Testimony of Returning to God: I Understand the Way in Which the Lord Comes and I Welcome His Return
By Mu Guang, South Korea
I thank God for showing me kindness, for allowing me to hear His voice, for allowing me to understand how the Lord will return and the truth of the incarnation, and for allowing me to welcome the Lord’s return and be raised up before the throne of God.
I was a preacher in a house church who had always looked forward to the Lord Jesus’ return. One day, I heard the brothers and sisters in my church say that Eastern Lightning was testifying that the Lord Jesus had returned already, that Jesus had become flesh and that He was expressing the truth and performing the work of judgment in the last days. I thought this was incredible: “The Lord has returned? How could that be? The Lord’s return should be that He comes on a cloud and appears openly to us in the form of His Spirit after the resurrection. We haven’t seen anything like this occur, so how can they say that the Lord has returned already?” I therefore chose not to seek the way of Eastern Lightning.
One day, Brother Wang invited a couple of preachers to our church, saying that their sermons had the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and that they were highly edifying for people. When I heard this, I felt very happy, and I arranged with the brothers and sisters to gather together to hear their sermons. At the gathering, the two preachers took verses from the Bible and gave fellowship about the significance of God’s work in the Ages of Law and of Grace as well as the mystery of God’s name, and they spoke to us about how we currently live in a vicious cycle of sinning and confessing, and about how we are totally sordid and corrupt and unworthy to meet the Lord. They said that the Bible prophesies that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will perform the work of judging and purifying man so that we may be utterly rid of corruption and be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The brothers gave such enlightening fellowship and it all sounded so fresh and new to my ears. I’d been a believer in the Lord for over ten years and never had I heard such a sermon. The brothers and sisters in our church also discussed it amongst themselves, saying things like, “This kind of fellowship is so beneficial to us!” and “It would be so great to have fellowships like this at every gathering!”
One evening, I was chatting with the two brothers who had come to preach to us, and I asked admiringly, “Brothers, we all read the Bible just the same, so how come you understand so much?” They looked at each other and smiled, and one of them spoke excitedly to me, saying, “Brother, if God didn’t reveal these mysteries about God’s management plan, then no one would know anything about them. Actually, the Lord Jesus whom we have longed for for so many years has returned already as the incarnate Almighty God and, in the last days, God expresses all the truths that will enable us to attain true salvation….”
“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 and 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!
And so, I asked the brothers, “Brothers, I now understand from your fellowship that there are stages to God’s work. For His return in the last days, God first appears and works in the form of the incarnation, and then afterward He comes with clouds and appears openly to all peoples. I’d still like to ask, however, how can you be sure that Almighty God is the Son of man and God incarnate? Please could you fellowship with me about this?”
One of the brothers then happily said, “Thanks be to God! This question has a great bearing on whether or not we will be able to welcome the Lord’s return. As for what the incarnation is, how we should recognize God incarnate and how we should welcome the appearance of the Son of man, no one has been able to understand these truths for thousands of years. Today, however, Almighty God has revealed all these truths and mysteries, so first let’s read a few passages of Almighty God’s words.
“Almighty God says, ‘The “incarnation” is God’s appearance in the flesh; God works among created mankind in the image of the flesh. So for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this is the most basic prerequisite. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, that God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man’ (‘The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
‘The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood; He is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself’ (‘The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
‘It is not difficult to inquire into such a thing, but it requires each of us to know this one truth: 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’ (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“God’s words are very clear: Christ is the incarnation of God and Christ is God becoming a normal, ordinary person who appears and performs His work amongst mankind. From the outside, God incarnate looks just like a normal person; He is not big or strong, not extraordinary. He has the sense of reason and the thinking of a normal person, He feels joy and sorrow, and He comes into real, physical contact with other people. What is different about God incarnate, however, is that Christ possesses a divine essence that man does not, and He can perform the work of God Himself, bringing old ages to a close and beginning new ages. The essence of Christ is the truth, the way and the life, and He can express the truth at any time and in any place to guide and provide for man, to resolve people’s real problems, and to show people the path of practice. Christ can also express God’s disposition, what God has and is, and God’s almightiness and wisdom. For example, the Lord Jesus appeared from the outside to be an ordinary man who lived a normal life amongst man; His appearance and work, however, began the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. He expressed the truth and gave people the way of repentance, He forgave people their sins, and expressed His disposition of mercy and lovingkindness. The Lord Jesus also performed many miracles, such as causing the blind to see and the lame to walk, calming the winds and seas with a word, resurrecting the dead, feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, and so on, thus entirely manifesting the authority and power of God. From His work, His words and the disposition the Lord Jesus expressed, we can be sure that the Lord Jesus was the incarnation of God.”
The other brother carried on the fellowship. “Similarly, if we want to be sure that Almighty God is the incarnation of God, then we should determine this on the basis of Almighty God’s words, work and the disposition He expresses. Upon the foundation of Jesus’ work of redemption, Almighty God—Christ of the last days—is performing the work of judgment beginning in God’s house; He has brought the Age of Grace to an end and has ushered in the Age of Kingdom. Almighty God has expressed many millions of words and has revealed the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, the mystery of God’s incarnation, and the real truth behind the Bible. He has also revealed how Satan corrupts man, how God saves man, how in the last days God performs the work of judgment and purification, how He separates each person according to their kind, how He determines the end and destination for each kind of person, and so on. Moreover, God expresses His disposition of righteousness and majesty, He judges and exposes mankind’s God-resisting satanic nature and all our corrupt dispositions, whilst at the same time showing us the path we must take to rid ourselves of sin and attain purification. We experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words as well as the revelation of facts, and we see that our own nature is arrogant, selfish and deceitful. We also see that, though we may believe in God and expend ourselves for Him, we still sin and resist God frequently because we are under the control of our satanic corrupt dispositions. To list just a few examples: We always enjoy showing off in front of others and getting them to look up to us; we frequently lecture others in a condescending way and get them to accept our points of view; so as to protect our own interests, we are constantly apt to lie and cheat. Through the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, we recognize that God’s righteous disposition brooks no offense, a God-fearing heart arises within us, we prostrate ourselves before God in loathing of ourselves, and we begin to focus on seeking the truth in order to resolve our satanic dispositions. When we become able to forsake our flesh and practice the truth in matters we encounter, our corrupt dispositions then begin gradually to change. We can determine sufficiently from the words and the work of Almighty God, as well as from the results achieved by that work, that Almighty God is the embodiment of the Spirit of God, and that He is God Himself in the flesh.”
After listening to Almighty God’s words and the fellowship given by the two brothers, things became much clearer in my mind. The Son of man’s appearance and work as prophesied in the Bible is the Spirit of God clothing Himself in flesh and coming amongst man to perform divine work. If we wish to welcome the incarnation of God, then it is crucial that we investigate the matter on the basis of Christ’s work and words, as well as on the basis of the disposition He expresses. I thank God for showing me kindness, for allowing me to hear His voice and to understand the way in which the Lord returns and the truths concerning His incarnation. If He had not done so, I would still be living within my own conceptions and imaginings, foolishly waiting for the Lord to come in the form of His Spirit after He resurrected and appear to us riding on a white cloud. I would hardly have realized that I was shutting out the Son of man who had already returned, and that I had forever lost my chance to meet the Lord. As I considered these things, I felt myself to truly be so fortunate!
Over the next few days, I avidly read Almighty God’s words, thereby coming to understand many truths and mysteries, and I became absolutely certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. I am so thankful to God for guiding me, one step at a time, to let go of my conceptions and understand the truth. I finally welcomed the Lord’s return, was raised up before God’s throne, and I became resolved to diligently pursue the truth so as to repay God’s kindness. Before too long, I had spread God’s work of the last days to over a hundred other brothers and sisters within the area I was responsible for. When they discovered that the Lord had returned, they were so thrilled that tears streaked their faces, and they all accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. We now attend the feast of the Lamb, we gather together every day and read Almighty God’s words, sing and dance in praise of Almighty God, and we feel such incomparable happiness and enjoyment in our spirits! Thank God!