord mentions ‘the Son of man’ and ‘the coming of the Son of man.’ The reference to ‘the Son of man’ means someone born of a human who possesses normal humanity. If He were to come in Spirit form, then He could not be called ‘the Son of man,’ just as Jehovah is Spirit and can therefore not be called ‘the Son of man.’ Some people have seen angels and angels are spirits, and so they too cannot be called ‘the Son of man.’ Whoever may appear in human form but who is of a spirit body cannot be called ‘the Son of man.’ The incarnated Lord Jesus was called the Son of man and Christ because He was the fleshly incarnation of the Spirit of God who became an ordinary, normal man and lived amongst man. Therefore, the mention made by the Lord Jesus of ‘the coming of the Son of man’ and ‘the Son of man comes’ both meant that God will come in the flesh when He returns in the last days. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus prophesied about the time of His return, saying ‘But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
’ Only when God becomes flesh and appears and performs His work as the Son of man do we human beings not recognize Christ, and we always treat Him like an ordinary person, which is why we condemn, blaspheme and reject Christ. If the Lord returned in the last days in Spirit form after His resurrection and He came with great glory with clouds, then everyone would fall before Him and none would dare resist Him—how then would this prophecy be fulfilled? Therefore, the way in which the Lord returns is that He appears and performs His work in the flesh, and this is substantiated by the Bible. Upon a thorough investigation of the scriptural verses concerning the Lord’s return, however, we can see that there are two types of prophecy about His return: One type prophesies that the Lord will become flesh and come in secret, for example: ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not
’ (Luke 12:40). The other type prophesies the Lord coming with clouds, for example: ‘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). The Lord is faithful and nothing He ever said was idly spoken. One by one, everything He said will be fulfilled—it’s just a matter of time. In the last days, God first becomes flesh and comes in secret, He expresses the truth to judge and cleanse man and makes complete a group of overcomers before the disasters arrive. When God’s secret work to save man is concluded, the great disasters will come upon the world, and God will begin to reward the good and punish the wicked. Once the great disasters have passed, God will come with clouds and appear to all peoples, and then the Lord’s prophecy of His coming openly shall be fulfilled. Therefore, when it comes to welcoming the Lord, we cannot just go by a couple of verses of Scripture to delimit the way in which the Lord returns and just disregard other verses. If we do that then it will be very likely that we will miss our chance to welcome the Lord, and the Lord will abandon us!”
Listening to the brother’s fellowship really opened my eyes. It turned out that the Bible not only contains prophecies about the Lord coming openly with clouds, but that there are also prophecies that say the incarnation of God will come in secret. The brother backed his fellowship up with reason and evidence, and it turned out that the “Son of man” mentioned in the Bible refers to the fleshly incarnation of God, and not to His spiritual body. Also, if the Lord returned in the last days appearing directly to people in Spirit form, then all mankind would fall to the ground and no one would dare to resist Him. If that were the case, then it would be impossible for the prophecy “But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation
” to be fulfilled. I thought about how the religious world and the Chinese Communist government are currently resisting and condemning Eastern Lightning—is this not a precise fulfillment of the prophecy that the Lord would be rejected of this generation when He returns in the last days? Just then, I regretted having relied on my conceptions and imaginings to delimit the Lord’s return, believing that He would come as the resurrected Spirit. The Lord Jesus said, “For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened
” (Matthew 7:8). I realized that, faced with the return of the Lord, I had to have a God-fearing heart and seek and investigate it in earnest, for only that would accord with the Lord’s will!