Question 1: The Lord said He will come back and take us to the kingdom of heaven. However, what you’re saying is that the Lord has become flesh to do the work of judgment in the last days. It is said right in the Bible that the Lord will come upon a cloud all in glory. But you’re saying that the Lord has become flesh in secret. That sounds a lot different.
Answer: The Lord will come and take us to the kingdom of heaven. That is definite. Our Lord is faithful indeed. And so His promises will surely come true. But first we need to know the work of judgment in the last days the Lord does in His second incarnation. It relates directly to how man is raptured into the kingdom of heaven. If we study the Bible carefully, it’s easy to find that the Lord will return through incarnation, as many verses in the Bible have clearly prophesied. For example, “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). Many have mentioned that “the Son of man comes,” or “the Son of man descends.” When we talk about the “Son of man,” it refers to a person born to a human and with normal humanity. So the Spirit can’t be called the “Son of man.” For instance, Jehovah God is the Spirit. We can’t call Him the “Son of man.” The angels people saw are spirit entities. They can’t be called the “Son of man.” Any spiritual being that looks like a human also isn’t the “Son of man.” The Lord Jesus incarnate was called the “Son of man,” and “Christ,” because He was the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit, becoming an ordinary and normal man who just lived among man. So then, when the Lord Jesus said “the Son of man comes,” “the Son of man descends,” He meant in the last days He would become flesh again. Especially the words “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” better prove that the Lord would come through incarnation. If God didn’t become flesh but appeared in a spiritual body, He wouldn’t suffer as much, much less be rejected by this generation again, which is beyond doubt. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ will become flesh when He comes back and He will do the work of judgment in the last days.
People do question: Hasn’t the Lord promised to rapture us to the kingdom of heaven when He comes again? And why will He come to do the work of “judgment beginning with the house of God”? Actually, the judgment work of God is to make overcomers, that is, to take the saints. Let’s see why God does the work of judgment in the last days. There is evidence in the Bible. The Bible mentions about God’s judgment in the last days. It’s a lot, at least two hundred verses. Many verses have also prophesied the Lord will do the work of judgment in the flesh. For example, “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people” (Isaiah 2:4). “… for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity” (Psalms 98:9). “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come” (Revelation 14:7). “Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained …” (Acts 17:31). “And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (John 5:27). “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son …” (John 5:22). “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). etc. All these verses mention “he shall judge among the nations” “for he comes to judge the earth” “because he is the Son of man” “has committed all judgment to the Son” “judgment must begin at the house of God,” which clearly show us that God will surely become flesh to do the work of judgment among men during the last days.
When God becomes flesh in the last days, He just judges, purifies, and saves man through expressing the words. Whoever seeks and accepts the Lord after hearing His voice at His return, is indeed a wise virgin attending the feast with the Lord. This just fulfills the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). The wise virgins hear the Lord’s voice and go out to meet Him. Unknowingly, they’re taken up before the throne to meet the Lord, and accept God’s judgment, purification, and perfection in the last days. Finally, their corrupt disposition will be cleansed through God’s judgment by the word and they will become overcomers who love God, obey God, and worship God, and be qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. Obviously, if we want to receive the Lord’s promise, we must first come before Almighty God, Christ of the last days. We must accept and experience God’s judgment and chastisement in the last days and be purified and perfected by Him. Otherwise, we won’t be qualified into the kingdom of heaven. Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, “You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as sinners because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Those who wish to gain life without relying on the truth spoken by Christ are the most ridiculous people on earth, and those who do not accept the way of life brought by Christ are lost in fantasy. And so I say that the people who do not accept Christ of the last days shall forever be despised by God. Christ is man’s gateway to the kingdom during the last days, which none may bypass. None may be perfected by God except through Christ” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words have shown us the way to the kingdom of heaven. Christ of the last days is the gateway to the kingdom of heaven. If we don’t experience the work of judgment done by Christ of the last days, we won’t attain purification or perfection and will never enter the kingdom of God. This is the authority manifested by the incarnate God. It’s sufficient to prove the Lord will definitely return through incarnation to do the work of judgment in the last days, which is a fact fulfilled by God already. If one wants to be taken into the kingdom of heaven directly without experiencing God’s work in the last days, he still lives in his imagination and notion which will never come true.
Some ask, “If the Lord really comes through incarnation, then how to explain the many prophecies in the Bible that the Lord will arrive on clouds, and that every single eye shall witness Him?” The Bible prophesies in many places that the Lord will come upon a cloud with power and great glory. This is a fact. However, there are more prophecies in the Bible mentioning the Lord will come in secret. For example, “I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15), “for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes” (Matthew 24:44), and “But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32). Apparently, the Lord’s return will be in two different ways. One way will be in secret. The other will be in public. That is, the Lord is incarnated in the last days and descends in a hidden way to do the work of judging, purifying, and saving man. When a group of overcomers are made, God’s work in secret will be finished, and the disasters will come. God will send disasters to reward the good and punish the wicked. And after the disasters, God will appear to all nations and all peoples publicly upon a white cloud. Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days, which we testify today, is the Lord’s work when He comes in secret. Because the incarnate God comes to the world as a man, looking ordinary and normal, it is secret for all humanity. No one recognizes Him as God, nor does anyone know His true identity. After the Son of man works and speaks, only those capable of recognizing His voice start to know Him. Yet those who can’t discern His voice will treat Him as just an ordinary man so as to deny and reject Him. For example, when the Lord Jesus did His work in the flesh, He was like an ordinary man outwardly. So people denied, rejected, and condemned Him. But some people, through the Lord Jesus’ work and word, recognized Him as the incarnate Christ, the appearance of God. Now is when Almighty God is working in secret to save man. He is expressing His words to judge, purify, and perfect us. During this time, people can’t see the scene of the Lord coming on clouds in public. Not until He has made a group of overcomers will His hidden work of incarnation come to an end. And then great disasters fall. The good is rewarded, and the evil is punished. He will openly appear to all nations. At that point, the prophecy of the Lord’s public descent will be fulfilled. “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). “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” (Revelation 1:7). When people see the Lord publicly appear to them on clouds, they should be wild with joy as we can imagine. But right here it says that all kindreds of the earth shall wail. So why is that, we wonder? That’s because when God appears to the public, His hidden work of salvation in His incarnate flesh will have been finished. Then God will reward the good and punish the wicked. And then, all those who refused to accept God’s hidden work will thoroughly lose the chance to be saved. Those who pierced Him, that is, those who resisted and condemned Christ of the last days, Almighty God, will see Almighty God whom they resisted and condemned is exactly the returned Lord Jesus. How could they not beat upon their breasts and weep unceasingly? So then, at that moment the scene “all kindreds of the earth shall wail” will appear. Let’s read some words from Almighty God.
Almighty God says, “Many people may not care what I say, but I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. It will herald the end of God’s management plan, and will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For the judgment of God will have ended before man sees signs, when there is only the expression of truth. Those who accept the truth and do not seek signs, and thus have been purified, shall have returned before the throne of God and entered the Creator’s embrace. Only those who persist in the belief that ‘The Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ’ shall be subjected to everlasting punishment, for they only believe in the Jesus who exhibits signs, but do not acknowledge the Jesus who proclaims severe judgment and releases the true way of life. And so it can only be that Jesus deals with them when He openly returns upon a white cloud. … The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From Almighty God’s word we can see that God’s hidden work in His incarnate flesh in the last days is the most crucial part to perfect man. This is also an extremely rare opportunity for us to be perfected in God’s six-thousand-year management plan. All those who accept God’s hidden work and are perfected have God’s special grace and are the most blessed ones. If we don’t cherish this once in a lifetime chance, and miss God’s work of making overcomers, we will only end up mourning and sorely regretting.
From Eastern Lightning, the movie script of The Mystery of Godliness